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Thresh Build Guide by Greengrim



Updated on February 12, 2013
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Greengrim Build Guide By Greengrim 10 9 15,461 Views 24 Comments
10 9 15,461 Views 24 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Greengrim Thresh Build Guide By Greengrim Updated on February 12, 2013
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Hello, my name is Dido a.k.a Greengrim as online friends like to call me. This will be my first guide ever made based on my experiences with the awesome new addition to the LoL champion list - Thresh.

YES! I know there already is an ADC Thresh guide (which actually made me try ADC Thresh at the 1st place so props to the guy who posted it) but I find some of the info there incorrect/not optimal since Thresh isn't a meta ADC and his playstyle deviates a bit from the rest of the regular ADC champions. So yeah, I decided to share my own way of playing ADC Thresh with the community.

1st of all no one is forcing you. But if you like Thresh as well as exploring different playstyles of non-meta champions then this is the place for you. Thresh's ADC playstyle is quite different from the regular ADC champions which makes him even more fun to play that way. The transition from a harmless critter to a deadly animal is so rapid, that it would often leave your enemies in a brainfreeze state after you jump at them during the mid and late stages of the game.

Before we start here's my last few games as Thresh as ADC:

And so it begins. I hope that you enjoy reading my guide and you find it useful.
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Not much to talk about here. The only actual change you can make that could be somewhat more optimal is swapping the scaling magic resistance runes to flat magic resistance runes depending on your opponents and your own preferences according to your own playstyle. Personally for my own (passive early game) playstyle with Thresh I find the scaling magic resistance runes to be the most optimal option.
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Pretty straight forward. Pick the most optimal masteries in terms of physical damage (as shown above).

IMPORTANT: Remember to spare 1 point from Brute Force which you spend on Spellsword for more damage output on your auto attacks. It's not noticable but definetly more optimal.
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This part is somewhat tricky. Just like any other ADC champion Thresh also requires a well planned item build outside the core items (i.e. Bloodthirster & Infinity Edge) but with small deviations. The main guidelines with the proper sequence are provided above but for the sake of knowledge and comprehension I'll describe the builds in words with an algorythm.

START: I strongly recommend starting with Boots and 3x Health Potion due to Thresh's short auto attack range and the fact he also has to manage gathering souls throughout the farming phase. A good opponent would know when to poke you while you try to last hit or pick a soul up. Having more mobility at that point will definetly be of more use than the Long Sword start. I only recommend starting with Long Sword and 2x Health Potion if you are 101% sure that you would crush your opponents early in the game.

STAGE 1: The first stage of your item build should always include rushing to Statikk Shiv and Berserker's Greaves as fast as possible. Play extremely carefully as Thresh is quite unreliable when it comes to damage before those two items and before he gets some level points into his Q. If you feel you're being harrassed too much on your lane during this stage you can feel free to buy a Vampiric Scepter at any point. Doesn't matter if that point comes before or after Statikk Shiv/ Berserker's Greaves. What's important at that point is that you have that life steal to sustain you during farm process. If you don't feel the need for an early Vampiric Scepter just buy it after Statikk Shiv+ Berserker's Greaves.

STAGE 2: At this point you have ok-ish attack speed and some life steal secured. Your second objective is to farm your way through to Infinity Edge and Bloodthirster. Personally I recommend making a quick shopping right after you have the cash for B. F. Sword so you can slowly start your transformation to a beast. At this point you can become a tag more aggressive. Remember that the B. F. Sword you picked is for Infinity Edge. Build Bloodthirster after it.

STAGE 3: After you have your core DPS items it's time to make a decision for your 5th item. The case scenarios can be 3:
a) "I'm snowballing!" -> Runaan's Hurricane;
b) "My enemies stack armor!" -> Last Whisper;
c) "My enemies stack HP!" -> Blade of the Ruined King (This should happen only when 3 or more enemies stack tons of HP).

STAGE 4: The last item in your build is also fully situational. If you feel insecure with your survivability go for Warmog's Armor (the new meta in survival). Otherwise go for the following:
a) if you went for point a) from stage 3 and enemies now stack armor just make Last Whisper your last pick. If you don't feel a need for armor penetration just make a 2nd Bloodthirster;
b) if you went for point b) from stage 3 and you now feel good with your damage output just finish your build with Runaan's Hurricane;
c) if you went for point c) from stage 3 and you either need armor penetration or more damage respectively build either Last Whisper or Runaan's Hurricane.
NOTE: Unless you went for point a) from stage 3 Bloodthirster contributes less damage. So consider it only for point a) finishing item. In points b) and c) Runaan's Hurricane is the most optimal way to go!
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Skill Sequence

As shown in the start of this guide the skill priority is as follows. Q -> R -> W -> E. The reason behind maxing W over E is very simple. The shield from W scales better and makes you tankier in case of defensive/offensive fights as well as helping your team be it for shield or evacuation pull. Not to mention that soaking 1 or even 2 enemy attacks and dealing 1 or even 2 of your own equals 2 or more times the damage you would get from a maxed E. YES you loose those 20% extra slow compared to a level 5 E but the slow duration is as short as a finger snap thus rendering W much more efficient.
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Not much to say here.
Flash: the spell no ADC can drop for another.
Barrier: the new meta in modern botlanes.
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It's really important for ADC "thresh" players to know that he's quite goofy in the start but transitions into a killing machine rapidly in mid game which opens the late game godmode door really easily.

DO NOT rush into fights. Stay back, farm your creeps and gather them souls. BUT NEVER get greedy to pick a soul up risking being poked over it. It's not worth your HP (or even life in some cases). Remember the souls last for quite some time. If you don't manage to push and pick them just throw that lantern over there to gather them up (it's almost free of cost).

