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Tahm Kench Build Guide by LoL Beats

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League of Legends Build Guide Author LoL Beats

Diamond Tahm Kench Top Lane - Sleeper OP Top Lane Strategy

LoL Beats Last updated on November 18, 2015
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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.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 12

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 0

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 18

Threats to Tahm Kench with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Aatrox If you kite him well, you win pre 6, easy matchup
Cho'Gath Watch out for ganks from his Q, and his silence will delay you E so use your E early rather than never, easy 1v1 all in's
Gangplank You out scale him in utility and can 1v1 him after 6 easily. Watch out he can W your W so try bait his oranges out with kite and harras from Q and W, you can MAX Q in this matchup as he will negate W devour damage.
Malphite Q/auto poke him, don't let his shield come up, watch out for ganks @ 6. Easy matchup 1v1, Maokai does not like to build magic resist
Shen His Q poke is annoying early but tickles late, you out damage and out sustain him after 6, shove his lane with Q-W in so he is reluctant to gank.
Nasus Don't auto shove lane with Q-W, he will just stack Q and farm under tower. Freeze lane and save your W to eat him
Tryndamere Rush Ninja Tabi, kite him with your Q, delay his Ult with your eat, easy
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My name is Phil, In game name "LoL Beats" and creator of LoL Beats ♫

I was motivated to make this guide because i couldn't find any good guides or info on Tahm Kench top! So i said, WTF, and decided to make one!

I'm going to show you how I use Tahm Kench to CARRY GAMES and achieve HIGHER RANKINGS while having heaps of fun.... Inb4 RIOT NERFS!

This is going to be a efficient guide which is going to explain and suggest only the important information so you can bring this bad boy on to the rift ASAP.

Why should you trust this guide?
I have been playing League since season one and used to play Dota competitively beforehand so I have a decent base knowledge and experience with game strategy, tactics and have quite good mechanical skills.

Additional match history pictures:

Why play Tahm Kench?
I feel as if Tahm Kench Top is ridiculous at the moment, yet i find that very few people execute him to his full potential, hence the guides name: "Sleeper OP!"

Tahm Kench is a very tanky champion which provides a LOT of utility while also having INSANELY high base damage from being rewarded for BUILDING TANKY. (Ult passive)

Tahm fits greatly into the role of Solo top in his current state and in the current meta as the following:
- Can really get the levels and gold for the item he wants. (Scales very well into mid-late game with levels and items)
- You can use your W less for saving your dopey, unresponsive, high liability lane partner (ADC), and more for KILLING AND DEALING INSANE MAXIMUM BASE MAGIC DAMAGE!!

- Very Tanky
- Scales extremely well
- One of the highest valued abilities: W (Game changing W use (protecting fed carries and peeling enemy tanks, picking champs off and dragging them to your team, powerful initiating [devouring ally], poke (W on minions/monsters), secure small objectives such as Scuttle and small camps)
- Ridiculous base damage (W devour max %DMG and Ult passive 20 + (4-6-8% bonus health "6,11,16") bonus magic DMG with autos & spells
- Receives ganks very well
- Map presence and high play potential from R
- Great escape using R (channel time only 1 second undamaged - this is ridiculous needs to be longer)
- High single target CC with Q (Slow and Stun)
- High troll potential with your W (spitting allies into the fountain before game ends)

- Stun not consistent (requires 3 hits)
- No gap closer/escape (pre 6)
- Single target CC
- Low mobility (Low movement speed, lack gap closer, vulnerable to ganks) ~ Our core items fix this
- Not godlike pre-6 laning (Tahm scales well with items and levels) ~ Level 6 power spike
- Your YoloQ allies usually don't understand W mechanics and eject too early

Diamond 1 5v5 matches]

Qualifying series to Master/Challenger!]

Tahm Kench's Abilities

Passive: An Acquired Taste

Tahm Kench's basic attacks and damaging abilities apply An Acquired Taste to enemy champions, stacking up to 3 times. Against enemies with three stacks, Tahm Kench's Tongue Lash.png Tongue Lash and Devour.png Devour gain additional effects.
After 7 seconds, An Acquired Taste stacks decay once every 0.5 seconds.

Further Details:
An Acquired Taste is a unit-targeted debuff.
An Acquired Taste.png An Acquired Taste does not apply spell effects.
Banshee's Veil item.png Spell shields will not block An Acquired Taste.png An Acquired Taste.

