Kennen Build Guide by Sanctuar
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
Ability Order Skill order
Threats & Synergies
Although Syndra can harass you often, her ultimate can be countered by an early stopwatch and later on, with a Zhonyas.
Ryze can be very dangerous once he gets his roaming on at lvl 6 due to his ultimate. Since he is running low on cooldowns on his abilities due to his kit, it is very hard to lane against him. Max Q first and wait for your jungler to gank.
Vladimir has always been a hard champion to lane against due to his unrivaled sustain. Buying Morellonomicon will cut his sustain and allow for better trades, but don't forget about his surprising burst combo with his fully charged E and Q combined with his ultimate.
Orianna's kit makes her a very safe laner with the ability to zone her opponent efficiently. Most Orianna players take Barrier as well to make it even harder to kill her. Make sure you harass her once she used her Q-W combo.
Anivia is a hard matchup due to her zoning kit as well as her passive. Most players will use the wall to trap you in her ult as well as a guaranteed Q hit. Max Q and farm yourself up into the mid-game, be prepared to get pushed up a lot until you get your first items done.
Most Aurelion Sol players will probably play with Phase Rush to abuse the procs by hitting you with three passive hits. Play around his stars and in any case do not get stunned by his Q. Most players take Exhaust and build very tanky so your killing potential after lvl 6 is almost zero. Wait for your jungler to gank your lane, max Q and farm safely until you get your first items done. Later on, he will lose against hard CC and your kit is superior to his in teamfights.
Although Akali players are very dangerous after hitting level 6, they are in some way squishy and your ultimate is the perfect counter for her Twilight shroud since it hits invisible units as well. Punish her with an all-in combo once she jumps on you.
Cassiopeia's kit is perfect for zoning and harassing the enemy laner. Make sure you max Q and learn to bait out her Q, this way you will have an easier time laning against her. After level 6 her all-in is dangerous; if she has a Cleanse in her pocket, do not use Ignite too early, but stun her with a combo, E towards her shortly and you will most-likely bait out her cleanse. Then back off and wait for an opportunity to kill her in an all-in combo.
Zed's ultimate can be easily countered by a Zhonya's, but do not underrestimate his damage potential in a 1vs1 situation. Picking Exhaust instead of Ignite guarantees you a lane without dying, but decreases your killing potential.
Her all-ins depend on hitting her Q. Dodge the ability and harass her every time she tries to cs. If she jumps on you past level 6, punish her with your entire combo.
Many players underrestimate her unexpected burst damage, and especially her chain can open up her deadly combo on you. If you struggle a lot against this matchup, i would recommend an early Mercury's because this item is the perfect way to keep yourself sustained and durable for the entire laning phase. Max Q if you struggle, otherwise W for more trading potential.
Ahri can push you in due to the better waveclear with her Q, but her weakness lies in her ultimate; if she engages on you can use yours to punish her for that, similar to Akali. Be careful to not initiate the fight first because she will only dash away and may as well turn around because you wasted your E for the engage.
Katarina may have a strong killing potential, but so do you. Dodge the daggers as she will jump to them to deal damage. If she intends to all-in on you with her ultimate, use yours to stun her immediately. I sometimes build Hextech Gunblade as a first item to stay even with her burst damage, if i fall behind, i proceed with the normal item build.
Even experienced players will have one weakness: After using both of their W charges to clear the wave, they are open for engages. Use this to your advantage, but make sure you dodge his E while going after him. If you struggle laning against him, make up for it by roaming other lanes post lvl 6, since your roaming is superior to his.
Very safe laner that can keep his distance due to his kit. Max Q and farm safely into the mid-game. Experienced Azir players will use their ultimate to hit you back to their turret which will put you into a difficult position. In this particular matchup i would recommend Resolve as a secondary path for more survivability.
Kassadin players will get surprised by your tankiness if you start your game with Resolve as second runes combined with a Doran's Shield. Abuse the fact that he is a melee champion and make sure you autoattack him as much as possible. Post 6 you can all-in on him if he tries to jump in for a trade. Get a Mercury's instead of Sorcerer's if you feel like you're falling behind. Late game Kassadin is a very dangerous threat and turn your entire attention to him once he dares to jump in with his Riftwalk because once he is CC'd, he dies quickly.
Swain has become stronger after his rework, yet his sustain gets cut a lot by Morellonomicon. Use this item to your advantage combined with your kit to bring him down. Dodge his E and W to ensure a trade in your favor. Do not fight him alone unless you are ahead. In an even lane, wait for your jungler to help you out.
High waveclear with long range abilities makes it hard to bring him down, but once he gets locked down there is no way for him to survive since he is weak to hard CC.
Good damage with her Q, her E increases that damage furthermore. Dodge her E, especially after lvl 6 she will attempt to us this ability after jumping into her portal, or using the sides to attempt long-range E's. Her random pickups through the W will make the lane a little bit harder to play but overall not too difficult to handle.
