Build Guide by Trojan995
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I used to have this build up on Mobafire, but after the dawn of the "Require comment to vote", I decided that not only do I want to re-post my build for the sake of getting all the feedback I missed out on with my other build, but I also realized my build needed a huge rework. Alas, here's my new build.
I think of this build mostly as a very advanced way to play kennen. It took me a long time to get good at kennen, and an even longer time to get good at hybrid kennen. This build requires a very unique playstyle - an AP "blow all your cooldowns and run" tactic, combined with an AD"auto-attack to the death" tactic. Knowing when to use which tactic requires incredible finesse. I don't recommend this build to any first-time kennens. Try AP, try AD/AS, and once you're as dissatisfied with both as I was, then I suggest you come here.
My last build focused a lot on attack speed, and very little on AP until late game. I found that this wasn't a great way to go about hybrid kennen. Kennen is primarily an AP champion, but he has great potential to go AD/AS. I discovered a way to utilize every aspect of kennen (AD, AP, AS) without sacrificing any viability at all. Here is Hybrid Kennen: Rock You Like a Hurricane.
Note: Whenever I say "throw a shuriken", I mean Thundering Shuriken. I don't mean your auto-attack, which is also a shuriken. When I am referring to your auto attack, I will say "auto attack" or AA.
Pros / Cons
Note: This is compared to AP Kennen, the most common way to play this champion.
-More effective auto attacks
-More passive Electrical Surge marks
-More damage from passive Electrical Surge
-More DPS after cooldowns are blown
-More consistent DPS
-Isn't reliant on energy, which can run out very quickly if you need to stay in a fight for a sustained period
-Less spell damage (but not that much less, I swear!)
-Less burst damage
-Less poke damage
-No Zhonya's Hourglass active ability to synergize with your ultimate(If you're following the main item build, and not the situational items)
-Less survivability that comes along with many AP items ( Rod Of Ages, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Abyssal Scepter, Zhonya's Hourglass)
The runes are fairly standard, but I'll comment anyways.
Greater Mark of Insight
These marks are pretty common among spellcasters. Since the majority of your damage will be from spells, I use these over greater mark of desolationGreater Mark of Desolation.
Basically any primary marks work for hybrid kennen, but magic penetration marks will give a significant damage boost as compared to the other runes.
greater seal of regenerationGreater Seal of Regeneration
I love these seals. Since Kennen doesn't use mana, putting health regeneration in this slot only seems fitting. These seals will help you stay in lane much longer, and often times will keep you in a team fight after a particularly nasty poke from AP Nidalee on the other team.
If you don't like these seals, or you just don't want to pay for more seals, I'd suggest greater seal of vitalityGreater Seal of Vitality, but to be honest, any seals work for kennen except Greater Seal of Clarity.
Greater Seal of Celerity
Since most of the AD/AS in this build is to bridge the cooldown gap in kennen's skills, I take cooldown seals so spamming spells is much easier.
The primary glyphs all have nice bonuses for kennen (except for the obviously useless Greater Glyph of Intellect), but spamming skills is vital and these runes are more common than the others.
Greater Quintessence of Insight
I got more magic penetration in quints because it'll boost your spell damage most out of any other rune, and the item build lacks magic penetration other than Malady, and that needs some auto attacks on the target to really get rolling.
Since all quints are good, pretty much get any quints that make you feel comfortable. Greater Quintessence of Fortitude is a common choice for the early game bulkiness, and I support these runes wholeheartedly. If you're not getting the Insight runes, get the Fortitude runes.
9/21/0 is a pretty common pick for kennen because he needs no mana and is a tad squishy. Going into the Utility tree might be a bit difficult, because you'd have to avoid multiple masteries regarding mana & mana regen, in addition to avoiding masteries benefiting summoner spells like
Flash. The significant amount of cooldowns and move speed would be nice, however.
21 into the defense tree gets a tad bit of armor, MR, dodge, health and overall damage mitigation that makes up for the lack of armor/MR/health items in the item build. It also gets inmproved cleanse, which just decreases cooldown. The last points are put into offense to get some AP, a miniscule amount of crit chance, a tiny amount of cooldowns, and then 15% magic penetration. I usually don't approve of using percent magic penetration with flat magic penetration ( Void Staff and Haunting Guise, for instance) because flat magic pen is applied before percent magic pen, but because it's a single point in a mastery for what could possibly be significant magic pen it's hardly worth avoiding.
Most kennens grab a Doran's Shield first, but since I've been using the amplifying tome I've seen a significant increase in my early game. The early game poke damage increases significantly enough to pack a punch, and buying Malady becomes so much quicker. Buy this item first and you won't be disappointed.
This item is a great early game item for hybrid kennen. Attack speed, ability power, and magic penetration. This item gives you everything you'd want in a hybrid champion (except for AD, but that's addressed later). I don't often forsake this item for a situational item, mostly because it gives a lot of what I want and gives me an early game advantage.
