Thresh Build Guide by gabmed
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Not Updated For Current Season
Rush Core Items
Choose fourth item (order of probable relevance)
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.
Welcome to my Agressive Tank Support Thresh guide! As the name suggests, this guide's masteries, runeset, skill order and build stems from my usually agressive and mega-tank playstyle. I know most of you will disagree with what I say here, but I HAVE tested it both on ranked and on normal and I honestly haven't lost a bottom lane so far with it. This is my first guide on MOBAfire (And second overall!), so any constructive criticism will be welcomed! Have fun, and enjoy!
Pros / Cons
+ Very hard CC
+ Great at securing First Bloods on bottom lane
+ Death Sentence's passive, along with the passive soul-grabbing, nets him very good free AP and a sweet auto-attack damage.
+ Is both a great life saver as he is a great initiator
+GUIDE Extremely tanky early game, able to easily take harass and/or focus while your ADC gets many kills. And, most importantly, negates the early handicap that the lack of additive passive armor gives Thresh
+GUIDE Your Dark Passage, while commonly used only for the utility, will now be perfectly and greatly used for its shield, literally doubling its usefulness and making sure your lane is gank and damage-proof.
- Dark Passage's shield is pretty much useless if not focused first.
- Extremely mana hungry, as any other tanks
- Starts with little to no armor and very squish thanks to Damnation, unless starting out tanky (That's why you're reading this, most likely)
- The Box is easily flashed over / tanked through.
-GUIDE You fall flat late game (Even I have to admit that)
-GUIDE You won't deal enough damage to get kills / make the difference on teamfights, so your gold will be very slow-coming in case you do reach mid-late game.
3 points in Perseverance for itsamazing sustain (Specially if you have to defend your lane till your carry goes back and you're not exactly healthy);
4 points in Durability and 1 in Veteran's Scars for the whopping 714 initial health you'll don while using my runes and these masteries. I can NOT count how many times I exited a teamfight with 40 health or 50, so these masteries do make a hell of a difference.
3 points in Hardiness to help mitigate the Damnation handicap, and 3 in Resistance to help with the support's damage as well as get yourself some early MR.
2 poitns in Unyielding and 1 in Block because it is LITERALLY a free Doran's Shield, and, if done the math (I shall not bore you with it), it makes it so that you can survive at LEAST 1 or 2 more auto attacks from an ADC carry with 70 AD. That is a HUGE difference, and it'll help you look like a monster that takes no damage when they harass you.
2 points in Relentless for the sheer purpose of not letting slows interfere with your positioning for Death Sentence's trajectory (And to render sustained slows such as Ashe's Frost Shot useless until she starts levelling it up.)
1 point in Safeguard because, besides being able to tank turrets slightly better earlier on if needed, sometimes you'll have to tank the turrets for your buddies (In case you're at their base) so they can get out from there alive. Add a shield, and you'll see the turret tickling you at best when late game arrives.
3 points in Tenacious , becuase it's ******* free tenacity, who wouldn't want that? (It also adds a bit of tenacity if you buy Merc's treads, enough for duration of CC's to last even LESS.)
3 points in Juggernaut and 3 in Legendary Armor to make you a BEAST late-game, with all your stacked health, armor and MR. It also makes your health bar look pretty with 7 lines @ level 1. (And enemies kinda fear pretty HP bars).
Lastly, 1 point in Honor Guard to add to the fact that you had a passive Doran's Shield another way to completely nullfy any extreme extra early game damage from champions such as Draven or even a wild Darius bot. This finalizes a Mastery Tree that will surely make you tanky as all hell.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Health
Greater Quintessence of Health
Greater Seal of Armor
- Using 3 Greater Quintessence of Health will make Thresh excel any usual tanky support that dares try to out-tank you on bot. (What I mean is that you'll be more tanky than even the most tanky supports.) I managed to out-tank an Allistair at level 1 and a Leona with her shield up level 3 and still get first blood on both occassions thanks to these runes and the 0/30/0 masteries.
- 9 Greater Mark of Health are to complement the three quintessences above. Some might say it's redundant, and it even might be, but I still owe these runes as I owe my masteries my life in some teamfights. After those fights, I've never let go of them ever again. So it's your choice wheather to follow these or not, but if you want another viable offensive option, get 9 Greater Mark of Attack Damage to benefit from Death Sentence's passive much more early game, giving you some harassment power.
- 9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist generally to tank those ap carries mid-late game. The reason it's scaling is because, usually (I SAID USUALLY, Kassadin AND LeBlanc!), ap carries don't deal that much damage early on. Therefore, as they get stronger, so does your MR.
- 9 Greater Seal of Armor to help mitigate Damnation's "curse", as well as help you overall at the lane. It might just be the secret for how tanky you get when following this build step-by-step.
It'll help you kill many times, and usually it negates (If combining the slow of Flay) the enemy's flash, as you and your ad carry can usually catch up to him even after he flashed. It also helps control teamfights (Throwing at the most dangerous AD champion) and chases. It's just overall a perfect spell for an agressive support.
The reason Flash works so well with Thresh is because, as any Blitzcrank or Amumu, or even Lee Sin player will attest, a well-timed and well-aimed Flash, followed by their respective gap-closer ( Death Sentence, on our case) is daring, unexpected and, therefore, when mastered, easy to land. It can make you get kills you usually wouldn't, and, after all of that, it's also a great excape option if used after The Box and Flay in a sticky situation.
Some AD carries might prefer taking exhaust themselves, and, because two exhausts are often quite disastrous (Usually, they end up both being wasted at the same time and at the same target, specially on laning phase), I'd suggest you pick up Heal instead. Its benefits are pretty obvious, and it makes a great life saver if added with your shield. A quick well-timed Heal > Dark Passage combo can almost literally turn the flow of a battle to your favour. If you do not like using/having Exhaust, then Heal is the perfect back-up plan.
