All Guides Kalista Guides [8.8] Detailed guide on Kalista (Beginners - Expert)
4 months ago

Kalista Statistics for killua54

Author's performance with Kalista compared to the ranked average.

Games Played
Win %
KA:D Ratio
Gold Earned
Creep Score
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

You will always take 4.png 7.png with Kalista.

Reasons why you take 4.png:

  • Allows you to escape tricky situations. e.g : Flash over a wall, flashing a CC (Leona stun, Alistar combo...).
  • Allows you to chase others effectively or for that last hit for the kill.
  • Gives you that safeguard option.

Reasons to take 7.png:

  • The extra MS is enough to get you out of some sticky situations.
  • It is core on all ADCs and can help you in duels or to save an ally.

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

Masteries are now 18/12/0 

Reasons to take these masteries over others:

Ferocity Tree:
  • Fury - Always take these on AS ADC's such as Vayne/Jinx/Tristana/Caitlyn etc... however if you are a caster such as Lucian/Graves then you will opt for the Sorcery Mastery

  • Feast - You want to take this over double edged sword because you will get chunked down even faster and you don't want that.

  • Vampirism - Increased lifesteal and spell vamp because it benefits you greatly and you don't want extra ability power.

  • Oppressor - This is good because in most cases you will have a support that can provide some kind of CC or even team mates that can and doing extra damage to them is always useful. Bounty Hunter is better for late game fights whereas Oppressor is good early game and if your team has CC so you can choose.

  • Battering blows - Gives armor penetration

  • Fervor of battle - Great mastery for Kalista as she stacks the mastery very fast especially with Rend this allows for a huge burst of damage.
Cunning Tree:

  • Savagery - Helps you to CS, movement speed out of combat is useless on ADCs.
  • Secret Stash - This gives you a bit of extra sustain and Runic affinity has no use on Kalista or ADC's in general.
  • Merciless - Very good mastery for finishing people off as the increased damage helps greatly, Meditation only gives mana regen again useless on Kalista as she doesn't need it.

  • Dangerous game - Can save you in very dire situations and allow you to survive that fight on very little HP, worth taking over bandit as again useless on Kalista, doesn't need the extra gold.

Abilities Back to Top


Max R -> E -> Q -> W

 kalistapassive.png Passive - Martial Poise

Kalista cannot cancel her basic attacks unless she changes target within range, her AAs miss if she loses sight of the target (i.e. goes into unwarded brush)
Kalista dashes a short distance in the target direction upon AAing or using pierce.

Kalista gains a unique item called The black spear 3599.png which will allow you to link to one of your allies (preferably your support) as this allows you to trigger your W passive as well as your R.

kalistamysticshot.png Q - Pierce

Kalista throws a spear in a target direction, this also procs your passive. If your Q kills a target, this will transfer all stacks of that target to the one behind them.
Very useful for some poke in lane without them expecting it.

kalistaw.png W - Sentinel

Passive: If you and your oathsworn ally attack a target together within 2 seconds then you will afflict damage equivalent to a % of their max hp.

Active: Casts a sentinel which will grant vision in a cone from the casted area to a target location for a total of 3 laps or when killed.
NEW (Patch 6.8) : Gains %AS when near Oathsworn that scales with level

kalistaexpungewrapper.png E - Rend

Passive: Stacks spears on a target infinitely regardless if on cooldown or not.
Active: Once activated, rend will afflict damage according to the number of spears on the target(s). This will also slow them for 2 seconds.

If rend kills 1 target then the cooldown and mana are refunded,
Very useful when wanting to poke as you can put one on a minion which is about to die and one on the enemy champion and activate the rend in order to get some free poke.

Rend is your primary source of damage, try not to use it to early or to late. This takes practice

 kalistarx.png R - Fate's call

When pressed, this will bring your ally to you and make them invulnerable and no longer on the map however the oathsworn can throw themselves to a target location knocking up any surrounding enemies.

Use this wisely to save or to engage.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Standard starting items for ADCs

Core Items

    This will be your first item, has everything kalista needs in an item (lifesteal, AS, active that slows and allows to kite). Very useful even after the nerfs to this item
    Allows you to stack spears on multiple targets !! (who doesn't want that?)
    These will be your last 3 items, they provide sustain, defense and the ability to shred tanks
    Full item build
    Alternative Full Item Build

Situational Items

Your final build will look something like this: 3153.png -> 3006.png -> 3085.png -> 3072.png -> 3139.png -> 3036.png

3153.png and 3072.png will be your sustain items and allow you to get lifesteal off all the spears coming from your hurricane.

