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New Champion: Kai’Sa

League of Legends

New Champion: Kai’Sa

The Kit: 

 Passive: SECOND SKIN

Kai’Sa’s passive has two parts, and evolves her playstyle throughout the game depending on which items the player builds. This is going to mean a lot of build diversity for one champion, as there seem to be a variety of builds emerging for her (much like Kayn). The leading build revolves around a traditional BOTRK into Crit build, much like a scaling Vayne would traditionally build. Otherwise Kai’Sa also seems viable with an AP build, though a full AP build may prove too expensive for her as she needs power early in the Bot lane.

Note: AD = Attack Damage, AP = Ability Power

Part One: CAUSTIC WOUNDS

Kai'Sa's basic attacks stack Plasma for 4 seconds and deal bonus magic damage per stack. Kai'Sa's attacks detonate Plasma at 4 stacks, dealing bonus damage equal to a percentage of the target's missing health (max: 400 against monsters). This percentage scales from AP, much like Varus’s stackable passive (which also deals %health dmg).

Allies' immobilizing effects on champions also add 1 stack of Plasma. This is crucial, as laners with Crowd Control (CC) abilities are going to make Kai’Sa’s trading much easier in the Bot Lane. Note that it might also work with her as a jungler ganking lanes with CC, but her clear is somewhat lacking (unlike her engage, however…).

Part Two: LIVING WEAPON

Kai'Sa's suit adapts to her choices, evolving her abilities based on permanent stats from Items and Champion Levels. Details below – this is the part of her kit that seems to be causing the most debate. More testing is required, but it’s likely that eventually some niche builds with strange power-spikes could be unearthed.

 

 Q: ICATHIAN RAIN

Kai’Sa Launches six missiles at nearby enemies, with each successive missile that hits a Champion/Monster (note: worse Jungle clear!) doing 30% dmg. Low health minions take double damage, so this is all of her waveclear and it’s quite short ranged.

This ability scales from both AD and AP, but after gaining 100 bonus AD Kai’Sa shoots twelve missiles instead. The AP scaling is quite high (75% AP), meaning that a burst-mage build with a lot of AP could do some serious damage. There might also be a sweet-spot, where the player can build the required 100 AD to double her shots and still have some AP to scale with (Guinsoo’s Rageblade?), which could prove super-nasty.

 

 W: VOID SEEKER

Kai’Sa fires a Void blast that grants true damage on the first enemy hit, deals magic damage and applies two stacks of plasma. This ability is high cooldown and only hits a single target, so will be quite hard to utilise successfully. An accurate Kai’sa player can use this to trigger her ult from a massive range (more on that later), or to finish an enemy off who has tried to run from the Daughter of the Void.

At 100 AP (not very much), VOID SEEKER applies three stacks on-hit, and refunds it’s cooldown by 50% when a champion is hit. This could mean a full-AP build might end up like an old Nidalee, because that is some seriously long-ranged artillery!

 

 E: SUPERCHARGE

Kai'Sa spends 1.5 seconds Supercharging her Void Energy. She gains 40% Movement Speed during the charge, and 40% Attack Speed for 5 seconds when charged. Note that she is locked out from attacking during the 1.5s charging and can use this to reposition quickly or to chase, but it isn’t quite the same as a Lucian dash or Vayne tumble in utility.

Basic attacks reduce Supercharge's cooldown by 0.5 seconds. Supercharge's cast time and Movement Speed improve with Attack Speed.

At 100% (bonus) Attack Speed - Supercharge grants Invisibility for 0.5 seconds. That is a reasonably large amount required, but means that a crit-style Kai’Sa could have a Vayne-esque invisibility up every 10 seconds!

 

 R: KILLER INSTINCT

Kai'Sa warps to a location near an enemy champion affected by Plasma, gaining a shield for 3 seconds. This happens fast, and the range is massive. This means that enemies affected by CC from teammates should expect a Void-assassin to emerge from the shadows at any moment, with a suitably cool blast of Void energy and a suitably deadly follow-up. Kai’Sa can also trigger this effect for herself by landing her W: VOID SEEKER, which applies stacks of Plasma!

I really like this as a teamplay ability, but also one that rewards good play from the Kai’Sa player: it could make for some seriously flashy outplays, engages and even escapes – or some seriously disastrous ones! Between her W skillshot and the use of her ultimate, Kai’Sa will rely heavily on the competence of the player controlling her.

The Verdict:

Kai’Sa is a short ranged ADC with reasonably high-cooldown abilities that will rely heavily on the player’s skill in utilising her kit efficiently to make the best use of her. Bad Kai’Sa players are probably going to become as famously frustrating as bad Yasuos, Rivens and Vaynes – but good Kai’Sa players will be storming Summoner’s Rift amidst a rampage of purple energy.

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