Thresh Build Guide by Bensicle
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.
Threats to Thresh with this build
|Janna||Janna lane doesn't really have the ability to kill you. All they can do is poke with little stopping you from simply walking away. Just all in and win before you lose too much health from Janna shields on adc poking you out.. If you get too low don't be afraid to base, you can always win if your lane has close to full health and the enemy bottom lane isn't ahead kills.|
I am Bensicle and I play on NA servers. I'm a pretty passionate League player who has spent a lot of time playing the game, primarily in the support role. This is my first guide and I'll consider doing more depending on how helpful this is to everyone (probably would be more in-depth support guides).
If you do not agree with some things in this guide or have other ideas on how to play Thresh (different runes, masteries, items, mindset, etc.) simply send me a message or comment on this guide with your ideas AND REASONING please, behind them. Feedback and more knowledge can help improve the guide.
Everything in this guide is subject to change but it is what I've had some success with in solo q this season and my favorite way to play Thresh that I have found thus far.
Pros / Cons
~Has Strong CC
~Huge Play Potential
~Has Lotions Wife
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Thresh is a tanky champion that benefits most from defensive runes.
Greater Quintessence of Armor x3 or Greater Quintessence of Health x3
Personal preference really. I use the armor quints (explained below)
Greater Mark of Attack Damage x9 or Greater Mark of Armor x9
Here I really feel that the AD marks are better for a few reasons.
Flay scales so well off of AD, at level 1 the passive auto attack damage from flay will be hitting for ~45. This makes your first auto attack stronger than any adcs and will always win you a trade.
Relic Shield charges are also a fair amount easier to get and no other item is worth starting as Thresh right now.
Greater Seal of Armor x9 or Greater Seal of Health x9
Again this is really personal preference however I use armor and will explain why below.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist x9 or Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist x9
I use the flat Magic Resist because it is incredibly rare that you will lane against 2 bottom lane champions that don't have some relevant form of magic damage (assuming the jungler is also AD) and only encounter AP threats later in the game.
The difference between using all armor or all health Seals/Quints is roughly +20 effective hp in favor of going full health. Effective hp meaning that the 13% decrease in physical damage taken by going with armor Seals/Quints has been accounted for in the total "health" at level 1.
Full Health Seals/Quints @level 1(with relic shield purchased):
784 x .17 = 133
133 + 784 = ~917 effective health
Full Armor Seals/Quints @level 1(with relic shield purchased):
630 x .3 = 189
189 + 630 = ~819 effective health
Okay, so.. the difference is approximately 100 health but the thing is the value of armor greatly increases as the health pool increases and considering our starting items we did not include in the previous calculations (3 health pots + relic shield proc heals for 40 health everytime!) if health pots were used properly giving you 450 more health, 150 per health pot, and relic shield realistically heals you twice during early laning phase, the effective health difference becomes much closer to about ~20 health (using the same calculations but with the added health from health pots/relic shield procs).
Ultimately the health wins out in the IMMEDIATE situation of level 1-2 but I like to think that having less health also makes their lane more inclined to attack me when I am more discretely tanky with a lot of armor and as soon as I back for the first time and pick up Targon's Brace the armor will win out.
The difference is small.
I will show you the only mastery page that I use for Thresh. 0/25/5
The 25 points in defense grab everything required to be fat in game, I don't think there are any better tanky options with the 25 points simply by reading and comparing what is left in the defensive tree.
The last 5 points are pretty flexible but I'd at least get Meditation as your mana level 1-3 can run out and not being able to hook/flay when you need to can completely change lane.
Lastly I like the move speed of Fleet of Foot but the last 2 points are really up to what you want.
Skill Sequence & Skills Explanation
I recommend going R>E>Q>W in almost every lane match up.
Passive - Damnation
Thresh can harvest the souls of enemies that die near him, permanently granting him Armor and Ability Power.
This is an amazing passive!
All of Thresh' abilities scale off of Ability Power and your damage can actually be really high (especially your first auto attack + The Box)
In any game lasting longer than 30 minutes you can easily end up with 2 extra Chain Vests worth of armor, this often allows you to start building towards Magic Resist earlier without any worries of Attack Damage threats.
