Build Guide by bloodyarrow8
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
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.
Kennen is a great champ. Some say that Kennen is underpowered, i think they are totally wrong because unlike other AP champs, Kennen is mostly AoE making him a great support and carry. As all abilities rely on AP, it is definitely the best way to build him and my favourite.
This guide will extensively explain play styles of Kennen and I will give you the tricks of the trade on mastering this ball of fun and electricity.
TIPS WILL BE DISPLAYED IN GREEN
- Added TIPS sections for most paragraphs
- Thorough edit of whole guide
- Fixed error where summoner spell ignite showed instead of exhaust.
- Terms and Abbreviations paragraph inserted
- Ranked Play paragraph added
Terms and Abbreviations throughout this guide
AoE - Area of Effect. Applies to abilities which deal damage / effect multiple targets
AP - Ability Power. Ability power affects the damage dealt by most abilities, in Kennen's case all of them are affected by AP.
CC - Crowd Control. Affects which reduce your enemies full fighting capabilities such as stuns and slows.
Kite - Kiting is a technique where one being chased uses an ability or attack to the chaser whilst remaining out of range.
Magic Pen. - Magic Penetration. The amount of enemy's magic resistance which can be ignored with your abilities.
MR - Magic Resistance. The ability to reduce magic damage dealt to oneself.
Thundering Shuriken is your biggest damage dealer however you will find it difficult to harass sometimes as it can be blocked by minions. Master landing these and you will see a huge difference in your performance.
**Most say that you should level your Thundering Shuriken and Electrical Surge equally. I disagree as Thundering Shuriken can dish out heaps of damage and the cooldown becomes very short making it a good harasser even if you are missing most of the skill shots.
Electrical Surge is great for finishing and harrassing. Make sure you time it well ensuring your enemy champs all have marks before using it. The passive is useful for harassing and should allow you to stun your opponent continuously.
**You will occasionally get opponents who simply are too good to take damage from your Thundering Shurikens so another good way to harass is to attack until your next auto attack will deal bonus damage and add a mark of the storm, then attack your opponent and follow up with Electrical Surge
Lightning Rush makes you very mobile and is great for initiating/escaping. Make sure you only initiate with lightning rush in a non risky fight otherwise you will have a low escape chance if things go wrong.
**Lightning rush gives you bonus MR and Armor for a short time so use it when you know you will be hit by something like Karthus' Ult.
Slicing Maelstrom is not the best ultimate in the game as its main purpose is to stun multiple targets. Dont always rush in and pop your ult as it is more efficient when focused on one or two champs so try to stay on the outskirts. If you have Zhonya's Hourglass use it after your ultimate to make you deal damage and stun whilst in full protection for a couple of seconds.
**If possible, try to use your ultimate after your opponent has 2 marks of the storm or is stun to guarantee they dont escape and you deal maximum damage.
Your runes are designed to make Rabadon's Deathcap as efficient as possible. This is why i get magic pen. marks, evasion seals, and the rest is AP.
Greater Mark of Insight - Kennen needs plenty of magic pen and it works well if you decide to get Haunting Guise
Greater Seal of Evasion - Some say health is more important but with some research and calculations, you will find that dodge will end up saving you more health even though you are squishy.
Greater Glyph of Force - The AP is great plus with Rabadon's Deathcap you get 30% more so why not?
Greater Quintessence of Potency- Awesome for early game as it gives you 15 flat ability power which really does help.
RECOMMENDED SUMMONER SPELLS
Flash is awesome for initiating and escaping. I consider this my most important spell simply because of the number of kills its given me.
**Never be afraid to initiate with flash as you have strong CC. When laning and you need to be a little bit closer to your opponent, pop your ultimate and flash in. Follow up with Lightning Rush and you should be able to finish your opponent off.
Exhaust would have to be the best offensive spell with kennen as it allows you to slow the enemy and reduce attack damage, ap and item damage as well as MR and Armor with the mastery. Important as it increases your nuking capabilities and will prevent your enemies from escaping or chasing you down.
Some other good summoner spells for Kennen are:
Ghost is great for chasing down enemies and escaping with low hp. Combining Ghost and Lightning Rush makes you impossible to chase which is awesome.
Also a pretty good offensive spell and can give you kills every so often however i seem to prefer exhaust as i can usually make up for this damage with the slow.
Great for getting back in the game, saving turrets and many more things.
Dorans Shield - This item makes all the difference if you want to farm and get some kills early game. Beginning, most champs have similar stats, but kennens abilities give him the upper hand. Plus, a nice hp and armor boost will keep you in the lane for longer.
**You will occasionally be harassed to a point where most would tell you to go back. If you can still gain experience without being attacked, tower hug. Doran's will eventually help you regain a lot of lost health.
