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Kayn Build Guide by Yamikaze

Middle kayn mid sucks

Middle kayn mid sucks

Updated on January 7, 2018
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Yamikaze Build Guide By Yamikaze 40 2 691,798 Views 40 Comments
40 2 691,798 Views 40 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Yamikaze Kayn Build Guide By Yamikaze Updated on January 7, 2018
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Hi! I'm Yamikaze and I have 3000 games on Talon since Season 2. I started climbing in 800 elo in Season 2 and am currently Master I on the NA server. I peaked 280 LP earlier in May 2017 and am currently hovering at around 100 LP. You could say I'm...talonted. This build will show you how to play Talon 2.0, or rather, Kayn.

Kayn is an assassin typically played in the jungle. In this guide, however, I will be covering mid lane Kayn, which I believe is arguably stronger than jungle Kayn. Although Kayn does struggle in certain lane matchups, he has the ability to snowball a lead into every other lane. Further, assassins have to be ahead of their enemy to easily kill them. Currently, it is much easier to get ahead in terms of experience and gold in a solo-lane than in the jungle.

Here are links to my stream and discord (yes, these are links!). I'm available for questions on Discord. However, since the current meta strongly favors Talon over other assassins at the highest elos, he's the only champion you will usually find me playing on stream.

How would I describe Kayn? Well, he's what would happen if Zed, Yasuo, and Talon had a love-child. With the high-burst and high-skill cap of Zed through a dodgable but high reward skillshot in Blade's Reach, an arguably stronger Zed Death Mark in Umbral Trespass, Yasuo's dash-spin in Reaping Slash, and Talon's Assassin's Path in Shadow Step, he really is the best of all three worlds. By basically combining the kits of two AD assassins and ... Yasuo...., we get a (comparably) low risk, high reward AD assassin that can actually scale (unlike Zed or Talon...). So, my question would be, why not Kayn?

Electrocute - A must have for Shadow Assassin Kayn. Very easy to proc in any combo and will increase your burst to secure kills throughout the game. However, remember that the two seperate parts of Reaping Slash will only count for one hit for Electrocute, meaning you will need to sneak an aa in if you want to proc electrocute with just w and q.

Sudden Impact - Pretty obvious choice for an assassin like Kayn. Although not all of Kayn's combo will be used before his Reaping Slash, having the extra lethality for the last few autos after your combo will help finish off squishies.

Zombie Ward - One of the most gold-efficient runes in the game. Not only can it (up to) double the length of your trinket wards in lane, but it also acts as a mini pink ward. If you place this in the enemy jungle, the enemy jungler will either walk past it or kill it. Either way, he will be seen. This allows you to easily track the enemy jungler's path throughout the game, allowing you to time your aggression throughout the game. Of course, the same goes for any bush this ward is placed in, meaning the (up to) 180 seconds of extra ward time is a lot more valuable than you might think. However, if you prefer more damage over playing the vision game, Eyeball Collection is also a fine alternative.

Relentless Hunter - Assassin Kayn thrives off move-speed as it allows him to travel further with his Shadow Step. Relentless Hunter is basically free mobility boots on any champion and thus makes it one of the strongest runes for Kayn. No reason to run Ravenous Hunter over this as most of your burst will be done at the start of a fight when your health bar is near full.

Celerity - Similar to Relentless Hunter, Kayn values movespeed highly, making this a great choice. Further, your already high ms from Relentless Hunter and Mobility Boots will greatly increase the effectiveness of the AD given by this rune. Did I mention this is literally one of the most slot-effective runes in the game? It's basically free old-ms quints all in one slot.

Scorch - Good to amplify your lane harass from Blade's Reach. Will also give you just enough damage to finish off high priority squishies in fights.

This is a MUST HAVE for Kayn. If you don't run this spell, you will die to ganks, miss out on kills, and you'll get flamed by your teammates. Also sets up your combos nicely and lets you secure kills on important targets in teamfights.

I run this into almost every matchup. Kayn snowballs really hard from early kills and ignite helps you secure kills both early and throughout the game. Also very strong into ADCs like Kalista that build Blade of the Ruined King or supports like Soraka Nami or Karma that heal their squishies as you burst them.

