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Kennen Build Guide by Daremx

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Daremx

[S5] Bringing the pain into Mid lane

Daremx Last updated on November 21, 2015
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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.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 12

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 18

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 0

Threats to Kennen with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Karthus Don't get hit with his q too much and just all in him. Its a free kill and after that it'll be easy.
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Introduction (Author)

About the Author

Hi there! My username is Daremx and I'm a platinum mid main who has multiple mains. I play a lot of Katarina, Lux, Kennen and Ahri, but Kennen is definitely the most fun out of them. I used him for the majority of my games from Gold to Platinum and he has achieved some pretty stellar things for me. I recently picked him up after getting stomped by him in lane once (awks) and he turned out to be a really fun champ that I really enjoyed and got the hang of very quickly.
I've been playing League since Season 1, but I never really got good at it. I've been getting better at it recently and I was able to get to Platinum this year. As I said before, I currently main mid lane, but I play all roles but ADC. I would love to hear your input on this guide as this is the first one I've made so far.

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Introduction (Terms)

Terms I'll be Using

I saw this on LordChiefRocka's [S5] AP Kennen Mid/Top: Electrical Maelstrom of Shurikens! Guide and I decided that this was a really good idea for people who are just starting or aren't fully comfortable with League of Legends lingo yet.

Champions - The characters you play as in League of Legends.

Stats - This is anything from how fast your character moves to how much damage they do. Stats are increased as you level your champion in game and from buying items.

Farm/CS/Creep-Score - Killing minions or jungle 'creeps' to get as much $cash money$, and they better you are at farming, the more money you're gonna be able to get. Most farming occurs in the early laning phase, but it still goes on throughout the course of the game.

AP - Ability Power. Increases the damage of spells primarily from mages. Items like Rabadon's Deathcap give this stat.

AD - Attack Damage. Increased the damage of you basic attacks and some spells. Usually bought on fighters and hyper-carries.

ADC/APC - (Attack Damage)(Ability Power) Carry. Mid lane is usually an APC (ability power carry) and bot lane is usually an ADC (attack damage carry) and a support.

AA/Basic Attack/Auto-attack - The attack done by your character when you right-click on an enemy unit.

Ult/Ultimate - The skill that most champions take at a minimum level of 6 and is default mapped to the R key.

Tanky - To be able to soak up as much damage as possible. Things like armor and magic resist as well as health account for a character's tanky-ness

Utility - These are things that champions bring to the game that aren't just damage. Things like movement speed, CC, and buffs for your ally's.

CC - Crowd Control. Anything that stops/reduces the mobility of the enemy champions. This includes things like: stun, slows, roots, silences, knock-ups etc.

Buffs - Both in game and out of game. In game buff's are temporary and help to boost an ally's armor or movement speed etc. Out of game buff's are when Riot/Rito the creators of the game make a champion or item stronger.

Debuff's - In game buffs that are placed on your enemies to make them weaker.

Nerf's - Out of game balance changes that are pretty much the opposite of a buff.

Hypercarry - A champion that is generally weak early-game but excels and becomes much stronger late-game. Examples of hypercarries would be Vayne, Jinx, Kalista, Tristana, and Kog'Maw. These usually are ADC's and do really well late-game.

Early-game - About the first 15-20 minutes of the game. This is where people farm and try to build up enough money for their items.

Mid-game - From about 20 minutes to about 30 minutes into the game. This is where people are starting to fight as a team and work with the few items they have in their inventory.

Late-game - After about 30-35 minutes to the end of the game. This is when people start reaching their #EGF (#EndGameFantasy), which is pretty much when people start getting their inventories filled with items.

Roam - When a laner (Top, mid, bot) 'roams' to another lane and ganks them to try and get kills and have map pressure.

Gank - 'Gang-Kill'. When you take bring in teammates to try and kill an enemy laner. This usually results in a 2v1, 3v2, 3v1, or 4v2.

Counter-gank - Pretty self-explanatory. Turning those 2v1 situations and turning into even fights, 2v2, 3v3, or even bringing more teammates to turn the tides of the fight.

If there are any that I missed feel free to let me know.

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Introduction (Pro's and Con's)

The Heart of the Tempest

Lanes: Top, Mid, Bot
Roles: Bruiser, APC, ADC, Support
Key Characteristics: High-Impact Ult, Energy User, Stun Passive, Good Roams, Bully in Lane

The Pros and the Cons of Kennen


+ Very underrated thus very rarely gets banned
+ Has decent harass in lane if Thundering Shuriken is utilized well
+ Has AMAZING level 6 all in with his Slicing Maelstrom
+ Easy to CS with due to convenient damage on his Lightning Rush in early levels
+ Can create really strong ganks if his Slicing Maelstrom is up
Right now, Kennen isn't a champion that receives very much appreciation and is highly underrated. He does loads of damage and has amazing presence in teamfights. He usually doesn't have too hard of a time vs. most mid laners and if given the opportunity, can grab multiple kills in mid lane and also at the same time, farm well. He has great roaming as well, so don't fret losing a bit of cs to ensure that your allies get a good laning phase.


- Low sustain without Will of the Ancients
- Weak without Flash
- Has a hard time dealing with poke
- Generally has to target squishies to be high-impact in teamfights
- Has difficult matchups against some of the current in-meta mid lane picks, like Azir and Viktor
In my opinion, Kennen has a hard time dealing with poke in lane. He doesn't have any built in sustain and he suffers if he isn't at full health when a teamfight starts. This is the main reason that people build items like Will of the Ancients on him. I don't like Will of the Ancients on Kennen so instead I just make sure to always have Health Potions on me.
He is capable of finding good engages without his flash, but he creates much more pressure and presence when he flashes into the carries at the back of the enemy team. He does much more damage there and creates an AoE zoning tool for your team to be able to use.

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Introduction (Skills)


Mark of the Storm: Kennen's passive is Mark of the Storm. Every time you damage a champion using one of your spells, it applies a stack of Mark of the Storm onto the enemy. Once the target has 3 stacks of your passive on them, the marks are consumed and your target becomes stunned. You CAN apply this passive more than once on a single target, but after the first stun, the stun duration is reduced for the next consecutive stuns.
This skill gives really good harass because your Thundering Shuriken and your Electrical Surge can add some good damage because it lets you get some auto attacks if you want as well as it stuns them, which just adds to the annoyance of laning against Kennen.

Thundering Shuriken: This skill fires out a shuriken that damages and applies a stack of your passive to your enemy. This is the bread and butter of Kennen's harass in lane. It deals quite a good amount of damage and leads to huge damage poke on the enemy team once you get your Luden's Echo.

You're going to want to max out [Thundering Shuriken] before [Electrical surge] and before [Lightning rush].

Tips and Tricks
  • If you have the passive part of your Electrical Surge up, you can land a Thundering Shuriken, auto-attack them, and then use your Electrical Surge to get a good amount of harass in.
  • Putting another level into this skill at level 3 instead of taking your Lightning Rush will add in a quite a bit of extra damage on this that your opponent likely won't be expecting.
  • Use this to poke your enemy down, but if you are all-in'ing, use this while your enemy is stunned to ensure you hit this. It is a lot of good damage for your all-in.

Electrical Surge: Electrical surge has 2 parts to it, a passive part and an active part.
Passive: Every fourth auto-attack is empowered. It adds a stack of your passive Mark of the Storm, as well as deals bonus damage that scales on your base AD. This ability is really strong because it adds a good amount of auto-attack harass on your enemies.
Active: Activate this skill to deal damage to and add a stack of Mark of the Storm to enemies in a large radius around you. This, matched with the passive on this skill and your Thundering Shuriken deals a really good amount of harass to your opponent in lane and is actually a really good tool to utilize.

You're going to want to max out [Electrical Surge] after [Thundering Shuriken] and before [Lightning rush].

Tips and Tricks

Lightning Rush: Kennen turns into a ball of energy and doesn't take unit collision for its duration. It deals damage and applies a stack of your passive, Mark of the Storm to any enemy you pass through.

