How To Play Kayn In League Of Legends

Kayn is an assassin with a rather unique playstyle. Under the right hands, this champion can single handedly carry a game. Here’s everything you need to know to get you started playing the Shadow Reaper.


As one of the best Junglers in the game, Kayn sure has a lot of flexibility. With his two forms, you can actually switch his role on the fly to fit whatever your team needs. If your team needs an additional frontliner, you can choose to be his Darkin form and be a bruiser that has a fair bit of durability while also having additional crowd control. On the other hand, if your team needs more burst damage then you can go for Kayn’s Shadow Assassin form who is very mobile with enough utility in his kit to make his ganks very powerful. It’s safe to say that Kayn is a champion worth sinking your time into.


Kayn’s kit revolves around versatility and dealing damage.

Passive – The Darkin Scythe

Kayn wields an ancient weapon and first Rhaast, the darkin within it, for control. One will win, the other will die. The Darkin Rhaast thrives on fighting melee enemies, while hunting vulnerable ranged enemies strengthens Kayn, the Shadow Assassin.

Darkin: Heal for a percentage of spell damage dealt to champions.

Shadow Assassin: For the first 3 seconds in champion combat, deal percentage of all damage dealt to champions as bonus magic damage.

Q – Reaping Slash

Kayn dashes forward to strike nearby enemies. Both dash and strike deal physical damage, with bonus 40 damage against minions and monsters.

Darkin: Deals a percentage of the target’s maximum health instead.

W – Blade’s Reach

Kayn deals physical damage and slows enemies hit by 90%, decaying over the next 1.5 seconds.

Shadow Assassin: Creates a Living shadow, which casts Blade’s Reach for him.

Darkin: Enemies hit are knocked up for 1 second.

E – Shadow Step

Kayn gains 40% Movement Speed and the ability to walk through terrain for 1.5 seconds. When he first enters terrain, he is healed and the duration of this effect is extended.

Shadow Assassin: While in terrain, Kayn gains slow immunity, his Movement Speed bonus is increased to 80%. Shadow Step’s cooldown is reduced to 8 seconds.

R – Umbral Trespass

Kayn infects an enemy champion he has recently damaged, becoming untargetable for up to 2.5 seconds. Reactivate to end this effect early. When Umbral Trespass ends, the target takes physical damage.

Shadow Assassin: Gains 200 extra range and refreshes The Darkin Scythe on exit.

Darkin: Deals percent maximum health damage and heals for a percentage of target maximum health.

Runes and Item Builds

When it comes to runes and item builds, your focus on Kayn should be to increase his damage, sustain, and survivability. These are key areas that will help you succeed and snowball from a lead.

Starting Items

For your starting items, you go the standard Jungler route. You can choose from an Emberknife, which will turn your Smite into Challenging Smite, or Hailblade, which will turn your Smite into Chilling Smite. Both are pretty solid but Emberknife will allow you to deal more damage in the long run.

Mythic Item

When it comes to your Mythic item, you have two options. These are Goredrinker and Divine Sunderer. Out of these two, the best choice is Goredrinker. It gives you all the stats you need from damage to health and even gives you additional sustain, allowing you to stay longer in fights. Divine Sunderer is a pretty good choice as well if your playstyle is geared towards being more of a sustained duelist or if the enemy team has a lot of tanks. For the most part, you’ll do better with Goredrinker as your Mythic item.

Full Build

After purchasing your desired Mythic, go for tier 2 boots. The standard for duelists and bruisers is Plated Steelcaps, however, you can swap it out for Mercury’s Treads if you need the resistance to crowd control or if the enemy team has more magic damage dealers. Next, go for Manamune which will solve your mana issues while also giving you a fair bit of damage. After, purchase Death’s Dance to help you last longer in fights. At this point, you’ll need Black Cleaver to give you additional health and damage while also letting you shred your target’s armor. Lastly, finish off your build with Maw of Malmortius which gives you a lot of damage and a spell shield to block of potentially lethal damage.


For your runes, go with the Precision tree and take Conqueror as your keystone. This will increase your damage and sustain in extended fights. However, if you know beforehand that you’ll be playing more of as an assassin, you can go for Dark Harvest from the Domination tree. After taking Conqueror, take Triumph for the sustain, Legend: Tenacity to help you stick to your targets better, and Last Stand to deal more damage when you’re low on health. For secondaries, take Magical Footwear and Cosmic Insight from the Inspiration tree. Magical Footwear gives you free boots while Cosmic Insight improves your cooldowns. For rune shards, take double Adaptive Force and Armor.

Useful Tips

  1. Kayn has two forms and once you pick one, you won’t be able to switch back so choose wisely! A helpful thing to keep in mind is that if you want to play more as a bruiser with sustain and crowd control, go for the Darkin Form and if you want to play more as an Assassin, go with the Shadow Assassin form.
  2. Kayn is countered by Talon, Karthus, Diana, Zed, and Graves. If you’re matched up against these champions, try to play it safe instead of being aggressive.
  3. For your summoner spells, always take Smite and Flash. Flash gives you an additional layer of mobility while Smite lets you clear Jungle camps faster and allows you to secure objectives like Dragon or Baron.

So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Kayn in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!