Thresh Build Guide by OTGBionicArm

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League of Legends Build Guide Author OTGBionicArm

Thresh: Complete Guide to a Bountiful Harvest of Souls.

OTGBionicArm Last updated on May 26, 2014


Table of Contents


Quick Guide

Preface

Basic Information

Advanced Tactics

Wrapping Up

Items
Synergies and Counters
Summoner Spells
Runes
Masteries

About the Author
Introduction
Who is Thresh?



|

Thresh's Skillset
Skilling Order
Itemization



|

Laning
Roaming and Ganking
Teamfighting
Strategy and Tactics
|

Synergies
Counters
Epilogue



|


Starting Items


Core Build



Early Game




Mid Game




Late Game


Boots


Offensive Items


Defensive Items


Synergies and Counters

Thresh is good against:


Thresh is weak against:


Thresh works well with:

Summoner Spells


__
+
__

or

Flash is mandatory. It allows for some flashy (pun intended) plays with Death Sentence and is generally useful in every single situation. Exhaust is currently the go-to summoner spell to shut down the enemy Marksman in all-ins, or to defend your Marksman from assassins and bruisers. Ignite can also be used to get easy all-ins early on on very squishy supports.

Runes

This is a standard page for Thresh. Armor and Magic Resist runes are simply to mitigate damage from the enemy AD carry and support, while the Attack Damage marks are used because they amplify his auto-attack harass the most in the laning phase. Also, Thresh took a nerf to his base health and armor so health seals will help cover up your earlier squishiness.


Masteries

9 points in offense give you quite a bit of AD to work with when harassing. Going down the Defense tree is key on Thresh as you will be primarily in melee range acting as a tank in team fights.


















































































































































































































































































About the Author

I'm OTGBionicArm, a veteran here on MOBAFire, and Gold IV Support main. Thresh has been one of my favorite champions since his release and he remains on of my go-to supports. Thresh evokes the delightful glee of pulling the wings off flies and other morbid joys. Tormenting the enemy Support and Marksman with a scythed whip then sealing their fate in a spectral prison is a very cool theme and I love the irony of it clashing with the Support role. I focus on playing Thresh rather aggressively, denying the enemy Marksman easy farm, or punishing miss steps by the enemy Bot Lane.

GrandmasterD coded the entirety of this guides' format and YayaFTW created the banner and dividers.

Introduction

Thresh is a unique support tank champion with a ranged auto-attack who also possesses the only ability in the game that can directly manipulate ally movement; Dark Passage. His combination of high CC, range harassment, bulkiness and well-rounded kit have skyrocketed him into popularity, with good reason. He also has a unique passive mechanic that allows him to harvest souls to increase his stats, but more on that later.

In this guide I will showcase an aggressive "torture them and then kill them" style of playing Thresh, the Chain Warden. I focus on lane dominance, torturing the enemy AD carry and support and forcing them to either leave the lane, losing a lot of farm, or picking up kills for my carry. Thresh works best with a duo partner or ranked team for more cooperative Dark Passage plays, but he still highly excels in solo queue, and is by far one of the most unique and fun supports to play.

Just some Thresh mood music; Listen while reading the guide!



Who's Thresh?

Pros

+ Very Strong Harass
+ High CC
+ Great Initiator
+ Free Ally Escape
+ Two Disruptions
+ Scales Outside Levels
+ Moar Lahst Sowlz...

Thresh's main strength lies in his absurd amount of utility and multiple ways of manipulating the position of himself, his enemies, and his allies, combined with his rather high damage (for a support) in lane. Few supports can compete with his harass (except Sona, and Lulu), and he is only outclassed as an all-in, kill lane support by Leona. However, the beauty is that he is very good at both play styles, as well as protecting his carry, and potentially denying kills to the enemy with clutch Dark Passage usage.

Thresh's Limitations

While Thresh's auto-attack harass is very potent, he cannot use it effectively against longer range AD carries like Caitlyn, or against Mage supports like Nami and Morgana. Doing so against champions like this will often punish Thresh far more than the enemy. His Death Sentence is also horrendously easy to telegraph and avoid, and his passive can indirectly cause him to be very squishy mid game if he is starved for souls by being zoned. For these reasons, caution is advised against harder match ups.

