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Kennen Build Guide by Temzilla

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Temzilla

AD Kennen: Theory or Madness?

Temzilla Last updated on September 14, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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This is my AD Kennen Build/Guide, this guide will help you understand several things!

  • Why should I play AD Kennen?
  • How do I build AD Kennen?
  • When should I play AD Kennen?
  • What is my job as AD Kennen?

I will be looking at some lane matchups as well as lane partners as well.

Note: This is NOT an AP Kennen guide, AP Kennen is very strong, but this is a guide to playing Kennen as an AD champion.

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Why: Why would I pick AD Kennen?

Several things come to mind immediately:

  • Kennen has a standard AD carry auto attack range (550)
  • Kennen's Lightning Rush gives him 50 armor and magic resist, and a large amount of movement speed, this makes initiation and escape possible.
  • Kennen has one of the highest potential right click damage in the game.
  • Kennen's base defensive stats are above the average ranged AD carry'
  • Kennen has a good laning phase, with access to almost on demand stuns if you land a shuriken, or can run in with E.
  • Kennen's attacks have very high base damage, and low cooldowns.
  • Better early game than most AD carries, and a comparable late game.

Why shouldn't you play AD Kennen?
  • It isn't AP Kennen, AP Kennen is very strong.

Seriously, Every bad thing about AD kennen can be wrapped up with that.

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Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Marks:I take 6 Greater Mark of Desolation in order to get 10 armor penetration, and 3 Greater Mark of Attack Damage for early game attack damage.

Seals:I use Greater Seal of Armor in order to make it harder for the enemy AD carry to kill me.

Glyphs:I use Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist in order to defend against some of the magic damage I will face in the later game.

Quintessences: I use Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage in order to reach my goal of 10 Armor Penetration and 10 AD.

The goal of these runes is to optimize my early game laning phase, while still holding on to the late game damage.

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Brute Force : Early game AD boost. This is not only strong for the Electrical Surge burst, but also just in general for last hitting and such.

Butcher : This helps us last hit a little bit better, and we need the point to get into the next tier. We don't want to take

Alacrity : This is essential in order to get Weapon Expertise , and it gives a decent boost to your attack speed early game.

Deadliness : This is being re-worked into AD per level, but for now, this is great with our infinity edge. (AD/lvl is good with infinity edge too ^_^)

Weapon Expertise : This will increase your overall damage quite a bit.

Havoc : I take this instead of Vampirism because i feel that 1% lifesteal per point isn't enough to justify it, when Havoc applies to both your auto attack, and your ability damage.

Lethality : This is good to have with our almost %60 crit chance.

Sunder : This is great for the early game, and still scales well into late game.

Executioner : This is REALLY good for catching runners, something kennen is strong at.

Summoner's Resolve : We take this to increase the healing from our Heal spell.

Hardiness : I pick up 6 armor in defense so my lane opponant has that much more trouble damaging me.

Durability : Health! Everyone loves health!

Veteran's Scars : More health! Sweet! 30 for one point is too good to pass up.

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Items: How should I build AD Kennen?

I start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions.

Boots are really good because of potential ganks and because of the health regen that pots offer.

I start to build towards my Infinity Edge, getting B. F. Sword first if possible first, then getting a vamp scepter so I can sustain myself in lane reasonably well.

I build Infinity Edge first because it has a large amount of AD, and is the best DPS item in game for Kennen as a first item.

I then build my Phantom Dancer because of it's high synergy with Infinity Edge.

After Phantom Dancer is done, I build my Last Whisper, this is where you'll see the bulk of your damage start to appear.

The Bloodthirster rounds out our damage with some nice lifesteal.
Defensive Items:

Frozen Mallet: Kennen gets a lot of armor/mr from lightning rush, and has good base resists, so this is a really strong item on kennen. He also has a long attack range, so

Quicksilver Sash: Strong item if mages are giving you trouble, or if you need a cleanse.

Guardian Angel: Great if you're being instantly destroyed in fights, and a Frozen Mallet or a QSS won't really help.

Overall, this is a fairly standard AD carry build, optimized for both Early and late game damage.

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Well, let's compare IE and PD shall we?

Infinity Edge with PD+Pickaxe are theory crafted with this rune set here at level 12.

Infinity edge is HUGE spike damage, with an extra 64 damage on your W, you deal 311 dps with IE+Berserkers.

Phantom Dancer + Pickaxe is to build into IE, You deal 44 less damage with W, your crits don't hit nearly as hard, and you deal 272 dps, roughly 14% less damage, not counting your W.

Infinity Edge+PD+Vamp Scepter(8045g) with PD+Wriggles+Pickaxe+B. F. Sword(7990g) are theory crafted with this rune set here at level 18

IE+PD deals 665 dps, has 205 ad for W proc, and heals you for 400 hp over 5 seconds in lifesteal.

In comparison, the Wriggles/PD/IE peices build deals 500 dps, has 218 ad for W, and heals you for 375 health in 5 seconds in lifesteal.

You are sacrificing 33% dps, for a few more stuns, if they just sit there and let you auto attack them, and you still won't do as much damage, or heal as much.

Infinity Edge is simply superior to Wriggles/PD.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

I level up my abilities in order R>W>E>Q for several reasons.

Electrical Surge: This is your main damage ability in lane, it's cooldown reduces drastically as you level it up, and the AD ratio on the mark of storm proc goes up as you level it, so i level this ability first.

