Click to open network menu
Join or Log In
Mobafire logo

Join the leading League of Legends community. Create and share Champion Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account


An All-Inclusive App For
Competitive Ranked Play
Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page

Tahm Kench Build Guide by SwelteringMuffin

Support Support Tahm Kench - To Spit Or To Swallow [7.23]

Support Support Tahm Kench - To Spit Or To Swallow [7.23]

Updated on December 1, 2017
Vote Vote
League of Legends Build Guide Author SwelteringMuffin Build Guide By SwelteringMuffin 34 8 1,403,720 Views 19 Comments
34 8 1,403,720 Views 19 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author SwelteringMuffin Tahm Kench Build Guide By SwelteringMuffin Updated on December 1, 2017
Did this guide help you? If so please give them a vote or leave a comment. You can even win prizes by doing so!

You must be logged in to comment. Please login or register.

I liked this Guide
I didn't like this Guide
Commenting is required to vote!
Would you like to add a comment to your vote?

Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.


Support your teammates by licking, spitting and swallowing as much champions as possible!

Check masteries above.
Check tips & tricks below for useful information on Tahm Kench gameplay and chapter items for reasonings.

You start by buying Ancient Coin and Faerie Charm which both are used for your first item Eye of the Oasis. The mp regen from Faerie Charm makes you not have to waste your gold on potions.

The key is to outsustain your opponents with your Warmog's Armor, know your positioning and to lick, spit and swallow as much champions as possible.

Just like I licked these people all over the place with my 6/0/17.
Back to Top


Tahm Kench is a champion based on crowd control and peeling, therefore you opt for the keystone mastery Aftershock.
  • We choose Aftershock because it provides alot of defensive stats which allows you to tank more in teamfights.
  • We choose Font of Life because your abilities and items will slow your enemies alot, providing heals for your allies.
  • We choose Mirror Shell because you want some extra MR and every time you shield your MR will further be increased.
  • We choose Overgrowth because the hp gained makes you alot more tanky for teamfights.

The remaining points are put in the Sorcery tree, this will grant you alot more mana sustain and some extra cooldown reduction.
  • We choose Transcendence because the additional 10% cooldown reduction will allow you to use your abilities to the maximum.
Back to Top


START items:
Ancient Coin -> Mp regen, gold and hp regen
Faerie Charm -> Extra Mp regen early game, very useful
Stealth Ward -> Vision*
*Swap to Oracle Lens at Lv9 -> great for vision denial preventing tp flanks, keep track of cooldown to use it directly when available try to cover as much map as possible whilst it's active

FIRST item: Eye of the Oasis
- GREAT gold income
- WARDS four of them, vision of dark places to get knowledge where enemies hide giving you safety or surprising the lonely enemy with your team
- GREAT sustain (mp and hp) early game, even better hp sustain later in game

SECOND item: Frozen Mallet (Get Ruby Crystals first when building)
THIRD item: Warmog's Armor (Get Giant's Belt first when building)

Tahm Kench is a tank, the passive of his ult is based off how much HP you have, the more HP you got the higher your magic damage with abilities AND basic attacks, and since basic attacking is a really frequent thing you do as Tahm Kench, to stack An Acquired Taste, you'll deal loads more damage aswell as slow the enemies even more because of the unique passive of Frozen Mallet. You shouldn't build Warmog's Armor second because you wouldn't have more than 2750HP and you'd miss out on the unique passive. Building Warmog's Armor as third item gives you massive sustain and you could pretty much stick forever in lane.

4th item: Mercury's Treads
Tahm Kench is a tank, thus also a frontliner, most teams have alot of crowd control making Mercury's Treads a nice pick.

5th and 6th items (choose two):
The four options (what part to buy first when building the item)
Dead Man's Plate (Get Giant's Belt first)
Spirit Visage (Get Spectre's Cowl first)
Randuin's Omen (Get Giant's Belt first)
Locket of the Iron Solari (Get Crystalline Bracer first then Aegis of the Legion)

All of these items give a great boost to your HP and thus your damage will be even more insane. Your choices will depend on the enemy team.

- If the enemy team has atleast 3 AD champions (or 2 AD carrying really hard), you buy Dead Man's Plate then Randuin's Omen
- If the enemy team has atleast 3 AP champions (or 2 AP carrying really hard), you buy Spirit Visage then Locket of the Iron Solari

- If the enemy team AD and AP damage is balanced, you buy Dead Man's Plate first because it gives a TON of HP and a nice speed buff, which is extra nice if you can work around with tier 1 boots, AND it gives alot of armor, now you need some magic resist, if your own team is doing really bad go Spirit Visage (selfish item so you can carry the game) if you're not having your day and are doing bad get Locket of the Iron Solari don't forget to make the most out of the aura/active.

When the game you're in doesn't want to end: get Elixir of Iron
Back to Top

Skill Sequence

Max out skills in this order: R>Q>W>E

Start with Q, poke and slow enemies in lane from range
At lv 2 go W, swallow minions and poke enemies, swallow a teammate in trouble to save them, swallow enemies to suppress them making them unable to do anything
At lv 4 go E, strong shield activate from grey health
Ult at lv 6, 11 and 16 as usual, higher damage based off HP, bigger range, lower cooldown
Back to Top


Get Exhaust and Flash, no discussion. Both can get you out of sticky situations but can also get your teammates to kill the exhausted person really easy as it reduces their movement speed, attack speed, armor, magic resist and damage dealt for a good 2.5 seconds
Back to Top

Pros / Cons

- Powerful ganks and rotations
- Save nearby teammates out of very sticky situations
- Great crowd control, slows, stuns and suppressions
- Very tanky, high sustain
- Strong self shield
- High damage

- Fisherman Fizz, will swallowing Fizz make Tahm Kench preggy?
Back to Top

Vision & General Gameplay

Before I start talking about where you should exactly place your wards as a support or any role you're playing as, I want to give insight about certain topics that alot players forget or are not aware of.

First of all, what is vision?
Vision is information of the map that your enemy team may not know about, basically you're talking about advantages.

Two examples are:
- You have a ward placed in the river. What does this mean? This means you can spot an enemy champion, most likely the enemy jungler but also the rest of the enemy team, since anyone may roam to other lanes at almost any point.
- You have a ward placed between the blue buff and gromp of the enemy jungle. What does this mean? Not only can you spot the enemy jungler/rest of their team, but you have vision of the enemies jungle camps aswell. Meaning you may know the route or where the enemy jungler may be/has been.

Once you have your vision you need MAP AWARENESS. What is map awareness and what is the important factor that goes with it?

Why do we want map awareness?
- Knowing in what situation you are in
- Where your champion is located
- In what kind of dangers you may be
- What you're risking

You want to know in what situation you are in because you don't want to die from a gank or a roam. Therefore the other important factor is being aware of what the enemies team composition is (aswell as your own team). This means you should know what the enemies are capable of doing.

For example the enemy jungler is Kindred or Nidalee. You should know these champions have a wall hop. This means your wards that give you protection from being ganked may get bypassed and giving you false hope of not dying. You should not only be aware of the enemy jungler because roams, spells and champion skills that have teleports may get you in trouble too.

So how do we get good at knowing in what situations you are currently in?
- You get map awareness by looking frequently at the minimap
- Frequently is like once every 10 or so seconds

I never look at the minimap, is this a disadvantage for me?
Yes, this is definitely a big factor. You can train yourself by looking more frequently at the minimap. You don't have to look every 10 seconds at it if you find it too distracting. Try looking at it atleast once every 30 seconds, then start lowering it for yourself.

When you've checked your minimap you must immediately think about certain things and inform your teammates in an efficient way.

When do I inform my teammates?
- You inform your teammates when enemies are missing for about 10secs

How do I inform my teammates quick and safe?
- Use your ping functions on the minimap
- In options when you press esc, hotkeys, communication you have Alert Ping and Retreat Ping
- When you press your hotkey for either Alert or Retreat, aim it at the location on the minimap, hold your mousebutton on the minimap, you may drag it around and release it for more ping options such as On My Way, Missing Enemy, Danger, Assist Me.

For example, your top laner has placed a ward in the top river. The enemy jungler goes through the top river and you notice this. What should you do as a support in the bottom lane? You can ping Danger at the location where you spot the enemy jungler so that the rest of your team notices this too. Once you know this information of the enemy jungler being in the top river, you also know that you're most likely not going to be ganked. Unless there's some kind of teleport factor that you should be aware of.

If there are 3 enemies in the top lane that means there can only be 2 enemies in the rest of the map. Therefore you may make plays in other lanes, play more aggressive, try to push out waves, get a tower and take jungle camps on the way back if you're in the position to do so. Otherwise your team should rotate to other lanes to save towers in the top lane.

