TheShy might be preparing Kalista top for his return to the LPL

The star top laner has been using her almost exclusively this past week.

Image via Riot Games

The League of Legends top lane has been in a state of flux for quite some time—and it might get a bit weirder once the LPL resumes on Monday, March 9.

As pointed out originally by Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi, Invictus Gaming superstar Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok has started to play a ton of Kalista up in the top lane since Wednesday, Feb. 26.

Kalista hasn’t been a priority pick for most teams in the West. But in the LCK, she’s already been played in 10 games. She’s been solely played in the bottom lane, however, where she sits at a 40-percent win rate.

But this strategy could change up how people play the champion once more. In TheShy’s build, he rushes Sanguine Blade as a first item, then builds Blade of the Ruined King and a Zeal item afterward. You also run Hail of Blades as a keystone to gain even more attack speed while attacking an enemy.

Sanguine Blade allows Kalista to trade effectively in lane due to its passive, Blood Pursuit, which gives the player eight lethality and 20 to 80 percent attack speed while near one or fewer visible enemy champions. Since top lane is usually isolated to one champion, this passive is used for most of the laning phase.

Kalista can also bind to multiple champions based on priority. She can bind to a tank jungler who needs help engaging or she can act as a Tahm Kench of sorts by binding to a squishy carry who needs to be saved. The only problem is her mobility, which can be capitalized on by assassins and diving champions. Coordinated teams can also easily plan ganks around her lack of movement and set her back a ton as a result.

Recently, Cloud9’s Eric “Licorice” Ritchie tried Kalista out in the top lane but failed to win the game. It might not have been completely his fault, though—his bottom lane collectively died 20 times.

The LPL returns on March 9.


Tyler Esguerra
Lead League of Legends writer for Dot Esports. Forever an LCS supporter, AD carry main, with more than five years in the industry. Sometimes I like clicking heads in Call of Duty or VALORANT. Creator of the Critical Strike Podcast.