Tahm Kench Build Guide by Spection
Spection's Guide to Phase Rush Tahm Kench [DIAMOND S7]By Spection | Updated on June 1, 2019
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+10% Attack Speed
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
Threats & Synergies
Constant slows and fairly reliable hard CC make for a good combo. Kench W into Ashe R is almost a guaranteed stun.
Good poke and scary damage. Can eat targets with passive proceed and use phase rush to position the explosion into the other lane opponents.
Spitting people into traps is pretty strong and fun. Great combo for locking down people under turret.
No specific synergy.
No specific synergy.
Chain together his stun and your W and move enemies into his turret range for even more damage.
Spit enemies into her traps.
No specific synergy.
Kalista R with tahm W is a deadly combo. Constant CC helps her get off max rend procs.
Good protection for the Kog'Maw, no other specific synergies
Agressive early game combo. Lot of kill pressure.
W people and sit in MF R to guarantee full damage.
Spit people into her E. Strong level 3 with a lot of kill pressure.
Q combo into jhin W is decent catchout.
Strong all in and guaranteed CC.
her R will make it a lot easier for you to reposition enemies that you W.
Good all in potential and R insec makes your job easier (or harder)
No specific synergy.
CC that goes through minions and a solid slow. Spit into R or Q for guaranteed high damage.
Condemn is guaranteed if you bring someone near a wall. Her strong survivability means you won't often have to W her.
Good engage potential with W and E. Spit into feathers to guarantee E proc. R makes your job easier.
I only pretty recently started to play Tahm Kench, and I am glad that I took the time to learn him to his fullest extent. Tahm Kench is a strong support with stupidly high base health and insane durability and catchout potential. His kit is unique in that it offers a way to Devour allies and enemies, offering untold outplay potential.
As I did with every champion I played, I wanted to find a strategy that was unique and made some aspect of his kit strong in a way that players would not expect, which led me to come up with the idea of a champ who could literally kidnap enemies and bring them to their death. Because of the unique interaction of Phase Rush and Boots of Swiftness to Devour's self imposed slow, he actually is no longer affted by it, having 100% slow resistance when Phase Rush active. This allows him to spit enemies under turret and make easy picks that he would never be able to make normally.
This is my fourth guide on MobaFIRE and I have put a lot of work into making it as good as I can with the knowledge I have. Thanks for taking the time to read my guide, please leave feedback so I can make it better for everyone.
I hope to see you all ingame!
+ Good poke for such a tanky target
+ Tanky, Thick Skin can offer a second health bar if timed well
+ Ability to hold his own in duels with most champions
+ Strong early kill pressure
+ Very good at diving turrets with innate durability and Thick Skin
+ Out of meta pick - your enemies will have no idea how to deal with you and will not expect your insane speed when devouring an opponent
+ Abyssal Voyage makes roaming easy and effective, can countergank and help out the jugnler if he is being invaded
+ Never really falls off in usefulness
+ Mana management is pretty easy so long as Devour is used sparingly
+ Can poke well with Devour and secure minions
+ Devour can save lives and win teamfights on its own
- Susceptible in very early game to poke, needs his level 3 to get aggressive safely
- Very reliant on hitting Tongue Lash reliably to excel in lane and for catchouts
- Phase Rush sometimes will not proc properly when a target is eaten, leaving you in a bad spot
- Very large hitbox (Blessing and a curse)
- Gives up considerable team utility, important to have an ardent support in place of you.
- Rune setup built for lane dominance, failure to do so means you can fall off
- Hard to master fully
- Will almost always irritate your teammates if picked, considered the "wrong" rune page
Flash is standard on most champions and Tahm Kench isn't an exception. He doesn't really have an escape nor does he have a gap closer outside of Abyssal Voyage, which is iffy at best. It is also extremely useful for flashing away from danger with a friendly champion in your belly, essentially giving them a second flash.
