So I experimented with itemizing Kayle for spell vamp and I noticed that I seemingly vamped significantly less than I expected off of her Righteous Fury. I tested it using a custom game and noticed that even when attacking a single target, her Righteous Fury still suffered from a significant spell vamp reduction. Now I realize that spell vamp is reduced to 33% for AOE spells however a look at her ability description on the main page shows something interesting:
Righteous Fury-Ignites Kayle’s sword with a holy flame, granting Kayle a ranged splash attack and bonus magic damage.
Kayle increases her attack range by 400 for 10 seconds and deals an additional 20/30/40/50/60 (+0.4) magic damage with her basic attacks. Enemies nearby the target take 20/25/30/35/40% of her Attack Damage plus 20/30/40/50/60 (+0.4) magic damage.
It seems clear that there are two components to the spell a single target component, ( “…deals an additional 20/30/40/50/60 (+0.4) magic damage with her basic attacks.”) which should theoretically get the full spell vamp on the primary AA target, and an AOE component (“Enemies nearby the target take…”) which should get the 33% spell vamp rate. It seems like she is being cheated out of sustain through spell vamp for her primary AA targets.
A look at her lolwiki description seems to imply the same thing, that there was supposed to be a single target component and an AOE component:
Kayle harnesses her righteous fury for 10 seconds, granting her bonus magic damage on her attacks and increasing her attack range by 400 (to 525). Additionally (emphasis added), attacks on non-tower units create an area of effect that deals magic damage equal to a percentage of her attack damage plus the same on-hit magic damage to surrounding enemies.
I am hoping that it was intended that she benefit from full spell vamp for the primary target as that is what the description clearly implies and that we can get this ability changed to account for this.
I have also looked at some various other abilities to get a comparison of what is typically considered AOE.
1. Chogath vorpal spikes
2. Fiddle dark wind/kat bouncing blades
3. Karthus lay waste
With all of these abilities it is clear that these were meant as purely multi-target or AOE abilities in the description and in their intended use. Cho’gath’s vorpal spikes are most similar but again in the description it is clear that this is an AOE only buff with no direct single target component.
In some of my other discussions it has also come up that AA steroids of this nature don’t get the benefit of spell vamp typically. This is not necessarily true as Jax has two AA steroids that benefit fully from spell vamp: his empower is an AA steroid that resets his AA and the passive on his ult also benefits from SV. Note: this was not tested by me, I am taking this based on statements from Jax players on lolwiki so feel free to correct me here if I am wrong but I was pretty sure this was the case to begin with.
The only other abilities that I have found that are really similar in nature to Kayle’s multi-component ability are Ryze’s abilities when he uses his ult. They clearly have a single target component that benefits from SV fully and an AOE component that gets SV but at the reduced rate. So it seems that having abilities that get both effects is not unprecedented.
To reiterate: I believe that Kayle’s Righteous Fury ability has two components labeled clearly in the description of the ability: a single target component that should benefit from full SV (similar to Jax’s two steroids or the single target component of Ryze’s abilities with his ult up) and an AOE component that only gets the 33% SV rate (similar to the AOE component of Ryze’s ult).
I realize that one should not compare skills from one champion to another on a 1 to 1 basis as one has to balance their kits as a whole. My exploration of other champions was simply to get a sense of the descriptions and implementations of other abilities that might be similar to establish a precedent for the description and implementation of said abilities.
As a Kayle player this would certainly help her hybrid build and would greatly promote her as a hybrid auto attacking champion like she is intended. It would give her sustain off of her AA from ability power. In fight sustain is something very key to auto attackers (and is one of the reasons that the old on-hit builds suffered). I do not think this would be game breaking as the effects of the single target component are still very small early on. However this would help her to scale better into late game as a hybrid auto attacker rather than just building as a standard ADC. If you are a red and you are reading this a response for clarification one way or another would be greatly appreciated.
TL;DR Kayle’s Righteous Fury has two separate components based on the description: a single target component and an AOE component but at present both components are treated as AOE for the purposes of Spell Vamp. This hurts a viable avenue of itemization for an auto attacking hybrid champion.
While the wording of Kayle's E may indeed give someone reason to believe that it merits single target spellvamp on the primary target, the interaction causing it to give aoe spellvamp is currently working as intended.
The reason Kayle's E is worded in such a complicated fashion is that it has to be broken into two parts in order for the aoe damage portion of the ability to be significant while not being absolutely broken on a single target.
Lucky for us, it is not considered an on-hit on the primary target, at which point it would, as far as I know, receive no benefit from spellvamp whatsoever.