[img=http://l3cdn.riotgames.com/releases/pbe/projects/lol_air_client/releases/0.0.3.199/files/assets/images/champions/Kindred_Splash_0.jpg] Hi there, I'm Mystletaynn, a Diamond 5 player that has been on League since spring 2010. In solo queue I tend to fill whatever role is needed, but most often, I'm playing jungle or botlane. I love skirmishing and running around fights so I play champions like Shyvana, Nidalee, Fiora, Ahri, Vayne, etc, and Riot basically took everything I loved about the champions I played and put them all into Kindred. ^_^ Needless to say I'm super excited about her, so I'm glad to have been able to do so much testing to help share what I've learned with you all. I've gotten a good amount of games in on the live server, but understandably it's hard to pick Kindred in champion select, so I'm still developing the matchups section, so please bear with me regarding the matchups section, though if you have any comments regarding any of the matchups, please feel free to contribute! Regardless, I'm proud of the information I've compiled here, so enjoy! UPDATE: SEASON 6 PATCH IS NOW ON PBE AND I AM SO EXCITED AND EVERYTHING LOOKS SO COOL! There will be a lot of changes to this guide, especially items and masteries, which I'll be able to test more on PBE! UPDATE #2: WITH THE OPENING OF PRESEASON 6, I HAVE WRITTEN AN OVERVIEW OF THE CHANGES! For now, they'll be at the bottom of the guide, but once the Solomid database updates, these changes will encompass the entire guide. Thank you! UPDATE #3: New icons have been added to the Solomid database, but the completely new items have not. I've updated the main guide to accompany these changes, but for now there are some placeholder icons. Also, thank you all for your support! I'm so happy to be able to provide a quality resource for everyone. ^^ Please, if you have feedback, let me know! Thanks~ UPDATE #4: WITH THE ADVENT OF A NEW PATCH as well as item testing, there is a new item build, masteries, and rune updates! Please please please check these out, they may be some minor changes but they do help out a good amount. Thank you! UDPATE #5: The holidays have been over and I've been able to play more of our favorite Lamb and Wolf. As a result, we have a new build! I've also added more sections to the matchups, considering some of the more relevant junglers these days. Check it out~!
This is where things get tricky. Kindred basically just wants as many levels as fast as possible, because leveling each skill is just about as good as any of the others. However, there has to be an order, and this is what we end up with. As it stands, despite being the only ability that doesn't reduce its cooldown as you level it up, Dance of Arrows is what we max first. It's the spell you're going to end up using the most, and it has a flat cooldown of 2 seconds under Wolf's Frenzy, so it's generally the best pick. Speaking of that, we'll be maxing Wolf's Frenzy second, after you get a point in it level 1 for the damage and sustain. It'll be right around level 13 where the large teamfights will be happening, and with enough cooldown reduction, it has close to a 100% uptime to let you jump around. Unfortunately, Mounting Dread has to be maxed last. While a lower cooldown on your ganking ability would be nice, it still won't reach the point where you're likely to get 2 of them off. Since the slow duration, intensity, and the % max health damage don't increase per level, it's just not the most optimal choice. As always, take a point in Lamb's Respite whenever possible.
