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Kennen Build Guide by TheBeast88

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League of Legends Build Guide Author TheBeast88

Kennen, the Lightning Thief

TheBeast88 Last updated on September 20, 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: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Well, hello everybody and welcome to my Kennen guide. It's my first guide, so relax and go easy on me. Any criticism that's given will be taken in consideration and any tips are welcome, as this guide is still a work in progress. I will update this as frequently as I can.

I've been playing LoL for quite some time now. I've played around 2000 games, and I think 400 of those are with Kennen. I think that knowledge is the most important thing when playing Kennen. Knowledge of the map and knowledge of your own abilities and other champions abilities. Also, being able to act and think fast is a necessity when playing Kennen, but I'll get into that later.

Now, I've played an AD/AS Kennen before going AP, and to be honest, both are viable options. However, my own preference goes out to AP, so I will not include an AD/AS build (not for now, anyway).

Version 1.01 - 03-08-2011

From today I will start updating this guide, as well as starting a new guide (either Vayne or Kog'Maw, or maybe Twisted Fate). It's been a long while.

Version 1.02 - 20-09-2012

Decided to update the guide after a long absence. Guide is now updated to the new LoL patch, which started at 13-09-2012.

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Passive: Mark of the Storm

Kennen's abilities add Marks of the Storm to opponents which last for 8 seconds. An opponent is stunned for 1 second upon receiving 3 Marks of the Storm, and Kennen receives 25 energy. If the stun is applied more than once within 7 seconds, it has a diminished effect so it will only stun for approximately 0.5 seconds.

This is what makes Kennen what he really is: A great harasser/annoyer. With this you can stun people who are fleeing, stun people in a 1v1 to finish them off, or even stun an entire team with a combination of your abilities. Great initiation if somebody comes in to gank your lane.

Thundering Shuriken

Kennen throws a charged shuriken in a line in front of him, dealing magic damage and adding a Mark of the Storm to the first opponent that it hits.

This is your main harassing skill. Use it everytime it's up and you think you have a good chance of hitting. I also level this the fastest because it's (in my opinion) the most needed to level up. I've had many last-hit kills on champions with this when they were trying to run. I use this to initiate a 1v1, I also use it to last hit creeps early/mid-game. And after I get Rylai's, I use this to slow down pursuers.

Electrical Surge

Passive: Every 5 attacks, Kennen will deal extra magic damage equal to 40%/50%/60%/70%/80% of his attack damage and add a 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.

I like this ability for a few reasons. First of all, the active has a pretty decent range, and second of all, the passive is just amazing. The active allows you to stun multiple enemy's who have 2 Marks on them, which is obviously really nice (I've saved several allies from certain death with this when they got ganked by 3 enemy's). The passive can be used to add an extra Mark, or just to deal a bit of extra damage (though an AP Kennen won't get much extra damage from it).

Lightning Rush

For 3 seconds Kennen's base movement speed is increased by 310. He also gains the ability to pass through units, dealing 85/125/165/205/245 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to all enemy units in the process, restoring 40 energy from the first enemy he hits. This ability only deals 50% damage to minions. Additionally, for 4 seconds Kennen's armor and magic resistance are increased by 10/20/30/40/50. While Lightning Rush is active, he can activate it again, to cancel the first part of the ability.

This move is just as versatile as your Q (Thundering Shuriken). It can be used to chase, to initiate, to flee, or to get that 3rd Mark of the Storm on your enemy to stun him and THEN flee. It saved my life loads of times and also allowed me to catch up with some quicker champs a lot. Also to take note, is that during this ability you gain +50 to both MRes and Armor. This alone makes it a great initiation move. It's just amazing.

Slicing Maelstrom

Kennen summons a magical storm that deals 80/145/210 (+40% per ability power) magic damage per bolt to a random enemy champion near Kennen. The storm hits several times, increasing with level, and cannot hit the same target more than 3 times. A Mark of the Storm is applied to enemies each time they are hit.

