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Kayle the Judicator: A users Handbook

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Kayle has always been an under rated and under appreciated league of legends champion. As one that they could never really seem to effectively balance, being an avid kayle fan has been hard pressed for anybody to actually accomplish. Since the last remake of kayle, they made her officially a jack of all trades -- She can literally fill any role at this point. This guide is designed to show you the ropes of kayle and help you know your options with her, defining play styles etc. Its a book guys! Sorry !

1. PreGame: Mastery setup and Runes
First, you're going to want to decide what lane you are going to be going into. I currently have 2 main Kayle rune pages and a jungle page. As kayle can do every role, you should be prepared to fill whatever is needed.

If you are playing bot AD:
I run either MS quints, Armor yellows, MR glyphs and Physical reds OR flat AD Seals, glyphs and quints along with Armor pen Marks. These two styles give you the best presence you can achieve in bot lane.

If you are playing Top or mid lane:
I run MS quints, armor yellows, MR glyphs and physical reds. However split pen is a great option, along with Attack speed. I personally dislike attack speed though , as its simple enough to build on kayle.

If you are playing Support:
Typical support runes would do: Gold per 10 Quints and Yellows, and i run scaling ability power blues and reds

If you are playing Jungle:
I find Attack speed to a vital part of the runeset for Kayles jungle. That stated i suggest as much physical damage armor and attackspeed that you can cram into a runeset.
Personally, I run flat HP quints, Armor seals , AD marks and MR glyphs , but that does not give you the fastest clear time.

For your Masteries I find that going 21-0-9 gets you the most benefit, except in some cases where top lane requires more CDR and defensive play -- in which case i would suggest 9-21-0, picking up as much cooldown reduction in both trees as possible.

Size Summoner Spells and Skill order

I personally enjoy Flash Ignite on Top Mid and AD bot lane roles.

As for Support i find Clairvoyance to be a more useful spell than summoner heal , so i typically run that and flash.

As jungle, Flash and smite are obvious. Flash can always be replaced by Ghost, but i don't see the point when you have an on command ghost off of your Heal.

As for Skill order, I suggest prioritizing your E, picking up one level of W at 4 in all roles except support, where priority should be to max your W for obvious reasons.

Item Builds and the Thousands of options

What makes kayle such a powerful champion is her ability to actually counter build against who shes playing against. Most ranged carries are resigned to Infinity edge phantom dancer etc etc with very little play room. So lets dive into this , starting at your top lane and working down.

Top lane:
1. Boots 3xPot
2. Berserker greaves
Decide what role you need to fill -- If you think you should be playing AD or working on dealing primarily magic damage.

Option 1:
3. Wits End
4. Malady
5. Blood Razor

Then optional late game:

6. Infinity Edge/Phantom Dancer
6. Ionic Spark/Gaurdian Angel
6. Black Cleaver/Trinity Force
6. Frozen Mallet/Atmas impaler

Those combinations i have found work best for kayle in the really late phase of the game.

[I]Option 2:[/I]
3. Wriggles
4. Black Cleaver
5. Trinity force
6. Atmas Impaler
7. Frozen Mallet

Option 3:
3. Frozen Mallet
4. Atmas Impaler
5. Warmogs
6. Trinity Force

One important thing to note is that you really should be building against whatever you are being thrown against. Its hard to give a set item build because there are so many items that are fantastic on her in top lane. Maw of Malmortious is fantastic , and should not be neglected for a champion like kayle against a Ap heavy team. I just refuse to put it as a "Staple" item. build when its required.

These builds cover your mid lane build as well -- Just keep in mind if you want to play the magic damage version so you can still force the MR build, then you'll need to be playing on hit as suggested in the first build.

For Jungling...

After zerker greaves (Which always need to be rushed unless you are support)

2. Wriggles lantern
3. Wits End
4. Frozen Mallet
5. Atmas Impaler OR Black Cleaver
6. Build against the enemy team OR trinity force as a staple

For AD ranged..

After zerker greaves...
2. Infinity Edge as soon as possible (First recall should be Pick Axe and zerker greaves)
3. Dorans blade as needed to survive laning phase (No more than 2)
4. Phantom Dancer
5. Last Whisper or Black Cleaver
6. Hextech Gunblade or Blood Thirster
7. Gaurdian Angel

For Support..
Build for what your team needs...

