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The True Glass Cannon Kassadin: Stacking AP Like It's Your Birthday

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AIM7Sparrow

Senior Member

12-07-2009

Disclaimer: Wrote this when I was a n00b so keep that in mind. I don't follow this build at all anymore nor do I suggest it for an intermediate player but for a beginner it's still a decent read.


The True Glass Cannon Kassadin: Stacking AP Like It's Your Birthday


Update: 11/14/10
As soon as I get my client working I will play around with some builds and fix the recommended item section along with mindsets and all other relevant information. For now, I've updated the runes section. Special thanks to Umbrage for his suggestion on red runes of insight instead of force.

Table of Contents:
General Overview:
------Definition of terms
------Build Statement
------The Final Product
------Strengths of this build
------Weakness of this build
------Comparison to other builds
------Masteries
------Runes
Laning:
------Who to lane with
------Who to lane against
Items/Gamplay:
------Starting Items
------------Starting Mindset
------------Do's and Dont's
------Skill Build
------------Justification
------Tear of the Goddess
------------Mindset
------Mejai's Soulstealer
------------Mindset
------------Do's and Dont's
------Banshee's Veil
------------Mindset
------Zhonya's Ring
------------Mindset
------Archangel's Staff
------Shoes
------Optionals
------HP vs. Mana
------Condensed Item Tree
Strategy/Tips:
------Tips for staying alive
------Mindgames
Conclusion



General Overview:
Kassadin is a highly mobile caster who has both strong and versatile spells, as well as a relatively strong physical attack. He has a good movement speed and his Riftwalk spell, hands down, serves more different functions than any other skill in the game. He lanes well with several different characters and becomes effective at farming gold as the game progresses, even though he begins as one of the worst farmers of the game. He has similar characteristics of a carry, being both extremely weak at dealing damage and tanking hits early in the game. His damage output, however, drastically increases with time and, by mid-game, a well-played Kassadin can deal tremendous amounts of spell burst damage. Since three out of four of his spells receive AP damage boosts and since not a single of his spells cooldowns reach over 9 seconds, it makes perfect sense for Kassadin to focus on becoming one of the strongest casters on your team, which is what this build will teach you how to do.

Definition of Terms I will be using:
“The combo:” Riftwalk → Force Pulse → Null Sphere (or Riftwalk → Null Sphere → Force Pulse)
Hit-and-retreat (HR): Launching the combo and retreating immediately after, waiting for your Force Pulse to re-charge.
Rift-stacking: To stack riftwalks either as fast as you can, and/or without particular care to conserving mana.

Other Terms:
Rift-spacing: Timing your riftwalks as to use them as quickly as possible while not stacking the buff (i.e. spacing the buffs apart from one another). A riftwalk buff lasts seven seconds and this technique is mainly used for positioning/covering ground quickly. (e.g. Getting back to your lane quickly, from town, while your teleport spell is on cooldown.)

Rift-stalling: Timing your riftwalks as to use them as delayed as possible while stacking the buff. A
prime example for using this technique is to try and gank someone. Rift-stall from your
lane up/down to the middle and then launch a combo on to the guy for extra damage.

Although I don't use these other two terms in the guide, I think that they are important to know. I've included the definition of each term as a brief description of when to be using them. I'm sure you will all come to know in time how to use your riftwalks properly. The above two just quickly introduce you to two ways.

Build Statement:
To develop a powerful burst-damage caster whose primary functions for the team include:
-inflicting heavy damage repeatedly through HR tactics.
-being a highly mobile ganker and chaser/finisher of straggling enemy heroes.

The Final Product:
-Roughly 425-500 AP with potentials up to 650+ depending on game duration
-Maxed mana, somewhere around 2500
-Very low HP, somewhere around 1300
-No HP regen
-Limited mana regen
-No cooldown reduction
-No armor/magic resist
-Mild magic penetration, 15-35.

NOTE: Don't get discouraged seeing more "no's" in the above list. Not every bullet is of equal value and in fact the maxed mana and amount of AP vastly outweigh every negative combined in the final product.

