I decided to redo the entire guide to be cleaner, clearer, and overall better with much less fluff. Or at least try to.
I'm a Kayle player. Ever since I started playing back in early Season 2 as a level 4 noob, I've wanted to play Kayle. Everyone's told me she's worthless, useless, and down right horrible.
A while after I hit 30, I had mained various champions and failed. From mid Morgana, to AD Nidalee, to jungle Poppy, then I found out through a friend that Rincent had made a Kayle guide, and it was potentially broken how strong it was. At first I agreed, and played it significantly, bragging about top Kayle being the top lane king(queen. >_>) of League.
I found out otherwise. Stuff happened, meta changed, there became less Vladimir, less Rumble.. More Getwrekton, Singed, and other things that Kayle simply stops being able to fight. I lost hope. I tried building her in several different ways.
Maybe a spirit visage, and a frozen heart? Maybe Force of Nature, and Warmogs? I was at a loss, and nothing I did really worked. I could -make- it work sometimes, but really.. It was bad no matter what.
I tried stuff like going ghost and smite with the old school Executioner's Calling that gave crit chance and life steal, with a zeal to get early game crits to effectively gank.. All sorts of things.
Then one day. I got the urge to use the Kayle skin my sister got me for more than just losing and failing as Kayle tanky DPS jungle or whatever concoction I've made that would inevitably fail. So I went into a bot match, didn't feel like laning with anyone, didn't feel like facing two tanks, or jungling even when it was easy. So I locked in Kayle, called mid. Decided to just grab flat AP quints, glyphs, with magic pen marks. Rushed a couple rings, burst felt nice, rushed a lichbane, I felt strong. Then I got a deathcap and started one shotting people.
Then I got braver. I took it into draft pick normals, I didn't feel any weaker, infact, against human players it felt stronger at times. :P Had everything I liked about AD Kayle, with more utility, and damage, and wrote a guide on here in Season 2. Quickly my style of Kayle was overwritten by the general way of playing her, Nashor's tooth, Liandry's, then try to shred to victory, while I clutched to my ways of building burst.
Then the nerfs hit, her utility took a bit of a dive, and her burst damage, along with DPS went along for the ride with the loss of her damage amplifier. I got disheartened, I continued trying things of course; I always do, tried following the meta of rushing NT+Liandry's, tried going tanky again, then quickly beat myself with a brick, tried out 21 utility, liked it, but it wasn't really refined at all. It still felt weak. So I stopped updating my guide, then I started doing math, and went through every item, from Nashor's Athenes, to this, to that, tried to abandon the 21 in utility.
That honestly failed, and I started to hate the offense tree on AP Carries in general. Then I felt like playing around. I had a team of full AP besides the ADC. Rumble, Elise, Myself, Annie, and a Corki. So I went for 21 in utility, figuring 10% starting AP, with the 20% AP from Nashor's Tooth, and the 10% from DFG would be powerful in this situation.
Elise and Rumble didn't want to build Abyssal, neither did I really, so I got Wit's End, and.. Once again, I feel I've stumbled on to something that is sublime for Kayle, and am in fact on a win spree on League, quickly rising my way back to Silver I, and hopefully into gold that I got denied when Kayle started getting banned, and I started maining support.
That said. It's obvious I'm not a professional player. My guide isn't a fancy, red, featured one. However I've put hours, and hours, and even days of math into this, trying to find that magic formula that works for Kayle. I have however put over 300 games into Kayle, 200 of them or so were during this period of -actually- trying to make her work, and about 80 or so as actually playing AP Kayle, 30 or so using this precise utility build, so far, never been beaten in lane, and have always gone above even with assists and kills.
So follow me on my long winded journey that I started late Season 2, into the continuous strives, and efforts to make Kayle not only viable, but one of the most powerful champions in the League!
Why would you play Kayle? The pros to picking her mid over other champions.
- Kayle is a very versitile champion. While Zed is a blade for cutting throats, Kayle is a swiss army knife with a tool for every occasion. She can stand in the backlines and heal, or stand on the front lines, and deal damage, or simply stand next to the Marksman and do both.