3139.png will be an important item in order to survive and get rid of those pesky CCs.

3036.png is important in order to shred those tanks with loads of armor. Combine this with lifesteal and MR from QSS this allows you to counter that thornmail that hurts so much.

3006.png  because AS is essential for Kalista.

3085.png because you can stack multiple spears on people and since they proc at the same time, get multiple slows and damage off on people. This can also be useful if minions are there as well as you can reset your rend off those spears as well.

Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Ashe
  • Caitlyn
  • Corki
  • Draven
  • Ezreal
  • Graves
  • Jinx
  • Kalista
  • Kog'Maw
  • Lucian
  • Miss Fortune
  • Sivir
  • Tristana
  • Twitch
  • Urgot
  • Varus
  • Vayne




Difficult matchup in the sense that ashe's slow impacts kalistas passive.

Try to dodge her ultimate by dashing around everywhere.

Don't be predictable with your dashes otherwise people will recognise your pattern and be able to pin point where you will be next.

Early game, you should be able to beat her in lane as your level 2 powerspike is a lot more powerful than hers.




Has more range than you, plus the traps and net are very frustrating for kalista.

Luckily her Q and E are skillshots which are kalistas best friend in terms of dodging them.

If the Caitlyn is good, they will pressure you under tower so learn to use your E to last hit under tower or ask your support to help you with your W passive.

Once you reach level 6, this lane becomes easier for you as your ultimate is more impactful than theirs. 




Loads of skillshots to dodge ! Yay !

Corkis damage however should not be underestimated and if you do not dodge his skills then you are in for a hard time.

Stack as much as you can on them, and utilise your support fully with W passive and ultimate.




Draven outtrades you significantly as he does a lot more damage than you and you need to stack spears up which he will not let you do due to the burst being too high.

Play a passive game and try to get the jungler to help your lane.

Having an offensive support with Kalista would be the best solution in this lane due to him having no escapes and offensive supports work best with kalista




All skillshots which are easy for kalista to dodge.

Your early game is so much better than his, you can beat him extremely easily in lane and he is also extremely squishy.

Try saving your kalistaR.png for after he has used his ezrealarcaneshift.png which will either force a flash or a guaranteed knockup.

Later stages of the game becareful as his slow from iceborn can be brutal on kalista due to it affecting his movement speed




Graves does a lot of damage close up, however his main damage is from his Q and his R which luckily are skillshots and are relatively slow. 

Poke from a distance as well as using your rend with minions to slow and reset the cooldown.




Very little mobility and you have a stronger early game.

When it reaches late game however, she will most likely be more powerful than you.

Delay her spikes as much as possible and don't let her get resets.




Mirror matchup !

Who is the better kalista? Up to you to find out !




Kog'maw is in a tough state at the moment and is extremely strong.

He has very low mobility however meaning you can easily poke him in lane.

Winning early game will be key, as his mid-late game is extremely strong and will most likely destroy you.

Play around his W cooldown.

Your R will play a crucial role in shutting him down due to his low mobility




Lucian is very good at the moment and can do a lot more damage than you in short trades.

Dodge his q by dashing around, avoid his ultimate at best you can or cancel it by sending your support at him (not the best choice).


Miss Fortune


Early game she can bully you very hard, her E counters your passive extremely hard.

When combined with an aggressive support this can be brutal for kalista.

She however is very immobile, so use this to your advantage and use your ultimate to cancel her ultimate or to get her in a bad position.

Once she burns flash she is very vulnerable so use that to your advantage.

In short trades be very careful as she will out trade you. Poke and try to stack up when it is possible.




Sivir is a very utility based marksman, can poke with Q but can be dodged quite easily.

Stay away from minions when she uses W to avoid taking free damage.

Be weary of her using her spellshield.png when you use your kalistaE.png. But this takes a lot of prediction and accuracy.

She will most likely use her spellshield.png when you use your kalistaR.png so try baiting her spell shield before hand




Fairly easy matchup, when she uses her detonatingshot.png, once it is on cooldown use that to your advantage as that is her main damage tool.

She will most likely start out damaging you when transitioning in to late game. Deny her in the early - mid game where you are the strongest.




Twitch's invisibility will be very annoying as it can cause you to miss hits but it will be annoying when he sneaks up on you.

He out damages you in short trades, however is really squishy.

Try denying him early on and buy some oracles/pink wards to deny him sneaking up on you.




People still play this champion??

Dodge his E by dashing, this will take out pretty much all his damage, dash to dodge his Q at short range.

When he uses his R he will have extra resistances so be careful but he is very immobile so use your ultimate and kill him.

He can be very tanky so if you don't dodge his skills then he can be problematic.




Immobile, very skillshot reliant.

Your early-mid game is so much better.

Rarely see varus as an ADC at the moment and is more of a mid laner.




Early game, you can beat her. If she stuns you then you might be in trouble so be careful and dash around but not near walls.

Mid-game you are stronger so use that to your advantage.

Late game, you will not be able to beat her in a 1 v 1.

Your best choice is to deny her early game and make her have to catch up and teamfight while she is farming.

Changelog Back to Top

Patch 6.4:

- Unchanged

Patch 6.5:

- Base attack speed as well as AS growth stat nerfed
- Changes to her W: Nerf to %hp damage and added %AS when near oathsworn
- Fate's Call (R) range cast nerfed

This is a huge nerf to Kalista and makes her very weak when not near her oathsworn due to the AS loss on her W now. She feels clunky and not the same. She is still a great laner but loses a lot of damage and without the early AS, she is very slow.

Would suggest getting runaans first or at least a recurve bow if taking botrk first as you will need the extra AS.

- Updated abilities section for changes to W.

Patch 6.8:

- Unchanged

Patch 6.24

- Unchanged ( Kalista is still in a bad spot at the moment, the fervor buffs have not done much to help her)

Patch 7.1

- Updated abilities
- Kalista has gotten a small buff but still relatively bad at the moment compared to other ADCs. If with a coordinated team then can be a decent pick but still not in the best spot.

Patch 7.16

- Updated items
- Updated masteries

General ADC tips Back to Top

These are Tips that will work for all ADCs and will help you become a better player:

  1. Be constantly moving and clicking near your champion as this enables you to react faster to dodge skillshots then moving slowly and clicking far away.
  2. Learn champion powerspikes (This can be items or levels for example, Annie reaching level 6 before you or someone getting a BF while you have a pickaxe) this will help you identify when you can and can't go in. Knowing this information can prevent you from dying if you are starting duels and not respecting their itemisation.
  3. Itemisation: Always look at what the enemy is building and see if you can duel them because they have an item disadvantage or level disadvantage as well as if the team is stacking Armor or MR. This will help you decide on your own itemisation such as should I go LW or BT.
  4. Switching Targets: Knowing when to switch target and when you can kill someone is very important. If you are focusing a Leona but a Jinx is in your attack range and you can reach her safely then by all means switch to Jinx otherwise you would want to focus Leona. 
  5. The basic rule for switching targets is focus the nearest person without putting yourself in danger and when someone of a higher priority enters that range and also doesn't put yourself in danger then switch to that higher priority target.
  6. Tracking Summoner cooldowns, if you know their ADC doesn't have flash and they are very reliant on it, then you can abuse this fact and call the jungler to gank them knowing they won't be able to escape it.
  7. Map awareness - We all know that map awareness is important however ADCs are focused a lot of the time on reaching those CS numbers or trading with the enemy. However you should look at the map each time you get a CS or are waiting for the CS to get low.
  8. General rule of thumb, CS > Trading. If you are missing CS to trade with the enemy then it's not worth it. However, if the jungler comes to gank, try to follow up and don't try to CS unless you know it's a wasted gank and you are too far to follow up.
  9. Always try to push the wave to the turret when the enemy has backed as it makes them lose experience and gold.

General tips for last hitting and trading Back to Top

Last hitting is very important as an ADC in general.

So what is last hitting?

The concept of last hitting is basically giving the final blow on the minion to get the gold and experience from it.

Why is last hitting important?

Well, last hitting involves waiting for your minions to get the enemy minions low enough for you to last hit them hence why you need to know how much damage your AA's deal or how much damage your spells do.

Last hitting helps you control the minion wave and also allows you to look at other things while waiting for that minion to be low enough to kill such as looking at the map or keeping a timer on summoners or even trading.

This brings me to the question:

What is trading?

Trading is the exchange of damage between two or more champions.

So how do I win a trade?

Well, in order to win a trade you have to do more damage to your enemy than he does to you. Simple, right?

If only it was that easy. 

What other factors might stop you from winning a trade?

  • Creeps/Minions - When you attack an enemy champion with AA's, the minions start attacking you, this is called minion aggro. However if you use spells on an enemy while in a minion wave then they will ignore you.
  • Support - There is another person in that lane, the support will attack you if you start to attack the ADC.
So what do I do, I will lose the trade every time, won't I ?

No !

In order to win a trade, there are a couple of things you have to take into account and that can help you further win trades:

  • Do they have a lot of minions? 
  1. Yes - Don't trade, and farm up all those minions and get some gold
  2. No - Can you safely go for an AA or 2 without taking too much damage in return?
What is the ideal situation for you safely going in for an AA or 2? 

When they are trying to CS, if they are going to attack a minion they cannot focus you at the same time, and if he does he loses a minion.

  • Do you have an advantage in minions?
  1. Yes - Go in for a small trade, as if they do decide to attack you then the minion aggro will make you win that trade
  2. No - Farm and ward up
These are general tips and will not apply EVERY time this happens but can help you in terms of trading.

Kiting & Positioning Back to Top

What is kiting?

Kiting refers to when a ranged champion continuously attacks a melee champion while keeping a safe distance not allowing the melee champion to reach him and doing any damage.

A good video showing this is :

It also shows what key bindings are useful for kiting.

Another great video on this is :

Where attack moving and animation cancelling are explained in more detail.

Now on to positioning:

Positioning is where you are compared to the enemy team. When people say you have bad positioning or you need to get better at positioning. 

What do they mean? 

Well they mean that you should stop being in the front line where your tanks should be or being caught out of position meaning you shouldn't of been there because you had nothing to gain from being there or you had insufficient vision to be able to make that play.

A good video on explaining all this is:

Trading Tips with Kalista Back to Top

Kalista has quite a unique way of trading compared to other ADCs.

The infinitely stacking spears is a very unique mechanic and is a very interesting one as well.

So how do you trade in lane with Kalista?

The technique is simple:

- Stacks on a minion, those stacks should be able to kill that minion.
- Stacks on enemy champion(s).

Activate your kalistaE.png and you now have your cooldown refunded as well as free damage on the enemy.

Pre-nerfs to kalista, this used to refund 30 mana however they have made it that only when you kill 2 or more targets with your kalistaE.png will it refund 30 mana.

Other trading techniques:

Hit an enemy target, your support hits them and procs your W passive. This W passive is very powerful and does damage equivalent to a % of their max hp.

Whenever you do attack an enemy champion, try to get your support to attack them in order to proc it to get the most out of your champion.

Something that people might not expect as well is when a minion is about to die and has a couple of stacks on them. If you Q that target and it kills the minion this will transfer the stacks to the target behind them.

Therefore if you have a good amount of stacks on a minion, a cannon minion will be great as you can get more stacks on them then if they are staying behind that minion you can Q that minion (MAKE SURE IT KILLS THE MINION OR THIS WILL NOT WORK)  and it will transfer the stacks to them.

You can either activate your E right there or prepare your stacks in a way where you can refund the cooldown and get free damage.

One quick tip !

If you know you are going to kill the enemy champion with your spears, try to wait a bit before activating your rend (not too long that your spears expire or that you are out of range). This will probably tempt the enemy to flash or to blow other summoners meaning you can gain summoners as well as killing them.

Try to assess the situation when you do this and what summoners are up.

Questions you might be asking yourself about Kalista Back to Top

Why is Kalista so hard to play?

This is somewhat true, Kalista is a champion that not only relies heavily on your support but also requires you to be mechanically good.

But this champion was made to make kiting and attack moving easier so why do you have to be mechanically good when you only need to use one button to kite?

Yes, this champion was designed to make attack moving easier as she cannot cancel her basic attacks and allowing her free dashes everywhere. This also makes kiting so much easier as are constantly moving.

However, she is a very mechanically reliant champion in the sense, you need to be on your feet at all times and be dashing in the right direction at the right time. 

What do I mean by this?

A lot of Kalista players have a recognisable pattern, they dash to the right then back and then to the left and repeat.

This means that this is very easy for supports to predict where you are going to go next as you have the same pattern!

Dash in every direction !! Do not have a set pattern every time. You should also see where they are predicting your jumps to so you can then change your directions at will and dash differently to the way they think you do.

This Kalista did so much damage when I played against her, but when I played her I did no damage ! I am building the same and have the same masteries/runes so how come?

This applies to a lot of cases and different champions. Just because you build the same, have the same masteries and same runes this does not mean you will do the same damage as them.


