I would like to begin by saying that these ideas are: purely theoretical, *ideas*, opinionated, and although criticism is welcome - blatant toxicity is not.
On release, Kalista was the unkillable specter of vengeance; who, hardly 2 weeks after she dropped on patch 4.20, received some well deserved nerfs. Then again in 5.9, 5.13, and 5.17 (season 5 was a good season for kali lol). Kalista then got a couple of compensation buffs on 6.1, only for more nerfs to roll in on 6.6, 7.9, and 7.18. There was an attempt to put some solo power back into Kalista's kit in 8.4, whereas previously she was missing a lot of this power without her Oath-sworn; although these did help, did not hit the mark when it came to making Kalista viable - at least not at the normie level of play. Oh an by the way, Kalista was also nerfed in 9.1 making rend (e) only do 50% damage to large monsters.
For the unenlightened among us *cough* *all the new people who came back for TFT*, you may wonder how strong a champion could possibly be if they get nerfed so often they make Akali look balanced. Well my ignorant friend, let me tell you a story about RYZE! Ryze, Azir, and Kalista, all suffer the same fate. For those who sit on the council of high elo players, when she is strong, Kalista has a unstoppable early game - solid game knowledge and a couple of game under their belt, and knowing how much damage a Kalista E does isn't hard; however, for the rest of us soloq peasants, its not uncommon to hear "Shes so broken" whenever someone decides to unbench the spear.
Kalista is particularly strong in pro play, just like Ryze and Azir. Kalista goes past just being a lane bully, she throws away the late game and looks for it all to be early. Professional players make major use out of her W, an ability that resembles a moving ward, and her E, the execute - not only for kills, but for objective control as well.
So whats the problem? Kalista's skill floor is high, but the ceiling isn't far from the floor. Ideally, the skill floor is lowered, her early game feels less punishing to play into, and you feel like you have skill expression on the champion you locked in. Riot keeps saying that shes too hard to fix, but as community members I think we have an obligation to throw our ideas out there too. Here is mine:
1. For starters, Kalista's E needs an indicator. And this isnt just for her, everyone has had that experience where you had to ask "Wtf did that damage come from?!", and the issue with Kalista's E (in soloq), is without experience on Kalista, its very hard to know how much damage she *can* output.
The indicator would help new Kalista players know how much damage their champion actually does, and (depending on if everyone can see the rend indicator, or if its just her and the person she is autoing) it opens up some counter play too. The reason its hard is because rend, right now, does post mitigation damage; meaning you have to take armor into account when you use rend; this isnt a bad thing, but its what makes her hard.
2. Next, a W change, and a passive change. Kalista's W is almost a useless ability. Most players opt into not taking any points in it at all until Q and E are first maxed. The sentinel is underwhelming, and the passive stats aren't enough to make the ability a necessary pick up. So here is my 10 Billion IQ idea.
* First, start by taking the Sentinel off of the W, I love the ability, but its gotta go.
* Next, take the jumping part of Kalista's passive, and move it to the W, keeping the passive stats that are already there. This way she needs to spend a point on it, making her less oppressing in the very early levels. Then, take away the jump scaling off of boots, and divide up the distance so it follows the points in W. Keep in mind, this is an active ability (see next bullet before you flame), Kalista would either get the buff for a set amount of time, or a certain amount of autos.
* The duration of the jump will scale with points in her E, but this distance will scale with W. So, if Kali maxed E first, at level 9 the jump will have 100% up time and be more like a vayne W passive then an active. But having the W be an active early gives bot lanes something to play around, and not just dying because they cant touch her.
3. The jump on Q should be there if she has a point in W or not, it should always be at full distance, giving her a *small* amount of safety when W is down.
So, assuming all of that happens, you can then look to give kalista a bump in damage on the E (if she needs it). This way, she will be more mid game teamfight oriented, instead of this "Shut down hypercarry" marksmen that falls off at 35.
Like I mentioned before, these are just ideas. How do you think Kalista could be changed?