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Tahm Kench Build Guide by Spection

Support Spection's Guide to Phase Rush Tahm Kench [UPDATED FOR S12] [S11 GM]

Support Spection's Guide to Phase Rush Tahm Kench [UPDATED FOR S12] [S11 GM]

Updated on September 19, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Spection Build Guide By Spection 178 14 704,564 Views 22 Comments
178 14 704,564 Views 22 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Spection Tahm Kench Build Guide By Spection Updated on September 19, 2022
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Runes: Runes

Phase Rush
Manaflow Band

Biscuit Delivery
Approach Velocity

+10% Attack Speed
+10% Tenacity/Slow Resist
+10% Tenacity/Slow Resist


LoL Summoner Spell: Exhaust


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

READ ME FIRST - What Changed?


This guide is fully updated to reflect the Tahm Kench rework and the new playstyles required to succeed on him with Phase Rush. The changes are shown in this video below.

Linked here for your convenience

To address primary concerns, I want to clarify that while this strategy is still viable, it is nowhere near as strong as it used to be. Devour, core to this playstyle, is getting nerfed. It is not available to us until level 6, and has a much longer cooldown. Consequently, kidnapping players is more difficult and Phase Rush has more limited use due to how Tahm Kench trades in lane now. However, it is still good. This is mostly due to the fact that Tongue Lash will draw in champions at three stacks of An Acquired Taste This allows for a ranged kidnap technique that has little counterplay if the skillshot is not dodged. However, it will not proc Phase Rush unless you auto them or have Bami's Cinder. Phase Rush will remain a useful tool in lane with Tahm Kench's new W, Devour (now Abyssal Dive), allowing him to run away after comboing the opponent.

Kidnapping opponents in lane will require a CC setup from your lane or a Tongue Lash, an Abyssal Dive, auto, Tongue Lash or Bami's Cinder damage, and then a Devour with Phase Rush active to perform the kidnapping. Seeing as the self-imposed slow is not as massive, Ionian Boots of Lucidity will likely become stronger for more ults, Flashes, and Exhausts for Phase Rush.

In sum, Phase Rush remains a useful tool for trading in lane, but not quite in the same fashion. Read on for more detailed explanations
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Hey there! Thank you for stopping by my Tahm Kench guide.

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 crazy 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!

- Spection
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Pros / Cons


+ 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 as well as Devour's ability to reset turret aggro
+ 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, making tower spits a more likely reality
+ Abyssal Dive makes roaming easy and effective, can countergank and help out the jugnler if he is being invaded or let you gank your own lane with a Jungler or flank on your own if you are strong enough
+ Never really falls off in usefulness
+ Mana management is pretty easy
+ Waveclears well with Abyssal Dive
+ 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 will often proc too early, making it difficult to carry the Devoured opponent very far later in the game
- Very large hitbox (Blessing and a curse)
- Rune setup built for lane dominance, failure to do so means you can fall off
- Hard to master fully
- Can annoy teammates when they see your rrunes as it is not the standard TK rune setup
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Summoner Spells

Flash is standard on most champions and Tahm Kench isn't an exception. It gives your kidnapping playstyle a greater level of threat and, when used early, can force a Flash from your opponent which is easily negated by a Tongue Lash plus a Devour.

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.
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  • 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.
  • Biscuit Delivery gives you a nice little bit of health and mana sustain. As a melee champ very often versus two ranged ones, this is welcome. In lanes where you are comfortable with playing aggressively, you should build Hextech Flashtraption to make picks more easily.
  • Approach Velocity is built for Tahm Kench. It allows him to gapclose to a target after landing Tongue Lash. Very helpful.
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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.
Tips and Tricks
  • 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, but removes stacks. The cooldown of this ability becomes short enough that you can sometimes stun with Tongue Lash and then restack and Devour to secure a kill. Don't waste Devour when a Tongue Lash would have worked fine.

Tongue Lash:

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, as well as healing himself if an enemy champion is hit.

80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+ 70% AP)
6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 % of missing health
During Tongue Lash, Devour can be cast for free to devour enemies (including champions) as long as they have three stacks.

Enemy champions with three stacks of An Acquired Taste are stunned for 1.5 seconds.
Tips and Tricks
  • 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 kidnap champions that Flash or dash away from you. This only works if they have 3 stacks and you press Devour while Tongue Lash is in the air.
  • Can be used as a disengage mechanism if you're running away from somebody.
  • The heal is really strong for dueling, and many enemies will not expect it. Between the heal and Thick Skin, you are an insanely strong duelist and can 1v1 some fighters and tanks in the early and mid-game.