There is not much to do against her waveclear due to her E, but her combo can be completely countered with a Zhonya's, therefore she is not a high threat. If you have struggles against her, max Q and farm yourself up until you get you first item done and after that go for Zhonya's to shut her down completely. Note: Her ultimate cannot be interrupted even if she gets stunned.
Malzahar's passive gives him a fairly safe laning phase, combined with his constant pushing power due to his E. His voidlings deal more damage to targets affected by Malefic vision; bring them down by simply one-hitting them, so that Malzahar needs to spam more abilites which results in losing more mana in the process. The suppression of his ultimate can be cleansed by a QSS, but the damage continues. If you want to survive his damage, simply build a Mercury's to reduce the duration and damage of his abilities. Malzahar's damage comes from setting up his combo by hitting you with his E first - he has no access to burst damage.
Fizz is by far one of the most annoying champions to play against, simply due to the low cooldowns on his abilities. He can cancel your active W by jumping mid-air with his E which screws up your entire combo and dmg output. A Zhonya's is necessary to counter his ultimate as well as the damage from his basic attacks which get reduced by Armor. He is a melee champion which means you can harass him a lot, but be careful about his burst access post 6. If you struggle a lot against him, consider buying an early Mercury's to reduce all incoming damage.
Ekko can deal great amounts of damage, but for that he needs to do his combo all over again: Dash onto the enemy with E, Q immediately and auto-attack for the third stack to proc his passive. Abuse this fact to punish him whenever he goes in for a trade. Dodge his W and ultimate and you'll be safe. Due to his ultimate the killing potential gets reduced a lot, but that should not stop you from pushing up the lane and putting pressure on him whenever his ult is on cooldown.
Lissandra has good waveclear as well as good CC, especially her ultimate can stop every of your engages when she keeps it just for you. Be careful when she E's forward because most of the time that means she wants to all-in on you with her full combo which can result in you dying because Electrocute Lissandra combined with the reworked Mana items is a powerful threat. Build your core items and dodge her Q as good as possible. If you are fast enough (and if you feel like you have the damage you need to bring her down) you can burst her down with a nice all-in combo. Be wary that she can ult herself to turn the fight around.
Taliyah players tend to do two things: First, they can push the wave fairly easy with her combined abilities, and second, they will look for an opportunity to knock you back into their full combo with her W. Dodging her abilities shouldn't be hard with the mobility your E provides, and since she has no ultimate for a 1vs1, fighting her shouldn't be much of a problem. Be careful about her roaming, because with her ultimate it is superior to yours.
Talon players tend to buy an early Hexdrinker in most games simply to have a defensive tool when going all-in with their abilities. He can get hit by your W and R while being invisible in his ultimate, make use out of it to lock him down with your combo. Dodging his W is important so he can't stack up his passive on you, avoiding unnecessary damage that can lose you a 1vs1 fight. If you struggle too hard, pick up Exhaust to stop him from getting early kills and care for his roaming due to his wall jumping.
Due to her versatile kit as well as high mobility in lane, trading with her seems almost impossible. You can hit her with W while she's invisible, avoid fighting near walls as she excels there with her ultimate.
Usually tends to push out lanes for easy roams. Once you have your Protobelt, push him in so he can't roam and if you see him move forward while picking a card, he most certainly wants to set up the enemy jungler for a gank.
Sylas can be a bully in lane, but not as much as a threat as it looks. In order to stay even with his waveclear, a Protobelt is strongly recommended. Warn your team in case he stole your ultimate because that's where things can get dangerous in a fight.
Playing against Galio, keep a few things in mind: First, always punish him for lasthitting due to him being a melee champion, and second, have your E ready to keep your distance from him, should he try to engage with his E. Past 6, his ultimate allows him for quick engages on other lanes, but for that he still needs to get in range. Keep the river areas or jungle entrances warded and follow up if needed. Wit's End has seen major success in this particular matchup, combined with Conqueror. Otherwise use Rylai's or Twin Shadows to keep the distance.
Since she received quality of life buffs, Annie has become a major threat in the lane. Max Q and farm safely into the mid game, carefully observe when she runs towards you as she will attempt a stun, especially with Tibbers post level 6. If you happen to play against a Predator Annie, make sure to keep your river areas warded in case she wants to gank other lanes quickly.
Experienced Yasuo players will close the gap quickly to deal damage in the most efficient way possible. Always make sure to keep your distance and past level 6, punish him with your entire combo if he commits into a fight. He is a melee champion, so harass him as much as possible to prevent him from dominating the lane. Glacial Augment has proven itself as very efficient against his mobility.
His pushing power gets strong once he has a Luden's, before that you can easily keep up with his waveclear by maxing Q and make sure you dodge his Q and E while laning.
Similar to Zoe, Neeko's entire combo relies on hitting her E for the root, especially empowered after travelling through minions which lasts for 3 seconds if hit. Her ultimate has a lot of damage combined with a shield, but has a small window where a dodge is possible. Keep your E ready to dodge her ultimate and then turn around for a potential kill.
Leona's stun pairs up perfectly well with your stuns to lock down an enemy. Her passive adds more damage to your abilities.
