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Kennen Build Guide by SiAreEx

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League of Legends Build Guide Author SiAreEx

Kennen: The Pint-Sized Ninja

SiAreEx Last updated on January 29, 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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Hello all, I'm SiAreEx, and i have Kennen for you today, I've been drifting off of the Tanky DPS champions and have gone more into AP Carry/ Support style champions, so this will be a little bit different than most of my usual builds that you do see. So enjoy the Guide. :]

Here's some music to go along with the build if you want :D

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There exists an ancient order originating in the Ionian Isles dedicated to the preservation of balance. Order, chaos, light, darkness -- all things must exist in perfect harmony for such is the way of the universe. This order is known as the Kinkou and it employs a triumvirate of shadow warriors to uphold its causes in the world. Kennen is one of these shadow warriors, entrusted with the sacred duty of Coursing the Sun - tirelessly conveying the justice of the Kinkou.

Kennen was born in Bandle City and it was said that in his first living moments he bolted first from the womb and second from the midwife who delivered him. His parents had thought that he would outgrow his boundless energy, but as he matured his energy found no limits and was matched only by his unnerving speed. Despite his astonishing gifts, he remained unnoticed (or at least uncaught, as he was quite the prankster) until, on a dare, he ran straight up the great outer wall of the Placidium. When word of this feat reached Kinkou ears, Kennen was quickly and quietly brought in for an audience. He found that the role of the Heart of the Tempest suited him, frenetically delivering both the word and the punishments of the Kinkou across the realm. He now works with his fellows Akali and Shen to enforce the balance of Valoran. This hallowed pursuit has unsurprisingly led the triumvirate to the Fields of Justice.

''The Heart of the Tempest beats eternal...and those beaten remember eternally.''
Let's put this easily, Kennen is a burst mage champion with a passive that will annoy the living bejeebus out of the opposing team and one of the best team fight ultimates in the game.

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-Stuns. 'Nuff said.
-Strong mid/late game.
-Great burst
-Amazing ganker
-One of the best teamfight ultimates
____SPACE____ ____SPACE____
-Not good in melee situations
-Needs positioning
-Needs some skill to use

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Kennen's Skills

  • Thundering Shuriken - Kennen throws a fast moving shuriken towards a location, causing damage and adding a Mark of the Storm to any opponent that it hits.
    This in my opinion is kinda what makes Kennen a ninja, Flippin' Shuriken! It's a skillshot based ability, but isn't too hard to land because it has a fairly high speed and also fairly long for a skillshot. (Not as godly of a range as Nidalee's Javelin Toss!!)

  • Electrical Surge - Kennen passively deals extra damage and adds a Mark of the Storm to his target every few attacks, and he can activate this ability to damage and add another Mark of the Storm to targets who are already marked.
    Lets put this into more detail. This is a Passive/Active ability. The passive is every 5 basic attacks, your next BASIC attack will deal scaling percentage of your base damage as magic damage ( i know, seems confusing ), and will apply a Mark of the Storm, which we will get to later. The active part of this ability is that anyone with a Mark of the Storm applied to them will take magic damage, but will only work if a Mark of the Storm is already applied.

  • Lightning Rush - Kennen morphs into a lightning form, enabling him to pass through units. Any enemy unit he runs through takes damage and gets a Mark of the Storm. You return 40 Energy when an enemy is hit, but can only have this effect once per Lightning Rush.
  • Slicing Maelstrom -Summons a magical storm that deals magic damage and applies a Mark of the Storm to a random enemy champion near Kennen every 0.5/0.4/0.33 seconds. This storm attacks up to 6/10/15 times and cannot hit the same target more than 3 times. This is the reason Kennen is amazing in teamfight situations. This ultimate at max levels can hit every champ on the enemy team in the radius 3 times. And will stun. 'Nuff flippin' said.
  • Mark Of The Storm -Kennen's abilities add Marks of the Storm to opponents. Upon receiving 3 Marks of Storm, an opponent is stunned and Kennen receives 25 energy. Has a diminished effect if done twice within 7 seconds.
    This is what i was talking about. Easy explanation. 3 Marks = Stun. Stun= Win. Win= IP, etc. etc.

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

This are the runes I use on Kennen, which focuses on early game dominance with Ability Power Quintessences and Glyphs. Sadly, The Marks are the only viable option on Kennen since Magic Penetration is the only good Mark for Mage type champs.

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

For Marks, i like to use Magic Penetration for some early game damage alongside my Glyphs and Quints.

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Seal of Scaling Health

Greater Seal of Magic Resist

Seals can be switched to anything you like really, but i use Armor seals for some extra durability against pesky AD champions. But HP Per Lvl Seals and Magic Resist Seals work just as well

Greater Glyph of Ability Power

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction

Glyphs are fairly interchangeable on Kennen, Though i prefer Ability Power Glyphs, both Magic Resist and Cooldown Reduction go well on Kennen.


Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Quintessences, your most powerful rune. For Quintessences, i like to take Flat Ability Power for early game dominance in the solo making, making farming with Thundering Shuriken a breeze and makes your harass just a tad bit stronger.

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For Kennen, i prefer to master theOffense Tree and take 9 points in the Defense Tree for some extra durability.

The Masteries above show what i use for him. These give me heavy early and late game power as well as some early game durability through Veteran's Scars and Durability .

Taking Mental Force , Arcane Knowledge , Blast , and Archmage give me heavy early game dominance alongside with Executioner means it's GG for them :D

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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

This skill sequence focuses on doing heavy damage early game with Thundering Shuriken and mid-game damage with Electrical Surge, only taking Lightning Rush at Level 3 to apply the Mark of the Storm early and mid game.

Always Take your Ultimate at Levels 6, 11, and 16 to make sure you have it for teamfights and it will keep your team on the dominating side of the map. ( Note that Slicing Maelstrom only strikes Champions and has a relativity long cooldown)

The reasoning behind maxing out Thundering Shuriken is because it has massive damage when maxed out early, and makes the cooldown about 2 seconds, making it spammable and fairly easy to land and dealing large portions of damage with, making them go back to base more than they'd want to.

The reason i max Electrical Surge seconds is because during the early laning phase, you can easily harass with the passive of the skill itself, making it good to deal some quick damage to a pesky opposing laner.

I max Lightning Rush last because Electrical Surge and Thundering Shuriken are in my opinion your best source of damage. You have to be in melee range for Lightning Rush, but Electrical Surge and Thundering Shuriken have good range, making it much more viable to upgrade these 2 skills over Lightning Rush.

Of course, like most Champions, you'll need your ultimate at 6, 11, and 16 for the earliest way to access your ultimate. Since Slicing Maelstrom is such a strong ultimate move, it'll be in your best effort to save this for large teamfights or you know you can use it to bait a gank.

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Summoner Spells

I take Flash and Cleanse as Summoner Spells. My reasoning for taking Cleanse is because in a big teamfight, you're obviously going to be a squishy target, and if you use Slicing Maelstrom, a good timed CC like Leona's Solar Flare of Sion's Cryptic Gaze will just stop you in your tracks and now your ultimate has gone to waste for another 100 seconds or so. So Cleanse can easily counter that, making your life as Kennen a breeze :]

Now onto Flash. Flash on Kennen can be used Offensively and of course Defensively. Using Flash Offensively will mean a Flash right into your Slicing Maelstrom and they'll have almost no time to react. Using Flash Defensively will mean your using this to move over a specific piece of terrain to get out of danger or to juke and incoming skillshot based disable like Morgana's Dark Binding or Ashe's Enchanted Crystal Arrow. So Flash is a universal spell in a nutshell :]

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Riot's Recommended Items

My Item Build

Item Sequence

Sorcerer's Shoes

Rabadon's Deathcap

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Zhonya's Hourglass

Lich Bane

This will be your end game item setup on Kennen. This will explain my reasoning for these items and what to start with and how to build these certain items.

Starting Items

Alrighty, there is two ways you can go for your early game. You can choose Movement Speed over Ability Power to start by taking Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions and getting an early pair of Sorcerer's Shoes, OR you can take an Amplifying Tome and a single Health Potion, and getting an early Will of the Ancients. As said before, it's your choice.

Early Game

So, We're here at the early game stage, you've gotten some good farm and you're ready to head back to base for some items. Judging by what you started with first will determine your first investment in the game. If you started with Boots of Speed and 3 health potions, then your first item will most likely be Sorcerer's Shoes. On the other hand, if you started with an Amplifying Tome and 1 Health Potion, then you'll end up buying a Hextech Revolver as your first item, and upgrading it into a Will of the Ancients.


You're middle game will always turn out different than before, so any of the items that are in the guide can help you at any situation. Most of the time, I've farmed enough kills to get some durability to make up for Kennen's naturally low health pool, which means i'll have farmed a Rylai's Crystal Scepter for some durability, Ability Power, and a slow with any magic damage that is dealt to that target with any of my spells.And onto my favorite item for Kennen, Will of the Ancients. Will of the Ancients will give an aura , which does apply to you as well, giving you a bunus 30 Ability Power( Making it to 80 bonus Ability Power) and 25% Spell Vamp, which means that anytime you do damage with your abilities, you'll recieve 25% of the damage as health, which can help you in a teamfight or early to stay in lane much longer.

