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Kassadin Build Guide by Vapora Dark

Middle diamond

Vapora Dark In-Depth Mid Kassadin Guide Season 10

By Vapora Dark | Updated on October 28, 2020
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Vapora Dark's Featured Video


Taste of Blood
Eyeball Collection
Ravenous Hunter

Presence of Mind
Legend: Tenacity

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


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #25 in
Middle Lane
Win 48%
Get More Stats

Ability Order

-Table of Contents-
About Me

Gameplay and Extra
Early Game
Out of Lane

Hi, I'm Vapora Dark, a veteran player that's been playing since season 1. During that time I've hit Master tier as a mid lane main in season 5, as an ADC main in season 7, again as a jungle main in season 8, and once more in season 9 playing a mix of all those roles. I can play every role to a very high level and have a very good understanding of the general aspects of the game on top of that.

I've been writing guides on MOBAFire since 2011, among which my achievements include winning the MOBAFire guide contest multiple times, achieving the highest score on the site multiple times with multiple guides, achieving the most comments on a single guide of all time by a very large amount which hasn't come even close to being surpassed in the 3 years that it's been archived, and having the most collective guide views on the site by a very hefty amount. I've also written some champion guides for Riot Games on the Lolesports site.

Kassadin is like the mage version of a hypercarry: he starts the game off very weak, but he progressively scales up and come late-game he's probably going to be the strongest champion on the map. His mobility from Riftwalk is extremely effective for both aggression and defense, and it makes him very hard to lock down and shut down once he has enough CDR and mana. His early-game can be frustrating to get through, but the reward for it is getting to play one of the most fun champions in the game in mid-late game.

I hope you enjoy reading the guide as much as I enjoyed writing it, and most importantly, that you take everything you can from it!


In this chapter I'm going to be gathering a compilation of Kai'Sa footage ranging from full gameplays, VOD reviews of myself and more famous players, as well as short plays, to help you learn the champion even better if you're willing to put in the time to watch some extra content on top of the actual guide itself, as well as give you an idea of what the champion can achieve in the hands of a good player. Click here to sub for more educational content.

Precision & Domination

Fleet Footwork
Fleet Footwork: All Kassadin can do in early levels is survive. Fleet Footwork is fully effective on minions as a melee champion and scales very well from ability power. Together with the domination runes you'll be harder to poke out.

Triumph: Kassadin is a very all in type of champion so the healing on takedown can be a life saver. The other 2 options don't really have much of a use for him as well.

Legend: Tenacity
Legend: Tenacity: The other 2 options do nothing for Kassadin but free tenacity is very powerful against a lot of champions.

Coup De Grace
Coup de Grace: This is the only reliable option in this row. You'll never make great use from Cut Down as your targets will have less health than you and Last Stand is too situational.


Taste of Blood

Ravenous Hunter
Taste of Blood: With how weak Kassadin is pre-6 the extra healing from this rune will dramatically help him. Together with Fleet Footwork and Ravenous Hunter you'll be hard to poke out early and sustain easily late.

Ravenous Hunter: Just like Taste of Blood this rune will help Kassadin with his weak sustain. However this one scales into the mid-late game with a dramatic amount of healing from single target damage. Null Sphere and Nether Blade will both trigger the full healing from this rune making you a lot harder to kill in fights.

9 Adaptive Force
9 Adaptive Force
8 Magic Resistance

FLASH This is the best summoner spell in the game, almost every champion takes it and it's completely irreplaceable. It's the best defensive summoner and the best offensive summoner all at once. The fact that you see all 10 players take this in 99% of games just goes to show how strong it is. Kassadin has no escapes before level 6, and even at level 6 Riftwalk has a decent cooldown, so this is absolutely essential on him. ||

TELEPORT This is the second most important summoner spell for Kassadin. Kassadin will almost always be getting shoved in and will therefore almost never be the one to get an optimal recall off (meaning while he's recalling the enemy laner can shove the next wave into tower before recalling themselves to make him miss a wave). And even when the enemy laner recalls before him, Kassadin's lack of waveclear makes it virtually impossible for him to shove a wave into the tower fast enough to avoid missing much CS himself. Teleport allows him to recall whenever necessary while being able to Teleport back into lane immediately to avoid missing large amounts of CS and falling behind. It also opens up the possibility of TP ganks on other lanes and allowing him to be a split pusher late-game. ||

