[Guide/Discussion] Cassiopeia: Way of the Snake
Added a section for Cass on Dominion!
+The new Masteries!
__"Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous." Bait the enemy, make them question whether they can take you down. It is hard for most people to judge just if they are able to take you down in time. Often its them just plain underestimating you though.
__"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience" If you can get doing this eventually you get much better at reading the enemy's movements and can use skills to better effect. "Should you cast Miasma now or wait a second. Then cast it at your feet so the enemy Alistar gets slowed when he headbutts you. But then Jax comes from the bush's and you could have used it for an easier getaway." Something general like that, but you get the idea.
Votes (at the bottom of this first post) and Comments much appreciated. If you have a question or insight please leave a message :)
__Cass in Dominion
___Smart-cast/Keybinding_(put Twin Fang on smart-cast or dont bother playing her)
__Item Path and why
_Item Options(read the items never to get section at the end)
INTRO on CASSIOPEIA
She is great at poking/whittling down the enemy from afar since her first two skills have a range of 850. Usually keeping you a safe distance from harm. You can focus on the more known kiting build or one that is focused on having a more sustainable Mana pool. There are quite a few options as far as Items and Tactics go, when and where to use skills etc. So there isnt a whole lot set in stone. Unlike say an Annie or Ryze type champ where you do your routine the same most of the time.
WAY of the LAZY SNAKE
_Take note of when NB's first tick of dmg goes off as this can be quite
useful for last hitting (catching one or two minions on the outside)
where you would have been harassed had you tried with an AA.
_has the best AP ratio (.9) Many build around that.
_gives sight a bit after its duration expires.
__is great for controlling the lane and changing where the enemy will go.
_has a flight-time so the closer you are the more you can get off.
__each lvl is the equivalent of 80 AP
_will still stun if you start to cast and get silenced or stunned etc.
__checks when you cast it so things can seem out of wack the first few times.
Has a great AP ratio (0.9) so it can be something to focus more around by getting early AP. It can be used in the "Noxious Casting" tactic where a player will consitently cast NB to keep up Deadly Cadence (remeber to wait just until its about to expire, so you give yourself as much time as possible to regain mana). This is useful in a number of ways. Also whenever you feel like using a skill just substitute a NB for say Miasma. If the passive is always maxed you shouldn't run out. If you want to focus on NB earlier leave it at 1 or 2 so you can sustain the constant casting. Then get your dmg from AP as the ratio is 0.9.
By keeping the passive up all the time you save mana when its really needed. If you chose not to do this make sure the passive is at least maxed when going into a teamfight. You never know, that extra you save might just end up getting your team a kill, or saving you if things do go wrong.
It is also good for checking bush's/stealthed foe's. If possible have something between you and the bush. Its range is quite substantial so many places you will be able to cast over walls. This is good practice because if you just cast where there is line of sight from the bush, the enemies will be able to prepare for retaliation. By keeping over a wall or around a corner you eliminate this issue. You can practice in a custom game see just how far/where enemys have line of sight while in bush's.
Now gives vision for its duration, can be hard to the enemy to see if placed in bush's of under the water in the river on SR. The vision is very nice for protecting against first-blood and watching for lvl 1 gank's etc. This should make it the first skill to get now on her if anyone had doubts before. (For sure if you are protecting the jungler)
Seen by many as the worst out of her skill-set it is far from such. Sadly it doesnt have NB's great ratio :'( It really shines because of how useful it is at controlling the battlefield. Use it to keep champions at bay or force them to go where you want. It starts as a fairly small area and over its duration grows considerably bigger. This fact probably makes you scratch your head, how is that ever a good thing?. Truthfully it isnt at times. Though you can use it, leaving a gap between Miasma and the wall. The enemy will walk between that gap and soon the cloud grows and either they retreat the long way around or get slowed. Giving you some time to get off some of your spells. This is to get you thinking about how Miasma persists and other ways it can be used (planning escapes for your team or preventing them for your enemy.)