Skill Explanation, Usage and Sequence
Damnation (Passive) - Thresh uses an interestingly new mechanic called "souls". Every champion or big creep(Big wolf, big wraith, Siege minion, etc.) will drop a soul, which increases Thresh's AP and Armor by 1, while small minions has a 1/5th chance of dropping them. However, every soul you get will diminish the next's value by 0.005, up to a cap of 0.5 value of soul. This cap is reached by the soul count of 100, which is generally gotten, in an average support game, by the 25 minutes mark. By then, you'll have an aditional 75 armor and AP, and every soul you get will give you 0.5 armor and AP. However, this passive makes it so that Thresh does NOT get armor per level: It makes him vulnerable if he doesn't collect his souls, even more so if not focusing tankyness, and, to top it off, it makes you an early-game "easy" target if not sporting tank masteries/runes. It takes about 50 to 100 souls to reach the passive armor level of other level 18 champions (Which is 60 to 90, if added with Thresh's passive armor without masteries or runes). Thresh NEEDS to gather souls actively in order to catch up to champions, and is, therefore, a very important part of him.
Fun fact: You'd need about 180 souls to reach a no-mastery, no-rune, no-item Taric with a fully upgraded Shatter. Good luck.
Death Sentence (Q)- The guide namer, after all. Death Sentence is a small-hitbox (Meaning it's width is small, meaning it's hard to land) skillshot, and it has both a passive and an active.
Passive - Thresh's auto attacks deal bonus magical damage, and this bonus damage is directly affected by three factors: Souls gathered (Something you should be actively aware of for other reasons, so you naturally get strong in this factor, regardless of how you play), Attack Damage and the time between auto attacks. However, knowing that Thresh has the LOWEST base AD of the entire game (Yes, of all of League of Legends, Thresh has the lowest base AD at level 18 with an outstanding 85 AD, surpassing the former champion, Orianna, who had about 89. Hurray.), and the fact he deals mostly magical damage (And the lack of utility AD items for supports) makes him very sadly weak in this area. This is what makes AD Threshes a possibility, and in some cases even a reality. Lastly, the time between attacks should be considered a faster Ashe passive. After auto attacking, in about 1 second Thresh gains a "buff", which is a blue icon for Death Sentence. It means that the skill is on it's minimum "charge" to deal the added damage. If Thresh refrains from attacking, he'll get a green, yellow, and lastly, 10 seconds after his last autoattack, he gains the red "buff", which means his passive is fully charged.
*Tips and Tricks
- When reaching the "red state" of Death Sentence, you should always try to auto-attack the carry or the support. Your range is good enough for you to do that, and you are tanky enough (If following this guide) to not suffer enough damage. If it's extremely not worth it, however (More than usual harass as you try doing that), you might want to refrain from trying so.
- Although it might seem like this makes Attack Speed a no-no on Thresh, it actually heightens his DPS (As long as it doesn't reach the 2.0 mark, literally 2 attacks per second. Since the first charge takes 1 second, you'd literally be wasting potential damage if it surpasses that ammount.), however, it's unadvisable to do that as a support.
Active - After a 1 second delay, Thresh throws his Kusarigama and drags the first enemy (Minion or champion) it hits. When he hits a target, Thresh stuns it for 1.5 second, and pulls them towards him twice (Once initially and once after 1 second). While he's pulling a target, Thresh cannot auto attack, however, he CAN move, use abilities and even gains a fifth "ability" while he's leashing someone: Pressing Q again will make him dash forward to the person caught in the chain, ending the stun but making Thresh's other skills easier to land, since he'll be right besides the person.
The wind-up comes from the "terror" development kit Thresh comes with. When he winds up the chain, your enemy will start being fearful, and will try to avoid it. Since it doesn't exactly show where Thresh will throw the chain (He simply faces the general position), it's even harder for the ENEMY to predict Thresh's throw. This little fearful mind-game is Riot's primary development idea for Thresh.
Unlike Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab and Nautilus's Dredge Line, however, the width of the skillshot is generally smaller, the mana cost is much higher and it usually deals less damage than those skills, besides having a longer cooldown than both (Except if Naut hits a wall with that, in which case the cooldown is halved). And just like those skills, you will have to play a lot as the Chain Warden to master how it works. You can't expect to hit every Blitz grab on your first game, as you can't expect a first-time Thresh to hit an even harder skillshot reliably.
*Tips and Tricks
- Just like the aforementioned skills, throwing Death Sentence ahead of your target is a more likely way to hit it. It's still a hard skillshot, so don't fret if you can't hit some. Just keep practising!
- If a target is close, you can chain him/her to stun them for those 1.5 seconds, but if you're defending an ally or yourself by doing that, don't forget to Flay them away right after. Flay should knock them up farther than they have travelled with Death Sentence, if Flay hits on its tip.
- Always remember to tug the chain (Press Q again) and fly to your target to end the chain quickly if you need to auto attack him.
- A good way to make the best of your skills and help teammates kill would be to wait till Thresh pulls the target twice, then flying towards them and quickly flaying them back, from which you can connect with a quick ult. If the Flay is hit perfectly, they will land on the walls of The Box, bursting them and giving them a sweet slow. This is the general Thresh combo, and is used many times to initiate a teamfight.
- If you pull a target that is on the other side of an in-game terrain, they will not be pulled across it. Instead, they will be pulled twice into the wall, as if strangling them (Sadly, no extra damage is done), then they're free to go from the original position / from their side of the wall. If you believe you can get the kill with or without your friends, it is encouraged you tug the chain and join them on the other side. Amumu would be proud of you.
Dark Passage (W) - Thresh throws a lantern that has no direct offensive purposes: It gives whoever touches it a shield, and, furthermore, whoever clicks it will fly right back (along with the lantern itself) to Thresh. It can be crucial for a teammate's escape, by throwing the lantern back at him or over a wall and making him cross huge gaps of space in a matter of basically one second, but it can also be used offensively: One can throw down the lantern by the bush when the jungler is in it, and hit Death Sentence right after. Thresh flies to the person with Q, the jungler right clicks the lantern and easily lands right besides the target. However, this requires huge ammount of teamwork, and usually teammates don't really know how Dark Passage even works... Which is a shame, because it is, literally, the only spell in the game that alters allied position as a main feature.
