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
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
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. My passion for this champion has brought me into the depths of high elo multiple times, peaking at Master Tier, as well as hitting Challenger in Flexque. For the record, i have reached over 2 Million Mastery points on him, therefore i can provide a lot of experience regarding his playstyle and give some advice on how to play him properly.
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 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
- An advanced section for motivated Kennen players to test out their limits
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.
+ Manaless champion
+ Access to CC due to
+ Safe laning with and
+ Strong teamfighting and access to AOE with and
+ Good roaming with
+ Versatile in itemization and Rune selection
- Fairly squishy champion
- Weak sustain
- Initiations countered by displacement abilities and
- Cooling down after full combo, making him vulnerable
- Falling behind early on makes a comeback very difficult
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)
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.
Electrical Surge (W)
Cost: 40 Energy
This ability has two effects, one passive and one active.
Passive: Every fifth basic attack deals bonus magic damage equal to 10/20/30/40/50 (+60/70/80/90/100% Bonus Attack Damage)(+20% 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 or who are inside of Slicing Maelstrom, dealing 60/85/115/135/160 (+80% Ability Power) magic damage.
Lightning Rush (E)
Cost: 100/95/90/85/80 Energy
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)
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.
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 run away, 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.
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. Once Rylais is finished, the comet is guaranteed to hit every single time. Consider this an option if you go for Sorcery.
If you are not comfortable with playing Arcane Comet, you can either choose for a more aggressive approach, or 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.
Since we are trying to utilize Kennen in many ways, this rune offers more mobility while laning and ganking. One may argue that the value of Transcendence is unrivaled, and Absolute Focus can give you the lead while laning. Whatever you choose is up to you, as every rune is viable on Kennen, and highly depends on the player's way of playing him. For now, we'll stick to Celerity.
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. Boneplating reduces the amount of damage taken while laning. Second Wind offers greater health regeneration which paires well with Dorans Shield for good sustain.
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.
Taste of Blood
A good rune for recovering some lost health in 1vs1 situations while trading damage.
works very well with your CC, with your Flash ult engages.
Since we are getting , we can make use of this rune to increase our vision on the map while clearing enemy wards at the same time. If that rune doesn't fit your needs, you can always take as an alternative.
Gain health back by dealing damage with your abilities. Helps out with the laning phase but also useful for quickly recovering health on a minion wave after surviving a fight.
As a secondary path, this is entirely up to you. We'll go with Sorcery as these runes are optimal for Kennen in any given situation.
As listed above, this rune is very useful in a 1vs1 situation and thus can be a deciding factor in winning or losing a fight. Going all out with your burst damage is fine, but you still need something as a means of surviving the fight.
When playing against an Assassin such as Zed, Talon or Qiyana, you can choose between , , or .
As described, this rune helps you with scaling into the late game more efficiently.
For the small runes, i always go for:
- Adaptive Force
- Magic Resistance
Another option i can recommend is swapping out the Armor rune with Magic Resistance and the last rune with Hp/per Lvl if playing against an Ap champion where the additional Armor is not necessarily required as we will buy a later on anyway.
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.
There are three ways of starting your laning phase, each having it's own benefits and downsides (hover over the icon with your mouse if you are not sure what this item does for a detailed explanation and stats overview):
+ Gives you a bit more sustain
- Lack of bonus Attack damage early on
+ More Attack damage early on
- Less survivability despite Lifesteal
Refillable potion, but the risk of using up both charges very soon are high, therefore i'd recommend you the standard potions for the start of the game.
+ Higher mobility with a lot of sustain
- Lack of attack damage as well as being squishier
, 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.
+ Rewarded with additional gold to ensure faster item completion
- High risk approach as being squishier with only one health potion
After your first recall, we need to look at how much Gold we have and what we are laning against. 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 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 are playing with Protobelt and have more gold at your hands, you can buy a instead, or a if you want to stay more durable during the laning phase as well as having the additional Cooldown Reduction.
If you are getting killed before your first recall, you may want to pick up either a or a depending on your matchup. In that case, work towards your first bigger component for an item before purchasing Boots.