To protect your minions and deny the enemy (if melee) cast Miasma over your minions to discourage last hitting.(if ranged) the same idea applies though more of a zoning tactic. Do this only if your wave has been pushed back and is closer to your turret. You don't want to do it in the middle as youl just push the lane.
There is a flight time before you can cast TF again so the closer you are the more you can get off before having to apply poison again.
A fairly short ranged single-target nuke. It allows you to go up against most champs in the game 1 vs 1 and win (though as mentioned above you can focus on taking them down via NB/Miasma). Its cooldown is shortened to 0.5 sec if it hits a posioned enemy. Focus on having enemys posioned as much as you can and in time this will become second nature. Sometimes though when you dont feel you wont hit with NB or Miasma you can go in for a Twin Fang to harass. Do this when you know in the downtime you will be safe. Never in in team fights/1 vs 1 as it will hurt your dmg output.
Spell-vamp is really good along with Twin Fang and should be something to consider. It boosts your health in a way, as the enemy has to deal that much more dmg, because you are healing back 30-45 health each hit.
It can also be used as a last-hitting tool.
A short-channeled AoE nuke. Damaging enemies in a cone infront of you. Enemies facing you will be stunned for 2sec, if not they are slowed by 60%. Should most often be used when the fight has started so you can get as many in it. It can be used however if someone comes up to a bush and you use PG. If you see an opertunity when a fight isnt going on use it, there are those times. As an escape tool it can work wonder's though it is best to either have them slowed or have your NB speedboost. Since in the time it takes to cast and get moving again, the gain is noticably less. An optimal time to use it is when the enemys mind in on something else or at least partly distracted. A lot of players will just turn around to only get slowed as the channel time is fairly substantial. Say your at low health and the enemy is chasing you, now would be a good time to use it as they most likely will want your head!
Some situations are complicated to explain and often situational. When a champ goes to cast a spell they will turn around, so say Brand wants to get off a his pillar or cast something else your teams way just wait and watch. Jarvan casts his flag, that turns him to the direction where it goes etc. Can be hard to predict stuns like that.
Its range can reach over some walls so keep that in mind when trying to catch an enemy. (if you didnt take Flash)
IN THE LANE:
The best way to farm is her Auto Attacks ___ Cass doesn't have the easiest attack animation so it will take a fair bit of practice to get down. To really force yourself try taking nothing that gives you Mana or M-regen. (Items, Runes or otherwise) This way is also doable if you like it as you really consider when to use skills and in which order. You learn not to waste mana which is always good.
How you farm can go a few ways. NB first tick activates right as it explodes so with careful timing it can be used for multiple last hits. Youl then have to watch for other minions you may have tagged as it can be hard to gage when to attack them if you used one of your DoT's. If you partner has a stun make sure your ready and cast Miasma/NB right before, where they will get stopped. So you have that much more time for Twin Fang.
When the time calls for it and the lane is needed to be pushed use both Miasma and NB on the back caster minions. These most likely wont be getting damaged from other sources so youl often get all the last hits. Just look for ones that arent being dmg and focus on those.
Be careful when trying to harass the enemy. Often they stay close enough so that NB/Miasma will also hit their minions and push the lane more then you would like.
1 vs 1/General Fights:
Cassiopeia is a DPS mage. Most other champions are bursty, dealing their dmg up-front. It can be scary because youl see your health go down fast at the start of a fight but they have to wait for skills to recharge while you keep casting Twin Fang etc. Most of the time you will out dmg them. But it just takes practice to know such things before-hand.
