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All Guides Kassadin Guides 7.5 - Caristinn's Challenger Kassadin Guide.
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Kassadin Statistics for Caristinn

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

Value
Average
Games Played
418
4
Win %
59
40
Kills
7.7
6.2
Assists
6.2
5.8
Deaths
5.6
5.7
KA:D Ratio
2.5
2.1
Gold Earned
11.5K
10.4K
Creep Score
164.2
150.6
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

14.pngIgnite

In almost all circumstances, it's best to run Ignite on mid lane Kassadin. I don't agree with running Teleport on him, as he has sufficient mobility to navigate the map without it, and he doesn't actually bring a lot to a gank if he teleports into a fight until later in the game. He has low base damages and a one second long slow, and in most balanced skirmishes involving you and the enemy mid laner, you will lose the fight. If you're finding yourself really needing Teleport to just survive the early laning phase, then it means you're taking too much poke. 

Kassadin has a very narrow kill window, but unlike other assassins, it's not gated by a lengthy ultimate cooldown. I'd much rather take Ignite in order to create lane pressure against the enemy opponent, and to be able to secure kills especially early on where he needs to snowball to get to his 2 and 3 item powerspikes. A 0/0/0 Kassadin with 150 CS vs a 0/0/0 Orianna with 150 CS tends to be very useless. 

4.png Flash

It's not like there's anything else worth taking. Ghost is ineffective on him as an assassin, his R-Flash combo (explained later) can be used to get surprising kills on enemy players, and not taking flash makes you extremely vulnerable to being ganked both pre and post-6.

-------------------

12.pngTeleport

If you ever play top lane Kassadin, Teleport can be a good option, even if I prefer to take Ignite against most matchups. I don't advise playing Kassadin as a top laner. Against laners that you're really not going to be able to kill such as Poppy or Darius or Sion, I recommend TP just to survive against them. However, there are actually a lot of AP laners that Kassadin can actually kill. And for that reason, I take Ignite against them. Kassadin actually does a lot of sustained damage and can chase down champions like Nautilus and Maokai while using his shield and 15% magic reduction passive to mitigate their low damage.

3.pngExhaust


I don't advise ever going Exhaust on Kassadin, even against Zed. If Kassadin vs Zed is a lane that you're significantly uncomfortable with, you can opt to take Exhaust. Again, I don't recommend it, but I wanted to share my thoughts about it since I know some people might propose using it against AD assassins. I see offense as the best defense against Riven/Talon/Wukong/Zed, especially because it was nerfed in 7.5 and no longer slows attack speed or shreds armor/magic resistance.

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

Why not Deathfire Touch?


I believe Kassadin benefits more from going Thunderlords Decree due to the aforementioned narrow kill window he has on enemy champions. 

Bounty Hunter vs. Double Edged Sword vs. Battle Trance

It really depends on the situation, but I tend to stick with Bounty Hunter because of Kassadin's stellar target selection allowing him to kill a variety of enemy champions. He farms champions, not minions, and I tend to rack up a high amount of kills on him in matches. I'd say that a case can be made for going Battle Trance against Vladimir and against tank top laners where you might get into extended trades post-6. Double Edged Sword is iffy after its nerf, and I prefer not to take it. I'm not calling it awful, though.

Thunderlord's Interaction with Kassadin

There's nothing particularly special about the way it works with him like it currently does with Corki and Morgana, for example. However, an autoattack+W will instantly proc Thunderlord's, because the W active counts as two instances of damage. Your W is an autoattack reset, so this can be useful at times. This tends to surprise Zed players who run up to you to try to E you, and end up losing the trade.

Abilities Back to Top

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

What about maxing E?


Maxing Q over E gives you more reliable damage and lane presence as a result of not having to rely on your E to be charged up, and additionally provides you an increased shield size.

Level 3: Taking a second point in Q vs taking a point in E.


Most of the time, I'd rather continue to poke the enemy laner with my Q rather than expending mana on E, which additionally push the wave at around the time the enemy jungler is looking to gank your lane. Not good. However, I'll sometimes take a point in E at level 3 if I know that I'm going to be able to kill the enemy laner with flash and ignite, or if I know that my jungler is looking to gank my lane at that level.

Situations where you actually should max E (AD Laners):


Generally, when you're maxing E, you will take 2-3 points in Q and then max R>E>Q>W. This is because the more points you put into E pre-6, the more you push your wave while you don't have Riftwalk, and that's pretty dangerous as a melee champion with no escape mechanism.

The exceptions to this are Riven and Yasuo, who you absolutely should be maxing E against as soon as possible due to their ability spamming nature and because they have ways to shield your Q (Riven's E and Yasuo's Windwall). Against these champions, you'll put a point in E at level 3.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Standard.
    Kill lanes.

Core Items

    Standard. When building ROA, get the Blasting Wand first. If Syndra has a kill advantage on you, get a Catalyst first.
    Tank Build.

Situational Items

    See below.
    See below.
    See below.

Starting Items:


I'll generally go Flask on Kassadin because of the amount of damage he'll take both pre-6 and post-6. Mana restoration is pretty useful on a champion with a shield in his kit (giving you more effective health), and he also has a reliable way of applying Corrupting Potion via his Q, which counts as a single target spell.

Against lanes focused less on poking/small trades and more on all-ins, I'll go Dark Seal. The mana is nice on him for the reason explained before, and because Kassadin farms champions and has high AP ratios, its stacking effect is awesome.


Standard Build:

The order you build these items is ROA>Lichbane>Zhonyas. You generally want to have your Ionians completed at some point after your Rod of Ages. I typically do so in the middle of building Lichbane depending on the gold I have while backing, or immediately afterwards. After you have your core of Ionians/ROA/Lichbane/Zhonyas, you then can assess the enemy's items and team comp to decide if you should build a Void Staff or Rabadon's first. Think about who the priority targets for you to kill are, and if the enemy team has a lot of magic resistance. One of Kassadin's main strength is that his mobility and point-and-click abilities allows him to have a better degree of choice about who to attack in teamfights.

It might be a good idea at times to complete a Void Staff before Zhonyas or even before Lichbane if the enemy team is really stacking a lot of MR.

...tank Kassadin?


It can absolutely be worthwhile to play tank Kassadin in matches where the enemy team has a lot of physical damage, and your team doesn't need the additional damage that AP Kassadin provides. You'll still rush Rod of Ages, but after that, you'll buy Sheen (unless you're against Zed-- in that case, get Zhonyas second), then complete Zhonyas, then complete Iceborn Gauntlet, then complete Deadman's Plate. Your final item will be either Void Staff or Guardian Angel depending on how much magic resistance they have. If killing the enemy ADC would be a win condition for your team comp, it's probably better that you go Guardian Angel even if the enemy team has a lot of magic resistance. Tank Kassadin dives deeper than AP Kassadin does.

If the enemy team is stacking a lot of MR and killing the enemy ADC isn't greatly important in your match, it can be a good idea to go Void Staff before Deadman's Plate.

Your boots will either be Sorc Shoes or Ninja Tabis depending on how much autoattack damage they have, and how much damage your team needs. You don't need Ionian's, because you'll cap at 40% CDR with Iceborn + Zhonyas + 10% CDR from runes.

Be careful about Master Yi, Vayne, Fiora, and Kog'maw who have the capability to shred through your defenses. You don't actually have any hard CC for them either, but what you excel at is creating a massive disruption in the enemy backline and constantly applying your Iceborn Gauntlet slow + Force Pulse's 90% slow on the enemy team. Kassadin ideally shouldn't be your team's primary tank, but that's your team's choice to run without an actual tank, not yours.