Sorc. Shoes - Now these will give u a nice magic boost (20 magic pen) plus the essential movement speed. Some recommend Boots of Swiftness which goes well with Lightning Rush but in the end Kennen does dish out a lot of magic damage making magic penetration much more important.
Mejai's Soulstealer - A great item as kennen can easily last hit enemy champs in team fights. It is only useful if you can stack at least 6 and maintain it (5 stacks make it value for money when compared with Needlessly Large Rod but as it comes with no passive, etc, it is only good after 6 stacks}
**You might not be a fan of snowball items so you will want to grab a Haunting Guise instead for its health, magic pen and AP.
Rabadons deathcap - I always start with this item ASAP. This gives you roughly 200AP which is excellent for early mid game PLUS it increases the efficiency of [mejai's soulstealer] (or Haunting Guise and your runes by 30%.
Lich Bane - This item is a top choice for sooooo many reasons.
1: AP boost of 80
2: AWESOME passive converts 100% or your total AP into your next auto attack every 3 seconds, seriously its worth every cent even without the AP and movement speed boosts.
3: Decent magic resistance which reduced squishyness
4: movement speed goes well with lighting rush
**The lich bane is a great item for Kennen as he is definitely designed to deal spread amounts of AoE damage to multiple targets and can have trouble taking individuals down quickly. This makes Kennen so much more powerful and gives you the nukage that you so need.
Rylai's Crystal Sceptor - Awesome for 2 reasons, 1. you get to slow your opponents with each ability. 2. Nice hp boost gives you amazing survivability.
**This will work very well once you master Thundering Shuriken as this item gives 35% slow on single-target abilities and 15% on AoE abilities. Remember to kite your enemies when trying to escape (ie throw a shuriken back when your escaping) to slow down your opponents.
Abyssal Scepter - Great because of its MR and magic pen. Also a very cheap item and I get it 80% of the time if i make enough gold. It will also make allied casters much more efficient as the magic pen is in fact a reduction of your opponents MR.
Zhonyas hourglass - Strong AP boost plus massive amount of armor. Get if your opponents have good auto attacks (like Master Yi, Ashe etc) The AP adds up to 130 with Rabadon's Deathcap. Usually buy this instead of Abyssal Mask
Void Staff - IF you are versing at least 2 enemies with powerful MR (like over 100) get this. Your attacks will do much more damage. I mostly get this instead of rylai's crystal sceptor or later if we are versing a tanky team.
Deathfire Grasp - Well put simply, you get to do damage equal to 30% of the enemies current health. Useful on anyone as only a 1 minute cooldown you will be owning! Plus the MR and cooldown reduction is awesome for this stage of the game as you will be facing strong casters and you need your abilities available as often as possible. I usually get this when im up against strong tanks as early as possible.
Will of Ancients - nice AP boost plus spell vamp. Get if you have good casters on your team, otherwise it isn't too useful on Kennen.
Combating heavy CC? How to build against it
CC is a big issue for not only kennen but most dps and caster champs. For this reason, ive got a basic different build of items to help you out.
CORE ITEM BUILD
Your aim of this is to build some extra MR and health plus the passive from Mercury's Treads and the active from Quicksilver Sash will make you difficult to control.
After your core build, you will want an AP boost because at the end of the day you are a caster, so grab a Rabadon's Deathcap immediately and continue building normally.
Kennen is great early game due to his harassing capabilities and his strong abilities. he can 1 vs 1 almost any champ from level 1 to 6 and is a decent farmer. Begin with Doran's Shield. Try to lane until level 8 to 10 depending on when you have 1300 gold for a Mejai's Soulstealer or boots.
Your main focuses in laning are last-hitting creeps and harassing your opponent. This way you can farm and you won't be in danger as you shouldn't be pushing your lane. Try to use your Thundering Shuriken as much as possible, aiming it where you think your opponent will go. Do not become frustrated if you miss a lot as sometimes they will play very passively or can be very good at dodging.
Every so often, Lightning Rush through the minions and try to hit the opponent, then use Electrical Surge and throw a Thundering Shuriken. This will stun him allowing you to either move back behind your line or if they have low enough hp, pop your ultimate Slicing Maelstrom and keep auto attacking. Use Exhaust if you have to and they will be dead for sure.
Sometimes you will be out-harassed which happens depending on your opponent. Remember to focus as [[lightning rush can sometimes put you in very awkward positions. Learn to play aggressively in winning situations and passively in losing situations. Use your turret to your advantage allowing your opponent to push the lane. It becomes harder to last hit creeps but in situations like this, you need to focus on leveling. If it is too risky, recall so that your opponent won't earn an extra couple of hundred gold.
**Once landing a Thundering Shuriken, follow up ASAP with Electrical Surge. They will now have 2 marks of the storm. You should be able to get the stun by using Lightning Rush or with your 5th auto attack which adds a mark of the storm.