1. Basic support opener (3 ward and charm with pots)
2. Philo Stone
3. Heart of Gold
4. Kages lucky pick (3rd gp5 only if you are ahead)
5. Build the Aura items your team needs be it, zekes herald, locket etc etc...You should always get Shurelias mid game though, that is a required buy.
6. If the game scales really late, consider an attack speed item -- Kayle does decent damage with just one attack speed item. Also, If they are forcing you to ult yourself consider a Hourglass

Gaming Strategy: Top and mid lane

If you are against someone who is a caster who has a poor early game skill set (Most casters) push the advantage at level 1. When they go up for a last hit chase them down with your Righteous Fury. This makes kayle a beyond powerful anti mage in any lane -- She hard counters champions like Vlad in top lane, and virtually every mid mage, with the exception of one or two.

use your ulti to NEGATE the most damage as possible not as a last resort save. baiting a low Hp Ally or being bait yourself is a fantastic idea, as long as you know what you're doing and can follow it up effectively.

If you are going on hit, remember -- malady or Black cleaver is needed -- Your passive is shred but it doesn't cut it late game, so you need either your magic damage or physical damage getting through to your opponents.

Gaming Strategy: AD ranged

The biggest issue with going bot with kayle is having a good support who understands kayle. to be successful in bot lane you need that and a firm understanding of how to run laning phase. Your Righteous Fury (E) Is both your last hit mechanic and your harrass mechanic. That stated, you need to figure out what you want to do initially. Also, if you find yourself zoned, use the splash damage mechanic to pick up last hits that are out of reach, it might push your lane but in the end it is worth it.

Some of the best supports with Kayle need either heavy aggression or heavy healing. Soraka and Sona do very well on the sustain aspect, and Leona and Alistar are the best for aggression. Leonas passive procs off of righteous fury's splash, making this lane extra formidable. plus this lets you do more of the splash last hitting that i outlined for you above.

You want to get to IE as quickly as possible. But unlike most ranged carries you are kind of forced into picking up zerker greaves first because kayle does scale fantastically with the attack speed -- More so than other ranged carries. Your damage comes from righteous fury which gets up to 60 extra damage at level 5. this is essentially a BF sword on your auto attack harass.

You want to play off of your level 2 burst to establish lane dominance. Kayle scales very hard if you can just establish lane control -- Her burst at 2 is one of the highest any AD ranged can compete with. For this reason, you can see the benefit of Leona or Alistar. If the burst is unsuccessful, you can see the point of a sustain support. you will pay for quite a few of your last hits when you are forced to melee range in denial situation.

Gaming Strategy: Support

As a support you have many options. You can force aggression early, or play it passively depending on what AD ranged you are with and what his style is. Abuse the movement speed buff to force your engagements -- Remember you have 2 AD ranged in bot lane if you pick up your E early.

Don't ult late -- Use it to deny the most damage. Kayle is also fantastic at not getting ganked -- The movespeed buff is forever useful. You also are practically immune to 2v4's on your own tower if you play your cards correctly. Keep the map aware, and if you have taken clairvoyance like suggested you will be in the drivers seat most of your laning phase.

Gaming Strategy: Jungle

Her jungle is fairly tricky, though she can clear it incredibly fast she does need a considerable amount of help early. She also is pretty blue dependent -- Its imperative that you do not allow her to get counter jungled because it will seriously hamper her jungle speed.

Your level 2 burst for a gank has a really great potential for ganks. Any over extended lane typically dies if you can get into position. That stated, Ganking at level 3 gives you the movespeed buff to help you get into a more efficient position to gank

Either way her jungle isn't fantastic, and won't keep up with quite a lot of the current god tier speed junglers that are running the game. I can't suggest this in MOST ranked scenarios as a viable way to play. It doesn't do poorly, but there are better choices.

Conclusion and role viability

I personally feel that the strongest positions for kayle right now, is AD bot lane. It doesn't straight up lose to any match up, in opposition to getting counter picked in other roles.

