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Kai'Sa Build Guide by SnipyOCE

Middle platinum

Snipy's Midlane Mage Kai'Sa Guide!

By SnipyOCE | Updated on July 6, 2020
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SnipyOCE's Featured Video
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Runes: Electrocute (dive in)

1 2
Domination
Electrocute
Taste of Blood
Ghost Poro
Ravenous Hunter

Precision
Presence of Mind
Legend: Alacrity
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist

Spells:

1 2 3 4
SINGLE-TARGET BURST WITH ELECTROCUTE
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
ADC Role
Ranked #17 in
ADC Role
Win 49%
Get More Stats

Champion Build Guide

Snipy's Midlane Mage Kai'Sa Guide!

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 Season 9, I hit Diamond playing mostly my Protobelt Kai'Sa build, all streamed at https://www.twitch.tv/SnipyOCE/
If you're interested in learning how to play Kai'Sa mid, check out my stream!

My OP.GG - Void Seeker (Kai'Sa account)
My OP.GG - Snipy
Which build should I use? Back to Top
The Electrocute Ignite Hextech Protobelt-01 build is the most aggressive build that gives you the tools to snowball from early-game. This build is easier to carry games with, but is very combo-reliant.

The Dark Harvest Barrier Hextech GLP-800 build is all about W spam. You'll be weaker in the early game, but you'll get your W evolve earlier and be a great teamfighter.
Runes Explanations Back to Top
Electrocute is all about bursting 1 target. Electrocute gives you more early-game damage but falls off later. With protobelt/ignite you can proc it very easily.
Dark Harvest synergises with your spells really well since your W can apply it from 3000 range away. It is weaker than Electrocute early, but is much stronger in later fights since you can proc it multiple times with a single spell.
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.
With Ravenous Hunter, you'll be healing up a ton of HP since a lot of your damage is single-target. You won't have any sustain problems or need to recall to regenerate HP after fights.
With Presence of Mind, you can potentially get a very early Q evolve if you have a few early kills/assists, since the bonus mana it gives counts towards your Q evolve through Manamune.
Legend: Alacrity is a solid rune choice which helps you brawl with other champions, proccing your passive smoothly without buying attack speed. Legend: Bloodline is not worth taking here, since you'll be healing a ton from Ravenous Hunter.

For stat shards I go double AP, and either Armor or Magic Resist depending on matchup.
Item Explanations Back to Top
Corrupting Potion gives you a ton of sustain against matchups that aim to poke your HP down instead of forcing heavy trades by jumping on you.
Doran's Blade is crucial to the build, since it gives 8 AD which counts towards your Q evolve. Start this item if you will be able to autoattack the enemy a lot.
The goal is to farm up your core items and become a mid-game monster. Cull helps with that by giving +7 AD towards an earlier Q evolve, and 300 extra gold once you complete it. Buy this on your first recall.
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. Try to avoid buying the Tear of the Goddess component, since Kai'Sa stacks it really slowly with spells. Pickaxe + Sapphire Crystal + Faerie Charm -> Manamune is the ideal scenario.
Hextech Protobelt-01 gives you enough HP to not get bursted by other champions, and its active can be used to clear minion waves and gapclose onto enemies. It also resets your autoattack to help proc your passive in a combo.
Sorcerer's Shoes gives you magic penetration, amplifying your magic damage.
Luden's Echo is a core item in this build, but we don't need it as early as other midlane mages since we have Manamune. Lost Chapter is the main item that gives us the mana sustain, some CDR and enough AP to evolve W once we another Amplifying Tome.
Hextech GLP-800 is an alternative to Luden's Echo if you value its slow and cheaper cost. With the extra 400 gold you save, you can buy another Amplifying Tome and get your W evolve 400g earlier. Buy this to skip Hextech Protobelt-01 and go straight into Rabadon's Deathcap.

LUDEN'S ECHO or HEXTECH GLP-800?


Luden's Echo
VS

Hextech GLP-800
- Passive can be procced more often
- W poke is stronger
- Slows enemies
- 400 gold cheaper
Luden's Echo is more expensive, but provides more per-slot stats compared to Hextech GLP-800. Hextech GLP-800 gives you your W evolve faster once you spend that extra 400 gold on an Amplifying Tome, letting you powerspike faster. Its also helps catch enemies and kite threats.


If you’re against multiple AD champions like Zed + Lee Sin + Pyke, you can buy a Seeker's Armguard after Manamune since it's very cost-efficient for the armor and AP it gives. After Luden's Echo, 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.
If you’re against a heavy AP teamcomp like Ekko and Elise, you can rush Hexdrinker to ensure they cannot burst you down.
Rabadon's Deathcap will massively amplify your spell damage and Killer Instinct shield. This is your second biggest powerspike.
FINAL ITEM OPTIONS


Liandry's Torment will make your spells hurt even more, especially against tanks. Usually you'll be aiming your W at CC'ed enemies to proc your Second Skin, so you'll be able to get the double-damage burn often. In long drawn-out fights, its 10% damage bonus is also no joke.
Void Staff is usually bought when the enemies are ALL stacking magic resist. If only 1 or 2 enemy frontliners are buying MR and their carry players aren't, don't bother with a Void Staff and just get a different item for more burst.
Skill Order Back to Top
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 Back to Top
Video of all combos at timestamp 2:15

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.
  • Example clip

Assassination combo with Hextech Protobelt-01

The Raptor Cheese Back to Top
  • 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. We take the attack-speed stat shard in our runes so that we can do it easily, consistently, and barely take any damage from doing so.
    Video Explanation here, old but still applies:
Playstyle Back to Top

EARLY GAME

  • Use the raptor trick to gain an early XP advantage if you started Doran's Blade. You will hit level 2 off the first wave so use that to force a good trade against your level 1 opponent. The enemy will reach the same level 1 minion slower.
  • Try to buy a Cull as soon as possible. The earliest you can buy it is usually after killing the 3rd minion wave (cannon).
  • Focus on farming for your Manamune. If you have a few kills + assists, then a lost chapter + level 10/11 will usually get you your Q evolve, helping you farm even faster and boosting your overall damage.

MID GAME

  • Catch out stragglers with your W and R. By the time you ult in, your W should almost be off cooldown.
  • You powerspike at Manamune + Hextech Protobelt-01 + Blasting Wand/ Lost Chapter, where you will have Q and W evolve, and 20% CDR.
    Q evolve is enough to easily solokill enemies by yourself while also being a strong teamfighter because 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Back to Top
  • 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. Here's an example.
  • 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. Example.
  • You can flash to cancel your R dash early.
Ending Notes Back to Top
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!


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: