Thresh Build Guide by Gillyson200

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Gillyson200

Terrifying Thresh Top : In-depth guide to AD Thresh - S4

Gillyson200 Last updated on February 3, 2014
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*Please Read*

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This is my first time making my own guide here on mobafire, and I would really appreciate any any suggestions or improvements. If there are any grammar/spelling mistakes please point them out, so I can fix them. This guide also includes ways of getting better at playing top lane in general

Please read AND try out this guide before your down vote it. I find AD Thresh really fun to play, especially when the enemy team are in disbelief at how strong you are.

I would like to make a shout out to jhoijhoi, as her guide : Making A Guide helped me beyond words.
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Introduction

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Thresh - The soul stealer
Ranged, DPS, Tanky, Support

Synergy: All team compositions
Jungler ganking potential: Strong
Speciality: Infinite scaling armor, and damage
Explanation: AD Thresh revolves around Damnation and Flay. AD thresh is very similar to Nasus and his Siphoning Strike. Your goal is to collect as many souls as possible. This is because more souls = more free armor, and for every soul you have, your auto attacks do 1 extra damage. This is why attack speed Thresh is so powerful, as you can build attack speed without needing to buy as much damage as you get that most of it for free. This guide is focusing on attack speed Thresh as stacking AD on him is very niche. ~DISCLAIMER~ I advise not to go Thresh top lane in solo queue, as even though he IS a viable pick, your teammates may rage at you for "trolling" and not focus entirely on the game.




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Champion Spotlight

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I thought I might add this in, not for the build as Riot intended Thresh to be a support. I added the spotlight to give you a better understanding of Thresh's abilities and mechanics, just incase my explanation wasn't very good.
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Pros / Cons

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Pros


+ Ranged Top Laner
+ Tons of damage
+ Tons of crowd control
+ Infinite scaling
+ Good peel/disengage
+ Very strong vs AD heavy team comps.
+ Good zoning if ahead
Cons


- Weak against magic damage
- Falls behind easily
- Weak against high mobility
- Squishy early game
- Need items to be useful
- Weak against gap closers
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Attack Damage Thresh

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/// Attack damage Thresh is extremely niche, and has a much harder time in the laning phase than attack speed Thresh. This build works best against a team of 5 squishy enemies. Thats because late game, you should be able to one-hit them every ten seconds. The reason this doesn't work on tankier champions, is that they tend to have more resistences than squishes. As you do mixed damage you would have to buy armor AND magic penetration to do significant damage to them. BUT to do that you'll need to replace TWO items in your build, forsaking a lot of AD, making the whole idea of stacking AD redundant. Also attack speed Thresh is very anti-tank so would be much better in this situation anyway.
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Runes

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These runes are the most effective for Thresh, as with this build he does MIXED damage and would lose damage overall if you chose just Greater Mark of Armor Penetration or Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, both of which are acceptable replacements.

I take Greater Seal of Armor as 90% of the damage you will receive top lane is physical (minions, champions, towers etc.). I find that flat armor is better than Greater Seal of Scaling Armor as Damnation more than makes up for the lack of armor late game.
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Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist I find most appropriate as there is no need for early magic resist, unless you are facing an AP top lanes e.g. Rumble or Elise. Then Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is a better option.
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All of Thresh's damage scales with AD, and nobody buys Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed, let alone have a rune page just for them.
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Summoner Spells

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Recommended Summoner Spells

Without Ignite there is no chance in hell (thresh's home), that you can get a kill on your lane opponent, unless they are really really bad/stupid. It can be reserved for finishing off enemies, but for sustain heavy champions such as Aatrox and Vladimir, it is best to start off with Ignite as it reduces their healing.
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Thresh has lot a was to save allies, but not as many to save himself. This is why Flash is almost mandatory for Thresh. It is good to remember that there is no point getting ganked and saving your flash, if you make it to your tower with next to no health. They can easily tower dive you without fear of dying. Better to be safe than sorry, as Flash is sort of a get out a jail free card. When playing Thresh it is ok to trade a Flash for a Flash, as you have so much disengage and your Death Sentence to reel enemies back in for round two. If you do trade Flashes then it is even more important to ward your lane (which you should do anyway).
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Less Viaable Summoner Spells

