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Thresh Build Guide by Therds

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Therds

Support THRESH - Come Out and Play [3.15]

Therds Last updated on January 13, 2014
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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: 9

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

Hi guys, this is my first guide in MobaFire and I hope you like it. I created this build to show you how I build Thresh and how I play him.

Thresh is a support (champions useful to their teams with their skill set and few items ( Locket of the Iron Solari, Talisman of Ascension, etc.) that try to let their ADC get all the minions kills, kills and offer their team vision placing Stealth Wards) tank champion with a ranged auto-attack. He also has a unique passive mechanic that allows him to harvest souls to increase his stats, but more on that later. Thresh should be played as an aggressive and controller support that focus on not letting the enemy ADC get farm and getting kills for you ADC. space


spa Thresh is a twisted reaper whose hungry chains ensnare the souls of the living. A moment's hesitation at the sight of his ghostly visage and there is no escape. He leaves in his wake hollow corpses, their souls ripped loose and trapped in the sickly green light of his lantern. The Chain Warden takes sadistic joy in tormenting his victims, both before and after their deaths. His grim task is never complete, and he stalks the land for ever more resolute spirits to unravel.
Thresh carves careful, deliberate paths through Valoran. He handpicks his targets individually, devoting his full attention to each soul in turn. He isolates and toys with them, gradually eroding their sanity with his twisted, maddening humor. Once Thresh takes an interest in a soul, he does not relent until he possesses it. He then drags those he captures back to the Shadow Isles for an unimaginably dreadful fate. This is his only purpose.
Little is known about the Chain Warden's past, and many of the details live only in nursery rhymes and campfire tales. They tell of a sadistic jailer from centuries past who took great delight in torturing his wards. Patient and brutal, he used a variety of methods to break his victims' minds before their bodies succumbed to his grisly designs. Chains were the jailer's preferred instruments of terror. Their shrill scrape marked his dreadful approach and promised agony to those he visited. His dark reign went unchallenged until his prisoners escaped during a massive riot. They overwhelmed him, and without ceremony or remorse, hanged him from his own chains. Thus began the unlife of the horrible specter known as Thresh, or so the tales go.
Thresh now haunts the land, leaving an aftermath of horror and despair. However, there is a devious purpose behind his dark machinations, and the meager spirits of average men are insufficient. He seeks stronger souls. Only when he has broken the wills of Valoran's most resilient warriors will he finally have what he needs.

"There are few things as invigorating as taking a mind apart, piece by piece."

If I write anything you don't understand, check this thread before asking: LoL Terminology

Have fun, enjoy and feedback!

(Sorry if I misspell something, english is not my native language.)

Thresh knows how to Poi :D

Music for playing as Thresh

I. Pros and Cons
which are Thresh's pros and cons?

II. Masteries
what masteries should I use with Thresh?

III. Runes
what runes should I use with Thresh?

IV. Summoner Spells
what summoner spells should I use with Thresh?

V. Ability Explanation
what Thresh's abilities do and what can I use them for?

VI. Ability Sequence Order
what Thresh's abilities should I level up first?

VII. Items and Build Order
what items should I buy with Thresh and in what order?

VIII. Warding
where / when / how should I ward?

IX. Respawns
when the dragon / baron respawns?

X. Synergies and Counters
what ADCs are better / worst with Thresh and who is good against Thresh?

XI. Summary


sVery hard CC
sRanged Tank
sGood damage for a support
sHe can save easly allies and he's a great initiator
sTwo Disruptions
sWith this build, you're very tank early game and able to easily take harass


sLow Mobility
sMana Hungry
sStarts very squishy thanks to Damnation, unless using this build runes and masteries
s The Box is easily flashed over / tanked through (however the slow is still very good so your enemies can't escape)
sYour Dark Passage's shield is pretty small

My masteries for Thresh are 9/21/0 that focus on being very tanky and being able to take harass from the enemy AD carry while giving a lot of damage to the enemy ADC by increasing your damage from your Flay.

Now in season 4, it's a lot better to go full deep on the defense tree instead of the utility tree as a support. You get so much tankier with Tenacious and you can resist so much more to CC with Legendary Guardian and Swiftness .
By putting 9 points in offense tree, you get easily 6 AD right at the start of the game, by using Brute Force and Martial Mastery . Since Thresh doesn't need AS, I prefer to use 4 points in Sorcery instead of in Fury .

