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Revised AS/AP build for Kassadin

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SlimJimm13

Senior Member

07-30-2011

This is an alternate way of playing Kassadin that focuses on utilizing both his burst damage from Null Sphere + Force Pulse and persistent damage from Nether Blade.
**I will continue to revise this build with time, and I welcome any and all criticism to improve this build.

Table of Contents
1. Pros and Cons of This Build
2. Runes
3. Masteries
4. Summoner Spells
5. Skill Build
6. Item Build
7. Playstyle


1. Pros and Cons of This Build
The Pros of building AS/AP instead of AP:

  • Self sustainable mana pool.
  • Strong 1v1 champion.
  • Hybrid damage. (Difficult to itemize against)
  • Destroys towers faster.

The Cons of building AS/AP instead of AP:
  • Slightly less AoE damage for team fights.
  • Requires staying in danger zone longer.

2. Runes:
  • Movement Speed Quintessences (Mobility helps you move in and out of melee range faster during fights.)
  • Magic Penetration Marks (Magic Penetration helps early game when you rely more on magic damage but don't build a lot of AP.)
  • Dodge Seals (Dodge helps you against traditional DPSers who have higher DPS than you.)
  • Flat Cooldown Reduction Glyphs (Cooldown Reduction helps you harass more often to strengthen your weak lane presence early game.)

3. Masteries:
Masteries are 21/9/0
Offensive Masteries:
3/3 Deadliness (We will not be relying on critical strike, this is just a bonus.)
1/1 Cripple
4/4 Sorcery
4/4 Alacrity
1/1 Archaic Knowledge
3/3 Sunder
3/3 Brute Force
1/3 Lethality (We will not be relying on critical strike, this is just a bonus.)
1/1 Havoc

Defensive Masteries:
3/3 Resistance
1/3 Hardiness
4/4 Evasion
1/1 Nimbleness (Nimbleness's synergy with dodge seals give you increased mobility against DPSers.)

4. Summoner Spells
Flash: This increased mobility can often scoring a kill or escaping a death when your riftwalk is on cooldown.
Exhaust: This extra slow + debuff is very versatile. It can be used for chases, escapes and gaining definite advantage in 1v1 confrontations.

5. Skill Build:
Lvl 1: Q
Lvl 2: E
Lvl 3: W
Lvl 4: Q
Lvl 5: E
Lvl 6: R
Lvl 7: E
Lvl 8: W
Lvl 9: E
Lvl 10: E
Lvl 11: R
Lvl 12: W
Lvl 13: W
Lvl 14 W
Lvl 15: Q
Lvl 16: R
Lvl 17: Q
Lvl 18: Q

6. Item Build:
**When given an option of two different defensive items, choose the one that counters the majority of the enemy team's effective damage output.

Starting Items: Cloth armor/Null magic mantle + hp pots with remaining gold.
Reasoning: Your main goal is to sustain in lane as long possible to quickly reach level 6. An early defensive item along with lots of hp pots will allow you to take harassment while you defend your tower and take last hits.

First recall: At your first recall, upgrade your Cloth armor/Null magic mantle into Ninja Tabi/Mercury Treads. If you have extra gold, start building a Malady starting with daggers.
Reasoning: After finishing your boots, you will have very nice survivability and be close to level 6 if not already past it. This is where you start building offensive items. Malady is the ideal offensive item to keep up with others, as most people build an offensive item after boots as a core.


Third recall: Finish your Malady and start building a Rylai's Crystal Scepter. If you are surviving team fights, start with Blasting wand or Amplifying tome. Otherwise start building the item with Giant's belt.
Reasoning: After everyone has finished their offensive item, you will need more health. That way you can survive burst damage, and utilize the bonus attack speed from your passive to finish off enemies with your persistent DPS.

**Your core build is now complete. From here, it is more viable to vear off-track or stay with my recommended item build.

