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Kennen Build Guide by paintrainmcbane

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League of Legends Build Guide Author paintrainmcbane

Pop, Shock, and Lock - How to Kennen

paintrainmcbane Last updated on April 26, 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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 21

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After a series of particularly poor matches, I've decided I need to completely re-think my build, and perhaps some basic mechanics of this game or just uninstall it.

Hecarim crouched low in the bushes, signaling quietly to Ahri that he was nearby. He watched patiently, a hunter waiting for an opportune moment to strike. He had chosen his prey, and the scent of blood marked Kennen for sure death! Sure enough, as the wave of minions pushed forward, Kennen was in hot pursuit and Hecarim knew that the moment was right! Hecarim lept in, swiping feverishly at the tiny ninja! Ahri lept from behind her own minions throwing white hot balls of death! ...and that was the last thing that they can clearly remember happening before everything went bright white, and then suddenly dark...

Kennen ripped between them with blinding speed! Nigh impossible to target, his Thundering Shuriken striking suddenly and without warning. Slicing Maelstrom lit the field up brightly, lighting strikes stunning his enemies cold in their tracks as they tried to escape their sure demise. A cry of "DOUBLE KILL!" swept through the air, Kennen looked questioningly into the sky for the omniscient voice, shrugged and zipped off into the sunset.

*** *** ***

Good day summoners. Paintrainmcbane here, bringing to you my interpretation of how to properly Kennen. I can't say that I have an inexhaustible amount of time playing him, I would say I only have about 40 games total with him at this time. I do not know every nuance of Kennen, and perhaps will never master this deadly ninja, but am creating this guide to aide my progress down the path to greatness, both in documenting my progress, and learning from peer review.

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-10% CDR
-Move Speed
-Map mobility
-More XP

From the offensive tree :

4/4 Mental Force - Ability Power boosts all of your abilities

4/4 Sorcery - Cool-down reduction

1/1 Arcane Knowledge - Magic Pen means more hurtin'

No need going defensive, they can't hurt you when they are stunned/dead

From Utility :

1/1 Summoner's Insight I snag Teleport and Flash, this makes Flash more available, and a faster cast time on Teleport.

3/3 Expanded Mind 10 more energy

1/1 Improved Recall Not critical, but helps for clearing a few minion waves in the enemy territory and getting out before you are converged upon.

4/4 Swiftness I like to get Hextech Revolver before my boots, this with Lightning Rush will save your tail if you are in a pinch.

3/3 Transmutation Ideally you will just be farming up a storm until you get your Hextech Revolver, but people will be picking on you to try and interrupt your farm. This allows you to hang back and just throw your Q and maybe follow with a W on occasion to gradually get HP back. Can keep you around when you may have otherwise gone back. Bad idea if they have an aggressive jungle.

4/4 Awareness You will likely be mid, as such you should be leveling faster than everyone else, including your lane opponent. This helps keep you a step ahead of your enemy.

1/1 Sage as well keeps you ahead of the competition.

3/3 Intelligence 6% cool-down reduction

1/1 Mastermind makes Flash and Teleport more avaialable.

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration x9 - Magic Pen makes for more hurt. Don't take my word for it, check out this video from Syrup.

Greater Seal of Meditation x9 - I focus on CDR and energy regen to make your abilities available more frequently. Many folks will tell you that Energy Regen runes are "a waste of money". I'm not sure why this is, in my mind having your resources more available is a good thing? I suppose if you have too much and are lacking damage then yes, that is bad. Anyways, I'll be updating this with what I find out, for now I will say that it's my preference to use energy runes for my Seals, but this may not be the best choice.

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction x9 - Cool-down reduction means more abilities spamming.

Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction x2 - Just a bit more CDR

Greater Quintessence of Meditation x1 - Yup, just a bit more energy regen.

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Pros / Cons

+ Abilities almost always ready to go
+ Mobility
+ Lane Sustain
+ Easy Farm
+ Is a doctor and a ninja

- Very weak at start
- Skill Shot reliant
- Not much item flexibility
- Needs help getting stuff from the top shelf

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In the pros/cons I mention that there is not much room for variety with your item build, and here I will describe my reasoning.

To start, pick up an Amplifying Tome and a Health Potion. The Amplifying Tome adds to your Q, and since we don't have any AP from our runes, the boost is much needed. This makes for a little more benefit from Transmutation as well. The Health Pot is for when mistakes are made. Perhaps some of you don't make them, but I do and in turn like a little extra HP to keep me in lane until I have my 765 gold needed for Hextech Revolver.

If things are going well, try and farm up the other 350 for your Boots of Speed before going back, but you have decent mobility so you should not have to worry. Once your Hextech Revolver is purchased, you should be nigh impossible to budge from your lane. You can flash and E away from ganks very easily, so much so that I rarely even bother warding my bushes most times.

I use Teleport for my first trip back. I normally stay in my lane until it's back and then signal for someone to move in, letting them know to be ready to clean up if there's anything left after I Teleport to them, bust out my ultimate, and then laugh maniacally while the enemy team tries to flee.

By this point, you should have some kills or at the very least assists. I purchase Rylai's Crystal Scepter for the extra health and the slowing effect, making you one kiting mofo. If people thought it was tough to get away from you before, now they will be SHOCKED at your stopping power.

Beyond this, Boots of Lucidity put you right at about 35% cool-down reduction. 40% being the cap, your abilities are as such that you will not need the other 5%.

So now you can spam your abilities like a fiend, and they slow the enemy, but by now you've instilled fear in their hearts, and they may build Tenacity or Magic Resist to try to counter you. My next purchase at this point is Lich Bane. You can spam like made, but you may not hurt quite as much as you would like. Once you have Lich Bane, putting an Auto-Attack in between your Thundering Shurikens will be insane damage, especially as you will be doing this every 1.5 seconds.

It is fairly cheap (490 gold) to upgrade your Hextech Revolver to a Will of the Ancients. Don't worry about this until the team phase, and even then if you are the only AP, you can put this upgrade off for a while.

After completing Lich Bane, Rabadon's Deathcap is a solid investment. Flat AP and more AP based on a % of your existing AP.

Zhonya's Hourglass is incredible for zipping in, laying down the pain, and then ignoring the retaliation (if any). Very handy for turret dives.

And that is that.

If they are very CC heavy, I will get a Moonflair Spellblade in place of Zhonya's Hourglass for the tenacity.

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Summoner Spells

Teleport and Flash. All day every day. Keeps you alive and gets you places. Other spells such as Exhaust or Ignite could be used in place of Teleport, but my build aims to capitalize on using Teleport offensively.

Personally, I feel Teleport is almost like cheating. If you want to go back and buy, just push your lane for a moment, Recall, Shop, and TP back before your enemy has had time to push you back to the turret (unless you like hanging out that far back).

You can also Teleport to Teemo's mushrooms, Jarvan IV's Lance, or friendly wards around the map, which can really be abused for excellent ganking opportunities.

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Skill Sequence

Keeping it as simple as possible, start with your Q, put 1 point W, then 1 point E, from there max Q, then W, then R, then E.

Mark of the Storm Your enemies when being struck with an ability, will receive a mark of the storm which lasts 8 seconds. If they reach 3 marks, they are stunned and you are returned 25 energy. The effect is less effective if it happens more than once in 7 seconds, which believe me will happen with this build.

Thundering Shuriken Mark of the Storm is your bread n' butter, and Thundering Shuriken is the knife you apply it with. Incredible range on this ability, and it can surprisingly accurate. Use this to last hit minions initially so you can stay at a safe distance instead of getting into the enemy zone for your Auto-attack.

As minions block this, and your AA is very weak, I urge you to use this for farming for your first 4 levels. Being an energy champion, you don't suffer at all from continually spamming, so if it is ready to use, throw a Shuriken, if anything it will help zone your enemy as they will rightly be afraid to take too many of these.

Electrical Surge in continuing with my earlier analogy, with Thundering Shuriken being your knife, Electrical Surge is really how you DISH out the damage. *rimshot* But seriously, this will apply an additional Mark of the Storm after dealing damage to a target that has already been marked.

Every 5th attack you will also apply a Mark of the Storm and do additional damage.

So, when you do smack someone with your Thundering Shurken, follow it up with an Electrical Surge, you have 8 seconds to do so, so don't get all crazy. Once you have them at 2 stacks though, things change a bit, if you are wise you will have a mark ready to apply with your next auto-attack. If you haven't had a chance to set it up your auto-attack charge, then I suggest using E to zip in for that last stun, and then Q to add insult to injury, or to secure the kill depending on how badly you just wailed on them.

