Kennen Build Guide by Disegno
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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.
Hello everyone, Disegno here, with my 5th listed guide and a fun champion guide it was to make. This guide specifically, is going to be focusing on the master of mischief, unique, and flimsy by nature, Kennen.
He is my only one and first real AP Caster that I have ever played, if you've looked at my past guides, you would notice I kind of have a love for AD Champions, I came close though, I played Ezreal, but I have never actually used the AP Build I have listed in it. I think what really made me want to play him was the little buffs he had received, the AP Ratio on Thundering Shuriken - 0.66 to 0.75 AP.
Despite the little buff a long while ago, I had no idea how much fun he was. Being from the AD Nature that I am, I was extremely surprised playing him, I liked Energy based champions already, [ Lee Sin / Akali ], I picked up Kennen, and I really dig the fact of how much of a contribution he can make to his team, I have realized this through a few games, and I'll be happy to upload these games soon enough for you to enjoy.
Now, onto the guide.~
Pros / Cons
How does one play a yordle that plays with lightning? Playing champions will always a few things that help build the champion, help make the champion stronger over another, and at the same time there are some downsides to playing a champion that is strong in a few areas. Playing Kennen you have to keep in mind of what you can do, otherwise known as knowing your Pros, and making sure to keep in mind of your negatives, the Cons, if you will.
- Strong CC : Stun
- AoE Ultimate
- Energy Based*
- Great Poke
- Strong Ganks
- Great Farmer
- Strong Early Game
- Limited Escape*
- Energy Based*
- Cautious Late Game
- Teams Might Rely On Stuns
- Random Marks
- Limited Poke Late Game
- Limited Escape*
- Needs To Be In The Middle Of Teamfight
- Should Be Built Accordingly
To keep things simple, I'd like to explain the main aspects of Kennen that make him strong and the things that make him weak.
What makes him an extremely strong pick is that his Slicing Maelstrom is an AoE Stun, guaranteed, considering you only need 2 Mark of the Storm and following up with Electrical Surge to land the stun. That being said, considering your team might rely on an AoE Stun, you might find yourself the center of the teamfight, which is very dangerous for Kennen if not well farmed, one counter to this is of course the Zhonya's Hourglass. Timing it correctly will lead to a successful teamfight.
Another weakness and strength of Kennen is that he is energy based. What this means is that he has great poke but he is very limited to it. Meaning you have to be extremely careful how much of your energy you are using come late game, if you don't have enough for a full combo, it can really drag your team down. Balancing poke and team fighting energy will be the biggest conflict in playing Kennen, for he has the capability of being good at both.
As the guide goes on, I will be adding parts of the Pros / Cons into the descriptions, but I wanted to keep this chapter with the main ideas of his Pros and his Cons.
There are a handful of pages you can set up for Kennen, depending on how you Rune him, it will play the biggest factor in playing him in general. Being that their are a handful of pages, you should keep in mind what kind of style you like, for with each page, their is a specific build that I like to use, and so on. One thing I'd like to note is that ENERGY runes aren't listed officially for MOBAFire, but I'll list them unofficially because their are some setups with Energy Regen.
Greater Mark of Insight  / Greater Seal of Vitality Greater Seal of Vitality 
Greater Glyph of Potency  / Greater Quintessence of Fortitude 
This is what I personally, love to use. For it allows me to build magic damage, before rushing a health, which is what most AP carries do. Having the health available from Health Quints, Health Per Level Seals, and the Doran's Shield, which every Kennen player should do, for it's a great item for Health and Health Regen. Keeping it standard with Magic Pen marks, as always. Finishing it off with AP Blues because I want a bit more damage with my poke.
Greater Mark of Insight  / Greater Seal of Resilience 
Greater Glyph of Force  / Greater Quintessence of Fortitude 
Kennen also works great on top of the map, for he can farm very well, as explained in the Pros / Cons, and he can be paired up with really strong ganking junglers. It isn't all that difficult to land a stun, but if you can't it's enough to land 2 Mark of the Storm before having the official fight went off. Solo top champions normally consist of AD so, specifically, I picked Armor Yellows and AP Per Level Blues because you are going to be up ahead in levels from top. The rest are the same.
