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KASSADIN BUILD GUIDE: WIP - S3 Kassadin by Akirus

by Akirus (last updated over a year ago)

812,452 Views 28 Comments
9
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration( +7.83 magic penetration)
9
Greater Seal of Armor( +12.69 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power( +1.53 ability power per level (27.54 at champion level 18))
3
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power( +14.85 ability power)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details
9
0
21
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
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mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
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mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
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9 Offense
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21 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Void Stone
QNull Sphere
WNether Blade
EForce Pulse
RRiftwalk
View Skill Order Details

Runes

Masteries

mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/4
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mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
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9 Offense
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0 Defense
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
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mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 2/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
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mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 3/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
21 Utility

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Void Stone
QNull Sphere
WNether Blade
EForce Pulse
RRiftwalk

Champion Matchups

Introduction

Reworking everything as I experiment with S3. The changes look pretty good for Kass. Will add to this section later but for a short introduction, I am Roton the Wizard and I spam Kassadin in normals. In this guide, I will emphasize flexibility and a smooth transition from early laning to mid-late dominance.

Runes

Overview of my Rune Setup

Due to the changes in season 3, I have found it much easier to get through levels 1-6 as a result of the additions and changes in sub-475g items. For this reason, I have reduced my focus on using runes and masteries to tough out the laning phase and more on scaling/utility. However, I have still included all viable alternative options that should be included in your deliberations.

Marks: Magic Penetration

You need these marks for your damage output. Very important and slot-efficient.

Alternatives:

Magic penetration is very strong in season 3 and is effective whether you go for a full flat penetration build or Void Staff. I don't think there is any alternative that's worth it.

Seals: Flat Armor

Almost every lane you face will abuse you with their autoattacks (if not, you will most likely win lane easily) and your hardest counters in this game are physical champions. Failing that, their jungler will probably have some form of physical damage. Thus, Flat Armor is almost ALWAYS good.

Alternatives:

HP/level scales better into the mid-late game than Armor. Take it if you don't feel like you need physical damage reduction (if ever). AP/level will give you more damage if that's what you're after. However, both do very little pre-6.

HP5/level is a decent alternative as well, but not really as necessary except against extreme-harass lanes. You can start with absurd amount of potions early if you need them so I tend not to take these often anymore.

Glyphs: Scaling Ability Power

I used to swear by Flat Magic Resist, but again, with the accessibility of itemized sustain in season 3, I don't really feel the need anymore. I can usually deal with the laning phase fine so I just go with Scaling Ability Power for more damage. Statistically, they are more effective. The only instance where Flat Magic Resist would be better is against dangerous burst where sustain is no use.

Another important factor is the effect of , which applies its reduction AFTER Magic Resist calculations. This means you are actually receiving diminished effect from both your passive and glyphs, making them less efficient. This is why I suggest not taking them unless you absolutely need the extra Magic Resist, which you probably don't against most standard matchups in today's mid lane.

Alternatives:

Flat (or Scaling) Magic Resist is still good if you need it, either as a defense against burst or a crutch for new players. This is discussed above.

Quintessences: Ability Power OR Magic Penetration

Same principle as mentioned above. Being able to start and up to seven potions largely negates the need for HP5. I take Flat Ability Power or Magic Penetration for extra damage. Both are good, with Magic Penetration increasing in effectiveness the lower you can get the enemy's Magic Resist. Use your judgment.

Alternatives:

Health Regeneration if you really need it.


Summary

Due to new possible starting items, it's usually better to run a scaling, damage-oriented rune page: I use Marks of Magic Penetration, Seals of Flat Armor, Glyphs of Scaling Ability Power and Quintessences of Ability Power (or Magic Penetration).

If you know you're going to get raped no matter what and need every ounce of juice you can get, you can switch out the damage for HP5 and Magic Resist.

Masteries

After experimenting a bunch, I have decided I actually prefer 21 utility. The biscuit and regeneration (which, by the way, is worth a lot in pure gold terms) are very good for surviving early. CDR is also really good now that level 1 has a SEVEN second cooldown (which reduces to a still-lengthy 5 seconds) and 3% MS for one point never hurt. Essentially, there's no points wasted in the tree at all, except maybe the 2 points in artificer which have situational benefits (although you will probably be able to use it with .

