Have you ever wondered why Kaja’s labelled as a Support/Fighter yet you rarely see him used as a fighter? That’s what I thought too when I started playing him before Season 18 ended. I know you could argue that his ult makes him so useful as a support and he’s not as tanky as other fighters; but after playing him for a full season as a fighter (80% wr last season with 100+ matches, Mythic 2), I can vouch that Kaja’s a pretty decent fighter. So I want to share how I play him.
Where does Kaja fit in the Season 20 Meta?
Kaja is a pretty decent hero in my opinion. The notable quality that sets him apart from other heroes is his very useful ultimate, which is a suppress skill. Suppress effects are useful because it’s a “sure” cc effect, it doesn’t get removed by Purify (and other similar skills) and it bypasses immune skills. Among the entirety of MLBB’s hero pool, only three heroes have suppress skills: Kaja, Franco, and Barats. However among these three heroes, I believe Kaja has the best suppress skill. Franco’s ult can be cancelled by other cc skills, and Barat’s suppress only applies once the enemies are eaten by Detona (players can Purify/Immune the first phase). Kaja’s ult cannot be cancelled once it lands on the opponent, even if you get crowd controlled. It’s basically Franco’s ultimate except you can’t cancel it and you have a chance to pull the opponent towards your teammates.
Why do suppress skills matter? Well in our current meta, a lot of meta heroes have anti-cc skills. Most marksman players now run Purify (Wanwan, the most annoying marksman even has her own Purify skill), and there is also a handful of meta heroes with skills that make them immune to cc, such as Chou, Benedetta, and Yi Sun Shin. This can disrupt heroes who relies on controlling enemies to deal maximum damage, or heroes like tanks whose purpose is to control enemies to set up for their team. We also see the resurgence of Diggie in the meta, whose ultimate can counter a lot of cc dependent teams.
With this point in mind, Kaja definitely fills up a certain niche in the current meta. He can be a very useful support, but for the purpose of this guide, I would be focusing about why he shines in the sidelanes as a fighter.
Build, Spell, & Emblem Set:
Battle Spell: Flicker
His ult’s range was nerfed so it’s really important to be able to get close to enemies, but Kaja’s 2nd skill has a slow animation and you would be better off using it to damage enemies so Flicker is useful for reaching enemies.
Tip: The range of Kaja’s ult is so small so make sure your character is as close as possible to your target.
Impure Rage is good for poking enemies in the early game and it works well with Kaja’s passive which also does HP based damage. Pull Yourself Together lowers the cooldown of Kaja’s Flicker which is very helpful for picking off your opponents or getting out of dangerous situations.
Clock of Destiny – HP, Magic Power, and Mana
Magic Shoes – CD Reduction for his ult
Calamity Reaper – Mana Regen and True damage; works well with his passive and low-cooldown 1st skill
Holy Crystal – Magic Power scaling;
*Exchange for Divine Glaive if your targets buy Athena’s Shield or Rose Gold Meteor
Free space; could be any of the following:
Concentrated Energy – Magic Lifesteal; useful if teamfights last long
Necklace of Durance – if against high regen heroes + CD reduction; you can change boots to defense boots if you wanna be tankier
Thunderbelt – HP, Physical Defense, and True Damage; Passive also helps for slowing down enemies
Fleeting Time – ultimate CD reduction; You’re sure to kill an enemy squishy with a full combo so you can have your ultimate ready after a teamfight.
Immortality – for confidence and a little bit of Physical Defense.
Kaja with full stacks on CoD and Calamity Reaper can deal significant damage against squishies (you might even one shot them), just make sure to hit them with your full combo. Once you get Holy Crystal, you can be more confident with your damage (You can burst a late game Chou without magic defense items, based on experience). I just want to note that whenever I watch gameplay videos of Kaja, they usually build him full burst (like how you would build Eudora/Kagura) when I think he doesn’t need too many damage items to become effective.
Ult > 2nd skill (make sure all the balls hit the enemy) > 1st skill > Basic attack
You can delete enemies with this combo so make sure you do it on the enemy damage dealers.
Tip: Use Flicker to get closer to enemies.
Tip: If you dive in the backlines, pull the enemy away from their allies with your 2nd skill.