Lightning Rush: This lets you run really fast, it can be used as a damaging move, as an initiate, or a counter-initiate.

This lets you catch out of position players very quickly, and if you hit someone with it, you are almost guaranteed a stun.

The cooldown and damage get better as you level it, so i level this up second.

Thundering Shuriken: This is a skill shot that has no real scaling with AD kennen, so i feel it is mainly used as a stun tool. With W passive+Active, and a shuriken hit, you get a stun, and can get a lot of free harass into your enemy.

Slicing Maelstrom: This ability can do up to 240/435/630 damage, and stun a target for 1 second, I level this up as soon as possible.

Keep in mind, this ability can only strike the same target every 1/.8/.66 seconds, double that which is stated in the tooltip.

Overall, I feel Kennen's kit is well suited to an AD Carry.

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Summoner Spells

Flash: We use flash because Kennen has no real escape other than Lightning Rush, if he doesn't have that, flash is necessary.

Also, you can't run through walls.

Heal: I like to run heal on my AD carries, because Exhaust and Ignite have short ranges, and Heal is more effective when you use it on yourself as apposed to a support bringing heal.

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Early: What am I supposed to do with this furball?

When your game loads up, type /all glhf!, buy a Doran's Blade, or Boots of Speed, press ctrl+W, and walk wherever your team needs you, be that leashing buffs, or getting your small golems (blue side).

Once you are in lane, last hit with auto attacks, and then once you have your passive from Electrical Surge charged, try to look for an oppurtunity to hit your enemy with an auto attack, and then press W to activate the extra W damage.

Once you have Thundering Shuriken, do the same thing, but try to hit your enemy with a shuriken, if it works, they will be stunned when you do your double W combo, and you will be able to get in a lot of free harass.

Once you have Slicing Maelstrom, you can either attempt a kill, or just use your ultimate defensively when junglers come to gank you.

You are very dangerous when taking dragon, and attempting objectives because of your long range, and high mobility, use this to your advantage if possible.

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Late: Okay, now what?

You've made it to late game! (I hope... XD)

Keep one thing in mind, While in Lightning Rush form, Kennen can't auto attacks, however he can use all his spells.

Use Shurikens to poke, trying to land Q+WW stuns, and getting in a lot of free damage.

Don't be afraid to use Lightning Rush to run away, also don't be afraid to use Lightning Rush to run in.

You want to play Kennen like a standard AD carry in terms of positioning, never be afraid to kite.

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When: Picking AD Kennen

I would pick AD Kennen if i saw the enemy bottom lane is no sustain (I.E. Janna + Ashe), or you want a little bit of CC on your AD carry.

If the enemy team has a low amount of blink gap closers, and doesn't have ground slows (Singed/Trundle etc.) he is a pretty good choice.

You don't own Vayne, Graves, or Caitlyn? No problem!

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A short list of match ups and lane partners.

People Kennen lanes well against.

  • Ashe: Kennen is just a better version of Ashe.
  • Ezreal: Dodge his stuff, and he can't do anything against you.
  • Sivir: Her boomerang blade is avoidable, and her damage isn't anywhere near yours.
  • Miss Fortune: If she trys to trade with you, she will run out of mana.
  • Vayne: Your Escape is better, your CC is better, your damage is comparable, and your ultimate will still hit her in stealth.
  • Kog'Maw: In lane, Kog'Maw has to spend mana to match your range, and you should be able to out trade him as long as you can get a Q on him and land stuns. You can E away from his slow.

People Kennen doesn't lane well against.
  • Draven: Dray Dray real strong, his Q will out burst you by a lot.
  • Corki: His Gatling Gun is very strong, and his Valkyrie allows him to escape from a lot of kills, you will want to farm passively against him, or trade with him and try to get him to engage on you so you can punish.
  • Tristana: She is good early game against you, you'll have to really abuse her mid game in order to beat her.
  • Sona and Soraka can both protect their carries very effectively.
  • Graves: Really tanky because of true grit, but you can passive farm against him and be better late.
  • Caitlyn isn't a loss for kennen, but Cait's job is easier.

Let me know if I left anyone out! :D

Good Partners.
  • Lulu: Lulu brings damage, cc, and ap to a kennen lane, you gonna have a good time.
  • Janna: I recommend a Attack Speed Quint/Red page if you're laning with janna, but her shield is really strong on kennen.
  • Soraka: Can really punish casters like graves and blitz with silence, and can be fairly aggressive. She is a good lane for passively farming because she can anti-agress.
  • Leona: Q's or W's the wave of minions, you E+W and they all die with sunlight procs haha.
  • Blitzcrank: CC is awesome in a lane with kennen, he can do tons of damage to stationary targets.
  • Alistar: ^^^
  • Taric: see Blitzcrank. Also, the manliest lane ever.

Bad Partners.
  • Sona: mediocre lane presence, puts herself in danger , really good kill pressure at 6 though.
  • Anyone that doesn't have a lot of lane presence, and isn't "dangerous".
  • Kennen doesn't have any "really bad" lane partners, he's a very flexible ad carry.

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arikjuhh sent me this picture of his great 20-5-13 win!

Blawkyy sends two amazing games!

xSum sends in this 22-3-6 game with a triple kill!

Warf1ck sends in this great 9-1-7 game!

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I feel that AD Kennen is very strong in the current meta game, he is very good in lane against a wide variety of champions, he scales very well into the late game, and he has a strong kit even if his team/he is behind.