Offense tree is okay, but the benefits are very marginal until later in the game. Archmage (5% AP) only breaks even with Mental Force (6 AP, which isn't even that great) at 160 total AP (post-Rod of Ages). Havoc was never highly valued before and it hasn't improved much. Executioner is a good mastery, but overall, I would prefer to have the early advantages and utility that will help me snowball the game. Note that both are still quite good and it's not really a huge difference if you pick one over the other, just personal preference. Use offense if you like it better.

If you really need the help, you can sink a bunch of points into the defense tree for easier early laning.

Summoner Spells



Explanation:

Ignite is fairly standard for AP mids as it helps you secure important kills. Flash is extremely good even though it was nerfed and will save your life many times early game to escape from ganks. It can also be used as a substitute for before you have it/when it's not up. Oh, and double flashes with really strong, esp. for landing stacked ulti burst. Big plays.


- Really good against strong CC. Combined with and Flash, it is very difficult to kill you. Also counters Ignite and Exhaust which are still extremely common.


You can take defensive summoners if you're a big pussy h4h4

Skills

Passive: Void Stone
Kassadin takes 15% reduced magic damage and transforms this damage into bonus attack speed.



Explanation:

Makes your laning phase much stronger by helping you come out on top of trading spells. Remains good throughout the game in your capacity as an anti-carry/assassin. Fairly self-explanatory, doesn't really require any additional considerations to use. The attack speed is okay when used with W, but otherwise not too important.



Q: Null Sphere
Kassadin fires a void bolt dealing 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+70% of ability power) magic damage and silencing the target for 1 / 1.4 / 1.8 / 2.2 / 2.6 seconds.

Cooldown 9 seconds

Cost 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110mana

Range 650


Explanation:

Your main poke and the spell which gives casters a rather hard time. The range has been reduced quite a lot so it's not as good as before, but still remains a staple to your kit. 2.6 second silence is a very long time to be disabled and useless. It gets more scary once you have your ult to close distance.

This spell is essential to trading pokes pre-6, as it is generally a bad idea to walk up to them for auto-attack damage. Usually you will trade your Q with whatever spell they use as you go up for last hits, or when they move to poke you aggressively. With this build, you generally should not be using this spell for last hitting, as it's a waste of mana. Of course, the exception is if it's a last hit that you otherwise cannot get very safely (eg. jungler could be near and too far from your tower, would otherwise force you to take tower hits, etc) and you have mana to spare. Remember, we have no mana regeneration runes (unless you chose to take them, obviously) and will run out very quickly if you aren't using your passive to regenerate.


W: Nether Blade
Passive: Kassadin's melee attacks draw energy from the void, restoring 8/11/14/17/20 mana each hit. If this effect is triggered from attacking a champion the amount of mana restored is tripled.

Active: Kassadin charges his nether blade, gaining 30/45/60/75/90 (+0.15 ability power) bonus magic damage dealt on hit for 5 seconds.

Cost 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 mana


Explanation:

This is mostly useful for the mana restoration, but if it's safe to auto-attack, can add considerable damage to your rotation. I don't feel the need for MP/5 runes if you use this skill effectively. It also helps last hit minions on tower and add stacks to your / (just use it every time it's up and you know you won't need it to build stacks).



E: Force Pulse
Kassadin draws energy from spells cast in his vicinity, gaining a charge whenever a spell is cast near him. Upon reaching 6 charges, Kassadin can use Force Pulse to deal 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+70% of ability power) magic damage and slow enemies by 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50% in a cone in front of him for 3 seconds.

Cooldown 6 seconds

Cost 80 mana

Range 400


Explanation:

The effectiveness of this spell is comparable to Q; provides the same damage, but in an AoE, and gives a 50% slow instead of 2.6 seconds of silence. The slow makes it difficult for fleeing targets to get away. It also stops enemies from chasing you and retaliating when you combo them and run away. Note that they fixed the bug that makes you use this spell in reverse after a blink, so you don't need to wait to use it anymore.

Whether you choose to into or is circumstantial. If they might flash/blink away or use some other escape mechanism, use Q first followed by a Q. Otherwise, if they are more likely to escape by getting out of your range, toss an E first as the range is shorter and the slow will keep him still.

If you don't need to trade with a lot in lane (either you're dominating or resorting to using to last-hit), you can start leveling up first, as the mana cost is less demanding.



R: Riftwalk
Kassadin teleports to a nearby location dealing 60 / 90 / 120 (+50% of ability power) magic damage to surrounding enemy units. Additionally, each subsequent Riftwalk in the next 7 seconds costs 100 additional mana and deals 60 / 90 / 120 additional damage.

