Kennen Build Guide by boozer
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
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.
Updates and what you guys think:
Okay guys I have spent about 5 hours or more working on this guide and I know there is much more I can add. For the sake of my time and not making you guys read walls of texts leave me comments of what you think of the guide, what I should improve, and what you think I should add.
Kennen the heart of the tempest
Kennen is a ranged mage that has great damage and can counter most champions easily due to his amazing harass along with his passive which is a stun.
Normally I’d have the lore for champions in this section but if you really want to read it just check him out on the LoL client. :P
I find that is one amazing champion. There are a ton of reasons why I say this and will explain a lot of them later on in the guide. If you want some of the main ones you can go check under the pro's section.
So instead of wasting your time along with mine lets move on to the next section!
Acronyms you will need to know while viewing this guide!
well not exactly sure how many I will be using in this guide so I will put a lot of common ones in this section and will eventually edit them to which I do have in the guide.
Mr = magic resist
MPen = magic penetration
APen = armor penetration
AP = ability power
Cs = creep score
AD = attack damage
Aoe = area of effect
Ult = ultimate ability Slicing Maelstrom in kennen's case.
Mia = missing in action
CC = Crowd control
CDR = cooldown reduction
Pros / Cons
I use everything else from offense for my basic abilities. By this i mean the ap/cdr/and mpen
- Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp: Spell vamp quints are just incredible on Kennen. With masteries and runes you can start the game with 9% spell vamp. With just a revolver you have nearly the same spell vamp you'd get with WotA beforehand, and that's pretty amazing. I definitely suggest running these over any other quints by far. With Doran’s shield start and these spell vamp runes you can last in lane for literally forever against just about anyone if you play it right.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Pretty self-explanatory if you have ever played an AP champion.
- Greater Glyph of Armor: 13 extra MR at level 1 is another effective 130 health against magic damage early in the game, which can be very helpful for beating out the enemy AP carries.
- Greater Seal of Magic Resist: Energy Regeneration is a very convenient thing to have. It won't make or break the game, but they're certainly helpful at times and can mean the difference between escaping a second earlier and not. I use half scaling and half flat with a small bias towards the flat ones because it helps his early game more while the scaling ones still have a more noticeable effect late game, I just like spamming his shurikens early on for spell vamp and they have a large energy cost at low ranks.
[note] You can switch out these with AP runes if you think the energy regen is fine enough already.
Ignite: Very simple reason for this spell is that is gives that extra damage to win a fight or finish off an opponent either A: after you have died, or, B: After the enemy runs away with low hp
Flash: helps for a faster getaway along with a quick way to hit the last mark for a quick stun
Ghost: This is a simple way to catch up to your enemies in order to get that stun off or to run away from them. Only problem when you are running away you can't just jump over a wall like you can with flash.
Abilities / Ability Sequences
- Mark of The Storm : Kennen's abilities add Marks of the Storm to opponents. Upon receiving 3 Marks of Storm, an opponent is stunned for 1 second and Kennen receives 25 energy. This stun is subject to diminishing returns on subsequent occurrences in a short time frame.
The Marks of storm passive lasts 7 seconds on the target.
His passive makes Kennen one of the most fun champions in the league. Every time he hits someone with an ability, he puts a mark on them. 3 marks stuns them, and if he can chain his abilities fast enough he can double stun and even triple-stun people if you know what you're doing. Keep in mind that these stuns have diminishing returns when used consecutively in a short time period, so you can't perpetually stun people anymore like you used to be able to when his stun lasted longer before his AP ratio buff when AS Kennen was the best gimmick build around.
In a full-blown team fight if you can properly stun as many people as possible as many times as possible you don't have to worry about energy and can spam your abilities on cool down due to the energy refund half of this passive
- Thundering Shuriken (Q) :
Throws a shuriken that damages the first enemy it hits for 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 (+66% of ability power) magic damage and adds a Mark of the Storm.
Cost 65 / 60 / 55 / 50 / 45 Energy
Thundering Shuriken is what I play him around early game. I max it first because it has the lowest cool down, allows for the safest farming in any situation, costs just as much energy as surge at max rank, has the highest base damage AND the highest AP ratio. The only drawback is that it requires you to aim it and doesn't have as high of a range as other skill shots.
His skill shot’s animation makes a noise and abruptly stops when it hits a unit, this can be used to determine if a stealthed character is nearby or if someone is in bushes without having to check them yourself.
I've heard people complain about or ask how I can hit people in the middle of team fights or while they're in the middle of minions with my shurikens and it's quite simple. If you run through them with lightning rush and release your shuriken as you're literally inside or directly next to them it's a guaranteed hit. This is helpful for hitting some tankier champions in lane like Nasus, Cho'gath and Mordekaiser.
- Electrical Surge (W): Passive: Every 5 attacks, Kennen deals magic damage equal to 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80% of his attack damage and adds a Mark of the Storm to his target.
Active: Surges electricity through all nearby targets afflicted by Mark of the Storm, dealing 65 / 95 / 125 / 155 / 185 (+55% of ability power) magic damage and adding another mark.
