Play like a Pro: xPeke's Kassadin

Play like a Pro: xPeke's Kassadin

It's not easy to ban out xPeke. Fnatic's veteran mid laner has a champion pool deep enough to dive in, stuffed with classic AP mages like Veigar, mobile assassins like Fizz, and ranged supports like Orianna.

He can play almost anything—and have fun while doing it—but in his heart of hearts, xPeke loves one champion more than all the rest. Kassadin the Void Walker is xPeke's favorite champion.

Three Reasons to Love Kassadin

Kassadin is a deadly assassin-mage, shrouded in mystery and sporting some funky headgear alongside the giant nether blade attached to his right hand.

But xPeke doesn't pick him for his looks. He picks Kassadin for the amazing plays he can pull off with him.

  • He performs magic tricks
    Now you see the enemy carry. Now you don't! xPeke loves Kassadin's potential to simply erase a fragile enemy from this plane of existence. "You have a lot of damage as Kassadin," he explains, "and you can make the enemy carries disappear. Once they get hit by Kassadin's silence and slow, they can't Flash or use abilities to run away." When you have them in your sights, they're gone.
  • He's free to roam
    Kassadin's trademark ability is Riftwalk, which lets him repeatedly teleport in a direction and deal damage where he appears (for increasing mana cost, of course). That potential for hyper-mobility is another reason why xPeke loves to play him. "He's really strong," xPeke says, "and also counters a lot of champions. I like the fact that he's really hard to catch."
  • He ages well
    Like a fine wine, Kassadin gets better with time. If he's left alone to ferment in mid lane with plenty of minion kills, he can evolve into a late-game monster. "Kassadin's really strong late game," xPeke says. "You can be really annoying for your opponents if they don't have enough CC."

When to Pick, or Avoid Kassadin

The Void Walker clearly does a lot right, but we still want to make sure we don't accidentally walk into a trap when picking this sneaky killer.

xPeke is confident about Kassadin's power level against most of the current, popular mid-lane champions, and gives a broad recommendation.

"Kassadin is strong against a lot of mages," xPeke explains, "because he gets Magic Resist from his passive and has a silence effect. Those make him strong in trades, plus give him great burst damage."

The major hazard to watch out for is a lane opponent that can out-scale you in the mid and late game or a team composition that can punish you hard early, when Kassadin's at his weakest.

"I would pick Kassadin," xPeke recommends, "in any game that you know you'll be stronger than the other mid laner at any point after you have blue buff. Like against Gragas or Lissandra—it's pretty safe to go equal with them early and win later."

New Kassadin Converts

Kassadin has a learning curve though, and even xPeke wasn't immune to it. He admits that he wasn't very good with Kassadin initially, and "was really bad at reading which situations I should go in with my ultimate to do damage and slow them, which got me killed many times."

He's put together some tips to help you avoid those same pitfalls.

  • Just survive the early game
    Kassadin's reliance on melee attacks to score creep kills and regen mana is a big liability early in the match. "Focus on not getting too much harass or losing too much HP for a creep," xPeke recommends. "Most of the time, all that Kassadin needs is levels."
  • Get ready for level seven
    The hard times don't last for long. "Once you're level six, you can start farming really easily with a blue buff and Riftwalk," xPeke says. "If you can reach level seven without dying and acquire decent farm, you'll be really strong."
  • Don't get overzealous
    xPeke's pain is your gain, as he shares the wisdom he earned from many baited deaths early on. "Never Riftwalk into a fight if you're not sure you'll be able to survive," he explains. "Riftwalk has a high cooldown at early levels, compared to level 16. So if you go in, they might be able to Flash, control you, and kill you before you get your ultimate back."

xPeke's Challenge

There are a lot of fun tricks to pull off with the teleporting terror of the Void, but xPeke has one in particular that he wants you to try.

"Kassadin doesn't have skill shots," he explains. "So his trick is more about knowing what to do and when to do it. Here's one for when you have Zhonya's Hourglass or Flash up. Opponents tend to go really hard on you when you Riftwalk into the fight. Do that and immediately use Force Pulse on all of them. Right away, when they turn on you, use Zhonya's Hourglass or Flash to avoid their big attacks. You'll end up baiting some of them and letting your team have good positioning on the fight."

Josh Augustine's favorite champion is Thresh, he's never enjoyed a Darius, and he will always go for the kill, even when he knows he shouldn't. He currently works as a game designer on EverQuest at Sony Online Entertainment. He’d love to talk with you on Twitter.

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