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Kennen Build Guide by Frknloud

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Frknloud

Kennen - Fear the Lightning

Frknloud Last updated on December 21, 2011
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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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Preface & Introduction

Guide for Kennen - The Heart Of The Tempest
Please comment and try the build and strategies before voting. Thank you.
Last Updated: 12/21/11

This build dominates early/mid game and creates an easy late game (assuming you or your team doesn't feed). Kennen is a squishy champion regardless of his defensive stats. This build requires that you play strategically. Don't pick a fight you can't win.

Abbreviated Terms
AA = Auto-attack [Basic Attacks]
CC = Crowd Control [Stun, fear, slow, snare, etc]
FB = First Blood
AP = Ability Power
AD = Attack Damage
MD = Magic Damage
AS = Attack Speed
MS = Movement Speed
MR = Magic Resistance
ArPen = Armor Penetration
MPen = Magic Penetration
LS = Life Steal
SV = Spell Vamp
DPS = Strong Auto-attacker
MDPS = Strong spells; casters
CDR = Cooldown Reduction
OOM = Out of Mana
MP = Mana
HP = Health
MP Regen = Mana Regeneration per 5 seconds
HP Regen = Health Regeneration per 5 seconds
TS = Thundering Shuriken
ES = Electrical Surge
LR = Lightning Rush
SM = Slicing Maelstrom

Kennen is very destructive when it comes to team fights and this build allows you to bring out his full potential as a team fighter whether you're a passive or aggressive player.

- Able to harass continuously
- Destroys with short cooldowns
- Utilizes energy instead mana
- Has three multi-target abilities, all with the potential to stun
- Able to escape ganks; high survivability when used right

- Can be easily killed if not used right
- Vulnerable without energy (this is not a Rageblade build)

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Skill & Summoner Spell Explanations

Skill Explanations

Mark of the Storm - This is why everyone runs from a good Kennen. Every 3 consecutive marks stuns the target for a short duration and refunds you 25 energy. This passive is "spammable" in the sense that you can continuously apply marks to a target depending on your skill rotation and cooldowns.

Thundering Shuriken - Kennen's only skillshot and your main harassment skill in early game. After level 5, this skill will be on a short cooldown for you to abuse your enemies with.

Electrical Surge - The finishing touch after any combo. Use the active ability to add a 3rd mark on a target or to harass your enemy further. Also useful for farming after using Lightning Rush.
NOTE: Unless you are just harassing or in need of a 3rd mark, avoid using this skill after Thundering Shuriken. You will lose too much energy afterwards.

Lightning Rush - Your escape/initiate skill. Use this to catch up with an enemy, run away from a gank, or to damage and add a mark to a group of enemies. Very useful for farming.

Slicing Maelstrom - This skill is what wins every team fight. High-damage AoE ability with the potential to stun enemies TWICE. Yes, twice. The AoE works similar to Fiddlesticks' ultimate in the sense that the enemies around YOU (in a certain radius) are affected; not a specified location on the ground.
Summoner Spell Explanations

Ghost: Ghost + Lightning Rush = Very high MS. Provides easy escapes and ganks.
Ignite: If your skill rotation isn't enough, ignite should guarantee you a kill. Ignite makes killing an enemy effortless at level 6.
Considerable Summoner Spells

Flash: Gives you another escape tool or allows you to reposition yourself while SM is active.
Exhaust: Gives you an additional CC spell. Useful when your energy is too low to stun a target.
Surge: Good substitute for Ignite if you prefer the extra AP over true damage.
Heal: Pretty much for people who tend to initiate team fights without the tank. Although, heal won't always save you...
Cleanse: A good replacement for Ignite if you're more concerned with survival than getting kills.

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Greater Seal of Vitality

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: MPen is a must-have for Kennen. All his abilities deal magic damage!

Greater Seal of Vitality and Greater Quintessence of Health: Health is important. Kennen is a squishy champion and you will need to be running through a whole team fight and surviving long enough to pull off your combo.

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: Need that CDR to make up for not going into the Utility tree.

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Since the new mastery trees, I decided to redirect this build to the offense tree as opposed to the old utility tree. This provides more damage output while giving up some CDR.

Offense (Sections divided by Tier Rows):
Short and simple, take the straight AP-related masteries.

Tier 1: Mental Force (4/4) and Summoner's Wrath (1/1)
Bonus early game AP! Also a nice improvement to Ghost & Ignite.