Cost 45 Energy
Electrical surge is a very fun ability as well. When you have a mark on the storm on someone you can use his surge to deal extra damage and add another mark. His passive makes every 5 auto attacks deal extra damage and add a mark to them. This used to be used for easy harass by maxing W first, because the range on his active was longer and his marks lasted 12 seconds instead of 8 so you could infinitely harass people with this ability starting at rank 2. Now you need rank 4 with the 9% CDR in my build in order to do the same effect, so maxing shuriken first is ideal in more situations.
His active effect can also hit invisible units and targets inside of bushes, but be careful of using it as they leave the range because the ability tends to fizzle out at max range and waste the cool down/energy without actually doing anything.
For an example of how it can be used with your shuriken to hit invisible units and targets inside bushes.
It's important to know however that there are several bugs associated with this skill. When a target is just skimming the edge of its range, you get silenced as you hit the button, you get stunned as you hit the button or a mark just wears off the target your ability will be wasted and you will lose the cool downs/energy. Try to avoid that happening because it can be very frustrating.
Another thing people have asked me is if there's a bug with his surge passive doing nothing when it hits an enemy champion, that's actually the result of them dodging your auto attack. It doesn't say they dodged for whatever reason but they did and it takes no effect.
It's important to try and auto attack in team fights with Kennen to use his passive as much as you can. Moving between each auto attack, so you sacrifice little mobility while still getting more damage and stuns from his auto attacks and surge passive. One of the most important parts of mastering Kennen is being able to successfully auto attack in the middle of skirmishes to keep up his passive and use that to follow up with surges and shurikens (Since his surge's passive applies rylai's)
- Lightning Rush (E): Kennen moves very fast and gains the ability to pass through units, dealing 85 / 125 / 165 / 205 / 245 (+55% of ability power) magic damage and adding a Mark of the Storm to any hostile unit he passes through. For 4 seconds Kennen gains his base movement speed again as a flat movement speed bonus, as well as increased armor and magic resistance and the ability to pass through units, but he is unable to attack.
Kennen is refunded 40 energy if he passes through an enemy while using this spell, but can only gain this effect once. Lightning Rush deals half damage to minions.
Armor and Magic Resist Bonus: 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50
Cost 110 Energy
Lightning Rush is a very fun, effective escape ability that lets you escape a lot of situations and stun people you're running from or through if you properly manage your marks. It also makes a *shock* noise when you hit an invisible unit, so you can determine the location of wards with it. (Although you can't kill them without actual sight of the ward). It uses a lot of energy however, and when using it to harass you need to be careful because you most likely won't have the energy to use it again to escape until you're out of the situation.
He can also use other abilities while in lightning rush, he just can't auto attack (and by extent of that, he can't use his surge's passive.) But if you hit your lightning rush again you can cancel the effect early and regain the ability to auto attack.
It also gives him a flat increase to armor/magic resist, so it can be used to survive a karthus ult or zilean bomb by the skin of your teeth.
- Slicing Maelstrom (R) : Summons a magical storm that deals 80 / 145 / 210 (+33% of ability power) magic damage to a random enemy champion near Kennen every 0.5 / 0.4 / 0.33 seconds. This storm attacks up to 6 / 10 / 15 times and cannot hit the same target more than 3 times.
A Mark of the Storm is applied to enemies on the first bolt they are hit by.
Cost 40 Energy
Slicing Maelstrom is Kennen. This is the ability that truly defines him, it's a powerful AoE ultimate that can turn the tide of fights and control the outcome of countless situations.
One thing to pay attention to however is how many times it strikes a target maximum and how many times it actually strikes. At rank 1 it can only full stun 2 people (assuming it manages to hit the same 2 people all 6 times) and at rank 3 it can fully stun an entire team. For this reason, along with the fact that his Q's cool down and cost scales abruptly with level leads me to the decision that Kennen is the most level dependent champion in the game. He's not a true threat on 5v5 until this ability hits rank 3. For this reason it's important for Kennen to hit 16 as soon as he can, preferably before anyone else.
It lasts around him for 3 / 4 / 5 seconds depending on rank and with utility masteries the cool down synergizes well with ghost so that you can use it twice for each ghost use.
One of the best parts of this ultimate is that after he casts it, it can't be interrupted. This means he can be stunned, silenced, taunted, put into a stasis, knocked up you name it and the ult will remain around him. However, like the passive of his W, if he gets interrupted just as he hits the button then his ult will be wasted and you'll lose the cool down and energy.
There is no certain order to put these skills in. This is one of the learning situations for Kennen; you have to find out what combo is best for that situation.
In some lane matchups it's smarter to max W over Q.
What I max first depends on the champion I'm laning against. If they have high mobility and I can afford to harass them like Ahri, Kennen, Akali or Katarina I max W first. If they have high mobility but I can't afford to harass them like Leblanc, Kassadin or Zilean I just max Q first and farm. If they have low mobility like Kog'maw, Twisted Fate or Annie I max Q first and can use that to harass by timing surge's passive and active effect properly.
I max W first against all bruisers, Malzahar, Rumble and Karthus because I spend a lot of time able to auto attack harass them which W amplifies. I get it against Malzahar because his voidlings block skill shots.
