Kennen Build Guide by Blakhart
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Greetings, and welcome to my guide on:
Kennen, The Heart of the Tempest
Please note that this guide is not meant to be appealing to the eye, it is to serve it's purpose which is to lead you to victory :D
Kennen is a very fast, high burst ap carry champion that excels at solo top as well as the mid lane. He is a very strong champion that can turn the tide of losing games with the right timing.
Please note that the build that you see should not be built in that order.
Some people play Kennen as an ad carry rather than a mage. However, in this guide, I will be focusing on how I play Kennen in ranked Solo queue, which is as an ap carry. I will cover most things that I do in general situations. I will also be covering some other important situational factors. Here I have linked a video to what I love listening to when playing Kennen:
Pros & Cons
You might be asking yourself, "Why should I play Kennen in the first place?". Well, to be fair, this is why:
~His ability to harass is very high, consider him to be the Yorick of Ap carries.
~He can turn a losing game in your favor with a well played team fight.
~Because of his Lightning Rush, he's really hard to gank.
~Even if you do get ganked, you have the potential of escaping clean, or murdering both opponents.
Why shouldn't you play Kennen?
Hahaha, I'm not even going to dignify that with a response. There is not one reason why you shouldn't play Kennen.
My rune set up shown is designed to work with Kennen very well in mid lane.
The Magic Penetration Marks are standard.
The Health per Level Seals are for lane tankiness, so in most instances I will have more health than my opponent. If you are solo top vs a strong ad champion like Riven for example, change these to flat Armor instead.
The flat Ap Quintessences are for early game ability damage, and Kennen scales really well with ap.
Here's the trick to lane dominance: The flat Magic Resistance Glyphs. Most players would argue that you should go ap per level or some other rune, but these right here are one of the factors that make mid Kennen really strong. If you are solo top, change these to magic res per level instead.
Most ap players will not have or build any magic resistance until later in the game when they realize they need it. Most ap casters do not have scaling magic resistance, so they are stuck at their base number of 30 MR. I have the jump on you with my 48 MR at level 1(with masteries included), and I will probably build more later. These numbers are mainly for early game, and make it really hard for your opponents to deal with you.
You might think my mastery setup a little strange, but fear not, I will elaborate.
In the offense tree, I take Summoner's Wrath for improved Ignite, pretty self explanatory.
Then we have the Ap scaling tree, standard for ap casters... But what's this? 3 points in Brute Force ?
Yes, I put 3 points in here because it doesn't make a huge difference. However, I despise the mastery, Havoc . Havoc in my opinion is just a terrible mastery. If you dealt 1000 points of damage, it would slap on a whopping 15 bonus damage. Others would justify that it's a decent mastery to get just because of the damage you'd do over time.
However, I'd disagree with it, and would rather have 3 bonus Ad. It allows me to last hit a bit easier, and the charged auto attack on Kennen's Electrical Charge does bonus damage based on a % of your total Ad.
The defensive tree is self explanatory as well. If you are solo top vs an Ad champion, take 2 points out of Resistance and place them in Hardiness .
You might be wondering why I start with Electrical Charge...
Easily explained: Free harass. Kennen is all about harass, and sometimes you can't land Thundering Shuriken because it's a skillshot. So starting with Electrical Charge is a good way to start.
After that, I max Thundering Shuriken. Then I'll max Lightning Rush.
Why I max Lightning Rush is also simply explained.
It's cooldown and energy is lowered. It deals more damage than Electrical Charge. And it's your main source of initiation or escape.
Items: What to build and When
If you read the Green text in the Introduction, then this is what you'll want to pay attention to.
This is the most common choice since it offers mobility, which is really great on Kennen, and sustain.
If you are top lane and vs a strong ad champion like Riven or Gangplank your best bet will be to start with x5
Unless you are like me and know how to handle these champions.
Your Core build will be:
One of these
After that, build accordingly based on your opponents and their builds.
Consider their Magic resistance:
Don't have a real initiate for a fight or dying too fast?
Team not Pushing as hard as you are?
Need a little more punch in your burst?
(Get an early Kage's Lucky Pick if you intend to build this)
Support not getting any useful Aura items?
Just not tanky enough?
Early Levels 1-6
At this time, you have one goal.
If you are not farming, you are going to lose your lane and it will be very hard to comeback because of it.
There is a difference between farming, and pushing.
Pushing means that you are constantly auto attacking the minions or using abilities on them for the sake of pressuring your lane. This does not work at this time because there is no reason to be so pushy.
Farming is where you deal the final blow to a minion with either an auto attack, or in this case, your Thundering Shuriken.
If your opponent is pushing, let them push. This will allow you to gain the advantage of easier farming.
Do your best to not let the minions come to your tower. Your tower will push the creeps and reset where the minions start to fight, and you will lose your advantage.
Don't take free damage over it though.
Very easy to do, and this is what you do each level:
Lavel 1: Last hit minions until you get 3 stacks on your Electrical Charge. Once you have 3 stacks, auto attack your opponent when he goes for a last hit, and auto attack once more to apply Mark of the Storm, then quickly press W to apply a second Mark and adding more damage.
Level 2: Do the same thing as Level 1, only add in your Thundering Shuriken either at the beginning or the end of it. This will apply 3 Marks on them, and they will be stunned for a short duration. Auto attack them as many times as possible during the disable.
Level 3: This is where it gets really strong. Same thing as level 1 and 2, only try to get Thundering Shuriken in first. Follow that up with your Charged auto attack, and hit them with W, applying the stun. Then, Lightning Rush in to apply another mark, followed with another Thundering Shuriken. If they haven't burned Flash yet, they probably will soon.
Level 4 and 5: Same thing as above.
Level 6: This is what makes Kennen extremely hard to deal with. Do the same things as above, but include your ultimate ability, Slicing Maelstrom into the mix where you see fit. The best time to use it is right after you stun them the first time, and start to Lightning Rush in on them. This will apply a second stun on them. Use Ignite at the end, and you have yourself a kill.
If, by chance, you find yourself not at the amount of farm you want to be at, go kill the Wolf and Wraith camps in your jungle.
Mid Levels 6-11
Around the start of this time, if your team has not gotten Dragon yet, ask them if they are able to do so. If not, gank a lane and make it happen.
If it has been taken already, just gank a lane that needs the most help. Make sure when you gank, you do it strategically. For example, if you gank bottom, you should know that there's probably a ward either under the Dragon den, or in the brush at the opening of the lane, or in the Tri brush. That being said, you'll need to take the long route. Thankfully, you have Lightning Rush, so you get to the necessary places faster with minimal cost.
With all that in mind, some of the best ways to gank bot are going behind the dragon den(if you're on purple side), and testing the tri brush for wards. If you see your opponents do not react, then you know it's not warded. If they do react, think of where the jungler might be. if you saw him top recently, go in and initiate it. If you haven't seen him in awhile, get out of there immediately. Run to the river and go up towards your blue at this point. Tell your allies to push the lane a bit, and sneak your way into the side brush. If you can get in the second brush, closer to them, do so. Now, if your allies are smart, they will have stopped pushing, and allowed your opponents to push back. Once they are close enough, activate Lightning Rush and Flash in(if needed) with your ult right on top of them. Do not panic! Apply as many marks as possible onto their carry to stun lock them. If you get the kill, great. If your ally gets the kill, tell them great job, and move on to dragon if you haven't gotten it.
When fighting dragon, do not use Electrical Charge or Lightning Rush on it, unless absolutely necessary. Save these in case a team fight might break out. You probably don't have your ultimate, so you need as many options as possible. Just auto attack and spam Thundering Shuriken on it.
Later Levels 11-18
By this time, you should have snowballed really hard. If you've done the following you have snowballed really hard:
~Outfarmed your mid lane opponent by a significant amount.
~Killed them at least twice without dying in the process, and killed their tier 1 tower.
~Have not died more than 3 times.
~Have helped other lanes allowing them to be as strong as you.
These factors are what separate Kennen players from great Kennen players.
If you are not providing your team with your presence, you are not doing your job as an ap carry.
By this time, you will need to try and kill Baron, so your team can push to inhibitors.
Do not simply rush into it hoping your team will get it for free. Chances are, your opponent warded it. So how do we counter this? Easy, buy a Pink Ward. Or ask your support to do their job and do it. Nicely, of course.
If the opposing team comes in and catches your whole team with your pants down at Baron, team up and dogpile them. Yes, stop attacking Baron, and kill your opponents. After killing them, and your team has a lot of health, finish killing Baron, and if you are able to; Continue to push lanes. Do not separate at this point. Tell your team to stay together at all times. If you push a lane, do it together, and move on to the next lane. Your objective now, is to either destroy an Inhibitor, or destroy the Nexus by pushing a single lane.
Well, there you have it. This is what I do when I play Kennen in ranked Solo Queue. Though my elo may seem low right now, consider this: I was trapped in the 1250's for quite awhile, and hovered in the 1100's as well. So to see me at my current elo, is something I'm proud of.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my little lightning friend, and wish you the best of luck in your future games.
If you have any questions about something specific, please don't hesitate to ask, I will answer them to the best of my knowledge.