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Kayn Build Guide by Optimal Pancake

Jungle [9.3] A very ok guide to Kayn

By Optimal Pancake | Updated on February 13, 2019

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Runes: Basic- 50/50 Form wise

1 2 3 4 5 6
Domination
Electrocute
Sudden Impact
Eyeball Collection
Relentless Hunter

Precision
Triumph
Coup de Grace
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Smite

Smite

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #19 in
Jungle Role
Win 53%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Introduction

Welp, welcome to my average guide on Kayn. I'm Optimal Pancake, or just like Pan or Cake for short, and i'm a jungler. I've been playing for a fair bit of time, since season 4, and i've been playing seriously since season 5. I've been playing Kayn non-stop since he first came , and have accumulated around 500k mastery points on him. During season 7 I had like a 61% win rate on kayn out of 150 somethin games, so I think i'm pretty knowledgeable on the champ as a whole. As of right now, i'm gold I with a 74% out of 27 games. I'm a lower rank but hey, maybe you'll learn something new about Kayn you didn't know before, and that'd be pretty cool. So with all of that out of the way, let's get started.
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About Kayn

Kayn is the newest jungle-specific champion released by Riot. When he first dropped, he was kind of a controversial pick. On one hand, you had the people who took him straight into ranked for whatever reason and fell flat on their faces, who then proclaimed him to be garbage. On the other hand, you had the people who paced themselves with Kayn, and took a little time to understand his kit, and found him to be an incredibly strong jungler. Either way, the things that could be agreed upon at first were his first clear and jungle clear in general were phenomenal, his E was, and still is, incredibly strong. For the most part, Kayn is a fantastic champion. He was bugged out of his mind on release, but he's up to par these days.
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About Kayn's Passive - Darkin vs. Shadow Assassin

The age old question,which form is better. I wish everyone could be like me and love them equally, but either it's Darkin (which i'll be referring to as red form for the rest of the guide), or it's Shadow Assassin (which i'll be reffering to as blue form for the rest of the guide. When Kayn first came out, it was red form without a question every single game. Blue form, and Kayn in general, was extremely buggy and lacked the "oomf" it has today. He simply wasn't as strong as an assassin when he first came out, mostly due to the fact that upon exiting his ult, you couldn't proc the Duskblade passive again, nor could you proc the bonus damage from your passive again. On top of that, lethality was undergoing its overhaul at the time, leaving assassins in a weird spot. Red was simply far stronger than blue form. This is still sorta true today, but that's because the nature of the game favours a bruiser over an assassin. While ADC's are highly important right now as well, they usually have 3 tanks, 10 forms of disengage,flash and barrier, heal on their support coupled with an additional 4 more forms of disengage, combined with their own escape, so yeah assassinating is sorta whatever. However, red form is no longer marginally better than blue form. Since his release, Kayn's blue form has received many direct and indirect buffs. Once his bugs were worked out, he was almost equal to red form. His W-Q-Auto combo will one shot most ADC's, APC's, squishy supports (your Janna's, Lulu's, Rakan's), and if that wasn't enough, lethality, and especially Duskblade, became insanely strong again. Let's talk about red form now. Besides from looking badass, red form has fantastic CC in his W, phenomenal sustain with the healing bonus from his passive, decent healing from his Q combined with new percent HP damage, and ridiculous healing from his ult, almost like a mini-GA. Both forms sound amazing, and they are, but Kayn's fatal flaw lies in one thing, one really basic thing, Crowd Control. Yeah you can walk through walls, but not if your cc'ed. Yeah you can ult and heal back nearly all your health or do insane damage and reset Duskblade and your passive, but not if your cc'ed. You get the gist. CC is something everyone suffers from, but on Kayn it is 10x more deadly. With all that being said, I feel like taking a form is something that should be situational. You shouldn't limit yourself to one form, you're saying good-bye to a whole different play-style that could win the particular game you're in. All i'm saying with this chapter, and this build as a whole, is don't limit yourself to one form. I'm gonna repeat that till it get's annoying.
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Pros / Cons

So why would you want to play Kayn to start with? Well Kayn's got:

Possibly the best jungle clear in the game.
Adaptability due to to his passive.
High damage that can put you far ahead early game.
Amazing ganks due to his high mobility from his E (he can walk through walls you guys).
Better assassin than most in Blue form and a pretty amazing bruiser in Red form.
He's kinda cool looking?