By now you should have a Mejai's Soulstealer, Sorcerer's Shoes and possibly a Blasting Wand. This AP boost will make you a deadly combo maker so head to other lanes and start ganking. throw a Thundering Shuriken when you are sure it will land, Lightning Rush into the enemy and if possible go further to where they are trying to escape. Use Electrical Surge and immediately pop Slicing Maelstrom to get the stun and add 2 Mark of the Storms on them. Use Thundering Shuriken as they have no chance of dodging which should set them into a second stun. Continue with auto attacks and Exhaust them. Whenever you can, Lightning Rush back to them and continue the same combo without your ultimate. This technique will get you killing in no time.
**Make sure to buy a few wards when possible. Place them at either side of the river and if possible at your golem / lizard buff so you can pick your enemies off if they try to steal your buffs.
Late Game -
Soon enough, your opponents have begun ganking as a whole team and both sides have had their share of turrets lost. You should have completed Rabadon's Deathcap, Lich Bane and begun Abyssal Mask. You have enough AP to kill a Dr Mundo in 2 seconds... nah jks, But you will hit significantly well.
1 VERSE 1 FIGHTS
Always initiate an opponent with a Thundering Shuriken to pwn their health. Follow up with Lightning Rush and remember to go further than the opponent. Use Electrical Surge and then pop your ultimate ( Slicing Maelstrom) while spamming your Thundering Shuriken. If they survive chase them with Lightning Rush and follow up with Electrical Surge and Thundering Shuriken to stun them again. They should definitely be dead by now.
Kennen was made to team fight. The first rule is FOLLOW THE TANK AND DON"T INITIATE. Not only will you die, you will be overkilled and your team will lack you. Use Thundering Shuriken and Electrical Surge to harass your opponents. Once there is initiation, begin to focus their carry... but how should you do it when a whole team is protecting him? Well you have two options:
1. Aggressive - Do this when you are fed or you are sure you can take their carry out. Lightning Rush as many enemy champs as possible whilst moving toward the enemy carry and follow with Electrical Surge. Pop your ultimate and once your target is stunned, use Thundering Shuriken. This should be a kill, otherwise you will need to use Exhaust. Make sure you have teammates with you otherwise you will be heavily focused.
**REMEMBER, only do this is you can kill the carry in a matter of a few seconds otherwise you will be fairly screwed.
2. Normal way - Wait for your tank to pass the enemies and begin fighting the enemy carry. It should be safe for you to go in if they are not targeting you. Now you can rush in and pop your ultimate. Exhaust the carry ASAP so your team can keep up.
The reality behind the build - Ranked Play
The item build i use is fairly different to others especially in buying order. Lets look at the differences-
1. Rabadon's Deathcap is an early built item for my build rather than being a late game item
2. Why is Lich Bane so important in this build?
1. Rabadons Deathcap gives you HUGE AP (over 200) because of its passive. Some say the passive is best utilized late game, but i think it is best played earlier. You need the damage and frankly, i would sacrifice 500hp and slow for 120 AP (not including runes). Your purpose at this time is to play offensively and deal damage so defensive stats are pretty much useless.
2. You might be asking yourself, why get Lich Bane instead of something like abyssal sceptor or rylais crystal sceptor? Simple. Lich Bane gives you 80 AP just like rylais and a bit more than abyssal sceptor. It grants useless mana but also 7 movement speed, 30 MR and an awesome passive. After using a spell, your next auto attack deals an additional amount equal to your ability power in damage (cooldown 2 secs) Right now you have roughly 350 to 400 ap and lvl 4 Thundering Shuriken so your shuriken will deal roughly 200 + 230 damage, which is reduced to around 300 from enemy MR. This means you can TS an opponent and immediately auto attack him to deal 300 + 450 damage. ie, lich bane grants you over double damage on a spell every 3 seconds. This is amazing for harassing, team fights, 1 on 1s and, well everything. The movement speed also allows you to escape much faster as your Lightning Rush will become much more efficient.
NEVER get too greedy with Kennen. Yes his abilities deal huge amounts of damage but you cannot take more than one champ unless they are low on health.
Keep in mind which enemy champs have stuns and slows. Always keep away from stun champs because within seconds you will have a team throwing magic, knives and beer barrels at you.
Use the jungle to ambush the enemy during team battles. Let your team begin so you are unnoticed then Lightning Rush and Electrical Surge the enemies followed by your ult. This will kill some of them and send the rest running which you should be able to pick off.
when being chased, it might be worth turning around and stunning the opponent or even using your ult to escape. Simply throw a Thundering Shuriken backwards, Lightning Rush to him and use Electrical Surge. You will have enough time to make a break. DO NOT TRY THIS IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN 1 CHASING YOU.
If your enemy is stacking MR, get a void staff ASAP. 40% of their MR will be waste which is great.
COMMENT AND VOTE!!!!!!!!
GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!