Greater Mark of Insight  / Greater Seal of Lucidity  + Greater Seal of Meditiation 
Greater Glyph of Warding  / Greater Quintessence of Fortitude 
- Note : I used the pictures that correspond to the Energy Regen Runes, the runes aren't listed in MOBAFire so I put it in this cause it still is a great rune page.
|--||Greater Mark of Magic Penetration : Magic Penetration Reds for the additional damage on champions early game. If the enemy doesn't have any Magic Resist Runes, then for the most part, you go through all of their MR. Plus you get an additional 15% from the Mastery point, but I will discuss that later.|
|Greater Seal of Vitality||--||Greater Seal of Vitality : Health Per Level Yellows for the free Ruby Crystal come late game. I always like to build this for you get a bit of a boost with each early Level and you get a chunk at Level 18. Helps with the overall squishyness that comes with playing Kennen and I couldn't agree more.|
|--||Greater Seal of Armor : Armor Yellows for all those solo top heroes. He has the potential to go solo top and just farm til' he's got damage. What you will most likely see top is an AD Champion, therefore, build against it, by using Armor Yellows and Doran's Shield after Boots of Speed.|
|--||Greater Glyph of Magic Resist : Flat Magic Resist Blues for the AP Mids that you will most likely encounter, this helps build resistances against the AP Mids and you will be covering for all of their Magic Penetration if they built some.|
|--||Greater Glyph of Ability Power : Flat AP Blues for the additional early edge, although it isn't much, it's a decent amount. I'd only recommend these if you are pairing it with Greater Quintessence of Ability Power runes. Otherwise I'd recommend either MR or AP Per Level for it will contribute a lot better either early or late.|
|--||Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power : I'd consider these over Flat AP if you're even considering it because late game is where you become dangerous, early game, it's okay if you land your shots, but late game, your AoE and all your skill shots, they hurt. What better way than to get AP Per Level.|
|--||Greater Quintessence of Ability Power : Flat AP Quints to pair up with those AP Blues, I'd only recommend it if you don't have a handful of rune pages and want a standard AP Caster type rune page, than these would be the best for you.|
|--||Greater Quintessence of Health : Flat Health Quints to get that early edge and allowing you to get around 560 Health game start, giving you options with starting items. Plus allowing you to be able to build in different item sequences as well.|
I did not include Ego Ignaxio Energy Regen runes for MOBAFire does not give me access to them, although I truly believe you don't need Energy Regen to be a good Kennen, choosing one of the rune sets above will be plenty of bonus.
Being an AP Caster, I can say there is a limited number of ways to set up his Mastery Trees. There's either an all out Utility tree, which will grant you, CDR, Flash Mastery, and Neutral Buff Extended Timer, or there is an all out Defense tree, which will grant you MR, Armor, Reduced Damage, and Health.
This is the all Defense mastery and I'd like to say the better choice if you don't have Armor or MR Runes, cause the little boost helps you anyways. This keeps the same aspects as the Offensive tree, the AP per Level and the Magic penetration that it grants.
- Archmage's Savvy is the additional AP Per Level Mastery, increasing your AP by .6 each time you Level, I recommend this because it is a great place to put 3 Mastery Points into. Pairs extremely well with AP Per Level Blues if you have them.
- Deadliness is a space taker, one point in it so that you have access to the cooldown reduction that is yet to come on the second line of the tree.
- Sorcery is for cooldown reduction, it isn't much, but it's better than grabbing Attack Speed, for this moment, cause you are not going AD DPS, you are going AP Mage. This is the better choice, trust me.
- Archaic Knowledge is the final point in the Offensive tree, and it is why we go down this tree, the 15% MR Penetration will grant you so much more damage late game, and imagine pairing it with a Void Staff, going through 55% of the enemy's MR.
