Kai’Sa is the most popular bottom laner in League of Legends currently, having a pick rate of almost 50 percent. Her kit’s mixed damage combined with her clear power spikes makes her one of the best choices in the bottom lane, especially with the current itemization.
She went through various nerfs and buffs since her release, and while some were enough to push her out of the meta, the latest buff brought her back to dominate other League’s bottom laners. While she will most likely receive nerfs to be brought down in level compared to other champions, her mixed damage profile will always put her in a great spot for various compositions.
She fits well into compositions with a lot of physical damage since enemies will most likely focus on building armor to deal with most threats and will overgo building magic resist items, which are crucial against Kai’Sa. While she can carry games alone due to her mixed damage profile, invisibility, and overall durability, she has some clear counters and items to help you stop her domination.
Here are the best counter picks to beat Kai’Sa in the bot lane.
Kai’Sa is a champion that is hard to play against due to the nature of her kit and the possibilities she has. Some Kai’Sa players go for ranged poke and try to slowly chunk your health pool down, while others might be looking to play in the melee range and activate the passive as often as possible for a huge burst of damage.
Regardless of playstyle, Kai’Sa is vulnerable when she gets in close proximity since she doesn’t have a dash or blink and relies solely on the movement speed from her Supercharge (E) early on. When she uses this ability, she’ll get an attack speed buff so it’s important to avoid trading during its uptime if you don’t want to lose the trade. Once the buff is gone, you can look to turn against her and use your tools to trade during the laning phase.
Once Kai’Sa reaches level six, she will get access to her ultimate which is a high-speed dash with a shield on top of it. You should avoid going all-in afterwards unless you’re sure that you can penetrate the shield to deliver the killing blow. At the same time, you should be careful of being poked down since if she lands a Void Seeker (W) when you’re low on health, she could follow up with her Killer Instinct (R) and kill you with a quick burst from her Q.
Kai’Sa is one of the more unique League champions since her abilities can be improved just like Kha’Zix, except her spikes are easier to acquire by getting the specific stat such as attack damage, ability power, or attack speed. You should be wary of her bonuses since her damage increases a by a lot if her Q or W are evolved and at the same time she get’s a small period of invisibility on her E.
Miss Fortune is a great champion who can deal with Kai’Sa quite well in the bottom lane and use her power to convert the lead to other lanes as well.
Early on, your goal should be to try and snipe minions while Kai’Sa is sitting behind them to deliver her huge chunks of damage via Double Up (Q). If you get a couple of critical strike hits with this ability, you can force Kai’Sa to sit behind her tower and freeze the lane. By freezing the lane, you can build a huge lead over the enemy bottom lane and nullify their presence for the early-game objectives such as Rift Herald, Scuttle Crabs, or dragons. If you’re freezing, be wary of assistance from ganks lanes since players rally usually to break a frozen wave to help their teammates.
If you cannot freeze the wave, then look into trying to poke Kai’Sa down and engage her in skirmishes as often as possible since your damage early on is much higher. Once you reach level six, your ultimate can destroy Kai’Sa if she is not careful with her positioning, so try to force her flash in some trades to give the possibility to get a guaranteed kill with your ultimate during the next trade.
If you played the lane properly, you should have a gold lead, which will allow you to group up sooner with your team and help them either push towers, pick up neutral objectives, or invade the enemy jungle. In teamfights, aim to be a good source of damage for your team and avoid chasing down Kai’Sa. Only do so if she is heavily mispositioned and an easy target for a one-tap kill.
Samira is one of the more popular Kai’Sa counters. She has a great kit to counter Kai’Sa thanks to the Blade Whirl (W) ability, which can prevent the burst from Icathian Rain. With that ability on cooldown, Samira has the upper hand in early-game skirmishes and can poke Kai’Sa down quite hard, or even kill her if she is mispositioned.
Your mobility spell in Wild Rush (E) is a great tool against Kai’Sa since she lacks the mobility outside of her Supercharge (E), and you can engage her to get favorable trades early on and build small leads which will accrue over time. If you keep engaging on Kai’Sa when her Q or E are on cooldown, you should be able to force summoner spells out of her or get a kill if she doesn’t have any.
Once you’re out of the laning phase, you should have a solid gold lead if you followed through the tips above and be able to group with your team while Kai’Sa is stuck farming creeps to get back into the game. If you helped your team pick up some towers or objectives, feel free to move back into the bottom lane to farm up some experience alongside gold. If Kai’Sa tries to engage you, use your Blade Whirl (W) to negate her burst and turn against her with your combo to kill her. Keep her under control and don’t allow her to freely farm her power spikes, which upgrade her abilities since she will become much more powerful than you.
Unlike Samira and Miss Fortune, which have some leeway for mistakes, Vayne is a skill match-up which requires you to play your lane really well by avoiding unfavorable trades and being aware of the current lane status. You don’t have the burst damage of Miss Fortune, nor the mobility of Samira, but you do have great sustained damage, which you should be able to deliver when Kai’Sa has her abilities on cooldown.
Look to activate Silver Bolts (W) every time Kai’Sa attempts to go for last hits on creeps. If she uses her Icathian Rain (Q) to farm up, engage her and look to land a good Condemn (E) to punish her. By doing this combo two or three times, she should be low enough to back and give you time to farm up your core items.
Once you have your Mythic item such as Kraken Slayer or Immortal Shieldbow, you should be able to easy take down Kai’Sa if you kept her under check and she didn’t snowball. Feel free to camp bushes and ambush her with your Final Hour (R) into Tumble (Q) invisibility. By the time she realizes what happens, she’ll be dead to your damage.
In teamfights, look for flanks onto the unsuspecting Kai’Sa and don’t stick near your team, try to use the invisibility part of your ultimate for great flanks to delete the opposing Kai’Sa from the Rift and turn the tides of battle in your team’s favor to be able to easily pick up a win.
Items to build into Kai’Sa
This is an alternative boots option to the traditional Berserker Greaves if you want to reduce her auto-attack damage. While she has a lot of mixed damage and will bypass most of the reduction, it’s still a good investment if you’re having issues dealing with her. It’s a great investment against compositions that have multiple physical damage dealing champions.
This is a cheap item to help you out early on against Kai’Sa’s poke. If you’re going for a build that has Vampiric Scepter, you can rush it to nullify the early poke from her W or Q to keep you healthy to stay for longer periods in the lane.
This item is a great defensive option if you are having issues dealing with Kai’Sa burst or her teammates. It provides a great chunk of stats on top of a shield passive, which can be kept up easily and help you survive teamfights to be able to dish out damage.
This is a great Mythic item to stop Kai’Sa from bursting you down if you’re low health. If you’re facing an assassin-oriented composition, you can go for Immortal Shieldbow to increase your survivability. It has a great build path, which allows you to sustain through Kai’Sa poke and survive her all-in if she decides to jump in.
This is the offensive Mythic item you should aim to get in most of your games due to its damage potential. With it, you can turn the tides against Kai’Sa if she missteps and kill her before she realizes where the burst came from. It’s a core item nowadays for most ADCs due to its great build path and low activate cooldown. While the mobility portion of the dash won’t be that useful, the damaging part will prove handy against Kai’Sa.
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