Cons

- Low Mobility
- Hard To Play
- AA Windup Is Slow
- Double Edged Sword Passive
- Weaker Against High Range
- Weak Mid Game Without Souls
- No One Clicks The Lantern

Thresh's Skillset


Damnation
Thresh's passive spawns souls of the dead for him to collect and gain AP and Armor. Cannon and Siege creeps will always drop one and its a lower chance on normal creeps. The offset to this is that he does not gain any armor per level like other champions. Being near many minion deaths can make Thresh very tanky, very fast. However, being zoned from souls can make him equally squishy, come mid game. One should not grab souls unless it is safe to do so.



Death Sentence
Thresh's hook is one of his most powerful features. On hit, it technically stuns the target for it's duration and drags them toward you. Thresh can cancel this early by clicking Q again, causing him to dash to the target. It is strongly advised that you "tug" the enemy twice before re-activating the ability.



Dark Passage
This is the ability that makes Thresh a top tier support. The ability to save allies with it, create surprise ganks, and generally create a massive amount of shields for his team is borderline over-powered. Throwing the lantern also collects any nearby souls, so you can use it if you are getting zoned. More advanced tactics with this ability later in the guide.



Flay
This ability doubles as Thresh's harassment move and secondary CC'ing ability. It amplifies his auto attacks to deal bonus magic damage based off his AD and collected souls. Thresh boasts very high damage, even while building supportive or tank items due to this abilities passive. The active portion will knock enemies near or towards you depending on which way it is cast. More on use of this ability later.



The Box
This ability summons a pentagonal box of walls. The walls are destroyed when an enemy walks through and deals massive damage and creates the most potent slow in the game (Though it technically cannot drop their speed below 111), making Thresh a formidable CC machine, especially in the jungle.

Skilling Order



1




E
2




Q
3




W
4




E
5




E
6




R
7




E
8




W
9




E
10




W
11




R
12




W
13




W
14




Q
15




Q
16




R
17




Q
18




Q

Maxing Flay offers far higher harass and damage for Thresh in lane with his auto-attack passive. Harassing champions every couple seconds hurts like hell early game, and later it isn't as noticeable, so I like to abuse it as much as I can early. Secondly, Flay's active is Thresh's AoE clear move and primary CC outside Death Sentence, so maxing it allows him push the lane harder after killing the enemies, or sending them back to base. A second skill order involves maxing Death Sentence first to maximize the time that you can keep someone stunned in a fight. It's great when you're consistently landing hooks and all-inning for kills. Additionally, in early-mid game skirmishes having your Death Sentence on a 12 second or lower cooldown is amazing for peeling. Both skilling orders are great, depending on the context, but generally you'll wanna max Flay first.


Itemization

When itemizing Thresh, as with many supports, you should be focusing on 3 key things; Durability, Utility, and Effective Cost. Supports generally don't have the gold to be buying crazy items like Warmog's Armor or other items that are either too expensive, or don't provide enough utility to the team.
Let's go over some items that are arguably the best you can buy for Thresh as well as a few interesting picks.


Early Game

Pretty much the core build. Not much to say about these except to get them as early as possible to maximize your gold generation and efficiency. I generally try to have Nomad's Medallion and Sightstone by my second or third back.


Mid Game

These items help Thresh to become the menace that he is. With Boots of Mobility he can show up anywhere he is needed quickly, as well as get around the map to ward or de-ward with ease. Coming around to other lanes with these makes for deadly and surprising ganks. Talisman of Ascension can create some very unexpected team rush strategies to catch enemies out of place, or can be used to help your team retreat from a bad situation to safety.


Late Game

Randuin's Omen is easily the most cost effective defensive item in the game. It does so much for it's price, you simply can't go without it. Use it's active to slow down the enemy team and peel for yours. Any AD champion focusing you will have their DPS decreased by the passive. Banshee's Veil and Frozen Heart help to round out your tank stats further and will make you incredibly difficult to kill. Frozen Heart further helps to shut down auto attack focused champions from killing your carries with it's passive. Jax and Tryndamere beware.