If you play against any champion with strong self-healing, your item build will include . Buy this item after your first item to have Grievous Wounds on your team which can be a deciding factor in teamfights.
If you play against Zed, Fizz, Lux or Syndra, you want to pick up a defensive item of your choice that saves you from the incoming burst damage. An early can save you from a dire situation, and building as soon as possible can change the outcome of a game. is a possible choice as well to build the Zhonya's faster while working on your other item, the only downside here is that since the nerf to the cooldown of this rune, having a bad early game will delay the Stopwatch to a point where it will come too late to have enough impact on the game. Should such a case arise, work on your other item first ( or ) before working on Zhonya.
If playing against team compositions consisting of two or more Tanks, has proven itself as a worthy pickup. It's increased damage over time effect on your abilities synergizes very well, especially with . The max health damage will shred their HP away and the effect gets increased with your CC as well as Rylai's.
If you want extra mobility for ganking other lanes, or just straight Magic penetration as early as possible, you can buy first. It is not bad, but buy a to prevent yourself from getting killed too easily.
If you fall behind too much, picking up a or depending on matchup can be very useful. But you will lack some damage, therefore be careful the next time you fight with these being purchased.
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 ?
- 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.
The order in which you buy your items is very important and also depending on how the game progresses. Here is an example of how to decide:
The first option is only recommended if you are far ahead of your enemy laner. If you manage to complete Deathcap with Rylais before 20 minutes you have put yourself in a dangerous position of winning the game. The only thing you need to do then is to group for the winning teamfight and display your lead. But in most cases, i would prefer the second row. The third row is possible due to .
After finishing off your third item, your next item is going to be . This item provides you with the Magic penetration that you need to stay relevant in the game, because at this point, the enemy team will have some Magic resistance to counter your damage. In some cases you can even buy it before Zhonya's, but it takes a lot of risk to lose the safety of a Zhonya's for more damage. As said before: It is not all about damage, it is about utility as well. Furthermore, buying a Void Staff even if the enemy hasn't stacked any Magic Resistance doesn't help you at all. Since it is fitting I would like to add an important and useful quote:
"What's the difference between doing 100% and 103% damage? Nothing, because the enemy is going to die either way." - Ego Ignaxio
Your last item highly depends on the current situation in the game. If you for example bought a or after your first core item due to the circumstances of the game, you will have a complete item build after building Void Staff. If you skipped these items and still have a slot free, the following two items then need to be focused on:
Banshee's Veil and Spellbinder .
Buying one of these depends on the following conditions:
- Do i play against a heavy AP comp and therefore need more Magic resistance?
- Do i need more burst access or a safe engage?
- How much time until an important objective?
- Following the question above, should i just buy another Elixir and a Control ward? (That's 575g which delays your item of choice furthermore)
Most of the time it will be . The extra Ap, Magic resist and Cooldown Reduction are worth the price, and the shield gives you a safe opportunity to engage without getting CC'd immediately. In a dire situation where one mistake can cost you the game, this item can be a lifesaver and therefore, should not be underrestimated.
If, by any chance, you make it to a point in the game where you have no other options left, you can sell your boots and buy . This will get you near 1k Ap and with the Movement Speed you can still find a quick way of initiating a fight, creating a death zone with your ultimate for anyone who steps inside.
Spellbinder serves as a powerful tool to increase damage output and Movement Speed. In rare cases it is possible to buy this item instead of Rabadon's but only if you don't have much gold at your hands to complete the Deathcap in time for a potential fight that will decide the game. In such cases i would consider buying Spellbinder and acquire Deathcap as a super late game item.
Here are a few examples of finished item builds that you can use:
All of the choices above are viable options. Try and experiment with as many item builds as possible and find the one you feel most comfortable playing with.
At last, we have a list of items that are worthy of mentioning:
Hextech Gunblade has been a useful pickup in the past due to the amount of sustain that it provides as Kennen has no sustain included in his kit. The cost is pretty high, and with the removal of Kleptomancy, it takes longer to complete this item. If you are far ahead in the lane, you can choose Gunblade, since the Cutlass serves as a niche tool to deal damage until you complete it.