Now that we have a better understanding of how it all works. Let's talk more about vision, wards and how to use your wards efficiently.

Possible options:
- Stealth Ward -> from Sightstone or the upgrades from it
- Vision Ward -> 75 gold in the shop
- Farsight Alteration -> at Lv9 from Stealth Ward
- Rift Scuttler

All of these options are used in a different way.

- Stealth wards have a limited use. Per champion you can only have a maximum of 3 on the map at the same time. Therefore you should use them wisely and efficiently. Don't place 2 wards on the same location or near each other, try to spread them around and place them in bushes so that if an enemy goes in a bush you or your team can still attack them. Place the wards for protection if you're being pushed in, or try to place them in the enemy jungle for deeper vision, without risking to die, around the OBJECTIVES that you're going for (towers/dragon/baron).

- Vision wards are wards that give vision, but are visible to enemies if they spot them. They last forever until poked down by the enemies, they give vision of enemy stealth wards and stealthed enemy champions. You can only have one of these on the map per champion. They aren't free so try to protect them by attacking the enemy. They are used to deny vision of a certain spot, so if the enemy team wards nearby you can clear out that ward. The best use for it is to place them in bushes where they will last long but give good information.

- Farsight Alteration are wards that give vision but are visible to enemies if they spot them. Don't waste them by putting them in a bush where there is already a ward. Keep track of the cooldown and spam these in any bush for deep vision. It is also effective to place them in bushes of your own jungle, they are more likely to last longer but can still give vision of enemies invading your jungle.

- Rift Scuttler, take these with your team whenever dragon or baron is a possible objective for either team. This vision cannot be removed using Vision Wards or anything, so enemies that are about to do dragon or baron will be spotted either way. Also it gives a nice movement speed buff that may help you win teamfights that break out.

When you ward be careful, it is not worth dying to place a ward. It is also not worth going halfway across the map to place a Vision Ward, you lose too much time running around and you'll fall behind on xp/levels/gold. However it is worth if your team is about to make plays on that side of the map.

Placing Vision Wards when on blue side:

Placing Vision Wards when on red side:

Recommended Stealth Wards when doing dragon:
*Blue squares are Stealth Wards placed by blue team, red squares for red team

Recommended Stealth Wards when doing baron:
*Blue squares are Stealth Wards placed by blue team, red squares for red team
*The darker coloured squares are optional
Back to Top

Tips & Tricks

- Global ult, game changing, turn fights around or you can gank someone out of position easily, reactivate ult to go solo, kind of like a Twisted Fate ultimate except you can bring a friend along for extra fun times

- You can NOT use your ult if you swallowed an enemy, so no kidnapping enemies to your own base

- If you cancel your ult, gets interrupted or no teammate joins the trip within 6seconds, your ult will go on a 10 second cooldown, the channel takes about 1 second, it takes about 0.5 second to pop out of the ground, meaning the enemy team has 0.5 second to respond to the ult animation

- Your passive gives you more magic damage, for damaging abilities AND basic attacks, based off how much HP you have, this is the sole reason why building HP on Tahm Kench not only makes him very tanky, but also gives him more damage output

- Your E passive stores a percentage of taken damage called Grey Health, if you take no damage for 2.5 seconds the Grey Health gets consumed quickly and it will regen a percentage of your Grey Health

- Your E active turns your Grey Health into a shield lasting 3 seconds, this shield is very useful and powerful if you get focused, which is your goal in teamfights, being the frontliner and soaking up damage, the timing is very important because you don't want to wait until you're almost dead and then activate it, you'd lose almost all of your HP and then gain a massive shield, no one will focus you when they see that big of a shield, what you want to do is activate it when you have about 1/3 or 1/2 hp left of the moment you take the first hit, meaning your shield should be around 50-66% of your current health, your shield doesn't look that huge anymore and enemies will stay on you while your damage dealers can finish off the enemies

- Your W can swallow minions/monsters, you can then spit them back out against other minions, walls or enemy champions, dealing aoe damage

- Your W can swallow teammates, saving low health or miss positioned teammates, inside your belly they cannot take extra damage, it cancels lock on abilities such as Caitlyn ult, kind of like a Zhonya's statis, you can spit them out yourself after a few seconds or for the maximum duration of the swallow, you run faster if you swallowed a teammate and run towards an enemy for initiation or catching up on an enemy with low hp