Cooldown 6 / 5 / 4 seconds

Cost 100 mana

Range 1000


Explanation:

Riftwalk is Kassadin's signature spell. It has incredible utility in both offense and defense. The thing to be careful of is the high cooldown especially upon reaching level 6 and without blue buff. Also make sure to utilize it effectively by jumping over walls for surprise ganks/running away. Try not to waste or spam it early in the game because your mana pool will die fast, even with Blue buff. It doesn't matter how fast your mana regenerates; if you stack it enough, you will hit the bottom.

There are generally two offensive situations you can use . If you want to get in for a safe poke, blink to a location that will allow for your escape and combo them with . On the other hand, if you can do it safely, you should blink onto them, pop your and start beating on them with auto-attacks, using if necessary. Do NOT forget the bonus base damage stacks. It adds up a LOT. Especially if you get tanky/fed/both, just keep blinking on top of them over and over, they will cry bloody tears all the way to their death. Don't be stupid though, you aren't invincible. Reserve your blink to escape if you will otherwise die. Every time your
is up, you have a choice to make, between an aggressive and defensive play. Choose accordingly.

Defensively, use like Flash. Blink over walls if you can. If not, then you can use it to go in the fastest possible route out of danger. One thing to note is that if you target anywhere past the centre of the wall, you will be able to get across. Use this to your advantage to cover much greater distances. If you do it right, they won't be able to follow you, even with Flash.

Skill Order

Gonna rewrite this section soon, so tl;dr for now: max Q for trading, E if you want to wave clear and farm (wraith farming meta op). Generally R>Q/E>W, with 1 pt in W at 2.

Item Analysis

Planning to go through every viable item in some detail for s3 changes, stay tuned.


Starting Setups


With the introduction of and the significant nerf to , Kassadin's opening items are now flexible and strong. only provides *half* the MS that it used to, meaning it is no longer a 'mandatory' pick. I really like using for the ridiculous amounts of sustain you can achieve in lane. Even with , it's probably more than you'll need in lane and enough to piss off your opponent. gives worth of HP altogether, in addition to the mana (which saves you a lot of health, since you're now free to use for the occasional last hit). The best part of it is that you only lose 70g of consumables (as opposed to 105g with ) at the cost of marginal losses in MS. This is probably the safest/best start you can take. In extremely difficult lanes, swap the for but this shouldn't happen often.

I would still run in lanes where MS is crucial (eg. dodging skillshots, kiting). With the classic boots start, it's good to have extra HP5 or the for some extra sustainability.


Mana Battery

Kassadin has always had mana problems and the blue buff nerf was not a welcome change, at all. Thankfully, new additions and changes have made this problem easy and efficient to solve.


- Tear of the Goddess


Tear has been adjusted to smooth out its power curve in season 3. Previously, it costed a lot early and really amounted to nothing special until you could complete the for efficient AP. The starting cost has since been adjusted to 200~g less, with a lower charge requirement and a nice bonus once it's complete. It also builds straight out of , making for an easy transition from your starting items (you should be able to buy it on your first back 99% of the time). Thus, it is now a much more practical purchase than before to satisfy your mana requirements. Unless you know the game won't last long enough to reap the benefits of a , this is worth taking most of the time.

To summarize, Tear is the MOST GOLD EFFICIENT mana item in the game, but also the SLOWEST to reach its peak potential.


- Seraph's Embrace


Let me get right to the point: this item is absolutely awesome and once you get it complete, it's value is just through the roof. Let me demonstrate with some example calculations.

Its base stats give 1000 mana, 10 MP5 and 60AP. The rest of its stats scale with mana, so lets see how much we'll have.

Base Mana at 18 = 1040
Mana from Seraph's: 1000
Mana from Rod of Ages: 650
Mana from Expanded Mind: 180

Total Mana at 18 = 2870

Therefore, the passive provides 2870 * 0.03 = 86.1AP. Added together, 60 + 86.1 = 146.1AP, from one item. How much is this worth? Each point of AP is worth 20g, so 146.1 * 20 = 2922g worth of AP. Notice something? This is *MORE* than the cost of alone, NOT including the 2000g worth of mana, 600g worth of MP5 and the unique active of the item. Pre-18, this would be marginally less, but as you can see, still incredibly cost-efficient.