QSS has been the to-go item if it comes to removing hard CC. It's cost is fair for it's active ability, and in some cases it is still a good pick-up, but keep these two things in mind when you purchase this item: First, you cannot remove Morgana's
anymore, and second, you can remove the suppression of Malzahar's
, but the damage will still continue on, which can make a difference in surviving or actually dying from it.
An underrated item which provides stats that Kennen can highly benefit from. I still need to experiment with Nashor's and as soon as i have gathered enough knowledge on this playstyle, i will add more information in the future. If your lane goes well, consider this item as a viable choice.
- Twin Shadows is a very useful item as it can help you slow down enemies to either create an opening for your team to engage on, or to disengage safely from the enemy team. Consider this an option.
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 especially 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 5% Cooldown Reduction, which you can get by having or if you play with any item that provides Cooldown Reduction. This will put the cooldown below the duration of your passive, which enables you to apply marks and damage at a consistent pace.
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 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 a or a 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 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 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 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.
The next chapter is for more experienced players who have mastered the basics and are looking for new ways of playing Kennen. These are called Advanced Sections.
What is an Advanced Section?
An advanced section covers a playstyle that i have worked and experimented with. It enables the player to try something new and go beyond the common boundaries that we know about. This way, we can also learn which items actually work on Kennen and which ones don't.
Take your time to understand the idea behind these sections and eventually, find your own unique playstyle that showcases your experience on this particular champion.
This section covers an advanced playstyle that builds around Conqueror, a keystone that has been added a few seasons ago and has been changed a few times up until now. While this playstyle is not recommended, it shows signs of great utility as well as powerful dueling potential and should not be underrestimated.
Attack an enemy champion to gain stacks of adaptive force. At 10 stacks, heal for 8% of the damage dealt to champions.
Important to know is:
- One stack for a basic attack (since Kennen is a ranged champion)
- Two stacks for an ability or an active item such as Hextech Gunblade
Triumph / Presence of Mind
Both runes are working for Kennen as Triumph allows for clutch moments of surviving a fight while Presence of Mind offers a higher energy pool. We'll go with Triumph now as this playstyle is especially aimed at a successful early game.
Legend: Alacrity / Legend: Bloodline
Permanently increases Attack Speed for takedowns on Champions as well as minion kills.
Kennen is well known for his high base Attack Speed, and to bring more of this stat out of him, we choose this rune to further increase the dps that he can put out in a fight. If you feel like the Attack Speed is high enough, you can choose Bloodline, but Lifesteal will be rendered useless once the laning phase is over, while Attack Speed can make a difference, especially when going for an objective of choice (Turret, Dragon, Rift Herald, etc.).
This rune is what makes the playstyle a do-or-die situation. While Conqueror gives you a certain amount of healing when fully stacked, combined with Wit's End this will keep you alive for as long as possible to maximize your damage output with this rune at low health. This is also the reason why we invest so much into Attack Speed, thus the choice in the Legend rune.
As for the secondary path, we choose Domination as there are two runes that can help us out in the laning phase. Other paths i can recommend are either Resolve (Second Wind/Overgrowth) or Inspiration (Biscuits/Cosmic Insight) as they both help us out in the game.
Taste of Blood
Allows for better trading.
This rune gives us even more healing to survive as the effect pairs well with a fully stacked Conqueror.
As for the small runes, i am using these:
- Attack Speed
- Adaptive Force
- Hp/per Lvl
We do not take Magic Resistance because we'll get an early Negatron Cloak anyway which builds into Wit's End. Armor is not required since the final build includes . In case that you have to play against an Ad champion, you can go for an early , will provide you with the Magic penetration later on.
As for the item section, we will take over everything that has been covered in this guide before, with one slight change. Here is the finished item build in advance:
While we know everything about the other items already, i will spend some lines on the item that highlights and makes this playstyle interesting: Wit's End.
This item has the following stats and abilities:
- Cost: 2900g
- +50% Attack Speed
- +50 Magic Resistance
- +5% Movement Speed
- Unique Passive: Basic attacks deal 15-80 (lvl 1-18) bonus magic damage on hit. While below half health, heal for the amount of on hit damage dealt by Wit's End (33% effectiveness for ranged).
