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Thresh Build Guide by Ahpulzz

Support Are You Afraid? | A Thresh Guide by Ahpulzz

Support Are You Afraid? | A Thresh Guide by Ahpulzz

Updated on November 16, 2019
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Ahpulzz Build Guide By Ahpulzz 53 2 121,466 Views 15 Comments
53 2 121,466 Views 15 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Ahpulzz Thresh Build Guide By Ahpulzz Updated on November 16, 2019
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Runes: Standard

1 2
Bone Plating

Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

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Champion Build Guide

Are You Afraid? | A Thresh Guide by Ahpulzz

By Ahpulzz

Welcome! My name is Ahpulzz and I’ve been playing League of Legends on and off since Season 2; it’s been around two or three years since my last MOBAFire guide! During that time I had the privilege to play support for the Rutgers University CSL and uLoL teams, and subsequently took a long break from League to focus on my professional life and my own direction.

Seeing League evolve and branch out over time has been fun to watch and truly reinvigorating, and I’d love to teach you guys what I’ve learned over the years about how to play support and, of course, the champion who had the biggest impact during my climb to high diamond and masters - Thresh!!!

What is your average support champion?…

Your average support champion can heal and buff.
Your average support champion is a bright, friendly face.
Your average support champion has at least one auto-lock skill.

Alright - if that’s true, then what is Thresh?…

Thresh is a champion that runs entirely off of skillshots.
Thresh is a champion that denies peace of mind and thrives in chaos.
Thresh is a champion that forgoes all sustain & buffs for the sole purpose of making plays.

So what does all of this mean?

Thresh is a play-making “support” that requires lots of practice…

…but uses FEAR to ABUSE &

MANIPULATE his opponents.


+ High skill cap
+ Versatile abilities
+ Tons of crowd control
+ High early game damage
+ Entirely unique form of engage and disengage with Dark Passage
+ High kill potential with teammates
+ Relevant at all stages of the game
+ The premier edge-lord of support

Even without mastering him, Thresh has an incredibly unique play style with versatile abilities that can be used both offensively and defensively. Death Sentence is one of the most satisfying skills to land in the entire game, and the pressure it applies is visibly noticeable; simply having it off-cooldown is often enough to deter opponents from
moving close to him.

From early cheesing to promoting map movement late in the game, he works well at any stage of the game and can follow-up his teammates’ crowd control on a dime. Overall, he’s rewarding as hell to pick up if you want to step up and really dictate a game.



- High skill cap
- No autolock abilities
- Long ability cooldowns
- Essentially no mobility at all
- Lowest base armor in the game
(alleviated as game progresses)
- No healing and miniscule shielding
- Has difficulty with mobile champions
- The premier edge-lord of support

Thresh suffers from more deficiencies than others in exchange for his ability to make plays. On top of having no sustain or buffs, a Thresh who cannot play aggressive in lane will usually stagnate until he receives help from the jungler. While he has decent damage early-on, it falls off after laning phase and leaves you heavily dependent on your teammates for damage.

Given the impact of Death Sentence and Dark Passage, both of these skills have dauntingly long cooldowns. Missing these in front of your opponents is a surefire way of losing pressure in any situation, and Thresh has very few ways of saving himself.

Thresh cannot go aggressive in every lane matchup and will often stagnate in poor matchups without jungle help.

Be it laning prowess, complementary crowd control, or simply pure damage output, the following champions are able synergize well with Thresh by using his kit to their advantage while compensating for his shortcomings.

Jhin, the Virtuoso

Jhin is a unique ADC who plays around his passive, Whisper. His strength comes from his very long range and the HUGE single-target damage that comes out of his final bullet, while his primary weaknesses are lack of mobility and reliance on landing his final bullet with Whisper and Curtain Call.

Synergy with Thresh:

+ Deadly Flourish combos very well into any form of crowd control; Death Sentence and Flay are no exception.

+ His long range, traps, and fourth bullet combined with the potential of Death Sentence results in a high-pressure duo.

+ Curtain Call is difficult to land consistently on a moving target, but someone locked down by Thresh will be much, much easier to hit.

+ Jhin has no innate escapes and will benefit a lot by having Dark Passage at his disposal.

Caitlyn, the Sheriff of Piltover

Caitlyn is among the best of the best when it comes to laning. She’s known for frequently pelting opponents with far-reaching auto-attacks and strong zone control with Yordle Snap Trap and Ace in the Hole, but doesn’t do too well in 1v1’s and lacks DPS early on.

Synergy with Thresh:

+ With her far-reaching auto-attacks, waveclear, and traps, Caitlyn excels at bullying opponents and stablizing Thresh’s uncertain laning phase.

+ Caitlyn can defend a turret better than most other ADC’s, opening more opportunities for Thresh to leave lane and roam.

+ If Thresh lands a Death Sentence, Caitlyn can quickly set up a Yordle Snap Trap underneath for a free Headshot.

+ 90 Caliber Net + Dark Passage = a safe & happy Caitlyn.

Varus, the Arrow of Retribution

Varus relies on his abilities just as much as his auto-attacks. His fully charged Piercing Arrow simply obliterates health bars while Chain of Corruption provides instantaneous CC. He’s the army-tank of ADC, hitting hard from afar but having little mobility and relying on landing skills for damage.

Synergy with Thresh:

+ Piercing Arrow and Hail of Arrows provide good damage, wave clear, and lane pressure; everything a Thresh wants in lane.

+ Thresh’s entire kit makes landing abilities easier, meaning Varus can output more damage than usual.

+ Chain of Corruption guarantees Death Sentence.
click me.

+ Varus has no innate escapes and will benefit a lot by having Dark Passage at his dispo… do we see a pattern here?…

Lucian, the Purifier

Ironically, Lucian and Thresh do really well together. While Lucian doesn’t have the most stellar range for an ADC, he makes up for it through sheer burst damage and outplay potential with Relentless Pursuit. This is a really fun lane to play and promotes an aggressive playstyle.

