ByShelby T., writer at Creators.co
Whether it's League of Legends, social issues, or the feels, you can often find this author yelling.

Wow, everyone. This is it. This is our new League of Legends champion. Meet Kayn: The Shadow Reaper. And after you say hi to Kayn, give another somewhat-terrified-yet-somewhat-aroused-welcome to Rhaast, his other half. Not sure what I'm talking about? Welcome to the Newbie's Wrap-Up of Kayn!

(QUICK! What's a Newbie's Wrap-Up? Well, I'm new to creators.co, and you're... er, PROBABLY new to Kayn, so this is a wrap-up of some fun points and information about Kayn that I really think will liven up the discussion. ONWARD!)

ABILITIES

To kick off this Wrap-Up, let's meet our champ. Kayn, according to the tidbits of lore we have so far, is a member of the Order of the Shadow fighting for Ionia. While his heart his pure, his weapon is the complete opposte; a Darkin, similar to Aatrox. Kayn's entire kit and playstyle revolves around a constant struggle between good and evil-between the Shadow Assassin and the Darkin. Obviously, some abilities will have different effects and animations depending on what form he's in. It looks like using certain abilities will drop little colored orbs, and once you collect enough orbs as Kayn, his passive allows him to switch between forms at the fountain.

PASSIVE: THE DARKIN SCYTHE

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.

Kayn's Q is an awesome dash forward, where he spins his scythe in the air at the end of the dash. As a Darkin he does extra damage against everything but minions, but here's the thing: I'm pretty sure we can all agree that his primary role is in the jungle, because Kayn's Q deals extra damage against monsters.

Q: REAPING SLASH

Darkin: This ability deals bonus percent-health damage against all enemies except minions.

Our Shadow Reaper's W reminds me a bit of Sion (which is ironic, because the champion reveal uses Sion as the target in the video clip) because it's sort of a faster version of Sion's Q. Kayn, in his good-guy form, leaves behind a shadow that hits enemies. In his baddie form, he hits enemies and knocks 'em up. Oh snap!

W: BLADE'S REACH

Shadow Assassin: Leaves behind a living shadow that casts Blade’s Reach in Kayn's stead. The living shadow's Blade has increased range.

Darkin: Blade’s Reach briefly knocks up struck enemies.

The E and R side of his kit are where Kayn really starts to get exciting, in my opinion. The Shadow Reaper starts to live up to his name! When you smack that E button while playing this badass champion, Kayn gets to walk through walls. When he first gets all comfy inside said wall, he heals, decides, "Hey, this wall isn't so bad," and gets more time to walk through the wall. However, if he's in a fight, he won't get the extra steps.

E: SHADOW STEP

Shadow Assassin: Gain additional movement speed and immunity to slows when activating Shadow Step.

And finally, the ultimate, Umbral Trespass. OoOoOoOoh, spooky! (I love this champion so much, ugh.) This ultimate gives what seems like a special status to it, called Trespass, which allows Kayn to literally possess anyone he's recently damaged. OMG. Then like, he leaves and does damage, but who cares about damage, right? Possession! That's so cool!

R: UMBRAL TRESPASS

Shadow Assassin: Umbral Trespass can be cast from further away and resets the bonus magic damage from The Darkin Scythe after Kayn's exits his victim.

Darkin: Umbral Trespass deals extra damage as a percentage of the victim's maximum health, healing the Darkin in the process.

That's all from Kayn's kit, but here's just a bit more from good old Rito:

PLAYING AS KAYN

  • Kayn is a slippery, insatiable nightmare who uses his victims' bodies as a recreational vehicle. The Shadow Reaper's ult is horrifying enough, but even scarier is his tendency to emerge, suddenly, from any wall in the Rift.
  • Kayn's the only champ in League who can change his class in the middle of a game. If the other team's squishier champs are carrying, he can focus on attacking ranged opponents to become the shadow assassin. If Kayn's team needs a tankier frontline, Rhaast is the darkin for the job.
  • Kayn and Rhaast are hungry boys, and you've got to feed 'em by ganking lanes and dealing damage to champs. Taking too long to transform means you'll fall behind in the mid-game.
  • Kayn's two evolved forms have their own unique trade-offs. 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. Peep their team comp, then choose wisely.
  • Umbral Trespass has a few very interesting interactions with other mobile champs. See an enemy Shen ulting to bot lane? Get close enough to Trespass aboard the ninja train and enjoy the ride.

CALLED IT

Now that you know Kayn, I just HAVE to bring my CRAZY conspiracies out into the open. And I promise, I'm not some weird lady living with twenty cats. There's just a few VERY interesting things about Kayn that I haven't really seen anyone point out yet! Before Kayn, he had a lot of tension building up to his creation that spiraled into one big gorgeous mess that we now are calling The Shadow Reaper. There's three points here I'm about to cover, and those points are:

  • Luminous from MapleStory
  • DhaMa and Kindred
  • Dawnbringer Riven vs. Nightbringer Yasuo

And thus, upon reading my points, you might find yourself thinking, "MapleStory? What does that have to do with League of Legends?". You therefore would find yourself continuing to read our Wrap-Up, because we're really just getting started with the crazy-talk: the fact that for some of us, we've been expecting a champion like Kayn for a LONG time.