Fourth Item: Now start building Nashor's Tooth, starting with Stinger.
Reasoning: This item encompasses 3 stats that benefit your damage output, the most important being cooldown reduction because we have yet to itemize for it yet. Buying Stinger is more beneficial to your damage than Fiendish Codex. Increased attack speed will also help you regen mana faster from hitting jungle creeps than buying Fiendish Codex.

Fifth Item: Depending on the current damage type of the enemy team, buy:
Thornmail to counter AD/Crit heavy enemies.
Force of Nature to counter AP heavy enemies.
Randuin's Omen to counter Attack Speed/On-hit heavy enemies.

Sixth Item: Depending on the Max Health of your average enemy, buy:
Madred's Bloodrazor to counter tanky enemies.
Rabadon's Deathcap to counter squishy enemies.

7. Playstyle:
The playstyle of AS/AP Kassadin makes a gradual transition from burst damage to sustained damage. The key ideas to take note of are:

Your purchase of the Giant's Belt is the turning point in your transition.

Prior to purchasing Giant's Belt, do not chase using your melee attack unless the enemy is one hit from death.

After the purchase of Giant's Belt, your Q and E are now recognized as only a lead-in and CC to give you advantage. Your auto-attack is now the main threat.

Unlike AP Kassadin, this build does not itemize any Max Mana. It is crucial to use make use of Nether Blade's mana return in fights and on jungle creeps to keep your mana pool full.

Always carry 1-2 hp potions to regen your health back if you use jungle creeps to regen your mana back. This is very cheap so refill whenever you have extra gold after shopping. This is your unique way of recovering after team fights without recalling.

Thank you for reading! Happy LoL'ing!


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JedimasterDarren

Senior Member

07-30-2011

Interesting guide. I use to play a lot of AD kassadin and now play a hybrid version on top of the usual AP burst. Here are a few thoughts.

1) Starting with regrowth pendant lets you lane and take the harass better then cloth or null mantle. Just sell it later.

2) I think leveling null sphere is the way to go over force pulse, especially if your mid which should almost always be the case.

3) Sorcery boots with Abyssal Specter is very strong on Kassadin. Since all his skills are magic damage including W, the magic pentration really helps. If you are using malady, then maybe using treads with abyssal would work.

4) Have you tried rageblade? Kassadin can keep stacks pretty easy at it gives 96 AP with max stacks for 2200ish gold. I am not saying it is the best way to build Kassadin, but if going hybrid, it is very strong.

5) I love movement speed quints on Kassadin, but the 9/0/21 tree I think offers more for him. Reduced summor spells, movement speed, cooldown, some early mana regen, etc are very nice for Kassadin.

6) HP/lvl seals give like 172 HP at level 18 and I think do more for kassadin than dodge.

Thanks for posting your guide. I hope you find something here of value.

Jedimaster.


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SlimJimm13

Senior Member

07-30-2011

Quote:
JedimasterDarren:
Interesting guide. I use to play a lot of AD kassadina and now play a hybrid version on top of the usual AP burst. Here are a few thoughts.

1) Starting with regrowth pendant lets you lane and take the harass better then cloth or null mantle. Just sell it later.

2) I think leveling null sphere is the way to go over force pulse, especially if your mid which should almost always be the case.

3) Sorcery boots with Abyssal Specter is very strong on Kassadin. Since all his skills are magic damage including W, the magic pentration really helps. If you are using malady, then maybe using treads with abyssal would work.

4) Have you tried rageblade? Kassadin can keep stacks pretty easy at it gives 96 AP with max stacks for 2200ish gold.

5) I love movement speed quints on Kassadin, but the 9/0/21 tree I think offers more for him. Reduced summor spells, movement speed, cooldown, some early mana regen, etc are very nice for Kassadin.

6) HP/lvl seals give like 172 HP at level 18 and I think do more for kassadin than dodge.

Thanks for posting your guide. I hope you find something here of value.

Jedimaster.


Thank you for your ideas. Here are my thoughts on them. I will start with the bad news first.