A very good idea when against a hard lane e.g. Riven, Darius, and when versing champions who are looking to kill you very early in order to snowball. Barrier is also a good counter to burst champions such as Veigar. I would replace Ignite if I were going to take Barrier
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Teleport is great for setting up 3v2 and even 4v2 ganks bot lane. It can also be used to getting to a large group of enemy minions who are nearing one of your towers. I wouldn't recommend using Teleport in such a way as there are so many better ways to use Teleport. Also NEVER EVER use Teleport to get back to lane faster as it is such a waste. Again I would swap out Ignite if I chose Teleport
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Ghost on Thresh is meh, I'd much rather have Flash than Ghost. Personally I would use Ghost on tankier champions than Thresh, but use whatever floats your boat.
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This is such a troll pick (even more so than Thresh top). It's cool down is way too long to be practical, and is useless early game as the death timers are so short. Although I must say it does have a good synergy with Teleport. If you die in a team fight, you can revive + teleport back into the fight. This can be ridiculously frustrating for the enemy team, especially if you are fed.
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Not A Chance In Hell Summoner Spells

Before season 4, 1 in a million games would have this spell in. Now with the addition of the Scrying Orb's, Clairvoyance has been rendered useless.
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Thresh has never ever had mana issues, and even if you spam abilities a lot in lane, I always start with 1 mana potion;
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not sure why Thresh would ever need Cleanse, if it was necessary you should just buy a Quicksilver Sash
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Thresh already has so much CC, why would he need any more? I never take Exhaust on Thresh, not even when I play support with him.
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Not sure why anyone but a support would take this, especially when Barrier out classes Heal in every way.
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Masteries

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Masteries
1/1
4/4
1/1
3/3
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
3/3
1/1
1/2
2/2
2/2
3/3
1/3
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Offence Tree
Tier 1 // - 5% CDR is much better than 5% AS, and this Thresh is here to KILL, not tank so we take the point in Double-Edged Sword . Lastly I take a point into Butcher as farming is a very high priority, and as Thresh has a low-ish base damage it can never hurt to help.

Tier 2 // - More AD = More damage, nice and simple

Tier 3 // - I take all 3 points in Executioner as it increase our damage to half health and below champions, which is great for finishing off those pesky tanks who never seem to die. Martial Mastery is meh, but we need to put a point in here somewhere so might as well get +4 AD for it

Tier 4 // - I like to put one point into Dangerous Game as it might just save your life when you tower dive, and it also really helps in team fights too. As with the previous tier these left over points need to go somewhere, so 3 points into Warlord is the best option in my opinion.

Tier 5 // - 6% armor and magic penetration is GOD LIKE, the best part is that on champions who don't do large amounts of mixed damage, half of this mastery is wasted, but not on Thresh.

Tier 6 // - Lastly the point into Havoc , 3% increased damage is AMAZING. any sort of % damage increase is extremely powerful especially on carries.
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Defence Tree
Tier 1 // - Enchanted Armor is much more effective on thresh, than other carries. Thats because of Damnation, meaning he only has 12 base armor! The rest of this tier is self explanatory and can be replaced with anything else on this tree.

Tier 2 // - Veteran Scars are the best choice here +36 health isn't great but better than others and need to progress upwards.

