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Kayn Build Guide by RactickTTV

Jungle Ractick's [12.9 Updated] Detailed KAYN Guide for all situation!

Jungle Ractick's [12.9 Updated] Detailed KAYN Guide for all situation!

Updated on May 13, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author RactickTTV Build Guide By RactickTTV 1236 58 1,758,566 Views 46 Comments
1236 58 1,758,566 Views 46 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author RactickTTV Kayn Build Guide By RactickTTV Updated on May 13, 2022
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RactickTTV's Featured Video

Runes: Blue Kayn Best Runes

1 2 3
First Strike
Magical Footwear
Future's Market
Cosmic Insight

Eyeball Collection
Treasure Hunter

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


1 2
Blue (Shadow Assassin)
LoL Summoner Spell: Chilling Smite

Chilling Smite

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash



Other Options (Can be played in specific games)

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

Ractick's [12.9 Updated] Detailed KAYN Guide for all situation!

By RactickTTV
Table of Contents
x About Me
x Skill Sequence
x Abilities
x Tips & Tricks
x Choosing Form
x Runes
x Summoner Spells
x Early Game
x Mid Game
x Late Game
About Me
I am Ractick, an NA player and I have been playing Kayn ever since I started the game back in season 8. I am currently a Diamond 2 Kayn/ Viego 2 trick and am Top 14 Kayn NA. I also stream a lot of my games on Twitch on Tue/Fri/Sat 5pm EST.
I have decided to make this guide as I think I have enough knowledge in the jungle and about Kayn to help out anyone looking into the champion or someone who is playing him already.

This page is an in-depth guide on how to play Kayn, including what items to build and when, the most relevant match-ups explained, pathing, runes and more.

I will be updating this guide and will change things as the season progresses, to give you guys the most accurate information and resources on how to play Kayn.

If you want to see me play Kayn live or ask my any questions about the guide, feel free to check out my stream here.

If you are interested in other content I create, feel free to checkout my other social platforms here.

If you would like to support my efforts it would mean a lot and be very helpful to me if you could upvote this guide, leave a comment and maybe even give me a follow on twitch.

1. What's your OP.GG?

2. Why play Kayn over other junglers?
I believe Kayn's flexibility is his greatest asset ever, that and a bunch of other reasons. Having 2 different options to go for, 2 completely different champions basically: an insanely fast and snowball assassin that will 1 tap The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin and a bruiser, teamfighting healing beast The Darkin Scythe: Rhaast.

I will go over forms more in detail in the later section, but that is the best thing about Kayn in my opinion. He's also very fun to play with his Shadow Step.

3. Why am I making this guide?
I have been playing Kayn for a while and have started streaming my gameplay and grind to becoming one of the best Kayn players in the world. I want to share what I learn on the way and help others get better at him, I also find it fun creating guides.
New Patch Notes Regarding Kayn

Patch 11.13: Prowler's/Nimbus Cloak/Black Cleaver/Invisible W nerf


Prowler's Claw's ability to dash to any target (Minions included) to champions only as well as reducing the lethality.
I think going back to a Duskblade of Draktharr build or even Eclipse will be viable in some games I believe, I updated my current favorite builds for him post-nerfs. Also currently testing Stridebreaker and Goredrinker on blue kayn, I think there is potential there (I have shared the builds I am testing if you want to test them yourself).


Nimbus Cloak nerf makes it a little less valuable to play on both of Kayn's forms, I think in some cases it can still nice to have for Rhaast to reduce the enemies ability to kite you, the other option here being reverting back to a Domination tree secondary. As for Shadow Assassin, I would rather now take Transcendence and Gathering Storm.


The Black Cleaver nerf will partially affect Rhaast, but it will definitely remain a great item on him, possibly not an every game item though.


The infamous Invisible Blade's Reach on Kayn has been nerfed by Riot and Kayn's Blade's Reach will now always show when in Shadow Step, this isn't any big deal.

Patch 11.17: The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin Kayn passive damage reduced from 12-44% to 8-30%.

