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Kai'Sa Build Guide by SnipyOCE

Middle Snipy's Diamond AP Kai'Sa Guide (MID/BOT)

Middle Snipy's Diamond AP Kai'Sa Guide (MID/BOT)

Updated on April 27, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author SnipyOCE Build Guide By SnipyOCE 773 67 2,593,149 Views 42 Comments
773 67 2,593,149 Views 42 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author SnipyOCE Kai'Sa Build Guide By SnipyOCE Updated on April 27, 2022
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SnipyOCE's Featured Video
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Runes: AGGRESSIVE EARLYGAME (lvl 8 Q evo)

1 2 3
Domination
Hail of Blades
Taste of Blood
Eyeball Collection
Treasure Hunter

Inspiration
Magical Footwear
Future's Market
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist

Spells:

1 2 3 4
GENERALLY GOOD
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport

Teleport

Champion Build Guide

Snipy's Diamond AP Kai'Sa Guide (MID/BOT)

By SnipyOCE
Introduction
Welcome to my midlane Mage Kai'Sa guide. This version of Kai'Sa relies less on Rageblade and focuses on stacking AP and CDR to spam abilities. In previous seasons, I've hit Diamond playing my AP Kai'Sa build, all streamed at https://www.twitch.tv/SnipyOCE/ and https://www.youtube.com/SnipyOCE/
If you're interested in learning how to play Kai'Sa mid, check out my stream!

My OP.GG - Snipy
My OP.GG - Void Seeker
Which build do I use?
The sniper build is for when you're intending to scale and mainly poke from long range. This build works both mid and botlane and is reliant on you landing your skillshots. It does insane damage if you can land all your skillshots and it works best when your team has multiple ways to apply plasma and/or CC the enemy. You'll be a glass cannon with no self-peel, so I recommend taking a safety summoner spell such as Exhaust, Barrier or Teleport, and the First Strike rune page to hit lategame faster.

The battlemage build is best midlane where you need to be self-sufficient and want to do mixed damage (more autoattacks). It has roughly a 40/60 physical/magic damage spread and can play much more aggressively at closer ranges since Everfrost helps you go for picks, kite enemies and prevent people from dodging your W. Additionally, Nashor's Tooth buffs your E so you'll be more mobile. I recommend taking Ignite and either Electrocute or Hail of Blades.
Rune page explained (Hail of Blades/Electrocute)
Hail of Blades works really well with the Kai'Sa passive. This is an aggressive rune setup that gives you more pressure early-mid game.
Electrocute is the best choice for single-target burst. It is the best rune for the Battlemage build.
Taste of Blood gives you great lane sustain early-game. This is the best rune out of the first row to take in all matchups. The other runes in the row aren't worth taking at all.
Ghost Poro is a great rune for midlaners since it provides more vision for you and your team. Eyeball Collection is a viable alternative though and is what I personally prefer.
Treasure Hunter helps you reach your Q and W evolution powerspikes faster.
This build focuses on rushing AD items for Q evolve. Magical Footwear save you 300g and gives you free boots by the time you actually need it. The other runes are garbage for Kai'Sa anyway.
This AP Kai'Sa build is all about rushing key items to unlock Kai'Sa as a powerful poke/burst mage. Future's Market helps you reach item timings even faster. With Q and W evolve powerspikes, you'll be able to farm even faster and make up for any gold lost from this rune.

For stat shards I go for attack speed, adaptive force and either Armor or Magic Resist depending on the matchup.
Rune page explained (First Strike)
First Strike is a scaling rune. Its effectiveness greatly increases as the game goes on, since its damage and gold-gain is directly related to how much damage you are doing. After laning phase, you'll be able to proc First Strike all the time with your W, since enemies will always be too far away to hit you first. Imagine earning 50-100 gold every time you land a W (at 2-3 items).
This build focuses on rushing AD items for Q evolve. Magical Footwear save you 300g and gives you free boots by the time you actually need it. The other runes are garbage for Kai'Sa anyway.
This AP Kai'Sa build is all about rushing key items to unlock Kai'Sa as a powerful poke/burst mage. Future's Market helps you reach item timings even faster. With Q and W evolve powerspikes, you'll be able to farm even faster and make up for any gold lost from this rune.
Cosmic Insight is a great rune for any champion that takes the Inspiration tree but doesn't run timewarp tonic and Corrupting Potion. The reduced summoner spell and item cooldown is very valuable.
Manaflow Band is imporant if you want to get Q evolve as early as possible. This will let you get Q evolve at level 7. This rune is recommended when you play AP Kai'Sa botlane since you will reach level 7 by the time you get Manamune + Pickaxe. In the midlane, you will already be level 8/9 by the time you buy the items. This means you will have enough AD to evolve Q without Manaflow Band.
Transcendence gives you 10 ability haste which is great at enabling quicker combos such as W-R-W, as well as increasing your DPS with more W spam.
Gathering Storm is a scaling rune and is my preferred alternative to Manaflow Band. This fits AP Kai'Sa's playstyle because she's all about scaling to her Q and W evolves and becoming a mid-lategame monster.

