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Kennen Build Guide by I Am Goliath

Top GoliathGames' Master guide to Kennen

Top GoliathGames' Master guide to Kennen

Updated on December 5, 2020
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League of Legends Build Guide Author I Am Goliath Build Guide By I Am Goliath 719 27 2,696,542 Views 19 Comments
719 27 2,696,542 Views 19 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author I Am Goliath Kennen Build Guide By I Am Goliath Updated on December 5, 2020
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Runes: Phase Rush

Phase Rush
Nimbus Cloak
Gathering Storm

Taste of Blood
Ravenous Hunter

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


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


My other guides:

Hey guys,
My name is Goliath. I've played League of Legends since season 2 and have mained top lane since season 3. I've been high Diamond in every season since season 4, peaking at Master tier. League of Legends has always been the main game that I have stuck with over the years.

Here is my OP.GG for anyone interested.

If you want to see me play, maybe learn a thing or two, or ask me some questions, you can find my stream here. Stop by some time, I'm always down for giving advice and helping you improve.

If streams aren't up you alley, you can also check out my YouTube channel here. I'm going to start uploading informative videos, as well as stream and gameplay highlights.

If you want more general info, like when I upload, or update, a guide, then you can find my twitter here.

If I'm offline on twitch but you still want some pointers or just wanna chill, then feel free to join my discord server and hit me up.

Why Kennen?

If you enjoy playing heavy engagers that tend to dominate laning phase, or if you enjoy having an ultimate ability which is capable or turning a game around when used correctly, then I think you should take a look at Kennen.

As a preface, you should be aware that you can build Kennen in both AP and AD, but in this guide I will specifically be covering an AP build. This build is especially handy if your mid locks in Yasuo or Zed, since you'll need the AP threat on the team. It even allows you to go mid if needed; but with that being said, this build will still be viable if your team locks an AP mid.

Another thing that may interest you is that Kennen does not use mana; he uses a system called " energy ." In my opinion, energy gives you a lot of freedom in comparison to standard mana system. Under this system, you regen 10 energy each second, allowing you to spam your abilities a lot more often. Another thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the time energy will be refunded if you hit certain spells. In the case of Kennen, whenever you proc Mark of the Storm, his passive, you get 25 energy back, and whenever you damage an enemy with Lightning Rush(E) you'll restore 40 energy. Be aware, maximum energy is capped out at 200 for all energy based champions, excluding Shen, who is capped at 400.

With these points in mind, I see Kennen is a great champion to to have in your arsenal, as he is able to go both top and mid in a pinch, and also brings great engage for your team.

TL;DR: If you like playing heavy engagers that can use their abilities frequently, and can turn around a match with a good ult, or if you just really like Raiden from Mortal Kombat, then you'll like Kennen.


+ doesn't use mana.
+ good mobility. ( )
+ good engage.
( + + + )
+ good burst. ( + )
+ good CC. ( + + )
+ Strong laning phase. ( )
+ good AOE. ( + )


- pretty squishy.
- hard to play from behind.
- late game depends on ult.
- not much sustain.

Kennen's pro's and con's compliment each other much better than most other champions I have played. I really can't find a lot wrong about him outside of the fact that some games can feel like you really need to get good ults in to feel like you're doing your part, sometimes needing Flash up to do so.

Getting behind on any champion is obviously going to feel bad, but I feel it's slightly worse with Kennen then most other champions; and it really doesn't feel like you do much if you get behind. This mostly stems from how squishy you are and since items power-spike Kennen a bit. I feel like every item is just a small power-spike, since everything that you build kind of revolves around making your ultimate stronger.

As far as his pro's go, not using mana is a HUGE pro, as it allows you to use your abiltiies basically off cooldown with no punishment, and it just makes laning much more easy. That being said, he does use energy, which does have to recharge, but is still much better than a typical mana system.

With all that said, his great engage and game changing ultimate are the main reasons to play Kennen in my experience, and are his biggest pros in my opinion. Once you get a huge wombo combo ultimate you'll see what I mean.

Phase Rush
In my opinion, movement speed is one of the most important stats on Kennen. Since he is all about getting a juicy ultimate that wrecks everyone, this rune is just solid and also syngerizes well with Nimbus Cloak.

Nimbus Cloak
This rune is nice on Kennen because after you flash you get a ton of movement speed and I personally always save my flash for a good flash ultimate so this combined with Phase Rush just helps you hit more people in a teamfight.