- Use this to pressure your allies, the 3 red stacks give your opponents psychological pressure as you could potentially stun and swallow them.
- When your jungler is ganking, make sure to weave auto attacks inbetween Q's, get the 3 stacks and stun + devour him towards your ally/tower

Q: Tongue Lash


ACTIVE: After a brief delay, Tahm Kench lashes his tongue in the target direction, dealing magic damage to the first enemy hit and Slow icon slowing them for 2 seconds.
MAGIC DAMAGE: 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+ 70% AP)

SLOW: 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70%

An Acquired Taste.png AN ACQUIRED TASTE: The target is also Stun icon stunned for 1.5 seconds.
Tahm Kench can activate Devour.png Devour during Tongue Lash to devour enemy minions or monsters from a distance.

Further Details:
Tongue Lash is a linear colliding skill shot.
Tongue Lash.png Tongue Lash applies spell effects as a single target ability.
Hextech Revolver item.png Spell vamp is fully applied.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter item.png Rylai's Crystal Scepter will apply a 40% slow for 1.5 seconds.
Magic damage will be mitigated by magic shields.
Banshee's Veil item.png Spell shields will block Tongue Lash.png Tongue Lash.
This ability is considered to be a projectile for Unbreakable.png Unbreakable and Wind Wall.png Wind Wall.
Additional Information:

Devour can be "queued" at any point during Tongue Lash, including the wind-up animation.
If Tongue Lash doesn't hit a valid target, Devour will fail with no consequence - the cooldown and cost only happen if successful.

- This spell is most effective in combo with auto attacks in between and stacking up for W consume. You want to be utilizing it's slow either with autos inbetween while kiting or with jungler assistance. You also want to be utilising it's passive stack it adds through weaving autos inbetween to ramp up passive stacks. Since we won't be maxing it asap top lane, we want to use it more for the slow and stacks it gives, not just simply poke as it would be inefficient and wasting mana.
- This is a great and quite cheap spell to be farming with also if you are under kill pressure. Use this in conjunction with W to farm/poke efficiently (Read next ability strategy)

W: Devour

RANGE: 250 COST: 90 MANA COOLDOWN: 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10

ACTIVE: Tahm Kench swallows the target enemy minion, monster, or allied champion, making them untargetable and unable to take any actions for a short duration.
DURATION: 4 / 4.5 / 5 / 5.5 / 6

An Acquired Taste.png AN ACQUIRED TASTE: The target can be swallowed for half the duration, Suppression icon suppressing them, removing their shared vision and reducing their Sight icon sight radius to only their immediate surroundings.

REDUCED DURATION: 2 / 2.25 / 2.5 / 2.75 / 3

While Tahm Kench has an ally in his belly, he gains bonus movement speed, which doubles when moving toward an enemy champion. Tahm Kench is Slow icon slowed by 95% while he has an enemy champion in his belly.

「 MOVEMENT SPEED: 15 / 17.5 / 20 / 22.5 / 25% 」

After a brief delay, Tahm Kench gains the ability to cast Regurgitate while his belly is full. Allied champions can exit at will.

Regurgitate RANGE: 650
ACTIVE: Tahm Kench regurgitates the swallowed target. If they are an enemy, they are stunned for 0.25 seconds and take damage that is capped against monsters.
「 MAGIC DAMAGE: 20 / 23 / 26 / 29 / 32% (+ 2% per 100 AP) of target's maximum health 」

Minions and monsters are spat forth, stopping if they hit an enemy or terrain and dealing magic damage to all enemies around them before taking Regurgitate's damage.

PROJECTILE DAMAGE: 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 (+ 60% AP)
Allied champions are also spat out, stopping if they hit an enemy or terrain, while enemy champions are regurgitated at Tahm Kench's feet.

Further Detais:
Devour is a unit-targeted ability.
Devour.png Devour's Second Cast applies spell effects as an area of effect ability.
Hextech Revolver item.png Spell vamp is reduced to one-third effectiveness.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter item.png Rylai's Crystal Scepter will apply a 40% slow for 1 second.
Devour.png Devour's First Cast applies spell effects as a single target ability.
Hextech Revolver item.png Spell vamp is fully applied.
Rylai's Cr

ystal Scepter item.png Rylai's Crystal Scepter will apply a 40% slow for 1.5 seconds.

Magic damage will be mitigated by magic shields.

This ability is considered to be a projectile for Unbreakable.png Unbreakable and Wind Wall.png Wind Wall.

Tahm Kench cannot Teleport.png Teleport, Flash.png Flash or use Dark Passage.png Dark Passage while he has an enemy champion in his belly, but can when he has an allied champion or minion.