Pick up Souls = armor and damage :D
Q - Death Sentence
Thresh binds an enemy in chains and pulls them toward him. Activating this ability a second time pulls Thresh to the enemy.
The first and most important thing I want anyone to read about Death Sentence.. Please do not yolo hook (I'm lookin at you, reader). As you practice you will get a much better understanding of what is a landable Death Sentence and what is not but for beginner reference of what a yolo hook is: Throwing out a Death Sentence with very little confidence of it connecting (this could be due to complete lack of vision, i.e. Death Sentence into brush with no ward, or next to no knowledge of what direction your opponent will be moving while attempting a full distance hook). Death Sentence costs a lot of your mana pool early levels and is not something you can afford to waste that carelessly. But with that out of the way..
Death Sentence has many great uses.
- Engage: hook an adc in any even or favorable match up and take that ride into victory.
Even if you hook an adc or their 10-0 mid laner, please do not go in if your team is not there to follow up. This is similar to Lee Syndrome. Try to be smart about it.
Connecting a Death Sentence on a tank is not a bad thing to do it simply should not be your "lets go in team fight" engage unless you are REALLY far ahead and feel there is no way to lose a fight. Landing a hook on a tank can often lead to good amounts of free damage on them but engage with caution.
- Peel: keep anything off your adc that is a serious threat to it.
Great against Katarina as you can hook her Shunpo (notice that it says " Katarina appears behind the target"..this almost always leads to her ultimate, Death Lotus, stopping it exactly as it begins)
This works the same for Zed when he uses Death Mark, if you time your Death Sentence correctly you can stop Zed from using ANYTHING other than the unstoppable damage applied by his ultimate just for pressing it (the difference in damage is huge).
Champions to peel off your adc with Death Sentence to make him/her love you <3: Fiora/ Master Yi/ Akali/ Jax/ Kha'Zix/ Rengar/ Udyr/ Tryndamere/ Xin Zhao/ Rammus/ Talon... just to name a few of the more OBNOXIOUS champions for an adc to deal with (:
Use Death Sentence not only to sentence death but also life with peels/escapes :D
W - Dark Passage
Thresh throws out a lantern that shields nearby allied Champions from damage. Allies can click the lantern to dash to Thresh.
Primarily used for Setting Up Ganks and Saving Friends
Setting Up Ganks
Dark Passage can set up easy rides for your jungler/mid/top (anyone who wants kills bot yes please <3) to take to help you win bottom lane and set up free dragons after HOWEVER if somebody can gank for you without the use of Dark Passage (lane/river is not warded) it is preferred as you often have to blow your Flash to make this kind of gank worth it.
Once your jungler is ready and waiting for your lantern just out of sight of minions and enemy vision you have 2 options.
Land a Death Sentence, throw back Dark Passage, and reactivate your Death Sentence to land yourself and the jungler right on top of the support or adc.
The less risky method, as yolo hooks often do not land especially when so forced, is to simply Dark Passage back toward your jungler as you run forward and Flash onto the enemy bot lane followed by Flaying them back towards you.
Saving Your Friends
This is much easier, place Dark Passage slightly AWAY (away is capitalized here due to IMPORTANCE) from the player you are hoping to save. Due to the delay on throwing out the lantern and everyones natural tendency to choose life, this will end in a very easily clicked lantern that will reward you with no gold but a possible "Thx Threhs" if the person saved can find the time of day to appreciate you <3.
Oh and even if you are on top of your adc and you get ganked just putting down Dark Passage and Flashing away to get distance out of it can often save your adc even if his Flash is down.
Side Note: Beware of fat champions (LOOKIN AT YOU Urgot/ Braum/ Zac/ Nautilus/ Sejuani/ Cho'Gath/ Galio) as their generously sized proportions can make for difficult lantern clicking.
The shield from Dark Passage can seem rather insignificant, it mostly is, but when you don't have anything else to do it is worth throwing down (especially good for saving people that walk away with a damage over time effect i.e. Ignite, Explosive Shot when the enemy calculates that it would have gotten the kill without the shield).
