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Kennen Build Guide by Bligen97

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Bligen97

Kennen - The Ninja Pikachu

Bligen97 Last updated on July 16, 2013
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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


Utility: 0

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Introduction To Kennen

Kennen is a very strong laner if played well, and a very strong teamfighter if positioned and timed
well. He is very strong at whatever he does, but if you haven't gotten his timing down right - you will be an easy kill.

Kennen's Stats

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Kennen's Pros And Cons

  • Good poke
  • Aoe stun
  • Good maneuverability
  • Uses energy (Long term - can't go oom)
  • Low cooldowns
  • He's a pikachu!
  • Relatively squishy
  • Needs to get in to the middle of enemy team for ultimate
  • Uses energy (Short term - energy gets used fast)
  • Heavily depends on items

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Good Kennen Or Bad Kennen?

Good Kennen:
Bad Kennen:

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When playing Kennen I suggest going for standart AP carry masteries, since you're technicly a
secondary AP carry who's a bit tanky and doesn't use mana :)

Masteries worth looking into:

Spellsword - This mastery makes your basic attacks do additional damage equal to 5% of your ability
power, which is very useful since Kennen relies on basic attacks too.
Archmage - Increases your ability power by 5%, it might not sound impressive, and I admit this
mastery is almost useless early game unless you start with flat ap runes. But lategame it realy shows up, afterall, it's almost a weaker Rabadon's Deathcap.

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Greater Mark of Precision

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

greater mark of hybrid penetration - These marks provide you with both magic and
armor penetration, since Kennen also has to use a lot of basic attacks for good damage, it's very useful for him.

Greater Seal of Armor - These runes provide you with some armor, which is useful entire game,
because early game you can freeze more easily, and lategame you can take more shots from towers or ADC.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - These runes give you a nice boost in early game magic resistance,
which opens up better trade posibilities vs ap top laners on in mid.

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - These quintessence provide you with a nice boost of early
game ability power, it's better than the scaling ones because it doesn't make a huge difference lategame, but earlygame you benefit more from these.

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Summoner Spells

When playing Kennen I suggest using Flash and Ignite combo, this combination alowes you to get away from threats by flashing over wall, to simply gain some distance between you and melee champions, or to chase, aswell as reduce opponent's healing and do some damage over time to him.

Other viable summoner spells

Exhaust - Can be used if your team has a lot of Ignites and noone wants to take exhaust which
can be extremely useful for the team.
Ghost - Can be used if you think you'll do more chasing than running away.

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Kennen's Abilities

Mark of the Storm - This ability is Kennen's passive, it makes every Kennen's ability apply marks which last 6seconds, upon receiving 3marks, the opponent is stuned and Kennen receives 25energy. But the stun cannot be applied more than once every 7seconds.

Thundering Shuriken - This is Kennen's only skillshot, but is a great poke tool early game and a great damage source lategame. If you play Kennen a lot, and have practised this ability, you should be able to force your opponent out of lane quite quickly. It should be maxed second, as it is afterall a skillshot, and Electrical Surge is a more guaranteed damage source.

Electrical Surge - This ability makes every 5th Kennen's basic attack deal bonus damage and apply his passive, aswell as damaging all opponents that have Mark of the Storm on them with the active. It should be maxed first as it is a great pushing ability, and a good damage source.

Lightning Rush - This ability grants Kennen a huge speed boost for a few seconds, as well as applying a Mark of the Storm to each opponent made contact with in the duration. It's not worth maxing early, as the speed boost doesn't increase and it doesn't deal huge damage, but a point in it early helps you escape and push.

Slicing Maelstrom - This ability is Kennen's ultimate, it creates a big field arround him, which then strikes a random opponent every 0.5/0.4/0.33 seconds for a nice chunk of damage. This ability should be upgraded whenever possible for increased damage, as it is a very strong teamfight tool stunning multiple opponents.

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Starting items:

When playing as top lane Kennen I suggest starting with a single Doran's Blade, because it
provides some nice sustain from the passive and some attack damage for poke. But another viable start is Cloth Armor and 5 x Health Potion if you're up vs an AD champion and think you'll take much poke.

First recall:

On your first trip back to base you should try to complete Seeker's Armguard and Boots of Speed,
this way you gain a nice boost in ability power and armor, aswell as having a little bit of extra movement speed. Seeker's Armguard can also be upgraded into Zhonya's Hourglass which is an essential item for Kennen.

Full build:

Zhonya's Hourglass - This is an essential item for Kennen as you can use Slicing Maelstrom
and Zhonya's Hourglass together, to apply your ulti procs and not take damage. It also gives you a nice boost in ability power and armor boost.
Sorcerer's Shoes - This item provides you with a movement speed boost which is always nice, but
the reason to get it is the the magic penetration, as it won't do much vs enemies who stack magic resist, it will hurt the ones the don't big time.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - This item gives you a lot of survivability because of the massive health
increase, aswell as giving you a decent ability power boost and giving you more chasing and kiting potential because of the slow.
Abyssal Mask - This ability provides you with a nice ability power boost, aswell as increasing your
magic resistance and increasing your survivability. But the best part is the passive, it decreases the magic resistances of nearby enemies, so it makes your ultimate even more affective!
Void Staff - This item gives you a nice ability power boost and gives you magic penetration. By the
time you get 5th item your opponents will be butthurt from you and have bought a lot of magic resistance - so you need this.
Rabadon's Deathcap - This item gives you a huge ability power boost, usualy gotten last, but can be
bought before Void Staff if your opponents don't realize you're killing them with 2shurikens.

