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Kennen Build Guide by roarrgasm

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League of Legends Build Guide Author roarrgasm

Kennen - A Flipping Ninja

roarrgasm Last updated on May 19, 2012
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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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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I main Kennen and have had plenty of experience with this furry ninja so I have decided to make a guide for him. I am going to share as much information as possible and give plenty of tips and explanations of how I play him. I recommend reading through my guide to understand how I play him before using my build. This is my second build on mobafire and I hope I can give you some valuable information. Enjoy!

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......... PROS
+Can stun with every spell
+Great escape with Lightning Rush
+Good damage output and tankiness throughout the whole game
+Never needs to go back to base to recover mana because he is an energy user
....................... CONS
-Needs to get to the middle of a fight for his ultimate to be effective
-Will be focused in a team fight (that's what Zhonya's Hourglass is for)
-Runs out of energy fast in team fights

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Scaling Health

Greater Glyph of Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

You don't really need any runes other than ones that enhance your damage output. I get greater seal of vitality, though. This will help you out quite a bit. At level one, it only gives 9 health, but at level 6, it gives you 58 health. And it keeps going up from there.

The reason I get Greater Mark of Magic Penetration and Greater Quintessence of Ability Power is for that much needed early game damage output. It will help you so much against that mid opponent. You are most likely getting Boots of Speed for your first item so this will help out with your lack of AP.

Last, I get Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power. By the time you are level six, it will exceed the power of Greater Glyph of Ability Power. Level six is about the time that you should be getting ready to get that first kill against your mid opponent because you have your ultimate. Other than harassing and last hitting, you won't be doing all that much with your AP until at least level six anyways.

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Basically, you want 21 in the offence section because you want lots and lots of damage. Kennen + damage = WIN. Another good option would be 21-9-0 if you want the extra defense. I feel like I don't need it, though, because I start with a Boots of Speed + 3 Health Potions and throughout the game I am getting defensive items anyways.

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Summoner Spells

Summoner spells are pretty limited for Kennen. He doesn't have very many options because these five spells are just simply better than all of the others. Any spell that isn't listed here is not included because I believe that it isn't worth it compared to any of these ones.

.......... This is perfect for first blood. It gives you that extra muscle to your full combo. Having a kill advantage on the enemy mid can be crucial to farming and eventually, to winning the game. This will also help you in later game to finish of running enemies. An all around great spell for you. ..........

.......... Pretty self explanatory for any champion. The most used spell in the game and for good reason. You can flash over walls, chase after enemies and a whole bunch of other stuff. ..........

.......... I like Flash a lot better because you already have Lightning Rush which gives you a whole bunch of movement speed so whats the point of getting two. I would rather have more variety, but maybe that's just me. ..........

.......... Teleport can be a really useful spell if you want to quickly get back to mid lane without losing farm or risk your turret getting attacked. I don't find it as useful, though, because it won't help you in quick getaway situations and it is also useless in team fights. But if you like it, go for it. ..........

.......... This can be a good spell too if nobody on your team has a heal. If you are fighting and opponent and they think they are about to beat you, just pop a heal and you can take them out no problem. A lot of mids will be carrying Ignite, though, so watch out for the -50% healing reduction if you decide to engage them. ..........

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Skill Explanations and Skill Order

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.
  • This is your main harassing tool. It can be deadly when combined with Electrical Surge.
  • Use it every time it is off CD if it is to harass or simply last hit.
  • If you think their might be an enemy waiting for you in a bush, use it to face check. The cool down is short and you regenerate energy really fast so it won't hurt you.
  • It will always be the last spell you use in a team fight.
  • Before a team fight, though, when everyone is waiting for someone to initiate, don't be afraid to use it to poke.

Passive: Every 5 attacks, Kennen deals magic damage equal to 40/50/60/70/80 % of his attack damage and adds mark of the storm to his target.
Active: Surges electricity through all nearby targets afflicted by mark of the storm, dealing 65/95/125/155/185 (+55% of ability power) magic damage and adding another mark.

  • Any time you have Mark of the Storm on an enemy, be sure to use it before they get away.
  • If you are fighting more than one enemy, try to wait until all of them have at least one Mark of the Storm against them so you can hit all of them at once.
  • Thundering Shuriken + Electrical Surge = INCREDIBLE harass. Use it whenever possible.
  • Try to initiate fights only when you have the passive ready to go. It can be so useful to simply get that one extra Mark of the Storm on your opponent

Kennen gains his base movement speed again as a flat movement speed bonus, as well as 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 increased Armor and Magic Resistance, and the ability to pass through units for four seconds, but he is unable to attack. Lightning Rush deals 85 / 125 / 165 / 205 / 245 (+60% 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.

  • If you are fighting a losing battle, always try to keep enough energy to use this. There is nothing worse than getting caught because you don't have enough energy to get away.
  • Use this to get into a team fight. Always. Remember that it gives armor and MR so it can be nice for initiating a fight.
  • To quickly take out a minion wave, use Lightning Rush and hit every single minion. After you have done this, take them all out with Electrical Surge.
  • Never expect to do a whole bunch of damage with this spell. Use it for movement speed, defense, and to apply Mark of the Storm. Don't overestimate it's damage.

Kennen summons a magical storm that deals 80 / 145 / 210 (+40% of ability power) magic damage to a random enemy champion near Kennen every few seconds. The storm hits 6 / 10 / 15 times with a 0.5 / 0.4 / 0.33 second delay between each bolt, and cannot hit the same target more than 3 times. A Mark of the Storm is applied to enemies each time they are hit.
  • Don't wait too long to use this in a team fight. You need to use it right away in order to apply three mark of the storms on your targets.
  • You need to be in the middle of the fight to do maximum damage to all enemies.
  • Combine this with Zhonya's Hourglass if you want to initiate a fight. You will be doing damage while you are unable to get hurt. That is why it is such a good item for you.
  • Remember you can use all of your other spells while Slicing Maelstrom is activated.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

First of all, you need to get a point in all three spells at levels 1,2, and 3. No exceptions. I max out Lightning Rush last, but it is still an essential spell and will help you in so many ways. I will get more damage output from my other spells so their is no point in leveling it past 1 until later. Some Kennen players would max Thundering Shuriken first instead of maxing it and Electrical Surge equally. I like to max them equally because if I miss my Thundering Shuriken, I will still have a lot of damage output from Electrical Surge. If you are a Kennen player who maxes Thundering Shuriken first, you NEED to hit the shuriken in order for you to be a success.

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Yes, this is the recommended build, yes every other Kennen guide on the planet uses this build, and yes, it works. You can pretty much go every single game using the exact same build and it would be just fine, but if you want to be a good player, you will see situations where you might think it would be a better idea to switch up the build and get some other items.


- Obviously the best choice in most cases. Gives you magic pen for that much needed damage output. Only time you wouldn't get this is if you aren't farming well and are getting harassed or killed a lot by other champions.

- If you are having a really tough time against a mid opponent with stuns or just heavy magic damage, this is a great choice and can save your life or keep you from getting harassed a lot. Also, if their team is heavy on AP, it can be a nice choice as well.

- Same sort of thing as Mercury's Treads. I don't like these boots as much, though, because most of the time you won't be against an AD character in mid lane. Also, it won't give you tenacity.


- This item will give you some good health that will allow you to play more aggressively and not have to worry as much about being a squishy little champion. It is needed earlier in the game because it gives you that grounded AP and tankiness that will help you throughout the whole game.

- This has to be one of the most famous items for Kennen because it works perfectly with your ultimate. You can initiate fights, pop your ulti, use the active and let your team destroy their whole team while they are all trapped inside your Slicing Maelstrom.

- This one is pretty self explanatory. What is an AP character without a Rabadon's Deathcap? You should get this after you already have at least a Rylai's Crystal Scepter because otherwise you won't take as much advantage of the passive (increase ability power by 30%) and it will make your early game not as effective.

- I used to start with this item until I found out how useful boots + three health pots can be. The only time i get this now is if I am going top lane because you will most likely be against a tanky melee DPS fighter guy.

- I see a lot of Kennen players starting with this item instead of Doran's Shield or Boots of Speed and three Health Potions. If you decide to get will of the ancients, you will only have enough cash for one health pot. Therefore, you won't have very good sustain. Sure you will do good damage, but you will have to keep going to base every five seconds to get your health back.

- The spell vamp from this is just incredible. When you combine it with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, you will have so much sustain and along with that, you will be dealing a bunch of damage. I only Hextech Revolver until late game because you want to get your three core items as fast as you can and hextech will give you just enough spell vamp that will last you until late game.

- This is another a great item for you. It gives you survivability and damage. You don't want to be someone like Ryze who enters a team fight and instantly gets focused down. You have to be right in the middle of the fight doing damage with Slicing Maelstrom so why don't we get some MR to survive a little bit longer?

- Yes, I know it gives you mana, but think about the other stuff that it does. Every two seconds, you can auto attack for over 500 damage. 500 DAMAGE! I don't know about you, but when I am in late game and all my spells are on cooldown, I like to throw out another 500 damage nuke while I'm waiting.

- You will sometimes have games where you are dominating the other team and they are all building magic resist because they think it is going to stop you. With one of these bad boys, all of their MR will be worthless.

- I don't like this item. I think I have got this only about twice or three times in all my one hundred games or so with Kennen. The only time you should get this is if you are completely dominating and you have 5 or more kills in 10 minuets. When you get this item, you are putting a giant target on your back. Why give the other team a reason to focus you?

- It can be a fantastic early game replacement for Will of the Ancients if you have no other AP on your team. It will give you some nice survivability, AP and magic pen. Late game, though, it's obviously not a good item and you should switch it with a much stronger one.

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Mid Tips and Mid Competitions

OK so you have chosen Kennen as your champion and you are planning to go mid because you believe that this is the best option for him. It is. Here are some tips on how to be a successful mid competitor by doing a whole bunch of harassing, farming, not pushing your lane, and not getting caught by ganks:

1) Use Thundering Shuriken as your main farming tool. It is way stronger than your auto attacks so it ensures a last hit almost every time. On top of that, you can use it as much as you want without worrying about mana because you are a champion that runs on energy, which allows you to spam spells.

2) Don't be paranoid about ganks. You have the best escaping tool ever, Lightning Rush. Always keep your eyes open and don't have tunnel vision when you are pushed toward their tower.

3) If the enemy does decide to gank you, Lightning Rush to the opposite side of the lane and into the bushes. If they try to cut you off toward your tower, just keep running through the river toward the top or bottom lane (depending on what side you went to). Of course, if you think you are able to just go directly at your own turret without going to the opposite side of the lane, do that. And if all else fails, use Flash. Piece of cake.

4) You can use Lightning Rush to scare your enemies. If you already have an advantage on them like if they are scared of you, every once in a while you should rush straight at him and maybe throw out a Thundering Shuriken. It makes them lose XP and you get some free farm. It's a win win.

5) Sometimes you may be tempted to Lightning Rush into a wave of minions and use Electrical Surge while the other mid is away from their lane. Just don't do it. It pushes your lane and you will end up getting less farm. If you are planning to push a lane right to their tower, than by all means go for it.


I am obviously not covering every champion that you will encounter, but hopefully this will give you some tips against some of the common champions that would go mid. Most of these explanations are from my experiences and the difficulty levels are in my opinion only. I will be adding more in the future but for now, this is all I got. Enjoy!

Difficulty - Easy
She isn't a big problem at all. You have Lightning Rush making it even easier than it already is to dodge her skill shots. As long as you aren't dumb and you can dodge her skills without problems, you should be able to farm away with ease. The only thing that you would need to worry about is her ultimate( Spirit Rush). It is very hard to kill her simply because she can just jump away from you three times in a row.