Strengths of this build:
-Potential to deal the highest amount of burst damage in shortest amount of time than any other character in game.
-Attains maximum mana pool very quickly compared to other heroes, most of whom, (if not all,) don't even reach it.
-Incredibly mobile and hard to chase/gank
-Very good at chasing opponents
-Very good at setting up ganks

Weaknesses of this build:
-Possibly the lowest HP in the game
-Extremely prone to stuns and silences
-Extremely mana intensive

Comparison to other builds:
Before I begin, I would like to give a bit of background on other theories and builds and compare the effectiveness of different Kassadin strategies. I have found that most other guides chose to invest in a tankier Kassadin. The reasoning is two-fold. He is so bad at laning, especially early on, that the extra HP saves you countless trips to base and keeps you leveling up. He is one of the squishier characters in the game and investing in HP will help you not only live/escape in fight and ganks, but stay around longer to deal more damage. In particular, Catalyst the Protector seems to be a very common choice for many Kassadin players. Don't get me wrong, the logic behind this is completely valid. I have tried it myself and it serves its purpose honorably. The HP and MP boosts from leveling really do help you stay in lane longer and keep farming/leveling while near the end game the added health, especially if you've upped your Catalyst into a Rod of Ages, (which most guides suggest near end-game), does increase survivability, allowing for increased opportunities at damage output. While it seems like a very good choice to invest in Catalyst or any other HP item, I strongly discourage it. The reason is that while HP helps you sustain damage, Kassadin's true survivability is actually his mana pool, not his max HP. We need as much mana to be able to riftwalk away to safety, especially after having spent a good chunk of it in a major team fight or gank or pushing an enemy turret. The higher your mana pool, the more rift-stacks you can endure when smacked-up Master Yi pops out of nowhere to beat you down for taking out one of his turrets. A more in depth explanation of this will be provided later on, for now, just know that this builds theory focuses on riftwalk for survivability over HP for survivability.

Masteries:
9/0/21

Can't remember exactly where they go but it's pretty obvious with Kassadin. Make sure to get the magic penetration for offense and Utility master (increases neutral monster buff duration) for utility.

Runes:

Before I used to just go max AP/lv runes for everything but I've come around to more classical methods.

Red: Magic Penetration
Yellow: Flat HP/Dodge (Your Choice)
Blue: CDR/18
Quints: Flat HP

Magic Penetration for red is obvious as it allows you to hit harder. Yellow can really go either way. Flat HP might help you get that early first blood (or avoid becoming it) but dodge helps late game when facing heavy-hitting carries. I only ever get CDR/18 for blue. I know there's discussion as to whether or not flat CDR is better than CDR/18 but since Kassadin doesn't get strong until late game, and since you spend most of your time playing the late game, I feel like CDR/18 is a stronger choice. Either way works though, your choice. I just prefer CDR/18. Quints could go Magic Pen but I think HP is a bit smarter now for early game durability. It really hurts to have to go back to base too much; you fall behind on farm and exp so I get HP quints to help with that.

Laning:
Laning is a very important part of the early game in League of Legends. Most people tend to randomly chose a lane or just take up the last free spot. However, it's very important to lane with people who make up for your weaknesses as well as compliment your strengths. Likewise, it's important to be mindful of who you are laning against. You don't want to stay in a lane where you are being constantly harassed and can't get any farming done. Preferential partners and champions to stay away from are listed and explained below.

Who to lane with:
BLITZCRANK: I don't care if there's a Soraka on your team. Blitzcrank and Kassadin are an insanely effect duo. This is how an ideal face-smashing session would go for you guys. Rocket grab → Riftwalk → Null Sphere/Power Fist → Overdrive/Force Pulse → (if necessary Rift-stack/Static Field Active.) My friend plays Blitzcrank and we get soooo many kills early in the game when we're in sync. Blitzcrank's combo is great for quickly finishing up your force pulse charges and you have riftwalk and Null Sphere in case you need an extra two. Just make sure to always keep your charge to at least 2, 3 to be safe in case your Blitz misses a key (or is a nub and doesn't overdrive or something), and you'll never go wrong.

Soraka: If there's no Blitzcrank on your team my next preferred laning partner is Soraka. I'm all about making gold and leveling as fast as I can, (duh?). Blitz helps you the most with that by setting up insanely good killing opportunities. Soraka however just gives you infinite mana and HP while at the same time charging your pulse extremely quickly. What more could you ask for? Well...see: "BLITZCRANK," but yeah, you get the point.

Taric: More spam-able spells to charge up your force pulse and a very good healer.

Karthus: Spaming of Lay Waste will keep your force pulse constantly up and running. Plus Karthus's wall is handy for both offense and defense.

