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Kayn Build Guide by SilverAvalanche

Top Kayn Top: A Casual Guide

Top Kayn Top: A Casual Guide

Updated on October 12, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author SilverAvalanche Build Guide By SilverAvalanche 5 1 14,299 Views 0 Comments
5 1 14,299 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author SilverAvalanche Kayn Build Guide By SilverAvalanche Updated on October 12, 2021
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Runes: Red Kayn

1 2 3
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Bone Plating

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3 4
Kill Pressure
LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

Kayn Top: A Casual Guide

By SilverAvalanche
About Me
I am Silver 4 and still learning Kayn top with 60k mastery points.

I just hope that this guide can work as an introduction for people who wanna start playing Kayn top, but not really knowing where to start. I will remark upon the matchup spreadsheet might not be 100% accurate as I am not playing against challenger players but I have tried to watch some replays and added what those players do. So if you have any suggestions I am happy to listen.

If you ask me why I play Kayn top, it has to be because of Red Kayn. The amount of times where I have won a team fight by myself is unmatched, compared to any other champ I have played, apart from my other main Irelia.
Blue Kayn is also a nice switch up, when I get the ranged matchup. So I can see the fear in their eyes, as I am zooming towards them with Blue Kayn, fresh out of base.
Tips and Tricks
  • You can Q over thin walls
  • You can Q while you E, to make sure you get through the wall, if you are escaping from a gank
  • The amount of orbs you you need to evolve decreases over time, if you don't want to read my section about orbs, just know that it is wise to wait until 08:20 to trade.
  • Choose blue or red kayn depending on your matchup alone, it is always your lane you should care about first and foremost
  • If you are unsure if you are going up against a ranged or melee champ, then go Red Kayn runes. The idea behind this is that Red Kayn with electrocute is much worse than having Blue Kayn with Conquerer. With that being said, if you are potentially facing a Vayne, Quinn or Lucian, then I would go Fleet Footwork just to be safe. (Usually you can tell from their bans, who the toplaner is, since toplaners either ban other toplaners or junglers)
  • If they have GW applied on you, then you can wait for your ult to expire to gain the full healing from it, as the GW would have run out by that time
  • Funnily enough TP'ing to botlane, can be really bad for your lane'ing phase, this might be quite counter intuitive. But if your passive bar is is less than half full and you TP bot you might end up getting Blue Kayn instead of Red Kayn and will have to wait.
  • Try and ult out the way that will prevent them from escaping, so if you are in lane, ult towards their tower. Another method is that you cant ult the way they move, so when you come out, you are closer to them in the case they have no escape route.
  • Some people might not understand how powerful Red Kayn is, so you can play a bit back and avoid using your W on the wave. So if they walk up and try to bully you like pre-transformation, then you slap them with a W knock-up into a Q, Goredrinker.
  • You can Q for bushes, so they cant see the hitbox.
  • Use your E to ward the bush in the river up to top lane and scout the area, if you don't know where the jungler is.
Runes & Items
Starting Items:
So you have 3 options although I think there are 2 that are better than the last:

Corruption potion:
It is a good item, providing you with mana and health if you just wanna get those orbs and farm while staying healthy.
I don't think playing aggressively in lane is bad, but it is not the item you should take if you are planning to bully your opponent.

Doran's shield:
My personal favourite and an overall safe pick, giving you a larger health pool and sustain after short trades, which is how I usually trade with Kayn to gain my orbs.

Doran's Blade:
If you are confident in your matchup and wanna duel it out, the omnivamp is welcome too, since your Q synergises with it. But since you loose to most top lane bruisers pre-transformation and the rest just poke you, it makes this very situational.

Red Kayn Runes:

I found that Triumph was never useful since I was never fighting to the death in my early lane'ing phase, I can see how Presence of mind can be good, but i don't really need it.
So Overheal is the only one left and is great once you hit your red form. But also remember that your E works with Overheal, so use E when you are getting close to lane, and do a short free trade.
You can go bloodline if you are up against a no CC team.

Red Kayn (Additional Items):

Maw: I buy this when my laner is an Ap champ as my second item, since I need the damage and MR. If I am ahead, I just go into BC instead.

Serpent's: Yasuo, Karma, 2 carries with Shieldbow. I buy this if the enemy team has a lot of shielding and I am the only one who can buy it. Also only buy it if you are ahead of your enemy laner, but you should also buy it if your enemy laner is squishy but only if you are even or ahead, not when behind.

ChainSword: They have champs that can contest you when you sidelane who has life steal or they have champs like Sona or Soraka, or none of your teammates buys GW as per.

Spirit: They are 3+ AP champs, If your enemy laner was AP and you build Maw and it still is not cutting it, then build Spirit but think about maybe going Anathema's if there is one AP champ doing much more than the rest

Anathema's: against Evelyn, Veigar, any champ that will one shot you before you get to them

Hullbreaker: buy if all are criteria is met instead of Sterak's or BC depending on if your top laner is building tanky:
1) you can beat any enemy champ in a 1v1 or else don't bother buying it
2) your team comp is really bad compared to their enemy team
3) they have both AP and AD champs that can sidelane Vs. you or you think you can 2v1.