Kindred, as a ranged jungler, will inherently be different from the large majority of junglers that are melee. Because of the leashing mechanic and the tether ranges of the camps, you will usually want to start with the Krugs, because of the Smite passive it provides. However, this can change depending on the botlane you have. If they can provide a hard leash, with a support that can either shield or heal, you can finish Gromp at full health, which is a lot safer despite having the worse Smite buff. Start with Wolf's Frenzy for the heal and the DPS that Wolf provides. By the way, when you start the game, immediately use your passive Mark on someone, preferably the most vulnerable/least mobile champion on their team. It has a 1:30 cooldown, and if level 1 shenanigans happen, a free level 1 Mark makes your jungle extremely easy. Worst case you can just mark someone else, it'll come up before the camps even spawn. When you hit level 2, you have access to your main combo, Dance of Arrows within Wolf's Frenzy's territory. This lets you attain an astounding clear time of the Raptors or Wolves, killing off the small ones fairly quickly and letting you deal with the big one without taking much damage at all. This is where we come to our problem. In patch 5.22 (the current one), Riot moved the jungle spawn times from 1:55 to 1:40. However, what they forgot is to start the Smite recharge time 15 seconds earlier as well. This means you can't use your second Smite on the red buff, so it's not safe to try killing it. So, after the first two camps, you'll have about 10 seconds before the 2:30 mark when Wolf will activate your passive. It's an awkward time, but you can generally start to move to the third camp (Wolves on blue, Raptors on red), but if it's a Scuttle mark, you can go right for that. If it's anything else deeper in their jungle, don't try it, just continue the route to the jungle camp, and you can Smite the buff on that side. When you recall for Skirmisher's Saber, you can take more camps as well as the buff you haven't taken to go gank. From here, you can essentially go wherever you like. If the first Mark of the Kindred was one of the enemy's jungle camps, odds are they'll have cleared it by now. Though, for the second Mark that Wolf hunts, it may be a good idea to head there, depending on who the enemy jungler is and where they started. Consequently, it may also simply be another camp that is about to be cleared by the enemy jungler already. If your team was able to get vision of where their jungler started, the camp they cleared early may be back up, and if Wolf marked it, feel free to go for it. In either case, it's always going to be a good idea to Mark someone again, even if you're going to just farm and recall, because this is when the enemy team will likely expect a gank just because of the time, and the potential threat of an incoming gank will still alleviate pressure from your lanes, as well as put pressure on the enemy jungler to make a decision. Even better, try to keep track of the enemy jungler's location. If you can follow them around, putting your Mark of the Kindred on them when they go for a gank, followed up by your countergank, can start to condition them, that whenever they go for a gank and you Mark them, they might immediately back off for fear of you coming, even if you don't. It's very easy to gain a psychological advantage against the enemy jungler once you get a successful hunt like that. Once you get your jungle item, you should have no problem clearing the jungle, so go wherever you like, and remember that the most important Smite buffs for Kindred are Krugs and Raptors (which are important for every single jungler to deny vision).
So the jungle route listed above is the default, unmodified route should things go uninterrupted. On the other hand, uninterrupted games don't always happen. Wolf marking the nearby Scuttle is always the priority; should it happen at the first mark, interrupting your route to pick this up should be your go-to. However, while Kindred is an excellent duelist in the mid-to-lategame, she is not an actual duelist early. If the enemy jungler is someone like Elise or Xin Zhao if you find them during a contested Scuttle or other marked camp, you will likely lose. At level 2, you won't have your slow, and if you're red side starting Gromp (for the hard leash from bot), you won't have Red buff, so seeking out the enemy jungler isn't going to end very well, and avoiding them to snatch away the mark without them being there is very much preferred, but... If you catch them off guard, they might still be in the PvE mindset and not be ready for a duel, in which case before they can react appropriately, they'd be at half health or less. This is more common in lower ELOs where constant vigilance is less of a thing. However, if Scuttle is marked, and they head towards it like most will in the attempt to deny you of a passive stack, they'll be looking FOR you, which, if they don't have a weak earlygame jungler, will typically be in their favor should you both meet. What you should ask yourself before going for a contested mark location: \"Is it worth it?\" What opportunity cost and potential gold/experience are you sacrificing for the chance to look for a fight? If you don't succeed, especially if you die, you'll be put far behind. You just have to ask yourself whether you want to risk that happening, and make your own call whether to risk yourself to accelerate your scaling. There are huge benefits to be gained, but also huge risks if it goes wrong. Where is the marked camp? Do I have my own camps to clear for a lot of experience and gold, and is it worth my time to make the journey across the map to get the mark? Would I potentially be seen by wards from the enemy laners? Where would their jungler be at this time in the game? Are they stronger than me at this time in the game? These are all things to keep in mind.
I hope my guide will be of use to everyone! If you liked it, go ahead and leave an upvote and comment if you want as well! If you have any questions, criticisms, or other feeback, then PLEASE leave a comment so we can talk! This is not only a place for you to learn, but myself as well. As I get to play more matches (Kindred is a very strong champion right now, and is often either contested or banned), I will further develop the matchup section to get more specific! Cheers~