AP Kai’Sa Build – In-Depth Guide for Season 13 (Master) (2023)

Kai’Sa has always been one of the best hybrid champions in League of Legends. She has a strong AD and an AP build that players can use to carry games, depending on their main role and preference.

Compared to AD Kai’Sa, the AP Kai’Sa build offers more poke and burst damage. Ability Power items allow Kai’Sa to evolve her W – Void Seeker and do tons of damage with each cast. They also improve her other abilities, so AP Kai’Sa is a viable build for carrying games, especially as a mid laner.

AP Kai’Sa is such a powerful build that even players like Faker have played it in high elo solo queue and professional matches.

And you’re in the right place if you don’t know how to play AP Kai’Sa yourself. In this post, I’ll talk about the runes and items you’re going to need as well as Kai’Sa’s damage and ratios. All of this should help you understand how AP Kai’Sa works in League.

That said, let’s jump into the guide!

Table of Contents

Is Kai’Sa AP or AD in LoL?

AP Kai’Sa Build – In-Depth Guide for Season 13 (Master) (1)

Does Kai’Sa deal magic damage?

Kai’Sa is a hybrid champion in League of Legends. She deals both magic and physical damage and her abilities have AD and AP ratios. So, Kai’Sa can become an AD champion if she builds attack damage items just like a marksman would. But she can also be an AP mage if she builds ability power items.

Riot Games originally designed Kai’Sa to be an AD carry champion. But by giving her AP ratios, they also allowed her to have an off-meta mid lane build that works very well.

But Kai’Sa isn’t the only marksman that has hybrid abilities. Varus and Zeri both have AP builds that allow them to one-shot enemy champions despite being AD marksmen. And if you’re interested, you can check my AP Varus guide here and my AP Zeri guide here.

Kai’Sa has an AP ratio on her passive, Q, W, and R and AD ratios only on her Q, W, and R. And her Q is a physical spell while her W is a magic damage spell.

(Video) Rank 1 Kai'Sa DESTROYS with a NEW OP Season 13 HYPER Carry Build | Beagle

So, Kai’Sa’s playstyle and damage depend on the items you build. But regardless of whether you go for an AP or an AD build, this champion has more than enough damage for the entire enemy team.

And if you want to know whether Kai’Sa is better with the AP or AD builds, take a look down below!

Read Also: Top 15 Best Off-Meta ADCs

Should You Build Kai’Sa AP or AD? (Kai’Sa AP vs. AD Explained)

AP Kai’Sa Build – In-Depth Guide for Season 13 (Master) (2)

AP Kai’Sa has more poke and burst damage. It’s a better option for mid lane Kai’Sa because she can scale more quickly thanks to the level advantage. But AD Kai’Sa has more consistent damage and she’s more powerful against tanks. That’s why building Kai’Sa AD is better in the bot lane.

There is no clear winner between AD Kai’Sa and AP Kai’Sa. This is because both builds are viable and it’s up to you to choose which one you like more.

Of course, there’s always a meta build for Kai’Sa that will perform better, especially if you’re into numbers and details. But as patches come and go in League of Legends, minor changes to items and champions can make one build better than other.

For example, in the first half of season 13, AP Kai’Sa was a dominant build. Riot Games then nerfed Kai’Sa’s AP ratios slightly. And in the second half of the season, AD Kai’Sa became the go-to build for most players.

Currently, you can either play AP or AD Kai’Sa and you won’t find much difference when it comes to damage. However, the playstyle of AP and AD Kai’Sa are completely different.

AD Kai’Sa is a marksman playstyle and requires kiting and auto-attacking skills. And AP Kai’Sa is a more tactical playstyle where skill shot accuracy is more important.

That said, it’s your choice whether AD or AP Kai’Sa is better for you.

Now let’s talk about the runes and items for playing aP Kai’Sa.

Read Also: Top 15 Best Off-Meta Mid Laners

AP Kai’Sa Build – Runes (Explained)

AP Kai’Sa Build – In-Depth Guide for Season 13 (Master) (3)
  • Hail of Blades
  • Sudden Impact
  • Eyeball Collection
  • Ultimate Hunter
  • Transcendence
  • Gathering Storm

Hail of Blades

Not too many champions go for the Hail of Blades keystone, but it fits Kai’Sa perfectly.

What Hail of Blades does is that it gives you a burst of attack speed when you first hit an enemy champion. This attack speed only lasts for up to 3 auto-attacks but it’s really enough for Kai’Sa to apply her passive stacks and deal lots of damage.

(Video) How to play Kai'Sa ADC - Season 13 Kai'Sa Guide | Best Build & Runes

Despite playing AP, attack speed is still an important stat for Kai’Sa. And Hail of Blades is a reliable way to get it.

Sudden Impact

Sudden Impact is a widely used rune in comparison to Hail of Blade. And that’s because it’s very useful.

This rune gives you extra magic penetration, armor penetration, and lethality for 4 seconds after you dash or exit stealth. And Kai’Sa has two ways to activate this effect.

First, Sudden Impact triggers when Kai’Sa uses her ultimate ability to dash to a nearby enemy champion. But it also activates when she uses her evolved E because it puts her into invisibility.

So, Sudden Impact is a good way to increase your overall damage.

Read Also: AP Senna Build Guide

Eyeball Collection

Eyeball Collection is mostly a passive rune that you forget about in-game.

What it does is that it gives you a total of 30 AP when it’s fully stacked. And the way you stack it is by slaying minions and playing the game like you normally would.

So, Eyeball Collection gives you more damage without you having to do anything extra.

Ultimate Hunter

The Ultimate Hunter rune has one job and that is to lower the total cooldown of your ultimate ability.

And the way it does that is through Bounty stacks. One Bounty stack is equal to one champion takedown, so you can get a maximum of 5 stacks (5 enemy champions).

Once you have all 5 stacks collected, Kai’Sa’s R will be on a very short cooldown and you’ll get to use it more often.


Transcendence is another rune that you select and don’t worry about when you’re in the game.

This rune gives you 5 ability haste on level 5 and 5 ability haste on level 8. However, once you get to level 11, Transcendence resets 20% of the remaining cooldown on your abilities when you score a champion takedown.

(Video) The Most Underrated S13 Kai'Sa Build

So, Transcendence helps you use your spells way more, especially in team fights.

Gathering Storm

Gathering Storm is a must-have rune for AP Kai’Sa for two reasons.

First, Gathering Storm adds bonus ability power to your stats every 10 seconds, giving you a huge advantage in the late game.

And second, the rune helps Kai’Sa reach 100 ability power which is a requirement for evolving her W – Void Seeker. So, Gathering Storm is very useful!

Read Also: Full AP Kog’Maw Build Guide

AP Kai’Sa Build – Items (Explained)

AP Kai’Sa Build – In-Depth Guide for Season 13 (Master) (4)
  • Berserker’s Greaves
  • Manamune / Muramana
  • Luden’s Tempest
  • Nashor’s Tooth
  • Rabadon’s Deathcap
  • Void Staff

Berserker’s Greaves

When it comes to boots, Berserker’s Greaves are the best option you can go for. These boots increase your attack speed and allow you to do more damage with Kai’Sa’s basic attacks.

However, if you need extra magic penetration or ability haste, purchasing Sorcerer’s Shoes or Ionian Boots of Lucidity can bring you good results too.

Manamune / Muramana

The first item you’ll need to complete on AP Kai’Sa is an AD item – Manamune. And the main reason why that is so is the fact that Manamune increases Kai’Sa’s AD and Kai’Sa has high AD ratios.

In other words, building Manamune increases your damage, especially on your Q. It’s the best item for Kai’Sa in the early game, so make sure to build it first.

Read Also: AP Tristana Build Guide

Luden’s Tempest

Luden’s Tempest is the mythic item of choice for AP Kai’Sa. It’s one of the hardest-hitting AP items in League of Legends and it fits perfectly in Kai’Sa’s poking playstyle.

What Luden’s Tempest does is that it empowers your first ability to do extra magic damage and spread to the nearby enemies. In terms of stats, it grants everything that Kai’Sa needs – from AP and mana regeneration to ability haste and magic penetration.

So, Luden’s Tempest is the perfect mythic for AP Kai’Sa.

Nashor’s Tooth

The third core item in his build is Nashor’s Tooth.

(Video) AP Kai'Sa buffs make this build INSANE lategame - AP Kai'Sa ADC Gameplay

First of all, Nashor’s Tooth grants a lot of ability power and attack speed. And both of these stats are beneficial for AP Kai’Sa.

But on top of that, Nashor’s Tooth gives Kai’Sa’s attacks extra on-hit magic damage. It may not sound like much, but this is actually a huge boost in damage for this champion. So that’s why Nashor’s Tooth is a core item here!

Read Also: AP Miss Fortune Build Guide

Rabadon’s Deathcap

Speaking of damage boosters, there’s no greater one for an AP champion than Rabadon’s Deathcap. Because this item gives 120 ability power plus 35% AP increase, it improves your chances of victory.

Once you get Rabadon’s Deathcap on Kai’Sa, her W starts to hit like a track. Each cast can take up to 50 or 60% from the target’s HP which is honestly broken.

Void Staff

And lastly, Void Staff is the best item to complete the AP Kai’Sa build. And the reason is that all the magic penetration allows you to counter tanks and their magic resist.

With Void Staff, Void Seeker can sometimes one-shot an enemy champion and do serious damage to the tanky target. So, you definitely need it in the late game!

Situational Items for AP Kai’Sa

Besides the items you see above, there are plenty that can help you out more in different situations.

For example, if the enemy team has multiple tanks and your poke damage doesn’t do anything, it’s time to switch to Liandry’s Anguish and Demonic Embrace. Both of these items counter tanks by applying a burn effect that scales with their maximum health.

Other than that, defensive items such as Zhonya’s Hourglass and Banshee’s Veil should often be considered, especially against assassins and burst mages.

Read Also: AP Caitlyn One-Shot Build

Skill Order and Summoner’s Spells

AP Kai’Sa doesn’t have a very unique skill order path to AD Kai’Sa. You first need to max out Q simply because you build Manamune first. And once you start building AP you can switch to maxing out W.

That said, here’s how to level up Kai’Sa’s abilities when you build her AP:


For Summoner’s Spells, you can choose a few different combos. Here they are:

(Video) RANK 1 Kai'Sa shows how to CARRY with an Enchanter Support! | Beagle

  • Flash + Ignite – an aggressive combo for 1v1 fights.
  • Flash + Teleport – standard and advantageous in all stages of the game.
  • Flash + Exhaust – allows you to counter assassins and burst champions.


That was everything on how to play AP Kai’Sa mid in League of Legends! This is one of the most fun mid lane picks that I’ve ever tried and I really recommend it to everyone. And if you want to see how powerful the build is in-game, check how Faker plays AP Kai’Sa on YouTube.

Also, feel free to browse Runetarium for guides on your favorite champions. And if you want similar content to this one, I can recommend you my AP Corki build or the best AP Twitch build.

Good luck and have fun!


What is the best mythic on kaisa? ›

Luden's Tempest is the best mythic item for this playstyle since your whole goal is to poke until you find someone to burst with an RW combo.

Is kaisa ad or ap better? ›

As we mentioned, Kai'Sa can build AP, AD, or attack speed and remain effective as long as she builds them in the correct scenarios. For instance, flat AP is best used for reliable burst damage, but full AD and crit are used for high-risk/high-reward bursting due to relying on crits.

How do you maximize Kaisa damage? ›

Kaisa's goal is to develop her abilities that don't stack up with Tear of the Goddess, so take the pickaxe first and then tear down the goddess, as she will deal you the extra damage you need to defeat your enemies.

Is Kai SA weak early game? ›

Kai'Sa's early game strength depends on the Support synergy. When paired with all-in champions, she will be good in the early game. R to reposition, engage and disengage from fights, and protect herself. When Kai'Sa has purchased her first component item, her damage output will increase.

What is the best skin for Kai SA? ›

Kai'Sa has a total of 9 skins, including 2 prestige editions; one for K/DA and the other for K/DA ALL OUT. While Star Guardian Kai'Sa has the most unique features, SenpAI picks Lagoon Dragon Kai'Sa as the best Kai'Sa skin.

What Lane is Kai Sa best in? ›

Why is Kai'Sa picked in the mid-lane? The key to playing Kai'Sa in the mid-lane is to go the ability-power (AP) build and the champion will have the power to one-shot enemies. The League of Legends community seems to consider Kai'Sa's playstyle very similar to that of Corki's, but just a bit weaker.

Can Kai Sa go invisible? ›

Once you've evolved Supercharge, Kai'Sa will turn invisible as she activates the spell. This effect only lasts for 0.5 seconds, but it will effectively cover the entire charge up time. Kai'Sa gains so much from attack speed that this is usually the first upgrade players should achieve.

Is Kai Sa nerfed? ›

However, Riot has removed Pyke from the list of champions that are getting their powers trimmed in LoL Patch 12.8. He has been moved to a future patch to allow for the upcoming changes. While Soraka, Xayah, and Jinx have been listed in the nerfs section, Kai'Sa and Swain are listed for adjustments.

Is Kai Sa S tier? ›

Kai'Sa Build

Kai'Sa bottom has a 50.86% win rate in Platinum+ on Patch 13.1 coming in at rank 2 of 39 and graded S Tier on the LoL Tierlist.

How old is Kaisa league? ›

She is around 20 years old. She was 10 when she fell into the Void tunnel and has stayed there for about 10 years.

Is JHIN better than Kaisa? ›

Jhin wins against Kai'Sa 50.91% of the time which is 1.76% higher against Kai'Sa than the average opponent. After normalising both champions win rates Jhin wins against Kai'Sa 0.49% less often than would be expected.

Is Kaisa good vs JHIN? ›

Kai'Sa wins against Jhin 51.26% of the time which is 3.29% higher against Jhin than the average opponent. After normalising both champions win rates Kai'Sa wins against Jhin 2.34% more often than would be expected. Below is a detailed breakdown of the Kai'Sa build & runes against Jhin.

How do Kaisa upgrades work? ›

Innate - Living Weapon: Kai'Sa can evolve each of her basic abilities by gaining a set amount of permanent stats from items and stat growth, granting them additional effects. Evolving an ability causes her to enter a 2-second cast time. The upgrade is lost if the stat requirement is no longer met.

Does Kaisa Q Proc passive? ›

Kai'sai has a two-part passive. Her first, Caustic Wounds, is a stacking effect that is activated by her auto attacks, her Q ability, or a nearby allies' immobilising effect.

Is Kaisa magic or physical? ›

What it does: Kai'Sa fires a long range skill shot that stops at the first unit it hits. This ability deals magic damage and applies two stacks of Plasma as well as True Sight to the target.

Is Samira better than Kaisa? ›

Samira wins against Kai'Sa 53.19% of the time which is 4.02% higher against Kai'Sa than the average opponent. After normalising both champions win rates Samira wins against Kai'Sa 1.49% more often than would be expected. Below is a detailed breakdown of the Samira build & runes against Kai'Sa.


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