In fact, vs (before further items) is actually much closer than you'd think.

146.1 + 80 = 226.1 AP
(80 + 120) * 1.25 = 250 AP

Yes, the first combo would be slightly less effective pre-18, but as you can see, still MUCH more efficient than the second (on the basis of the mana/MP5/active). Does this mean sucks? No, but I'll get to that later. The moral of the story here: is awesome if the game lasts long enough for it to be charged and built.

To summarize, is THE most cost-efficient item you can buy and actually MORE THAN PAYS ITSELF IN AP ALONE. However, like I said with , it also has the steepest power curve and thus the SLOWEST to reach it's peak, such that you may never be able to complete it or reap the benefits of .


- Catalyst the Protector


into is the classic, 'standard' Kassadin opener. It's still really good, but by no means mandatory. Now, Catalyst by itself (I will consider RoA separately) is strongest when you would benefit from the extra health and periodic regeneration from the passive. In terms of cost-efficiency, it's not bad, with its stats falling 72g short of breaking-even (but giving you the passive healing effect).

Downsides? It costs 1200g, meaning it will take longer to complete. If you started , it also doesn't build out of your charm. If you're struggling in lane, it may be difficult to actually put one together and thus not worth getting over, say, with a stack of red potions.

Still, Catalyst is a strong laning choice that distinguishes itself from alternatives with the inclusion of good health values, but is hindered by its high cost. It also has extremely good build paths which I will now discuss.


- Rod of Ages


Rod of Ages is second only to in terms of gold-efficiency and is the most balanced item Kassadin can buy, with a good distribution of AP, mana and health. Many people consider it to be a staple/core item on Kassadin for these reasons. I am also of the opinion that it is very strong, but not necessarily something you have to build every game. The reason it's good is very, very simple: even with no charges, it gives 487.5g worth of stats more than its cost. Fully charged, this value increases to a massive 1815.28g. For reference, you need 363 AP OTHER than Deathcap's 150 just to break even with this mark. Aside from , the only other item that can come close to this for Kassadin is a stacked .

Okay, now for the downside. It is very similar to what I said with in that although it is extremely gold-efficient, it is not time-efficient. Buying RoA means you won't reach your maximum potential for 10 minutes as you wait for it to charge. In some cases, no big deal, but in others, it matters a lot. The first that comes to mind is if you're behind, or trapped for cash. If you can't complete it until the 20 minute mark, it may not even be worth buying at all because it will be way too long before it charges; that is, the game could effectively end before you have a chance to make an impact. Additionally, a lot of the gold distribution for RoA is allocated into HP and mana, so if you need fast damage, it's not going to be very helpful in that regard. This is crucial because you can do without health and to some extent, that extra mana, but a Kassadin without damage is just a weak CC-bot. If you can't get Rod of Ages charged in a timely manner so you can move on to more damage, you have to consider whether it would be better to take stronger early items like and .

tl;dr it is one of the most balanced and efficient AP items you can buy, but like Tear and Seraph's Embrace, is slow to reach its full potential.

Early Game

As with most champions, your early objective is to farm. How you play out a match-up is dependent on your relative strengths, taking junglers into consideration. If they are weaker and their jungler is not a scary early-game presence, you can push your lane and play aggressively. Otherwise, play it safe and just try to pick up as many last hits as possible. Note that it usually just comes down a game of attrition. It's a question of whether they can poke through your defenses and HP/5. If not, you will 99% win the lane, because regardless of whether they hurt you, you WILL hurt them just by launching periodically. Your objective is to survive 'till 6, at which point you can take on almost any match-up, much more so with Blue buff.

If you are forced to last-hit on tower, you can turn on to make it easier (and help you pick up some that you otherwise you wouldn't have been up to).

As Kassadin, keeping up in CS until level 6 without getting raped is generally considered a victory. This is the hardest part of the game and is largely dependent on your ability to size up the match-up and play accordingly. You are also highly susceptible to jungle ganks. Try to buy wards if possible and not get raped. Shaco, Rammus, Skarner and the like are very dangerous and not just a little annoying to lane against.

It is important to remember that although I say Kass' early game sucks, his damage is still quite strong. If your lane opponent goes in against you with 4 bars of HP and 30 MR, they will feel the hurt of every . If you have your up, you can easily burst people with , especially if your jungler ganks or they are low. can be used as a makeshift before 6/when you're out of mana.