Cooldown reduction is nice on Kennen since he's so ultimate dependent and the fact that he doesn't use mana so you can be more careless with spamming spells.

Gathering Storm
This rune is just late game insurance and helps you scale harder into the late game where you carry the game with big ultimates.

Taste of Blood
The one big con of Kennen is that he has little to no sustain in his kit so this helps a bit with that.

Ravenous Hunter
Also more sustain especially for the lategame this rune is really nice once you get all 5 stacks.

Flash: Flash is going to be huge on kennen, so make sure you take this every game. Having flash up for when you use your ultimate is going to be crucial to winning teamfights, and ultimately, the game.

Teleport: Pretty standard for top laners to take teleport, I prefer it over Ignite just so you can join teamfights while splitting or clearing a wave. Teleport can actually be used to win a lane as well, so I usually take it more then Ignite.


Range: N/A
Cooldown: N/A
Cost: N/A

Kennen's abilities add Marks of the Storm to opponents, which last for 6 seconds. The marks are consumed at three stacks, stunning the opponent for 1.25 seconds while restoring 25 Energy. If the same target is stunned more than once within 6 seconds, the stun lasts only 0.5 seconds.

Mark of the Storm: This passive is actually super strong, crucial in laning phase, and must be given close attention in order to secure a kill. It's Kennen's only form of stun, and flows really well with his kit, and when combined with Slicing Maelstrom, his ultimate, it basically becomes an area of effect stun.


Range: 1050
Cooldown: 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 / 4
Cost: 60 / 55 / 50 / 45 / 40

Kennen throws a fast moving shuriken towards a location, dealing 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 (+75% of ability power) magic damage and adding a Mark of the Storm to any opponent that it hits.

Thundering Shuriken: This is a pretty basic ability, just try to hit as many as these as you can in lane. If you hit one, follow up with Electrical Surge(W) right after for free added damage. If you think you can kill them, then you can also use Lightning Rush(E) for the stun. this ability can also be used to last hit safely if you're losing lane hard or just playing passive.


Range: 750
Cooldown: 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 / 6
Cost: 40

Passive: Every 5 attacks, Kennen deals bonus magic damage equal to 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage) (+30% of ability power) damage and adds a Mark of the Storm to his target.

Active: Surges electricity through all nearby targets afflicted by Mark of the Storm and all enemies caught in Slicing Maelstrom, dealing 65 / 95 / 125 / 155 / 185 (+55% of ability power) magic damage and adding another mark.

Electrical Surge: Passive - The passive on this ability is really useful, not only for the added magic damage, but also because it counts as a mark of the storm, and can be really nice to combo with to get a stun.

Active - This is a pretty strong ability in lane and in teamfights; you want to use this ability after you mark people for damage, and also another added mark. In lane it's basically just used after hitting a Thundering Shuriken(Q) for some added damage, unless you're trying to stun to get a kill. In teamfights it's used to combo with Slicing Maelstrom(ult), in order to stun everyone and deal some mad damage.


Range: N/A
Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6
Cost:100 / 95 / 90 / 85 / 80

Kennen gains 335 movement speed as well as 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 increased Armor and Magic Resistance, and the ability to pass through units for up to three seconds, but he is unable to attack. Lightning Rush deals 85 / 125 / 165 / 205 / 245 (+80% of ability power) magic damage and adds a Mark of the Storm to any hostile unit he passes through; deals half damage to minions.

Kennen is refunded 40 energy if he passes through an enemy while using this spell, but can only gain this effect once per cast.

Lightning Rush: This ability, when used correctly, is amazing in my opinion. It's a much needed mobility ability and makes Kennen pretty hard to gank or chase, while also having the ability to be used for wave-clearing; You can just dash through all the minions, and then use Electrical Surge(W) on them all. However, the main thing you're going to be using this ability for is engaging with a Flash + Slicing Maelstrom(ult) while Lightning Rush(E) is active for extra movement speed. When combined with a Hextech Rocketbelt you can cover a ton distance in a team fight. Remember that you can still use abilities like Thundering Shuriken(Q) while in electric form, but you can't use auto-attacks, so sometimes you might have to cancel it early to secure a kill with auto attacks.