*Tips and Tricks
- This is important: DARK PASSAGE CAN BE USED TO GATHER SOULS FROM AFAR.. This CANNOT be stressed enough. You do NOT need to put yourself in harm's way to gather souls, they can be gathered by a simple lantern toss. Always remember that when you know the harass you'd take for getting the far away souls isn't worth it! Also, this proves as a very clever counter-counter to Thresh, even though it uses a bit of his mana.
- The lantern, as described above, can be used when initiating, but most of the times it WILL be used defensively. Throw the lantern to help your teammates out of some sticky jam they got themselves with, or even throw it down at dragon so that the person getting it can quickly come back. (Better yet, throw the lantern on the ground, hook yourself to Baron/Dragon, and do a very stylish Baron/Dragon teamfight initiate!... that is, if your other tanky teammate follows in.)
- After the lantern's been reeled in, the shield can STILL be applied to any teammates Thresh faces in a short radius, as is shown by the light below the lantern in Thresh's... hand.
- And this is also important: DARK PASSAGE GRANTS VISION FROM THE FOG OF WAR. And a big one, too! You can throw Dark Passage at the river for the lantern to act out as a temporary ward. I mean, jesus, what can this lantern NOT do? It wards, it shields, it gives allies an escape, it makes soul collecting easy, it has a big range... And people still tell me levelling it up for the lesser cooldown is insane!
Flay (E) - Flay is a hard CC with 9 seconds of cooldown that knocks back or forward opponents, depending on their position around Thresh and where the player clicks. IF you click backwards, thresh will pull anyone in a line in front and back of him towards the cursor, and same thing if you click forwards. It means that Flay can both be used defensively (By knocking people away from you or your carry) or offensively (towards you and your carry). To add insult to injury, champions that get flayed suffer a 40% slow at max level. The low cooldown of this baby makes Thresh a very dangerous enemy against channeling champions (To name a few: Katarina; Nunu; Fiddlesticks.)
*Tips and Tricks
- Someone that is flayed to you from the tip (or even before it) can be an easy target for an insta-box, since they will most likely land right where one of the walls would spawn. This is a rather advanced technique, however, since it requires timing and precision on The Box's range.
- Sometimes, it's easier to just flay someone than it is to grab them or auto attack them. Flay's range is, however, exactly what it is. There is no slightly added range (As it is with Blitz's grab or Lee Sin's Sonic Wave), so be careful of that.
The Box (R) - Your ultimate spell, The Box, when cast, creates a pentagon of walls around Thresh. Whatever enemy that goes through the first wall gets a very high burst (About 500 + 100% AP) and the biggest slow of ALL game... as a matter of fact, the max value of slow! (Which caps at 75%, even though the tooltip says it's a 99% slow.) After someone breaks through the first wall, all enemies can pass freely through the area, and all other walls will deal half the damage, half the AP ratio and half the slow. (50%, still bigger than Flay). The Box can be used both offensively, after using Death Sentence a second time, or defensively, by ulting when you're being chased. This way, the chaser will be slowed to the max and, without any gap closer, they won't be able to reach you or who you were trying to protect.
*Tips and Tricks
- The range around Thresh in which the walls activate are very little. This makes it easy to miss, and it is most likely the hardest of his spells to land. Even when you jump to someone and ult, they can still get away easily with a flash of some sort.
- The Box can be used as an effective trolling method: When the other team's bruiser tries to jump on your ADC (Or, in general, a teamfight breaks out), ult right on top of him/her. The bruiser will be slowed too hard to be able to deal significant damage to the carry while you stop him with Flay and Death Sentence, and even if he DOES reach the carry, Dark Passage will make your carry take quite a beating before the bruiser reaches his health bar. By that time, if the carry's any good, he should be moving over to the next target, because the bruiser died some time ago.
As a support tank, you should be doing just that:Supporting and Tanking. Levelling up Flay will only increase your damage (against those two morals), increase the mana cost (bad all around) and increase the slow (Good, but it's a very small increase, if you compare, for instance, Iceborn Gauntlet's slow.). For that, Flay is levelled up last.
Now, inbetween Dark Passage and Death Sentence, it's all a matter of perspective: While the lantern decreases cooldown and increases the shield ammount, the chains simply decreases cooldown and increases damage, both from active and from passive. While being agressive would surely imply levelling up the chains, I've noticed that a VERY agressive Thresh benefits much more from a fully-levelled lantern. He can throw it more often, save more often, grab souls more often. And to be honest, Dark Passage actually becomes a bit useless if not for its utility if not levelled up first, or rushingly second. It's best not to take risks. You're here to help, not to damage.
However, the order of the first spells should always be Death Sentence > Flay > Dark Passage, since it'll help you get that sweet first blood, and hell, even help your carry better, as DP isn't as useful early on.
As usual, get The Box whenever possible (Levels 6, 11 and 16).
Build Order and Explanation
Note: I will cover most of the possilbe paths a Thresh can take as a support, but just because I don't put OR explain sight ward / Health Potion in one of those builds, DOESN'T MEAN YOU SHOULDN'T BUY THEM IF YOU TRULY NEED THEM. A Sightstone is GOOD, but sometimes it's a more worthy investment to buy wards as well as / before Ruby Sightstone, while a healthy ammount of pots will usually be enough to save your life and sustain you in lane (Although with this guide's masteries and philosopher's stone, you might not need any pots at all.)
Rejuvenation Bead, along with Faerie Charm will build into philosopher's stone, which is EXTREMELY important for Thresh, specially because of the item's passive regeneration. Besides that, it's a good way to gather some extra gold for your rather expensive build, since you won't be creeping. No wonder it's a support's first item most of the times!
The sight ward is an early gank prevention. There's a chance the enemy might attempt an early gank, or a gank as soon as he finishes up with the red buff, and, even though you can deal with him easily withouot ward, it's always best to avoid... pleasant surprises. Put it at around the 3 minute mark on the river bush, and it'll give you two all the comfort you need ward-wise until Sightstone is bought. And always remember: If you're scared something might happen and you don't have any way of placing a ward, Dark Passage acts as a temporary ward!
First and Second returns
Nothing much to it. I explained the reason for the first one on the above section, and sightstone is for obvious reasons: Warding. If, by your second return, you canNOT afford a sighstone yet, buy a simple sight ward or two. By the next time you return, you will almost guaranteedly have the money. Don't forget to use it once you have it!
Rush the Core Items
This is the most basic, standard item set for a tank support bot.
Not only can you take even more harass with Mercury's Treads (Even if you end up ditching some of the cooldown Ionian Boots of Lucidity would give you), but you can ward even more with Ruby Sightstone (while getting some extra health) and get the item that gives out the most Magic Resistance in the whole game. And half of it is shared with your teammates. By rushing Runic Bulwark, you quite literally DOUBLE (I'm not joking - The standard unscaling MR for non-tanks is 30. + 30 of the aura and they get 60 MR.) your allies's MR, you get some sweet health, armor and health regen, while sharing part of those stats with allies. Seriously, there is no greater item to do as a non-DPS tank than this item. Hell, even DPS bruisers sometimes do it! It's that good, and I wouldn't play a single game with a tank where I wouldn't buy this item. Unless maybe there were 5 AD carries. But even then I'd probably end up doing it.
The Enchantment: Captain would come right after Runic Bulwark is finished. By then, teamfights should be happening, and you should be tanky enough for you not to need to pull enemies to you, but rather, pull YOURSELF to the enemies to initaite a teamfight. And that added velocity to teammates coming towards is perfect for any kind of initiator! And better yet for getting out of a sticky situation, since it can be used in conjunction with the lantern for a great "trololo" moment where your friend is so fast not even Flash > Leap > Void Assault > Void Spike from a fully-evolved Kha'Zix would touch your ally!
Choose a Fourth item
This one is less situational and MUCH more based on preference. zeke's herald is advisable when there's a lot of ADs, who'll benefit from the life steal and the CD (which some people might think it's worth getting it DESPITE their team's primary damage) as Will of the Ancients is when there's a lot of APs, as they'll benefit from the spell vamp and the aditional AP (Which some people, again, thinks it'd be best to do for the damage than the others listed here.)
Shurelya's reverie has an amazing active, ideal for chasing or fleeing, but not suitable for teamfights, besides giving him AMAZING passive regen and a sweet combination of heatlh and cooldown reduction. A lot of Thresh players would say this is the ideal item for him, but I'd say Locket of the Iron Solari to be MUCH more important and suitable for Thresh, and it's the item I do most of the time. Besides giving nearby allies a very hefty shield (DOUBLE SHIELD FTW - 600+ DAMAGE BLOCKED MOF*CKA!), it gives the exact same health regen and cooldown reduction from Shurelya's, EVEN MORE health than it, and even some nice armor. So really, I'd say there's more going for the Locket than there is for the Reverie.
But in the end, really, you can build any of the four items and it probably will still work properly. They all have a very nice benefit for Thresh and/or his allies, so really, it's a matter of preference just as much, if not more, than a matter of situation. Heck, you might even build a combination of them, or none at all (And build more than two of the items listed below), and it'd still probably work. As I said, it's very dependant on your preference, and how well you use this item / how much you like it / how much your team needs it!
Choose for Tank or Damage
Again, those are a situational build. If you're the ONLY initiator on the team (Therefore only tank, because, if you notice, ALL tanks are, some way or another, initiators.), you might want to invest into being a completely unkillable machine... This will be achieved with Warmog's Armor, with is ridiculous passive health regen and health, and Frozen Heart, that gives anything and everything a tank would ever want, from 90 armor to 400 mana to 20% cooldown reduction and an aura of attack speed loss for the enemies! If there's another tank on your team, however, you might want to invest more on damage than tankiness.
I believe Iceborn Gauntlet is the PERFECT choice for him in this case, and it makes him an even BIGGER CC threat, thanks to its unique passive. Besides giving him Armor, AP and Cooldown Reduction, it's so far the most perfect item for a late-game Tank Thresh I've seen. Meanwhile, Abyssal works the similar way: It gives you a nice MR for added tankiness, a high AP value and, lastly, an aura that makes carries almost literally take true damage from The Box and Thresh's skills, not to mention any AP champion in your team will deal much more significant damage if you're around enemies. What more can you ask of that?
If you want a perfect, quick Thresh build... here's my favourite, and most commonly used one:
Locket of the Iron Solari
.....I don't know why I'm going to say this here and now, but while searching for hexagram colours for this guide, I discovered that #faaaab is actually the hex code for this color.
Seriously. Test it out if you don't believe me.
Wards - Maps, Best Ward Spots and How to Maximize your Vision
You have four main mindsets to have when supporting: You should NOT kill creeps when your AD carry is in lane; You should ALWAYS protect him, even if it means giving your life away for him (As long as it isn't a wasted effort); You should NEVER steal a kill from your carry purposefully; And, lastly, you should ALWAYS ward the map.
It's no mystery that a well-placed ward can literally be what stands between life and death. But sometimes it's not clear what's the best place to position a ward. This part of the guide might be able to help you with that.
- The Red Stars are the crucial ward placement positions: The dragon and baron entrance, along with the tribushes and the little higher grounds between the wraith camps and mid are your most important ward placements.
- If the enemy jungler is very agressive, or if your team/another lane is starting to lose, you might receive more ganks than usual in bot, and, as a matter of fact, everywhere on the team's map. The Orange Stars denote very good ward placement for these kind of sticky situations.
