Kayle is one of the most versatile champions in the game. She can rapidly change her role in a team and can offer both support and damage to her team in almost any situation. This guide's purpose is to show you the intricacies and capabilities of Kayle.
This guide will update with patches and any information regarding Kayle.
Updates and Patches
Patch v188.8.131.52 - Overhauled the guide. It now offers a specific build rather than four different builds.
Patch v184.108.40.206 - Nothing much changed over the last patch.
Patch v220.127.116.11 - Tenacity introduced and Wit's End has been changed.
Patch v18.104.22.168 - Nothing changed for Kayle.
| Holy Fervor
| One of the most powerful and useful passives in the game. This passive makes Kayle as versatile as she is because no matter the path you choose to take she will always possess a moderately high rate of Attack or Ability Power.
One of the upsides of Holy Fervor is that it provides a basic rate of 17-32 Ability Power without any items, runes or masteries.
| The most versatile skill Kayle possesses. It allows her to slow an enemy, enhance her damage, cause a burst of damage and harrass. It can be used to save a teammate from a pesky chaser or enhance a teammate's chasing by slowing down their target, it can be used to exert pressure and zone your enemies or ensure last hits on a minion.
With its high AP ratio and long range it is a very powerful burst that many people underestimate and can be used very effectively to harrass people and ensure kills. It possesses a very low cooldown for all of its uses and is Kayle's most important skill.
| Divine Blessing
| Kayle's second most versatile skill. It can provide health to a teammate, help them run away or chase a target better. Despite its, relatively, low AP ratio it can heal quite a lot because of its low cooldown - 10 seconds.
It can at times save a teammate not because of the heal but because of the 12% extra movement speed or it can ensure a target's death since when used with Reckoning can shift how a chase will end.
| Righteous Fury
| This is Kayle's most damage-focused ability. Unlike Reckoning the purpose of Righteous Fury is to cause damage over time while utilizing Kayle's ability to alter movement speeds and ensure she keeps hitting her targets. The greatness of this skill is the fact that it changes Kayle's range from 125 to 525 allowing her to land many hits.
One of the most important factors is the splash effect added to Kayle's attacks making it good for farming minions and exceptionally well in teamfights dishing out damage all around.
| Kayle's life saver. Despite the invincibility time being shortened it is still a very powerful shift in a battle to have 2-3 seconds of not taking damage.
Intervention has many uses in a game: It can prevent the death of a teammate, it can be used to protect an initiator from the initial burst damage, it can protect your carry and it can be used to protect you when the enemy realizes you can turn the tide of a battle easily.
Pros / Cons
- Has plenty of power Mid Game and Late Game
- Can bestow Invincibility
- Is very versatile, with skills that can be used in many ways
- Doesn't require plenty of gold for an effective build
- Very weak Early Game
- Gargantuan hunger for mana
- Hard to farm with
Masteries + Runes
I go for the regular AP Caster masteries focusing on utility and cooldown while focusing on experience gain so Kayle could level up quicker.
As for runes:
Greater Mark of Forcex9
Greater Seal of Clarityx9
Greater Glyph of Focusx9
Greater Quintessence of Fortitudex3
I take AP/lvl Marks because of its synergy with Kayle's passive. It allows you to focus more on purchasing Cooldown Reduction and supportive items because of the, relatively, high AP ratio that keeps rising.
Mana Regen/lvl Seals are simply a must. Kayle is a Mana Hungry champion who cannot allow herself to purchase Tear of the Goddess without losing effectiveness. The Seals coupled with Nashor's Tooth and a Doran's Ring would solve most, if not all, of Kayle's mana problems.
Flat Cooldown Reduction runes offer Kayle nearly 15% from the start (14.89%) and along with Nashor's Tooth allow you to nearly reach 40% reduction.
My personal favorites for Kayle are Flash and Clairvoyance since they provide an escape mechanism for Kayle and solidify her as a Support Champion. Flash gives Kayle the ultimate escape mechanism as it allows her to jump through walls and into safety. Clairvoyance is a must on Support Champions as it gives more Map Awareness and can be used to, at times, thwart an attempted gank through the fear of being discovered.
