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Kassadin Play in League of Legends

Kassadin has been one of the hottest ability power middle lane champions in League of Legends since late season 2. He has been constantly had one of the highest pick or ban percentages in ranked games for the past 2 years, and is highly considered the best AP Mid in the game. My ranked win rate on him personally in 6/1 and the time I lost it was because my team fed 8 kills before I even hit level 6. I still managed to get 16 kills that game and only have 8 deaths, but we did lose sadly. Kassadin is my favorite AP mid by far because he is so incredibly mobile and hard to pin down. He has a lot of tanking potential due to his passive reducing the amount of magic damage taken and converting it directly into attack speed, the fact that most people get Zhonya’s Hourglass on him, and of course that Rod of Aegis works well on him boosting his life even further.

Kassadin is a unique breed of champion because his is the only champion in the game that has a flasj ability on a less than 10 second cool-down. This combined with his high burst, good AOE, strong CC, and inert ability to tank in and out of fights really make him over powered. His current ban rate is deservedly according to most people sitting at 90% for ranked games. So now, that you have some background on Kassadin, I am now going to go over the best ways I can think to counter him as well as how to snowball with him should you find yourself able to pick him in a game.

How to Counter Kassadin

Kassadin is a roaming assassin with high mobility and can be very powerful if fed. However, if you deny Kassadin the ability to roam, the ability to farm a ton, and his blue buff, he is easily shutdown. For example, if you can manage to pick a Kayle, Heimer, or any other pushing champion against Kassadin (Malzahar comes to mind), you can just keep pushing the lane super hard denying him the ability to last hit perfectly which sets him behind in farm and also not allowing him to roam at all without risking losing turrets. This sets him so far behind that he will be useless mid to late game instead of a ridiculous powerhouse. Now do the opposite and let him roam around all day and you will instead be seeing 10+ kills on him and a big defeat screen at the end of the game.

The fact that Kassadin is so easily countered is one of the reasons that Riot refuses to nerf him even with his 90% ban rate. They know that he can snowball very hard, but it is not assured and that he can be countered, so aside from a rework, they can’t find a way to nerf him that won’t make him complete and utter trash if countered. This is exactly the reason I no longer ban Kassadin in my games. I will either play him if their mid does not counter pick, or I will counter pick should they choose to take the easy bait of playing Kassadin as their first pick.

Counter picking aside, there is no real way to counter Kassadin except taking away his blue buff whenever you can, trying to shut him down before he hits level 6 and not allow him to ever get any real strength, and of course focusing him really hard in fights once he blows his ultimate (but this one comes at a cost of not being able to focus other high priority champions such as the enemy ADC). Blue buff is important on Kassadin because he is very mana hungry and even Rod of Aegis cannot supply him enough mana to be rift walking all around the map and using other abilities as often as he would like. It also lowers the his cool downs which really increase his chase potential, CC potential, and damage for ganks. A good Kassadin is difficult to counter, but if you use this advice, it becomes much simpler. You just have to understand what Kassadin is looking to do and force him into a situation where he has to do something else that is far less efficient while your champion is perfectly happy and efficient at the same time. Kayle is a great choice and is one of the most OP counters to Kassadin currently. I never worry about losing to a Kassadin when someone on my team picks Kayle because he tends to shut Kassadin down very hard.

How to Snowball as Kassadin

Snowballing as Kassadin is easy. All you have to do is farm safely till level 6, get a gank and kill your enemy mid, and then go bottom and grab a few more kills on the enemy squishy champions. Once you have gotten ahead you simply rinse and repeat. Kassadin is a huge bully once he gets ahead both in lane, in team fights, and in his ability to constantly gank lanes. He is nearly impossible to deal with and you will win nearly all of the games that you are able to get fed with Kassadin. One of the most important aspects to Kassadin is his itemization, so I’m going to go over that briefly right now.