Abyssal Dive
ACTIVE: Tahm Kench dives into the waters, channeling for 1.35 seconds and upon completion blinking to the target location, emerging after a 0.15-second delay and remaining unable to act for 0.65 seconds after the channel completes.

Upon emerging from the depths, Tahm Kench deals magic damage to nearby enemies and knocks them up and stuns them for 1 second. If at least one enemy champion is hit, Abyssal Dive refunds 30% of its cooldown and mana cost.

100 / 135 / 170 / 205 / 240 (+ 100% AP)
Enemies can see the indicator for Tahm Kench's destination after he has channeled for 0.75 seconds. Tahm Kench grants sight of the area during the channel.
Tips and Tricks
  • Good for starting fights when enemies are in minions.
  • Great for roaming and opens up some unique gank angles to surprise opponents during a roam.
  • Unlike Tongue Lash, does not add a stack of An Acquired Taste, but does contribute to Phase Rush, meaning it will proc before you can Devour an opponent. Take this into account when judging how to use Devour and Phase Rush in conjunction.
  • Very good for wave clear.
  • Incredibly good for escaping ganks on your own or with an ally with Devour.
  • The opposite is also true, allowing you to gank with an extra body from unexpected angles, such as into bushes without people noticing.

Thick Skin will be discussed in more detail in the Teamfighting section.

ACTIVE: Tahm Kench swallows the target champion for up to 3 seconds, rendering them vanished and unable to act, as well as granting them displacement immunity for the duration.

If the target is an ally, they are granted a shield for 2.5 seconds, refreshing after they are Regurgitated. Tahm Kench is slowed and unable to cast movement spells while an ally is swallowed, but may still cast Abyssal Dive.

300 / 450 / 600 (+ 100% AP)
40 / 25 / 10%
If the target is an enemy, they are suppressed for the duration. Devour can only be cast on enemies with 3 An Acquired Taste stacks, consuming them in the process. Tahm Kench is grounded and slowed by 40% while an enemy is swallowed.

After 1 second, Devour can be recast into Regurgitate while Tahm Kench's belly is full, and automatically does so at the end of the duration. Allied champions can exit at will by inputting a movement command after the same delay, unless they're immobilized.
Tips and Tricks
  • 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, running to turrets or team mates, giving you more time to kill before they reach safety.
  • Devour's shield can be very clutch in fights, and its value should be considered carefully against using it on an enemy.
  • Devour can "break" certain abilities, preventing them from working properly. Some examples are Requiem, Rocket Grab, stacked Blaze and others.
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Tips for Ranked play

Tips for Ranked Play
  • 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!

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Laning: Biding Your Time

Early Game Strategy

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, especially to heal up if the enemy is good at trading a lot. 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. Use Abyssal Dive to get from bush to bush to make getting off a Devour easier, and use Phase Rush to escape after using your spells, unless a kill is possible.

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, as does the damage from Bami's Cinder and its mythic sibilings. Once you have the enemy, carry them as far away from their laning partner as you can, preferably 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!

If you are ganked or getting dove, try to judge your opponent's ability to cancel your Abyssal Dive. This should always be your first choice for escaping an unwinnable fight. Save yourself if you cannot save your carry. If you do not think you can complete the channel, try to ensure you are not focused so you can use Devour to artificially extend the dive and making your turret more powerful.

If you are winning and your lane is tending to be pushed, look for roams and fights in the jungle. Tahm Kench has a nasty early game and can respond to fights and rotate on his own pretty quickly.
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Teamfighting & Warding


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 aggressively with Abyssal Dive. 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 Smite 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 finger 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.

Look for flanking opportunities with champions that can make this strategy succeed such as Kennen and help them get the angle they need to win the fight. This works very well if your team is losing 5v5 fights.
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I would like to thank you for making it to the end of my Tahm Kench guide. I hope you have a good idea of how to play Tahm Kench in this unique manner. If you don't, feel free to send a friend request in League of Legends, or comment on this guide. I check both frequently. I worked pretty hard on this guide and I'm relatively proud of what I've put together, but it can always be improved. Please give me comments and thoughts you might have. I'm still expanding!

If you'd like do normal games with me, feel free to ask. I like playing with others!

- Spection
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Spection Tahm Kench Guide
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Spection's Guide to Phase Rush Tahm Kench [UPDATED FOR S12] [S11 GM]

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