Kennen Build Guide by tehAsian

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League of Legends Build Guide Author tehAsian

Comprehensive Solo Queue Kennen

tehAsian Last updated on October 30, 2012
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Solo Top

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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I will add in all the in-depth information and pretty pictures later, for now I just wanted to get the new BASIC information up, IE item build, skill sequence, etc. Additionally, this will now be a SOLO TOP guide. I've played a few games and that's where I now feel he does the best in.

Sections marked with a * have not changed because they didn't need to.

Total list of changes:
  • Item build will change accordingly.
  • Runes will change accordingly, into a rather weird setup (but it's the best choice, I guarantee it! :P
  • The skill sequence will not change, as W first is too strong to ignore.
  • The playstyle will change, you will no longer have Wraiths to take at top lane, but you WILL have the OPTION to counterjungle. Additionally, I will need to put more emphasis on being aggressive.
  • The mid lane matchups got blown up, and will be replaced later by common solo top matchups. I will still include mid lane matchups.
  • Like my AD Kennen section, I will add a Mid Lane section as well as Kennen is a great Mid as well and that should not be ignored.

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Kennen Changes (Most Recent)

  • Kennen
    • Base range reduced to 550 from 575

A slight nerf overall, but nothing to really worry about. Kind of necessary, as the AA range was high enough that he was even able to bully around other ranged champions.

This will involve more risk in playing Kennen. 25 range may not seem like much, but sometimes you're *just* in range for that Apprehend when you're trying to poke the living hell out of Darius, and this nerf might put you into range for it when you might have gotten out of it otherwise.

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So, Asian guy...Who is this Kennen?

Kennen is an AP Carry capable of dealing tons of damage and CC effects with little to no items. He is one of the most disruptive APs in the game, as his skill set allows him to stun multiple champions at once in a team fight (See, Slicing Maelstrom).

He is a very powerful top as his range and poke allows him to easily bully many of the typical melee bruiser there, as well as having a strong disengage with Lightning Rush if things go wrong.

Kennen scales very well off levels and farm from the Solo Top lane, and is a great snowballer in Solo Queue. A fed Kennen generally means the other team will be dead and/or CCed HARD in teamfights.

I choose to play Kennen in the Top Lane because of these reasons.

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

I run a standard bruiser setup on Kennen, which may seem weird at first, but is actually the most optimal.

90% of the time in Draft Pick, or even Blind Pick, you will be matched with aMelee Bruiser, such as Shen, Darius, Riven, etc. Kennen is able to abuse his range against a lot of melee bruisers as they either have weak gap closing mechanics, or you can just easily disengage with Lightning Rush. You can EASILY ABUSE this advantage by poking the **** out of them with auto-attacks.

Now, take Kennen's high base stats. 0.690 base Attack Speed, 52 base AD (he's ranged!), and 550 range is nothing to laugh about, as you're able to out-duel MANY champions at level 1 just because of these stats. Add more AD or AS, profit.

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9/21/0 masteries.

Minion damage is a large portion of trade damage in top lane, so taking the masteries to reduce it will make a huge difference. Also, Kennen doesn't really need a high amount of AP to be effective, so the tiny bonuses from the offensive tree isn't really worth it.

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Summoner Spells

Flash and Ignite.

Flash lets you position your ultimate better, and you already have a mini-ghost every few seconds with Lightning Rush, so there's not really any reason to take Ghost.

Ignite is great for shutting down heavy regeneration like Olaf's passive + Vicious Strikes or Sadism. Additionally, you can use it on low health enemies to secure kills early on.

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Skill Explanation*

Kennen's abilities apply a Mark on opponents hit by them. Upon reaching 3 Marks, the opponent is stunned for 1 second and Kennen is refunded 25 energy. The stun has a diminished effect if repeated within 7 seconds. Marks lasts for 8 seconds.

There's been some debate as to whether this is a 'real' passive or a 'not even there' passive. I mean, why not just slap this onto Electrical Surge and give Kennen bonus something every time he stuns someone?

Anyway, this is simple: Hit someone 3 times with your abilities and they get stunned and you get 25 energy back. A diminished stun lasts for 0.5 seconds instead of 1.