Avoid: Last hitters, non-spell spammers, other melee champions. (Master Yi and Warwick are probably the worst champions you could lane with.)

Who to lane against:
There is no one as outstanding for Kassadin to lane against as there is for him to lane with like Blitz or Soraka. Some criteria to look for include the following, listed in decreasing priority:
-Someone who spams a good amount of spells to charge up your force pulse (Karthus, Eve)
-A non-healer (force pulses go to waste when opponents can just heal them off)
-Another melee champion (less harass for you while being an easier opponent to kill)
-Someone squishy (again, easier to kill/harass)

Avoid: Veigar (Hardcounters you. He harasses better, he stuns, he steals your AP and uses it against you, and his Ult deals huge, instant damage plus even more damage based on your mana pool, [which is extremely high.])

NOTE: Who to lane with almost always takes priority over who to lane against. I'd lane with Blitzcrank no matter what, even if the other team could somehow have two Veigars, lol. An exception to this rule is when you're laning against a Veigar with a partner of anyone besides Soraka or Blitzcrank.

Items/Gameplay:
Finally we've reached the only part that 99% of the people who read guides really care about: the item build. This section of the guide will have more of a “real-time” kind of feel and that's why I've included gameplay in this section also. (You need to know how to actually use the items you buy!) I will be describing how your item build should be progressing throughout the game as well as the various mindsets you should have and what you should be doing at each stage of the game.

Starting Items:
-Sapphire Crystal
-2 Health Potions (If you're laning with Soraka, no HP pots are necessary. With Taric I bring 1 since he'll run out of mana eventually)

Starting Mindset:
You're the most pathetic hero in the game. Why did they even create you? You can't do ****. Your Null Sphere takes like 5 years to hit the target, you have low HP, no AP, a slow attack, and people make fun of you for being a Darth Vader groupie. All in all, you suck. Be afraid and play defensively.

Do's and Dont's:
-Don't harass with Null Sphere unless the enemy has no recovery items and healers with them. It's just mana going to waste.
-Don't go ahead of the melee creep line to harass with a Null Sphere. You'll just end up taking mad creep aggro.
-Instead, use Null Sphere mainly to get last hits on creeps.
-Always stay behind your creeps
-Don't try to gank or go for a kill yet, it's not going to work

Skill Build:
1.Null Sphere
2.Force Pulse
3.Null Sphere
4.Nether Blade
5.Force Pulse
6.Riftwalk
7.Force Pulse
8.Force Pulse
9.Force Pulse (Max)
10.Null Sphere
11.Riftwalk
12.Null Sphere
13.Null Sphere (Max)
14.Nether Blade
15.Nether Blade
16.Riftwalk (Max)
17.Nether Blade
18.Nether Blade (Max)

Justification:
The reason your first point goes into Null Sphere is for the early harass and last-hit opportunities. Force pulse is not a good choice yet as it will be taking way too long to charge up this early in the game. After your 2nd point in Null Sphere, go ahead and start maxing Force Pulse. The 2nd level of Null Sphere does some nice harassing. Force Pulse is going to be your main source of damage so we need to get this maxed as soon as possible. At level 4, I think one point of Nether Blade is very useful. One point of Nether Blade gives you about 10 mana a hit on the artillery creeps and about 8 per hit on the casters. That adds up fast and keeps your mana up for a much longer time.

Tear of the Goddess: +350 Mana +5 Mana Regen per 5 sec UNIQUE Passive: Each time your Champion uses an Ability their Maximum Mana will increase by 4 Mana, up to a maximum of twice in a six second period; bonuses cap at +600 Mana.

As soon you hit 580 gold, port back to town and upgrade your Sapphire Crystal into a Tear of the Goddess. This is probably one of the most important items Kassadin needs regardless of what build he is using and I'm shocked that some Kassadins don't get it. This item is the core of your mana pool. Without it you are going to have up to 950 mana less at the end of the game! I can't stress enough how important it is to get this item as soon as you hit 580 gold. Even if you are at full health and mana, port back and get this item.

