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League of Legends: Why Kayle Should Be Banned Every Game

Riot Games released new and improved versions of Kayle and Morgana yesterday. Though Morgana mostly only received cosmetic changes, Kayle has evolved into an entirely new champion unlike any in League of Legends. Along with new splash art and other visual updates, Kayle now has a new set of game-changing abilities. Her new kit gives her an insane amount of scaling into the late game with high DPS and movement speed, but still giving her the old “Kayle style” ultimate. Nonetheless, Kayle has become quite a force on the rift and it’s already time to move her to the perma-ban list.

Indefinite Scaling

What makes this new Kayle so unique is her ability to scale into the later stages of the game. Her new passive is becoming exalted each time she can level up her ultimate. This means that she gains bonus attack speed and magic damage on her auto attacks, which increases as the game goes on. Once she reaches level 11 she’ll gain ranged attacks for the rest of the of the game, giving her quite the power spike. Those auto attacks happen to do true damage, as well as AOE damage. At level 16 she reaches her final exalted form where she has an incredible amount of bonus attack speed, magic damage and movement speed.

New Kayle
Visual of  Kayle and Morgana’s Updated Appearances (Image Courtesy of Riot Games)

At each of these “power-ups” Kayle’s appearance changes too. She continually gains sets of wings and her final form gives her a sword for each hand. Ultimately, towards the later stages of the game Kayle will become almost impossible to stop even if she’s not doing well on the scoreboard. Her new Q and E abilities are still ranged and targeted, slow enemies upon impact and scale much better than before. Kayle’s damage potential has no ceiling unless whoever plays her goes AFK.

Item Pathing

Her item path is relatively the same as before. Stacking attack speed and magic damage will help increase Kayle’s DPS. Magic penetration items will also prove effective on her in the later stages of the game. Enemies will build heavy magic resist to counter her damage output, but as long as she has attack speed she’ll do just fine. Guinsoo’s Rageblade and Nashor’s Tooth will be core items on Kayle, as well as Liandry’s Torment and Lich Bane. She has potential to build a little tankier too, by building Iceborn Gauntlet instead of Lich Bane. Spirit Visage can also be very useful on Kayle because of her healing.

When playing against Kayle, one must emphasize the point of buying magic resist. Items like Locket of the Iron Solari and Abyssal mask will help slow Kayle’s increasing damage. It’s okay to purchase higher damage items if ahead, but proper item pathing can more easily stop a Kayle from rolling down the team.

The Balancing Act

It’s obvious that Kayle’s new style of play can be seen as over-powered, but Riot tried their best to balance her in the early stages of the game. Before she reaches level 11, Kayle is melee based and very vulnerable. It’s expected to see her in the top lane, so it’s important that opposing junglers try to focus her down before she becomes fully exalted. Shutting down this new Kayle earlier in the game gives her lane opponent the chance at building up a lead before she starts shredding in the late game. It’s important to pick champions that scale well with tankier items because of Kayle’s high DPS. If ahead early, one could stack more magic resist and health to counter Kayle’s insane damage.

Kayle’s new abilities definitely shift her overall style of play as well. With her new ultimate, Kayle can shield herself or an ally for a brief period of time while a set of blades rains down from the sky, dealing a small amount of AOE damage. Whomever gets shielded is invulnerable for a few seconds and cannot attack or cast spells.

This adjustment makes Kayle’s ultimate a little more balanced than before in the sense that she can no longer dive the entire enemy team, attacking with her ult around her. However, this does open the door for her teamfight potential. If a dive heavy champion, like Kha’Zix or Xin Zhao accompanies Kayle in a fight, she can cast her ultimate on said champion while they dive onto the enemy. This will stop incoming damage on the diver while Kayle sits back and slaps massive amounts of true damage onto the opposition. If executed properly, this can be very effective in all levels of play.

Kayle’s Future in the Professional Scene

With newer champions like Sylas and Neeko seeing play in the pro scene, it’s fair to wonder if Kayle will have the same impact. The meta this season revolves around flex picks and odd champions in different lanes, so Kayle could easily be seen in either the top or mid lanes. She has strong damage, decent crowd control and plenty of potential in team fights. Her mobility allows her to roam through the map with ease and assist other lanes if needed. Her new ultimate will change team fights drastically if the enemy team doesn’t prepare enough for it, making her a solid, all-around champion.

New Kayle
LCS Studios in Los Angeles (Image Courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr)

These qualities will surely make her seen in professional play once everyone gets a little more used to her. Pro players like Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik and Eric “Licorice” Ritchie might really enjoy using her on stage.

Since Kayle will most likely be a little too strong for a brief time after her release, expect to see her banned a lot in both professional play and solo queue. She has the potential to completely turn the tides of any game no matter the situation, as long as she can get past level 11.


Featured Image Courtesy of Riot Games.

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