Synergy with Thresh:

+ Lightslinger allows Lucian to out-trade most marksmen; use this to your advantage by looking for openings to engage.

+ Lucian does best playing aggressively with Relentless Pursuit, and he can push even further with Dark Passage available.

+ Lucian’s burst damage combined with Thresh’s CC often leads to early kills off a single Death Sentence.

+ Lucian gets to spend time with Senna.
Spoiler: Click to view

— Summoner Spells —


Flash gives Thresh not only an escape but a chance to make some clutch (and very sick) plays. Take this with you every game.


Ignite compliments Thresh’s aggressive play-style quite well, countering Heal and securing kills.


Exhaust is good if your carries need extra peeling power, but you’ll lose the benefit of securing kills with Ignite.*

*If you’re just beginning to learn Thresh, I recommend taking Ignite so you can accustom yourself to rely on your abilities to protect your teammates rather than Exhaust.

— Runes —


Aftershock is easily activated with Death Sentence and Flay, and being tankier is always better.

Demolish is great for knocking off turret plating after going aggressive in lane.

Bone Plating helps mitigate damage after your engagements.

Overgrowth offers a slight health buffer to help you survive close fights.


Hextech Flashtraption allows you to pull off weird, unexpected engagements.

Biscuit Delivery works great with Thresh, offering much needed sustain.

Cosmic Insight helps your long-CD summoners & abilities recharge.

Other Runes

Font of Life is great against melee supports who you can easily Flay.

Unflinching can be handy when there’s lots of CC on the opposing side.

Perfect Timing lends a one-use stasis; this is best used for turret dives.

+ 6 to 10 adaptive damage

+ 6 to 10 adaptive damage

+ 5 armor

— Abilities —


Cooldown: -
Mana Cost: -
BASIC ATTACKS: Thresh’s basic attacks do not use projectiles and his basic attack wind-up is only reduced by 0.25% per 1% bonus attack speed instead of 1% per 1%.

INNATE: Enemies who die near Thresh drop souls for 8 seconds, which he can collect by either approaching them or by placing Dark Passage near them. Each collected soul permanently grants Thresh 0.75 bonus ability power, 0.75 bonus armor and increases the shield strength of Dark Passage and the minimum bonus magic damage of Flay by 1.

Champions and large enemies always drop 1 soul, epic monsters always drop 2, but small minions and monsters only have a 33% chance to drop 1. Souls are visible to allies and only become visible to enemies if their team has sight of Thresh.

Basic Utilization:

Death Sentence
Cooldown: 20 / 18 / 16 / 14 / 12
Mana Cost: 60

After a 0.5-second delay, Thresh throws out his scythe in the target direction and forms a tether with the first enemy hit, dealing 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+ 50% AP) magic damage and stunning them for 1.5 seconds.

Hitting an enemy reduces the cooldown of Death Sentence by 3 seconds.

While the tether persists, Thresh is cannot basic attack and periodically tugs at his scythe’s chain, pulling the target a short distance towards himself. After 0.5 seconds, or instantly after hitting a minion or monster, casting Death Sentence a second time causes Thresh to dash towards his target, removing the stun and allowing him to basic attack again.

Basic Utilization:

Dark Passage
Cooldown: 22 / 19.5 / 17 / 14.5 / 12
Mana Cost: 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70

Thresh throws his lantern to the target location, giving vision of its immediate surroundings and collecting nearby souls for the duration. The lantern remains for 6 seconds and automatically returns to Thresh if he moves outside its maximum radius. Thresh and the first ally to come near the lantern is shielded for 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 ( +1 per soul ) damage for 4 seconds.

An ally that clicks the lantern will dash to Thresh and shield themselves for the same duration.

Basic Utilization:

Cooldown: 9
Mana Cost: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80

PASSIVE: Thresh’s basic attacks deal 100 / 125 / 150 / 175 / 200% total AD + 1 per soul bonus magic damage, increasing with time spent not attacking enemies.

ACTIVE: Thresh sweeps his chain in a broad line towards the target direction, dealing 65 / 95 / 125 / 155 / 185 ( +40% AP ) magic damage to enemies hit, knocking them in the chain’s direction and slowing them afterwards by 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% for 1 second.

Basic Utilization:

The Box
80 / 70 / 60
Mana Cost: 100

After a 0.75-second delay, Thresh surrounds himself with 5 spectral walls, each lasting for up to 5 seconds. Walls break upon contact with an enemy champion, dealing 250 / 400 / 550 ( +100% AP ) magic damage and slowing by 99% for 2 seconds.

Enemies hitting any wall beyond the first take no damage and are slowed for 1 second.

Basic Utilization:

— Skill Order —

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
0 E Q W E E R Q Q Q Q R W W W W R E E

Because of its low cooldown, instant cast time, and strong bonus damage, you’ll want to begin the game with a point in Flay. Death Sentence begins with a whopping 20 second cooldown at rank 1 and you won’t be able to follow up on it with any other abilities, so don’t take it until level 2. Level 2 is key for Thresh because in most situations you’ll have both Death Sentence and Flay available for use. These two abilities are Thresh’s offensive bread and butter and lets you aim for kills right out of the gate. At level 3 we take Dark Passage to round out our abilities, giving us an extra damage buffer during trades but more importantly giving our ADC a powerful escape tool during ganks or bad trades.

Afterwards at levels 3-5, we keep putting points into Flay purely for laning purposes, offering more damage and consistency than Death Sentence. Levels 7 and onwards signal the end of the laning phase where Flay loses its potency, so instead of finishing that you’ll be maxing out Death Sentence then Dark Passage for their long range, play-making potential, and lower cooldown.