This will affect Kayn's Goredrinker build on Blue form considering his early bonus magic damage has been reduced. We will probably be reverting back to his regular Prowler's Claw or Eclipse builds, I don't like Duskblade of Draktharr much, I would rather always replace it with Prowler's but that's up to you! I have updated all the Blue Kayn builds, feel free to refer to those, with my favorite 2 at the top [/b][/color][/h3]

Patch 11.19:

Dawnbringer/Nightbringer Kayn!!! Huge buff to kayn, skin makes you x10 better, jk but finally! Release: September 23rd (Doing a giveaway in my discord, link can be found in my Youtube & Twitch description):)

Patch 11.21:

1. Conqueror got nerfed:
ADAPTIVE FORCE PER STACK 2-5 (based on level) ⇒ 2-4 (based on level)
BUFF DURATION 6 seconds ⇒ 4 seconds

2. Goredrinker got nerfed:
THIRSTING SLASH 100% Total AD ⇒ 175% Base AD
NEW OMNIVAMP Goredrinker now grants 8% Omnivamp
REMOVED HEALTH REGENERATION Goredrinker no longer grants 150% health regen
REMOVED SPITE No longer grants 0-15% (based on missing health) of your AD as bonus AD

3. These 2 nerfs with affect Rhaast a lot consider he uses both Conqueror and Goredrinker, we will possibly continue to build Goredrinker on him and explore the option of playing Eclipse maybe even Electrocute?? My guess is Rhaast will be more or less the same build wise.

4. Blue Kayn will probably revert back to a lethality build of some sort, either Duskblade or Prowler's, possibly even Eclipse which is pretty good too actually!

Patch 11.22:

Riot realises their mistake and buffs Goredrinker& Kayn's red form!! Rhaast is back and he's a beast with even more AD now! Look to build Goredrinker into Sterak's Gage or Black Cleaver, basically back to the regular build hehe, go DOMINATE!

Patch 11.24: Conqueror buff & Predator nerf

Conqueror buff will be nice for Rhaast & make him a tad bit stronger, we take those hehe!
ADAPTIVE FORCE PER STACK 2-4 (based on level) ⇒ 2-4.5 (based on level)
DURATION 4 seconds ⇒ 5 seconds

Predator nerf might affect any Blue Kayn Predator players, but it won't matter much as First Strike & Dark Harvest are even better anyways.
RAMP-UP TIME 1 second ⇒ 1.5 seconds

Patch 12.3:

1. Some very nice Goredrinker buffs making Purple Kayn (last section of the builds) very viable again when paired with First Strike.

2. The Sterak's Gage nerfs and Death's Dance / Black Cleaver buffs have made it that buying Death's Dance and Black Cleaver as a second item on Red Kayn is usually much better than Sterak's second. Make sure to check the builds for Rhaast at the top for the most up to date builds.

3. Maw of Malmortius's has made a very nice item to build on Red Kayn, that can be a replacement for Spirit Visage or can be paired together.
Choosing Form

For blue form or The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin this is a very powerful heavy carry form! You are going to have huge burst for their squishy targets and massive mobility with Shadow Step: Shadow Assassin (E), like an assassin should be :)
The Blade's Reach: Shadow Assassin will be a powerful tool to poke, also keep in mind other abilities can be used at the same time as the W.
On this form you have huge one shot potential on their carries! The Umbral Trespass: Shadow Assassin has increased ranged and damage and will allow you to blow up some ennemies.
Go for this form whenever you can one shot 3+ ennemies on the opposing team!
Only disclaimer for this form is to keep in mind you are still a very squishy target and should be careful with giving big shutdowns to the enemy as you can lose a lot of games like that!
He also falls off like any other assassin in later stages of the game so keep that in mind.

Good luck on The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin games you monster!

The Darkin Scythe: Rhaast is usually my go to whenever our team needs a tankier front liner, or better teamfighting. He excels at fighting tankier targets due to his Max health damage on his Q Reaping Slash: Rhaast, your W Blade's Reach: Rhaast will airborne ennemies now and your R Umbral Trespass: Rhaast will heal you for their max health! But usually the way I simplify the choice is by looking at the enemy team, a good rule of thumb is if you can't one shot atleast 3 of them with The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin then you are looking at a game of The Darkin Scythe: Rhaast.
I think Rhaast is very powerful form to allows you to make mistakes and still manage to carry most games whenever you are fed! He is much more forgiving than The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin.

Good luck on your The Darkin Scythe: Rhaast games you beast!

First Strike The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin utilizes First Strike the best out of any other rune, so usually almost every game The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin games are First Strike. It lets you get form x2 faster giving you double the orbs due to the game counting every hit as a double hit for the first 3seconds of combat with First Strike.
Magical Footwear The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin Free boots are always nice to save some cash hehe.
Future's Market Future's Market is always a nice rune to go for Blue Kayn to hit those powerspikes faster such as Serrated Dirk early, Prowler's Claw and Boots of Lucidity etc. Combined with First Strike, it just feels great.
Cosmic Insight ★ This rune is very nice as it reduces the cooldown on your Smites as well as your Flash and who wouldn't want that? It is the best in slot option.