Range: 550
Cooldown: 120
Cost: N/A

Kennen summons a magical storm around himself for 3 seconds, dealing 40 / 75 / 110 (+20% of ability power) magic damage to all enemies within range every 0.5 seconds.

Slicing Maelstrom deals 10% more damage for each successive strike, up to a maximum 150% per target. In addition, only the first three strikes against the same target will apply a Mark of the Storm.

Slicing Maelstrom: This ultimate is amazing, and your key to winning most games in my experience. Whenever I lose a game with Kennen it's usually because I didn't get good enough ultimates, or I got too behind early.

Basically, the ability is a huge area of effect magic damage circle of death, that also applies your stacks from Mark of the Storm(Passive) to everyone hit. Since it applies the stacks from Mark of the Storm(Passive), when combined with Electrical Surge(W), or sometimes even just on it's own, it can become a massive area of effect stun as well. You can also use Lightning Rush(E) and Flash as well as Hextech Rocketbelt while in this ability, which can make it much easier to get huge ultimates.

I usually always recommend to only use your Flash to either combo with your ultimate, or if you really need to escape certain death, because the Flash + Slicing Maelstrom(ult) combo is such a good surprise, and can almost always win you the teamfight as long as your team follows up.

Ability Sequence

> > >


- Starting Builds -

- Defensive -

- Aggressive -

Doran's Shield + HP Potion

Always start with these if you're against something poke heavy like a Pantheon or Akali since it pretty heals up all of their Q damage as long as you wait a little bit and get most of the effect out of the hp regen. I actually think this item is super strong in top lane though because the sustain is actually kind of nuts. So if you're still learning the champion don't be afraid to start with Doran's Shield in most matchups. I actually think it's really good in all match ups as of right now.
Doran's Blade + HP Potion

This is a good start if you think you can be aggro and win lane early on. It also gives you a little bit of sustain, which is nice since you will take some damage from autoing your opponent and having minions turn on you for a bit.

- Optional First Back -


I've seen a few kennen mains that do this quite often since reaching items on kennen is super important, it has seemed pretty good to me as long as you aren't losing lane already or if the lane is super farm heavy and you think you can't kill the enemy laner.

- Core Items -

Hextech Protobelt + Morellonomicon + Zhonya's Hourglass

These are the three items that you'll want pretty much every game when playing Kennen; no matter what the enemy team has in my opinion. Hextech Rocketbelt also provides a very strong build path, since Hextech Revolver is a super useful in lane item to have when playing Kennen. Hextech Rocketbelt is another solid item, with the active giving you more mobility and damage to get the most out of your ult, while also adding some useful stat boosts. Morellonomicon is good because it gives magic pen and HP which are amazing stats on Kennen, if you really need zhonya for teamfight you can sit on Oblivion Orb, build into zhonya and then finish Morellonomicon. Zhonya's Hourglass will give you a little bit of protection and damage in stats, but more importantly, it provides a way to stall in team fights; allowing you to get the entire duration of your ultimate off, without being focused.

- Buy Order -

- Full Build -

Boots of Speed

Hextech Revolver

I like to get normal boots early on with Kennen since they help with kiting and chasing. if you're running then you can ignore these obviously.
This is a super good item on Kennen since you can proc it easily in lane by just auto attacking them. I usually try to pick this up first back.

Sorc's Shoes

Hextech Protobelt-01

Upgrade Boots (or Slightly Magical Boots) into Sorcerer's Shoes.

I usually always go Sorc shoes on Kennen, since you'll want as much magic pen on Kennen as you can get. I don't really see another reason to go a different boot upgrade on Kennen; even if the enemy champion has CC, it shouldn't really matter to much to you, and if they're all AD, you will still get armor from Zhonya's Hourglass. I think overall just having more damage on your abilities will benefit you in most cases.
More magic damage and health, but the main reason you go this item on Kennen is for the added mobility and the active, which provides more area of effect burst and can help with getting a good Slicing Maelstrom(Ult).


Zhonya's Hourglass

This is another really good item since it gives magic pen as well as a decent amount of AP and health; not to mention the build path is really good because of Oblivion Orb, which you can choose to sit on in some games if you need Zhonya's Hourglass sooner.

Adds more ability power and armor, but also adds another good active for Kennen since you can use it while in your ultimate. If fight's are pretty close you can use it right after
Slicing Maelstrom(ult) and Electrical Surge(W) since your team will be following up and most of your good stuff will be on cooldown.

Void Staff

Rabadon's Deathcap

Not much to say about this item; like most of the previous items, it just adds more magic pen, which is just a very useful stat on Kennen.
As last item I go Rabadon's since there's not much else to go for, and the AP boost will be pretty nice at this point in the game.

Laning phase with Kennen is really fun in my opinion; You have a ton of early control over the lane, and should be able to win, or atleast tie, most matchups. You'll want to be auto attacking as much as you can, zoning with your Thundering Shuriken(Q) and Electrical Surge(W), while also last hitting and avoiding minion damage to the best of your ability. The one thing that you have to keep in your mind, and avoid if all possible, is falling behind during laning phase. You're going to have a hard time, and feel like you aren't really doing much if you ever happen to fall behind so try to be on your toes about it.

Another thing to keep in mind when playing Kennen is not overusing Lightning Rush(E). I almost never use it for damage or waveclearing during laning phase; you'll want to hold it for kitting, or save it for when you get ganked, since it's a really good escape. The only times I ever use Lightning Rush(E) in lane is if I'm E'ing onto them to get a stun from a Mark of the Storm stack and think I can kill them, or if I'm just chasing a kill that I think I can get, but I still think it should be used sparingly.

Make sure that once you get Hextech Revolver you're zoning with it whenever it's up, as it's pretty important for early lane pressure. Also make sure to use your trinket ward for warding common gank paths and bushes. Kennen is pretty decent at getting out of ganks with Lightning Rush(E), but you might be ganked a decent amount when playing Kennen since you win most matchups; and since they have no other choice but to get pushed in sometimes, you can end up auto pushing them into turret. Other then that Kennen has a pretty fun and smooth laning phase as long as you don't fall behind. Just CSing well, while trying to deny them CS by zoning with Thundering Shuriken(Q) and auto attacks, should be good enough to win most matchups.

Teamfights is where Kennen shines in my opinion; you want to be looking for good opportunities to use Flash + Slicing Maelstrom(ult) and Hextech Rocketbelt + Slicing Maelstrom(ult), or both of them, at all times during fights. Make sure your team can follow up if you go in though, because as long as you get big ultimates with some juicy stuns, you should win the teamfight.

Some other things to keep in mind in teamfights is your actives. Hextech Rocketbelt actually does quite a bit of magic damage in a cone, and can be great for that extra damage and movement before Slicing Maelstrom(ult), or while chasing down for a kill. Don't forget to use Zhonya's Hourglass either. You're going to be mostly going all in on most teamfights, you might get focused before your team can follow up. Sometimes it's fine just to Zhonya's Hourglass while in Slicing Maelstrom(ult).

After 20 minutes, you can also Teleport into a teamfight from your fountain to get the homegaurd speed boost; and when stacked with Lightning Rush(E), you'll be full sonic and can get a good ultimate in. Generally, I only use Flash on Kennen for flash ulting in a teamfight, or if the game is super close and I need to Flash to safety or the game will end. Other then that, try to save your Flash for Slicing Maelstrom(ult), because it makes it so much better. In general just be super smart with your Flash; think before you flash for a kill steal or kill secure, because it might cost you a lot if you don't have flash available.

Kennen's waveclearing is pretty strong with support from Lightning Rush(E) and Electrical Surge(W), but don't be to afraid to use Hextech Rocketbelt to waveclear if needed. The cooldown is pretty short, and it's not the end of the world if you don't have the active for the teamfight. However, be very sure to always make sure you have your ultimate up for a teamfight, as it's very important to securing a win.

In my experience, Kennen is a great champion to learn if you play top lane, or even mid lane. Since he is AP, you can always bring him out in games where your mid locks in Yasuo or Zed for the added AP support. Kennen is also a good choice to learn if you like big play makers, or impactful teamfighters with good engage.

I especially like Kennen because he personally feels somewhat like an AP version of Gnar, which is actually what made me decide to learn him. So in conclusion, Kennen has a good laning phase, and is a very strong teamfighter, while also being semi easy to play; so I wouldn't be afraid to try out Kennen.

Thanks for reading the guide, and I hope you learned a thing or two on how to play Kennen or maybe the play style better. Feel free to leave me a comment if you think there's something I could add or missed, since I'm still pretty new to guide writing and I'd like to learn things I can improve on.

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