I take Greater Mark of Attack Damage to do more damage, increasing the damage from Flay's passive, since its damage scales with your AD. If you're running this runes, you always want to be maxing Flay to make the most of your AD;

Greater Seal of Armor allows you to start off with a decent amount of armor, be able to be harassed by your enemies without taking too much damage, help mitigate the Damnation's handicap and take some damage from creeps;

I take 9x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist. The reason I prefer to use Greater Glyph of Magic Resist over Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist is because since now in S4, supports tend to do a lot of damage early game, flat MR will help you more;

Greater Quintessence of Health helps in your early game tankyness and helps Thresh lack of armor in the early game due to Damnation.

Other viable runes:

Use Greater Mark of Health or Greater Seal of Health if you prefer health over armor. If you buy Greater Mark of Health, don't buy Greater Seal of Health and vice-versa, since you need some armor from the runes to reduce the Damnation handicap;

Use Greater Mark of Armor if you want to take less damage from strong burst ADCs like Draven, Graves, etc;

Use Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed if you want to be faster at warding / counter-warding, roaming and at positioning all of your spells. I , personally, don't like to use very much this runes, since I buy Boots of Swiftness.
Use Greater Quintessence of Gold if you need help with support's gold disadvantage, since (supposedly) supports can't farm or get kills. This helps with buying wards and items faster than you normally would.


Flash is obligatory and works very well with Thresh because it helps you escaping (since Thresh doesn't have any escape's mechanism) and because you may try to do a well-timed and well-aimed Flash, followed by Death Sentence, getting your ADC some kills.
Exhaust will help your AD carry get kills, and usually it negates the enemy's Flash, as you and your AD carry can usually catch up to him even after he flashed. It also helps in teamfights (throw it at the most dangerous AD champion) and chases.
However, in the current meta, I prefer to do some more damage by taking Ignite. In my opinion, taking Ignite will help getting even more kills than Exhaust and even if you steal the kill, it still may be worth. Don't forget Ignite reduces healing effects like Heal, healing abilities (like Soraka's and Sona's), lifesteal and spellvamp.

Thresh uses an mechanic called "souls" that increases Thresh's AP and Armor by collecting the souls that appear when enemies die (creeps or champions). However, this passive makes it so that Thresh does NOT get armor per level, making him vulnerable if he doesn't collect his souls and makes you an early-game "easy" target if not taking tank masteries/runes.

>>Death Sentence
Death Sentence is a skillshot that after a 1 second delay, makes Thresh throws his kusarigama, dragging the first enemy (minion or champion) it hits and stuning him for 1.5 second. After, he pulls them towards him twice (once initially and once after 1 second). While he's pulling a target, Thresh cannot auto attack, however, he CAN move and use abilities. Pressing Q again will make him dash forward to the person caught in the chain, ending the stun but putting Thresh right behind the person.
If you pull a target that is on the other side of a terrain, they will not be pulled across it.

>>Dark Passage
Thresh throws his lantern that for the next 6 seconds, allies who come near it (even while Thresh is holding it) gain a shield that absorbs damage for up to 4 seconds. Whoever clicks in the lantern will fly right back along with the lantern to Thresh. It can be crucial for a teammate's escape and it can also be used offensively: throwing the lantern in the bush when the jungler is in it, and hit Death Sentence right after. Thresh flies to the person with Q, the jungler right clicks the lantern and easily lands right besides the target. However, this requires a lot of teamwork, and usually teammates don't really know how Dark Passage even works...

Made by SkitzOpheliac

Dark Passage can be used to gather souls from afar and grants vision from the fog of war.

Flay is a hard CC that knocks back or forward opponents, depending on their position around Thresh and where the player clicks. If you click backwards, Thresh will pull anyone in a line in front and back of him towards the cursor, and same thing if you click forwards. Also, champions that get flayed suffer a slow. The low cooldown of this skill makes Thresh a very dangerous enemy against channeling abilities because it cancels them. Flay can also cancel many different type of gap-closers. For example, Flay can cancel Zac's Elastic Slingshot while in mid-air as well as Jarvan IV's Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike combination. Flay has a passive too that makes Thresh's auto attacks deal bonus magical damage that is affected by three factors: Souls gathered, Attack Damage and the time between auto attack.
After auto attacking, in about 1 second Thresh gains a "buff", which is a blue icon for Death Sentence. It means that the skill is on it's minimum "charge" to deal the added damage. If Thresh refrains from attacking, he'll get a green, yellow, and lastly, 10 seconds after his last autoattack, he gains the red "buff", which means his passive is fully charged. When reaching the "red state" of Death Sentence, you should always try to auto-attack the enemy carry / support.