In the likely case that you end up going head to head against say Xin or Jax for example, here is a pretty standard routine for the fight. If you can, hit them with a Q or 2 before they commit. Get to know enemy champs routines and what they can do/when they will do it. For instance, you know Xin will dash to you so be ready to lay Miasma below you right as Xin dashes in. (more to the front of you so if they move around a bit there still going to be in it.) Now is the time to use PG. It is better to have Miasma down before so you dont waste useful time while the enemy is stunned. Now you can press Q or at at pretty much the same time you use Miasma so you get them both down as fast as possible. Then just start hitting E. Substitute for Q and W when they expire/are off CD. For ranged chamipions the same idea applys. Make sure they will be in a position to commit and start with Miasma.
The big thing is to commit fully. Even a few seconds of hesitation or misstep hurts you big time, either before or after. Since your not a Ryze or Annie "in-out-in-out" champ. This routeine will all be fluid and second nature eventually and happen in the blink of an eye (if it seemed somewhat drawn out from the description)
If you just finished a fight and see another happening say off in the jungle dont forget to cast NB to keep the passive up.
If you do decide to take any de-buff arua's remember the enemy will know your in a bush before they go in so you wont have the element of surprise. You then stand out of the bush, far enough away that this wont happen, but close enough youl be able to help when a fight occurs.
Depending on how you want to play her there are some options. This way is more effective since Twin Fang needs to be higher over NB and Miasma. NB has a .9 AP ratio so its better to get most of your early dmg through AP and focus on lvling Twin Fang. (each lvl is the equivalent of around 80AP)
Miasma > Twin Fang > Twin Fang > NB > Miasma > PG > Twin Fang > NB > Twin Fang > Miasma > Twin Fang > PG > NB > Miasma > NB > Miasma > NB > PG
A pretty standard route, focused on maxing Twin Fang as your main dmg source. Miasma is nice for the early denial and if you are protecting the jungler/possibly going for First Blood. The slow you get is more beneficial over Twing Fang and NB in these situations. NB could be taken first then if you just go straight to the lane. Miasma as the first skill is nice since it allows for both you and your partner to catch up with the enemy. Either you catch-up to them easier or escape easier. Also with the sight it gives, very useful for an early warning.
NB > Twin Fang > NB > NB > Miasma > PG > NB > Twin Fang > NB........
With this path youl want more AP sooner then later. Can be a good idea to go without lvl2 Boots for a bit and get a Revolver/Blasting Wand etc. You want more AP because NB has such a good ratio and that is what your focusing on.
CASS IN DOMINION:
Great on this map because of the buff to mana-regen along with her passive. Also she defends quite well and better stops the enemy from capping via her dots which are more valuable in this situations (since its constant interrupting dmg). Miasma is great for the vision since there a many small areas/pathways.
Itemization on Dom:
As mentioned there is the buff to regen so all you will want is Seals and Quints of Clarity. These makes the buff so much more beneficial and is all the regen/mana you will need. It is not a good idea to take any Seals of Replenishment since Clarity ones will bypass them by lvl 6. This makes taking a Prospectors Ring not a good choice. You start with more M-regen via runes and more AP via Blasting wand. As well you are ahead a few hundred gold which even on Dominion means a lot.
Blasting Wand+Boots > Sorc Shoes > Revolver > Deathcap > WotA > Hourglass/Abyssal Scepter
Rylai's:__isn't as good on this map since there should be more of a focus holding down/capturing points. There's not much of a focus on chasing so it is less valuable.
Smart Cast all 4 of your skills, and Summoner Spells. (Done in the Options menu under Key-Binding. For the smart-cast section you will have to scroll down a little ways.) Previously you had to press the paticular Hot-key then click with the mouse. Smart-Casting removes that mouse click and makes the skill activate wherever the pointer is, when you hit the certain key. It is a must for Twin Fang and works just by having the pointer over the desiered enemy. The removal of that mouse click and only having to hit whatever key drastically improves reaction ability/reflex's and to some extent dmg out-put. It also forces a player to learn skills better as they get to know the range/AoE each skill has more in depth.