You're going to want to max out [Lightning Rush] after [Thundering Shuriken] and after [Electrical Surge].

Tips and Tricks
  • Use this ability to run away from a gank and to run back to your lane faster after you recall.
  • Use this before you flash in for an all in so that you can flash on them and instantly get a stack on your passive on your opponent.
  • For early laning, use this on full health spellcaster minions, and then cancel it. Let the turret hit it once and one auto-attack will make csing under turret easy.

Slicing Maelstrom: Summon a ring around you that periodically deals damage and applies a stack of your passive to each opponent in that ring. This does the damage and applies the passive a maximum of 3 times per champion.

Tips and Tricks
  • The second you hit level 6 and if your opponent is under 60% hp, flash in on them and use this and the rest of your skills on them to kill them.
  • Flash into the back of the enemy team and try to kill as many of their squishy damage dealers as possible.
  • Using Zhonya's Hourglass will not cancel your Slicing Maelstrom, so using it when you are being focused in a teamfight is a good idea.

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Set-up (Masteries) (Not up to date for S6 yet - hopefully soon!)


I run a 21/9/0 set-up in my masteries. I like to run the 21 in offensive tree, quite obviously for that AP damage, but I prefer to put the 9 points into defence instead of Utility because I appreciate the extra health in the earlier levels, but the increased movespeed and reduced cooldown on your summoner spells is also really good, so either way is good, it is all preference tbh. The health from the masteries also add up with the health from your runes so it ends up with some pretty favourable amounts of health in the early laning phase.


This is the other possible set-up. You'll be squishier overall but you'll bring a bit more utility and you'll be able to engage on your enemies more often with the reduced cooldown on your Flash.


I haven't really tried out this mastery page as much but I think it is a very viable mastery page if you're looking for good presence in team fight without being too squishy in lane.

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Set-up (Runes)


The way I use runes, is to try have each rune be in its 'primary' form. This means that the stats that they give are the highest possible, in comparison to the other rune types.

Marks Are usually associated with AD Damage and Penetration.
Seals Are associated with Regeneration and Armor
Glyphs Are associated with Magic (MR, CDR, AP)
Quintessences Are considered to be Primary for every rune

Because of this, on Kennen I run:

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Greater Glyph of Ability Power

Greater Seal of Health

Because I always like running the highest efficiency runes, I take Greater Mark of Magic Penetration because Marks don't really do as much as they can if they are taken as defensive options.

Another option is the greater mark of hybrid penetration for greater harass in lane. This paired with a Doran's Blade equals a VERY strong early laning phase, especially against melee mid laners. I don't usually take this because I don't like the lack of sustain from taking Doran's Blade as a first start. This lack of sustain can push you out of lane easily considering that most melee mid laners will take a Crystalline Flask and 3 Health Potions

I run Greater Seal of Health because it actually adds quite a bit of health and you will seem a lot more beefy and tanky in lane, which helps in actual laning as well as in the 'mental game' when they debate on engaging on you. One downside to this is that your Health Potions will be a bit less efficient, but I don't really mind that because I take so many in my first buy.

Another great pick can be the Greater Seal of Armor because it really helps against both AD and AP laners. I feel that health seals help a bit more with AP laners than armor seals, and that's usually what I lane against. Don't be fooled though, armor still does help versus AP laners due to auto-attack harass, which can equal up to a lot of harass to you in the laning phase.

I, like most people, like to run Greater Glyph of Ability Power because it just adds a lot of early damage to your laning.

Another option is to take Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction or Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction because the build that I have doesn't have much cooldown reduction, which is actually a really strong stat to build on Kennen.

I take Greater Quintessence of Ability Power because of its great power in lane as well as decent scaling into the late game.

Other options are the Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration or greater quintessence of hybrid penetration because I feel that they give a bit more damage in lane. But I don't think that they scale as well into late game as just running ability power quints.

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Set-up (Summoner Spells)

Summoner Spells

This is a really strong summoner spell as it can shut down some opponents that heal really hard as well as do some really good damage that will last throughout your combo. Using this in a level 6 all-in allows for really good damage and this summoner spell is probably the best choice for mid-lane Kennen.


This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of your teamfight (other than your Slicing Maelstrom). This ability allows for escape, all-in, picking, killing stragglers/cleaning up. This skill allows for everything and is the most versatile summoner spell in the game. Get this spell 100% of the time. ALWAYS get this spell



This spell is very important for top lane Kennen. It allows for you to be able to recall without missing many minions, but more importantly, it can open the gates for ganks on bot lane, mix this with potentially roaming down mid for a gank, it gives you pretty strong map presence and you can pretty much win all 3 lanes if you are really good. You probably won't be getting any level 6 all-in kills because you're probably gonna go top lane, so pairing the lack of ignite with a tanky bruiser top lane means no kills for you early game.


You can use this on support Kennen (which works decently well), but I still prefer to get Ignite. Exhaust makes it so that you can shut down hyper-carry style characters especially bot lane like Vayne and Jinx late game, but if you take Ignite and flash into the enemy and Ignite the carry instead of Exhaust the carry, you'll probably be able to just kill them and delete them out of the teamfight. Exhaust is still a viable option if you aren't planning on going as much damage with Frost Queen's Claim, Sightstone, and something like Rylai's Crystal Scepter in your build.

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In the Game (Items)


Your Core Items:

Abyssal Scepter

This is a really important item on Kennen. You'll usually be laning against some kind of AP mid laner, usually an Azir or a Viktor, so having the magic resist is a really good bonus to this item. This item also reduces the magic resist of the enemies around you and will allow for you to do a lot more damage to targets with low amounts of magic resist. This item is a must have if laning against a AP mid-laner. If you are against an AP mid and you aren't losing lane, go this item first.

Zhonya's Hourglass

This is your core item 100%. Get this in every game you play. (Probably) Every game you play, the enemy team will have an ADC on their team, so the armor from Zhonya's Hourglass will always be useful. Using this item after you've ulted and when you're being focused will bring very good results for you in teamfights. You generally want to stay mobile so that you can have as many people in your ult as possible, but if you're being focused that means you should have a decent number of people in your Slicing Maelstrom, so using your Zhonya's Hourglass then is a good idea.
ALWAYS get this item.
I usually get this item second, but getting this item first is not a bad idea. I don't suggest building this item as your third or fourth item because its usefulness in teamfights is too important too delay building it for that long.

Rabadon's Deathcap

I get this item if not very many people on the enemy team are building magic resist. If the carries are already building magic resist then delay building this item. This item gives you a ridiculous amount of AP as well as boosting your overall AP by 35%. This means that getting this item gives you a strong power spike where you begin to deal a lot more damage. You're usually going to get this item 3rd.

Void Staff

This item is a very important item especially for scaling into the late game. If the enemy carries are building early magic resist, get this item before your Rabadon's Deathcap. This item gives you another really strong power spike, which helps to get this item ASAP before a teamfight.

Sorcerer's Shoes - Distortion

This is just the general boots that you should take on Kennen. It gives movespeed and flat magic penetration, which is good.
The main part about this item is the Distortion enchantment. This will lower the cooldown of your Flash from 300 seconds to just over 200 seconds (I think...). This really helps with your engages and the frequency of your good teamfights. I think item is probably the best enchant for Kennen, but you can also use Enchantment: Homeguard as that's good on everyone, and even Enchantment: Captain because you're probably gonna be at the back of the teamfight, meaning your teammates will usually be able to benefit from the movement speed towards you.

Alternative Items:

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

With this item being buffed recently, it's looking to be a pretty decent item with Kennen. This item is a little bit redundant with Kennen's kit, but it's still useful for chasing and especially for support Kennen.

Luden's Echo

With the recent changes to Luden's Echo, I'm not 100% sure how well this item fits with Kennen. The reduction in AP and damage overall with this item were lowered, but this item still helps to poke really well with your Thundering Shuriken when sieging. The movement speed also helps for your engages and dodging poke, so I still think this is a really good item for Kennen, and I would probably take this item for your last item slot.