This item provides a lot of good stats for a fair cost. Attack Speed, Magic Resistance and Movement Speed are all perfect for utilizing Kennen's mobility and kit.
What makes this item even more interesting is it's unique passive effect that allows Kennen to heal with every basic attack while he is below half health. Yes, the one-third restriction does hurt, but it still helps a lot with regaining health after a fight. The on hit damage scales with level, which means the healing increases as well.
This is where Conqueror comes into play: While fully stacked, heal for 8% of the damage dealt to enemy champions. The dueling potential here is what makes this combination so underrated: The Keystone, when fully stacked, increases the healing from the damage dealt with Wit's End while below half health. Now combine this with Last Stand, which increases your damage furthermore while below 60% health, which in return means more healing through Conqueror.
The only downside here is that there is lack of Ability Power, which means we have to utilize his Auto attacks as much as possible until more Ap comes into play by purchasing standard items such as Morellonomicon and Deathcap later on.
In the past, we have also seen on hit Kennen on the botlane with Blade of the Ruined King/Runaan's Hurricane before, or on toplane with Botrk/Frozen Mallet. Signs that off-meta builds can work on him if played correctly. This is just another example of what can work, not just for Kennen, but for any champion in the game. That doesn't necessarily mean that it is going to work, but with the right amount of practice and patience, even this playstyle will become a viable choice for any Kennen player. Therefore, take yourself some time, practice and eventually, it will pay off.
Conqueror Kennen plays itself in a very specific way and we will cover this here. In this guide i have already covered every stage in the game as what to focus on in terms of objectives, vision control, etc. In this chapter, i am specifically going to dive into the early game as this is the most crucial part for this playstyle that can decide the rest of the game.
Start your laning phase either with or and a . The bonus Ad from Doran's Blade will increase with Conqueror as you stack it against the enemy laner and therefore provide more efficient trading. If you feel unsafe about this playstyle you may start with a Doran's Shield, as this item can help you clutch out certain situations due to the unique passive it provides, and the adaptive Ap in that case can help with dealing more damage with your abilities.
When laning: Keep in mind that your runeset provides you a lot of Attack Speed. This in return means you can have a good way of clearing your wave with auto attacks much more efficiently. Good wave control means you can bait your enemy into going for a trade, and your runes are exactly made for this situation.
When trading: Do not hesitate to trade back (how to trade efficiently is covered in the chapter "Ability sequences on Kennen"), while as well as help you with getting health back.
While the laning phase goes on, in most cases you will not have a fully stacked Conqueror until you actually engage a 1vs1 fight to kill an enemy champion. Nontheless abuse the fact that this keystone gives you more damage, which can give you the lead in the lane.
Playing a more aggressive playstyle this way makes you more vulnerable for ganks, therefore always position yourself to the side of your jungler, depending on which side he is, for a safer laning.
Depending on how the lane goes, after your first recall you either have a or . Take the bow when the lane is going well for you, or the cloak to prevent more damage (or a when playing against an Ad Champion, which later builds into ).
Completing Wit's End takes a bit of time, so for the most part, focus on your lasthitting. The enemy laner will try to step forward more than once and your jungler will have enough opportunities to gank. Should you be unsure in terms of trading damage, you can simply push the lane with your Attack Speed, ensuring yourself a safe lane without much fighting.
Just in case i will give an example of a 1vs1 situation post level 6, and how to use your abilities in the right order to defeat your enemy:
In most cases, you want to trade your enemy to a point where he is below 50% Health. If that is difficult to accomplish, try for an all-in for testing purposes.
Before engaging, make sure to apply two stacks of your on the enemy. Attack a minion a few times to stack your passive as the fifth auto attack will help a lot in the fight.
After that, engage with either
to ensure a first stun on the enemy. Hitting the enemy with all of these abilites should give you enough stacks to activate Conqueror for healing purposes. Use and the rest of your passive stacks to apply as many stuns as possible. During the stunlock you are capable of dishing out a lot of Dps with your auto attacks. will most likely secure the kill. Do not be afraid to lose health in this scenario as needs to proc below 60% Health for extra damage.
