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Thresh General Guide by EatMyChidorii

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League of Legends Build Guide Author EatMyChidorii

[S3] REVAMPED: Thresh, the Chain Carry (Top Lane Dominance)

EatMyChidorii Last updated on March 7, 2013
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Support Role
Ranked #16 in
Support Role
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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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Thresh is a support as many of you know. However, not many of you know that Thresh can also be utilized as a full-on carry champion. Throw him into top lane and let his damage do the talking. The souls he can collect from freely solo farming and the harass/poke he can dish out with his needlessly long chain will both build up over time to slowly give Thresh the advantage in lane.

Death Sentence grants more and more bonus damage with your basic attacks if you know how and when to use it correctly/properly. Farm well, yes, but you can also time your basic attacks against your opponent to maximize your harassment damage to eventually win your lane.

Mixing together Damnation (your passive) and Death Sentence can provide a strong laning phase for your top solo Thresh.

Thresh also has a great mix of crowd control like The Box and Death Sentence to counter top champions and jungle champions that require movement (which is basically every champion except Karthus).

Mainly, can counter champions like and . Thresh is also generally a great person to have in team fights. You can protect your ad carry and squishy champions while also dealing out an immense amount of damage to surely confirm an advantage for your team!

And you know what makes this build especially good? Thresh's chain is super, super long. Like, really long. Like, it's pretty good. Real. REAL. Not just his Death Sentence, but also his "auto-attacks" or "basic attacks". They extend to give you a good attack range to really piss off your laning enemy. They'll get pissed at how good you can harass with your auto-attacks. Range + Death Sentence's Passive damage build-up over time = win.

So are you tired of playing boring, old SUPPORT THRESH? Switch to TOP THRESH today and start dominating Summoner's Rift! He bursts, melts, tanks, and supports all at the same time!

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Pro's and Con's

  • Surprising Damage
  • Great burst
  • "Second" ADC to do more DPS damage
  • Savior with Support Skills
  • Good Crowd Control Abilities
  • Unique Character with Effective Attack Speed
  • Good range
  • Lots of Diverse Building Adaptation Abilities
  • Infinite possibilities for setting up pro plays
  • Squishy/Glass Cannon Type Build = Not very beefy
  • Skills have more of a support theme than a carry theme
  • Can't bruise as well as others
  • Crowd Control highly effective against Thresh
  • Slow movement speed
  • Not great early game abilities

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Summoner's Spells


are my main choices. Thresh is generally a slow champion that tends to get caught easily with barely any great escape tools. His skills: Death Sentence and The Box will both help, but even after doing these spells, Thresh will still be moving away at a slow speed. Fast champions (or champions with fast builds) that have good crowd control (or even just one stun) can stop Thresh from escaping.
  • Ghost is great for Thresh and not just because Thresh's movement animation changes from walking to floating when his movement speed is high enough. Ghost provides a greater rate of survivabilty and killing when chasing enemies.
  • Flash is great for basically every champion. Again, adds to the rate of escaping, surviving, and killing enemies during a chase. Flash also provides a preemptive ability on Thresh. Just as people Flash and Rocket Grab as Blitzcrank, you can Flash and Death Sentence as Thresh to hook enemy champions (or minions) to pull them closer, pull yourself closer, or pull yourself away.

Other choices include:


These all make viable choices.
  • Ignite secures kills and lowers the health regeneration of enemies who need it like Swain and Singed.
  • Cleanse is a summoner spell I usually grab on AD Carries. It gets you out of crowd control effects. You will need to be able to do this since this build runs off damage per second. It's a DPS/On-Hit/Attack Speed build. You need to be able to be doing as much as damage you can as fast as you can.
  • Heal and Barrier provide Thresh with longer survival time during fights. You can also use these two spells as bait for those who think you're about to die. As this build does not contain much items or runes/masteries to give an advantage with tankiness, these summoner spells can help make up for it just a little. The build doesn't have lots of health or magic resist, but your passive can make up for your armor (sort of, not much though). These spells are good help for this disadvantage.