The last point I would like to make about laning is that the creep line (where in the lane the creeps are engaged) is super important. The amount and position of the creeps will determine how you play. The ideal position is on your side of the river, slightly out of range of tower. If you have the creep advantage (more caster minions), it will be more difficult for them to harass you because of the minion aggro they take - this accounts for a lot of your damage early in the game. Conversely, if they have a large creep advantage, play more passively, as they can easily harass you with no repercussions. If you auto-attack them even once with a lot of caster minions near them in a 1v1 situation, you will probably die. Be very smart about how you tackle this issue.

The worst case scenario is that you have no jungle pressure on your side and you enemy pushes to your turret, forcing you to eat harass and last-hit under turret fire at the same time. You will miss CS, get poked very low (and possibly forced out of lane) and you won't be able to counter-attack with just your Q simply because the lack of creeps on your side gives your opponent free reign to spam auto-attacks on you. If that happens, don't panic, just try your best to get as many creeps as possible. If you get low, back off, buy HP potions and come back. Ask jungler to hold turret if it's under threat of being pushed down. As long as you farm and don't die, you are doing fine. Once you hit 6, you should be able to make some sort of comeback, especially if your jungler decides to help you by ganking or giving you Blue buff.

Laning Match-ups

Before you read this section, I would like to note that when I say a lane is difficult, it does not necessarily mean the lane is impossible to win. The fact of the matter is for many of these champions to edge out an advantage over you in the early stages of the game requires extremely aggressive gameplay. This can open up many gank opportunities for your jungler. The reason I am very negative about the way matchups go with Kass is because I rarely ever queue with anyone and in that circumstance, it is very difficult to rely on the jungler on your team with any kind of consistency. If you do in fact have equal or better jungle presence, it is very easy to win most of these lane match-ups, especially with this build. One reason for this is because your kit is very strong in terms of both damage and utility and the only reason you have any trouble at all in the early game is because of your melee range auto-attack and limited mana. prevents an enemy from using a blink or other form of escape and makes it very difficult to run away. Pile on an and some strong jungle assistance and your enemy may as well be dead if he is on your side of the river. Your biggest fear as Kass is when your enemy laner can safely disregard ganks and just push the wave and spam pokes on you non-stop because there is almost nothing you can do about it. That being said, you still should not feel too discouraged because you CAN get through the early levels and it will pay off later. Perseverance is rewarding here.





Anivia is fairly easy to beat. She has no targetable poke pre-6, meaning you can avoid any kind of burst damage so long as you dodge her . Last hit with auto-attacks, dodge her skillshot and spam your on her, you should be able to win early no problem. However, if your skill level is lower, will be able to win lane by landing constant combos, as well as utilizing her 625 range to harass you. This is a skill-dependent match-up that goes mostly in your favor.

A problem only arises if she has Blue and you don't. She will spam push the lane and you will be forced to last hit on tower. If you want to stop this, you need to play extremely aggressive. Use to get close, followed by a as soon as she tries to push the lane with her ulti. is very soft and the base damage from your spells will utterly cripple her. She is as good as dead if you get a jungle gank. Just be careful not to get hit by her if at all possible because it does hurt (assuming she can follow up).

#1 tip vs Anivia: work with your team to steal all Blues, she will be useless. Try warding the entrance and timing the respawn, ask your jungler and nearby laners to come assist. You don't even have to get it, just make sure she doesn't (obviously, if you can get it, that's just icing on the cake).



She used to be easy, not so much anymore. The reason for this is that her is no longer outranged by your , and you won't be able to silence quickly enough to stop yourself from getting stunned and hit by . On top of that, she has a huge base range that will make your life extremely difficult. You will however be able to trade with her upon hitting 6. This is a skill-dependent match-up that you can tough out if you play it right, but is definitely not in your favor if fighting a good Annie. You CAN win if she is setup extremely poorly; that is, glass cannon with no form of regeneration (eg. no MR runes, Doran's Ring start).



Skill match-up. It can be difficult as a smart Brand can lead you with as you attempt to last-hit. Try to dodge his spells and poke him back with . Focus on last-hitting. It is very easy to win the lane upon hitting 6. The good thing is that he most likely will not be able to 100-0 you even with a full combo. Just be careful of jungle ganks and try not to get completely pushed out of lane. If he ever tries to walk up to you with an , trade with a , then wait off his passive before getting near again. Remember his does more damage only if you are tagged with , use that knowledge to your advantage.