Tier 3 // - Same issue with the Greater Seal of Armor, we will most likely be facing AD opponents therefore the more armor the better.
runic shield
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Item Explanation

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Thresh needs movement speed, and attack speed, as much as he can get. Berserker's Greaves give both, also they are very easy and cheap to buy.
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With this build you will be buying LOTS of attack speed and Blade of the Ruined King's passive synergies amazingly. Also the Active effect is great for kiting; and with Thresh's kit you will become a kiting monster.
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Why kill one person, when you can kill 3? The fact that Runaan's Hurricane also applies Flay, Blade of the Ruined King, Frozen Mallet, and life steal is incredible. Combine that with the crazy attack speed this item makes you a deadly force to be reckoned with in team fights and a life steal monster.
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Zephyr gives attack speed, and movement speed, both of which are taken for obvious reasons. BUT Zephyr also gives tenacity. Tenacity is important for thresh, more so than other ADC's. Thats because his auto attack range and abilities are all rather short, and that puts him in more danger of being CC'ed. Thresh is a DPS carry so he can't deal damage when stunned, so that is why I take zephyr.
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The Bloodthirster give tons of raw attack damage and life steal, both stats are GOD LIKE on Thresh.
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Frozen Mallet synergies really well with Runaan's Hurricane, as well as giving 30 AD, and 700 health, the passive allows you to stick to enemies like glue. The health component is really important too as Thresh's short range makes him more susceptible to taking damage.
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Situational Items

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Only take Guardian Angel if they have an extremely high burst mage e.g. Veigar or someone who on 100-0 you in a matter of seconds. If this is the case buy a Guardian Angel instead of the Frozen Mallet. Once the Guardian Angel's passive has been used, replace it with the Frozen Mallet if you have the spare gold.
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If the enemy team are very tanky or are stacking lots of armor, it would be a wise choice to buy a Last Whisper instead of The Bloodthirster.
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Buy a Mercurial Scimitar instead of The Bloodthirster if the enemy team has a crippling CC e.g. Warwick, Malzahar, and Nasus.
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Boot Enchantments

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I would take these 90% of the time. This is because they give flat movement speed, which synergies with the % movement speed of the Zephyr.
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Enchantment: Homeguard is really effective when your team is behind. This enchantment greatly increases your potential to defend, and can even save the game for you if your team is very late-game orientated.
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Enchantment: Furor is best when the enemy team has two or more "slippery" champions. Champions such as Nidalee, Ezreal and Riven, who can escape team fights easily.
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Why no Crit chance?

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First off a comparison
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Together that is a total of...
  • 125 attack damage
  • 50% attack speed
  • 18% life steal
  • 10% movement speed
  • 35% tenacity

Together that is a total of...
  • 70 attack damage
  • 50% attack speed
  • 55% crit chance
  • 5% movement speed
  • +50% crit damage

I take The Bloodthirster and Zephyr over Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer. I believe that it is better for Thresh to be built more durable than most ADC's, because of his shorter ranges. Having that extra AD, life steal and tenacity benefit Thresh much more than Crit'ing in 1 of 2 hits, because you can't deal damage when dead. IF you have a good team that can peel for you, then Crit chance may be the better option. This is really unlikely, unless you are in a pre-made team. I would still prefer to buy The Bloodthirster and Zephyr, but it is your choice.
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Recommended Game Settings

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I came across these game settings, which helped me out in more ways than one. I found then in Cubby1313's Orianna guide : Make the ticking Stop. His guide is INCREDIBLE and you should really check it out, as Orianna is also an extremely fun champion to play.
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Changes to the "Interface" Menu


These changes will give you MUCH more room on your screen in order to see what is going on in your immediate viewing area, as well as making it easier to keep track of Jungle timers by being able to see Timestamps
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Changes to the "Hotkeys" Menu


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Range indicators are EXTREMELY helpful help lining up Death Sentence and Dark Passage. It shows the range of the skill, but still has the speed of smart casting. I recommend smart casting to everyone and it will help you complete your combos faster.
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Skill Sequence

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Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
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(Q) In solo lanes Death Sentence is very under-powered, and is also a one point wonder. I take a point at level 4 when I want to start forcing engages.
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(W) I take a point level 2 and max it second over Death Sentence. The reason I max Dark Passage second is that the bigger shield and lower cool down is more valuable than more damage on Death Sentence. Also if you are engaged upon the stronger shield is more beneficial then a maxed Death Sentence.
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(E) I max Flay first as it is the most consistent form of damage. It also helps to make last hitting easier.
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(R) Put points into your ultimate, The Box whenever possible (levels 6, 11,and 16) to greatly increase it's damage, and to reduce it's cool down.
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Abilities