For key-binding the skills just make each spell a single key. Cut out Shift all together. I prefer A W D S for Q W E R respectively as the placement of my fingers feels more natural. Then i just keep my middle on W and move it down to S whenever i need to ult. Try it out at least, but QWER or other such set-up will suit you just fine.
ITEM PATH and WHY:
There are is the main Kiting build focused on Rylais > BoS > Doran's Ring. Also you can opt for more M-regen and/or Mana + Spell Vamp. You dont need to get CDR and any little you get from glyphs doesn't make enough of a difference to bother, since most of her skills are low enough already. You would only be getting CD for PG, that is a waste as its only for one skill.
A lot of deviation can be taken with the following paths but these are pretty much how they should look. (Grouped together in the stages that seem to be best for gaging when to go back.)
The safest build for new Cass players would be double or triple Dorans Ring.
SUGGESTED STARTING PATH
This item path isnt for everyone. But is good to start with since as i mentioned it helps to teach conservation of mana and you can always go up from here (getting Mana or M-regen) but if your so used to having it from the start it takes a fair bit to to go down. Youl also appreciate mana when you have it.
Amp Tome > Hextech Revolver > Sorc Shoes > WotA > Blasting Wand/Negatron Cloak > Abyssal Scepter > Hourglass
Amp Tome as you starting item simply makes NB so much more damaging. Flat AP Quints are another good option as well. You could start Boots but that hurts damage and with careful practice that added AP will be very beneficial.
M-regen + Spell Vamp:
Meki Pendant > Chalice+Boots > Sorc Shoes+2 Amplifying Tomes > WotA > Negatron Cloak+Blasting Wand > Abyssal Scepter > SDI or Hextech Revolver
Should have Seals of Clarity at least. (Can also go with Quints of Clarity as well) so as you get greater benefit from Chalice. Other then that the Spell Vamp works really great and allows for amazing lane staying power. If possible see if someone else on your team can also get WotA as if you both have it in proximity you get double the aura. You can just get Chalice as your base and build whatever after, as it is the main focus of this build.
Doran's Ring > BoS > Giants Belt > Rylais > Void Staff > Rabadons Deathcap or SDI
Doran's Ring since it gives a very big edge early game and if played right, the regen it gives can be enough to last all game. MS Quints + Quickness Mastery are also recommended.
Other Possible Item Paths:
If you have one thats not up and seems to work for you, describe the build and il see about putting it up.
Doran's Ring > BoS > Catalyst > Rylai's > RoA > Void Staff > SDI > Deathcap
A version of the more kiteing heavy build to offset the lack of defense from items. The only build Void Staff should be considered in (no other form of Mpen/Reduction).
Sapphire > Catalyst > Sorc Shoes > RoA > Mejai's > SDI > Haunting Guise > Deathcap
Focused on good lane staying via Catalyst and AP gain via Mejai's, since assists come easy.
As with the builds above, feel free to suggest an item you dont see and why you use it or the reason you wouldnt choose some of these paticular ones. CDR is not very good on Cass as it only effects two of her skills really. And really is only significant on PG so dont get CDR.
Doran's Ring__Used for the durability it gives, good Mregen and nice bit of AP. Never a bad choice, unless you prefer starting with one of your main item parts to get it faster. Is quite nice when using the Noxious Casting style as NB dmg is increased quite a bit which adds up over time when you think about it.
SorcShoes vs BoS (Boots of Swiftness)__The two main choices. (Mercury's Treads is ofc the situational option for most champs) It mainly depends on how you like to play her. If you are more focussed on kiting and like that little boost to land Twin Fang easier BoS is the clear choice. Sorc Shoes for more dmg obviously and if you dont want to be as focused on kiting and more in their face.
Chalice of Harmony Along with other M-regen this will last you and have enough regen to offset not getting nearly as much, if any mana. Can be quite nice as you dont have to worry then about itemizing for mana.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter__This is the main item if not going the spammy/higher sustained dmg route. Often used in conjunction with BoS as the increase in slow and your movespeed allow for almost unparalleled kiting. It allows for much easier Twin Fang follow ups. Also getting it early game gives a very nice HP buffer as well as a good amount of AP. It wont allow you to be as spammy owing to the fact you completely lose out on extra mana, so thats something to take into consideration.
