Original article by: Dot Esports
Kassadin is one of the best scaling mid laners in League of Legends’ season 10. He can take over games quite easily if left alone to farm and get his core items. While he does have a weak early game, which can be exploited by enemies, the combination of runes and items below should help you get past that point.
As with all League champions, specific items are going to be more effective depending on the circumstance. But there are certain items that are most effective on Kassadin in all types of games. These core items are going to give you the best chances of performing on this champion.
Fleet Footwork: As a melee mage, you’re going to be punished a lot in the early game, especially since most popular champions in the mid lane are ranged. As a result, you need to double down and take all sustain possible through items and runes. This keystone will ensure that you get some health back in the laning phase and get more time to stay in lane until you reach your core items. In teamfights, the added movement speed buff can be the difference between life and death as well, which is very valuable.
Presence of Mind: This rune is going to resolve all your mana issues, especially considering how mana hungry Kassadin is. Due to the increased mana cost on your ultimate, you’ll go through your base mana pool in a couple of seconds. This rune ensures that you get some mana back on takedowns and gives you the possibility to take over teamfights with ease.
Legend: Alacrity: This is a pretty basic rune to make your auto attacks feel more fluid. It gives you the needed attack speed to execute your combo swiftly and delete opponents in the blink of an eye. If you’re facing a crowd-control heavy composition, feel free to take Legend: Tenacity instead.
Coup de Grace: This rune acts as a finisher. It allows you to deliver even more damage to low-health targets, ensuring you execute them with your combo and get your mana back with Presence of Mind.
Taste of Blood: Taste of Blood is a simple sustain rune. It gives you some health back during short trades during the laning phase. You want all the sustain you can get to survive the early game.
Ravenous Hunter: As one of the most powerful healing runes in the game, Ravenous Hunter allows you to heal back up based on damage dealt from spells. While in the early game the impact might not be that high compared to other runes, once the match gets to the later points of the game, you’ll heal back up from 10 percent to 100 percent in a matter of seconds, which is crucial if you want to win teamfights and be as slippery as possible.
Bonuses: +9 adaptive force, +9 adaptive force, +6 armor
Having early durability is important for Kassadin since he’s weak until level six. Doran’s Shield will help by granting the mid laner 80 bonus health, extra health regeneration, and bonus damage to minions to ensure that you can easily last-hit. This item is going to make farming much safer for the champion early on.
During the farming phase, you are most likely going to take damage from enemy champions. Health potions heal back 150 health over 15 seconds and will give you extra time before having to back to base.
These boots are one of the most efficient and cheapest in the game. They give you additional CDR, which scales well with your kit alongside reducing the cooldown of your summoner spells. If you’re running Teleport, it means that you’ll be able to split-push more often and join your team for teamfights
While rushing them seems like a great idea, remember that your core Rod of Ages item needs time to stack so completing the boots as a second item is a better option than rushing them.
Rod of Ages is the absolute core item of every Kassadin build. Regardless of what build you’re going for, you need this item. It grants you all the stats you need: health, mana, ability power and an amazing passive called Eternity that converts some damage taken into a mana restoration, ensuring you can spam your ultimate as much as you want.
If Rod of Ages is the toasted bread of your Kassadin build, then Archangel’s Staff is the butter on top of it. It has anything you’d want and syncs perfectly with the first item. Archangels’ Staff gives you the needed mana, cooldown reduction, ability power, and an amazing passive to convert all your mana into a temporary shield.
It allows you to win teamfights by having a safety net, especially if you get burst down at the beginning of it. You can Zhonya’s then use Archangel’s shield when you come out of it and then heal up with Ravenous Hunter.
Zhonya’s is a great item, especially against heavy attack damage-focused teams or against champions who rely on combos to kill you. One thing which helps this item be great is Seeker’s Armguard, which is one of the most gold-efficient items. If you rush it early on, you can sit on it for 20 minutes without issues since the stats it gives are insane for the gold cost.
In teamfights Zhonya’s Hourglass allows you to deceive opponents. You can force them to use all of their spells and engage tools on you, then use Zhonya’s to give your team some crucial seconds to unleash devastation on the enemy team while you’re untargetable.
There’s no better item for mages than Rabadon’s Deathcap. It amplifies all your power and while some players might rush it if they’re winning the lane, it’s quite a suboptimal path. It’s best to rush it if you already have other core AP items. If you have a Ornn on your team who can upgrade it, then make this item a priority. You will get a lot of ability power from Rabadon’s Deathcrown (upgraded Ornn version).
If enemies are stacking up magic resist then you definitely need to invest into a Void Staff. Sometimes it’s worth more to purchase a Void Staff instead of a Rabadon’s Deathcap if the enemy is heavy magic-resist stacked. Prioritize this item after your core items if enemy has a lot of tanks.
If you need extra burst damage, then Lich Bane is your friend. You can use it to take down towers fast as well, so if you’re left unchecked to split-push, you can easily be xPeke and finish the game while other members are busy fighting each other.
In teamfights, this item allows you to get on top of a target and delete them before they get time to flash, especially if they’re a squishy mage or attack damage carry champion.
The forbidden book is a requirement against heavy-healing champions. If your team doesn’t invest into an anti-healing mechanism, then you might be the victim of this and need to purchase it instead. It’s heavily gold-inefficient, but if the enemy team is running you down due to how much healing they have, then you need to prioritize and acquire this item.
This should be as a last resolve, however, so ask your team to buy Executioner’s Blade which costs only 800 gold if possible to ensure that you don’t waste 3,000 gold on this item instead.
What was once a rush item became an optional item against CC. Use it against heavy-pick compositions which rely on getting an engage to dismantle you. By having a spell shield to protect you from that Nocturne Paranoia or Ashe Arrow, you can increase your chances of winning such games.
But be wary not to waste the spellshield before a teamfight begins since it needs quite a lot of time to recharge. If you waste it, then ask your team to wait a couple of seconds before engaging to ensure success or victory.
While you might the question “Why a tank item on a mage?”, the answer is quite simple. Gargoyle gives you two important stats to make you more durable: armor and magic resist. On top of this, it has a great active to increase your health, allowing you to become deceptively tanky and give yourself enough time to heal back up with Ravenous Hunter. It’s great against champions that want to stack on top of you and kill you with their burst. You can pop the active and deny all their efforts and then turn around and kill them instead.
If you’re facing a heavy ability power-focused composition or a composition that has too much crowd control, then Mercury’s Treads rush is a must. It gives you much-needed early magic resist and denies a lot of duration from any crowd control landed on you.
While it doesn’t have the cooldown reduction which you need to be efficient, the fact that it can completely negate some champions efforts to kill you is a good stat by itself.