Thresh Build Guide by Pedroidon
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.
Who am I and why the fuc* should you listen to me?
Fistly, don't listen to me. I don't reckon we would ever meet in personal and I don't like Skype calling with non-premade people. Just read the stuff I write. Secondly, I'm not saying I'm some supercalifragilisticexpialidoucious player, but I have mained support for quite a while now and I have played Thresh since he came out. So I think I have quite some experience playing this amazing champ.
That was an awful wall of text! Here, have a picture:
Also, don't forget that this guide is just my personal opinion on how should Thresh be played. Don't take it as Bible.
TL;DR: Random sh*t about me, not much about Thresh.
Which build to choose?
As you can see, my guide consists of two builds; the Fighting one and the Harassing one. The question arises: Which of these should I use?
Use this build, if your other played supports are e.g. Leona, Blitzcrank or Alistar.
With maxing W, which is the main thing distinguishing the builds, you can outfight the enemy bottomlane thanks to the repositioning tool and added shield power.
This build shines when enemy teamcomp is more poke oriented (champions like Lux, Nidalee or Jayce), because these compositions are vulnerable to hard initiates, and your runes and ablities maxing exploits this.
This build works much better, when you actually know your bottom lane partner, because it depends on you actually fighting the enemies and being aggressive.
It's best against enemies, who dislike being in Thresh's face, like Sona, Lux or... Pretty much everone except Leona and Alistar
This one is more for players, who prefer poke and supports like Sona, Lulu or Zyra.
The main thing here is maxing E, which provides excellent poke and harass, but leaves you more vulnerable to hard engages, since you lower the shield from your W and raise its cooldown.
This build is also effective against enemy hard engage teamfight compositions (champions like Malphite, Amumu or Jarvan IV), because low-cooldown AoE knockback is a very effective peeling tool.
I prefer this one in solo queue, because ADCarries who I encounter are often quite passive and the poke is more useful.
Pros and Cons
What are the strong and weak sides of Thresh?
YOU FOUND ME!
Has 2 hard CCs
Has damage without damage items
Without damage cap
Can make amazing plays
Well voice acted
Nothing!...a few Cons
No heal for the adc
No damage steroid for the adc
Requires good positioning and some skill with skillshots
Dependent on collecting souls.
Really bad base stats (without this build)
Always take:Flash - This is a must-have. Hands down, the best summoner spell in the game. Lets you outplay, Flash through walls, Flash + Death Sentence, Flash + Dark Passage... pretty much Flash + anything. Just take it.
Primary second spell options:Exhaust - Lets you shutdown an enemy ADC's damage output a bit in pretty much every teamfight (or use it to peel for your carry). Great for additional cc in bottom lane. Take this almost every time when facing a AS dependant ADC, like Vayne, Kog'Maw or Twitch.
Ignite - As opposed to Exhaust, which shutdowns ADC's damage by decreasing their AS, Ignite lets you decrease their survivability by halving their lifesteal. Gives a damage boost in lane, which sort of falls of late, but the healing reduction gets more useful as the game progresses, so it useful overall. Take this against healing supports, like Soraka or Sona.
Promote - GOTCHA!
Less viable options:Heal - If you have Kog'Maw, who sucks early, but scales well for late, and enemy botlane is very aggressive (e.g. Draven + Leona), this spell might be an option. But Exhaust might be better anyway.
Barrier - If you're going for an ADC Thresh, take this spell for more survivability. Othrewise, just don't
Clairvoyance - If you always find yourself in a situation, when the wards are just not enough and you need to check an important location, you might go for this. But it doesn't help you in a lane and usually is outclassed by other spells. Might be decent after you get used to it.
Anything else just nope.
