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Kayn Build Guide by Omega Zero

Jungle Kayn you click this guide?

Jungle Kayn you click this guide?

Updated on July 21, 2020
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Omega Zero Build Guide By Omega Zero 8 1 20,884 Views 2 Comments
8 1 20,884 Views 2 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Omega Zero Kayn Build Guide By Omega Zero Updated on July 21, 2020
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Kayn
    Edgy Zed Fanboy
  • LoL Champion: Kayn
    True Edgelord Psycho

Runes: Dāku Hābesuto

1 2 3
Dark Harvest
Sudden Impact
Eyeball Collection
Relentless Hunter

Magical Footwear
Cosmic Insight

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


1 2 3 4
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Smite


Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

Kayn you click this guide?

By Omega Zero
Welcome to my guide on Kayn! Here I will be clarifying where Kayn excels and the pros and cons of each individual form, as a good amount of my friends tend to ask how to pick your transformation and how to play base Kayn effectively. UNLIKE my Master Yi Guide (Which I will link later on), I will be assuming you know the basics of terminologies and Kayn.

Kayn is a melee AD jungler with a caster playstyle. His extremely efficient and healthy jungling and ganking routes, alongside respectable damage and dueling potential, allow Kayn to be one of the stronger junglers early on. However, his true strength lies in his flexibility; The ability to transform into either the stealthy Shadow Assassin, or be consumed by his sentient Darkin scythe Rhaast, both of which heavily exaggerating and buffing his Assassin or Bruiser playstyles, respectively.
Pros / Cons
    Quick and efficient clearing!
    Unorthodox Ganking routes and potentially limitless routes thanks to Shadow Step
    Great at counter jungling and counter ganking
    Extremely flexible thanks to transformations
    Unbelievable map pressure and damage as SA
    Tank-Killers and strong disruptor as Rhaast
    Sick theme, fun gameplay and will almost always stay as a viable option in meta!

    Hard to come back with once you fall behind
    Will require a great knowledge on jungling and matchups
    Mediocre early pressure, not a large threat as Base Kayn
    Can get murdered rather quickly if jumped on
    Can give you delusions of grandeur upon transformation, so keep your head straight
    Can get kited rather easily
    Not innately durable or capable of doing high amount of base damage.
    Not really a con, but can take some getting used to.
    Not too strong in early skirmishes during early invades pre-transformation.
Runes and... oh, right, masteries are gone.
Kayn is a hybrid but generally leans closer towards assassin, making Domination reliable almost anytime as the page helps both in bursting and sustain. Grabbing Dark Harvest or Electrocute is fine within the domination page, one being more snowball-oriented and the other being more on consistency and early game strength. Predator is extremely niche but can be extremely fun to use as a Shadow Assassin to zoom towards someone.

Oh and we NEVER take Hail of Blades, just NO. However Conqueror is GREAT on Rhaast.

SHADOW ASSASSIN: For your sub runes on Domination, you can substitute between Eyeball Collection, Zombie Ward or Ghost Poro. Collection gives you more consistent damage, Ward gives you more proper vision control and its synergy with Duskblade is pretty neat, and Ghost Poro gives you better counter-jungling strength and potential strength in general with vision if you place the Poro at the right spot. For Secondary take Absolute Focus + Gathering Storm. (Shoutout to Virkayu for this idea!) Or taking Magical Footwear + Future's Market Precision is an alternative if you want Triumph or Presence of Mind and Coup de Grace, with your Rune Shards (those stat things) will consist of grabbing ONLY AD and Armor/MR.

DARKIN RHAAST: Unlike the Shadow Assassin, Rhaast can opt instead for Conqueror due to it's amazing healing that is not mitigated by AoE, letting Rhaast do absurd amount of healing. Dark Harvest is still good on Rhaast however, Conqueror just amplifies Rhaast's playstyle especially when tanks are roaming around.
ALWAYS take FLASH and Smite as these two are essential and give too much of a boost in utility for Kayn to simply ignore these, especially as a jungler. Shadow Assassin moves swiftly enough without Ghost, and being able to Flash > Smite > Umbral Trespass is extremely helpful for chasing. Rhaast on the other hand benefits heavily from the potential Flash +W knockup which can secure picks and even kills! Ignite is also something worth noting, as it boosts your offensive pressure pre-transformation a lot stronger on top of giving you a grievous wounds of sorts without items.
Abilities and Order
PASSIVE: The Darkin Scythe - Kayn will gain orbs which will fill up a bar located on his icon, attacking melee Champions fuels up the bloodlust of the Darkin Rhaast, while attacking ranged Champions sets the path to become the Shadow Assassin. Eventually after unlocking a form, the other option becomes available after four minutes, which can be reduced by collecting the orbs of the locked form. Upon transforming, Kayn will permanently have augmented abilities and a completely new and powerful passive!