And of course, like any other champion, put a point into your ult every time you can. You’ll be able to rank up The Box at levels 6, 11, and 16.

— Skill Combos —
( Doran's Blade = auto-attack )


Standard harassment combo. Just Flay them in n’ whip-it real good. Very useful during the laning phase when your AD can follow up, as well.

* *


Unleashes your inner Scorpion and gives you the highest chance of landing your hook. Simply throw out Death Sentence immediately after you Flay your target towards you. The only hard part is getting close enough for Flay.

*Throw in an auto-attack before your hook to do the most damage for this combo.

”They’re here already?…” Combo

This is the highest burst damage rotation that doesn’t use your ultimate. Useful when you’re pretty much next to them already, use your Flay to push them whichever way lets you land your hook the easiest.

”Say Hello to My Little Friend” Combo

Lets your target meet your little friend after a successful hook by using Dark Passage to bring over an ally while still tethered. Before your ally reaches you, hit Death Sentence again to pull yourself towards your target and be aesthetically pleased as both you and your ally sail smoothly towards them.

Beginning of the Game:

Ancient Coin gives the most consistent gold generation and helps with mana issues.

Relic Shield makes you tankier and heals your partner when you last-hit. Always save a charge for last-hitting cannon minions.

Health Potion keeps working even when you’re in combat, so don’t forget about it!

Your First Back:

targon's brace

You’ll usually want a Nomad's Medallion or Targon's Brace on your first recall, and if you have the cash pick up Boots, as well; mobility on Thresh is key.

Mobility Boots are your go-to boots because the speed helps you reach your teammates faster, roam & ward more effectively, and gank better. If you happen to have enough gold and are at an advantage, nab these and try to roam as much as possible.

Your Core Items:

Most of the time either Eye of Ascension or Eye of the Aspect will be your first completed item. Both of these give health and cooldown reduction, and have stealth ward charges that are crucial for establishing better control of the map.

Zeke's Convergence is a great partner-based item and synergizes well with Thresh’s kit. The storm and empowered auto-attacks work by being close to your conduit (usually your AD) when you use your ultimate, and you can ignite your storm by slowing burning enemies; Thresh does this easily with Flay and The Box.

Redemption works best if you know you’ll be teamfighting often or require additional map presence. The active heal is significant and can easily be applied to your entire team, while its range means it can be used as a soft countermeasure against global abilities like Stand United and Destiny.

Knight's Vow is a great item versus AD Team comps and makes you tanker while providing extra peel for your carries. Though ideally you want to partner with your ADC, it’s a good idea to partner with whoever’s fighting with you at the moment to maintain its bonus effects.

Locket of the Iron Solari gives assassins and burst-damage champions the middle finger when they try and blow up your carries. It’s only downside is that it gives no health, mana, or CDR, so I’ll usually build this as my third or fourth core item unless I’m already dealing with lots of burst-damage.

Finishing Touches:

Zz'Rot Portal has decent stats and will push a lane for you while you do something else. Good for sieging the opponents base or when they lack effective wave clear.

Randuin's Omen makes you a fair bit tankier and gives you even more CC with its active ability. Use it after your regular abilities to give them the most time to cooldown.

Turbo Chemtank helps you ambush and engage enemies if there are no dedicated tanks or engagers on your team. If there are, you shouldn’t need this item.

Adaptive Helm is great against battle mages and other spammy casters. Yes, we’re looking at you, Cassiopeia.

Mikael's Blessing isn’t the best item stat-wise for Thresh, but its active will cleanse CC from allies. Take this if your team is being carried by a single champion and they need LOTS and LOTS of peel.

Need some fresh, new kicks?

You’ll be using Mobility Boots in most of your games, but sometimes the enemy team will be heavily imbalanced towards either AD or AP. Depending on which one, you might consider picking up one of these:

Ninja Tabi is great against an AD-heavy team composition, especially if they’re auto-attackers such as Master Yi, Kindred or Jax.

Mercury's Treads make you harder to disable and helps against an AP-heavy team comp.

Albeit simple to use, The Box is one of the most versatile ultimates in the game and is capable of zoning, securing kills, disabling key enemies… you name it. It exerts a lot of pressure on its own during any situation because breaking a wall incurs a 99% slow - essentially a stun. Your opponents would usually be able avoid this by pathing around it, but this section will teach you a few ways you can force an opponent into The Box, or simply make manuvering around it impossible.

Your ult’s before
this section…


– Knocking into Walls –

The Box requires a slight cast time before activating, making it tricky to catch opponents at the edge of its radius; this is what Death Sentence and Flay can help with, substantially. Both of these abilities force your target towards a given direction, meaning you can give yourself a much higher chance of your ultimate hitting by either pushing or pulling them into a wall. There is no certain method of knocking someone into The Box, but knowing your abilities well and being creative will net you many more successful ultimates. Out of the two, Flay is going to be your most consistent tool to land your ult, while Death Sentence requires more effort to land but can land a Box hit at the right distance.

A few examples to check out:










Thankfully for you, The Box has a large radius and can easily control a small zone during a fight. Even so, when fighting out in the open your opponents will often find their way around your ult and continue fighting as if it never existed. The jungle holds a different story, filled with many narrow corridors and little space to maneuver - this is where The Box can really shine. Within the various chokepoints and hallways of the jungle, you can take full advantage of your ultimate’s size by COMPLETELY severing off portions of it from the enemy team. Those who attempt to charge through anyways will be slowed right away and will give you more than enough time to react. All in all, The Box is an amazing tool for taking control of any choke point.

Example Choke Points:

Dragon and Baron Entrances:

What do your opponents fear most?…

What forces them to hug onto their minions for dear life?…

Learn how to make them flee at the mere sight of you…


– "CHAIN" CC –

“Pssst… hey, you - which of these looks like an easier target?”

This?… THIS?
– or –

Enemies who can’t move are prime targets for Death Sentence.


Further more, any champion has a good chance of dying if they’ve been held in place for longer than 3 seconds and enemies are already on top of them, no matter how squishy or tanky they may be. Thresh can have incredible synergy with other champions whose stuns, roots, snares, etc. offer him enough time to both wind up and land Death Sentence. The progressive layering of crowd control is often referred to as “chain CC”, and this term takes a literal meaning in our case because Thresh is an absolute beast at using his chains to CC his targets to death.

Thresh’s range and versatility are what really what help him shine as a king of CC chaining. While the far range of Death Sentence allows him to follow up on his allies engagements more frequently, the ability to not re-cast Q means that Thresh can safely lock down opponents even when he can’t fight close up, himself.

All in all, don’t throw hooks out randomly - BE PATIENT and your team will often land it for you!

– Minion Shaving –


Whenever you play Thresh during the laning phase, nine times out of ten you’ll find the opposing AD parking themselves behind their minions - obviously to avoid any chance of being hooked by you. Who can blame them? A single Death Sentence can spell disaster for their lane and Thresh becomes a lot less threatening when his hook has no chance of hitting.

Fortunately for you, they cannot stay behind their minions forever. Your partner is going to gradually chip away at your opponents wave until there are only a few of their minions left alive, usually their caster minions who are often arranged in a straight line. This is where most Thresh players will go around whatever’s left and attempt to hook the opposing AD as they try to run out of Death Sentence’s radius. Anticipating them to run away, these players will lead their hooks behind the AD to catch them fleeing. Seems simple right?

Not exactly. While this tactic may work initially around Silver and below, the marksmen you will face as you climb higher in the rankings will almost definitely have wisened up to this. After having hooks being thrown at them constantly, they’ll have realized that there’s one place Thresh players won’t aim towards - the leftover minions. Not only will any hook be stopped dead in its tracks, but once Thresh no longer has his hook he loses a SUBSTANTIAL amount of trading power and hands his opponents a golden opportunity to fight back. As a result, experienced AD’s won’t run away - they’ll run
forwards towards the minion wave and fight back once Thresh misses his hook, or simply kite him if he tries to walk past the minions for a better hook or Flay. Thresh loses out in either of these scenarios and could be in for loads of punishment for his attempted aggression.

But you know the funny thing about learning?
It cuts both ways.

As better prepared AD’s look back to their minions for safety, you can shatter their peace of mind and punish their habits by literally shaving their minion wave with Death Sentence. When I say “shaving”, I’m talking about throwing your hook as close to the enemy minions as possible without hitting them. This certainly takes practice, but isn’t at all impossible and will catch many experienced AD players completely off guard.

This works especially well against more experienced players simply because they know how Thresh can be shut down and are confident in their ability to outplay you. Observe how they move and gauge their aggression in lane - the better they are, the harder they’ll succumb when you expose their bad habits.

How it works and how to practice:

Minion shaving your Death Sentence is simple at face value - all it really comes down to is moving to the very tip of the enemy minion wave and aiming in front of your target instead of behind. The tricky part is sliding your hook past the minions without hitting them, and this can be easier said than done if one isn’t familiar with the hitbox of Death Sentence.

If you want to memorize the width of Death Sentence quickly, the fastest way would be to open up your practice tool and turn on no cooldowns and mana costs. You can then either toss a few hooks as close as you can to oncoming minions or put down a practice dummy and practice that way. Turning on smart-cast with indicator can also give you a better idea of how close you are.

Thresh can very easily snowball a lane on his own with a well-placed Death Sentence, but his low armor and relatively short range leaves him vulnerable to poke, superior sustain, and enemy ganks.

This section teaches you the basics of laning and explains the ideas behind proper positioning, how to take advantage of your opponents’ mistakes, and how to prepare for ganks from either team.

Here are some general tips to know before delving into the specifics:

- Stay evenly spread across the lane with your ADC and don’t fall behind them – they won’t appreciate facing two opponents at once while you twiddle your fingers in the back.

- Minions contribute a lot of damage – stay close to yours for protection and avoid straying too far into an enemy minion wave.

- If you find yourself at low health without heal potions, don’t linger. Just recall. Staying for a tiny bit of exp or gold won’t matter if you die and hand your opponents a free advantage.

- During the laning phase, consistency is king. It is often better to come out of lane with no kills or deaths and an even creep score rather than a bloodbath on both sides.

– Pre-lane Positioning –

Before lane even begins there are a few things you can do to prevent level 1 jungle invades from screwing over your jungler and ruining your team’s early game.

To protect your jungler’s buff, stand right outside your blue buff and the river for red side or inside of your tri-bush for blue side. The second you see more than one enemy retreat the opposite direction – if their whole team shows ups and you aren’t already running by then, you’re either burning Flash or you’re dead.

If the enemy team keeps moving forwards, retreat back to your jungle’s beginning camp and ward it. This is vital as it lets your team know if the other team intends on taking your buff, warding your buff, or leaving it alone entirely. Knowing this will save your jungler a lot of heartache and allows your to react accordingly.

Alternatively, if you and your partner have a reasonably stronger level 1 than the other pair and your jungler decides to begin top, you can ping your AD to hide a bush with you: the tri-brush if you’re red side and the river brush if you’re blue side. This is a cheese strategy bot laners can do to gain an early lead on their opponents. Thresh has very reasonable single target damage at level 1 thanks to Flay, and can damage, briefly knock-up, and slow both opposing bot laners with it.
Simply sit in the bush and wait for the opposing bot lane to come close enough for a two-person Flay. If they show up, focus your damage onto the ADC and you should be able to get one or two summoner spells out of them. Only in rare cases will you be able to score a kill, so your main objective will be getting them to blow their long-cooldown summoners and maybe even force an early recall. Don’t stay any longer than needed and go right back to lane if they show up there.

