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 April 5, 2014
1,769,042 291
Mr. Torture (Cheat Sheet)

Champion Build: Thresh

Health 3835
Health Regen 24.86
Mana 1100
Mana Regen 19.75
Armor 123.78
Magic Resist 137.06
Dodge 0
Tenacity 0
Movement Speed 335
Gold Bonus 2
Attack Damage 94.15
Attack Speed 0.944
Crit Chance 0%S
Crit Damage 0%
Ability Power 0
Life Steal 0%
Spell Vamp 0
Armor Penetration 0
Magic Penetration 0
Cooldown Reduction 30%


Recommended Runes



Ability Sequence

2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key Q
3
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R

Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Tenacious
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 0


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


__
+
__

Flash is mandatory. Simply put. Ignite will be taken in a majority of your games as Thresh because of his high all-in kill potential early on. Exhaust can be used in choice scenarios to shut down burst assassins or champions like Tryndamere and Jax.

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

Season 4 masteries are vastly different than Season 3. For starters, the Utility Tree isn't as attractive anymore. I greatly advise a 9/21 mastery page to amplify auto attack damage harass, as well as Thresh's tanking abilities. The main point in going 21 into Defense is for the absurdly broken mastery Legendary Guardian .




























































































































































































































































































About the Author

I'm OTGBionicArm, a veteran here on MOBAFire and I have mained Thresh for the entirety of season 3 since his release in January, and onward into Season 4. I play him very aggressively, focusing on harassing and zoning. Thresh has quickly become my favorite champion in the game due to having every trait I desire (tanky, high amount of CC, shields) in his kit, as well as generally being badass in appearance and lore.

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.

Season 4: This season's changes have been very kind to the Chain Warden. He gets more steady and greater gold income, warding is far less of a burden, and he's just generally very happy with all the items he's now allowed to use.


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 Zyra 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 simply 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. Lol, I lied, Season 4 gives supports ludicrous amounts of gold comparitively to Season 3. Even so, try to buy items that benefit the team and not just yourself, you greedy assist machine!
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. Nomad's Medallian is your core gold generation item, and it upgrades later into Talisman of Ascension, which grants nearby allies with a massive speed boost. Sightstone is absolutely the most important item to Thresh, as he is a support, and warding first and foremost, is your responsibility ultimately your entire team's joint effort! Season 4 has eased the burden of warding, meaning that Sightstone is the only wards a support should ever have to buy, besides Vision Wards.



Mid Game

Talisman's active can be used to initiate, or help your team retreat in many situations. Ruby Sightstone; see Sightstone. Ninja Tabi are now my preferred boots on Thresh due to the nerf on Boots of Mobility. They allow him to eat a lot of damage from the enemy Marksman for a very humble price.



Late Game

Locket of the Iron Solari provides one of the best team fighting actives in the game as well as pretty decent defensive stats all around. Use the active to eat a bit of burst coming your teams' way. Randuin's Omen is one the most cost efficient defensive items in the game, and has both an amazing passive and active to deal with enemy AD champions, as well as peel for your carries. You can rush Randuin's Omen faster if you feel multiple AD champions are massive threats. Finally, Banshee's Veil is a selfish defensive item to round off your build and become a mega tank.


Offensive Buys

Frozen Mallet is a great item to be beefy as well as deal some extra damage. It gives you a ton of health a pretty good chunk of AD to power your auto attacks. It also provides a slow on every auto attack to help you peel without spending any mana, or while your abilities are on cooldown. 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

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. 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. 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, this isn't the place to learn. 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 Vision Ward it yourself swat it to death because it is now visible and remove it. Remember folks, in season 4 you may only place 3 Stealth Wards and 1 Vision Ward at a time.

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 Draven, Sivir and Lucian. All of them have very high kill potential, and some other specific perks to working with Thresh. 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. 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. Lucian can easily abuse Thresh's CC to lay down his full combo or land The Culling. The irony in the synergy of the lane makes me giggle.

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 Cho'Gath. 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 and Zyra for the most part, counter Thresh, both in lane, and in team fights. Morgana can eat all of Thresh CC with a well timed Black Shield and can punish him for being out of place with Dark Binding. Zyra is also a very difficult match up for Thresh (a GOOD Zyra) because her plants block his Death Sentence and she can set kills up very easily on him for bad plays. If either of them get fed, they can become secondary AP carries and can contribute far better to a team fight than Thresh can. The trade off to this is that they are far squishier and can fall easily for making bad plays.

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