Greater Quintessence of Health
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Health
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
|With the start of the new season, supports get so much money that they don't need the additional gold from Greater Quintessence of Gold. These are the way to go now, since they give you a lot of bonus skirmishing power.||This one is great against unconventional AD heavy bot lanes, like ADC+Xin Zhao, or ADC+J4.||If you're gonna max Flay, take one of these. Taking more would decrease your tankiness substantially, but boosting your AD really helps your harass in lane and assist you in lasthitting.|
|My favorite ones, just because of the great decrease of damage done by the enemy ADC in lane. Since you dive into the enemy a lot, armor is always useful.||This makes your harrass in lane Huge. Since you do mostly mixed damage (autoattacks+wind-upped E), you use these runes to their full potential. Definitely a possibility for a harrasing lane. The way to go in the second build.|
|As with the marks, extra armor is always useful and seals give a lot of it too.||Take these if you're really into money (like Scrooge McDuck level), otherwise go for the armor. I mean, just take the armor.|
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
|You are being targeted by magic damage mostly later in the game, when scaling is more effective than flat.||Against heavy magic poke supports, these are great. If the enemy pick someonelike Sona or Lulu, these are the ones to go for.||If you don't plan on buying CDR items, get these. Cooldown reduction is mandatory on Thresh.|
I'll go over most of the masteries and explain why I like them and chose them.
Sorcery - Flat CDR before purchasing some major items. Helps early game with the long cooldown of your ultimate.
Brute Force - AD for in-lane harass and lasthitting.
Expose Weakness - Well, you... expose a weakness for your allie, which is good. This is all damage amplification you can give to your team whatsoever.
Martial Mastery - 4 AD is a lot early in the game and can easily win you level 2 trades.
Block and Unyielding - these two are well worth it, just because of the fact, that bottom lane's harrass and damage overall is done mostly by autoattacks.
Enchanted Armor - this mastery synergises extremely well with your passive. Also, there isn't much else too choose from in the first tier.
Veteran's Scars - more health early game? Hell, why not?!
Juggernaut - more health in a percentage! Yaaay!
Hardiness - armor, less damage from the ADs, success
Resistance - this one helps you decrease the damages done by the pesky poking supports
Reinforced Armor - more of a late game mastery, when the AD carries start critting a lot. Very important for skirmishes.
Tenacious - 20 bonus armor and 10 MR in teamfights is really nice. Also, the other options in this tier aren't really viable
Legendary Guardian - Tenacity is always great and very important for initiators. This mastery even stacks with tenacity so... Just cool.
Meditation - helps with your early mana issues.
Scout - my favorite option from the first tier, makes face-warding much easier.
Summoner's Insight - you need Exhaust to shut down enemy carries often, you need to Flash + Death Sentence or Flash + Dark Passage often. Summoner spells CDR is just great.
Alchemist - since you will be fighting often, you need to heal up after them. This mastery makes your potions 1/10 times better.
Culinary Master - further upgrade of your pots. You get a bit of mana included and also some insta health.
My favorite setup is this one:
Take this when you fight face to face a lot, or your carry sucks and you need to save him.
Another option is:
Take this when you don't find yourself fighting toe to toe too often, and when you want the additional harrass.
PassiveDamnation - Amazing passive. This makes you much tankier as the game goes on, gives you some nice damage boost and has great synergy with the mastery Enchanted Armor .
The cons of this passive are, that Thresh doesn't get free armor per lvls and can be harrased while collecting souls.
Tips and Tricks:
- You can collect the souls using your W ability, Dark Passage, so you aren't as vulnerable to poke.
- If you see a big bunch of enemy creeps, tell your teammate to clear them out. Then go behind him, warding meanwhile and collect the souls the creeps drop.
- After you collect the soul of a champion, shout in all chat: YOUR SOULS ARE MINE! It will make you feel good.
the Q abilityDeath Sentence - Your signature spell. It has two parts: Firstly, you hook someone and then you can activate it again to fly to the enemy. This makes a great 'Ammumu style' initiation. Also, it has a 1,5 seconds stun included, you should spam this in teamfights a lot.
Tips and Tricks
- The cooldown is lowered if you hit someone. This makes you a bit less effective early game, but you shine in fights.
- Thanks to 1,5 seconds hook coming with a stun, your invade power is tremendous. Abuse this.
- The hitbox of this spell is rather small. This makes it easy to dodge in open space, but you can throw it relatively close to creeps and it won't hit them.
- Abuse the fear of your enemies. Make them hide behind creeps and miss cs. But if you miss, you are shut down for a while, so be careful.
the W abilityDark Passage - The only spell in the game, created for repositioning allies. Not only it makes your ally dash to you, it also shields him for quite a bit when leveled.
Tips and Tricks:
- You can collect souls using this spell. It's important to decide whether to take a bit of damage while collecting the souls, or to use a high cooldown spell for a few souls.
