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Thresh Build Guide by Brownhog

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Brownhog

ADC Thresh — The Soul Man

Brownhog Last updated on July 11, 2013
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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


Utility: 0

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ADC Thresh? Are you mad?

"Mad? Quite likely." It works, though! It works surprisingly well.

The point of this guide is to give you a starting place with ADC Thresh. You don't have to stick to it like a bible, but I do want people to know that this is a very viable thing. I'm not sure I would say it's better than traditional AD carries, but it can always keep up. He's similar to Vayne in that, even if you lose laning phase, just stick to your farm and you'll come out stinging just as well. Read on!

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Pros / Cons

+ Scary mid-late damage
+ Ridiculous amounts of CC
+ Unprecedented utility
+ Great ganks
+ Able to come back with farm
+ Impossible to itemize against
No other AD carry has this amount of utility in addition to damage. The ability to save an ally from certain death with Dark Passage is just one example of that. The amount of CC is also an incredible boon to Thresh, especially in lane. Death Sentence a poorly positioned enemy into your tower or allies, The Box will keep him around, and Flay will push him away from his allies while also preventing them from stepping in on your intimate moment. You're also able to turn laning phase losses into late game wins, à la .

- Fairly weak early game
- Allies may rage or throw because of your "troll pick"
- Being extremely behind on farm really hurts Thresh (no souls, no gold, no fun)
- Allies may not know how to play to your strengths
Early game Thresh has a mean first hit, but then his damage is really not there until you let Flay charge again. You'll have to choose between charging Flay for trading, or using it to farm. Combine a weak early game with a farm (and soul) dependency, and he can be shut down pretty hard in some games. There are also social issues, including allies that don't take you seriously, don't know how to play with an ADC Thresh, or even accuse you of throwing with a "troll pick." What's a warden to do?

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I thought you said he has a bad early game! Then why do I want flat AD runes?

You simply need flat AD to be a threat early game. You may not be more threatening, but if you don't out-damage the support, they're going to walk all over you. It also makes last hitting easier, but Thresh's last hitting is already stellar. The armor seals necessary to withstand abuse from the other ADC. Scaling magic resist helps against mid-late game AP carries (which is when you usually meet them anyway).

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Spellblade? For realsies?

Yup. Damnation gives you armor and AP. You can easily have 150+ souls at the end of longer games. Even half of that is 4 permanent damage on every auto attack. That sounds tasty! Every 20 souls = 1 extra damage from Spellsword . 30 souls means you caught up to the second rank of Brute Force , and it only goes up from there. You very slightly weaken Thresh's already weak early game damage, but it's worth it.

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Flay - Bread and butter. Get points in it whenever you can (other than level 6). This makes your damage jump every rank. The active is also useful for pushing enemies away from a fleeing ally, or inversely pulling a fleeing enemy back into the fray.

Dark Passage - It's a shield, a long range scouting tool, a soul collector, a one-way train to yours truly, and more! We max this second because it reduces the cooldown and increases the shield. This skill is great for checking bushes, and can even be used offensively. If you've been checking bushes with it regularly, enemies won't think anything of it anymore. Little do they know, your jungler's waiting for you to land a Death Sentence before flying into the fight with it. Limitless skill!

Death Sentence - A very important skill for securing kills, ambushing, and chasing. A second activation will bring you to your target's space. Be conscious of the wind-up that comes with this skill. Use it to chase people through walls if they flash, or even hook a jungle creep through a wall and fly to it to escape unwanted jungle love. We max this last because, by level ten, an extra 40 damage doesn't mean anything. The reduced cooldown would be nice, but you'll only be able to use it once per fight either way.

The Box - A well-placed box can change the fight completely. You can block off choke points in the jungle, you can pull enemies into your allies or turrets and keep them there with the box, or you can just pop it in a 1v1 and flay him into it for extra damage. Take a point in this whenever you can.


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Long Sword + Health Potion x2 is your standard opener. If you have a Soraka or Sona that you trust, combined with a lane that you're not that scared of, then Doran's Blade would serve you well. Do not choose Doran's solely because your support has a heal; Alistar has a heal, but it sucks—it won't sustain you at all.

Before we continue...