Difficulty - Hard
This scary ice bird can do some scary damage with Frostbite. She is also good at keeping you from running away from her when their jungler ganks by using Crystallize so it's a good thing you have Lightning Rush. Oh, and another thing, if you just barely kill her under her tower, she will turn into a dumb little egg and 6 seconds later, she will come waltzing back with full health. It sucks, I know the feeling.

Difficulty - Hard
Alright, now this guy can burst you down pretty hard. If he manages to land a Pillar of Flame on you, get ready to dodge Sear or wait for Blaze to run out. The last thing you want is to be set ablaze and get introduced to a 2 second stun because of Sear. Except you shouldn't get hit by Pillar of Flame in the first place, right?

Difficulty - Very Easy
Seriously, all you need to do is keep your distance. Playful / Trickster can get pretty annoying, but whatever, that skill is just for show, right? Stay away and harass harass harass (keep getting last hits though). You will not be able to engage him and win unless you are fed or he has low health. What I usually like to do is keep my distance and harass like crazy then when he has decently low health, I Flash right at him, unleash my full combo (including Ignite), and because of my stun, he will have no chance of escape.

Difficulty - Medium
She is melee so you would think it would be easy to just kind of keep your distance and throw some shurikens at her. Nope. Instead, she will Shunpo right at you and use Death Lotus and you will be like, where'd my health go? If you can stun her as she is in the middle of her Death Lotus, good job. It takes some fast reflexes and timing to do that. What you want to do here is just farm. It isn't really a good idea to engage her unless she is low on health. Try to harass her if you can but honestly, play not too passive but not too aggressive. That's about it.

Difficulty - Well I don't know. How good are you?
Ah, your twin brother. I love going up against another Kennen. It makes things so fun and I get to see how good I really am compared to another one of me. When he has his Electrical Surge passive ready, back up a bit until he hits a minion with it. If he isn't hitting any minions with it, this could mean he is trying to engage soon. Never engage at him unless you have Electrical Surge's passive up. The best time to engage is right after he used his on a creep. Keep dodging his Thundering Shuriken and try to stay ahead of him in farm and XP. As long as you can do that, you have done your job correctly.

Difficulty - Very Hard
Personally, I think she is overpowered and the hardest champ to go mid against, but with good harass and playing safe, there are ways to get around her amazing burst damage. If you decide to 1v1 her, try to stay back until she uses Distortion to harass you. At this time you should use Lightning Rush to get close to her starting point and to dodge her chains. All she has left now is her sigil of silence and Mimic. Now that she has some spells on cooldown, you unleash your full combo on her and Ignite and everything. you have to burst her down to nothingness. Never underestimate her damage. That is why I make sure I use everything I have to kill her even if it might be overkill.

Difficulty - Easy
People ban her in ranked picks, but I don't. What can she do? She can shoot you with Dark Binding. If you get hit by that, you must be doing something wrong because it is super slow and easy to dodge. If she places down her tormented soil, it will do like 50 damage upon impact. Just walk out of the soil and she won't do any more damage. The only way she will be able to do a good strong amount of damage to you is if she hits you with Dark Binding then uses Tormented Soil. If you don't let that happen, you will be fine. She is kind of annoying with her Black Shield, but that isn't much of a problem. Tormented Soil is a perfect farming tool, though, so just try not to let her farm and harass her when you can. You will be able to harass her a lot more than she will be able to harass you because you have short cool downs, movement speed and damage. Most of the time, she doesn't have any of those.

Difficulty - Hard
Point click point click. Insta snare and you get the full combo unleashed on you. I don't know how he does it, but he does crazy amounts of damage without any AP. His range isn't very big for his snare though, so what you have to do is keep your distance and farm. It is what Kennen is best at so please just do it. If you manage to hit him with your Thundering Shuriken, use Lightning Rush to get closer to him and spam the W key until it breaks. As soon as Electrical Surge activates, back off and keep your distance. This guy can also be exceptionally difficult to kill and harass if he rushes a Banshee's Veil too.

