The Eternal Lane Bully
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Threats to Kindred with this build
|Veigar||Veigar is hilariously ill equipped to fight Kindred. Dip, duck, dodge, dive and ...dodge your way to victory, and dance around that stun cage until it pops.|
|Katarina||Laugh as you poke her out of lane, and your ult completely nullifies hers.|
Hello! I'm AnotherBrowncoat.
I'll be the first to admit, I'm no pro player. I've taken an enormous interest in Kindred since their release and the ethereal lamb and wolf have rapidly become one of my mains, and now my go-to midlane assassin.
Kindred is an excellent jungler, but bringing them to the midlane is where you can turn some of their amazing damage potential into a much more reliable revenue stream, and unleash a terrifying roaming assassin based in a central location that affords equal access to all jungle camps marked by Mark of the Kindred.
If you want to play a highly mobile, poke heavy damage dealer that always catches its prey, taking Kindred mid is a fun and effective way to play this gorgeously designed champion. There's a reasonable demand for mechanical skill here - positioning is hugely important to make the best of Kindred's short attack range, and to fully exploit their ability to dodge almost anything thrown at you - but if you still want to start bringing swift death to enemy midlaners, this might just be the guide for you.
If you're ready to start turning enemy mages into delicious murder stacks, then read on friend.
Pros and Cons
Massive early damage, high kill potential
Massive in-built sustain in lane
Easy to farm and poke simultaneously
Excellent splitpushing capabilities late game
Ready Access to Roaming/Jungle Camps from lane
Snowballs super hard
Ultimate can completely nullify a lot of mages' bursts
Squishy. Very Squishy.
Requires good mechanics and excellent map awareness
Lacks hard CC
Reliant on steady kills or farm to succeed
Slow to recover when behind
So a lot of people immediately assume I'm trolling when I call mid and pick Kindred. It's an unusual choice, but one with untapped power and amazing potential if played right.
Kindred is an absolute monster when it comes to harassing enemies. They have high early damage and excellent mobility from level 2, and by carefully prepping minions you can use your Q to farm minions and chunk enemies while they're last-hitting at the same time for insane damage. If you can play reactively and spot windows to press the attack, Kindred has the kit to reward you. Knowing when to engage and when to disengage are the keys to success here, but the potential for picking up kills is impressive.
Taking Kindred mid also puts you right in the middle of the map, allowing you the best possible access to whichever camps Wolf marks for you to hunt. With a little coordination from your team, you can scamper out of lane to pick up those juicy stacks no problem. If you're playing the lane right, your opponent should always be missing a fair amount of health, and by zoning them mercilessly and denying them farm, leaving lane to come after you is a massive risk of giving away a kill on top of that stack you're about to claim.
The new two-trinket system has helped Kindred even more, letting you cover one of your lane entrances and keep one to take with you to camps when they get marked.
If you want to add a seriously fun AD assassin to your midlane roster who has been served really well by the new AD item changes, Kindred might be just the champion for you.
Flash is practically a given. Take Flash.
Teleport is my favoured secondary, simply because Kindred is a champion who is massively rewarded for roaming and striking at a multitude of different points on the map.
Taking Teleport lets you make a play for a marked camp and get straight back to lane, or dive right into a brewing fight to pick out a marked target from across the map.
Ignite is another strong option for a more laning focussed player, helping secure kills after an ultimate leaves both you and your enemy on low health where either could be burst down first, but the tradeoff is being tied to roaming on foot - think carefully about your matchup as to whether you really need to take ignite.
Similarly Barrier is the defensive option for a similar situation, though I highly recommend Teleport over both - the roaming potential it offers is second to none.
Kindred is also an accomplished split pusher in a pinch, allowing you to take advantage of an ignored lane when the enemy's attention is elsewhere. Smart use of Teleport will net you towers as well as kills - if it's not already clear by now, I really recommend taking Teleport.
Not a lot to say here, really.