Offensive Buys

Sunfire Cape needs to be rushed to be effective. It's a great first item on a really fed Thresh and it allows him to duel and push better and generally be more threatening. Thornmail is an incredibly cheap armor purchase that also causes attackers to take damage back. Gives additional pressure to enemies for focusing you, and it is an outstanding pick against teams with multiple auto attackers. I often buy this item when playing as a "suicide lead", initiate into a fight and force them to focus you and eat a lot of damage back before you drop, allowing your team to clean up. Zeke's Herald is a great pick up when a majority of your team is AD. It gives them a great boost in AD and life steal. The bonus AD, added with the massive CDR and health makes it great for your personal benefit as well. Be advised that this item does not really hold up late game.


Defensive Buys

Face of the Mountain is a great alternative to the Talisman of Ascension line of items and it's active can be used to further bait out kills or simply deal more damage in a team fight. Be aware that with this item you'll be starting with Relic Shield instead of Ancient Coin, meaning you'll have to manually last hit creeps to execute them for the bonus gold, as Thresh is ranged. Locket of the Iron Solari is a very good pick up against multiple enemy APs. It's aura, and it's active team wide shield can turn a team fight against a very magic heavy burst team. Mikael's Crucible is a very obscure item to me, as Thresh doesn't entirely need the mana sustain it provides, HOWEVER, it's active is very, VERY powerful in conjunction with Dark Passage to save an ally's life.

Laning

Thresh has arguably the best laning phase of any support. His Death Sentence can easily catch someone off guard when warding early on, and with a bursty AD carry like Graves, he can easily get first blood for his team on the right targets. This also makes him a very valuable asset when invading the enemy jungle at Level 1. Beyond this, the passive bonus to his auto attacks from Flay are incredibly powerful, and Thresh can actually trade with certain AD carries himself. Charging this passive to swat AD carries off creeps every few seconds or so is a very potent zoning tactic.

By ranking Flay early, and playing very aggressively with harassment, and good use of Death Sentence, Thresh picks up easy kills on most lanes for his carry, provided they follow up well with him. Just remember; when using Death Sentence, tug 'em (twice), and hug 'em (I mean click Q again, it's a joke).

Thresh is also a very strong support pick because of his anti-ganking prowess. The Box and Flay pretty much completely stops ganking engagements most of the time, and if Thresh is closer to safety, he can save his AD carry too with Dark Passage; provided they click it. Remember that you can also throw the lantern out of site to a nearby jungler then walk into lane, and have the click it for a sneaky surprise gank.

PSA to any AD carries or Junglers reading this: If you see the lantern and you're about to die; Click it or ticket.


Warding and Ganking

This guide is about how to play Thresh and not how to play supports in general. However, I can tell you that Thresh can often punish other supports when waging "ward wars" with them. Proper use of Death Sentence on squishier supports like Sona will seriously injure them, or get them killed by your carry. Just remember; remove their wards, then replace yours. If you know the enemy has a support has a Vision Ward out, wait for a safe moment to swat it to death.

Thresh is also an amazing ganker, and if your enemies have gone back to base, you can opt to roam up to mid lane for an attempt at a gank. He can even supplement a gank at mid with the jungler by using the same "leave the lantern and walk into lane" tactic you would use at bot lane, effectively making it a 3v1 gank. Be careful to predict the enemies movements when throwing Death Sentence. If you land it, they are either gonna Flash or die. Remember to also Flay away from their retreat path.


Teamfighting

Thresh is an amazing team fighter for two reasons. He is adept at catching key targets out with Death Sentence, making him a very good initiator. Secondly, he is VERY good at peeling with The Box and Flay.

The best place to position yourself in most team fights is in front of your important team members; your AD and AP carries. Bruisers and Assassins will either have to maneuver around you to get to your carries, or try their luck going through The Box, which will not end well for them. Thresh acts as a massive wall of CC in team fights.
The jungle makes a perfect place for Thresh's team to fight under most circumstances. Heaven forbid the enemies walk into Thresh's jungle when it's lit up with wards. His house, his rules. The Box, and Flay can cut off jungle paths, and Thresh can initiate over walls with Death Sentence, as well as bring an ally over the wall with Dark Passage.

Unless you catch out a squishy target like an AD carry with Death Sentence and initiate, Rambo style on them, you should be in a position to peel fatty characters and assassins off your carries. And remember, if one of your team dives too far, you can always bring them back with Dark Passage.

Strategy and Tactics

In a nutshell, we've covered Thresh's core gameplay, harass people, CC them, protect carries. But now I will go over some more advanced tricks and nifty hints.