– Level 1 –

Your main objective at level 1 is to … get level 2. What else did you expect? This rather short period of laning phase has a lot of impact, however, as whichever pair obtains level 2 first gets the first leg-up on the other pair and briefly has complete control over the lane.

As Thresh, you’ll definitely want this first because just having Death Sentence and Flay will give you all the offensive and defensive power you’ll need.

x 6
x 3
The key to reaching level 2 well ahead of your opponents begins and ends with smart, simple manipulation of minions. It’s important to know that the fastest way for both of you to reach level 2 is by killing six melee minions and three caster minions. In short, you’ll want to kill the entire first wave of minions and then the next three melee minions before your opponents do. Since both ADC’s are hitting minions by default, the main difference in wave clear ultimately rests with you - the supports.

You could jump the gun and start auto’ing minions first thing in lane, but you’ll likely end up far too close to the opposing turret by the time you hit level 2. That’s why instead of hitting minions immediately you’ll want to instead focus on harassing your opponents with auto-attacks and Flay while leaving the minions alone.

Space out your poke to get the most damage from Flay’s passive. Only when the second wave of minions arrive should you begin constantly auto’ing melee minions.

In cases where your opponents have better harassment than you at level 1 (i.e Caitlyn, Nami, etc.), focus on positioning to draw fire away from your ADC and auto-attack minions whenever possible. You won’t have as much freedom to push while under pressure, so the minion wave should still stay around the same area.

Leaving the first wave alone ensures that the next wave of minions crash at the same spot. Plus, if your harass goes well your opponents should be easier to kill at level 2.

– Level 2 –

Level 2 is when the laning phase gets turned the f*** up. Not only do both sides get access to a crucial second ability, but there is also a chance for one of the junglers to show up unannounced and turn an even lane into a 2v3.

You’ll find yourself in many of the following scenarios at level 2, so I’ve prepared some clips along with explanations to help you prepare for them.

Level 2 All-in

If you did a good job during your level 1 phase, you’ll reach level 2 before the other pair and will want to aggress before they get their second level. Get to the closest opponent and try the WHIP-IT or GET OVER HERE!!! combo on them. If you manage to land your hook you’re guaranteed to force them to blow at least one summoner spell, and sometimes even score a kill.

If they use any summoner spells you’ve already won a sizeable advantage and can continue threatening them with Flay and Death Sentence, and can wait for your jungler for a great chance at a kill.

Receiving a Gank

When receiving a gank, it’s important to remember that your ganker isn’t actually responsible for engaging – it’s you. If you’re too far back, begin the fight too early, or scare off the enemy bot laners by moving up too quickly, there’s not much your assisting teammate can do about it. This is why you need to be proactively checking where and when your arriving teammate is coming to ensure a clean gank.

For opponents who are afraid of you, you have to be able to engage on them right as your ganker appears in lane so they have as little time to react to it as possible, using Flash if necessary. On the flipside, a gank is much easier to pull off on aggressive opponents who are looking to fight you – simply draw them out of position by walking up and getting them to fight you right before your ganker appears, and the rest should be easy pickings.

Getting Ganked

If you’re being ganked, your first priority is your ADC’s safety above all else. Immediately get in between your AD and your opponents and Flay away pursuers only if they catch up to you. If you’re far from your AD, use Death Sentence to peel enemies chasing them but do NOT recast it unless it brings you closer to your turret.

If there seems to be no way for you to escape, peel for your carry as hard as you possibly can. If you gather enough focus upon yourself you may be able to save your partner rather than having both of you die.

– Level 3 and Beyond -

For the rest of the laning phase past level 2, you’ll need to tone down the aggression to account for more frequent ganks from the jungle.

Your Dark Passage also gives you the chance to attempt some unique, offensive plays. We’ll see them soon, but you can view them now by clicking here.

Here’s the last of my tips to help you make decisions for the rest of the laning phase:

- Avoid the urge to throw out Death Sentence every time you see an opportunity. This not only drains your mana but allows your opponents to play aggressively the entire time your hook is on cooldown. If you want to engage on your opponents, the most consistent way will still be moving up and hitting them with Flay.

- Check your map every 15 seconds or so to see where the enemy jungler pops up. Control your aggression if they haven’t been seen for a while, and increase your aggression if you see them appear somewhere other than bot lane.

- When being ganked, instead of moving towards your ADC to protect them you can simply run to tower and toss out Dark Passage to your AD to whisk them away to safety.

- Do your best to maintain vision around river, and if you’re blue-side get rid of the Blast Cone plant on the ledge whenever it’s safe – this stops the enemy jungler from using it to avoid your river wards and sneaking into the river bush.

- During 2v2’s, try to focus all your damage onto a single person rather than spreading it out between two people. The quicker you can kill an opponent or remove one player from the fight, the faster you can turn the skirmish into a 2v1 and gain the upper hand.

- If your ADC’s on their way back and there’s a large wave of enemy minions about to hit your tower, agro the minions and stay right outside your turret’s range to keep it from killing them. When your carry comes back to lane you’ll have saved them a big chunk of gold they would’ve lost to your tower.


An unforgettable claim to Thresh’s success is his offensive playmaking ability, and there’s no better showcase for that than observing how he roams across the map and influences fights.

– When to Gank -

Usually supports begin to roam as soon as they acquire Mobility Boots as their out of combat move speed skyrockets, providing them the freedom to roam around a bit before returning to lane. In most cases, this will mean a visit to mid-lane to either gank or ward before returning to the bot lane. Sometimes going straight back to lane will benefit you more than roaming, so here are some things to consider before heading off from base to gank:

- The status of your ADC. If they’ve also recalled and are starting to head back to lane, go ahead and roam. If they’re still in lane or just about to reach it, go bottom instead
and help them out.

- The status of your mid laner. If they’re not too low and their opponent is present, head over to see if you can pull off a gank. If one of those isn’t the case, ward mid and leave or simply head back to bot directly from base.

- The status of your jungler. If you’re jungler happens to be nearby mid-lane, ping him over to assist you in your gank to further enhance your chances of success.

- The position and size of your lane’s minions wave. If there’s a lot of enemy minions barreling down your lane or the minions are far from your turret, its best for you to head back to lane and lend your AD a hand.

– How to Gank -

When ganking, don’t use Death Sentence straight away – use the speed of Mobility Boots to your advantage and run up close enough to Flay your target first. Instead of throwing out your hook right away, use your slow to your benefit and move even closer to them before attempting a hook. During this time, if your target has Flash available, they will do one of two things (provided they don’t have any dashes or blinks left):

1. They’ll hold Flash after you’ve flayed them and burn it to avoid your Death Sentence.
2. They’ll anticipate a hook coming at them immediately after Flay and burn Flash preemptively.

Holding Death Sentence after using Flay prepares us for both outcomes.

If they save Flash for Death Sentence, then you’ve successfully burned their summoner for free and can return to lane. Wasting that crucial summoner spell for them prevents them from playing aggressively in lane and makes it easier for the next gank by you or your jungler to secure the kill. However, if they decide to Flash immediately they’ll still be slowed from Flay and you’ll have a chance to catch them back with your hook, wasting their flash while securing the kill all at once.

If they have dashes or blinks your ganking pattern won’t change, only the fact that it’ll be less likely you’ll score a kill; forcing their Flash may be more difficult, as well.

Some instances where throwing Death Sentence out first makes sense would usually involve having your teammate immobilze your target in so your hook is guaranteed to land. Champions such as Ryze ( Rune Prison) with point-and-click CC are very ideal for this.

Your Dark Passage can also be an incredibly helpful
tool for pulling off successful ganks:

- If your jungler is behind you but the path towards lane is warded, get them to stand outside of the ward’s vision as you head in solo; you can surprise your opponents by suddenly lanterning in an extra person.

- If your team wants to dive a tower, simply stand near the turret and either tank turret agro while your team dives or toss your Dark Passage to a diving teammates who’s about to die.

- If your gank recipient excels at close-quarters, you can help bridge the distance by lantern’ing them straight to their target.

It can be really difficult to consistently land Death Sentence or utilize Dark Passage during a chaotic teamfight with enemy champions littering your entire screen. Thresh specializes in locking down individual targets, and while he can still perform very well in teamfights he has a much tougher time doing so in comparison to many other supports. This is because on top of having to consistently land your abilities in the first place, you must also know WHO to target at any given moment when there are multiple champions around you.

Do I hook the Riven off of my ADC or do I lock down their Kai'Sa?
Do I hook one of their front-line tanks now or save it for a better target?

In some cases, the answer will be clear and you can easily focus on your new game plan. However, more than often there will be a plethora of important targets, ultimately forcing you to think on the fly. Fortunately, finding the right target can be simple if you can tune out the questions and focus on only a few priorities. For me, these would be:

1. Protecting your carries.

- In an ambiguous situation this is your first priority at all times. You can’t kill the other team’s carries if yours are dead; stay close to them and CC anyone who tries to mess them up.

2. Bailing out hurting teammates with Dark Passage.

- Remember that Dark Passage can save anyone at any time. Keep an eye out for allies who are on the verge of death and try to whisk them to safety with a lantern.

3. Picking off enemy carries.

- Locking down and eliminating the opposing teams damage dealers is a surefire way to win a teamfight; remember not to aim for them at the expense of your own carries.

4. Disrupting enemy front-liners.

- If there are no critical targets available, Death Sentence the opposing team’s tanks to prevent them from interfering with your team. They’ll take a while to beat down but their large size makes them easy targets.

— Examples of Thresh in Teamfights —

This is a pretty good example of being attentive with Thresh in a chaotic teamfight. While I could have thrown out a hook as Vlad, Shen, and Rek’sai ran away, I knew that Sivir was yet to join the fight and held it for a few seconds before she arrived.

Be it throwing Dark Passage to save teammates or using Death Sentence to delay attackers & lock down opposing carries, there’s always something to do with Thresh.

After locking down Sylas with the The Box, the remainder of the teamfight consists purely of Thresh following the first rule of teamfighting - protecting his carry.

Not only does he manage to keep the melee attackers at bay with his abilities, but he also positions in a way that forces Ezreal to focus him instead of Jhin. This gives Jhin the time he needs to dish out his high-power auto-attacks and score the quadra.


You didn’t come here to be a regular Thresh player, did you???

You didn’t come here to let your team have all the credit, right???


Very well... discover how

The Warden can CARRY.

– Bobby Flay –

Many players only count for the slowing portion of Flay, but the most important part of it is the split-second knock-up that occurs as the chain sweeps across. While seemingly lackluster, this tiny knock-up has enormous play-making potential because of its ability to completely nullify dashes.

Abilities such as Tristana’s Rocket Jump, Jarvan IV’s flag’n’drag, and Zac’s Elastic Slingshot - these are the kind of dashes that are especially vulnerable to interruption by Thresh’s flay. Even so, they remain too fast for pure reaction time to catch; reading a dash takes more that.

It takes knowledge, quick thinking, and patience.

1. Knowledge of the opposing champion.

You can’t predict anything if you don’t know the opponent’s abilities! The fastest way to broaden your knowledge is simply by playing more.

2. Judging where the enemy wants to go.

While game experience helps, thinking in your opponent’s shoes is the best way to imagine what they might do next. If you can piece together their objective, you can figure out the best way they should reach there.

3. Patience.

I’m going to repeat this a lot, but everything about Thresh relies on patience and confidence. Do your best not to Flay preemptively and focus on positioning, positioning, positioning.