Kennen throws a fast moving shuriken to the target location, hitting the first enemy it encounters.

I take this at level 3 and max it immediately.
  • Does 75/115/155/195/235 (+ 75% of Ability Power) damage.
  • 1050 Range
  • Cost: 65/60/55/50/45 Energy
  • Cooldown: 8/7/6/5/4 Seconds
Tips and Tricks
  • Thundering Shuriken shouldn't be too hard to hit. It moves at a decent speed, and very thin so you can throw it between minions.
  • Use this to last hit and/or harass.
  • A difficult but good trick is to wait for a minion to almost die, then throw a shuriken at it. That way, the shuriken will pass through it and might hit an unsuspecting champion.
  • Use this to check brushes.
  • This can hit stealthed champions.

Passive: Every 5th attack, Kennen's auto-attack will deal bonus magic damage and add a Mark of the Storm.
Active: Kennen surges electricity towards all enemies with a Mark of the Storm, dealing damage and applying another Mark.

I take this at level 1 and max it second.
  • Does 65/95/125/155/185 (+ 65% of Ability Power) damage.
  • 900 Range
  • Cost: 45 Energy
  • Cooldown: 14/12/10/8/6 Seconds
Tips and Tricks
  • This can hit stealthed units.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Electrical Surge is Kennen's 'main' skill.
  • You can use this to 'snipe' enemy champions with low health, much like Heimerdinger's rockets.
  • After casting, this skill leaves a stream of lightning showing you enemy location even if they are stealthed.
  • The 5th proc hurts a lot at early levels. Abuse it!

Kennen transforms into a ball of lightning, damaging any enemies he comes in contact with. Damage done to monsters and minions are halved. Kennen also gains bonus Armor and Magic Resistances during the skill, and persists for 4 seconds after it ends.

I take this at level 2 and max it last, because it's mostly for utility.
  • Does 85/125/165/205/245 (+ 60% of Ability Power) damage.
  • 10/20/30/40/50 Bonus Armor and Magic Resist
  • 100% Move Speed modifier (~1.5x after diminishing returns) (I think) (:P)
  • Cost: 100/95/90/85/80
  • Cooldown: 10/9/8/7/6 Seconds
Tips and Tricks
  • DO NOT forget the bonus Armor and Mr. It can save you from Requiem or other global ultimates, or just making you more tanky overall.
  • This gives the HIGHEST flat movespeed out of every skill in the game.
  • You ignore unit collision with this skill! It's pretty much a free Ghost.
  • Using this to initiate can result in using the energy return component to restore enough energy to cast other skills.

Kennen creates a magical storm, dealing damage to random enemy champions inside of it.

Because this skill is Kennen's ultimate, I take it whenever I can.
  • Does 80/145/210 (+ 40% of Ability Power) damage per bolt.
  • 240/435/630 (+ 120% of Ability Power TOTAL damage per enemy champion.
  • Has 6/10/15 bolts
  • Stuns up to 2/3/5 enemies at once
  • 120 second cooldown
  • 550 Range
  • Cost: 50/45/40 Energy
Tips and Tricks
  • You don't have to use this offensively. You can use it to stun pursuers chasing you so you can get away.
  • You can use this to bait champions into tower diving you, then blow them up with a full combo.
  • This is practically a source of free energy in teamfights.
  • This skill only hits enemy champions 3 times each. This is the only weakness. Be careful about this.
  • Slicing Maelstrom also makes Kennen very powerful at 1v1. This is the main reason why I bring him into a solo lane.

Kennen's Skill Set

Kennen has a very potent teamfighting skill set, and his dueling capabilities are very high as well. This makes him viable in every lane and in almost every team composition.

Electrical Surge's passive, Lightning Rush's bonus resists, and having Thundering Shuriken on a 4 second cooldown makes him very strong at 1v1, even under silences that would cripple most mages. Also, his high base stats make him impossible to 1v1 at low levels, because that's when auto-attacks hurt the most and Kennen's high right click damage will really kick in.

Kennen's team fighting potential is arguably the highest out of all AP mids. That's because his dueling potential can be extended to multiple champions at once without any drawbacks. Slicing Maelstrom is also a 'status' ability, meaning he can perform other actions while it is up.

All this comes at a cost of being in melee range of every other opposing team member, which honestly is Kennen's weakest point. You HAVE to make yourself vulnerable to the other team to bring out his full potential, which more often than not will lead to mistakes and cost you games.

Kennen's skill set is based on a 'High Risk, High Reward' style of play, which is why I choose to play him aggressively with those 'all or nothing' plays. Overall, I feel Kennen is a strong AP Carry because of these traits.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

W is absolutely great for harassing melee champions in lane. It also allows you to push faster than you would have if you started with Q.

While pushing your lane harder may be a bad thing as it forces you to overextend, sometimes it's good as you have free time to roam to mid/bot or steal jungle camps.

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Boots of Speed. No exceptions. The movement speed will allow you to kite more easily while also getting into range to harass and last hit.

2x Doran's Blade - You're going to be auto-attacking and last hitting a lot. This benefits both. Also, the 6% life steal isn't bad, and it adds extra bulk.

Hextech Revolver - Infinite sustain due to the fact you run off energy, and you have low cooldowns + okay base damages and scaling.

Sorcerer's Shoes, Mercury's Treads, or Ninja Tabi - Matchup and performance determined. Sorcerer's Shoes if you feel comfortable without the others, Mercury's Treads if you're worried about CC, or Ninja Tabi if you're worried against champions like Riven or Wukong.

Zhonya's Hourglass or Abyssal Scepter - Determined by matchup. Zhonya's Hourglass against AD bruisers, Abyssal Scepter against APs like Kennen, Vladimir, or Swain.

Rabadon's Deathcap if you went Zhonya's Hourglass, Zhonya's Hourglass then Rabadon's Deathcap if you went Abyssal Scepter first. Zhonyas always takes priority over any other item, as it lets you get your ultimate off without fail.

Here, buy Abyssal Scepter(if you haven't already) OR Quicksilver Sash, depending on what the other team has. If they have CC that you're worried about, like Nether Grasp or some 3 second silence, Quicksilver Sash might be better. If not, Abyssal Scepter.

Now finish your build with Will of the Ancients and Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

You can use Void Staff instead of Abyssal Scepter or Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

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Hyper aggression. When you aren't CSing or waiting to CS, run up to your enemy laner and auto-attack them, but keep in mind how much the minions will do to. Use Thundering Shuriken + Electrical Surge to win trades more.

Kite. When they jump at you ( Leap Strike, Nimbus Strike, etc), DON'T just run away, walk back, auto-attack them, walk back, repeat. When they start backing off, chase after them. The key here is to know the cooldowns of their gap closers, so you know when you can back off and when you can keep harassing.

When they get within 'kill range', feel free to use Lightning Rush to engage, then Electrical Surge > W passive > Q them for the kill, but MAKE SURE the enemy jungler isn't there. Lightning Rush is your ONLY escape, and should be used CAREFULLY.

Always try to use your 5th proc on your enemy, it hurts a lot early on, and can chain with Electrical Surge allowing you to punish people for their misplays, and also pressure them with the risk of a stun.

For maximum harassment, wait until after you have 4 points in Electrical Surge. Put a Mark of the Storm on your opponent, then hit W. From here, last hit until you have the passive portion of your W up, and SAVE IT. When W comes off cooldown again, use it. By now they should be stunned and will allow you to use your 5th proc on them, giving them another Mark of the Storm. Repeat until they are low enough for you to kill them.

Auto-attack, then when you see that little shuriken leave your hand, move back/forward to cancel the rest of the animation. The shuriken will still fly towards and damage your intended target, and you used the rest of the animation to move either closer or farther from them. This is great as you can escape minion aggro or damage close ranged champions like Riven or Volibear before then even touch you, and you still have Lightning Rush to increase the gap further.

An example:

Not my video. Credit goes to owner of the video. It won't be that difficult since you won't have insane attack speed from Phantom Dancer, but you should get the idea.

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Run in, ult, Zhonyas.

Pretty much what you have to do.