Eyeball Collection Eyeball Collection is a great rune to get some extra AD in your kit and increase your damage with your runes, again best in slot as a secondary rune.
Ingenious Hunter ★ Considering Kayn's R cooldown is not very high, going Ingenious Hunter instead of Ultimate is very nice as it reduces your Item cooldowns such as Prowler's Claw or Goredrinker, Yoummu's Ghostblade, Edge of Night and even helps you stack up your Muramana faster.


Dark Harvest The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin utilizes Dark Harvest the best out of any other rune, so usually almost every game The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin games are Dark Harvest, unless the plan is to plan a bruiser build on Blue Kayn then Conqueror can be good in that situation.
Sudden Impact The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin makes great use of the increased lethality as well as the free magic penetration which can be useful with Blue Kayn's passive giving him bonus AP damage for the first 3s of combat.
Eyeball Collection ★ This is just the best option right now for The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin in my opinion and most people that play Kayn go for Eyeball Collection
Ultimate Hunter ★ With the cooldown on Kayn's ultimate Umbral Trespass: Shadow Assassin being a little to long, having Ultimate Hunter is always clutch and very useful to snowball harder by ulting more often!

Nimbus Cloak ★ The extra speed you get from Nimbus Cloak is always great to have especially on an assassin like The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin !
Transcendence ★ Transcendence is extremely useful for the little bit of CDR it gives you on Kayn's abilities is they are a tad bit higher CDs then they used to be! So this is always helpful to get in more DPS in a fight or when looking to kill someone.


Conqueror The Darkin Scythe: Rhaast utilizes Conqueror crazy freaking well, increased healing and some damage, AWESOME! Every game on The Darkin Scythe: Rhaast games are Conqueror,nothing beats Conqueror Rhaast, no other rune is as good!
Triumph The Darkin Scythe: Rhaast gets even more healing when killing some with Triumph, why not, the more healing the better on my big boy Rhaast! Presence of Mind is another option to make sure you don't run out of mana but usually we purchase an early Tear of the Goddess so no worries there.
Legend: Tenacity The Darkin Scythe: Rhaast does great with Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand The Darkin Scythe: Rhaast does great with Last Stand as it gives him more damage when he is low, usually on Rhaast you ult at low HP, which combines well with Last Stand and it can also be clutch for a Q on low HP doing more damage, which in turn heals you more!

Transcendence ★ Considering Rhaast is great at teamfighting, Transcendence synergizes well with his Q and W, reducing their cooldown during fights as well as giving you free Ability Haste which is always amazing on Kayn :)
Gathering Storm ★ Gathering Storm is a great rune on Rhaast as he is a very strong scaling and teamfighting champion and with this rune he will get some extra AD as the games goes on making him even stronger and the best rune in slot.
Summoner Spells

FLASH: Nothing too interesting to explain with F. Can be used in combination with Q to reach further and surprise the enemy.
SMITE: You will usually want to go with a Challenging Smite with Red form, The Darkin Scythe: Rhaast and go with Chilling Smite with Blue form, The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin.

There will be a few games where you will exceptionally want to go Chilling Smite on Rhaast to reduce their ability to kite you, if you think they have too much kite but need to go with Rhaast.
I almost never do a Challenging Smite blue form unless I am doing a Bluiser build which we will cover later.
Skill Sequence


















The Darkin Scythe Form Choice: Rhaast vs Shadow Assassin 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. Once primed, the other option becomes available after 4 minutes. Kayn can continue collecting orbs for his other form to reduce the wait time.

The transformation can only be performed by interacting with Kayn's portrait while on the summoning platform, permanently changing his abilities.

Reaping slash Small Dash that procs damage x2 Kayn dashes forward, dealing 75 / 95 / 115 / 135 / 155 (+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.

Both instances of Reaping Slash deal 40 bonus damage against minions and monsters.

Blade's reach AOE damage, After a short delay in which he can't perform any other actions, Kayn performs an upwards sweep with his scythe, dealing 90 / 135 / 180 / 225 / 270 (+ 1.3 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to all enemies in a line and slowing them by 90%, decaying over 1.5 seconds.

Shadow Step Allows you to go through walls 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 7 / 7.5 / 8 / 8.5 / 9 seconds.

Entering combat with a champion after the effect is enhanced reduces the remaining duration to 1.5 seconds.

Umbral Trespass Go untargetable inside an enemy & deal damage on exit 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 (+ 1.75 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to the target.
Tips & Tricks


First thing you MUST KNOW when playing Kayn is how his The Darkin Scythe passive stacks up orbs and how you get your form:
Put simply if you hit a melee champion you will get red orbs building towards The Darkin Scythe: Rhaast.
If you hit a ranged champion you will get blue orbs towards The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin.
Whichever type of orb you have more than 50% of will determine which form you will get!


