As most League of Legends veterans will remember, the Jungle meta hasn’t always been as dynamic as it is today, with only a handful of champions sticking out of the standardized meta, such as Fiddlesticks and perhaps Nidalee. Riot’s intensive efforts aimed at bringing some diversity to the Jungle finally seemed to yield results with the release of the first Jungler ADC, in the form of Kindred, the Eternal Hunters.
With a unique theme and a few mechanics which players have rarely encountered, Kindred was a massive hit, soon joining the ranks of the forgotten champions, as the repeated nerfs made this champion nearly unplayable. Yet, rather fittingly to Kindred’s theme, upon the release of the Mythic item system, the Eternal Hunters would once again awaken, ready to collect the Mark of the Kindred in order to dance their way to victory!
A true ADC residing in the Jungle, Kindred players do need to have a basic understanding of the Marksman mechanics, as well as some help from their allies when it comes to securing the enemy Jungler’s marked camps. Once those two conditions have been checked, Kindred can become a truly frightening force, jumping across the Rift and turning the tides of combat, as a mesmerizing duo.
That being said, allow us to guide you through the essentials of playing Kindred, with extended focus on the optimal Jungle routes and clearing strategies, allowing you to start your first Kindred game with an edge!
Flash + Smite
Kiting is an essential part of playing ADC, and Flash enables the Eternal Hunters to do just that, with added efficiency. No other Summoner Spell provides as much versatility, making Flash the overall best option.
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Best Kindred Runes
Season 12 marksmen absolutely love abusing the reworked Lethal Tempo, for reasons we cannot judge them for. However, a small part of the respective champion pool remained largely unaffected by those changes, as there is only one true keystone for those champions.
In the case of Kindred, Press the Attack is the core Rune to build around, followed by Triumph, Legend: Alacrity and Last Stand, which is usually seen on Tanks and Bruisers, but considering Kindred’s Ultimate ability, it makes for a perfect option.
As for the secondary Runes, although there is plenty of flexibility in the case of Kindred, the ideal picks are Sudden Impact and Relentless Hunter, both of which emphasizing on the hunter play style.
Best Kindred Items
Starting Items: Emberknife + Refillable Potion
Mythic Item: Immortal Shieldbow / Kraken Slayer
Core Items: Berserker’s Greaves, Rapid Firecannon / Runaan’s Hurricane, Infinity Edge
Finishing Options: Lord Dominik’s Regards, Guardian Angel, The Collector, Wit’s End
Kindred’s base items and build path largely resemble on-hit Marksmen such as Akshan, whom the Eternal Hunters have quite a lot in common with. The overall build is quite standard for most ADCs, starting with attack speed Boots which you can swap for defensive options if needed, followed by your Mythic item and a core attack speed item, and then by Infinity Edge.
Lord Dominik’s Regards, in combination with Kraken slayer and perhaps a Wit’s End instead of the Rapid Firecannon and Runaan’s Hurricane will have you cutting through tanks with little to no effort, as Kindred synergizes flawlessly with these tank-shredding items.
Beginner Kindred players should go with Immortal Shieldbow and Rapid Firecannon or Runaan’s instead of the core Kraken Slayer and Wit’s End, as Shieldbow will provide some added survivability and early life steal, much needed for beginner players. The third item is most often going to be the Infinity Edge, followed by Lord Dominik’s Regards and a flexible last pick, which we advise to be a Guardian Angel for added survivability in extended combats.
The Best Skill Order for Kindred
Q > E > W > R
Despite the max order, we want to point it out that the first ability Kindred players should be picking up is W, as it helps with the early Jungle clear more than both Q and E.
The Best Jungle Paths for Kindred
Kindred’s Dance of Arrows (Q) is a rather effective clearing tool, combined with the slight sustain from Wolf’s Frenzy (W) and the execution mechanic on Mounting Dread (E), the Eternal Hunters can clear the Jungle camps quite effectively, although the incoming damage is sometimes difficult to kite.
We are going to cover the most advantageous starts from each side, but players should keep a few factors in mind when deciding upon where their Jungle pathing should start. These are:
- Which laners are going to provide more help in clearing the first camp?
- Counter-jungle opportunities, based on where the enemy Jungler is likely to start.
- Which lane would you like to gank first, depending on both the allied and enemy champions.
Essentially, players want to activate Wolf’s Frenzy (W) in order to get the cooldown decrease on Dance of Arrows (Q), keeping Mounting Dread (E) until the large monsters fall below roughly 30 to 25% Health, in order to benefit from its scaling execute damage.
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Red Side, Red Clear
Starting our clearing routes from the Red Side’s Red Buff, start by activating Wolf’s Frenzy (W) and simply kite the Red Buff as much as possible until slain, before moving on to the Raptors.
In order to accelerate your tempo to be ready by the time the first marks arrive, do not hesitate to use Smite on the large Raptor, whilst clearing the rest of the camp with W and repeated casts of Dance of Arrows (Q).
For your third camp, hop across to the Wolves and repeat the same process, using your Refillable Potion if needed.
As the fourth camp on the list, activate W and start hitting away at the Blue Buff’s HP with Dance of Arrows and basic attacks, applying Mounting Dread (E) in the process. Since the primary buffs are slightly more difficult to kite, feel free to use the second charge of your Smite in order to save some HP, before turning your attention towards the Gromp.
Repeat the same process there, only this time, make sure to apply your E only once the Gromp falls below 30% Health, in order to activate its execution mechanics.
Lastly, make your way into the River and start hitting away at the Scuttler. If you are lucky, this will also grant you your first Mark, right before enabling you to gank either Mid or Bot, depending on which position is more favorable.
