Author: MMOsite Writer Alexander Hinkley
Kindred is the newest champion to be released in League of Legends as part of the 5.2 patch. Kindred is actually two different characters – Lamb and Wolf - rolled into one champion. Kindred is indeed a very interesting champion because they have pieces of several different champions all combined into one. Kindred’s kit is reminiscent of Vayne, Kalista, Tryndamere, Kayle, and Bard combined. Riot has taken a liking to creating conglomerate champions like this lately considering Ekko is also like several different champions combined.
Kindred’s passive is called Mark of the Kindred and is one of their more interesting abilities. At any time, Kindred can mark an enemy champion for death from a menu bar that is found on the interface above their skills. Champions can be marked regardless of where they are on the map or even if Kindred have sight of them. Marking an enemy champion doesn’t do anything in of itself, but if Kindred kills or assists in killing a marked champion, they gain a permanent bonus to all basic attacks equal to 1.25% of a target’s current health.
Mark of the Kindred can really get out of hand because there doesn’t seem to be a cap on this. Marking just 10 targets, and then bringing those targets down will give Kindred’s basic attacks a 12.5% health damage bonus for each attack. That is pretty insane. Kindred need only six kills/assists on marked champions to benefit from the attack bonus of a Blade of the Ruined King, without actually having to buy the item.
Stacks aren’t as hard to get as you might expect because there is an alternative method of gaining them. Every once in awhile, Wolf will mark a neutral monster in the enemy’s jungle which Kindred can then go harvest by murdering it. This will only last until Kindred have accumulated six stacks, but it is still a relatively easy method to gain some early stacks without having to engage other players.
Ever since the Juggernaut patch, percent health damage bonuses have become very powerful. Mark of the Kindred should probably end up getting capped as it can make Kindred far too powerful in long drawn out games where they are fed.
As pointed out in Riot’s Champion Spotlight, another way to utilize Mark of the Kindred is to place the Mark on an enemy champion that you aren’t even ganking in order to trick them and disguise your real target. Enemy champions can see when they’ve been marked as an ominous indicator will briefly appear above their head so if you mark a champion top lane, for example, that champion might get nervous and retreat. Meanwhile, you’re actually heading bottom lane to gank there and they never see it coming.
Kindred’s Q is called Dance of Arrows and is somewhat similar to Vayne’s Tumble ability. When activated, Kindred dashes in a target direction and fires up to three arrows at up to three nearby targets, dealing physical damage to each one. Dance of Arrows has lower scaling than Tumble, but can hit multiple targets which Tumble doesn’t do. For this reason, Dance of Arrows is good at clearing out neutral camps or minion waves. Tumble also doesn’t deal damage in of itself; it only empowers Vayne’s next basic attack so overall I would argue that Dance of Arrows is actually better than Tumble. Dance of Arrows does have a longer cooldown timer at nine seconds, but this can be reduced to a mere two seconds if Kindred are fighting within a Wolf’s Frenzy aura.
That brings us to Kindred’s next ability, Wolf’s Frenzy. This ability has two parts to it: a passive and an active. As Lamb moves around the map, she builds up stacks of something called Hunter’s Vigor. Once she has reached 100 stacks, her next basic attack will heal her for an amount based on her champion level.
Once activated, Wolf separates from Lamb and automatically attacks enemies on his own within an area of effect. Wolf prioritizes targets that Lamb is attacking and his attacks scale based on a percentage of Lamb’s attack speed and Mark of the Kindred’s damage. As previously mentioned, the cooldown for Dance of Arrows is reduced from nine seconds to just two seconds while Lamb is within the area of effect of Wolf’s Frenzy. This cooldown is short enough that she can pretty much just dash all around, kiting enemies in a Kalista-esque attack pattern and increasing her damage per second output considerably.