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All Guides Kayle Guides AP Kayle, the Angelic Arbiter (Runaan's Build)
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Kayle Statistics for Eisley

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

Value
Average
Games Played
4
Win %
45
Kills
5.2
Assists
8.5
Deaths
6.5
KA:D Ratio
2.1
Gold Earned
11.5K
Creep Score
147.6
Average

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  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

14.png Ignite is for kill potential in lane as well as when roaming. Mid is all about winning your lane, securing kills, and so on--an early kill can snowball the entire game in your favor and ignite will help with this! 

7.png Heal is really strong. It removes the heal reduction that 14.png gives now, which works wonderfully with Kayle's W--it allows for her to heal for full effect with W. I would probably take heal over ignite now since 4.5.


4.png Flash is how you make plays, my friend. Even though it was nerfed for season 3 with a higher cooldown, it's still godlike. Think of the plays!


12.pngTeleport is a spell a lot of mids have been picking up lately. It doesn't work well with Kayle, however--she's a lane winner and a farmer. She is not a roamer. I would only pick this up if they have 80_icon_64.png or 4_icon_64.png and you feel it's essential you follow the lane or else your bot lane will feed.

Runes Back to Top

  • 9x
    +1.7% attack speed Greater Mark of Attack Speed
  • 9x
    +1.34 magic resist Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
  • 9x
    +0.16 armor per level Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
  • 3x
    +4.95 ability power Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

There's a lot of different rune pages you can run for mid and this is the ideal set up. I have also included jungle runes after the mid section, for those looking for a jungle Kayle page.




Kayle Mid Runes

QUINT%20AP.png Quints
Flat AP: These are the only quints I feel that Kayle needs. It makes your Q hurt more and since Kayle has a very strong early game, you want to do as much damage as possible. Movespeed quints aren't needed since your W boosts movespeed.

 

MARK%20MAGIC%20PEN.png Marks

Attack Speed: You do have those marks saved from your jungling set, right? These are the best choice for Kayle right now--Kayle's a lane bully and these will help you push early on as well as be more aggressive. 

Magic Pen: These are another option so you can scale into lategame better. However, I dislike them; I would only take them if you lacked Attack Speed marks. If you start MrP marks, you can buy 3006_32.png instead of 3020_32.png which are cheaper.


GLYPH%20MAGIC%20RESIST.png Glyphs

Magic Resist: How can you say no to MR? The only case where I wouldn't take these is if you're against an AD mid. If it's an AP, I would almost always take these, except in the rare case of Karthus or another pushover in lane.

AP per level: If it's an AD mid or you like to live on the wild side, you can take these for late game scaling. It's a nice amount of AP.

SEAL%20OF%20MANA%20REGEN.png Seals

Scaling Armor: Armor will help you win trades. With patch 4.5's nerfs to flat armor, scaling armor becomes better by level 5-6. This means you should likely go for scaling armor, it will benefit you the most in the long run, even if your level 1-3 will be a bit weaker.

Scaling Health: You can run these if you're against a mid laner who won't auto attack much and who isn't AD.

Armor: Armor will help you win trades as well as annoy AD mids. It's really useful on Kayle since a lot of champions will AA harass you almost immediately in lane.



Kayle Jungle Runes

QUINT%20AP.png Quints

Attack Speed: Attack fast, clear fast. It also helps these are extremely well-budgeted, they offer the most compared to any other quints. You don't need AP because that's to help you win trades in mid lane.


MARK%20MAGIC%20PEN.png Marks

Attack Speed: This is the only choice. Attack fast, clear fast--part two.


GLYPH%20MAGIC%20RESIST.png Glyphs

Scaling Magic Resist per level: I believe scaling MR is best in the jungle.

Flat Magic Resist: These are fine to take.

Scaling AP per level: Scaling AP is actually great, and it will benefit you a lot after.

SEAL%20OF%20MANA%20REGEN.png Seals

Scaling Armor per level: Armor will help you in the jungle. With patch 4.5's nerfs to flat armor, scaling armor becomes better by level 5-6. This means you should likely go for scaling armor, it will benefit you the most in the long run, even if your level 1-3 will be a bit weaker.

Armor: Armor will help you, but flat armor is overrated. The nerfs hit it hard.

Masteries Back to Top

1/1
4/4
0/4
0/1
0/1
3/3
3/3
0/1
1/1
1/1
1/1
3/3
1/1
0/3
3/3
1/1
0/1
3/3
1/1
1/1

Offense: 27

0/2
0/2
0/2
0/2
0/1
0/3
0/1
0/1
0/1
0/3
0/3
0/3
0/1
0/1
0/1
0/1
0/4
0/1
0/1

Defense: 0

0/1
3/3
0/3
0/1
0/3
0/1
0/1
0/3
0/1
0/3
0/1
0/1
0/1
0/3
0/2
0/1
0/3
0/1

Utility: 3

This is a super aggressive build that I am seeing people use a lot in this season. The downside? Your blue buff duration sucks. The upside? Almost everything else.


You can just go a standard 21/0/9 if you feel more comfortable having Runic Affinity. But do think about it, because honestly with blue's nerf, it's not as needed as before!

Abilities Back to Top

Passive
q
2
3
5
7
9
w
4
14
15
17
18
e
1
8
10
12
13
r
6
11
16

Skill Order

[skills/kayle/r.png] > [skills/kayle/q.png] > [skills/kayle/e.png] > [skills/kayle/w.png]

I max Q first because it's Kayle's poke and her best skill. It slows, hurts, and terrorizes your opponents. 

