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Kayn’s forms: how they work and how to choose

How to get the most out of your Kayn play, in about 500 words.

What makes Kayn special is his ability to transform into either a juggernaut or an assassin mid game. Kayn’s passive, The Darkin Scythe, is what allows this transformation to take place, but it is a little confusing. If you don’t know how to transform, you don’t know how to play Kayn. While we do have a big guide about all things Kayn, this little number here will help clarify one of his weirdest systems.

Collecting essence


In order to transform, Kayn must collect the essence of his enemies. Unlike Kindred or Rengar, this does not require that Kayn get kills. Instead, Kayn must damage his enemies. When Kayn damages an enemy champion, either blue or red essence leaks out of them. When Kayn exits combat, all the essence will fly to him.

The type of champion you attack determines the type of essence you will receive. You get blue essence for ranged attackers and red for melee attackers.

Choosing a side


Once you have filled your essence bar, a side will win. Kayn’s champion portrait will split in half, revealing the victor. If you collected more blue essence, the Shadow Assassin portrait will be lit up. If you collected more red, the Darkin side will win. You must go back to the fountain to transform. Click on the winning side and they will take over Kayn’s body.

If I get more of the kind of essence I don’t want, can I still pick the other one?

Yes, but you will have to be patient. When the victor comes up, the other form has a timer above it. Waiting a couple of minutes will allow you to choose either form.

Who do you want to be?

A good Kayn player may be able to stomp on one form consistently, but a great one will be able to play both. When you enter into a match as Kayn, you may already know which form you want based on your team comp or the enemies. However, Kayn gives you the luxury of making that decision mid game, just in case anything changes.

Shadow Assassin

You want to pick up the Shadow Assassin if your team is lacking in damage or if the enemy team has one or two hyper-carries. The Shadow Assassin is amazing at diving into unsuspecting enemies and killing them before they ever get a chance. However, this comes at the price of health and utility. You will go down fast as the Shadow Assassin, and my find yourself trading your life for the enemies. If you find your team in need of a Kha’Zix style assassin, Shadow Assassin should be your go to form.


The Darkin form will probably be the most common form for Kayn. The Darkin is tanky, deals plenty of damage and brings a little bit of utility with his W. With a good build that perfectly mixes damage and tank, the Darkin can take over a game. The Darkin form doesn’t bring the same kind of lock-down that Warwick does, but the similarities between the two still remain. You can move through the map (literally) very quickly and life-steal you way back up to full health in no time.