SHADOW ASSASSIN: The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin Upon inflicting damage on a enemy Champion, Kayn will deal an additional percentage of post-mitigation damage as bonus magic damage for 3 seconds, allowing Kayn to unload high amounts of mixed damage in a flash! Refreshing after 8 seconds of avoiding combat with Champions or casting Umbral Trespass, Shadow Assassin is best at picking off squishy targets, applying high amount of pressure around the whole map and making use of an acquired lead.

DARKIN RHAAST: The Darkin Scythe: Rhaast Rhaast heals a percentage of post-mitigation damage dealt from ABILITIES. Combining this with his abilities which scale with max HP%, and his high-base damage W, Rhaast becomes a formidable foe that can survive any onslaught tanks throw at him while whittling them down, making him a huge threat that chunks the front-line while disrupting the back-line.

Q - Reaping Slash : Kayn dashes forward a fixed distance, dealing physical damage before spinning his scythe around him, dealing the same amount of damage. This ability can be used to cross through thin walls, will deal bonus damage to monsters. The latter half of the ability (spin/flourish) can be performed sooner by dashing into a thicker wall, canceling the animation and cast duration of the dash! While it can be maxed first, second or even last, it is generally recommended to have at least three points in Q.

SHADOW ASSASSIN: Reaping Slash: Shadow Assassin

No boosts, only gains an indirect one from passive.

DARKIN RHAAST: Reaping Slash: Rhaast Damage is modified to deal max HP% damage along with a percentage of your total AD, allowing Rhaast to heavily chunk down squishies and tanks alike. Putting points into this ability lowers the cooldown only, making putting points into W instead a viable option.

W - Blade's Reach : After a brief delay where Kayn is locked in place and is unable to perform any action, Kayn slashes in a targeted direction around him, dealing physical damage and applying a decaying slow on enemies struck for 1.5s. This spell cannot be interrupted by anything except death, and scales well and does a good amount of damage as points are invested into this skill. I either max it first or second.

SHADOW ASSASSIN: Blade's Reach: Shadow Assassin Kayn summons a Living Shadow to perform Blade's Reach for him, allowing Kayn himself to freely perform any action and increasing the range of the ability by 200 extra units.

DARKIN RHAAST: Blade's Reach: Rhaast Rhaast additionally knocks up enemies struck for 1 additional second.

E: Shadow Step - Kayn becomes ethereal, gaining bonus movement speed, ignores unit collision and the ability to walk through all forms of terrain! With an initial duration of 1.5s, the duration is extended upon entering terrain, however you cannot leave terrain longer than the initial time or else you will exit Shadow Step. Additionally, Kayn heals upon first entering terrain and is FREE to cast abilities while in terrain, but auto-attacking will immediately end the spell, and entering combat with enemy champions will force the ability to end after the delay (or immediately if you become immobilized.) Due to the potential roaming power with this skill, the heal, duration increase AND how all of these (except the heal) are improved upon transforming into a Shadow Assassin, I max this either second or last. Enemies will be warned if Kayn is approaching while his E is active through an orb that manifests near the location Kayn will appear upon the duration ends. Kayn will NOT be considered unseen for the sake of Duskblade, so be wary!

SHADOW ASSASSIN: Shadow Step: Shadow Assassin Kayn becomes immune to slows, has increased movement speed upon entering terrain for the duration, and lowers the base cooldown of Shadow Step to 8 seconds.

DARKIN RHAAST: Shadow Step: Rhaast Rhaast earns no extra benefits from this skill whatsoever, though at least it heals so it doesn't stand out as that one ability that doesn't heal, right?.

ULTIMATE: Umbral Trespass - Kayn marks enemies he damages through any means for a few seconds, allowing him to cast his ultimate on the marked.

