Kayle Build Guide

Kayle or be Kayled

Uploader c4tuna
Updated 4 years ago
32,393
97%
Runes
  • 9
    Greater Mark of Attack Speed (+1.7% attack speed)
  • 9
    Greater Seal of Armor (+1 armor)
  • 9
    Greater Glyph of Magic Resist (+1.34 magic resist)
  • 3
    Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed (+4.5% attack speed)
Skill Order
Q W E R
1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4
5 5 5 5
6 6 6 6
7 7 7 7
8 8 8 8
9 9 9 9
10 10 10 10
11 11 11 11
12 12 12 12
13 13 13 13
14 14 14 14
15 15 15 15
16 16 16 16
17 17 17 17
18 18 18 18

Kayle is a versatile champion who can feasibly play *any* role in the game. This guide focuses on using her top lane. Why pick Kayle top? [.]Good range [.]Insane kiting ability [.]Easy to gank for due to Reckoning [.]Heavy sustained DPS on a single target and in an AoE [.]Incredible utility (armor/mr shred, heal/speed boost, and an ult that can singlehandedly turn a loss into a victory) Kayle can push a lane stupidly quickly with Righteous Fury up, poke heavily with Reckoning and escape ganks with Divine Blessing and Intervention. This makes her an ideal top laner--able to put immense pressure on your lane opponent and enemy jungler, while escaping most ganks (especially post-6) with ease. The name of the game for Kayle is VERSATILITY. Be able to adapt your build and playstyle to the situation. Aside from the core of Zerker greaves and 2 doran's or (rarely) a Wriggles, my build for her is never set in stone--and even with that restriction, I'm always open to changing things up.

[title]Acceptable reds:[/title] [highlight]Aspd[/highlight] (Kayle gets a ton of damage from her E which makes aspd far and away the best offensive stat on her for sustained DPS) [highlight]AD[/highlight] (Improves her poke/burst/harass with Q and autos, as well as last-hitting potential. I will take AD against someone who is tough to get sustained damage on) [title]Acceptable yellows:[/title] [highlight]Armor[/highlight] (Even vs someone who does magic damage like Vlad, since your main source of DPS is autoattacks, it means lots of minion aggro where armor absolutely helps) [title]Acceptable blues: [/title] [highlight]MR[/highlight] [highlight]MR/lvl[/highlight] (I prefer MR to MR/lvl unless you're up against someone who does purely physical damage like Riven. Even a little bit counts early on.) [highlight]CDR[/highlight] (CDR is a very valuable stat for Kayle, especially since it's difficult to itemize for. Most players won't have CDR blues let alone a runepage to dedicate them to, but it's worth mentioning that they go well on her) [title]Acceptable Quints:[/title] [highlight]Aspd[/highlight] [highlight]AD[/highlight] (always match the same type as you got for reds. The idea is that if one stat is better than the other, it's still gonna be better than the other--you're focusing on one aspect of the character and exploiting it for all it's got. [highlight]Movespeed[/highlight] (mobility/kiting is big on Kayle. I tend to take MS quints vs champs where you're going to be constantly kiting, like Singed, or who are skillshot dependent, like Kennen)