- Hardiness helping preferably with the AD Champions that are going to be Solo Top, whether or not you are going to be soloing top, you might as well get it cause most of the junglers are AD for the most part, help build resistances for that.
- Resistance being the counter part of the Armor and giving you MR. Great for both situations yet again, except contributing more with the Solo Mids that are generally going to be AP.
- Evasion mainly as a point placer but if you get auto attacked, you have a chance to dodge that attack.
- Nimbleness being the other part of Evasion and will grant you move speed for each lucky dodge that you are granted.
- Harden Skin being along the lines of Armor, blocking a bit of Physical Damage that is dealt to you, this helps for the most part with minions, I believe it applies to them too. Not sure, but it's good for mastery points as well.
- Veteran's Scars is one of the greatest mastery points for a squishy, it will give you an additional 48 points in health, and that means more surviving ability.
- Ardor is surprisingly a Defensive mastery, it gives you 4% AP and AS, making it another reason why to go down this tree. Pairs really well with Rabadon's Deathcap come late game.
- Tenacity for the final point, decreasing all damage dealt to you by 4%, a pretty self explanatory point, and I can say it's worth it.
This is for the most part, the all Utility Tree, with some Offensive. I can understand, you are probably going to be fussing about, the pointless % Mana Regen that is granted in this tree. I know, but it's for the most part, just a space taker, so that you can get the Flash mastery, and the Move Speed mastery. I won't be listing the offensive mastery because it is right above from this.
- Good Hands for the reduced death timer, it doesn't play the biggest role as far as early game goes, but come late game, it's going to allow you to be alive a lot faster than usual.
- Perseverence probably the most useful and most useless 3 points you'd put in, considering it gives you a lot more sustain along with your Doran's Shield your health should be regenerating like crazy.
- Awareness mainly for the experience boost you get, you can get ahead of an enemy, and have a skill over another champion if they don't have the EXP boost you have, it helps you get to late game faster, which means, here comes the health if you followed my Rune Page.
- Greed because of the extra gold you'll be getting every 10 seconds, it isn't much but, you get around 300+ gold at the end of an hour, if you're team isn't getting wards and what not, then you can give the team some awareness.
- Utility Mastery for obvious reasons, the additional 30% timer on any neutral buff. Self explanatory and can be the reason why you can poke so much [Blue Buff] and regen it as fast.
- Quickness for the additional move speed. I really don't have an explanation for this except for you might get away with this and/or you might dodge skill shots better with this.
- Blink of an Eye for the reduced Flash timer and yeah, that's pretty much it. Will help with situations as far as Flash / Slicing Maelstrom goes. I can see this helping me with that a lot. More frequent with that combo.
- Intelligence for the total 10% CDR that will, I guarantee, will help as far as poke goes and with ultimate goes.
- Presence of the Master for your final point. Reduces the recharge timer on Summoner Spells by 15%, this is such a nice point to put in for Utility, you can save your own life if you have Spells up, for they play such a big role in living or not.
There are very few summoner spells that should be run with Kennen. Here's a brief list along with a brief explanation of why you should choose each summoner spell or not. Being that he is an AP Caster, he should be able to get in and out of the fight, secure kills, and save himself. Keep that in mind when choosing summoner spells.
|--||Flash : A great choice for Kennen. Being able to pair Flash along with your ultimate, Slicing Maelstrom, you can get some crazy ridiculous initiations going on, that can potentially cause your team to win. I've done it before because I've had the additional distance that Flash can give me, instantly.|
|--||Ghost : This is good for running into the center rather than an instant initiation. So that you aren't the center of focus, and so that you can follow up on top of your teams initiation. This is better for some situations. If your team has already got a good AoE team, easily Ghost to follow up on top of that.|
|--||Ignite : I like to get this simply because I don't have a hard time landing my Thundering Shuriken, I am confident enough to land enough of my poke, and harass with Electrical Surge up to the point where if I Flash to get in range, land another shuriken, ignite, and surge, I will get a kill.|
Below I'll be explaining the sequencing of skills for Kennen as well as some descriptions of each skill. Having full understanding of each skill will make you a better Kennen player, which will ultimately make your team better, for your role on a team, is heavily defined by your skills.
