Kayn Build Guide by Valonoce
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Runes: Blue Kayn
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Champion Build Guide
I'm writing this guide because I want to successfully help others get better at the game, and specifically get better at one of my favourite jungle champions, Kayn. Although I'm currently diamond myself, Kayn is one of the main champions that helped me achieve Master tier three times last season and I'm confident that if you follow through this guide and pick up this champion, you'll be able to climb to diamond in no time.
You have an incredibly weak early game compared to pretty much every other jungler.
You're less likely to get kills early due to no CC and low damage.
You lose basically every 1v1 or skirmish pre-form.
You ramp up super slow if you're not able to find fights to get your orbs.
Basically Kayn is not a Lee Sin, he isn't an Elise, he isn't some superstar early game 1v9 kill everything turbo aggression machine, so if these early game type of junglers are your bread and butter then there's a chance that Kayn might not be for you.
For all of you who prefer the level 6 junglers, or the junglers that ramp up, or even if you're just somebody who wants to play any jungle playstyle, here are some of the pros that come with picking up this champion:
The ability to choose between Blue Kayn and Rhaast lets you tackle each individual game/enemy team comp in an effective way without having to be practised on another champion.
Blue Kayn and Rhaast can both 1v9 and solo carry if played correctly.
Both Blue Kayn and Rhaast are extremely FUN to play.
He can can carry any elo bracket.
- Do not run anything cheesy like ghost, ignite or exhaust to give you more early game, pre-form power, having flash will always be more valuable and allow you to do more in the game. Flash allows the instant multi-man one shots on blue kayn, it allows the instant multi man knock up on rhaast, it lets you flash closer to a wall so you can e for the HP and live - there are just too many situations where Flash is undeniably the best summoner spell to run second.
over electrocute, sudden impact because of your E, zombie ward because pre form you're going to be sweeping a lot of wards looking for ganks, and it's less about take downs and more about form orbs, and relentless hunter because of synergy with your E.
Blue Kayn is all about hitting that lethality/movespeed threshold and going hard. With the nerfs to mobility boot item cost, magical footwear and futures market is going to save you some money on your mobies buy and also let you get to those lethality powerspikes faster.
Conqueror is Rhaast's best friend. It's the rune that makes him such a huge obnoxious threat and also the rune that makes him so ******* fun to play. Triumph because it's the best in slot for Rhaast, Legend: Tenacity because you want to spend as little time CC'ed in team fights and as much time as possible spamming Q and W for those fat heals. Last Stand because when you get low, you deal more damage, and the more damage you deal, the more you heal. The rune also makes you win some situations you'd otherwise lose by dishing out unexpected damage.
Zombie Ward because pre form you're going to be sweeping a lot of wards looking for ganks, and it's less about take downs and more about form orbs.
Ravenous Hunter because healing.
red for melee
blue for ranged
list liar champions [thresh etc]
Both trinket wards are listed here because in most games you should be looking to use your ward level 1 to scout out the enemy jungler, recall and then swap into your sweeper to clear the enemies scouting wards [if you see where they place them] and to sweep your early ganks so you waste no time sitting on wards waiting.
Mobility boots to compliment the fast paced, fight heavy playstyle of Blue Kayn.
Duskblade is the strongest option for your first lethality item, it has the highest lethality stat and the bonus damage really ensures you're going to be one shotting as early as possible.
Edge Of Night is the undisputed best second lethality item purchase. It used to be ghostblade, but with the changes to lethality item scaling and with the new passive on Edge, it's just the best option on basically any champ that builds multiple lethality items. You get the extra survivability from the ruby crystal and the passive shield lets you jump into the enemy team with less worry of being instant crowd controlled, which means more instances where you're actually going to kill the targets you're looking for and not face plant into the enemy team and die for free.
LDR is a situational buy - if the enemy is hard stacking armour you're going to want to get your hands on this ASAP. Lethality hits a wall hard once the enemy has enough armour to survive your initial burst, and LDR is the fix for that - but you have to build it at the right time by opening your tab menu and keeping track of what enemy champions are building armour. If you wait too long and build it too late, you're going to miss your window to continue dealing that 1v9 one shot level of damage and your impact inside of skirmishes and teamfights is going to drop off a cliff.
