Kennen Build Guide by iitzAnthony
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.
Not Updated For Current Season
Kennen: The Heart of the Tempest
Hey, iitzAnthony here and it's my first guide so please bear with me. I've been playing Kennen for about a year and a half now, and found he's a very flexible champ. I actually tossed him aside when I first tried him (I was probably lv 10ish) saying his damage output is ****, but picked him up again after I had been playing a little bit longer(mid 20's). I figured I should try my hand at an AP carry, and he was one of the few I owned. He quickly wiggled his way into my heart. My first few games I noticed I was being focused down insanely fast because of my damage output and kennen's insane jukes and get aways. There's so many possibilities for Kennen, but I would say tanky AP kennen is the best way to go.
Stays in lane all day
Give him a few kills early and he carries very well
Epic Stunbot, even clutch stuns to save teammates or yourself
Focused quickly after ulti ends
CC leads to a quick death
Still not the tank
There are actually a lot of viable spells for kennen once again due to his utility.
Flash This spell is an absolute must for Kennen. Like Galio's ulti when you flash in from nowhere and the other team sees that beautiful circle of lightning they usually think oh sh*t! Great for ganking or catching up to stun an entire team so yours can catch up.
Ghost I used to hate on this spell because I thought you either had flash or ghost not both. I couldn't have been more wrong when combined with a flash lightning rush and an ulti very few champs are going to be able to get away from you. You can also hit ghost and lightning rush to GTFO if things go bad.
Ignite Everytime I take this spell I have a tendency to forget to use it. But it sure is great when your just starting the game and you dive in throw a shuriken pop ignite and lightning rush out with your First Blood. Good for those champs who have waaay too much regen.
Exhaust This can be useful if the other team has one of those scary right-click champs like Tryn, Xin, Ashe, etc and no one on your team has it. Use it to slow down the carry during a chase or cancel their damage during a teamfight. It has its uses but its something I'd only take if absolutely necessary
Teleport If your in a premade and want to have the scariest Kennen ganks go for it. I have yet to try it out but a really good idea is to drop a ward just past the middle of the lane have Kennen teleport to it and ulti in on an overextending group of enemies.
Heal Meh, not a terrible choice but you can definetly make better use of other spells. Those of you making the transition from Doran's Shield might consider getting this, but probably not.
Clairvoyance In the event that you don't plan on carrying, premade, but being there as a stunbot and decent damage dealer you can grab this. Once again not recommended, just an option, but not the greatest..
Promote You are either running mid or duo lane and should be planning to carry. Promote is just a funny spell to have, not too many uses for any champs, and even less for Kennen.
Surge This is actually a great option due to the insane increase in AP and even the AS. You can pop flash or ghost, then surge, then follow up with your Lightning Rush and Slicing Maelstrom and watch the other team's hp melt!
Revive Just don't ok...
These are pretty self explanatory. They allow for early game tankyness, as well as a good poke if you land a shuriken. Who needs an amplifying tome when you can start off with 20 AP?
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Great for those champs running MR runes and for endgame when they have it stacked because of your damage output.
Greater Seal of Armor - For those of you who think Dorans shield is a must give these a try. 7 of them give you the the same amount of armor as the shield. If you are one of those people who cant go without your shield you can drop 2 or 3 of the armor for hp/5.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power - I've been running these on all my AP champs and they work well when you are trying to build tanky and not straight into your AP items. That downtime between giants belt and blasting wand these little guys will give you a little over 1 AP per level if you have 7+.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power - The more I think about it the more I consider switching to 9 of these. While it will only give you a total of 10 AP, whereas you can get 21 AP from the Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power, that amount is available once you set foot in the battlefield. Only problem I have with this? If you have a ****py early game due to a tough mid or duo lane they don't help you get out of your rut. If your confident in yourself go ahead and grab the extra early game AP and start snowballing.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power Isn't it obvious, an extra 15 starting AP why wouldn't you want these??