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Runes and Masteries

The runes and masteries are pretty straight forward. Maximizing attack speed and damage while adding in a bit of AP to scale.


The runes work very simply. This is a DPS/On-Hit Thresh build. Focus on attack speed and Hybrid Damage build-up per second. I gave you runes for attack speed and ability power to account for the fact that there is not too much ability power already in your build. This way, you can deal a good damage output while maintaining attack speed to do damage per second.

These runes let you do outrageous damage that your opponents were not expecting. You can also consider movement speed quints as Thresh is generally a slow champion, as well as attack damage quints for bonus damage. Grab armor penetration or hybrid penetration if you need to shred a tanky team as the build does not offer much shredding potential.

The runes in the picture are the ones I like to use as Thresh. They give me that attack damage that the item build lacks. These runes allow me to focus on fully building attack speed and damage per second items to my liking without worrying too much about attack damage, yet, I like the hybrid fact to this build, so take Ability Power Quintessences more often than not. Especially if you can't collect souls or farm.


If you've never played Thresh or AD Carries in general, I'll explain the masteries to you. Now, as you can see, instead of boosting armor penetration, I instead put the points into a percentage increase for your ability power. This will really help with your Malady later on. This build focuses on "on-hit" effects.There's also a mastery called Spellsword . It deals 5% of your ability power as magic damage per basic attack. Sounds a lot like Malady right? Don't forget to take this mastery point! I feel it's really crucial to the build. The masteries also add a buff for your summoner spell, Ghost. Be sure to change this mastery point if you decide not to take an offensive summoner spell.

Basically, you stack attack speed on attack speed and throw in a Malady and some ability power. The masteries give 21 in offense and 9 in defense. The offensive masteries give you bonus attack speed, bonus attack damage, bonus ability power, and a bit of bonus health and armor for defense.

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Riot Games' Definiton of Thresh's Skills

// Thresh does not gain armor per level. Instead, Thresh collects the souls of dead enemies by walking near. Souls permanently grant armor and ability power.
Champions and large minions always drop a harvestable soul. Small minions only sometimes drop a soul.

// Damnation is a passive ability that causes enemy units to leave their souls behind when they die near Thresh. Regular minions and neutral monsters will sometimes leave a soul when they die. Enemy champions as well as large minions (siege minion or super minion) and large monsters will always leave a soul when they die. Thresh can pick up these souls by walking near them. Each soul gathered increases Thresh's armor, ability power, and the damage of Death Sentence's passive.

// (Passive): Thresh's basic attacks deal bonus magic damage on each hit. The damage value is equal to the total number of souls collected plus a percentage of his attack damage, based on the amount of time since his last attack.
(Active): Thresh throws out his scythe, dealing magic damage to the first unit hit and pulling them toward him for 1.5 seconds.
Thresh can reactivate this ability to pull himself towards the bound enemy.

// Death Sentence passively causes Thresh's autoattacks to deal bonus magic damage equal to the number of gathered souls from Damnation plus a scaling percentage of his attack damage. The attack damage ratio increases over time while Thresh is not attacking.

// (Active): Thresh throws his lantern towards the target location for up to 6 seconds. If an ally right-clicks it, they pick up the lantern and Thresh pulls them both back to him.
For the next 6 seconds, allies who come near the lantern (even while Thresh is holding it) gain a shield lasting 4 seconds that absorbs damage. Allies can only receive the shield once per cast. If Thresh moves more than ~1500 units away, the lantern will return to him.

// Dark Passage is a ground targeted area of effect ability that places Thresh's lantern at the target location. Allied champions inside the area of effect gain an absorption shield that absorbs incoming damage for up to 6 seconds. Allied champions may only benefit from the shield once per cast. Additionally, allied champions can right-click on the lantern to grab it and dash toward Thresh.

// (Active): Thresh deals magic damage in a line beginning behind him. Enemies hit are pushed in the direction of the swing and then slowed for 1.5 seconds.
Cast forward to push; cast backward to pull.

