Support Kayle: A Quick Guide
Wed 5th Jun 2013 - 8:19pm
Kayle has become an increasingly popular champion in both solo queue and in the competitive scene. In fact, during the spring season of the LCS Kayle was the top banned champion.
Although Kayle was most often played in the mid lane, she also frequently saw action in the top lane, in the jungle, and as a support champion. This scattered distribution of her role in each game is testament to her versatility as a champion (heck, she even makes a better AD carry than most champions). This guide will focus on her role in the support lane, but feel free to try this exciting champion anywhere and everywhere else!
Kayle is an aggressive support. As is true with most non-traditional supports, if you are a fan of passive lanes and "making it to late game", then this champion is probably not for you. Your goal is to set your lane partner or other teammates up for some early kills, and to deny your opponents farm using your high early game damage from Righteous Fury and Reckoning.
In the lane phase I almost always start with a point in Reckoning followed by Righteous Fury (the exception being if we lost a terrible level 1 trade and I really need the extra healing capabilities). At level 2 you have a much higher power spike than most supports. Especially when paired with a strong early AD like Draven or Tristana, a good Kayle support can often combine the damage and resistance reductions to catch the other lane off guard and either net an early first blood or at least force one or both of your lane opponents to back.
In a teamfight Kayle is a godsend for teammates caught in sticky situations. Intervention is one of the most powerful offensive and defensive skills in the game if used properly. Reckoning and Divine Blessing can provide your teammates with much needed mobility while restricting the movement of your opponents (similar to Nunu and Lulu).
[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 is probably one of the most useful passives for an aggressive support in the entire game. At max stacks this shreds 15% of the targets armor and MR. This will amplify your carry's damage enough to win a trade or an all-in. Don't be afraid to use your Reckoning and Righteous Fury to proc this early and often in lane.
[Q] Reckoning - Blasts an enemy unit with angelic force, dealing damage, slowing Movement Speed, and applying Holy Fervor. Blasts a target, dealing 60/110/160/210/260 (+1.0) (+1) magic damage, slowing their Movement Speed by 35/40/45/50/55% for 3 seconds, and applying a stack of Holy Fervor. Cost 70/75/80/85/90 Mana. Range 650.
As AP Kayle this is your favorite skill. As a support however the damage of this skill becomes less noticeable. Instead you should focus on the utility aspects of this skill. The slow is pretty powerful at all phases of the game. You can use this to slow down the opposing carries so your teammates can jump on them more easily, or use it to slow down a bruiser who is threatening your own carry. When combining this with Kayle's E you can max out on stacks of holy fervor very quickly because your target will struggle to kite you.
[W] Diving Blessing: Blesses a target friendly champion, granting them increased movement speed and healing them. Blesses an allied champion, increasing their Movement Speed by 18/21/24/27/30% for 3 seconds and healing them for 60/105/150/195/240 (+0.35) health. Cost: 60/70/80/90/100 Mana. Range: 900.
This is another skill that can give high output as AP Kayle, but tapers off in effectiveness when brought by support Kayle. The early game heals are useful but won't make or break a lane (think Nidalee). Instead the most useful part of this spell is the movement speed. An 18% movement speed early on is a huge advantage when chasing or fleeing. In a team fight you should almost always prioritize the speed boost over the heal (except in extremely close fights where the extra health can make the difference). If you have bruisers that have trouble sticking to their targets (think Shyvanna, Tryndamere, Udyr etc) then use this to give them that needed MS. If your ad carry needs additional escape options then use this to help them flee from bruisers or assassins trying to insta-gib them. This is also an excellent skill for aiding hard engagers such as Malphite and Maokai when they are trying to get in position to start a fight.
[E] Righteous Fury: Ignites Kayle's sword with a holy flame, granting Kayle a ranged splash attack and bonus magic damage. Kayle increases her Attack Range by 400 for 10 seconds and her basic attack deals an additional 20/30/40/50/60 (+0.4) magic damage on hit. In addition, enemies near her target take 20/25/30/35/40% of her Attack Damage plus 20/30/40/50/60 (+0.4) magic damage on attack. Cost: 45 Mana.
A flashy looking skill; mastering it is the most important factor to Kayle's successful early game. Use this spell in combination with your Q to maximize support Kayle's early level damage. Landing multiple hits of this will proc your passive several times, compounding your AD carry's ability to out trade their opponent. It also does a fair amount of damage on its own. Late game the damage falls off drastically but the importance of stacking your passive remains. While you should prioritize slowing opponents, speeding up allies, and saving them with your ultimate, landing auto attacks to lower your opponent's resistances can make or break a fight.
[R] Intervention: Shields Kayle or an ally for a short time, causing them to be immune to damage. Bathes Kayle's target in a holy light, rendering them immune to all damage for 2/2.5/3 seconds. Cost :100/75/50 Mana. Range: 900
This skill is Kayle's signature. There is no better feeling in the world than casting this on a teammate who is out of position and preventing HUGE amounts of damage. In order to be worth anything while playing Kayle in any role you need to know how to use this spell. There are a few simple tips to keep in mind that will help you maximize the benefits of this spell.
- This is NOT a copy of Zilean's ult. Although you can and should occasionally use this on a low health teammate to prevent them from taking fatal damage, the vast majority of the time this is a near waste of the spell.
- Focus yourself last. The only time you should be ulting yourself is if you are caught out of position, are probably going to die, and can give your teammates more time to dish out some DPS while you are invulnerable. If you're dead you can't cast it on anyone anyways. That being said you should rarely be ulting yourself. I find that I target my carries the most, but honestly only slightly more than my tanks/bruisers. You really just want to be targeting the person who is the focus of the other team's high damage spells. If you can get someone like Lux or Ryze to waste most of their combo with this spell you've done an amazing job and probably won the fight for your team.
- Use it early and use it often. The cooldown on this spell is ridiculously low. I distinctly remember an LCS match where William "Scarra" Li was laning against an Anivia as Kayle and would pop his ultimate just to prevent the damage from Anivia's R + E combo because it came off of cooldown that fast. A fight that goes without you using this spell is most likely a wasted opportunity because it will almost always be up by the next fight, especially toward the end of the game.
- The range on this spell is still quite large. While you can't toss intervention on your teammates from almost off screen like you used to be able to, you don't need to be very close at all to get a great save off.
-Encourage your teammates to be aggressive when this spell is up. If they are confident that you will shield them if they need it, they can take initiative and start fights they might otherwise shy away from. Even though everyone has played against Kayle people will still underestimate how potent 2-3 seconds of invulnerability is. The baiting potential of this skill is over 9000 (groan).
I tend to put less emphasis on item sections for support for a few reasons. First of all you should be buying so many wards that you struggle to get more than one or two major items built (unless you are absolutely stomping). Second, I truly believe that on a support your mechanics and game decisions are much more important than your item build. One reason champions make good supports is because they tend to scale relatively well without having huge numbers of expensive items. That being said I will cover a few tips for item builds.
This is the item build I use on the majority of the supports I play. It gives a balance of health regen from the pots and mana regen from the faerie charm, allowing you to trade effectively. I opt for one vision ward over two sight wards for two reasons. First, correct use of a vision ward can win you a lane by opening avenues for your jungler to gank or simply allowing you to zone your opponents from a bush they can't get vision in. Second, not bringing a vision ward at level 1 gives your opponents a HUGE advantage in lane by allowing them to freely pink ward whatever bush they want to deny you vision from since they don't have to fear your own vision ward countering their own. Nine times out of ten if my opponent doesn't bring a vision ward I am able to easily zone them and their carry away from gold and sometimes even experience.
I almost always try to go for sightstone as my first item purchase, even though I start with faerie charm. The free wards from the sightstone allow you so much more flexibility in lane (no more face checking bushes), actually provides more gold benefit that a GP/10 item, and provide you with much needed bonus health for trading and for prolonged fights (remember Kayle is an aggressive support who is looking to pick fights!). Philosopher's stone does give upgraded health and mana regen, but neither of those stats are useful if the other team goes for an all-in and kills you outright. The main exception to this is if the lane is going poorly and I am maxing W to just try and keep us afloat. In this case the added mana regen is really helpful.
These are just basic examples but generally if you are doing very well you want to go for a bit of ability power and cooldown. This will help your late game damage as well as increase the frequency at which you can cast your spells, especially your ultimate! If the game is going drastically in your favor I recommend building a Banner of Command because that item is highly entertaining. Really building ability power on support Kayle is a bit of a waste because you won't often get to a level where it will make a huge difference. If you're winning by all means go for it but in a close game I recommend other alternatives.
Defensive/aura items are the most common items being built on support champions. These three are probably the items that I build the most frequently. Bulwark (or Aegis if they have little to no magic damage) is an amazing item and has a place on almost every team composition. Locket is a great early item in terms of gold efficiency and you never know when that little shield will make all the difference. Mikael's Crucible is a new favorite of mine since they made it build out of philo stone. The ability to cleanse for your carries can be absolutely invaluable against certain CC heavy teams - if you think about it a carry with cleanse and QSS could get out of three forms of CC in a row if you bring this item. That should be plenty for them to stay alive in the fight and put out plenty of damage.
Thanks for reading! As always comments/questions/criticism are welcome and encouraged!