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Kennen - Electrical Surge is the KEY (patch 108)

Last updated on January 7, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #38 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 8

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This is my new Kennen build for the newest patch (108). Caster itemization changed significantly with the removal of Zhonyas, so Im posting a new guide.

This is a solo mid AP build that revolves around aggressive harassing with Electrical Surge's passive (every 5th attack deals bonus damage and marks the target) and active (damages a marked target and applies an additional mark. Getting this to level 3 early and using it properly will instill fear in your opponent.

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Pretty straight forward...However, I forego extra damage or hp quints for movespeed so that I am better at positioning myself to harass during early laning. Dodge runes synergize well with the utility tree, and a little extra damage from marks and glyphs to round it off. You could try CDR Blues if you like, and you could stick with Magic Pen or HP quints if you want.

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I choose 9/21/0 with Kennen. I feel the Utility tree is sort of wasted on Kennen...too many mana oriented talents, and only a few truly helpful ones. I dont like any other masteries build with Kennen...none offer what the utility tree does.

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Summoner Spells

Best Choices:
Flash, Cleanse, Ghost, Ignite, Exhaust, Teleport.

I prefer Flash + Cleanse. Kennen has a pseudo Ghost (Lightning Rush), and Flash helps to position his Ultimate better than Ghost can. Cleanse helps to cancel any CC they may try to toss on you once you do ult, or for after you have ulted.

I used to take Ignite, but I feel it is better suited for newbie Kennens, or if noone else on your team picks ignite. You dont really need the damage it all it is really useful for is its healing debuff.

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Starting with Dorans Shield gives you some extra padding that will help keep you healthy while you harass them. You will take some creep hits naturally, and you will take some damage from your opponent, so it will boost your presence. I dont believe there is any better starting item for Kennen. The only other two options I might consider are Boots or Amplifying Tome.

Your first trip back should get you Boots 1, Amplifying Tome, and Blasting Wand or Giants Belt. If you can get all three even better. If the enemy is fighting back, prioritize the Giants Belt.

After that, complete Rylais and then Boots 2. Choose your boots based on your opponents. Merc Treads, Sorcerers Shoes, and Ionian Shoes of Lucidity are the most useful boots for Kennen. I buy Marc Treads in about 90% of games with Kennen.

The rest is straightforward. Rhabadons, Zhonyas Hourglass, Abyssal Scepter, and Guardian Angel for the endgame survivability you need. This will put you at 200ish armor and 120ish magic resist, not counting the bonus from Lightning Rush. Pretty durable.

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Skill Sequence

The skill sequence is KEY with Kennen. Top priority is getting Lightning Rush to rank 3. At rank 3, the cooldown of Lightning Rush is shorter than your Mark duration (the amount of time the enemy has your Mark debuff after you hit them with a spell or a 5th attack). This will let you pull off some awsome combos that will wreck your opponent.

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Gameplay, Tips, and Tricks

Start of Game:
Decide where you are going. If mid, you usually want W first. If you expect a lvl 1 teamfight or feel the need to check bushes, Q is probably better. Q is also usually better for sidelaning Kennen.

Lane Phase Harassing:

The idea is to keep them away from last hits by hiting them with your 5th attack to Mark them and then hit W to get a second mark as they go for a minion kill. After this, the enemy does one of three things...A) retreat far from your range until marks wear off. B) stand behind creeps. C) continues farming. If they do option (A), you have succeeded in your harassment. Continue to zone them, threatening Q for a stun. If they do option (B), get your 5th attack ready again, wait till Electrical Surge is up and hit them with another W, stunning them, then position yourself to hit them with a followup Q and another them 2 marks AGAIN. Finally, if they do (C), either they suck, or you are about to get ganked :P

Levels 1 - 6 is mostly lasthitting with autoattacks or Q. Clearing waves with E -> W is also good for pushing. When using the E -> W method, I like to autoattack all the mobs until I know I will kill them all at the same time with E -> W, that way I get all 6 everytime.

Your role is to stun as many enemies as possible at the onset of a teamfight, doing as much AoE damage as you can in the process. You are not usually the initiator though. Instead, you should be the second in to the fight after your tank. However, you can initiate under the right circumstances using Zhonyas to escape death and Lightning Rush to safety, though it isnt really the best way to use Kennen most of the time.

It is a good strategy to poke with Q -> W around towers and through terrain. Get good at harassing with Q at the enemy tower...firing it and moving to safety before it impacts the enemy champ to avoid being hit by the turret.

You are a good tower defender, capable of chain stunning an enemy / enemies under your tower.

E and R both combo well with W. The main combos are E -> W -> R -> Zhonyas and R -> wait 1 - 2 seconds -> W -> E (distancing yourself from the enemies). Always use your Q on squishy targets when possible, and make sure to hit as many targets as you can with E before going for the stun.

Stealth Champs:
Kennen can hit Stealthed Champs with his Q, and with his W, if they are marked. If they are marked and try to stealth on you, you can use W to mark them AND to show you where they are, following up with an easy Q to that location.

Brush Checks:
Q can check brush; just listen for the zapping sound it makes when it hits someone. Get in the habit of checking ALL brush with your Q, rather than your noob face heh. One thing to note: if you hit an enemy concealed in brush with your Q, it WILL NOT show the mark swirling around the champ. THEY ARE STILL MARKED THOUGH, so use W on em.

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Thats my AP Kennen guide. If you remember just one thing from it, remember that getting rank 3 of Electrical Surge ASAP is what makes Kennen rock at harassing. Other people might disagree and say Q is better...but the math supports W by a long shot.