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(passive)
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This passive is not too flashy early game, but the more souls you collect the better it gets. By 30 minutes you should have ~100 souls, which in turn gives you 75 armor and ability power. That alone is an awesome passive, but the best part about Damnation is that there is no cap. Meaning you can keep farming and keep getting stronger.
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(Q)
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In a solo lane all Death Sentence can be used for are, forcing engages, and setting up ganks. Late game use it to catch then enemy team out of position and let your now team engage on them. Preferably try to hook their ADC/APC or any other high value target.
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Tips and Tricks
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(W)
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Dark Passage is OP!!!!!! Use it to save allies and shield people including yourself. This is great for receiving ganks as it allows your jungler to gank much more successfully. ~BEWARE~ If an enemy champions is standing on the lantern your allies cannot click on it.
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Tips and Tricks
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(E)
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The whole reason AD thresh is viable. Flay's passive is AMAZING. Especially after you have collected 100+ souls. The on-hit effect, regarding the number of souls you have is why attack speed Thresh works (and is much better than attack speed Lulu). The nuke damage you can cause by stacking AD is insane and can be adapted into attack damage Thresh who can 1-hit squishes late game. The active on Flay is good for peeling and you can do some cool tricks with it too.
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Tips and Tricks
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(R)
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The Box does 550 damage per wall, and in team fights you can expect 2-3 walls to get popped. It also has 100% AP ratios which is ridiculously high, as you should get about 60-80 AP from Damnation for free, by the end of the game. BUT it doesn't stop there, The Box also slows them by 99% for 2 seconds. This is yet another CC to add to your kit, and can be used for anything from securing kills, to a powerful disengage tool.
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Tips and Tricks
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Combos

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Simple Harass Combo - AA > > AA
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This Combo can be used at any time in the landing phase, very versatile, and good for disengaging
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Small Trade Combo - AA > > AA > > AA > > AA ...
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Very good if looking to get a kill level 2. Don't use this if your opponent is level 3+, until you have one of your core items.
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Receiving Gank Combo - > > > AA > AA > > AA ...
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If you have The Box use it after death sentence, even if you do not kill them, they will have to go back to base and heal. Meaning you can deny them more gold and experience.
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Level 6 Kill Combo - > > > AA > AA > > AA ...
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For exactly what is says, killing them once you hit level 6. If you manage to get to level 6 before your opponent, use this combo while they are still level 5. This gives you a much bigger advantage than before.
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Laning Phase

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Trading in Lane

The key to making exchanges go in your favour, are minions. These little guys can be the difference between winning and losing your lane. Obviously you want to force trades in such a way that they take tons of damage from your minions and you take none from his. A long story short is fight when you have more minions nearby.

Thresh has a really strong level two, much stronger than most top laners. Get your Flay charged up, and just unload every thing you have on him. A good way to do this is to try and get as close as possible to them as you can, this way they will be in your auto attack range for longer. A neat way to do this, without making them cautious, is to pretend to pick up a soul from a caster minion. With the nuke damage on Flay they should be too chunked to even consider fighting back.

After level 4+ Thresh starts to fall off in terms of his ability to trade well. He is extremely soul and item dependent and the best thing you can do is farm farm farm. Once Thresh gets the Blade of the Ruined King and Runaan's Hurricane he can trade much much better. Also it is really important to remember to use the active of the Blade of the Ruined King/ Bilgewater Cutlass. It is best to use the active early as when combined with a fully charged Flay, it can provide some nice burst damage, which deters the enemy from retaliating.
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Last Hitting/Farming

The ability to last hit is the most effective way to get gold. Not killing champions, but farming. If you can keep decent farm AND kill your opponent, then you should easily win your lane. Here are some important numbers to note

1st death = 300 gold = ~15 minions = 2 1/2 waves
2nd death = 261 gold = ~13 minions = 2 waves
3rd death = 208 gold = ~10 minions = 1 1/2 waves
4th death = 166 gold = ~8 minions = 1 1/4 waves
5th death = 133 gold = ~6 minions = 1 wave

The reason I'm telling you this is that if you miss too many minions just to get a kill that may never happen, then you are losing out on a lot of money.