Boots of Swiftness
these boots are virtually necessary on kennen, whether you're building AP, AD, or hybrid. Due to the up-close nature of two of his skills, being able to get in and out is a necessity. I wouldn't get any other boots than these, but if you detest these boots then check out the situational item section.
This gives a tad bit of AP (only as much as the malady), and after spell-cast gives you a burst on your auto-attack that scales on base AD only. This means that having more AD won't make this item any better. This is bought at this stage mostly for the extra AP and because it builds into Lich Bane.
This is your main AP item. This is a common item on any caster, and this is what makes you an AP-leaning hybrid champion. You'll see a significant boost in AP at this stage, and you won't be disappointed. The damage from your spells will be on par with AP champions with this item, and you'll have a lead on auto-attacks as well. If you replace this item for a situational item, you'll see a significant drop in spell damage.
I used to dislike this item, but once I looked at it from a mid-game perspective instead of an early-game perspective, I realized its true potential. AP, AD, AS, what more could you ask for? I wouldn't recommend this for the early game because the items it builds from are expensive, but mid game this brings your auto-attack damage to a whole 'nother level. The stacks are NOT hard to keep up at all, even when you primarily focus on spell casting.
This item essentially gives you another nuke on top of your skills. It might be a little expensive, but the move speed and magic resist are nothing to scoff at. I don't suggest you remove this item for any situational items, as this is pretty much a staple item, giving you all you need. It's a shame that it gives mana, otherwise I'd guess this was made for kennen.
I really had trouble deciding what item to put in the main item build: this, or Nashor's Tooth. I decided on this because of the extra AP, and at this point the AS from guinsoo's and malady is more than enough to suffice. More AD = stronger AA stuns, so this is my choice. Also I really wanted that spell vamp and life steal, which will make you able to recover much quicker with your pokes and otherwise.
If you don't like the items listed above, or your enemies are building to counter you, then use one of the items in this section.
If you don't like Boots of Swiftness (though I don't know why you wouldn't), then grab these. More magic penetration = more damage. That's all I have to say about that.
You could get basically any boots you want (there aren't many that won't benefit kennen), so just use your own discretion to choose. I don't often get rid of my nifty Boots of Swiftness, though.
This is a nifty item that gives magic resist, in addition to a substantial amount of AP and an aura that gives MR reduction to nearby enemies, making it so that your entire team can hit harder on those afflicted by this passive. This item isn't grabbed enough for its magic resist. I think that the MR is the most crucial part, especially with the rise of champions like Anivia and Kassadin. This item might as well be the anti-mage to bring down those AP champs that are really nuking you hard. An alternative to buying a whole separate item for MR, you can just buy the Null-Magic Mantle that builds into Lich Bane early on.
If you're going to get this item, put it in place of Lich Bane if you're ok with less move speed and you don't care about the extra nuke that it gives.
This is an item common among kennens, mostly because the active lets them run into a group of enemy champions and use their ultimate in an awesome storm of stuns and explosions of spell damage, all while remaining in a comfy shroud of golden stasis. This item is great on kennen, but it's hard to find a nice niche for this item on hybrid kennen. If you're going to use this, put it in the place of Rabadon's Deathcap. You'll be sacrificing nearly 100 AP (if you factor in the AP boost), but the stasis may be well worth it. The armor is a nice bonus too. This item should be a more common pick in your arsenal of kennen items due to the rising price of Deathcaps. Get this item only if you find the enemy team is competent and focuses you during your ultimate. Often I find that I can pop quite a few spells against an enemy and stand in the middle of them with my ultimate, and they will still either focus the tank or just run for their dear lives. If you find yourself in a situation where the enemy does, in fact, know what they're doing, this is definitely a better item than the deathcap to buy.
To be perfectly honest, you can replace Rabadon's Deathcap with any pure AP item you desire, it's just that you'll be losing a HUGE amount of AP. Zhonya's Hourglass is undoubtedly the best alternative for the deathcap.
As I've mentioned before, I really had trouble deciding between this and the gunblade. The AS in phenomenal, and it really makes your stuns more persistent and easier to land. The mana regen can be ignored (it's not a whole lot, you aren't paying for that with this item), but where nashor's truly shines is the CDR. 25% CDR is nothing to scoff at, and this makes your Q usable every 2 seconds or so, and your ult can be used in a little over 70 seconds. That means you'll be able to penta-stun the enemy every team fight, and you might even be able to use your W active on the enemy twice with 1 mark already present (though it's unlikely with the recent mark length nerf). Take this item if you want the CDR and think that guinsoo's gives enough AD for your liking. The best place to put this is in place of Hextech Gunblade.
It might be worth noting that since this item builds from very small items, you could also build this in place of Malady or even Guinsoo's Rageblade if you don't feel either of these items necessary. I prefer these two items over nashor's in their respective spots because the prices work well into early/mid game and gives you a strong early, mid, and late game. Buying nashor's in their place will slow down your item purchases significantly, and you might not get around to buying something that might be necessary to secure a victory. Buy this item at your own discretion, and choose where to put it wisely.