Devour cannot be used on major buff monsters, namely Blue SentinelSquare.png Blue Sentinel, Red BramblebackSquare.png Red Brambleback, DragonSquare.png Dragon, VilemawSquare.png Vilemaw and Baron NashorSquare.png Baron Nashor.

Devour cannot be used on allied champions who are classified as channeling. - No recall canceling trolls :(

Devour will not interrupt persistent area of effects (e.g. Slicing Maelstrom.png Slicing Maelstrom) nor will it interrupt non-channelled abilities that can usually be interrupted (e.g. Glacial Storm.png Glacial Storm).

Devour will prioritize champions over minions.

Interestingly, LucianSquare.png Lucian's The Culling.png The Culling is not classified as the latter - i.e. not a channel, but can be interrupted. As such, Devour can target Lucian during The Culling and will not interrupt it.

A champion emitting an Area of Effect ability will continue to do so in Tahm's stomach. For example, an enemy Shyvana can still kill an allied player with her Burnout, even while inside Tahm.


- You can use summoner spells while you Devour allies or minions only, NOT enemies.

You CAN'T teleport while devouring and ally! You CAN flash to pick them up or flash them out!

When you are taking imediate burst damage and you know you won't be in combat anymore for the next 10~ seconds and you can spare the 50 mana, use your W to soak up the upfront damgage. Especially in early-mid game when your W is only level 1, you only regen 20%~ of grey health back + you don't have spirit visage. So it is more efficient to use your E in most situations early-mid game. It is best used aginst burst damage as your shield does decay quite rapidly.

A lot of people fall into the trap of delaying E shield as long as possible (like Tryndamere), this is true to some cases but it's better using it early than never! - Iv'e done this alot of times. Also while you are under hard CC (stuns, knockup etc) you can't cast this. So you have to factor this while engaging enemies to ensure you use it.

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Now you are probably thinking HOLD UP, WTF. Scaling CDR QUINTS!?

Yes. You can run flat armor quints or attack speed quints which are both great, but i aim for mid, late game efficiency as I won't be planning to buy a frozen heart (no health and i already got a flat resistance item - portal)
SERIOUSLY, try Scaling CDR Quints out, almost no one get's them, although you slightly get disadvantaged early, you will be laughing with 40% CDR from only spirit visage.

Scaling health pretty standard, you can take scaling armor vs full AD, or flat armor if you are scared early, you don't need armor or health to solo level 1 camp. Scaling health scales with your Ult which gives you and extra 17 damage on your autos and damaging spells. Small but nice.

Attack speed reds, without a question. You benefit so much from the attack speed to rack up your 3 stacks without taking till Christmas. Great in laning phase, you could go hybrid/magic pen or even armor reds, but myself and other experience players i studied go for the attack speed reds.

Scaling CDR blues is standard, you won't need scaling magic resist as you will have 180-200 magic resist late with merc, portal and visage. Scaling CDR blues without a doubt, unless you are very concerned early and want flat magic resist, which i suggest, man UP and take the bit of extra damage early like a man! The scaling mid to late pays off hard.

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At the current state of the game, you want 12-0-18

Ferocity 12

Fury: Attack speed is much more useful, get more acquired tasted stacks and good synergy with your ult passive on hit damage and also getting your grasp of the undying hits off quicker.

Double Edged Sword: You want this as it gives you higher damage, you can get Feast in tough match-ups but i prefer double edged as i feel Tahm does not need the sustain as he can farm relatively safe in lane and have in build sustain.

Natural Talent: I take this over Vampirism as i believe it has more value in terms of raw damage. Again Tahm won't use much the 2%, you can take it however if you like more sustain.

Bounty Hunter: This is a lot better than oppressor imo, less consistent but a lot more snowbally, unless you plan on getting a frozen mallet or if your team has a lot of cc/slows, use bounty hunter, a potential 5% increased damage is very valuable. Even 1% from 1 kill is better and more consistent increased damage than 2.5% only with CC, IMO.

Resolve 18

Unyielding: I take this over 2/5 hp regen as <- is not a lot, since we plan on going full tank and especially (ZZ'rot portal), we will benefit a lot more from bonus 10-15 armor/magic in later stages of game. Feel free to take 2/5 if you think you will need the sustain in early lane.

Tough Skin: Self Explanatory, we are going to be taking damage so we get this, you could run explorer if you like.