Now, Kennen's ult is a bit weird. I never really understood how it works. It can hit for a maximum of 15 times at rank 3, while every enemy champion can only be hit a maximum of 3 times by it. It hits randomly. So basically, if you run in with this against 5 enemies, they will all be hit 3 times (at rank 3) in a random order. This would mean that if you stand in the middle of 5 enemies, during the full duration of your ult, they will all be stunned. So, how do you utilize his ult to the maximum? Simple, you jump on your enemies and bust in with your ult raging around you. This will ensure a stun on them, and will give you and your teammates more time to finish them off (if the ult itself doesn't do that already).

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Pros / Cons


- Great at harassing/kiting (with the right setup)
- Good early game damage
- Sort of an in-built stun (his passive)
- Great burst damage
- Can stun an entire team in a matter of seconds
- Is a pretty good escape artist


- Rather squishy
- Running out of energy means you're useless
- Ult randomly hits, is rather annoying in team fights
- Gets focused most of the time when they see your damage output
- Can easily get CC'ed

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Quick and easy, here's my Runes and my reasons for picking them:

- MPen is always good on Kennen, nothing more to say.

- I take AP p/lvl over the flat AP because this will benefit you much more than flat AP (after level 6). This gives 16.2 AP as opposed to the 5.31 AP you get from the flat AP (Greater Seal of Potency). Since you won't run close into enemies a lot before level 6, I feel this is the best choice.

- See the Seals, same thing.

- I take this over the MP and AP p/lvl because we will get enough of the former through items, and we already have enough of the latter in the other Runes. And the extra 15 AP early game can make the difference between getting that kill or not.

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As you can see I take the offensive route, 21/9/0. I do this mainly because I feel like you're tanky enough with the items I've recommended, and you are mostly an in-and-out champion: you run in, do your full rotation, and stay back again. Also, during , you're pretty much impossible to target, and it gives you the bonus 50 MDef/Armor.

I take the standard masteries in the Offense tree, going with all the +AP masteries as well as the +dmg, the decreased cooldowns, and the MPen. In the defensive tree I take the MRes over the Armor because, let's face it, you're mid and you're better off with the MRes there. After that I take the +health masteries to gain that extra bit of HP early game that can be so vital.

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Summoner Spells

I always take Flash and Cleanse for Kennen. Why? I find that I often get shut down really fast by CC (whether it be a slow, or a stun, or a snare). Not only will the Flash/Cleanse combo help you run from a losing team fight, it will help you escape ganks and it will save you from certain death (there goes your combo, Ryze, IN YOUR FACE!).

Other good Summoner Spells on Kennen are:

When combined with Lightning Rush nobody will be able to catch up to you (except maybe a Power Balling Rammus or some crazy Yi who has his Ult up). This alone should be why you should consider taking it, however with your Lightning Rush you basically already have a built in Ghost and I would rather have a Flash over the walls than another speed buff. But that's just my choice.

I guess this can work for you, but I myself am a fan of the Flash/Cleanse combo. Can be very nice against any auto-attacker you'll meet, although when going mid you won't face them in lane.

If you want to be really offensive I guess this can help you get that last bit of damage needed to finish the enemy off, very rarely. It's pretty nice against somebody like Vladimir or Yi who rely mostly on healing themselves.

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The Game

In this section I will write a step-by-step of how I play Kennen and how I think he's played best. If there's any tips or recommendations I will try them in-game and post my findings later. Feel free to criticise, in fact, I URGE you to criticise this build/guide. This will not only help me but other users as well. Again, this is just how I think Kennen is played best.

Early game

There are a few things about Kennen's early game you should know. First of all, I URGE you to take mid. Even if there's any other champion that would go mid, Kennen is most effective in mid (especially when played as an AP), so as far as I'd say, either get mid with Kennen, or get another champion.