I think that replacing Flash with Ghost is a possibility, while also picking the mastery, allowing a different type of mechanism while also giving Kayle better chasing.
Teleport - Allowing Kayle a different type of mobility while allowing her a more global method to reach an area she's needed in.
Cleanse - Considering Kayle's Intervention only blocks damage and not CC it is a good idea to grab this so Kayle can avoid some situations where she might die.
Ignite - It's a good idea sometimes to grab this so Kayle can inflict even more damage.
Exhaust - Not a bad idea if no one else picked Exhaust. It offers Kayle another means to slow down a target and you can use the Mastery point invested into critical into the Exhaust mastery instead if you intend to take this.
Clarity - While pretty good on a Mana Hungry champion, and can be taken over Clairvoyance, it offers less to the team.
[spell=Rally] - Doesn't help you really.
Heal - You have a built in ability that can heal. You really don't need this.
[spell=Fortify] - Let a tank who has the mastery take this. On you it will do nothing.
Smite - Do you see any fur? Are you wrapped in bandages? Are you by any chance a living piece of rock or a monk? a summoner's worst nightmare? No? Then you're not taking this.
Revive - Get out.
Working in the team
Kayle is nothing without her team and at times vice versa. An effective Kayle has a gigantic impact on her teammates be it through achieving a kill, saving their lives or bestowing them with invincibility Kayle always has some duty in a team and that duty constantly shifts as the game keeps going forward.
Kayle is by no means a healer, she has a skill which heals a bit of Health but its true power is the added 12% movement speed. Kayle is also not really a carry, since becoming a carry would force you to overlook Kayle's supportive capabilities. So what is the Judicator? Kayle is an Offensive Supporter, that job entails not only causing plenty of damage BUT she also boosts her teammates' health little by little while also offering the occassional invincibility when she can.
With such a title it means that in order to be an effective Kayle you constantly need to analyze situations from the perspective of "How I can benefit my team?" rather than benefiting yourself. The mentality of a Kayle is how quickly she and her teammates can kill the target together rather than how she can get more kills. If your teammate is slightly out of range for his stun while chasing a target give him a boost with Divine Blessing and watch as a person dies. If your teammate is being chased and almost killed fire a Reckoning at the chaser and watch them lag behind as you denied a kill.
As the game progresses Kayle's capabilities and focus evolve. She still has to consider how to help her teammates above all but she can dish out a whole lot more damage after a few items and cooldown reduction is acquired and allows her to help in other ways such as killing that pesky chaser rather than just slowing them down.
In short, during Kayle's difficult Early Game you are more supportive than offensive and by the end of the game you are more offensive than supportive but during the entire game you must remember both aspects.
Kayle works best in the bottom lane so she can have some support during her Early Game and so that she can effectively help rack up kills for the team. She is best put with characters that can Stun or Knock Up but can also dish out damage such as Xin Zhao or Sion (What's worse than a Zombie teaming up with an Angel?). Try to stick to your lanemate throughout the game since you would have gotten used to one another by Mid/Late game. If you're in a premade team things are easier and you can feel less restricted to your lane, however if you are in a solo queue try and stick to teammates since that is when Kayle is most effective.
There are four items which are a must for Kayle:
Doran's Ring - Health, Ability Power and Mana Regen. All of these stats are beneficial to Kayle and grabbing a ring from the start is a good idea. It provides more power for all of Kayle's abilities, makes sure it's easier to use said abilities and grants a bit of survivability.
Nashor's Tooth - Completes Kayle's Cooldown Reduction and allows you to reach 39.89%. It gives Kayle plenty of Ability Power and Mana Regen making her abilities stronger along with the Attack Speed to make Righteous Fury more effective.
Mercury's Treads - These are by far the best boots for Kayle. They provide magic resistance which helps with a lot of damage, seeing as most champions have one or more sources of magical damage, along with reducing the duration of Crowd Control effects. Keeping in mind that Intervention only cancels damage but not Crowd Control, Treads provide Kayle with all of the protection she needs for a long time.
Guinsoo's Rageblade - Has a powerful synergy with Kayle's passive having both Attack and Ability Power which are strengthened further by Kayle's passive. Along with the rising Attack Speed it provides Kayle the potential to do serious damage when used with Righteous Fury.