Right now you might be saying, "Whoa, whoa Trojan995! Hold your horses, why would you ever buy this item on Kennen?" In that case, I'd say that it's a great item if you're shifting more towards the AD portion of kennen. AD, AS, armor, and an on-hit effect that deals magic damage that works well with your MPen marks and quints and Malady. Definitely don't buy this against an all-squishy team, but definitely consider it if you'd like to lean more on your auto-attacks and the enemy has a high-health tank with less MR than he should, go ahead and punish him for his mistakes.
If you're going to put this anywhere, put it in the place of Guinsoo's Rageblade, but be warned: you're sacrificing nearly 50 AP in doing so. Don't get rid of Malady for it, they go well together (unless you're using it with the Void Staff).
This item is usually grabbed on AD champions who want to use the active for a nice quick burst. I, however, look at this item and see AP, AD, AS, move speed, health (i pretend the mana doesn't exist, it helps me cope), critical chance, and two unique passives that are just icing on the cake. This can be used as an AD item for the passive alone, or it can be used as a hybrid item (which is what I'm using it as now). This item is great if you want to focus more on AD this is another great item to grab, but the best place to put this is in place of Lich Bane.
This is a common pick when the enemy starts stacking magic resist. Usually Malady is enough to get all the squishies you'd ever want to kill, but once you start to hit a brick wall with a bunch of tanky champions then this is the way to go. I'd say you should buy this if you get into a game with 3 tanky champions (not full tanks, but tanky DPS champions like Xin Zhao or Irelia count), or maybe just 2 if they prove to be bothersome.
Since flat reduction from Malady reduces the effectiveness of % penetration from Void Staff, the most potent combination to anti-tank is to buy the void staff and skip the malady (sell it if you already bought it) to buy Madred's Bloodrazor after Guinsoo's Rageblade. So, if the above paragraph confused you, buy Void Staff in place of Rabadon's Deathcap and Madred's Bloodrazor in place of Malady.
This item, despite my preference for the amp. tome first, is indeed a great choice. The health and armor are life savers, and the regen stacks with runes to make laning that much easier. Get this if you're a fan of Doran's items, or if you find you need more defense in the laning phase. Buy this item first if you're going to get it, and sell it once your inventory is full.
This item is a very cheap alternative to cleanse, but it works better. This gives a bunch of magic resist but that's about it. Buy this when you don't take cleanse as a summoner spell and you want to cleanse out of stuff, or if they have a champion who has abilites that you'd definitely want to cleanse out of. If you buy this, get it in place of Lich Bane.
Kennen has a unique skill set. I'm going to outline the skills here.
Mark of the Storm
This is what makes kennen so great at disabling. Without this, kennen would be a garbage champ and your damage would hardly be worth it. Stuns every 3 marks that can be obtained in 5 ways: one from your Q, two from your W (but one after a first is already applied), one from your E (but AoE),and many multiple AoE stuns on your R. This will make your enemy poop their pants and run away for (recently nerfed) 8 seconds until the 2 marks of the storm wear off. Not to mention the extra energy return when you stun.
With this skill, you might notice something: the range extends past your screen! If that's so, then you're playing on a locked view mode and you should stop. Kennen has great range on his Q, and you're losing a lot of damage by missing those blind pokes. Press Y to unlock your screen, and move the screen using your mouse. This will make your bottom-screen pokes much more effective, and I can honestly say I didn't become a good kennen player until I played on unlocked mode. Take this into account, because you won't improve very much unless you take this major step to better map awareness and skill shot accuracy.
This is your bread and butter skill. With a cooldown bordering 3 seconds at level 5, you'll be using this skill a lot. The range is very long (but typical for a skill short), so poking with it is ideal. You'll want to be using this skill every time it comes off cooldown, all the time. Since you use energy, you can use this skill to last-hit minions without consequence. This is especially useful when you're being zoned and can't get within auto-attack range. In short, just use this skill a lot.
This is a two-part skill, a passive and an active, that makes AD/AS (and thus hybrid) kennen viable. The active does magic damage and places another mark on every enemy that's within range. This has no limit to how many targets you can hit. This means you could use your lightning rush and hit all 7 minions in a wave, and all 5 champions at the same time, and pop your W to zap them all. Use this to your advantage, mainly to farm minions with an E>W combo.
The passive applies a mark of the storm every 4 hits and does damage scaling off of attack damage. This makes it imperative to not only get attack speed to apply these more frequently, but to get attack damage to make them hit harder. This might as well be a sword of the divine passive. Use this to your advantage to get 3 hits on a minion, then switch targets to an enemy champion and annihalate them with your combo, but switch your auto-attack in for thundering shuriken. Use thundering shuriken when the enemy is stunned after your AA>E>W combo.