Mindset:
By now you should be a little bit stronger and depending on who your lane partner is and how good he is you may want to try to go after an enemy champion in your lane. Depending on how well you've been farming and if you have a kill/assist or not, you should be between levels 4-7. Riftwalk is pretty much the determining factor on how aggressive you should be. If you have it, go for the ganks and kills. If you don't, farm a bit more and then consider going after someone. Remember, Riftwalk is also your ticket out of sticky situations so don't be afraid to pursue a bit farther out than most other enemy heroes would if it means potentially getting a kill but make sure to keep an eye on your available mana. You should always try to keep 100 mana available at all times. Don't blow a Force Pulse just to harass if it means you lose the ability to Riftwalk for a short time. You never know when someone is about to round the corner and gank you and smart enemies will keep an eye on your mana bar and let their teammates know when you're at your weakest.


Meja's Soulstealer: +20 Ability Power UNIQUE Passive: Your champion gains 8 ability power per stack, receiving 2 stacks for a kill or 1 stack for an assist. This effect can stack 20 times; you lose a third of your stacks if you die. At 20 stacks, your champion's cooldowns are reduced by 15%.

This item takes a bit of time to build up but once you do build it you will be beast. Focus on smart HRing to preserve and build stacks. You don't always need to get the kill. Most people make the mistake here. They pursue and/or stay in the heat of the battle too long waiting for either Q or E to get off cooldown and end up being CC'ed in the process and dying. Guaranteed assists are better than potential kills and deaths.

Mindset:
Since the nerf this item has lost some of it's prestige but it is still a smart pick on Kassadin if you are doing well. Remember until you get some stacks going you're still considerably weak so be careful. When ganking be sure to always have the enemy outnumbered. Ex: Don't go gank the 1v2 lane if you have a jungler. It won't work. Also be extremely careful if the enemy has map control characters. A Shen will completely ruin your day and Twisted Fate isn't too far behind in his ability to screw up ganks and open the door for a counter-attack. As long as you remember to keep enough mana for one riftwalk on reserve you should be fine though.

Do's and Dont's:
-Don't initiate team fights. I know it's tempting when you're sitting at a force pulse charge of 5 to riftwalk in and launch your combo but that will probably be the last thing you do once the rain of focus fire/stuns/disables wipes the floor with you before your riftwalk cooldown finishes and sends you back to town for a minute.
-Separate off a little bit from the group in obvious upcoming team fights (tower pushes, etc.) You don't want to be there when a Malphite storms your crew or a Veigar drops a dark matter onto all of you in the middle of the confusion. Hide a little off to the side and when your force pulse is ready, HR quickly and cleanly. Riftwalk lets you be a part of the battle, while keeping you away from it.
-Get the golemn buff as much as possible. Get a teammate to help you with this. The golem can almost 1v1 you and win even at lv 8 lol.


Banshee's Veil:+450 Health +400 Mana +57 Magic Resist UNIQUE Passive: Blocks one negative spell every 30 seconds.

I know I said we aren't focusing on HP, but since the nerf of Mejai's Soulstealer, dying is much much more detrimental not only to your whole team but with regard to losing your stacks and AP. Banshee's Veil is a must after Soulstealer. It gives you a good chunk of HP, MP, MR, and an extremely useful passive. It's a bit expensive but it will definitely help in the long run.

Mindset:
After getting this item you should start playing aggressively and confidently. Between the survivability of Banshee's Veil, Riftwalk, and your summoner spells, you will be extremely hard to kill. If the enemy is lacking in map control, don't be afraid to push tower and/or tower-dive enemies for kills. Just remember, you're Kassadin, you aren't God. Don't expect to dive a tower with a crowd of 3 stunners just to last hit a champion with Q for the kill, and expect to make it back out alive. After major teamfights though, when you know everyone is healing/dead, feel free to chase stragglers down. That's what you were made for.

Zhonya's Ring: +120 Ability Power UNIQUE Passive: Increases Ability Power by 25% UNIQUE Active: Places your champion into Stasis for 2 seconds, rendering you invulnerable and untargetable but unable to take any actions. 90 sec cooldown.

Not too sure how I feel about the change to this item. I enjoyed the previous Zhonya's ring for the mana boost that accompanied its insane AP boost. Still, the new Zhonya's gives even more AP and a very handy passive. In fact, this new passive might allow some interesting new playstyles regarding Kassadin. For example, let's say you're facing a team with Annie and Fiddle. You guys are semi-engaged, throwing around harass, when all of a sudden you notice Fiddle charging up behind enemy lines. You could riftwalk in there and Q him but you know you'd probably die in the process from Annie's combo among other things. And we already discussed how you should never initiate because of your squishy disposition. With the new Zhonya's though, you could riftwalk in there with a Q, save your team from a Fiddle ult and mash Zhonya's and be safe for 2 seconds while Annie summons Tibbers and Incinerates your invincible body. (make sure to type /taunt quickly during this time) Hopefully your team will leap on the opportunity and come to your rescue without much hesitation.