Speaking of your E...

Lightning Rush I'm done with the food analogy, this is really what sets you apart from everyone else. Increases your move speed and armor, while damaging enemies and applying a mark to them.

It is very tempting to want to run through the enemy minions and the enemy themselves with this, blasting everyone with a surge and watching the sparks fly. You will be doing this, but not right away. Put one point in this initially for the utility of it, then worry about it later. Save this as your ace in the hole. If you open up with it, and blast all your moves, even with epic cool-down reduction and energy regeneration, you will still have a moment where you can't do squat. Don't give them that window to damage/destroy you.

This move along with flash will get you out of damn near any situation.

Slicing Maelstrom randomly marks nearby enemies while damaging them continuously. This ult by itself is devastating, but paired with even 1 other AOE ultimate, and you have yourself a good game. Try and Mark someone with your Q, Pop your E, then R, mark a few enemies, throw a Q if you can, then smack them down with your W. Any survivors should feel the wrath of your Thundering Shuriken.

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Just a little more in depth on the farming. This build focuses on basically last hitting minions with your Q until you can purchase your Hextech Revolver, which with the extra spell vamp should allow you to start being more aggressive, actually opening up on minions with E, then W as the spell vamp should let you recover from any harassment while moving out.

As mentioned before, Teleport is key to this build to keep you in your lane getting XP, and then for making surprise visits to the other lanes.

Using E then W will clear minion waves quickly, so aside from the danger of harassment, getting too far up will of course make it difficult for your jungle to gank, as well as make it difficult for you to get away from gank attempts. Really only clear minions this way if you are going to push, or need to clear a lane before joining back in the team fight.

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Creeping / Jungling

Jungle Kennen is not wise. I don't suggest it under any circumstance. You have energy and not mana, so the blue buff would only benefit you for the 20% cool-down reduction. Following my build, you will be close to cap soon enough that it shouldn't be an issue. A note on this, if your jungle wants you to take blue because they don't need it (ie. Lee Sin, Shyvanna, Dr. Mundo) politely decline. Let them know you don't need it, and it's probably better for them to get the solo xp from it. At the very least, see if another mana user on the team (like your support) could benefit from it.

The red buff is also not beneficial to Kennen, as by the time you are ramped up and ready to start doing damage (mid/late game) you should already have Rylai's Crystal Scepter for it's slowing effect from your abilities. At most you will AA between abilities, so you won't be benefiting from the mini ignite.

All that to say what I said already, don't jungle with Kennen, and don't worry about the buffs. As mid, try and help ward Dragon/Baron as you should have plenty of gold to spare from a high CS and hopefully some kills.

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Team Work

Your team will only like you for your ultimate. Ok, that's not true, you also have a sweet /dance! But seriously, having even just one other person take a solid AOE ult will make for some epic team fight destruction. Amumu for example can stun the whole enemy team first, allowing you to freely mark them up, and then rock your ultimate for continued stun goodness as well as mass face melting.

Your Q is excellent harass/poke. An enemy team getting ready to make a push can only eat so many of these before the damage needs to be avoided (stepping back) or healed (summoner spells, cooldowns). The range is such that you can easily poke the Bruiser or AD carry without having to worry too much about getting thrown around by a tank.

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Focus on CS and assists, and the kills will come. Kennen's abilities make him an incredible asset in team fights, so don't get caught up in pushing a lane when you could be saving your team! The focus on CDR and energy regen should never leave you standing around auto-attacking waiting for cool downs to finish, or energy to come back, as such, if you can hurt someone, then do so.

A final note, I thank any and all that have read this guide. This is planned to be a continual work-in-progress as I could stand to get some flair going (banners/page breaks/videos, better formatting) and also the game does change frequently with patches and what-not, who's to say what the future may hold?

Thanks to the mobafire community in general, the information here has helped me to improve my game, so I'm hoping to contibute a bit from what I have learned.

I'm going to wrap this up for now. I'm going to publish to get some eyes on it, and hopefully some feedback. Apologies in advance for the rough-draft format, my sense of humor, and any grammar spelling mistakes that I missed while proof-reading, but will see as soon as I publish it.