Mark of the Storm (Passive): // Each of Kennen's abilities leave a mark on the target, which lasts about 8 seconds, and if you can get the enemy up to 3 marks, the enemy will be stunned for 1 second, each stun you get on an enemy, will grant you 25 Energy in return. The stun has a stronger effect if you stun again within 7 seconds.
Thundering Shuriken (Q): // This will be your main source of damage and as well poke. Considering how many times you can use it, it can do a lot of damage as time passes.
- // At max level, it will have a 3 second cooldown. What this means if you can land two of them over the time span of 7 seconds, you are guaranteed a stun with Electrical Surge.
- // When aiming this, try to aim towards where the enemy is headed, there for it will be a guaranteed hit and a guaranteed Mark.
- // In lane, try to harass with this, upon landing it, following it up with Electrical Surge for some great harass damage. Once that's done, landing an additional Q will guarantee a stun if combo'd correctly.
Electrical Surge (W): // There are plenty of things you can do with this skill. You can use it to follow up one harass from your Thundering Shuriken, or just simply harass with both passive and active after landing a mark.
- // Storing 5 Charges of this passive will grant your next auto attack an attached Mark of the Storm. Meaning, if you combo correctly, you can initially land a stun only using 2 skills. Which can easily be initiated on for your team.
- // You can use this to farm minion waves extremely well following up from Lightning Rush.
- // Keep in mind that the range on landing the active on this is shorter than the range on Q, meaning, make sure you are close enough to W them if you plan on harass. It's about 850, so a little bit lower than your Q @ 1050.
Lightning Rush: // This skill is mainly used as a gap closer for the most part. You can get closer to the enemy using this. Every enemy you land will grant you 40 Energy in return.
- // If you plan on harassing with Q and W, try using this to rush in, and hit every or most of your enemies team so that you have enough energy to Slicing Maelstrom and Electrical Surge
- // Pairing this up with Electrical Surge will let you farm minion waves almost instantly. Keep in mind that you should rush in on minions first, and then follow up with your W.
- // If you can sense a team fight going about the wrong way, you can use to run away, but manage your energy for it costs about 80-100 energy for each use. It isn't a skill you can spam either.
Slicing Maelstrom (R): // This is an AoE skill, granting marks to each enemy that is affected by the hit, the hits are at random, and grant damage each time it hits an enemy. The range of Marks goes from 6-15, per use.
- // To get a good initiation, you can always grab Flash, use it, follow up with R immediately, and an Electrical Surge immediately to get 2 Marks instantly on an enemy.
- // The marks also grant damage, the more enemies you hit, the more damage it will deal, you want to hit most of the enemy team so that the spread of a threat is distributed.
- // Try not to use it for huge teamfights at Level 6, for it only grants 6 Marks, wait until Level 11 so that you can stun most of the enemy team if you ever get in a teamfight.
That being said, I'll explain the build, Thundering Shuriken for the most damage in your poke, allowing you to last hit better as far as farms go, and what not. Electrical Surge because of amount of burst you do every time you land a Mark of the Storm, immediately following up, will grant great damage done. Finally, Lightning Rush last because it costs 100 Energy initially, and you could use the other 2 skills a lot better. Slicing Maelstrom whenever you can for the additional available marks.