Always get Q and E as your first two skills. You need Q and E to start your lane bullying at level two. Q them then E them, keep following and you should be able to get off 3-4 autoattacks for free.


When to max E over Q?

Maxing Q is the default.

However, against certain champions such as 61_64.png or 117_64.png, picking up 2-3 points in E over Q at the start will allow you to punish the lane much harder.

Likewise, if you go 3085_32.png as your second item, maxing E is also viable.


Maxing W or E?

I wanted to emphasize this a bit more since I see different guides saying different things. Honestly, it depends. E is better for sheer damage output, but you can max W if you're losing lane or find yourself playing extremely passively. It will hurt your early to mid-game damage.

I almost always max E, but that's because I don't like to play passively on Kayle. If you play passively and don't gain any advantage by six, you are playing Kayle completely wrong.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    I prefer to go lens trinket so you can apply pressure for your jungler :)
    A more standard start. Use this if you want to be aggressive & feel confident.

Core Items

    Skirmish build
    Team fight build
    Default final build
    Runaan's final build path

Situational Items

    DAMAGE
    SURVIVABILITY
    If they are building Spirit Visage/Banshee's
    Team fight item, get it second if you have a team fight comp

Early Game

There are two starts really for Kayle. Either start with a 2041_32.png and 2003_32.png or go 2003_32.png and 1076_32.png.  Sometimes you can go off what you think your lane opponent will be; if it's a harder match up, you can take more healing. 

I think Flask generally sucks, however, as I said...it has its perks. It can be really useful if you're not feeling your lane, feel like you're outmatched, or are a newer Kayle player.

As for trinket, generally always go 3341_32.png because I like to play aggressive and promote my jungler to gank for me ASAP, so clearing their ward helps; if you're worried about ganks, however, I suggest you just pick up 3340_32.png. I tend to start ward for levels 1-6, then switch to lens around ~10-15 minutes.

  • It is important to get 1001_32.png as soon as possible--preferably on your first back. This will let your Q and E combo be more effective, getting in one or two extra hits due to movespeed, and it will prevent enemies from being just out of range of your Q. 
  • 1056_32.png is something I'll get on my first back if I'm winning lane to snowball further; two rings are really strong.

Mid Game

  • 3115_32.png is absolutely staple on Kayle. Get it as your first item regardless of what second item you want. You can get upgraded boots before it if you are having a hard time in lane, either being ganked or not being able to put pressure on. I prefer boots against mobile champions such as 55_icon_64.png, so I can apply pressure easier.
  • 3020_32.png or 3006_32.png? It depends on your rune set up. I personally go Sorc's now, but Greaves are viable if you are not using attack speed runes. (Note: If you get 3085_32.png, go 3006_32.png.)
  • 3100_32.png was until recently the second item to rush on Kayle. What Lichbane does ultimately is it makes you an incredible duelist; you gain so much burst. This means Lichbane gives you an ability to delete someone from a fight which Kayle hadn't had before and is why it's so incredibly good.
  • 3085_32.png has become a popular item to rush second instead of 3100_32.png. You can get it SECOND if you want to get it, getting it instead of 3100_32.png.  Keep in mind it is a team fight item; you will not be able to skirmish and burst like you can with Lichbane, so you will need to play entirely different and work to output maximum damage in teamfights through AoE rather than single target burst.

Late Game

  • After I have my two core DPS items, I assess the situation. Do I need more damage or do I need survivability?
  • If I need survivability, I used to go Warmog's. However, with its nerfs, now I go 3157_32.png. You can choose 3026_32.png if they have a lot of burst or if they have a reset comp so you can deny them resets, but Zhonya's is superior in nearly every situation.
  • If I need damage, I always go 3089_32.png.
  • It is very important to assess what you need. A lot of the times you do not need more damage, even though it's always the tempting option; Zhonya's still provides damage while giving you a powerful pause button. It also synergizes well with her ultimate!
  • In the current meta, tanks are huge. MR will get built. Consider picking up 3135_32.png as your third item to break through their MR if their team has more than one champion that will generally pick up this item (e.g. 2_64.png jungle and 102_64.png top--you're gonna want 3135_32.png as your third item).

Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Ahri
    Medium
  • Akali
    Medium
  • Anivia
    Medium
  • Diana
    Medium
  • Fizz
    Medium
  • Karthus
    Easy
  • Kassadin
    Medium
  • Katarina
    Easy
  • Kha'Zix
    Easy
  • LeBlanc
    Easy
  • Lulu
    Medium
  • Lux
    Easy
  • Morgana
    Easy
  • Nidalee
    Easy
  • Orianna
    Hard
  • Riven
    Medium
  • Rumble
    Easy
  • Ryze
    Medium
  • Talon
    Easy
  • Twisted Fate
    Easy
  • Vladimir
    Easy
  • Wukong
    Easy
  • Yasuo
    Medium
  • Zed
    Easy
  • Ziggs
    Hard

VS

Ahri

Medium

The key to winning an Ahri match up is to bully her early on and get her to burn through her sustain. A few Q's will do the trick, you just have to make sure you dodge her Q (orb) and don't set yourself up for being vulnerable to a charm. She's all skill shots, you're not, and if you're able to play it right this means your poke is infinitely better.


A key thing to remember against Ahri is that her Q coming back is true damage. So if you get hit with it initially, still make the effort to dodge--it hurts more coming back!