Usually throughout a match you would purchase only these four items, focusing on completing Nashor's Tooth first to increase Kayle's role as a support and eventually purchasing Guinsoo's Rageblade to give her plenty of damage. Much like Kayle's role in a team evolves her items represent that, focusing on surviving and helping others at first and eventually focusing on dishing out as much damage as possible.
If the match is still going on there are plenty of items from which to choose from, all depending on the situation:
Banshee's Veil - Such a powerful item that provides so much for so little. It gives Kayle protection against magical damage along with more Health and much needed Mana. If the opposing team has a lot of magical damage and Mercury's Treads are not enough it's not a bad idea to consider taking this item.
Hextech Gunblade - If you feel like your damage isn't enough try and purchase this item. Providing both Attack and Ability Power along with a "second" Reckoning built in it gives Kayle plenty of damage along with the Spell Vamp and Lifesteal to provide a bit more survivability.
[item=Madred's Bloodrazor] - If there is an enemy champion who's too tanky for your team and no one has this item Kayle can make good use of it. It synergizes well with her Righteous Fury causing a lot of mixed damage in the process while giving Kayle some Armor.
[item=Malady] - Providing a bit of Ability Power along with Attack Speed you should consider this item if you want a quick way to boost your magical damage. Not only does it reduce Magic Resistance on hit it also adds 20 magical damage, strengthening Righteous Fury in the process.
Sword of the Divine - An item to consider when facing champions with plenty of Dodge or the Dodge master himself Jax. If characters dodging your hits is a hindrance get this item and remember to activate the effect.
Trinity Force - Providing a little bit of everything it helps Kayle in the late game scenario if she feels a little underwhelming giving her plenty of damage along with a little bit of survivability.
Wit's End - If the enemy team has a lot of magical damage champions and you want to receive Magic Resistance without sacrificing an item slot for a none-hybrid item you can consider picking this up. With its remake grabbing Wit's End along with Malady results in a lot of extra magical damage on hit, which works great with Righteous Fury, along with a "Siphon" effect for your Magic Resistance.
Zhonya's Hourglass - If the enemy team has a lot of physical damage that is hard to deal with you can consider this item. Not only does it provide Kayle with plenty of Ability Power and Armor it also makes Intervention available for others as you have invincibility built in this item.
During the Early Game it is better for Kayle to focus on harrassing the enemy champions with Reckoning and utilizing the fact that with each level gained Reckoning boosts Kayle's damage. Getting Reckoning to level 5 is your priority once you have your Ultimate.
At level 2 Divine Blessing heals 100 Health along with half of your Ability Power providing a mediocre heal that becomes stronger with each level Kayle gains. With its low cooldown and Mana cost it provides a nice and reusable heal for the laning phase.
Righteous Fury receiving least priority because Kayle's damage should be reserved for later in the game.
Intervention should be, naturally, leveld up whenever you can in order to maximize its effectiveness.
It is also possible to level up Righteous Fury before Divine Blessing if you intend to support less and cause more damage however it is recommended to keep Righteous Fury for later in the game.
This is the only ability in the entire game that allows you to bestow invincibility to a team member and even with the low 2-3 seconds of invincibility it can shift an entire flow of battle and change a hopeless situation into a victory.
First, let's do some mathcrafting: Let's assume that at level 6 you still have around 10% cooldown reduction which means that you can cast 2 seconds of invincibility every 81 seconds. Effectively, every 79 seconds a teammate can be invincible.
At level 11 you will probably start purchasing more items dedicated to cooldown reduction and you reached 25% meaning that every 56 seconds your Intervention is ready and that effectively every 54 seconds someone is invincible.
By level 16 you would most likely achieve the coveted 40% cooldown reduction meaning that Intervention is ready every 36 seconds and effectively making a champion invincible every 33 seconds.
Meaning that under optimal conditions you would need half a minute to make someone invincible. Such a condition, for such a reward, is what makes Intervention so devestating. Many team fights usually last somewhere between 5-10 seconds followed by chasing which is, at times, confused for the team fight. During those 5-10 seconds you have the possibility to, for 3 seconds, completely negate damage from a single target.
Usually when a team fight starts many enemy champions will focus their most powerful burst damage on a single target in the hopes of killing said target. When this happens a Kayle has to ask "When should I activate Intervention?" because if it's too soon the enemies will simply keep to themselves for 3 seconds and you just wasted Intervention, too late and you'll already be running away after a teammate or more died.
In order to answer that question there are several things that need to be taken into account before you even think about "when":
1. Kayle receives lowest priority - Intervention should never be used to protect Kayle unless it is completely and utterly unavoidable. A Kayle played well will rarely have to use Intervention on herself instead using it on teammates and preventing deaths.
2. Defensive capabilities - Intervention should be reserved to targets who can be taken out quickly. They will usually get focused by your enemies and could be saved if some of the damage is ignored.
3. Proximity to enemy - If a teammate is dumb or unlucky enough to be jumped on by an enemy who can kill them they should receive priority.
4. Game Progression - At times game progression will force you to ignore reason and choose to protect yourself or a tank that is going to initiate. These moments will occur if a game progresses in an unexpected way and it will most likely happen at one point. At times a tank is not strong enough to initiate without sustaining heavy damage and becoming useless, sometimes the enemies will focus on Kayle and at times mistakes happen.
After taking all of these into account and finally deciding on a target for Intervention there is the matter of timing. In order to time Intervention just right you need to wait until an actual battle is taking place, too early and you'll just end up wasting 3 seconds of invincibility. Try to cast Intervention around the time when a champion is brought below 50% health because around this time enemies will consider that champion as a target. As with most things in games practice makes perfect, after playing with Kayle a few times you'll be able to time it better and at times save a person right at the nick of time and render the enemies' efforts worthless.
Something to keep in mind is Kayle's very weak early game, as such farming successfully is essential with any Kayle. Last hitting with Kayle is a must and she has more than enough ways to do so, first and foremost being the big golden sword in her hand. Try to conserve your scarce mana for champions and last hit minions thus avoiding pushing the lane forward.
Later in the game using Reckoning or Righteous Fury to farm a few minions is acceptable, however conserving mana is a priority throughout most of the game.
Try to avoid the jungle creeps since Kayle's best farming would be in a lane.
Once the match starts it's a good idea to pick up a Doran's Ring however if you feel like you don't need the extra health and ability power you can also go for a [item=Meki Pendant] and two Health Potion and eventually getting Fiendish Codex faster.
Whomever you end up laning with make sure to do the following:
1.Use Reckoning only on the enemy champions.
2.Try to heal your lanemate more than yourself.
3.Try to give your lanemate more of the lasthits.
As a support champion you're still entitled to lasthits however getting your lanemate, usually a carry-esque champion, more gold will make them far more powerful faster. Try to restrain minion interaction to lasthitting in order to avoid pushing the lane. The less you push the lane, the easier it is for a Jungler to ambush and kill the enemies in the lane.
As the game progresses you'll eventually find yourself back at the Fountain. Once there the very first item to get is Boots of Speed and any remaining gold to be used to purchase parts, or the whole, Fiendish Codex.
Around the time you complete Mercury's Treads and the Codex most chances are the laning phase would be over. If it is still going on simply build on to Nashor's Tooth and keep at last hitting, if it is indeed over and team fights have begun you have to consider what to do. If it seems like your team doesn't require more support but rather more damage start building Guinsoo's Rageblade starting from the Blasting Wand, if it seems like less cooldowns are what you need build on to Nashor's Tooth.
The moment team fights break out you have to keep yourself out of the actual fight, your role is to supply healing and a bit of extra damage. Throw your Reckoning at an enemy champion who's either the carry or squishy and focus it down with Righteous Fury. Make sure you're not sucked into the fight itself as you can be taken down easily once they focus on you, keep your distance and harrass with your damage while healing or making someone invincible.
Never let yourself get stuck between enemy champions. If you do find yourself in such a situation you can Flash out of it or use Divine Blessing to try and run away. Keep out of harm's way while using Kayle's ability range in your favor. The range on both Intervention and Divine Blessing are ridiculously big and allow you to support your teammates through walls and from brushes with ease. Remember that your role is to support your teammates on both damage dealing and death prevention.