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AD Kayle: a Comprehensive Guide

Updated on January 18, 2014
Kayle, League of Legends, copyright Riot Games, Inc.
Kayle, League of Legends, copyright Riot Games, Inc.

Pros and Cons of AD Kayle

Incredible armor and magic-resist shredding potential
Still on the "squishy" side
Kiting for days
No good poke; must kite to get in extra damage
Very strong in lane
Doesn't do well against teams with lots of CC

Flames are the new pink!

Kayle is one of my favorite League of Legends champions and my longest main. She’s incredibly flexible as far as builds go, and has an incredible damage output! But when I want to shred—and I mean really, really want to shred—I play AD Kayle!

Now, I pretty much only play AD Kayle in top lane (that’s where she really shines), but given the right circumstances she could also be a decent mid.

I designed this build to give Kayle huge potential to shred through enemy resistances. This compliments her passive armor and magic resist-shredding capabilities.

Back in League Season 2, when AD Kayle was very popular, she was mostly built as a glass cannon. This isn’t exactly optimal in Season 4. That’s why I’ve added improved sustain and a little more “beef” to this build.

"Battleborn" Kayle, League of Legends, copyright Riot Games, Inc.
"Battleborn" Kayle, League of Legends, copyright Riot Games, Inc.

Runes and Masteries

Typically, I favor a rune page that's balanced in terms of offense and defense. This lets me get away with a very offense-heavy mastery page. But as I mentioned earlier, Kayle is a very versatile champion. The runes and masteries I use are by no means the only ones that work well on her. I'd encourage you to experiment a little and use what combo works well for you!


Armor Penetration Marks
21 Offense
Scaling / Flat Armor Seals
9 Defense
Scaling / Flat Magic Resist Glyphs
0 Utility **
Armor Penetration Quintessences
** If you're concerned about running out of mana, put a couple points from Defense into Utility for mana regen

Did you know?

Kayle in the only melee champion that can make halfway decent use of Runaan's Hurricane!
While generally I wouldn't recommend building it, give it a try when just playing for fun!
Items I avoid:
Infinity Edge
Phantom Dancer
Statikk Shiv
Guinsoo's Rageblade
Hextech Gunblade
Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, and Statikk Shiv aren't bad items, but you won't make good use of their critical strike chance. These items make Kayle into more of a glass cannon, and that's not what we're going for here. Guinsoo's Rageblade is a goo

Item Build

When I play AD Kayle, I generally start with a Longsword and Health Potions. This is because I usually rush a Vampiric Scepter for some early game sustain. Doran's Blade is a good alternative. Personally, I'd only recommend starting with Boots of Speed if you're against a high-mobility. After that, my build items are:

  • Mercury's Treads. Kayle really can't cope with enemy CC. The magic resist these give is nice, but mostly I buy them for the bonus tenacity. These may save your life! If Mercury's Treads aren't your thing, I'd recommend getting either Ninja Tabi or Sorcerer's Shoes (keep in mind that somewhere between 40-50% of your total damage output is magic damage, even though it scales with your AD).
  • The Bloodthirster. One of the huge advantages of playing AD Kayle is that you can make excellent use of lifesteal. This will provide you with a huge amount of both damage and sustain. I generally get this as my first complete item.
  • Blade of the Ruined King. Attack speed is an amazing stat on Kayle--regardless of how you're building her! This will let you get in extra hits while Righteous Fury is active. In addition, Blade of the Ruined King let's you shred through enemy health, gives you a bit more lifesteal, and has a very useful active!
  • Wit's End. One thing that many people don't realize about Kayle is her on-hit damage from Righteous Fury is magic damage--even though it scales with her AD! Having a Wit's End will help you shred through enemy magic resist (while building up your own) and make each hit hurt! Now, people who build AP or hybrid Kayle will typically get Nashor's Tooth, but for AD Kayle this is just a bad item. Wit's End is cheaper, compliments your passive, increases your DPS, and will give you more on-hit magic damage than Nashor's Tooth.
  • Iceborn Gauntlet. Kayle makes good use of the Sheen's unique passive. Building this into Iceborn Gauntlet will give you mana, cooldown reduction, and armor--all of which are helpful stats! In addition, the area-of-effect slow from Iceborn Gauntlet's passive will make it very easy to kite your enemies and escape unfavorable fights.

I always build one item that varies, depending on what enemies I'm against. It's always a good idea to counter-build your enemies when possible. My favorite situational items are:

  • Mercurial Scimitar. This item is very expensive, but will give you a large amount of AD and magic resist. It also builds from Quicksilver Sash, which is very handy when facing teams with lots of CC.
  • The Black Cleaver. Are your enemies building lots of armor? If so, pick this up and use it to shred through their defenses. Because this item actually reduces enemy armor, having it will make it easier for your teammates to take down enemies as well. Plus, it will give more cooldown reduction!z
  • Maw of Malmortius. This can be a good item if you need extra damage but not necessarily the escape that Mercurial Scimitar provides. Its passive can also help sponge off the damage of bursty enemy champions.

"Unmasked" Kayle, League of Legends China, copyright Riot Games, Inc.
"Unmasked" Kayle, League of Legends China, copyright Riot Games, Inc.


Holy Fervor (passive). Kayle's passive allows her auto-attacks to reduce enemy magic resist and armor by 3% for five seconds. This passive may stack up to five times and makes Kayle very good to have against enemies with high resistances.

Reckoning (Q). This ability is a targeted slow that scales very well with AD. Mid and late game, this is a powerful way of nuking your enemies. After using this, follow up with Righteous Fury to get extra damage while your target is slowed.

Divine Blessing (W). Both a heal and a temporary speed boost, this can be self-cast or used on allies. Because you aren't building any AP, the heal won't be worth much. You'll pretty much just be using this as a means of escape or to chase down low-health enemies.

Righteous Fury (E). This is the prime source of Kayle's damage. It let's you attack with ranged auto-attacks for 10 seconds. For the duration, you'll also gain bonus on-hit damage that scales with your AD and AP. A portion of this damage will "splash" to enemies near your target.

Intervention (R). Kayle's signature move, Intervention, is a shield that can make herself or an ally champion immune to damage for a few seconds.

Kayle using "Intervention", League of Legends, copyright Riot Games, Inc.
Kayle using "Intervention", League of Legends, copyright Riot Games, Inc. | Source


Early Game. Your first goal is to farm and then to finish The Bloodthirster. After you complete The Bloodthirster, keeping working on your farm to charge it up. If you can, start working toward Blade of the Ruined King. Here are a few tips that will drastically improve your early game experience:

  • Farming in lane. Don't farm with Righteous Fury unless you absolutely have to. Farming while this ability is active causes you to push the lane very hard. This makes you susceptible ganks and will cause your enemy to just farm under his turret.
  • Don't combo unless you can get at least three hits off. This is a rule I play by to help me conserve mana. Unless you're sure you can get in at least three hits, don't combo with Reckoning and Righteous Fury.
  • Ward; don't get caught out. Keep your bushes warded and don't get caught out in the middle of the lane by your enemy or his jungler...especially if either of them have a slow or a stun. Kayle's ult may make her immune to damage, but she can still be affected by enemy CC.

Mid Game. Make it your goal during this time to complete Blade of the Ruined King, upgrade your boots, and build Wit's End. Farm whenever you have the opportunity. If you end up getting very far ahead, go ahead and purchase Sheen. Team fights will likely be happening at this point in the game, and when they do be sure to keep these things in mind:

  • Don't try to save a goner. It's not worth it to cast your ult on someone who's just going to end up dying anyway. The purpose of your ult is to block bursty enemy spells and let you (or an ally) deal damage without worrying about dying...not to save someone who foolishly got caught out or who dove into a fight at a bad time. If you can't guarantee they'll live after your ult wears off, don't cast it.
  • Don't be in the middle of the fight. Kayle is not a good initiator. You'll be much more valuable to your team if you stick near the edges of a fight and shred whoever is near you. This will also help you to make the best use of your splash damage.

Late Game. Try to finish you build, but don't abandon you team in fights to farm. Stick with them to sponge enemy damage off your carries with Intervention. Continue to stay near the outskirts of fights and get off as much damage as you can!

"Judgement" Kayle, League of Legends, copyright Riot Games, Inc.
"Judgement" Kayle, League of Legends, copyright Riot Games, Inc.

Give it a try!

Kayle is a fun champ! If you're in the mood to slice-'n-dice your enemies, give her a try! Feel free to comment or friend me on Facebook if you're ever in the mood to talk League!

Best of Luck on the Fields of Justice!


© 2014 TwerkZerker


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    • TwerkZerker profile image

      TwerkZerker 4 years ago

      Hey DragonBringer!

      Is resilience referring to how fast a champ recovers? At least that's what I'd guess. Usually I just call that "sustain". Almost never hear anyone refer to a champ's resilience...

      Thanks for reading though!

    • TheDragonBringer profile image

      Jade Griffin 4 years ago

      Do you know what resilience is?