The Angel of the Rift – A Guide to Kayle
Thu 14th Mar 2019 - 6:52pm
Kayle is one of the few Champions in League of Legends that has remained relatively untouched for a long time, and all of her changes, as far back as Patch 4.13, have only been minor numbers tuning! That is five years of no real changes to the Champion until now! Now Kayle is getting the love she deserves as the angel of Summoner’s Rift! This rework changes up Kayle’s kit and makes her quite the powerful teamfighter, as well as an exceptional duelist at later levels.
Her early game is a bit slow, but she really shines as she levels up thanks to her new Passive! We will first look at Kayle’s abilities, then how to play her in lane, then how to get the most out of her in teamfights, then the Runes that synergize best with her new kit, and finally we will see what items are best on her! Let’s get into her abilities!
First up, we have Kayle’s Passive, Divine Ascent. Kayle’s Passive has received quite a large change, and it also now evolves throughout the game from spending skill points! At level 1, Kayle simply gains attack speed for 5 seconds stacking up to 5 times. At 5 stacks Kayle becomes Exalted and gains Movement Speed when moving toward enemies.
After spending 6 points, Kayle will shoot out waves of fire dealing AoE damage in a cone after she becomes Exalted. This cone deals damage behind the target she basic attacks (this effect excludes Turrets). This wave deals bonus damage scaling with AP and AD.
Once Kayle spends 11 skill points, she becomes a ranged Champion. This is akin to Kayle’s old E ability which, when activated, essentially made her a ranged Champion. It also increases the amount of Attack Speed that she can gain from her Passive.
At 16 skill points spent, Kayle becomes permanently Exalted. This means that Kayle now permanently shoots waves of fire with her basic attacks that will additionally deal True Damage. As you can see, Kayle has gained quite a large amount of power scaling within her Passive alone! Let’s now move on to Kayle’s Q Ability.
Kayle’s Q is Radiant Blast. This ability is no longer point and click, but is now a skill shot fired in a direction after a short delay and stops at the first target struck. This ability deals Magic Damage and scales with both AD and AP, as well as slows the targets that have been hit.
The slow increases in potency as you put points into it and the ability also reduces the Resistances of the enemies struck for 3 seconds. This will be the ability that you will want to max first now, as it scales well and provides quite a powerful slow as it is leveled up!
Kayle’s W ability, Celestial Blessing, has remained mostly the same as it was. The only real difference is that it now acts a bit more like the Summoner Spell Heal than it once did. The heal and Movement Speed granted by this ability increase based on the amount of AP you have built.
Starfire Spellblade is Kayle’s E. Kayle’s E no longer increases your basic attack range for a short duration, but now empowers your next basic attack! The damage from this attack increases based on the enemy’s missing health and has an increased basic attack range for that one attack.
If you are Exalted and have spent 6 ability points while using this ability, it will also damage surrounding enemies! Since this ability is technically an empowered basic attack, it also resets her basic attack meaning after your basic attack, activating this ability will allow you to basic attack again immediately after. This can help you stack your Passive more rapidly and deal more damage quicker!
Kayle’s R ability is Divine Judgement. Divine Judgement is similar to how it once was, only now it deals Magic Damage in the area around the target this ability was cast upon. Divine Judgement still grants invulnerability to the player that has received the ability from 2 seconds at level 1 to 3 seconds at level 3!
When it comes to maxing your abilities, I have been seeing a lot of success maxing her Radiant Blast first, followed by her Starfire Spellblade, and then her Celestial Blessing.
Kayle now scales much harder throughout the game, but as a result has a much weaker early game. Because of this it is important to play her a bit safer in the earlier game to get the most out of her kit later! And now that we know what her kit does, let us look at how she is to be played in the Laning Phase.
As was just stated, Kayle does not have a very strong early game. Thus, it is important to play safe early, at least until you hit level 6 and get the next stage of your Passive as well as gaining access to your Ultimate! At level 6, you can start to look to take some fights and try to get some gold to push you closer to your full build.
Against Melee Champions, you will have the advantage. You will want to keep your distance and poke them with Radiant Blast when they walk up to farm. Radiant Blast can also help you to secure some creeps with the AoE damage provided after hitting an enemy.
Do not use Starfire Spellblade to poke the enemy unless they are already really low, as the ability will not do much damage unless they are already missing a chunk of health. Instead, you can use this ability to reset your basic attacks to secure some minions that you would miss otherwise or that are just out of range!
If the enemy Champion is engaging on you before you can really fight them, try your best to disengage by slowing them with your Radiant Blast, then heal yourself and speed up with your Celestial Blessing. Remember you are playing to scale later, not to snowball early!
Once you are at a point that you can start fighting, usually around level 6 depending on how well you have been farming and your items, poke them down a bit and stack your Passive as much as you can for the bonus Attack Speed!
Try to bait them to attack you. You can counter with Divine Judgement when you are getting low on health and they will take a hefty bit of Magic Damage if they stay in range of you when you use your Ultimate! It helps a lot if you can get your Jungler to assist you earlier on as well, considering how much weaker you are early on!
As you level up and increase the potential of your Passive, you will also gain a lot more wave clear to help you push in the enemy minion wave allowing you to damage, or even take, your opponent’s Turret. There is also more potential for you to roam and assist your teammates when you shove your opponent under their Turret!
