Thursday, October 20, 2011

LoL What? Beginner Guide to Kayle

Kayle the Judicator
Hybrid AP/Support

There is a world far away where an ancient conflict still rages. Kayle was a champion in her war, the fair bringer of justice, and there are those that call her an angel. However, there are many who would call her murderer or monster. Kayle tirelessly fought for her people, bringing enemies to their knees. That is, until the day she was summoned. Plucked from her conflict, Kayle at first raged - until she saw the cause for which she had been called. Now she has brought her role to Valoran, dispensing her brand of justice to the League of Legends in an attempt to salvage the very survival of the planet. She is a striking winged figure. Though incredibly beautiful, Kayle hides herself under armor, knowing that justice is so often an ugly thing. Despite her newfound life, there is still a part of her that yearns for her home. Kayle is, for lack of a more sophisticated term, a bruiser. She can sear enemies with what she calls holy energy, sucking the life and magic from a victim. She is capable of sharing the harm done to her with those who inflict it. Her ability to intervene can help an allied Champion return from death with haste then she can bless them with increased speed. When the time comes, Kayle can ignite her sword with holy fire, bringing out the true avenging angel within her. In the League of Legends, Justice comes on swift wings.

Kayle is a fun champion for beginners to play. She looks extremely impressive with her bright armor and wings, and her invincibility and heal gives some wiggle room that beginners can really appreciate, yet she still does enough damage to feel powerful. She can fit into most any team, and brings a lot of utility to a group so you'll be quite popular with your teammates. Your main job with Kayle is to save people's butts. If that sounds awesome, read on!

Champion Abilities

Passive: Holy Fervor
When Kayle attacks a champion, the target loses 3% Armor and Magic Resistance for 5 seconds. This effect stacks up to 5 times.

This passive is pretty pathetic. However, the effect does work for everyone on the team, not just Kayle, so it's still worth trying to get a few hits on whoever your team is focusing down.

Reckoning (Q)
Blasts an enemy unit with angelic force, dealing damage and slowing movement speed. While the target is slowed, Kayle inflicts increased damage to them. 

This is your harass ability. Use it as an opener (allowing increased damage), or in particular, to allow you and your team to catch up to a fleeing enemy. It's also your longest range offensive ability, so it's useful as a poke.

Divine Blessing (W)
Blesses a target friendly champion, granting them increased movement speed and healing them. 

This is your main support ability. The heal is pretty much negligible, as Kayle is a hybrid rather than a straight support character. However, in addition to the heal, this gives a speed boost that can be significant at higher levels. This is great to use in conjunction with Reckoning to allow Kayle or her teammates to catch a fleeing enemy, or to help Kayle or her teammates escape.

Righteous Fury (E)
Ignites Kayle's sword with a holy flame, granting Kayle a ranged splash attack and bonus magic damage.

This is your primary damage output, and will help in farming as it allows your attacks to splash to nearby enemies. Additionally, combined with her other abilities, this helps Kayle chase down enemies as it allows her normally melee attacks to hit at range.

Intervention (R)
Shields Kayle or an ally for a short time, causing them to be immune to damage.

 The move Kayle is most known for, her ult. This makes one champion of your choice (including Kayle herself) invincible for a short time. It can be great for many things, including escaping a near death situation, tower diving, or throwing on a massive DPS to allow them to get off their full attack while the enemy team looks on, unable to stop them.

Summoner Abilities

Ghost (F)
Your Champion ignores unit collision and moves 27% faster for 14 seconds.

Ghost greatly increases your mobility. Combined with Kayle's already deadly mobility spells, it allows her and her teammates to catch or escape from enemies with ease.

Other choices: Flash

Exhaust (G)
Reduces a target's Attack Damage by 70%, Ability/Item damage by 35% and slows its Movement Speed by 40% for 3 seconds.

Exhaust is used primarily to slow an enemy. Like Ghost, it can be used both offensively (to catch a fleeing enemy) and defensively (to escape)

Other choices: Ignite, Cleanse, Clairvoyance


Kayle works well with the go-to mastery set up: 9/0/21. This mastery set gets you the following at max level: 9% reduced cooldowns, magic penetration, increased experience, mana regen, move speed, and longer Neutral buffs. Now, this guide assumes you aren't at max level, so I'll give the order in which you should pick these masteries up.

Offense Tree:
3/3 Deadliness
1/1 Cripple (if you use Exhaust)
4/4 Sorcery
1/1 Archaic Knowledge

Utility Tree:
3/3 Perseverance
1/1 Haste (if you use Ghost)
4/4 Awareness
2/2 Utility Master
3/3 Meditation
3/3 Quickness
3/3 Sorcery
1/4 Expanded Mind
1/1 Presence of the Master

Skill Order

Skilling for Kayle is easy. Grab Righteous Fury first so you have it available, then level in the following priority:

Intervention >>> Reckoning / Divine Blessing >>> Righteous Fury


This is the most generic item build for Kayle, but be prepared to substitute items in based on your opponents and the specific situation you are in.

  1. Doran's Ring
  2. Mercury Treads
  3. Hextech Gunblade
  4. Guinsoo's Rageblade
  5. Nashor's Tooth
  6. Rabadon's Deathcap

If you need additional survivability, a Guardian's Angel (if people are focusing you down specifically) or a Banshee's Veil are good substitutes - insert one of them between step 3 and 4 in the item list.


Kayle is a strong soloer, so mid or solo top is good. However as a beginner, you may want to stay paired until you feel comfortable.

Before Level 6
Your goal is to get as many last hits as possible while harassing the enemy and trying to keep them from getting as many last hits. Use your movement speed to keep on the move and only hit minions to last hit. Use Reckoning and Righteous Fury to harass the enemy and Divine Blessing to escape if needed. Reckoning is really your best friend in this phase, and you should do your best to make your enemies fear it.

After Level 6
Stay in your lane to harass and farm as long as you can, but coordinate with your team if you can and join up for the occasional gank using your Intervention.Do your best to get gunblade before the main teamfighting phase begins.

Team Fights

It's important to remember that while Kayle can be awesome on her own, she really shines as a support character. Remember that you can't save butts with Intervention if you are stunned or dead, so don't draw too much aggro to yourself.

  • Let your teammates initiate. Your moves are usually better used in reaction to the situation.
  • Hit the team's focus target with Reckoning, then follow up with Righteous Fury.
  • Heal your weaker teammates with Divine Blessing
  • Use you Intervention as soon as one of your powerful DPS allies begins being focused down, when they reach around 30% health.
  • Only enter melee range if you seem to be winning, to help chase the enemy down.
  • If you are losing, help everyone escape using Divine Blessing to boost their speed and Reckoning to slow the enemy down.
More Information

If you'd like more information, check out the guide by "I am the Walrus" on LeagueCraft: Kayle, the Saver of Asses. I have essentially paraphrased his guide here, making it as short as noob friendly as possible. He's got a lot more information about why this build is recommended as well as hard numbers supporting his recommendations.

Have fun!

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