- The Yellow Stars are situational warding spots. It's a "Just in case" per se, or maybe even a "gut feeling" type of ward spot. They're mostly for defensive purposes, but can be also used agressively (Ward the bottom/top bushes, for instance, for an offensive, usually helped by your jungler's gank).
- These Green Stars shouldn't apply normally to you, since they're mostly used to counter-jungle, but you can try to be daring and ward their buffs (Elder Lizard, AKA Red Buff if you're supporting for Purple; Ancient Golem, AKA Blue Buff if you're an agent of the Blue side) if you have an extra ward available. After all, what better kill is there than a kill and a buff for your mid and jungle teammates?
Of COURSE, you won't be able to ward every single star, not even "just" the RED ones if you only count with Ruby Sightstone's help (And no one on your team is helping you ward), so it's all a matter of priority and situation: Keep baron and dragon warded at all times and the enemy team's respective "higher ground". If one of those two get taken, you can take out the ward there and put it somewhere else, preferably depending on wheather your team is winning (Their jungle) or losing (Your jungle).
Maximizing your Vision
You should be focusing on warding THESE spots once you get your Sightstone and/or your Ruby Sightstone. The side bushes, however (A), are very situational. Do NOT ward your side of the bush unless you are pushed into the tower, and do not ward THEIR bush unless you can't see the support / he's in the bush, "camping" in it. If it's another agressive support, such as Leona or Taric, ward that ******* bush before you get a nasty surprise. To which case, please, ward the tip closest to the middle. Warding is all about making sure you can get as many escaping routes as possible (the red arrows are a good way of showing you the routes an enemy can take above, and why these spots are favorable to ward.
OBS.: When warding with your initial ward on the purple team, please take in mind the "danger" of putting it on the tip: You will get less visibility for the usual place the blue junglers come from after getting thier red:
This should give you all the visibility you need to counter a jungler's early gank. Hell, you might even turn it around and kill him!
"If the map seems black, do not fear or despair. If you need vision of sorts..."
In-Depth Gameplay - What do I do with Thresh as the game progresses?
*Most Common Definition: The time period in which laning phase is still the priority. It's generally over when two or more of the same team's first towers is gone.
*General time stamp: 0 - 15/20 minutes
*Thresh's Usual Minimum Build philosopher's stone; Ruby Sightstone; Mercury's Treads
The game just started, and it's a bright new day! You walk with your carry to lane, gathering your starting items, and ready to have fun! ...And spoil theirs, of course.
When in lane, don't ward right away, wait for the 3-minute mark and wait until your team is pushed. Having said that, remember what this guide was built for: Tankiness. Being unkillable. And most importantly... ensuring First Blood. The next part of the guide will be several strategies I've employed to get first blood, most of them working. I advise you to skip it if you're interested in what happens if you FAIL to get first blood (As in, something unexpected happens and makes you/your ally BE the first blood) OR you don't want to risk it.
Tell your ally you're going to facecheck, and dive right in. If there IS someone there, surprise them with a quick Death Sentence to the face, drag them out, auto attack, and exhaust. If your carry had been hitting this champion (Preferably someone squishy, ADC or support), they probably lost a HELL of a lot of life that way, and probably flashed. But exhaust will keep them at bay and, if your AD carry is good / trusts in his own ability, he'll probably get the FIRST BLOOD!, even with flash. If he does NOT get the kill , don't worry... the carry won't put his face out again. Or, if he does, keep reading.
MINIONS HAVE SPAWNED!
They will probably be getting into lane by now. All matters considered, you CAN try the above by getting them from the bush, but they'll probably wait till the minions are here and stay behind them. So... when's your window of opportunity?
The moment the support wards.
Eventually, the support will go out of the lane to ward the river bush of their respective lane. They're subjecting themselves to a grab, and you should take advantage of it. Get out of the side bush and try walking right into the bush he did / he got near. Three things might happen. A) He'll Flash the **** out of there, B) He'll try going back to lane the same way he came back, to which case he'll be faced with a nice little Death Sentence with his name on it. (Your ADC must focus on the other ADC as he focus you, unless the support you just grabbed is a Soraka or a Sona. In which case, FIRST BLOOD!), or C) He'll go all the way around, making him lose XP and leaving the carry all by himself, even if briefly. If that happens, be sure to zone him out by threatening him with both the active and the passive of Death Sentence.
At the 3 minute mark, be watchful of when your team is advanced (past/besides the river, which should happen because of Thresh's zoning capacity), and ward bot's river bush. What you'll do as a Agressive Tank Support Thresh is very simple:
Support. Tank. And be agressive.
What I mean by being agressive is try your ******* best to hook people. Make your home in the side bushes, and KEEP TRYING to hook people. Doesn't matter if you fail, doesn't matter if it doesn't kill them. Any harasss is good, and you're also stopping them from farming and often you end up stopping them from getting XP.
If you manage to hit someone with the hook, perform the Thresh combo: Death Sentence > let it pull twice > tug the chain > Flay them backwardw and IMMEDIATLY > The Box(Perhaps followed by Dark Passage just so that you can be sure to nullfy any "damage" done to you while performing such tasks). In case you don't have any of those spells, either for not having them yet or for having them on cooldown, feel free to skip the respective step. Initiating without Death Sentence is more risky of wasting your ultimate, but, once mastered, can become a wickedly surprising combo, and even punish them even MORE when they think they're safe, for you'd still have [death sentence. Using the combo without flay will make the more likely of simply standing still, or Flashing over the walls, so, while it's still usable, they will MOST LIKELY make your box a wasted effort. And the combo works perfectly without The Box, and is usually how you assist on killing most champions pre-6 or without ult.
Don't waste your Exhaust unless, by the end of your hook, the target is with half health or less. You shouldn't waste it, but you shouldn't miss the opportunity either!