Once she's six, it's a lot harder to play against her since she is so mobile with her R and can quickly get out of your damage if she's low.

VS

Akali

Medium

Akali can be an annoying match up because she does a phenomenal amount of burst after six. I do not advise picking Kayle into Akali unless you feel you can COMPLETELY shut her down before she gets six. She simply cannot gain an advantage or the lane is utterly over. I have played this match up at plat level in both ranked 5s and solo queue, sometimes as the Akali, and it has never gone well for the Kayle unless the team worked to shut down Akali.


You cannot 1v1 her if she has3146_32.png completed--even if you are somewhat fed. She has so much sustain once she has 3145_32.png that none of your damage truly sticks to her. Furthermore, a good ultimate can save you from some of her damage, but she'll just disappear into her shroud and do the combo again once your ultimate is used.


2043_32.png will allow you to fight her if you drop it. She will have to auto it down while you kill her, so since it's actually 25g cheaper, she's actually a bit easier to beat now.

VS

Anivia

Medium

Anivia is a rough lane because you can't fight her after six. Not only is she stellar at farming, she has an attack speed debuff and an immense amount of damage. Be aware that she will try to stun you then blow her combo on you--dodging her stun is easy as long as you're constantly watching for it, but the problem is Kayle gets up in Anivia's grill to do the brunt of her damage which makes it a lot harder to avoid.


There are two ways to play this lane. You can be hyperaggressive and try to make her burn her passive or4.pngby level three or four--then call for jungler ganks (or try to 1v1 her, as her passive is a large part of why she will always win against you). This is really risky, and you should only do it if you start with a2044_32.pngto avoid ganks. You can also just turn it into a farm lane. Most Anivia players prefer to farm anyway, and if you aren't sure you can kill her, you can easily safely farm in lane.


Anivia is pretty devastated without her blue--more sothan most champions. Because of this, I always make an effort to mess with her blue if I'm against her.Make sure you note if their jungler started blue or red and get a timer for their blue going. Communicate your intentions to your jungler--ask if they want to pink dragon or try to set up a steal. Know your team's strengths, however: if the lane near blue is losing badly or your jungler is not strong, you should not go for this. However, a good steal can be safe and completely win you your lane with Anivia.

VS

Diana

Medium

Diana is a really strong champion, deceptively so. She has a weak early game, but once she hits six she can pretty much duel anyone--Kayle included. Diana doesn't want to fight pre-six, so try to make her fight early on as much as possible.


Most importantly is that you need to dodge her Q. It's a crescent shape and you can usually tell by her movements when she will try to hit/CS with it. Once it's down, feel free to Q her and get off a few autoattacks with E up. If you continue to trade like this, you may be able to kill her right as you both hit six. A good Diana, however, will just go back around six to heal up so try to keep the lane pushed so she does not get the opportunity to recall without losing a lot.

Additionally, watch for her W (shield) timer. If she just used it, you have a long window in which you are strong--and also in which she will not have kill potential.

VS

Fizz

Medium

This is a skill match up and it can easily go either way.


The first thing you should know about Fizz is that he hurts. A lot. He also snowballs. A lot. You want to prevent both of these things from happening, so you want to play cautiously until two to avoid taking free damage.

After level two, watch his cooldowns closely. If he E's at all, go in to trade. You will win any trade if his E is down. Additionally, if you have a jungler coming for a gank, try to Q him to force him to E it to block the damage--his E has a longer cooldown than your Q, so your jungler can then gank safely and he'll get baited.

It is important to continue to AA him after he tries to disengage. At first it may seem like you lost the trade--he got onto you, did half your health, then ran away--but if you continue to AA with W on you for the speed burst, you will win the trade.

Once you're level six, you need to realize he will always try to burst you and attempt to get you to hit R. Hold onto your R for his R. Your R completely blocks his and it's incredibly easy to block, so you have the advantage here as long as you don't R to block some of his burst when he first jumps onto you. A lot of the times a Fizz will use his R to finish you off after he's disengaged, so remember: save your R, save your life.

VS

Karthus

Easy

Karthus is undead. You're an angel. You can smite him with your holy powers.


But really, Karthus has a rough lane against Kayle. Bully him early on and deny him his precious farm he needs for his R to carry. As with any Karthus match up, just be aware of his defile and your positioning. Also, remember that your ultimate counteracts his in a 1v1 situation, but don't be afraid to use it to tower dive him if you feel confident enough and know his wall is on cooldown.

VS

Kassadin

Medium

New Kassadin is really strong, I wouldn't want to lane against him on any champion. I have yet to play a game against him, but please, ban him. This actually isn't sarcasm--the mana he gains, his shield, and his roam potential just make him stronger in lane and he is horrible to deal with.

VS

Katarina

Easy

This is an easy lane. Q her when it's up and farm your heart out. If she tries to all-in you at six, you can just ultimate through it and lay down the hurt, thus winning the trade.


The biggest thing to watch out for is her roaming. Since Katarina excels off roaming, make sure your wards are placed at key points and that you're always aware of where she is at all times. Push hard on her if she goes MIA for even a second so she loses maximum farm if she did roam, hopefully for no gain.

VS

Kha'Zix

Easy

Kha'Zix has a hard time against Kayle and isn't a big threat. The biggest thing to watch out for is if he roams. Be sure to also to use your ultimate in team fights on the right target to prevent him from instantly killing your ADC or a low teammate.

VS

LeBlanc

Easy

LeBlanc is one of those champions that's always a nightmare to lane against... unless you're Kayle.