AD marks because Kindred is all about that damage
Armour Seals because you'll be picking up minion aggro often when you dart in and out for poke and harass, and the bonus armour will help lessen that during laning - and armour is always useful at every point in the game
Scaling Magic Resist glyphs because you'll want them later. You should be able to reliably dodge most huge damage magical abilities, or out-poke them early.
Quints are the one that is most open; personally I recommend Armour Penetration quints because they're relevant for the entire game, but flat AD is a viable alternative, especially if you want to really capitalise on Kindred's insane early kill potential.
The Ferocity tree is going to be your best friend here. You're an assassin, and so dealing damage is the top priority.
Taking all five points of Fury for your first option is obviously the better choice here - Kindred is an autoattack champion, so it goes without saying you want the attack speed.
Don't worry about the sustain masteries - the passive sustain on your W and the lifesteal on the items you buy will be more than enough to keep you healthy in lane, and those points can be better spent on upping your damage output.
Take Double Edged Sword and all five points of Natural Talent - you won't need either of the other options.
A case can be made for the Oppressor option, since your main window where you want to be landing attacks is usually on the slow of your E, but remember the slow only lasts one second and you're much more likely to be roaming for the kills that will power up that Bounty Hunter mastery. Unless you have a team that will be keeping your targets slowed a lot of the time, I'd strongly suggest taking Bounty Hunter .
It goes without saying you'll be wanting Battering Blows , but I'll say it anyway. Take 5 points in Battering Blows .
Fervor of Battle is a must - you're going to be poking a lot, and that damage stacks up surprisingly high. You should easily be able to keep up 6+ stacks at the very least most of the time spent in lane, and if you play smart keeping it at 10 ready to engage when an opportunity arises is usually fairly easy to do.
This early additional raw damage will give you a serious edge in securing kills early, letting you snowball faster and harder in the late game.
The Cunning tree is one that serves Kindred exceptionally well. You want to be an evasive, endlessly harassing angel of death in lane, and the utility options in Cunning are just the tools Kindred can put to good use.
Wanderer 's movespeed out of combat will keep you chasing down Wolf marked camps without spending too much time out of lane, and get you rolling quicker when you start to shift your hunts from mid to the side lanes. Striking fast and unexpectedly are key, and moving quickly is paramount to success.
Secret Stash is a useful filler mastery, since the boost to potions (and the 20 health instantly) is a quick and dirty edge against champions who can burst you down early and tag you with ignite. That 20 health can keep you alive on 10 health as the last tick rolls in, saving you an unfortunate death and causing ultimate annoyance to your opponent.
As a side note, if you're playing with a coordinated team, Runic Affinity can be an excellent choice if your jungler is willing to give you red buff periodically, and you can consistently take dragon and baron buffs throughout. Use your best judgement on a game by game basis.
Merciless is a must since, once your ultimate expires, you live or die by whether you can burst them to nothing before they do the same to you. Bonus damage to low health targets is a perfect extra string to Lamb's bow, helping secure the kills that will have you stacked up to your floppy ears in no time.
Bandit is also perfect for midlane Kindred, since you're going to be poking and harassing a lot. And I mean a lot. Just watch the gold roll in, and laugh at your opponent as you farm minions and their face.
Level 1: Dance of Arrows
Level 2: Wolf's Frenzy
Level 3: Mounting Dread
Level 6: Lamb's Respite
Max Q First
Dance of Arrows is going to be your most used ability, so you want to be putting points into it hard and fast. The damage increases at a decent rate with each level, making your jump-pokes hit surprisingly hard alarmingly fast.
Max E Second
Mounting Dread will chunk enemies in wonderfully satisfying fashion once you land that third attack, and the damage scales with each point nicely. The slow is a static 70% for 1 second at every level, but you'll want to keeping dropping points to up the damage and lower the cooldown.
Max W Last
Wolf's Frenzy is primarily something to drop when you need to spam your Q, rather than for the damage on Wolf's attacks within the zone. His bites only add 5 damage per point, and the passive heal scales with Kindred's champion level making W the lowest priority for points.
It goes without saying you want to level Lamb's Respite at each opportunity.
Itemising Kindred for midlane is all about optimising for early raw damage to be a total bully in lane, then picking up attack speed to make best use of all of the murder stacks granted by Mark of the Kindred.
They build most like an ADC, focussing on maximum damage output over survivability. Your team should be able to take up the enemy's attention while you dart in and let Wolf feast on high priority targets, and timely use of Lamb's Respite when things get down to the wire allow Kindred to largely ignore stats and items that aren't dedicated entirely to ravaging enemy health bars.
Suggested Final Build
I use this build as my generalist frame, swapping the final two items depending on the situation as the game develops. It affords Kindred the damage they need to make autos really hurt, while adding enough crit chance and attack speed to really make use of the damage you should be gathering through stacking Mark of the Kindred on each hit.
With this build Kindred can easily push or clear lanes when defending, whilst still going into fights with the tools needed to turn enemies into murder stacks with the ferocity of Wolf and the precision of Lamb.
Below I'll run you through the build order, and some deeper explanations on why I use these items.
Always take a Long Sword as your first item. The raw damage is all Kindred needs, since the health and healing of a Doran's Blade and the healing on Cull are both largely unneeded once you hit level 2 - when the passive heal from your W comes into play.
As long as you keep moving and attacking, you should be able to sustain in lane easily.
It's always still worth taking a Health Potion or two, or the Refillable Potion if you prefer, for those emergency situations of course - but don't expect to be reliant on them unless your opponent is playing hyper aggressive.
It's worth noting that Refillable Potion isn't affected by Secret Stash , so if you've taken that mastery you're better served by individual potions.
For your first back, I'd always recommend prioritising B. F. Sword, as you would with most ADCs. If you can hold out in lane long enough to get boots it's worth making the effort, but don't worry if a convenient window to recall arises before you hit that amount of gold.
If you can't afford the BF Sword, even on its own, go for a Pickaxe and Boots of Speed instead - or the next best pure damage items you can.
Kindred doesn't need attack speed early, since it's unlikely you'll start racking up stacks on your passive until a little later in the game. For now you're all about poking your opponent so hard they have to leave lane, using Kindred's high base damage and mobility to land opportune autoattacks. Playing aggressively and landing constant damage will free up your attention to roam while you opponent is recalled, or have them risk sticking around for you to kill them in lane the moment they venture forward.
Berserker's Greaves should come next. You're going to want the movespeed early so you can roam effectively, and the attack speed will quickly come into play. Prioritise your finished boots over the Infinity Edge that your B. F. Sword is intended for - the raw damage on just the components is high enough to keep you turning opponents into Wolf kibble when partnered with the attack speed and movespeed of the boots.
Next back, you should be aiming to finish your Infinity Edge from the Long Sword you started with and that B. F. Sword.
If you're still substantially behind, consider opting for a Cloak of Agility or a Dagger and come back for the IE later.
Post Infinity Edge
With your early damage needs satisfied, now you'll be wanting attack speed. A Zeal or Recurve Bow is going to be your target here, since both of these attack speed items have secondary stats that Kindred makes excellent use of.
The movespeed on Zeal will help you keep you darting around skillshots between attacks and powering up that passive heal on Wolf's Frenzy, and the critical strike chance will keep you hitting hard in lane. If you're pushing hard and can still reliably catch and kill squishy targets in an all-in situation, Zeal into Statikk Shiv should be your priority.
On the other hand, if the enemy team is growing too tanky to burst down or proving too quick for you to chase, Recurve Bow into Blade of the Ruined King will be a better option than a Shiv.
The passive on hit damage on Recurve Bow adds to your autoattacks' punch while you're still assembling components, giving you a boost until you can finish up BotRK. Kindred loves damage, and getting some on top of attack speed is a useful edge.
Unless you're really struggling for sustain, you shouldn't be needing a Vampiric Scepter until the BotRK is finished - the attack speed is a more useful stat, and the passive heal on Wolf's Frenzy should still be enough to keep you healthy in lane.