Start with a Doran's Shield.
I start with doran's shield because boots aren't necessary to harass with on Kennen due to lightning rush and when you start the game with 9% spell vamp combining that with the health regen gives you much more overall sustain than 3 pots and it also gives you the ability to live burst damage early on.
Before you start you should determine which kind of boots would be most beneficial. This is always between Sorcerer's Shoes and Mercury's Treads. Most of the time I get sorc shoes because my full build will usually include a QSS.
Ideally a good first two items to buy on first recall is Boots of Speed and Hextech Revolver.
Will of the Ancients This is the first item I rush after boots now, and then I get a Rylai's immediately after. It gives you enough AP to clear full creep waves with your E > W combo, and heals you to full very quickly. Another trick you can do here is throw your shurikens over the wraith camps if you're middle for low cooldown ~100ish heals over and over.
Because of the fact that Kennen uses energy a WotA essentially gives him infinite lane sustain.
Once you've got your spell vamp and tier 2 boots start working on Rylai's Crystal Scepter . The giant's belt is a great early game item because it gives you a ton of early game survivability to burst and can let you dish out your proper amount of damage in early fights before having to back off. Rylai's Crystal Scepter is completely central to properly playing Kennen because I base him around his kiting and poking/CC ability just as much as his AoE teamfight presence.
Next item is almost always a Rabadon's Deathcap. Deathcap simply gives too much damage on any AP champ to pass up. This turns you from an annoying stun/CC squirrel to a powerful scary ninja that can put on threatening damage, especially in teamfights.
The next items depend on the situation. In MOST situations, I'd say 95% of the time, the best options are Void Staff, Zhonya's Hourglass and Quicksilver Sash.
Lich Bane is outstanding on him as a late late-game item, but it's only possible if the enemy isn't making you build magic resist and you actually get to this point in the game without them building any themself. If you're ever at a point like that you could probably build philosophers stones exclusively and still stay legendary.
Core items/situational items
So it has come to my attention that the way my items look are confusing so here i will put the core item build and add the situation items under this section
So here you have 2 item slots left.
Here are 3 main choices to choose from:
And if your doing really well and think that you need to improve your current build some more you can trade other situational items for these:
Common Lane Match-ups
*For all the champions I recommend maxing Electrical Surge against first, blue buff is incredibly helpful against. It really lets you punish these champions if your team can spare you it, not only letting you endlessly harass with it by rank 3 instead of 4 but also making you do it a lot faster.
Morgana- Her W is too good at holding a lane down and her shield's base numbers are too high to harass her with Kennen's relatively low base damages. Against her I'd just farm as well and play it safe, since you can't hope to kill a good morgana in lane.
Ahri- Max W first and rush spell vamp. Dodge her skillshots while she can't dodge your surge. She's not so bad if you can harass properly with surge.
Ryze - A lot of people say Ryze counters Kennen in lane, and technically he does. But Ryze has one of the squishiest early games of any mage. One gank will completely set him off balance and you can proceed to dunk on him with your superior mobility. On Ryze I tend to max Q first because they stand stationary while doing their combo on you most of the time which makes it easy to land a shuriken.
Mordekaiser - Max W first and auto attack harass as much as possible without drawing too much minion attention. Not much else to him.
Akali - Max W first and use the fact that all of your abilities can hit her while invisible to your advantage. If she gets past 6 and tries dashing at you often, save lightning rush for her just as dash is about to land so she'll get one mark on her and be easy to follow up on with a shuriken / surge stun which will interrupt her combo. She's not so bad 99% of the time.
Karthus - Max W first as they tend to stand in the middle of their minions and try to fight you with their defile (e) when you start trying to trade harass. Kennen should always beat Karthus, in my opinion.
Rumble - Another one where you max W first. He has to be in melee range to do anything to you, and is very susceptible to surge harass. He's basically an even easier mordekaiser when it comes to laning against.
Xerath - You can't really do anything to a good xerath. Max Q first and hope to land some on him when he makes mistakes that you can follow up on, if nothing else it will let you farm against him. He's very susceptible to ganks so try and get one of those and you can snowball the lane from there.
Lux - Max Q first and try to land lightning rush as much as possible in trades. If you stun her and land a single higher ranked shuriken on her she's going to be forced to play defensive and basically give up her lane to you. She's not hard at all. Unless you have a twitch and roam alistar camping your lane. Only then.
Twisted Fate - Max Q first against if you can land them decently, otherwise max W. He's kind of a pain if built AP (like everyone builds him mid) before you get spell vamp, but afterwards they generally have 0 sustain while you have tons and can easily afford to trade with him no matter how much damage you take.
Sion - Max W first and get one mark on them while their shield is up. After their shield is exploded, either from their own volition or something else's, trigger your surge's active and keep doing damage like that. Sion is really tough to kill if played properly (hahaha just kidding it's pretty much impossible to play sion improperly but some people manage)
If you have any other lane matchups you'd like me to comment on I'll add them here, just post it in the comments
Kennen should be able to beat most every bruiser in lane easily by maxing surge and autoattacking them/surging them with his huge range.