[Guide] AP Spike Kassadin

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Vichar

Senior Member

11-17-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Senate View Post
It is unfortunate that Kassadin dosen't bring much to the table as far as team fights go, but remember: He CAN chase down escaping enemies. He CAN area slow. He CAN silence.
Thanks for the tips Senate! I agree with all of your points. I did notice a few other things about Kassadin while experimenting with this champion:

- He has trouble killing tanks that pick up even moderate magic resistance. Void staff helps with this, but I find I have to make the tough choice between a second Rod, Void Staff, or Zhonyas. Against even a half-way decent team, it has to be the new Void Staff. Even so, because Kass is limited by his mana pool, the tanks completely mess up his sequence because it costs too much mana to even finish off a wounded tank. Squishy targets only for Kass
- Kass has problems against a very good Heimerdinger. The key phrase here is very good. For a poor Heimer, you can just pick him off and pick up the tasty gold bonus from doing so. A good Heimer won't leave the safety of his turret nest. In a game yesterday, I had to call in my entire team to rush the nest with AOE damage.
- A full AP Kassadin's main weakness (like all casters) is Silence. If you get silenced right after an offensive Rift Walk during a team fight, the chances of getting out alive are not good. Sometimes I consider carrying both Flash and Cleanse against this eventuality.
- I'm wondering if your guide has something to do with the increased numbers of Kassadin's I've been seeing! Looks like a well-kept secret is getting out.
- Likewise, sometimes it seems Kass on Kass fights boil down to who has better timing with Null Sphere. If you can bait the other Kass into jumping in AND hit him with NS before he can start his combo, you can deliver your entire combo on him before he has a chance to Rift Walk again. Lag being what it is, I tend to think the Kass jumping in has the better chance of this since action is easier than reaction in an actual game. So R, then immediately Q on the target, followed by E.


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The Senate

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Senior Member

11-17-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vichar View Post
Thanks for the tips Senate! I agree with all of your points. I did notice a few other things about Kassadin while experimenting with this champion
- For tanks, your only true advantages are mobility, slow and silence. Make sure to use your silence for key things. Alistar just ground pounded your Yi and is lining up to headbutt him into a tower? Silence him. Singed is trying to escape from you and your team? Catch up, slow him, let your team get him. Kassadin is the guy who can extend farther to slow somebody down and let the rest of your slower team catch up.
- Heimer presents an interesting problem for Kassadin. Blinking in close and trying your 1 2 3 combo is going to get a grenade to the face, turrets or not. Try to time your attack to right after he launched a 'nade. As far as turrets go, at some point in the game, you're going to be able to AoE the **** out of those turrets. Also, Heimer has a huge mana pool. He's one of the champions that's highly benefical to get melee attacks off on.
- Silence is all about timing. Soraka, of course, has a pretty quick silence, but it's mainly Cho'gath or Fiddle that's going to **** your day up. This is easily over-ridden by not being the first guy into the fray. You have a blink. As soon as people pick targets, as soon as your tanks are initating, go in. Also, try to time your attack to just after Cho'gath or Fiddle silences, get them while they're on CD.
- Kassadin on Kassadin is rarely productive. Unless you have the item edge, unless you're sure you can get your damage out for free, don't even **** with another Kass. You're just going to cancel each other out. It's been like this since they first added Kassadin and EVERYBODY played him for a while.

As far as seeing more Kassadins, I don't know if I should take credit. The majority of Kassadins I see are still spending money on, in my eyes, stupid items. Chalice of Harmony, Philospher's Stone, Sheen, Sorc Boots. Those are all subpar Kassadin items, yet I still see them all the freaking time. It's been a while since I've seen a Kassadin get Catalyst first, though I haven't been playing as much.

Edit: Since I'm nearing 10,000 hits on my guide, I'm going to fix the item list finally. I need to add Void Staff, I need to explain the usefulness of the other Elixers, I need to add Soulstealer (before they nerf it) and I need to add Abyssal. I want to suggest more flexibilty in items while still promoting the early catalyst.


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PhoenixBomb

Senior Member

11-17-2009

I've been in a bit of a rut lately. Lost 6 games in a row now, and I can't tell if its me not doing something or something to blame on my team.

Basically, my problems have come in two flavors.

1.) Roaming gangs.

Whether its a premade or just a team that has decided to group up, I can't seem to deal with roaming gangs, especially those with considerable stunning power. If it's 3 people, I try to pick off the other two, or form up temporarily with my own team and kill stragglers. This isn't really a problem. However, with 4 people, I often find that the 5th person is bait and attacking the group, even with my teammates behind me, usually results in me having to run away without any real results. With 5-man gangs, I find my team doesn't push into them, and if I blink in, i just die/barely escape.

These situations also seem to bring me leveling/money problems, since if I try to break off and go into a lane, I get ganked within 20 seconds or so.

As Kass, should I simply stick with the team, pushing in on their squishies in the middle of the fight and hoping to take one out?