Mindset:
Alright just go around killing people. You're the hardest G around and no one should ever mess you in a 1v1 fight, possibly even 2v1. (Don't take me too seriously on this.) No, but, seriously, at this point the game is pretty much all teamfighting anyways so yeah just be a solid and smart contributor with your HR-ing. Be a team player and you should do well. Make sure to chase stragglers and soloists pushing lanes and finish them off. No one does it better than you.


Tear of the Goddess --> Archangel's Staff: +400 Mana +25 Mana Regen per 5 sec +45 Ability Power Passive: 2.5% of your Max Mana is converted to Ability Power. UNIQUE Passive: Each time your Champion uses an Ability their Maximum Mana will increase by 4 Mana. This effect has a 3 second cooldown. Bonus caps at 1000 mana.

Usually your last item unless the game takes very long. At this point your mana should be either maxed or nearly maxed so upgrading into the Archangel's Staff will give you a very nice +100-130 extra AP and an extra 25% on top of that after applying Zhonya's unique passive.

Uhh...where the hell are the shoes?
Some of you may rightfully be wondering why I didn't include shoes. I actually do buy shoes but it varies so much with every game when I get them that I didn't include them in the list. It really depends when you need to get them. I sometimes just rush soulstealer and Tear without getting any shoes and other times I might get them right after my Tear if I don't think I'd be getting stacks for soulstealer otherwise. If you feel comfortable not getting merc treads, which you should, go ahead and get the Sorc shoes.

Optionals:
If the game just keeps dragging on there are some final choices available.
-Rylai's Scepter - 80 AP, and lets Null Sphere and Riftwalk slow the target (making chasing even more easy), HP is a plus, (I guess...)
-Lichbane – 80 AP and your next physical attack gains additional damage equal to your AP. Since you'll be looking at 600 AP by this point thats a 700 damage whack of your blade + another 1300+ from your combo. Can you say beast? (Oh and it happens every 3 seconds, can you say beast one more time?)
-Abyssal Scepter (Preferred) - +70 Ability Power +57 Magic Resistance UNIQUE Aura: Reduces the Magic Resist of nearby enemy champions by 20. Magic resist for even more survivability, nice chunk of AP, lowers magic resist for the whole team.

(If they're REALLY stacking the MR, go ahead and get a Void Staff)

Funny story: One game I played a game with Kassadin that lasted so long I actually sold my shoes. My end-game items were:

Rod of Ages
Rod of Ages
Zhonya's Ring
Archangel's Staff
Mejai's Soulstealer
Guardian Angel

Thankfully we won.

HP vs. Mana:
Alright so I said I would cover this later. Most guides out there strongly recommend Catalyst the Protector, eventually being upgraded into Rod of Ages. No! Yes, Rod of Ages does have some all around amazing stat coverage. Yes, Catalyst the Protector is great for staying in your lane longer. Yes, the extra HP could be a lifesaver. Still no! I can't emphasize enough how important it is for Kassadin to have extra mana rather than extra HP. The enemy will want your blood after realizing how much burst damage you're capable of doing. They'll chase you to the ends of the earth when they see a low HP bar on top of you. Extra HP will not help you run away more. It will just let you take a few extra whacks and spells. With extra mana however, you will be able to gain so much more distance riftwalking. Riftwalk's mana cost adds up insanely fast. You need to have as large a mana pool as possible to be able to make it safely back to your allies/base. Also, keep in mind. A lot of enemies have slow abilities. The extra HP becomes useless when you're slowed. Slowing against a riftwalk-capable Kassadin though is MUCH less effective. Tear of Goddess, Zhonya's Ring, and Archangel's staff all give you huge stores of MP. Don't underestimate the value of mana and overestimate the vaue of HP. It will get you killed!

Condensed Item Tree:
-Sapphire Crystal + 2 HP Pots
-Sapphire Crystal --> Tear of the Goddess
-Mejai's Soulstealer
-Banshee's Veil
-Zhonya's Ring
-Tear of the Goddess --> Archangel's Staff
(See above for shoes)


Strategy/Tips:
So now that we know what items to get and what should theoretically happen when playing, I've included a brief section on some specifics regarding general strategy.