Ghost is a pretty interesting option for Tahm Kench. In situations where Ignite and Exhaust aren't really necessary, you can take ghost to make picks and increase your ability to "steal" enemy champions. Requires mastery and good use to make effective, Exhaust is usually just a better choice.
Exhaust is a pretty standard summoner. It helps with catching out extended opponents and mitigating burst. You should usually always take this unless you are in a lane where Ignite is necessary in order to win extended trades against a healer like Soraka or Sona.
- Phase Rush is the foundation of this playstyle. It lets you catch up to enemies in order to Devour them, and it will allow you to bring unlucky foes to your team so they can be quickly and painlessly dealt with. It can let you escape, too! All-around extremely useful keystone.
- Manaflow Band Allows for borderline abusive use of Tongue Lash to poke without worrying about mana issues. A very useful rune indeed.
- Celerity None of the other options are great for Tahm Kench. Since the build is built around getting the most MS possible, why not get a little more?
- Scorch Augments Tongue Lash's poking power to an almost unfair level.
- Magical Footwear is a nice option for helping Tahm Kench get a little more speed at a cheaper price. What's not to like about that? If you are playing against a tough lane with lots of poke, Biscuit Delivery is an acceptable alternative.
- Approach Velocity is built for Tahm Kench. It allows him to gapclose to a target after landing Tongue Lash. Very helpful.
Tahm Kench's basic attacks and damaging abilities deal 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75% of his maximum health bonus magic damage. Against enemy champions, they also apply An Acquired Taste stack for 5 seconds, stacking up to 3 times against for a maximum 3.75 / 4.5 / 5.25% maximum health bonus and decaying once every 0.67 seconds after the stacks reach the full duration.
Tongue Lash and Devour gain additional effects against enemies with three stacks.
- Pretty basic passive. The extra damage is helpful but not noticeable until later in the game after you get some health.
- Stacking the passive quickly is really important to your success. Try not to cancel auto attacks.
- Remember that Tongue Lash at 3 stacks will stun for a fair duration. It is usually better to stun and then devour to keep the enemy immobilized for the longest period of time possible.
ACTIVE: After a brief delay, Tahm Kench lashes his tongue in the target direction, dealing magic damage to the first enemy hit and slowing them for 2 seconds.
80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+ 70% AP)
30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70%
During Tongue Lash, Devour can be cast for free to devour enemy minions or non-epic monsters from a distance.
Enemy champions with three stacks of An Acquired Taste are stunned for 1.5 seconds.
- Primary ability for poking and catching out. Practice landing it as much as possible,
since it is essential to playing Tahm Kench.
- You can press W after Q to pull a minion to yourself which is an expensive but powerful way to poke your enemies and execute minions if your ADC is too far away.
- Can be used as a disengage mechanism if you're running away from somebody.
FIRST CAST – DEVOUR: Tahm Kench swallows an enemy minion, non-epic monster or allied champion, making them untargetable and unable to take any actions for a short duration.
4 / 4.5 / 5 / 5.5 / 6
15 / 17.5 / 20 / 22.5 / 25%
Tahm Kench can swallow enemy champions if they have three An Acquired Taste stacks. Swallowing a target enemy champion only lasts for half the duration, consumes all their An Acquired Taste stacks, slows Tahm Kench by 95% (which Phase Rush overrides in totality) suppresses and nearsights them and makes them untargetable.
2 / 2.25 / 2.5 / 2.75 / 3
After 1 second, Devour can be recast into Regurgitate while Tahm Kench's belly is full. Allied champions can exit at will after the same delay.
SECOND CAST – REGURGITATE: Tahm Kench regurgitates the swallowed target. If they are an enemy, they are stunned for 0.25 seconds and take magic damage, capped against monsters.
