Tahm Kench Build Guide by unk87
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Choose Champion Build:
+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+8 Magic Resist
Threats & Synergies
Easy 1v1 unless far ahead
Don't be stunned with adc.
Slow, kite, %hp
Easy unless fed
Deny ult assassination
W pauses her ult until released
Can be soloed unless very far ahead
Can't fight 1v1
Easy early, but scales too hard
Denies her engage, can easily solo her
Snare, slow, snare, slow....
Easy early but no defense against guinsoo+botrk
Spell shield is hard to break as TK
Can devour to protect against ult
Pyke is at a disadvantage in every fight, but his ultimate completely ignores Thick Skin
Can't 1v1 tk
Easy unless fed
TK usually has an advantage but this is mostly decided by the team
As slow as TK
Try not being caught in the same ult
Easiest ultimate to deny
Zilean's ultimate can be annoying and last too much to effectively counter with devour. His biggest threat is easy stuns paired with too much ms or too much slow.
She's easy to ult behind and cutoff from tower/team
No early kills
No damage, weak CC, nerfed shield
Don't Q into spell shield
TK has better 1v1. Can deny ult
Annoying early. Mid-game and after keep pressuring her. Abyssal voyage behind her can make it hard for her to land a good ultimate.
Stall into mid-game and try to force fights where she's out of position. Don't do stupid fights in closed spaces.
Annoying lane, has easy stun. Xerath is weak in melees.
Ashe permaslows which helps with TK's lack of mobility. TK can peel and Devour her whenever out of position.
Caitlyn is very independent and allows for safer roams. She has good lane and it's easy to combo CC into her traps.
Ezreal is very safe and this lends to easy roams. 100% map control with an Ezreal.
Draven just does insane damage and TK also is very strong early. It's very possible to go for a kill. Draven can only shove the lane and this allows good river control.
Jhin has some synergy with CC, but he's also vulnerable early so it's hard to get win 2v2's without him dying.
There's some combo potential with her traps, but she's not so strong early so 2v2's are mostly tied. Devour does benefit her poor mobility.
With some advantage there's a decent synergy as TK can easily engage with ult and Kai'sa can also follow from afar.
Lucian has no CC to help TK offensively so in-lane he's mostly doing his thing and poking if possible while TK watches. Ganks/roams are the best to get some activity. Lucian will usually fend for himself so TK won't easily get close if he needs an emergency devour.
There's not much in-lane unless MF is god tier. Late-game she needs some protection.
There's no real synergy and her spellshield makes is harder to predict if a devour is needed.
Tristana has enough mobility to help herself and no CC to help TK.
Good thing about tw is that he has good solo plays which TK can more or less support from afar with his ultimate.
Varus ult is strong and benefits from a meatshield holding people. Varus has no mobility so TK can help.
Vayne is weak against poke, TK is weak against poke. If both get fed there are plays that can be made, but no synergy to get there.
Xayah is great defensively which is also TK's strength. 2v2 is deceivingly strong. Xayah is safe enough to roam.
About this build
As a support my Tahm Kench uses his great dueling strength to force fights early on. By mid -game Tahm Kench will use his Abyssal Voyage to gank or counter-gank, even his own lane exerting global map pressure.
With this build TK roams like Bard and fights like Udyr.
Sample of TK's early power solo'ing a Camille and Irelia while underleveled.
The domination runes are stronger early and also in small fights (Tahm Kench isn't great in 5v5's). The AS boost is so strong that many players don't properly react in time making it easy to stun or devour.
The precision runes are more balanced. There's less downtime and they are much stronger when fighting more than 1 enemy.
Cheap Shot does some damage and procs a few times.
Not very good, especially after the nerf, but there's nothing else on this line.
Good rune that provides extra map visibility. Synergy with supports which constantly ward and remove wards. Superior ward coverage wins games.
Currently gives a damage bonus after clearing a ward which is good for roaming.
|Relentless Hunter provides a lot of easy out-of-combat ms which is very important for roaming and backing up the whole team. Tahm Kench is very slow and this helps a lot.|
Approach Velocity provides a lot of mobility and is easily one of the strongest runes for Tahm Kench.
Against enemies TK can now use Tongue Lash to slow and get a 15% speed bonus to close the distance and then quickly attack with Hail of Blades to set a stun or Devour.
Also provides 15% speed to reach CC'ed teammates for easier Devour.
|Magical Footwear gives delayed free boots. Tahm Kench doesn't need to rush boots anyway since the other mobility runes will cover him. The extra +10 movement really helps TK later as he is very easy to kite.|
|Flash is obvious.|
|Ghost has more synergy with TK than Flash and less cooldown.|
Exhaust allows Tahm Kench to duel even much stronger enemies and provides an extra protection. When using Approach Velocity Exhaust will also work to provide the 15% speed against the target freeing Tongue Lash.
Exhaust is increasingly more valuable as the game progresses because it will be the only thing TK can do against a fed hyper-carry. His stun/devour is simply too slow to pull off.
Relic Shield's line provides good sustain, gold generation and also helps controlling the minion waves. It's by far the best option for TK.
Always rush for Remnant of the Aspect because it reduces recharging time, health recovered and makes it easier to proc.
|Refillable Potion is pretty good for it's cost. Sells for 60g later to free a slot.|
|Mercury's Treads are important for TK because he's easily CC'ed.|
Ninja Tabi are important for TK because they greatly reduce damage from basic attacks.
Does not reduce damage from on-hit effects.
Tahm Kench is very dependent on attack speed to empower his abilities so I advise against not having any AS item.
Tahm Kench's relies on this passive to empower his offensive spells so stacking it is very important.
Defensively it can be used to deny damage and combos against teammates.
Offensively, since it's dealt as a suppress and it lasts up to 4 seconds it can deny a lot of enemy abilities and effects.
- Deny almost every form of CC on an allied champion (but careful with AOE effects as it will disable TK as well)
- Deny grabs such as Death Sentence and Bone Skewer
- Cancel Ace in the Hole
- Deny Hextech Ultimatum
- Devour while getting hit by Keeper's Verdict to carry Poppy to your base.
- Gets rid of annoying pets such as Daisy! and Summon: Tibbers
- Douches Jarvan's dash mid-flight with Dragon Strike
- Outlasts Kayle's Intervention, Kindred's Lamb's Respite and most of Tryndamere's Undying Rage and Zilean's Chronoshift
- Can be used against Master Yi both to wait his Highlander out and to cancel Meditate
- Can cancel any dash mid-air, but it's hard timing.
- Wait out Exhaust from an ally
- Remove suppression (damage still applies)
- Cancels turret shots
- Can spit enemies into friendly abilities such as Yordle Snap Trap and Event Horizon
- There's often enough time to ping and call for a friendly skillshot to hit an enemy as it's being regurgitated.
It must be noted that ongoing damage effects continue to apply on allies devoured so it won't protect from bleed, Ignite and Death Mark.
Devour does a lot of %maxhp damage which is great for finishing enemies off. regurgitate applies a 0.25s stun so a good combo is Tongue Lash+stun -> Devour+wait for CD -> regurgitate+ Tongue Lash+basic attack.
Finally, Devour can be cast for free while Tongue Lash is mid-air to grab a minion or monster. This isn't very good in duo lane because Devour cooldown is too long to waste with poke, but it's good to grab cannon minions and very strong at stealing monsters. Tahm Kench can easily steal the rift Herald .
Devour is a suppression so Tenacity doesn't apply and it's only broken by suppression breaking effects such as Quicksilver Sash.
Great at tower diving. Switch aggro with Devour.
This passive benefits from Spirit Visage.
It's main use is to support plays. At level 1 it's range isn't very good, but with good map vision and positioning TK can be ready to jump in for a gank, invade or counter-gank.
Tahm Kench can give very serious ganks in top-lane, but also can gank bot-lane as well.
Thresh and Bard are considered good for ganking, but they are nothing in comparison to 2 players falling right behind an over-extended lane.
Abyssal Voyage is also good to get faster to a lane or objective and also for split-pushing with the proper items.
Having another tank in the team helps a lot into reaching that critical health/cc mass that simply shoves through front-lines.
TK's Devour works very well with friendlies that aren't completely squishy so he has time to close-in and activate and even more, time to Abyssal Voyage to assist.
Friendlies that have means to dodge or prevent death aren't ideal because it's much harder to tell when they need Devour or not.