I see most Kassadin payers taking the refilling pots item and a ward to start which is in my opinion a horrible start due to the fact that it sets you behind 400 gold towards your first item, which should be Rod of Aegis. I understand the desire to go this route with Kassadin having a weak laning phase before level 6 and all, but it is not worth it in my opinion to play it safe because Kassadin is a natural snowball champion. I always take a mana crystal, 2 health pots, and my warding trinket and then immediately rush a ROA (yes even before boots). The reason I do this is so it will start stacking up immediately and allowing me more damage, health, and mana faster so that I can snowball very hard into mid and late game. The build goes ROA, boots, death cap, tier 2 boots, Zhonya’s, void staff, lich bane. This build gives Kassadin a lot of damage very quickly and also allows him to be hard to kill by the time team fights start occurring.

Having a completed Zhonya’s hourglass is imperative to playing Kassadin to his full potential because it allows him to not only have a ton of extra AP and armor, but it gives him that sick active so he can ult in, blow someone up, and then sit there invincible for a few seconds which takes the focus off so he can then either blow someone else up or ult out of the fight and wait to do it all over again (granted the second time he will have to fully commit to the fight. I find Kassadin players that do not take Zhonya’s tend to lose games and ones that do win games, it is that simple.

Items aside, the best way to snowball a game as Kassadin is to roam all over the place and catch people in odd man ganks, out of position, or simply not paying attention which will allow you to get easy kills and thus become more powerful in your attempts to roam. Staying in lane is the opposite of what you should be doing except if you are constantly killing your mid laner, or you being pushed to your turret and have no choice. Even in the second scenario though where the enemy laner is pushing hard, you should be getting gankes from your jungler or at a minimum a lane hold so that you can get out of lane to go gank and get some kills. If you can’t, then you have been neutralized and will probably have a tough game.

Kassadin Teamfight Strategy

In team fights you are going to want to act as an assassin and zone out their squishy damage dealers (their AP and ADC most likely) and then when they go in blow one of them up, pop Zhonya’s and then blow the other one up. It is fairly simple to discuss, yet much harder to accomplish since the enemy carries know they are up against a Kassadin and will be positioning themselves accordingly. Your job does not require you to do blow up carries though, and that is the best part. All you have to do is be around and not use your ult and you will effectively zone these champions out of the fight greatly reducing their damage outputs even without acting at all. The worste thing you can do as a Kassadin is initiate a fight on a tank. If you blow your ult and other moves on a tank and then have to pop zhonya’s (or worse, not even have Zhonya’s and then die immediately), then you have provided very little value for your team in the fight and are going to be sorry.

Conversely, if you pick your spots wisely, you are such a huge value to your team that it is honestly hard to lose a well executed fight, and so you will usually come out ahead. This is the reason Kassadin gets banned so often really. He is just a menace and most people have not learned how to counter him effectively, so they would rather just not take the risk and ban him. Choosing your fights wisely is more than just engaging on the enemy ADC or APC though. You have to make sure it is an even or favorable odd man fight, you have to make sure that your team is in position to follow up on the engage, and you have to make sure you pick the right targets at the right times. Most importantly, you have to try not to die and use your 2nd ultimate to either clean up the fight or to escape over a wall or something.

The Dumbest Move People Make VS Kassadin

The dumbest thing that I see consistently made vs Kassadin players is to try to run away from him. This is the same whether it is a team fight and the team is trying to disengage from you while you have Kassadin to chase them down, or it is a single champion running for his life in the jungle. YOU CANNOT OUTRUN A KASSADIN!!! This is one of the biggest factors of throws in Kassadin games which really makes me laugh. If you are even in a situation to chase people down as Kassadin you can safely rest assured that you will 95% of the time (assuming you have mana and they don’t get backed up) catch and kill them. So the more they run, the more you win. When the enemies have just done Baron and are trying to back off because they are low, chase them down and win, when they enemies have just taken your inhibitor and are trying to get out of your base, chase them down and win, and when you find that one carry all alone in the jungle farming wraiths… Chase them down and win the game.

Kassadin is so powerful as a chaser in L O L and people take it for granted. Just watch the next game that is close and either you or the enemy team has a Kassadin. I would not be surprised if the entire game hinges on one mistake made by the team without the Kassadin and the Kassadin being able to capitalize on it by chasing down the enemy team and coming out with the victory. I have seen it 100 times and it is not going out of style anytime soon. Kassadin is broken unless countered effectively and that includes not letting him chase you down!

Strategy Game League of Legends


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