Difficulty - Medium
To sum this up, just don't let him land Nevermove. As soon as you see that purple flashy thingy under your feet, instantly use Lightning Rush to get away. As long as you can do this, ganks from his jungle should be unsuccessful and he shouldn't be very hard to dominate in lane. His Ravenous Flock can be a bit of a pain in the behind too just because of the massive spell vamp from it.

Difficulty - Very Hard
Man, this guy makes me so mad. Honestly, I hate this guy so much that sometimes I just want to be jungle Kennen. Unfortunately, you can't jungle so you actually have to put up with it. The main thing you need to worry about is Noxian Corrosive Charge. Once he hits you, all of his Acid Hunters will lock on to you for 5 seonds, and believe me, it will cripple you into nothingness. Dodge Noxian Corrosive Charge, and you should be fine. It is very hard to dodge, though. If you get hit, you should immediately use Lightning Rush to run away. The extra MR and armor should lower the damage you take a bit. Wait for the 5 seconds to be over and go back. Yes, it can be tedious but if you don't do it, you will get harassed to death.

Difficulty - Very Hard
This guy can be a huge pain in the butt just because of his super long range. He will harass you to death if you aren't playing smart. What you want to do is close distance with him as much as possible because if you 1v1 him within melee range, you will almost always win.

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Team Fights

Kennen isn't just good in team fights, he excels in team fights (even though he is an energy user). If he has Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Zhonya's Hourglass, he is next to unstoppable. 500 health, a slow and active that makes you untargetable for 2 seconds is exactly what you need to be a huge success in team fights.

First thing's first, when to engage into the team fight. You are not a tank, obviously, so you shouldn't be entering first. You will be stunned and focused down before you can even use zhonya's active. That will be no good. The second person to enter the team fight should be the tanky melee attack damage guy, right? You are not a tanky melee attack damage guy, but you are still tanky. With your Lightning Rush, you should have no problems being the second or third person to enter the fight. Also, if you enter the fight too late, half your team will be dead by the time you manage to stun anyone so being the second person in perfect.

Now that you have entered the team fight, this is your time to shine and do loads of damage. Immediately use Lightning Rush to get into the fight as quick as possible and run around hitting everyone with it until it wares off. As you are doing this, activate Slicing Maelstrom then when Lightning Rush wares off, use Zhonya's Hourglass. This item goes great with your ulti because you will still be doing damage while zhonya's is activated. Once you have as many enemies as you can tagged with Mark of the Storm, activate Electrical Surge. Don't activate it too early or else you wont hit everyone with it. Remember, it only works if the enemy has a Mark of the Storm on them. After these three abilities are on cool down, start picking all the squishy champions off by spamming Thundering Shuriken.

Now at this time in the fight, you will be pretty tuckered out and you will be left with hardly any energy and your health will be pretty beat up too. If you are losing, you have lots of escaping tools. Flash, Lightning Rush, and stuns. If you are sure that you can get away but it looks like your friend isn't gonna make it, try to stun whoever is chasing them. Just make sure you don't get caught up in the mess.

On the other hand, if you are winning, chances are most of the enemy is dead and you have some enemies trying to run away. Don't be afraid to auto attack when you are out of energy. Save your energy for Lightning Rush. Trust me, it might not do as much damage as Thundering Shuriken will, but nobody will ever be able to escape you when you are going double their speed.

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I love constructive criticism. If you disagree with something I put in my guide, feel free to say your opinion. This is how I play Kennen and everything is from my experiences only. Please don't down vote without giving me a reason. Good luck with Kennen and I hope I helped you out!

If you like my guide, why don't you check out my Xin Zhao guide, too!

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Change Log

-build created

-changed first item to boots of speed, moved will of the ancients to the end of the build, and switched up rabadons deathcap and zhonyas hourglass. Added heal to summoner spells. Changed masteries section and changed greater seal of warding to grater seal of vitality.

-Added some to runes section and changed greater glyph of potency to greater glyph of force.