Kayn will dissipate into shadows, dashing into and infesting the marked target. During this time, Kayn will be untargetable (but not invulnerable from DoTs), following the target anywhere it goes, and grants true sight on the target. Upon the duration ending or upon reactivation, after a brief wind-up Kayn will erupt from the target, dealing physical damage and slightly dashing towards the direction he aims at. Take points into this skill whenever you can, and you can use this ability to dodge and track down targets, this ult is incredibly helpful. Additionally, Kayn is CONSIDERED UNSEEN as long as he resides in the host for 1.5s for sake of Duskblade (NOTE: Does not seem to work at the moment due to a bug)

SHADOW ASSASSIN: Umbral Trespass: Shadow Assassin gains extra casting range AND refreshes your passive. While this may not sound much, trust me the practical use of this is amazing. Due to the nature, maximizing damage is to utilize the three seconds of bonus damage from your passive, casting ult, waiting for Duskblade proc then casting ult in time in order to deal extra damage from the initial passive proc, then repeat combo.

DARKIN RHAAST: Umbral Trespass: Rhaast Damage is modified to deal a percentage of the target's MAXIMUM HEALTH, then healing based on a large percentage of the pre-mitigation (raw) damage. The best part is, the heal on the latter is SEPARATE from the passive, meaning you can pretty much heal for nearly 1000 to 2000+ health based on your target's health! Additionally Rhaast gets a cute little extra icon pre-activation -

Q Max or W Max?

Honestly, the buff to both abilities make this really not strict anymore, at that point it just comes down to your skill and preference.
Rhaast can make use of either as a shorter cooldown on Q means more damage, more mobility and healing, while W allows for more 'burst' and shorter cooldown on your hard CC. Don't forget that Rhaast is nowhere close to Shadow Assassin in mobility, so a shorter Q cooldown would help also.
Shadow Assassin gets to utilize Q dashes more often (with enough CDR, actually get two passive procs with Q alone) while being able to cross small gaps even better. However, you can opt for W for greater initial burst (W will outdamage Q if only one part of the latter hits) and lower cooldown on an incredibly strong slow.
Shadowy Items (Shadow Assassin Items)
Shadow Assassin pretty much stacks lethality, cooldown reduction and attack damage. Recommended Smite here is Stalker's Blade, as you don't seek to go for long duels with Skirmier's Sabre, additionally the utility of Smite + Ult is extremely helpful. Youmuu's gives unparalleled movement and roaming potential, Duskblade gives you so much damage and vision control, and the rest of the items are used to either increase your damage (Last Whisper items) or survive (Edge of Night, Guardian Angel, Death's Dance, etc.)
Bloody Items (Rhaast Items)
Rhaast, on the other hand, benefits from stacking AD, CDR and increased healing. Items such as Black Cleaver, Spirit Visage and Death's Dance all tickles Rhaast's fancy for bloodshed and carnage. Rhaast can benefit from both smite items, but Challenging Smite is more suited for Rhaast thanks to the nature of him excelling in prolonged duels while Chilling Smite is overall better for chasing and the ability to smite then ult. Additionally, a snowballing Rhaast could build lethality to further boost his damage and delete both tanks and squishies.
EXTRA: Tear + Tiamat
Yes, Tear of the Goddess and Tiamat have become purchases on Kayn recently. Noticeably after the buff to Kayn's Reaping Slash's cooldown. This was started/popularized by a korean Kayn main and, being korean, a lot of people followed. The only thing I find surprising about this build is how Tiamat is only picking up traction recently, though I never thought it would become super popular.

This is a build I would really only recommend taking if you've got a good lead and have adjusted to both Kayn and the jungle, particularly in an aggressive playstyle. Muramana is a pretty damn good item and lets both forms excel a lot better mid-late game on top of resolving pretty much any mana issue Kayn has, however it is really only efficient doing this if you find yourself acting as the carry and have acquired form (even just the timer) early, as this does considerably set your items back a bit. On Rhaast, this is how you become an even greater threat late game. On Shadow Assassin, this makes popping targets easier on top of letting you essentially get the same benefits of running Presence of Mind without actually needing to take it.
Details on Items!
Now in case the previous chapters weren't detailed enough (which it isn't because there's barely any details at all), then here we'll learn how and why these items are helpful and essential for each transformation. We'll go over each item one-by-one and describe them for each form.