Miscellaneous Items:


3165.png 

It's not really the best item on Kassadin in most circumstances, and serves as a replacement for Lichbane. You use this where you having a source of Grievous Wounds would be especially useful, or alternatively, when you need midgame power against teams that you can't easily flank. If your team lacks an initiator and the enemy team is heavy on ranged champions and you just can't get close enough to use your W/Lichbane, it might be worth looking into buying this item instead.

The mana restoration upon getting a kill or assist is nice too, considering that by the end of fights, Riftwalk might be stacked up too high to chase down enemy players.

3001.png

Against a magic damage heavy team comp, it can be pretty useful to buy this item as a replacement for Lichbane. If you're getting your shit kicked in by a Syndra or LeBlanc (in 7.5, the latter isn't going to happen-- she's trash), it might also be a good idea. When I'm full build, I usually end up selling it for a Lichbane, although games usually don't go on for that long. The downside is that it's not as powerful of a 2 item powerspike as ROA/Lichbane or ROA/Morellos is.

3030.png

I really don't like this item. Some people do. I think the slow is excessive when he already has his E, and I'd rather have the scaling power of Rod of Ages (which it's used as a substitute for). It does give Kassadin more power around the time he completes his first item, which can be useful depending on how the game is progressing. 

3070.png

This item is hot garbage, don't bother. It delays your core items too much, and Seraph's active is unreliable when Kassadin oftentimes dips to an extremely low % of his mana.

3151.png

The only time I can possibly see this item being useful is as a 6th item replacement for Void Staff if the enemy actually does not have magic resistance for whatever reason.

Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Ahri
    Medium
  • Akali
    Easy
  • Anivia
    Medium
  • Annie
    Easy
  • Aurelion Sol
    Medium
  • Azir
    Medium
  • Brand
    Easy
  • Camille
    Easy
  • Cassiopeia
    Medium
  • Cho'Gath
    Easy
  • Corki
    Easy
  • Diana
    Medium
  • Ekko
    Easy
  • Fizz
    Medium
  • Gangplank
    Easy
  • Heimerdinger
    Medium
  • Jayce
    Medium
  • Karthus
    Easy
  • Katarina
    Medium
  • Kayle
    Easy
  • Kennen
    Medium
  • LeBlanc
    Easy
  • Lissandra
    Easy
  • Lulu
    Easy
  • Lux
    Medium
  • Malphite
    Easy
  • Malzahar
    Easy
  • Maokai
    Medium
  • Morgana
    Easy
  • Nautilus
    Easy
  • Orianna
    Medium
  • Pantheon
    Hard
  • Poppy
    Medium
  • Quinn
    Medium
  • Renekton
    Hard
  • Riven
    Easy
  • Rumble
    Medium
  • Ryze
    Medium
  • Shen
    Medium
  • Singed
    Easy
  • Sion
    Medium
  • Swain
    Medium
  • Syndra
    Hard
  • Taliyah
    Medium
  • Talon
    Easy
  • Teemo
    Medium
  • Twisted Fate
    Easy
  • Veigar
    Medium
  • Vel'Koz
    Medium
  • Viktor
    Medium
  • Vladimir
    Easy
  • Wukong
    Medium
  • Xerath
    Medium
  • Yasuo
    Easy
  • Zed
    Medium
  • Ziggs
    Medium
  • Zilean
    Medium

VS

Ahri

Medium
2033.png

This is a slightly annoying lane that can snowball either way, although it's slightly in Ahri's favor. You win Q for Q trades provided you only are hit with the first tick of it, and your Q largely mitigates her W's damage.

You want to keep in mind that when her passive is up (orb is green), she'll try to Q through the entire minion wave to heal up. When going in for poke post-6 with your ult, make sure you R behind a minion to avoid getting hit by her charm.

All-ins with her can be risky because of her ability to kite you around with her ult and potentially deny you the chance to hit her with your W. You do outscale her and create a massive problem for her in teamfights, though. 

If you're at low health, be careful about her E-Flash combo, where she'll begin to cast Charm out of range of you and then flash in the middle of the animation to reposition it to hit you. 

VS

Akali

Easy
1082.png2031.png

She's really not hard to abuse at all. You win Q for Q trades, although be careful for her combo where she throws Q on you, waits for it to be off cooldown, then autoattacks you to consume it, then Qs you again, then autoattacks again. This is incredibly predictable. Your E will come up often due to the fact she spams her abilities, and your autoattack+W combo shreds her in melee range.

Try to take her out immediately in teamfights, she'll come to you and is incredibly squishy. Post-6, she does win extended fights with you even if her ult isn't as threatening as it was in the past. If you're caught out alone by her midgame or lategame, you're going to have a problem. 

VS

Anivia

Medium
2033.png

Anivia's mildly frustrating because of how difficult it is to actually kill her, and that's not a fun thing as a champion where you want to snowball. You want to mostly focus on playing the map and roaming when you're against Anivia, because you really shouldn't be winning all-ins against her if she plays correctly. 

It's worth mentioning that your Q cancels her ultimate, which can be huge in teamfights or even simply to disrupt her farming patterns. 

VS

Annie

Easy
2033.png

This is one of Kassadin's easiest matchups. You win Q for Q trades with Annie, you're too durable and mobile for her to burst you, and she'll often be in range for you to hit her with your Riftwalk and W. Keep in mind that your Q has a longer cooldown than hers, so you want to avoid going in range to farm while hers is up and yours is down. You want to put heavy lane pressure on Annie to avoid keeping her from roaming, where she'll have more of an impact than you will in skirmishes early and midgame.

When your team goes for a baron throw lategame, be sure you're waiting in a pink warded brush for Annie to come by so she has to use her spells to fight you and not get a quadrakill on your teammates.

Don't underestimate the bear. You will lose a prolonged fight against her. Midgame and lategame, you want to try to chase Annie around the map and make her ult you to avoid dying. You won't neccessarily win 1v1, but you've now made her use her crucial ultimate and you can Riftwalk away.

VS

Aurelion Sol

Medium
2033.png

Continuously pressure him to prevent him from roaming as often, and follow him around the map. He absolutely will outshove you, but you can reduce the rate he does so by using your Q to cancel his W. Yeah, it does that.

Aurelion is similar to Kassadin in the sense that while he has excellent roaming capability, he's not actually strong in a skirmish and if he turns on you, he's unlikely to kill you.

Be sure to ping when he goes missing, and to keep a control ward somewhere around the bottom side of the map.

VS

Azir

Medium
2033.png

He's not as difficult as he was prenerf, but he's still a challenge. You're a melee laner who doesn't have the 100-0 power that a more reliable assassin like Zed does, and as a result, he's going to cluck you during the laning phase away from your minions while you try to CS under turret. 

On the other hand, he's not particularly difficult to take out if he's out of position. Even though he has a dash and his wall, Kassadin can pursue him over both. Keep in mind his placement of soldiers during the laning phase before deciding to all-in him, and try to call for a gank to keep him from zoning you off the caster minions if he's pushing you in.

VS

Brand

Easy
2033.png

Brand's not as good of a solo laner as he was before his update, but even still, he does still have solo kill power in you if you position incorrectly in lane. If he uses his W, he's vulnerable to being retaliated at with RQE, provided that you're behind a minion and won't get hit by his Q.

