It feels like we’ve been waiting for Kai’Sa for years. A true daughter of light and shadow. A child of Runterra lost to the darkness and forced to fight her way back to our world. The good news is that Kai’Sa lives up to her story. She’s cool, she’s badass, and watching her play is exciting.
So you of course want to know how to play her. Lucky for you, this guide aims to tech you just that.
Passive - Second Skin/Living Weapon
What it does:
Caustic Wounds: Kai’Sa’s auto attacks stack a substance called Plasma on any target they hit. On the fifth stack of Plasma, the stacks explode and deal massive percent of health damage to the target. Whenever an ally immobilizes an enemy, they gain a stack of Plasma.
Living Weapon: Kai’Sa’s abilities evolve depending on her stats.
Let’s look at Living Weapon first. This is a pretty simple ability that just requires a little extra explanation. So we gave it it’s own guide. The long and short of it is that each ability changes to gain a new property once she gains 100 bonus AD, AP, and attack speed.
Caustic Wounds is also pretty simple. Have you ever played Vayne? Kalista? Any champion that asks you to hit a certain amount of autos before you do real damage? That’s baseline for Kai’Sa. All this really means is that we will be playing an auto attack focused game. This effects our build more than anything.
Q - Icathian Rain (level first, max first)
What it does:
Kai’Sa fires a volley of rockets at her enemies. These go to random targets and deal moderate damage.
Icathian Rain is unfortunate for a lot of reasons. First, it’s completely random, meaning you can only really count on the damage if you’re squaring up against an enemy champion on their own. It’s also unfortunate in how little damage it does baseline.
However, there are good things about Icathian Rain, too. First is the Living Weapon buff, which gives you double the rockets after you get 100 AD (which you’ll do almost every game considering you’re an AD Carry). Not only does this double your damage, it also makes it far more likely that you’ll actually hit the target you want.
Icathian Rain is really helpful for clearing minion waves and spreading damage in teamfights. Thanks to it’s minion execution damage, it lets Kai’Sa clear late game waves really quickly as long as she can get some damage down.
W - Void Seeker (level second, max third)
What it does:
Kai’Sa fires a long range skill shot that stops at the first unit it hits. This ability deals magic damage and applies two stacks of Plasma as well as True Sight to the target.
Void Seeker is very powerful and does tons of magic damage. However, it’s far more difficult to hit than its Jhin equivilent. Not only is the projectile fairly slow, it is stopped by minions. The bonus is that enemies are not warned that Void Seeker is on its way.
If you manage to build 100 AP or more, Void Seeker will then apply three stacks of Plasma rather than just two. It also lowers the cooldown by half if it hits an enemy.
Believe it or not, Void Seeker is an engage tool for Kai’Sa because of her ultimate. But we’ll get there in a minute.
E - Supercharge (level third, max second)
What it does:
Kai’Sa lowers her weapons and begins sprinting for a short channel, gaining movement speed. After the channel finishes, Kai’Sa gains a massive attack speed buff for five seconds. Kai’Sa’s basic attacks lower the cooldown of Supercharge.
Supercharge is Kai’Sa’s bread and butter ability. While it does briefly stop her from attacking, it keeps her moving quickly and attacking faster. And as we know about Kai’Sa, the faster we attack, the faster we apply Plasma.
Supercharge becomes really powerful once you’ve hit 1.5 attack speed. At this point, activating Supercharge will turn you invisible for almost the entire sprinting period. The more attack speed you have, the faster you run and the faster you charge.
In a fight, you can use Supercharge to surprise your enemies or reposition entirely before blasting away with your auto attacks. When combined with your ultimate, Kai’Sa becomes surprisingly slippery.
R - Demonic Ascension (level at 6, 11, 16)
What it does:
Kai’Sa is able to instantly travel to any enemy with even a single stack of Plasma. When Kai’Sa arrives, she also gets a hefty shield for a short duration.
Killer Instinct is Kai’Sa’s most simple ability. However, the complexity comes in how and when you choose to use it. You can use Void Seeker to proc Plasma and then charge the target to finish them off. You can wait for an ally to immobilize an enemy, applying Plasma.
You can even use Killer Instinct to quickly move around to another location on the battlefield. If you need to get out of the heat you can simply teleport to an easier target, get some health back and charge back into the fray.
Where you might run into trouble with Killer Instinct is how long the cooldown is. Kai’Sa is only able to teleport every 100 seconds or so, so you can’t rely on it at all times. Instead, it’s best used to simply move around or assassinate someone useful.
Keystone: Fleet Footwork
Fleet Footwork is pretty regular for most ADC. It’s very strong and increases her movement speed and healing. Keeping Kai’Sa moving fast and staying healthy will make laning with her much easier.
All of Kai’Sa’s runes are extremely regular for AD Carries, so the descriptions will be fairly light.
Kai’Sa’s goal is to kill her enemies and live to fight another day. Triumph helps accomplish that goal.
Kai’Sa is all about attacking fast so she can proc her very powerful passive. Alacrity is a free attack speed buff just for doing your job.
Coup De Grace
Coup De Grace is a stupidly powerful rune. When combined with your percent of health damage, Kai’Sa should be able to surprise even the beefiest of boys with her damage.
Secondary tree: Sorcery
Sorcery gives Kai’Sa access to some very powerful runes that can be used to buff her movement speed and overall damage.
With Kai’Sa, we move fast and we attack faster. Celerity makes her an extremely mobile AD Carry, even when she doesn’t have a movement ability.
Kai’Sa scales off everything, which makes Gathering Storm an extremely efficient rune to pick up. Whatever you’re building at the moment, Kai’Sa will be able to use the primary stat.
- Doran’s Blade
- Berserker’s Greaves
- Blade of the Ruined King
- Runaan’s Hurricane
- Lord Dominik’s Regards/Mortal Reminder
- Guardian Angel
Kai’Sa is a super weird AD Carry. She is very similar to a few other ADs like Kalista or Vayne but also feels completely unique and strange. Kai’Sa still manages to have a unique identity, a difficult feat in the crowded AD Carry world.
Kai’Sa is the on-hit, attack speed AD. But instead of popping diseases or spears or just relying on silver bolts, she is able to maneuver around in a unique way. She buffs her attacks, she runs fast, and she blows up everything around her.
Right now, a lot of Kai’Sa’s strengths seems up in the air. She could come out and be absolutely terrible. Maybe four attacks is way too many. Maybe her build is too weird. Maybe her numbers are off. Maybe she’s too situational. But no matter what, she has an awesome kit.