- You can throw the lantern to the jungler, then Death Sentence to the enemy to pull off some crazy ganks.
- If your ally is going for a dragon/baron steal, you can throw a lantern in the pit to give them vision, and they can use the lantern to get out of the pit.
the E abilityFlay - Two-part spell - it has a passive ability, which makes you autoattacks stronger the longer you don't attack (scales of total souls collected and your AD). The active part is an AoE knockback, also applying a slow.
Tips and Tricks
- In teamfights, save this ability to shut down channeling abilities - like Katarina's Death Lotus or Nunu's Absolute Zero.
- Flay makes all dashes stop. So if you are against someone like Corki, Tristana or Lucian, who have dashes as escape abilities, don't use your E immediately after you hook them, save it and use it when they try to get away. Remember that this doesn't work with blinks, like Ezreal's Arcane Shift.
- When chasing a high priority target, don't hesitate to Flash + Flay. It's like a guaranteed hook.
- This ability is an auto-attack reset, so have that on mind. Suggested by NortherRedStar.
the UltimateThe Box - Ultimate very well suited for fighting. Applies 99% slow and deals pretty significant damage. Unfortunately it is flashable through.
Tips and Tricks
- Decide if it is better to use this in the middle of the enemies (on the enemy adc) or to peel for your adc
- Even though the cooldown is pretty high, don't hesitate to use this in minor skirmishes. Just make sure you hit someone
- The Box is amazing in dragon/baron fights, where it will likely hit most of the enemy team.
- Do a barrel roll!
In this chapter, I will show you which combinations of spells and items to use to crate amazing combos.
In lane kills
Death Sentence+ Flay+ Flay's passive+ Dark Passage+ Exhaust - pre6 killing combo. You hook onto the foe, knock him back, slow him, deal bonus damage and get your adc to join the cause with the lantern. Add exhaust for even more slows.
After 6 - just add The Box for even more cc and damage.
When your jungler ganks
Dark Passage+ Death Sentence+ Flay+ The Box - this, along with the jungler's own cc, should stop anyone from getting away. Since the jungler ganks from a spot where the enemy has no vision, they can't prepare for this. The stuff you do is pretty much the same as in the first combo, except you get your jungler to do things too.
When their jungler ganks
Dark Passage+ Flay
You throw a lantern to your adc so he gets a shield and can jump into safety. Then you slow the enemy with a flay while also knocking him away. If he follow you even after that you can Death Sentence+ Flay him under the turret. In worst case scenario, use The Box for the slow and deterring effect.
Initiating a teamfight
Death Sentence+ Dark Passage+ The Box+ Flay+ Randuin's Omen+ Locket of the Iron Solari if you have one.
You hook onto the enemy team, throw a lantern so your jungler (usually the main tank) can follow up. Then you Ult for slowing and disrupting the enemies and throw them towards your team by flay. You can use your Randuin if you have one for even more slows. Shield your whole team by the locket, too.
Less complicated tips
Wasting enemy's Flash
Flash + Flay + Death Sentence
Imagine a situation: You're chasing a high priority target, let's say an enemy adc. Your team is following you but you are the only person in range for some cc. You know that the enemy has his Flash up, and if you try to hook, he'll just flash away. So the thing to do is to Flash first, either land your Flay or if he flashes too quickly, don't and proceed to the next part of the combo - landing an almost guaranteed Death Sentence, from which the enemy can't Flash away. Because of the team behind you, your hook will be literally a Death Sentence.
Harrasing under your own turret
Death Sentence+AA+ Flay
Your lane got pushed and the enemy is pushing hard, so you need to put stop to this. You should hook an enemy, autoattack him and Flay him backwards. Meanwhile, your adc should have autoattacked the poor person and fired an ability, dealing quite a bit of damages.
You can insert the basic attack no problem, if the enemy dashes away or just runs, you will still make it. Thanks for this suggestion from NortherRedStar.
to be updated
Start:- This start gives you all you need early: Gold generation and sustain to your carry, a bit of tankiness, a ward, trinket of your choice and sustain. There aren't much options, really.