Before six, you can absolutely crush her. Just make sure you open with a Q and activate E before she can silence you to win the trade. Once she hits six, she does have kill potential, but only if you mess up; don't accidentally ultimate too soon.

VS

Lulu

Medium

Lulu is a very good mid lane right now--in many ways, she's a superior Kayle. She's very annoying and you likely won't kill her if you just try to all in and she tries to all in. With Lulu, managing her cooldowns is the name of the game. You must know when she used them as her combo is devastating. 


Dodging her skills will win you the match up. If she does not land her Q, you will win every trade. If she lands it, you will lose them all and she will kite you.

Also be aware that if she uses E on herself, a creep to deny you a CS, or even you, know that she can Q shortly after and damage you with it since Pix gains extra range.

  • Lulu wants to hit creeps AND you when they are in lane, so you want to stand away from your creeps. Don't give them free damage on you. You can easily strafe to avoid Q if you're paying attention.
  • You will primarily use E to CS, going into melee range for a creep generally means she will E + Q you.
  • Be aware of how much burst she has. Her E + Q start to hurt quickly; by level 11, she will out burst you and can easily turnaround what seems like a losing fight. She might be at half, but she will quickly be close to full with her ultimate and you'll be dead.
  • If she makes the mistake of Qing for nothing, immediately Q her and chase her down hitting her with E. Do not let her get off a free Q. Make sure you follow up and attack her after the slow is down and/or she's missed it.
  • Avoiding Q's literally decides the entire match up. GLHF.

VS

Lux

Easy

Lux is a pretty easy matchup after the first few levels--this is largely in part because blocking her ultimate is very easy with your ultimate due to its cast time. At six, you can easily beat her; just damage her and dodge her skills if possible. If you happen to get caught, she still has zero kill potential since you can just ultimate her ultimate.

Try to get her to burn her4.pngearly on, since she's pretty much a free kill with it down if your jungler comes.

VS

Morgana

Easy

Morgana is annoying because she's a very farm oriented lane and a fairly safe champion, but she really has next to no kill potential on you. Just dodge her binds, which are really very slow and easy to predict, and you win every trade. You can bully her early once you hit 2 and can get a few Q's off followed up by E harass.


  • Dodge Q's.
  • Your level 1-5 are infinitely stronger.
  • She should have zero kill potential on you.

Also be sure to roleplay with her, since she is Kayle's sister after all!

VS

Nidalee

Easy

In short, it's pretty easy for Kayle. Nidalee doesn't have sustained damage and you can easily win early trades. She can harass heavily with autoattacks, but once you hit level two, you can easily out trade her--especially if you dodge her spear which is basically her only form of damage at early levels.


The key to this match up is to push onto her early. Push her into her tower to get an early level advantage and hit her with Q's under her tower so she has to burn through her potions. If you keep playing this way, she will either have to back too soon or you will get a kill.

  • Get level 2 before her and go aggressive.
  • Dodge her Q's, using the minions as a shield as much as possible.
  • Go aggressive every time your Q is off of cooldown.

iE88j1LfHLHyL.gif

VS

Orianna

Hard

Orianna probably the hardest lane for Kayle in 4.6 for Season 4.


She'll be very punishing early on. She is one of the hardest lanes for Kayle to go against. Most Orianna players play aggressively with a lot of autoattacks that really hurt in the early levels. Cooldown management is everything. For example, if she just tried to harass you or she moved her ball, you have a small window (nine seconds for shield) where you can go in and shred her for some free damage with Q/E thus winning the trade.


At level six, you can all in since you can mitigate most of her damage with your ultimate, but she may still win the trades if she plays it right.

  • Attempt to get level 2 first. Watch her ball positioning to be aware of cooldowns. If successful, zone her with Q and E.
  • Time her shield cooldown. Be aware of when she uses it and be aware it lasts for four seconds. You can engage once her shield is down.
  • Trade with short trades: Q and then E autos. Do not all in, poke her down with short engages.

VS

Riven

Medium

Riven is a very strong champion with a wonderful early game.


But so is Kayle.

As Kayle, you can force Riven to take a lot of damage early on which should win you the lane. If she gets near you, Q her  while moving back and start harassing--she will be forced to back off with her E. If she tries to engage on you, just back up while she's slowed, and she won't be able to lock you down and win the trade.

Know that Riven's power spike is at level 3 while Kayle's is at level 2. You should be abusing her at level 2 to burn through her pots, then cautioning up at level 3 when she has her three abilities. Continue to poke, but always watch her range. She can win trades if she gets on you and does an entire combo; be careful.

At level 6, you can win every trade because your ult is a shorter cooldown than hers. Try to bait her into an engage, get her to ult, and then wait for yours to come back up then engage for the kill. 

Ultimately, Kayle and Riven fighting boils down to who knows their champion better. Master Kayle and you'll win, but a good Riven is a very hard match up for anyone.

VS

Rumble

Easy

I would not even consider this a normal mid, but I just went against a mid Rumble in ranked.


Rumble is pretty much a joke to deal with. You can hurt him easily from level two and onward. Try to watch his cooldowns and bait his E (harpoon) by stepping out of the creeps then walking back in so that he uses it. Once it's on CD, go aggressive and chase him down.

VS

Ryze

Medium

A good Ryze is a formidable opponent. After a few levels, he can trade with you well. Because of this, I suggest early aggression to hurt him where he's the weakest: before he has3070_32.png.