When playing with Ornn i strongly recommend to purchase Deathcap before Zhonya because of the upgraded version which adds a great amount of Ap to your entire build. If you play against a full Ad comp, an upgraded Zhonyas's is the better choice.
A well placed ultimate pairs very well with yours.
Once he taunts an enemy, you have enough time to unleash your entire combo on that target.
Her Black Shield can help you initate fights without having to worry about the enemy's crowd control.
When playing with or against Janna - her ultimate knocks away enemy champions. This can screw up your engage entirely.
Fiddle's instant fears due to his engages, especially with his ultimate allows for efficient engages without much effort.
Her ultimate can screw you up as it saves any living thing and even heal it, denying you a lot of kills.
Just like with Amumu and Fiddle, his ultimate can set you up for a good engage as well.
Bard's ultimate can either set you up for a good ultimate or ruin the engage entirely. Communicate before a fight to avoid major mistakes.
Champion Build 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.
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.
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.
Thundering Shuriken (Q)
Cost: 60/55/50/45/40 Energy
|Kennen throws a shuriken which deals 75/115/155/195/235 (+75% Ability Power) magic damage on the first target hit and applies a Mark of the Storm.|
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scorch and Waterwalking are optimal choices for Supporters, but Gathering Storm offers you a lot of damage the longer the game goes on. Consider this a valuable choice.
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.
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.
Unflinching is also a good choice if you don't feel like gaining extra health as the Tenacity and Slow resistance can help in a fight.
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.
Cheap shot works very well with your crowd control and enables you to deal true damage. If you are unsure how your laning phase will go, you may also choose Taste of Blood in order to restore health while trading with your opponent.
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.
Grants you Omnivamp, which gives you health back on auto attacks and dealing damage with abilities. Very useful for the laning phase as Kennen's kit has no built-in sustain.
If your playstyle is focused more around teamfighting rather than on sustain, you can pick Ultimate Hunter as an alternative.
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, i always go for:
- Adaptive Force
- Magic Resistance
This covers all of the stats needed for the laning phase. If playing against an Ad Champion, choose Armor instead of Magic Resistance.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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 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:
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 increases over 5 seconds, 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.
Riftmaker's unique passive grants every other finished item 5% Magic Penetration. This is a huge deal as we do not have to worry about the enemy stacking Magic Resistance. If you are planning on using an item set without Void Staff, consider this item a must in order to stay relevant in later stages of the game.
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.
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.
Zhonya's Hourglass 2500g
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 2500g
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 2500g
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.
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.
Now we will take a look at the more expensive 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 750 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 750. 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. If you are unsure - the threshold for Horizon Focus is equal to the range of Electrical Surge which is 750.
Cosmic Drive 3000g
Cosmic Drive is the only Ap item which gives 30 Ability Haste. It's ability, Spelldance, provides Movement Speed when successfully dealing damage with your abilities. The additional Health given by this item provides more durability in fights.
Spelldance gives you the tools needed to keep the distance to your opponent. There is strong synergy with runes like Phase Rush or Celerity, therefore consider playing with these runes when focusing on kiting the opponent.
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 3800g
The most expensive item that gives the highest amount of Ability Power. Consider buying this in the late game, when you have a complete item build and have saved up enough money to switch another item out for Deathcap in order to push your Ap to the limit. This ensures you have the damage needed to win fights and respectively, win the game.
As already mentioned above, if you had a good early and mid-game, it is possible to purchase Deathcap much earlier. As long as you have two free item slots, you can get both components, not sitting on one for a long time until you can actually complete it.
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.
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
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. So the question is: How to defeat the enemy? The answer is: Right execution of your abilities.
Ability sequences on Kennen
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. For starters, i will explain the most common combo's that are being used on him frequently.
We'll start with the first and most simple one: to get behind your minions quicker, dodging abilities by the enemy champion in the process.
The second one is for players who max first:
If you happen to play against a melee champion, you can abuse the fact that Lightning Rush creates the distance between yourself and the enemy while also applying a Mark. In case someone closes the gap, use this sequence:
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).
Considering we have the situation of an enemy having two Marks, the next ability that follows up for a stun depends on which abilities you have used before. Here are a few examples:
Both sequences depend on what you maxed first, but in both cases you need to get into auto-attack range, which will put you at a risk. As already mentioned above, make use of your to close the gap for a quick trade, or to disengage before the enemy can deal damage to you that can be avoided otherwise.
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.
Past Level 6, you want to be able to engage on your enemy as efficient as possible. Here are two examples of how to include your ultimate in the process:
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.
In case you want to include Flash on your engage to secure a kill, you can do the following:
You can use Lightning Rush either after Electrical Surge or Thundering Shuriken, depending on the situation. Flash can also be cast immediately after activating Slicing Maelstrom to remove it's cast time.
All of these are examples and there are more variations in how to make use of your marks. Take yourself the time to practice and adjust your abilities to the situation.
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.
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
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 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
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
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.
If you are interested - i have my own Twitch channel at Twitch.tv/Sanctuar , where I stream from time to time. You can ask me anything when i am live.
Thanks again for reading and good luck on Summoner's Rift,