There are a lot of benefits from having a 40% CDR Thresh. Not only do these items offer your team extra abilities and utility, they also allow you to use your abilities more often. The more often you can use your Death Sentence, Dark Passage, Flay, and The Box the more relevant you'll be throughout the entire game. However, there are tons of different ways to build Thresh and most of them are fine and can help win games. But there's something about the 40% CDR that just sounds really good.
Pros & Cons
More relevant to the team
Items give your team some useful stats
May not be as tanky or deal as much damage
Really high skill-cap
If you mess up, could cost you
Leona: You and her are about even in all-in potential. Her kit may have more stuns, but your ability to peel her mid-E will be able to turnaround her level 2 or 3 engages. When you're laning against her, you need to level 2 either before she is or as soon as she is, her level 2 all-in potential is incredibly strong and if you're not ready, you're gonna have a bad time.
Alistar: He pretty much denies any of your all-in potential. The best way to lane against him is to roam more often and make plays elsewhere on the map. If he's a bad Alistar, poke him down for overextending.
Lulu: She can out-poke you pretty good, but she's pretty squishy. If you land a Death Sentence on her and your ADC follow up, she will most likely die or be forced to play more passively. Don't be afraid to get in her face but also be cautious as she can poke you from a good distance.
Soraka: Sustain lanes are a pain to any other lane. Poke lanes are pretty much useless, however, kill lanes can actually do some real damage. Thresh's ability to deal really good damage early on really mitigates Soraka's healing ability. If you decided to take ignite, her heal is pretty much useless in the early game. However, if she manages to land her Qs on you and your ADC, then it's not really gonna matter.
Nami: Peronally, I find laning against a good Nami to be a pain. She can peel really well, making Death Sentence and Flay almost useless if they know what they're doing. Playing against Nami really comes down to positioning and whether or not you'll be able to get to the ADC. Use your Dark Passage to get your ADC closer to the action of Nami decides to use her bubble on you. Don't forget, she's a squishy and is pretty easy to poke down.
Annie: Thresh's worst nightmare. She has better AA range than you, her stuns are better than yours, and she has Tibbers. You really need to keep up with her stun in this lane. Always make sure you and your ADC aren't stacked together as she can AOE stun both of you and most likely get a double kill for herself or her ADC. Laning against her is just hard in general.
Morgana: Her Q out-ranges your Death Sentence. Her Black Shield prevents your CC with both Death Sentence and Flay. She can be really annoying to lane against but it's not that hard. Time her abilities and make something happen while they're on cool down.
Braum: Everyone likes Braum. He is extremely tanky. The problem with a Braum matchup is that he can tank most of Thresh's damage and can absorb his Death Sentence and Flays. Although Thresh out-ranges him, Braum is tankier and sustain in-lane a bit better thus making this a difficult matchup, not hard, just kind of annoying.
Taric: You don't see a lot of Taric this meta. He is a good support champ but there are better choices today like Thresh. This lane should be fairly easy to win since you do everything better than him. You can poke him really well. You can even keep him away from your ADC with Flay to avoid getting stunned.
Nidalee: Everyone hates her Q. Everyone. It does so much damage. However, your kit is more useful in-lane and can take advantage of her squishiness. If she pounces, Flay her. You can win this lane pretty easily if you know how to handle a Nid.
Vel'Koz: Though a bit more rare than other pseudo-supports like Annie or Lux, Vel'Koz is easier to deal with than most. He does little to no damage early and is very item dependent to be relevant in the mid-game. Use this to your advantage. You don't really have to treat Vel'Koz as a support. If you have chance to kill the over their ADC, just do it, put them even further behind.
Malzahar: I played 1 game against a Malzahar support and we lost really bad. He is very hard to lane against especially after level 6. However, Death Sentence and Flay cancel his ult since it's a channel, though it doesn't cancel the suppression.
Lucian: The Wife-Steal lane; This guy will be your best friend in the lane. His burst is still really good even after the nerfs. If you land a hook, he can pretty much kill them.
Corki: He's one of the strongest ADCs at the moment. His burst competes with Lucian's and has good synergy with Thresh.
Graves: He's my favorite ADC right now because of his really good burst and his amazing passive. You and Graves will make great lane bullies with you tanking and his passive stacking.
Caitlyn: She's pretty much the counter pick to most of the strong ADCs right now. Her AA range is the longest of all ADCs. She's not as strong with Thresh as Lucian, Corki, or Graves.
Ezreal: Whether or not he's good with Thresh really depends on how the player playing him builds Ez. He can be really good with Trinity Force, but some people don't build this way and therefore they don't work well at all with Thresh.