B. F. Sword is your crown jewel early game. 45 AD delivers 90 extra damage on your first hit, almost as much as the Statikk Shiv. With the B. F. Sword you will continue to deal 36 minimum damage with Flay—and don't forget that it's also 45 AD! Tl;dr: B. F. Sword says 45 AD but translates to 135-81 AD.

Always get it first back if you can. If you're not getting hurt too bad but you simply don't have enough for it yet, just wait. Buy a few pots and head back until you can come get the B. F. Sword. Next you'll want to pick up the Berserker's Greaves and Vampiric Scepter before you go onto your core items.

Uh oh! Things are bad in lane!


1. The Bloodthirster - Remember what we said about flat AD being even better on Thresh because Flay reiterates it on a percent basis? The Bloodthirster gives the most Flat AD out of any item in the game. Once you reach 30 stacks, that's an increase of 300 damage on a fully charged auto attack! Time for some bad news, though; you will only life steal from your attack damage, not from Flay's passive damage. There's nothing we can do about that, and The Bloodthirster is still top of the charts in any event. You can't live without it.

2. Statikk Shiv - Now that we have our flat AD from The Bloodthirster, this bad boy does wonders for us. The extra 100 damage is scary to behold, and people will often shy away from you after you hit them once, allowing you to chase them down. Considering that Thresh was made for chasing, I'd say that's a good thing. Statikk Shiv also gives some attack speed and crit chance, which is always appreciated.

3. Infinity Edge - This completes the package. It gives you flat AD for more burst from Flay and more sustained damage from auto attacks. The increased critical chance and critical damage is the icing on the cake, and you may now be two-hitting the not-so-tanky champions.


You'll be doing enough damage with those three core items and your Berserker's Greaves. It's time to bulk up.

Warmog's Armor - This is for when everything is going according to plan. You've stayed alive, you hurt a lot, and the enemy finds it hard to get to you. Warmog's Armor only makes it harder for them to finish you off if they do close the distance. To sweeten the deal, you've already got a buttload of armor from Damnation; this makes the health go even further. Get it if you're not being focused and spiked down in fights.

Guardian Angel - Things started well but now the enemy's wised up. All the CC is being thrown at you to make sure you can't get away no matter how much health you have. Guardian Angel will give you 3 seconds of immunity after "death," and bring you back with a decent chunk of health to wreak havoc. This may just be enough time for your team to start cleaning up and coming to your aid. When you're back up, Flay's been cooking and it's time to get some payback. The resistances also help against burst but—let's be real—you buy this item for the passive. Get it if you're being focused and spiked.

Pro tip

Banshee's Veil - This is a specialty item. If you're being picked out of the crowd with that one specific ability
( 's Unstoppable Force, 's Rocket Grab, etc.). Banshee's Veil is a slightly weak item, in my opinion, and I would only suggest this if it's truly unavoidable and good positioning is impossible. The difference between this and Guardian Angel depends on the skill that kills you. If pulls you to his team and you die with Guardian Angel, you'll just die again in an instant. Sometimes you just need Banshee's Veil. Get it if there's an angry stalker.

Round it off

Blade of the Ruined King - A nice anti-tank item. The percent health damage will help you shred them fast, and the nice active will keep your initial burst scary against the tankiest tanks. Get this if they have tanks or stack health.

No Last Whisper?

Frozen Mallet - If you're in a very good position and they can't do anything but run from you, Frozen Mallet is exactly what the doctor ordered. It guarantees that once you hit them, they either fight or die walking away. The 700 health also helps always. Get it if they're slippery and you do enough damage without Blade of the Ruined King.

Maw of Malmortius - This is probably the weaker picks to top off your build. Though, sometimes if an AP carry can burst you down too fast, you'll need that shield and MR for another auto attack to seal the deal. Not much more to it than that. Get it if their AP champions are out of control.

Zephyr - Once you've got a full build and the money you make just sits there doing nothing, you'll want to sell your Berserker's Greaves and replace it with Zephyr. Pretty simple concept: it gives you the move speed to act like boots with some additional stats tacked on.

Pro tip

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Proof of Decency

I'm certainly not high-elo by any means, but these are my most recent games played. I just wanted to show you that it's simply not a super-niche gimmick. It can be used reliably like any other ADC.