2) I rarely take mid as Kassadin. The reason being his success in mid is highly dependent on which champion you will lane against. That is why I suggested a duo lane where frequent spell casts will charge up your Force Pulse which synergizes better with a dps playstyle.

3) I have found the defensive boots necessary if I want to stay long enough in melee range to deal considerable damage. As for Abyssal Scepter, the offensive item must strongly benefit both his Q and E as well as W. If the balance is thrown off then the weaker side becomes a burden. Similar to how AD Kassadin doesn't favor Q or how AP Kassadin doesn't favor W.

4) Guinsoo's Rageblade is tempting. However, the bonus AP and AS just doesn't pay off without already having high AS which only comes after I finish stinger. I can see this as a late game item as the 4th or 6th item, but cannot fit this into the core as much as I would love to. =(
(I'd love to see your method of fitting in Rageblade though.)

Here's the good news:
I have tested out starting with Regrowth Pendent/Rejuvenation Bead to be later built into Force of Nature/Randuin's Omen. It works just on-par. I haven't yet noticed a considerable change in performance, but I believe it will be a vast improvement however, once I grind up enough IP to purchase hp/level seals. Thanks again!


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maniclurker

Senior Member

07-30-2011

I honestly just can't understand how AP/AS Kassadin is better than pure AP. AS without any AD is basically pointless, and as such, I doubt your persistent damage will overcome the burst damage you could do by focusing on AP. AS/AP works on Kayle because of her passive, which adds to her damage. It sounds like all you are really benefitting from the AS portion of this build is the mana regen you can get off of creeps. I also really don't understand the choice of rolling with Rylai's over Frozen Mallet. Frozen Mallet has more health, and actually allows you to deal a little more damage in melee. And, last buy not least, your runes... no ArPen, no AS, nothing. If runes are meant to complement your playstyle, then it would seem yours do very little.

Your items are very expensive, without adding great benefit to any one thing you could possible achieve with Kassadin.

Down sides to this build, IMO:

Very little damage, either magic or physical. No need to really itemize defense against you because you don't really do much.

Very little AP for burst damage, with no form of high magic pen. All of your AP comes WAY too late to really matter, and there's very little of it. Many champions already have Banshee's Veil in their builds, this takes away most of what you could possibly do.

Upside, IMO:

You are tanky. That's about it. It sounds like this build is actually just for trolling the enemy team into attacking someone that they don't really have a chance to kill, instead of focusing on the real damage dealers. The moment they realize you do very little other than toss out a silence every now and then, I think the enemy will just focus your actual DPSers.


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SlimJimm13

Senior Member

07-31-2011

Quote:
maniclurker:
I honestly just can't understand how AP/AS Kassadin is better than pure AP. AS without any AD is basically pointless, and as such, I doubt your persistent damage will overcome the burst damage you could do by focusing on AP. AS/AP works on Kayle because of her passive, which adds to her damage. It sounds like all you are really benefitting from the AS portion of this build is the mana regen you can get off of creeps. I also really don't understand the choice of rolling with Rylai's over Frozen Mallet. Frozen Mallet has more health, and actually allows you to deal a little more damage in melee. And, last buy not least, your runes... no ArPen, no AS, nothing. If runes are meant to complement your playstyle, then it would seem yours do very little.

Your items are very expensive, without adding great benefit to any one thing you could possible achieve with Kassadin.

Down sides to this build, IMO:

Very little damage, either magic or physical. No need to really itemize defense against you because you don't really do much.

Very little AP for burst damage, with no form of high magic pen. All of your AP comes WAY too late to really matter, and there's very little of it. Many champions already have Banshee's Veil in their builds, this takes away most of what you could possibly do.

Upside, IMO:

You are tanky. That's about it. It sounds like this build is actually just for trolling the enemy team into attacking someone that they don't really have a chance to kill, instead of focusing on the real damage dealers. The moment they realize you do very little other than toss out a silence every now and then, I think the enemy will just focus your actual DPSers.