This is a convenient spell because not only does it speed you up, it gives you a hefty armor/MR boost. You also ignore collision, and enemies you move through get a mark of the storm and get damaged. Beware, however: this ability has a significant energy cost, though much of it is refunded for passing through an enemy. Try your best to at least pass through enemy minions if you're chasing or running away. This is a fantastic ability to chase someone down, especially since if you catch someone with 2 marks of the storm then they're stunned and you can go to town on them. This skill is AD (or in this case, hybrid) kennen's bane, mostly due to the fact that you can't auto attack while in lightning rush. Take this into account, because the best course of action is to use this first in your combo so as to use abilities during the duration of the rush before it wears off and not be totally useless while you putter around in a ball of energy.
This is kennen's ultimate, and I can safely say this is a monster of a spell. It doesn't do AoE damage, but it targets enemies in a certain radius and pops them full of marks. This ability makes kennen great for using zhonya's ring, because he can run into a group of 5 enemy champions and go into stasis while his ultimate chugs on, stunning a bunch of enemies. This has a poor AP scaling and not a whole lot of base damage at a glance, but since it hits 3 times per target you might as well triple the damage that you see in the tooltip. It's a lot, believe me. Try to use this with at least 2 enemies within range, but don't get stingy. the stun it pulls off is so fast that it could easily save your life or ensure you a kill in a 1v1 situation.
One thing you need to be aware of before using this spell is to make sure to initiate before popping your ultimate. I can't tell you how many times I've used lightning rush into a group of enemies, but since I'd used my ultimate before I was in range they just ghosted away and I was left with an ultimate on cooldown that hadn't done squat. Make sure you're basically on top of the enemy before you use this baddie, or you might be left in the dust.
I max Thundering Shuriken first, mainly because in the laning phase the poke is invaluable. I grab one rank in Electrical Surge at level two because I find it much superior harass with a Q>W combo, and having that passive auto attack mark is useful beyond a shadow of a doubt. I get Lightning Rush at level 4 to escape ganks mostly, as its use in the laning phase is minimal. After that, I just level the two skills equally. I don't really think either skill is superior to the other, especially in late-game where they both get equal use and they both do equal damage. They're mostly used in tandem, so it's best they're kept at similar levels.
There's a variety of skill combos you can use in game. I'll detail a few of them.
The poke sounds simple, right? Just use a Thundering Shuriken and you're set? Nah, think again. A simple combo is to Q>W, landing a thundering shuriken on the enemy and then popping electrical surge. A better thing to do is to Q>AA>W, landing a thundering shuriken then getting both the passive and active electrical surge marks on the enemy. This will stun them, so it seems a waste to only do a poke when you can lightning rush and auto-attack, but I'll leave the judgment to you.
When someone's at low health, you're going to want to give chase. First, pop ghost. Then, when you're in lighting rush range, use a E>Q>W combo. Lighting rush through the enemy and go just past them, then fire a shuriken from melee range to guarantee a hit. Lastly, pop your electrical surge to get a stun and stop the enemy in their tracks.
The 1v1 isn't much different than the chase. Once you reach level 9 and have a low cooldown on your thundering shuriken, you can do one of two things. You can 1. Q>E>W>Q>AA, in which you land a thundering shuriken before initiating, then using it a second time once it comes off cooldown, or you can 2. AA>E>W>Q>AA, in which you get a passive electrical surge mark on the enemy before initiating. The second one puts out more damage, but you might not have the time or the minions to build up your passive mark.
This is where kennen shines. Much of kennen's skills are team fight oriented, so take advantage of it. What you should do is Q>E>W>R>AA. This may just sound like a faceroll, but it's a lot more than that. What you do is poke until your team initiates (NOT YOU! If you'd like to play tankennen and initiate, StaticFX has a fantastic build on the subject. However, this is neither the time nor the place), and then you lightning rush to hit as many enemy champions as possible. At this point you might be CC'ed or you might be focused (or both), in which case you pop your ult and gtfo if you're hurt, or you stick around and attack. If you've miraculously avoided attack, then use electrical surge before you pop your ult - your ultimate cleans up marks pretty quickly. This is the best time to use your zhonya's stasis if you have it, because you'll be able to avoid any amount of damage while still damaging enemy champions in a pseudo-area of effect.
Kennen has a pretty unique farm combo that can hit a whole bunch of minions at once. Use E>W to lightning rush across enemy minions (doing half damage to them), and then electrical surge to hit them. Try to be in between the melee minions and the caster minions when you use electrical surge due to the recently nerfed range possibly not hitting all of them. After that, if it's early-mid game, you're probably gonna have to mop up with auto attacks. This is no problem; after all, you're hybrid kennen.
Cleanse, but there's a variety of summoner spells you can use. Here's only a few that I suggest. Others might be useful, but I don't consider them best for this build or this champion. Out of all of them, I suggest
Ignite to replace cleanse. I used to use ignite on kennen, and I really liked it in an offensive sense. I put cleanse in the main build because the main build itself lacks any substantial defense, and being able to cleanse out of a sticky situation is imperative in these cases.