- Your W can spit teammates over small walls

- Your Q is your main range poke and also applys a strong slow

- Your W can swallow minions/monsters from a distance DURING your Q, for safe ranged wave clear or safe steal of jungle monsters/crabs from enemies

- Your basic attacks, Q and W apply stacks on enemy champions, stacking up to 3 times, at 3 stacks your Q stuns the enemy champion, the stacks don't get consumed, you can also swallow an enemy with W at 3 stacks, making them unable to do anything for a few seconds, you can move very slowly and direct where to spit the enemy out

- If you're close to your enemy champion with 2 stacks, basic attack them for a third stack before you Q them so they get stunned from the third stack (if the enemy is further away you have no choice but to Q slow them at 2 stacks), keep your W available so you can swallow the enemy right after the stun for maximum crowd control

- Be precise with your W and know who to swallow, for example you are in a 2v1 with a teammate, all three of you are low with the enemy having 3 stacks, you can swallow the enemy and one shot him, if you swallow your teammate to save him or missclick on them you may end up dying by the enemy, and afterwards your teammate may die aswell, be aware what enemies are the danger and what teammates are important to stay alive and if they are in danger
Back to Top

About Swelteringmuffin

- General
This is my third guide, if it helped you in any way, like by voting or leave a comment for questions/feedback :D

I play on the NA server with the username SwelteringMuffin (previously X_Ploxinator_X)

I mainly play support. Beside the fact that it's the fastest to queue with, it's a really easy role. You don't really have to worry about last hitting minions. It is an easy role, but to be great at it you have to do alot for the team. I like playing unusual support champions, because people don't know what to expect when you change a champions standard role/lane/build which can be beneficial for your team.

I have also played alot of jungle. It gives a good knowledge on when to exactly gank and how to bait your enemies perfectly into death as a laner. Since I play alot of squishy supports I've learnt how to bait enemies very well, provoking them or sometimes showing that lv5 champion mastery is enough to get them greedy.

Because of how much I've played as a support I have a good understanding on how the bottom lane and synergy between AD and support works. This is one of the reasons I like to play AD aswell.

Aside of all that, maining support has taught me how to efficiently ward, bringing the most vision to your team. This is something that I've transferred to other roles aswell, warding efficiently, because vision is not only the supports job, it's a team job. Once you get the hang of warding efficiently you will automatically work on your map awareness. Having map awareness made me know very well how to rotate around the map and when to take turrets, dragons or barons.

If you like Tahm Kench you may also like Bard.

- My guides
Tahm Kench:

- Milestones
2 June 2015: Creation of guide (Soraka)
24 July 2015: 100k champion points on Soraka, wooooo!
28 August 2015: Creation of guide (Sona)
9 October 2015: Creation of guide (Tahm Kench)
14 November 2015: 100k views on Soraka guide, aww yeeaa!
14 November 2015: Creation of guide (Nunu)
2 December 2015: Creation of guide (Kayle)
6 December 2015: 100k views on Tahm Kench guide, woop woop!
6 December 2015: 100k views on Sona guide, double woop woop!
18 December 2015: 500k views on Soraka guide, keep on healin' keep on healin'!
24 January 2016: 500k views on Tahm Kench guide, don't stop licking :P
1 February 2016: Creation of guide (Jhin)
3 February 2016: 100k views on Nunu guide, let's build this snowman!
12 February 2016: 100k views on Kayle guide, keep on smackin' with your sword!
10 March 2016: 1M views on Soraka guide, a small loan of a million views.
13 March 2016: 100k views on Jhin guide, load, aim, headshot!
31 March 2016: 500k views on Sona Guide, heal, speed, burst, repeat!
16 May 2016: 2M views on Soraka guide, that's quite a bit, but we heal more with one W! >:D
9 July 2016: 500k views on Nunu guide, stay frosty.
16 August 2016: Creation of guide (Bard)
24 August 2016: 1M views on Tahm Kench guide, Lickitung would be proud of this.
3 September 2016: Lv7 mastery on Soraka!
29 September 2016: 500k views on Kayle guide.
29 September 2016: 100k champion points on Sona.

- Champions I like to play
Tahm Kench

Xin Zhao

AD bottom:
Miss Fortune
League of Legends Build Guide Author SwelteringMuffin
SwelteringMuffin Tahm Kench Guide
Vote Vote
Support Tahm Kench - To Spit Or To Swallow [7.23]

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide