With the hyperscaling-hybrid-carry playstyle, Kai’Sa fills a very fresh and modern role. With spells evolving into upgraded states depending on how much added attack damage, ability power, and attack speed you have. Emulating the thoughts of the adaptive scaling and the fact that the champ may feel different from one game to another. According to Jeevan “Riot Jag” Sidhu, lead game designer at riot games who worked on the Kai’Sa release, Kai’Sa is weak and undertuned, to popular belief this is due to Zoe’s incredibly overtuned release state. Consider this to be a small hint to a number of tweaks and look-overs in the future. The fact that there has only been a week since her release and that there are very few players that have played more than 50 games on the champion makes the statistics flawed, and will most likely change shortly. Additionally, Kai’Sa will be disabled when the pro scene hits patch 8.5 during EU and NA LCS Spring Finals.
Kai’Sa follows the apparent pattern of newly added champs on the rift, the subpar win-rate paired with a freshly released champion. The Daughter of the Void is hovering around a 43% win rate after a week of play on live servers depending on which role you are looking to play. The design coming from the worktable is a godsend, so let us dive into the trends that we have seen and if the plan fills its purpose.
Kai’sa is seeing play in the jungle in roughly 18% of her games. With a 40th out of 40 placings (depending on what source you use) on the list of champions that are currently seeing play on the rift. However, newly released champions are often picked with the benefit of the doubt in mind. According to the statistics site Champion.gg, seen over the span of roughly 1700 games which, of course, is not a reliable sample size. But only 23% of those games came out with the victory screen in games in platinum and above. In the jungle, we see a lot more hybrid itemization compared to the other available roles. The evolved spell we are giving this reason to is Kai’Sa’s E spell, Supercharger. The evolve briefly gives true invisibility with enough of bonus attack speed, alike the Kha’Zix evolved R: Void Assault that aswell gives true invisibility while projecting through bushes. With her adaptive scaling, the most prominent jungle build path, runes and skill order look something like this, read from left to right:
Like her jungle presence, Kai’Sa in the middle is not doing too good. A 10th of her games we see her in the middle lane with 36% of these games resulting in a win. However, Kai’sa is only picked for the middle lane in less than 1% of the games played globally, it is obviously acknowledged that she is not primed for the task in the current meta. Mages like Anivia, Twisted Fate, and Cassiopeia together with the Assassins Zed, Talon and Fizz will all make Kai’sa have an awful time. Similar to the build path in the jungle, mid lane Kai’sa itemize for attack speed but considers ability power as well. With enough ability power, The Daughter of the Void becomes significantly stronger in short bursty trades. Kai’sa’s W: Void Seeker upgrades into more raw damage and receives reduced cooldown on champion hit. If you still want to pull out the Kai’sa mid pocket pick, the build path, runes and skill order would look like this, Wit’s End is getting an honorable mention for rough AP matchups.
With the majority of Kai’Sa games being played in the bottom lane, approximately 68% of her global games. Aswell in the bottom lane, this Daughter of the void is rocking the lowest win rate amongst the AD carry picks. The prominence of the crit itemization still shines through with spikes around the 30-35 minute mark, around the time you get the 3rd crit item. Then again spikes at late game, 40+ minutes. We were informed early, as early as before the initial release that Kai’Sa was going to be an AD Carry, the masses were concerned about tuning and playstyle with the champion. The low range, the lockout of auto attacking while her E: Supercharge is active, the hybrid scaling and the “forced” hybrid itemization. If we look at the most successful builds, we see that we are moving away from the ability power items. However, in solo queue, we still see Guinsoo’s Rageblade sporadically even from the bottom lane. If we instead look at pro players trying out Kai’Sa, the build is identical to Xayah’s. The crit build is doing a lot of work. With the fact that Guinsoo’s Rageblade is being reworked on the official PBE server, I suggest that you get familiar with the critical strike build. With the attack range of only 500 and lack of CC, Kai’Sa is outmatched by all of the current meta AD carries, Caitlyn is rising to popularity together with Kog’Maw and Twitch. Xayah is surprisingly similar to Kai’Sa, 525 attack range, and a repositioning ability. However, with the addition of a form of CC, Xayah pulls ahead so far that she’s also considered overpowered currently.
If you are interested to see the build path, runes and skill order for the ADC Kai’Sa, it will look something like below. This will include two types of build paths, one centered around the hybrid capabilities and one that is mostly the three-crit-item build. The runes do not change the build paths.
Patrik J. Svahnström