If you do find yourself buying a Vampiric Scepter before either a Zeal or Recurve Bow, just be careful that you aren't putting off attack speed for too long. Even without a large amount of stacks, you're still going to start really needing it about now. You're essentially an ADC remember - and if you want to make full use of the AA>Q>AA combo while your Wolf's Frenzy zone is down, you'll need a rapid rate of attack.
Whichever item you finish first, the next step should be building the other. Again, I'd prioritise the attack speed components of these first, since your murder stacks will be best served by repeated autos.
Suggested Generalist Non-Core Items
Youmuu's Ghostblade brings more damage to your arsenal, along with a nice chunk of armour penetration that will help turn the tankier supports and toplaners into delicious stacks for your Wolf to feast on. The newly revamped item now boasts competitive damage, making it an excellent ADC option rather than the more niche item it used to be.
What really sells the item for Kindred though is the active - more attack speed and movespeed can make the difference between dashing to a team mate and landing your ultimate just as the enemy Caitlyn fires her ultimate, rather than seeing a fleeing ally add to that fed Caitlyn's kill count.
On a champion who needs to fight reflexively and use windows of opportunity to their fullest, having that steroid on demand is a real game-changer in some fights. Highly recommended.
Runaan's Hurricane is my suggested final item. More crit chance, more attack speed, and a unique passive that will help you melt multiple targets when teamfights break out. It'll also allow you to push and clear lanes with a formidable efficiency, making Kindred an able splitpusher thanks to their great mobility and escape potential when the enemy sends someone to head you off.
The passive bolts will also help you net assists on targets you have to mark because Mark of the Kindred is still on cooldown for priority targets, even as you focus down the enemy carries. This way you'll still be able to accrue juicy murder stacks without lowering your usefulness in a full 5v5 fight.
Raw damage, lifesteal, and a shield that you'll likely have up most of the time. The Bloodthirster is an all-round excellent item if you just want to keep turning up the damage even in unfavourable fights. It comes as a tradeoff for attack speed, so I can only recommend taking a Bloodthirster if you're in a game where you find yourself doing a lot of safe poking or sieging, rather than dancing around the other team and letting Wolf chew on their bones.
Lord Dominik's Regards
If you're finding that the enemy has gone full tank to ruin your glorious murder stacking, I'd suggest picking up Lord Dominik's Regards as your closing item.
The armour pen is of great use for cutting through armoured beefcakes like Malphite, and the bonus damage on champions with more health than you is a helpful addition since everyone on the enemy team will have more health than you. Except maybe the ADC.
Equally, if someone like Dr. Mundo or Garen is causing you the most irritating problem of all - namely refusing to die - feel free to finish your Last Whisper into Mortal Reminder instead. Grievous Wounds can help turn those irritating lifesteal monsters like Master Yi or Tryndamere into murder stacks surprisingly quickly as well, making it a valuable tool in such situations.
|Maximum Sustain (Mana Heavy)|
For the Kindred who is dancing non-stop with multiple uses of Dance of Arrows during Wolf's Frenzy, mana may start to be a concern. Essence Reaver boasts some attractive stats in its own right, but with the large amount of crit chance your build is providing you should be able to leap about non-stop no matter what.
Usually you should be able to manage your mana without too much effort, but in the games where you find yourself constantly needed to defend towers or unable to recall without taking too much pressure off of the enemy team, Essence Reaver's mana sustain synergises beautifully with the lifesteal on Blade of the Ruined King and your W passive heal to keep you in fighting condition indefinitely - and that means more chances to gather murder stacks.
|Even Stronger Poke (Laning)|
A viable, though personally less well-rounded item to build instead of Statikk Shiv if you're finding yourself pushing to tower often. The energised attacks will help you deal even more ridiculous harass damage, and the bonus range will let you poke from beyond Kindred's small attack range letting you keep squishy opponents even further from their farm in lane.