Unless your opponent is a Blitzcrank, you can live on their side of the side bush, as long as the river bush is warded. There are usually three paths the early game might take:
1) Winning the Lane: This is the best result, of course. You fed your ADC: You hit quite a few Death Sentences, and your ADC got quite a lot of kills that way. You'll probably take the tower quickly, and the jungler will probably gank A LOT. Read the section about how to deal with ganks from different junglers below. But besides that, it's pretty much a "surrender @ 20" situation for them, unless their other lanes get fed.
To ensure and maintain this situation, you might need to know when to take dragon.
The dragon is usually gotten by the team with the most map domination: Read, the one most pushed on bot/mid. Whenever mid/thier jungler/bot is out of the game, be it low-health, on top or dead, the jungler might request to do dragon. Refer to the ward section to prepare for dragon, since the enemy team might still attempt to steal it. Your team and you will get a very significant gold and XP boost, so it's always nice to get dragon!
2) Absolutely Nothing Happens: You get a kill, they get a kill. You get a double kill, they get a double kill. Or... no one kills anyone. This is a lane that is literally TIED. The only way to avoid that is by external help: Your jungler's help. Request it once they're pushed, and make sure to tell them if it's warded or not. When initating, try to get a clear shot with Q (No matter who it is), and the jungler will come in and do the rest. Just follow the jungler's cue and throw the ADC behind with Flay, even putting 'em in The Box if you have it. If your jungler ganks enough (And you twarth their ganking attempts), you should easily start winning your lane. If your jungler is babysitting other lanes, however, be careful. One mistake and you just might end up...
3) Losing the Lane: Everything went wrong. Their jungler ganked earlier, your ADC doesn't know what your Dark Passage does, he overextended when you warned him not to, you kept missing crucial Death Sentence... whichever reason it is, the opponent ADC has more farm and/or more kills than yours, and it's quite obvious that you're losing the lane. You need the jungler's help ASAP, and even put mid in it while we're at it. They are probably very strong now, and your job in a "lanesaver" gank is to grab that ******* AD carry and don't let go. Stun him, Flay him, Exhaust, The Box, anything to protect YOUR ADC and kill THEIRS. One thing's for certain: Nothing's lost. Even if you DO end up losing the lane, if your team is any good (And not a bunch of people playing the "blame game"), you CAN turn this around. Tell your ADC to farm, and keep close to him because we're about to enter...
*Most Common Definition: The time period in which the teams are now much more united and ready to defend each other at any point. Teamfights are a frequency and primary indicator the mid game has come. Mid Game is deemed "over" when teamfights become scarce and one or two inhibitors are taken down, regardless of team.
*General time stamp: 15/20 - 35/40 minutes
*Thresh's Usual Minimum Build philosopher's stone; Ruby Sightstone; Mercury's Treads + Enchantment: Captain; Runic Bulwark
No one smart is ever alone anymore. There's always one or two buddies near someone who is seemingly alone. Everyone, ally and enemy, are converging into one lane to try and force a turret down, or defend one from being so. The tension is high, and teamfights are the most common thing. Welcome to Mid Game.
This is what generally will be a mid-game: Every player will gather themselves on the same lane, pushing and/or defending it. Some players will try to backdoor (Try pushing other lanes as you defend another), but most of the times the action will be in the mid lane.
Carries will be farming like hell, and they will be the MOST important asset of your team (Given the ideal team, of course). Your objectives in mid game are very, very simple...
Do not let go of that AD carry; Maintain two wards in Baron and Dragon at all times; and, if you're the only tank on your team, initiate teamfights.
He goes into jungle, you go AHEAD of him. He goes to do dragon, you protect his *** from all corners. He goes to farm, you stay right besides him. And you stop any and every single attempt against his life. You're his bodyguard for this moment of the game, and this holds true for teamfights. Now I will describe to you how teamfights will happen, how to initate one if you have to and what will be your role in it. If you wish to skip it for any reason, go to Late Game.
There's a reason why I divided the item section into the situation where you're the only tank and the situation where you're not. Thresh, as said in the "Pros and Cons" section of this guide, loses a lot of damage potential as time goes by. Unless you actually BUILD him some damage, he'll be nothing but utility. However, there WILL be some cases where there will be no initiator in your team.
An example: Zed; Ahri; Twitch + Thresh; Diana (Jungle). As you can see, the only person other than Diana that is able to intiate is Zed, and both of those are supposed to be burst assassins, not tanks! If they initiate being burst assassin's, they'll be focused down the drain. They need someone to tank that they can intiate, take all the pain and walk away smiling knowing the team won the teamfight. You're perfect for the job. And in this case, the team does not need anymore damage. They need YOU to initiate and survive, or at the very least to be in the front row when the ENEMY initiate.
As the initiator, you should focus on one thing and one thing only: Grab the ADC. Either him or any other squishy target, such as a squishy jungler, squishy top or squishy mid. Anyone is suitable. Just, for the love of god, DO NOT GRAB THEIR INITIATOR. ( Amumu, alistair, Jax, etc.). Your team might be dumb enough to FOLLOW you if you grab an initiator, so make the message clear: Flay the initiator BACK to their team and scram from the front line. I doubt your team would think of going in if you did that. If you DID grab an important squishy target, do the Thresh combo, and then proceed (Or try to, you'll probably being focused to death, which is good) to your ADC's side, or whoever deals the most damage. If you are not the initiator, once the teamfight starts, you'll be already besides him, and the following should immediatly apply to you.
Bruisers like Vi and Hecarim have a very important, defined role besides initiating: Flying right onto the ADC with their skills and slamming them down. Well, guess they'll be having a bad day, because you'll twarth that plan of theirs. The moment one of those fellas try to fly the ADC, obviously, the ADC will defend himself and flash/blink away, to then fight at a more safer range. YOUR job is to make the bruisers not put a single finger on the ADC after the initial assault. Flay, The Box, Death Sentence, ANYTHING to stop the ADC from suffering major damage. If you manage to defend him, even if slightly, it's already a HUGE advantage, because, if your ADC survives, it means your whole damage output still lives. Once your ADC is secured, hunt down targets remaining on the teamfight (Seek out the most damaging first) and "lasso" them down to your team. Considering your team is at the very least a decent one, teamfights are bound to go well.
There are very simple outcomes to the wins and losses of teamfights: Win teamfights, and you get to push more, get more fed and get more dominance over the map. Lose teamfights, and the enemy team pushes you to your base, gets more fed and dominates the map more than you. The problem is: The losing team, to win teamfights, will need either a miracle or a baron. And the winning team will have control over it. The losing team will start avoiding teamfights as the respawn timers will be higher and higher, and all the tension will boil down to one small dot on the map. All of this marks the beggining of the...
*Most Common Definition: It is the part of the game where both teams start avoiding conflcits as much as they can, for one loss might spell defeat. It usually begins when one or more inhibitors go down on any of the teams, and when teamfights start being scarce. Of course, it ends when the game ends.
*General time stamp: 35/40 minutes - Victory! / Defeat.
*Thresh's Usual Minimum Build philosopher's stone; Ruby Sightstone; Mercury's Treads + Enchantment: Captain; Runic Bulwark; Locket of the Iron Solari
So. This is it. The End-Game. The game is almost over, everyone is avoiding each other like the rabies, and they're fully aware that there's a lot at stake: One loss, one mistake, and GG.
The reason why is because, if it has reached this time stamp, it means most, and in some cases ALL, respawn timers will be above 40 seconds. In 40 seconds, with a stupidly strong team, you can do A LOT. Such as destroy the enemy team's structures, their inhibitors (Providing that lane with a sort of "auto push system"), the enemy's buff team, and, most importantly... Baron Nashor.
Imagine this situation. One team is clearly winning, with their ADC fed, while the other team is clearly losing. The winning ADC has 200 AD and the losing one has 150, both are level 18.
Let's say the losing ADC gets Exalted with Baron Nashor . The increase makes him have 190 AD, almost the SAME as the winning ADC. Now, let's say the winning ADC gets the buff. Well... he gets a whopping 240 AD, 90 more than the losing one.
As you can see, Baron Nashor is a game changer: A losing team's hope, a winning team's affirmation to victory. Either way, it's a very important objective of both mid AND late game, and it usually is how , and sometimes even WHERE, the game ends.
One loss of teamfight, means the winning (of the teamfight) team MIGHT have time to take baron nashor, and that might just change the tides of the game.
As Thresh, your objective remains mostly the same as Mid Game, but there is a new primary one: DEFEND BARON NASHOR AND/OR TAKE IT WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTS ITSELF.
THIS is the reason you always keep it warded. You HAVE to have vision of Baron on late and mid game at ALL times to stop the other team from attempting it. If they do, your job is simple: Get there as fast as you can and DISTRACT THEM. Your team will follow, and if you distract them from finishing Baron, they will take too much damage from both your team and him, and will most likely end up GIVING UP. When they do, notice the Baron already lost a significant part of his health. That's when you START BARON NASHOR, with a nice handicap to the monster himself.
If your team is winning, however, you CAN start a premature Baron Nashor: Push all three lanes, take at least one inhibitor. The enemy team might even see you attempting Baron Nashor, but they'll be slowed by your minion's invasion on their base. Either way, the following will explain the safest way for your team to capture and aquire Baron Nashor's buff. Again, you can skip it if you want to.
This map will be perfect for explaining what you should do and where you should be.
- You are Blue: If you're going to take baron from the blue side, you'll have to protect any attempts of steal coming from ABOVE Baron Nashor. For that, you'll do two things: One, ward the spot between 3 and 6, the tribush located there. Two, you will ward literally on TOP of baron nashor, a bit above 7. And lastly... you'll put yourself in point 7. Yes, you will act as ward, and better yet, act as a DISTRACTION.
When the enemy team comes to check / steal baron, they will be faced with you. The support, all alone, in the middle of their jungle. While your four teammates will be wailing at baron, YOU will CC them and stop them from even getting CLOSE to 2 or anywhere above 7. If they ignore you, you pull them back and keep auto attacking them, even using The Box if you have to. If they focus you, GOOD. They will forget about the baron slipping right under their noses and try to take you out. If they manage to resist your charms, however, a teamfight WILL occur at Baron, and YOU will have the VIP seats... right besides their ADC, since they all ignored you to get to Baron. You know what to do. God bless you.
- You are Purple: If you're on the purple team, you will do something similar. However, you will ward once at 5 and once at 4. Then, you'll stand at 2. Not attacking the baron, but getting ready to FACE THEM if they get near. If they pass by any of those points, go towards it and stand your ground. They'll either be too scared, face you or ignore you. Read above and you'll understand all three would be actually BENEFICIAL.
Always remember you can hook yourself to Baron from the purple side for a quick invasion, leaving behind Dark Passage for a rather styllish baron entrance, and, hopefully, steal!
If your team managed to get baron, that's great! But you HAVE to force a teamfight now. Otherwise, they'll turtle below their towers and wait until the buff - your advantage! - is gone. Thankfully, you, Mr. Thresh, is the perfect agent for the job. I shouldn't even say how to do it. You should know by now.
If the OTHER team gets baron, however, do the exact opposite: Defend. Turtle behind your tower, and yes, I know I just told you how to avoid that, but come on, you're Thresh, you can take anyone with that stupid buff and survive to tell the story! Just do it under the turret. Or it's a world of pain to your team.
(Psst... I want my money, Agoney. ;3)
Thresh is a very polarized champion: He either excels at something, or falls completely flat at another, and this is even more heightened by what mastery, rune and item build they are sporting. However, there is something every Thresh, tank or damage, can excel at and, hell, I'd even go ahead and say he's the most qualified champion for this job:
His CC arsenal, his disruption of position of both allies and enemies, nevermind the fact he has a ****ing 99% slow. Thresh can counter almost every SINGLE jungler gank and even probably make his AD carry survive from it.