Please. Try the build first. The numbers from this build does not shine in theory crafting, but given the base damage on Kassadin's spells and auto-attack plus the amplification from items gives him a way to deal some very amazing damage. I am giving him power not from high amounts of AP or AD, but by working out a way for all of his spells to work well together.


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maniclurker

Senior Member

07-31-2011

Quote:
SlimJimm13:
Please. Try the build first. The numbers from this build does not shine in theory crafting, but given the base damage on Kassadin's spells and auto-attack plus the amplification from items gives him a way to deal some very amazing damage. I am giving him power not from high amounts of AP or AD, but by working out a way for all of his spells to work well together.


The point still stands though... AS without AD is useless.


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SlimJimm13

Senior Member

07-31-2011

Quote:
maniclurker:
The point still stands though... AS without AD is useless.


It is not useless if you get a 5 second buff that applies a bonus 60 magic damage (84 if you build up to Nashor's Tooth.) to every auto-attack. Attack speed will allow you to get more hits within the time frame of that buff. AP will scale with the bonus magic damage that is dealt. Don't forget that Kassadin already has the highest base AD of 123 at level 18. (132 with masteries.)


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Tenronth

Senior Member

07-31-2011

Kassadin has awesome ratios, the best assasin's tool to engage and escape, 2 forms of CC and a passive to recover MP.

I'm sorry to say it, but AS build sounds stupid.


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JedimasterDarren

Senior Member

07-31-2011

I have tried may forms of Kassadin. Malady is not very good IMO, but Nashors Tooth works well. Malady is very good value for wut it does, but you really need to stack those hits like on Kog Maw to make it very useful. I am not saying it is the best build to include Nashor's Tooth, but it works well with Kassadin.

Especially with the nerf to Deathcap, I prefer going with Nashor's Tooth followed by abyssal specter. The early attack speed from Nashors works well to farm and engage enemy champs before they build up their defense. Kassadin can certainly engage early. Follow it up with an Abyssal scpeter and you have some good AP and MR to be engaging. If needed, you can get a thornmail if the situation calls for it later. 50 Mpen with Thornmail will really hurt the auto attackers.

With the change to W, I find no need to get an early catalyst. Stinger allows some good early farming with mana regen. Null sphers on 5.4 sec cooldown are nice as is riftwalking. You can practically always have Nether Blade up for the extra magic damage as well which helps clearing minion waves. I think of Nashor's as an excellent farming and harrassment item which allows me to jump in the fight if the situation calls for it knowing I can do some decent DPS early.

Contrary to a prior post here, I do not think Kassadin has awesome ratios. He is .70, .15, .70, .50. If you run the numbers, the Magic Pentration from Abyssal is quite strong on Kassadin with some solid AP and magic resistance on top of team aura. On top of the fact, if you stack riftwalks, the extra damage is all base and not effected by AP. But of course, magic pentration will help.

Kassadin certainly is not as cooldown dependent as most mages, so if you like, you can go with AP/lvl glyphs. Some people may say that with the utility mastery, just get blue buff, but with Nashor's it is like you have blue buff 100% of the time and another ally can take it. Nashor's is good value for the stats assuming the champ finds the stats useful.

With the change to Nether Blade, I am finding Nashor's Tooth very useful. If anyone know is top ELO is playing Kassadin much these days and with what build, that would be useful.


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Force of Nurture

Senior Member

07-31-2011

Quote:

kassadin certainly is not as cooldown dependent as most mages

lol what

R cooldown is probably the most important thing when you're deciding when and where to engage as kass
CDRless kass has 6/5/4 R cooldown, which is enough time for you to die twice over easily

Also catalyst gives you enough mana to lane without taking a single point of W, gives sustainability via massive health regen every level, improves survivability by raising maximum health, and builds into banshee's or RoA, both of which are fantastic on kass
W giving more mana back has hardly touched early catalyst's usefulness


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