Keep in mind that even if he misses his Q, he can still win an all-in with you if you get hit by his W and if you're near a minion and repeatedly get hit by his R.

VS

Camille

Easy
1082.png2031.png

Respect her Walldive. If you see her using it, I'd recommend just Riftwalking away immediately, especially if you don't know where the enemy jungler is. This is actually a problematic lane for Camille, who relies on repeatedly hitting an immobile enemy laner with Walldive. 

Beyond that, you'll likely outscale her because when you pick Camille mid, you're likely going to have an imbalanced team comp. She's not particularly threatening for him.

VS

Cassiopeia

Medium
2033.png

This lane can snowball either way, and it largely comes down to who gets the most jungle pressure. She does beat Kassadin pre-6, but runs out of mana pretty fast. Be especially careful of post-6 when she can chase you down with Twin Fangs if she hits a Q, and at level 1 where her E will outpoke your Q. You can potentially get killed at level 2 if you take an obscene amount of damage from this. Just give up CS, it's okay.

Keep in mind that she's more durable than most mid laners lategame, and that her poison clouds/W/Miasma shuts down your Riftwalk. If you're playing far up against Cassiopeia and her team, you can get caught out like this and get initiated on and CCed to death. There's a pretty clear animation for while she's throwing it out, so Riftwalk immediately when you see it happen.

VS

Cho'Gath

Easy
2033.png 

He doesn't actually do damage. If he respects your damage, you probably won't kill him, and he probably won't kill you. However, because of how short ranged he is, you can get a lot of trades off with your Riftwalk and W if he misses one of his abilities. Keep in mind that his autoattacks do more damage than yours do (his do 0.3 AP, yours do 0.1 AP).

On the other hand, if you do start snowballing, you'll start snowballing disgusting hard and can repeatedly all in him. I'm a huge fan of this lane as Kassadin.


VS

Corki

Easy
2033.png

He got nerfed pretty hard. Ideally, you want to run flat Armor Yellows against him and have enough rune pages to use on a specific champion matchup. If not, scaling HP yellows are fine.

There's not much to say about this matchup. He has decent poke pre-6, and then you slaughter him post-6. Exhaust was nerfed too. You probably won't see him that much. He'll try to use rockets when you get close to one of your minions, so try to bait him into wasting them by walking up to one and then backing off, especially if he has a large rocket primed. Max Q against him due to the amount of mixed damage in his kit.

VS

Diana

Medium
2033.png

Fun lane. You want to keep an eye on her W duration and how many stacks of her passive she has before going in for a melee range trade pre-6, and you sort of want to create a mental rhythm while watching her auto minions. Don't take a point in anything before you get into lane. If she takes a point in W and starts shoving you in at level 1, take a point in W so you can last hit under tower. If she takes a point in Q, take a point in Q.

If you R onto her post-6, it should be when her Q is down. Don't waste too much mana trading your Q for her W, especially when you only have 1-2 points in Q and her shield will almost fully mitigate its damage.

You will almost never win a 1v1 sustained fight with Diana. On the other hand, you're as annoying to her as she is for you if you really like killing the enemy mid laner. Try to outroam her and hope the better team wins, and aim to take her down in teamfights when she uses her Q and R on someone else.

Lategame, Diana will oftentimes be splitpushing. If you see her doing this and you're waiting in a bush or behind a wall, you can wait for her to use her W and Q on the minion wave, and then all-in her. If she's already on your turret, she's almost definitely dead. She'll get hit by your first rotation and be unable to retaliate, and you can kill her with your next few rotations. Try to use Zhonyas to dodge her Q/R, which will often be used simultaneously in a 1v1 where she feels comfortable that she'll hit the Q.

VS

Ekko

Easy
1082.png2031.png

Extremely easy lane as Kassadin. He has difficulty popping his passive on you because you can Riftwalk away from it, his W and R are easily predictable (and even easier to just R away from), you can burst him with your W in melee range, and your Q shrugs off the first hit of his Q. 

VS

Fizz

Medium
1082.png2031.png

Yeah, this lane's not remotely fun at all. Post-rework, a lot of power was put into his melee attacks and he can burst you extremely hard with just his W. If you trade Q for his E, you'll win the trade because of the mana cost. He can zone you from the minion line, though. I really don't recommend trying to R onto him.

I'm putting this as a medium and not hard simply because Fizz really wants to get solokills on you, and that's hard when you're playing passively as Kassadin and when he can't harass you under tower. You outscale him.

VS

Gangplank

Easy
1082.png2031.png

There's a decent amount of mindgaming involved in this lane. Gangplank's going to try to focus on farming, but you actually win trades with him. However, if you let him poke you with your barrels, you'll lose. But you have an autoattack reset in your kit as well as Riftwalk to avoid his explosions, so it's not too bad. He loses all-ins with you, especially now that Exhaust has been nerfed.

VS

Heimerdinger

Medium
2033.png

I'd say this is one of his harder matchups, even if I wouldn't give it a hard rating. The reason he's so difficult is because he'll shove you into turret while you have difficult clearing waves, and because you don't 100-0 him fast enough to assassinate him despite turret protection like certain other assassins can. You want to try to do more on the map that he can, and try to see if your jungler can come and gank him, especially pre-6. If you push back Heimerdinger's line of turrets, you can snowball the lane.

Be cautious of dying to him in a post-6 gank because of his evolved turret. The ability to turn around a gank is Heimerdinger mid's gimmick.

VS

Jayce

Medium
2033.png

He'll likely be trying to all in you at around levels 2 and 3. Keep an eye on his minions so you don't get jumped on him at level 2 while you're still at level 1. His poke really isn't that threatening, and neither is his ability to roam. You can avoid his leap strike's damage with Riftwalk or flash.

If he doesn't rush Hexdrinker, he's liable to be killed by you after level 6 even if he takes Exhaust. If he does, it turns into more of a farm lane.

VS

Karthus

Easy
1082.png2031.png

I'd recommend taking three points in Q then maxing E against him so you have a better chance to shove the lane against him, and because movement speed slows are incredibly annoying for Karthus. He spams his abilities and your E will be up often, and if he's smart, after level 6, he'll just keep trying to push you in. But he's very easy to all-in, and now that Exhaust has been nerfed, it's even more painful for Karthus. 

Karthus players will often run back under their turret to ult when their bot lane is fighting. If you do this, it's worth taking a few tower shots to Riftwalk forward and use your Q to cancel his ultimate. 

VS

Katarina

Medium
1082.png2031.png

She's more dangerous in the laning phase than she was before the rework. I'm listing this as medium because some people think Kassadin still mindlessly hard counters Katarina, which is absolutely not the case. You have to constantly be aware of her dagger placements. If you're very familiar with how her daggers work, this matchup is easy.

Katarina's Q will always land a fixed distance from the opposite side of where it's thrown at the first target. If you keep that in mind, it becomes significantly easier to dodge her daggers. It doesn't matter if you take a few autoattacks trying to move away from them, you're scarier in melee range than she is because of your W. Try to save your Q for her ultimate when your Riftwalk is on cooldown.

If she uses her EWQ combo on you, move to the side to avoid the dagger placed underneath you, but do not run back into the Q dagger thrown behind you. Even if you get hit by a single dagger, you'll win the trade if you auto+W her.

Murder her in teamfights and chase her around the map. Katarina no longer has a chance to escape Kassadin now that she can't shunpo to wards, although she never could in sustained chases.

VS

Kayle

Easy
2033.png

The nerf to Exhaust means Kayle is at a higher risk of dying to Kassadin. If she takes TP, this lane becomes much easier. 

You don't win sustained trades with Kayle, but you can try to all-in her with Riftwalk in the brief window her E is on cooldown. She's extremely squishy and easy to burst in teamfights, which is perfect for Kassadin because he's not gated by a long cooldown on his ultimate like other assassins are.

This lane is pretty snowbally. If you trade Q for Q with her, save your E to briefly slow her down when she inevitably tries to pursue you with autoattacks.

VS

Kennen

Medium
2033.png

He has obnoxious autoattack harass. Keep count of how many stacks he has on his W, although if you trade your Q for his W, you win the trade. It's very hard for Kennen to kill you in teamfights, and that's a problem when he relies on trying to pop the whole enemy team. You can wait for him to use his ultimate, then immediately burst him. You can also throw your E on him when you see him rushing towards your team and then R to safety to slow down his engage.

VS

LeBlanc

Easy
1082.png2031.png

This is actually a joke champion post-nerf. Her W just doesn't do any damage. When you see her dashing towards you, activate your W and right click on her to immediately stab her when she comes into melee range. Similar to Annie, it's too difficult for her to soloQ you.

Use your R to dodge her W if she's going to pop it on you after she throws a Q, then immediately juke off to the side because she'll likely throw an E towards you.

VS

Lissandra

Easy
1082.png2031.png

Her poke blows as long as you don't continuously stand behind your minions and get hit by her Q, she loses all-ins with you, and can't kill you in teamfights. In teamfights, you mostly want to wait for her to come to you and then burst her. Lissandra's in a pretty bad place right now.

VS

Lulu

Easy
2033.png

She has pretty good poke against you pre-6 (not the best, and you can largely mitigate it with your Q), but post-6, you can constantly all-in her. She's not really a solo laner at this point, and is made of paper. You can flank her and blow her up midgame/lategame, forcing her to ult on herself to stay alive. 

VS

Lux

Medium
2033.png

Now that her shield has been nerfed, she can't as easily shrug off your poke like she has in the past. However, she's a bit difficult to solo kill if she's playing passively. You mostly want to focus on roaming against her, because she's easily taken out if she's caught out by you in the jungle. Avoid letting her detonate her passive (and thus proccing Thunderlords) on you if you get hit with E, which you probably will, because it has the hitbox the size of a truck. She'll mostly try to use it on the minion wave, so you can sort of predict where it will go.

VS

Malphite

Easy
1082.png2031.png OR 2033.png

All in him repeatedly. He can't trade Q for Q with you and he can't win in melee range. Zone him off the minion line post-6. If it's tank Malphite, he'll likely be maxing E and trying to autoattack trade with you with his W active and attack speed slow. Use your Riftwalk to disengage from him, but hit him with your W.

VS

Malzahar

Easy
2033.png OR 1082.png2031.png

Similar to Annie, you're too durable for him to fish for kills post-6, and this largely shuts down Malzahar. Use your autoattack+W to kill his voidlings, and harass him with your Q. 

In teamfights, cancel his ultimate with your Q. It's also worth mentioning that if you're lucky, you can sometimes Q him, and as it's going out, he immediately Rs you and then has the ult canceled by your midair Q. Don't count on it. 

VS

Maokai

Medium
2033.png

He's harder than Nautilus and Malphite, although not by much. This is mostly a scaling lane where you're unlikely to actually kill Maokai, but it's a safe lane.

You win mid-lategame all ins and can chase him down and kill him if he's splitpushing. Just don't get lured into his team.

VS

Morgana

Easy
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This is mostly a farm lane, although if Morgana gets too close to you and you have a minion to block her Q or her Q's on cooldown, you can burst her. It likely won't result in a kill, but it'll apply a decent bit of lanepressure.

It's very difficult to kill Morgana unless you're snowballing, but a free lane for Kassadin to scale isn't something to knock. Most Morgana mid players are support mains who were autofilled, or e-girls being boosted by their boyfriend who likely will be playing jungle and camping your lane. Be careful.

VS

Nautilus

Easy
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You completely trash him in all ins and can shred through his shield immediately with your burst, making his autoattacks rather ineffective. This is one of the best top lane matchups you can have as Kassadin. I always take Ignite against him.

VS

Orianna

Medium
2033.png

You're best off trying to poke her when her ball is at a distance that your abilities won't immediately be shielded. If you trade your Q for her E, you will lose the trade because of her lower mana costs. Sometimes you can bait an Orianna into Eing herself if you throw a Q to last hit a minion right next to her, causing you to win the trade by reducing her mana pool for no reason while you gain gold.

A good Orianna is unlikely to die to you, but if she's not experienced at the champion, she'll leave openings for you to outtrade her with RQEs or she might even get close enough to get hit by your W. If all-inning her, you can flash her ultimate. If you trade your flash for Orianna's flash, you've won the trade. 

VS

Pantheon

Hard
2033.png

This is one of the few matchups where I might consider running Teleport, but I usually end up going Ignite always. Be prepared to give up a LOT of CS. That's okay. You should expect to be down a good amount of CS vs him. Your goal in this lane is to soak up XP and to try to call his roams and outscale him, because Pantheon falls off very hard after around the 15 minute mark.

His passive can block your W's active, which is brutal. It's almost always important to autoattack+W for the auto reset on Kassadin, and it's especially relevant here where you use your first auto to break his shield and then your second W to burst him if he jumps onto you. Save your Q to cancel his E while running away.

If you're reading this guide to learn how to beat Kassadin, I honestly don't recommend picking Pantheon just so you can beat Kassadin in lane. Pantheon mid usually creates a huge gap in your team comp, and this very often results in a "win lane, lose game" scenario. I'd rather play against Pantheon than Orianna as Kassadin, and lose the lane gracefully but still be able to destroy him later on.

VS

Poppy

Medium
2033.png

Your Q absorbs the bonus magic damage from Poppy's passive. If you see she's trying to save it to harass you, save your Q when it comes up to hit her with it. You can also Riftwalk on top of Poppy's shield when it falls to the ground to deny her the pickup on it-- just make sure you don't get stunned into a wall as a result.

You can use your Q to cancel her ultimate. You can R out of her W active without taking damage. You're unlikely to kill her in lane.

VS

Quinn

Medium
2033.png

This is a similar concept to Pantheon, although it's not as severe pre-6. You'll get zoned a lot, but Quinn is weaker than Pantheon is in a skirmish, and it's harder for her to kill you. Her blind can neuter your burst by causing your W active to miss. Post-6, you can try to burst her if her Q's on cooldown and her passive isn't over your head.

VS

Renekton

Hard
2033.png

Try not to die. If you're in the mid lane, this matchup isn't as bad, although he has solokill power on you pre-6. If he dashes onto you and combos you, hit him with an AA+W and walk away, and as he walks away, hit him with your E and Q. If you make it out of the laning phase, you'll be fine. His roaming power is incredibly mediocre.

VS

Riven

Easy
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This is easy in the mid lane and medium in the top lane, because a longer lane will favor Riven. Use primarily your E to harass her, and your Q to bait out her shield first if necessary. She usually won't react fast enough to your E harass to shield it. It's very difficult for Riven to kill you if you play conservatively and focus on harassing her from range, and Riftwalking away when she tries to dash onto you. 