Top Mid and Support all are of equal viability -- in most top matches Kayle can do Alright in top lane and mid lane against most champions, and hard counters a handful. there are a few matchups though, that can be lost at champion select. Its very difficult for a Kayle to beat a Pantheon for instance.

Jungle is tricky and for what she can pull off on jungle times with the correct rune set you can get almost effortlessly on mundo or Shyvanna. If you are looking for a efficient jungler in all situations, this is not your champion. Her jungling is more of a Niche manuever , she can do well if they pick an arbitrarily slow jungler like rammus, or go unorthodox as well. Her jungle times and utility that she can bring to a game is sometimes worth the cost of a slightly slower jungle. Either way , I will say that Kayles jungle is the least viable place that you can currently play her.

For more guides visit http://www.UoA.enjin.com or Email me at [email]Alamander88@AIM.com[/email]

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an actual dog

Senior Member


No Brutalizer/Youmuu's? She uses every stat, and the active ability is perfect for her.

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As for what youmuu's offers in comparison to what other items offer it is a poor choice. You're kind of beating a dead horse with the armor pen. Running Armor Pen with flat AD, along with her passive you're paying for an armor pen stat that is really over kill. for the money you would put into that you can practically get a Phantom dancer or Black Cleaver and at that point the stats that it offers look very pale to me.

The active may be nice, but there is nothing that screams "get Youmoo's" in comparison to what you can get off of other items. Her kit already eliminates the chase mechanic so why over do it? I have tried it and severely dislike it in 95% of scenarios. The one exception i could see is in the jungle to assist with your ganks. I feel it is outshined in all other positions by alternate item choices.

Thanks for your Input!

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an actual dog

Senior Member


Overkill? What's that?

But seriously, building flat armor pen on her is actually the most efficient option, relative to building flat armor reduction(BC) or percentage armor pen(LW), because of the order that reduction/penetration is applied:

1. flat reduction
2. percent reduction
3. flat penetration
4. percent penetration

If you build BC, its passive flat reduction is applied first, before Kayle's percent reduction is applied. Which makes her reduction less effective.
Building LW has the opposite effect: Kayle's reduction is applied first, which makes LW's percent penetration less effective than it otherwise would be.
But if you combine Kayle's percent reduction, and flat armor penetration, everything is peachy.
Although flat arpen still falls off so yeah, LW is still probably a better arpen item for her lategame.

But you also want CDR to keep her E off cooldown, and Brutalizer/Youmuu's is the only CDR item that has other stats she uses. Except Stinger, but upgrading it into Nashor's is definitely not a good investment for her.

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As for what youmuu's offers in comparison to what other items offer it is a poor choice. You're kind of beating a dead horse with the armor pen. Running Armor Pen with flat AD, along with her passive you're paying for an armor pen stat that is really over kill. for the money you would put into that you can practically get a Phantom dancer or Black Cleaver and at that point the stats that it offers look very pale to me.

The active may be nice, but there is nothing that screams "get Youmoo's" in comparison to what you can get off of other items. Her kit already eliminates the chase mechanic so why over do it? I have tried it and severely dislike it in 95% of scenarios. The one exception i could see is in the jungle to assist with your ganks. I feel it is outshined in all other positions by alternate item choices.

Thanks for your Input!

Flat armor pen works best when stacked, and AD builds simply do not have that many choices for CDR.

Youmuu's is a fantastic choice, just not one you'd front load because Kayle's first three slots are all but locked. Having a constantly active E is nice, but its not something you fundamentally need till end game.

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Soraka's synergy with Kayle comes from the fact that neither of them will EVER be out of mana during the lane phase as Soraka won't need to use her heal much while Kayle uses her heal to maintain sustain while taking Infuse's mana regen, and that when they do take substantial damage, they'll both recover in their health rather quickly... essentially, it tends to be a lane where both the AD and Support are full on mana and full on health... not an appealing option to Junglers most of the time. With other Supports, because of the mana constraints, Carry Kayles avoid using their heal if their support has some measure of sustain and prefer keeping it off cooldown for escaping ganks or going for the kill. I can't recall any other carries that has this unique interaction with Soraka. Also, I found that at lvl 3 if I go with a second point into E, I'll prefer intentionally pushing the lane after wards are set down so that Soraka and I can roam some for Wolves/Golems (Depending on which side we spawn) and ganking mid after getting lvl 2 boots. But there are really two major ways to play this lane. The aggressive lane pushing with your E and bottomless mana pool thanks to Soraka's Infuse and roaming every chance you get after pushing the lane to tower, or by laning the standard way, except with a little more aggression with your harass than you typically would with a Carry in an attempt to force the enemy carry and support to withdraw while the combination of your heal and Soraka's Infuse keeps you two in the lane for a very VERY long time.