IGNITE The next best alternative to TP. This is obviously a much more aggressive option, one that gives him some more kill potential both early-game and late-game. The drawbacks are that you lose the (very strong) benefits of Teleport, and that this spell is almost useless if you're never in situations where it can help you get kills. For example, if you're in a tough lane matchup you may never get a chance to kill your lane opponent, and if you're trapped in lane you won't be able to roam and pick up kills with the Ignite either. It's still strong late-game during team-fights, but not worth the tradeoff of not having Teleport if it doesn't help you pick up kills in the early-game. ||
-Skill Order-

> >
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

In most games you'll be maxing Q to enable you to trade and harass the enemy laner easily. However sometimes you'll instead be putting 3 points into Q and then max E by level 10. This is done usually against AD melee matchups such as Zed because the magic shield doesn't do anything to stop their damage and you would much rather have the massive slow to help against them than the slight increase in base damage to poke with. Not to mention your Q range is often the same range as their engage making you an easy target for unfavourable trades.

You can also do the 3 points in Q then max E skill order against magic damage matchups in which you don't need the shield and would rather have extra waveclear.

Void Stone
Void Stone: Okay so there's almost nothing to talk about here, it's pretty simple. "Ignores unit collision" means that you're unaffected by things such as minion block; rather than going around units (minions, champions... basically anything that isn't terrain), you'll just go through them. So things like this won't happen you. Pretty neat.

And "Kassadin takes 15% reduced magic damage" means that Kassadin takes 15% reduced magic damage. Which helps make his laning phase against mages a lot safer. Also neat!
Null Sphere
Null Sphere: Especially when combined with Summon Aery and Scorch, this spell is actually pretty strong at trading. The damage in early levels is pretty comparable to other spells, and the shield makes it out-trade almost any spell, especially when taking Void Stone into consideration.

Void Stone and Null Sphere's shield together make Kassadin far better in lane against AP champions than AD champions, so if possible try to avoid picking Kassadin into AD matchups.

Often you'll need to use this spell to last-hit minions rather than just solely harassing your enemy. Kassadin has very little kill pressure in early levels anyway so don't fall into the trap of only using this spell for harassment.
Nether Blade
Nether Blade: The increased auto-attack damage from Nether Blade's passive is a massive help for your last-hitting, which is very much welcome since a lot of your last-hits will be done under tower. It's also a not negligible boost to your auto-attack DPS on enemy champions, which definitely isn't unwelcome.

The active is a spell that is very important for you both in laning phase and out of it. In laning phase it's very good for helping you last-hit under tower, especially when used as an auto-attack reset, but most importantly, by spamming it on minions every chance you get you're going to be getting a ton of mana back from it, which will sustain your playstyle of spamming Null Sphere on your opponent as well as often using it to last-hit.

Outside of laning phase, it becomes a huge nuke when combined with Lich Bane, and the mana restore will start to restore massive amounts of mana, making it hugely beneficial to manage to hit anyone with Nether Blade, given Kassadin's massive mana costs on Riftwalk.
Force Pulse
Force Pulse: This is a very unique spell because of the fact that it has 2 "cooldowns"; the regular CD any spell has, and the fact that it needs to charge up to 6 nearby spell casts before it can be used again, even if it is off cooldown. The downside of this is that it makes it have a generally long CD in laning phase. The good news is that in team-fights there are so many spells being cast that it takes no time at all to reach 6 charges, giving you an AoE nuke that doubles as a very strong slow, on a cooldown of 3.6-3.8 seconds.

It's common to start putting points in this spell after level 7 to start giving you some wave-clear, and end up maxing it before Null Sphere.
Riftwalk: This spell is what defines Kassadin. After skilling this Kassadin becomes one of the most mobile champions in the game, and at rank 3 Riftwalk he becomes the most mobile champion in the game with no one coming close to his mobility; provided he has the mana to sustain his Riftwalk spam. That's why Kassadin builds focus so heavily on mana, since it's extremely important for him to have a large enough mana pool for multiple consecutive Riftwalks in a team-fight.