Ah...Ghost, how I love you so. You can basically chase down any non- Rammus champion with this and lightning rush. Alternatively, you can run away from any non- Rammus champion as well. I've never had problems getting away from enemies as long as ghost is up. Great escape mechanism, great chasing mechanism.
Another escape mechanism, to an extent. You're going to have to get up-close and personal with 2 of kennen's skills, so in case of , break glass and cleanse. This ensures that no one can stunlock you to prevent you from lightning rushing out of there if you absolutely have to. You're gonna need quick reflexes to get a lot of use out of this one, so be aware and have a finger hovering over this key at all times (not really, but still).
Ignite is one that has a great deal of uses. You can ignite someone right after you burst them down to secure a kill as they run away, or you can put it on that pesky vladimir so his sanguine pool doesn't heal him for so much when he tries to run away. If you take this, use it frequently and be aware of its uses past just finishing off a running champion.
This is such an underrated summoner spell. This can save you while laning, making it so that you can recall to heal and buy items and be back in lane before the enemy has dealt a heavy blow to your turret. This can also be used to telegank, where your ally places a ward in a bush in a side lane (or even right in the middle of mid lane; the ward hides the teleport animation) and you teleport to it so the enemy can't see you coming. I'd definitely suggest taking this over ghost if you feel comfortable getting away with only lightning rush, and especially if you have a well-coordinated 5 man premade.
This is often an overlooked summoner spell, but it has its niche. I'd only suggest taking this if you go into the offensive mastery tree and get the improved rally mastery, because then you get significantly increased AP from it. In this case, it'd be a nice hybrid kennen skill to use, and it'd benefit your team as well. If you place rally, your team can teleport to it, so this would be ideal if you have a telegank team and you don't want to have to buy a bunch of wards.
Since the recent change to exhaust, this skill is now phenomenal! It used to be only useful for really shutting down an AD champion, but now it can be incredibly useful on any champion. If you really want to shut down a single target, then take this spell. Its viability skyrocketed once it was reworked. The slow is nothing to scoff at either. This can basically take a champion out of a teamfight for enough time for your team to pile in and mop up.
Flash is a useful spell in many instances, and in terms of escape mechanisms ghost vs. flash comes down to personal preference. If you think you'll be ok with lightning rush as the only speed boost you have, then by all means take this spell over ghost. This can be advantageous by closing the gap between a running teammate and yourself much quicker, so you don't end up catching up to them by the time they're at their turret. Flashing over walls is also a really clutch gimmick you can pull off to escape a mob of slowing/exhausting/stunning champions that would otherwise subdue your measly ghost.
Kennen has a very strong early game, with some great harass and enough damage to net you a first blood. I'll outline some good early game strategies in this section.
I'll probably get a lot of flak for saying this, but Kennen is best suited for a side lane. I always hear people going "OMG kennen go mid you're da best". I don't think this is the case, for five reasons:
Kennen's harass is countered by minion waves.
Kennen's E spell will be countered by retreating and kiting.
Kennen has no self-sustainability.
Kennen doesn't need high CS to do well.
Kennen doesn't need to level up as fast as other champions.
How does this not apply in side lanes, you ask? Well, in mid lane, kennen's Q spell may have great range, but with 1 champion versus 1 champion, it's a walk in the park to just remain on the other side of allied minion waves to escape kennen's poke. Other champions have spells that can either target champions, like Vladimir's Transfusion. Others have spells that can go through enemy minions and either damage the minion wave and the enemy champion, like Sivir's Boomerang Blade or Ezreal's Essence Flux. In a side lane, you have an ally who can hit the enemy from one side if you come from the other. In this way, kennen's poke is viable in side lanes whereas it's significantly less useful in the mid lane.
You might say, "Wait, Trojan995! Kennen's Lightning Rush can totally hit enemy champions through minions!" In that case, I'd say that you've just overextended and not only did you probably get hit by the tower, you also got hit by the enemy's poke as well and the enemy's auto attacks as he kited you and as you retreated, and the enemy jungler just came out of the brush and punched you in the face. Bravo, nice poke. Basically, using lightning rush to poke is god-awful. The enemy, probably a ranged champion, would just run away from your lightning rush as you come, and then attack you as you helplessly run away. You've also just overextended, which might not be a problem because you can just run to the other side of the lane (unless you're getting double ganked), but you just wasted lightning rush. The champions with the best pokes and best kiting are put mid so that they don't have to over extend to get a good kill. It's significantly easier to over extend and live in the side lane with and ally to help you out.