Generally though, I tend to favour shiv for its clearing potential over additional poke - something that Kindred is already well-equipped for. However, against an opponent like Syndra who is a real threat in trades, Rapid Firecannon can help keep you dealing constant poke damage with increased security, minimising risk until you're ready to all-in for the kill.
|Survivability in Duelling|
In that brief moment after Lamb's Respite ends and you and your opponent engage in a desperate battle to kill each other before the other one does, the damage reduction offered by the newly revamped Phantom Dancer can be a game changer.
This item would neatly sub out for Runaan's Hurricane in the generalist build, particularly if you find yourself needing a little more survivability in fights. Personally, I prefer the clearing power of Hurricane's passive, since playing aggressively will usually allow you to send your opponent back to the lifepad (alive or dead), so pushing up to tower and making for another lane as quickly as possible is my preferred approach.
Use your own judgement in each game, but ideally you should be able to get by without the slightly more defensive bent of Phantom Dancer unless the enemy team is consistently managing to lay down the hurt on everyone's favourite Lamb and Wolf team.
Advice on Marking Targets, and Claiming Jungle Marks
Kindred is elevated from strong to god-like on the virtues of how many stacks of Mark of the Kindred they can accrue over the course of the game. As such, understanding the marking mini-game is a large part of mastering this champion and unlocking the huge snowball potential they bring to the rift.
Playing Kindred in mid rather than the jungle changes how this process works considerably, but don't panic! I have some useful tips and suggestions to keep you shredding enemies' health on hit consistently.
First and foremost:
Do not immediately mark your opponent in lane.
I can't stress this enough. By holding off on your marking, you're in a far better position to take advantage of the flow of the game. If you put your mark on your opponent and they play super safe, recalling before you can kill them time in and time out, you've denied yourself what could have otherwise been a glorious murder stack from a low health jungler foolish enough to enter your jungle, or an ADC that's pushing way too hard while their midlaner has backed.
Poke your opponent down a little, and when you're confident you can all-in them and pick up a kill, only then should you lay down your mark. It gives them a warning that you're ready to kill them, but the delay between selecting a target and them being marked and ready for collection is small enough that, unless they immediately back off, you'll almost certainly still be able to feed them to Wolf after a few seconds of readiness while the mark applies.
Be Ready to Roam
Keep an eye on the game, and be ready to mark a target who's overextended and teleport to their lane for the kill.
Don't underestimate the mind-games you can play with marks as well - securing a kill on a marked target has obvious stat-based rewards, but the paranoia effect it can cause has saved me many a toplane tower by simply marking a target then walking out of midlane for a moment to scare them off while my toplaner or jungler rushes up to hold.
Don't Be Afraid to Play Head Games
Likewise, when going for a camp, placing a mark on the enemy jungler will make them think slightly harder about going for you in an attempt to deny you jungle stacks - if they get it wrong, that's two juicy murder stacks for the price of one - and making them realise that can help secure a camp that might otherwise been contested.
Choosing Your Target in the Late Game
As the game gets into teamfighting, you'll stop picking up marks from opportune attacks on isolated targets and from roaming. Knowing how to get the best out of your passive during the messiest of teamfights is a skill that will reward you with further snowballing, as long as you mark smart.
Don't Get Too Focussed On Your Target
Sometimes cooldowns will mean you can't put Mark of the Kindred on a high priority target like the enemy ADC. The only option in that situation is to put a mark on a lower value enemy, usually one that won't necessarily be your focus.
It's hugely important to stress that you should never let a murder stack stop you from focussing the targets that best serve your team.
Enemy Thresh jumped into your team with a potential stack hovering tantalisingly over his skeletal head? Ignore him and dive straight onto that Caitlyn at the back with no support to peel for her.
Never let a stack get in the way of your focus, no matter how tempting it might be. You want to win teamfights - they'll win you the game faster than getting individually fed and stacked will.
Exploit All Weaknesses
When marking a target in a sidelane and roaming down, remember the outcome each time. That Caitlyn should be your focus, but if you go in and she gets away thanks to Thresh heroically sacrificing himself to keep you off of her, that's information you can use on your next attempt.