In this clip, Corki is caught by Death Sentence and is about to be stunned by Gravity Field. The fastest and only way he both survives and reaches his team is by using Valkyrie over the wolves wall the instant he comes free.

An easy Flay. Simply wait for his stun to wear off and flay away from the wolves to stop him, dead.

Unless Poppy is stopped, Jinx will die to Heroic Charge. But you also know that the knock-up from Flay travels with your scythe, from back to front.

You position so Flay covers the entire distance between Jinx and Poppy and flay once Poppy’s near enough to charge. For the entire duration of Flay, the approaching Poppy will now be pushed back whether she uses Heroic Charge or not.

Sometimes all it takes to make a reliable, successful play is patience.

In this clip, Thresh initiates a gank by simply approaching Tristana while holding his abilities; he know’s that Rocket Jump is the only escape Tristana has. Once he’s in range to Flay her, he need only wait for her lengthy cast animation before flaying her back, cancelling the dash.


– The Green Lantern –

If you pay attention after tossing out Dark Passage, you’ll notice that a larger, outer ring appears. That is the maximum distance Thresh can travel before the lantern returns to him. The distance of his maximum range is pretty large and circumvents all terrain, so you can actually use it to help teammates quickly traverse the map when no enemies are around.

Teammate lagging behind you on your way back to lane?
ADC trying to take the enemy’s red buff but can’t quite do it in time?
Need to take dragon now but your jungler’s going to be late?
Carry coming back from base and you need them now?

Toss them a lantern.

With Dark Passage you get a little more than just an escape tool for an ally; you get a fast, reliable method of moving your teammates around the map to where they need to be.

If you’re not doing anything at the moment, think about what your team needs and see if they could be using a light!

Quicker Rotations and Split-Pushing

If you know you’re not getting into a fight any time soon, you can make the most of your lantern’s maximum distance by helping your teammates move quicker between lanes.

This is one of the reasons why Thresh can have a nice synergy with split-pushing champions. When they have Dark Passage available as a free escape, they can maneuver aggressively and generate even more pressure.

Getting Dragon and Baron Vision

When you or no one else has wards available and the opposing team is busy taking an epic monster, Dark Passage can double as both an emergency ward as well as a free escape for your jungler should they attempt for the objective steal.

If your jungler is looking to steal the objective, wait till it is about to die and toss your lantern next to it to see its health.

Quick Repositioning

Not all usages of Dark Passage need to be at maximum length.

From big teamfights to minor positioning errors, sometimes a tiny distance is all a teammate needs to avoid certain death.

Assisting Jungle Ganks

A surefire way to receive better ganks is by saving your jungler the hassle of walking up to your opponents.

Whether you Flash or not, effective use of Dark Passage is great way to facilitate quicker ganks and allows your teammate to use their skills at their best.

Maintaining the Offensive

Your opponents will do everything in their power to stay away from your damage dealers, but you can keep a winning fight alive with Dark Passage.

If you’re ahead of a teammate trying to chase down an opponent, simply toss them your lantern to help them close the gap.

The Three-in-One Play:
The Lantern Flash-Flay

This in extremely useful, consistent, and near unavoidable way to engage. All you need is Flash.

1. First, toss out Dark Passage far behind you.

2. The moment your teammate takes the lantern and is about to catch up with you, IMMEDIATELY Flash up to your target and Flay.

– Spider-Thresh –

Thresh has no gap-closers so if he gets caught without Flash he’s a goner… or is he?

Lo and behold – Death Sentence works on minions and monsters… AND it lets you recast immediately if you hit them!

The next time you’re in a pinch with Thresh, look for minions or camps you can reel yourself to; they may save your life without the need of flash!

Just check out these clips of pro’s and joe’s escaping with Death Sentence, no explanation needed!





Alright guys, ITS HERE. The part of the guide I’m positive 50% of you came here for – how to land those soul-crushing MADLIFE hooks!

Force your opponents to uninstall the game after having their innermost thoughts read to the tee! Become a 4D chess master! Discover the cure for ligma!



You already know…

1. Knowledge of the opposing champion.

You can’t predict anything if you don’t know the opponent’s abilities! The fastest way to broaden your knowledge is simply by playing more.

2. Judging where the enemy wants to go.

While game experience helps, thinking in your opponent’s shoes is the best way to imagine what they might do next. If you can piece together their objective, you can figure out the best way they should reach there.

3. Patience.

I’m going to repeat this a lot, but everything about Thresh relies on patience and confidence. Do your best not to Death Sentence early and focus on positioning, positioning, positioning.

In this clip, the opposing bot lane is fleeing from the impending gank from Kha'Zix. Knowing that Jhin has Flash and that he’ll take a ton of damage if Kha’zix leaps onto him, I decide flash next to him and begin winding Death Sentence immediately.

Because of how fast I acted, Jhin has no choice but to flash away or die. The only thing I had to do was estimate his flash distance.

I initiate this gank by first walking up and hitting Lucian with Flay.

I know that he has either Relentless Pursuit or Flash at his disposal and that my Kha'Zix will surely kill him at his current health. Unfortunately, I can’t hook him with his minions in the way, so knowing he’s already going to dash or flash away I preemptively use my own flash to get out of the minion wave to land the kill-securing hook.

When it comes to landing MadLife hooks, panic and proximity are your greatest tools.

Here I show up out of nowhere and walk menacingly close to Ezreal. Not only is my team barreling down mid, but if he Arcane Shift’s directly towards his turret I can easily Flay him back. Therefore, as I wind my hook he will attempt to compensate by blinking as far as he can from both me and my team. Wrong move.

While I could go around the large wall anticipating Ezreal’s Arcane Shift, he could also simply escape the other direction and dodge my hook once I finally make it across the wall.

I decide to make my own MadLife hook by returning and flaying him right against the wall. Now, he can just barely blink over it to escape. Unfortunately for him, “just barely” means directly across - right where my hook will be.