You will get raped, unless they suck, not much else to say. If you live to 6, it is possible to get by, but the problem is getting there because her harass outranges you massively and there really isn't much you can do without your ulti. Even at 6 it is dangerous to play aggressive because it is possible for her to lead your and stun you with , at which point you are probably dead.

If they are bad, try to pop in a couple to make them play a little more cautiously. Last hit as well as possible whilst dodging poorly aimed (good Cass will lead your movements and there really isn't much you can do other than lose some creeps and get denied). If you get hit, be ready to take a beating. Try to silence right after being hit by if you want to try to stop her from following up with . It helps if their setup is soft and weak, as you may be able to keep up with the hurt if they die just as fast as you. You can also try to take to start and to deal with the CC threat (can also get rid of ) although I don't think the latter will make much difference if you're careful.



You should win, although this is conditional on you having decent dodging skills (if you get hit by everything, you will lose). The most he can do is push your lane pre-6 and force you to last hit on tower. Don't let him land a Q without any creeps next to you to prevent serious damage. The biggest problem is the gank threat from , be careful not to overextend carelessly pre-6. Post-6 is not an issue because you can just blink away. One helpful thing to bear in mind is that you can interrupt with your silence, be sure to do it if you get a chance. Karthus is usually fairly easy to chunk with your spells and will die easily to a gank. Blink in, silence and slow with your full combo and your jungler should easily be able to follow up (with some exceptions, if your jungler blows).



Can poke you out early if he plays aggressively enough, but overall will lose the match-up if he cannot make it decisive before 6. Just try not to get hit for free by and you should be okay. Grind it out, don't fall behind in last-hits as usual. Once you get your and Blue buff, you should have no problem stomping all over him. Your silence and slow really makes it hard for him to do anything, not to mention the fact that you can blink out of his . Be careful of initiations when you have 1-2 marks on you and you should be fine. Slow him and blink out of his ; failing that, silence him to prevent him from using any further spells for a stun and blink out.



Easy win. Trade your with every time she tries. Your silence applies first and she won't be able to use her to proc the silence and rest of her damage. She can't trade spells with you and her auto-attacks aren't enough to dent your sturdy build and HP/5. You can simply regen everything and dominate this lane, even at 6 when she gets her ulti. If she does get a lead, pick up first to prevent yourself from getting bursted from full.



There are two difficulties that you will face when fighting . Firstly, like Morgana, he can outpush you hard and there's not much you can do without a strong jungle presence on your side. That is, if he pushes to your tower early game and your jungler can't do anything about it, you are going to lose. Secondly, it is very difficult to trade because your has the same range as ; he will simply trade spells with you and pound you with auto-attacks. Previously this was not an issue as you could just walk up to him and pop a in his face for free. This is still possible post-6. Remember to be careful post-6 still, as his ulti sets up jungle ganks extremely well.



You can't win this lane-up, as all she needs to do is afk-push to your tower with and force you to CS at tower. Your pushing ability is not even comparable and at best you can hope to farm evenly against a good opponent. It is difficult to gank her by virtue of the fact that she is effectively immune to your CC (and will probably have 1-2 creep-waves on her side most of the time).



Hard to win early and can be difficult later on depending on how the early game progressed and your respective item choices. His poke is 100x better than yours without and has a ranged auto-attack. Try not to trade with him unless he uses his spells (and even then they will be up soon, so be fast), just get as many last hits as possible. At 6, get blue and use your combo on him to get some free damage to keep him at bay, just be careful not to get snared. To last hit, you can either combo him then get free last-hits during the silence, or you can use your to get them from a range (only if you have Blue buff, or a superabundance of mana). Always save enough mana for at least one to escape, Ryze's CC and damage can be deadly, and even more so with a strong ganker.



Swain has the advantage, but it can go both ways. Try to stay at max range if possible to avoid his bird laser (if he uses it at max range, walk out and back into range to cut damage), trade your Null Sphere with his . Swain's autoattack animation kinda sucks balls so he will have a harder time poking you in that fashion than other champions. Post-6 you can win, although he pushes harder than you with the giant bird form. Just be careful of because it can set up his combo/ganks.



In my experience, the setup I use is 100% capable of beating Talon in lane. He is also melee, which means it is a matter of trading your with his , and you have enough Armor and HP/5 to work through that. If you want to be a dick, you can pick up a early on to make it almost impossible for him to kill you. The times where people have tried to counterpick my Kass with Talon have not ended well for them. If you see him moving in to use , pop your , then slow him with as he tries to get back to safety. If creeps are on your side, go ahead and auto-attack him with . Most Talons will go into this match-up expecting an easy lane and rarely ever bother investing in a defensive setup as intense as yours. If he brought no MR runes, you will almost certainly win. Against a Talon lane, I would also consider taking flat Armor yellows/blues, as MR won't be very helpful. HP/5 yellows are fine though.



Super weak lane, you would win a straight 1v1 easily. The only problem is that he sets up jungle ganks extremely well and has decent burst that is not strong enough to kill you by himself (unless you're low) but can easily finish the job with a little help. His makes it scary for you to extend out or play aggressive because of the high gank potential. Try to play safe if you have no wards and suspect jungler is nearby. If you can anticipate the , dodge it and out of it. Other than jungle though, you should be able to dominate this lane pretty easily.



Vlad is now one of the simplest counters to your early game. All he has to do is push the lane and play aggressively with and auto-attacks to push you out of lane. He has no resources and annoying persistence that makes it almost impossible to come out on top of any long-term trade. It is hard to get free pokes with now and that makes a big difference. All you can do is try to farm, buy lots of and hope your jungler helps you a lot. If you make it to 6 without falling behind too far, you can do okay with Blue.

**Still going. Will add more as I have time/get more experience playing with them.

Mid Game

Once you start building some items, your power will be noticed. If you get opportunities, utilize your and gank over walls to turn the tide of other lanes, as your mobility and burst makes it very frustrating for your opponents. Simply disappearing from the map should be enough to alarm them. Always try to maintain Blue buff control, as it allows you to maximize damage and mobility with your . If you can deprive the enemy of theirs, even better.

At this point of the game, with items like and , you are most powerful in small skirmishes. In an even fight, you can generally blink right onto an enemy and blow them to bits with your combo and stacking. If it's not safe, just dart around the safety line and spam your at the priority target.

You are also good in teamfights. You generally begin by playing safely; poke them without getting caught. Jump in and clean-up if the fight goes in your favor. Your will always be charged when a battle is going on, which means you unload huge burst on squishies every time your cooldowns come up. Try to jump on their carries if you can; move around and find a safe angle to blink in for the kill, as that is your role as the assassin. Remember that you can also use your spells for utility, not only damage. Silence their initiators and slow pursuers if you want to peel from your carries (2.6 sec silence and 50% slow is a LOT).

Usually if a fight goes on for a long time and you have Blue buff, you will have charged it 5+ times. At that point, it is highly beneficial to just pounce directly onto them, because it can deal upwards of 500 damage alone, every couple of seconds. If you know you won't die, don't be scared to get a little crazy. Ultimately it's up to your own decision-making; choose the best way to use your spells. Just try not to use your 5-10 stack ultis to run around meaninglessly, as you will have no mana left when you really need it. If you know you won't need to do any damage with your ult, it can be beneficial to just let it cool off first before using it again.

One cool trick you can do when you are fighting in your own base is to charge your ulti whilst you stand in the fountain. It works best when they're at your Nexus Turrets, because you can have 5-10+ ulti stacks and still have full mana. Provided that you have blue buff and don't die, you can probably use your charged ulti up to 3-5 times and completely decimate a team. Last time I tried this in a losing game, I was defending base 1v5 and picked up a quadra before I died, it's a really strong last-ditch effort.

Late Game

Once you have 3 or more major items, you are a huge force to be reckoned with. The way you play the game is quite similar to Mid Game, but depending on your build, you will either play more passively or more aggressively with your . The positioning is key. You never really want to get hard focused and blown up instantly, but with some tanky items like , you don't need to be scared to jump in there and get a little dirty. If you choose to do that, it can be good to stack up your before the fight in order to maximize immediate damage.

On the other hand, if you decided to go with items like and instead, you will have to play it more safely, but your damage will be extremely strong through your combo anyway. You can still use your for clean-up when it's safe, or when enemies get isolated. Just use your best judgment. Remember it is very easy to catch isolated enemies off-guard with Kass. Always try to keep the map warded at key locations.

The biggest thing about Late Game in League of Legends is that one death can end everything for you, especially as the game progresses past the 40 minute mark. You are Kassadin, and really, you should never be caught out. Pay attention at all times. If you played the laning phase well, that usually leads into a strong mid and late game. All the work we put in at the beginning was for this part, so you have to make it count. You are extremely important on your team. Always remember to keep farming and controlling the map (specifically, you want Baron, Dragon and Blue buff).