You can start off with Boots and 4 Health Pots, or with an Amplifying Tome and some health pots; this is all up to you, but I'd start with the Boots.

You should try to harass as much as possible, throwing your Q everytime you think there's a chance of hitting the enemy champ. Once you get to level 3, if he stays behind his minions, you can start your combo.

-> ->

This will not only deal a ****load of damage to the champ (early and mid-game) but will also leave his minion wave at 50% HP. If you keep this up it should eventually force him to go back to base, in which case you can either try pushing, or just keep last-hitting and thus getting an XP and Gold advantage over him.

Once you get to level 6 you should try not to push too hard. When you see the enemy champ overextending start your combo again.

-> -> -> ->

By this time he's either dead or he's running back behind his turret. Kennen is great at punishing, when you see somebody overextending (either pushing your tower or getting close) you should always try to go for the kill, even when he's at full HP. This will take them down extremely low so they will have to go back to base.

Items at the end of early-game:

/ +

(only in special cases, when either doing extremely well, or just playing for fun)

This is the item order I usually take, but it all depends on how you and your team are doing. If you want to get just Boots of Speed, then get Mejai's and then get Sorcerer's Shoes, that's all fine. Take note that, even though Mejai's is ofcourse a great stacking item when you're doing great, you might want to actually take Rylai's first.

From level 6-7, enter mid-game..

Mid game

This is where you win or lose. If your mid-game goes bad, chances are you will get behind in levels and gold and will most likely lose your lane. That's why you should be really careful of what you do. You should start ganking people who overextend in either bottom or top lane. Try not to abandon your own lane though, as that could mean you'll lose a tower). This is the part of the game where the opposing team will most likely come for you. If you played your lane well you should still have the towers standing and chances are if you push, they'll come for you.

I myself always pay attention to other lanes, even though + (+ my ) pretty much makes me un-gankable (and trust me, I've seen alot of creative tries, but they rarely ever get me). NEVER, NEVER, NEVER face-check a bush when more than 2 champs are MIA. Chances are they'll be waiting in the bushes with 3-5 people and that will be certain death even if you use the above mentioned combo. Make sure you have at least the river warded on both sides, or just simply put some wards in the bushes that lie next to your lane in river (this will at least give you a slight warning before getting ganked).

Items at the end of mid-game

I AT LEAST complete everything up to Rylai's and (more likely than not) end up getting Rabadon's as well. At around level 12/13, late-game will start. By then you'll want Rabadon's really badly, as it almost doubles your AP if you followed this list.

Here goes late-game..

Late game

This is were the team-fights start. By now Kennen will start to shine. You'll want to be in every team fight. Let me explain how to approach (or even initiate) a team fight.

As soon as you see that there will be a team fight coming soon (either because your team decides to push, or the other team decides to do so) you should get close. The most common place for teamfights is obviously mid, since that's the easiest place to run away from/run in to.

If your tank runs in first (like he should), that's fine. That's great. If this happens, all you have to do is wait a few seconds to make sure you won't get focussed down immediately, and then run in with your combo: E -> W -> Ult -> throwing Q's till the enemies drop, and then running away while throwing Q's from a safe distance (or you can wait for your Energy to get back to 110, run in with E and repeat the steps withour your Ult). This is the best situation for you.

However, there are times when both teams are afraid to initiate. And this is where you can come in. There are times, when the tanks look at the opposing team and think "Awww hell no, I ain't going in THERE!". This is where you can do your magic. And this is the main reason why I pick Cleanse + Flash.

