How to master LoL's new jungler, Kayn
© Riot Games
We tell you how to get to grips with League's latest jungler.
At long last Kayn has arrived on the Rift, bringing a whole new set of terrifying abilities to the jungle and a brand-new trick that League of Legends has never seen before. Kayn is the game's first multi-class champion, allowing him to transform into a deadly assassin perfect for picking off squishies or a more durable bruiser with lifesteal, extra CC, and the ability to melt tanks.
His addition to the game's roster will add a new dimension of flexibility for teams who choose the Shadow Reaper. Will he become the Shadow Assassin and start ripping through your ADC or will he morph into the Darkin Rhaast, and rip the very heart from your bruisers?
We've spent the week getting to know Kayn and how to make the best use of his ability set. If you're picking him up for the first time, then you'll find the tips below useful, whether you're planning on testing him out, or merely trying to survive with your usual main.
What to max first?
We've found two routes for Kayn that seem to work best, depending on how you want to play him. If prioritising damage above all else, then we suggest maxing-out your abilities with the following priority: R (Umbral Trespass), Q (Reaping Slash), W (Blade’s Reach), E (Shadow Step). Reaping Slash deals more total damage than Blade's Reach if both the dash and subsequent AoE connect with their target.
However, if you're not as confident about landing both, then it's perfectly acceptable to max in the order R, W, Q, E instead, prioritising Blade's Reach, which is a far easier ability to land.
Shadow Assassin vs Darkin
By attacking champions, Kayn fills his transformation meter. When it's complete (which is perfectly possible by level five or six if you're a diligent ganker), then he's offered the choice to become one of his two final forms. If you've attacked more melee champions, you'll be offered the choice to turn into Rhaast. If you've struck more ranged champs, then the Shadow Assassin will be offered.
Which one to choose? Kayn's Darkin form is much more durable than his assassin form and offers more CC, deals percent health damage and his abilities heal. The Shadow Assassin, on the other hand, provides heightened mobility and extra magic damage, making him perfect for cutting into low-health targets.
Team composition will likely be the biggest factor in your decision of which to choose; an enemy team consisting of a single tanky hero and four squishy targets is an enticing proposition for the Shadow Assassin. On the other hand, if the enemy has a Darius top lane, Alistar support, and Maokai in the jungle, you're almost certainly better off picking Rhaast.
Don't worry too much if you accidentally end up attacking more melee champions, but want to be become the Shadow Assassin – the second transformation option also opens up for Kayn after a short delay.
Unusual pathing is key
The most deadly trick in Kayn's arsenal is Shadow Step. His ability to travel through terrain at high speed makes him an insanely powerful ganker. Without solid vision, you don't know where he'll hop out and begin slicing.
- Shadow Step forces you out of terrain at the nearest edge. Be sure to position yourself at the optimal position to gain maximum distance travelled when the ability ends.
- The small heal from Shadow Step can be the difference between life and death. Hop into terrain if you feel a fight going south.
- It's even useful in mid-lane to approach your target quickly. Use Shadow Step to run through the walls travelling parallel with the river.
- Remember, you can also travel through the map's outer walls: you can run along its edge to get into lane faster, and also to chase enemies who are trying to escape.
Umbral Trespass has many uses
- Once you've hopped into someone, you go where they go. If you see an enemy trying to escape with a channeled teleport, or even a dash about to come off cooldown, hop inside and they'll be unable to avoid you.
- Umbral Trespass is a great way to avoid telegraphed abilities and CC, like Bard or Maokai's ultimates.
- Think carefully about your exit vector: you want to block paths to escape as much as possible.
- Remember that the longer you stay inside an enemy, the more time their cooldowns have to refresh as well as yours. If they're low on health, you may be better off exiting sooner rather than later.
- Umbral Trespass will reset tower aggro, affording Kayn insane tower dive potential.
- When playing as the Darkin Rhaast, you'll want to time your Umbral Trespass to grant the biggest heal possible, so consider waiting to tank some damage before you jump into your enemy.