- She counters assassin's very hard. Champions that have gotten very popular. Fizz, Kassidin, Zed, Ahri, are all champions she does very well against, both early and mid game, while also countering them by sheer utility late game with her ultimate.
- Kayle has high sustain with her W being maxed second, while not taking heavy costs in doing so. It has a higher base heal than Nidalee's, while also providing a movement speed boost. Around the time you get DFG it will be on 6 second cooldown, and heal for over 300 each shot at rank 5, while early in the game it's mana cost isn't as high, and heals for over 150 a shot.
- Kayle has a powerful slow, and MR and armor shred tied to it, and her auto attacks, giving her great duel ability, kiting potential, and sheer skirmish damage early game, while becoming more constant mid to late game once she gets her Nashor's Tooth.
- Kayle is an auto attacker mid. She, like Orianna, Teemo, and Gragas, all have strength balanced to her auto attacks, more so for Kayle as she has better AP Ratios than all 3, and/or better base damage scaling.
- Quite simply, Kayle's damage is amazing both ways you look at it. Either you have Rabadons, DFG, Lichbane and can 1 shot enemy marksmen, or you have Nashor's DFG Witsend, and can out trade almost every single champion in the game. (Excluding Gragas if I'm honest)
- Kayle is a great pusher, and has the movement speed in bursts to be able to push a lane quickly, then fly away with no risk.
Why wouldn't you want to play her? The Cons.
- Kayle during mid and late game becomes highly mana taxing, and either doesn't bring much to short skirmishes, or runs herself out of mana quickly involving herself in them. (Don't use Q, and barely get off any autos, or use Q and blow through your mana pool basically.)
- Kayle, while having a great early game lane pressure, is quite susceptible to early game ganks if unprepared due to having no escape, and having to choose between lane pressure, or taking her W earlier than you'd like.
- Kayle can only do so much! Her ultimate is a great utility in cancelling assassin's, however there's only so much 3 seconds of invincibility can do against spells like Fiddlestick's fear, or chaining together things like Jax's stun, with Ahri's charm. In situations like that, though you tried your best, you cannot do much.
Tied to that, Kayle protects one person. Only one, AoE team comps (Which have thankfully died down, Curse of the sad Bullettime was annoying.)can deny Kayle the full utility of her ultimate, you may save one, but the rest of your team may die from the AoE.
- Well timed hard CC, or even soft CC's such as silence can stop a Kayle from ulting, things like Soraka silence during a critical ulti moment can turn a easily won battle, into an impossible battle in a second.
- Early game, and mid game Kayle is easy to predict, making straight line skill shot champions more effective at disengaging, or fighting off Kayle. Lux and Zyra being the biggest examples of this as they can wait for Kayle to engage, and she has to choose from either dodging their bind, or taking it and a bit of extra damage in the process, either way disengaging her.
- As I said earlier, Kayle has great mobility in bursts, but as far as base goes, it's actually pretty bad. She has a starting movespeed of 335, the same as Vayne for example. Meaning that she has the same movement speed as someone with a movement speed granting passive, and a mobility spell that can be used every 2 seconds, with only having a spell that grants movement speed. Seeing the problem here?
Anything in this tier is 'god tier' it's always core or highly reccomended. Examples are items such as Nashor's Tooth.
Anything in this tier is highly reccomended, but isn't core, there are so many choices you can pick and obviously there's no way you can do all of them. Trying to replace something gold tier, with something in silver tier, unless in a specific situation isn't a good idea, and trying to replace something in platinum tier, with something that's gold tier is even more foolish. (IE: Replacing Nashor's Tooth with Wits End or DFG.)
Things in this tier are pretty situational, even then you may wish to replace the item or summoner, with a gold tier one, unless the situation is very strained (IE: Taking ghost instead of flash, or exhaust instead of TP/Ignite/Cleanse)
Extremely, extremely situational choices, if there is a useful situation at all, another item probably fills the role better anyways. (IE: Taking heal on Kayle over barrier, teleport, ignite ect.)
Just don't. It's never worth it, and there is always a better choice. If you can't find one, look harder lads.