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Kennen Build Guide by Huckit

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Huckit

Kennen- It's Electric!

Huckit Last updated on November 22, 2012
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Mid Lane Kennen


Top Lane Kennen

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #106 in
Top Lane
Win 49%
Get More Stats

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: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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I have been playing Kennen a very long time and he is my most played champ in ranked. I currently have a 65% win percentage with him. I play him as a mid lane mage or a top lane counter pick. Kennen is considered almost overpowered by most players in Summoners Rift, and I agree. He is the Top mage behind Ryze, in my opinion, but he is a much better team fighter than Ryze, by being able to stun an entire team that is poorly positioned. By playing Kennen, you will change the tide of battle in your favor with the press of one button. I am currently around 1400 elo. I do not consider myself an elite player, but I do consider myself capable of playing at high levels.

The first build is for a mid lane vs. another AP. The second build is for top lane vs. bruiser. The differences are explained.

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Pros / Cons


+Good AP ratios- Total AP ratio of 2.3.
+High Burst AOE Damage


-Skill Shots require skill
-Abilities require close combat
-CC is focused on Kennen
-People want to kill Ninjas
-1 less health for each allied ninja

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Masteries- Top lane vs. Mid lane

As I said before, I do not like the new masteries on Kennen, but he does do quite a bit more damage. I use to go 9/21/0 on the old masteries giving huge tankability and still picking up Magic Pen.

I go 21/9/0 in the new masteries. This mastery setup gives the highest damage output, while giving enough tankyness for laning phase. I make sure to get Resistance , because you will most likely lane against another AP and I do not build any Magic Resist items.
You might ask: Why not get Transmutation in the support tree?
Answer: That only helps your laning phase, and I get Hextech Revolver for spell vamp. Three health pots will help you survive in lane until you get it.

When I top lane as Kennen to counter certain champs, I use 9/21/0 for my masteries. Reasoning:
    -More susceptible to ganks, because you venture further from the turret
    -Against bruisers who hurt, but you cannot hurt them as much
    -Will not receive as many ganks. Top lane is so far away.
The extra defensive masteries will help you survive in the wasteland of top lane.

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Magic Pen is necessary. No other marks are acceptable.


As I find myself gaining elo, early game harass from auto-attacks is the main force of damage in any lane. These runes give an advantage in early exchanges.
Greater Seal of VitalityIf you find you are barely dying during mid game fights, grab these for extra health.


More MR against AP champs. This glyph can help you dominate magic damage champions.
This Glyph allows for more harass. I will sometimes grab this glyph for top lane, because the winner of top lane is the one who can harass the opponent and prevent them from farming creeps.


Gives great early game benefit and gives opportunity for a first blood.
I will grab extra magic pen if I plan to not get Void Staff.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
There is alot of debate of which skills to max first on Kennen. I max Electrical Surge first for the following reasons:

-It is the harass skill and it is two harasses in one ability.
-It does not put you in a vulnerable situation like Lightning Rush.
-It is not a skill shot like Thundering Shuriken

Here is some math behind maxing Electrical Surge first (I will assume 60 AP for a lvl 9 champ):

Thundering Shuriken: 235 (Base Damage) + 45(75% AP) = 280.
Lightning Rush: 245 (Base Damage) + 36(60% AP) = 281.
Electrical Surge:
82 (Base Attack Damage at level 9) + 66(80% AD)= 147 (Passive)
185 (Base Damage) + 33(55% AP)= 218 (Active)
147(Passive) + 218(Active)= 365.

In conclusion, Electrical Surge does most damage and all you do is auto attack the enemy champ and hit W. So easy...
Note: Calculations were done with no Magic Resist.

I will talk more later about laning phase and how to harass with Electrical Surge.

What to max after Electric Surge is up to you. It depends on if we are still in laning phase or if team fights have started to happen regularly. If the laning phase is going long I max Lightning Rush next to farm minion waves quicker. If team fighting is starting, I max Thundering Shuriken for max single target damage to kill their carry quick.

