Thresh Build Guide by Jakesty

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Jakesty

Hooking Up With Enemy ADC's - S4 Thresh Support Guide

Jakesty Last updated on September 20, 2014
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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: 0

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 17


Utility: 13

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Hey everyone and welcome to my Thresh guide. Throughout this guide I will try to persuade, inform, and hopefully teach you something new about Thresh. If you feel you need to down vote, please drop a comment in the box before voting and I'll try my best to improve the guide in anyway possible. If you have any queries don't be scared to leave a comment or pm. Note. I am currently writing a Mastery section, so don't be alarmed or down vote just because that is not included yet.

So Firstly, Why Play Thresh?

Thresh is a well constructed support who will alter the way you play support forever. His unique variety of abilities allow him to excel in the battlefield like no others. Using his vast array of crowd control abilities, there is no doubt that he will obliterate his fearful lane opponents.

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Pros / Cons


+ Great Crowd Control Abilities
+ Very tanky mid to late game
+ Great Initiation Capabilities
+ Very easy to secure first blood with Death Sentence
+ Death Sentence is great for invading the enemy jungle
+ Dark Passage can save a teammate in nearly any situation


- Can be squishy early game
- Death Sentence can be difficult to land
- Thresh lacks sustain with no heal
- Collecting souls can lead to you being heavily harassed by opponents
- Thresh relies on allies to follow up with his abilities

Thresh, like all champions in League of Legends has his strengths and weaknesses. However, these weaknesses can be patched over by buying the correct items, and just having a general idea on your positioning. For example, Thresh can be vulnerable the instant he reactivates his Death Sentence after landing it on an enemy. When his enemies are under the tower, this gives them a huge advantage. If you however buy an Ohmwrecker you are able to tower dive with your allies without receiving a single scratch. All champions have weaknesses, just remember that these weaknesses can be minimalized with the right tone of mind.

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> > >

Instead of receiving armour per level, Thresh must obtain souls in order to get armour. With each soul granting 0.75 permanent armour and ability power, given the opportunity Thresh can become one of the tankiest champions in the game while still dishing out his fair share of damage. Collecting souls however can lead to you being baited into heavy harass from your opponents, so it is important to know when and when not to go in to grab souls.

Death Sentence
A channelled pull which when reactivated, sends Thresh to his victim. After dragging an opponent towards himself, Thresh may leap to the enemy. This ability is a great way to stop your opponents from escaping or using abilities and spells.

Dark Passage
A thrown lantern which shields and brings a single ally to Thresh. The first ally to click the lantern uses up the shield on their way to Thresh's location. This ability can absorb tonnes of damage whilst also preventing allies from being cornered.

A directional slow that passively grants Thresh extra auto attack damage. This ability is what gives Thresh that large damage output even when he is a pure tank. Granting Thresh not only tonnes of damage based on how many souls he has collected, but also bonus magic damage per attack.

The Box
A large pentagonal trap which slows and damages all enemies who shatter its walls. Trapping enemies inside The Box strikes fear into the hearts of your opponents, giving you the edge of confidence over your enemies. This can be a great way to stop enemies from fleeing, while also stopping enemies from chasing.

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Skill Sequence

Aggressive Thresh Ability Sequence

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

This sequence is the most standard, yet effective way of levelling Thresh. This "Standard" way of upgrading Thresh's abilities isalso considered the most offensive way to level him up. The reason his Death Sentence should be taken first is purely for first blood. Hooking onto an enemy stops them from using abilities and escaping, pretty much giving your AD Carry a free kill or heavy harass on your opponents. Death Sentence is also a great way to invade the enemy jungle. By tossing a hook into the enemy brush, you are likely to lock onto an unsuspecting victim. This ability should be maxed last as maxing it early game is near useless due to it not giving much advantages whilst levelled up to the max.

The next ability taken at level 2 is Dark Passage. This skill should be grabbed at level 2 as if you are ganked by the enemy jungler, you are able to counter that gank by getting your AD Carry to safety whilst taking little to no harass. This ability should be maxed secondly as when it's not upgraded, it basically shields no damage.

Now onto the first ability to be maxed. Flay will be your main source of damage and CC. Maxing this ability grants it much more damage then your Death Sentence. This ability can be a great way to push your opponents towards your allies, making it that tad easier for you teammates to grab a quick kill.

Passive Thresh Ability Sequence

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

This ability sequence relies on a much more defensive style of play. Grabbing your Dark Passage first can be the difference between life and death in jungle invasions. If however your jungle isn't invaded, Dark Passage can still be a useful skill for that first bot lane fight. Giving your ally that overpowered shield, whilst also giving him the option to back out of the fight at any given moment can truly be the difference between whether you get first blood, or your opponents. Upgrading your Dark Passage first can be a great way to also counter that early level 2 gank from enemy junglers such as Jarvan IV and Lee Sin who are both very strong opponents at level 2 with red buff.