Now, there's another facet that makes kennen a sub-par mid laner. Most great mid laners have sustainability, so that the enemy champion doesn't just push the tower while you're in the fountain. If you're kennen and you must go mid, take teleport to help with this aspect of kennen. Vladimir has Transfusion and Sanguine Pool and Mordekaiser has Iron Man to mitigate damage and/or heal it. These guys can stay in lane all day long, farming as they please. Now, you might say, "But wait, Trojan995! Sivir and Ezreal don't have sustainability!" In which case I'd say 1. Spell Shield, and 2. These guys already have a fantastic poke, which makes up for the lack of sustainability in full. Mordekaiser doesn't have much in the ways of harassment, but his shield prevents any and all forms of harassment from the enemy. If kennen had some great sustainability, he'd be significantly better mid in my eyes.
The reason many AD champions go mid is because they need to rush Infinity Edge to do well. IE is very expensive, and the parts are equally expensive. AD champions' items are all very expensive (compare the staple item Infinity Edge's price of 4080 to Rabadon's Deathcap's price of 3600), so they go mid in order to get the highest CS (or creep score) in early game so they can actually buy very expensive items very early. With this build, the items you'll buy while playing kennen are relatively cheap to start off with, and scale into higher priced items. By the time you'll need a significant amount of money, you'll probably have some kills and assists to augment your money supply.
Lastly, kennen doesn't have a need to be mid. Some champions go mid for more experience, because they have ultimates or otherwise that are essential to have early in the game. Karthus' Requiem comes to mind, as well as Vladimir's Transfusion (the cooldown is significantly shorter at higher levels, making him near-unstoppable with high HP and lots of heals. The faster Vlad gets to level 9, the faster he kicks your ***). Kassadin has a pretty lackluster early game until level 6, in which he gets Rift Walk.
All in all, I suggest you stay in a side lane as kennen. You'll get more kills and do more damage. Kennen can mid, but that doesn't mean he should. Only take mid (or even top lane solo for that matter) if you're low on decent mid-lane champions.
Despite all these facets that make kennen a sub-par mid laner, there is one reason that he should lane in mid. Since you are the carry, you'll be a higher level and you'll have more gold and items. With this advantage over the enemy you'll more easily be able to kill, and do stuff that carries do. The reason I don't think that kennen is a strong mid-laner is because he cannot as easily shut down the enemy mid-laner, and might even get shut down himself. So if a Sivir wants to mid lane, by all means let her. You don't need the exp and gold, it's just very helpful.
And now that my mid-lane rant is done, I'll point out some tips for the side lane. What's that you say, you want tips to play mid-lane? Stay behind minions and last-hit diligently. Run away when enemy jungler comes. That's all you can do in mid, your harass will be easily countered when the enemy has only you to focus on. Anyways, here's the tips.
If you have a jungler, don't start out in lane, instead protect him. It doesn't matter if you miss the first half of the first creep wave, just get back before your tower is dead and you'll be fine. Once you're in lane, just last hit and move to either side of the creep wave to poke with your Q. Once you've done enough damage to the enemy champions and the lane is sufficiently pushed towards your tower, you can move in to burst the enemy down. Make sure your lane partner knows what you're doing. I don't suggest you do this before level 4, so you have a great chasing tool and you can guarantee a stun. Use the brush extensively to harass with Q, and it's also great past level 6 because often times the enemy will ignore you in the brush, and you can much more easily engage with your ultimate and get a double stun. Keep the bushes in the river warded to avoid ganks, and occasionally throw a shuriken in there to face check. You can hear a "bzap" sound when the shuriken hits, so just pay attention to the sound of your game when you throw a shuriken to hear the distinctive noise. Play with a poking defensive strategy until the enemy is both low on health and overextended, then move in for the kill.
It might be worth noting that you can zone an enemy sufficiently by poking until they're low health, and then moving into the brush. Any smart enemy will back off, knowing you could slaughter them at the push of a button. At this point, they'll either turret hug or recall. If they turret hug, it's imperative you don't let the minion wave get within experience range of the enemy turret, so as to deny them exp. If they recall, don't let the minion wave get very far anyways for a variety of other reasons, but it's less imperative because the enemy will be denied exp no matter how far the lane is pushed. If the enemy refuses to back off, just kill them. It's a win-win for you, kill or deny.
By now I hope you have a Malady and your boots, but a Sheen would be nice. At this stage try and get in as much farm as possible while pushing lanes down quickly (if the river is properly warded). Be sure to help your jungler grab dragon when he needs it, but turret defense rises above all else. You can be ahead by 15 kills but lose a game because you lost 4 more turrets than the enemy. Turrets give global gold that will benefit the entire enemy team, so it can give them a clear advantage if you don't act smart and save turrets. Kills and assists give gold to the enemy as well, so try to play conservatively and don't risk too much at this stage. Try to gain the advantage in turrets if the laning phase didn't yield any favorable results. This stage in the match is all about gaining slight advantages over the enemy so you can crush them in team fights. Keep that in mind. You, as hybrid kennen, will be better than AP kennen at pushing down towers, so use that to your advantage and cast lots of spells to get the Sheen proc dealing damage.