Additional advice for Mid & Late game
When finishing up , you can further increase your Dps by auto attacking your enemy while also staying alive much longer due to it's unique passive combined with Conqueror. Despite all of that Dps running, do not forget to kite properly if fighting against melee champions or to simply dodge certain abilities (Examples: Syndra's Q, Ryze's Q).
Once you complete your , you have the Magic penetration that is required to deal more damage with your abilites while also applying Grievous Wounds to your enemies, which in return can help you a lot in longer lasting fights. If you were forced into defensive boots, Morellonomicon is necessary to stay relevant in the game. If you built Sorcerer's Shoes, you can switch to in case you need to shred down a tanky frontline.
From here on, it is all about successfully using your entire kit to engage into the enemy team, stacking up your Conqueror and then dishing out as much Dps as possible on the main targets, which are usually the most squishy ones such as the Ap and Ad carry, or kiting the enemy frontline while also providing a lot of safety for your Ad carry due to the zoning of your ultimate.
Complete the rest of your itembuild depending on the situation of the game. and can be built before going for . If you are further ahead and carry a lot of the team's kills, consider buying Deathcap as your third big item before finishing the other two.
One last word of advice: If you complete your itembuild, you can sell your Wit's End for a as Wit's End is only useful during the Early- and Midgame, whereas Banshee's is the Lategame item in order to secure a safe initiation, dishing out the burst damage that is required to win the game.
This section covers an advanced playstyle that revolves around Glacial Augment, a keystone which in the past has shown great signs of utility but yet hasn't seen proper success on Kennen. Compared to the previous section, this way of playing Kennen is much easier but has it's fair share of risks. Proper usage of this playstyle can result in a swift victory over the enemy before any comeback is possible.
This playstyle is especially useful against champions or team compositions with high mobility.
Basic attacks slow an enemy champion for 2 seconds (per Unit). The slow increases in strength over it's duration. Shooting an active item at enemy champions freezes the nearby ground, slowing all units inside by 60% for 5 seconds.
Important to know is:
- Slow goes from 30-40% since Kennen is ranged. Slow scales with Level
- Per Unit means if you attack an enemy champion for the slow and then switch to another enemy champion, the slow applies on that champion as well
- Cooldown per Unit is 7-4 Seconds, scaling down with Level
- The Freeze Ray caused by an active item has no Cooldown, meaning two active items can be used in succession to apply the slow on the ground. But: The slow from two freeze rays does not stack
Free boots at 12 Minutes, each takedown reduces the Cooldown by 45 seconds. Until then, no other boots can be purchased.
Probably the best rune for Kennen right now as it saves you 300 Gold which can be used to complete the first big item much quicker. The bonus Movement Speed helps a lot, especially with engaging a fight or disengaging if needed.
is a viable choice and can be taken if playing against an AD Champion or any champion with high burst potential but remember that the Cooldown of this rune is 14 Minutes. Since Kennen is struggling in the current meta right now, this rune is not recommended, but can still be taken for testing purposes.
Gain one free Biscuit every 2 Minutes, up until 6 Minutes. Consuming one restores 12% of missing Health over a few seconds (since Kennen is a manaless champion).
We have seen this rune a lot of times in the professional scene where it's being used in combination with to counter a ticking Ignite or gaining Movement Speed for extra utility. It's a niche way of staying longer on the lane due to the possibility of quickly recovering from a fight.
can be used for better lane control, for faster item completion.
Grants 5% Cooldown Reduction to:
- Abilities and Summoner Spells
- Active Items
- Maximum Cooldown Reduction (40->45%)
Best choice so far, as the Max CDR helps a lot with the presented item build that will consist out of three active items.
As for the secondary path, we will once more choose Sorcery as the following runes have proven to be most effective in this particular playstyle.
Grants 10% Cooldown Reduction at Level 10. Any additional Cooldown Reduction that goes over the cap will be converted into bonus Ability Power.
With this rune and the item build that will follow shortly, we will be capped out at 45% Cooldown Reduction, in that case the value of Transcendence is unrivaled compared to and .
