Thresh General Guide by Kartarasha
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.
This is my first guide, so I hope you all enjoy reading it and are understanding of its less-than-pleasant format. I'm open to constructive criticism about the build, and would be happy to discuss aspect of it. Now, on to the build!
People really like Thresh. He has a strong grab and large amounts of CC. His passive gives him AP and armor, allowing him to focus on other aspects of his build. Many use this freedom to build AD items on Thresh, taking advantage of the damage offered by the 'scaling' on his E. The base damage on his E increases with each soul he gets, souls are guaranteed from the death of large monster/minions and champions, with small monsters/minions dropping a soul 33% of the time. Jungle champions have easy access to all of these, a majority of these souls are less contested than if he lanes.
Many people are lauding the Feral Flame for its massive boost to AD junglers' mid-late game capabilities. This is due to the scaling damage and life-on-hit effects it gives to them. With a decent amount of in-jungle farming, junglers can easily out-heal and out-damage the objective monsters as well as enemy champions. Abusive Farming can lead to neigh-unkillable junglers.
If you pair Thresh's stacking with feral flame's stacking, you gain more from each camp than any other jungler. This means you start to snowball sooner and harder than other junglers at the cost of a slightly fragile early game.
You don't really have much variability in summoner spells when it comes to Thresh jungle.
Smite is required for almost every jungler due to its ability to speed up camps and to allow for possible stealing of objective monsters.
Heal is required for the early game to allow you to stay in the jungle longer so you can continue to build your stacks. It can also be used as an impromptu speed boost to catch fleeing enemies if they manage to survive your initial gank.
Thresh's initial clear times aren't all that spectacular, lacking the sort of abilities people are used to for junglers. To this end, it is important to give Thresh as much damage as possible to boost his early game clearing. Full AD rune pages provide him with this needed leg-up to stay on par with other early junglers.
Just like his rune page, his mastery page is rather simple at 21/7/2. The offensive tree builds solely into the AD aspect of the build. His cooldown's aren't much of an issue, so the attack speed option is better as it translates into quicker camp clear. The defensive tree, again, is rather stereotypical by giving a slight increases to one's anti-monster capabilities. The two points in movement speed is due to the fact that he doesn't move that fast, and needs what help he can get.
Flay is an extremely powerful component of this Thresh build, a fully charged Flay is capable of chunking improperly built champions into oblivion. Though, whats powerful is the base damage you get with each soul collected. This is why you see a majority of AS items in this build, taking advantage of damage boost to increase your damage.
Thresh employs Physical and Magic damage, making it hard for people to effectively build against him without going full tank. This is where Wit's End, and BC come into play, shredding your target's resistances so they become more vulnerable to your less-charged flays. This shred also opens up your target to the rest of your team, for the few seconds the enemy is still alive.
BotRK counters the HP stacking on beefier opponents, allowing that extra bit of damage to help you grind the tank down to nothing once the rest of the team is gone.
Wriggle's lantern is a crucial part of the build, giving you an additional damage mechanism to stack. (Yo dawg, I heard you like stacking. So we put stacks in your stacks, so you can stack while you stack.) This gives you ridiculously fast camp clear and dragon/baron solo capacity....which means even quicker stacks.
Berserker Greaves are useful as they give you additional attack speed, as your damage output is completely determined by how often you spam your E's passive damage and Feral Flame's bonus damage. Alacrity is required as Thresh isn't fast, every little bit helps. Homeguard is possible, but the boost is limited to inside the base which won't help you chase stragglers outside the base.
Stattik Shiv is useful as it gives you additional attack speed, crit chance, movement speed and that wonderful every-ten attack bonus aoe damage. Can be traded in for Phantom dancer if you feel higher crit chance would be useful.
Nashor's Tooth is a viable addition to the build in place of Black Cleaver, focusing solely on the bonus magic damage. It gives AP scaling magic damage with additional AP and Attack speed, though, the attack speed is the most valuable component on it. Better to shred the enemy, exposing them to your attacks rather than bash against their full resistances constantly.
Your jungling will start off slightly worse than other junglers, which is an important point. People cannot go into this role and think that it will be as comfortable a jungle as it is for the more common junglers (Warwick/Vi). It will be difficult, and you will need to play cautiously until you get Madred's Razor. In addition, you will have to buy health pots 2 or 3 times, the need ending around 5~6.
The nature of your jungle depends entirely on the leash you get. Make sure your team know you need a strong leash, the quicker it's smite-able, the quicker the high-damage golem stops hitting you. Without a strong leash, you will have to go back after wraiths (or wolves if purple). With a strong leash, you can get red with minor issue. If you were able to get red in the first pass, pop your heal on the way to golems (wraith if purple).
Since Thresh is ranged, initiate at your full distance to decrease the time they are able to hit you. The moment they are about to hit you, use Flay (E) in order to throw them out of their range again to allow for more free damage. When they do start hitting, use your lantern to shield yourself from the first few blows. By the time flay is on cooldown, they will either be dead or nearly dead.
Thresh doesn't move fast, so you will be very sluggish to respond to sudden lane pressure anywhere. Time spent running to a battle you won't get to in time, is time you could have spent on getting stacks. This can lead to some people getting angry, so be prepared for that.
The best way to decide how to gank as Thresh is based simply on your location. Ask the lane you are closest to if they need a gank, going in if they say yes. Do not waste stacking time moving into position if the enemy is pushed to tower, your ally doesn't want help, or the enemy has become fed.
There are two ways to gank with Thresh.
1: You grab target champion, letting laner attack during the two tugs. Drag yourself to the target champion right after the second tug, auto attacking them with your stored E, activating E to throw them back and slow, popping R if they haven't died yet.
2: Flank with a built up E, flay backwards to slow as you and laner hammer the target, pop R as they get close to the edge, grabbing if they try to get away to let laner attempt to finish before pulling into an AA and a flay.
Heal can be used to catch up to an enemy if they react quick enough to your presence and to save a gank incase something goes wrong (counterganked in bot).
At first glance at the build, you'll see that I haven't bought specialized tank resistance items. Your second glance will tell you the same, along with any other glances you decide to make before you believe it. This is due to two things that play in favor of Thresh when it comes to teamfights and skirmishes.
First off, his passive builds him armor. By the time teamfights start to break out, unless the enemy is forced to group to survive early, Thresh will usually have ~100 armor which is a decent amount of physical resistance. Now, he does lack magic resistance, to which Wit's End is a decent fix.
Secondly, Thresh is considered a support. Through the course of a their games, people have been trained that supports aren't overly dangerous. As a result, he isn't focused in teamfights, as the knee-jerk is to target the Mid and ADC. This means, as long as at least one of those damage dealers is with you, Thresh won't be targeted. This allows Thresh to wade right into the thick of the fight relatively unnoticed.
When going into a teamfight, your most important choice is who to unleash your full Flay on. Thresh can delete traditional ADC, Mid, and Supports in three AA with one being fully charged. Traditional Junglers are wiped away in 5 attacks. So, pick whoever is causing the most havoc in teamfights. Never pick the tank, as they are anti-delete and need focusing after the rest of the team has been sent to pasture.
If focused, Thresh lacks the requisite escapes to survive.