All Guides Kai'Sa Guides High Diamond/Master Guide to Full AP Kai'Sa midlane
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Kai'Sa Statistics for Zedism

Author's performance with Kai'Sa compared to the ranked average.

Value
Average
Games Played
8
Win %
43
Kills
7.1
Assists
5.8
Deaths
6.3
KA:D Ratio
2.0
Gold Earned
11.8K
Creep Score
183.6
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

7.png4.png The way to go in most matchups that don't have burst that will oneshot you, it's better than barrier in 2v2 and feels overall better.

21.png4.png Get this against most Assassins such as Fizz or Zed.

New Runes Back to Top

Sorcery

There is no real change in the Sorcery tree. Comet is the best way to poke with W, and the rest are obvious choices. Neither Manaflow Band nor Ultimate Hat are any good on AP Kai'Sa.
 

Sorcery | Inspiration

Use this build when the enemy does not have kill pressure on you.
 
The most important rune is the Minion Dematerializer, as it grants you shove-priority during early laning against most matchups, unless they take it too. Use it on every cannon minion as soon as possible to maximize the pressure. You should sell the Minion Dematerializer, even if you still have some stacks, when you need that additional inventory slot. It is obviously better though to use them all first.
 

Sorcery | Resolve

If the enemy has kill pressure and you need to survive the All-In, then this is the way to go. I will experiment if Aery could be the better option against melee champion, because of the better early poke it provides. 

Abilities Back to Top

Q
E
W
Q
Q
R
W
W
W
W
R
Q
Q
E
E
R
E
E
Passive
Q
1
4
5
12
13
W
3
7
8
9
10
E
2
14
15
17
18
R
6
11
16

I tend to max Q until level 6, since it gives a better shove and more combat stats for early trading. Also you do not really need W until Ludens Echo is completed, which should be about the same time you have W maxed with this skill order.

Go E second, because it allows you to use your level 2 advantage better and forces good early trades. It is also difficult to hit W in lane.

At level 3 just use Minion Dematerializer on cannon minions. Get a fast level 3 and immediately engage the enemy. You have to get behind the minions with E, which allows you to hit your W.

The combo usually is: AA>Q>AA, followed by W, if they fight you, or another AA, if they run away. Finish with either AA or W depending on what you did not use before. This allows you to get 5 passive stacks and deal insane damage. At that point the enemy normally has to use summoners  or you get at least a super good trade.

After level 4 your laning starts getting worse, because most Mages tend to outshove you now, so you should start playing defensively. The exception is if you are against a melee, in which case you can continue to bully them.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Standard start
    Get this if you don't know what else to get at your backs, especially Refillable is super important when you don't have pots left from the beginning of the game

Core Items

    Your core items every game, never go anything else, from the point you get those Items you become strong.
    Build in this order after getting Oblivion Orb
    Get this whenever you need a Powerspike, it's super good on AP Kai'Sa, usually I have one running all the time after Ludens/Rabadons

Situational Items

    Build at any Point after Oblivion Orb if needed, I strongly recommend against it though
    Finish your Build with one of these, I recommend Gunblade or Banshees most
    You can get this if the enemies have Assassins that go onto you, so you can burst them down

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Easy
  • Ahri
    Medium
  • Aurelion Sol
    Hard
  • Azir
    Medium
  • Corki
    Easy
  • Diana
    Medium
  • Ekko
    Medium
  • Fizz
    Medium
  • Galio
    Easy
  • Karthus
    Easy
  • Katarina
    Medium
  • LeBlanc
    Hard
  • Malzahar
    Easy
  • Orianna
    Medium
  • Swain
    Medium
  • Syndra
    Medium
  • Taliyah
    Hard
  • Veigar
    Easy
  • Xerath
    Medium
  • Zed
    Medium

VS

Easy

VS

Ahri

Medium

VS

Aurelion Sol

Hard

VS

Azir

Medium

VS

Corki

Easy

VS

Diana

Medium

VS

Ekko

Medium

VS

Fizz

Medium

VS

Galio

Easy

VS

Karthus

Easy

VS

Katarina

Medium

VS

LeBlanc

Hard

VS

Malzahar

Easy

VS

Orianna

Medium

VS

Swain

Medium

VS

Syndra

Medium

VS

Taliyah

Hard

VS

Veigar

Easy

VS

Xerath

Medium

VS

Zed

Medium

Overall Matchup Guide Back to Top

Good against AP Kai'Sa

- Abilities that outrange her AA/Q range, because those can safely poke and zone Kai'Sa during laning phase;
- Assassins that can 100 to 0 her, even with her shield from R and that can dodge her W;
- Champions that shove really hard early on;
- Champions that are strong from ~Level 4 until 1 or 2 Items (or longer obv.);
- Strong frontliners that can facetank poke (e.g. Cho'Gath/Braum/Tahm Kench);
- Low CD shields or healing against her W poke.

Bad against AP Kai'Sa

- The opposite of everything mentioned above;
- Tanks, which hard engage her (e.g. Olaf/Sion);
- Everything squishy;
- Low waveclear compositions;
- Melee champions during the laning phase.


Kai'Sa vs. Melee Champions

Kai'Sa has a really easy time against melee champions during early laning. She is able to zone and poke them extremely well, while also having high shove pressure on the lane, which she lacks in most matchups against mages. 

E.g.: Ekko. Everytime he comes close, you AA>Q to poke him. Furthermore Kai'Sa also wins most early All-Ins versus melee champions, because she can freely stack her Passive and run enemies down after they blew their combo. 

Usually I can build up a 20 to 30 CS-lead in the first 10 minutes of the game against champions like Fizz, Ekko, Katarina or Zed. If i get a kill the lead will become even bigger. Assassin matchups become problematic after they get their first item, which is when you have to start playing safe, because they can easily All-In you.

Kai'Sa vs. Low Pressure Champions

Low pressure means champions at her own range and/or which have difficulties zoning/shoving her in with their abilities, e.g. Veigar or Corki. Against these champions Kai'Sa excels, since they allow her to farm safe early, to have pressure because she is not getting shoved in and let her freely scale into the late game, which is where AP Kai'Sa truly shines. Just try to constantly push the wave and trade with AA>Q whenever possible. 

Kai'Sa vs. High Pressure Champions

High pressure means champions, that can easily shove early on, while staying safe at the same time. Usually champions that outrange her and are powerful early on, e.g. Taliyah or Syndra. Those champions are going to give you have a hard time. You will have to surrender some cs and be careful not to overstep. The worst part is that the enemy mid will have free pressure onto your side lanes and your jungler, so be careful picking her into them. It is not all lost though, because even though Kai'Sa will get bullied early on, once you manage to get your core build (Ludens + double magic pen), you will be able to force them back effortlessly by hitting one or two Ws. If you manage to add Rabadons afterwards, they won't do anything anymore, since you can simply outpoke them.




How does AP Kai'Sa work? Back to Top

For those who play the game for a few years now: AP Kai'Sa plays similar to the old Nidalee. Hit one spear/W to almost oneshot people (or actually oneshot if you are ahead). From the point you have Ludens and double magic pen, your W will slice the HP of any squishy target in half. Once you finish Rabadons it will drop them down to about 20% of their HP as you can see in the following clip:



Kai'Sa can be a hype-scaling poke-mage, that can win games by hitting a single spell. 

Additionally she lacks the arguably biggest downside of every poke-mage: She can not be run down by Bruisers and Tanks. Her W applying 3 stacks of her passive means that any Tank that charges you dies from AA>Q>W>AA, due to procing her passive, which deals around 50% max. HP damage with only 3 Items, e.g. the Olaf going against me here:


Sadly her kit also has downsides, which most poke-mages like Xerath do not have: AP Kai'Sa has abysmal waveclear, which makes her difficult to play when you fall behind too much early. Siege comps can easily run her down and finish games against her, before you can get to the point where your W oneshots people.

AP Kai'Sa is great for sieging, and objective control, but bad at getting sieged and earlygame pressure. She is super fun to play, which is why I would recommend her to every midlaner that likes to play stuff that's not necessarily meta.

AP Kai'Sa 1v2 earlygame:


AP Kai'Sa Pentakill in Swiss Esports League:


About Me Back to Top

My name is Zedism, I've played League since somewhen in Season 4, I started shortly before the Kha'Zix rework in ... May or something? I finished it in Platinum 5, afterwards I was stuck in Diamond for the next two years while finally hitting my Peak Elo in Master in Season 7, at around 200 LP.


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Since I started playing League I did always tend to play Off Meta picks, since I had most fun with those, e.g. onetricking Nocturne midlane in Season 6. As of writing this Guide I am Diamond 1 with around 65% winrate, having 70% on my favourite Champions Ekko, Kassadin and AP Kai'Sa, but I am quite sure that I can relatively easily get back to Master Elo, which is what I am currently aiming for.


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Currently I am playing for a Swiss Esports Organisation called "mYinsanity" and I am trying to achieve my dream of going pro.

Me:


I rarely stream, but maybe I'll start doing it more consistently in the Future!

mYinsanity:

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