For stat shards I go for attack speed, adaptive force and either Armor or Magic Resist depending on the matchup.
Item Explanations
Pickaxe is bought solely as a cheap way to rush Q evolve. It is very efficient since it only takes up 1 item slot, and you can eventually sell it for 613g when you need space. Buying this will give you enough AD to evolve Q at level 7 or 8, depending on whether you have Manaflow Band.
Manamune is the key item used to evolve your Q using its mana to AD conversion. The extra AD it gives your other spells as well, since they all scale with AD. We don't need to rush a mythic since Kai'Sa has great synergy with Manamune, so we usually buy a mythic item AFTER Manamune.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity gives you much-needed CDR for your spell cooldowns. It's cheap and also reduces your summoner spell cooldowns too. While you can buy Sorcerer's Shoes for even more damage, you'll definitely feel the higher W cooldown if you ever miss the skillshot.
Luden's Tempest is the best mythic item for this playstyle since your whole goal is to poke until you find someone to burst with an RW combo. It's passive cooldown gets reduced by 3 seconds if you land multiple Q missiles on an enemy champion.
Everfrost active can apply a stack of plasma as well as set up for your W. It gives you some HP and is a great way to kite enemies that like to run at you such as bruisers. The active also cannot be blocked by Wind Wall and Blade Whirl.
If you’re against multiple AD champions like Zed + Lee Sin + Draven, you can buy a Seeker's Armguard after Manamune since it's very cost-efficient for the armor and AP it gives. After your core items, you can buy Zhonya's Hourglass if you really need its active. Otherwise, sitting on a Seeker's Armguard for the rest of the game is fine too.
Shadowflame boosts your W poke damage by giving you more magic penetration. Ever since Horizon Focus was changed, Shadowflame has ended up providing more damage in my experience.
Rabadon's Deathcap will massively amplify your spell damage and Killer Instinct shield. This is a massive powerspike.
Void Staff should be bought before Rabadons if the enemy is building MR.
Skill Order
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Q
W
E
Q
Q
R
Q
W
Q
W
R
W
W
E
E
R
E
E

For skill order you want to take Q Icathian Rain level 1 and also max it first. It’s your waveclear and primary trading tool during early game since minions will usually block your W Void Seeker unless you go for some flashy play or the enemy mispositions. Max W Void Seeker second, and E Supercharge last, while putting a point into your ult whenever possible.

You can also take E level 2 if you feel like you can chase the enemy down for a heavy trade without taking too much damage in return.
Combos & Animation Cancels

Q+W

  • QW is the most basic combo. It’s faster than using WQ, and the Q also hides the W animation somewhat, giving the enemy less time to react. You can also sneak in an autoattack when you press Q since it doesn’t cancel your autoattack animation.
  • Example combo: AA QW AA

W+Flash

  • W+Flash is extremely useful. It helps you get around enemy minions if they are in the way, surprise people, and you can also use it to change the direction your W Void Seeker goes. Early game it’s usually used as a finisher unless you managed to land the W Void Seeker at the start.
  • If you flash at the end of your W animation, you can actually make your real W invisible.

R+W


R Autoattack Reset

  • Killer Instinct is an autoattack reset, which is super helpful in applying your passive Second Skin during fights since this build doesn’t include any attack speed outside of runes.
  • You can take advantage of this with this combo: W AA R AA
  • In this combo you can Q Icathian Rain anytime since it has no cast animation.

5-stack Combo without W Void Seeker Evolve

  • This is a quick way to get all your damage off and pop your execute from your passive, but the enemy needs to be in autoattack range first: AA Q W AA R AA

Fast Combo with W Void Seeker Evolution + Flash

  • This combo is slightly slower but has a longer range: W flash Q AA R AA.