Varus: His burst is good, but only if he's able to get a kill or an assist. His Blight Arrows are pretty good in the late game and they help with CS in the early game. He is too mana hungry for Thresh to be able to constantly make plays in-lane plus his kit isn't very good compared to other ADCs.
Ashe: She's kind of useless right now. All she has are auto attacks, however, there are some really good Ashe players that make great use of her kit and could easily work well with Thresh. It's too much of a gamble to say that she's good with Thresh when the player playing her is a bit inconsistent.
Twitch: This guy doesn't have a good enough kit to compete with Lucian or Corki, but he does work pretty well with Thresh. His CC plus Thresh's Flay will make for some good plays in-lane.
Miss Fortune: Personally, I like supporting MF with Thresh. She's pretty bursty and if you land a hook and she ults them, they will die. Putting them in The Box will help as well. However, like Ashe (and most ADCs) it really depends on how well the player is with MF.
Sivir: She's starting to make some noise in the preseason. She does work really well with Thresh, but her kit is sort of passive so you can't be super aggressive in the early game.
Vayne: She has the highest skill-cap of all ADCs. Her early game is terrible and therefore you won't be able to be as aggressive. If she gets caught out she will probably die even if you peel for her. After she gets BoTRK, she will be able to make more plays off of your's.
Kalista: Personally, I don't like support Kalista as Thresh. It's not because she's a bad champ, but because she lacks any kind of good burst compared to Lucian, Graves, and Corki. Plus, many players lack the mechanics to really take advantage of what makes her a great champ, which is unfortunate.
Draven: The Darius of the bottom lane. He has really good damage with his Q. We works ok with Thresh and can win lane fairly easy. Good Draven players will know what to do when you all-in someone.
Jinx: I always like supporting Jinx. If you get her fed, she is literally unstoppable. This is what you'd call a "hyper carry".
Quinn: A fairly safe pick. She's not as aggressive as I'd like, but she does deal some good damage with Valor. A Thresh and Quinn lane should not be underestimated.
Tristana: Not my favorite ADC, but she does pack a punch. The cool thing about her is that her abilities scale with AP so she has many different ways she can be built. Usually the typical AD build works well with Thresh over an AP build.
Kog'Maw: For sure not my favorite kind of lane. Kog lacks any real burst. He's not as strong in this meta due to Corki, Lucian, and Graves being so good and even Caitlyn, Jinx, or Sivir even being stronger picks. Not a bad lane, but it could be much better.
Teemo: I think a Teemo Thresh lane works pretty well. It'll probably make a lot of people mad, but it works for the most part. Though Teemo won't be able to compete with Graves due to his passive, but he can make it a nightmare to lane against him after he hits level 6. Troll lane? Sure.
Urgot: Do I have to say it?
Ignite: This summoner on Thresh is awesome. Not only does this increase kill potential, but it also mitigates a lot of heals. That pesky Soraka healing her ADC? Light him on fire.
Exhaust: This is the go-to for most supports these days. Exhaust is perfect and scales well into the late game. Most people prefer exhaust over ignite and that's perfectly fine, I just fine ignite more viable on Thresh because of how easy it is to secure kills with him.
Flash: A MUST. If you don't have Flash, you're gonna have a bad time. You will mostly use Flash for Flash Qs and Flays.
Runes & Masteries
Runes and Masteries are highly situational and are determined by how you want to play Thresh. This is how I set up my Thresh and I will give other examples of good ways to play him as well. None of these ways are the "correct" way, but they will give you some idea of how to use Thresh's strengths and avoid his weaknesses.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Armor
These runes are pretty typical for tanky-support champions. The AD marks give Thresh's auto-attacks some more power. The passive from his Flay after a certain amount of time really makes his autos pack a punch. You can even get away with using AD quints and AD marks for even more punching power. However, you're elemenating your ability to secure kills for your ADC and your ability to sit in lane and spam your abilities while taking little damage. But there is nothing wrong with going with an AD Thresh as long as you are aware of your super power. You can even use Hybrid Pen runes, but flat AD runes will probably be a better fit for Thresh.
Again, Runes and Mastries are highly situational and should be changed upon your own judgement, especially Masteries. This is my favorite setup for Thresh and I use it in almost all of my games. The 9 in defense adds to his already takiness and the 21 in utility gives him more of an advantage when it comes to roaming, earning gold, and staying in lane. There are plenty of other ways to do this. I personally find 21/9/0 is a pretty viable option as well, if you truly understand Thresh.