But before I can get specific on each jungler, let me get some conditions on the table:
1) Your carry will be an Ashe, level 6 with Frost Shot on level 1, or level 0, and no ult, with Berserker's Greaves, unenchanted. This means that your carry has no gap closer or stopping mechanism besides their summoner spells, which, for these situations, will be Flash and Ignite.
2) Your enemies will be tower hugging, and they will be composed by a Soraka and a Miss Fortune. That means they can get next to whoever's ganking pretty fast, but would otherwise have no way to truly stopping them, despite Soraka's Infuse and Miss Fortune's Make it Rain.
3) You'll be level 6, following the guide's levelling order, and you two will be pushed far into bottom lane. You have warded, and you know who is coming to gank you from miles away, also knowing they are level 6, but your enemies are too busy protecting their tower from your minions to initiate the gank. They WILL follow when the jungler appears on their lane, but, otherwise, they will stay right where they are.
4) Lastly, we assume the jungler will go STRAIGHT for your carry, because, in the eventuality he comes for you, you can simply Flay them back, The Box and simply walk back to your tower, dodging skillshots if needed. Odds are you'll be able to tank most of the harass you take, IF you take any. For equality purposes, the jungler will have had no kills or assists or exorbiting creep score, therefore will not be fed or farmed, and neither will both of you. Thresh has Mercury's Treads, Ruby Sightstone and philosopher's stone.
Right. With all things set, let's get to counterin'! It's in alphabetic order, for those who wonder.
Headbutt's range is not that big, he still needs to be relatively close to the ADC. What you'll do is simply flay him backwards, slowing him and taking off Boots of Mobility, if he has one. That'll make him as fast as Ashe until Mobility goes back on. To which case you'll simply auto attack him every now and then. Gank countered! I mean... he might headbutt you backwards once he sees that the ADC is unreachable, and you might even die, but... hey, at least the carry didn't die!
Pre-6, all Amumu does is use Bandage Toss to get to your carry and then harass him away with Tantrum and Despair, with no other way of slowing them. You can easily counter that by being a huge d*ck and staying right between him and the carry, flaying him if he tries going besides you (HUEHUE SORRY YOU MISSED THAT HUEHUE). However, when his ult is added, he can stun both you and your carry enough for even the slowest of carries and supports to reach you. What you need to do is avoid, at all cost, his ult to reach the carry. If you stay between him and the carry, he'll simply use Bandage Toss at you and then Curse of the Sad Mummy will reach the carry - you don't want to "help" him, do you? Then use Death Sentence. Hit it before he stuns you and he won't be able to reach the carry before the carry is already at turret range. Then, flay him backwards and save yourself. He might burn Flash to ult at the carry, but counter that with The Box to slow him and the enemy as they reach your carry. Gank countered!
Since he is very, very reliable on Rupture hitting, you can be a complete troll and Flay him backwards once he goes a bit into lane. He'll be slowed, and will probably be too far to hit rupture perfectly. He tries, he misses, gank countered! Although you CAN survive his slow and silence, you CANNOT tank a true damager (his ult), so caution if you get below 500. The Box INSTANTLY if he's near you while you're below that threshold of health, or your carry. Once he reaches you and presses R, there is no ammount of flash or blink that will stop him from om-nomming you, so be very careful.
Flay him backwards to avoid Apprehend. If he manages to pull your carry, quickly Dark Passage to help your carry out of the deathtrap before he Decimates and uses Noxian Guillotine on the poor soul, besides Crippling Strike's slow just to add insult to injury. As long as you don't let Darius land his pull, he's literally harmless. Gank countered!
But since we're trying to make a very slow carry survive, assumingly without flash and gap-closers, what you'll do when she appears in lane is Flay her backwards, as always. She will probably miss her Q, and might be too far away to instantaneously Lunar Rush to your carry. Yes, that simple. Gank countered! She can decide to Flash > Lunar Rush, but she's pretty far away from her team to do squash **** against a Thresh and an Ashe, so you might even kill the stubborn b*tch if she does that.
Oh, and tip if you don't know what to do against a Diana. That Crescent Strike of hers? There's a nifty little trick to make it miss: WALK TO THE ****ING LEFT. It's a crescent moon, crescent moons comes from the right, just walk to her left/towards her, presto, she freakin' missed! Doesn't stop her from ulting, but stops her from missing the most easy-to-dodge skillshot of the game.
Then, how do you stop Dr. Mundo? Well, you don't. Mundo goes where he pleases. What he DOESN'T do is go where he pleases at the VELOCITY he desires. The Box will put him in check, and, even if he hits ALL cleavers and activates Sadism, he won't be able to reach the carry, specially because you still have your little Death Sentence and Flay. So.... Gank countered!
Elise's ganks can start off two ways: Human form, or spider form. If she's on human form, she'll throw a Cocoon, stunning the target (Letting the enemies reach them), take off a chunk of their health with Neurotoxin and Volatile Spiderling, and, adding insult to injury, turns into spider and mauls at them with Venomous Bite. If she starts off at spider form, she Rappels right to the side of the person and starts wailing at them from spider form already. This is usually done when the target has low health, as Venomous Bite will inflict a HUGE ammout of damage. If she starts in human form, you can block Cocoon, but nothing will stop her from Rappeling to your carry. And that's precisely what you want, and this applies for when she starts the gank as a spider: When she uses rappel to reach the carry, Death Sentence her immediatly, and Flay her backwards. She LITERALLY has no way to reach your carry without Rappel, and Cocoon is blockable, and, lastly, both have rather large cooldowns. If she blows one of those, she won't be using it in the immediate future, so, with that in mind, you can make your carry get out of this gank with little to no damage. Gank countered!
NOTES FOR PEOPLE READING THIS RIGHT NOW
I am currently working on republishing the guide. I will delete this one and the new one will have everything this one has, AND a completed Counter section AND a complete match-up section AND a proper closure. ETA this week! So stay tuned!