As mentioned already, the best rune for scaling into the late game.
As for the small runes, this is entirely up to you, but to be on the safe side, we will choose the standard ones:
- Ability Power
- Magic Resistance
If you are not playing against an AD Champion in the midlane, you can switch to the second option with Ap/Mres/Hp per Lvl.
As for the item build, it consists of items that we already know about, with a little twist. Here it is in advance:
Just like in the previous section, our main focus in this build is the one item that emphasizes the efficient use of Glacial Augment thus making this playstyle a possible yet underrated choice: Twin Shadows.
This item has the following stats and a unique active:
- Cost: 2400g
- +70 Ability Power
- +7% Movement Speed
- +10% Cooldown Reduction
- Unique Active: Summons 2 ghosts that hunt down nearby champions, revealing and Haunting them.
Haunted enemies are slowed by 40% for up to 5 seconds based on the distance the ghosts travelled. (90 seconds cooldown)
Out of all the finished items that give AP, Twin Shadows is the least expensive in the game. It's stats are very efficient as not just the 70 AP, but the bonus Movement Speed as well as the 10% Cooldown Reduction greatly benefit Kennen to emphasize on his ability to engage fights more efficiently.
A lot of players forget that despite Kennen's kit consisting of heavy Crowd Control that is needed to win fights, not a single ability of Kennen has a slow included in his kit.
This is also the reason why an item such as Rylai's is such a niche pick that Kennen can make use of so much because it basically helps him close the gap between himself and an enemy champion much more efficiently.
While Rylai's synergizes so well with his entire kit, the sole purpose of Twin Shadows is to close the gap even faster because of the slow being stronger, amplified by Glacial Augment thus creating a dire situation for the enemy team where the only options are either fight it out or die.
Twin Shadows can also be used to disengage fights much better than Rylai's, creating a larger distance, making it impossible for the enemy team to catch up. It's useage varies according to the situation, and opens up a lot of possibilities, not just for Kennen, but also for the entire team. Not to mention the ability to check areas on the map while fighting for vision control or avoiding unnecessary facechecking. Champions like Ahri and Veigar have been showing consistently good winrates simply by having the ability to add great CC by slowing down multiple enemies at once due to Twin Shadows and mainly, Hextech-GLP.
Even with all the good things mentioned, there is also a risk in buying this item. Twin Shadows provides stats that can snowball Kennen out of the laning phase. This item does not provide any defensive stats like Health or Magic Resistance, making him a very squishy target. The good side of this situation is that should such a case arise, may it be because of a potential counter pick or getting outclassed by the enemy laner, Kennen still has the ability to make a comeback possible due to having more gold at his hands by buying his next gold efficient item, which is Hextech-Protobelt. Therefore, be very careful during the laning phase as more damage doesn't mean more survivability.
To conclude this part, this way of playing Kennen is just another suggestion of what can work. In the end, it is the item build each player finds for himself that is most efficient and brings out the most out of the player and his champion. Therefore, try out as much as possible and find the best build that suits you.
Most of the gameplay patterns are already known to us, but since we are playing with Glacial Augment, the playstyle changes up a bit. We will divide this once again into the three phases of the game, where i will try my best to give a detailed description as in how to play Kennen as good, and especially, as safe as possible.
Start off with the usual starter items that you prefer. Max your prefered ability according to the matchup. Focus on farming as much as possible and make sure to keep your lane in check so that the enemy laner doesn't get an easy chance to leave his lane, should a potential river fight between junglers come along.
Glacial Augment is used to either close the gap between yourself and the enemy, or to keep your distance. This can provide safe damage without receiving much in return, avoiding unnecessary damage that will make your lane harder. Should a potential trade not go in your favor you can use your free biscuits to stay at good health. Do not take this as a means to waste away your biscuits as they are specifically there to keep you in the lane as long as possible.
Melee champions will have a difficult time catching up to you as you create the distance that is needed to freely harass them while they struggle to get back into safety, therefore it provides a good opportunity to get the lead in the lane.