Tips for staying alive:
-Be stingy with your mana! Don't riftwalk just because you can. Sooner or later you will get ambushed and you'll run out of mana and get killed and probably type “omfg I would have lived if I had just listened to Sniperness and didn't waste my mana riftwalking because it's so much fun lawl” and your team will be like “shut up noob” and then you'll freak the **** out and ragequit and suicide into enemy towers all because riftwalking was so much fun.

-Position yourself near walls when in team fights. If things go bad you can riftwalk across the wall creating a much higher traveling distance for your enemies to get to you as well as having them lose vision of you.

-Stay near the outside edges of the map when pushing the first tower early game. If you see the gank coming/the mia doesn't get called you can riftwalk into the brush. As long as you don't attack or use skills inside the brush the enemy can't attack you until someone gets in there. This could give you enough time for your riftwalk to cooldown allowing you to make it safely back to your turret/the other patch of brush, especially if you've pushed kind of far into the lane. This is also very effective because most enemies will cut the corner and head you off, waiting for you to pop out on the other side. After you don't appear they will start to enter the brush and you just riftwalk pass them, (be sure to silence them first so they don't stun you or something)

-Force pulse!! Force pulse is a great defensive weapon! It slows anyone in the cast area by up to 50% for 3 seconds. That's a huge amount of slow for you to be able to gain some ground, cooldown your riftwalk, and get away. It takes a lot of self-discipline to be able to turn around and cast a force pulse when your HP bar is sitting at 100 instead of continuing to spam right click to your tower but you need to learn when to do it when someone is hot on your trail. I find this tactic the most useful when I'm low on mana and/or have stacked too many riftwalks and can't cast it again for 7 seconds! Force pulse them and make good your escape. Use force pulse to save your allies too! They will love you for it.

Mind-games:
I play Super Smash Bros. so I like this term a lot. Although it's applications to this game are still fairly limited, Kassadin does make use of it in three key ways that I'd like to share in the last section of this guide.

-Running away (or are you?): So you've just entered a scuffle with another champion and it seems as if you're losing. You proceed to riftwalk away like a wimpy baby when what happens? Oh no! You've suddenly reversed directions on your riftwalk and are now up in the enemies face with the buff stacked to 5 and a fully charged force pulse. gg

-Actually running away: Run into completely random places. Lead your perusers into Baron and then riftwalk across the wall. They'll never catch you after that. Riftwalk around the corner and then BACK into enemy territory on the other side. They'll keep chasing you towards your own base. Riftwalk into the brush and stay there. When an enemy comes looking for you, riftwalk past him into a different patch of brush! Not only does this work but it's freaking hilarious.

-Team fights: General overview first: In team fights, someone will usually initiate if they feel like by doing so they will win the up and coming battle. Two of the best examples I can think of are Malaphite using his ult into a crowd and Blitzcrank rocket-grabbing an enemy into your crowd. Both of these immediately tip the scales into your favor since in the first case, multiple opponent's become stunned, while in the second case one opponent becomes helplessly focus fired down. Where am I going with this? One of your responsibilities for the team is to help “initiate” team fights in the sense that you make the enemy wrongfully initiate team fights. Make it seem as if you aren't there! Wait in the brush, behind enemy lines, or around the corner somewhere. It will seem as if your team is undersized and the enemy will feel confident and overextend. That's when you instantly appear by your team's side and launch a devastating combo against their whole team while silencing their main support/caster for a good 3 seconds!




Conclusion:
If you've read this whole thing, you're probably thinking, “FINALLY!” Don't worry, I'm done. I thank everyone who did take the time to read this and I also welcome any and all constructive feedback. I am currently experimenting with a new build and also still adjusting to the latest patch so I will update this guide ASAP. (Finals week though so it'll have to be after that.) Again, thanks everyone and have fun owning up with Kassadin!


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Tubesteak

Senior Member

12-07-2009

So while it was nice of you to write this long and detailed Kassadin guide, it pretty much goes down the ****ter now that Mejai's Soulstealer has been completely reworked.

How does your build change now that Mejai's has been changed?
And why would you post this build 5 days after the patch went in to change Mejai's without even considering the changes made to it?


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Tubesteak

Senior Member

12-07-2009

I find with Kassadin that I completely skip Mejai's and instead go for the new Deathfire Grasp.

