Ninjadin - A Kassadin Guide for the Hyper Aggressive - by Kijik

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This guide is, as the name suggests, a pure damage assassin kill build with some survivability, if you're not good at timing entering an exiting a fight, then this guide isn't for you, same for grabbing kills. As another note, if you think Kass is meant to melee DPS, this guide also isn't for you, this is pure AP burst. Now onto the guide.

Kassadin, The Void Walker

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There is a place between dimensions, between worlds. To some it is known as the Outside, to others it is the Unknown. To most, however, it is called the Void. Despite its name, the Void is not an empty place, but rather the home of unspeakable things, horrors not meant for minds of men. Though such knowledge is lost to the modern day, there are those who have unwittingly discovered what lies beyond and have been unable to turn away. Kassadin is such a creature, a man forced to look upon the face of the Void and be forever changed by it. Once a seeker of forbidden knowledge, he discovered that what he sought was something else entirely. Though a part of him died that day, he knows that he must protect Valoran from the things scratching at the door, waiting to get in and visit their torments upon the world. They are only one step away, something the appearance of the abomination known as Cho'gath attests. Kassadin has harnessed the power of the Void. His Nether Blade steals the magical energy of his opponents. This dark blade also allows him to fire ethereal bolts of Void energy, not only harming his enemies, but inhibiting their ability to utilize their mystical abilities. Kassadin draws energy from others' magical use, charging him until he unleashes a force pulse that both damages and slows foes. His connection with the Void also allows him to transform the damage he takes from other Champions, increasing the speed of his attacks. Kassadin can also step sideways through the world, teleporting where he pleases. He can utilize this rift-walking ability multiple times to deal more and more damage.

Basic stats and growth per level
Health: 433+78 per level
Mana: 230+45 per level(note the low early mana pool)
Move Speed: 315
Armor: 14+3.2 per level
MR: 30+1.25 per level
Mana Regen: .88+.08 per level(note this for skill build)


On to the skill build

Passive:Weapon Mastery - Kassadin takes 15% reduced damage from abilities and transforms this damage into bonus attack speed. 

Q:Null Sphere - Kassadin fires an ethereal bolt of void energy, dealing damage and silencing the target for the duration. 
Kassadin fires a void bolt dealing 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+1 per ability power) magic damage and silencing the target for 1 / 1 / 2 / 2 / 3 seconds.

Cooldown 9 seconds Cost 70/80/90/100/110 Mana Range 700 

W:Nether Blade - Kassadin's physical attacks steal a percent of his target's mana and he gains twice the mana drained from these attacks. 

Kassadin's physical attacks drain 2 / 3 / 4 / 4 / 5% of his target's mana and he gains twice the mana drained from these attacks.
Cooldown 0 seconds Cost Passive

E:Force Pulse - Kassadin draws energy from spells cast in his vicinity. Upon charging up, Kassadin can use Force pulse to damage and slow enemies in a cone in front of him. 

Kassadin draws energy from the Void, gaining a charge whenever a spell is cast near him. Upon reaching 6 charges, Kassadin can use Force
Pulse to deal 60 / 120 / 180 / 240 / 300 (+1 per ability power) magic damage and slow enemies by 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50% in a cone in front of him for 3 seconds.

Cooldown 5 seconds Cost 80 Mana Range 400

R: Riftwalk - Kassadin teleports to a nearby location dealing damage to nearby enemy units. Additionally, multiple Riftwalks in a short period of time cause them to cost additional mana and deal additional damage. 
Kassadin teleports to a nearby location dealing 60 / 90 / 120 (+0 per ability power) magic damage to surrounding enemy units. Additionally, each subsequent Riftwalk in the next 7 seconds costs 100 additional mana and deals 60 / 90 / 120 additional damage.
Cooldown 6 seconds Cost 100 Mana Range 1000

Skill build order should be

Q-E-Q-E-E-R post that, priority goes R>E>Q>W
Reasonings stand as: 1. Null sphere goes up in mana cost for each level and has a smaller ap ratio than force pulse, it also stands as a mind game tool, you can wittle someone down with cheap spheres to half health without then worrying while building up force pulse charges, then jump in with riftwalk and a force pulse blast to finish them. 

Mastery Build:
10/0/20
3/3 Perseverance 
1/3 Good Hands
3/4 Awareness
4/4 Expanded Mind
3/3 Meditation
3/3 Quickness
3/3 Intelligence
1/1 Cripple
3/3 Archmage's Savvy
4/4 Sorcery
1/1 Archaic Knowledge
1/1 Burning Embers

Reasonings: Previously, I felt that a full complement of offensive mastery was the way to go with kassadin, but I've had my eyes opened recently to the power of meditation for laning and all around mana preservation, it's huge, it really is. Since that change would require me to lose Havoc in the offensive tree, I figured a more or less full change to utility would benefit me more than the deeper offensive points, and it has proven quite effective, your damage is slightly lower, but sustainability is much much higher. Now, looking at this build, most will notice that the 21 point utility talent, Presence of the Master, is not taken, this is due to the fact that Exhaust and Ignite both have reasonably short cooldowns, and I feel the 10 extra AP from burning embers is significant enough early game to warrant it, if you, the reader are adamant about using the 21 point Utility mastery then be my guest and drop burning embers for it, it really is just a personal choice.