Mortal Reminder is more situational than LDR for Blue Kayn. You're only going to want to build this in very extreme cases when the enemy has an absurd amount of healing. You don't really apply it very well, since for the most part you're looking to burst one or two targets at a time and then wait for cooldowns. I would suggest sitting on the executioners in most instances, but if the game goes late enough and you have to kill something like a soraka, a sona, you could upgrade it to Mortal as people should have armour by late game.
Guardian Angel can be bought as a snowball item - something you could go third or fourth item when you're really far ahead, and it acts as a deterrent for people to focus you and also lets you go for a potential game winning play early into the game with the safety net of the revive. [IE flashing into their team, killing 1 or 2 important targets and reviving in GA while your team cleans up the rest of the fight you set up].
Blue smite you want to take if the enemy comp is simply too hard to reliably get onto - An example being something like double ranged bot lane, lucian top, cassiopea mid, etc. This way you can blue smite into ult, similar to the Blue Kayn combo, but instead of getting the instant damage you're justl ooking to gap close, stack conqueror and heal via your ult. Try to stack conqueror and lose a little bit of HP before you blue smite and ult a target, otherwise you're losing value out of the combo by wasting healing.
erc Treads into Heavy CC/Magic Damage.
Ninja Tabi into Heavy Auto Attack/Attack Damage.
If the enemy ever has a mix of both Magic/AD just go with the boots that counter the enemy that is the most fed.
Black Cleaver is always going to be your first item after warrior/boots. Rhaast applies cleaver stacks insanely fast and to multiple people, uses the phage MS to navigate fights and the CDR to spam QW more in early fights.
Deaths Dance is an okay item on Rhaast. It's really more of a personal preference - sometimes it will make you raidboss if you're hard snowballing, and if you don't have to build to counter anything particular on the enemy team then it's a fine item to buy third, otherwise I'd personally recommend Steraks/Maw/Visage/GA third over this item - but again, try it and see what you like.
Steraks is an incredibly good third item purchases becausey it really fits the theme of getting in and healing for an insane amount. Steraks provides a bit more HP, a bonus HP% shield and a huge chunk of tenacity, so if crowd control and surviving longer is an issue, Steraks is definitely the way to go.
Spirit Visage is the 100% go to third core item if the enemy has multiple AP threats. It gives Rhaast everything he needs, MR, buffed healing, CDR. It's just an insanely efficient item on him vsing the right team comps.
Mortal Reminder is an okay item on Rhaast, if the enemy has insane healing that can't be negated by bramble/thornmail [the healing target isn't hitting you OR the enemy just isn't really AD heavy] then sitting on an executioners is often a good idea. Upgrade it to mortal reminder only if the enemy heavy stacks Armour or as a final item.
Thornmail is better on Rhaast than Mortal Reminder as it's very likely that people are going to be focusing and hitting you, usually other conqueror frontline/bruiser champs or ad carries with healing, and having a bramble vest early on really allows you to win fights you would otherwise lose as you live for so long and apply the grevious wounds so much in a teamfight. Finish thornmail if they're incredibly AD heavy or as a final item.
Randuins is self explanatory. If they have Yasuo+ADC, or GP+ADC, or GP+Yasuo+ADC.. You get the idea, if the have multiple crit champions definitely buy this item it's a life saver/game changer. There will be instances where you buy this item into a single crit champion, but only if that single crit champion is insanely fed and you need to effectively negate his 1v9 by stalling him or 1v1ing him.
This is what the early game is:
It's the first 15 minutes of the game.
It's lane phase.
It's the first spawn of dragon at the 5:00 minute mark.
It's potentially the second spawn of dragon if the first is taken early enough.
It's the first spawn of rift herald at the 8 minute mark.
It's the stage of the game where as a jungler you have the most control, as you are able to influence lanes to get your team a lead while also denying the enemy their win conditions.
It's the most important part of the game to get correct as a jungler.
So how do I play a good early game?
Before the game even begins you actually have a ton of information at your fingertips that you can examine to create yourself a game plan. You always want to do this, because going into the game with direction and a plan as a jungler is better than playing reactive from the get go. Running trial and error on game plans will help you improve your macro and game understanding of the game. Let's dive into what information you have in loading screen, and how you can use it:
Your Jungle Matchup
Do you win early?
Do you outscale?
Do you path into this jungler?
Do you path to avoid this jungler?
Do you path to counter gank this jungler?