Sona interacts well with Kayle because she has a very cheap sustain that hits both of you, a move speed buff that compliments your own move speed buff, and because Kayle double dips into Sona's Q Aura for a little more damage than most other Carries would get. This is because the magic damage component to her E comes with a 0.2 AP Coefficient and her Q has a straight up 1.0 AP Coefficient to go along with the Bonus AD Coefficient. At lvl 3, it will grant your Righteous Fury attacks +14 damage instead of just 12 and her Q +24 Damage. When Sona's Q is maxed out, you are looking at +24 to your Basic attacks and +40 to your Reckoning. So that's an extra little bonus on top of getting to hold onto your W for emergencies or aggression rather than using it for your standard sustain because of Sona's own sustain ability and enhancing your own aggression through her E and E Power Chord. And then her Crescendo can be straight up nightmarish in combination with a well equipped Kayle if you catch the enemy team in a tight formation during a team fight. That 1.5 Seconds of Stun over a group of enemies can be quite dramatic after you land 3 or 4 Righteous Fury hits on all of them. This pairing is quite exceptional in an AoE team.

Taric is in my opinion, a very suitable support for Kayle as well. While his sustain contribution tends to leave much to be desired, his ranged Stun is great for keeping a target down for a few moments while you get in a few free shots. While not as aggressive as Leona when it comes to harassment, he is also significantly safer. Now for the kicker... Taric's AD/AP Aura doesn't have nearly the same amount of uptime as Sona's does, but the numbers on it are significantly more dramatic in their effect when he puts it up. +18 Damage to Kayle's Basic Hits and +30 to her Reckonings with the Lvl 1 Ult aura. This is +42 on Basic Hits and + 70 to her Reckonings at max rank. This can result in straight up destroying the bottom lane at lvl 6+ thanks to the fairly short cooldown on this temporary aura, His Shatter's AoE is quite significant and allows for that pushing strategy like I mentioned with Soraka... except significantly faster. Between his Shatter and your Righteous Fury, you can often clean up an entire minion wave in 3 seconds during the early mid game... allowing you to say hello to mid virtually every wave if you so desired and results in the enemy carry/support bot and their jungler to make a rather difficult decision as you walk out into the river. Leave the tower to your minions mercy and lose CS, or leave their mid laner to Kayle and Taric's mercy. Because of the dramatic effect of Taric's Ult Aura, his significant AoE damage between his ult and shatter, and his stun, I've found that Taric/Kayle lends themselves well to both AoE teams and single target focused teams.

A note on the above 3 Support Champs: Because Kayle has a targeted heal and tends to go for a substantial amount of CDR as a core mechanic, she imparts a unique advantage to her team when paired with Sona, Taric or Soraka in the bottom lane... you just aren't able to soften up their team with long ranged pokes very efficiently. They are very strong against any sort of poke harass oriented team. If it was just a single Heal champ, then you could out harass their ability to sustain, but with two on the job, you really can't soften anyone up, and even if you do manage to soften one up, Kayle's ult shores it up.

Also worth noting: the aura from the Will of the Ancients item adds 6 more damage to her basic attacks through Righteous Fury. Some AP Champs/Players apparently like to get this item, and so it helps you with just that little bit more damage. Likewise Baron Buff's 40AD & 40 AP increases Kayle's Autos damage by 48 and a jaw dropping +80 for her Reckoning. Elixer of Brilliance grants an additional +8 to Righteous Fury damage at lvl 18 as well.

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although you are correct in Armor pen being ideal, The amount that you are paying for simply doesn't stack up. The flat amount would be ideal for helping with early and mid game, however thats not when you would be able to pull off the ghost blade.

here is the math ^_^

+30 AD +20 Armor Pen
+55 AD 30% Attack speed and 15 armor shred up to 3 stacks being 45 Armor.

Attack Damage + 20 armor pen + 21 armor pen (masteries and runes) + 15% shred on 100 armor = 85 armor base with 41 pen = 44 active armor on the target after 5 strikes

Attack Damage + armor pen(masteries and runes) + 15 armor cleave + 15% shred on 100 armor = 100-45 = 55 - 15% = ~48 active armor on the target after 5 strikes

The armor difference is nominal at 100 armor which is a pretty easy level to hit for mostly anybody in game. 25 extra attack damage is going to benefit you much more than the armor pen will as a whole. That stated i did not account for attack speed , Kayles reckoning, or the active on Youmoo's. Lets look at a late game example..

Attack damage + 20 armor pen + 21 armor pen (masteries and Runes) + 15% shred on 250 armor = 214~ - 41 armor pen = 173 Active armor after 5 swings

Attack Damage + 21 armor pen (masteries and runes) + 15% shred + black cleaver (45) = 215 -31 = 184 Active Armor after 5 swings

As you can see the difference is fairly small all game. The difference is coming from your AD which also stacks off your Reckoning percentage which ends up yielding an overall higher DPS by a small margin. We run into a similar issue with Last Whisper, which does offer a higher overall armor pen, but at the expense of the attack speed, it is sometimes not worth it. Alot of this does come down to what you see is needed in a game.

You're essentially paying for the active and some CDR. Its not a bad idea , however kayle already suffers from an inability to deal dps over duration in long fights (Exceeding 10 seconds of righteous fury) Losing the AD aspect, and the attack speed aspect (Assuming the fight isn't over in the 3 seconds of the proc) is a serious consideration. it's not worth the price for CDR, and if you are used to playing with keen timing on your skills, CDR is not a requirement, but a luxury.

In my experience, Black Cleaver has always dealt more damage than a Youmoo's ghost blade on a whole. Also if you look at an item efficiency spreadsheet it is MUCH more efficient for the price.

As stated before, both of these are Legitimate choices, But i still stand by my recommendation ^_^

Also Yes, taric does very well as well! the only reason that i didn't mention him is because in my opinion and in my experience laning with the other champions mentioned yielded much better results ^_^

Thanks for your input as always!

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One thing to note when jungling Kayle: I have found myself using a lot more potions with her than with other junglers. Her speed is great but her sustain is not. You could be burning through your mana using your W to keep your health up, but this will often leave you OOM when you want to gank. The best solution I've found is to continue to buy pots throughout the game. It's a little costly, but to have 1-2 potions when you see a good gank opportunity when you're at half health is priceless. Try to not use the potions unless there is a fight coming up, but always keep 2 potions in you backpack and pop them when you suspect something to happen.

The guide looks good though. There is nothing there I directly disagree with. Of course we all have our favourite builds, but I think you cover most of the viable builds and it just depends on the situation which one is more useful.

I'm a little curious what you think about Life Steal. I haven't quite figured out which lifesteal item I prefer on Kayle. I usually build Wriggles when I'm junging and Zeke's when I'm playing support. However, Bloodthirster has very good synergy with her E (since splash damage is only based on AD and not effected by crit). Or is two dorans enough combined with her heals when you're playing AD?

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Strangely enough, I've found that lifesteal is really hard to sustain on her. Compared to most AD for some reason or another it just feels like you get a much lower return.

blood thirster does certainly BEST in the situation, but its a costly thing to get up to. typically, I stay on 2 dorans (sometimes 1) if i'm in control of the game. Lifesteal down the line is a great idea, regardless what type. Also even playing AD carry, if you get fed your best option is Gunblade. You vamp off of every point of damage you deal. sure, its a little less orthodox but abusing the active is also really cool to do with kayle for a good 7 seconds of slow.

I think lifesteal should be incorporated at some point outside of dorans unless you are ahead --- Unless you are playing onhit...because the diminishing return on it is pretty bad news. Only lifesteal that would work in that scenario is probably blood thirster.