Thresh Build Guide by TaresE
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.
Hello guys, my name is TaresE and I welcome you to my guide for support Thresh in the bottom lane. At this moment Thresh is one of my favorite champions to play. After you've read this guide I hope you've learned a thing or two about the chain warden and how to play him. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at any time. Without further ado, let's get going.
Thresh is a tanky support champion who excels at catching enemies that are out of position as well as protecting his marksman. His large amount of cc and versatile playstyle makes him an excelent pick in almost any team.
Pros and cons
Damnation is a great passive which makes thresh very strong later in the game. Throughout the whole game you will want to collect as many souls as you can. However, picking up your souls may place you in an unfavorable position. If you cannot safely reach the souls, simply don't pick them up. They are not worth your death.
Death Sentence can be used to initiate fights, catch people who are out of position or to cc an opposing champion diving in for your marksman. If it hits you can reactivate the ability to fly over to your target. Don't be too gready on this for you might place yourself way out of position. Your ranged auto attacks and Flay should be enough to afford not diving into the enemy team.
Dark Passage should primarily be used to save your teammates from nasty situations. You can use it as a shield, but only do so when you know you won't have to save a teammate any time soon. Additionaly you can use this ability to pick up souls you cannot safely reach by throwing the lantern near them. Only do this however if you can keep up with the mana cost and you know you won't need the escape any time soon.
Flay gives you a ton of damage due to the passive effect. In the laning face you want to auto attack the opposing champions every once in a while. In the late game this damage is very high for a support champion. Combined with the active and The Box you will have an unexpected amount of burst damage. Keep in mind that the active effect of this ability can interupt dash abilitys like Tristana's Rocket Jump, Lee sins Resonating Strike and many others.
The Box is a very interesting ultimate. It would be very cliché to say it is one of the best ultimates in the game, however, I don't think it is. This ultimate is very easy to dodge using a blink ability like Arcane Shift or Flash. Try to bait these out before using your ultimate for the best effect. Consider using Flay or even Death Sentence to drag your target into the walls to devestate them.
For summoner spells I take Exhaust and Flash In almost every case. Exhaust is a very powerfull defensive spell. In lane you can use exhaust on the enemy marksman to reduce their damage output significantly. Try to time your exhaust so you block as much damage as ou can (genneraly when they use their damaging abilities). The same goes for the mid and late game, however, your target will most likely be an enemy assassin now. Use axhaust to minimize their burst damage.
I use flash because Thresh does not have any dash abilities. Use flash to escape bad situations or catch your enemies of guard. When used as an escape tool, try to flash before the enemy can land any crucial cc. Flashing afterwards will in most cases not safe you, resulting in a wasted flash.
a lot of people seem to use ignite instead of exhaust on thresh. I personally prefer exhaust as an additional defensive option. In my opinion you should use ignite only if you need it to get ahead early or if you are sure you won't need exhaust at any time in the game. When running ignite, use it to deal some bonus damage when going all in.
My runes are aimed at early lane domination combined with some midgame presence. For marks I use hybrid penetration. This will greatly increase your early game damage because your auto attacks will deal both phisical and magic damage.
For seals I use flat armor. Scaling armor is a lot stronger at the moment but Thresh has very low early game armor. These runes are a compensation for this low armor allowing me to survive early game.
For glyphs I use scaling magic resistance to help survive the late game magic damage.If your lane opponents have a lot of early magic damage (for example Sona and Tristana) consider using flat magic resist instead.
For my quintessences I use movement speed to help chase or escape my enemies. Whit this additional movement speed you can also afford to buy boots later in the game allowing for some stronger items in the early game.
For masteries I run 0-9-21 focusing on health (defense tree), movement speed, gold gain and cooldown reduction (utility tree). When laning against enemies with a lot of poke damage consider putting more points in defense.
As with almost any champion you should level your ultimate whenever you can. In the early game take one point in every ability and start maxing Flay. this gives you the damage you need to dominate the lane early game. After maxing flay take a look at the flow of the game. If you are absolutely dominating the game start leveling Death Sentence. In any other case you should level up Dark Passage for the decrease in cooldown and the bigger shield. Lastly max out either death sentence or dark passage depending on what you haven't leveled yet.
A Fairly standard start for any support champion. The health poitions help you stay in lane longer while the ward keeps you safe. I like picking up the Warding Totem for additional wards early in the game. Once I build a sightstone i swap this trinket for the Sweeping Lens. Instead of Ancient coin you could also start with Relic Shield. I choose for the coin because of the active effect from Talisman of Ascension in the midgame. More about that later.
First few recalls
Doran's shield gives you a lot of early game defense. If you use offensive masteries like I do Doran's shield or any other defensive item is a must. Doran's shield is very efficient to buy because it is cheap and you will be taking a lot of auto attacks to the face. At this stage of the game I also try to upgrade my gold item for additional gold gain and build a sightstone for the wards. always pick up potions whenever you need and try to bring a vision ward for dragon control if you can.
In the midgame you want to buy items for the team. A great midgame pickup is the Talisman. Whenever an enemy is out of position you can use the Talisman active to pick them of giving your team a free kill. For defensive options Locket is a great item. The magic resistence aura helps you fight the enemy's mages while the shield and health regeneration provide that small amount of health for your team to survive. It is a great item as long as you don't forget to use the active.
Late game options
There are a lot of good items you can build for the late game. Your late game build will be different depending on your team and the enemy team. Let's run over a few items.
Frozen Heart is a great item if the enemy has attack speed based champions diving on your backline (for example Tryndamere or Irelia). The attack speed reduction combined with cdr allows you to protect your backline even better than you already could.
