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All Guides Kayn Guides Kayn: A Guide by a High Elo Coach on How to Stomp
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Kayn Statistics for Yaboi Kaynt Even

Author's performance with Kayn compared to the ranked average.

Value
Average
Games Played
153
6
Win %
69
41
Kills
9.0
6.1
Assists
6.9
6.5
Deaths
5.4
6.5
KA:D Ratio
3.0
1.9
Gold Earned
11.7K
11K
Creep Score
49.8
149.5
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

Not too much to say here, obviously always go flash - smite. You are a jungler, after all! 
I typically get a few questions on why flash over, say, all these other fun summoners: 6.png14.png7.png12.png

6.png  - Ghost is terrible, sorry to say. It IS applicable on Shadow Kayn since, of course, it speeds up your Q and boosts Celerity, but it's simply not good compared to flash. You desperately need that extra boost for escaping or catching enemies, especially for early game.

The other three are trolling. Don't go anything other than flash or smite. 

New Runes Back to Top

Alright, this will be a very long talk about some things that are very simple. 

Runes for Kayn are VERY important, more so than most other champions. The wrong rune for the wrong situation can be detrimental. So, let's dive in.
The first page you see is the one that I typically run with a few altercations. 
Let's go over some of the things for the first rune page that I do differently and what you can do / what you shouldn't do. 
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Eyeball Collection versus Zombie Ward:

Eyeball Collection is the norm, yes, and I love it over Zombie Ward, but that being said, Zombie Ward gets increasingly better the higher the elo you are. I feel as though the extra damage is completely fantastic and I personally love free stats from Collection, but you will be giving up a lot of vision taking it over Zombie. Vision aside, and I hate to say this since it's an unhealthy way to think, but I usually don't care about extra vision at the elo I'm currently at aside from the three-six pink wards I buy a game. Starting around D3-D2, Zombie Ward becomes INSANELY good, and I HIGHLY recommend it because most people can really gather a lot of information from it. However, most people at lower elos can't take proper use of the amount of information Zombie Ward applies, so on average, Eyeball is better for you under the circumstance that you feel as though you can confidently carry. If you feel as though, despite being - let's say - Silver two, that you're new to Kayn and you aren't the strongest carry in the world, then of course, go Zombie Ward. Eyeball is mostly an extra damage boost that I adore since I tend to play more carry-esque. 
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Relentless Hunter versus Ravenous Hunter:

The answer for this one is very complicated. Relentless is almost always better due to how Celerity works. That being said, if you're going the Precision page, then Ravenous is a lot better since Relentless becomes kind of pointless due to having a lot less synergy. Of course, whether or not you plan to go Darkin or Shadow influences this as well, but it does go so much deeper than that. You can't tell how a game is going to go; maybe you need to be the front-line and Ravenous gives you that extra boost (even as Assassin), or maybe you need to rotate very quickly and Relentless gives you that extra boost (even as Darkin). Let me sum this up; Ravenous is so much better for if you are a front-line (regardless of Shadow or Darkin transformation) and need to survive excessive amounts of burst or excessive amounts of consistent damage. Consistent damage isn't a major problem in this meta, so Ravenous is somewhat pointless for that reason, although the amount you can heal back from Darkin ultimate is TREMENDOUS and absolutely ridiculous. 
I feel as though it's basically entirely dependent on how you personally plan to play, as it's a roughly 50/50 split.

Now, for what makes me an entirely different player rune wise compared to most other players.
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Why Sorcery over Precision?

Yikes.
Sorcery interacts with the entirety of Kayn's kit so much better. I end up usually not needing the burst from Coup de Grace and I rarely need Triumph for anything. Due to Celerity changes, Celerity does about the same amount, if not more, damage than Coup De Grace. Triumph is just still overpowered, but it's not nearly as good as Celerity or Waterwalking or even Scorch. I usually disagree pretty majorly with Precision, as I feel like you lose out on stats. Attack speed tends to be relatively worthless on Kayn I find. 

So then, with this style of playing, why do I go Scorch over Waterwalking?

If you were to look at my op.gg, you would probably see a 10/90 split. Waterwalking is so unbelievably good with Celerity it's ridiculous, especially with scuttle. However, I only take Waterwalking if I need to fight for control over the river. Typically on Kayn, that's a near impossibility for early, so Waterwalking is usually very bad until, let's say, 7-10 minutes when you have your form when then it becomes near useless because you already can fight people anyways due to the insane powerspike. Furthermore, I rarely go into the river anyways outside of going for scuttle or running across to get into their jungle. I almost never - and I repeat - almost never try to fight in river when the fight seems too close. The width of the river and the lack of close walls that make you land in often uncomfortable spots make river usually a hell hole for Kayn. So, how do I know if I can or have to control the river? That's in match-ups, but here's a short list:
Kha'Zix and Kindred. Yep, that's it. You only go waterwalking versus Kindred if you're red side and she's blue side so that you get red buff.
So why scorch? Scorch is INSANE for early game, especially for Kayn. It gives you a lot of extra damage that allows for dueling in the enemy jungle and, of course, in your jungle, as well as making it a lot easier to provide good ganks + higher pressure. Believe it or not, extra 30 damage that happens to be true damage means a lot until everyone has about 1k HP. That's usually not until the 9-10 minute mark for most champions.
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When would I go Dark Harvest?

Dark Harvest is very powerful on Darkin, but only if you have no pressure from the enemy jungler and if the majority of their team is ungankable, tanky, and or if there will be a lot of mid game fights. The issue with Dark Harvest is the fact that you cannot do ANYTHING early game that isn't completely guaranteed. It's only good if electrocute clearly isn't good, and electrocute is almost always good. I have a video discussing this more in the early game section.
It is worth noting that I put Dark Harvest with Precision. The reason why is because Dark Harvest is much more focused on auto attacking, often multiple times in a team fight to get the most amount of damage, versus electrocute getting proc'd near instantly. Celerity is unneeded since applying your Q a frame faster isn't as important.

There are a few rune page options that I put in. You may decide for yourself obviously which one you prefer in whichever scenario you are faced with in-game. 

IF YOU GO PREDATOR I WILL BE SO DISAPPOINTED. DO. NOT. GO. PREDATOR. IT'S GARBAGE. It's worse than Dark Harvest due to having no scaling outside of Celerity and the burst that it gives you is not high enough to make it worthwhile. Trust me, not whatever anyone else tells you.

Abilities Back to Top

Q
E
W
Q
Q
R
W
W
W
W
R
Q
Q
E
E
R
E
E
Passive
Q
1
4
5
12
13
W
3
7
8
9
10
E
2
14
15
17
18
R
6
11
16

Very simple explanation for this one, and yes, this is completely static: You need three points in your Q to farm. After that, you desperately need points in your W to deal damage. It's that simple. Go this always.


Your ultimate goal is to STACK YOUR PASSIVE! Remember this.
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kaynpassive.png
Stack it in your base form and focus lanes that will give you the souls you want!
In Rhaast, you gain healing from dealing damage with your abilities.
In Shadow, you gain a massive amount of extra magic damage on all damage you deal.
180.png
kaynq.png
Very simple ability! Pretend you're sort of like Yasuo E-Q. It demolishes monsters at all points in the game. A few things to realize:
  • In Darkin, jungle objectives are SO easy to take. Around 10-11 minutes, it will deal basically a little bit over a smite due to dealing % HP damage.
  • It can go over a lot of walls.
  • If a wall is too big or if you're positioned correctly, a fun trick to do is to animation cancel your Q into a wall. What ends up happening is your Q endpoint will be much closer, creating a much higher burst damage in close combat situations. 
  • You will animation lock yourself if you aren't careful. Animation locking and controlling your abilities is VITAL to being a good Kayn player, and misusing your Q versus ulting in a teamfight will determine pretty much everything about your effectiveness. 
  • You do not max Q for the reason that, especially when Darkin, the scaling is poor. In Darkin, you do not gain any damage at all.
  • You can Q - Tiamat mid Q.
  • Fun trick: you can back mid Q. It's not useful, but it's funny.180.png
kaynw.png
Simple skill shot that, in base form, channels and, upon completion, in a straight line, hits enemies and slows them. It does quite a bit of damage.
In your Darkin form, it will knock enemies up and slow them.
In Shadow, it will not require channeling and can be cast while moving. The slow increases and it does overall more damage. Furthermore, your passive applies to it and it gains increased range. It's probably the most important part of your kit for Assassin.
NOTE: YOU WILL ANIMATION LOCK YOURSELF IN DARKIN AND BASE FORM! BE VERY CAREFUL, AS YOU CAN GET YOURSELF KILLED VERY EASILY. SAME WITH YOUR Q.
Seriously, don't listen to anyone who says that you shouldn't max W after 3 points in Q. They're wrong and stupid. Maxing Q is a waste of damage.
180.png
kayne.png
You can walk through walls and heal! Note: If you are in combat, it will NOT last the normal amount of time it usually does.
In Shadow, the neat effect is it removes slows! Furthermore, upon entering a wall, your movement speed drastically increases. Using this with celerity and mobility boots pretty much gives you a B.F sword.
This is the ability that you need to play around and use. It's Kayn's bread and butter for everything and is his entire identity. No other champion can do what he does, making him such a unique jungler and a unique ganker. Using his E properly for pathing is everything and determines how good of a Kayn player you are and provides efficiency. 
Tricks:
  • Using this in a lane versus a wall is acceptable due to the 40% speed up for a second and a half. 
  • Use E and Q in conjunction to speed up the animation of your Q.
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kaynr.png
DIVE DIVE DIVE DIVE!
You can dive so incredibly well with this ability so ABUSE IT PLEASE.
In Shadow, it gains increased range! Yay! This can be super effective versus ranged champions.
In Darkin, it deals a huge amount of % HP damage and heals you for a large amount of your HP. 
Tricks:
  • In Shadow, you can stalker's blade - smite the enemy ADC / Mid and ulti instantly from very far away. 
  • The same synergy works with Darkin, although you must be closer and it's not as effective versus squishies due to dealing much less damage.
  • You can cancel tower aggro!
  • Using this ability on tanks as Darkin gives you a MASSIVE amount of HP. Use it against, say, Cho'Gath to gain all of your health back in one ability.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Obvious standard start.

Core Items

    Ninja - Warrior - BC - TH - GA - DD Standard Darkin build that I go. More on this below.
    Other Rhaast build.
    Mobis - Duskblade - Warrior - BC - GA - DD My personal standard Shadow build. More on this below.
    Typical casual Shadow build.

Situational Items

OKAY, so Kayn builds are a metric shit ton of information to process because, in no way shape or form, should any of these builds be static. Here's two videos on me talking about it (feel free to discuss in the chat about it):


Darkin:
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLcF8gDKNZQ - if the above is not working.

Shadow:
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_NIt_eNQtQ - if the above is not working.

Note: I said that Shadow was much harder. It's not for building, I meant it's much harder to play. My bad!

VERY IMPORTANT: REALIZE THAT NONE OF THESE ARE EXACT! EVERY GAME BUILD SHOULD LOOK SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT.

Alright, so let's go over a few item issues I see as well since I see a TON of misinformation:
DO NOT GO DUSKBLADE AS RHAAST. DON'T. DO. IT. IT'S TERRIBLE. DON'T DO IT. DEAR GOD. Youmuu's is ACCEPTABLE if you are extremely far ahead.
(Yes, I know I have bold on, this is important.)
Lethality build is often times NOT good on Darkin. I may make a video talking about this, but overall it's simple and summed up like this: You need to be a BRUISER, not an ASSASSIN. You WILL get blown up instantly. Don't go Lethality Darkin in 99% of scenarios.
Spirit Visage is great while behind, but Death's Dance does ALMOST the same thing.
Please, dear god, unless they have three crit champions, don't go Randuin's Omen. It's pretty much a terrible item now, especially on Kayn.

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Aatrox
    Easy
  • Amumu
    Easy
  • Camille
    Hard
  • Cho'Gath
    Easy
  • Dr. Mundo
    Medium
  • Ekko
    Easy
  • Elise
    Easy
  • Evelynn
    Medium
  • Fiddlesticks
    Easy
  • Gragas
    Easy
  • Graves
    Hard
  • Hecarim
    Easy
  • Ivern
    Easy
  • Jarvan IV
    Easy
  • Jax
    Medium
  • Kai'Sa
    Easy
  • Karthus
    Easy
  • Kha'Zix
    Easy
  • Kindred
    Medium
  • Lee Sin
    Medium
  • Maokai
    Easy
  • Master Yi
    Easy
  • Nidalee
    Hard
  • Nocturne
    Hard
  • Nunu
    Easy
  • Olaf
    Easy
  • Pantheon
    Hard
  • Pyke
    Medium
  • Rammus
    Easy
  • Rek'Sai
    Medium
  • Rengar
    Medium
  • Sejuani
    Hard
  • Shaco
    Medium
  • Udyr
    Hard
  • Vi
    Easy
  • Warwick
    Easy
  • Wukong
    Medium
  • Xin Zhao
    Hard
  • Zac
    Easy

VS

Aatrox

Easy

His clear is relatively good and his 1 v 1's are pretty okay. You shouldn't ever die, but you can't really contest him well. You need to ward and hop around him and his camps to make sure you never get caught. You will die very, very easily if he does manage to catch you. Aside from that, if you have a midlaner that rotates, he's free Darkin stats. He's only medium because I'm unsure as to how new players will approach this matchup and I'm terrified he's getting buffed more.

VS

Amumu

Easy

Oml the freest stacks you'll ever see. Take his entire jungle and he'll never get level 6. You can beat him at pretty much every point in the game as Darkin. Can consider Dark Harvest into this.

VS

Camille

Hard

To be honest, you're screwed. This matchup is ridiculously hard; she can constantly 1v1 you and punishes you for being near walls. Honestly, good luck. Ward carefully and make sure you don't meet her in the river. The best you can do is try desperately to countergank when she engages with her E and blows her W. 

Coming into midgame, Darkin beats her extremely hard and you can cancel out her dives very easily.

VS

Cho'Gath

Easy

F R E E S T A C K S. Same as Amumu. Can consider Dark Harvest into this.

VS

Dr. Mundo

Medium

Honestly, this isn't meta. That being said, it is somewhat scary. If you dodge his cleavers and make sure you don't die to his E, you should be alright. You gank much better than him. Can consider Dark Harvest into this.

VS

Ekko

Easy

LUL EKKO. This isn't meta and you will be able to constantly beat him in CS through counterjungling. Your dives are also much better than his, believe it or not.

VS

Elise

Easy

Elise is a meme. You can take all her camps before she knows what to do. Champion is borderline worthless and you will be able to curb stomp her.

VS

Evelynn

Medium

YIKES. This matchup can and will go in the favor of either of you. Make sure you take her camps and countergank properly. This is where tracking the enemy jungler will determine the game. If you're not good at tracking, then unfortunately this is going to be an almost impossible to win matchup. If you're good at tracking, it's fairly easy.

VS

Fiddlesticks

Easy

LUL FIDDLE. Your E counters him. Know his clear: he always starts near blue and does all 3 camps w/ scuttle then ganks the lane nearest to him. Counter that, and you win.

VS

Gragas

Easy

LUL GRAGAS. Champion doesn't exist, you're fine. Take all of his jungle. Can consider Dark Harvest into this.

VS

Graves

Hard

I've played a lot of this matchup and, sadly, there's no great way to play it. You kind of hard lose, as you, even in shadow, can't contest his True Grit. His armor gain is just way too much to handle and he's too mobile + bursty. Your best bet is to farm and ward to ensure your lanes don't die and try your absolute best to countergank and catch him out. Honestly, good luck. It's borderline impossible and similar to Xin.

VS

Hecarim

Easy

Honestly, he's not a champion. Abuse his early game weakness and stomp him. You can easily ward him and his ganks are super static. Free game, free stacks.

VS

Ivern

Easy

No comment. Your clears are faster and your ganks are stronger. All you need to do is mirror him and beware his counterganks.

Did you know his favorite color is S P R I N G ?!??

VS

Jarvan IV

Easy

This matchup doesn't exist as of Patch 8.13. You should be fine, as he's never picked. If he is, he auto loses. His fall of is major and his damage is somehow lower than yours pre-form.

VS

Jax

Medium

Cowsep plays this a lot and it's pretty terrifying. That being said, 99% of people can't play Jax properly so there's rarely anything to worry about, even if he does well. That being said, you do counter him as Darkin since you're a powerful spellcaster in that form. His E won't matter much.

VS

Kai'Sa

Easy

This matchup pretty much never happens, but when it does, they're usually hard smurfing. It's 99% of the time super easy and you faceroll, but watch out for the 1% of the time. Go shadow form!

VS

Karthus

Easy

Why are you playing this jungle? Just one shot the kid.

VS

Kha'Zix

Easy

He is ridiculously weak. You will ALWAYS win coming into later in the game since he kind of falls off very hard. Your time to shine is midgame and teamfights, but outside of that, he will murder you if he catches you at any point.

VS

Kindred

Medium

Yes, she's meta now, and terrifying. She will murder you early game. The only reason it's medium is because most Kindreds are completely garbage and you should wreck them most of the time. Sometimes though, they're not braindead. My advice is to WARD YOUR ENTIRE JUNGLE. Otherwise, goodbye to it all. Don't make a mistake that costs you your life either, because you won't have a jungle. You need to understand though: if she makes a similar mistake, then she must lose her entire jungle as well. Legitimately, you NEED to take her jungle in this match-up. It's a necessity. 

VS

Lee Sin

Medium

This matchup doesn't happen much. Do your best to put Lee behind because then he gets hard stomped. Take his camps, countergank him, ward well.

VS

Maokai

Easy

LUL DARK HARVEST LUL DARKIN LUL. No but seriously, who picks this?

VS

Master Yi

Easy

Darkin. 

Also you just murder him before he gets his first item. It's not hard to win this.
The only times I lose this match-up are if my teammates literally int him or if I don't countergank correctly. You really should win this 99% of the time if you are the better player.

VS

Nidalee

Hard

Oh my dear god, this is a terrible matchup. Yes, she never lands Q, but because of how static your Q is, she always lands W and you always die. Her early is terrible but her ganks are insane. If she catches you unaware, you WILL die very quickly. Play safe and ward well. Take care to dive when she isn't around, otherwise your teammates will die to her long ranged spears instantly.

VS

Nocturne

Hard

Yikes. He can kill you at any point in the game until late - midgame. If you're alone in his jungle and he has ultimate, you will immediately die. May I suggest you just casually leave him alone and try to figure out where he's planning on ulting?

Early pressure is your best friend. Try to make shit happen in lanes to ensure he's not an all-powerful being that will murder everyone. When he's behind, he's really bad but, due to how quickly he farms, he just kind of casually catches back up instantly. You need to catch him out in a lane through counterganking and then immediately take his entire jungle.

VS

Nunu

Easy

You can outfarm him pretty hard. This matchup is ALL ABOUT MACRO. It's all macro. Nunu is a macro oriented champion and, if you're better at it, you will always win.

VS

Olaf

Easy

You will lose early hard, but you'll win super easily after getting Darkin. Even w/o the knockup, you outdamage and outheal him. It's not a big deal and it's an easy win for you.

VS

Pantheon

Hard

Put this in the category of Xin, Udyr, and Graves. Leave him the hell alone and stay out of his way. Try your best to make sure your allies don't die to him and try to predict his ulti. Ward everywhere or you lose.

VS

Pyke

Medium

Pretty sure only I and the Koreans play Pyke Jungle. It's not really great versus Kayn; outfarm him and predict where he's ganking. Wards are great here, as is counter jungling.

VS

Rammus

Easy

L U L RAMMUS DARKIN 

VS

Rek'Sai

Medium

Yes, this champion does still exist. Be careful of her, as her early will wreck you. You scale much better as a bruiser and farm much harder. Keep in mind though: if you're in her jungle, she will see you on her tremors. Invades are very scary.

VS

Rengar

Medium

Both forms deal nicely with Rengar. Just beware his early game and do your best to not give him a kill. You will beat him after Skirmishers and form.

VS

Sejuani

Hard

This champion is hell. Don't contest her and just countergank her. After she blows her load on someone, you can clean up but, until then, you will die, even in a 1v1. Later on in Darkin, you win pretty hard, but man does early game here suck.

At least, that's one side to it.
She's both very hard and very easy. If she plays perfectly then, yes, what I said first is completely true. If she makes a mistake and you can punish her incredibly hard and that will completely ruin her. Keep in mind though; she's very low-eco. She only needs her ulti to become useful whereas you need items and form. Therefore, getting behind trying to get her behind is next to worthless. Don't make any stupid aggressive plays and you should be okay.

VS

Shaco

Medium

Eh. Shaco isn't much of a problem ever. Either form does well versus him. This will be a lot of tracking his pathing, taking his jungle, and peeling your allies.

VS

Udyr

Hard

Go into his jungle and you die. Your best bet is out-warding him and out-hopping him. Jumping around lane to lane faster than he can and getting them ahead is better than counterganking, as he is 90000000000 times stronger than you up until form.

VS

Vi

Easy

Idk she kinda kills you early game like usual but after form she's worthless. Stalkers blade her and ult and you will dodge her ulti fairly easily, making her useless.

VS

Warwick

Easy

He's VERY static. Follow his W and you'll be fine. You have the mobility to dodge his E and R, so he's not a huge deal. Don't fight him early and do your best to abuse his mana costs.

VS

Wukong

Medium

Yikes good luck. Only reason this is medium is because 1) He's not a good jungler and 2) If he's behind, he hard loses. Rotate with your midlaner into his jungle and kill him over and over again.

VS

Xin Zhao

Hard

THIS IS HELL. Don't approach him, you will die. Counterganking is near impossible since you might still die. You need Black Cleaver and Skirmishers to duel him, assuming you're ahead. If you're behind, you need to 2v1 him or else you lose.

VS

Zac

Easy

HAHA ZAC.

Not a champion btw.
Beware his E. You need to ward exceptionally well in places he may jump from.
Your E does the same thing as his, except yours heals you and is guaranteed to end up in a spot you wanted it to. His can be interrupted by your W in Darkin. This should never be a problem match-up UNLESS they have a Morgana.

A bit about me Back to Top

Hiya! I'm a D5 jungle main, but I don't really play League of Legends much anymore despite hitting top 6 Kayn Mains in NA and top 50 NA as Swain (both according to League of Graphs). Instead, I use my time to coach and help players improve majorly on how to play their roles and operate within L5's and various other coaching/student pairing discords and forums. Due to my love of coaching and teaching advanced subjects, I love Kayn; he's a very micro and macro decision oriented champion that can be extremely hard to lock down exactly how to play and, furthermore, I feel as though he's almost an embodiment of League itself in a strange way. To add to this, he's arguably one of the most rewarding champions to play for jungle when mastered; his kit overall is very unfair and offers diverse forms of playing, all of which can entirely influence the outcome of the game.

I've been looking at a few other of the writers and I majorly disagree on a lot of points so I decided to write my own guide. I hope you'll see my personal thought process on a champion that has such diverse play styles offered within Kayn's amazing kit!
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Feel free to ask if you are confused about anything in the comments below or on the comments on my Youtube. If you're looking for coaching on Kayn or jungle in general, my discord is Yaboi#9158 and my summoner is Yaboi Kaynt Even. I'm always happy to answer any questions you guys may have! I highly encourage scheduling a VOD review with me for multiple reasons, one of them being to update and add to this guide! I have an unfinished section at the moment that I dedicate to you guys. If you decide to add me (with you're permission), I'll record the VOD and upload it to Youtube and link it in the bottom section of "VODs."

How to Jungle in General and How It Applies To Kayn Back to Top

Yes, I have to make two separate videos on A) How to even jungle and B) How it applies to Kayn.


How to Jungle:

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https://youtu.be/oYJGwj80Hic if the above is not working.
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How to Kayn following information from the previous video:

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https://youtu.be/pM1HOpBw3uU if the above is not working.

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TL;DR:

  • Aggro junglers should usually go the scuttle nearest to them while passive junglers should go to the opposite scuttle. Oftentimes they misplay and this can be rectified with proper warding and understanding where people run to as well as properly tracking the enemy jungler.
  • Cheese strategies are pretty much ALWAYS TERRIBLE. If you wanna climb, do CONSISTENT PLAYS!
  • USE YOUR F KEYS. USE THEM!!!!
  • NO SERIOUSLY, USE YOUR F KEYS.
If you are confused about any of this, please see the video(s). I illustrate it out pretty well. If you are still unsure as to how to jungle, I'm happy to answer questions in the comments below.

Gank Patterns! Back to Top

BOT LANE:

REEEE.PNG
1) Easily the best gank path. Fantastic for diving, fantastic for early ganks! So:
Red Side: Great for if you start top side and your bot side is getting shoved in by the time you obtain blue buff. It's the safest gank path and is relatively hard to get spotted out by wards. Later on, it's fantastic for preventing dives.
Blue Side: Great for dives! As for early game, not so much. It's pretty rare you take this route unless you A) Just got Scuttle or B) You counterjungled for a bit. Later in the game when you have form and your bot lane is somewhat ahead, I do this route a lot in order to get free kills and pull off some crazy dives. Take advantage of Kayn's diving potential, as its one of the best.

2)
Red Side: Great for setting up dives. The route can be changed somewhat, so rather than going through the wall next to tri, you can instead go through blast cone area. Going from the river pre-form and pre-six is fantastic so that you end up behind them, assuming that they're in the middle of the lane. Plus, it dodges wards in tri-bush. 
Blue Side: Almost next to worthless unless your team is currently getting dove. Going through blast cone area is acceptable, but still relatively bad for ganking. As I stated, this is only for if you are protecting your bot from a dive. 

3) NEVER lane gank as Kayn except:
You have Shadow.
They are clearly dead.
You pathed weird and have to arrive to defend a dive.
They have wards everywhere else except for the bushes and your botlane has lane priority, allowing you access to said bushes.
That's it. It's usually bad.

Pros / Cons of Kayn for ganking bot compared to other junglers:

Pros:
  • Much harder to track and detect/ward against
  • Can 1v2 upon reaching form versus most bot lanes (assuming you're slightly ahead)
  • Allows you to reach powerspikes MUCH faster pre-form
  • Has a lot of quick pathing and efficient gank paths
  • Very easy to get behind the enemy bot lane
  • Very easy to prevent dives
Cons:
  • Very possible that you will make a major mistake and die
  • Very weak early, allowing for you to get chunked or die
  • No innate CC, making botlane ganks (especially versus bruisers) near impossible and ineffective
  • Sometimes forced into a spot that you would not want to be in without your Shadow Step to escape and, due to being force to use your only mobility with CC, it's highly likely you will, once again, die, even if you don't necessarily make a mistake
The cons are all relatively similar but, the most notable thing is the fact that you cannot mess up. If you mess up, you may lose the game off of that one gank. For pros, the thing that should stand out is that fact that you hard powerspike and have very powerful gank routes.
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Mid lane:

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Mid lane is terrible to gank most of the time unless your mid laner can easily set that up (I.E MALZAHAR). So, early ganking mid? Not much of an option aside from a countergank here and there. BUT DIVING?

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Ohhhh yeah, even pre-form (although shadow/darkin makes it INSANE), diving that mid tower is juicy. You have the second best dive in the game next to Camille. ABUSE IT. Worth noting that you can also gank via these routes if the enemy is in the middle of the lane, but it is primary good for diving.

Pros:
  • DIVES! DIVE CONSTANTLY. Seriously, if you're 6, please dive.
  • DIIIIVE 
  • No seriously, please dive.
  • Best dive in the game.
  • You get it right? Please dive.
Cons:
  • You're not kha'zix and can't spam gank mid easily like Zac.
  • YIKES you are gonna be terrible due to the inability to hard CC the enemy mid laner.
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Top lane:

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Notice the 1's.
Red Side: 
The one on red side is pretty decent to gank from after your clearing of raptors and red, although I don't recommend it. I'll talk about basic jungle knowledge and when this gank is applicable to Kayn in a different section titled "How to Jungle in General and How It Applies To Kayn" below. The other one on blue side is fantastic for setting up dives.
Blue Side: Best gank path EVER if they're pushed in. Even if they're in the halfway point in the lane, it's super easy to set up since most bruisers aren't too mobile outside of minion dashing aside from Fiora, Riven, or Camille. I almost always get first blood here after a nice clear. the other one on red side is a crazy good gank spot as well if you just counterjungled.
Pros: 
  • VERY easy to gank for Kayn!
  • Walls make it super unpredictable and require awkward warding spots
  • Long lane makes it so CC is somewhat irrelevant. 
  • Easiest lane to stack off of
Cons:
  • None, really. Sometimes you might not get a kill and rarely you might get double killed by a Darius, but that's mostly due to personal mistakes. Top lane is a FANTASTIC lane for Kayn to gank, and he's probably one of the best at it. You could argue it's one of the harder lanes to dive pre-form due to having significantly less damage than most other junglers at level 6, such as Graves.

Early Game Back to Top

Start opposite to the easiest lane to gank! Oftentimes, you're praying you start red buff since red buff allows you to gank the opposite lane much easier and creates a healthier clear. 

Most of the time, I start red regardless since red obviously makes the opposite lane easy to gank and allows for you to start scuttle. Now, let's talk about the concept of reflection.
Let's say you start your red buff which is topside and they start red which is bot side. You reflect them, obviously. Assuming you're following my previous section of "How to Jungle in General and How It Applies To Kayn," then you should be on the right track. Purposefully reflecting the enemy jungler allows for you to, most of the time, make the conscious decision to gank a lane and not get counterganked. This is a super important concept, since if bot lane turns into a 3v3 for example, Kayn will often lose due to having a weaker early game. 

Things to realize:

  • YOU ARE WEAK EARLY GAME. 
  • Focus on your transform! The game evolves and Kayn is a super time based champion. You need your transform as early as possible to become a champion rather than a melee minion.
  • WALLS! WALLS ARE YOU FRIENDS! I can't stress this enough: use your walls to your maximum ability for efficiency and such. This will literally win you games so often I can't even begin to describe.
  • Being behind early does happen a lot and you can't really push advantages like kills majorly until form. Make sure you understand your power at what point the game is at when compared to the enemy jungler. For example, even if you're 2-0 and Udyr is 0-0, you can't 1v1 the Udyr without transform.
  • Almost always, take the first transform you get regardless of what it is and play accordingly. Even if it's Shadow versus 4 melees, it's just kind of what you have to do. Otherwise, you're behind for even longer.