Some people might want flat HP or CD runes, but if you think about it after you have your Ralai's those HP runes aren't doing you much good. Some might say it helps your early game by allowing you to be more daring, my response: You are a ranged champ with a skillshot that has great range. If you're diving so far that you get hit by the turret or creeps start tearing you to shreds at level 1 you should try a champ like Olaf or Warwick. Kennen has range so use and abuse it!
For the CD if no one on your team is having mana problems swoop on blue buff and grab an elixir that's all the CD reduction you should ever need. The only reason you should want this is for your ulti anyway as your shuriken, main source of damage, is already on a 3 second CD at level 5.
So new masteries! With these you can choose to sacrifice a bit of your tankyness for en even more enhanced early game! You will still get the extra starting armor and MR, as well as bonus HP/lv and nice flat 30 HP at the start. While this won't allow you to have that 4% damage reduction I think increasing Kennen's already amazing early game can help you get kills and grab your tanky items faster. If you want to play this way I'd use the masteries specified for this guide. However if you don't feel like getting the demolitionist mastery you can get the 4th point in archmage for a total of 35% bonus AP!(once you get your Rabadon's)
For a tankier approach while still maintaining decent early-game damage you can try running with 10/20/0. This way you still get your Mpen while reducing damage taken.
1 point in Summoner's Wrath
4 points in Mental Force
4 points in Sorcery
1 point in Arcane Knowledge
3 points in Resistance
3 points in Hardiness
4 points in Durability
3 points in Vigor
1 point in Veteran's Scars
3 points in Evasion
3 points in Honor Guard
Phew finally to the Item portion. Most of the new kennen players and even possible returning players have been using doran's shields at the start. I kept asking myself why? With my masteries and Runes I start off with 34 armor and 530 HP, more than enough for a ranged champ, so why bother with a doran's shield for the 120 HP it gives? Instead try these:
These and 3 Health Potion will allow you to juke any skillshots given you are able to do so, and with your range if you get down below 50% just head back, down one of your pots, and sit back skillshotting shurikens 'till your HP is back up.
Depending on how your doing in lane when you pop your first blue pill you can grab this if you need to come back a little tankier or just go for a so you can continue to wreck your lane.
This is the first item of your core to finish and you will want to rush it. You might ask "Why aren't I finishing boots before grabbing this expensive item?" You have lightning rush and once you have your Rylai's you should be able to slow a chasing enemy down enough to get away. Also your a smart player so just ward and you'll know if anyone's coming to your lane before they do!
*Also its really funny scaring a ganker off after getting a full stun combo off on them while they wait in your bushes!
From here check how the other team is building. Are they AP or AD heavy or a combiniation? If you died recently where was the most damage from?
For those fed AP carries nuking you down rush your
If a right click champ is melting your face get a
*Note that you can flash ulti in and pop this in the middle of the teamfight after or before you hit your ulti making them waste their burst on you*
If your team is steamrolling the other team and you are confident that you don't need to rush into the tanky endgame just yet go for your
Once you have these three items you should have plenty of AP and tanky enough to be the initiator for your team. Here is where you decide what you might need as your last item. Do you want to continue adding another piece or MR or Armor? Does your team have anyone who can Backdoor like a boss? Have you fallen into a support role stunning the other team while your teammates do the major damage?
Case 1- You are your teams only tanky champ, fail on team comp, but you're a team player so you proceed to build armor or MR as needed so your team isn't melted by that brand ulti or AOE barrage from ryze. some great items are:
guardian's angel, Thornmail, Force of Nature, Warmog's Armor
Case 2- Your team wins teamfights all the time so you build items that will allow you to drop turrets quickly such as: Malady, Lich Bane, Nashor's Tooth
A few other items you can opt to use if prefer any of them over the above:
If you believe spellvamp is necessary go ahead and grab this.
If you have a fat pile of assist grab a WoA to help other AP champs on your team, and still get decent spellvamp.
Saves you from a possible ulti initiate, good HP and MR to boot.
Other team beyond tanky? this never hurts.