// Flay is an point blank line area of effect ability that deals magic damage to enemy units in a linear area in front and behind Thresh. Enemy units hit will be knocked in the direction the ability was cast and they will be slowed for 1.5 seconds. For example, casting the ability behind Thresh will cause all enemies in front of him to be pulled toward him and enemies behind him will be pushed further back. Inversely, casting the ability in front of Thresh will cause enemies behind him to be pulled toward him and enemies in front of him to be pushed away.

// (Active): Thresh creates a prison of spectral walls around himself that remain active for 5 seconds. Enemy champions who walk through a wall take magic damage and are slowed by 99% for 2 seconds, but break that wall.
Once one wall is broken, the remaining walls' damage and slow duration is halved. An enemy can be afflicted by multiple walls.

// The Box is a point blank ability that creates 5 stationary walls in a small area around Thresh that last up to 5 seconds. Enemy champions that walk through a wall take magic damage and are slowed for 2 seconds, but break the wall. After the first wall is broken, all remaining walls deal half the original damage when walked through and slow for 1 second.

Credits to League of Legends Wikia

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My Definition of Thresh's Skills

// A bad-*** passive that allows you to collect your own armor and ability power per level. Thresh doesn't get armor per level but as long as you farm, this is a damn good passive.
// Never stop farming, never stop adding to ability power. More damage for your Malady and Spellsword passive abilities. Also, the bonus armor gives you an advantage in lane by giving you great early armor if you know how to farm well.

// Just like Blitzcrank, Thresh has a hook. Although the speed of the hook is more like Amumu's Bandage Toss than Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab.
// This crazy-*** skill allows you to immobilize an enemy and stop them in their tracks. They slowly get drawn towards you, but not all the way. If they aren't close enough, you can re-activate this skill to surprise attack them by pulling YOURSELF towards the hooked enemy. This skill also has an incredible passive. Basically, the longer you wait, the more damage you will do on your next basic attack. Stack that damage with Statikk Shiv and you'll do a massive chunk on your enemy's health bar. Trust me. I love it.

// A portal for your allies. A temporary ward that allows you the advantage of never face-checking a bush again.
// A lantern that you can throw onto the field. If an ally is far away and they click on this lantern, they will automatically be transported to you and you will both be shielded. Bad-*** advantage support skill for ganks and escapes. Also, a bonus shield if you toss it over yourself. Good for surviving and solo fights.

// Not entirely useless.
// Flay is mainly just a utility spell. Use it to slightly pull enemies closer towards you after you land a hook. You can also use Flay to send enemies backwards to save yourself or allies. This also shortly stops your enemy in their tracks and pushes them in the direction of your choosing. Pretty good, not great. It sort of takes some time for mastering, but once you get used to it, you'll be making pro plays all the time.

// A box.

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Skill Sequence

Now onto 's abilities. My favorite part.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Max your Death Sentence first. It does a hell of a lot of damage when it's fully charged up. Add the effect of Statikk Shiv and you do great burst on your first strike on an enemy to scare them out of their boots.

Death Sentence is Thresh's most usefull spell. Even better than The Box. Hook them with the Death Sentence and then pull yourself to them if you need to. Death Sentence sends out a hook that grabs an enemy champion and pulls them closer to you, sort of like Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab. If you successfully land your chain on an enemy, they will be immobilized and pulled for approximately 2 seconds. They don't get pulled straight to you quickly like Rocket Grab but they are shortly pulled toward you bit by bit. They don't always come directly to you if they're far enough away. However, combine Death Sentence and Flay and the enemy won't be able to do anything for around 3 seconds. That gives you and your teammates a lot of time to burst them down.

Death Sentence takes a while to master but landing your hooks are crucial. Learn when to pull yourself closer and when not to. Learn how long the enemy stays immobilized. Learn the amount of distance and the amount of time they are stuck in your chain.

Max Dark Passage next.

Dark Passage is a personal favorite spell for me. When playing DPS/On-hit Thresh, it provides a bonus shield to boost your chances of winning fights and surviving ganks. You can also toss this lantern to allies nearby you to help them escape or help them get to your lane immediately for a surprise gank.