Will of the Ancients

A lot of other Kennen mains like to take this item. I kind of understand their reasoning for this, because it really gives Kennen the ability to withstand getting poked, but I still don't really like this item on Kennen. I feel like it doesn't give enough AP and is just too slow of an item to start off with, as items like Abyssal Mask will give you way more damage or an item like Zhonya's Hourglass will just give you so much more utility and presence in teamfights. I would probably get this item near the end of the game if poke is really screwing with my ability to engage, but I usually won't get this item.

NOTE: Will of the Ancients was recently buffed and changed so that spell damage would heal you based on 15% of the spell's damage before taking into account magic resist and things like that. This is actually quite a large buff and makes this a much more viable item for Kennen. It also gives quite a good amount of AP and CDR, so this item might become an even stronger item for Kennen, especially if you start losing lane or play a poke-y kind of comp.

Mercury's Treads

This is a pretty good item for Kennen. It gives good stats and can help you to recover in case you got rekt in mid lane. This is also good if their mid lane just farmed well or roamed, meaning they got pretty fed, or if the enemy team is pretty AP heavy. I like get this item because you don't really need the magic penetration, but I usually don't really need the extra magic resist. I would suggest this item if you don't build Abyssal Mask because you're against an AD mid, but they have an AP jungler or top laner.

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In the Game (Matchups)


I'm only going to do the matchups that you're most likely to find on mid lane, and the matchups that I play the most against, and therefore know the match-up better for.
I have general matchup tips for most of the champions up above.

I might do gameplay examples of me facing these champions if you guys really want. Leave me a comment if you really want me to do one.

The champions I'm going to be cover are:

- Azir
- Ahri
- Annie
- Viktor
- Yasuo
- Zed


Azir is a really hard champion to play against. He has really good poke in lane, making it really hard to trade as well as all-in him.
He was just recently nerfed in this patch, so he shouldn't be as hard to lane against, but it is still a difficult matchup.


Ahri isn't too bad of a matchup for Kennen, one thing you have to do though is be really careful of getting poked by her Orb of Deception too much or being caught out by a Charm. Another thing you have to be able to do is catch her and stun her before she uses any of her escapes ( Spirit Rush or Flash) because if you do, she is usually squishy enough to kill just like that. If she tries to all in you, you can pop your Slicing Maelstrom and it will shut down her outplay potential. Throw out your Thundering Shuriken only when she's stunned (when she engages on you) because she is really hard to hit with skill shots when she is using her Spirit Rush.


Annie is a really hard matchup for Kennen.
It really does depend on the Annie to be honest. I have had a really easy time with most of the Annie's that I have gone against before, but that by no means, means that Annie is an easy matchup for Kennen. Assuming the Annie you face goes Rod of Ages, she may start to get a little bit too beefy to kill.
With this in mind, and her ability to 100-0 you without really giving you much time to respond means that a good Annie has the potential to destroy you in fights.


Viktor is an extremely hard matchup, especially in the laning phase. His harass on his Death Ray is huge and he has disgusting burst, like 100-0 in half a second kind of disgusting. This is a big reason why he can beat Kennen in lane so easily. A lot of Kennen is being able to control your lane, and determine when you want to go in, so Viktor being able to easily kill you, results in a really hard lane.
If you want to win, you have to play passive and hope to god that you can kill him in your all-in.


This lane is usually pretty easy. You can start with Doran's Blade and harass him really hard, and your Lightning Rush can easily out-manoeuvre him with your Slicing Maelstrom out.


This lane is kinda hard because his damage is really high, and he has the potential to be able to outplay you as well as run from your all-in's. To be honest, I don't know too much about this matchup, but I do know enough to say that it's a difficult lane. Once you get Zhonya's Hourglass it shouldn't be to bad, so you should get it first versus Zed.

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In the Game (Tips and Tricks)

Tips and Tricks

I'm not going to have very many of these right now, but I'll hopefully update this guide and put some new ones as I learn more and more about Kennen.