Don't be afraid to mark an enemy you have no intention of focussing, but are likely to die in the fight anyway.
It only takes one auto to net an assist, and they still count towards racking up delicious murder stacks from the victim. If you think an enemy is going to die in the next fight, mark them - just be sure to at least damage them before you Dance of Arrows onto your true target.
When to go for marked camps
Knowing when to leave lane to make a run for a jungle camp is another huge part of playing Kindred mid. Leaving when your opponent is still in lane will immediately alert the enemy team to your intentions, but getting swiftly to a camp before the enemy does is often the deciding factor in whether you get the stack or not.
The best, most important advice here is this: if you have any reason to think you might die trying to get the camp, don't go.
It's not worth it at all. If you have a choice between sticking around to secure a monster but dying or getting away but conceding a camp, you take survival every time. A stack may be delicious, but living is always more important.
Weigh Up Risks
The first camp you should consider going for in most games is Scuttle Crab. It can't hurt you while you're still low level, and the ward it leaves is always useful. However, I highly recommend ignoring it until at least level 4. Only when you have all of your abilities and an extra rank in Q to be safe should you open yourself up to a potential ambush by the enemy midlaner and jungler - even potentially top/botlane too.
Unless you have help, the risk is rarely worth the reward unless you know the jungler is far away.
Know Your Prey
Your most common camps to take are going to be rift scuttler and crimson raptor , purely because these are the closest camps to mid. Darting out of lane is something you want to spend as little time on as possible, so try to avoid making long trips unless you know you're going to get a Mark of the Kindred stack out of it.
Once you've pushed past the outer tower you can add greater murk wolf to that list, but always be careful of overextending without an escape plan.
Unless you know exactly where your opponent and the enemy jungler are, always wait until you have a trinket up before going to a camp. Covering the paths that lead to your mark with a ward in the bushes is the safest way to take camps without being ambushed, since you'll see anyone coming and have a chance to make your escape.
Keep an eye on the enemy midlaner if they're still in the lane nearby, and be ready to give up the camp if need be. Getting a kill on a midlaner who followed you is better than a jungle stack - and killing them and getting the stack right after is a lot easier if you're not dead.
This goes doubly so for any enemy who has already been tagged with Mark of the Kindred.
Make Use of Your Team Mates
Roaming for further away camps like Krugs or Gromp require a longer absence from lane, so if they've pushed that far, always ask your top/botlane to check it's still there for you before you make the trip.
Don't be afraid to ask your jungler to come with you to a camp after a gank, or when they're nearby and you deem it safe to leave lane. While it might cost them a Sated Devourer stack, most players will understand the value of getting a Kindred snowballing hard early. Having an escort when you move into the jungle is the most reliable way to stay alive, and even pick up kills if the enemy decides to try to deny you your jungle mark.
Light Up the Map
The key to successful stack hunting is vision. Keep putting wards down, and pay as much attention to the enemy jungler's movements as you can. Get your team to keep key jungle choke points warded as often as possible - not only does everyone benefit from this directly, but it also vastly improves your ability to turn marked targets into murder stacks, since you'll have a better idea of who's least well equipped to escape from Lamb's arrows and Wolf's teeth.
Mastering Death: Playing Kindred Mid
Kindred is an exceptional lane bully when brought to mid, the realm of squishy mages and assassins. All make for excellent prey, whether they choose Wolf's teeth or Lamb's bow.
To make the most of Kindred is to play aggressively, positioning to poke every time your opponent comes forward to last hit and using your high base damage to keep your enemy on low health at all times.
Laning: Poking and Harassing
Kindred's Q: Dance of Arrows grants them huge mobility bundled up with a neat poking and last hitting tool that has a pleasantly low mana cost.
Landing an autoattack then immediately loosing a round of arrows from Q is a surprisingly potent double whammy, that will let you chip away at your opponent's health with little opportunity for them to retaliate.
You ideally want to be attacking with an AA->Q->AA pattern, landing three hits in rapid succession then backing away to avoid minion damage. Repeatedly poking with this simple combo will keep enemies wary of you and hesitant to farm, for fear of taking any further damage.