To make for an efficient gank, throw your lantern ( Dark Passage) to your jungler first and then immediately try to land a Death Sentence. Your jungler will be right beside you at the blink of an eye whilst you are immobilizing your opponent while also pulling them closer.

This ability works well with champions like Nocturne and his Paranoia, Blitzcrank and his Rocket Grab, Fiddlesticks and his Crowstorm, etc. Also, this spell is great for bringing in tanky initiators to the fight like Wukong and his Cyclone and Jarvan IV and his Cataclysm. You just gotta find people who combo well with Thresh and Dark Passage because honestly, there are lots of them.

Flay is more of a utility spell. It doesn't do great damage and it's AP scale isn't anything to freak out about. It's still a very useful spell nonetheless. It brings in your opponent closer to you or pushes them away. It can also line enemies up for an ultimate like Ezreal's Trueshot Barrage or Ashe's Enchanted Crystal Arrow. Use Flay after Death Sentence caps it's time and distance for an extra long pull and immobilize. Max it last.

Ah yes, The Box. As all ultimates, add a point at level 6, level 11, and level 16.
Many people doubt The Box's power. It actually does a great portion of damage if you activate it at the right time. You can put up The Box when you pull your opponent close enough with Death Sentence to start the fight off with an advantage of damage. You could also put up The Box and then use Death Sentence to pull your opponent through a wall or multiple walls of The Box. This is more damage and more slow. So good!

The Box traps your opponent too if you want! If you fear death, put up The Box and then just exit through the walls. Many people don't know this but...



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On to items!

These items are a mix of damage per second items and on-hit effect items.

My favorite items on Thresh. Core items for me.

These two items amplify Thresh's damage. Thresh may not have lots of AoE skills and stuff like that, but he can definitely strike more than one target with these items. This makes it simpler for Thresh to fight and participate in team fights. These items = more simultaneous damage.

Also, I really like Statikk Shiv because of the initial damage on the first shock. This item is quite...ELECTRIFYING. (Downvote -1 for bad joke)
After you reach 100 charges, Statikk Shiv and your Death Sentence's passive go together to do a burst of damage that the enemy team did not expect.

Runaan's Hurricane does work on Thresh. Even though it doesn't seem like it, Thresh is ranged and this item's passive definitely works. Try it out. I love the passive and the large attack speed it grants. It may not give the best damage output, but it's still great for attack speed which is what this build needs.

Combine and mix these items at your choosing. I like to mix in Guinsoo's Rageblade, Nashor's Tooth, and Malady for a sort of hybrid/AP DPS build. Throw in Damnation's passive with increasing ability power per soul collected and malady can start to do some basic damage output. Consider items like Randuin's Omen or Frozen Heart to stay tanky. Since Thresh doesn't get armor per level, you'll need some good sources of armor to make up for this. Collecting souls won't be sufficient enough after mid-game.

If you take Malady, you'll need some AP to scale so that the item does substantial damage. Throw in a Wit's End for some bonus on-hit magic damage as well as Nashor's Tooth for extra attack speed AND ability power. Grab Guinsoo's Rageblade for extra attack damage and ability power. It's a great item to take on carries like Kayle and Teemo, so why not try it on Thresh? It also gives you a boost in ability power to add to Malady's effect. Malady reduces magic resist while also dealing on-hit magic damage, so grab it early. It's a great and cheap item to start off your build. Since this is an on-hit/damage per second build, attack speed and on-hit magic damage is just what you need. With the right items, you could end up doing more damage than the AD carry himself/herself.

Shoutout to Logarithm for helping me with revamp the build. He may not have directly intended to help me, but his criticism actually opened my mind and allowed me to realize what was wrong with the build entirely. Thanks, man. No hard feelings, right?