Randuin's Omen has an active effect that slows nearby enemies. You can build this to help your backline with kiting multiple enemy's. the armor and health you get also allows you to stay alive longer.
Banshee's Veil might not help your team directly. But you cannot help your team from the grave. Build this in the rare case you are being blown to pieces by an enemy mage. Combined with Locket of the Iron Solari you should be able to stay alive long enough to cc and kill the enemy's mage.
Mikael's Crucible can be bought for the active, however, I rarely build this on Thresh. Your own ability's allow for excelent kiting even if your backline is slowed or stunned. I would build this only if the enemy has some long range cc that they can follow up with long range burst damage (for example Lux or Xerath).
Frozen Mallet is a good item if you need a full time slow. It is however not the best item to buy on thresh because he already has a lot of cc. I bought it once againts an Udyr and that worked fine for me, but in most cases you won't need an item like this.
Zeke's Herald is a bit underused at the moment. If you have more than 1 ad champion (for example Zed in the midlane) it is a great item to buy. The attack damage and lifesteal will help your marksman out for a bit. Also, attack damage scales with your Flay passive. It is funny to see a tanky support like thresh burts down a squishy mage, and that is exactly what this item allows you to do. Once I am tanky enough and my team can use it I buy this item.
Sunfire Cape is an item a lot of people buy on thresh, but I don't know why. okay, the healt and armor are good but the passive damage is a bit wasted. I prefer Randuin's Omen over this item because of the additional slow and better defensive stats.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity can be bought if you need the cooldown reduction. In most cases I have enough of this stat to go around and prefer to keep the movement speed that Boots of Mobility gives me. This can be different in some games however so sometimes this may be better.
Thresh is a champion who works very well with and against most other champions. There are however a few exceptions. Due to the amazing kit thresh has to offer there are a lot of marksmans that work well with him. As a general "rule" I like playing with marksmans who have a good way to engage with me, have at least a little bit of burst damage and preferably some cc of their own.
I just love playing with Sivir. She is a bit of a special case however. The thing with sivir is her passive Fleet of Foot and her ultimate On The Hunt. When the enemy botlaners stray a bit to far away from their tower On The Hunt allows for a very easy engage after which you can lead in with Flay instead of Death Sentence for the easiest lane domination you'll ever see. really you should try this sometime. It is awsome.
The famous so called wifesteal lane. The idea should be clear by now. Lightslinger and Piercing Light allow for great damage output while Relentless Pursuit brings engage to the table. If you can land Death Sentence this almost always results in a kill or at least some summoner spells being used by the enemy.
These are my personal favorites. That does not mean that these are the only options. You might be able to make thresh work with an ad Janna. Go ahead and try thresh with the marksman I didn't list. After all, any combination works when played well.
In the early game help your marksman with farming safely and patiently wait for an opening. Start by poking down the enemy with Flay and auto attacks. Try landing your Death Sentence on an low health enemy and if you do, try to kill them or force their cooldowns. The early game is all about making the enemy afraid to come close. If you can get ahead try scaring the enemy away from their farm.
If you want to engage try one of the following methods:
Start by landing Death Sentence reactivate the ability If you are still out of range or if you have your ultimate. Activate The Box if you have it and try to use Flay to push or pull them into one of the walls. In the meantime your marksman should be able to deal some damage to the target. If executed correctly you should be able to pick up a kill this way.
If you have trouble landing Death Sentence you can instead walk up to the enemy (while probably taking a few attacks to the face) and lead in with Flay. Once the target is slowed use The Box if you have it and follow up with Death Sentence. this should be easy to land on the already slowed target. this methode should also result in a kill when properly executed, even when you are behind in items.
After landing one of those combo's the enemy will probably be afraid of you for the rest of the laningphase. Use this to force them away from the minions so you can push the advantage even further. Don't forget to pick up the souls for Damnation whenever you can! They are essential for your late game armor and damage.
For information on laning against specific champions, scroll ahead to the matchup chapter.
In the midgame keep picking up your souls. help your team with objective control and listen to whoever is leading the team (usually the jungler). In fights do everything you can to protect your backline. Stay close to your carries at all times. Use Flay and The Box to slow your opponents. If you can land it, use Death Sentence to pull the enemies away from your backline. Keep an eye on your frontline at all times. If you can afford to do so, use Dark Passage to pull your low health frontline out of the fight. Only do this if you can afford to. Your main goal is to keep your backline safe so do that before saving your frontline.
Use your movement speed and Talisman of Ascension (if you have it) to pick of anyone who finds himself out of position. Picking up a kill this way may create just the opening you need to take an objective.
In this phase it is wise to carry a vision ward at all times for whenever you get a chance to take dragon or baron. Also do this if the enemy has a stealth champion like Evelynn or Akali. It might safe your team.
In the late game there will probably be a lot of sieging turrets followed up by some teamfights. In the teamfights, protect your backline just like in the midgame. Don't forget to use any active items you have. During sieges, try to land Death Sentence on an important target like the enemy marksman. a great death sentence can win you the game.
If your team has an area of effect combo you can use The Box to contribute to this combo. After deploying The Box move back to your backline if they need you. If they don't need you continue chasing the enemy team and use Death Sentence and Flay to kill any remaining enemies and harvest their souls.
Thresh is a powerfull support champion with a variety of ways to protect his team, set up your enemies for their death and make the craziest of plays. I hope you enjoyed my guide and have learned a thing or two about the chain warden. If you have any questions feel free to message me. Good luck playing and I hope to see you in the rift soon.
Special thanks to: