Author: MMOsite Writer Alexander Hinkley
Riot Games has been reworking a lot of old champions on League of Legends lately and Kassadin is the latest champ to get the rework treatment. He still feels and plays like the same champ as before, but some key changes were made to literally all of the abilities in his kit. Some people like the new changes while others hate them. The new changes alone don’t really make him significantly better or worse as a champion. Whether you like the rework or don’t all depends on how you played him before.
Kassadin’s passive was changed so that it no longer grants bonus attack speed. Instead, he now completely ignores unit collision. This is actually much better for Kassadin since it greatly adds to his ability to escape through creeps or gank opponents and increases his overall mobility. The ability to zip around the battlefield is what makes Kassadin such a deadly champion so this new passive works perfectly toward that end.
Null Sphere was changed so that it doesn’t silence your target anymore. This is a big change, and for the worse. The silencing effect on Null Sphere was an important part of Kassadin’s combo so with that no longer an option, Kassadin becomes much more open to counter attacks. To make up for removing the silence, Riot added a shielding effect to the ability. The problem is this shield only absorbs incoming magic damage so if you are going after a Marksman, it’s not going to help you. It also still leaves you open to crowd control effects like stuns and snares which were things Kassadin didn’t have to worry about as much before. Overall the new Null Sphere is worse than the old one. Oh, and the damage also got slightly reduced.
Nether Blade used to have a passive effect that restored Kassadin’s mana with each basic attack. It could then be activated to deal bonus magic damage per strike for a short time as well. The new Nether Blade does not passively restore mana. Now it simply deals a small amount of bonus magic damage with every hit. You can still activate Nether Blade to greatly increase the magic damage bonus and when it is activated, it regains that old mana restoration ability as well. The new Nether Blade is much better when activated. It deals a lot more bonus damage than it used to and you recover a lot more mana per hit than you used to as well. Since the activation only has a cooldown of six seconds, this ability is better than before.
Force Pulse remained the same except for it got nerfed in terms of dealing less damage at each level beyond the first. Obviously that means it’s worse than it was before.
When players think of Kassadin most probably immediately think of his ultimate ability, Rift Walk. Rift Walk is how Kassadin gets in and out of battle and is what single handedly made him a strong champion for modes like Dominion. Some of the changes to Rift Walk are for the better while others are for the worse.
First of all, Rift Walk is now deals damage based on a percent of Kassadin’s maximum mana instead of his ability power. This is one of the bad changes. In general it seems to deal less damage than before and has much poorer late-game scaling. The base mana cost to cast Rift walk was slightly reduced but the mana cost now doubles per stack instead of just going up by a flat amount which makes it harder to use multiple times early on without running out of mana. It also no longer refunds mana used when you hit and enemy champion. The maximum number of stacks was reduced from 10 to four but the duration stacks last was increased by four seconds to offset that.
These all seem like negative things but one good thing to come out of the Rift Walk rework was a reduction in cooldown time from five seconds to just three seconds at maximum level. If you are able to build up forty percent cooldown reduction, which is pretty easily accomplish in today’s League of Legends, you could conceivably cast Rift Walk every 1.8 seconds. The benefits of being able to flash on command every few seconds are obvious.
Kassadin generally still plays the same way as before except now you will probably want to build more mana items in order to scale up the damage of Rift Walk. Building Tear of the Goddess early on which ultimately builds into a Seraph’s Embrace is a good idea. Frozen Heart is another great item for Kassadin now. It not only adds much needed mana and a high level of cooldown reduction but also a good chunk of armor. Now that Null Sphere no longer silences your target, you will need to build some sustainability. “Glass cannon” Kassadin is no longer a good way to build him post-rework. A bulkier built Kassadin is definitely the way to go after this rework.