Guardian Angel and The Black Cleaver are defensive resources for me, although the every champion basically uses The Black Cleaver these days. Stacking a passive that reduces your enemy's armor is a great choice for Thresh. Especially good for this build, seeing as he runs off his damage per second. Although, The Black Cleaver is still situational since it doesn't grant attack speed anymore. Use it and Blade of the Ruined King to shred opponents if they are tanky or have tanky builds. Guardian Angel as always is a great item for almost every champion. This build does not offer a lot of tanky/beefy material to run off of so consider Guardian Angel to save your ***.

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Team Work


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Pro Tips & Tricks

1. Pay attention to Thresh's basic attack range.

Thresh gains an advantage over his opponent in the fact that he can attack farther. Lots of top champions are melee, so use your chain to poke and zone your enemy out, then, farm freely.

2. Don't be afraid to toss the lantern ( Dark Passage).

Use it to collect souls in lane or to slingshot allies in for the surprise ganks. You shouldn't be afraid to toss it into the lane to collect some souls. Here, I'll tell you why: honestly, it's just like Draven's axes. If you go in too far to collect a soul, there's a big chance that you'll get caught and die. Don't risk the death. Toss your lantern, it's not that big of a deal unless you're expecting a gank very soon. You've got nothing to lose but the souls, but you don't have to lose the souls if you just don't be scared to toss out your lantern to collect them.

3. You aren't Blitzcrank.

You definitely aren't Blitzcrank.
Thresh's chain extends much longer than Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab. Death Sentence pulls the enemy, not in an instant like Rocket Grab, but gradually towards you. This obstructs their mobility for a couple seconds, which is why it is useful to stop a champion from moving (like Singed or Hecarim). Also, you can activate Death Sentence again to fling yourself towards the enemy. Useful, eh? The only downside is that the pull is not as good as Rocket Grab. You can't hook an enemy directly towards you if you're standing from far away. Keep this in mind.

4. Even when you're the carry, you're the support.

The thing about Thresh's mechanics and skills is that he'll be a support no matter what he does. Dark Passage is genuinely a support skill, no matter what. It gives shield and mobility that is necessary to your allies. Flay doesn't do tons of damage. In fact, it doesn't even come close. It mostly just lines up the enemies for your team. Death Sentence, not unlike Rocket Grab, is a support skill to bring your enemy closer. Thresh can use it for himself too though, to grab escaping opponents. Yet, it is still a great contribution to the team. The Box traps and slows all of your enemies to basically give your team easy kills. So the bottom line is: Thresh is a really good contribution to team fights and he's good at saving/supporting allies. Even when you're busy carrying your team and dealing tons of damage, try to play the savior role too.

5. Runaan's Works.

Runaan's Hurricane. You see that? Yes. It works with Thresh. It's passive applies in this situation. It gives 75% attack speed. Get it for fun or for work. Do it. Do it.

6. Don't be so balls deep. "Don't YOLO."

You know how Death Sentence can be re-activated after you land a hook on an opponent? Just because you land one, doesn't mean you HAVE to re-activate the skill and pull yourself into the enemy team. I know you'll get that rush and your instincts will kick in, but don't get caught in the heat of the moment. Only pull yourself towards the enemy when the moment absolutely calls for it. Don't do it just because you can. Be smart about it.

6. Team work with the Lantern.

Here's an expert tip that I thought of. Use Fiddlesticks (ally) to start channeling his ultimate, Crowstorm, as you start to move forward into the enemy team. Before Fiddlesticks is done channeling, throw your lantern, Dark Passage, back to Fiddlesticks. As he finishes channeling, Fiddlesticks can click on the lantern and immediately teleport into the enemy team with his ultimate on. This works with everyone with AoE ultimates such as: Morgana, Amumu, Janna, etc. Janna is especially fun with this skill. Let Janna use ultimate to scatter the enemies and then throw your lantern in for her to escape. Instant escape for your entire team. It throws the enemy team off completely.

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Thresh is killer. He's a real good support and works incredible in team fights. You just really need to take well to Thresh's mechanics and abilities. Best of all, learn to work him as a DPS/On-Hit champion. He can be such a great carry and representative for your team. Trust me. I love Thresh. This build is a little incomplete so tell me if you have any suggestions. Good luck on the Rift!


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