Rod of Ages (RoA)/Catalyst__For a lot of champs this is always a good choice. This is easily true for Cassiopeia. Catalyst is the best general/all around early game item for mana utlizing champs. One option could be to rush Catalyst > Boots > Rylais. To offset the loss in mana from Tear. Though it will fit well as the starting item in most set-ups. Once you get comfortable its nice to take it out of the equation and perhaps start with Rylai's/Boots.
Abyssal Scepter__This is a good choice if your going the more in your face dmg route via Tear. It isnt as good an option if you go more of the kiting route since the passive wont be effecting the enemy as often. Remember it also helps your team a lot to. Allowing for much higher dmg early on and throughout the game. An early Abyssal is quite good because often times people are still building up their main set-up. They wont have that big an amount of Mresist so along with Mpen Marks, Sorc Shoes and this you should be doing max dmg. It can also be nice used with Fiddlesticks passive for a reduction of 30. It can be usefull in most team comps and is also fine to leave until late game (4th or 5th)
Haunting Guise__Very nice for the extra Mpen. Since it is quite cheap it could be a nice 3rd item and allow you to get the 4th a bit latter while allowing for more dmg mid game. It is also an option late game to round out a build. Its ofc doesn't give nearly as much AP as Abssal and you dont get the Mresist/Mreduction so that is something to take into account.
Will of the Ancients/Hextech Revolver__A nice choice in either Cassiopeia build. Allows for good lane staying power and durability against opponents. Also along with Abyssal Scepter makes you very valuable to the entire team. An extra Revolver can be added after finishing WotA.
Mejai's Soulstealer__Good because of Cassiopeia's easy assist nature. Its not to hard to be tagging enemy's in fights with NB or Miasma, which you should be doing anyway. A better choice a kite focused build since your not a vulnerable and will be able to keep the stacks up easier. A good option in many situations.
Void Staff__Should only be used in a BoS/Mercury's Treads build, one that doesn't include Haunting Guise or Abyssal Scepter. Having either of those items just hurts Void. It is very good for taking down the high Mresist tanks. Though in reality it only gives 70 AP (the same as Abyssal) and nothing other then %reduction. On low/non-stacking Mresist champs it is a bad item for the amount it costs. Abyssal on the other hand makes your whole team hit harder and allows for much quicker take-down of squishy.
Rabadon's Deathcap__Not much explanation why this item is a good choice. Can be worked in early (3rd or 4th) but often better to build survivability and get it late game as a nice "vanilla" item.
Zhonyah's Hourglass__Gives more AP + Armor. In most cases i would choose this were i looking for something with armor.
Banshee's Veil__A great choice as it gives HP/Mana/Mresist. Should be the main choice if you need more Mresist.
ITEMS NEVER TO GET
I prefer the per-lvl runes. I think its best to play as if the game may go one later. In a perfect world it will with mostly balanced match ups. Some of the per-lvl runes are good because they eclpise their Flat rune counterparts rather quickly, these are the ones to consider for most builds. Depending on who has the best chance to lane against you, and if ether of you will be harrasing fairly heavy.
Mpen Quints are better because it is harder to itemize pen over AP. If you go with Rylai's switch them for MS as the only thing you are getting Mpen from should be Void.
__Mregen per lvl Seals
___always Mpen Marks
____Magic Resist per lvl Glyphs
_Flat HP/Armor/Mresist Quints
___Flat AP Quints
____Armor per lvl Seals
__One of the best i have found so far is something along the lines of 26/4/0(Dominion) or 26/0/4(SR). Testing others atm.