Dark Passage CAN be used to pick up souls from Damnation however you should only do this if you know that you are about to Recall . It is never worth using to collect souls in any other situation only to not have it later when you need it.
Friends click the lantern and fly to you, this is good for life and helping jungler gank :D
E - Flay
Thresh's attacks wind up, dealing more damage the longer he waits between attacks. When activated, Thresh sweeps his chain, knocking all enemies hit in the direction of the blow.
Things to Know
Try to never start a trade without Flay passive stacked, at level 1 your auto attack will be hitting for ~45 and the bonus magic damage will be hitting for the same amount. Effectively giving you 2 auto attacks in 1 and making trades mucho worth.
Keep in mind that due to the Relic Shield start, you will be losing Flay passive every time you grab a creep. Try to trade your autos before getting the minions. We all know every Thresh player is good enough to get cs without the extra damage help (:
GREAT THINGS TO Flay:
Aatrox:: Dark Flight
Jarvan IV:: Demacian Standard+ Dragon Strike (E+Q combo)
Jax:: Leap Strike
Lee Sin:: Resonating Strike (upon activation when the blind monk flies in)
Leona:: Zenith Blade
Nocturne:: Paranoia (I BELIEVE this can be Flayed and all damage prevented? Sometimes Nocturne has a very obvious ult target..someone with 1 health..not 100% on this would love if someone knew <3)
Rengar:: Unseen Predator
Shyvana:: Dragon's Descent
Tristana:: Rocket Jump
Vi:: Vault Breaker
These are all abilities that can be completely shut down by Flay. While some of these are a bit slower and can more easily be Flayed upon reaction to visibly seeing the ability happen, a lot of these truly have to be predicted.
Predicting is something you really get a feel for after playing a lot of games but sticking with the idea that no one will try to out "mind game" you is the best place to start. Save that for later. Odds are no matter what elo you are if you land a Death Sentence onto Corki and you go in, after about a .5 second pause he will try to Valkyrie out of that unfavorable situation. The same goes for defensive Flays, I PROMISE YOU Jax DID NOT JUST USE Counter Strike AND WALK TOWARDS YOU WITHOUT FULL INTENTION OF Leap BEING THE NEXT KEY HE PRESSES. Flay em.
The only other thing to really look for are channeled abilities/ultimates:
Caitlyn:: Ace in the Hole
Fiddlesticks:: Crowstorm (if you can Flash Flay/ Death Sentence this in a team fight to stop it from going off god bless so worth)
Galio:: Idol of Durand (not that this is a champion anyone has seen and I would have NEVER guessed the name of that ultimate)
Katarina:: Death Lotus
Malzahar:: Nether Grasp (again who is this champion)
Miss Fortune:: Bullet Time
Pantheon:: Grand Skyfall
Shen:: Stand United
Twisted Fate:: Destiny
Vel'Koz:: Life Form Disintegration Ray
Warwick:: Infinite Duress (Weedwick)
Xerath:: Rite of the Arcane
In regards to stopping all of these abilities, I do not care if there are 4 other interrupts/knocks/stuns on your team, if you are not looking for them and doing what you can to stop them you can't expect someone else to. While I would never like to think that someone else being less aware than myself is really justified.. supports often have less to worry about in a fight so things like this (doing everything you can) is your job.
Of course all of these can also be interrupted by Death Sentence.
Flay is good for stopping just about anything in league that can be stopped :D
Skill Order Exceptions
If you are laning against Morgana you may want to max Death Sentence first as it not only lowers the cooldown to be able to hook more often than Black Shield is available but it also increases the damage, making flay possible after hooking even if Black Shield was used properly.
The other exception would be jungle invading. If for whatever reason your team decides they want to invade and start running into the enemy jungle, simply don't level up anything until you see the situation. If you are bush camping and someone walks right into it or you feel like you can make a catch go ahead and level up Death Sentence but generally Flay is better trading level 1 in lane and you want to level it up first to win lane.
|This summoner is a must. Flash + Flay is too good along with the extra escape potential.|
|This is optional but I take it the majority of the time. I get Exhaust against any adc that is highly attack speed based and reliant on their auto attacks to do a lot of damage: Vayne/ Jinx/ Draven/ Twitch/ Ashe/ Kog'Maw/ Tristana.