Veteran's Scars: This one was tough, Tahm uses both VERY WELL, but I have found through testing that Veteran is more concistent and it scales nicely with your passive on hit.

Insight: I take the CDR on SS > HP Regen as i find that Tahm does not use it as well as a Mundo or so would. Since we are going to have Warmogs it won't sustain us outside combat, and while we are in combat, we will be set with our shield. I see 12% reduced CD on SS to have more potential value as having a flash or TP up earlier can make game changing plays, especially when you have W where you can make assassination or save plays/

Swiftness: I take this over armor/Mr as it has great synergy with your W (while consuming enemy). This with boots of swiftness, you can eat your lane opponent and spit them into your tower easily it is very powerful. It almost feels too strong.


: Grasp of the Undying: This is insane on Tahm. Very strong for early game trading vs Melee, scales excellently into late game stealing up to 150 HP! every 4 seconds. It's this mastery a long with Tahm's passive on hit damage which allows him to be a MASSIVE threat despite building full tank. VERY STRONG.
This a long with Bami's will keep it always ready after 4 seconds as long as you are around minions/enemies burning them.

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Items + ZZ'Rot Portal Analysis!

Do Wolves level 1
- Vs AD (Cloth) + 1 pot [my favourite]
- Vs AP (Boots)
- Vs Mixed/AP (Bead+Pots) [safe]

- Bami's Cinder ASAP (great passive for laning/shoving -with your W + good health - health items first are most efficient for defense) - Bami's keeps your keystone mastery (Grasp) up as long as you stand next to minions, this is very strong.
-Raptor = Vs AD (+great Ms passive) ~ builds into portal
-Negatron = Vs AP ~ builds into portal

I don't get Sunfire on Tahm because he doesn't need the little extra magic damage, he already has a lot of magic damage in his kit. The stats are decent but the passive drops off. Champions usually get Sunfire to help push or for extended fights, Tahm will nearly always be ahead in mid game extended fights with his damage and while it does help him push (with his w) I am more than happy with a Bami's Cinder, as it does around 75% of the dmg a sunfire would do to minions (50% bonus dmg to minions).

If Sunfire Cape was IN EFFECT while devouring an enemy champion, I would consider getting it but knowing and testing that it doesn't, the are more efficient item picks.
I end up selling Bami's for my 6th item which is usually a Randuin's or Warmogs which have much more valuable passives mid-late game.

Boots of swiftness: It got buffed so it now gives +20 over merc/tabi/lucidity ms and reduces slows by 25% (Great synergy with W on enemy) and it also costs 300 less! Very valuable, especially on Tahm since he uses the MS very WELL. I would only suggest getting Tabi vsing Ad lane/heavy AD team or Merc if enemy has a lot of hard CC.


I think ZZ'Rot Portal item is sleeper OP after the recent buffs to it, and this item helps Tahm ALOT.

First, lets run over the changes.
Patch 5.5: Buffs
Armor increased to 60 from 50.
Magic resist increased to 60 from 50.

Voidspawn stats changed
Base attack damage increased to 50 from 20
Base ability power increased to 100 from 50
Time until health loss starts increased to 5.5 seconds from 4 seconds
Acquisition range against inhibitors increased to 350 from 300
Acquisition range against nexus increased to 450 from 300

Patch 5.5 was great, but I didn't feel as if it still was viable until......

Patch 5.16
Total cost reduced to 2750 Gold from 2800 Gold.
Point Runner maximum speed reduced to 20% from 30%.
Point Runner movement speed now decays over 2 seconds instead of dropping off instantly. (Great buff in effective boost)
Void Spawn health decay is now % of CURRENT instead of % of MAXIMUM. (This is literally what made this item viable, increased the Voidlings run range by A MILE! wow.)
NEW EFFECT: There is now a counter that tracks total gold earned. (You will be amazed)
Empowered Void Spawn resistance scaling removed.
Empowered Void Spawn damage now scale with 15% of your maximum health. (This is a nice change, with the armor nerfs, and health being more accessible makes this great, especially on Tahm Kench. The new empowered Voidlings with your standard full build will have around ~700 AD/AP over the previous: ~400. That's A BIG DIFFERENCE.

