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Kennen Build Guide by Sanctuar

Middle A Swamp Master's guide

Middle A Swamp Master's guide

Updated on July 27, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sanctuar Build Guide By Sanctuar 85 8 225,871 Views 9 Comments
85 8 225,871 Views 9 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Sanctuar Kennen Build Guide By Sanctuar Updated on July 27, 2021
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Runes: Runes

1 2
Sorcery
Arcane Comet
Nullifying Orb
Transcendence
Gathering Storm

Resolve
Bone Plating
Overgrowth
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor
+8 Magic Resist

Spells:

Summoner spells
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

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Top Lane
Ranked #42 in
Top Lane
Win 49%
Get More Stats
Top Lane Ranked #42 in
Top Lane
Win 49%
More Kennen Runes
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Champion Build Guide

A Swamp Master's guide

By Sanctuar
Introduction
Hello and welcome to this guide.

My name is Sanctuar and i am a Season 1 player from EUW, maining Kennen since ever i discovered him. Since Season 3 i have constantly finished every Season in Diamond, hitting Master Tier multiple times and also finished one Season in Challenger in Flexque.


Season 9

Season 11


Every season, Riot introduces new changes to Summoner's Rift, which also influences Kennen like any other champion in the game. Therefore, players need to adjust to the constantly changing meta, which sometimes can be quite difficult. There is no general formula as how to play Kennen perfectly well in every single situation. He has weaknesses which can be exploited, but he can also shine in a lot of situations, depending on a lot of criterias.




In order to become better on a certain champion, players have found many inspirations and lots of advice from various sources, may it be professional players and their newest inventions on item builds and runes; or guides, written by those who have played that particular champion to it's perfection and want to share their experiences and knowledge with those aspiring to be as good. My wish for you as a Kennen main is to give you the advice needed to succeed on your journey.




In this guide, you will find:

  • An introduction to Kennen covering his strengths and weaknesses
  • A list of Runes and Items fit for the current meta
  • Advice on general gameplay patterns and ability sequences

This guide is focused around Midlane, therefore champions played on this lane are found in the threat section. If there is any particular matchup you want to know more about, feel free to ask and i will add it to that section, but: While this may be a good way of roughly knowing what awaits you in your next game, keep in mind that it is the circumstances itself that will ultimately decide the game.


Thank you for taking your time in reading this guide.
Lore
Born in Bandle City, Kennen is a Yordle gifted with boundless energy, enabling him to do things others could not. Eventually, he would gain the attention of the Kinkou Order, who invited him for a secret audience. Taking on the role of Heart of the Tempest, Kennen traverses the spirit realm alongside Shen, to preserve balance and take down enemies with his electrical energy.
Kennen, Heart of the Tempest
Kennen is a mage champion who excels at teamfighting due to his kit and mobility, providing good crowd control and damage, using a unique resource called Energy.

A short explanation on Energy:

Energy is a form of resource that refills itself and can be manipulated; the only downside is that despite refilling itself, a champion using this resource will eventually run out of Energy in a fight, making him vulnerable during that time. Certain abilities such as Mark of the Storm, Lightning Rush and the rune "Presence of Mind" allow for increased capacity and faster regeneration. Blue buff can be obtained to further influence regeneration.

While all of this sounds fairly strong, Kennen lacks the tankiness and durability that some other champions have. Therefore he has to make up for it with his mobility and crowd control. Knowledge on the usage of energy can be a deciding factor in winning or losing a game. Therefore, take your time in practicing how to watch your energy bar as you progress through a game.
Pros / Cons
Pros

+ Manaless champion
+ Access to CC due to
+ Safe laning with and
+ Strong teamfighting and access to AOE with and
+ Good roaming with


Cons

- Fairly squishy champion
- Weak sustain
- Initiations countered by displacement abilities and Exhaust
- Cooling down after full combo, making him vulnerable
Abilities



Mark of the Storm (Passive) Kennen's abilities leave a mark on enemies that lasts for 6 seconds. If a target gets hit by 3 marks, it will get stunned for 1.25 second and Kennen restores 25 Energy. The stun duration after the first stun gets reduced to 0.5 seconds if done again within the debuff timer of 6 seconds.







Thundering Shuriken (Q)
Range: 1050
Cost: 60/55/50/45/40 Energy
Cooldown: 8/7/6/5/4
Kennen throws a shuriken which deals 85/130/175/220/265 (+80% Ability Power) magic damage on the first target hit and applies a Mark of the Storm.







Electrical Surge (W)
Range: 750
Cost: 40 Energy
Cooldown: 14/12/10/8/6
This ability has two effects, one passive and one active.
Passive: Every fifth basic attack deals bonus magic damage equal to 20/30/40/50/60 (+60/70/80/90/100% Bonus Attack Damage)(+25% Ability Power) and adds a Mark of the Storm to his target.
Active: Kennen surges electricity to all targets affected by Mark of the Storm, dealing 60/85/115/135/160 (+80% Ability Power) magic damage.







Lightning Rush (E)
Range: None
Cost: 100/95/90/85/80 Energy
Cooldown: 10/9/8/7/6
Kennen gains 335 Movement speed and the ability to move through units for 2 seconds. Touching enemies will deal 80/120/160/200/240 (+80% Ability Power) magic damage and apply a Mark of the Storm to them, and Kennen restores 40 Energy on the first target hit.
Kennen is not able to use basic attacks while in his Lightning Rush form.
After leaving his form, Kennen gains 40/50/60/70/80% Attack Speed for 4 seconds.







Slicing Maelstrom (R)
Range: 550
Cost: None
Cooldown: 120
Kennen summons a magical storm around him, gaining 20/40/60 Armor and Magic resistance for the duration, dealing 40 / 75 / 110 (+20% Ability Power) magic damage to all enemies caught inside the storm every 0.5 seconds. Slicing Maelstrom deals 10% more damage with each successive strike against a target, up to a maximum of 150% damage with one strike. Each hit by this ability applies a Mark of the Storm, which is capped at a maximum of 3 stacks on every target.


Skill Order
As for the skill order, you can take the following choices:

1. -> -> ->

2. -> -> ->

3. -> -> ->

The skill order means that you always put a point in your ultimate whenever possible, that means at Level 6, 11, and 16.

Most of the time it's going to be the first option, since Electrical Surge gives you the most secure way of dealing damage while the second option is considered for a safer laning phase.

The third option can be considered more of a high-risk approach, since Thundering Shuriken gets spammed more often in the laning phase as a means to keep the lane in control, while Lightning Rush is only used as a tool to either engage a fight or disengage, should a fight not go in your favor or if the enemy jungler attempts to gank your lane. While the Attack Speed bonus does help a lot with dealing damage, this only further increases the risk of misusing the ability to a point where the ability will be on cooldown when it's needed the most.

Maxing Lightning Rush first has proven itself to be inefficient in most cases, but for testing purposes you may try this out as well.
Ability Sequences
Kennen's abilities can be used in a variety of orders, depending on the situation and given the player's decisionmaking in how to deal damage in the most efficient way. In this section, we will go through some of the sequences which are used very frequently.





This requires you to hit your Q on the target first, then get in range to activate your W. This way, you can apply two marks on the target as well, without getting minion aggro.


  • (Charged AA) -> (Active)



With one ability you are able to put 2 Marks on your opponent. Once you've used that sequence on the enemy champion, walk back to avoid minion aggro. You can also use to get behind your minions quicker, dodging abilities by the enemy champion in the process.


  • -> (Active)



This sequence is especially useful against melee champions as you can abuse the fact that Lightning Rush creates the distance between yourself and the enemy.

You disengage efficiently while putting two marks on the enemy. If you have a charged AA available, you can use it right after Lightning Rush ends to apply a third mark which will result in a stun.





Once we have the situation of an enemy having two marks, use an ability of your choice to get a third stack of your passive on the enemy for a successful stun.

Keep in mind that applying a stack or two of your passive will put more pressure on your opponent, forcing him to play more defensively so he doesn't get stunned. If the enemy doesn't back off, it either means he is willing to go for the trade or his jungler is waiting for you to overextend. Therefore, try and observe for obvious patterns that can signal you if such a case arises. If you see the enemy jungler ganking another lane, you can fight more aggressively (depending on matchup of course).






  • (Charged AA) -> (Active) -> (Active)




Once you hit Level 9, it is possible to apply all three marks with only Electrical Surge. For that to work you will need atleast 10 Ability Haste, which you can get by having any item with this stat.



At Level 6 we gain access to Kennen's ultimate. This ability provides three marks which will result in a stun, opening up a lot of options as how to deal damage to the enemy in the process of fighting.


Here are two examples of how to include your ultimate:





The most common way to initiate a fight. Using Lightning Rush first to engage is the most efficient way as it gives enough Movement Speed to close the gap as quick as possible. But it has it's fair share of risks, as you lose your only ability to disengage after a fight.






This sequence includes Flash and is always cast right after activating your ultimate to make the engage much more efficient. You can use Lightning Rush either after Electrical Surge or Thundering Shuriken, depending on the situation.
Runes
Runes are an essential part of the game and can create different scenarios depending on which set you use. Every choice you make can either push you further ahead or set you back due to the circumstances in the game. If, for example, you have no Armor runes but play against an Assassin, you will put yourself at a disadvantage. Therefore, think carefully before choosing a runepage that will greatly influence your playstyle in the game.

As i've mentioned before: There is no general formula for every scenario. What you will find in most guides are examples for runepages that focus on a very specific playstyle. This guide is in no way different. My advice for you: Find your own set of runes that define your playstyle in a unique way so that you can get the most out of it.

In this guide, i will present two runepages that i commonly use on Kennen and worked a lot with.


Sorcery/Resolve




Sorcery


Arcane Comet

Hitting an enemy with an ability hurls a comet at the target, dealing magic damage. The cooldown of this keystone gets reduced every time you hit an enemy with an ability afterwards.

While this keystone doesn't seem strong in itself, the utility it provides is the reason why i pick it. The zoning potential of this ability makes it harder for the enemy to commit to a fight as it disrupts his laning phase.

If you are not comfortable with playing Arcane Comet, you can either choose Summon Aery for a more aggressive approach, or Phase Rush for extra mobility and safety in the laning phase.


Nullifying Orb

Consider this as a powerful tool to survive burst damage, especially when playing against champions like Syndra, Annie and Karthus. Take Nimbus Cloak instead if you want to focus on a more offensive playstyle.


Celerity & Transcendence

For this row, you can choose between Celerity and Transcendence.

Celerity has been picked a lot of times in the past, especially as it increases Kennen's mobility in fights as well as helping him escape dire situations much better, should his Lightning Rush be on cooldown. With the introduction of Cosmic Drive, do not hesitate trying out this item in combination with this rune.

The second option is Transcendence, as it starts giving you Ability Haste at level 5 and level 8, giving you more capabilities during the laning phase. At Level 11, this rune also reduces the remaining cooldown on your basic abilities (not your ultimate ability) by 20% on every champion takedown. Since the value of this rune increases with the duration of the game, do not hesitate taking it.


Gathering Storm & Scorch

Gathering Storm offers a lot of damage the longer the game goes on and also provides certain synergy with the likes of Riftmaker and Rabadon's Deathcap for extra scaling.

After a certain amount of testing, Scorch has proven itself as a viable choice for midlane and can be picked to provide more damage in the laning phase, putting more pressure on the opponent in the process.


Resolve


Bone Plating & Second Wind

As for the secondary path i tend to go for more defense as Kennen is generally squishy and vulnerable. For laning, both Boneplating and Second Wind are optimal choices. Bone Plating reduces the amount of damage taken while laning. Second Wind offers greater health regeneration after being attacked by an enemy champion. It's value increases with Overgrowth.


Overgrowth

Yes, this rune is not made for Kennen as it scales with maximum health. Nevertheless i see a lot of potential with this rune as it gives him more health during the laning phase, making him harder to kill.



Domination/Precision




Domination


Electrocute

A powerful keystone which gives a lot of single target burst potential. Use this ability to further increase your chances of winning a 1vs1 fight.

Dark Harvest has also proven itself to be a powerful keystone, especially in combination with the new mythic item Night Harvester. Take this keystone as an alternative, if interested.


Taste of Blood

Since the nerf to Ravenous Hunter, Taste of Blood is the rune to help you out with the laning phase. If you are willing to sacrifice sustain for more damage in fights, you can choose Cheap Shot as an alternative.


Zombie Ward

Most of the time we are getting , therefore we can make use of this rune to increase our vision on the map while clearing enemy wards at the same time.


Ultimate Hunter

With the nerf to Ravenous Hunter, Ultimate Hunter provides much more value to Kennen as this rune significantly reduces the cooldown of his ultimate.

In most cases you will have your ultimate ready for every teamfight that is bound to happen in the game, especially with the Ability Haste provided by your mythic item as well as other items that provide Ability Haste such as Cosmic Drive, Zhonya's Hourglass or Banshee's Veil.


Precision


Presence of Mind

Presence of Mind has been changed into a solid choice for Energy-based champions. Damaging an enemy champion gives 1.5 energy regeneration per second. On takedown, restore 15% of maximum energy.

Coup de Grace

A simple but strong rune that can decide the outcome of a fight. Deals 8% more damage to enemies below 40% hp.





For the small runes, there are two options:

  • Adaptive Force
  • Magic Resistance
  • Hp/Level

A more defensive approach with the extra Hp/Level. If playing against an Ad Champion, choose Armor instead of Magic Resistance.

  • Attack Speed
  • Armor
  • Magic Resistance

Since we start most of the games with Doran's Blade, this starter item goes very well with the additional Attack Speed. Defensive runes are self-explanatory and can be adjusted to your needs.
Summoner Spells
Before talking about Summoner spells, i want to tell a little story about myself when i started maining Kennen:

I started playing him in Season 1, and began my long grind in Season 2. During this time, i was stuck in Gold and couldn't progress any further. I didn't know why many players were so much better than me, therefore i decided to take a different approach - i looked for a guide. Through a random video called "A night in Kennen with Ego Ignaxio" i stumbled across a guide that influenced my playstyle and knowledge on Kennen for many years to come. I am forever grateful for his teachings through his guide and will never forget it.
I started practising Kennen with Ghost and Ignite. By his guide i also got my first pentakill as well as reaching Platinum which cemented my effort in becoming a better player. Later on, i switched over to Flash, because throughout all these years, Flash is and will probably still be the most practical summoner spell in the game.


As for the Summoner Spells, i use the following:

Flash for initiating a fight or escaping a hopeless situation
Ignite for securing a kill

Other choices for Kennen:

Ghost is a strong summoner spell that brings a lot of utility to a fight. The ramp up Movement speed goes well with Celerity/Nimbus Cloak and combined with Phase Rush may be a very strong combination. I rarely play with Ghost since the old days, but it certainly is fun to play with and combined with Flash it gives you the highest mobility possible.

Exhaust is a summoner spell that many players hate simply because it denies them from securing a kill. This spell is a possible choice if playing against AD champions such as Zed and Talon, but also against every champion who dishes out a lot of DPS in a fight. Always a good choice if you want to play a very defensive lane without dying, but keep in mind that, compared to using Ignite, your killing potential decreases a lot.

Barrier is another defensive summoner spell that protects you from incoming damage for a few seconds. If played correctly, it can save you from a ticking Ignite or other abilities and as i've seen it before, may force an enemy to flash which can set you up for the next fight.

Heal is a defensive summoner spell that can save you just like Barrier, but i would only prefer this if playing AD Kennen, other than that, all the other choices above.

Teleport is a summoner spell that can bring you back to lane in a matter of few seconds. Not only that, can it set you up for making plays around important objectives and flanking enemy teams efficiently. I am not a big fan of Teleport, but i've been convinced that on Toplane it is necessary because first, you don't lose out on CS and second, it enables you to splitpush until a teamfight breaks out.
Items
The next section will cover items. For a short version of what to build, check out the "Items" panel on top of the guide.

Please be reminded that the shown item build is a personal preference. Try and experiment with your item build to find the one most suitable for your playstyle. Items may also change from one season to another, therefore stay up-to-date with changes occuring in-game.


Starting items


There are multiple ways of starting your laning phase, each having their own benefits.





Doran's Blade has been a common starting item for many seasons, and it's value has increased since Kennen's base attack damage was decreased to 48. Doran's Blade gives the following values:
  • +8 Attack Damage
  • +80 Health
  • Warmonger: Gain 2,5% Omnivamp. (33% effective for AoE abilities)

Omnivamp was introduced as a way to restore health on basic attacks and on damage dealt by abilities. Kennen gets the most value out of this stat with the useage of Thundering Shuriken, as this ability is a skillshot. Every other of his abilities is treated as an area of effect ability, and therefore only gets 33% value of this stat.

The reason why Omnivamp has such value for Kennen is because he has no built-in sustain in his kit, which makes his laning phase much more difficult. One may argue and say that sustain is not needed for him and going for raw damage is completely fine, but if the opponent has more sustain, he will eventually outtrade you to a point where you will start to lose more minions and thus, more gold in the process. Therefore, think carefully in which way you want to play Kennen as more damage doesn't automatically mean more survivability.





Doran's Ring has been changed into a solid choice for non-mana users, as the mana regeneration on this item was removed. It provides the following values:
  • + 15 Ability Power
  • + 70 Health
  • Unique Passive: Deal 5 bonus damage to minions.
  • Unique Passive: Killing a minion restores 6 Mana (3 Health for non-mana users).

Doran's Ring can serve as an alternative to Doran's Blade and if you want to focus on having more Ap in order to deal more damage with your abilities, you can choose this item as your starter.





Boots gives you an early boost to your mobility in lane and can help you stay out of reach for the enemy laner as well as making it harder for the enemy jungler to commit to a gank.

This way you can also practice in dodging certain abilities more efficiently (Examples: Flash Frost, Scatter the Weak, Lucent Singularity). Once you switched over to another starting item, this will slow you down, thus making practice much harder, but also more rewarding once done successfully.

If you are maxing Thundering Shuriken first, you can ensure yourself a very safe laning phase without much fighting, but do not forget that you will lack damage early on.





Cull is considered a high-risk starter as the goal here is to amass as much gold as possible to complete the first item as quickly as possible. If you happen to play with Future's Market, this can snowball you out of the lane if played correctly. Careful, as you have no additional health compared to the Doran's starter items, and the one health potion will be used up pretty quickly in the process of laning.


First recall


As the next step, we want to look at the items being bought after the first recall. Depending on how the lane goes and how much gold you have amassed, the amount of items you can buy can vary a lot. In most cases, your first items should look like this:

  • + + = 435g + 400g + 50g = 885g

This is the most usual pickup for me and it works just fine. Boots are not necessarily needed after the first recall since Lightning Rush provides the mobility that is required for a safe laning phase. If i have more gold for a Refillable potion, i'll pick up this one instead of the Health potion.

If you have amassed a higher amount of gold than mentioned above, you can invest into more expensive components. Here are a few more examples:

  • + = 1050g + 150g = 1200g
  • + = 1300g + 50g = 1350g

Hextech Alternator and Leeching Leer are components of a mythic item, which i will speak a bit later about. Always think ahead of which mythic item you want to complete first and work towards it step by step, as they will define the rest of your item build.


Important notes


In some cases, your laning phase will not go the way you wanted it to go. Should such a case arise, consider some changes in your item pathing as it may help you turn the tides in your favor.

Here is a list of items you can buy for various circumstances:


Picking up an early defensive item can improve your chances of surviving a fight, and in some cases, surviving during the laning phase can make a bigger difference in later stages of the game. Both components can also be built into other items, as follows:
Cloth Armor builds into Seeker's Armguard, a component for Zhonya's Hourglass

Null-Magic Mantle builds into Verdant Barrier, a component for Banshee's Veil

Building a bigger component item for a finished item doesn't automatically mean you have to finish this item. You can leave the component in your inventory and build towards your mythic item first before finishing up the component into your second item.


Grievous Wounds are an essential part of the game as this stat reduces healing received by a certain amount, opening up a way to deal with champions who have built-in sustain like Vladimir or Sylas but also certain champions that focus on healing other allies such as Soraka or Nami. Items such as Redemption and Mikael's Blessing provide healing as well.

Consider buying Oblivion Orb to apply Grievous Wounds on your opponents, and you can upgrade it into Morellonomicon later on in the game.


Stopwatch is a component that builds into Zhonya's Hourglass and grants a one-time use stasis effect. When timed right, it can turn a 1vs1 fight in your favor which can result in evening up or taking the lead in the laning phase. Be reminded that this item can only be used once; afterwards it will stay as a broken Stopwatch in your inventory, until you complete Zhonya's or sell the item in case you are playing without it.





In general, before you start a game and before your first recall, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am i playing against?
  • Is it wise to start with this item? How will it affect my laning phase (farming, trading, fighting for a kill, ganking other lanes)?
  • How much gold do i have for these components?
  • Do i have enough gold left for a Control Ward?
  • Am i quite ahead of my enemy laner or falling behind in terms of kills and CS?

All these questions are not only for Kennen, but for every other champion in the game.


Mythic items


Mythic items are the highest tier of items in League. Each mythic item has a unique passive that empowers other finished items (categorized as legendary items), giving them a bonus to a specific stat, depending on which mythic item is being purchased.

Specifically looking at Kennen as a non-mana champion, there are three mythic items available to choose from:
Riftmaker
Night Harvester
Hextech Rocketbelt

Each mythic item comes with unique benefits and can influence not only the rest of the item build, but also the entire playstyle around a champion. Therefore, take yourself the time to work on an item build that will define your playstyle for the entirety of the game. Remember that you can only have one mythic item per item set.


In order to help you with making the right choice, we will take a closer look at each item:


Riftmaker's purpose is to help you with extended fights. The build-up damage stacks over three seconds while in combat, and when fully stacked, the increased damage is dealt as true damage. This item also builds out of Leeching Leer, which helps with the laning phase due to the Omnivamp it provides.

Receiving damage by the enemy stacks Riftmaker as well, which in return means easier accessibility to the bonus damage. The mythic passive synergizes well with Gathering Storm and Ravenous Hunter for extra scaling.


This item provides more single target damage on champions as well as increased mobility, making this a useful choice for staying in close-combat as enemies try to escape from your ultimate.

It's mythic passive provides 5 Ability Haste on every other finished item, giving you more capabilities in teamfights as your abilities' cooldowns are shorter. Keep in mind that shorter cooldowns means more use of your energy, therefore watch your energy bar as you engage into a fight.

This item is, as already mentioned before, very strong in combination with both Electrocute and Dark Harvest, giving you access to more burst damage at one target.


Formerly known as Hextech-Protobelt, this item is the choice to make for initiating fights and quick skirmishes. The Movement Speed burst provided by Rocketbelt helps you dish out your entire combo as quickly as possible.

Rocketbelt's unique passive adds 5 Magic Penetration to every other finished item. This item is especially strong during the mid-game, but can also be a decider in teamfights that will ultimately decide the game.

Rocketbelt's only downside is that the active part of this item feels more "clunky" in terms of useage, but in terms of utility it can still provide a lot.

Both Night Harvester and Rocketbelt build out of Hextech Alternator, a bigger component which can also provide extra damage during the laning phase, making it a valuable choice early on.



Completing your item build


After completing your mythic item, it is time to look at the rest of your build.

The order in which you buy and complete your items can vary from game to game. The general idea is this: If you are further ahead than the enemy you're laning against, you can invest into more expensive items to widen up your lead; if the laning phase didn't go well you want to complete cheaper items in order to stay relevant in the game.


We will take a look at the cheaper items first.


2500-2700g Items


Morellonomicon 2500g


As already mentioned in a previous chapter, building Grievous Wounds can help a lot against champions with built-in sustain as well as strong healing abilities. If you bought an Oblivion Orb early on to deal with such threats, this might be a good time to complete this item in order to cut their healing even more as the Grievous Wounds' effect is increased to 60% while enemies are below 50% health.


Zhonya's Hourglass 2600g


Zhonya's has seen many seasons and it's value ultimately depends on how the player uses it's unique active ability, Stasis. Putting yourself into an invulnerable state for 2.5 seconds can be a deciding factor in fights as you save up more time for your team to come to your aid should you be catched off-guard; or surviving longer in order to dish out as much damage as possible as you wait for the cooldowns on your abilities to come back up.

Kennen's Slicing Maelstrom, once activated, works during the stasis effect, enabling you to zone out your enemies while not taking damage yourself for almost the entire duration of your ultimate.

Zhonya's is especially recommended if you are playing against a team composition consisting of heavy physical damage.


Banshee's Veil 2600g


Banshee's is considered by many players as the counterpart to Zhonya's as it's focus is to mitigate magical damage with the Magic Resistance it provides as well as a spell shield that blocks an enemy ability.

Having a spell shield up can be a deciding factor when engaging into a fight as it saves you from being put under crowd control immediately (Stuns, snares, roots, slows, etc.).

The spell shield's cooldown is 40 seconds, and it resets every time you take damage by an enemy champion, therefore play from the back as you wait for your shield to come up again before committing into a fight.


Void Staff 2700g


Void Staff's only purpose is to shred through the enemies' Magic Resistance, as this item provides you with 40% Magic Penetration. The best recommended time to build this item is after you complete two items, as you will have reached a point in the game where the enemies will start building Magic Resistance in order to deal with your damage. Make sure to always include Void Staff in your item build to stay relevant, especially in the late game.





Now we will take a look at the more expensive items.


3000g Items


Rylai's Crystal Scepter 3000g


Considered as one of my most favourite items in the game, Rylai's purpose is to put a slow effect on all of Kennen's abilities. While a slow in itself doesn't sound strong, the utility it provides is very underrated as it gives you and your allies the chance to catch up with your opponents in order to finish them off, most of the time forcing a defensive summoner spell that can make a difference in a future fight.

If you happen to have a slot free in your inventory and want to deal with champions that have high mobility, consider buying this item.


Horizon Focus 3000g


Horizon Focus has a very unique effect that works well with Kennen's overall kit:

Focus Fire: Damaging an enemy champion with a non-targeted ability at over 700 range or immobilizing them reveals them and increases their damage taken from you by 10% for 6 seconds.

Since Kennen's kit allows you to stun enemy champions, Focus Fire will activate on a successful stun, allowing you to deal more damage to the enemy in the process.

Kennen's Thundering Shuriken can activate Focus Fire as the target range of his ability is 1050, which is over the threshold of 700. It's damage will also be amplified by the item's ability if triggered.

Please keep in mind that you need to have the required range between yourself and the enemy when attempting to activate Focus Fire with Thundering Shuriken, otherwise it will not work.

The active part of Electrical Surge does not proc Horizon Focus as this is an auto-targeted ability.


Cosmic Drive 3000g


Cosmic Drive serves as a powerful tool to increase the capacities of your champion. The bonus effect can already be activated with this item plus your mythic item, making it especially strong during the mid-game.

More Ability Haste means using your abilities more often, which in return takes up more Energy. Always keep an eye on your resource bar as you eventually reach a point where you will run out of Energy.


Demonic Embrace 3000g


Demonic Embrace serves two purposes: One, shred the enemy's max health, especially when dealing with tanks. Two, provide yourself with the resistances needed while fighting them.

Strong synergy can be achieved with Riftmaker as the Omnivamp provided by this item combined with the resistances gained by Demonic Embrace while fighting make you a very durable fighter.





At last, we have one more item to talk about.


Rabadon's Deathcap 3600g


The most expensive item that gives the highest amount of Ability Power. Make sure to include this item in every item build possible. The power spike provided by Deathcap can turn every teamfight in your favor.

Usually, Rabadon's is being purchased as a third item in the build, as the mythic item plus a second item which provides utility such as Morello's, Rylai's or even Cosmic Drive are necessary to keep you relevant in the game while you save up money for this item. In some cases it is possible to get Deathcap as a second item, but: Always think ahead when saving up money for an item and ask yourself how much impact it will actually have in the current state of your game.



Honorable mentions


Lich Bane & Nashor's Tooth:


Lich Bane and Nashor's Tooth have seen a lot of useage on champions that rely on auto attacking a lot, or have abilities in their kit that have great synergy with those items. Examples are Twisted Fate and Kayle.

In the past, players have tried playing on-hit Kennen in order to implement Nashor's Tooth in their build. Lich Bane has had a mana component, and after the changes that item is now available for non-mana users as well. Players might be picking up either of these items in order to see just how strong and useful they can be on Kennen.

Consider trying out these items and let me know about your experiences with them.
Gameplay
Now that we have finished talking about our basic knowledge we are going to talk about playing Kennen in-game. We will break this down into the three essential phases of the game: Early game, mid game and late game.


Early game

During the early game, your focus is on the things listed below:
  • Farm as much as possible
  • Defeat your opponent in lane
  • Create opportunities by ganking other lanes

During the laning phase, you can amass a huge amount of gold if done correctly. Lasthitting minions is something that needs to be learned and practiced. You can see the difference between a good and a bad player simply through the difference in CS. Therefore, invest time in farming minions, as you slowly build up an advantage over your enemy.