Item Sequence

Sorcerer's Shoes

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Abyssal Mask

Void Staff

Rabadon's Deathcap

Enchantment: Homeguard

Situational Items

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Kennen is a very strong top laner, he can push very well if he pleases, he can be an extremely
annoying champion to lane against if he has mastered Thundering Shuriken and knows how most people react to it.

Early game:

Kennen can be ether very strong and annoying early game, or if not used to the max can be shut
down. A good Kennen will constantly poke with Thundering Shuriken and Electrical Surge for maximum damage, while a bad one might simply try to lasthit and avoid initiating. If played out well, a good Kennen can get a kill on the opponent laner at level 4, simply lasthit 4minions with Electrical Surge passive, and prepare the special attack for initiation, then use basic attack on the opponent for Mark of the Storm, throw Thundering Shuriken at him and use Electrical Surge active for the stun, if he tried to flash or run use [[lightning rush, and remember to proc your passive on him, then you might get a second stun off before he gets out of range.

Poke Combo:
Big Harass Combo:
All-in Combo:

Late Game Teamfights:

Late game Kennen can be an incredible asset to the team, because of her aoe stun in teamfights
and huge damage output to single targets. But don't be the first one to rush in, or you will get focused by opponent team carries and crowd control, which won't alowe you to do anything and just make the teamfight 4v5. In teamfights, try to wait for enemy team's crowd control to be burned, and then go in with Lightning Rush, pop Slicing Maelstrom and position yourself in a way so it hits atleast 4opponents, then as soon as you start taking damage or even getting focused use Zhonya's Hourglass to be untouchable and stun multiple opponents!

Teamfight Combo:
Cleanup Combo:


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Top Lane Matchups

Aatrox - In this fight Kennen vs Aatrox it all depends on the players, as it can go ether way depending on how they play. Both of them can dodge eachother's abilities well, so it comes down to basic attacks, where Kennen has the advantage because of his range.

Akali - This matchup depends only on Kennen's early game, if you play passively and let Akali farm up, get gold and experience - she'll own you after level 6, but if you play aggresively, trying to deny her as much cs as possible and stunning her whenever possible, you can get a good lead on her since she isn't the tankiest top laner.

Darius - Darius can absolutely destroy Kennen in lane if Kennen positions himself badly and doesn't poke Darius whenever possible, but all Kennen needs to do to win is to keep throwing Thundering Shurikens at Darius and not get close to him.

Elise - This matchup depends on Kennen's ability to creepscore under tower, because if the Elise isn't new, he'll know that he can easily force an uncareful Kennen out of lane. But after lv6 Kennen can beat Elise 1v1 because of Slicing Maelstrom, it lasts longer than Rappel.

Fiora - Here it all comes down to the players, if Fiora plays aggressive, and Kennen doesn't do anything about it, Fiora obviously wins - but Kennen can poke Fiora from way beyond her Lunge range and force her out of lane.

Gangplank - Kennen wins this matchup easily before lv6, but after lv6, Gangplank will start coming back, as he can use Remove Scurvy to remove Kennen's stun and make Slicing Maelstrom almost useless. Overall this matchup goes to Gangplank because of his ability to gain gold across the map and Remove Scurvy stun removal.

Garen - This matchup goes to Kennen simply because of Garen's short range and no real gap closers, as soon as Garen uses Decisive Strike, Kennen can Lightning Rush away and poke with Thundering Shuriken.

Irelia - Irelia can cause some serious damage to Kennen if played well, but Irelia needs to abuse the early game because once Kennen gets Lightning Rush he can simply get away from Irelia every time she jumps on him.

Jarvan IV - Jarvan IV will get bullied a lot before he hits level 6, but if he can force Kennen out of lane atleast once and gain an exp advantage (preferably with a gank), he can get a kill once he hits level 6 with Cataclysm, but it works only if Kennen doesn't have Slicing Maelstrom.

Jax - In early game, Jax will get murdered, but once he hits level 6 Kennen better start roaming or he'll get completely destroyed. This realy depends on how well Kennen freezes the lane and how well Jax farms under tower early.

Jayce - This depends on how well Jayce can land his Shock Blast, and how well Kennen can land Thundering Shuriken. This is a strictly poke lane, but after lv6 Kennen can get a kill because of Slicing Maelstrom and because Jayce doesn't gain anything from reaching lv6.

Lee Sin - This all depends on who pokes more before lv6 and who hits lv6 first, nether of them can get a kill pre-6 if both play it out well, so it all depends on who gets ultimate first. Because Lee Sin can make Slicing Maelstrom useless by just kicking Kennen away.