Why I think ZZ'Rot portal is OPED


➥ Gives 20% Ms speed (extra ~70 MS which around towers and decaying while leaving towers)
- This Helps Tahm out immensely, this item + Deadman's Plate fixes Tahm's major immobility issue
➥ Scales GREAT from health
- Tahm LOVES health (Ult passive damage), and so does ZZ'Rot Portal, great synergy.
➥ Earns your $ on the Voidlings kills! If you place it right even half the time, Portal will earn an average of 600-1.8k Gold a GAME!! Ranging from 20-45 mins. This is insane
➥ Creates a lot of map pressure
- With ZZ'Rot Portal, you basically created a massive threat and created an objective for the enemy team. If i could tell you how many picks and kills i got from people overextending, trying to destroy my portal. This is particularly hard for AP tops/tanks and non auto attacking champions, it literally takes them 20 seconds to clear, ONLY FOR 25 GOLD. BTW enemy team does not get rewarded ANY GOLD from killing the Voidlings. (Besides Avarice blade, GP Q etc.)
- Portal allows you to push and farm/pressure top while ganking around the map, this item is insane.

➥ Great stats
- 60 Armor and 60 MR is a lot, and this is GREAT for Tahm because we are going to be building full tank and stacking health, so the efficiency of all our items stack with the high resistances portal gives.
➥ Great build path
- Raptor's cloak is great, very cost efficient and great passive. We sometimes get the regen bead after level 1 camp so we can hold on to it, great.


➥ Doesn't provide any health
- The only drawback, it doesn't provide the lovely health which scales greatly with Tahm's Ult. While it does make all his health from his other items more effective through gaining resistances, does not provide any health. I think this is completely fine, with our standard build, we will have around 4.2-5k health full build, including boots and portal. That's a lot of health, health is not an issue at this point, we want resistances to increase the efficiency of that health and this is exactly what portal provides.
➥ Won't be as effective when behind
- I have noticed that when i'm slightly behind in levels and items, since my health is lower and the game has gone longer and the minions get stronger, my portal seems to generate noticeably less gold (4th empowered Voidling is what earns us the most gold generally). I would not suggest this being a reason not to get it, but something i noticed.
➥ Gives both 60 Armor and 60 MR
- I don't have a problem about 60 armor, armor is useful even vs full AP team (minions, auto attacks and turrets/monsters) so it will always be of value, but I do feel as if the 60 MR does not go to use in some games, (VS FULL AD TEAM). Like a Yasuo/Zed mid etc, the MR won't be working hard for you. I still think this item provides too much value to be neglected for a bit of stat inefficiencies, I get it regardless, it is our core item.
➥ Gives value to certain enemy comps
- The only time i don't get a Portal is Vsing a fkin Nasus! Also GP sometimes too. Nasus and GP Q DO benefit from killing your Voidlings and this is not good, we don't want this, so I generally avoid getting portal in these match ups.

How to place ZZ'Portal efficiently

It's quite simple you want your portal
1. Away from instant danger
2. Close enough to access minions and desirably, TOWERS.

I created a map to help show where to place good portals top]

➥ If you get your portal while your first tower and their first tower is up, place it under your tower, it will reach all the way over to theirs.
➥ If your first tower is down and theirs is up, you can either place it in the top brush (any, preferably the most distant one from enemy base)
➥ If their first tower is down, place it on the edge of the top brush, this will reach on to the 2nd tower.
➥ If enemy 2nd tower is down, place it either on the tribush or bush next to golems, depending on which side.

Use this a basic guide, it's really quite simple and common sense. It may take a bit of experimentation, testing which areas last the longest and which areas the portal gets destroyed fast. Which place is most valuable in terms of gold generating and global pressure etc. These locations is 80% usually where i place my Portal in the Top lane, I believe portal is stronger in another lane while you roam/gank/push/support other lanes, as you are benefiting from the split pressure of being absent but still pushing and farming/geting towers, this is very powerful....

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Skill Sequence

MAX ORDER - R > W > Q > E

Start W if you are doing camp level 1. (I like to do this)
Start Q if you are laning level 1.
Start E if you play safe vs ranged harass

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In conclusion, Tahm is currently in a great spot with his current abilities, stats and current meta. (expect all of these to change/be nerfed because Tahm is really strong.)
Providing powerful utility in team fights, insanely strong base stats and damage(rewarded with damage for building tanky), able to safely farm with Q>W (Q>W to save 40 mana), and serious scaling into late game with levels and items, look no further than Tahm Kench!

I know its a lot of info, i did a lot of research tho and i think it will definitely add some value in helping you all out in having fun and winning games with Tahm Kench!

If you like League and Electronic/Pop music, you will LOVE my Youtube channel: LoL Beats ♫ (Azir Song)

Thank you for checking out this guide

All the best in roaming around league and in life!

- Phil (LoL Beats)