Stay on the Move
Once you've got points in your three main abilities, you'll want to make the most of the passive heal of Wolf's Frenzy in lane. Each time you jump forward to land poke on your opponent, having a readied charge of 100 will let you immediately heal back any retaliatory damage the enemy throws at you, or quickly top up from any damage sustained by drawing minion aggro.
Get Good at Dodging
Like most autoattack based champions, hard CC is the bane of Kindred. It can turn an opportune poke into a poor trade if you get stunned with minion aggro, so always be ready to change direction the moment you see any projectiles coming your way.
You should be fairly mobile anyway for your W passive, but being able to read incoming attacks is a hugely valuable skill on Kindred. If you're a good ADC, dodging should be second nature - if you're not quite as used to playing in a more mobile capacity, it's a skill to brush up on before taking Kindred to the midlane.
Opportunistic Attacks Are Your Wheelhouse
When you Q to dodge an enemy's attack, it's generally best to go towards them at a 45 degree angle to the side. This closes the distance between you enough to help get you into range to autoattack, whilst simultaneously moving you laterally enough to evade most projectiles.
Against an opponent like Lux or Morgana, if you can dodge her snare you have an excellent window to press the attack while it's on cooldown - be sure to use it when you can.
Pay attention to the cooldowns of your opponent's abilities. You can sneak in huge damage the moment their defences are down if you play smart and strike fast.
Going All In
Once you've poked your opponent enough to be able to realistically burst them, it's time to ready up for the kill. Kindred has an excellent kit to turn opportunistic attacks into fearsome pouncing strikes, and that's exactly what you're going to be doing.
Pick Your Moment
As with a lot of champions, Kindred's tools for engaging are also her tools for escaping. Since they're so squishy, attacking when it's safe to do so is especially important - particularly pre-6. Getting kills early is something Kindred does incredibly well, so make sure you're not about to get ganked before you jump in.
Make use of your wards, and consider buying a Vision Ward when you back to keep river warded more permanently.
Opening Your Attack
Generally, you're going to be using your core abilities all at once when you go all-in, but carefully paying attention to the nuance of the timings will let you use them to maximum effect.
You'll want to move forward into attack range and open with Mounting Dread, getting the attack-stacker down immediately to give the best odds of landing the three attacks required to trigger that juicy chunk of percent health damage.
The moment you've loosed your E, Q forward with Dance of Arrows and immediately drop your W Wolf's Frenzy zone. This resets the Q cooldown to 2 seconds as soon as it's been used, getting it ready to activate again as quickly as possible, and also puts your Wolf zone as far forward as possible to extend the distance you can travel without deactivating it by leaving.
The 70% slow will also hold the enemy in Wolf's Frenzy's area long enough to let Wolf attack twice, adding his damage to Lamb's attacks to eat away at their health rapidly.
Following Up for the Kill
With your target slowed and being savaged by wolf, now is when you begin the process of AA->Q->AA on repeat until the unfortunate target is dead.
Be sure to move between attacks, keeping up your pursuit as your enemy surely flees. Make use of your dodging abilities with Dance of Arrows if they throw any slows or abilities at you on the fly, hopping around defensive skillshots and out of harmful AoE zones while you rain arrows down on your enemy.
Have an Exit Strategy
Always be ready to retreat the moment the fight turns against you. While Wolf's Frenzy is active, you'll have at least one more Dance of Arrows on demand to evade with, but once it's expired you'll be left to flee with only your movespeed to carry you.
Be ready and willing to use your last cooled-down Q to jump back out of trouble if you have any reason to suspect you might be about to die. Pre-6, you'll struggle to 2v1 if you've lost more than half of your health, so if you see the enemy jungler approaching and you won't secure the kill before they arrive, don't be afraid to retreat. You've still forced your opponent to leave lane or at the very least chunked them wholesale, so drop back and let your passive heal top you up ready to fight again.