I've been running Teleport into matchups that I know I'll get poked out of lane quickly. These matchups would include Orianna Syndra and any other champ that harasses a lot in lane. I personally like the spell as it gives you a free back in case you get bullied out of lane as Kayn's early laning is very weak. I'll have to test this a bit more before I can confirm that it's worth losing the kill pressure from Ignite.

Kayn wields an ancient, sentient weapon that battles with him for control. Dealing damage against champions causes them to drops orbs that are automatically collected upon leaving combat, filling a bar above Kayn's portrait. Once the bar is full, he can choose to either be overwhelmed by Rhaast or expel him to become the Shadow Assassin, based on whether he has damaged more melee or ranged champions, respectively.

The core of Kayn's kit. This ability lets you choose whether to transform into Rhaast (and heal from your ability damage) or Assassin Form (and do extra damage the first 3 seconds you fight an enemy champion). Basically, the way this passive works is that each time you hit an enemy, you gain progress towards your transformation. Further, it is very important whether you are hitting a melee or ranged champion early on. There are TWO separate passive bars that fill up depending on whether you are attacking a melee or ranged champion. The bar next to your icon will ONLY show bar with HIGHER progression. This is contrary to the current popular belief that the last champion hit will determine which upgrade you get.

Kayn dashes forward, dealing 55 / 75 / 95 / 115 / 135 (+ 0.65 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to all enemies he passes through before flourishing his scythe, dealing the same damage again to surrounding enemies.

Since we're only putting one point into Blade's Reach and we're maxing it last, this ability will be relatively weak. However, it still fits well in your combo as it serves as two quick auto attacks and a dash. Please keep in mind that both the dash AND the spin do damage, so you want to hit enemies with both. Further, you can use it to pass through any thin wall and even some thicker walls.

After a short delay in which he can't perform any other actions, Kayn performs an upwards sweep with his scythe, dealing 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+ 1.2 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to all enemies in a line and slowing them by 60%, decaying over 1.5 seconds.

This is where most of Kayn's burst comes from. You will want to max this first and use it to farm/harass throughout lane. Once you upgrade to Assassin form, this ability gains range and no longer has a cast time. Make SURE not to miss this ability in a combo or you will lose a lot of damage. On the same note, enemies will try to dodge this ability so make sure you use either Reaping Slash or Umbral Trespass after Blade's Reach to make it harder to see.

Kayn gains 40% bonus movement speed, is ghosted and can ignore terrain collision for 1.5 seconds. Immobilizing effects will interrupt Shadow Step. Kayn heals himself by 100 / 115 / 130 / 145 / 160 (+ 0.4 per bonus attack damage) upon moving through terrain for the first time and, if he's not in combat with enemy champions, Shadow Step's duration is increased to 5 seconds.

Ah. The (other) core of Kayn's kit. This ability not only provides sustain in lane, but it also acts as a "get out of jail free" card whenever you get caught out. Remember this effect ends after you are out of a wall for 1.5 seconds, so make sure you stay in walls! Each point in Shadow Step increases the duration by 1 second, so this ability is maxed second.

Passive: Kayn's basic attacks and abilities mark enemy champions for a few seconds. Active: Kayn can activate Umbral Trespass to infest a marked enemy champion for up to 2.5 seconds, revealing them and becoming untargetable for the duration. Reactivating Umbral Trespass ends the effect early. Upon reactivation or at the end of the duration, Kayn wrenches free from their body in the cursor's direction, dealing 150 / 250 / 350 (+ 1.5 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to the target.

Basically Zed's ult except you use it at the end of a combo. Excellent for finishing off low-health squishies and can be timed to follow their escape spells such as Flash. This ability is pretty weak in lane but it becomes much stronger once you get your Assassin transformation.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> > >

Kayn maxes Umbral Trespass first because it's his ult and the lowered cooldown helps him go in more often. Second, max Blade's Reach as it's a large percentage of your burst in your combo and will help your trades in lane. Third, max Shadow Step as you benefit greatly from the increased duration and shortened cooldown. Last, max Reaping Slash.

Starting Items

This is my start nearly every game as Kayn is melee and his only ranged farming tool, Blade's Reach,
is on a long cooldown early. Thus, you will be taking a lot of harass in many matchups.
Doran's Shield will help you sustain in lane.