Kennen is a great laner since he can farm and harass very well and at the same time. All of his skills can hit invisible units, so be sure to take advantage of that. Make sure you farm! Steal all those last hits from your lane partner as you will need a lot of gold for your build. Don't be afraid to miss a shuriken, keep throwing them out as soon as it comes off CD.
While you may want to avoid needlessly using Lightning Rush and Electrical Surge due to the high CD's. But in the event that you do use one of these spells for nothing its ok your an energy based champ so it will be back in a matter of seconds. If you know for a fact that you can kill the other champ(s) in your lane then feel free to drop your ulti and throw Thundering Shuriken like a madman. When it comes to mid-late game you must remember to be more careful with your ulti.
All of kennen's skills work with each other while you are in Lightning Rush you can throw out a Thundering Shuriken, shock everyone with a mark with Electrical Surge, and even drop your Slicing Maelstrom If you're going in to poke, harass, gank, or have any plan to do damage to an enemy champ make sure your passive is proc'd meaning your little shuriken is glowing don't forget this! It could mean FB or a free kill for the other team because you failed stun the other champ, or maybe you needed one more mark to get that second stun and secure the kill.
Kennen is an extremely team reliant champ. Those of you that think your god and rush into a fight without a team and planning on killing them all with your ulti, think again. While your Slicing Maelstrom is a great way to kick off a teamfight, you still need your team to take down more than one or two enemy champs. So instead of blaming your teammates and annoying them with your q.q's communicate beforehand. Talk about focus orders, while you are an aoe champ you have that single target skillshot. After you initiate and take a beating you might have to bail out and just chuck out shuriken after shuriken from afar. There aren't many champs with an initiate that's on the same level as kennen's but I'd say Malphite and Galio are two that I can think of off the top of my head. Unless you've got someone who's ready to go balls to the wall with an innitiate you're better off being the one to do it.
For a nice quick and simple stun:
For initiation after queing ghost and popping flash:
-> -> -> -> ->
If someone tries to dive you and you need a clutch stun to gtfo:
The scariest part in this is using lightning rush as that third mark for the stun, but if you don't already have a mark on them this is your only option. If its mid-game you might have your Thundering Shuriken on a short enough cd to hit them while they're on the way and once again after your Electrical Surge, or you might be lucky enough to have your passive ready to go.
Baiting with or for kennen is an excellent strategy. Even while low you can pull off a stun in a matter of seconds, just be aware of the other champs damage output. If someone baits for you don't waste it hop in and kill them while they're on CD. You can also use your stuns or even the slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter to save fleeing teammates.
Now since Slicing Maelstrom on such a long CD that means you have to pick when to use it. If the enemy team is spread out obviously its not a good idea to drop your biggest gun for a chance at stunning 2 enemy champs. Now since you saved your ulti after that teamfight, especially helpful if your team lost and more than three champs on the other team are still running around the map. You and two teammates catch them trying to push a turret BAM ulti and easy kills. Your ultimate changes teamfights, choosing when to use it or not is up to you.
Also please don't show up late to a teamfight after your teammates are all dead and expect to ace. Your stun is only one second long, and if you don't drop the remaining enemy champs in that one second then its buh-bye kennen.
Kennen is quite the champ, capable of filling all kinds of roles. He can lane and farm almost forever, he can get away and initiate very well. I've made pre-nerf mordes run from be, this was also pre-buff kennen. He is quite the little yordle when used right. Kennen will end up in one of two places as the game progresses based upon how the laning phase goes. If you manage to secure 3 or so kills early this usually guarantees that you will end up being your teams main carry. If you get less then your most likely going to be behind the other carry on your team in terms of kills and fall into the stunbot category. While you do incredible damage you want the other carry to get the kills while you get fed off of assists. But this doesn't mean you cant take a kill or two throughout the game.
Main thing to remember is to take advantage of your ability to harass and poke at other champs. Most mana based champs can't afford to miss s skillshot, while you can.
Thanks for reading through this whole thing, and like I said this is my first guide so if there's anything I can do to improve this guide please let me know by commenting or messaging me.