Assassination combo with Hextech Rocketbelt

Playstyle

EARLY GAME

  • Since Kai'Sa is AD and ranged, she'll have the push advantage vs many midlane champions (except Lucian/Akshan).
  • With the earlier level 2, you usually can gain control of the lane minions and go for an early recall after clearing the 3rd wave (cannon wave). You should have enough gold to buy a Tear of the Goddess.
  • Focus on farming for your Manamune and Pickaxe to get Q evolve. This is your first powerspike since you'll be able to clear minion waves very easily. 1 evolved Icathian Rain is enough to delete the first 3 melee minions, and you can autoattack and/or Q the leftover ranged minions.
  • Since you will often have lane priority at this point, try to roam and help your jungler in skirmishes, establish deep vision, or gank a side lane.

MID GAME

  • Once you have W evolve, you become really strong in teamfights due to the low W cooldown.
  • Catch out stragglers with your W and R. By the time you ult in, your W should almost be off cooldown.
  • Q evolve is enough to easily solokill enemies by yourself while W evolve makes you a strong teamfighter due to your low W cooldown.
  • Look to poke the enemies from far away, and use any friendly CC to ult in and R+W squishy enemies.
  • Try not to miss your Void Seeker, since it heavily affects your total damage output if you don't get a cooldown refund. Sometimes it's better to E
  • Make sure to proc your caustic wounds with W and autosttacks whenever anyone has multiple stacks of plasma on them.
  • Learn how to walljump with Kai'Sa ult. It will help you. A LOT.

LATE GAME

  • Your W can easily 2-shot carries if they have no MR, with a W, R+W combo.
  • Try to rely on your W for constant damage. Only get close to autoattack enemies when it is completely safe, or when you have your team near you. With this build you won't have E evolve to rely on for self-peel.
  • Don't worry about only trying to hit the backline carries, your W will chunk the frontline too. Sometimes it's better to get constant damage on the enemy frontline instead of trying to snipe the enemy backline who are far away.
  • You can use the enemy frontline to bunnyhop over and burst people behind them. To do this, W the frontline, wait 2-3 seconds for your W cooldown, then ult over the first enemy and aim your W at the person behind them.
Quick Tips
  • You can position yourself so that your Q Icathian Rain only hits one minion (usually on a melee minion or cannon minion) but kills it immediately. It helps get waves pushing. Cannon minions need to be missing some hp to die from Q Icathian Rain. This trick + her autoattacks give Kai'Sa pretty good early pushing/waveclear ability.
  • Your Q Icathian Rain missiles do double damage to minions below 35% health. Make use of this by autoattacking multiple minions and Q’ing at the end to execute them.
  • Try to stand in a position where if the enemy walks up, they will tank more Q Icathian Rain missiles since less minions are in range.
  • Your W Void Seeker will continue to cast even when CC’ed. The W Void Seeker animation gets cancelled when you get cc’ed as well, making it harder for the enemy to notice you're casting it. Useful against champions like Twisted Fate, Zoe, Annie, etc.
  • If running ignite, try to ignite early so that your passive execute will do more damage.
  • After you trade with someone, you can back off a bit and if they walk back up while still having 2 or 3 plasma stacks, you can surprise them with a W+flash or W+flash+AA. Like this.
  • Your W Void Seeker hitbox is very fat so you can even hit someone who’s hiding in a minion wave if you W+flash right next to or on top of them.
  • You can hide your W Void Seeker by aiming it through walls.
  • Your W Void Seeker has 3000 range, also the same as Lux’s R Final Spark.
  • Try to aim your W Void Seeker at enemies that are (or going to be) cc’ed as they won’t be able to dodge.
  • Use your R Killer Instinct to escape over walls.
  • You can flash to cancel your R dash early.
The Raptor Start
  • You can take a small Raptor at the start of the game in order to hit level 2 off the first wave, possibly resulting in an easy first blood. Just make your Q Icathian Rain hit only one Raptor and kite it around the Crimson Raptor camp wall towards your lane. For your own raptors kite them around the wall but for enemy raptors kite them towards the river. Raptors spawn at 1:30 and a small raptor will die from 6 Q Icathian Rain missiles + 4 autoattacks. With the attack-speed stat shard in our runes, we can do it easily, consistently, and barely take any damage from doing so.
    Video Explanation here, old but still applies:
Ending Notes
Well that’s the end of the guide, so go out and have fun topping the damage charts with my build! Just a reminder that I post League/Kai'Sa-related content on my YouTube channel such as montages, Tips/Tricks and stream highlights. Click here to subscribe, it's much appreciated!


Congratulations, you've made it to the end of the guide so here's a little-known secret that will 100% boost your Kai'Sa skills:

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide