With the recent changes to Thresh in the 3.6 patch, I wanted to see if he could be a viable jungler. Due to his Q passive being switched to his E, he is now an effective clearer, and overall viable jungle pick.
It is a skill intensive role for Thresh, but if you are good with his skill shots and team work, then his jungle can be incredibly effective.
Also this is NOT supposed to be a support build. It is an AD offtank build that, while unconventional, is still worth a try before you reject it just because it doesn't stick to the meta.
I am still trying out a multitude of different options on Thresh, and will be adding more as I do.
Pros / Cons
-Decent clear time
-naturally tanky with high armor
-flexible build path
-slow base MS
-can be shredded by mages if your not careful
-very skill intensive
There are a few ways to go for Thresh
:Attack speed marks
After a few souls, these runes, along with your E passive, will make quick work of the jungle by constantly reapplying his passive on hit.
: AD marks
These will give early damage for Thresh to help deal with early clears, viable but AS marks are more recommended as they synergize much better with his E passive
Really it's the only choice, keeps him alive early in the jungle and are generally better than every other seal.
: Scaling MR
These are always viable, especially with Thresh. Because of his passive that stacks free ability power, more AP is not needed and they can be used by these scaling MR glyphs that contribute more to the late game.
: MS quints
These are borderline a necessity for jungle Thresh. His base MS is pitiful, and these put him within acceptable ranges. Faster clears, better ganks, and they scale well to late game.
: Flat AD
Combined with his AS marks, his clears will be at their fastest.
: Flat HP
Gives him some innate tankiness which is always useful
I go 9-21-0 to give him some AD and armor pen for the jungle, while increasing his max hp and resistances as much at the defensive tree allows to transition nicely to the late game.
These are explained in the item notes, but I will go more in depth here.
I prefer the lizard elder item because it provides sustain, while allowing Thresh to gain considerable clear times due to its synergy with his E.
I KNOW Thresh is usually a support role, but the utility given to him by this allows him to competitiveness clear and farm up to his later items. A preference, but one I highly recommend.
Though I have not tested it extensively, this gives much needed cool down reduction and health, and the tenacity is a nice bonus too. I'm only hesitant on this item because Thresh will have an increasingly difficult time clearing with it.
: Wriggle's Lantern
A good idea to get if your invaded or you fail a gank. Gives quicker clear times and life steal for sustain so you can farm back into the game.
Necessity, give him much needed MR and tenacity, to more cleanly engage and disengage.
The swiftness boots give a slow reduce, and much needed bonus MS. If you purchased Spirit of the elder golem and already have tenacity, or are against a CC light team, these may be worth a look.
Depends on how AP heavy the team is, but if it's not too bad I would go for Phage 1st. It gives tankiness damage and occasional slows, which are all key to successful ganks. Aegis is the next item and you should almost always get it because; it makes you so much more durable, can turn into runic for more MR, and helps team mates for team fights.
From here you can take Thresh and purpose him to the needs of the team, which is a key strength of his as a jungler.
: Maw of Malmortius
This is a great item to increase Thresh's damage output while maintaining decent MR.
I would get it against a team with medium amounts of AP and damage, and only if Thresh is needed to provide more DPS.
: Frozen Mallet
Great overall and usually recommended in most build paths. Gives high HP, a minor AD boost, and a consistent slow (even for ranged champs). It is very expensive however, so if you are struggling for gold I would hold off until later.
: Spirit Visage
This is an item mainly against aggressive AP heavy enemy team comps. The cool down reduction, health, and massive MR boost it gives are all priced very economically, and even though Thresh will usually not benefit from Spirit Visage's 20% healing increase passive, that only accounts for 27.8 gold of the build according to this.
:Ice Born Gauntlet
Provides an excellent ranged slow, 70! armor, 10 cool down reduction, 30 ability power, the spellblade passive, and 400 mana. However situations this item is good in are very niche. The enemy team should be mostly AD, with maximum 1 or 2 sources of heavy AP damage. This will allow Thresh to make good use of his extra damage from the spellblade passive, as well as be a lot harder to kill.
These are for when your against a heavy damage team and really need the health boost. Randuins is better against heavy AD autoattack builds, and sunfire gives nice raw stats and a decent damage over time passive.
: Zeke's Herald
Uses for this are also a bit niche but it can still be viable. It provides a decent HP, CDR, and damage (with lifesteal!) boost, with a great passive aura attached. However it's really only viable on Thresh in a situation where almost all of your teammates are AD based. The item needs at least one person to benefit from the aura just to be gold efficient, so most, if not all of you team has to be able to benefit from this in some way.
For times when you are cash strapped or struggling:
: Wriggles Lantern
If you failed an early gank or have been invaded before you get your spirit stone, consider going Wriggles. Gives armor, damage, and sustain, allowing you to farm back into the game.
If you have already gotten your jungle item:
: Philosopher's Stone
If g=the ganks aren't working out of if you have died a few times and have low CS, this is a great pick, helps you stay alive and generate enough gold to stay competitive.
: A great overall stat boost with helpful active, this is an efficient cheap item that can really help out if your down.
Team Work and Ganking
Thresh is at his most useful when he chains (punny I know) together his CC abilities, allowing team mates to close in and guarantee the kill.
Tip #1: Do not use your Q unless you know you have a high % to hit it. Use it in ganks as a initiation tool and stun.
Pro tip: While ganking do not use it right away, you can mess with you opponents mind by juking and getting them to use their escape prematurely, then close in.
Tip #2: When ganking throw you lantern to a teammate to give them a better position, if they are not stupid they will right click it, warping them to you and also providing a shield. This is invaluable to jungle Thresh, as the utility and play potential it provides is insane.