VS

Rumble

Medium
2033.png

This really just depends on your skill as Kassadin. There's no specific trick here, but if you're familiar with Rumble's numbers and Kassadin's numbers, you'll be aware of when he's low enough to all-in. He has no way of actually killing you in lane if you choose not to play highly aggressively (if you do, you run the risk of getting out DPSed and dying), and will mostly be trying to farm and push you in while attempting to shield your harass. This makes him vulnerable to being ganked.

VS

Ryze

Medium
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This is a pretty snowbally lane. Try to avoid getting hit by his E-Q combo on minions by intelligently positioning yourself around the minion wave, and look to all-in him post-6 when his rune charges/shield isn't up.

You probably won't kill him pre-6 if he backs for Tear of the Goddess the moment he has enough gold. You'll want to push the lane out and back at around the same time he does, and buy a Doran's Ring with your gold. You likely won't have the 850G required for a blasting wand.

VS

Shen

Medium
2033.png

Keep in mind that your Q can cancel his ultimate and that his dodge circle causes your W's active and Lichbane to miss, significantly reducing your damage to him in a trade. Wait for his shield to be on cooldown before harassing him with Q.

Pre-6, he has deceptively high kill potential on Kassadin if you aren't aware of his ability to chase you with his Q's slow. This isn't like laning against a Maokai or Nautilus. Just respect his damage and farm up.

Around midgame-lategame, you can kill Shen while he's splitpushing.

VS

Singed

Easy
1082.png2031.png OR 2033.png

This matchup short-circuits the mind of Singed players. They actually run a very high risk of dying to Kassadin after level 6 if they're proxying the wave, as he absolutely can chase him. While laning against him post-6, don't use your Riftwalk to engage onto him. You can hit him with an AA+W, and then Riftwalk away from his poison when he likely flings you into it.

I'm not entirely joking about that. Singed players genuinely do not seem to know how to respond to Kassadin, especially mid-lategame where they tend to mindlessly splitpush and end up being chased down by Kassadin's 1.2 second cooldown Riftwalks. He's squishy enough for you to kill him before running out of mana at this point, and he has no way of fighting back.

VS

Sion

Medium
2033.png

You're unlikely to kill him. When he shields, hit him with an auto+W, as this usually breaks it before it explodes. Riftwalk onto him immediately if you're in range to do so, before the period he can preemptively detonate it. He'll likely try to Q you as you walk away, but your Q cancels his Q.

All things considered, this is a pretty solid lane for Kassadin where he can scale up to lategame, although the fact you're playing top lane Kassadin means your team comp is probably worse. Try to make midgame plays.

VS

Swain

Medium
2033.png

Similar to Rumble, this is a game of numbers where you simply just know when he's been harassed low enough to burst. Given Swain's excellent sustain and Kassadin's pretty mediocre harass, there's a good chance he might not ever get to that point. The fact he permapushes his lane exposes himself to ganks, and he has a lot of difficulty following you around the map because of how slow he is.

VS

Syndra

Hard
2033.png

This is one of Kassadin's worst matchups, but then again, Syndra is a lot of champion's worst matchup. She simply outpokes you and wins all-ins against you, and because Kassadin's 100-0 burst is weak, she'll be able to stack her balls up in an all-in for a high damage ult.

There's nothing special about this lane. The bright side here is that Kassadin is less likely to be killed 1v1 than other champions who might be laning against Syndra because of his Q, his passive, and the fact he builds a ROA. You might want to consider getting a second item Zhonyas if Syndra is the only AP threat on the enemy team, as this blocks her ultimate's damage.

VS

Taliyah

Medium
2033.png

Try to avoid getting hit by her Q's splash damage, which you're especially vulnerable to as a melee champion. You actually hurt Taliyah's midgame and lategame effectiveness by a good margin as Kassadin, as he can easily circumvent her ultimate's wall. Post-6, you can look to solo kill her especially now that Exhaust has been nerfed. Make sure she's standing on her Worked Ground before Riftwalking on top of her, because otherwise, you'll likely get hit by every single one of her Qs in melee range.

VS

Talon

Easy
2033.png

This is a bit harder than it was before his rework. They gave Talon more power in melee range if he's committing to a fight with you, but it's harder for him to suddenly burst Kassadin. As long as you Riftwalk away once he uses his Q on you, you'll be fine, as he won't be able to get his passive off. I don't recommend trying to jump on top of him, as his Q does empowered damage if it's used in his autoattack range.

He shouldn't be able to kill you. On the other hand, he can actually chase down a Kassadin lategame if he has low health and/or if his team is coming and he needs to get some damage onto him. Be wary of that, and don't be lulled into thinking that you'll just be able to R over walls to get away from him like you can with pretty much everyone else.

VS

Teemo

Medium
2033.png

He's really not that bad. Trade Q for Q, and when his Q is on cooldown post-6, you can look to R onto him and hit him with an AA+W. He's squishy enough that he can easily be solokilled most of the time, unless you're playing against Ivan Pavlov who Ultimate Braveries Teemo and ends up winning anyway with weird tank builds. In that case, just focus on being more useful in teamfights.

VS

Twisted Fate

Easy
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Twisted Fate will likely either end up hugging his tower or he'll play up far enough and put himself at risked by being killed by you or you and your jungler. Either way, you're shutting down his ultimate ganks. Your Q cancels his ultimate. Keep wards on the bottom side of the map and if you see him running away while there's a fight going on, chase him down with Riftwalk to interrupt him.

If you and your jungler invade him to take his blue, this creates a massive problem for him, because he won't as easily be able to safely push by using his red card and Q to push the wave.

VS

Veigar

Medium
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He's actually a bit harder than Annie, as his Q outranges your Q, and if you Riftwalk to harass him, he'll throw his box down and have a pretty good shot of landing a Q and W on top of you while you're in it. This mostly ends up being a farm lane, which isn't too much of a problem for you, but it's not exactly something that's nice to know when the enemy laner is infinitely stacking their Ability Power. Roam.

VS

Vel'Koz

Medium
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Kassadin is fighting Vel'koz in his Pre-Void splash, so you know this matchup's lit.

Not really.

It's boring. Just REQ/RQE him when he misses his Q. He's very easily flanked and blown up lategame, your Q cancels his ult, and the fact Kassadin builds Zhonyas earlier than most mid laners makes his ult largely ineffective against you in general. He can't follow you into the jungle.

If you all in him when you're both at a health range where you could kill each other and he's post-6, save your Q to cancel his ultimate.

VS

Viktor

Medium
2033.png

If you trade Q for Q with him early on, he'll win. It costs less mana for him, and your Q doesn't do much damage at early ranks. Plus, he's throwing an autoattack in there as well, and if you're far up enough, he'll max it an AA+Q+AA to proc Thunderlords.

He'll mostly try to shove you in with his E, so stay away from the minion line if he's pushing. If his E is down, you can think about Riftwalking onto him if you're not low enough to be killed by his ultimate before you either kill him or your R comes up again. 

VS

Vladimir

Easy
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Best case scenario, you repeatedly solokill him if you're familiar enough with Kassadin/Vladimir's damage output to know when you can kill him, if at all. He has pretty great sustain. Worst case scenario, you get an easy lane as Kassadin, but then again, that's what Vladimir wants too. You do have superior roaming, though. 

A few things to keep in mind:

-Your Q cancels his E.

-Your Q does not outtrade his empowered Q. Don't try.