Credit: MapleStory
Credit: MapleStory

Luminous, Of MapleStory

In the gaming community, MapleStory and League of Legends are quite diverse. MapleStory is a sidescrolling MMORPG, compared to League of Legends with its battle-to-the-death MOBA gameplay. However, the one thing that might now connect them is Kayn and Luminous, and their wonderful character design.

To jump into lore without spoiling too much about MapleStory for those who haven't really played the game, the main antagonist at the beginning of the game is known as the Black Mage. There is a group of 5 main heroes (and a secret sixth!) who strive to defeat him. Luminous is a member of this group, and when his friends fail to beat the Black Mage, Luminous seals him away. However, Luminous fails at completely sealing him, and the Black Mage starts to break the seal; in order to stop the Black Mage from escaping, Luminous seals the rest of the mage inside of himself.

Flash forward a couple centuries, Luminous has no memories of what happened after that point, and is struggling between the lightness and darkness between him. He has this burning red eye that represents the fight inside.

...Just like a certain, recently-revealed. League of Legends champion we know.

Better yet, while Luminous is more of a mage (as opposed to Kayn switching between tank and assassin) he still has the same nifty little meter that fills up with a certain elemental affinity depending on what abilities are used.

So, let's face it. Luminous isn't new. He was 5th in Maplestory's 32-and-counting classes, and he's definitely been around a LOT longer. I'm sure if you do a quick google search, you'll find some more glowing-red-eye, blue-eyed hunks in other games too!

Credit: Rakoon Jesus
Credit: Rakoon Jesus

DhaMa, The Force Of Balance

League of Legends, like many fandoms, has fan-characters! People like to design their own champions for the game, even though they won't ever get to really see them play. It's fun to do the artwork, hear other people's opinions, roleplay with, or even throw at Riot's face and see if they can squeeze them in there... which, you know, no one really expects to happen.

Except, in DhaMa's case, it sort of did happen. Well, almost.

A forum-goer named Rakoon Jesus does all kinds of champion concept artwork, including the artwork for these two cutiepies here and just decided to submit them to Concepts & Creations. In Rakoon's words,

They are supposed to represent yin and yang and they are a paired duo/team that sort of plays like Ice Climbers in Super Smash Bros.

The basic storyline:

Karma and Syndra had a very powerful battle, and after their most powerful attacks collided, two beings were born. These two are truly neutral, being both good and evil, and stopped the battle. But, they aren't perfect, as they are still young, so they are very playful and chaotic. They have a duty of keeping balance in the Fields of Justice.

Now, Riot's Baconhawk totally showed the Champion Design team DhaMa, which stirred up a LOT of hype when lo and behold, three months later, Kindred started showing up on the PBE servers. For a long time, we all thought Kindred was Riot's version of Rakoon's creation. Then, a very long message from Riot's Iniquitee dispelled the rumors that Kindred stemmed from DhaMa. Aw, it was too good to be true!

The point I'm making is still there though, guys. Not only has Riot had this idea, but so had Riot's FANS. Creating a character with darkness and light that can be switched between seems EXTREMELY fun to play, and has definitely been something people have wanted for over two years now (wow, is Kindred really that old?) but the thing is, that just wasn't how Kindred was executed. We don't really play as one or the other, like we will with Kayn. Kindred is essentially one champion, split up into two parts, where you are ALWAYS moving as Lamb, and Wolf is ALWAYS following you. Had Kindred been more like DhaMa, I expect the playstyle would have been more like Kayn-with the ability to switch. Riot is taking old ideas and turning them into something completely fresh, which personally I'm excited to see.

Riven FTW!
Riven FTW!

Order Vs. Chaos

Now, I wonder... If I was Rito, and I was releasing new skins, and there was a LOT of hype going on because there was a huge event going on based around these skins, how could we keep the hype going?

ANSWER: Make a champion based off of the results.

Oh, come on! Of course you had to expect a champion struggling to control his inner good and evil after an event called Order vs. Chaos. Let's be real, y'all. Why's no one talking about this?

I'll keep the last bit short and sweet. Personally, I just have to applaud Riot Games. The timing was perfect. I've been expecting a champion like this for a while, and the presentation was pulled off expertly. Now, as the Order vs. Chaos event ends, we have something to look forward to in the coming days (and hopefully catch a glimpse of what Kayn's first skin will be!)

Now...

Alright, you've met Kayn and Rhaast, and gotten to hear my spiels about how some of us have seen this coming for a looooooooooooooong time. But now that he's here, let's hear your thoughts on what you think of The Shadow Reaper below!

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