Build Guide by Fell#31544
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
To start out let me just say that there are two sides to every story and this one is not the ones for feint of heart. If you feel like you cannot take sitting back and playing a support like DPS carry then this guide may not be for you, but who knows try it anyway and you might like it. (let me stress when i say this build is not for those who want to rush into fights and wait untill the evident loser is in sight. This is a build that is made for people who want to dot the enemy team from range, assist in escapes, deploy ambushes, and overall strategize for fights that will last no longer then precious seconds because as Cass has some of the best CD and AP ratios this is where you will shine. (SMART KEYS ARE A MUST FOR THIS BUILD! see summary for description.)
This is my first guide so bear with me as i do not know how to place the pictures for the runes and will look into getting it fixed.
Red < > Basically this is just a ramp up to help your end game hit harder the reason why i chose to go with gain per level over a flat is because you really shouldn't be engaged that much until around 13 where they start to match in stats anyway so these will be better in the long run.
Yellow < > This is actually a very important rune since in this build you do not have mana regeneration and instead have to use precision to either make your moves worth their cost or roll 5 stacks by skillfully working the minion mobs. (either way end game mana is where your prime is so you cannot run out and sometimes enemies steal all the blues so this is your crutch.)
Blues < > They can be pretty much anything but i find that either AP or mana regeneration per level are the best bet because they both help you to either stay in a fight or to hit that much harder on the enemies with your dots.
Quints < > Amazing boost of AP and would have been flat hp for the survivability but after the last patch nerfed them i decided that doubling your rune AP is just as win.
Masteries are a simple 9/0/21 they pick up cooldown reduction in both trees as well as buff extension since it will be your priority to net blue golem as soon as you can easily handle it, usually around 10, and of course a little speed boost to help you in your harass.
Start with Amp Tome and head to your lane with this build you can do fine in mid of your cautious and map aware.
Also will do fine in dual lane due to you only going after last hits and farming but be sure your partner is aware his/her gung-ho tactics will not be accompanied by yourself. As soon as you get 330g go back to base ping to let ppl know your doing something and buy the kage its your bank roller for the game and it has some ap to boo.
Head back to lane and rush for mejais, if for whatever reason you cannot get this before you go back to base (*Pantheon*) then grab your first part of your boots then head back this time until you get mejais and finally work on finishing your boots.
Congrats, you took the first step to being a threat.
Now for step 2, SURVIVAL MODE!!!!!!!ONEONE!!ONE yep you are going full speed to rylai's crystal staff get it asap the hp it gives is nice and will make your hp bar look like your allies big and full of win but the real catch on this sucker is that now your poisons are aoe slows just like anivias but smaller yet faster to apply which means yours can move to the current of the enemy team.
Onward to victory, great to those of you who made it this far with no deaths it can be tough to control temptations not to chase or knowing when to fall back but kudos for working your farm and coming out ahead now we get to the Boom! Grab your rabadons asap first get the 1650 rod because it grants more AP and then work the rest till its built you should be around lvl 14 by this time. After that you should get the void staff so that you can negate even more of those tanks armor and harass even better with poisons. (if you need to replace it with another surv peice like zhonyas hourglass feel free although know it really wont help you often due to if your in hells kitchen then odds are your dinner.)
Lastly, YAY this game has lasted 40mins or you did a good job either way fine show got you to this point. So grab your deathfire grasp and wait for your chance to assist the initiations as at this point in the game you have enough AP so that it will hit for trucks and make your team just that much closer to supreme victory. (The reason why this item is last is because as Cass you should not really be close enough to the enemies to use this, generally your at a distance wearing them down by placing your W in a choke and using your Q to funnel them through it trying to get hits and slows.)
< > This is your Kage it is your friend it isnt replaced until last which means you net a ton of gold in the meantime from it and that puts you a little closer to your end game.
< > Mejais it is essential to get and maintain at least 5 stacks of this at all times or it is a wasted slot remember you do may get stacks from killing blows but you also are put into the fray sometimes its best to just stall enemies with your slow and nuke them low while retreating to allow gung-ho to finish them off and eat the enemies blows while you provide cover via poisons.