>>The Box
The Box when cast, creates a pentagon of walls around Thresh. Whatever enemy that goes through the first wall gets damaged and the biggest slow of ALL game (which caps at 75%, even though the tooltip says it's a 99% slow). After someone breaks through the first wall, all enemies can pass freely through the area, and all other walls will deal half the damage, half the AP ratio and half the slow duration. The Box can be used both offensively, after using Death Sentence a second time, or defensively, by ulting when you're being chased.

> > >
In this build, I (obviously) maximize the ultimate first ( The Box) because it decreases its big cooldown and does more damage. Since Thresh is an aggresive support, I maximize Flay second, increasing its slow and the damage from its passive. If you prefer, you can max Dark Passage first if you and / or your ADC play very passively and / or if your ADC already has high poke. With a maximized Dark Passage you can save more often and grab souls more often. With a maximized Flay, your carry can get more kills.

Since as a support, you should save your allies too, between maximizing Dark Passage or Death Sentence, I prefer to maximize Dark Passage first.

However, the order of the first spells should be Flay > Death Sentence > Dark Passage, since it'll help you get first blood.

Item Sequence

Ruby Sightstone

Boots of Mobility

Locket of the Iron Solari

Talisman of Ascension

Randuin's Omen

Banshee's Veil

Core Items

Now in season 4, you can start with items that gives you a lot more gold early in the game: Ancient Coin, Relic Shield, Spellthief's Edge. Out of these 3 items, the best to start with Thresh is Ancient Coin, since Relic Shield's passive only works with ranged champions and because the AP that Spellthief's Edge gives is not usefull due to Thresh bad AP ratios. Also, out of these 3 items last upgrades, Talisman of Ascension is clearly the best.


Now, it's time to start buying your core items. In you first return to base, buy Sightstone and in the second return to base, buy Nomad's Medallion or Targon's Brace, depending in which item you started with. Sice now in Season 4, each player can only have 3 wards at the same moment in the map and Sightstone already gives you 3 free wards, I prefer to only upgrade Sightstone to Ruby Sightstone later on the game, after I buy Locket of the Iron Solari and Talisman of Ascension. Sightstone and Nomad's Medallion are all self explanatory items because as a support, you have to try to save you and your carry from ganks and to control objectives ( Dragon , Baron Nashor and buffs). Since you're a support and you don't have much gold to spend on wards, with Ruby Sightstone and Nomad's Medallion/ Targon's Brace you can save gold to spend on important items. (Don't forget you can still buy some Vision Wards)




For boots, I buy Boots of Swiftness to traverse the map faster, to ward faster and to be faster at escaping and chasing. I prefer these over Boots of Mobility to be faster at escaping and chasing like I already said. Instead of these, since you're a tank support, you can also buy Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi if you want to be able to take more harass. To decide between Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi see if the enemy has more AP damage or AD damage but see too if they have a lot of CC. If they have a lot of AP damage, take Mercury's Treads; if they have a lot of AD damage, take Ninja Tabi and if they have hard CC, take Mercury's Treads.

For enchantments, I recommend you to buy Enchantment: Captain after you build your most important items, but you can also buy Enchantment: Homeguard or Enchantment: Distortion or Enchantment: Alacrity if you prefer.

Now that Runic Bulwark doesn't exist anymore, the best item to buy after the Ruby Sightstone is Locket of the Iron Solari. However, Locket of the Iron Solari has been modified and now it builds off Aegis of the Legion, giving an aura of MR but still giving Locket of the Iron Solari's AOE shield. This item will make you tanky, but the best thing about this item is its aura and AOE shield.

Talisman of Ascension has an amazing active, ideal for chasing or fleeing, giving Thresh health regen, mana regen, gold generation and needed cooldown reduction. However, it's not a very suitable item for teamfights.

If a teammate is already building Locket of the Iron Solari, just skip to the next item in the build order.