Riftwalk -> Force Pulse -> Null Sphere

The combo for when you're not in range for Nether Blade after Riftwalk. This combo needs explaining because the order of the spells is important. Casting Force Pulse before Null Sphere may sound like such a tiny and pointless detail, but it can actually make a huge difference in a large number of situations. The speed of the combo is the same no matter which order you use, but you want Force Pulse to hit first because:

1. It has a smaller range than Null Sphere; if you cast Null Sphere first the enemy may not be in range for Force Pulse anymore by the time you cast it. You have a slightly more limited window to land this than Null Sphere, so you want to get it through ASAP.

2. If the enemy Flashes away after the first spell, you'll have slapped them with a slow to help you chase them and possibly allow you to get close enough for Null Sphere without even having to cast an extra Riftwalk. If you're casting Null Sphere first, here's what happens instead: you Riftwalk in, cast Null Sphere, they Flash away, then you Force Pulse the air... Which isn't even a possibility with the reverse because Null Sphere is point and click, meaning it's impossible to waste a spell with that combo.

3. Slightly less important but can still potentially have a big impact in rare situations: You generally want to get Force Pulse on CD ASAP so the rest of your spells (as well as the enemy spells) begin charging it up for the next cast. If you cast Null Sphere before Force Pulse that's one charge you're guaranteed to miss out on, and you could potentially miss out on more from other champions' spells during the short time you're casting Null Sphere.

Riftwalk -> Nether Blade -> Force Pulse -> Null Sphere

The combo for when you are in range for Nether Blade after Riftwalk! Again the order is important. When I was new to Kassadin I would just spam my spells in any random order every time I went for this kind of combo, not really knowing what I was doing, but as always there's an order that's most efficient and important to follow for those occasions when it'll be the difference in getting a kill or not.

The logic for Force Pulse before Null Sphere is the same as before. The reason you want to use Nether Blade first is that it's your only melee range spell; it's the only spell that becomes impossible to immediately land if an enemy dashes or blinks away from you. Both Force Pulse and Null Sphere can often still reach an enemy that dashes/blinks away from you if you were in melee range of them. Additionally, since Nether Blade is the hardest spell to get in range for, it's important to get its damage through while you can rather than risk an enemy managing to get too far away for you to land it while you're busy casting your other spells. And finally, Nether Blade can restore you a ****load (800+) of mana; if you're going to need to Riftwalk again any number of times, it's important to be absolutely sure you land Nether Blade to ensure you can cast Riftwalk as many times as you can.

Riftwalk -> Flash

Riftwalk is one of many spells that allow you to Flash during the spell's cast time. All this basically means is that this is a harder to react to version of Flash -> Riftwalk, since if you Flash first then begin casting Riftwalk the enemy has a chance to react to it between the Flash and the Riftwalk, but if you do Riftwalk -> Flash, the Flash and the Riftwalk will occur at almost the same time, giving them much less time to react.

This is an especially important combo for when you want to burst down a far-away enemy while landing the damage of Riftwalk (and Nether Blade), rather than using it just as a gap closer for your Force Pulse and Null Sphere. A late-game Riftwalk can do up to 800+ damage, so being able to land it is a huge deal for bursting enemies down.

While we're on the topic, Force Pulse is also another spell that allows you to Flash during the cast time. This ls not as important to talk about because Flash -> Force Pulse is extremely hard to react to anyway, but once you're aware of it, there's no reason not to use Force Pulse -> Flash just to get a combo slightly harder to react to. It'll almost never make a difference, but it's worth it just for the rare occasions it does net you a kill.

The Dark Seal
Dark Seal + Refillable Potion: Almost every mage starts Doran's Ring over Dark Seal, but Kassadin is the exception since he benefits much more from straight up mana rather than mana regen. It also allows him to start Refillable Potion which saves him a lot of gold on Health Potions (which are important to get him through the weak stage of his laning phase), and gives him the option of buying a cheaper Corrupting Potion on one of his first backs if he has the gold for it. If you do have Ignite you should take 3 Health Potions instead of Refillable Potion since you can't afford to base as early as if you had Teleport.
Rod of Ages
Rod of Ages: The most important item for Kassadin since it gives him all the stats he could want; most importantly the most mana of any item he'll be building. It's important to rush it before any other item as the passive gives stats that scale per minute, and it's obviously beneficial to have the most stats as early as possible.
Sorcerer's Shoes
Sorcerer's Shoes: Kassadin deals all magic damage and is a burst assassin. This leaves him with only one viable boot choice which is the pen boots. You could situationally get Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads against some comps but you'll more often than not be better off getting Sorcs. You should also only finish these after you finish your Rod of Ages as you need to begin the 10 minute stacking process as soon as possible.
Archangel's Staff
Archangel's Staff: Although most Tear of the Goddess based champions rush tear, Kassadin is the only champion to get both this and a Rod of Ages. RoA is a lot more time gated than tear is so you should always fully finish the RoA before you buy Archangel's Staff components. You should also buy the Lost Chapter part of the item first to continue getting useful combat stats instead of just the mana pool. Once you buy the full staff you stack tear twice as fast anyway so you won't be missing out on much.
Lich Bane
Lich Bane: Combined with Nether Blade you'll have a massive auto-attack nuke. Your spells have a low enough CD that you can frequently proc this whenever you're in auto-attack range of enemy champion, maximizing its damage output. Importantly it also gives CDR and mana, very important stats on Kassadin. You should pick this up third if the defensive properties of Zhonya's Hourglass aren't more important.
Zhonya's Hourglass
Zhonya's Hourglass: As a mage/assassin that has to get into melee range to maximize his effectiveness, Kassadin is constantly in situations where he can be focused. Zhonya's Hourglass allows him to spend most of his Riftwalk cooldown untargetable, making it an absolute must-have on him. You'll always get this item as either your 3rd or 4th purchase depending on if you need the extra burst from Lich Bane or the defence of Zhonya's Hourglass first.
Rabadon's Deathcap
Rabadon's Deathcap: After your core items you can move onto Rabadon's Deathcap if the enemies don't have enough MR for you to require Void Staff yet. Rabadon's Deathcap is by far the biggest AP powerspike a mage could possibly get, so Kassadin is obviously no exception with great AP ratios on all his spells assuming again they don't have a lot of MR.
Void Staff
Void Staff: This item is a must-have in games with magic resistance floating about, should the game last long enough for you to require it. Every game will have enemies building some form of MR, and in this situation Void Staff is the biggest spike in damage that you can get. How early you build it depends on how early they build MR and how much, so depending on the game you'll get it either or after your Lich Bane, as your 5th or 6th item.
Mejai's Soulstealer
Mejai's Soulstealer: If you're completely crushing the game and are snowballing hard you can buy a Mejai's Soulstealer to potentially completely take over the game. Once you're at 10 stacks this item becomes worth the gold but can potentially be one of the highest AP items in the game for less than 1500g.
Banshee's Veil
Banshee's Veil: Sometimes you just really need magic resistance and the passive to block abilities. If the enemy team has high enough magic damage that you actually need it. Depending on how early you need MR you could potentially build it right after Archangel's Staff.
Early Game
At level 1 you'll be taking Null Sphere to trade against your enemy and get CS if necessary. Against ranged champions you'll almost always be getting zoned by the enemy mid laner, and you should not greed for CS; stay out of their range and punish them by harassing with Null Sphere every time it's up, before backing off and continuing to minimize the damage you take. Eventually with the enemy mid laner last-hitting while you're not, the wave is guaranteed to push into you anyway, and you begin to get some last-hits.

At level 2 you take Nether Blade for 2 reasons: The passive and active will greatly help you last-hit (important as you'll mostly be last-hitting under tower), and the mana restore will allow you to sustain your Q spam playstyle, especially since you should often be using Null Sphere even to farm.

At level 3 you'll usually want to put another point in Null Sphere for stronger trading. If you're against an AD champion though you should instead put a point in Force Pulse since you'll want to max Force Pulse instead for stronger waveclear.
At some point you'll inevitably find yourself harassed too low to stay in lane. At this point you'll want to recall for some Rod of Ages components and Corrupting Potion if you can afford it, then Teleport back into lane wihout missing much/any CS. If you're using Ignite instead of Teleport then you're going to fall even further behind in CS and XP at this stage as you'll probably miss an entire wave when you're forced to recall.

After level 6 is when you can finally turn around a lot of matchups, since you now have a way of closing the gap to land Nether Blade and auto-attacks, while previously you were limited to just trading with Null Sphere and sometimes Force Pulse.