Why the 21 in utility? A lot of supports like to be able to own their lane in some way, whether it's to poke you out, out-sustain you, or all-in you at level 2 or 3. The 21 in utility will give you an advantage in gold, mobility, and even sustain. Since this build is built around a Doran's Shield start, the 21 in utility is almost a must, but not entirely.
Damnation: Thresh picks up souls that adds to his Ability Power and Armor. Since Thresh does not have any armor or AP scaling, he relies on souls. Everything drops a soul. All neutral monsters drop souls, minions sometimes drops souls, cannon creeps drop souls, both dragon and baron drop souls, and enemy champions drop souls. Be sure to collect them safely as someone could punish you for walking in and taking some that are lying around.
Death Sentence: Thresh is known for his notorious hook, almost the same way Blitzcrank is, but they are completely different. Thresh's hook is better in my opinion as it allows you to choose whether or not to engage. When you hook someone you can either press Q again and fly to them or just pull them a bit closer for some poke. Be very careful to not fly in when someone is under turret or can kill you and/or your ADC.
Dark Passage: Dark Passage is pretty skill-based ability. It takes good judgement to really know how to use it. You can use it to setup ganks, save your allies, and shield your teammates, it all depends on the situation and how you think it will go. Dark Passage also picks up souls from a distance if you feel unsafe about going in and getting them, though this is kind of a waste since it has a long cool down.
Flay: A lot of new Thresh players don't learn to use Flay as well as they learn Death Sentence. Flay is a key component to Thresh's kit. When you hook someone, you can Flay them closer. You can use Flay for disengages like Leona's E, Aatrox's Q, or Shyvanna's R, a perfectly timed Flay can save you and your ADC. Flay also has an auto-attack passive steroid that gives you bonus magic damage if you haven't auto-attacked anyone for a certain amount of time. The longer, the more damage.
The Box: Thresh's ultimate is perfect for his kit. The walls apply a slow to anyone that hits them and deals magic damage to the first person to break a wall. The Box is very useful during tower dives and even disengages. It is wise to Flay your enemy into one of the walls to make sure they take maximum damage. Sometimes you may get the kill if they decide to run when your ADC all-ins them, don't worry about KSing, they're dead so you did your job.
As a support it's always your job to secure brush control. Work with your ADC to rotate your trinket wards when they're on and off cool down. You can pink the front bush if you're pressuring the lane to add even more lane pressure. Since you're Thresh, you will already have some good pressure just being Thresh and scaring people with your Q and E, so the pink in the bush will make it even more difficult to lane against you. If the enemy support wants that pink ward, make them pay and hook them while they're bush auto-attacking the ward.
Dragon and the River
Since the release of the new jungle, Dragon control has become an even larger priority than it has been. If you maintain Dragon control and get the first Dragon, you'll have a huge advantage in your lane giving you even more lane pressure. That extra damage goes a long way.
I cannot express how important warding is enough. This literally wins games. If nobody can carry the team to victory with kills, win through vision. Here are key locations to some great spots to ward during laning phase and some deep, offensive wards as well:
Here you should be looking for objectives around the map. By the 15 minute mark, you should be able to roam around a bit. Go mid to help secure the tower if they have yet to do so, go deep ward, and/or setup picks. Always make sure you have Dragon control all the way to the Victory screen. If your team wants to teamfight a lot, help them out, you being there lending your abilities can make a HUGE difference in whether or not you win or lose the fight. If there is a super fed Katarina looking for a Pentakill, Death Sentence her as soon as she start it, same thing goes for most channeling ultis like Fiddlestick and Malzahar. Not only is Death Sentence a good offensive tool, it's great for peeling as well.
Once you've secured some objectives look to make their jungle your new home. Ward their buffs. If it's up, ping it and let your jungler counter jungle. You an help your jungler remove the other jungler from the game with very good ward placement and counter jungling. When you've taken over the enemy jungle, look to make picks in there as well. A lot of ADCs like to get red buff for the extra oomph. Catch them off guard and destroy them.
Thresh kind of falls off late game when it comes to damage output, but his kit will still be 100% relevant and more useful than ever before. Look to make plays on their ADC and squishies. Death Sentence and Flay can be game changing abilities if used right. Make sure to force the ADC out of position by zoning. You don't want to throw a hook and it land on a tank, most people on your team engage them anyways and blow all of their abilities and end up dying. Be very cautious of this. Ping before you go in as well. If you ping who you're gonna hook, the chances of them dying increase. Communication is key as a support player.
Sometimes the support role comes with shot-calling because you will most likely be more aware of what's going on than anybody else. You will be pinging dragon and baron when it comes time. You will be calling for sweeps of wards. You will be calling for picks. You will be calling for groups and help deciding on which objective will be next on the list.