Silvermere: They have too much CC (Malz ult or something that if you get caught you die), usually if you are really fed and need to carry, get this as your fourth Item

DD: Works like bread and butter with Sterak's, rush it second item if they have a fed assassin.

Manamura: I buy tear when I can't kill the enemy tank because of my small mana pool, so I buy this item as my secondary. Usually you can tell if you need tear, half way through your mythic. For example going even against sion, is a good call to get Tear.

Blue Kayn (Additional Items):

Serylda's: they build Amor
GA: They have burst
Serpents: Shield
DD: they have an assassin
Edge of night: They have CC to need to surpass like Morgana Q
Pros and Cons
+ Lategame Bruiser
+ 1v9 Machine
+ Incredible Wave clear
+ Can counter jungle and provide deep vision with little to no risk of getting caught
+ Has burst potential and high sustain

Among this you can add that he is 2 champs in one, so given that you lane against a ranged champ or melee you can interchange between the two. Making him very versatile and can cover a lot of bases.
Another thing is that matchups are pretty binary in the sense that, you will either beat them hard pre transformation or they will beat you, depending on if they are or aren't a bruiser.
- Very weak early game compare to other Buisers
- Will get zoned off CS
- Very close fights and need to be tactical to gain early kills
- Bad sustain and no shielding
- Mana issues
- Takes towers slowly compared to the average split pusher

In conclusion, if you are hoping for a lane bully you will be gravely disappointed and will have to look else where. It might take some time to get used to just how safe you need to be with Kayn
Game Plan
First you just wanna work your way towards your form as quickly but more importantly no dying in the process. Ganking can be done but with lack of CC, you really need to choose your battles wisely, but there is nothing wrong with hovering river just in case something happens midlane. also the more you go in and out of fog of war for extended periods of time, the less likely the enemy top laner will constantly ping SS, since he will either forget it or get tired of you and just think you are standing in a bush.

In terms of our level 1 potential, I would deem it worse than average for a bruiser, especially since we don't go inspiration tree as our secondary runes. But the trade off is that we will have bone plating to protect us throughout the lane'ing phase, and revitalised which is an amazing rune for Red Kayn and does give 15% extra healing to our E when we are lower than 40% health.

I would also like to add that you should be aware how weak pre-kayn transformation is, to the extent that even though you are going up against a ranged champ like Vayne, you will probably sill loose the 1v1 all in, so it is better to just look to get your form and then destroying them. With AP champs you can obviously go for the all in, just be sure you are at least 80% health when you get to them and hit them with both parts of your Q.

Red Kayn:
Sidelane and absorb pressure as much as possible while stealing half of they enemy jungler's farm and then TP'ing in for objectives.
Also try and see if you can't sneak Herald while they are doing Drake (just make sure your team gets the game plan), getting Herald is actually very clutch on Kayn since his sidelane pressure is subpar compared to champs like Sett and Jax.

Blue Kayn:
You can sidelane like Red Kayn does, but be careful not to overstay your welcome since 1v2'ing can be risky without the healing and if they have CC.
You also wanna group earlier and look for picks, so buy a pink ward, and even going sweeper could be a good idea.
Blue Kayn also provides better escapes so, you can bait the enemy team and absorb more pressure, if you just make sure they won't hit you with an ability, like Quiana ult.
Counter jungle'ing
I am not a jungler, but I do know some things never change:

Evelynn: If you are blue side
This champ is annoying to deal with, but you can annoy her too. What you wanna do is, gain lane priority and as soon as the second wave comes you hard push. Then you level up your E and sprint to her raptors.

Shaco: If you are blue side
Only do this in a normal game to troll. but what you wanna do is ward his raptors, give up your first wave and camp inside the pixel bush until 01:30 and then run to his raptors and Q them all. 100% that he will camp you for the rest of the match, it is not efficient but it is funny.
If you actually want to annoy him and win the game just go to his raptors at 0:52 to trigger a box, this way he will still camp you for the rest of the game, but at least you won't miss your wave. Or better yet just late invade him with your jungler and midlaner. just be aware their Shaco will be running to your junglers red buff after dying, to try and smite steal it.

4 camp junglers:
I know that Kindred, Warwick and Trundle does not take raptors on their first clear, so they are up for grabs if you manage to crash third and have nothing else to do.
Orb/Passive Mechanics
I apologise if what I will be discussing as "my findings" is something that is already known in the community, but I was not able to find any hard number on it, nor a general explanation on how the orb and passive mechanic seem to work; so here I go.

What I set out to explore was four points that will be discussed and explained:

Point 1): What is the passive counting and what is it based off?
So as said in the title, the passive is about collecting orbs by damaging an enemy champion. But more specifically, it is about how many times you damage them. For example, your AAs will generate 1 orb per hit, while your Q will generate 2 orbs since it will damage with both a dash and a spin.