Basic Attacks

The time to charge the full damage of Flay's passive is 10 seconds. To get the maximum effect out of it, only attack when the passive is charged, but don't be too predictable! A good enemy support will time your passive as well, and be prepared to react to you attempting to harass. Using some tact when you harass can go a long way. Make them think you will attack them and dodge anything you are most likely going to throw at you, making them waste mana.

Moar Lahst Sowlz

It takes 49-94 souls to catch up in base armor to the lowest and highest base armored champions in the game, respectively. At 95, Thresh will have the highest base armor in the game, and 146 souls, he will have more armor than Taric with 5 ranks in Shatter. His passive does in fact stack indefinitely, and at 255 souls they will turn into one stack of "soul gluttony".

Dark Passage

Dark Passage is a very unique ability, but it does have some quirks many people don't seem to know about. Firstly, it grants vision, about the same radius as a sight ward, making it invaluable for bush checking. Next, as the ally that clicks it flies until they reach Thresh, if he Flashes, or clicks Q a second time on Death Sentence, they will fly to his new location, making the flash effect from Dark Passage even stronger, additionally, allies can Teleport onto Thresh's lantern. Lastly, allies cannot click on the lantern when an enemy is standing on it, or THEY are silenced. Note: The Lantern does have a small collision detection radius now. I am unsure if this stops people from body-blocking it entirely.

Flay

Flay pushes targets in the direction the chain is going, so if you are facing a target, and you want to "pull" them closer, cast Flay BEHIND Thresh. This ability is rather difficult to smart cast at times, and I recommend turning smart cast off, only for this ability. Last tip for Flay; When inside The Box, enemies will often stand still to avoid taking damage or suffering the massive slow. Simply Flay them into a wall to prevent this.

Synergies

In lane, Thresh compliments most high tier Marksmen. Primary examples are Caitlyn, Sivir and Draven. All of them have very high kill potential, and some other specific perks to working with Thresh. Caitlyn is one of the most obnoxious Marksmen in lane via her harass and strong zoning capabilities on top of her safety. She can heavily punish anyone caught out by Thresh, and their combined zoning power is ludicrous. Sivir's ultimate is generally obnoxiously good for team engages, and it's even sillier with a Thresh and Talisman of Ascension leading to very surprising and fast CC lockdowns if an enemy missteps. Draven has arguably the strongest early game of any Marksman, and a single hook can grant him a kill without a problem. This is a very snowbally lane, and Thresh sets it up nicely for Draven. Additionally, Thresh grants Draven the one thing he lacks; an escape.

As for the team as a whole, Thresh fits on teams that can capitalize on his hooks and initiations quickly, or have very good AoE. Some champions that blend very nicely with Thresh are Jarvan IV, Katarina and Rumble. Thresh is also a very strong support pick when your team desperately needs more CC and front line protection.

Counters

While Thresh is currently, insanely powerful, he does have his counters and more difficult match-ups. Morgana is probably the worst because her Black Shield entirely destroys Thresh's CC against the target she uses it on. Additionally, she can heavily punish him for miss stepping with her Dark Binding and Soul Shackles. Braum will never allow you to touch his Marksman with Death Sentence and he denies any all-in. If you go aggressive on a Braum lane, you will end up a concussed, stunned and possibly dead Chain Warden. A good Braum will all sacrifice himself to eat any engage you attempt to throw at his team in teamfights. Lastly, Nami absolutely works Thresh in lane due to the mobility and trading power she provides her Marksman, and the poke damage she can throw out with relative ease. Her ultimate and bubble also shut down all-in attempts.

Also, champions with potent silences such as Cho'Gath can destroy an ally's ability to click on Thresh's lantern, rendering him unable to save them. Lastly, in lane he cannot effectively harass some AD carries because they are either too safe, like Caitlyn or they would absolutely butcher him, like Draven.

Epilogue

This concludes my guide to Thresh, the Chain Warden, or as I prefer to call him, Mr. Torture. He is a rather difficult champion to play effectively and he somewhat relies on his allies cooperating with him well, so do not be discouraged if your first game doesn't go well, every one is new at some point! I hope you enjoy playing him as much as I do, which is a lot, because as mentioned before, he has every thing I could ever ask for in a kit. That's all for now, and remember kids, wretched mongrels get the leash!

OTGBionicArm


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