Another example of using panic to make the most out of an advantageous situation.

Here, Draven is stunned by the jungler and lends Thresh an easy hook opportunity. However, rather than risk the slight chance of Draven escaping with Flash, Thresh purposely leaves a tiny opening for him to panic-flash away before the inevitable hook arrives; Draven takes the bait and ultimately loses both his life as well as his Flash.

The God himself.
The God himself.
The God himself.
The God himself.
The God himself.
The God himself.
The God himself.
The God himself.
The God himself.
The God himself.
The God himself.
The God himself.
The God himself.
The God himself.

How do you get your team ahead if both sides are evenly matched in skill and income?

How can you protect yourself from that “unlucky” jungle gank?

How do you establish control over an area without even being there?

If pure skill can’t win you a game, having better knowledge than the other team surely can. The support role always secures the most vision through warding, and this vision is what allows your team to plan ahead of time and execute more complex plays around the map.

There are countless benefits to having great vision, so here I’ve listed a few major ones that factor into every game you play.

- They monitor and control enemy movement between lanes and allow your team to react accordingly.

- Prevent Dragon and Baron Nashor from being taken under your team’s nose.

- Allows your teammates to move freely between warded areas of the map.

- Helps you gauge how aggressive to play in lane.

- Provides champions with Teleport additional spots to teleport to.

- Prevents enemies from jumping in and out of bushes (line of sight) during fights.

With proper vision, you effectively secure portions of the map for your team, which then has more knowledge and therefore more power to decide the outcome of fights within that area.

While it may seem like it, it’s unecessary to have the entire map covered in wards in order to have a general idea of where your enemies are. When you have a ward placed down, you can easily react accordingly to whether or not an extra enemy is present within that zone.

However, if you have just a few important crossroads within the enemy jungle warded, your team will have a full view of any opponents trying to move between lanes. The larger you make this area, the more information your team has against the opposing team, leading to safer roaming for your team as well as an easier time taking important objectives.

If you find yourself alone when warding, for the sake of your survival don’t go too far into un-warded territory!

Anywhere past the orange spots found in the next image can be considered dangerous.

The spots marked in green and yellow are usually spots that are safe enough that you can easily escape if seen by an enemy - its the orange and red ones pose a real risk of death. Despite this, those wards often give you the most info about your enemies so you'd still want to try and get wards there. Some of the following scenarios may be good opportunities to do so:

- You see every opposing player on the map.

- You have one or two other teammates with you.

- One or more of the enemy players is dead or is recalling.

- The enemy team is grouped somewhere else on the map.

These marked dots would be your warding options from the very get-go of the game when both teams are at an even stance. The wards you place here will start off your game and will ultimately impact the rest of the match, making them exceptionally important. If one team gets a major advantage, these spots may not apply anymore so be sure to check you tab frequently and check everyone’s relative strength.

Your role in the game is more important than many may realize; don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise.

As the support, you’re free from having to farm and don’t need to worry about gold or XP as much as other champions. Instead, you’ll be focused on maintaining the well-being of your teammates, securing them as much gold as possible, and constantly relaying information to ensure everyone stays on the same page.

Behind the façade of income and items, I believe the support role has one of the highest potentials to double as a leader for the rest of their team, and they should always preform their best while never staying silent if they’re truly looking for a win.

Protect and Assist your Carries

- If there’s nothing for you to do, stick close to your carry and give them the security they need to farm up. Oftentimes your presence alone keeps them from getting randomly picked off.

- When you’re out warding, prioritize your vision on the side of the map that your carries are on. You want to secure them enough space to farm safely and continue to grow stronger.

- In teamfights, prioritize your carries’ survival by standing between them and whoever’s attempting to kill them.

- If you’re ever in a situation where it’s looking that you and your ADC both won’t survive, literally throw yourself at the enemy and give your AD the highest possible chance of survival. Killing yourself doesn’t sound too great, but if your carry ends up surviving they don’t lose out on time spent dead.
Time = Money = Power.

<<< Illustration by MatoGrice. Sick illustrations!!!

Actively Communicate

- If you really want to win, don’t be like all those other guys in solo Q who say nothing and stalk the chat-box every game… Most of your teammates won’t be paying attention to anything but their lanes, so take it upon yourself to vocalize obvious, yet important info.

- If you manage to force out your opponents summoner spells, especially Flash, don’t hesitate to call your jungler over for a gank. Be vocal and use your pings for added attention - just don’t be too annoying, or god-forbid use the “?” ping on them.

- Always try to ping out timers on your abilities as well as your Flash before a fight, especially your Death Sentence and Dark Passage.

- Use your pings liberally!!! Players are accustomed towards looking at the map when they hear one, and consistent pings on upcoming objectives helps foster an objective-focused mindset throughout the entire team.

Don’t be Afraid to Make Plays!!!

- Who gets more done… The one who follows their team or the one who LEADS their team? If you have the knowhow, you don’t need to be waiting for someone else to make a pick or start a fight - YOU can begin it.

- Sometimes, the key to a great play is simply by having your team at the right place at the right time. Check your dragon and baron timers frequently with your Tab key and always look to be there with your team around 20 to 30 seconds before they spawn. This forces the opposing team to come to you and gives your team more control over the impending fight.

- It rarely matters how strong or tanky an opponent is if they’re caught out of position. Don’t let your opponent’s KDA or items scare you from punishing their mistakes.

- Always check your teammates’ summoner spells and ultimate cooldowns before making a play - these simple facts will make or break a play.

Thank you!!!


It was truly a wild ride getting this finished… but I hope you had a great time reading and learned a thing or two about the Chain Warden!

As a tribute to the readers and players who motivated me to write this in the first place, I’ve placed a section below for player IGN’s and screenshots of their favorite games they’ve played with Thresh.

Message me your screenshots on MOBAFire!

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