Be careful not to play overaggressive though. You can't afford to Riftwalk in aggressively every 5 seconds if you have no vision and can't see the enemy jungler on the map. When you suspect a gank may be incoming, it's wise to keep Riftwalk to escape should the gank ever come.

At level 7 you'll start maxing Force Pulse instead of Null Sphere so you can have better waveclear. As you find yourself frequenly taking control of lane matchups at this stage, or at least no longer being a pushover, after every wave you clear, rather than trying to harass the enemy mid laner at their tower, you should look for roam opportunities on your side lanes. Kassadin is an extremely effective roamer as Riftwalk allows him to take some very hard to detect gank-paths, as well as having mobility that's very hard to get away from.

As well as roam opportunities, whenever your Teleport is up you should watch out for good opportunities to TP gank/countergank lanes, mainly bot lane. In all-ins where you can find a TP location that's a little behind the enemy bot lane, either because they're over-extended and you can TP onto minions or because your bot lane has placed a nice TP flank ward, it's very good to be able to TP right behind the enemy bot lane if you think you can create a kill. It can also be smart to TP bot lane, even just onto minions, whenever your bot lane is being ganked to clean up or to even turn the gank around completely. However, always remember that just because you begin channeling a TP, it doesn't mean you have to finish it. If things go south during your TP channel it's perfectly okay to cancel it to set it on a lower CD and avoid wasting your time/dying unnecessarily.

Out of Lane

Outside of laning phase, if you have Ignite you'll just simply want to group with your team. However, this isn't really ideal for you. Kassadin doesn't really bring much to his team outside of team-fights, so being grouped up with your team when you're not team-fighting is a waste of your time, especially since you'll find it hard to get CS while your entire team is grouped with you.

With Teleport you have the opportunity to split push a side lane and still be able to TP back to your team if a team-fight ever breaks out. It also allows you to go for TP flanks when the opportunity arises, which can be an extremely effective way of getting to the enemy backline while bypassing their frontline.
Another advantage of Teleport is that by taking it alongside your top laner's Teleport, your team can have two split pushers. The enemy top laner can use their TP to deal with your top laner's split push... But then who's going to deal with your split push? If the enemy mid laner with Ghost/ Ignite/ Barrier tries to deal with you, they're probably going to lose the 1v1 so late into the game where Kassadin becomes a monster, and when you need to join a team-fight, you'll be Teleporting there while they have to walk. It creates a complicated situation for the enemy team as they need to deal with 2 different split pushers while being able to mirror the amount of members available for team-fights while permanently being 1 Teleport down throughout the game.

In team-fights you play the role of a slippery assassin, being able to easily access the enemy backline thanks to your mobility, and keeping safe also thanks to that mobility and Zhonya's Hourglass. It's important however not to tunnel too hard on trying to assassinate enemies during team-fights; it's important to know when to back out. Sometimes you may want to nuke an enemy out with Null Sphere and Force Pulse, use Zhonya's Hourglass to zone them while you remain untargetable and wait for Zhonya's Hourglass to come back up, and then just Riftwalk back out again and wait for your next opportunity to impact the team-fight. You don't need to focus so much on one-shotting the enemy carries, so much as making their lives miserable as they try to avoid being one-shot by you. Whether they're dead or zoned, it's all the same if you're taking them out of the fight one way or another.

When you are able to one-shot a carry, it will frequently be through catching them off-guard with a Riftwalk -> Flash combo, following it up with any spells necessary. Especially if you have a few Riftwalk stacks this combo will easily one-shot any Hexdrinkerless ADC, and it's hard for them to do anything about as they would need to stay a long way away from you to be out of your Riftwalk -> Flash range.
Also make sure to watch out for opportunities to blow enemies up with AoE. A combination of a high-stacks Riftwalk and Force Pulse can devastate 2-3 bunched up enemies, especially those that aren't very beefy.

And always remember to try and hit anyone at all with Nether Blade if you happen to be in range for it. It gives you a massive amount of mana that can even make you go from having 0 mana to being able to cast yet another 800 mana cost Riftwalk. It's important for keeping your mana sufficiently high throughout a team-fight.

Hopper is Bae
That's it for my Kassadin guide. I hope you found this helpful and learn to play Kassadin as well as you want to.

Special thanks to Hopper for banners and coding.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Vapora Dark
Vapora Dark Kassadin Guide
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