Kayle - The Flying Angel of Awesome

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When I first started playing Kayle, I built her with support/tank items and as a result my team usually lost. The problem with using a tank build is that it highlights her two major weaknesses.

1) Without mana, Kayle is useless.

Kayle's normal spells have naturally low cooldowns and she has one of the strongest ultimates in the game. None of that matters if you’re constantly struggling for mana to cast them.
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2) Without items that increase her damage output, Kayle is useless.

With no good way to initiate, pitiful AOE and only a single-target short-duration slow, the enemy team will simply ignore you. You'll be good for a few seconds of Intervention but after that you’ll fly around waving your sword but doing nothing.

After a lot of tinkering, I've come up with a Kayle build that solves both these problems and turns her into a powerhouse.


[Guide] KAYLE “The Flying Angel of Awesome”

Version 1.0 - 23 Dec 08.


RUNES

The cheapest solution to Kayle's mana problems is to combine Clarity runes (Mana regen @ 18) and Meditation (in the Utility Tree) with a Chalice of Harmony. I’ve found that a total of 20 mana/5 seconds @ L18 is enough to never run out of mana from about L6 onwards. The rest of your rune book isn’t so important but I personally use:

Marks: 
9 Armor Penetration

Seals: 

9 Mana regeneration @ L18

Glyphs: 

4 Mana regeneration @ L18 & 5 Cooldown Reduction

Quints: 

3 Health@L1

Going with AP@L18 Glyphs and AP@L1 Quints would also be a reasonable choice.

MASTERIES


21 points in the Utility tree is a must. With the final 9 points Archaic Knowledge in the Offense tree is strong. Strength of Spirit near the top of the defense tree is also a fine choice.

SUMMONER SPELLS


Teleport 

As Kayle, early lane dominance is the key to stunting your opponent’s late game. Teleport allows you to replenish mana/health and shop without giving up your lane ascendency. It also stops you falling behind in levels if you happen to die in the early game. Kayle is a poor jungler, so having to waste 30 seconds running out to a side lane after a death can set you back a lot.

Flash

A great spell both offensively and defensively and with Utility Mastery it has a low cooldown. The main reason I love flash is because it allows me to tower dive with impunity and then flash to safety. By the late game AP Kayle will be a prime target, so having a way to reposition yourself behind your allies and continue the fight is important.

Other summoner spells are certainly possible, these two are the ones that I prefer.

ITEMS

Start with:

Meki Pendant
-Early Chalice is the plan, so this an obvious first choice

2 Health Pots
- Level 1 of Divine Blessing doesn't heal very fast, so having some emergency healing is wise.

First Trip

Upgrade to Chalice of Harmony
- Being about to sneak in an early shopping trip is one of the main reasons to take teleport. Once you’ve got Chalice, mana should never be an issue again.

Basic Boots

- I'll usually wait until quite late until upgrading to better boots.

Second Trip

Sheen (+AP items first)
-A huge damage boost on Kayle especially now that it’s activated by all of his spells. The burst damage you can inflict with Sheen will surprise many opponents and might net you a kill. Flashing into range to burst 500 damage is something the opponents expect from Cardmaster but not Kayle!

-Don’t forget to stagger your spells to maximize its effectiveness. Take the AP components first because you should already have enough mana with Chalice alone.

Third Trip

Mejai’s Soulstealer 
-Although Kayle might not get a lot of outright kills, having a ranged AOE attack means you will rack up an assist for almost every kill that your team manages. The combination of Flash, Intervention and Divine Blessing make you difficult to kill so you should be able to keep the charges stacked.

-Once your have your Soulstealer, you should make sure you are always with your team for any gang fight. 

-If my team starts roaming and ganking very early, I’ll build Soulstealer before Sheen to try and pick up some early charges. However if the game is going very poorly and we don’t look like getting any kills, I’ll skip it altogether.

Fourth Trip

Upgrade to Mercury Treads/Bezerker Greaves/Ninja Tabi/Mobility
-Depending on who you’re against.

Lich Bane
-BOOM - Kayle just went electric! Once again be sure to stagger your spells to maximize your bonus damage.

Elixir of Brilliance
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-Once you have Lich Bane, keep an Elixir of Brilliance up at all times. 

Late Game Items*
*My games usually don’t last this long.


Chain Mail/Negatron Cloak
-Based on your opponents main source of damage.

Zhonya’s Ring???

-If you actually get a chance to build this your team is probably doing something wrong.

Finish with:
Chalice Of Harmony
Appropriate Boots
Lich Bane
Mejai’s Soulstealer
Elixir of Brilliance
Zhonya’s Ring???


SKILL ORDER

1. Reckoning
2. Divine Blessing
3. Reckoning
4. Righteous Fury
5. Reckoning
6. Intervention

Subsequently:

Intervention > Reckoning > Divine Blessing > Righteous Fury

Maxing Reckoning first is critical for early game harassment. It does great damage on an 8 second cooldown, and although the slow is pretty weak, it’s enough to let you get in 2 or 3 auto-attacks when combined with Righteous Fury.

Getting an early point in Diving Blessing is important not just for the healing but also for the move-speed buff. It has a very long range so be sure to cast it on an ally that is chasing or being chased.