This will ultimately force your enemy laner into playing more aggressive and that's where your jungler comes into play: As your enemy overextends due to the difference in gold growing, you can set him up for a gank that will result in a Flash burn or a potential kill and thus, gaining the lead.

The reverse situation can apply to you as well, as you have to struggle to farm minions while the enemy puts a lot of pressure on you. In that case, your jungler will have to gank again, or you will have to search for an opening to engage on him with your abilities. How to use certain sequences with Kennen will be covered down below.

Freezing a wave is an advanced mechanic that, if done correctly, can set both you and your jungler up for a potential 2vs1 on the lane. If your enemy pushes you into the turret and plays very aggressive, he will not leave you any chance of freezing, but if he backs off, you can do the following things to make a freeze possible:
  • Leave one minion alive and put it into the right spot for your wave to stop there
  • Kite the minions to the side of a jungle entrance to position the wave just outside of your turret range
All these little things can make a difference in how your laning phase goes and it can also help your jungler, creating more opportunities for a potential kill on your enemy. More importantly, it will help you stay safe from the enemy jungler, and if he ganks you he most certainly will get into your turret's range, making him an easy target to turn on, eventually picking up a kill.

Defeating your opponent in lane requires you to set yourself up for the actual fight. Hitting on your enemy laner as much as possible is required, but not necessary to get a kill. Here are some examples that can provide you a kill:
  • Your jungler ganked once and forced a defensive summoner spell, comes around for a second gank
  • The enemy laner misplayed and can get punished
  • Your botlane support makes a sudden move towards midlane while the jungler comes for a potential 3vs1
  • Dodge certain abilities to create an opening for yourself

These are some potential occasions that can happen during the laning phase. Most of the time though you will have to bring down the enemy laner all by yourself because you can't rely on help and mistakes all the time. In order to win a fight, use your already learned ability sequences which are covered in a previous section!


Roaming

Before we head into the midgame section it is important to spend a few lines on roaming. Roaming is an essential part of the game and will be important through all of it's stages. While junglers roam from one lane to another to gank and put their lanes ahead, laners who push up the enemy to his own turret can use the time to roam to another lane (or use Teleport if possible) to gain an advantage over the enemy team by scoring kills through successful ganks. While some champions have incredible roam with certain abilities (e.g. Taliyah, Kassadin), others excel at long range (Ziggs, Xerath) or even global abilities (Twisted Fate, Karthus) to get other lanes ahead by any means possible and later on, make plays across the whole map to eventually win the game.

For a further instruction on the topic of roaming, i highly recommend you to read a guide on this topic that focuses on that in particular. For now, we will continue our focus on Kennen.

Kennen has one ability that makes roaming across the map and ganking other lanes very effective: Lightning Rush. While it has the highest energy cost, it still provides you with the mobility that you need to get to other lanes as fast as possible. Be careful though, as you leave your lane you can easily put yourself in a disadvantage if you lane against a champion that has stronger waveclear than you. Therefore, always make sure to quickly clear the wave if you commit to a roam. Another thing to keep in mind is that you might be spotted by an enemy ward which will decrease your chances of actually ganking. If you watch the map closely and see the enemy walking back to his turret you can expect this area to be warded and therefore should go back to your lane to ensure that you do not lose too much experience and gold. Having Oracle Lens or a Control Ward in your pocket can heavily increase your chances for a successful roam on the map.

As soon as the first turret falls, laneswaps might happen and technically, this is the point where the mid game begins.


Mid game

During the mid game, your eyes are focused on the following things:
  • Secure dragon
  • If you haven't done it yet, secure Rift Herald
  • Fight for vision control
  • Group up with the rest of your team for teamfights and siege down turrets

With the introduction of elemental drakes, you want to focus on this objective as every dragon gives you certain buffs that can further increase your stats. The third dragon that will spawn also changes the map into their own element respectively. For a small overview, here are the buffs of each dragon:
  • Infernal Drake - Gain bonus Ap and Ad
  • Ocean Drake - Restore missing health
  • Mountain Drake - Gain extra Armor and Magic resistance
  • Cloud Drake - Gain Ultimate Cooldown Reduction

Every dragon buff is considered useful and should not be overlooked. If you see your teammates joining up to secure the buff, do not hesitate to support them.

Rift Herald can spawn twice in the game and stays until Baron spawns. This objective can open up new ways of putting pressure anywhere on the map and force the enemy team into dealing with her. Rift Herald can deal massive amounts of damage to turrets and can create opportunities for potential sieges and fights.

While fighting for objectives, vision control is the most crucial aspect that cannot be overlooked. Taking away a team's vision over a certain area (like the dragon pit at the river) can make a big difference in securing the objective. It can also set up your team perfectly for a fight, thus making it important to protect your wards and areas as good as possible. Splitpushing champions with Teleport must have their Summoner Spell ready in case a fight breaks out.

There is a golden rule that i have learned from my countless ranked games and i am sticking to it because most of the time, players make the same mistakes again and again:

"Baron throws the game."