2.) Pushers/backdooring.

In these games, I do great. Everyone is dying, I'm getting rich, yadda yadda. But I'll be halfway across the map, and all of the sudden a Twitch will pop up and consume my tower. Or a team of two auto-attack stackers come in and rip my towers to pieces. Even if my team has its own pushers, we just dont seem to match...we're either playing catch-up with them or we're getting held back by whatever number of their people stay behind.

In this situation, should I refrain from my roaming gank happy fest and camp in my own half of the map? Should I change my gear to being able to push on my own when I see these things happening? Or should I instead encourage my team to respond instead of myself?


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Vichar

Senior Member

11-17-2009

My comments below are based on the way I play. I never just try to rack up random kills. Rather, I try to always be doing something that either directly or indirectly helps my team. I know that killing the enemy helps my team, but prioritizing targets helps even more. If I'm not there for an important fight because I'm running back to the fountain, I'm hurting my team somewhat. This is just how I play, so if your play style is different you might not agree with me. Here goes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixBomb View Post
I've been in a bit of a rut lately. Lost 6 games in a row now, and I can't tell if its me not doing something or something to blame on my team.
It sounds like you are solo queuing. I play with a friend a lot, but we are not always able to carry 3 new players if the other team coordinates well. By the tone of your post, there might be more you could do to help the team on a strategic level. At least, you should never just blame your team if a game is lost. Doing so robs you of the opportunity to objectively observe what you could have done differently / better. So yes, your team lost the game, but always think, "What could I have done differently to affect that outcome?" This might have included advice / leadership you provide to your team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixBomb View Post
Whether its a premade or just a team that has decided to group up, I can't seem to deal with roaming gangs, especially those with considerable stunning power.

There's not much point in harrassing a team of 5 without your team. I currently do these things against gangs of 5 if (some part of) my team is present:
- I will jump in, group slow, silence a caster, and get out. I do not try to hit them with the Rift Walk unless the team fight has already started, only using it to get in range of my E ability. I usually wait for one to come forward and use an ability--I find that it is hard for someone to immediately target you right after doing something else.
- I let other, tankier folks on my team initiate, stun is best, then I jump in and try to execute a combo on their dps carry.
- I let kills "come to me" instead of forcing a situation. I wait until someone is weak, then I chase with Rift Walk and kill. Few champions can get away from Kass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixBomb View Post
should I refrain from my roaming gank happy fest and camp in my own half of the map? Should I change my gear to being able to push on my own when I see these things happening? Or should I instead encourage my team to respond instead of myself?
Always at least try to coordinate with your team by typing what you're planning to do. If they ignore you, then you might be in for a frustrating game. Either way, you should never just roam randomly. Instead, try to set up fights in your favor somehow. Try to prioritize targets whose removal really helps your team. For example, if your team is actually trying to push a turret, you might consider Rifting in to wound a defender, move out, come back and keep pressure on them. You might not make the actual kill, but you apply pressure where it most needs applying. Once you've burned your mana reserve, you have to run back to the fountain. Timing this process is all important.

If you feel up to it, there is no harm in providing leadership for your team. Ping the map where you feel an ambush should occur, and see if your team responds. Type out what your idea is. The main ways to win are pushing lanes and killing enemies. You can't accomplish either just by yourself in most cases.

Finally, if you lose a team fight, try to figure out what happened. They aren't just "better"... they used abilities in conjunction to defeat your team. What were those abilities? What are the logical counters? Say the enemy team's idea is to run in and stun with tanks, allowing their fiddlesticks to follow and mop up with a Crow Storm. You could wait until the tanks rush in, and then silence fiddle. This leaves their tanks hanging, and just those precious 3 seconds might make the difference for your team!


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AvariceX

Senior Member

11-17-2009

I love your guide Senate and I've used it to great effect a few times already, but I must kindly disagree on one point you recently made:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Senate View Post
Magic Pen is a counter-measure.
Magic Pen is intended to be a counter-measure; but it's not, due to the way MR scales. The lower your target's MR the more benefit they get from increasing their MR (this also applies to armor). This also works backwards though - the lower their MR, the more damage reduction they lose from having their MR decreased. This is why people rush it. You can also bring your targets MR into negatives which greatly increases damage because it scales the same way (the further negative the less difference it makes, meaning the first little amount of negative makes the biggest difference).

If you are familiar with WoW arena before 3.0 you might remember armor penetration had the exact same problem (it was meant to reduce the effectiveness of armor stacking, but instead had a more adverse affect on cloth wearers because of diminishing armor scaling).

At least this is how I've always understood it.

I usually don't rush it, but in games where it is very difficult to save for large-ticket items it's a good substitute as it is fairly cheap and still offers you AP and MP, as well as indirectly increasing your AP.