Malphite - This lane completely goes to Kennen as long as he keeps landing Thundering Shurikens and doesn't let Malphite's Granite Shield come up. Also if Malphite plays aggresively Kennen still wins, because Malphite will run out of mana quickly.

Mordekaiser - Mordekaiser will most likely win this lane, because... Well he's Mordekaiser and pokes anyone in lane easily and gains a shield to block and poke back. But if played very carefuly, it's possible for Kennen to poke Mordekaiser out of lane with Thundering Shuriken.

Nasus - Kennen wins this lane easily, as long as he keeps his distance from Nasus. But he can't leave the lane for even on moment, or Nasus will start farming Siphoning Strike and still make a comeback later.

Nunu - This will most likely go to Nunu because rank 2 Consume will heal up Kennen's poke easily, while poking back with Ice Blast. But if Nunu plays passively or Kennen never gets in range for Ice Blast, it will be a very boring laning phase.

Olaf - This lane all depends on how well Kennen positions himself, if he ever gets in range for Reckless Swing he will be forced to recall or even die, but if he positions himself he can get an early lead, and transfer it to late game advantage even know that Olaf can become uncc'able.

Renekton - This fully depends on Renekton's plays, if he manages to Slice and Dice in range to Kennen, he can force him away easily, but if Kennen plays very safely and positions himself right, Renekton will eventualy get poked down and forced to run.

Rengar - All Kennen needs to win this matchup is to keep poking Rengar with Thundering Shuriken whenever he leaves cover, and to stay away from bushes from which Rengar might jump out.

Riven - This matchup depends purely on how well Riven dodges Thundering Shurikens, because she has good dodging abilities, but using them well is quite difficult, so most of the time Kennen zones out Riven from any farm and make her quite weak late game.

Rumble - If Rumble is a bully like most people, he can completely destroy Kennen because he has a shield to absorb Thundering Shuriken and can poke very well from far and from close range.

Ryze - Ryze wins this matchup, because he has no skillshots and can lock up Kennen with Rune Prison as soon as he casts Lightning Rush to go in for a stun. Ryze can also push a lot stronger than Kennen and he can be a lot tankier while maintaining a lot of burst damage.

Shen - Then matchup is technicly won by Kennen because he can zone Shen very well and make him cs under tower, but Shen does that very well, as well as he can gain assists arround the globe with Stand United, and a single gank can turn everything arround because Shen accepts ganks a lot better than Kennen with Shadow Dash

Singed - This matchup is won by Kennen if he keeps his distance, but if Singed starts proxy early, Kennen will have almost no creepscore, as he can't push waves fast early on before Lightning Rush and Electrical Surge are both maxed. So it depends on the way how Singed decides to play.

Sion - All that Kennen needs to dominate this lane is keeping his distance, and constant poke from Thundering Shuriken, Sion isn't the best champion for cs'ing under tower, and if Kennen keeps his distance, Sion won't be able to stun.

Trundle - This matchup goes to Kennen's favor, as he can poke from such range where Trundle can't even dream about reaching. And Kennen is more useful late game, so Trundle loses this matchup hard.

Tryndamere - This combination can be won by ether one of them, depending on how both of them play. If Tryndamere keeps his rage up, he can go in on Kennen eventualy and crit him quite a bit, but if Kennen plays carefuly and keeps his distance so that Tryndamere can't reach him - it's an easy lane for him.

Vladimir - Kennen loses this lane, because no matter how much you poke Vladimir, he'll simply spell vamp it all back up, so you need to wait until lv6, and all-in him if he's pushed up too far or wastes his Sanguine Pool.

Xin Zhao - Kennen wins this lane with a little bit of ingenuity, what you need to do is never waste the passive mark from Electrical Surge, and have it ready if Xin Zhao jumps on you, so you can stun him quickly and Lightning Rush to safety before he knocks you up.

Yorick - Early game Kennen wins, simply because of Yorick's high mana usage, but after level6 if he buys some mana regen items, it can be a very good match, since Slicing Maelstrom randomly picks a target, and Yorick's ghouls can take some extra shots making Yorick take less damage.

Zac - Kennen wins this matchup, since he deals a lot more damage, and can hit Zac for a lot of damage if he tried to cs or pick up the blobs from his passive for healing. Also when Zac's passive activates upon death, Kennen can simply Lightning Rush over all of them and then Electrical Surge to kill them all.

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Frequently Asked Questions

- How is kennen better than a bruiser top?
- Because kennen deals a lot of aoe damage instead of single target.

- Why is pikachu a ninja now?
- Because he ran away from ash and needs to hide his face.

- I wanna do AD kennen but you don't speak about it... why?
- Because I don't find it viable...

- Why should I follow your guide?
- Because I made it from personal experience and I find that this works best.

- What happens if you feed pikachu?
- He throws a shuriken at your carry and it turns into 4v5.

Guide Top


Kennen is a very fun champion to play, but requires a lot of practise and good timing to make full use of his kit. It's best to play a couple co-op games before going into ranked, because if you go straight into ranked, you will get destroyed by experienced players.

A word from BligenN