I have said it so many times and yet people want to go for a 20 minutes baron which is a very high risk attempt, especially after a won teamfight that made it possible for us to push up to their base. And since it is fitting, i want to say this: Never do Baron if the entire enemy team is alive. It really is a bad idea and in rare cases you do have the DPS to bring him down, but most of the time the enemy team catches up and forces another fight or even worse - steals the baron away which results in losing your advantage that your team has carefully built up. With that being said, always be careful about your decisionmaking around this time because most players get very heated up for a teamfight over an important objective.

Another aspect that many players forget is the fact that grouping up with your own team is essentially the way to win the game. If you play with Teleport you can keep splitpushing until a fight breaks out, but in any other case, staying grouped and preparing for a teamfight is mandatory.

Since we are talking about teamfights, one question will certainly come to your mind: "How should i teamfight as Kennen?"


Teamfighting as Kennen

There are three different scenarios for a teamfight if one breaks out (this also applies to every other champion in the game):
  • Being fed
  • Having good but not overwhelming stats
  • Behind in kills as well as CS
Being fed means you are basically dictating the pace of the game and can decide the outcome of a teamfight all by yourself.

Having good stats means you are strong but not strong enough to decide the outcome of a fight.

Being behind in kills as well as CS means you are most certainly weaker than the rest of your team and therefore have to play it differently.

Kennen is great at initiating a fight, but the impact of his engage depends on how far ahead he is in terms of KDA, CS, and items. A fed Kennen can initiate without any hesitation and obliterate the entire enemy team by himself, while a good Kennen will have to work a bit harder to get someone down. A weak Kennen will not have any damage at all and will only provide the crowd control that is needed to win the fight.

So what to do?

- If you are fed or just really strong, you can initiate a fight with your frontline
- If you are behind you want to protect the ones who are stronger so they can stay alive to win you the fight
- Make use of your Crowd control and do not hesitate to sacrifice yourself for the team if that is what it takes to win

Late game

Late game is where it is all about proper decisionmaking and teamfighting to win the game. Make sure to get your item build finished and use an Elixir to maximize out your damage output.

The only objectives at this stage that will decide the outcome of the game are:
  • Dragon Soul
  • Elder Dragon
  • Baron
Your focus is on those respective areas. Use your Oracle Lens to clear out enemy wards. Vision control is the key to winning the game if you fight in those areas. Put yourself in a position for a flank or behind your tank to initiate a fight. If your team composition does not consist of a tanky frontline, wait for your jungler to set you up for a pickup instead.

Ideally, you want to get the squishy targets first, therefore flanking and initiating from the side is a more efficient approach. It is not required if your Flash is up and ready.

If you struggle in finding a good spot to initiate, you might as well cover your Ad Carry in zoning the enemy frontline so that he can dish out all the damage to win the fight. That is also a possible way of winning a fight and can display the teamwork required to win the game.

With the introduction of Elemental drakes, changes on the Rift can help you with initiating a fight such as:
  • The extra bushes spawning from the Ocean drake
  • Air currents from the Cloud drake for extra Movement speed
Be aware of the area you want to fight on and use the changes on the map for your own benefit.

Picking up a dragon soul depending on which dragon has spawned can be a deciding factor in winning or losing a game. In most cases, the best dragon soul for Kennen is the Cloud Soul, as the Movement Speed helps him a lot with the engages, while enemies struggle in escaping from your ultimate.

Once you have obtained a Baron buff, you can simply stay grouped with the team and apply as much pressure as possible with the enhanced minions to siege down a lane. Due to the pressure of the minions, most teams will be forced into a teamfight. Make use of this and punish enemies for overextending. If that is not the case, you can play it by the book and push in one lane after another until all inhibitors are down. With the enhanced minion waves including super minions, you can let them siege down the base without having to fight the enemy team at all.

Elder Dragon enables you to execute enemies who drop below 20% Hp. This synergizes very well with your Slicing Maelstrom, combined with Electrical Surge. Make use of your already learned sequences and finish off the enemies with a quick burst of damage.


To conclude this part, I would like to show you an example of a fight to showcase the full extent of Kennen:



In this fight you can see that this was a 3vs5 situation. The enemy team decided to take the fight despite some of their teammates being at low health. The opening that was created due to the enemy team overextending and putting their focus on another target allowed for an efficient engage with Lightning Rush into Slicing Maelstrom, and the Movement Speed provided by the Cloud Soul allowed for a quick execution of abilities which resulted in a victory over the enemy. Right positioning as well as punishing enemies for overextending can heavily play in your favor, but the teamwork displayed here also showcases how efficient a team can work together if the circumstances allow it.
Conclusion
We have reached the end of this guide and i sincerely hope that you were able to learn and understand more about Kennen.

If you have any questions, leave a comment and i will respond as soon as possible.

You can also find me on other platforms such as:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SancIsLive
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/sanctuar
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZeUnOFHN66_Y1uYOdhkczQ

Thanks again for reading and good luck on Summoner's Rift,

Sanctuar

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Teamfight Tactics Guide