Saphire Crystal + 2 pots
Upgrade to Tears of the Goddess
Boots (usually Mercury Treads for the MR and snare/stun/slow reduction)
Fiendish Codex (for more mana regen and AP)
Kage's Lucky Pick
Upgrade to Deathfire Grasp
Upgrade Tears to Archangels

This is the point where I'm not sure which path to take.
Do I go for the hugely expensive Zonya's Ring?
Or go for the better scaling 40% magic penetration, but lower AP, of the Void Staff?

Usually I choose the Void Staff because people start catching on to the damage I can deal and start taking some MR items.
The Void Staff does an excellent job of negating some of these MR items and the +50 AP is well worth it.

/start random stream of thought...

My problem with Kassadin now is that there isn't a great mid-level AP item.
I've considered going with the new and cheaper Mejai's, but I just don't think it scales all that well, especially if you lose 1/3 of the stacks on death. If you didn't lose the stacks on death, I'd take it. I'd much prefer the old Mejai's, but lose stacks on death, but the new Mejai's isn't powerful enough to risk losing stacks.

I've also considered double stacking Kage's Pick (like stacking Avarice Blades on Gangplank or Hearts of Gold on Rammus) for the extra cash and AP. I'm not sure the +25 AP is worth it. Getting one is great as it upgrades to Deathfire, but a second is pretty useless for the cost. If it was like a Heart of Gold and had an additional stat (maybe MR or cooldown or magic penetration) in addition to AP, then it would be worth it. Maybe if it was cheaper like the Avarice Blade it would be better.

Kassadin is probably my favorite champ, but I'm having trouble figuring out his mid game right now. It used to be easy...

Tears
Boots
Mejai's
Catalyst
Rod of Ages
Archangels
Zonya's Ring

Now that Mejai's is gone, I go to Deathfire and skip the Catalyst as I'm usually level 12-14 by that point.

/stream of random thought


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AIM7Sparrow

Senior Member

12-07-2009

Quote:
Tubesteak:
So while it was nice of you to write this long and detailed Kassadin guide, it pretty much goes down the ****ter now that Mejai's Soulstealer has been completely reworked.

How does your build change now that Mejai's has been changed?
And why would you post this build 5 days after the patch went in to change Mejai's without even considering the changes made to it?


As I stated in the first disclaimer, I had this whole thing nearly finished when the new patch came out. I didn't want all my hard work to go to waste and I guess I'd still like feedback on what you guys think of it.

Also, I mentioned that besides the Soulstealer, everything else in this guide is valid. I cover core gameplay and strategy, skill building, your role on the team, etc. These factors aren't changed whatsoever from the Soulstealer patch. Kassadin is still a beast Glass Cannon.

And again, I will be editing the item tree to accommodate the new patch. As I mentioned earlier, I'm still experimenting with items. Some preliminary suggestions I could give are as follows:

Sapphire Crystal + 2 HP Pots
--> Tear of Goddess
Fiendish Codex
Blasting Wand
Fiendish Codex --> Deathfire Grasp
Zhonya's Ring
Archangel's Staff

Sapphire Crystal
--> Tear of Goddess
Zhonya's Crystal
Blasting Wand
Deathfire Grasp
Archangel's Staff

Again, still experimenting. You could even end up still buying the soulstealer and making absolutely sure you don't die. Another likely option is After getting your Tear of the Goddess to just start stacking Blasting Wands. Get up to a solid 120-160 AP in blasting wands and then get your Zhonya's Ring and Archangel's Staff afterwards.


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AIM7Sparrow

Senior Member

12-07-2009

With regards to your second post:

You need to be careful when buying Void Staff. If buying it all. 40% Magic penetration looks very appealing but it's usually not. If the enemy is sitting at 30 magic resist. 40% off of that brings them down to 18. You'd be much better off going for the extra AP Zhonya's Ring provides rather than throwing out the extra cash for magic penetration. Also, Abyssal Sceptar beats void staff for any magic resist of 50 or less in strict 1-1 combat. However since it affects multiple nearby champions it's potential is greater than that and I'm still experimenting around.

Stacking Picks is NOT a good idea. It takes 25 minutes to make the gold back from one Kage's Pick so if you stack you would have to buy 2 at once to make back the money in 25 minutes. That's too much time for only 50 AP.

Also, keep in mind that although the total cost of Zhonya's is expensive, you should never be buying an item like that fully assembled in one trip. Go back and get the Blasting wands and mana ring in a couple trips and THEN finish it up for the one or two thousand extra gold depending on how many pieces you have left. Never all at once.