Tier 2: Sorcery (4/4)
CDR is definitely a must-have.

Tier 3: Arcane Knowledge (1/1) and Havoc (2/3)
Here's some MPen and a bonus to your damage output. Don't worry, you can do without the last 0.5% damage bonus.

Tier 4: Blast (4/4)
Some more AP!

Tier 5: Archmage (4/4)
Even more AP!

Tier 6: Executioner (1/1)
Bonus to your damage for low-health targets ;]
Utility (Sections divided by Tier Rows):

Tier 1: Expanded Mind (3/3) and Improved Recall (1/1)
The extra 10 energy you get here helps a lot, believe it or not. The fourth point in this tier can be placed wherever you wish. I just prefer the shorter cast time on Recall.

Tier 2: Swiftness (4/4)
MS is definitely good for Kennen.

Tier 3: Transmutation (1/3)
Might as well get some SV. Or throw this point into Havoc if you feel empty without that last point...

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With my rune setup and Doran's Shield, you don't have much AP at level 1. This won't stop you from harassing your enemy though. After a few minutes of last hitting, you should be able to pick up Needlessly Large Rod which will boost your AP by 80, making your skills a lot stronger and intimidating. Abyssal Mask will give you the rest of the MPen you need for team fights. Trust me, as soon as people see you're doing good, they WILL start stacking MR.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter I highly recommend this item for two reasons:
1. More health
2. More CC
Situational Items

Zhonya's Hourglass In late game, you'll be lacking armor and you're going to need it. Along with the +50 armor increase, you'll pile up another 130 AP (including Rabadon's Deathcap bonus)AND you'll have another survivability tool.

Will of the Ancients If you find yourself targeted a lot (which is normal), you might want the SV to keep you in team fights longer.

Lich Bane If the game drags on, you will need to pick this up. Eventually your MPen and AP won't suffice and you'll need to boost your damage output. AAing is part of Kennen's damage output because of Electrical Surge's passive and Lich Bane will add on to that.

Guardian's Angel Now who wouldn't want to be given a 2nd chance after a bad team fight? This item will also add a decent amount of armor and MR.

Normally, the opposing team would have given up after finishing my core items, so I can't really recommend an optimal 6th item. I would just go with Will of the Ancients or Lich Bane.

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Laning & Play Style

Something you must keep in mind: Kennen is RANGED and SQUISHY. Therefore, you must play carefully. Playing too aggressively will get you killed by minions. That's a little exaggerated... but seriously, keeping a safe distance will make sure you won't have to teleport to base for a long time. There's no need to get any closer than Kennen's AA range when harassing because Thundering Shuriken's range is very long.

Early Game Phase

I highly recommend playing mid lane or a 2v1 lane. The faster you level up, the easier it is to dominate the game. Once you have obtained around 2000 gold, teleport back to base for Needlessly Large Rod and Boots of Speed. Do not get discouraged, you should have 2000+ gold by the 12 minute mark if you have been doing a decent job of balancing last-hitting and harassing.

At levels 1-2, you will have Thundering Shuriken and Electrical Surge. I suggest you hold off on harassment for now since your abilities don't do much damage just yet. Use Thundering Shuriken to help you last-hit minions. At level 1, you can deal over 100 damage if you just combo your AA with TS. For now, you'll just be making use of Electrical Surge's passive for the extra damage dealt every 5th AA.

At levels 2-4, you'll have TS at rank 2 and LR learned by level 4. I still suggest you use TS to help you last hit. If your enemy is starting to play more aggressively, you should start lobbing shurikens his way. You should start to focus on your enemy's movement pattern to predict where he will move next so that you don't miss a TS. At this point, you should only use LR as an escape tool. It does not deal enough damage to harass with, and it's not worth getting that close to your enemy.

At levels 4-6, This is where Kennen gets fun. At level 5, TS should have a cooldown of around 4.55 seconds (with 9% CDR), dealing a good amount of damage for harassment. You'll start to notice your enemy is becoming more cautious about getting in your line of sight. Once you have your ultimate, killing your enemy is easy. All you need to do is harass him to under 75% health (depending on how squishy he is) and have at least one mark on him. Your skill rotation should be as follows:
Apply the first Mark of Storm (with either Thundering Shuriken or AAing) -> Lightning Rush -> Slicing Maelstrom -> Electrical Surge -> Start AAing -> Ignite (if available) -> Thundering Shuriken
See Tricks & Strategies for an explanation on this skill rotation.