BOOTS: Mobility Boots is AMAZING even before transformation due to the absurd boost in mobility Kayn receives from this, but the bump up in price is something to take note of. Keep in mind this is mainly only good if you're ganking to begin with. Ninja Tabi and Mercury's Treads are self-explanatory however don't warrant being rushed over smite item. Heck, you could even try using Boots of Swiftness as a substitute for Mobis if you find yourself needing just slow resistance, or even trying out Ionian Boots of Lucidity especially if you ran Ignite.

Duskblade of Draktharr: Giving 55 Attack Damage, 10% Cooldown Reduction and +21 Lethality, this item pretty much is a core on Shadow Assassin while being extremely strong when snowballing as Rhaast.

This item is incredibly helpful by giving AD Rhaast and SA almost everything they need - Raw Damage, Lethality, CDR and an anti-ward system. This item is so helpful alongside the burst from your AA you just can't help but adore this item.

Youmuu's Ghostblade: This is core on Shadow Assassin due to it being another lethality item but this time having movement speed instead, while being another possible option for Rhaast. The movement speed both passive and active helps SA roam THAT MUCH better while giving a neat boost for Darkin.

Edge of Night: Being quite helpful on both transformations if they go AD route, thanks to the spell-shield and AD this gives Kayn more time to save his ult and to prevent being destroyed by a single (keyword: single) form of CC. However, this won't save you from CC chains, that's what Umbral Trespass is for.

Umbral Glaive: The cheapest Lethality item available, it grants you vision control and damage too. A pretty good option when you need an early power spike after purchasing your first Lethality item, but maybe not the best option for rushing immediately after your jungle item. Depends on the game, but vision control is never weak.

Sanguine Blade: A Lethality item that grants good amounts of AD and Lethality, alongside with Lifesteal and Attack Speed leaves this as an option better for when you see yourself Split-pushing more often than expected; Kayn wipes minion waves easily even as Rhaast but is somewhat lacking in Attack Speed. This item resolves that issue.

Maw of Malmortiusand Hexdrinker - Quite good for anti-burst, honestly I underestimate this item, it is quite helpful and should consider this more often. The stats are neat and helpful while not being awkward to build. You should only grab this against magic damage-heavy teams however, otherwise go GA or Sterak's.

Spirit Visage and Death's Dance - SV - Good for magic damage and high-HP targets, Rhaast-EXCLUSIVE item. DD - Way more helpful on Rhaast, but not unwelcomed by SA.

Tiamat and Hydras: No. Okay, maybe not that cruel. It's a good option and adding even more burst isn't bad, but that being said Tiamat isn't a 100% must be rushed every game. Observe and feel how your match is going and adjust from there; do you opt for a Tiamat and maybe a Tear? Or would a 'standard' Kayn build do the job? Don't tunnel on just a singular build.

Other Items to Tackle:

Randuin's - Great against high AD/Crit comps, incredibly underrated item with an incredibly underrated slow. This can really only backfire when fighting magic/true damage max hp%, Rhaast only though.

Sterak's - Gives you Tenacity and a shield, buying more time for you to regain HP back. Good against CC especially considering you gain AD from this too. Rhaast only.

Last Whisper - Really helps you get through armor; Lethality can only do so much so if if you find yourself lacking damage opt for Last Whisper or when you need to deal with absurd amounts of healing. Good on both SA and Rhaast as maybe a 5th or 6th item.

Blade of the Ruined King - It has synergy with Rhaast and helps SA deal with tanks to some extent, but might not be the best item. Feels incredibly situational for such an expensive item, but theoretically sounds like a potential purchase. Remember, creativity and innovation is usually what causes changes in METAs, so what's to say those two can't help combat situations in certain matches? (no don't start building AP because of this statement)
Prove Yourself Worthy!
Kayn is NOT a jungler who can easily sit-back and mindlessly slash away at his own monster camps. You have to exert pressure, be on the constant lookout for ganks, keep vision on the lanes and opposing jungler as you will need to transform to even exist to begin with.

Assert your dominance as the one fit for the Darkin Scythe and consider both the enemies and your own lineups when deciding who shall be the victor.
If they're all durable targets or are enemies that require disruption, and you feel like your team won't need the Shadow Assassin's swift techniques? Unleash Rhaast and wreak carnage, havoc and mayhem to them all! Are they all fools cowering in the light? Then ascend your mastery of shadows and teach them that light offers no sanctuary!

Kayn has extremely quick clearing, and thanks to his Shadow Step, strong counter jungling potential. Learn the basics of jungling and develop a more bold and aggressive approach as Kayn. I heavily recommend watching Virkayu's YouTube videos, as he is where I learned a lot of my more advanced knowledge on jungling both in general and as Kayn.
Not-So-Forbidden-And-Secret Techniques
Your bar changes color depending on which form is leading, however it does not mean you will automatically gain that form upon transformation as sometimes you might pick a very, very long fight which is enough to generate orbs for the other form.

You will gain the orbs upon leaving combat or dying, and the value of the orbs increase drastically as the game progresses, but ensure you get the transformation ASAP./color]

Reaping Slash can be animation canceled by dashing to a thick wall, allowing you to clear and deal both instances of damage quickly!

Reaping Slash scales with movement speed when it comes to the dashing speed, however the Dash and Slash intervals are fixed. Keep this in mind!

Reaping Slash does not cost additional mana per rank, and effectively gains an additional +40 total damage against monsters per rank (assuming you land both parts), so you may opt to learn Blade's Reach at Level 4 instead, conserving mana while still having good clear due to the cooldown changes on Q if you plan on full clearing.

Blade's Reach cannot be disrupted and will ALWAYS AFFECT THE AREA IT WAS INITIALLY CAST ON

Blade's Reach, along with a lot of other skill shots, will be more accurate to hit if you try aiming at opponents' 'feet' due to how hitboxes work (if you don't know what those are, google it) and if you hold onto it until your enemy is in a spot where it's hard to dodge (this is especially true for Rhaast, whose W is incredibly strong and crucial to land).

Shadow Step will prevent you from recalling while in a wall, however channeling items will still work. Additionally, you can still cast abilities during this time while remaining in it as long as possible as long as you do not enter combat with a Champion.

Shadow Step gives you flying vision, you can see over walls but not inside bushes. However, the orb will always give both you and the enemy a good idea where each of you are, effectively letting you know if there's anyone in the bush or not, so keep that in mind!

Use Shadow Step to scout for any intruders in your jungle, check camps, and staying safe while waiting for your Q/W to come off cooldown if you need to kite an enemy.

Shadow Step has a LOT of routes that can save several seconds for Kayn when traversing terrain, including a straight path from Blue Buff to Raptors utilizing the mid-lane turret, Tri-bush wall to River bush and so on. Take the time to learn all the routes that both Kayn and Rhaast can take, including with or without various items and Reaping Slash.

Umbral Trespass does NOT make you invulnerable, so be careful when equipped with Death's Dance, or suffering from other various Damage over Time effects!

Umbral Trespass CAN be canceled if vision is lost or the target uses Flash at a very specific time. Additionally, Duskblade no longer resets when using Umbral Trespass (this is a bug that has yet to be fixed) so be wary.

The healing on Rhaast's Umbral Trespass: Rhaast has two separate healing: the one from the damage you deal (your passive), and the damage you'd deal if resistances weren't a thing (the one built into the ultimate).

Make sure to make use of animation cancels, it is extremely helpful and helps you clear faster and healthier.

You CANNOT do Yasuo's E>Q>Flash with your Q, and you CANNOT do a W>Flash, as what will happen is you cast W then you will flash after the animation ends.

Kayn is a fun, unique and extremely flexible Champion who can adjust to his team's needs. He can exert large amounts of pressure and control, and can prove to be very useful and strong for his team. His weakness is his reliance on getting a proper early game and properly farming, as falling behind can, and WILL hurt him.

Take Dark Harvest or Electocute as your Keystone always if you're not sure to land on a definite Rhaast game that doesn't require Conqueror.

Shadow Assassin stacks lethality, Rhaast stacks sustain and damage with CDR.

Always max R, max W first (or Q if you're SA, but R>W>E>Q is my preference), but always put 3 points into Q first. And almost NEVER max Q as Rhaast especially once you're used to landing W.

Be aggressive and assertive when you're Kayn, don't be some scared boy, be bold and learn how to properly jungle, counter jungling, ganking and so on.

I heavily recommend watching Virkayu, his videos are greatly informative, well structured and easy to understand.

Thank you for reading my Kayn Guide, if you have any insight or opinions, please discuss it civilly down here! I'm open to feedback especially since I'm not some "CHALENJOUR KEYN ONE TRICK", especially since originally I was just a Yi main in the first place!

oh and speaking of yi, help your boi out and check this guide would you ty k ily all mwah -

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