Mid Game Back to Top

THE POINT WHERE KAYN SHINES! A couple important points:

  • You have your transform! Now you're like, two super minions and a champion strong. That's pretty crazy! Use your power spike accordingly and don't waste it, otherwise you may just lose the game due to being useless.
  • If you are Darkin, you are an INSANE INITIATOR! More on how to play both transforms below, along with clips as examples. I've put in a ton of effort finding good clips and good examples, so please do take a look at them.
  • Because of you being innately stronger than most champions, even if you're even, you can pull off some outrageous things, like DIVES!!! Dive constantly. Diving is so unbelievably good as Kayn, so do it.
  • Ward properly and focus objectives. Both forms can take Dragon so ridiculously fast it's not even funny. 
  • Rift Herald is easy to take as Kayn, so take it. It's typically super undervalued, especially by lower elos, but it really does make a huge different in the game.
  • BUILD PROPERLY. Jesus I see so many people mess up so hard. Kayn is not a static champion; you need to adjust your build path every game and adapt! 
  • Keep in mind, late mid game when you are ahead as either form, you can 1v3 pretty easily. Shadow requires a lot of mechanics and instant decision making which can be rather hard, but Darkin is pretty easy to faceroll as and one shot an entire team by yourself. Keep your eyes open for these situations that can and will turn the game!
  • There are a lot of crazy Assassin clips of people diving 4 people on the enemy inhibitor and killing them all. This is pretty common and you can pull this off if you're ahead, as stated earlier. 
Shadow is all about pushing leads and getting opportunities for picks whereas Darkin is more team oriented and allows for some crazy team fighting opportunities. Both can do either situation very well, but, obviously, they're each better at their own respective role.

Le Late Game Back to Top

Shadow Kayn somewhat falls off pretty hard late game. There are a few tricks you can pull off a free carry though:

  • Your E late game provides pretty much across the map rotations in the blink of an eye. Use it to catch out people who are in side lanes by themselves. Namely, ADCs and mids.
  • Duskblade allows for easy vision control that you MUST abuse. 
  • Late game Celerity will give you SO MUCH AD! Abuse your E and your W/Q interaction.
As for Darkin...
  • Late game Darkin is pretty monstrous. Everyone is full build and at their max HP, making you very, very strong! Your R alone will typically half health tanks and your W landing on squishies nearly one shots them. 
  • GA and your Ulti are two insane resets that will give you the ability to solo carry fights by yourself.
That being said, neither form can really 1v5 late game. They both fall off, although Darkin does remain semi-consistent from the transition of mid game to late game. To be honest, the late mid game is where you really shine. Right now, your best bet at carrying is to be an insane distraction. A lot of the power of Kayn is ulting onto an important target and forcing their entire team to huddle around that said target. This applies SO much pressure in tense team fights, allowing for your team to be relatively unharmed and attack the enemy freely. 
Shadow is MUCH harder to play late game, but the idea is the same. Jumping onto the enemy ADC is the best way to win team fights as the late game Assassin and the only way to really be useful. 

Shadow Versus Rhaast Back to Top

I mentioned whether how to decide whether or not to go Darkin versus Shadow in this video previously linked:
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https://youtu.be/pM1HOpBw3uU if the above does not work.

TL;DR: 

Highly recommend you watch the video but...
  • Shadow versus squishies, Darkin versus bruisers/tanks.
  • Darkin is great even versus squishies due to having a lot of damage from W. Very good to go Darkin if your front line is weak even if it's better for you personally to go Shadow.
  • Shadow is good versus tanks due to having an insanely over powered passive but is worse in more situations than Darkin.
  • Shadow can be good even versus, say, all tank/bruiser teams if your team is heavily behind because you can hard stall the game.
  • Shadow is fantastic for very, very quick picks whereas Darkin, while good at picks, is more team oriented (I realize I've already stated this, I'm pushing my point forward into your heads').

VODs Back to Top

Hiya! This section is clearly unfinished. This is because I want to set up this one for VOD's only from students that I get or have. I'll notate these via "Name | Rank | Kayn Vs ___" format. This is to hopefully help you guys out with seeing Kayn's full potential and how to make the correct plays in certain situations. Will be adding some of these said VODs soon!

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