Itemization Of A Ninja
Disegno's Item Order
Doran's Shield -> Boots of Speed -> Will of the Ancients -> Needlessly Large Rod -> Sorcerer's Shoes -> Rabadon's Deathcap -> Rylai's Crystal Scepter -> Zhonya's Hourglass
Healthy Item Order
Doran's Shield -> Boots of Speed -> Will of the Ancients -> Giant's Belt -> Sorcerer's Shoes -> Rylai's Crystal Scepter -> Rabadon's Deathcap -> Zhonya's Hourglass
AD Counter Item Order
Doran's Shield -> Boots of Speed -> Will of the Ancients -> Chain Vest -> Sorcerer's Shoes -> Zhonya's Hourglass -> Rylai's Crystal Scepter -> Rabadon's Deathcap
|S||20 Magic Penetration // Mainly going for Magic Penetration boots for the additional overall damage you will be dealing. You grab your boots early game and no one will have MR, what this does is basically go through the base MR, allowing you to deal almost True Damage with each skill. If the enemy has a lot of CC, of course go for Mercury's Treads to reduce the CC timer done.|
|S||50 Ability Power + Unique Aura : 30 Ability Power / 25% Spell Vamp // This would be the sustain portion of your build, not even just that, it's a great Aura item to have. With Will of the Ancients, each Thundering Shuriken will heal for almost 100 Health, meaning within 15 seconds, you could have healed up to 500 Health. It's one of those items that you must have to stay in lane, this let's you tone down the amount of Health Potions you buy.|
|S||80 Ability Power + 500 Health + Abilities Will Slow Enemies By 35% // This is your main source of health and another addition to your CC. What this does is allow you to slow your enemies by 35% for 1.5 Seconds with each ability that is landed on that enemy. If you can land a Thundering Shuriken on an enemy, your team can easily jump that person, because of the slow. Another reason why it's a great item is because if you land your Slicing Maelstrom on all of the enemies, they will all be slowed.|
|S||100 Ability Power + 100 Armor + Unique Active : Champion Is In Stasis For 2 Seconds // What this allows you to do is be in the middle of a teamfight, mark every enemy, Electrical Surge, and right about after the time you do that, you should activate this. This will allow you to be safe for 2 seconds and 2 seconds is all you need for every enemy to be stunned. It also grants a nice Armor bonus for the AD threats.|
- Doran's Shield is what I like to start with whenever I am going to Middle Lane. For the additional Health and Health Regen is very nice in all situations. Plus, considering it's the easiest access as far as lane traveling goes, you can always go back after pushing a lane, and come back faster than others. I've never had a problem running this middle lane for my Health Regen is about 20-23 per 5.
- Boots of Speed is also a decent choice mid, but a better choice than Doran's Shield when running top. For side lanes are easier ganks because of the limited escape, you want as much sustain as possible, running this and three Health Potions allows you to stay in lane as long as you can til' you have enough to grab another item. For the most part it's having enough health to farm for a long while.
- Amplifying Tome, for the most part, I have never run this, considering I like to play passive until I am Level 6, this doesn't provide enough sustain for the most part, only reason why I don't like to get it. If you are playing aggressive, you should consider going for this, some sustain to exchange shots, and some damage to put out.
- Will of the Ancients is an item that should be rushed after obtaining Boots of Speed. For it will grant your team additional AP, Spell Vamp for each cast, and yourself, a **** load of sustain. As mentioned above, Thundering Shuriken benefits from this item the most because you will get around 60-120 Health back with each cast. That's a rough number, but you can get a lot of health back instantly is the main idea of this item.
- Sorcerer's Shoes / Mercury's Treads for your mobility item, always an early game goal just to finish your boots and get them out of the way. However if you are fed and have enough for a Needlessly Large Rod, I'd recommend that before finishing boots, because it's so easy to finish your boots, and extremely difficult to complete a Rabadon's Deathcap or a Zhonya's Hourglass.
- Rabadon's Deathcap is what I preferably rush after getting my early game items built. Why do I go for such an early expensive as hell item? The main reason is that every team needs a champion that can deal damage to a lot of enemies, rushing this let's me spread out my damage to all the champions, even if I don't get the kills, as long as my damage has been done, I can count on my team to clean up.
- Rylai's Crystal Scepter comes next for me but can be rushed for you, main reason being is that it gives you an additional form of CC, some AP, and a chunk of health. I personally don't like rushing it for I can't see myself doing enough damage to the enemies. Depending on certain situations, I might build this first, but for the most part, I've got enough health to get by.