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The Senate

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Senior Member

11-17-2009

Interesting, I never knew that. Well, I've been getting Void Staff after my first Rod lately anyway. I don't know if that's 'rushing' it, but It's a pretty safe bet to make it a second major item.


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Vichar

Senior Member

11-17-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by AvariceX View Post
Magic Pen is intended to be a counter-measure; but it's not, due to the way MR scales.
I'm not convinced this is how it works. We're going to need to do a little math to see how it might actually play out.
First of all, I'd like to mark the difference between magic penetration and magic resistance reduction.
Abyssal Scepter reduces magic resistance by 20.
Void staff penetrates 40% of the target's magic resistance. (Boots of Sorc are in the same category for 15%)

If I understand this correctly, these are not applied in the same way.

- Say the target has 30 magic resist (normal naked champion). This means your magic damage is reduced by 23%. (target has 1.3X more effective health)
- If the target has 60 magic resist, your magic damage is reduced by 37.5%. (target has 1.6X more effective health)
- If the target has 90 magic resist, your magic damage is reduced by 47%. (target has 1.9X more effective health)

Let's examine the effects of magic resist reduction versus magic resist penetration on these 3 examples:

Magic Resist Reduction (Abyssal Scepter, -20)
-Target has 30 Magic Resist, now 10 means magic damage now reduced by 9%, not 23%. This represents 18% increase in damage with vs. without Abyssal Scepter.
-Target has 60 Magic Resist, now 40 means magic damage now reduced by 28.6%, not 37.5%. This represents 14% increase in damage with vs. without Abyssal Scepter.
-Target has 90 Magic Resist, now 70 means magic damage now reduced by 41%, not 47%. This represents 11.8% increase in damage with vs. without Abyssal Scepter.

From these examples, we can conclude that Abyssal Scepter works better versus lightly armored targets vs. heavily armored targets, like the quoted poster states.

This is NOT true of Magic Resist Penetration.

Magic Resist Penetration (Void Staff -40%)
-Target has 30 Magic Resist, now 18 means magic damage now reduced by 15%, not 23%. This represents 10% increase in damage with vs. without Void Staff.
-Target has 60 Magic Resist, now 36 means magic damage now reduced by 26.5%, not 37.5%. This represents 17.6% increase in damage with vs. without Void Staff.
-Target has 90 Magic Resist, now 54 means magic damage now reduced by 35%, not 47%. This represents 23.4% increase in damage with vs. without Void Staff.
Just for kicks,
-Target has 200 Magic Resist, now 120 means magic damage now reduced by 54.5%, not 66.7%. This represents 36.4% increase in damage with vs. without Void Staff.

As we can see, Magic Resistance Penetration actually does better the more MR the enemy stacks (versus just taking more +Ability Power, for example).

Magic Resistance Penetration does not make Magic Resist Negative. Only the Abyssal Scepter can do that, and since nobody starts with less than 30 MR I don't think negative values are likely / possible. Incidentally, if you have both the Abyssal Scepter and the Void Staff I think the Scepter gets applied first (unfortunately).

I actually think that against heavily magic resistant targets, it might be worthwhile to get the boots of sorcery vs. the boots of mobility. It's hard to say, because if they have that much magic resistance they might not be a good target anyway.


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Vichar

Senior Member

11-17-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by AvariceX View Post
The lower your target's MR the more benefit they get from increasing their MR (this also applies to armor).
I'm not quite sure what you mean by this. Armor and Magic Resistance scale in a linear fashion, just like damage and ability power. What do I mean?

Let's say you have 1000 health.
If you have 0 MR, I need to inflict 1000 magic damage to kill you.
If you have 100 MR, I need to inflict 2000 magic damage to kill you. (50% reduction)
If you have 200 MR, I need to inflict 3000 magic damage to kill you. (66.7% reduction)

If you mean, the effect is reduced expressed as a percentage of benefit, then I agree. The percent reduction is less the more MR you stack. The benefit of more Magic Resistance is additive, not multiplicative. However, this is in line with all the other items. Put still yet differently, if there were only casters in the game, stacking MR scales exactly the same way as stacking health.

EDIT: I just realized that someone might have thought I said stacking health and stacking MR are equally effective. Not so--you want some of both if you're getting owned by magic damage. But that is a different discussion.


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Vamprski

Adjudicator

11-17-2009

I don't like the 300 AP build. I typically get Lichbane and 500-550 AP with about 2k health. Lichbane effectively gives you 3 extra doses of single-target AP in a burst combo.


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The Senate

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Senior Member

11-17-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vamprski View Post
I don't like the 300 AP build. I typically get Lichbane and 500-550 AP with about 2k health. Lichbane effectively gives you 3 extra doses of single-target AP in a burst combo.
Everybody has their preferences. Lich Bane isn't THAT bad on Kassadin, it's just the damage is unreliable. You can't blink in, express all your money's worth in damage and blink out as fast as you can with straight AP.

Also, bleh. Sheen on Kassadin. I only see the point of a late game Lich Bane.