Additional points in Righteous Fury only slightly increase the damage and AOE, so it should be your last priority.

PLAY ADVICE

Early Game 
Kayle is moderately useful in a Level 1 team fight. As a melee hero landing auto attacks can be tough, but Reckoning deals decent damage and has a low cooldown so you will often cast it multiple times. After a level 1 skirmish, I’ll usually Teleport to the top lane. Laning with an ally is advised.

Kayle is a poor farmer so you will need to work hard with your ally to establish lane dominance. Taking control of the lane will restrict the opponents farming and allow you to stand right up near the creeps so you can last hit them yourself. Kayle’s slow attack animation requires some practice to master but at least he does hit fairly hard.

Once you reach level 3, try to cast Reckoning on the same enemy champion every 8 seconds. Keep the Divine Blessing buff up on yourself if you’re having trouble catching them. The 8% movement speed increase will make all the difference. A lot of champions can’t handle that level of harassment and will be forced to back away from the creep line. Take this opportunity to last hit creeps unhindered. 

Note that this strategy isn’t effective against champions with strong healing such as Taric, Soraka, Alistar and Fiddlesticks. Rather than suffer in a poor lane matchup, ask to trade lanes with an ally.

As soon as Teleport is available, blue pill, buy Chalice and Boots and teleport straight back to your lane. With Chalice you should be able to spam both Reckoning and Divine Blessing while never running out of mana. Often use Reckoning to farm creeps, particularly the siege cannon but normally don’t use Righteous Fury. It is essential to have Fury available during a team fight and it has the highest cooldown of all Kayle’s spells. If Fury will you get 2 or 3 last hits that you would otherwise have missed, go ahead and use, but don’t make Fury Farming a regular habit.

Mid Game

Learning to use Intervention well in a team fight requires a lot of practice. I still mis-click it sometimes, particularly when several allied heroes are stacked on top of each other. To avoid misclicking, you can use the icons on the LHS of the screen instead

In a chaotic team fight where spells are flying everywhere, its usually best to go with your first instinct.Pretend you’re on the enemy team and Intervention their obvious target. Against weaker opponents this will almost always be an ally on low health. The stronger your opponents, the better their target selection so you should be more careful to save it for use on someone squishy. Obviously if your side has an obvious target like Master Yi or Fiddlesticks, targeting your ult is easy.

Don’t always wait for your intervention target to reach low health. If an ally is surrounded by 5 enemies get Intervention up on them as soon as possible. Amidst the chaos, the enemies will often be slow to change targets. If an ally is running away, don’t automatically Intervention them. The heal and speed buff of Divine Blessing will often be good enough. Save Intervention for an ally taking the full brunt of the enemy assault.

Intervention is the strongest tower diving ability in the game. Once you hit level 6, be on the lookout for enemy champions that are hugging their tower on low health and take them out. Even a single, full-health enemy is a fine target if you have a couple of allies to support you. Use Teleport to get to a different lane quickly if you have to. 

I usually come out from the jungle behind the enemy tower at the same time as a friendly creep wave is arriving. Cast Reckoning to agro the tower and simultaneously activate Fury. It’s usually right to take the first 1 or 2 tower hits, before activating Intervention on yourself because every subsequent tower hit deals more damage than the last. Your allies should be able to finish off the enemy hero while you retreat out of tower range, using flash to avoid the final tower hit if required.
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Even strong opponents tend to panic when the safety of their tower is violated. Their first instinct is to retreat away from the Kayle and towards your two allies, which is usually a mistake. If you ever get ganked from behind, consider running towards the ganker. Kayle’s doesn’t deal much damage in the early game so you might just survive. 

Once you pick up Sheen, your damage output is improved significantly. In gangs or when taking down a tower, try to cast a spell every 3 seconds to maximize the benefit. Jungling also becomes viable at this point, but your abilities are still best used in a team fight so don’t stray too far from the front lines.

If you get focus fired and forced to retreat, you should always stay in the general area rather than retreating completely. Even while after you've activated blue pill, watch for an ally in distress. Divine Blessing and Intervention have incredible range so you can always cast them on allies from a safe distance. 

The burst damage you’re capable of with Sheen, Reckoning and Fury will often take an opponent by surprise. When being chased, watch for a chance to turn the tables on your assailant, particularly if you run into allied support. This works best if you can pull it off just as you enter a section of brush, because your opponent will be caught off guard.

Late game

Your late game effectiveness is mostly determined by how many Soul’s you’ve stolen. Once you’ve got your Lich Bane, keep an Elixir of Brilliance up on yourself at all times. If you can get up to 250 AP, Lich Bane/Fury will help you take down tower’s down very quickly, and Divine Blessing should provide some serious healing. 

Although Kayle has high natural health without any survivability items you will be squishy, particularly to physical damage. Cast Divine Blessing on yourself whenever necessary and use the extra mobility to stay out of trouble. In team fights you should be doing most of your damage when under the effects of Righteous Fury. Always wait until the last moment to activate it to maximize its duration.

Play aggressively while Fury is active, but be a little more cautious while it is on cooldown, particularly once you’ve got more than 10 Soulstealer charges. Losing a third of them can set you back a long way.
One advantage of AP Kayle, is that it's not such a common build so many opponents will instinctively target someone else. 

Good Luck and happy Judging!

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