Exhaust is not only great against adcs but can really shut down a lot of mid laners. If the enemy team has any mid laner you think you will be in range of to Exhaust when they use all of their damage it is worth running.
|This is optional and for winning lane very early and snowballing. Against certain squishy supports Sona/ Zyra/ Nami/ Soraka come to mind, if you land a Death Sentence on them (level 2-3) with Ignite as your summoner spell they will probably die even if they have all of their summoners up. Just make sure to Ignite early enough that all champion heals and summoner Heal will be reduced due to the Ignite debuff.|
Items: Why Not Mikael's Crucible/"Support" Item Here
This could possibly be sheer personal hatred of these items in general but I will explain my thoughts on one of them and the same ideas apply to the rest.
|Lets look at what this item gives us for its price of 2450g
+40 Magic Resist
Good, but can get for 720g with Negatron Cloak
+20 Mana Regen per 5s
Useless with Frozen Heart and we won't have mana problems after very early levels.
+10% Cooldown Reduction
Ionian Boots of Lucidity + Frozen Heart put us at 35% cdr, so this would grant an additional 5% cdr capping us at 40%. Meh.
UNIQUE Passive - Mana Front: Increases Mana Regen by 1% for every 1% of mana missing.
Useless as we don't have mana problems, especially by the time we can even afford this item.
UNIQUE Active: Removes all CC on an allied champion and heals that champion for 150 (+10% of maximum health)(180 second cooldown).
The only good thing about this item, coming at the cost of 2450g and a 3 minute cooldown........
So we are effectively (only useful stats) gaining +40 Magic Resist and a 3 minute active for 2450g
We are well aware that we can obtain +40 Magic Resist at the price of 720g through Negatron Cloak so therefore the 3 minute active is costing us 1,730g!!!! IS IT REALLY WORTH??
This active is SO SITUATIONAL in having any impact on the game at all. If your adc gets caught out by a cc within a very short distance of you AND you react fast enough to use the active AND your adc reacts fast enough to you removing the cc he/she just expected to be their immediate death. Worth. However...when a team reacts to an adc getting caught out they DIE, they die fast.
When that 1,000g Giant's Belt and 720g Chain Vest you are missing out on would make you FAT
Advice for Thresh & Climbing Solo Q
Many of these apply to every league player and not just those who play Thresh but I believe this stuff is important enough to mention.
1. Do not Exhaust to help get a kill. Use it to live ONLY. Not for a terrible slow.
2. You must have confidence in your plays. If you don't believe you can Flash+ Flay something odds are you can't. Your mentality matters so much. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
3. Don't yolo hook. Walking up to your enemy with backwards Flay into Death Sentence is very easy to land. Better opponents or simply Caitlyn probably will not let you do this but whenever you can, do it.
4. Do not think lesser of yourself because you are a support. The days of a mere Lulu having Boots of Speed + Sightstone at 30 minutes and nothing else, is over. At least in Solo Q and for me it is. You can carry as support. Anyone can carry from any role. Especially when you build items that actually support YOU.
5. Say "gj" when people do good things. It requires nearly nothing out of you and may actually matter to your teammate. This is assuming you want a greater chance of winning. If you don't care, say anything you want just realize every negative thing you type is literally decreasing your odds of winning and it's not worth. People who are mentally in a good place will play League of Legends a hundred times better than someone who is upset.
6. Don't look at the ranks of who you are playing against. If you verse someone and are telling yourself that they are better than you before the game has even started. You will lose when you can win.
7. Although I have talked about how supports can carry.. a lot of what carrying means for a support is making everyone else's job so damn easy they couldn't possibly mess up. Feed your adc on a diamond platter.
8. Lastly and least importantly, have fun. This is solo q after all.
I ended up putting a lot more time into this Thresh guide than I originally thought I would. Thank you if you took the time to read any of this and I hope you learned something helpful.
This is my first guide.
If you'd be interested in any other support guides or have specific questions regarding supporting let me know.