As an AD champion, Kindred will push harder than most mages when they're low on mana, and if the enemy jungler decides to try their luck without the support of their midlaner, you can likely kill them as long as they're not a higher level than you.
Using Your Ultimate Effectively
Kindred's ultimate, Lamb's Respite is often described as overpowered by salty enemies who are denied kills by its use. They're not wrong; Kindred's ultimate ability is one of the most powerful game changers in League when used well.
This is the key distinction. Well-timed and well thought out uses of Lamb's Respite can make the difference between getting horrifically massacred in a 1v3 ambush and turning a dramatically unfavourable fight into a glorious, death defying triple kill.
Below are some of my tips for keeping your ult firmly in the realm of the latter scenario.
Don't use your ult in fights you can't win anyway.
I see this all the time; a Kindred gets caught out by three enemies and pops Lamb's Respite to try to survive. They were never getting away anyway, and sure enough once it ends they get stunned and killed immediately. All they've done by ulting is put it on cooldown for when they might need it more.
If you're going to die no matter what, just let it happen. Odds are someone else is going to need you to save them later. On that note -
Think Carefully Before You Ult
Remember - allies and enemies are affected, so don't be selfish. If your ult will save you but also the enemy ADC who's fed as hell, take one for the team and hold off so that they die too.
Like Bard, it's easy to help the other team whilst trying to help yourself, and nothing is more infuriating for your team mates. Be aware of enemies around you at all times - if you have to, flash backwards and then ult; you're much more likely to shield your team and not the enemy if you shift the centre of your area behind your backline.
Make Use of Towers
Enemies who need to get up close to finish you off will often be so focussed on killing you that they forget that tower diving a Kindred with their ult up is never, ever a good idea.
When Lamb's Respite is dropped under a tower, always save one last Dance of Arrows or your Flash to put distance between you and your enemy the moment the invulnerability ends. This forces them to make a choice - follow you as you skip away, chasing through the tower and almost certainly dying in the attempt, or retreating having missed the kill.
In either instance, the tower is likely to hit them at least one more time, which will at the very least leave them on critically low health.
In a 1vs1, you can capitalise on this by putting down Wolf's Frenzy late enough that it will persist after the ult ends, allowing you to Q skip away, then use the reduced cooldown to pursue them if they flee and pick up the kill.
Don't Be Afraid (Or Feel Guilty) To Let Allies Die
There are going to be times where saving an ally will inadvertently save enemies too. You have to evaluate the cost/benefit of dropping your ultimate at every moment in a fight, adding a support mentality that runs alongside your job as an assassin.
If letting that Rengar who jumped on Caitlyn die in the attempt means you and Tristana can mop up the battered Caitlyn and the Azir hiding in the backline, let it happen. It's okay to save your ultimate until the last second of a fight that runs to the wire, giving you time to ensure that enemy damage dealers are out of the fight completely before you stop everyone from dying.
Ulting too early will keep players in the fight, allowing them to continue peeling or damaging past their time. If your team is the one who got jumped, and you're all on low health before anyone can even react, an early Lamb's Respite will keep the allies who got focussed alive long enough to dish out damage and help turn the tide, but always make sure you're not doing that for the enemy team.
It's generally better to ult late if you're dictating the fight, and once enemy carries have been eliminated.
Everybody Messes Up
Don't let an unfortunate ult get you down. It can be a difficult act to balance, but with practice and experience the opportune moments will get clearer and your ability to assess the situation will improve. Keep watching every fight carefully, and don't worry if things go badly every now and then.
You'll get it, and when you do you'll find yourself able to turn even the most dire of situations into an unexpected penta in no time.
That's it from me really, I hope this guide has proven useful to anyone who wants to bring everyone's favourite death incarnate to midlane.
Just remember; play smart, and don't pursue stacks too aggressively. A kill is a kill, whether or not you get a murder stack from it.
Watch enemy positions when you ult - don't save your enemies from dying only for them to wipe your low health team afterward!
And never forget, Kindred catch you whether you run or not. But the chase is always more fun.