Kayn is one of the newest champions to enter the Rift. His character's main feature seems to be his mid-game transformation. I've never played as Kayn myself, but I've seen several teammates and opponents use him.

To better understand him, I viewed his abilities in the client. Unfortunately, the descriptions provided there don't give much information in regards to how his passive actually works.

From what I understand, Kayn will transform into either his Darken form, or his Shadow from at some point during the game. Also, I've seen a teammate mentions that he intended to use Darkin Kayn after seeing the enemy's team composition.

Is one form is better suited for dealing damage while another excels as a tank?

I'd like to know what the differences between Kayn's two forms are, and what triggers his metamorphosis.

  • Reason for the downvote?
    – Josh B.
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 20:26
  • 5
    Didn't downvote, but the reason is probably because the question is poorly-researched. For example, reading the reveal will answer your whole question, and is in the top few results on googling "Kayn".
    – Delioth
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 20:29
  • @Delioth Thanks, I didn't know about that resource! Any advice on improving the question?
    – Josh B.
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 20:30
  • 1
    Since the question is practically asking to read docs, doing research makes the question worthless. As such, do research before asking. If 10 minutes of research answers your question, the question isn't worth asking.
    – Delioth
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 20:34
  • @JoshB. Other than not asking before doing research, not a lot you can do at this point. Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 20:34

2 Answers 2


Kayn is unique because he is the only champion that is able to switch their core skillset around to match the enemy team comp after the game has started. Rhaast, the Darkin version of Kayn, focuses on hard CC, healing based on damage dealt, and taking down tanks, while Shadow Assassin focuses on killing squishies very quickly.

Kayn's passive, The Darkin Scythe, is what triggers his transformation. Whenever he damages a ranged champion, he will gain points towards transforming into Shadow Assassin. Whenever he damages a melee champion, he gains points toward the Rhaast transformation. Once enough points have been collected for either form, you can choose to initiate the transformation right away at your base (turning into the form for which you collected the most points). Alternatively, you can opt to wait 4 additional minutes to transform into the version which had less points.

After you transform, your abilities are more or less the same, though they are modified slightly.

Passive: The Darkin Scythe

  • Rhaast: Heal for some of the damage you deal to enemy champions with your abilities.

  • Shadow Assassin: Deal extra damage for 3 seconds after entering combat. The cooldown for this extra damage is 8 seconds after being out of combat.

Q: Reaping Slash

  • Rhaast: Deals additional damage based on the target's maximum health.

W: Blade's Reach

  • Rhaast: Knock ups affected enemies.
  • Shadow Assassin: Gains additional range and damage. Additionally, you can keep moving while casting.

E: Shadow Step

  • Shadow Assassin: Removes slows and increases the movement speed buff you get for traveling through terrain.

R: Umbral Trespass

  • Rhaast: Deals additional damage based on the targets max health, and also heals you based on the target's max health.

  • Shadow Assassin: Gains increased cast range and also resets your passive.

  • Thanks for the great answer. I went ahead and made my own answer based on what I could find with "10 minutes of research" but this is clearly superior :)
    – Josh B.
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 20:59

According to Kayn's champion reveal, his transformation depends on what type of enemies he defeats:

Kayn hones his shadow skills by hunting ranged opponents, while Rhaast fuels his bloodlust by going toe-to-toe with melee enemies.

Upon defeating a ranged opponent, Kayn will gain stacks moving him closer to his Shadow form. When he defeats a melee opponent, he draws closer to his Darkin form. Once he has reached a certain threshold, the player can transform him by clicking on his character icon.

The main differences between the two forms are:

Shadow Assassin: Deal bonus magic damage during the first few seconds of combat with champions.

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

The champion reveal gives us even more insight into the differences between his two forms:

The darkin has telegraphed crowd control and limited access to enemy backlines. The shadow assassin has very limited sustain damage and no hard crowd control.

So, to sum it up:

Defeating melee champs will bring Kayn closer to his Darkin form, ultimately resulting in a tankier character with hard CC. Picking off enough ranged champions will initiate his Shadow form, resulting in him being characterized as more of an assassin.

I'd like to thank Deolith for pointing me to the source of this information!

  • Again with the downvotes. Why?
    – Josh B.
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 20:59
  • 1
    The tooltip for answer downvotes reads: "This answer is not useful". As the creator of the question, I do believe this answer is useful and entirely relevant. I honestly think people downvote just to send a negative message.
    – Josh B.
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 21:09
  • Self-answered questions always get more scrutiny than normal, because there's always the suspicion that it might be an attempt at rep-farming. Questions that are easily answered with a short amount of research are primary targets for attempts at rep-farming, so seeing the same person ask and answer an "easy" question raises doubts, and people use a downvote to discourage that behavior. (Not saying that's what you were doing here, just what it may look like to someone who is taking a brief look at the post.)
    – Mage Xy
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 22:28
  • Plus the fact that I answered the question seven-ish minutes before you makes it look again like you were just trying to grab some free rep by answering something that "already had a good answer" (again, not saying that's what you're doing - I can see that you were just trying to share what you found). Don't worry about it too much - one or two downvotes here and there don't affect your account too much.
    – Mage Xy
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 22:31
  • @MageXy Thanks for the benefit of the doubt. That hasn't been my usual experience on here. I started writing my answer before yours was posted. I didn't see your answer until after I had posted mine. I thought it might help if I did some "more research". Anyway, I gave an answer that would satisfy me. Yours went above and beyond. It's frustrating to feel that others downvote you because they're dissatisfied with you in general, so they take away some rep. I don't really care about the rep, it's just more the feeling of the community cracking down on you when you only had good intentions.
    – Josh B.
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 22:51

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