-His Q has a shorter cooldown than your Q,

-Your Q outtrades his Q.

-A good way to trade with him post-6 is to wait for your Q to be off cooldown and wait for his Q to be on cooldown. When this happens, jump onto him with an autoattack+W, E (optional), and then use Q to cancel his E while running away. Ideally, his Q should be on a long enough cooldown that he can't Q you during this process, although if not, you've still won the trade.

If he goes Protobelt instead of Spirit Visage as his first item you have a much higher chance of solokilling him.

VS

Wukong

Medium
2033.png

His EQ onto you will outtrade your retaliatory AA+W, and it's best to try to just focus on farming up and avoiding dying to him. If you're finding that he trades with EQW, immediately W him instead of using an autoattack as well. That way, you hit him before he clones away. This costs him a lot of mana, though, and can create problems for him.

He'll keep trying to all-in you. Just Riftwalk away when he pursues.

VS

Xerath

Medium
2033.png

Not much to say here, beyond it being incredibly difficult to actually poke or kill a Xerath in lane because of how far back he plays. He'll probably try to shove you in. It can be useful to know that your Q cancels both his Q and his R, and that he's pretty easy to flank.

VS

Yasuo

Easy
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Not a hard lane whatsoever. Max E, use your Q to break his shield. When he goes in for a dash onto you, hit him with an AA+W and walk back to your tower. Let him push you in if possible, which he'll likely do simply due to the nature of the champion. He can't Windwall any of your abilities except your Q which you won't be maxing first. He'll probably cry in all chat because his guide told him that this was an easy matchup.

You can use your Q to mitigate the damage of his E, which is magic damage.

VS

Zed

Medium
2033.png

Actually a pretty enjoyable lane, it's one of my favorite as Kassadin. There's a lot of mindgames here involved, although until you have your Zhonyas, you don't want to get caught out by him in the jungle. If he goes into melee range of you, you can hit him with an AA+W and this will win you the trade, especially because you'll pop Thunderlords while he doesn't with just an AA+E.

It largely depends on how good you are at dodging Shurikens and predicting when he's going to throw his WEQ at you. When his W and Q are down post-6, he's vulnerable to being Riftwalked on top of. You can go ROA->Zhonyas if that makes you feel safer (unless you're running his tank build, which you'll often do against heavy AD team comps. In that case, you'll be going ROA->Zhonyas anyway), but I tend to go ROA-Lichbane-Zhonyas because I'm comfortable enough in avoiding being killed by him by smartly playing around his W, and using my R to jump over a wall or back to my turret to safety.

If he ults you while you're mid Riftwalk animation and it follows you, you might die. Wait for him to land first.

VS

Ziggs

Medium
2033.png

Kassadin's weakness is his lack of reliable waveclear while in a siege, and that he struggles to lane against long ranged opponents. Ziggs constantly shoves you into a turret and has a long range on his abilities. This is a problem. If he's doing that, you need a jungler gank, because otherwise, you're going to lose your mid lane turret unless you can dodge enough of his skillshots and he gets close enough to you to get poked down and pressured out of fear of being solo killed. 

VS

Zilean

Medium
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Similar to Morgana, he's just going to keep trying to shove you into tower and be incredibly difficult to kill. The good thing though, is that despite Zilean being known as an anti-assassin due to his ult, Kassadin is not reliant on an ultimate with a long cooldown. If he resurrects a squishy champion in a teamfight, you're still useful and they can still die to you.

Who is this guide for? Back to Top

This guide is primarily for players who have some familiarity about what Kassadin's abilities are. This also isn't a general play guide, and for that reason, I will not be covering things such as warding locations, or the mathematical explanation behind why certain masteries, items, and runes are taken on him. 


This primarily is a text based guide. I'll add screenshots and other flair later if it's suitable.

R-Q-E > R-E-Q Back to Top

There's a common misconception that in every situation, it's better to use your E as the first ability in your rotation so your Q then provides an extra stack of Force Pulse. This is absolutely not the case, and I see it repeated by a lot of well-meaning Kassadin mains.


His E has a cast time. It's short, but it has a cast time. There are a lot of situations where you will be hit by magic damage in that time that could have been mitigated by your shield. Even worse, there's the potential that you hit the enemy champion with E, but they then walk out of range of your Q, and even worse, they then hit you with a magic spell from outside your Q range. You will also almost always max Q first, and if you only hit your E, you didn't trade as effectively as you could have.

If you know this won't be an issue when you trade with the enemy champion, then go for the R-E-Q. Stick with R-Q-E as your main ranged harass combo.

About Me Back to Top

I'm Caristinn, a username that's been quite important to me for around a decade at this point. I'll legally change my given name to it soon. For personal reasons, I now post under the username of /u/Cephaliarch on Reddit, and Reddit PMs are the best way to reach me. I likely won't accept friend requests in game as a result of my friends list being nearly capped at this point.


I would consider myself the best Kassadin in the world, or one of the best. It's something that I'm quite proud of. I started playing League of Legends back in late Season 2, and Kassadin was the first champion that I mained and I've continued to main him every season. I reached high D1 in Season 3, when high D1 was the equivalent of high Master today. I reached 400 LP Master in Season 4 and Season 5 and Season 6, and occasionally was promoted to Challenger. Season 6 was a complicated year for me as a result of real life issues, and while I reached 400 LP Master on North America before my account decayed, I did reach Challenger on Oceania while briefly living in Australia and got my jacket, so I'll take that. I'm aiming to reach Challenger in North America if I'm still around.

Kassadin is one of my main sources of pride. When I die, I hope being a skilled Kassadin player is one of the ways that I'm remembered. It probably will be. I like talking about Kassadin. I like playing Kassadin. I'd like to be buried in a recreation of his robe if it were possible. I'm only half-joking about that last one.

I don't enjoy this game much nowadays. I would not play League of Legends if Kassadin weren't in it. I have probably over 3000+ games played as Kassadin at this point as a low estimate.

I'm eighteen years old. I live in America. I'm approachable, don't worry. I have little more to say that's League related. 

General Laning Back to Top

riftwalk.png4.png

-Kassadin's Riftwalk has a short cast time. In this cast time, you can cast flash. You will always R->Flash, never Flash-R. This catches enemies off guard by essentially doubling the length of your Riftwalk, and if they get hit by the R, they take damage while simply flashing onto them would deal none.

-Null Sphere (Q) is your bread and butter harassment and defensive tool. Ideally, you want to use your Q while going in for a melee CS to attack the enemy laner while shielding damage from them, and even better, apply Corrupting Potion's DoT to them if you started with that item.

-You want to avoid using your Q to last hit. Using your E, on the other hand, can be pretty useful. They've reduced the mana cost on it in a recent patch, and even though you're maxing it second, you can sometimes use it to pick up multiple low health minions that would have caused you to taken harass if you were to melee them. 

-Ideally, keep your mana around 40-60%. You can let it go lower depending on how often you're hitting the enemy laner with your W's active. Your W restores a percentage of your missing mana regardless of whether it hits a minion or an enemy champion, but it's a significantly higher percentage on enemy champions. If you aren't really hitting the enemy laner with it, use your W off cooldown on minions to restore mana and to sneak last hits in. It costs no mana. Skilled enemy laners will wait for one of their minions to be at a low enough health, and then they'll aim a skillshot at you while you're moving in and autoattacking. Quickly executing one with AA+W can surprise them.