That's all well and good, but Kayn has some downsides, being:

A big ol' weakness to CC.
If you fall behind, you won't be able to switch forms as early and you'll be useless for a while.
You can't switch forms, you have to pick either red or blue.
He's not quite as strong early game, as he has no real passive until he chooses a form.
Struggles against current meta picks like Lissandra and Sejuani.

All that said, Kayn is a highly versatile champion who can carry teamfights and games with either form. Be it taking down the carry or getting picks before pushing for an objective on blue, or dominating teamfights and dueals with red's insane healing. Kayn can do pretty much everything.
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Runes

The not so new anymore rune system is pretty neat actually. You'd think that there's pretty much just one or two paths to take with Kayn, but i've found that there's a surprising amount of variety in what you can take. I'm gonna focus more on keystones, check out the actual rune paths for more depth on the rest. First off, Electrocute, probably the best thing you can take on Kayn right now IF you plan on playing with an open mind and IF you don't count Dark Harvest which had a pretty substantial nerf. Electrocuteis great on Kayn, scales well and does damage, not much to say here pretty self-explanatory. Let's look at something more form specific and far spicier, that being the infamous Conqueror keystone. Conqueror red Kayn is one of my favourite things to play at the moment, you can't be out-dueled unless they're crazy fed and it feels more viable than anything else you could play. If for some reason the absolute ridiculous buff goes through, which I don't think it will, Conqueror red Kayn will definitely be the best way to play the champion, but the buff that Conqueror is supposed to receive is insane, so I honestly doubt it'll go through. Another red Kayn specific keystone is Aftershock. Take this if you already know you're gonna be useless. Typically, you don't see many people taking Aftershock anymore, personally I think it's pretty bad on red I didn't even bother including it, but it's still viable-ish. Lastly, we'll hit on Dark Harvest. This thing was way too strong, and even after its nerfs it's still pretty good. The only thing though is that because of the nerfs, Electrocute is now stronger, so i'd opt for that until Dark Harvest gets fixed up.
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Jungling on Kayn

Kayn has a pretty great clear. If you are new to Kayn, or even a veteran on him, I recommend starting Q and going to raptors first if you are on the red team. Take E next, heal through the wall that'll take you to red buff, kill red buff using your smite, and head to wolves. From wolves, take your W and take your blue buff. Take rift scuttler and then from there, go for your enemy's krugs. Most junglers ignore krugs on their first clear, so this is just free gold. If you are on the blue team, start Q, get a leash from your bot lane at your red, take W second and go to raptors. From there, take the same path as before. You should finish that first clear from around 2:45 to 3:00. Kayn is a very efficient jungler, and you'll often find yourself just clearing so much jungle and getting so ahead. Aside from his clear, Kayn also excels at invading and stealing away camps. He can stay so healthy due to his E and if he were to be caught, the mobility from his Q and E will allow him to escape most situations. You should feel very safe invading on Kayn, but don't take it too far. Watch for the potential collapse from the enemy team, and I wouldn't recommend invading someone Kayn has a hard time against, like Warwick and Kha'Zix, especially early game where you are not as strong as them. Make sure to take advantage of your fantastic clear and invade against pretty much every other jungler. Getting your enemy behind is a pretty good way to win, seeing as how pivotal jungle is these days. Only thing I have left to say here is to not get caught up power farming. Kayn's clear is good but like, don't just sit in jungle farming. Some champs like Shyvanna benefit from that type of play style, but Kayn was made to gank.
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Tips and Tricks

Some things to know about Kayn and how his abilities interact with one another:
Kayn can still Q and W while inside of a wall at no consequence. If he auto's or is damaged, then that'll shut your E off.
The new quality of life changes have made it so that you can now see how close you are to your desired form, which is pretty neat.
Never forget that you are not invulnerable while ulted on to someone, only untargetable. DOT effects, like ignite, will still effect you.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Optimal Pancake
Optimal Pancake Kayn Guide

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[9.3] A very ok guide to Kayn
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