How to actually last hit, I cannot tell you. You will just have to practice. Yep, thats right, PRACTICE! In an evenly matched lane you should be aiming to get 70-80 CS by 10 minutes. Last hitting his made easier for Thresh as he is ranged, when most other top laners aren't. Also I max Flay to help even more with lasting hitting, as the charge up time between attacks helps immensely.

If you some how end up being forced to CS under your tower, use that to your advantage. Try to freeze your lane, and call for ganks. When last hitting under your tower it is a little more difficult, but still possible none the less. For meelee minions let the tower hit them twice, then kill it. For caster minions hit it once, then let the tower hit it, then kill it. This can be made more difficult by your own minions, but you will just have to work around it.
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Zoning

The whole idea of zoning is forcing the enemy champion to choose between getting gold and experience from your minions, and keeping their health bar. Zoning is a great way to further increase your lead over someone, and while still being able to concentrate on last hitting.

There is a downside to zoning although a very small one. Zoning causes your minions to push the lane ever so slowly, but it is still pushing. The longer you wait to last hit a minion, the slower the wave will push. This is bad, because eventually you will be at their tower, and allow them to farm again. Also this allows your opponent to potentially freeze the lane and leave you over-extented and vulnerable to ganks. This means it is even more necessary to ward and to keep an eye on the mini-map.

If done successfully, zoning can cause your opponent to be under-leveled, under-farmed, and in some cases, dead. If they come too close to you, simply sack them with your hook, until they learn their lesson. Be wary of minion aggro if you do this, you should have a Vampiric Scepter by now, but it's best to try and lose the minion aggro by going in a bush or something.
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Lane Match-ups

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Hard
Tips When Laning

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Easy
Tips When Laning

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MORE COMING SOON

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What To Do When Behind

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Ok so you died once, whether ganked or outplayed, it doesn't matter. Now you're officially behind. The worst possible thing you can do if think that you can still beat them, because you'll just end up dying again. The number of times I have lost games thanks to a 6/0 fed Riven is countless. There is absolutely no reason for you to die to someone more than twice, in the landing phase. What causes this is that people don't realise that they cannot win, get near, or in some cases gank them. If you do some how get behind and end up getting zoned, its best just to tower hug, and hope they are stupid enough to push. There is no point trying to farm and end up giving them a free kill and more gold.
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Warding and Trinkets

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Warding

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Wards are map hacks for 75 gold. They are so cheap and hardly anyone below gold uses them. Fact - WARDS SAVE LIVES. Wards can potentially stop any ganks as long as you have decent map awareness. Also if the enemy jungler is the bush that you warded, DO NOT say in /all chat "I see you warwick". You want to waste as much of their time as possible. I have my own rule that I always have to have a ward whenever I leave the base. When in top lane I always ward the banana bush, as close to the far edge when possible. TIP - when warding bushes the indicator will turn green when over a bush, and blue when not.
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Trinkets

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When laning I prefer to take the Warding Totem. When you combine the Warding Totem with a Stealth Ward you have an effective 5 minutes of warding time. The best way to use them is to first use your Warding Totem which lasts a minute. Next use your Stealth Ward that you bought. By the time your Stealth Ward runs out (after 3 minutes), your Warding Totem will be back off cool down. Late game it is better to replace your Greater Totem with a Farsight Orb as you should be grouping as a team by this point. If they enemy team have a Teemo, then EVERYBODY on your team should have should have an Oracle's Lens.
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Summary

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Did you actually read the whole guide? Wow I'm impressed. If you liked it please feel free to up-vote and +1, although not necessary, if you didn't like this guide please tell me why, as I'm open to improvements. If you send me some screen shots of your results playing Thresh top, I will add them down below.

Thanks Gillyson200.
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