Having a real engaging tool is better because Abyssal Voyage can't be relied upon. It's an easy way to deliver 2 easy kills into a pickoff if miscalculated. It's much easier to use when the enemy is already broken than trying to find and angle into a 5v5.
Don't lose an invade. Fight if possible. TK has the strongest 1v1 and his CC is enough to condemn up to 2 stragglers.
Good fights require vision (ward).
TK can solo any enemy jungler that doesn't kite hard (taliyah) and that's usually a good move if enemy lanes won't follow. 2v2's aren't so good. Predict enemy jungler, deny rift herald if possible.
When going for the Herald it's important to decide whether to steal the Herald and run or ignore the Herald and go for the kill. Kill's are usually better because enemy jungler is not willing to lose it, will waste abilities and will underestimate TK's killing potential. Bad scenario is enemy lanes reaching you before your own.
When I play I look at match-ups to see where the activity is likely to be.
Chances are TK support can win a fight against enemy top-laner so it's a nice dream to have an opportunity to go there.
I usually don't bother unless the lane is in the middle or pushed towards friendly tower and enemy top/jg isn't godly fed. Fighting an average jungler is good.
Try warding/removing wards on the way or the enemy jungle.
Waiting for lvl6 is an option.
It's not easy to gank mid with TK, but it's much easier to counter-gank. It's infuriating for the enemy team to have the support showing mid to stop a gank.
Counter-gank 2v2's are usually good for TK because the bulk of abilities and spells will usually be used against the laner, at a minimum it's hard to die.
Above all else it's important to keep checking river bushes to remove wards and at least keep a neutral vision.
I mostly evaluate the enemy bot-lane based on the enemy support.
[*] Very aggressive all-in types such as Leona and Alistar will usually result in an early fight which is usually favorable. TK has to decide whether to go for the enemy ADC or protect his own.
The first option usually results in both adc's dying and TK 1v1'ing the enemy support. It's a good scenario if TK doesn't lose too much hp against the adc (it's usually best to exhaust and all-in).
In the second option TK either devours his adc instantly to deny burst and both retreat (can't do anything with devour on cd) or TK devours the support while adc's trade blows and go from there. This scenario weights more heavily on your own adc early strength.
[*] Annoying enchantresses usually make it hard to win a 2v2 unless you have a very good adc. I prefer roaming if possible.
[*] Poke-bots, champions that TK can't really close-in without dodging a full rotation can make laning hell. I'd certainly roam if TK has no plays to make and enemy may try an early dive. Sometimes it's easier to gank own lane.
Early roaming is above all a stalling move. TK is losing pressure (which he may not offer at all) to pressure somewhere else.
TK wants to have map control and, if possible, fight top-lane and jungler.
It's important to get as much XP as possible because roaming always makes leveling slower. It's also important to use Relic's stacks whenever in a lane (cannon minions especially) so gold generation doesn't suffer too much.
TK wants to gank every lane that pushes toward friendly towers, predict and counter-gank, and above-all try making plays with his jungler.
Don't bring a friendly with Abyssal Voyage into range of an AOE CC such as Lux or Zyra. It's always bad.
It's best if TK can stay near mid so his ultimate has more coverage, but it may be best to destroy bot first.
I prefer playing with whomever is strongest or against the weakest, most vulnerable enemy.
[*] Charging enemy fighters so they are busy fighting (losing) TK.
Usually I'll play more aggressively if fed or in a favorable match-up. Having an attack speed item is essential.
Peeling is more of a fall-back strategy because if Devour is used defensively the CD is long and offense suffers. TK really needs to combo ..QWQ. Not that TK's peeling is bad, but it's very vulnerable to AOE effects because TK needs to be close to protect.
When going aggressive fights are much easier, especially 1v1's against fighters because all their AOE and mobility are mostly useless.
It's important to be tanky. Building AS is mostly a means to quickly stack the passive so TK gets real CC instead of slows.
Abyssal Voyage is still useful late-game. It can be used to quickly switch lanes to destroy building and fight objectives. Be careful when using it to engage because it's basically overextending, but it's a great way to push a small advantage (say 1 kill or low hp) into an ace.
Ultimate can be used to try to fight a started Baron. My technique, if no better positioning is available, is to ult behind Baron so his model obscures TK's hitbox making it annoying. TK will just annoy/distract while the rest of the team moves around.