Against Ryze, I prefer to start with a2044_32.png. I push the lane hard early on--around level three it should be under his turret if you are AA pushing. This will cause him to have to use mana to CS. At this point you can leave lane to put a ward by the jungler's buff they are likely just about to start or in the process of finishing. You can often pick off a weaker jungler (especially if you have your jungler's back up). Ryze meanwhile will have probably spammed spells to last hit and will lose a lot of experience if he tries to leave lane to help.

Ryze was nerfed a few patches ago and the matchup is less hard now. But keep in mind, he's very difficult to duel because he's extremely strong with his ultimate.

VS

Talon

Easy

Talon is easy for Kayle compared to other AP mids. He relies on a silence to win trades and you can just activate your E before an engage, so he doesn't really stop your damage like he would most AP mids.

That said, it's incredibly easy to misplay this--if you don't have E up and he silences you, you lose the trade. Because of this I just activate E if I see him moving around close to me. At worst, you get some range while farming. At best you can beat him in a trade.

VS

Twisted Fate

Easy

Twisted Fate is really easy to beat in lane. He doesn't have much of an escape once his stun is down and you can time your engage on that--if he uses a blue card to get mana, just go all in with a Q followed by E and autoattacks.


The main problem is his roam. Luckily Kayle pushes extremely well, especially after she completes3101_32.png. Just let your team know when he's six and ward so you can see if he disappeared to ultimate or just grab his wraiths. Since you can't follow him, the best course of action is to just push--you'll get a free tower and that will be more valuable than any kills he may get (hopefully none if your team understands TF).

VS

Vladimir

Easy

Like most champions that have weak early games, Kayle feasts upon Vlad. Go fully aggressive at two and the lane should be yours--deny him as much farm as possible, throwing out Q's all day. As he levels up to mid-game, he becomes an actual threat with kill potential, so ideally you will either kill him or completely deny him by level six.

VS

Wukong

Easy

Don't give him an edge. This match up was made for Kayle--she loves to feast on melee champions.


Push the lane to hit two before him, while maintaining creep favor. Every time he goes to hit a creep, Q him and turn on E. Don't be afraid to flash for a kill early on if he's really low; while it may seem counter-intuitive, if you can shut down Wukong pre-six, he becomes a very moderate force of power and you'll win the game.

A good Wukong won't get decoy until level 4, so keep that in mind. Pre-four you win the match up easily, if you both hit six, it's down to skill. So play it like you own it and try to dominate him before he hits six.

VS

Yasuo

Medium

Kayle does decently against Yasuo. If he makes it past the bans and they get him, consider Kayle a great matchup to play into him.


Bully him early on and push the lane to get two first. Be aware of how his shield works and once he triggers it, back off until it falls off.  He can kill you 1-5, so try to play safe while keeping him low health before 6.

It's important to also keep distance between Yasuo and yourself until he's 50%--you can't win a 1v1 with him if you're both at full health, especially before you have your ultimate. Poke him from afar and burn through his pots, don't try to get up in his face for a kill unless he's low and you're not. Save your ultimate for his, whenever he jumps on you, wait a second and then ult; you'll usually catch it and if not, you'll still block a lot of damage.

I try to play the lane by bullying him hard so that when we both hit 6, then he's half health and I'm not. Then I go for the kill. Your mileage may vary.

VS

Zed

Easy

While Zed is a hard lane, Kayle's ult inherently cancels his ult out. As such, it's really not a hard match up at all. You can also bully him a lot before he gets 1053_32.png--after that he will out sustain you unless you all in, and can easily escape you during an all in, so it's not worth consistently engaging. 


The thing that's hard about Zed is that he can farm really well as well as be pretty safe from ganks. You can also rush 3157_32.png, but since your ult does the same thing, it's not as needed as it is on other mids to counter Zed. 

VS

Ziggs

Hard

Ziggs does really well against Kayle. He is not a counter in that you cannot lane against him, he is just a hard matchup that only excellent Kayle players will walk away from if the skill match up is somewhat even.


  • Try to trade hyper aggressively and push the wave to hit level 2 before him. Once you hit 2 before him, you can try to poke him and all in. Hitting 2 later results in a lost lane that should become a farm lane.
  • After level 3, he is stronger in every way.
  • Do short trades; Q and auto once or twice. Extended engages will always favor Ziggs.
  • Focus on farming. Don't try to melee creeps, or he will Q the wave and get free poke on you. Make sure you are always aware of your positioning so he does not get free poke.
  • Do not trade when he has his passive up. Be aware when it is coming back up.

Runaan's Hurricane vs. Lichbane Playstyle Back to Top

Lichbane vs Runaan's? Thanks to Korea, we have a new build and it's FOTM which means everyone wants to do it. But what's the point if you don't understand it? Here's the two builds, what they're used for, and how to know which one to go.


Note: If you are planning on building Runaan's, make sure to run attack speed quints and marks. You do not want to play without those as that build.


3100_32.png Lichbane

Lichbane is a skirmishing item that is excellent in duels or quick engages that don't last long. If you have a pick comp, a strong laning enemy you want to dominate mid game, or your comp relies on burst to quickly eliminate someone, this is the superior item to Runaan's. This is an excellent item if you are going to be in your lane for a while or they have a team you think you'll find yourself 1v1ing or 2v2ing significantly.