- Zhonya's Hourglass is either the first item built or the last item built of the three. I'd only rush this first if there was a strong AD Carry Mid or an Assassin that is based on AD. I want to give a specific example, Talon, is a champion who can easily kill Kennen, what does early Armor do for you? Gives you a lot of resistance to his attacks and prevents you from being shut down. Also, the active on this will let you be in the middle of a teamfight, but not be able to be focused, forcing them to scatter, your team can easily pick them off that way and you live which is always a good thing.
- Abyssal Scepter is mainly if you need Magic Resist yourself, if the enemy team is mainly of a magical threat, than this is the item for you. Considering the Aura is also very helpful to your team, if you're team has an AP overload, grabbing this will also grant overall damage boost because enemies have reduced MR. I'd only get this item if our team has another AoE AP like Fiddlesticks or Karthus, or if I simply find myself needing the MR.
- Void Staff would be the counter pick of Abyssal Scepter, if you don't need any MR, if you find yourself not having any trouble with your lack of MR, than simply build Magic Penetration. Not only does this give you an overall boost in AP, it gives you 40% Magic Penetration, on top of your already given, 15%. 55% Magic Penetration through enemies, your damage is very threatening, and they can't really build against it.
Note : If you have any other suggestions to what I should add here, please respond below, I need more variety in the end game options.
Below I will be explaining a bit about your role as the game progresses while playing Kennen. For he is an extremely strong and unique champion, your role as the game progresses tends to change over time. The importance of Kennen is his ability to contribute so well to his team. Here's a few aspects of each stage of the game, including Early Game, Mid Game, and Late Game.
Early Game : Early game you should keep up with farm as well as harass. Not to the point where you are diving recklessly though, for you can only Flash / Ignite up to a point. I like to farm last hits with Thundering Shuriken if I'm getting pushed, if I am the one pushing, last hitting should be easy, if not, practice, but I harass whenever I can if I can balance my pushing and my harassing. After each Thundering Shuriken, I love to follow up immediately with Electrical Surge, or sometimes when I have the passive of Electrical Surge up, I land an auto attack on the enemy, Electrical Surge, and Thundering Shuriken them, allowing me to get free hits on them. Only until they are about half or below health, do I like to Flash or simply Slicing Maelstrom, depending on where they are, to get the kill. It should be easy because it isn't hard to land 6 Random Mark of the Storms on one target.
Mid Game : Mid Game, I like to gank if I can push a lane. Once I push the lane, I find myself around Level 11, hence the additional Mark of the Storm available on my Ultimate. Ganking either lane will do, bottom, would be a more worthy gank if your team cooperates. Top is still a gank if the jungler is at bottom. For the most part, during this phase of the game, you want to see yourself obtaining your core items, Rabadon's Deathcap / Rylai's Crystal Scepter / Zhonya's Hourglass, two of the three is good enough, and you can see yourself surviving, winning one verse one situations, and contributing to big team fights at Dragons and Barons. Grabbing those items in forms of ganking for your team or farming non-stop.
Late Game : Late Game, you should have your Zhonya's Hourglass by now, whether you buy it first or buy it last of your core. Meaning, if you can get a good enough initiation with Slicing Maelstrom, Electrical Surge on every enemy, and using the active on Zhonya's Hourglass, you won't be the center of attention, and you won't easily get focused. The longer you live in a team fight the more damage you will deal, I can easily find myself being targeted all the time, hence why I buy the Zhonya's Hourglass. Stick with your team because Kennen is a beast team player, you can easily push lanes if one of the lanes is being pushed, but remaining alive for most or until the team fight begins is your main role.
Here is where I'll be putting all the additional information in this guide.
I've got a few replays yet to be recorded on expect some soon!
If you've got a few example games, post them below, or message me! Could really use examples.
10/29/2011 : Guide Released!