Late Game!

the Bread N' Butter of every Ability Power based Champion, Rabadon's Deathcap. This item will increase your base Ability Power by 140 AND will increase it further due to a passive 30% increase in maximum Ability Power, making you an unstoppable force. This is the item i pick up before Lich Bane because this will make Lich Bane more effective in later stages of the game. Now, the reason i use Lich Bane. Not only does this item give you 8% more Movement Speed, but it also allows you have a Sheen based passive, meaning every time you use an ability, your next basic attack will damage based of 100% of your Ability Power. So landing a basic attack after using Thundering Shuriken will deal too much damage to explain later in the game. Then to Zhonya's Hourglass. Plain n' simple, 100 Ability Power, 45 Armor, and an active that leaves you invincible for 2 seconds. Making you tank any disables or high damage spells for 2 seconds, so timing is always key.

Situational Items

Getting this means you have an obvious problem; AD Carries. Yes, you may miss out on extra Ability Power, but it isn't worth dying for. This items gives amazing amounts of Armor and a passive that deal 30% of there basic attacks as Magic damage, and most people won't build Magic Resist to counter this most of the time, making it a good item to grab in case of an emergency.
Yup, Exact opposite of the above, this is an item against Ability Power based champions, Gives 76 Magic Resist, tons of health regen, and another Movement Speed Buff. This can also help you in sticky situations alongside Cleanse, making for a qick and clean escape. This is your most powerful AP Carry counter item.
Banshee's Veil is also a good AP Carry counter item, Magic Resist,Health, Mana(Un-needed on Kennen), and the main reason for this item is for a shield that blacks one incoming enemy skill every 45 seconds, making it good to block Karthus' Requiem if Zhonya's Hourglass' active is down, and vise versa.
Mercury's Treads can be a man/woman's best friend. Merc Treads adds Tenacity (lower Crowd Control duration), Magic Resist, and Movespeed ( Like every other pair of friggin' boots ). You can easily replace Sorcerer's Shoes if you need the CC Reduction.
YES! Zilean's ultimate in an item ( Just in case Zilean isn't on your team :3 ). This gives bonus Armor, MR ( Magic Resist ), and a revival every 5 minutes. As said, all these are situational, so when in doubt, have an open slot for some helpful items.
Abyssal Mask is a good replacement item. Why? It gives 70 Ability Power, 57 Magic Resist, and it lowers enemy Magic Resist by 20. This makes your spells deal a little more damage and gives you more durability against AP Carry/ Caster Champions in lane

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Farming can be fairly basic as Kennen. Your main use for farming is basic attacks and Thundering Shuriken. Always note that while farming, you can use the passive from electric surge to harass enemy and add a Mark of the Storm if you want to Stun N' Run for a quick harass and get back to farming your lane for the extra Gold and Experience. As Kennen, getting good CS early in the laning phase, you'll make one of the best assets to your team due to your teamfight capabilities and signle target burst damage with your basic combo ( Lightning Rush, Thundering Shuriken, and Electrical Surge ). As Kennen, you'll be soloing the middle lane, unless you play an AD Carry style Kennen, which i will not mention in this guide. Solo Kennen is good for AP due to the fact that any AP based Champion with good farm is definatly dangerous. Solo laning means you have a better chance to last hit and have a level advantage over the other two lanes if well farmed.

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Of course, no one does it better than Phreak. Kennen hasn't had any changes that i know of. So here is his spotlight.
/league-of-legends/ability/lightning-rush-247 /league-of-legends/champion/kennen-49

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Ranked Play

Now for Ranked Play, alongside my friends, i play Kennen as a solo mid AP Mage or bottom lane AD Carry style Kennen, but for this segment, i will focus on Solo Mid Kennen.

As always, you'll want to PROTECT YOUR JUNGLER at Blue Buff if he does start there. There's a possiblility where you may need to pull the Ancient Golem.( Outa-attacking or using an ability to make sure your jungler doesn't take to much damage, usually a ranged champion pulls. ) After the Ancient Golem is gone, you may return to lane. It's best to focus mainly on farming in the early stages of the game because Gold and Experience is what Kennen really depends on, but towards mid game, you can give up farm for kills by either playing aggressive in your lane, or ganking top or bottom lane in case they need some extra assistance. The thing about Kennen is that if he lands his full combo, he can ensure a kill via gank or aggressive lane pushing. Around mid/late game, when Slicing Maelstrom is most useful, you'll either know when to use your ultimate, or need to coordinate with your teammates to find out the best time to use it, since it deals very high damage in a short amount of time, making it game-breaking if used well in a fight.

Here this shows good timing for Kennen's Lightning Rush, he's able to escape a gank with a very low health pool, making sure sure he's alive and well :D

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Well, since we have reached the end of the guide, I'll give a quick re-cap.

Kennen thrives in solo lane situations and teamfights due to Slicing Maelstrom and makes a great ganker. These Pros make Kennen a very viable choice for your team

Thank you for reading my guide to Kennen, The Heart Of The Tempest. :D