Build Path
3020_32.png -> 3115_32.png -> 3057_32.png -> 3089_32.png -> 3100_32.png (upgrade) -> 3157_32.png = 3135_32.png (based on needs [defensive or offensive])

Skill Order

[skills/kayle/r.png] > [skills/kayle/q.png] > [skills/kayle/e.png] > [skills/kayle/w.png]

Pros
  • Good for 1v1's
  • Moderate burst
  • Movespeed helps Kayle catch people
  • Good against squishy champions she does well against such as 76_64.png
Cons
  • Lichbane was nerfed
  • Requires 3089_32.png as third item to do maximum damage
  • Not FOTM anymore and everyone knows FOTM is cooler right?


3085_32.pngRunaan's

Runaan's is a team fight item that outputs maximum DPS in extended engages. It does not allow Kayle to have burst and it will make your 1v1 extremely weak compared to before. It is an excellent split pushing item, wave clearing item, and team fighting item. If your team fight is strong or you want to split push, it is an excellent purchase over Lichbane.

Build Path
3006_32.png-> 3115_32.png -> 3085_32.png-> 3089_32.png -> 3157_32.png = 3135_32.png (based on needs [defensive or offensive])

Skill Order

[skills/kayle/r.png] > [skills/kayle/e.png] > [skills/kayle/q.png] [skills/kayle/w.png]


If going Runaan's, go Attack Speed quintessences over AP quints if you have them.

Pros
  • Makes Kayle's wave clear even more disgustingly strong
  • Outputs significant damage in team fights that last for a while
  • Great split pushing item
  • Good against champions with strong wave clear, such as 115_64.png or 61_64.png
Cons
  • Weak 1v1 item
  • Lacks AP which hurts her W/Q

Kayle: Her Role as a Mid Laner Back to Top

When to Pick Kayle?

Kayle is a great pick. However, she's especially a great pick if:
  • Their mid has a weak early game such as 8_icon_64.png or if their mid relies on silences to win trades such as 91_icon_64.png
  • You have a strong ADC such as 21_icon_64.png or a top laner like 2_icon_64.png who thrives off being able to go balls deep without fear of dying
  • The enemy has a comp with high burst single target ultimates such as 122_icon_64.png--Kayle ultimate will block a lot of the damage and can easily bait their ultimates when they go in to blow up the ADC. Likewise, she's great against a reset comp against someone like 55_icon_64.png since she can often stave off a reset and turn around a fight!
  • They have a suppression or taunt champion such as 254_icon_64.png/72_icon_64.png. Kayle ulti is the bane of these champions' existence: they ult in on your ADC, their teammates follow up with burst, and your ADC doesn't die so you win the fight.
  • You want to win lane easily in most situations--her early game is ridiculous and she's one of the strongest laners in the game
She is probably not great if you like to hyper carry or gank/roam a lot, however. She's more of a team player. More on that down below.

A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE EMAILED/COMMENTED TO SAY KAYLE WORKED FOR THEM. This isn't a diss on Kayle, I am just saying if I were in silver and wanted to carry out, I would probably do it with someone like LeBlanc. Kayle is excellent, her ultimate just shines so much more when it's in higher plat and beyond.


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Do You Even Lift?

A lot of people reading this guide may be in lower divisions like Silver or Bronze. Kayle is an incredibly strong champion but she isn't an assassin.

Kayle works the best when at least one other champion doing well in the game which makes her a riskier pick at lower elos if you aren't above the division you're in. Preferably your ADC, but anyone will do--she just needs to shine in team fights by ulting the right person at the right time while putting out sustained damage. The basic problem is that the person she "saves" with her ultimate needs to be worth saving and at lower skill levels, you may not have anyone to save. She's got a lot of damage, but she does less burst than she did in prior patches.

A big thing you can do is just save your ultimate for you if your team really isn't doing well. You can also push hard, knowing you can kill anyone on their team, and secure objectives.

Honestly, Kayle can be played and dominate anywhere. She's a strong champion in S4 and worth picking and learning. It's just worth knowing that if all lanes lose besides hers, she does not have the play making power assassins do have though! I feel like I'd play an assassin in lower elos like 7_64.png. You might get a good score with Kayle, but she's still very heavily reliant on good team fighting capability by your team.

I like to think of Kayle as a solid base for a team: good damage, very useful and OP ultimate, and a strong presence throughout the game. 


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What is Kayle's Role Before Team Fights? Farm > Follow!

I feel that most mid laners fall easily into two categories: lane bullies/farmers and roamers.
  •  Roamers are rarely in the lane and focus on making the plays 24/7 (55_64.png). They will try to push the lane and roam more often than not because in a 1v1, they are likely to lose. 
  •  Farmers are champions who push the lane well and are hard to push out of lane (61_icon_64.png). They are usually lane bullies, much like Kayle.

 Kayle is first and foremost a farmer. She needs farm; her role is to succeed in lane by either shutting down the mid lane through her strong lane phase or by keeping up farm and getting an early tower. Once a tower is down, she can transform into a ganker easily, so she gains power by pushing and getting that tower ASAP.

Early on, you don't need to roam. Roaming pre-6 is a waste.

The only time I roam on Kayle after 6 is for objectives or  if the enemy is clearly overextending and it's worth the time to get down there. For example, if a fight breaks out bot lane and you see your mid following down to tower dive them, you can easily W yourself on down there and pick up a kill or two if you react quickly. 

