A Beginner’s Guide to Kha’Zix

2015-01-14

If you’re familiar with League of Legends and play somewhat competetively you may have frequented sites like solomid.net or mobafire.com. The guides presented on these sites are focused around specific item builds, rune selection, and mastery layouts. This guide aims at a different need – a conceptual level guide that talks about how a particular champ should be played in given phases or situations. This is an experiment of sorts, and we’ll be relying on your thoughts in the comments to help hone this feature, so be sure to let us know what worked and what didn’t.

Kha’Zix is an assassin character, primarily used as a jungler. He’s unique among champions in that you can evolve one of his skills every time his ultimate ability levels up, with three abilities evolved at max level. Typically when you level a skill up, the stats of that skill increase; something does more damage or the cooldown is decreased. Evolution adds another layer to the pre-existing skill. It changes the mechanics of a skill Kha’Zix has already known in small ways, but sometimes these mechanical changes lead to large game play differences. This gives him a bit of flexibility in theory. His abilities provide a large amount of burst, attack damage, a couple of slows, a small heal, and some mobility. The key to playing Kha’Zix is knowing when to get in to the team fight, apply damage, and get out alive. Let’s go over his abilities in a bit more detail.

Unseen Threat

Kha’Zix’s passive is a buff that is applied whenever he becomes invisible, either by using brush (the tall bushes scattered around the map) or his ultimate ability. Auto-attacking an enemy champion will remove the buff and apply bonus magic damage that scales with his level along with a 25% slow.

In my experience, this is one of two abilities that separate good Kha’Zix players from great ones. There’s no cooldown on how quickly this passive can be refreshed, so re-applying it over and over can turn a fight in your favor. Utilizing Kha’Zix’s ult to refresh this buff after each auto-attack can keep an otherwise high-movement speed enemy from getting away, turning team fights. Learn to keep this active as much as possible, utilizing brush cover and your ultimate for a huge amount of damage and a free slow.

Taste Their Fear

This is your bread and butter as Kha’Zix. It has a passive and an active ability. The passive is ideal for top and mid lane ganks especially, since it increases the damage of Taste Their Fear when they’re separated from other enemy characters – including minions. You’ll know they’re separated by a ring around the character, indicating their “loneliness ring” as I like to call it; if a minion or character of the same team enters that ring, they’re no longer isolated.

Taste Their Fear’s active ability deals an increasing base plus bonus AD scaling damage. The cooldown is extremely short, and you should be utilizing it every time that it’s available for extreme damage. Taste Their Fear may have a small range, but be sure to use that extra bit of reach to snag last-second kills.

Evolving Taste Their Fear increases the range of the ability, and the base and scaling AD. On top of that, it increases Kha’Zix’s basic attack damage.

Void Spike

This is a projectile that damages and slows enemies. The projectile has a small splash radius that will affect enemies nearby when the target is struck. Furthermore, if Kha’Zix is within the splash radius, he’s healed. This is a great tool when you’re jungling, especially in the early stages of the game. The range isn’t amazing, but it can be used to poke. Landing a Void Spike is often critical to a strong gank.

Evolving Void Spike will cause three projectiles to fire in a cone and increase the slow from 20% to 50%. On top of that, Kha’Zix has sight on any champions hit for two seconds. I may catch a lot of flak for this, but I can’t recommend evolving this skill, especially after the most recent damage reduction. The projectiles don’t stack, and while it does let you wave clear a lot faster, the items you typically build with Kha’Zix grant a great wave clear already. I’ve never found it worth evolving over your ultimate, and while many people swear by it, your burst damage and utility is better without it in my book.

Leap

Leap is the second ability that separates good Kha’Zix players from great ones. It does just what it sounds like, moving Kha’Zix quickly to a new location. Leap applies attack damage upon landing, and Taste Their Fear can be used mid leap for a shocking amount of damage before you even hit the ground.

Evolving Leap will grant a very large increase in Leap’s range, but more importantly, Leap will refresh its cooldown on kills or assists. This is amazing for continuing fights or getting out of trouble.

Remember that you can Leap over certain obstacles as long as they’re not too thick. This will allow you to lose pursuers or chase after an enemy flashes, but be certain that you can make the jump, or you’ll be left on the other side.

Void Assault

Kha’Zix ult initially struck me as underwhelming. It provides invisibility, a 40% move speed increase, and ignores unit collision for one second. Lastly it refreshes Unseen Threat. You can use Void Assault twice within 10 seconds from the first activation.

It didn’t seem like much up front until I began to utilize it properly. Void Assault is an amazing way to increase your damage, slow your enemies, quickly gain or close distance, and add a bit of survivability via the invisibility to any single fight. It’s an incredibly versatile and useful ability. Coming out of a bush, auto-attacking a target in between your abilities, activating Unseen Threat, repeating your cycle, activating Unseen Threat again, and repeating the cycle on anything that’s left alive is glorious and deadly.

Evolving Unseen Threat increases the amount of times you can reactivate the ability from two to three. Having three, one second spurts of invisibility and increased movement speed has both saved me and locked down kills more times than I can count.

Playing Kha’Zix

So now that we know a bit about how he works, the question is, how do we work him? Kha’Zix is a fragile character, and while you may sometimes build health and resistances with an item or two, he’ll never truly be able to take much punishment. It’s important to learn when to engage and how if you want to carry your team to victory.

Early Game

During the early stages of the game you’ll need to focus on farming while keeping an eye on your lanes, but keep in mind: Kha’Zix needs kills to survive, so don’t focus too heavily on jungling. The position of the enemy champions are important, but if someone is below half health, a good engagement can put them in the respawn timer quickly with Kha’Zix, so look at more than just how far the lanes are pushed.

If nothing is unfolding, be patient and punish enemy champions heavily for any missteps. You don’t have to make a kill to give your allies a huge advantage in their lane. In matches that have careful, non-committal lanes, clear your jungle on the way to each lane and help your team harass their lane so they’ll be ahead if a fight breaks out later. Keep a watchful eye on their jungler as well. If ganks aren’t likely, Kha’Zix can counter jungle quite effectively with Leap as it helps him to escape any touchy situations.

Kha’Zix makes for a good counter jungling character too, so don’t be afraid to wander into the enemy jungle in search of kills if you’re not able to find many in your lane (or hey, even if you are!). With the high damage and mobility that Kha’Zix affords, you can easily burst down champions that aren’t super tanky (you probably won’t drop Nautilus or Sejuani fast enough, just as a couple of examples) and then extract with Leap and Unseen Threat if either the situation turns against you or you’ve made a kill.

Mid Game

By this point, you’re often moving as a team but Kha’Zix’s job remains largely the same. You’re not able to isolate enemy champions during team fights as easily as you were before, but you’ll still often find lone champions split pushing or defending their unbroken tower. Use these opportunities to punish split-pushing characters or those who position themselves poorly. The enemy jungler is often fair game here, and you can really create havoc with Kha’Zix hit-and-run capabilities.

If you’re present during a team fight, make sure you’re going in after the engagement has well and truly started. Learning to be patient once the action starts is vital to staying alive and picking up important kills. You’re obviously going to want to be right on top of the squishy enemy champions. How you get there is an important question though. Jumping right on top of them out of a bush on their flank with Leap is a great way to suddenly appear in the fight, but it’s dangerous. Unless you can secure a kill with Evolved Leap or you feel confident you can end the fight quickly, you may be dead before you can do much more than take one champion down.

Late Game

During this phase, there probably won’t be any champions who are going it solo unless you’ve got a Nasus in the game. You’re going to want to stay close – but not right on top of – your team so that you can quickly enter the fight, but use your separation to keep the enemy team off balance. Make them wonder where you are and when you’ll show up. Your play style is going to be largely the same as in the mid-game teamfights.

Kha’Zix can clear a wave of minions quickly, but his damage against structures is lacking, so don’t try and split push too hard, but feel free to push lanes for distractions or preparation for your teammates to arrive.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use Leap to avoid known ward locations, passing over walls, gaining surprise and advantage. Again, be careful when trying to leap over thick walls, especially without Evolved Leap, or you’ll leave yourself stranded on the wrong side.
  • Use your Evolved Taste Their Fear to sneak baron or dragon quickly and/or before the enemy thinks you’re able. If you’re not able to secure the kills you need to snowball heavily, use this global gold to your advantage.
  • Kha’Zix is a proficient duelist, utilizing high burst and invisibility to disrupt the flow of other champions, but watch out for champions that have stuns or snares; Kha’Zix doesn’t have the health to fight in a sustained fight.
  • Use Leap and Unseen Threat to quickly dodge skillshots, decreasing the effectiveness of champions like Ezreal or Corki.

Kha’Zix can be tough to master due to his all-in and squishy nature, but after one has put the time into the champion, you’ll find that he’s an amazing jungle assassin that will force the enemy team to really pay attention to their surroundings – or pay the price. Don’t be stumped by Kha’Zix’s seemingly steep learning curve; persist and you’ll find that his toolset makes a lot of sense, allowing you to pull off quick kills with ease!

This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Psianh Auvyander.

Let your voice be heard! Submit your own article to Imperium News here!

Would you like to join the Imperium News staff? Find out how!

Comments