And finally, just remember to have fun. I think Kassadin is one of the most fun champions to play and that's why I like him, even though he may have a bit of a messed up power curve. I love the challenge of living through the hellish laning phase and the reward of getting past it and becoming an unstoppable powerhouse. LoL is a game and if you don't enjoy it I don't see the point of playing at all, and I've always thought that the best way to win is by having fun anyway, so enjoy melting faces.

Final Comments

This is the way I choose to maximize the effectiveness of Kassadin. Most people probably won't agree with my choices here, but it works for me so I figured I'd share. One thing I hated when I first played Kassadin a long time ago was how annoying it was to deal with his laning phase; I didn't really begin to enjoy him until I adapted to this playstyle, so if you feel the same, you will probably like building him like this.

One thing to point out is that I mostly just solo queue in normal/ranked, so I never rely on my jungler being any kind of decent. As such, having a strong laning phase is essentially the key to consistency for me and that's what I build towards. It doesn't really impact your mid and end-game too much by virtue of the Runes and masteries alone because they only give marginal increases compared to your overall potential. You will still feel super strong, if not even stronger because of the way I build my items and the ease with which you dealt with the most problematic part of your game.

If you have any comments/feedback/criticism/insults, feel free to leave a post and I'll give some feedback. I plan to update this guide when I can, so hopefully it will continue to be relevant as the game changes. You can also contact me in-game on 'Roton the Wizard' (NA server), my list isn't very full so I don't mind at all.

Comments

January 22, 2013 - 12:03 AM #1

Tear first, then RoA upgrade to Archangels once tear is full.

January 3, 2013 - 03:06 PM #2

What conditions would you need to determine if you want to build catalyst-->RoA first versus Tear-->Archangel's-->Seraphs? Should I be buying Tear first every time to be getting stacks on it, then build out a catalyst into RoA if I can afford it, then afterwards finish out Seraphs? I feel like that's a pretty important decision to make that is fairly based on how well I'm doing in lane.

December 28, 2012 - 05:39 PM #3

Seraphs Embrace is just for seraph :)

December 25, 2012 - 02:16 PM #4

I disagree with the Morgana matchup. You'll be surprised at how easy she is to outplay.

December 16, 2012 - 10:24 AM #5

if you havent noticed already i would just like to inform you that the backwards e bug has resurfaced, and its more fearsome then ever before!

December 15, 2012 - 04:34 PM #6

Diana counters Kassadin. The only downside to her is that she cannot get back into position, but you actually just want her to go away. Her effective ult cooldown is her Q cooldown, which is lower than yours. Plus she's tankier and can hurt you a lot with autoattacks.



If you lane against AD like Lee, just ask for a switch or get your lane camped by the jungler. Kassadin is a specialized anti-AP champ and there's nothing you can do about that.

December 13, 2012 - 07:24 AM #7

Even though she's melee like you, it's actually a fairly difficult lane. Don't try to trade auto-attacks, her W does a lot of free damage and basically negates all damage with shield. Just try to farm without taking too much damage (i.e. dodge Crescent Strike and kite backwards if she tries to come in for Moonfall), poke with Q as often as possible (but never oom yourself). Your advantage is that your spells are targeted and impossible to dodge, so you can kinda do okay, just don't go in for an all-in unless you have a jungle gank. Consider maxing E after 2-3 points of Q to counter-push since she shoves quite hard (also keeps Q cost low).



One more thing you can take advantage of is the flow of the lane. Because Diana is melee, you can make life a lot easier if you can freeze the wave just outside turret range and force her to farm with Q (or expose herself to an easy gank). Try not to let the wave push into your turret, but to be honest it's not as bad as it could be, since she can't actually hurt you from that position. Worst case is if she does this to you, in which case you are basically fucked until the wave pushes back (but I don't see why this would/should ever happen).

December 12, 2012 - 09:31 PM #8

You got anything about Diana as a mid matchup?

December 12, 2012 - 12:33 PM #9

Yeah, I've been playing with split distributions between offense and utility (like 13-0-17), but recently I decided the extra CDR and MS is just too good.

December 12, 2012 - 09:27 AM #10

Kudos on the 9/0/21 mastery idea, I am having a much easier time getting through the first few levels :)

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