-Most of Kassadin's laning is about mindgaming the enemy about when you'll move in to CS a minion, and baiting out their skillshots this way. 

-Don't waste too much mana on harassing with E pre-6. Focus on expending your mana to use Q, it's a more efficient spell and doesn't shove the wave. Post-6, you'll have a higher mana pool, potentially a blue buff, and are more likely to be hitting the enemy laner with your W to restore mana. You also can more safely access the restorative jungle plants because of how hard Kassadin is to kill in the jungle if his Riftwalk is up.

-Your ganks, especially when you just have Rod of Ages, are pretty mediocre. Kassadin stays in lane longer than he did pre-rework, and looks to capitalize on opportunities created by his teammates and enemies rather than to create them on his own at this point. Sometimes your teammates will flame you if they don't understand this and if they expect you to constantly follow your laner. Ignore them, for the most part. Your primary focus in the early-midgame is largely on your lane. The reason Kassadin is a powerful roamer is because he can get to the fight faster and safer than most other mid laners can.

-Learn the rhythm of farming under tower. Learn when one autoattack will execute a full health caster minion that gets hit by a single tower shot. This isn't something that can be taught, it's something that you slowly grasp over time through pure practice.

riftwalk.png Riftwalk, by default, has a 0.2 AP ratio and a base damage of 80/100/120. It stacks up to four times, each increasing its AP ratio by 0.1 and its base damage by 40/50/60. It also has a mana ratio (based off your maximum mana) of 0.2 by default, increasing by 0.1 per stack.

This is primarily a mobility spell. On the other hand, once you have enough experience with Kassadin, you can squeeze every last bit of damage out of it to obtain kills you otherwise wouldn't have, or even just more effectively trade while managing your mana pool.

It's a very hard skill to master, and is the reason Kassadin has a deceptively high skillcap. There's no other champion in the game that has to manage their mana to the extent Kassadin does, especially in the way Kassadin does. Generally, you want to try to use it while it costs 50/100/200 mana. If you're struggling with mana in the laning phase, aim to use your RQE/REQ poke when it only costs 50/100.

Outside the Lane Back to Top

Killing the Enemy Jungler:


-Because of Kassadin's defensive mobility, he has an unparalleled ability to ward deep in the enemy jungle. This allows you to see the enemy's jungle path rather than relying on predicting their movements and what health they might be at. I like to ward the enemy's raptor camp, usually, followed by their wolf camp second. If they're low enough, you can burst the enemy jungler while they're low on health, and then get out using your Riftwalk and blast cone. Watch where the enemy laners are, because this can pretty obviously backfire.

Poking:

-I've noticed that a lot of Kassadin players don't fully take advantage of their ability to suddenly R-Q-E or R-E-Q combo enemies during a siege or a standoff or a push. This is something that you have to be very careful about doing, especially before you have Zhonyas, and it's largely based on your confidence in dodging skillshots and watching the enemy's cooldowns and movements, and just knowing how likely you are to be initiated on with hard CC. 

Slow Chasing:


-When pursuing enemies with your team, be aware that the enemy team might try to turn on you right after a Riftwalk or while your Riftwalk is on cooldown in general. If this would kill you, focus on primarily keeping a healthy distance from them while using your E to keep them slowed down so your teammates can catch up.

Riftwalk's Mana Cost:


-People often don't pay attention to Kassadin's Riftwalk stacks, and generally operate under the assumption that he has enough mana to use it. This provides you an advantage over the enemy team, and sometimes you can blow flashes or other important abilities this way, or just make them run away from you in general. However, your teammates often won't know either. Ping them back, or better yet, ping your Riftwalk if your mana is low enough to not cast it at all, and it'll inform them that you can use this. Sometimes you can't ping Riftwalk and convey the meaning of doing so-- for example, you might have 900 mana and your next Riftwalk costs 800 mana. Your ability to fight is crippled. Quickly type "OOM" or "no mana" or something similar if you have the time and if it's important. Of course, ping spams work too as mentioned.

Splitpushing:


-Because of his auto reset, non-targeted abilities, the fact he builds Lichbane, and his defensive mobility, Kassadin can actually do a pretty great job at splitpushing. Not only that, but most top laners, especially tanks, will not expect you to actually be able to kill them or otherwise fight them 1v1. I don't consider Kassadin to be a splitpusher as much as I see him as a counter splitpusher, to be more accurate. My goal is to make the enemies afraid to do so, and to reduce map pressure that way. I'll aim to kill them and then regroup with my team to take an objective, or the enemy splitpusher and I will run to our teammates to join the 4v4 if they're fighting. It's also worth mentioning that Kassadin has excellent DPS on baron and dragons.

Kassadin will get there faster, and he has Katarina levels of cleanup potential if he finds himself in the enemy's backline, especially lategame. It's not uncommon for him to be able to 1v2 the enemy carries at that point in the game.

Picks:


-You're Kassadin. You don't try to get into sieges, you don't try to fight fair teamfights. You can maneuver in the enemy jungle so deep that the enemy team wouldn't at all expect you to be there, and you win games based off of that. If you're caught, you have a higher chance of getting away than most other assassins could. Supports are prime candidates to die to you, because their teammates won't often protect them while warding, or they'll go off on their own to ward. Autofill is a lovely feature. Look at the minion waves on the map. Look at the position of visible and non-visible enemy champions. Do you think that the ADC is going to come to quickly farm a wave before regrouping with his team? Sit in a bush or behind a wall and kill him. 

Teamfights:


-If you play with simply the focus of divebombing the enemy backline, you will be useless. You output a high amount of sustained damage compared to other assassins, while at the same time being hard to kill. This is extremely valuable. In a lot of situations, you'll actually want to stay with your ADC and attack whoever dives onto them, abusing Kassadin's high amount of sustained damage as a fight progresses as long as he can continue to restore mana with his W without taking a significant amount of damage. He has a 90% slow in his kit at level 13 that can't be dodged and comes up about every 4 seconds in teamfights, and has a high AP ratio.

On the other hand, he doesn't actually pump out as much sustained damage or utility as a real mage does, provided that mage stays alive. Try to avoid fighting a fair 5v5 teamfight if possible, and in the middle of a teamfight, try to slip around the enemies while they're distracted and cause havoc in the enemy back line.

Scattering the Enemy:


-If you're confident enough in yourself, simply your presence can create havoc in an environment as chaotic as soloQ. If the enemy is grouped and pushing a lane, it's sometimes beneficial to show up behind them.

This creates a huge problem, and the enemy team's positioning will break down. They can't actually kill you, because you'll just retreat over a wall. But they can't ignore you either, most of the time. Sometimes they should, but not everyone will realize this, and now the enemy team is conflicted about what to actually do. 

Always abuse this.

Sneaking Dragons:


-When Kassadin goes MIA,  it's often believed by the enemy team that he'll be off trying to gank a lane. It's less expected that he'll be trying to two-man a dragon with his jungler. Take advantage of this, and use your Riftwalk to bypass wards. This is primarily useful while playing on the blue side. Ideally, you'll have a jungler who can dash over the back of the wall as well.

I view the best dragons as being Infernal>Mountain>Cloud>Ocean. You also never know which three dragon types will be active in a match. Maybe you'll snub the first dragon that spawns because it's an air, but if there's nothing better to do on the map, why not take it? The next three dragons might be Infernals.

Baron:


-When your team is doing Baron, it's oftentimes beneficial to not actually be in the pit with them killing it, but disrupting the enemy team as they come to contest it. That, or if your team is sneaking it, distracting the enemy team by showing up deep in their jungle. It really depends on the circumstances. Sometimes your team needs you to actually be fighting it.

-Kassadin is a burst champion and can very easily steal Baron. Stack up your Riftwalk all the way, and then R-Flash on top of Baron to hit it with your W. Consider using Q first. In total, this deals 1.8 AP of damage instantly with Lich Bane (plus base damages and mana scaling), increased to 2.5 if your Q hits at around the same time you burst it.

I'd say he's one of the best non-jungler champions in the game at doing so. Even if Kassadin isn't as bursty as other mid laners, what sets him apart is his mobility to come from over a wall, and the fact that all of his abilities can hit neutral monsters. That's not true of Syndra.

Riftwalk Mobility:


-Like certain other abilities, if Kassadin's Riftwalk takes him halfway over a wall, he'll go the full distance over it. A quick example that you should be using often is actually the Nexus. When coming back to mid lane after recalling post-6, I'll usually ult directly over the Nexus, and then again over the mid lane inhibitor turret.

When is it best to pick Kassadin? Back to Top

-AP Kassadin is best used against teams that possess 2-3+ short to medium range magic damage champions. 


Example:

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The above team comp, as mentioned, is exactly that.

You ideally want to play him within a team comp that can supplement his diving power, or otherwise has the ability to survive being engaged on. Kassadin often struggles when his team can't initiate on the enemy team, or if the enemy team hard engages on his team and he doesn't have the ability to flank and reposition himself constantly throughout a teamfight. You also want to have a quality source of waveclear, because otherwise, you might struggle during sieges. Here are some team comps that Kassadin fits into.

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This is great for him. Caitlyn and Jarvan can push waves with their Q abilities and Caitlyn's long ranged autoattacks, and this is a durable team that can dive onto the enemy backline and create a situation where you can flank around or otherwise join in while the enemy's spells are being used on Kled and Jarvan. Caitlyn is pretty safe without needing you to peel her. It has a nice mix of physical and magical damage.

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This is a more defense focused team comp that's able to survive being engaged on by the enemy team with the CC and shielding that your team provides. It has a nice mix of physical and magical damage.

And now here's an example of a BAD team comp for Kassadin.

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This is awful. You have too much of a focus on single target DPS. You have no actual initiator. You have too much magic damage. Your waveclear blows. Your team is vulnerable to dive comps. 

-Tank Kassadin is best played against 3-4 physical damage champions, especially if they're Lethality users. When you're building Kassadin this way, you want to stay with your team more often especially if they're squishy and need the durability you provide.

Example:

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And below is an example of a situation where you would not want to go tank Kassadin.

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Why? Look at their kits more closely. A good portion of Irelia's damage in a teamfight is true damage and magical damage. A good portion of Yi's damage in a teamfight is true damage. Yasuo has 50% bonus armor penetration after using his ultimate, which he absolutely will receive because of Lulu's ult. Kog'maw does a ton of magical damage.

That's a dive heavy teamcomp. Your durability means nothing to them, and you're better off going AP Kassadin. Tank Kassadin excels when he's the one diving the enemy team, and is sufficiently durable to draw focus.

Kassadin Top Back to Top

In all honesty, it's pretty bad. AP top laners are more difficulty to fit into your team comp, especially when they're damage focused champions with low durability. You'll want to ensure that you won't end up with too much AP in your team comp, and that you're getting enough tankiness and initiation power elsewhere in your teamcomp.


I almost always will advise against playing Kassadin as a top lane champion.

His map presence is significantly reduced as a top laner as opposed to a mid laner. You'll be expected to match your top laner's splitpushing midgame, and while Kassadin is a counter-splitpusher as I mentioned before, he's better off as a midgame trying to create flanking plays while he doesn't have the items to actually threaten most enemy top laners.

He gets absolutely destroyed by most bruisers. His teleport ganks are ineffective, because Kassadin brings very little to a gank itself. Most top laners are too durable for you to kill with ignite. He's more vulnerable to a gank both pre-6 and post-6, problematic as a snowball based champion, and the longer lane means that certain champions have more room to respond to you and chase you after you R them.

Certain matchups become more difficult, or even easier as a result of the length of top laner.

BEST TOP LANERS TO PICK KASSADIN AGAINST:

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OKAY TOP LANERS TO PICK KASSADIN AGAINST:

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NO:

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ABSOLUTELY NO:

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I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST SCREAM:

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Why Kassadin did nothing wrong. Back to Top

For most of Season 1 and Season 2, opinions of Kassadin ranged from him being incredibly mediocre, or even bad. The exception to this was briefly in Season 2 where he was considered to be slightly overtuned, and was given small nerfs and was forgotten about. He wasn't picked a single time at the Season 2 World Championships, and neither were literally any other assassin champions. I distinctly remember being questioned or even flamed for picking Kassadin at all in soloQ matches both in Season 2 and for a while in Season 3.


Why? His laning phase was horrible. He lacked reliable waveclear. His AoE damage had too short of a radius. He didn't have the utility or range other mages did. His cooldowns were too high.

The meta began to shift in Season 3. Riot massively increased the gold flow from the jungle role, improved their itemization with the addition of Spirit items, and added incredibly overpowered champions to the game such as Zac and Vi and Elise. If you were an immobile or low-mobility mage, these champions were very difficult to avoid being killed by in a gank, or even a teamfight. Your other option was to hug the tower and concede lane pressure, and even then, you might have still ended up dying to a towerdive. It didn't help that the ADC role was nerfed in Season 3, and thus the mid lane carry became more important in comparison.

Your option at that point was to pick a mid lane champion with mobility, which at the time, was pretty much exclusive to assassins and Lissandra. The latter was fairly weak at the time, and this left you with Ahri, Kassadin, Fizz, Zed, and Kha'zix. For most of Season 3, Kassadin was ignored outside of in Europe, a region that had always favored him. People started to pay attention to him later in the season, especially around the time of Worlds. Not only did Kassadin have the mobility to avoid being shut down by the enemy jungler in lane and in team fights, but Kassadin was better as an anti-assassin rather than an anti-mage.

Perception is important. A 9-2-8 Kassadin is more frustrating at face value than the 4-5-21 Zac who got him to that point by killing the enemy laner and/or forcing them to play passively enough that his weak laning phase became significantly less relevant.

It was around Season 4 that he climbed up to his 90%~ banrate and was reworked in the middle of the season. Interestingly enough, throughout Season 2 and Season 3 and Season 4 (pre-rework), he hovered pretty steadily at around a 48-51% winrate despite not having a particularly high skill floor, and until he was considered overpowered, barely anyone in high elo matches even paid him mind.

He was given the Olaf treatment soon after his rework, and was left at around a 35-40% winrate in soloQ until receiving several buffs later on. 

I really question the way Riot went about handling the blatant powercreep from the jungle role that still continues to occur to this day. Instead of nerfing the junglers who were shifting the meta in every single lane for the worse, they chose to nerf champions who were actually capable of dealing with this class of highly mobile, highly durable, high CC champions. We're now at the point where Jarvan and Nidalee, two champions that are absolutely strong junglers right now, will be receiving buffs simply because they're not as overpowered as the current roster of S tier junglers and thus look weaker in comparison. The jungler role is by far the most important role in the game, something that's incredibly obnoxious. It's not fun for most games to be decided by a role that you don't even directly interact with aside from running away from.
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