Kayle Build Guide

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Fast Carry Kayle

written by wwlfa

Kayle Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    I am a theorycrafter. I play games to find broken mechanics and exploit them. I main Kayle. Shurelya is currently working on Kayle, which means I might as well share my build since I don't expect it to survive a passive change.

  • TL;DR

    9/0/21 or 0/15/15 (Str of Spirit, Def. Mastery, 1 in Hardened Skin)

    AS (alacrity) red+quint, AP/lvl (force) yellow+blue

    Regrowth Pendant + Health Potion
    Philosopher's Stone + Boots of Speed
    Guinsoo's Rageblade
    Berserker's Greaves + Elixir of Brilliance (sell Regrowth/Philo Stone)
    Golem Buff

    Target for build completion: < 12 minutes

    As you like from there. I prefer Zeal, Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, Last Whisper, Banshee's Veil. Get your CDR by potting+Golem.

    This build depends heavily on your last hitting. If you don't last hit well or rely on abilities to last hit, you will not do well with this build. You're shooting for 75 CS in 10:30.

  • Doesn't Kayle suck?

    Kayle is a carry. Whether she is good or bad depends entirely on farm. Most people treat her as support since she does have a few support abilities and stick her in a side lane. Unfortunately, she's the worst pure support in game with a weak heal, a clutch ult, and a fairly weak slow for CC. This, naturally, means she sucks until she gets a "lot" of farm, which normally means a Rageblade+Nashor's at 18 minutes or so. This makes her off DPS support that's sucked up a lot of CS from her lanemate. Played this way, Kayle is terrible and since most people play her this way, she has a reputation for being weak, requiring a lot of farm to do well, and ricing in lane. Don't play support Kayle.

    As a carry, people see her passive and E and decide to build her with hybrid items beyond Rageblade. This means they aren't taking advantage of penetration or crit scaling, causing her damage to taper off late game as everybody gets their resist items. Don't build hybrid. Also working against her reputation is that she's a half-melee carry in lane, which makes obtaining a decent CS in a solo lane with a normal build difficult. She can heal but constant heals will put her out of mana without any counter harass. Our build/item selection can work around this.

    As a carry, her passive gives her a bonus 5% damage off AD and she has a 16% damage amp from Q, making her the best AD scaling carry in the game. More importantly, and the reason I play Kayle, is that her passive is a gold multiplier that works on the most gold efficient item in the game. At full stacks, Guinsoo's Rageblade provides 46 AD, 87 AP, and 30% AS. That's 4k worth of offensive stats for 2235g.

  • Fastest carry in the league

    It's generally accepted that Kayle becomes dangerous once she gets her Rageblade and Nashor's. Using a typical 9/0/21 setup with mpen reds, mp5/lvl yellows, CDR blues, and HP Quints. Her offensive stats look like this:

    54 AD, 163 AP, 80% AS, 40% CDR

    The two items total to 5120g, which is well into the game and honestly you'll want boots before then so that's another 1k for boots and 475 for a Doran's Ring for a total of 6595g. That's a pretty normal amount for a 25-30 minute game from a side lane.

    Now let's compare my setup: 9/0/21 using AS red/quint, AP/lvl yellow/blue. Build Rageblade, Berserker's Greaves, Blue Elixir, Golem:

    52 AD, 148 AP, 80% AS, 40% CDR

    Total cost is 3405g. I regularly achieve this build in 12 minutes and have done it in 9 when fed. For comparison, the side lanes are level 9 and the most resistance you'll face is a half-completed Aegis. She performs like an end game carry from this point onward. Autoattack is 355 dps unmitigated and Q+swing will take off half a caster's health bar.

    In terms of Starcraft, this build is a timing push. The enemy carry will catch up to Kayle once they finish their IE. You have a 6-10 minute window to press your advantage. This is the time to pot. If you fail to secure a decisive advantage in this window, it's time to farm as hard as you can to take advantage of your scaling.

  • Laning

    Needless to say, the laning phase is all-important and this build lives and dies according to your ability to last hit. This is complicated a bit by her not really having a good last hitting tool besides autoattack and the distance switching and variable amounts of damage caused by Righteous Fury.

    If you're considering this build, I highly recommend setting up a 3v3 practice game on Summoner's Rift. Lane mid vs a Soraka or Sivir bot (you lane vs the third bot in the list). After 10:30, hit tab and check your minion kills (CS). Exactly 100 minions have spawned and gotten to lane at this point. If your CS is below 65, do not attempt this build in a real game! I personally spent an hour a day for two weeks just running 10:30 laning phases repeatedly until I was reliably hitting 75 CS.

    It is widely claimed that Kayle has a deep mana hunger early game. In truth, she doesn't have enough mana to power all her abilities (no character does) so there's enough mana to Q+E to harass or W+E to play defensively, but not enough to both harass and heal. So what's the trick? Health regen.

    A Philosopher's Stone provides roughly 2/3 the health regen of constant potting. On top of that, it provides a significant amount of mana regen for both healing and harass. Kayle's heals are weak but on top of a philo stone, it's about the same amount of sustain that Nidalee has in lane. If you only heal when you're below half health, you'll have enough mana to Q harass 2 of every 3 RF cooldowns.

    Getting a Philo Stone might seem like it'll push your build back. It technically does, but not by a lot. If you're getting harassed hard, you'll be forced back due to lack of mana at around 5 minutes and (hopefully) 700g, enough for philo and boots. If you then sell the Philo at 12 minutes, you're out 250g. If your lane is passive and you back at, say, 1300g then buying a blasting wand, boots, and 2 mana pots is a better option. Selling your regrowth to finish off your boots+blue pot (which I do frequently) is a 130g loss, add in the cost of 2 pots and it's 210g.

    If you do get a Philo Stone it's something of a waste if you're not trading hits. Principle is similar to a catalyst: you force an exchange and trade shots. Since you're recovering quickly and they're not, you come out ahead. Eventually they'll be forced to back or play passively. Once they're passive, switch back to pure farming since your primary goal isn't kills in the laning phase, but hitting the 80 CS you need for your Rageblade. You'll be able to cause plenty of terror once that's farmed.

    In the event you're facing a pariticularly good Kennen or similarly powerful harasser, it's a good idea to put a second point into your heal. It's slightly less convenient to not have 5/4 Q/E at 11 when you're running around but it's also good to not run yourself out of mana on an inefficient level 1 heal.

  • Runes + Masteries

    You can either go the traditional 9/0/21 or a more unusual 0/15/15 taking Strength of Spirit, Defensive Mastery and one point in Harden Skin. The advantage of the first is summoner cooldowns and more RF uptime. The advantage of the second build is that you're more resilient in the lane, SoS+Regrowth is generally enough regen to last a lont time, and you can harass harder due to less damage from minions. I recommend the second build while you're learning.

    The runes are optimized for maximum damage at level 11 right as the Rageblade completes.

    AS red+quint: With only a Rageblade, Kayle's damage is about 60/40 physical/magic. Using pen runes is only half as effective. This also speeds up her attack animation, making last hitting easier and allowing MUCH better farming under the tower. Also helps ramp the Rageblade faster.

    AP/lvl yellow+blue: I like AP/lvl for maximizing damage output since they're considerably more effective at 11 than flat. If you're more inclined towards armor/resist, those are both fine options. I do NOT recommend regen runes. Get a Philo Stone if you're having mana problems. It's considerably more effective.

  • Abilities

    Max first.

    Divine Blessing
    Point at 3 or 4 if you're not getting harassed purely for the speed boost. 2 if you're getting harassed hard and if necessary a second point at 3/4.

    Righteous Fury
    Take at level 1. Max second.

    The first point is important, the last two less so. I normally get level 2 at 15 and 3 at 16. Primarily useful when you can anticipate the burst and pre-shield.

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Submitted by wwlfa

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