How to Play Against Kayn

How to Play Against Kayn (5 Tips)

A snowball heavy and incredibly mobile champion such as Kayn can be challenging and frustrating to deal with.

With his insane healing and pressure, he can be really difficult to play against once he’s ahead.

Let’s discuss how we can make countering Kayn a little bit easier.

Kayn is mainly played in the Jungle, but can also be played in the Top lane too.

We will be focusing on Jungle Kayn, but some of the tips will work for Top lane Kayn as well as they have somewhat similar playstyles in the later parts of the game.

Kayn champion page

How to play against Kayn:

  1. Invest in healing reduction
  2. Abuse his weak early game
  3. Ward his jungle
  4. Secure objectives
  5. Avoid roaming the map alone (in the later parts of the game)

1. Invest in healing reduction

Healing reduction or grievous wounds is essential against any champion who builds sustain or has built-in sustain in their kit. Kayn can gain a ton of sustain in a skirmish through a variety of sources. Firstly, he heals when dealing damage in Rhaast form; he gets sustain through his E, his Ultimate also offers him so extra sustain. And finally, he also purchases items that give him additional healing.

In the mid-game, Kayn can be very hard to kill. He deals a lot of damage, is somewhat tanky, and has lots of sustain. By investing in a grievous wounds item such as Executioner’s Calling or Oblivion Orb, you can reduce the amount of healing he gets in a fight.

Executioner's Calling

This image and other similar ones were taken from the LOL Wiki.

With healing reduction, it should be easier for you to kill Kayn as he will get less healing in a fight. If you do not get any healing reduction, it will be harder for you to kill him as he can out-sustain the damage you deal to him.

For learners who may be trying to fight Kayn such as Mid lakers or the Support, Ignite him as soon as he gets on to you as Ignite also applies grievous wounds.

If you want to know what healing reduction item is suitable for your champion, check out your favorite champions champion page to see a situational item breakdown!

2. Abuse his weak early game

Kayn has a weak early game. If you are playing a strong early game champion such as Nunu, Hecarim, or Udyr, you should look to abuse his weakness by invading and trying to fight him frequently. By walking into his jungle and trying to start a fight with him, it is plausible that you will be able to kill him or at the very least push him out of his jungle and away from his camps.

Kayn power spikes

Denying him gold and XP or setting him behind will delay his power spike and reduce his early game effectiveness. If he has a bad start to the game, he will complete his first item later than usual, delay his transformation, and delay his level 6 power spike.

There are a few ways you can set Kayn behind. You can try to invade him at his second buff and try to steal it away from him. This could be very impactful as Kayn relies heavily on both of his buffs to help him in the early game.

Similarly, you could try to invade him frequently and try to fight him. One way of doing this is by rocking up to his jungle and looking for him. If he is trying to take a camp, you could look to fight him for the camp.

Kayn counter matchups

Learn what champions are good and bad against Kayn by checking out Kayn’s best and worst matchups!

3. Ward his jungle

One way of knowing where Kayn is at any given time is by placing wards inside his jungle. Placing wards in his jungle is very useful in not only helping you fight him and put him behind in the early game, but it can offer you and your team so much additional information that can help you win the game.

  • Let’s start with you, the Jungler. If you know that Kayn is on a particular camp, you can try to invade him, fight him and kill him for the camp. This will give you a lot of free gold and set him behind.
  • If you’re not in a position to invade and fight him, you could look to invade the other side of his jungle and try to steal his camps; this will deny him some gold and XP which will delay his item and power spikes.
  • If you’re not able to steal his camps or invade him, you could try to do a neutral objective such as the Dragon or Rift Herald. If you see Kayn on the topside, you could look to do the Drake, and if you spot him on the bottom side, you could look to do the Rift Herald. This will give your team an advantage.
  • Finally, if you know that Kayn is on the opposite side of the map, you could gank a nearby lane knowing that he will be unable to show up and counter gank. For instance, if he is in the bottom side jungle, you can gank your top laner.
  • For laners, if you know Kayn is on the top side of the map, you could look for an aggressive play in the bottom lane and look for a kill as he will be unable to show up and counter you.

There are plenty of ways you can track Kayn in his jungle. If you know how to track him properly, you can gain a big advantage. Check out our guide on how to track the enemy Jungler for more tips and tricks.

Here are some good warding locations that will help you track Kayn in his Jungle. If you want to learn more warding locations to help counter other Junglers, check out our in-depth warding guide.

Warding the enemy jungle as red team

Warding the enemy jungle as red team

4. Secure objectives

It’s the Jungler’s job to secure objectives for their team. Securing Dragons provide your team with global stats while getting the Rift Herald can get you and your team gold. Securing these objectives and taking them away from Kayn is very beneficial as it will delay his power spike and (slightly) tone him down in the later parts of the game.

New Mountain Drake

Taking the Dragons away from Kayn will also enable you to get an early Soul Dragon or “match point” with multiple Dragons. Getting the soul Dragon heavily increases your chances of winning the game.

Many Junglers can solo the objective, but if you’re not in a position to take the Dragon, you could gank the bottom lane and then call for help from your bottom lane to secure the objective as a team.

If you can solo the objective, make sure your lanes have priority so they can come and help you if needed. Good times to take the Dragon on your own are when:

  • Kayn is on the top side of the map. This means he cannot prevent you from taking the objective.
  • When your allies have lane priority.
  • When Kayn is dead, he cannot stop you if he’s dead…

5. Avoid roaming the map alone (in the mid and late game)

Depending on how ahead Kayn is, avoid walking around Summoners Rift alone. Kayn is an assassin and will look to kill targets that are moving around the Rift alone.

You can prevent yourself from being caught out and dying to Kayn by grouping with your team at all times and not walking through the river alone unless you know where Kayn is.

Kayn E

Kayn loves to use his E to get over walls and take down targets in high traffic parts of the map such as in the river, near major objectives, and around jungle entrances. He may even hide around these parts of the map and wait for an unsuspecting enemy to walk through them alone.

Kayn can get in and out of skirmishes incredibly quickly. If you want to learn how to avoid being one-shot as a squishy champion against Kayn, check out our new Kayn champion combos page to know what he’s looking to do.

  • Avoid face checking bushes if you do not know where Kayn is.
  • Stick to parts of the map that are already warded.
  • For squishy Supports like Nami or Janna, avoid warding alone unless your allies are with you (or you know where Kayn is).
  • Take alternative paths if you know Kayn is nearby.

Treat Kayn similar to other assassins such as Akali, Fizz, Leblanc, or Zed. If they’re fed- stay away from them.


When playing against Kayn, you need to prevent him from being damage dealing-healing-machine that we often see in Solo Queue. The way to do this is by denying him gold and preventing him from getting ahead by taking resources away from him.

If you have any questions or want to learn more, check out PicklePants’s stream.

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