Never use Lightning Rush + Flash, always save one for disengaging if something goes wrong.

You generally want to focus your damage on the AD Carry. That is the #1 priority of every teamfight. If your team has something like LeBlanc mid and you trust him/her, feel free to let them do the job, but sometimes YOU'RE going to have to. Assuming you're farmed up, feel free to use BOTH Lightning Rush and Flash to reach their carry. As long as you get a full round of your spells off and the majority of your ultimate, you dying for the other AD is WORTH IT.

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AD Kennen?

I played AD Kennen before it was cool :P Just sayin~

But anyway, it was viable and was always viable. Electrical Surge has good early game scaling, but Kennen falls off harder than almost every other AD Carry in the late game.

This 'falling off' is basically because of the lack of steroids.

Kennen is much like Caitlyn in that they have long range, and an extremely strong lane presence with high damage from their skills, and an ability that says 'every X attack makes you do additional damage.' They also fall off late game in comparison to other AD Carries. Caitlyn, however, has a better late game because her Headshot applies crit, while Electrical Surge does not. Plus, she has better range.

AD Kennen is definitely viable however, and it's part of the reason Kennen is a strong pick in Solo Queue.

I'm not going to go too in-depth here, because I'm not really that great at AD Carries, but I'll give you summoner spells, runes, masteries, etc.

AD Kennen Cheatsheet Stuff




Masteries: 21/01/08


Skill Sequence: R > W > E > Q

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Start with Boots of Speed, and build standard AD Carry item sequence. Switch Berserker's Greaves for another Phantom Dancer late game, and build a Guardian Angel so you get a second chance after you die once.

Flash and Ignite are standard.

We go all AD Marks and Quints because W scales off total AD and that's huge spike damage for early game. Also, it does additional magic damage, so any other marks/quints aren't worth it. Armor seals and Mr/level glyphs make you more overall tankier.

For skill sequence, max W first because it scales off AD, max E next because of bonus resists and more consistent escapes, and Q last because it's used solely for adding s. Get your ultimate whenever available, because the damage and stuns are always good.

For more information, click here for a guide written by Temzilla (our cheatsheets are a bit different though :P)

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^Totally wanted to use that.

So you reached the end of my guide ^_^

Here I'd like to say special thanks to JhoiJhoi for her Guide Making Guide and line dividers. Also, I learned how to do the wicked coding in the ruens section and AD Kennen cheat sheet thing~

I'd like to say sorry to LaCorpse because I ended up not using her banners -.-

Last (maybe if I end up thinking of more) I'd like to thank Temzilla for writing that AD Kennen guide, because I was too lazy to :D The link is in its appropriate section.

Thanks for reading~

By tehAsian

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Change Log

May 14th, 2012

  • Added Change Log
  • Started Skill Combo Section (Under the explanations)
  • Added Ahri to Laning Opponents thing

May 16th, 2012

  • More champions added to Lane Matchups.
  • Then I found some coding problems -.-
  • Added more skill information
  • Added Annie's information
  • All new information regarding lane matchups will now be displayed with a NEW in the spoiler tag (didn't know how to put it in pink, sorry >:)
  • Ew incorrect information in Lightning Rush :P Shows how much I really know about Kennen

May 21th, 2012

  • Added AD Kennen? section
  • Added team composition
  • Might have added more stuff :P I forgot. It's been 5 days. Cmon.

June 11th, 2012

  • So yeah maxing W first is 98127982739283 times better than Q, I figured. I'm working on updating the information.

June 13th, 2012

  • Updated information...might be more. Tell me if something's wrong :P

June 22nd, 2012

  • Removed REVAMPED from title
  • Announcements changed

September 4th, 2012

  • Guess what gaize? I'm still alive.
  • Pretty much redid runes, masteries, skill sequence, etc.
  • Gonna add in all teh pretty and in-depth stuff later, too lazy atm.
  • Also, minor changes already :/ not gonna be fun.

September 18th, 2012

  • Labeled guide as a Top Lane AP Carry in Summoner's Rift :3

October 30, 2012

  • Added a new build. Pretty gud, surprised I didn't think of it earlier and had to watch Wings' stream >_>