Late game is all about team fights and baron. In team fights, you should do your best to poke incessantly before either person engages. Dip in close enough to poke and then dip out. The key is to deal as much damage before the team fight as possible. Chances are you're not going to get marks on more than a few enemies, but you need to know a very specific time to engage.
Usually, an enemy has and anti-carry. Xin Zhao, Udyr, Poppy all come to mind. If you're the carry, and you're in the back of the fight, they're going to come for you. This is cue #1 for you to engage fully. Once this pesky Udyr dives right past your entire team and decks you with his bear claws, you should use the combo E>W>R. This is in an ideal situation, in which Udyr (or any anti-carry, for that matter) is the only one focusing you. With this combo, you'll Lightning Rush right throught the anti-carry, try to hit as many enemies as possible before they notice you, and then Electrical Surge. As fast as you can after hitting W, slam your R key to use Slicing Maelstrom. After this either run around scaring the living christ out of the enemies who hopelessly try to run away from you, or if you bought Zhonya's Hourglass you can use the active if they pile in and try and destroy you.
Alternatively, the enemy might not target you at all. In this case, poke with Q and auto attacks only (your W spell is on too high of a cooldown) until you need to really jump in (usually when a significant amount of spells have been blown and some enemies are damaged), then Lightning Rush into the group and once you're located in a place where you'll hit a significant amount of enemies for sure (if all 5 enemies are there, hitting about 3 is enough to use your ultimate. Always try for more, but you won't get much use out of it if you wait until all 5 enemies are that close to each other), then use Slicing Maelstrom. Don't use your ultimate until you're close to or even behind the enemy, as they'll run like a madman when they see your ultimate.
You could use the tactic mentioned above involving hitting as many enemies as possible with lightning rush, then use electrical surge before ulting, but often times that tactic is too risky. Only use that tactic when the enemy is dumb as a post or you have a very nice advantage. Once you ult, just run around stunning people, blowing all your spells, auto attack for sure because once your ult stuns you can get a LOT of damage on someone with AA. If you have Zhonya's Hourglass, you can use the active with your ultimate up. Do this only when you start to take damage (or you anticipate taking damage, like seeing a slow-moving nuke coming your way) and no sooner.
This is an overlooked tactic that involves attacking while running away from the enemy. Champions like Ashe and Kassadin excel at this tactic, while some (mostly melee champions) are rather gimped when it comes to this. Kennen has a distinct advantage while kiting, but since kiting in general in league of legends isn't an incredibly viable tactic unless in very specific circumstances it should only be used sparingly.
There's a simple way to kite and a complex way to kite. The simple way is to throw your Thundering Shuriken at the enemy every time they come within range, and just keep running. Since you need to stop to throw your shuriken, I suggest you use Lightning Rush to make up lost distance if the enemy gets close to you. Ghost can help you kite by making up the lost distance while casting your Q without needing to cast your E spell. Since Electrical Surge can be cast while on the run I suggest you use that frequently. However, the cooldown is fairly long, so I don't think you'll get many hits on the enemy with it unless you have Nashor's Tooth.
A more advanced way to kite with kennen is mainly for baiting and trapping; any other instance might just make you take more damage than you dealt to the enemy. If your team is nearby, waiting to pounce on someone, you can bait them into over-extending, then kite them until you need a stun. Kite until you successfully land a hit with your shuriken, then once you need to stun hit W, then E. Dash at the enemy and get your last mark on him, then you can do one of two things: either use the remainder of your dash to run away because you're low health, or you can stick around and fight. Only do this if you have something to gain from stunning, such as helping a teammate get away, or keeping an enemy stunlocked so your team can have more time to jump in and kill him.
There are definitely times to NOT kite. The first instance of which is when you're incredibly low on health, and you can't take more than a few hits until you die. Don't take any chances in this scenario. Another instance in which you wouldn't want to kite is when there's an enemy with CC of any kind, including soft CC, or a chasing ability. Miss Fortune with Make it Rain, Nasus with Wither, Akali with Shadow Dance can all easily shut down your kiting, so don't even try it.
What do you think about energy regeneration runes?
A lot of people might say that energy regeneration runes are useless, but I think they do have a place. I haven't tested them out yet, but if anyone who has them could tell me if they make a significant difference I'd appreciate that. I think that they might be less useful on hybrid kennen than on AP kennen because AP kennen is entirely reliant on spell damage while hybrid kennen can lay down the smack even without spells. If you're ok with dishing out the thousands of IP it takes to get energy regen runes it might be worth it, but you'll have to experiment for yourself and see if your play style can do without the other runes, and if you play AP kennen frequently (or akali/shen) it might be ok to use the runes because they'll benefit your other champions/play styles as well. So for this build alone, don't bother spending the money, but if you have them/think you need more energy, then I suggest you try them out.
Why do you use Boots of Swiftness over Sorceror's Shoes?
2 of your spells are AoE. Lightning Rush and Slicing Maelstrom are both spells that require you to be close to the enemy in order to do damage, primarily lightning rush. Thus, positioning is incredibly important for Kennen. However, positioning is not a single-spell position that can be fixed with Flash, such as Janna's Monsoon or Amumu's Curse of the Sad Mummy. Since you need to have constant position shifts, I solve that problem with Boots of Swiftness and Ghost. Flash, which is a single position-changing blink, won't do if you need to adjust positioning for lightning rush, slicing maelstrom, and thundering shuriken.
Why do you list Zhonya's Hourglass as a situational item? I thought kennen needed the stasis for his ultimate.
Zhonya's Hourglass, if you buy it in place of Rabadon's Deathcap, will be sufficiently late in the game that you should be able to assess the enemy team's abilities, as well as your own. Since every team is different, if you evaluate correctly and find that the enemy isn't ballsy or coordinated enough to stop you mid-ultimate, or if they have a poor team comp for stopping you, then rabadon's deathcap will do much more damage and benefit you more. However, if the enemy has coordination and knows to prioritize you, then stasis might be a good thing to have. Some things that will be able to stop your hurricane from rockin' are:
Bandage Toss: Amumu can throw this bandage from a long ways away. The hard CC at a distance farther than your ultimate is going to be a huge pain, because even though your ultimate will hit while you're stunned, the enemy will be able to jump in and hurt you without fearing that you can just run away.
Flash Frost: This is another long-range stun that will stop you in your tracks. The worst part is, Anivia will be able to burst you down entirely if he lands his stun properly.
Enchanted Crystal Arrow: With a global ultimate that can stun you for up to 3.5 seconds, you're going to be in trouble if it hits.
Rocket Grab: This actually might benefit you by getting your ultimate to hit the entire enemy team, but conversely you might get knocked up and then massacred for being horribly out of position. If you get zhonya's against an enemy blitzcrank, you can do one of two things. You can stasis to avoid the rocket grab, or you can let the grab hit you and then stasis afterwards, so no one can attack you but you just hit every enemy near blitz. Which option you choose depends on how many enemies are in your ultimate before and after being grabbed.
Living Artillery: If you try to hit kog'maw with your ultimate, he'll just run away and fire at you with his ultimate. He can do some incredible damage consistently with his ultimate, and he'll keep you dancing around trying to avoid the artillery shots. Try to disable kog'maw or get really close before you use your ultimate near him.
/binding: These two snares are long-range, and they both come with combos. You'll probably take significant damage and lose some ground if you get hit by either of these.
spray and praySpray and Pray: This has much longer range than your ultimate, and you'll be poisoned if you get hit. Twitch might be able to single handedly burst you down if you get hit with all the missiles from his ultimate.
Diplomatic Immunity: It's pretty simple, poppy does what she wants when her ultimate is up so turn tail and run if you're her prey.
...basically this is summed up to any champions that can CC/damage you without stepping into your ultimate's range.
In addition, there are those times when you need to dive into a team-fight halfway through. For this, you hit E then R and run right into the middle. If the enemy is smart, they'll reposition before your ultimate gets 3 hits on them. Running in then going straight into stasis will keep you safe for 2 seconds, but you also won't be able to reposition for 2 seconds. Not only can you end up vastly out of position in 2 seconds, but the enemy can be prepared to destroy you once you get out of stasis because you weren't able to run away. It has its advantages, but you need to know how to use it.
Lastly, there's the situation where you dive into a team fight, and the enemy just runs away when you ult. It's incredibly frustrating when an enemy gets out of your ultimate with 2 marks. Being able to reposition so that you can actually hit enemies is vital at times, and often times that moment where stasis will really save you won't come in a game at all.
What's hybrid kennen's biggest advantage over pure AP or pure AD?
In higher ELO play, enemies will often build to counter the champions on your team. People will usually stereotype champions, and in this way if an enemy sees kennen they'll usually build MR. In this way, you can stop the enemy with AD attacks if they're buying MR to counter you. Conversely, if the enemy is building armor to counter other teammates, you'll be able to rely on your spell damage. If the enemy does check your item build and see you building hybrid kennen, then it'll be a significant chore to buy enough AP and AD to counter a large portion of your damage. In short, you'll have a secondary damage source to utilize if the enemy tries to hard-counter you.
I really don't have much to say that I haven't said already. I think the best role for hybrid kennen is a carry slot when you already have good pure AP and pure AD champion slots filled. This build certainly has its niche, but as long as you're patient and you refine your play style to suit this build, you'll certainly prevail. I tried to outline as many tactics as possible in this build so that you can more quickly jump into the entirely unique hybrid kennen experience, but if you have more questions just put them in the comments, or maybe even add me in game (My IGN is Trojan995) and I can give you pointers on your gameplay.
Since that's all I can possibly think about to put in my guide, this has been a Hybrid Kennen production, and keep Rockin' Like a Hurricane!