Early items:- Targon makes you tankier, Ruby Sightstone even more and free wards come with it, and the boots help you chase and dodge skillshots. Again, I believe that these items are the best early.
the Core:- These are the items, which you should finish in most of the games and here's why: FotM is a logical upgrade of Targon and provides you with a great shield for your adc. Locket provides team-wide tankiness and another nice shield. The Treads give you MR and more importantly, tenacity, which is so important for initiators.
Armor options:- Here are finally some different possibilities. Personally, I recommend the Heart. It gives you great armor, really nice aura, some mana and amazing 20% CDR. Thornmail excels against heavy basic attack reliant team - the likes of Tryndamere top, Yi jungle and Ashe ADC. I would recommend Randuin's if you are the only initiator and need that additional slow.
MR options:- Abyssal scepter is definitely not abysmal. It makes your The Box hit like a truck and makes your APs deal even more damage. Banshee is great if you rate tankiness over damage. But if you didn't take Frozen Heart, Spirit Visage is the best option, since CDR is mandatory on Thresh.
Honourable mentions:zeke's herald - Zeke's helps when there are many ADs in your team or your ADC is a hyper carry and you want him to be even stronger. Take Warmog if the enemy team has a lot of true damage and no percentage Examples of champiosn with true damage: Olaf, Vayne, Darius or Cho'Gath. Guardian angel is the other way around - percentage damage dealers are e.g. Evelynn, Kog'Maw or Vayne.
Items I dislike
In this chapter, I'll explain which items may seem decent and viable, but they are not.
Ancient Coin line of items - This item is meant for those supports, who don't go tanky and at the same moment can't use the AAs of Spellthief's Edge or the AP it provides. Thresh's kit is a tank's/initiator's kit and he is built that way. Because of this fact, he will get really tanky as the game progresses, he will shield the carry hard and will be able to spare some hp. Moreover, not only you benefit from Relic Shield, but your carry gains sustain and more gold too.
Spellthief's Edge line of items - Even though it may look cool on paper when using the harraser build, since you camp the bushes and AA the enemy with wind-upped Flay and stuff, but you just sacrifice too much. The ability to slow an enemy and deal some insignificant damage isn't worth exchanging for a great shield. Other reasons why FotM rulezz are listed above. Additionaly, Thresh scales incredibly badly with AP.
Mikael's Crucible - Unless one of the enemies is Skarner, Warwick or Malzahar, you sacrifice initiation power for what? A minor heal? It is likely that you won't be near the ADC when some hard cc lands.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity - With these, you will lack tenacity, so necessary stat. Also, the 15% tenacity is rather rare (most items are 10% or 20%) so you will most likely be wasting stats.
Sunfire Cape - It gives the same stats as Randuin's Omen, is less cost effective, and you replace great adc-shutting-down passive and bruiser-shutting-down active for a splitpushing passive and you should be sticking with your team.
other may be added based on your sugestions in the comments section
With the start of the new season, trinket choices are very important.
The main decision is between the red - Sweeping Lens and the yellowygreen - Warding Totem, because the blue - Scrying Orb, which is only semiviable for snipers and nobody else.
Warding Totem - Many pro teams like Gambit or Alliance start with these trinkets on all members of the team and swap for the lenses later. This gives you a free ward every once upon a while and can deny enemy's bushes camping.
If you decide to stick with this trinket, go for the upgrade giving you a Vision Ward, which grants great Baron and Dragon control.
Sweeping Lens - The same pro teams usually end up swapping one or two of those totems to these. If you want to camp the bushes, you need to have the Lens to destroy the wards put in the side bushes. They give you great cofntrol of objectives and, obviously, they deny enemy vision.
Always take this against The Satan to counter his Noxious Trap.
Your goal in early game is to assist your adc, make him not die and get him as much farm as possible. Use your Relic Shield charges whenever possible, since it is the only sustain you can give to your adc and he gets bonus cash. Your responsibilities early game are these:
- make sure that your river bush is warded, so you don't get ganked
- lasthit using your Relic Shield - a nice thing to do is to ping the creeps you will pick, so you can actually use the lasthits
- hook, hook and hook to get your adc kills
- assist your jungler when he ganks
- keep dragon warded and contest it
So, the first turret or two are down and teamfights lurk around every corner. You should have 2-3 items finished and cooperate with your team to take objectives. Responsibilities in this part of game are:
- keep both Dragon and Baron Nashor warded
- ward a lot to keep your team safe
- protect your adc
In late game, the carries will have their builds finished and Baron Nashor will get contested. Most fights will occur near the Baron pit and you need to keep the bushes nearby warded. You need to:
- not get caught out
- ward a lot
- not forget about collecting souls
- die for your ADC
In teamfights, you have two different roles, you can either
- Initiate the teamfight, targetting their carries
- Protect your ADCarry
If you see a foe out of position, don't worry and jump on him. Use your Death Sentence to get into the enemy team, Flay an enemy carry towards you and close him in The Box. The extremely lowered mobility will allow your bruisers and APCarry to (hopefully) instagib the enemy carries. After the first initiation, you should proceed to another important role...
Peeling for your ADCarry
The ADC is (in most cases) the most imporant person in your team. He deals the most dps, pushes greatly and is just plain awesome. So, if you must die for your adc, do it.
After you've initated
You've jumped into their team, blown your initial combo and probably made their carry die. However, your own carry is getting targeted too. What do you do? Since it is instant, Exhaust the enemy closest to your carry and most AS reliant. So, it is much better to exhaust an enemy Xin Zhao or Irelia, than some caster, like Vi or Pantheon. Then Death Sentence someone close to your carry, reactivate it, fly to your carry, Flay them aways and shield the carry. Then act as a meat-shield. If this didn't stop them... Repeat the process. Don't forget to use your Face of the Mountain, Locket of the Iron Solari and Randuin's Omen for the shields and additional cc.
If you get initated upon
Their Malphite has Unstoppable Forced you and Kha'Zix is going for your carry. You need to Flay him away, and close your own carry in The Box. This will deter other people from attacking him and massively slow any that try. On those slowed, you get a guaranteed Death Sentence. Your carry will meanwhile provide his own damage and probably kill any of the attackers.
This section will be split into two parts; support and adc counters.
Heroes, that Thresh counters:
- Blitzcrank - You pulled me? Oh, thanks I wanted to hook to your adc anyway!
- Soraka - She can't heal when she's stunned. Soraka doesn't provide any cc for skirmishes in which Thresh excels.
- Sona - She has no escapes, her only hard cc is on her ultimate, she is squishy and her heal isn't very useful, since Thresh doesn't poke too much.
Heroes, that counter Thresh
- Alistar - When you hook onto the enemy, he just uses Headbutt and throws you away. Due to that heal poking isn't too strong either.
- Leona - She is like you, just less supportive and more fighting orientated. You can outfight her, just be careful; her ultimate has much shorter cooldown than yours.
Heroes, that Thresh counters
- Varus - This guy hates fighting face to face. That's what you excel at. You see it now?
- Caitlyn - Same as above
- Ashe, Miss Fortune - No escapes, a lot of deaths.
- Draven - He will go for the Spinning Axe, so you can aim your hook there.
Heroes, that counter Thresh
- Sivir - You tried to hook me? Thanks, I was almost running out of mana!
- Miss Fortune - She doesn't drop a soul when she dies... She will still die, though.
In this chapter, I will list which ADCarries does Thresh synergise with and state why.
- Draven - If this guy can just stand and throw Spinning Axe (and catch it, obviously), the enemies are just plain dead. Also, he can form a great 'blue' lane, if Thresh has the Championship skin and Draven has the Soul Reaver skin
- Vayne - This girl is amazing with Thresh. Landing a hook grants a guaranteed Condemn, which is under most circumstances a guaranteed kill. You are both great fighters, so you shouldn't hesitate to trade often with the enemy bottom lane duo.
- Miss Fortune - She's got Big Boobies.I LOVE BOOBIES!... and you form a great AoE combo, since you keep enemies in her Bullet Time using your The Box.
The items I dislike
23/11/2013 - guide published
minor tweaks and corrections
24/11/2013 - added teamfighting section
26/11/2013 - updated runes
27/11/2013 - updated masteries
2/12/2013 - added summoner spells section
23/12/2013 - Thresh, the Wifestealer 1.1!
Second build added, update of most of the sections, Trinket section added,
Which build to choose section added
1/1/2014 - Items I dislike section added, c-c-combo breaker-r-r section updated