Mid Game Phase

By now you should at least have Needlessly Large Rod and should be working towards Sorcerer's Shoes or Ionian Boots of Lucidity. After your boots, pick up Blasting Wandx2 and Negatron Cloak. Do not rush building Rabadon's Deathcap/Abyssal Scepter until you have picked up the four items needed to build them. You will benefit more from these items.

At levels 6-9, Thundering Shuriken is becoming even stronger and more annoying for your enemies. After a few hits, your enemy should be backing off frequently to heal up a bit. One TS can take out a big chunk of your enemy's health. Just imagine what your combo can do ;] After level 6, you should start ganking other lanes that need help as long as you're not risking losing your own tower. Mid lane towers are more important than side lanes so you should either push your lane as far as possible or get someone else to cover it for you while you gank.

At levels 9-11, you should have your boots completed and one or two Blasting Wands. You'll have over 100 AP along with rank 2 of your ultimate. You hurt A LOT now, ganking with teammates should be fast and easy now.

Late Game Phase

At levels 11-18, you should have all 3 core items completed unless you haven't been involved in ganks/team fights... which is a bad thing. Organize team fights and make sure you come out alive. You should have a decent killing spree and you wouldn't want to give away bonus gold, now would you?

Late Game Summarized

In late game, you should always stick with your team. Never over extend while farming lanes (the farthest you should push is to the river). Help your team ward your jungle and the river. Even picking up an Oracle's Elixir to hunt enemy wards will save your team from being ganked while gathering some gold.

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Tricks & Strategies

Skill Rotation: Apply the first Mark of Storm (with either Thundering Shuriken or AAing) -> Lightning Rush -> Slicing Maelstrom -> Electrical Surge -> Start AAing -> Ignite (if available) -> Thundering Shuriken

The reason why you want a Mark of Storm already on the target is so that the stun from your passive activates earlier while refunding 25 energy during your combo. As soon as you activate your ultimate, the target will be stunned and your ultimate will apply another 2 Mark of Storm while you AA and apply Ignite. Depending on how many stacks of Electrical Surge you had, you should've stunned your target a second time while AAing. If not, simply throw a TS at him and continue AAing while your cooldowns come back up.

Remember, you can always use Zhonya's Hourglass to save yourself when the enemy team decides to focus you during your ultimate. The ultimate will still do its job while you are invulnerable, so take advantage of it.

Harassing: Thundering Shuriken is your main harassment skill. It has a long range, short cooldown, and keeps you at a safe distance.
Keep in mind, if you have pushed your lane more than halfway, change your focus on harassment rather than last hitting minions. However, the closer you are to the enemy tower, the less you should spam TS. After a few consecutive misses, you will have a very low amount of energy left and won't be able to use Lightning Rush when you need to escape a gank. Spamming TS to harass is only good if you can hit your target so that you get energy refunds after every 3 hits (from your passive).

Farming: If you were fed a bit and accumulated enough AP, you should be able to farm easily using Lightning Rush and Electrical Surge. If you can't kill a wave of minions with just this combo, you should pay attention to how much damage you deal with ES. Use LR and run through as many minions as possible. Then AA any minions that have too much health left. Finish them off with ES. By doing this, you are making sure your minions don't get the last hits after using ES.

Waiting for a Team Fight: If both teams are juggling minions and waiting for someone to initiate the fight, don't be afraid to harass them with TS. The range is long enough to be safe. However be very careful if the enemy team has any champion with a skill shot that can hit you (Nidalee, Ezreal, Blitzcrank, etc.). Be even more cautious if there's a Blitzcrank on the other team.

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Here I will show match stats using this build and the changelog of this guide.

Match History

Let me know if I missed anything that should be updated! Thanks =]

-- Big update!! Adapted the guide to the newer chapter system.
-- Removed Void Staff from the build since the +40% SPen makes stacking regular SPen redundant. Updated item build section
-- Updated and changed the mastery build as well as the Masteries chapter of the guide.
-- Changes made to the rune build to focus more around CDR instead of AP.
-- Added Surge to "Considerable Summoner Spells"

-- Removed Zhonya's Ring and added Rabadon's Deathcap and Zhonya's Hourglass to item build.
-- Added a "Miscellaneous" chapter to the guide with screenshots and changelog.

-- Guide is first published.