Don't be afraid to make a gank--especially if you see top lane is extremely low and you could easily dive them with ultimate and your jungler or top laner. What I'm saying isn't to ignore the map and farm your heart out, but rather, to only gank for extreme value and to punish mids who do roam by pushing and getting their tower rather than adhere to their playstyle

As Kayle, you should rarely be setting up the ganks all the time. A free mid tower is always achievable with Kayle and something you should strive for due to her extremely strong wave clear.

Playing Safe While Being an Aggressive Angel Back to Top

I figured a little section on how to play safe while also completely pushing lane might help any aspiring mid-laner. This goes doubly so since Kayle is one of the best pushers and most aggressive mids in the game. If you can't play her early levels aggressively, you will miss a large point of picking Kayle in the first place.


  • Always know where the jungler started. This can be judged from seeing how quickly champions get to their lanes and where they come from. For lower divisions, this is as simple as watching from where mid comes; however, in higher divisions, people may fake you out by coming from a weird angle. In this case, I always watch all lanes briefly while farming my first few creeps. For example, if bot just gets into lane after a creep or two has died (and they haven't taken any damage, thus proving they didn't do golems or wolves), they more than likely just hard leashed for their jungler. 

  • Always know what type of ganker the jungler is. Does the jungler have strong ganks (33_icon_64.png/5_icon_64.png)? Does the jungler have weak ganks (19_icon_64.png/54_icon_64.png)? Is the jungler running 3.png? These are all questions you should be aware of as they will impact at what time the jungler ganks, your chances of getting away, and whether or not you will need to blow 4.png. The worst thing you can do is flash and still die, but it's still pretty bad if you blow flash and didn't need to.

  • Always know the clear speed of the jungler at early and mid-game. For example, if the jungler has a slow clear such as 111_icon_64.png, you will know they might come a minute later than someone who has a clear like 254_icon_64.png. This gives you some extra time to zone--as well as thirty to sixty seconds of extra time to not ward their second buff.

  • In general, drop your trinket ward (if you started trinket ward) at 3:00 minutes into the game. This is the average time a jungler will have cleared both buffs. If you do not have a ward, at least keep note that they WILL probably gank within a 30 second window from that range. If it's not your lane, good! If it is, you're at least watching for it!

  • Always attempt to guess/know where the jungler is. Always watch your minimap. If he shows bottom, you're completely safe to go aggressive. If he shows top, you're completely safe to go aggressive. Watch your minimap out of the corner of your eye to see what direction the jungler is heading AFTER they leave the lane they just attempted to gank and theorize where they're going and why. Put yourself in their shoes: did they start blue, get their red, then show top? If so, they will likely circle back to wraiths then do wolves then come poke at mid again or head bottom. Once you start thinking this way, you will find that you can guess where the jungler is with much accuracy and die a whole lot less!

  • Early on, ward one side and favor it. Let's face it, buying two wards is overkill unless they're a scary ganker. I usually buy a flask, a ward, and a pot. As such, I prefer to ward their second buff then play angled to that side. This way if they go for an early level two gank from where I do not have vision, I can usually easily escape it since I'm so far from their point of origin--most of the time I won't even have to burn 4.png! It also lets me see their HP and time their second buff in addition to their first, so I can see if it's worth harassing them to try to kill them (some junglers get very low) or see if they are trying to just farm up and rush 3106_32.png rather than make plays and gank lanes.

Basically, learning jungle will make mid easier. I know a lot of players stick to their comfort zones--or they decide they hate a role and ignore it. Personally I used to hate jungling and I wouldl do any other role over it. I found, however, that I liked a few champions: 102_icon_64.png254_icon_64.png, and 56_icon_64.png. So I made an effort to play TONS of games as these champions despite hating the role so I could learn it. It improved my mid lane so much.

Eventually, towards the end of S3, I played so much jungle I felt like a 'jungle main!'

If you can get in the head of a jungler, you can perform so much better in lane with less anxiety. If this is foreign to you, just take some baby steps! Learn buff timers today, learn camp timers tomorrow, and then learn a new jungler each week after that. Understanding what junglers will gank your lanes more frequently and what junglers are stronger than others will make your mid lane much more successful as you'll be less likely to be shutdown by a camper.

To Ult or Not to Ult? Back to Top

iBnZ1Jju4jw5k.gif

Smurf game, mid platinum.  I don't ultimate the Sejuani here because she won't do anything if she lives. She has no mana and is a utility tank. However, I do ultimate the Renekton to allow for another kill & clean escape.


Kayle's ultimate has two pretty clear uses: damage prevention and protecting the ADC. However, one of the biggest mistakes people can make is not using it because they're "saving" it. It's one of those ultimates that's easy to misuse and that can cause a lot of reservations. But guess what? The cooldown is low. In the chaos of team fights, it takes supremely skilled reaction time to make sure you get that person Darius is just about to dunk. You probably won't get it. 


Never overthink it.

Instead think of value. Your goal is to block a lot of damage, even if it's not the best play in the world. If you block even two spells worth of damage with it or a few auto attacks from the enemy ADC, you got good value! It's just a huge bonus when you also grab an ultimate or so.

Remember to try to cast using portrait if it's in the middle of a huge fight--you can easily misclick.

_____________________________

Initiation Value

If you have someone like 254_icon_64.png, you can ultimate her immediately after she lands on her target as a follow up. You will likely block several huge damage skills off of her, because people naturally think to attack what is closest, and that's a lot of value even if it's  not a game winning play. 

Save the ADC, Save the Nexus

A lot of team fights will just be the enemies trying to burst down your ADC. If they have an assassin, always save your ultimate for the ADC. Those few seconds your ADC can autoattack the assassin likely results in a dead assassin especially if you Q the assassin as the ultimate wears off so the ADC can gain further distance.