Summoners Wrath 1/1
Mental Force 4/4
Arcane Knowledge 1/1
Summoners Resolve 1/1
Summoner's Insight 1/1
Good Hands 4/4
Flash and Ignite, allows to go up against champions 1 vs 1 easier and escape etc, many uses offensively and defensively. "If you need to use them for escape often youv done something wrong" and its a mistake you can learn from.
Clairvoyance and Teleport are a good choice, as at least one person on the team should have CV and Teleport helps you get back to your lane or guard another teammates if they have to go back.
Clarity can be nice but you will have enough mana early game and by late game this summoner spell lose's a lot of its usefulness. Consider it if in a duo lane and your partner wont be very capable at sustaining themselves mana wise or could make good use out of it.
AniviasChosen__My youtube channel, at some point hope to have commentary for the video's. Added bookmarks at some key spots so you dont have to watch it all. Dont forget its in HD! Also the one video there shows Tear, disregard that but still decent enough gameplay, hope to upload more sometime.
Open to some semi structured 1 vs 1 skirmish's (myself as Cass ofc)
Overall a good guide, but I disagree with certain points. Particularly, rushing an abyssal scepter right as your first major item seems silly to me. I'd suggest getting a Rylai's scepter as the extra health will be god-send early game and the slow will be the only way you can possibly survive against a melee character late game. I've always preferred boots of swiftness over sorcerer's shoes since Cassiopeia is all about positioning and its important to outspeed everyone on the other team by a large enough amount to be able to twin fang them. Since I take boots of swiftness, I always take flash as its basically a get out of jail free card if you outspeed them (signifigantly that is, which you should with Noxious Blast) and Teleport to let you itemize while laning and ambush/farm late game.
More importantly though, Miasma is useless anyone without half a brain will realize how low the damage is and just ignore it (most melee champions outheal its damage just by attacking minions early game.)
I like thats all the information is put into a new thread for ease of access. I completely agree 9/21/0 is a good masteries set but as said by someone else im not sure its perfect. Either 9/21/0 or 9/0/21 work just aswell as eachother. Just preference.
The only thing i would actually disagree with is what the post above said. Rylais is amazing on her. Sure you dont have quite as much power to be getting all the kills but ist adds so much to your play. Makes it easier to catch others, easier to escape and slowing an entire team down in a 5v5 fight makes a massive difference.
Asylum and I are in the same school of Rylai... I firmly believe it is the best item you can get on Cassio.
Aean> Miasma is far from useless... it is a really good spell but you need to know how to use it. It is a positioning spell and your STRONGEST AoE... in a Teamfight you throw it in the middle of the bunch and it does a LOT of damage. If people move you succeeded messing up their positioning, if people does NOT move they will take full damage and a slow. Either way you win.
Other points I would consider:
- I do not believe AAS/Tear is necessary though I believe it is a good item
- My favorite build is something like: Sheen, Rylai, Abyssal, Zhonya, DeathCap, Boots, Lichbane. Obviously it is absurdly expensive but just Sheen+Rylai is enough to make you efficient. You just need to keep progressing in the build as far as you can.
- Some more ideas in this thread. I think it is considered the Cassio bible for the moment:
- I have a jungle cassio build... very very very situational but a LOOOT of fun. You only sacrifice summoner spells because you still get plenty of damage with it.
Flash shouldn't be a get out of jail free card, because you shouldn't get in those situations. If you use it to set-up for ganks or flashing closer to land something then yes its a good choice.
Teleport, yeah its good, though when your fighting an enemy whats it doing for you? Nothing. I do like it for the reasons you stated though.
We are at an impass :O
Tried the mejai's soulstealer suggestion. It worked quite well, even with only 1 or 2 kills i can rake up around 10 stacks by mid game because her assist score. From there i usually build survivability items to protect my stacks. With the stacks she actually scale up quite well in end game.
As long as I don't miss my noxius blast or miasma, my mejai stack will definitely going up even if i dont get the kills
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