2nd skill > Ult > 1st skill > Basic attack
Use this if Flicker is unavailable, but be careful because you won’t be able to properly assassinate enemies on your own this way.
1st skill > Basic Attack
Very useful during teamfights after you’ve used up your ultimate. This works well with Calamity Reaper.
Tip: You can use his 2nd skill to chase enemies, but be careful since the animation is kinda slow they could just dash away themselves.
He’s very good against melee heroes because of his range (be careful when against hard-hitting ranged heroes like Lesley). His passive and 1st skill makes it easy to poke and locate the enemy sidelaner during laning phase. Hiding in the bush can’t save them since Kaja’s 1st skill has a wide AoE. Play aggressively if the hero has low damage or easy to dodge skills in the early game. An example of a hero I usually play aggressively against in the sidelanes is Chou, since he’s likely to use his 1st skill to clear the wave so after dodging his combo you can proceed poking him until he dies or goes back to base, to delay his gold. Usually I poke them until they have about 30-40% HP left and I use my full combo to pick them off and push the tower. Always check the map to know where the enemies are, since Kaja isn’t the best fighter against multiple enemies.
Tip: Use the enemy minions to poke your enemy. The lightning effect connects to enemies when they’re within range, even if they’re hiding in the bush (similar to Eudora’s 1st skill). Use this to get an idea of your enemy’s positioning. Note that unlike his 1st skill, Kaja’s passive doesn’t “reveal” (the one with the gold eye above the player) the enemies, it just connects.
Your play style in mid-late game should be similar to a sidelane Chou, where you dive in the backlines and pick off enemy damage dealers then help clean up other enemies. Since you’re the sidelane fighter, you won’t get focused too much so it’ll be easier to do your job. This is why I prefer Kaja as a fighter, since you won’t need to rely on your team to deal extra damage to eliminate enemies. Most of the time you could eliminate opponents on your own so your teammates can save their skills for other enemies.
In the middle of teamfights (when ult is on CD), you should know how to position properly. Make sure you’re not the center of attention. Take advantage of the time they’re focused on your other teammates to deal damage with your AoE first skill and your passive. Use your 2nd skill to reposition and dodge enemy skills. He’s also very sensitive to crowd control skills so do your best to not get caught in a teamfight.
Use the bush to your advantage when going around the map. It’s better if you can catch enemies without using Flicker, and hiding in the bush can help you do that. For example, if your team can win in a teamfight without your help, hide in a nearby bush where you think enemy reinforcements will pass through.
Tip: You can try to zone and bluff enemies during teamfights when your ult is on cooldown. Getting caught by Kaja in the middle of a teamfight is a death sentence, they’ll think twice before coming close.
Fighter Kaja works well if your team has a high damage physical attacker such as an assassin or a marksman, so that your enemies would prioritize building physical defense items (like Wind of Nature for marksmen) instead of countering you with items like Athena’s Shield or Rose Gold Meteor. Having a tank as your roamer would also help so that you won’t get focused in teamfights. He’s also good if your team lacks hard cc skills to counter mobile heroes such as Ling, Lancelot, or Benedetta.
Don’t use him as a fighter if your team needs a fighter with high sustain, or if you lack a tank that can soak up damage for the team.
Item counters: Athena’s Shield and Rose Gold Meteor
These two items are common counter items for heroes with burst magic damage, so make sure you check your enemies’ items frequently to know if you can pick them off in one combo.
Solution: Try to proc their item passive before committing with your full combo. Pull the enemies towards your teammates so they could help you eliminate the enemy.
Solution: Play passively, don’t take unnecessary damage and try your best to still get gold and exp from the minion wave. Wait for your teammates to back you up and give you space to farm.
Solution: Do not engage these heroes on your own. Use your 2nd skill or Flicker to keep your distance especially during teamfights. Try building defense or lifesteal items so you could last longer when escaping from a bad spot.
Solution: Most cc tanks are setter tanks so wait for them to initiate and get distracted by your allies before committing. I remember a time where an enemy Atlas’ ult caught three of my teammates but I was hiding in the bush so I just swooped down and picked off their marksman. We ended up winning the teamfight since they lost their damage dealer right from the start.
Solution: Timing is everything.
That’s all I could share from my experience. I hope you learned a lot from the guide!
(I currently have about 140 matches with Kaja and a 64% win rate)