Since the keystone is effective against multiple targets, an enemy jungler can be punished even further, most likely forcing a Flash to fully commit to the gank, which for example your jungler can capitalize on in a potential 2vs2 situation.
These small things can make a difference and therefore utilize your keystone as much as possible to create interesting scenarios, most of them in your favor.
As for the laning, make sure to farm up for your first big item which is . You will get your free boots by the time you complete it. Remember the cost of each component:
Since you have , you can go for the kodex first as the Cooldown Reduction further increases your capabilities in the laning phase.
As for the trading, always try to use your passive into active for efficient trading. If you have a difficult lane, max and only use your autoattacks to keep your distance from your laner to make it safely into the midgame.
Once you complete , you have a powerful tool to not only set yourself (and your jungler) for a fight; this item also serves as a scouting tool. Once every 90 seconds, you can use this item to scout for the enemy jungler, giving your team the much needed intel in where he is going next. Should the enemy jungler commit to gank you, Twin Shadows can completely deny him and the enemy midlaner from succeeding in a potential 2vs1 situation that would go in their favor.
Do not hesitate to put this item on cooldown if you have no vision around your lane. But: This item does not compensate the usage of your trinket and most importantly, the purchasing of . Therefore always make sure you have vision around your area because that way you can avoid unnecessary deaths in the early game.
Despite all the focus on the laning, roaming is also essential and should be easier due to the Movement Speed provides. Make use of this item and your increased mobility to outrun your opponent in case a fight breaks out at the river or botlane to support your team in any way possible. If you haven't done it yet, switch your trinket to to deny the enemy vision in those respective areas.
Mid & Late game
From here on out, your most important focus is to set your team up for a good fight. Twin Shadows gives you enough opportunities to catch enemies off-guard and forcing these fights. It can also help you disengage fights if needed, avoiding unnecessary deaths.
Your next item which also serves as a powerful tool to engage into fights is . Combined with Twin Shadows, this item build provides the maximum utility for fights and still gives you a good amount of damage output to stay relevant in the game, even if you are behind. Combined with you are running at 35% Cooldown Reduction. Watch your Energy as you progress through the game!
In rare cases it can be wiser to build Protobelt before Twin Shadows simply because of the Health it provides. But that only happens if i play against a hard pushing mage like Anivia to keep up with her waveclear.
Do not forget: Despite all the utility, you are susceptible to damage by the enemy team due to having low resistances. Kiting the enemy efficiently and keeping your distance can be more rewarding than actually engaging, unless your team is nearby and is just waiting to engage with you. Decisionmaking is the key.
As for the engages, use the following steps as an example:
- Watch carefully where the enemy team goes. If they are split apart, position yourself to go for the group with less enemies as your team can collapse on them with your items. If they are running as 5, force a fight in an area that utilizes Twin Shadows in the best way possible (the jungle entrances have proven itself to be the best fighting areas due to Glacial Augment freezing this area almost entirely).
- Use to signal your team that you are about to engage.
- The freezing waves from Glacial Augment will help your jungler and toplaner with the engage. Otherwise engage on the main targets if they are out of position.
- Follow up with either -> -> or -> -> if Flash is needed to get into the backline.
As already mentioned, the fights are bound to happen at any time given the situation, therefore observe and adapt.
Your third item depends on the situation of the game and can either be or . Both items are important as they give you the much needed burst damage and with Hourglass, you will be maxed out at 45% Cooldown Reduction. With so much CDR in your pocket, i highly recommend you to pick up Crest of Insight for increased Energy Regeneration. With blue buff picked up, gives you an additional 20 Ability Power.
will be your last item to complete. It provides you with the Magic penetration needed to deal enough damage to burst down the main targets.
Follow the steps as already mentioned in a previous chapter: Focus on vision control, set your team up for a potential pick-up, gain control over the most important objectives and ultimately, secure the win.
As this is my first proper guide i hope to give you a clear overview on this champion and his capabilities in this game. If you have any further questions regarding Kennen, feel free to ask me ahead so i can respond. Any constructive feedback is appreciated and welcomed. If there is anything important you want me to add to the guide which can be very helpful, i can work on it and add it in the future.
Good luck on Summoner's Rift,