Going All-in

LEVEL 6 = Slicing Maelstrom

This is the spell that makes Kennen, Kennen.
This spell is crazy good when combined with Flash and your Electrical Surge.
Once you hit level 6 or 7, try flashing on your opponent to all-in them.

When to go in

I usually try to go in on my opponents when they are around 60-70% health. Obviously, if they are anything under that all-ining will work. If you opponent is playing too far back to poke, just play passively yourself and just try to match them in farm.

Bullying your Lane Opponent

Sometimes, it will be better to start a Doran's Blade as your first item.
This is highly recommended against champions like Yasuo, Zed, and other melee mid laners.

This gives you really strong harass with your auto-attacks and allows you to start Electrical Surge for that extra harass early on.

Whenever they come up for cs, just auto attack them a couple times and use your Electrical Surge empowered auto-attack combined with an Electrical Surge to get a good amount of harass on the enemy.

Ganking Lanes

Once you hit 6, you really have 3 options to choose from:
- All-in your opponent (I like this one)
- Play passive and farm for some nice shiny items
- Gank the enemy bot lane

Sometimes, if my lane is really passive, I like to gank bottom lane. They are excellent targets as they are usually pretty squishy, and as long as they don't have an Alistar it'll work wonders.

People tunnel-vision all the time, so even if they have wards, it never hurts to try a gank out.

Plus, if you gank them and it works, it'll get the entire enemy team salty and in solo queue that is a nice +1.

Usually ganking will replace your all-in in lane. You're generally going to have to burn all your summoner spells and your Slicing Maelstrom, which means you aren't going to have those for your enemy laner. If your enemy laner is bad you could probably kill them without your Flash but don't count on it.


To be honest, I don't really have much to say for this one. I play teamfights like I play any other engage, I use my Slicing Maelstrom, my Lightning Rush and my Flash to target the squishies on the enemy team.

One thing that I will say about teamfighting though is don't use your Zhonya's Hourglass until they are actually focusing you. You want to stay mobile in teamfights, and when you flash into their carries like that they'll usually run away, and if they run away and you just Zhonya's Hourglass right there, you'll probably just die and lose the teamfight immediately after.

What you are going to want to do instead is chase after one of their carries (if you can chase both at the same time, perfect). Go for the carry with a higher threat to your team and you should be able to secure the teamfight.

Using your Electrical Surge

This spell is a really strong spell for your teamfights. But be careful, if you use it too early or too late, it won't be at its full potential.
You are going to want to use it around 0.75-1.25 seconds after you pop your Slicing Maelstrom, because that's going to be around the time that everyone has at least one stack, but no one has gone through all 3 of the stacks already.

If you use this at the right time, it will accelerate the speed at which you are stunning the enemy carries and adds a good amount of damage into your teamfight.

Remember, if you use this spell too late, the enemies might not even have any Mark of the Storms left on them, and if you use it too early, they might not have one on them yet.

Using your Lightning Rush

Your Lightning Rush has a lot of uses. There are obvious uses, like using it to go fast or damage an entire minion wave combined with your Electrical Surge. But there are other uses.

One really interesting use that I found, was that at early levels, you can farm the caster minions much easier under turret. If the minion is at full health, your Lightning Rush will do about the same damage as an auto attack, so it helps to cs the caster minions.
Once they walk into turret range, use your Lightning Rush into them and then cancel it after you hit them. Once a turret hits it your next auto-attack should be able to secure the cs.

Anther thing you can do if you're really fed is to use your Lightning Rush, then Flash right on top of your opponent. Then you can use your Electrical Surge active (and passive auto attack if you have it up) for good guaranteed damage.

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Concluding Thanks

Thank you for reading my guide.
I would really appreciate input on my guide, and tell me how to improve on anything here, as I'm planning on making some more in the future.

I really want to thank jhoijhoi's Making a Guide because without it I would be super lost in the creation of this guide.

This is the first guide I've made so criticism is highly appreciated.
Thanks again for reading my guide and I hope to make more in the future.