Also, Heroes sucked after S1. Just sayin'.

Can't Suppress This

If they have a suppression spell, always save your ultimate to counteract it. The same goes for a taunt--try to stand back a bit and when they've landed their taunt on their target to focus them down, ult them so that the target lives through that burst.

Die Another Day

You can also just save your ult for a low health person and let them live. I prefer this method a lot against reset comps. I try to target the most mobile person who will actually be able to get out with the ultimate and not just die after it wears off.

A lot of times you'll see your tank slowly get lower and lower, then realize that someone is about to burst him for that last bit of health. That works too.

Likewise, if it's a team fight against a burst champion such as 134_icon_64.png, you can just watch cooldowns closely and ultimate someone who is low and near them if you're ware they haven't blown their combo yet. You will a lot of the times get an ultimate.

Stream and Twitter Back to Top

About Ashelia Back to Top

My name is Ashelia and I work on LolKing as its community director. I also work at Wowhead as its site director. Since I helped work on the guide system here at LolKing, I always wanted to make a guide. However, champions I usually play in ranked like Ahri or Diana already have amazing guides done by even higher elo players. With that in mind, who would need mine?


Then I remembered Kayle. I loved playing Kayle top in S2. When I saw her being picked up at OGN, she really spoke to me. She's the first mid I've really loved since my obsession with Diana and Katarina, and she had few guides to do her justice--and none that build her the way I do :)

I also have a Nami guide: http://www.lolking.net/guides/121400

I also have a brand new Morgana guide: http://www.lolking.net/guides/274532



_____________________________



Hopefully you guys like my guide. I'm far from the best Kayle, but I hope that my build and tips are useful to someone. I am just an average diamond player who isn't particularly amazing, but I do love Kayle. <3

You can follow me on Twitter (@ashelia). Outside of the game, I am a pretty geeky girl who likes things like Magic the Gathering and watching eSports. I hate Shaco and love kittens. Sometimes I lift.

Thanks for using LolKing and making it the best it can be!



_____________________________

Update log

2/1/2013: Guide started.
2/12/2013: Guide published!!! It's alive!
2/14/2013: Happy Valentine's day. Added new section: "Playing Safe While Being an Aggressive Angel."
2/18/2013: Added Rumble match up because I went against one in ranked. In case you were wondering, the Rumble went 1/7.
2/27/2013: Faced a diamond Fizz and learned a lot about the match up (we both killed each other... a lot) so I added a Fizz match up. The Fizz was kind enough to make a LolKing guide so check it out!
04/09/2013: RIP 3083_32.png. I went through and redid items to explain my build after I played three Kayle games.
06/01/2013: I main support nowadays, but I still play Kayle if I get to mid--especially when smurfing. I love her. I added a 3v3 section since I am doing plat 3v3s now, not sure how useful it is but hopefully it helps someone :)
08/03/2013: Mild updates. Not much has changed with Kayle, but I advocate Lichbane more.
01/14/2014: Redid items completely based on the LCS game I saw as well as the qualifiers I saw last month which both had Kayle in them! I will be adding new matchups over the next month.
03/12/2014: Added a Lulu match up and some more. I no longer main mid but have played her 6 or so times in S4.
04/30/2014: Added several match ups (115_64.png/61_64.png). Edited some other match ups. :)
06/07/2014: Explained Lichbane vs Runaan's in a new section.

Questions? Contact me! Back to Top

My friend's list has been full for the better half of a year so I'm hard to reach.I love interacting with the community, however & I want to be even better at it in season 4. Here's three good ways to get my attention since I don't always check comments inbetween major patches:


  1. Add my smurf (Eisley). I only have a hundred or so friends on that account, so if I do log in, I'm available to chat with and I will add my entire friend's list :)
  2. Ask me ANYTHING over at Ask.fm! It's anonymous so no account required: http://ask.fm/asheliaqt
  3. You can always email ashelia@lolking.net. I don't always reply due to the volume of email I get for guides and work related, but if it's a guide question, I will make an effort to reply.
Thanks!

FAQ
Q: What do you main in S4?
A: I always mained mid in S3, I felt like my Diana/Ahri/Jayce/Kayle/etc were my homies. However, towards the end of S3, Ahri got nerfed and champions like Gragas/Orianna became more prevalent. In S4, I missed the assassin meta, so I started to find myself back to my true love: support. Of course, while going for diamond, I got frustrated with how many bad ADCs there were. So I learned ADC. On my smurf, Eisley, I probably have over 1/3rd of my games played with an ADC. Odd how that goes. But I do hope to someday return to mid, just not until champions I like are viable again. (Ahri's definitely getting there and probably will be really good again once LeBlanc and Ori are tuned down a bit.)

TL;DR I main support now. Even though most of my games are ADC. Well, ok then.


Q: You only have 4 Kayle games, your Kayle sux, etc etc.
A: My Kayle is pretty great, but I no longer mid lane main in S4. I think I have a good understanding of the game and I know Kayle's role, I follow her builds, and I analyze her a lot. But I only have four or so games of her this season in a ranked setting, so I do think others know her better. She is my go to mid though when I am forced mid. Luckily it just hasn't been much this season!

I'll be keeping the guide around because I love Kayle and I think I will always know her relative strength and strategies. However, I am not a Kayle main. I don't play only Kayle. In fact, if anything, I probably play Caitlyn the most.
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