Early Game

Unless you plan on buying Hexdrinker (see below), always buy Serrated Dirk on your first back if possbile. If you do not have enough gold for Serrated Dirk, buy as many long swords as you can. Further, if you have extra gold after Serrated Dirk, buy a Long Sword if you have over 350 gold, Boots if you have ~300 gold, or just a Control Ward if you have less than ~300 gold.

Usually you want to buy this either between Serrated Dirk and Caulfield's Warhammer or after Caulfield's Warhammer.

Buy this around your second back if you have enough gold. However, if you don’t, buy Boots and a couple of Long Swords instead.


Almost always buy these boots. Not only do they make your roams stronger and increase your pressure while away from mid, but they also allow Shadow Step to cross many walls that you previously couldn't due to the 1.5 second limit for being out of a wall.

Situational boots that you should only buy against heavy AD team comps or a very fed AD champion.

Situational boots that you should only buy against heavy CC team comps, heavy magic damage team comps, or a very fed AP champion.

Core Items

This item is the best item on Assassin Kayn and is core to this build. The passive gives your first auto an extra ~200 damage, which is then amplified by your Assassin passive. The lethality will also allow you to negate enemy armor and enables lots of burst. Use the vision denial passive on Duskblade of Draktharr to clear wards and hide in the enemy jungle for picks.

Another core item for Kayn. I usually buy this item third after Duskblade of Draktharr
and Mobility Boots. The extra out-of-combat movespeed makes your roams and flanks even stronger and the lethality furthers your burst against squishy targets.

I buy this item fourth after Duskblade of Draktharr Mobility Boots Youmuu's Ghostblade. The health allows you to live a bit longer to either finish your burst or to get out alive and the 20% CDR will enable all your abilities to be used more often. Did I mention this item also has ARMOR SHRED, making your lethality even stronger? Wow. No wonder they keep trying to nerf this item.

Strong 5th item after Duskblade of Draktharr Mobility Boots Youmuu's Ghostblade Black Cleaver. This item has a nice build path that, once again,
allows you to be a bit more tanky. However, the most important part of this item is the revive passive. The revive passive isn't JUST a revive. It also gives you time for your cooldowns to come up and, most importantly, acts as a deterrent for enemies. Why would they waste their burst on you if you're just going to revive?

Situational items

A VERY situational item. DO NOT buy this item for the health or tankiness. You buy this item ONLY as a 3rd or later item when there is a very fed adc on the enemy team such as Tristana or Vayne. The extra lethality and the spellshield will help you kill the enemy squishies that would otherwise live and 1v5 your team.

A situational item that you buy early on (around your first or second item) and leave in your inventory. You buy this against champs that have healing as a major part of their kit, such as Dr. Mundo Soraka and etc.

A situational item that you rush and leave in your inventory. You buy this against heavy burst mid laners such as Syndra Fizz LeBlanc and etc.

A situational item that you should only buy when the enemy SQUISHIES are stacking armor (e.g. an Ezreal with Frostfire Gauntlet or a Lucian with Ninja Tabi).

ONLY buy this item if all of the requirements for Mortal Reminder are met, the enemy has no healing, and you are constantly fighting tanky enemies in a fight. If there are any squishies on their team, this item will be useless for killing them.

Kayn's Combos

NOTE: In this section, aa stands for auto-attack and Q W E R are abilities.

ANOTHER NOTE: You can sneak an extra auto-attack after Q for more damage in all combos if necessary.

Combo #1
Ranged Lane initiation WITHOUT Umbral Trespass

> AA > > AA

Combo #2
Melee Lane initiation WITHOUT Umbral Trespass

AA > > AA >

Combo #3
Ranged 1shot with all abiltiies
NOTE: you can use W inside a wall!

> > AA > >

Combo #4
Melee 1shot with all abilities

> AA > > >

General Tips

  • Use W inside a wall to make it harder to dodge.
  • Use Oracle Lens often to clear gank paths, but make sure not to use it when your Duskblade of Draktharr passive is up.
  • Avoid common ward spots with your Shadow Step
  • Play safe in lane and scale hard.
  • Focus squishies at all stages of the game, do not try to fight tanks.

Thank you for reading.

Special thanks to missMaw for banners and coding.

Ordinary thanks to Sir Celery for inspiration. He's an okay person who has helped me a bit. I strongly recommend checking out his stream here if you're interested in learning Jungle.

Lastly, if you enjoyed this guide, feel free to check out my other guides by clicking the icons below!

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