Try to avoid aggression until you have at least Statikk Shiv+ Berserker's Greaves. This doesn't only provide decent farm for you but it also throws your enemy under the impression you're a passive player and provides you with the element of surprise for later aggression. If your lane is going good and when you pick the two items along with B. F. Sword you will already have a decent amount of points in your Q and can start pummeling your enemies. Try to always open fights with stacked Q and Statikk Shiv so you can deal 20-30% of your enemy's HP in 1 hit. If things are going well and you feel invincible with the items so far (don't worry it happens often when you play Thresh correctly) that means you're on your good way out of the rails mashing people like boiled potatoes.

But if you're having a hard time just stick to the starting plan and farm as much as you can until you build into Infinity Edge and Bloodthirster. After them continue as specified in the Items section. Remember you are playing Thresh and you are much more tankier than the rest of the ADC champions. Use that to your advantage.

If your farm and itemization are going well during the mid and late stages of the game almost nobody can beat you in a 1v1 fight. I myself often hide in bushes after a mid game back and patiently wait for the enemy ADC to rush down to his lane. If he enters a proper range it's over. After your first auto attack a medium player would fall into a panic brainfreeze and a good player would know he can't escape due to your Q+E combination. So you either get the kill or you burn his summoner spells and consider him a good lottery player.

In late game things can variate a lot. But you would rarely find yourself in a medium position. Depending on your performance before reaching late game you would either be 2shotting squishies and give hell to the tanks or you won't have enough damage to do squat. In cases where you would find yourself not as storg as needed remember that you are still not worthless. Unlike regular ADC champions who don't manage a decent late game Thresh can actually still be a game changer. I have been in such positions and I think Thresh is quite ideal since you can still do surprise hook kills, save a teammate with a lantern (or throw it for vision) and do offensive/defensive ulties.
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Ranked Play

Ranked play with ADC Thresh can be a double-edge blade. I wouldn't advice you to play him in ranked games as ADC unless you are duo-ing with your own support with whom you more or less have a decent amount of synergy. And even if you do people would still rage at you and raging never leads to competitive gameplay. In other words you are reducing the team's morale before the game even starts.

But if people are OK with it and you have your own support with which you can play competitively according to your MMR pool then you can play him in ranked games. YES he is viable enough if played correctly.
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Pros / Cons

2-shotting people if played correctly.
Stacks and deals his good amount of AP proportion.
Tankier than the rest of the carries.
Excellent life-saver.
Excellent mechanics to synergyze with ganks.
Excellent engage mechanics.
Has his own CC.
Has his own shielding.
Can scout bushes.

Very weak early game.
Very short auto attack range.
Doesn't have escape.
Doesn't have poke.
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Creeping / Jungling

Mmmm jungle, maybe in another guide if this one turns out to be successful. But for a fact I know some guy has done some very very crazy things with a jungling Thresh. And thus making that my next objective.
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Viable supports

I don't have enough data gathered from the games I have played / the people that have supported me / and the opponents I have been facing. Maybe I'll update this section in the future after I'm more certain. But for now I will only point to 5 nominations based on what I have seen and what I have going on inside my head.

1. Nunu & Willump -> I placed this support in first place because even after the nerf Nunu & Willump's buff still has crazy impact on your damage and chasing capabilities. Having in mind you are playing Thresh who hits like a truck the buff does not only contribute towards annihilation but also secures more speed while gathering souls in early game (something extremely important that should be taken under consideration). The bad side of having Nunu & Willump as support is that he doesn't have any sustain and can't really do anything if people are zoning you out of your farm.

2. Taric -> Pretty straight forward. Taric is maybe the most flexible support in the game right now meaning he can support almost any carry successfully. Sustain, armor, stun and burst+dmg increase place Taric in the 2nd spot of my nomination.

3. Sona -> The squishier version of Taric only she's more poke oriented. A good Sona can make your life as ADC Thresh a whole lot easier by securing easier farm and soul gathering as well as sustaining you that whole time.

4. Lulu -> Almost the same reason as Sona. Making your life on the lane a whole lot easier. A good Lulu can bring hell to any botlane enemy in terms of harrassment and chasing as well as providing you maybe double the survivability you would normally have during fights.

5. Nami -> This nomination of mine is only theoretically based since I have never ever seen a decent Nami player. But in theory Thresh should become a god if he has a good Nami supporting him. All that sustain, small movement speed bursts, bonus damage and CC can be awesome addition to Thresh's already high damage output and tankiness.

NOTE: Remember that during draft picks the support needs to be picked adequetly according to your opponents and not towards your desires. The order that I have given above DO NOT apply when you can actually see what you're facing and pick a counter (yes a counter support pick can actually decide laning phase results). So if you wish to please desires just do it in blind picks where you don't know what you will be facing and take that leap of faith.
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Unique Skills

Not much to say here. Always try to use Thresh not only as a killing machibe but as a swiss knife too. He has a ridiculous amount of utilities apart from the damage he can pump meaning he can use all the 4 of his spells not only offensively but defensively as well.
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I believe I had this covered earlier in the guide as well. Do not soul-*****, avoid early aggressions and put your brain into Thresh's strengths and utilities.
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Final words

I'd like to thank my readers and supporters (if I have any ROFL) in advance!
I'll add some sections with screenshots from games and stats I have done with Thresh after I get back from work and maybe work on some demonstrational movies explaining stuff at spot while playing (with my bad bulgarian accent of course).

Once again thank you for reading, I hope you liked my guide and to see you around!
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