[title][img=skills/kayle/p.png] Passive: Holy Fervor[/title] [number]Kayle's basic attacks against enemy champions now reduce their armor and magic resistance by 3% for 5 seconds (stacks up to 5 times)[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] % resistance shred is a potent anti-tank ability (applied after flat shred but before any personal armor/MR penetration). and even against squishier targets, -15% absolutely adds up. It's a large reason Cleaver is such a good choice on her (since the two effects reduce a target's armor by a significant amount before personal and ally penetration applies), and though its contribution to her personal dps may be relatively negligible especially in lane, it SERIOUSLY adds up in teamfights as the game goes on. [title][img=skills/kayle/q.png] Q: Reckoning[/title] [number]Blasts a target, dealing 60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260 (+100% of bonus attack damage and +100% of ability power) magic damage and slowing its movement speed by 35% for 4 seconds. While the target is slowed, Kayle inflicts 6/7/8/9/10% increased damage to them. Cooldown 8 seconds Cost 70/75/80/85/90 mana Range 650[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Leveling it increases the flat damage, mana cost, and % increased damage though only by a small amount. Worth maxing before Righteous Fury for two potential reasons: you can poke but have trouble with any sort of sustained dps, or if you do not want to push the lane, the bonus splash damage from E can be a dangerous benefit. Leveling this tends to give you far more severe mana problems in lane than you'd get leveling E. [title][img=skills/kayle/w.png] W: Divine Blessing[/title] [number]Blesses an allied champion, healing them for 60/105/150/195/240 (+35% of ability power) health and increasing their movement speed by 18/21/24/27/30% for 3 seconds. Cooldown 15 seconds Cost 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 mana Range 1000[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] A 1-pt wonder until later on, though a 2nd or 3rd point can be wisely invested if you find yourself desperately in need of health mid-gank or something similarly. The mana cost is increased by 2/3rds when maxed vs. at level 1, which is simply unsustainable without mana/5 in your build somewhere. By taking 1 pt, the mini-ghost effect is a bigger factor than the minor heal, though it can also be useful in a pinch or if you have plenty of mana. In teamfights, use this on your initiator as a mini-shurelya, and give it to allies to help them run and kite. Its range is huge, and I've pulled off many clutch saves with it. [title][img=skills/kayle/e.png] E: Righteous Fury[/title] [number]Kayle's attacks strike at range. These attacks splash, dealing an additional magic damage to her target and nearby units take 20 / 25 / 30 / 35.5 / 40% of her attack damage plus magic damage. The total bonus damage is 20/30/40/50/60 base damage plus (+20% of ability power). Cooldown 16 seconds Cost 45 mana[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This is what makes Kayle Kayle. It's important to consider how it functions: At level 1, it gives her 20 magic damage on hit, and in a splash. It also adds 20% of her attack damage to the magical splash (though not to the primary target). As you level it, the cooldown and mana remain constant but the magic damage + splash increases by 10/lvl and the % of AD converted into splash increases to a max of 40%. There's a several second downtime after it runs out before it can be casted again unless you're close to capping with CDR. Managing this properly and learning when to bail and when to pursue into melee range is something you learn with time. I max this first because having +60 magic damage on hit (almost 1.5x a wit's end) to the primary target and in a fairly large splash is a HUGE deal at level 9. It lets you clear creeps effortlessly, dps like a motherfucker on single targets and in huge teamfights, and mixes up your damage so you can't be countered with a single type of resistance. On average, it's 70% as strong as wriggles, only it's consistent and works on EVERYONE. In an AOE. It's flippin' awesome. [title][img=skills/kayle/r.png] R: Intervention[/title] [number]Bathes Kayle's target in a holy light, rendering them immune to all damage for 2 / 2.5 / 3 seconds. Cooldown 90seconds Cost 100 / 75 / 50mana Range 1200[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Even if you got absolutely stomped in lane and do zero damage, this ult right here is obscenely overpowered in teamfights. It's the ultimate counter-initiate. Graves got grabbed? Ult him. Skarner flashed in and impaled your AP? Ult him. Support got caught out of position? Ult him and turn the tables! The real key to this ability is learning the precise time that it's most effective, something I don't really have entirely down myself. In a worst case scenario, you've prolonged a key character's life by 3 seconds. In a best case scenario, you can waste multiple ults of theirs, and deal far more damage simply by keeping a DPS alive than any other ultimate alone can hope to do. The 1200 range and instant-cast on it is a huge factor. The best Kayle ults are the ones they NEVER see coming. If you can drop an ult on an ally while you're still out of sight, sometimes it's not until the smoke clears that they've realized they just shot blanks. It doesn't negate disables and if someone's very out of position, they still will be once it's over--but it's a second lease on life, and even in games where I've done just terribly, one well-placed ult has won key teamfights and secured objectives. It's on a low, low cooldown as well--not "twice a fight" low, but almost guaranteed to be up in response to your lane opponent's ult every single time. Don't be afraid to use it even if it's not guaranteed to work or if they might not NEED it. Not every Intervention can be legendary, but when they are, they're LEGENDARY. It's also the single most annoying ult to play against (like trollpool, only he can still do everything and even ignite stops ticking) so I apologize to anyone I've cockblocked with it. Seriously. I'm sorry.

[img=skills/kayle/e.png][img=skills/kayle/w.png][img=skills/kayle/q.png][img=skills/kayle/e.png][img=skills/kayle/e.png] (Honestly you can take the first 4 levels in any order you want, but I like taking W at level 2 when I'm at risk of being jungle ganked) THEN [img=skills/kayle/r.png] > [img=skills/kayle/e.png] > [img=skills/kayle/q.png] > [img=skills/kayle/w.png] HOWEVER, IF YOU TOOK AD REDS/QUINTS OR ARE GETTING CAMPED AND WANT TO FREEZE YOUR LANE, YOU SHOULD PROBABLY MAX Q FIRST Why e first? E scales great with aspd. It gives you heavy sustained damage on a single target and in an AoE, lets you lasthit like a motherfucker and push like a bulldozer. You put a ton of pressure on your lane and make your opponent scared to lasthit because he can get chunked by nothing more than the residual damage. Kayle is hard to gank with her Q and W, so putting jungler pressure on your lane means less on the rest of your team, which is good for winning! Even if you get camped and beaten down, you still push like crazy, have tons of teamfight presence on the power of your E and R alone, and can transition to a supporty build (cleaver => starks) with ease. This is a major point of contention I've heard with this guide. I've tried maxing both and find maxing E to be easier in mana management and better suiting my playstyle since it makes me a teamfight/pushing monster at levels 7-11 where maxing Q doesn't help. Maxing Q doesn't affect the slow OR cooldown and barely improves the damage amp, which is a bummer in my book. TL;DR max Q if you want to -poke-, max E if you want to [highlight]ANNIHILATE[/highlight].

My core on Kayle is [img=items/berserkers-greaves.png][img=items/dorans-blade.png][img=items/dorans-blade.png] in most games. Sometimes I will substitute a [img=items/wriggles-lantern.png] in against difficult physical lanes or when we need stronger Baron control. After that, there are 3 main 'branches' that the build takes. [img=items/the-black-cleaver.png] Unless your mid is AP, your jungle is AP, and your AD is braindead, BC is going to be a VERY effective item. -45 armor on 3 hits is just stupidly good and is often the difference between a won and a lost teamfight. This is worth rushing to have in time for baron fights in particular. [img=items/trinity-force.png] Triforce is more of a general purpose item. It's quite lovely on Kayle--every stat goes to use, all 3 items are solid choices on their own so they work together very well into a cohesive package. I'll generally go phage => zeal => sheen, but that's more a matter of personal preference. [img=items/wits-end.png][img=items/ionic-spark.png] Heavy sustained dps, more focus on magic than physical, little utility or teamfight benefit--far more useful for split pushing than focusing on teamfights. The items synergize with each other and with Righteous Fury, which turns you into a whirling dervish of mixed damage death with plenty of AoE and a good chunk of survivability. Fuck the haters, Ionic Spark is a badass item and due to the way it synergizes with Wit's (the aspd feeds each others' procs, the procs feed each others' aspd, the mr and HP work together as well) is a superb choice to follow it in your build. After getting any one of these main choices, or even if you haven't finished 'em, you can either work on a second or just supplement your build depending on your team's needs and what you feel you need most. Supporty: [img=items/frozen-mallet.png][img=items/starks-fervor.png][img=items/nashors-tooth.png][img=items/frozen-heart.png][img=items/kindlegem.png] On-hitty: [img=items/malady.png][img=items/madreds-bloodrazor.png] Deepsy: [img=items/infinity-edge.png][img=items/phantom-dancer.png][img=items/the-bloodthirster.png][img=items/youmuus-ghostblade.png] Your results will vary and I encourage you to try different builds for yourself. NOTE: I do not build GP5s on Kayle. Her midgame strength is where she really shines as a damage-dealer so it seems wasteful to me to get GP5s instead. I am experimenting with different builds all the time though, and I'd love more feedback in regards to this especially.

[img=champ/chogath.png] Push him out of CS range with your E, farm freely, use your W to get out of rupture range if necessary. Learn his 0 AP Feast dmg amounts (300/475/650) and always ult yourself or nearby allies if they fall below this and Cho is in Feast range. [img=champ/darius.png] A very favorable matchup for Kayle. Later on, you need to be careful not to let him pull you in--you will barely outrange him with Righteous Fury up, but need to really keep on your toes. The best part about this matchup isn't that you can freely harass him in lane and that he's very easy to gank with your Q slow, but rather that mid-lategame in teamfights, your ult hardcounters his and will prevent him from being able to leapfrog every single time if you place it correctly. Be careful to not get ganked yourself, since Darius snowballs hard. I recommend MS quints until you're more familiar with his ranges. [img=champ/ezreal.png] AP ez is annoying as hell as Kayle--reduces your aspd and is a slippery bugger with his short hop. Focus on outpushing him while avoiding ganks and tell your jungler to gank elsewhere. You are far more useful than he is mid-lategame. Feel free to roam mid, though keep in mind that his ults will inevitably follow you. If you see them coming, your ult is a great counter. [img=champ/fiddlesticks.png] I haven't had the displeasure of playing against Fiddle top, though I'd imagine that he's as close to a hardcounter to Kayle in lane as they come. I'd imagine that the best way to deal with him would be to get ganks and then ignite + burst through his drain. Merc treads could very easily be a necessity against him. [img=champ/fiora.png] She charges in - Q her, W yourself, and run until her burst of speed and riposte are up. Try to bait ripostes by faking into attack range, and punish her when she stops throwing them up. Your ult hard counters hers, so wait to throw it up until it's absolutely necessary (or she'll just wait it out and THEN ult). Wriggles is practically a necessity for this one unless you can outfarm her hard. Fairly easy to gank and has no disables of her own. [img=champ/gangplank.png] If he's engaging on you, hold your Q until he eats his oranges for the heal and punish him. If he tries to poke you with Parrrley, punish him. Ultimately not all that dangerous to you as long as you use your range wisely--and he's got far less teamfight presence than you do. [img=champ/irelia.png] Kite while her true damage is up. Do not dive her, even with your ult, as you can still be disabled during it. Double Dorans => Phage gives you a good amount of control against her. [img=champ/jax.png] He goes into dodge mode => heal yourself and run away. You don't want him to hop on you and stun, and he'll go oom faster than you will like that. Keep him from CSing at all costs. Dude is a monster midgame--thankfully your ult can negate a ton of his burst if he finds his way onto a squishy. Get ganks on him. Jax is a pretty damn strong pick and his matchup vs Kayle is really as much a skill matchup as they come. [img=champ/jarvaniv.png] Take flash (even if he's jungling). Abuse range, don't let him knock you up. He's more dangerous for potential ganks against you than for anything else--your shred does a number on his armor and he just can't keep up dps or mobility wise. [img=champ/kennen.png] Annoying as piss but you should still be able to farm fairly well against him. Consider maxing Q over E so you don't push the lane any more than you have to. If he comes at you with a charged autoattack, just run back and wait for him to use it on creeps (or sacrifice CS for it). Your ult counters his in a 1v1 situation and frankly you outdamage him significantly with similar amounts of farm. Don't let him farm out of control, play defensively, and push hard if their jungler is confirmed in another lane or dead--he has trouble clearing waves and CSing under towers. [img=champ/leesin.png] Keep him backed up to his turret whenever you feel it's safe to. He's easy to harass when he comes in for last hits, but be careful not to let him hit Qs and Es on you. Always stay around your creeps with him--a 1v1 on open field will end poorly for you. Timing your ult against him is basically going to come down to who has better reflexes, so try not to let it come to that at all. [img=champ/malphite.png] He Q's you => you Q him and back up. Don't let him hit his E, it destroys your DPS. Punish him in the early levels when you have a significant advantage. Honestly Malph is one of my personal counterpicks vs. Kayle top, so my best advice would be to focus on farming instead of trying to move the immovable object. Your shred hurts him a ton lategame, but his aspd slows hurt you badly in turn. [img=champ/nautilus.png] Don't. Naut counters Kayle hard, in my experience. Just don't do it. If you have to, focus on farming. Any jungler + Naut leads to deadly ganks, he's really hard to push out due to his shield, and if he can land a q, expect pain. Take MS quints and use your mobility to your advantage. Ult his ult when you can get away with it and try not to die. Really not a good matchup for you at all. [img=champ/nidalee.png] You trade better than she does, so don't give her free hits. Kite well and punish her when you have a chance. You should have no trouble farming at least as well as she does, outpushing her easily with your AoE, and you're FAR more useful mid-lategame than she is. [img=champ/olaf.png] Don't get hit by his axes and you can kite him easily. He dives? You ult. Just save your Q for when his ult runs out. Double Doran's => Phage for the extra HP to survive a few Es and the slow for control is always good. Stay on your toes, punish him when he goes in to lasthit, this is very much a skill-based matchup. [img=champ/pantheon.png] Panth is another really crummy lane for Kayle. You can't consistently outrange him and you can't consistently outburst him. Early on you'll want to focus on outpushing him--he can't do shit if he's tied up at his turret. Never sit in his E if you can avoid it, and if you see him ulting in, ult yourself (or someone else in the circle) at the last second to negate its damage + the combo he probably already has queued up. Get enough beef to survive his poke and combos and try to stay in it til lategame. [img=champ/renekton.png] Abuse your range and kite your heart out if you see him coming for you. Your ult makes you very hard to dive thankfully, but he has the beef and the gap-closing to give you a really rough time of it early. Wriggles is a good choice here. Focus on staying alive and punishing him once he's gotten his combo off and is trying to disengage. [img=champ/riven.png] One of the most fun matchups in the game, in my opinion. She can blow everything she has to get to you and land a couple hits, but your sustained DPS beats hers and she'll have nothing to disengage in that case. Punish the hell out of her and be careful of ganks. Once you're both 6, always save your ult for at least some of her combo if not her ult's active itself. It's not always easy to time properly. Always be on your toes, even if you're winning, since Riven can very quickly turn a lead around with a well-executed combo. [img=champ/rumble.png] Punish him hard early and push him to his tower. Your ult prevents the worst of his burst, especially in a dive, since it's DoT that can be walked right out of. Quick Null-magic mantle to be later turned into wit's end is a good pickup against him. He can't kite you the way he can most melee, so take advantage of it! [img=champ/shen.png] Very easy lane for Kayle. Push it hard and smack him every time he goes in for CS. If he charges in, stick on him and abuse your sustained DPS. If he ults out to save someone else, push hard and take the tower if you can. Don't give him any room to breathe and you'll be fine. [img=champ/singed.png] I lied about Riven. THIS is the most fun matchup in the game. Take MS quints and smack him around whenever he's in range. Try to get a gank or two before he hits 6. He can't outpush you, and if he gets in range you can manhandle him. QW makes fling impossible, even with his sticky white substance, and your ult really hurts his ability to fling someone out from the middle of your team in teamfights to make them easier to hit. No matter how well he farms, you can farm better, and be much better off for it. [img=champ/udyr.png] Push, punish, kite. I'm running out of ways to say it. He's too tanky to really burst down or dive, but you can pressure and outpush him like crazy. [img=champ/vladimir.png] Awkward matchup but one that you win come mid/lategame. Your ult counters his in a big way, and your sustained DPS turns him into mincemeat. An early NMM into a wit's end again is a great asset here. [img=champ/warwick.png] Abuse range. Push him to tower. Try to pre-ult his ult, or ult an ally he's already ulting (as long as they have someone else dpsing him too). Use your heal to keep yourself over 50%, and definitely don't let him get in melee range for extended trades due to the nature of his passive. [img=champ/wukong.png] Punnnnnishhhhhhhhhhh. Wriggles. If he clones in, smack him hard as he tries to disengage. If he clones out, follow, then Q and smack (be very careful not to Q a clone). Your ult beats his for the most part, especially in a dive. [img=champ/yorick.png] Fuck this fat asshole. Get ganks. You can actually clean up his ghouls fairly quickly with your E, so don't let him push you too hard (but also don't take unnecessary poke).

You want to shadow your AD carry. Attack whoever he's attacking (especially if you have BC), ult him if he takes focus, heal him if he needs to run or kite, and slow anyone who's getting up in his face. Your job is to make his life easier and synergize that way. You bring many anti-tank tools to the table, and AD carries are frequently interacting with tanks anyway. Don't be afraid to make ballsy plays and die for them if it means your team can succeed in the wake of it--but also learn the difference between a sacrifice play and a needless suicide.

Kayle is a badass and is a major contributor to me going from 1900-2100. I highly recommend her to any top player, if just to try out. She's definitely an aquired taste, but damn if smiting huge waves of enemies with a flaming sword isn't a goddamn bitchin' thing to do.

Comments coming soon!
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