Your Lane Matchups
Which of your lanes have priority in the early game? [can move first if you path to/near their lane early]
Which of your lanes win their matchup?
Which of your lanes have gank set up?
Which of your lanes are 'win conditions' [most likely to carry/win you the game]
What form are you going this game?
What champions do you need to hit to get that form?
Does pathing towards these champions early game match the rest of the game plan?
Should you forget the game plan in order to force orbs for your form, and if so in what situation?
This may sound like a lot of factors crammed together into the first 15 minutes of the game and it may sound overwhelming to have to consider all of these factors, but the reality is, the early game is the first thing you should learn to improve at as a jungler, as it's the time frame when you have the most agency to control the game and put your team on the path to a win.
Your number one priority going into any game should be how can I give myself resources in order to carry the game? You should path in the way that gives YOU the best chance of winning, you should never solely path with the intent to enable your team mates, and this means that even with an optimal gameplan and initial path, things are going to happen inside of the game that are going to call for you to adjust your plans in the moment.
Let me give you an example of how to mesh these concepts together and adapt:
Kayle vs Vladmir Top
Kayn vs Elise
Sylas vs Qiyana
Lucian vs Caitlyn
The enemy has five squishy champions and three ranges champions [four when elise is in human form], so already we know that we are going Blue Kayn this game and our runes should reflect this choice.
We are playing Kayn into Elise, which is a matchup we should lose in the early game as Elise is a terror in the early game with hard CC and Kayn pre-form and pre-warrior is incredibly weak within the vacuum of a 1v1.
Top is a farm lane - both champions hard scale, Kayle should have push priority in the early game and neither champion has any real set up for ganks. You only want to go to this lane if it's FREE.
Sylas vs Qiyana is a snowball/skill lane, either champion can take a small lead and run with it and the other will have a hard time catching up. Elise Qiyana is a strong chain cc instakill combo early so we don't want to force or look for 2v2's mid unless it's a free counter gank scenario. We also don't get blue orbs from Qiyana.
Lucian Thresh vs Caitlyn Senna is a lane where your bot lane will lose priority by default as Caitlyn Senna are able to hard shove every wave relatively uncontested in the early game. You won't have first move from your bot lane if you go for crab, but you hard win the 3v3 as Lucian Thresh has huge kill pressure over Caitlyn Senna. You win the 3v3 if both you and Elise are in this lane AND you get blue orbs off both members of the enemy bot lane.
So, TL;DR is, leave top on the island, only look to counter gank mid when it's good and otherwise path from the topside of your jungle down to bottom lane on every clear and look for vision and ganks around your snowball bot lane to get blue form as soon as possible.
That's the general idea of how to create a game plan - each situation is different and how good your understanding of what to do will depend on your game knowledge, which as long as you practice these methods every game should grow much faster than going in blind. If you ever feel unsure about your planning, try this exercise - go to Youtube, find a challenger replay of a jungle main on your current patch, ideally playing a champion you play, pause the video in loading screen and try to apply the planning process to the challenger game - and then see what you got right, and if you get something wrong, ask yourself why did the challenger player do something different? This is a good way to not only improve but also boost your own self confidence in your game knowledge and early game jungling, as it feels very good when your game plan is completely in line with a challenger players.
The most important thing to remember is that you need to be willing to adapt. Sometimes you're going to go 0/3 in the early game, and you will have to play utility/ward bot/counter gank and enable your winning lane, sometimes the lanes that should win will lose, sometimes your gank options/objective control will be suboptimal due to team mates, sometimes you just have to sit back and do nothing and pray, sometimes you have no chance of outscaling, everybody loses and you just have to flick the turbo aggression switch and play high risk high reward or lose, sometimes you have to completely abandon one side of the map when theyre losing and go hard on the opposite side of the map, sometimes you have to straight up tax your useless players and funnel yourself.
My point is the ability to create a game plan based off strong game knowledge and execute it and win a game cleanly is an essential skill to have as a jungler, but having the ability to adapt on the fly and be thinking about what you have to do next to win, regardless of how that deters from the initial plan is a more important skill to have and will win you games that seem doomed. This means you need to have a super positive, win focused attitude, because if you give up on games the moment the plan fails and you feel like the game is out of your control, you're never going to learn different macro decisions you can use to fix those situations in future games.
Practice the hell out of your early game!