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Thresh Build Guide by gleebglarbu

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.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author gleebglarbu

Gleebglarbu's Challenger Guide to Thresh, the Chain Warden

gleebglarbu Last updated on December 28, 2013
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 0

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 21

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About the Author: Hello, I'm Gleebglarbu, a challenger player on the NA server and have peaked at rank 4 on the ladder, but am currently sitting around rank 30 as of 12/17/13. Thresh is one of my most played heroes in season 3 and I have a 65.7% win rate with him in soloqueue over 172 games. All of these games were at challenger level elo too, since I didn't start playing Thresh until I was already challenger.

My Summoner Profile:

My Ranked Stats for Thresh:

Thresh is one of the strongest supports in the current meta. He has high utility, damage, and is tanky, even while building team oriented items. His kit is very rewarding when used properly, and his high mechanical skill cap means you'll always have something to improve on. By dominating your lane and properly cc'ing priority targets in the late game, you can easily carry your team to victory with Thresh

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Change Log

6/18/2013 - Added "Using the Explorer Ward" and added information to Mastery section and Early Game section.
- Added "Support Match Ups" section.

9/23/2013 - Updated Skill Order
- Removed Bulwark from Items section

12/17/13 - Updated to Preseason 4

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    High damage with Flay passive

    Thee forms of CC

    Low Mana costs

    Very powerful vs AD teams with so much free armor

    Can save allies with lantern

    No sustain

    Hard to learn

    Skill shot based

    If you get behind and can't collect souls, you will get bursted in team fights

    No scaling MR as a tank, very susceptible to AP burst.

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9 x Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Thresh has a ranged AA which makes AD valuable in lane for AA harass. Also, the Flay passive has an amazing AD ratio so getting AD through runes bolsters your laning.

9 x Greater Seal of Armor

Standard yellows for support; you take physical damage from the enemy AD, support AA's, turret shots and creep damage.

9 x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

You are usually in the front line so MR helps your survivability. Most supports do quite a bit of magic damage too so it helps a lot in lane.

3 x Greater Quintessence of Health

Health quints are very strong on most tank supports, getting 78 HP at level one adds a solid amount of durability to your champion and helps you survive getting into the middle of fights.

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0/9/21 seems to be a really strong mastery set up for the new season. The gold generation you can get is really high and the 9 points in defense give you a bit of durability. The reduced cool down of active items is especially useful on Mikael's Crucible where it shaves 18 seconds off of the very long 180 second cd.

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Summoner Spells: + OR

Flash is core in league right now for almost all heroes, Thresh being one of them. Flash lets you Flash Flay, Flash Death Sentence, Flash away from ganks, and Flash into the enemy while your junlger is taking your Dark Passage. This spell has so much versatility and not taking it would put you at a disadvantage.

I almost always take Ignite in solo queue. The kill potential is so strong and many popular champions heal a lot so it's beneficial.

Exhaust is an okay choice too, especially vs heroes like Kha'Zix, Kennen, and Irelia who will do much less damage when exhausted during their burst.

Skill Order:

> > >

Your ult's damage greatly goes up with rank so you want to get it whenever you can. Flay's passive provides most of your lane damage so you want to rank it first to maximize kill potential. You can max Death Sentence or Dark Passage second. I prefer Dark Passage because of the power of the AoE shield. You want to take E at lvl 1 for laning, or Q at lvl 1 if you invade and get the one other ability at lvl 2, followed by W at 3.

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Starting Items:

x 2

This start is emerging as one of the most common builds for supports in the new season. The Sweeping Lens has a 120 second cool-down before level 9, but can still be very useful for setting up ganks and forcing the enemy to play scared by denying vision. Ancient Coin is the strongest of the 3 new support starts on almost all champions, especially ranged ones, after the nerf to Relic Shield. Getting a ward helps make sure you stay safe in lane and grabbing potions will keep your health and mana high.

Early Purchases:

These are the items you should aim to buy when you first head back to base. Sightstone will give you vision to protect yourself from ganks and the Nomad's Medallion will give you increased regen as well as gold flow. Picking up a Vision Ward at this stage of the game is nice as well because they no longer have a duration. You can usually put it down in the small bush in the middle of the river early game and often have it last for 10+ minutes because most players just walk through the river without actually checking that location.

Core Item Build:

This will be the new commonly seen core item set for most of the supports. Talisman of Ascension is an incredibly strong item currently, giving you a whopping 20% CDR, regen stats, and the old active that used to be attached to Reverie. Mikael's Crucible also saw a massive reduction in price in the new season which makes it almost always a worthwhile purchase. These items will allow you to better set up engages with Death Sentence, keep your mana pool afloat in longer fights, and cleanse/heal your allies with Mikael's Crucible's active.

Situational Items

... This item provides a great magic resist aura and active that can be useful against heavy AoE based AP teams. If the enemy team has multiple sources of magic damage or AoE damage it can be a great pick up for teamfights.

... Nice boot pick up against all AD teams. Better to have when your team has little to no front line without you.

... Solid tank item for Thresh against AD champions. Provides a nice amount of health and armor, as well as an active that further improves your ability to initiate fights. You should consider this choice when your team has a weak front line and the enemy also has multiple champions that rely heavily on auto attacks for their damage.