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Summoner Spells

: Flash is a must. Use it to initiate and use your ult or use it to get away from a gank.

: I use ignite when I am mid lane. It is great for finishing your first blood. I also use it for top lane if I am against a health regen ultimate. Ex: Nasus and Renekten.

: I use exhaust against any ad opponent. It greatly decreases their damage output allowing you to use your burst combo again if necessary.

: Cleanse is a very good choice, especially with recent buff. This is a great choice against a team that has 4+cc abilities. If you get cc'd and die quickly in a fight, it is game over for your team. Cleanse ensures that you will not be cc'd before you use your ult in a fight.

: I will use teleport for top lane if I feel the matchup is in my favor or if I feel it will be a total stalemate. This allows me to teleport bottom to gank or to help with dragon.

: I hardly ever use ghost. I will sometimes grab ghost with flash for fast lane opponents or opponents that have speed boosts. Ex: Cassiopeia and Ahri.

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Starting Items

These are the starting options for Kennen. I usually start with boots of speed and three health pots for mid lane against an AP. Most mid champs have a skill shot for harass. Getting boots first allows for enough mobility to dodge skill shots. Doran's Shield is for top lane against a bruiser. It gives enough armor and health regen to survive for a long time in top lane. I will grab an Amplifying tome if I feel I will dominate my lane. This gives extra harass damage and starts into Kennen's AP build quicker.

Core Items

These items are a must for Kennen every game. Rylai's combined with Zhonya's is super powerful. You ult and everyone in ult is slowed...they focus you...hit zhonya's and take no damage...they get stunned...You and your team ace them and win.

Early Game Situational

or orkage's lucky pick
I get one of the above items everygame early. Hextech revolver and haunting guise provide a nice laning presence. I get hextech revolver in 95% of my games, because it can be updraded to Will of the Ancients for late game. I will get haunting guise against a Galio...and no one else. Haunting Guise with Sorcerer's Shoes is 40 Magic pen for only 2600g. I will get Kage's Lucky Pick if I am getting outlaned and cannot farm minions. If I am laning against a champion that I do not feel confortable agaist, Kage's Lucky Pick greatly helps me stay in the game.

Late Game Situational

I will choose one of these items to finish my build. I will build Void staff in almost all cases. I build Abyssal Scepter in either of the following situations:
    -Our team has another AP carries and the other AP carry does not plan to buy it.
    -The opposing team has two AP carries and I need extra Magic Resist. This is also assuming their AP carries are decent.

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Early Game Farming and First Return

Early game laning is a mini-game within Summoner's Rift. To win the mini-game, you must earn more gold then your laning opponent. Two ways to get gold: creeps and kills.

Lets start with creeps. Last hitting on Kennen takes practice. His attack motion is slow and the projectile speed is even slower... Play a custom game and try last hitting every minion until you get 1275g, because that is your first planned back. I grab Hextech Revolver and a sight ward my first time back.

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At level 1, use your Thundering Shuriken to damage your opponent as well as auto-attack and push him away from the minion, so he cannot last hit. At level 2, you have your first blood opportunity if you have landed a couple Shurikens on your opponents face. Wait for your passive on your Electrical Surge to be ready. Land a Shuriken, then auto-attack him (triggering passive), and finally Surge him for the stun. Hit him with ignite and a couple auto-attacks and he is dead. You have boots and a flash to chase him if needed to finish off the kill. If you land all your skills, along with ignite, the combo does 307 damage. Math Below assumes 27 AP, 30 MR, and 22 AR:

30 MR(starting MR for most champs) - 3(10% MPen Mastery) - 8.6 MPen(Runes)= 18 MR

81(Thundering Shuriken) + 48(auto-attack) + 20(Surge Passive) + 68(Surge Active) + 90(Ignite)= 307 total damage. This doesnt include any extra auto-attacks. Opponents under 300hp should be as good as dead at level 2.

Now imagine a jungler who ganks at level 2... Easy kill. Congrats on first blood. If you do not get the kill, oh well, they have to back and you get free farm.