You need to learn the champion, learn why and how they do so much damage. Did you use your W passive efficiently ? Did you stack enough spears? Did you coordinate with your support?

There are a lot of questions and possibilities as to why you didn't do as much damage as them.

BUT, you have to learn why ! Watch pro streamers, look at guides (hint hint), watch video guides etc...

Support Synergies with Kalista Back to Top

Offensive supports are recommended with Kalista as you get so much utility and a very strong lane out of it.

If I had to rank best supports with Kalista, It would be as follows:

Reminder: This is personal preference, so your ranking and everyone elses might be different.

1 - 223.png : This combo is deadly and one of the strongest bot lanes in my opinion. Why? 
Because they do tons of damage especially with %hp damage on both of their Ws. They can both save each other and allowing Tahm Kench to get nearer to others with a knockup and a free escape, this is one bot lane you do not want to mess with. They have a lot of CC together as well. However good coordination is required to pull it off.

 2 - 412.png : Another great bot lane duo and with matching skins ! 
They can both save each other, they have access to a lot of CC. Allows for W procs quite easily because thresh is ranged. Again requires good coordination.

3 - 111.png : Let's just say you won't get the chance to move.

The amount of CC provided by Nautilus alone is crazy, if he finds you then you are not moving for a long time.
Combine this with someone who can allow you to go in any time and get out or allow for more CC by knocking them up first is a huge advantage. 

4 - 12.png : Knocked up for days !

You will be going up and down, a roller coaster full of emotions. But most likely anger if you are against this combo.
Kalista and Alistar is a deadly combo that should not be messed with. Alistar gets a knockup with his combo followed by Kalista's ultimate well then you aren't going anywhere any time soon.

5 - 89.png : More CC and passive procs !

Kalista combined with Leona is somewhat of a farm fest in terms of kills. You will be CC'd for days ! 
Combined with this, she can proc leona's passive every single time as well as stacking spears.

6 - 432.png : Meeps are more important than lane !

The damage output from bard with thunderlords and slows from passive is insane. Combine this with a W proc every few seconds, you are looking at a lane full of pain. Bards damage combined with constant harass from Kalista as well as slows from both sides. This lane will cause you to think about wanting that last creep.

7 - 201.png : You thought you were getting away? Think again

Braum provides Kalista with both protection through a skillshot shield and provides a good amount of CC that can peel for her really well.

8 - 78.png : The champion that was rarely played before reworked.

Poppy the new addition to support lane, poppy can play any role at the moment and as a support, she dishes out a ton of damage and a ton of CC.

The reason I include her on this ranking is I believe that the combined CC and damage output of both Kalista and poppy together is insane that every one else would be terrified


Blitzcrank and Kalista form the Balista ! The technique involves hooking and as the hook is in mid air, utilise your R to get blitz near you and grab the target at the same time.

If the hook misses then that is 2 big cooldowns gone.

This is the only reason I include them on the list as it still remains a game changer.

10 - 25.png : Who gave you permission to move?

Morgana, the queen of long lasting CCs. The poke from Morgana as well as free W procs combined with a free permission to get launched into everyone and be able to unleash the deadly ultimate as well as a VERY long binding, who wouldn't want that?

A lot of these are heavy engage champions or ones that provide a lot of CC. The reason being is that Kalista provides a way in or a way out for these champions meaning they can play extremely aggressive and provide enough CC to lock down enemies and gives Kalista a chance to stack spears and finish them off.

Right Click, Attack Move, Attack Move Click ? Back to Top

Which one do I use? I am so confused !!

If this is the question you are asking yourself then look no further !

So how to decide between all 3 of these?

Well let's go over them:

Right click - This is your default click, you will have to click which target you want to attack as well as the direction you want to move in. This involves a lot of clicking.

Attack Move - What is this? Attack move allows you to move to a targeted location and attack any enemies that come near your attack range. This involves moving and attacking at the same time however requires one binding to use it and requires a second click to select the area.

This avoids you miss clicking and clicking next to a target and moving there instead of attacking it.

When you use attack move your move commands will turn red as shown below:

Red cursor.jpg

So how is this different to Attack move Click? Well think of Attack move Click as the smart-cast version of Attack move, meaning it will move and attack through one binding. Binding to "A" would be preferential as it is convenient.

If you want to know where these bindings are, there is a screenshot below of the options panel: 


I would recommend trying all 3 and finding which one works best for you !

Good luck :)

Questions? Feedback? Back to Top

If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know as I would be happy to hear them and answer :)

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