You will want to play safe and wait until around level 6 to start fighting and this will help you to win the Laning Phase, or at least not lose the Laning Phase! If you fall behind, you can scale back into the game, but as always, it is better to try not to get behind in the first place!
Teamfighting with Kayle is really where she shines! With the AoE built into her kit, especially after she spends 16 skill points, she has the potential to melt any enemy team! If you are not level 16 yet, try to stack your Passive as much as you can before a fight breaks out.
This will provide you with the potential to deal more damage to the enemy team. If you start the fight before stacking your Passive at all, you will be spending the beginning of the fight much slower. Look to heal whoever needs it in the fight and put your Ultimate on whoever is going deep into the enemy team!
You can hold your Ultimate for yourself, but this is not always the best move, considering that your Ultimate now deals a considerable amount of AoE damage with the potential to devastate the enemy team! For example, if you have a Rengar on your team, it might be best to give him Divine Judgement as he jumps into the enemy team!
Doing so will mitigate any damage he would have taken while also assisting him in damaging the whole enemy team. Also, keep in mind that your Starfire Spellblade will deal increased damage when enemies are low, and will deal damage in an AoE fashion around your initial target if you are level 6 or higher and are Exalted by your Passive!
Kayle is not really an Assassin, nor a mage, she is more of an AP fighter. With this in mind, when approaching teamfights you should focus on shredding the enemy frontline and protecting your backline. You do not need to go super deep attempting to one-shot the enemy ADC, as this likely will not work (unless you are extremely ahead). Remember this when teamfighting with Kayle and you are sure to see success in wiping the enemy team off the Rift!
For your Runes you should look to Precision for your Primary Tree and then the Sorcery Tree second. In your Primary Tree, you will want to take the Keystone that synergizes best with Kayle’s kit, thus you should take Lethal Tempo. Lethal Tempo is the better option over Conqueror, as Conqueror was nerfed in Patch 9.5, the most recent patch at the time of writing this article. Lethal Tempo will allow you to stack your Passive more rapidly, and once you spend 16 skill points, you will be dealing True Damage with your basic attacks anyway!
Next in the Precision Tree, you will want to take Triumph. Triumph will help you stay alive in teamfights when you get takedowns and is just all around a better option than Overheal and Presence of Mind. You will also want Legend: Alacrity, because bonus Attack Speed is amazing on Kayle! This again is the superior option of the three choices. To finish off the Precision Tree, you will want Last Stand. You could take Coup de Grace, but you can get more out of Last Stand with your Ultimate. Last Stand will ultimately benefit you more throughout a game than Coup de Grace will and synergizes better with Kayle’s kit than the other two options.
Next, we have the Sorcery Tree. Within this Tree, you will want to take Transcendence and Gathering Storm. Transcendence helps out Kayle a lot as CDR is great for her. Her Cooldowns are somewhat high and the bonus CDR most certainly helps to mitigate this. Furthermore, overstacking CDR will grant you bonus Adaptive Damage, which definitely does not hurt! Gathering Storm is the next option to take for the same reasons stated earlier. You are playing to scale and Gathering Storm helps you to scale even harder, granting a large amount of Adaptive AP or AD.
Lastly, we have Rune Stats. For the Offensive Rune Stat, take the +10% Attack Speed. For the Flex Stat, take the Adaptive Damage, and for the Defensive Stat take the scaling Health option. The Attack Speed and Adaptive Damage will help overall, and it does not hurt to grab a bit of extra health.
Now that we see how to play Kayle and what Runes synergize best with her, we will finally take a look at what items work best with Kayle!
With Kayle’s new kit, she now scales really well with both AP and AD, so you will want to build both! This is important to Kayle’s power as building both AD and AP makes it really difficult for your enemies to build against! For this reason, you will want your first item to be Hextech Gunblade. This item provides you with a good amount of AP and AD, as well as a strong active on the item giving you even more damage in fights! The components of this item, Hextech Revolver and Bilgewater Cutlass, are also really powerful on their own, meaning you will have some power before the item is completely built.
Your next item should be Guinsoo’s Rageblade. This item synergizes amazingly with Kayle as it provides AP, AD, and Attack Speed, all the ingredients that will end up making Kayle an Angle of Death! After completing these two items you will be very powerful and quite difficult for the enemy to deal with, especially in a duel. Your third item should be either Phantom Dancer or Statikk Shiv. Phantom Dancer is a bit more defensive while Statikk Shiv is better if you are ahead.
Your fourth item will be Infinity Edge. Keep in mind that your abilities, although deal Magic Damage, scale incredibly well with Attack Damage. Infinity Edge provides that for you, as well as massive Critical Strikes! Your last item will be Rabadon’s Deathcap. This item will grant you a large amount of AP and will pretty much secure you position as a monster on Summoner’s Rift.
For Boots you have two really good options. Berserker’s Greaves or Sorcerer’s Shoes are both great options for Kayle! These are somewhat situational choices, as you would want to build Berserker’s Greaves if the enemy is not building any Magic Resistance, and you will want Sorcerer’s Shoes if they are!
Hopefully this guide helps you to dominate Summoner’s Rift in your coming games with Kayle! She is a blast to play and really has the potential to decimate the enemy team once she scales to her full power.
Definitely try her out in a few Normal Games first, then once you feel comfortable with her, fly up the Ranked Ladder with her! I hope you can see success with Kayle out on the Rift! Good Luck in your coming games Summoner’s and Have Fun!
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