Just like in the aggressive skill sequence, Flay is your next upgraded ability. This ability is once again levelled first as it will still be your main source of damage. It still gives that great directional slow while packing a punch.

Death Sentence is one of Thresh's key abilities in grabbing off-guard enemies, and allowing allies to grab an easy kill. With a starting cooldown of 20 seconds, this ability may not seem like much. However, by maxing this ability first instead of Flay you are able to draw countless enemies into the arms of your soon to be fed ADC. With an early level 5 Death Sentence has a cooldown of 12 seconds, with the Cooldown Reduction gained from your items, you will be landing hook, after hook, after hook.

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Greater Mark of Armor

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Gold

Thresh can be a great support when played and built right. Like any role or champion, Thresh requires runes to support. You will have noticed I took straight upArmour, and Magic Resist, and not Scaling runes. The reason is purely for early to mid game stats. It is far more effective to have that high armour and magic resist early game to minimize harass. Scaling runes are only effective late game when you barely need them due to you already being tanky from your items.

As Thresh's passive, Damnation causes him to have a total of 0 armour at the beginning of the game, it leaves him vulnerable to heavy harass. By stacking armour marks, you are able to counter this disadvantage, turning it into an over-powered advantage.

Just like the Mark's, this item grants Thresh the armour he lacks at the beginning of the game. By stacking Mark's and Seal's of armour, you literally have nothing to worry about.

These runes tend to be a great way in preventing enemy support's with slight AP Masteries or runes from heavily harassing you. Support's like Sona, or Zyra do ridiculous amounts of damage and these runes just seem to help relieve the pressure. Also, when you are doing great as support and your ADC is slowly but surely becoming fed, other lanes tend to notice. When mid lane begins to gank bot, these runes help slightly reduce the damage output aimed towards you.

Stacking Gold Quints is a great way to quickly boost your gold income, making it that little bit faster to getting an early Sightstone. If you feel this item isn't needed, just swap it out for more Armour or Health.

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Standard Build

Item Sequence

Face of the Mountain

Ruby Sightstone

Locket of the Iron Solari

Mikael's Crucible

Frozen Heart

Oracle's Lens

Having Boots of Mobility allows you to get from bot lane to wherever your team needs you as fast as possible. If there is a teamfight mid and you're bot, chances are you will have an entire team putting that enemy quadra kill on your shoulders. Having these boots allow you to have the best positioning possible.

As a support you have two main duties, the first being that you need to keep your team safe and secure, whilst the other is to keep vision up over the map via warding. A sightstone relieves some of that pressure by giving you 3 wards you can place around the map. Another plus side to this item is that it gives you that little bit more health that you need.

This to me is one of the key items that Thresh needs to become a successful support. Being able to heal an ally at a percentage of your health (which you happen to stack), allows this item to help patch Thresh's one major weakness. Seeing the majority of your items contain health, the shield you produce is an essential key to stack with your Locket of the Iron Solari's active. Another good thing about this item is the bonus health and sustain it allows you on top of your deadly arsenal.

This item is a supports dream, it not only grants health, but also cool-down reduction, health and mana regeneration while also providing an awesome active. This item can be the difference between winning a team fight, or losing one. This is a must buy in my opinion, however it can be quite costly.

We have all had them ADC's who have absolutely no idea how to position themselves. ADC's like that are what makes this item so unique and powerful. Being able to remove stuns for not so smart team members can really be the difference between winning and losing, so I'd strongly suggest buying it no matter what the cost.

This item is what makes you the key in every team fight. Slowing down enemy attack speeds might not seem like much, but it not only slows down their DPS but also slows down the rate at which they can life steal off of you. It can be a costly item, however I recommend this item to be purchased in every game.

Situational Items

These boots are the answer to the main problem we all face as a tank, Crowd Control. The moment you land that devastating Death Sentence the entire enemy team will be throwing all their CC at you and with Merc Treads it makes it that little bit less painful. These boots can turn sticky situations into a no sweat situation.

Enchantments: These are the three viable enchantments for your role. I however prefer Homeguard as it allows me to get back in action and to my inner towers at a much faster rate. All three are strong picks to no matter how your game is going.

Spirit Visage isn't the every game go to item like Locket of the Iron Solari. It is however, still a very strong pick when versing opponents like Teemo or Cassiopeia who deal lots of damage over time via poisons. I would only take this item as your fourth or fifth item unless you are raking in the gold and can afford it earlier.

This item is a great pick for all games. It provides an AoE slow and Attack Speed debuff, and that's exactly what makes it perfect for an initiating support. The only negative side to this item is that it costs 3000 gold which is a little too pricy for my liking. This is a marvellous item, but there is just better ones out there.