20 / 23 / 26 / 29 / 32% (+ 2% per 100 AP) of target's maximum health
Minions and non-epic monsters are spat forth, stopping if they hit an enemy or terrain, and dealing magic damage to all enemies around them and themselves before taking Regurgitate's damage. Allied champions are also spat out stopping if they hit an enemy, while enemy champions are regurgitated in front of Tahm Kench.
100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 (+ 60% AP)
- This ability has so many uses, both defensive and offensive.
- It can be used to eat allies over a wall, providing an unexpected method of escape.
- It is usually best to hold a devoured target for the full duration and do damage to the support during this time.
- Devouring an ally and then flashing in is a great way to engage during ganks.
- Devour can "break" certain abilities, preventing them from working properly. Some examples are Requiem, Rocket Grab, stacked Blaze and others.
- Devour can be used to push waves quickly, by using it on a cannon minion and then spitting into the group, doing high damage to all.
Thick Skin will be discussed in more detail in the Teamfighting section.
Tahm Kench channels for up to 6 seconds, highlighting the path to his intended destination to allied champions while opening his maw to offer up to one of them the chance to come with him. If an ally has climbed in, Tahm Kench automatically begins a 1 second channel. If no ally has climbed in and after a 0.25-second delay, Tahm Kench can reactivate Abyssal Voyage to begin the channel. Once the channel is completed, Tahm Kench, and the ally that has climbed in if there is any, blink to the target location, arriving after a 0.5-second delay.
Taking damage or cancelling the channel interrupts Abyssal Voyage, putting it on a 10 second cooldown. Abyssal Voyage cannot be activated while Tahm Kench has an enemy in his belly.
- This ability is useful for getting back to lane in order to not miss minion waves.
- You can use it to engage by eating an ally and then reappearing behind them in lane. You can even do this solo if you are fed enough.
- Great way to escape if you're in a pickle and can channel the full duration.
- Great for roams and helping out your jungler.
- The most important thing I can tell you is to have fun. You're playing a game and you should treat it as such! If you fixate on how poorly your team is doing and how hard you're going to lose, you definitely will lose. If you just play to have fun, you will do really well and you might turn around that game that you thought you would have lost!
- If you're nervous about your ranking (everyone gets nervous when they're in a precarious position), you should be stop playing after your second consecutive loss. It may seem like a weird thing to do, but your state of mind and mentality after losing declines, even if you convince yourself you're not. This is the most dangerous thing as you can lose many games in a row with your damaged state of mind, damaging it and your elo further. If you win a couple of games in a row, stop at a point where you feel satisfied and happy. Don't let your winning streak get to your head, or find yourself losing a game when you least want to, such as a series. Be graceful in victory or defeat, whether you carried or got carried. Take each game and ask yourself how you could improve your performance.
- Think! If you want to be smart about how you approach a team fight or initiate a gank, things will go better for you. Before you jump on that Lux with 100 health left, think about where her teammates are, and if she has enough mana to combo you down. If you analyze the situation with enough care you might realize it's not worth the risk and back off, avoiding giving the enemy team a free kill. The ability to think about how to approach a situation is what separates great players from good players and will almost certainly decide your ranking.
- Always be doing something. You should always be with your carry or warding. Take advantage of your low mana costs and spam Tongue Lash whenever possible. There is a lot you can do in and out of teamfights. As Jhin would say, every moment matters!
- Be nice. If you are nasty to your teammates after they mess up, you will damage their state of mind and their precision, making them worse players. If you congratulate them on a good double kill, dragon steal, gank, etc, they will play better and respond to you when you ask for help. There's nothing worse than pissing off your team and having them not be there when you need them most.
- Ping. The second you see an enemy disappear from your field of vision, you should ping to let the team know in the case that they're too busy to notice it. Ping if you're roaming and intend to gank so your teammate can respond. Ping when you're coming into lane so your jungler can react if he doesn't check his minimap. Instead of pinging where the enemy is missing, ping directly in your ally's field of vision so they won't miss it. It's an extremely good habit that may save your teammate's lives and score you your team kills.
- Watch the minimap. It gives you valuable information. You will have better response time with your ultimate, saving lives and winning your teammate's lanes for them. You should immediately ping if you see someone roaming or just appear on the minimap, as knowing where the jungler can be is valuable information if you want to play aggressive.
- You get what you get and you don't get upset. If you are playing draft and you don't get the role you want, improvise. Any good player should have skill in at least three roles, although more is always better. It is highly uncommon that you'd have to take your last choice, people in ranked are usually flexible and will let you have a role if you are kind and convincing.
- Ask nicely. If you want help with a dragon or for someone else to give you their role, it doesn't hurt to say please and thank you. It may make them more responsive to you that game and later when playing with others!
Playing out the early game with Tahm Kench can be pretty damn boring if the opponents play it safe. You should always be pressuring whenever possible and exerting your influence wherever you can. Tongue Lash has great base damage, you should take advantage of this and use it whenever you can. Try not to push the lane, as you want them to be as close as possible to your turret so you can spit them into it, resulting in an easy kill! Keep tribush and river bush warded whenever possible. Bush control is important with Tahm Kench, as he relies on suprise to get as close as enemies as he can.
If you hit a good Tongue Lash and you're the right level, Flash in and immediately finish stacking An Acquired Taste! As soon as it is fully stacked, MAKE SURE Phase Rush has procced before you Devour the enemy. It is buggy and will not always proc! Exhaust counts as a spell for the purposes for proccing [[Phase Rush. Once you have the enemy, carry them as far away from their laning partner as you can, prefrably under tower. When the duration runs out, spit them out and burst them down. You are very very hard to dive and can often turn dives completely around if you play it right. Look for these opportunities, and be super patient. You are like a catfish, lurking in the silt at the bottom of the river, waiting for the perfect moment to strike!
Warding during the laning phase is relatively simple. If you are on blue side, ward tri bush and near dragon pit. If you are on the red side, ward near dragon pit. Keep vision in bushes, especially if the support is a bush cheeser. Leona comes to mind.
During the mid and late game, you should aim to always keep objectives warded with a Control Ward. Refer to the map below for a more detailed map of where to ward. Duplicate this for top lane.
Credit to Gamer Sensei for the picture
When the mid game begins to roll around, you should look for opportunities to spread the love. It takes a lot of experience, but good Tahm Kench players can look for opportunities and roam agressively with Abyssal Voyage. Tahm Kench is very good at contesting objectives. When you begin an objective, seek out the enemy jungler and Devour him! Use Phase Rush to carry him far away, well out of smiting range. If you have to die to secure the objective for your team, it will almost always be worth it.
If you are on the red side, look to do Gromp whenever possible. Tahm Kench bursts Gromp very quickly, making it very easy to get some free gold and XP for your carry.
When five man teamfights start to begin, you should look for picks. If you have a chance to get behind someone, do it! Quickly proc Phase Rush, Devour your intended victim, and make a run for it! Going 500-600 MS, it should be very easy to bring enemies right to your allies. You can even force people to buy a Quicksilver Sash in order to deal with you.
If you have to play defensively during teamfights, keep your button on the Devour button. Tahm Kench is excellent at shutting down assassins, and can peel and protect his carry very easily if he times Devour properly. Improper timing can result in you losing the teamfight, as your carry is unable to do damage to the enemy! Experience with Tahm Kench will make it very clear exactly when to use Devour defensively and when to use it offensively.
Don't be afraid to frontline if you have to, as you are absurdly tanky with Thick Skin. Make sure to use it carefully. In duels, it's best to use it on cooldown so you block the most damage possible. In teamfights, wait until you are very low and then use it. Be careful though; as Tahm Kench cannot activate Thick Skin when he is stunned, suppressed, silenced, or polymorphed.
If you'd like do normal games with me, feel free to ask. I like playing with others!