Runes:
Your choice really, but myself personally I stack 85 AP at 18, it gives a lot of early damage, and calculates to about 5 AP per level.

Summoner spells:

Exhaust and Ignite; I can't begin to describe how many times these two spells have saved me or gotten me kills, Ignite is primarily useful for adding a lot more early game power which Kass is in dire need of against anyone with a brain, and the 10 extra ap can go a LONG way. Exhaust is taken due to keeping a target there for you to whack on longer and to improve the damage of your spells thanks to cripple, along with helping fights against physical carries, which are your bane if they're equally powerful in a team fight, 1v1 you can smash most physical carries, but in team fights, any physical carry worth a **** WILL target you, and he WILL eat your face.

On to the major point of the guide.

The playstyle


First off, if you're new to kass at all, you want to avoid soloing if at all possible, kass is MUCH better off with a strong lane mate to pick up kills early game, a kass deprived of kills early game is useless. BUT, if you are skilled with kassadin, and have a hefty amount of experience with him, soloing is really your best bet, Kassadin is nigh useless before 6(or 9 with an ap build, that burst from force pulse is needed), just play defensive pre 6, try to farm with last hits as possible, and if against a lane that won't allow it, then feel free to use null sphere to last hit, with meditation mana shouldn't be an issue.
Two Major strategies are here.
Kass the Soloist: Try and last hit as much as possible, but odds are you're against someone who can smash you if you get close, so feel free to use null sphere to farm, the trick here to winning in a lane, is to get 6, then instantly jump down your enemy's throat with a rift walk and prepped force pulse, using exhaust and ignite directly after the riftwalk and before the pulse of course, to maximize the burst. At that point you should either have sent them home, or killed them, good job, you've established dominance, from that point on, farm happily and blast them if they show up, be wary of ganks though, good teams will do their best to keep you down, if someone goes mia, hug that tower for dear life until they return.
Kass the Dual lane rapist:
First off, your best friends in a lane.
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1. Blitzcrank: the pull into a force pulse and null sphere will net you kills near every time, combined with ignite and exhaust to ensure a kill will go far for you.
2. Rammus: same deal really, he powerballs in and taunts, you get a free punching bag to rape.
3. Soraka: now this lane doesn't allow much kills early depending on who you're against, but you get infinite mana and health, allowing you to farm and harass constantly.
4. Taric: same deal as soraka effectively, but the stun can potentially allow you to kill, of course here you don't get a buttload of mana, but if you use it at the right time you'll get your fair share of kills.
Effectively, your best friends are tanks with stuns, in lane, wait until about 3, and start the fun, let your lane mate initiate and go to town, there's very few combos that can survive, much less fight you, as long as you and your lane mate play well, you'll be rolling in gold.

Mid-Late game: once you have your base items, and you're past lvl 9, gank, gank, gank, gank, gank, and gank some more, get golem when you can, and just look for someone to kill. Never, ever, ever initiate fights though, you'll get killed, and unless they've used all their disables, try to avoid riftwalking in, in case you get targeted and need to get the hell out of the fight. Effectively, the point of your existence in fights, is to wait for it to start, find a target, nuke him, and get out if you get focused. rinse and repeat, and when the chases start that's where you shine, a well played kass will catch, EVERYONE.

The Items

Doran's Ring first, every time, kass is a wuss early, he really is, he needs the extra hp, and the ap/mana regen doesn't hurt at all in the laning phase, beyond that lvl 1 team fights happen quite a bit at higher brackets, Doran's items are the only way to go for those.
Catalyst(though recently nerfed, it still provides some of the best staying power, if not the best, in the game)
Boots later upgraded to tabi or merc treads if their team is heavy on phys/magic and if you're not doing so well
Here is where the build diverges slightly.

If doing well:


Mejai's soulstealer(after the recent nerfs some would question getting it, it used to be a core item, but now it is highly dependant on being able to never die, and still get your faire share of kills and assists, but, if you are doing quite well for yourself, point for point, this item is the most powerful ap item in game early/mid game)
Catalyst->Rod of Ages
Upgrade boots
Deathfire Grasp(replace doran's ring here so it's in the number 1 item slot)(core is finished here)
Void staff
Again a slight change of plan, since taking Mejai's, you can no longer fit both Frozen Heart and Zhonya's Ring here, take whichever is needed, if you're not getting pounded by physical dps, go Zhonya's all the way, but if there is a physical dpser that has it out for you, Frozen heart is by far your best bet.

If you're struggling:


Catalyst->Rod of Ages
Upgrade boots
Deathfire Grasp(again replace doran's ring)
(small note here, if the enemy team has heavy MR gear before you can farm up both DFG and Void Staff(which generally happens if you're not doing so well), feel free to switch up the items, and get the Void Staff before the DFG.
Void staff
Frozen Heart
Zhonya's ring.

Also folks, bear in mind that after the core itemset, usually after the Deathfire Grasp for me, elixiring up is never a bad idea.

That's about it for now folks, if anyone feels like there's something missing, feel free to let me know and I'll be sure to add it 

Edit: Updated for the patch, changed a lot for kassadin in terms of itemization, and I found a better build mastery wise.

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