As time goes on certain items and champs experience changes. Banshee's Veil is one of the few items that have changed for the better. Being the initiator thresh is, this item allows you to become an unstoppable force. It is definitely worth having thoughts about buying this item in most games.

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Summoner Spells

Optional Summoner Spells

Ignite can be a great spell to take in many situations as it can be a great form of harass on squishy enemy AD carries early game. Not only that, but late game it can turn into a great counter for many champions such as Tryndamere, Volibear, and Dr. Mundo. I personally only take this spell when I know I will need it as I feel Exhaust is a stronger pick. Overall Ignite is a very strong spell pick that is great for assisting with securing kills.

Ghost is one of my favourite summoner spells to take as Thresh. Chasing down a fleeing enemy with ghost gives me a real thrill. Ghost can be a great gap closer while trying to line up your Death Sentence. This is a great spell that fits well into any game, no matter the match-up.

Just like Ghost, Teleport is an excellent way of granting yourself more map coverage. Taking Teleport really helps your lane stay sustained for longer, allowing your Carry to recall when needed without worrying about losing your tower. With teleport your able to get back into the battlefield as quickly as possible.

Recommended Summoner Spells

Exhaust: is the spell that altered the way I played support forever. This spell is far too underrated by a lot of people. Sure you might see a fair few supports using it, but what you don't see is enemy supports using it to its full potential. Placing this on an enemy AD carry at the beginning of a fight can ultimately altar the outcome of the battle. I'd suggest always taking exhaust or heal.

Flash: is by far the most over-powered summoner spell in League of Legends. It basically tells the enemy team to give up because just like Dr. Mundo, you may go where you please. The thing that makes flash so great is that no matter the role or champion you are playing, you can always take flash as a viable option.

Heal: can be a great way to overcome that lack of sustain Thresh has in lane. Heal can cause enemies to hesitate with their tower dives knowing you have it as a back up plan. I would keep Flash and instead swap Exhaust as I find Flash to be the safer option.

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AD Carry Synergies

Thresh is a very unique support who works with just about anyone. His abilities on his agenda make it so much easier to obtain kills with nearly any AD Carry there is to offer. The only problem Thresh has with some partners, is his lack of sustain. If you're carry insists on playing champions like Tristana, you can always take Heal instead of Exhaust to make up for the lack of sustain.

Great Synergies

Draven and Thresh make such a great combo bottom due to the pure damage output from Draven early game. Thresh's ability to CC the enemies whilst Draven is busy catches his axes truly puts this duo towards the top of the most fearsome lane synergies in League of Legends.

A good Caitlyn and Thresh should be able to carry the team with no worries. Something about the pair just seems to work. Whether it be the damage output from Caitlyn's passive and traps whilst the enemies run fearlessly from Thresh's devastating Death Sentence or whether its just Thresh's ability to keep enemies from fleeing from Caitlyn's ridiculous amount of damage.

Varus is by far one of my favourite lane partners to pair with whilst I'm playing Thresh. Using both your ultimates, the enemies will be dead before they've noticed you engaged. The amount of pressure you will put onto the enemy bot lane will be enormous due to the amount of CC you are packing.

Ezreal is a pure skill shot reliant champion. These skill shots become twice as easy to land when they are grappled by your Death Sentence or trapped inside The Box. These two are purely a great combo as they can apply heavy harass at a distance.

Vayne is no doubt one of the most feared AD Carries in the game. Chucking one over powered champion and placing them with another can mean only one thing, Utter Domination. Vayne's ability to stun an already CC'd opponent almost always guarantees a kill, and that is why this combo is so great.

Miss Fortune in my opinion is a great synergy for Thresh. This is due to her Make it Rain and Bullet Time abilities. These abilities are perfect synergies when its comes to Thresh's ultimate, The Box.

Quinn and Thresh are like Cake and Icing, they fit perfectly together. As if having Thresh's Flay isn't enough, because now you have Vault which gives even more CC. Another great thing about this combo is due to the fact that Quinn's Heightened Senses makes it even easier for you to land your Death Sentence's due to that extra vision.

Moderately Synergised

Graves is an awesome AD Carry who works well with Thresh. The only reason I find him to be a moderately synergised pair is due to his Smoke Screen. Using this ability sometimes scares your opponents causing them to flee in random directions, which can lead to you burning your Death Sentence by missing. The burst from both ADC and Support, however do make this a fearful combo.

Kog'Maw is used a lot less these days, but however is a great AD Carry when paired with Thresh. A good Kog'Maw player who can land their ultimates, truly causes this match up to be devastating.

Corki is a very mobile ADC that can harass from long distances. I find this pair to be a strong pick, but not as strong as other options. Corki can provide vision and damage, but in the past this duo just doesn't work for me as well as it could.

Ashe's capability with Thresh is similar to Varus's. Both AD Carries have a skillshot based ultimate which stuns enemies. Which then after can lead to another devastating Death Sentence. The raw amount of crowd control abilities from these two can be devastating.

Not So Great Synergies

Sivir can be a great Carry when played correctly, I just never seem to find her being as useful as other AD Carries like Varus or Draven. Sivir for me never seems to work, she is always out damaged, and always out harassed. She is a great carry, there are just better ones out there.

Twitch is one of the most feared ADC's in the game. With his ability to surprise attack behind enemy lines, he is always considered a fearsome opponent. However, when it comes to having Thresh as a support, there just isn't a strong bond between the two due to the lack of sustain Thresh has to offer.

Tristana can be a great carry when played correctly, and built correctly. For her to snowball, she needs sustain. Tristana is a great carry, but is better off with other supports like Sona, Soraka or Janna.

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Warding is one of, if not THE most important job as a support. Why is this? This is because that is what your team expects you to do. If you don't do it, then no one will. My starting items are built up of a Stealth Ward and the Warding Totem. The reason I have picked this ward combination is simple, Sustainability. With this setup of wards, you are pretty much covered and safe to play how you like without worrying about that level 2 gank. However, by placing your Warding Totem you can determine whether or not your enemy support has placed a trinket in the brushes. After your Warding Totem has been destroyed by an enemy's Sweeping Lens, just go and place your Stealth Ward in that same brush. After countering their ward with your Sweeping Lens later on, your jungler will be able to gank whenever needed with ease.

Ward-Countering Early Game

Just because you have bought your wards the first time and the enemy jungler came nowhere near your lane, doesn't mean he wont be there later. This means that you still need to keep the vision happening. So after you have recalled grab as many Stealth Wards as you can. It's more important you buy at least two of these instead of the item you went back for. I tend to place these two Stealth Wards in the river brush, and the tri-brush. I also like to only put Warding Totems in the lane brushes as if both teams have a ward there, it doesn't make a big deal. I suggest only placing a Vision Ward there if you have spare gold.

Where to Ward

Vision Ward should be placed roughly around in these six locations.
These locations are -
Your Blue Buff, and the enemy Blue Buff,
Your Red Buff, and the enemy Red Buff,
Baron Nashor ,
And Dragon.

The reason these should always be Vision Warded is because it is generally the main warding place for the enemy team as well. Also, getting your Dragon stolen just as your about to finish can be really devastating.

Stealth Wards should be placed throughout your jungle, and the enemies. Try to place them inside brushes as it gives you more vision on them and you know if there is any enemies within it.

Picture greatfully borrowed from -

If you have enough gold to start buying more Vision Wards then go ahead and buy them as they are a great way to counter enemy wards. However, do not buy them if you KNOW your opponents are not warding as much as they should be. I'd recommend only starting to buy Vision Ward's at around 15-20 minutes into the game as that is when the warding starts to happen globally across the map. Vision is the key to winning, so make sure you continue to ward the map while dismantling enemy wards also.

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Tips and Tricks

Death Sentence can be used to not only hook your enemies bringing them closer, but also to leap towards. If you leave the reactivating of Death Sentence to the last possible moment, you will have used this ability to its maximum potential. Followed by a Flay in the direction of your team, your victim will be dead before he can say "GG WP". If you are looking to perfect this sequence, try tossing out your lantern to an oncoming ally. Followed by your Death Sentence and Flay combo, your ally's will be directly on top of the unsuspecting opponent.

Most see Death Sentence as a form of Crowd Control. I see it as an escape method. Toss that hook at a jungle camp, reactivate it and watch yourself fly to safety. This can be a risky play when you are on such low HP but by by tossing a Dark Passage on to the camp before hooking the creeps to obtain that shield can make all the difference.

As a side note I'd like to remind all of you that just because you use your Dark Passage, it doesn't mean an ally will use it. When you get that adrenaline rush from a five man gank, clicking a lantern can be harder then it seems. Remembering this fact can prepare you to rush in to the rescue of your Damsel in Distress.

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Thresh overall is no doubt a GREAT support. His vast array of unique abilities truly summarises him as one of the most fearsome champs in the league. He is a deadly combination of Blitzcrank, Lee Sin, and Leona giving him the ability to overcome any dangerous situation.

Thank you for reading all the way through my guide. I hope you learned something new and will pass on knowledge learned from the hard work I put into this. I'd like to give special thanks to jhoijhoi for their guide on making a guide. All constructive criticism is welcomed. However, like I said earlier, If you feel you need to down vote the guide, please leave a comment or pm me before doing so. This allows me to alter and fix my guide in any way possible to suit the opinions of everybody.

Thank You List -

- JhoiJhoi
- An Anonymous friend who doesn't want to be named (For making them awesome Gifs)