If this happens, first ask yourself these things:

- Do I have my up? (if not, why are you even considering initiating?)
- If I run in, will my team follow me?
- Are both Cleanse and Flash up? (If not, don't even think about initiating)
- Can I survive long enough to stun them all with my combo? (most likely yes, since they won't expect you running in like a mad man and more than likely don't have enough time to cast their spells before they're stunned).
- Do I have full Energy? (if not, don't initiate for the love of God)

If the answer to all these questions is 'Yes' feel free to go in there and do your thing. What I like to do when initiating is this:

-> + ->

After your ult is finished run out of the teamfight immediately throwing Q's at the enemies. By now your teammates should have engaged as well. If you get Stunned, Snared, Silenced or whatever, immediately use Cleanse and Flash away from the teamfight. You're no good when you're dead, so better stay alive.

As far as items go late-game, these are some I tend to get:

Guardian Angel; I almost never get this, but I suppose it's a decent item. I can see why you'd want this though, 'cause this just revives you after everybody blew their CD's on you. Take this when there's no real tank and you're initiating a fight often.

Lich Bane; This is a nice item to have. Seeing as how this works on towers, late-game your normal attack will hit for like 500 (maximum) extra with this after you use one of your abilities (which is a really good thing, obviously).

Void Staff; Take this obviously when the opposing team is stacking MRes. I pretty much never get this, but if you're really having trouble with the opposing team stacking MRes, go for it !

Zhonya's Hourglass; Not as obvious as the rest of the choices, you can take this instead of Guardian Angel when you need to initiate. Just run in with your E, hit them with W, then Ult and use the passive from this.

Warmog's Armor; Okay so since you will get targetted really fast in teamfights, a bit of extra HP is always a good thing.

Randuin's Omen; Get this when the other team has alot of AD in their team and you don't need any more AP/MRes. You could also get Thornmail ofcourse but I feel Randuin's active is better than Thornmail's passive.

Force of Nature; If you really want to be a tanky Kennen, and the enemy has alot of AP nukes, get this. It's perfect for Kennen because he is truly a 'get-in-and-run-out-and-back-in-after-5-seconds' kinda Champion. You'll get some nice HP regen from this as well as MRes, so in my opinion it's well worth it.

If you feel there's nothing else to spend your money on, then you can start buying the Elixirs. Never forget these, as they're often underestimated. That extra AS on the Elixir of Agility might just help you destroy that tower or help you take down that Inhibitor.

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Tips and Final Words

Finally, here are some last-minute tips and some final words about Kennen.

1. Harass your enemies. When they overextend, show no mercy and rush in guns blazi- I mean, lightning blazing. -> -> and when they run throw Thundering Shurikens in their back.

2. Ganking. I've noticed that often when I go gank, I unnecessarily use my . Try to avoid this and use it in a later gank (or teamfight). When enemies are at half health or lower, just using your -> -> till he's dead will be enough. Only tanks can survive that combo at less than 50% HP mid-game.

3. Even though you can initiate, you're not the best suited champ for this. Try to avoid thinking you're the boss even though you initiated and survived once and actually won the teamfight. Leave the tankin' to the tanks.

4. In teamfights, try to stun the most dangerous opponents, or champs which have an AoE ult ( Miss Fortune, Gangplank, Nunu, Amumu, Vladimir, Katarina, Galio, Fiddlesticks, etc). These are often fatal in teamfights and need to be taken down ASAP.

5. Try and involve yourself in as much teamfights as possible. Not only will it give you extra XP and gold, your ult is, combined with your passive, one of the best AoE ults and it WILL severely weaken the opposing team unless you get focused down by all 5 champs.

Final Words

Lastly I just want to say that I think Kennen is definitely a fun champ to play. He can destroy pretty much any other mid 1v1 when played correctly (actively harassing etc). Try to get creative with his spells, they're very versatile and you can really do some nice things (kiting a Tryndamere with your Q when you have Rylai's, then when he runs you stun him with W/chase him with E and then stun him and proceed to kill him is 1 of them, it's so much fun). I think Kennen is one of the most balanced champs in the game so far, and I love playing him alot. I hope after reading this guide, you will too.

Also, any tips would be nice. Thanks for taking the time to read the guide and please comment and vote :)