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Mid Game Farming and Ganking

After first back, place your ward on the same side of the river as the opponents red buff, unless your support has warded it. This will give you vision of a gank from red buff, which is very common.

Mid game farming: Auto attack each caster minion once, then Lightning Rush through all the creeps and electric surge. This will kill the caster minions and just last hit the melee minions. This allows you to push quickly.

Mid game ganking: I push my minion wave quick to the opposing tower and go gank a side lane, when I see an opporntunity. Then, once the opposing laner pushes it almost to my tower, I return and push it back and try and gank a side lane again. I try to keep that same bush warded during a majority of the game. When you ward, your team wards, and when a team wards, you greatly increase your chance at winning.

At this point of the game, you want to be in every team fight. You change the outcome easily. Keep up map awareness and you will have plenty of kills and assist.

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Warding- Laning Phase

Warding is very important in summoners rift, but you have to know where to ward as well. Kennen is a mid or top lane champion. The first map is a purple team warding map.

The responsiblities of each location is as follows:

Blue: Support
Red: Middle lane
Yellow: Top lane

As mid lane, I ward the river bush closest to the opponents red buff as I stated before. As top lane, I ward the path I think the jungler will be taking to gank me.

The warding for Blue team is shown below:

Your responsible to keep a ward up for whichever lane you are in, Top or Mid.

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Fighting Tips for Late Game

1. Do not initiate, it is not you job. If you initiate, you will get all cc immediately.
2. Wait for full engagement before ulting. Full engagement- when all players who can be in the team fight engage. You want to catch as many people in ult as possible.
3. Try and wait for Electrical Surge passive to be ready before initiating.
4. Rotation: Lightning Rush through as many enemies as possible and blow Slicing Maelstrom while rushing in. Hit Electrical Surge to stun everyone you hit with lightning rush. Use Thundering Shuriken on their best carry while stunned. This will cause their best carry to be stunned twice during the fight. (1 mark of the storm from rush, 1 from ult, 1 from surge..stun... 1 from shuriken, 2 more from ult..stun...) Carry is made useless. After your rotation is over hit Zhonya's Hourglass to allow for some cooldowns to refresh. If they do not want to focus you, don't use hourglass and autoattack during maelstom.

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Before reading this section, this is from personal experience. These are champs that I expect to be mid or top in ranked games. I am not going through every champ. If champ is not listed, then I do not expect to play them or the are neutral to Kennen.

Kennen Counters ...

Akali- Throw thundering Shurikens into shroud and keep her low on health
Anivia- Lightning Rush dodge her stun. Wait until she runs out of mana and kill her.
Galio- Ult before Galio ults and if he ults in return, you will stun him, ending his ult. If you see Galio flash, hit your ult fast!
Irelia- Keep her away from minons and she cannot get health back.
Karthus- I rape Karthus. I do not know why.. maybe I have never played a good karthus. He is supper squisy also.
Katarina- She cannot shunpo a Kennen, because he will Lightning Rush on top of her and combo stun her, which also prevents ults.
Lux- Dodge her snare and combo squisy.
Malzahar- If you think he will ult, ult at the same time, which will cancel his ult if he casts his.
Nasus- Harass prevents him from farming q, which wins game.

...Counters Kennen

Cassiopeia- Outpokes you
Gangplank- ARRR Oranges
Kassadin- Silence...
Morgana- Shield and Sustain
Talon- Ya silence

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Author Experience and Notes

I do not carry as Kennen. Most games I have twice as many assists then kills. My ranked game stats with Kennen are not spectacular, but I seem to win alot with Kennen. Here is a win streak that brought me from 1370 to 1441.

Please use my guide and play a few games as Kennen. He is alot of fun to play and is very useful to your team. Please leave any suggestions and let me know what you think.

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12/23/2011- Guide published.
12/25/2011- Up to 1427 Elo. 68% win with Kennen. Added recent ranked game history.
1/4/2012- Updated skill sequence. Further Farming Explanation. Gave optional starting items and
cleanse summoner spell. Also, made guide look a little better. Explained Mid game warding.
1/5/2012- Updated pros/cons to look better.