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Early Game

Now that golems is patched, you can't start with a camp so just start off leashing for your jungler. You want to push the lane with your AD so you hit 2 before the enemy bot lane. Doing this allows you to zone them and engage for an easy kill while they are both lvl 1. Put your ward down once you think the jungler is going to be near and just let your ad farm up while you zone the enemy. If they overstep engage with Flay or Death Sentence.

Where should I put my river wards?
Warding in this spot will give you protection from ganks originating from the river and most ganks from Tri-bush. With only one ward, this area will give you the best protection. The only other spot to put this ward is in the bush that isn't tri-bush if you are on blue side and vs any of the following junglers: Shaco, Jarvan IV, Zac, Lee Sin, and any other junglers that can jump the wall into that bush.

If your jungler comes to gank for you, there are many ways to set up a gank. I will list them from worst to best.

1. Just Dark Passage: This is, in my opinion, the worst way to start off a gank aside from the jugnler just running down. You are still going to be pretty far from your enemy and they can see you throw the lantern and back off.

2. Dark Passage + Death Sentence : Landing your hook and following it while your jungler takes the lantern is much better, this will put the jungler right on top of your target and make it easier to finish them off.

3. Dark Passage + Flash + Flay: By throwing your lantern back to the jungler, and then using Flash followed by Flay while he is taking the lantern you accomplish three things. You get the jungler right on top of the enemy so he can start to apply cc. You hit the enemy support and AD, meaning they are both slowed and pulled into you. You've kept your Death Sentence available for after they flash and can easily reel them back in if they burn it. Doing this will almost always result in a double kill for your team unless you get counterganked.

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Support Match Ups

These will be rated from 1 - 10 with 1 being very easy and 10 being very hard. A difficulty of 5 would mean the match up is even.

1 : Thresh has an incredibly easy time vs Blitzcrank for a couple of reasons. First, he has a ranged AA over a melee AA, so whenever blitz tries to pressure your AD, you can just whack him with your empowered auto attacks. Second, his mana costs are atrocious, trying to trade with a Thresh lane will leave him low on health and mana. Third, he does less damage then you do. Even if he hooks your ADC, you can just shield the ADC and fight back in most cases.

5 : Sona puts out a lot of damage for a support, similar to you, but also provides massive sustain through the laning phase. Although she is squishy and can be easily burst if caught out, she can also whittle you down and sustain the damage from any non-fatal trades. This lane becomes increasingly difficult as Sona buys health items such as Ruby Sightstone and Kindlegem, so just try to all in her at either lvl 1 or lvl 2 when she is still very fragile.

4 : This lane is on the easier side, but there are a few things you need to be aware of. Zyra has huge counter-initiate potential after lvl 6, if you hook someone and follow up she can root your AD as he tries to help and then burst him down with her plants + the cc from Stranglethorns. Your hook is blocked by her plants too, so remember that when you are about to cast it. Overall, her lack of sustain makes it easy to poke her down and she is quite squishy and easy to burst.

3 : After the many nerfs to Elise which were targeted at her jungle/top, her support is now much weaker. She has no safe way to sustain health, in the early levels her spells do meager damage, and her base AD is quite low so she can not afford to trade auto-attacks with you. Just force trades against her and remember that her Spider Queen will block your Death Sentence.

5 : Lulu is one of the more difficult match ups for Thresh, but it is still completely winnable. She has longer range auto attacks and can poke you with them, so it is usually not worth it to try to walk up and AA her. If you get a hook on either of them, be weary about following it up. She can Whimsy your AD and Glitterlance him, turning her attention to you once your AD is unable to follow up. The weakness you have to exploit vs Lulu is her high mana costs, make sure to stay stocked on Health Potions throughout the lane and just force trades until she is OOM. At that point it is very easy to fight and kill her considering she is quite squishy.

7 : Nami is definitely the hardest match up in lane for Thresh as long as she doesn't waste her Aqua Prison. She can fight you back in lane, her Ebb and Flow can easily bounce to 3 or 4 people when you follow your Death Sentence and get close to her. This will make you lose the trade and allow her to heal back up. The Aqua Prison lasts for 1.5 seconds, and if your AD ever takes your Dark Passage he will be right on top of you, making it easy for her to land a 1.5 second stun on you both. She is squishy though, and if her Aqua Prison is ever used wastefully she is a free kill.

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Advanced Tactics!

Thresh has a lot of combos you can pull of that will greatly improve your ability to play him.

1. Death Sentence escape: When you are in the jungle and being chased, you can use your Q to hit a junngle camp and then follow the hook over to evade your foes.

2. Dark Passage + Flash: When a jungler comes to gank for you, start by throwing your lantern to him. Once he clicks it start to walk towards the enemy and then Flash into them. This will bring the jungler right to the enemy without him needing to use any of his summoners. If they try to flash out your jungler can still Flash and you can Flay or Death Sentence

3. The Box + Flay: Unless placed perfectly, the walls of your ult will not be exactly on top of the enemy. This is no problem though, using your Flay, you can either push or pull them into the wall, detonating it on them for tons of damage and a crippling slow.

4. Dark Passage + Death Sentence: Start by throwing your lantern near your ADC, then walk forward and hook your target. Wait a second or two and then follow your Q. If your ad follows after, you can transport him a ridiculous distance and then blow up your enemy with the help of your ad.

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I hope you enjoyed my guide for Thresh! This is one of my favorite heroes and his kit allows you to make plays and completely demolish your foe in the lane phase. Following the advice presented here should make you a much better Thresh player and help you to win the bottom lane. If you want to see me play Thresh, you can follow my stream at