Point 2): How is time a factor in how orbs are counted?
What I theorise being the case is that the graph of collection orbs needed to gain form over time is like an inverse logarithmic function but with the three time intervals having a linear gradient (00:00-08:19, 08:20-12:29, 12:30-...)
So what we see is that before 08:20 we have a fast decline in orbs we need to collect, while after 08:20 the rate slows down. So we know that trading to gain orbs after 08:20 must be the optimal time to gain orbs, looking at it from a risk versus reward perspective.
If we look at the amount of orbs we need to collect at different times we see that:
(01:00,80), (05:00,50) (09:00,30), (11:00,22), (13:00,18)

Point 3): Are there other factors
Short answers is no, it is all about how many times you hit a champ with an AA or an ability, it is not how much damage you have nor how long the trade lasts. So it is optimal to stick with short trades like Q'ing into your opponent and running away gaining 2 easy orbs.

Point 4): Small facts
-You can stack orbs on multiple targets at once, so Q'ing through two enemy champs will gain you 4 orbs
-Item actives that damages enemies will give you an orb (Iron-spike Whip, Goredrinker, Prowlers Claw)
-dying still gives you the orbs
-GP, Singed, Jayce counts as Melee
-Kayle counts as Melee until level 6, then she is ranged, Riot fix this maybe?
Replays to watch
Wukong laning phase: Trading

Yasuo late game: Yasuo scales better than Kayn

Sion lane'ing phase: Transformed Kayn

Sett level 1 trading: Strength of corrupting potion & inspiration

Renekton lane'ing phase: spacing with Kayn's abilities
Top Lane Macro
General tactic: Side lane'ing

Number 1)
Let us say that mid and bot had an unfortunate lane'ing phase, and now the enemy is sieging mid tower. For the love of god, do not help them unless you think you can win the 5v5. But do try to help them if, an enemy comes to stop your split push so you can 4v5 (if you think you can win that).
This is because, you going back, will have no impact on whether they take the tower or not, you might have wave clear, but what good is that, if you are completely open to getting CC chained in front of the tower. It is better to just let the ADC and mid stand back and clear the minions.
And if you think the enemy team can dive your 4 teammates under their turret. Then you might as well just give them the inhibitor and let your midlaner catch up in farm if your team is that far behind. Giving an inhibitor is not the end of the world, as long as your team is better scaling and/or team fighting. If not, then just ff and go next.

Number 2)
Split push the opposite side of the next objective. Or else go to the side that has most turrets or whatever side enemy Blue buff is on.
Trading your life for Baron/Drakes is only worth it if you are not the only carry.

Number 3)
If you can't see the enemy team, they are going for you and you have to get out as fast as possible when you realise this. And by this i mean, you should be running to your nearest tower or at least in close proximity. The enemy team will not let you get away easily.
Also remember you can use your TP to get out of sticky situation since it only takes 4s to recall, although you might get some question mark pings.

Number 4)
Get as much vision as possible in the enemy jungle on the side you are on, if you can ward both entrances to the jungle then that is optimal, else you can usually chuck a ward where they will be pathing towards you 90% of the time.
Also a little trick you can do is, push the wave to they enemy's tier 1 tower, then wait 5 seconds, then go in through their jungle and ward, then meet up with your wave again. This way the enemy will become impatient and walk away or just take the farm themselves if they are waiting for you.

Number 5)
Wild goose chase is very efficient when splitpushing. what you do is your team will pressure either mid or the opposite lane to you. and when you see the enemy go into fog of war you just step way and hide in a bush, then the enemy will run towards your team again, and then you just walk outside the bush and continue pressuring instead of just recalling.

Number 6)
This is just my opinion, but I value helping my midlaner more than I want to help my bot lane. This is because of two points:
The first one being the proximity, I will loose significantly less by walking to mid rather than spending my TP to get to botlane.
The second point is that, I find that mid is a lot less volatile by nature, so if I get my adc 2 kills, that can easily be negated if something goes wrong and their botlane gets a lucky fight. While if you get your midlaner 2 kills or just helping him with his lane state so he can get a good back, means a lot. It is also very tilting for the enemy midlaner if you do this, since just like toplane, every little advance counts. except the fact that their jungler actually care about them.

Funny thing is, I have gone through stages as I leaned Toplane more:
Stage 1)
Top is an Island and jungler needs to come help me.

Stage 2)
Top is an Island.
( Going from Stage 2 to 3, caused me to loose a lot of games since learning when to roam is super hard as a toplaner)
Stage 3)
Top is an Island but I will help my jungler when I can.

Stage 4)
Top is the big brother your teammates can call upon when they need help.
Your jobs are as follows:
-Get priority for scuttle, then run mid and help them get priority too if time permits, put vision in enemy jungler's camp on your way to mid.
-Help your midlaner with their lane if they wanna back because they are low health and might have f'ed up or been ganked. Please tell them why you are taking their minions though.
-TP to botlane if they are getting ganked or hunted down by enemy botlane.
-Invade with your jungler if you are ahead.
-Get Rift Herald.
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