I see so many people just ping for Dragon while the entire team is up and not visible. You NEED vision of the enemy team before you take on Dragon or even Baron. This is where those deep wards you placed really come in handy and if your jungle smited their wolf camp then it's even easier to see if anybody is coming to stall or stop you.
The same situation here. The best time to do Baron is either after you get an inhib and a few kills or if you scored an Ace with your entire team still up. Try not to let your team 3v1 or 2v1 Baron as they could die or be killed. Again, only do it if you know exactly where the enemy is and if you know you can do it in really small window.
If the top and bottom lanes are pushing, go ahead and call for a group-up in the middle lane. The pressure from the sides will force someone out to go deal with it while you 5v4 mid and take objectives. If they can 5v4 you, tell your top laner to split push, this usually will take some pressure away from the mid lane so you can push the objectives. If you are able to push past the first and second turret, take over their jungle completely. Their lack of jungle control will pretty much ensure victory.
The End Game
Some people don't know how to close out a game as a support. If your team is pushing mid you must be there watching the map. If the side lanes are starting to push back, let your team know and someone will go and reset the lane and maybe even push it in. No matter how far ahead you are in the game you always must have map awareness. This means keeping up with creep waves, understanding which objectives are more important than others, which objectives will be the easiest to take at that given time, etc. And always ward. I can't express how important it is for the support to ward., even when you're about to win.
The one thing people don't want to do and don't know how to handle. Sometimes you'll lose lane for several reasons.
Your play wasn't up to par.
You were just outright outplayed.
You and your ADC didn't work well together or weren't on the same page.
Their jungler camped your lane super hard.
Mid loses lane early and their mid laner roams bottom.
Most often it comes down to whether or not you played well. If this is the case, you can't blame anyone but yourself, no matter how good you are at support. Sometimes you get unlucky and get an ADC who isn't familiar with the role or just doesn't understand how to work with you. This happens. If your ADC is overextending you need to literally babysit them. Make sure they're not doing anything silly and if they do back them up. If they step up to harass the enemy, stay on standby just in case things to south.
When the mid laner roams bottom and they siege your tower, there's not much you can do. If this happens, you're free to roam and leave your ADC in the lane to farm and catch up if they need to. You don't want your ADC in team fights if they're behind, this will probably put them even further behind and completely remove them from the game. So instead of your ADC roaming, you roam. Go mid and try to make some plays, deep ward their jungle and look for picks, do something proactive to get your team back into the game. You can carry the game from the support role easier than it seems, especially as Thresh.
Thresh's kit is one of the best kits for recovering from a lost lane. You can use your kit in so many key situations. The 40% CDR will give you more chances to make plays and the earlier you get the CDR the easier it will be for you to do something about the game.
You don't always have to be with your ADC at all times. Thresh is useful anywhere on the map. After laning phase you are allowed to leave your ADC alone in the lane, only if you have vision of the enemy at all times and you have won lane or lost it pretty early.
Creating picks can be kind of hard to learn and difficult to do at first. It really comes with experience of how players interact with the map. Usually you would want to make picks inside their jungle since that's where they think they are more safe. Those deep wards you placed earlier will come in handy. If the jungler is top trying to siege tower and you just saw their ADC pass through a ward alone, ping it and make it 2v1 or 3v1 situation if possible. Once you've made the pick, proceed with objectives, never back after a kill unless you're super low on HP.
When placing wards don't be afraid to get creative with ward placement. For example: people always sweep the inside of the baron/dragon pit, place a ward either across the pit or somewhere a little off to the side where the sweeper won't reach. You may not get a timer, but you'll be able to tell when the dragon was killed and time it through a chat like 2300 d or something.
You can fake people out with your hooks. You can face the other direction for the wind-up of Death Sentence and turn around at the last second to throw it. You an even press "S" to stop Thresh's animations, which sometimes triggers his hook to swing making people think you're about to throw a Q. Also, us your lantern to fake people as well. If someone is alone and you need them to back off, throw your lantern towards your jungle area, they might think you're lanterning someone in to kill them.
If your sweeper is on cool down, you can get 2 pinks and destroy vision if you know the other team is warding all the time. This is useful if nobody else on your team buys a sweeper, which is pretty typical.
Thresh is one of the best supports right now and will be for a very long time. His kit is incredible and being able to use it more often and permalock your enemies is awesome. This isn't the best way to build Thresh and in no way is it useful in ALL games, it just gives you more dimension than just building full tank or AD. If you master Thresh and the job as support, you will go very far with him.
I'll try to keep this updated as I play this build more often and adjust it accordingly.