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Tubesteak

Senior Member

12-07-2009

Quote:
Sniperness:
With regards to your second post:

You need to be careful when buying Void Staff. If buying it all. 40% Magic penetration looks very appealing but it's usually not. If the enemy is sitting at 30 magic resist. 40% off of that brings them down to 18. You'd be much better off going for the extra AP Zhonya's Ring provides rather than throwing out the extra cash for magic penetration. Also, Abyssal Sceptar beats void staff for any magic resist of 50 or less in strict 1-1 combat. However since it affects multiple nearby champions it's potential is greater than that and I'm still experimenting around.


I agree with your thoughts on the void staff. I usually only get it if people start going hard on the MR.
Having said that, Mercury Treads and a Chalice is a solid 70 MR right there. Very cheap and effective items and you have good magic resist.

I will have to try the Abyssal Sceptre. It sure ain't cheap though.

Quote:

Stacking Picks is NOT a good idea. It takes 25 minutes to make the gold back from one Kage's Pick so if you stack you would have to buy 2 at once to make back the money in 25 minutes. That's too much time for only 50 AP.
What people don't remember though is that you sell the Pick for half its cost. So you really only need it for 15 minutes to recoup the cost. Anything over that and its gravy.

I used to think the same way you did until I remembered that I'm usually selling the item to buy something better.

The Pick is 950, but you get 450 back when you sell it. So 450gp divided by 5 is 90. 90 times 10 seconds is 900 seconds which is 15 minutes. You get the pick early on and it almost pays for itself.

Quote:

Also, keep in mind that although the total cost of Zhonya's is expensive, you should never be buying an item like that fully assembled in one trip. Go back and get the Blasting wands and mana ring in a couple trips and THEN finish it up for the one or two thousand extra gold depending on how many pieces you have left. Never all at once.
I agree. I never build at once, but you have to think long term as well.

"Do I have time to finish this item?"
"I have the, for example, Blasting Rod and can get a good item now that I can for sure use, or do I wait and try and get an uber item when I'm not sure the game has that much time left?"

Its a difficult balancing act.

I still think Kassadin's biggest problem right now is a lack of good mid-game AP items.


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JunkRamen

Senior Member

12-07-2009

I'll try your build when I play later. I find it hard to beat The Senate's Chalice -> Boots -> DFG build in terms of pure damage though. You don't need a large mana pool with that much MP5, and DFG provides more single target damage than Mejaj Soulstealer will ever grant you.


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thegamenet

Recruiter

12-07-2009

Nice guide man - I added it into http://www.thelolwiki.com

Cheers!


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AIM7Sparrow

Senior Member

12-07-2009

Quote:
JunkRamen:
I'll try your build when I play later. I find it hard to beat The Senate's Chalice -> Boots -> DFG build in terms of pure damage though. You don't need a large mana pool with that much MP5, and DFG provides more single target damage than Mejaj Soulstealer will ever grant you.


Actually, my version ends up with about double the AP that The Senate's guide has. Chalice and Boots (he uses mobility) don't give you an damage at all so I'm confused what you mean by this. Also, if you carefully read each items description, each of them grants you massive stacks of AP in some way. Tear of the Goddess upgrades to Archangel's Staff end game in which 2% of your max mana is converted into AP. (2500*0.02) That nets you an additional 50 AP on top of the 40 the item in and of itself grants you. Then we factor in Zhonya's + 100 AP and it's passive effect which gives 25% on top of all your existing AP. Also, I originally planned this guide for the original soulstealer. For simplicity's sake lets assume you get the new soulstealer and sit at a stack of around 10. So basically,

Archangel's Staff: 90
Zhonya's: 100
Runes: 85
Mejai's SoulStealer: 100
Zhonya's Unique Passive Multiplier: 94
Total: 469 AP

Factor in maybe a void staff or another blasting wand or a deathfire grasp and you're looking at an extra 48-78 AP on top of that.

When I mention the importance of mana, I do so by buying items that give you AP at the same time. AP of course is your main source of damage but what I mean by get mana instead of HP is to go for a Zhonya's Ring instead of a Rod of Ages. Something like that.


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AIM7Sparrow

Senior Member

12-07-2009

Quote:
thegamenet:
Nice guide man - I added it into http://www.thelolwiki.com

Cheers!


Thanks =D