Another high risk strategy here is: starting on the enemy raptors while that enemy is doing his red brambleback and quickly unlocking Shadow Step to smite the red buff before the enemy is done taking it!
BOOM you just got 2 of their camps and they're super far behind!
Early Game
Alright so you're in game now, you should know which form you are going for The Darkin Scythe...
Now for the Kayn early game, you have 2 options:


You go for a full-clear and scuttle and then look to affect the map through ganks or invading the enemy on respawning camps. When going for the full clear you will have that LVL 4 advantage over most junglers and could look to fight in the river for scuttle .
After scuttle, if you can't find any gank or invade opportunities you can look for an early back and grab yourself a Tear of the Goddess or what I prefer Long Sword and Ruby Crystal or x2 Long Sword.


As for option 2, this is a hyper aggressive playstyle where you look to clear 3 camps and start ganking around the map if you laners have that kill pressure, CC or better match-up.
Now another thing you can do is go for invades on weaker early game junglers, clearing 3 camps and looking to invade and kill them on their second buff, or steal some of their camps (careful here, watch your lane states - if you have pressure - before invading).

Honorable Mention:

Starting on the enemy's 2nd buff and stealing that side of their jungler before quickly going to your own and clearing that as well (most effective in lower elos, where jungle is defended very well at the start).

Another high risk strategy mentioned in Tips & Tricks is: starting on the enemy raptors while that enemy is doing his red brambleback and quickly unlocking Shadow Step to smite the red buff before the enemy is done taking it!
BOOM you just got 2 of their camps and they're super far behind!

After your first back look to start clearing those respawning camps and actively watch your lanes for gank opportunities to get your form The Darkin Scythe as fast as possible! Don't force anything though remembering that Kayn isn't the strongest of early game champs and can get countered ganked or lose skirmishes against strong early lanes.

If you can't find any good ganks, powerfarming on Kayn is also a good option just remember that will have a delayed form, but at least you're not going for bad plays. Just don't make it a habits,leads are built in the early game and snowballed through the mid game!

Quick tip: Remember to leave stealth wards before you first back and switch to an Oracle Lens afterwards! If you watch my gameplay I sometimes keep my stealth wards to setup invades on the enemy jungler.
Mid to Late Game
Alright by now you should have gotten your form The Darkin Scythe or you're stuck with the timer because you got the wrong form!

Now that you have your form, you will be so much stronger and able to fight all over the map assuming you are not very much behind! Now, like I said before: leads are built in the early game and snowballed through the mid game!

So right now you want to keep ganking any lane that you find opportunity on and look to secure every objective on the map.

Your playstyle will differ a lot depending on which form you are playing but always keeping an eye on your laners and looking for objectives is a good start.
Now let's go into each forms detailed game plan in the Mid to late game!

For The Darkin Scythe: Shadow Assassin, it's your time to shine you want to gank as much as possible, any time you see opportunity, go one shot someone! You can look for dives pretty easily with Kayn too, don't be scared but don't take unnecessary risk especially if you're ahead!
Keep pushing your lead, through ganks, objectives and clearing your jungle. Always prioritize ganking over farming! Look to end the game as soon as possible, hopefully by taking baron, as Shadow Assassin falls off in the late game.

If you do make it into the late game with Blue Kayn, you can still win, you will need to use your Shadow Step: Shadow Assassin and Blade's Reach: Shadow Assassin to poke before teammfights, you can also use Shadow Step: Shadow Assassin for temporary vision.
Whenever a fight breaks out your goal is always to kill the back line, the carrys!

For The Darkin Scythe: Rhaast if you got some early kills you will be huge, you can take big fights 3v3, 4v4 and destroy everyone! Rhaast is a teamfighting monster with his AOE airborne on Blade's Reach: Rhaast and huge healing from Reaping Slash, make sure to use your Goredrinker too, you can put it inside your Q.
Use your R on Rhaast, Umbral Trespass: Rhaast to either avoid important skill shot or better heal yourself after you become low hp.
You can also push leads very hard with Rhaast picks everywhere, anytime an enemy is out of position you can reach them with E and airborne quickly!

Thank you for reading our guide and making it all the way down here!

Kayn is an absolutely lovely champion, extremely fun to play and hard to get bored of...I hope you guys get awesome at him and enjoy playing him!

Feel free to leave me any comments on thoughts you have on the guide or how you feel about Kayn himself :)

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