< > Sorcerers Boots are a great way to deal more dmg and to get away because remember the only thing faster then you after you slowed your enemy with Q is you who hit your enemy with Q while wearing Sorcerers Boots.
< > Rylai's Crystal Scepter get this next because you need the health and in order for your harass to be effective all enemies must be slowed but start with the belt solve issue #1 and then boost your ap by going blasting rod then Tome.
< > Rabadons Hat this item is amazing because it gives you amazing AP while also giving a percent AP boost.
< > Void Staff *OR* a survivability item such as zhonyas hourglass as explained before is decent but majority of the time if your overextending to the point where you cant take an enemy 1v1 and they are that close to you then odds are not in your favor with or without zhonyas.
< > Deathfire Grasp is the item that you should be using on any high hp enemy usually the ones that are either a heavy carry or a tank otherwise it may be a waste unless for whatever reason your target can out dps you.(with your harassment this shouldn't be possible)
Max E first but don't really bother using it until it is at least level 3 because it wont do much damage but if there is a singe or teemo with poison on your team and in your lane you could skip poison and get E to try and get an early game kill. Q on the other hand is both your speed boost which is always ahead of W by 1ish after lvl 10 and W being a nice aoe spell is prioritized last because its main use is as an aoe snare and although it does comparable dmg to Q the duration it takes to fulfill that is incomparable and so use it as a slow or obstacle for enemies or even for caster minions.
Basic rotation should be Q>E>E>W>E>Q>E>E or something like that basically if they run away you place W in front of them if you can or hit Q to speed up and then do it so that you get double the slow and can land more spells, sometimes this along with a Q can finish off 3 or 4 bars of an enemy as they run away. As for when your initiating use W if you can to plant it in the middle of the enemy area but if that is too dangerous (Jax, Xin, Annie, Ryze) then lay it as close as possible to them and use it as an obstacle for enemies to get through before getting to you this way you can harass with Q.
R is a great move it hits for a huge amount and so while you should want to save it for a team fight as often as one is certain do not hold out all the time because wasted time could have just as easily been that kill that could have been so use it when applicable but be aware your vulnerable afterwards and only use it to stun unless you know they wont stop running away in which case you can slow.
< > Flash a wonderful, and keystone ability, for Cassiopeia builds. Reason being, enemy teams will chase an allies and usually all clustered, simply flash when they get close and hit R to stun them and then quickly q and run away at which point generally they are angry and didnt realize you just hit them for bricks with your ult and they lost 25% their health but whats that as you ran away you placed your W to slow them, Q the pool, and clean it up while they retreat or continue yours to safety if need be.
< > Exhaust really can be nearly any spell but for those 1v1 encounters with heavy hitters this is what helps you to negate their dmg and hit them before they hit you as a result you can find that even fights like end game Yi to be easy pickings.
< > Other useful spells would be clarity for those without the mana runes or ghost because Cass still can feel slow after people get certain items but both can leave you vulnerable and hurt your early game fighting a little.
In total your still going to be playing Cassiopeia like some people hate and thats a squishy but when your ratios are as high as Cassiopeia then honestly if you poke around before team fights, you can starts to create situations where whoever initiates dies and eventually scope it to whoever gets initiated on dies, then eventually push in. This in no way is to say having health is bad or getting survival items doesn't work its just a way of playing Cass where real dmg truly is and you can witness your dots as they can become actual harbingers of death.
Smart keys are easy to create but they can only set in a game so go play a bot and hit escape to open up your menu go to key bindings and then change the smart keys to simply the respective keys they represent Q, W, E, R, D, F. The reason why these are a must is because by using them you shave time off your cast times meaning your Q's are easier to land your W's are easier to place and your E's are rolling while you can just as well flash in ult kill and exhaust anyone else as you retreat. Note, smart keys will not show you the range lines of your abilities this is something you will have to learn internally think of it as training wheels so taking them off normal and onto smart keys is like riding your first real bike learn it love it live it.