Red Side, Blue Clear
Going over to the Blue Buff, players will now enjoy the assistance of two allies, which makes a rather significant difference in the case of Kindred, who is known for dropping dangerously low on Health during the first clear.
Second on the list is the Gromp, which shouldn’t pose much of a threat, considering that you’ll now have both your Q and W. After Wolf’s Frenzy (W) expires, feel free to cast your first Smite charge in order to accelerate the process, recovering nearly all of your lost Health.
On your way to the Red Buff, stop and slay the Wolves and Raptors, using the same W + Q and kite mechanic, as well as your Refillable Potion whenever necessary.
Once at the Red Buff, repeat the process and make sure to cast E in order to deal a last chunk of damage before using your second Smite charge to secure the buff with.
Finally, hoping that the first Mark of the Kindred spawns in the Top side of the Map, head towards the Scuttler in order to secure some extra gold, experience and vision regardless, before looking for an opening to gank from on either Top or Mid.
Blue Side, Blue Clear
Switching over to the Blue Side and starting our route breakdowns from the Blue Buff, the pathing itself is going to identical to the previously discussed one.
Start by securing the Blue Buff whilst trying to preserve as much of your Health as possible, leveraging the assistance provided by your ally.
Then head for the Gromp, using the standard Wolf’s Frenzy (W) and Dance of Arrows (Q) combo to take its HP bar below the 450 threshold, using the first Smite charge to execute it and regenerate some resources.
Hop over to the Wolves and repeat the process using your basic combo, and then make your way to the Raptors, relying on the same mechanics to clear those as well. The Refillable Potion is always ready to heal you up when the first round of mobs drop you dangerously low on Health, so do not hesitate to use it.
When you arrive at the Red Buff, use the same Wolf’s Frenzy + Dance of Arrows combo, activating E in the process, until the Red Buff drops below 450 Health. The second Smite charge should be going down in it, allowing you to enter the River just in time to secure your final camp, the Scuttler, as soon as it spawns.
Once all six camps have been secured, Kindred’s only remaining job is to seek an angle to surprise the enemy Mid or Bot from, forcing an early gank.
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Blue Side, Red Clear
And finally for the last starting position, start off by leveraging the assistance provided by your Bot lane, slaying the Red Buff as quickly as possible, trying to preserve most of your Health.
For the second camp, head towards the Raptors and fire repeated casts of Dance of Arrows at them, while having Wolf’s Frenzy (W) activated to reduce its cooldown. Cast Smite on the large Raptor fearlessly in order to fasten up your pace, before heading into the other side of your Jungle.
On your way to the Blue Buff, stop and secure the Wolves by simply kiting them as best as you can, before starting up your standard W + Q +E combo on the Blue Buff.
Invest the second charge of your Smite into the Blue Buff and make one more stop at the Gromp in order to finish clearing your first five camps, allowing you to enter the River just in time for the Scuttler to spawn right in front of you.
After securing the extra gold, vision and experience, find an angle which to gank Top or Mid from, trying to take your enemies by surprise with the flank.
The Best Tips and Tricks for Kindred Jungle
- Kindred is among those champions who demand players to invest quite a bit of time in figuring out their exact play style in order to be successful. Dance of Arrows (Q) is the core ability behind the Eternal Hunters, as it can allow players to kite while crossing terrain, if used properly and under some very specific conditions. We do recommend spending some time in the practice tool simply navigating the Map using Dance of Arrows in order to learn which patches of terrain can Kindred cross, and from which angles.
- Wolf’s Frenzy (W) provides plenty of mechanics for Kindred to play with. First we have the Hunter’s Vigor stacks, which charge up from moves and attacks, granting a percentage of missing Health heal once charged. Secondly, the circle created by Wolf significantly decreases the cooldown of Dance of Arrows (Q), if the ability is cast inside the circle. Lastly, Wolf’s damage scales with a wide variety of stats, including bonus AD, the target’s current Health, which also scales with the number of Marks, and with Kindred’s bonus attack speed.
- Mounting Dread (E) is commonly used as an engage tool during ganks, as it slows down the target by 50%. However, the ability is also highly effective as an execution tool, as the final hit, Wolf’s pounce, is guaranteed to critically strike targets below 15% Health.
- Lamb’s Respite (R) is one of the most impactful abilities in the entire game, but its proper use is requires players to have a great understanding of each champions’ limits and power spikes. Always make sure that your team has sufficient crowd control to lock down the enemies at the end, paired with some mobility and damage in order to aid with the execution. Kindred’s Ultimate ability does indeed require a considerable amount of playtime in order to master, just as Kindred does as a champion.
The Eternal Hunters are ready to show you all a different side of League. If you happen to be a Jungle player who has never played Kindred before, we can guarantee that your first experience with this champion is going to feel both refreshing and fun. Junglers are not particularly synonymous with dashes and the concept of kiting, as the general meta tends to be quite linear, but with Kindred however, players can break free from these shackles.
As a final side-note, do keep in mind that the enemy team will also monitor the position of your marks in their Jungle, making it rather difficult to sneak away those camps without getting caught. Stacking your marks off enemy champions is considerably more effective, as you should mostly follow the Jungle camp marks only when your position is favorable, after winning a fight or seeing the enemy Jungler on the other side of the Map.
Kindred is one of the highest scaling champions in the entire game, with the only downside being the difficulty of play. If you are considering picking up a new Jungler, we can only recommend you to invest the time needed in mastering Kindred, as the payoff is guaranteed to be worth the effort.
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