Choice Items

Zeke's Herald

For your 5th and 6th items, you can buy Zeke's Herald or Will of the Ancients or Randuin's Omen or Mikael's Crucible. Zeke's Herald or Will of the Ancients are situational and you should only buy them in certain situations where your team has a lot of AD damage (buy Zeke's Herald) or a lot of AP damage (buy Will of the Ancients. Randuin's Omen is an item I build most of the times since it makes you a lot tankier and has utility too since whoever attacks you, gets his AS and MS reduced.
Mikael's Crucible is a good item too since it's cheap but still has a lot of utility because of his active. However, it doesn't make you tankier and most stats that it gives (Mana Regen. and its passive) don't really help Thresh.
Another item you can buy is Banshee's Veil that gives you a very cool passive that may help you when you try to engage and MR that you may really need since it's one of the only good MR items that you can buy for a support. I prefer it over Spirit Visage since CD caps at 40% and you already have 30% with the other item of this build and because of Banshee's Veil cool passives.

A well-placed ward can literally be what stands between life and death, so you as a support should always try to have the map warded. But sometimes it's not clear what's the best place to position a ward. This part of the guide might be able to help you with that.

Where to ward?

You won't be able to ward every single star, not even just the red ones if you only count with Ruby Sightstone's help, so it's all a matter of priority and situation: keep baron and dragon warded at all times and the enemy team's respective "higher ground". Remember , during the game, to buy Vision Wards so you don't only count on your Ruby Sightstone.

Very useful warding tricks:
Made by TheZekent

Counter Warding

One thing most supports forget to do is Counter Warding. Counter Warding is very important to deny enemy's vision of the map.

You can use Sweeping Lens or Vision Wards to remove enemy's wards. Remember to first remove their wards and then put your wards. If you know a enemy placed a Stealth Ward, wait for a safe moment to Vision Ward/ Sweeping Lens it yourself and remove it.

When you play support, note what time dragon and baron die so that you know when they'll be respawning. This is useful to let your team setup for dragon / baron beforehand. There are various programs you can use for timing - overlays, computer apps, smart phone apps - or you can turn on chat timestamps and note when baron/dragon dies in chat. Instead of telling your team that the dragon / baron is up, you can tell them that the dragon / baron will be up in a minute and that you should start heading down there.


The purpose of knowing lane synergy is to enhance your early game laning by combining supports and AD carries that work well.
In lane, Thresh is good with high burst or high kill potential carries like Corki or Graves, AoE heavy carries like Miss Fortune, and carries that have strong CC such as Varus. Thresh is good too with Ezreal, thanks to his mobility ( Arcane Shift) and his burst. Remember that Thresh is not a baby sitter, and doesn't work very well with carries who have an unsafe early game like Kog'Maw. Thresh is also not very good with Caitlyn, Vayne and Tristana.

As for the team, Thresh fits on teams that can initiate quickly when Thresh hooks someone, or have very good AoE. Some champions that blend very nicely with Thresh are Jarvan IV, Katarina, Amumu, Hecarim, etc.


Thresh is powerful champ but he does have his counters and more difficult match-ups. Lulu, Janna and Zyra are the hardest match-ups for Thresh, both in lane, and in team fights.

Lulu's Help, Pix! and Janna's Eye Of The Storm block a lot of his harass. Lulu's Wild Growth / Whimsy and Janna's Howling Gale / Monsoon are very good at counter-acting Thresh's initiations. Zyra is also good against Thresh, because she can ruin his engages with her snare and poke him with plants when he tries to pick souls. The same thing happens with Lulu, when Thresh tries to pick souls. Lulu will poke him hard with Glitterlance and will force him to pick sould with Dark Passage.

Also, champions with silences such as Kassadin or Cho'Gath can deny an ally's ability to click on Thresh's lantern, making him unable to save them.

In lane, Thresh can't effectively harass some AD carries because of their range, like Caitlyn or they would absolutely destroy him, like Draven.

Thresh is a very good adition for the support roster. He can disrupt the enemy team quite easily, and help his teammates with his many hard CCs. Thresh is a perfect addition to your team if it needs someone who can initiate as well as save. His ratios are so evenly matched that you can build him almost anyway in any lane and it could still (theoretically) work.

I hope that this guide help all those who want to try Thresh because he is an awesome fun champion to play with and has so much utility in order to Team Fights / Laning Phases. I advise trying other things out on him since he is an all round champion and can go different roles such as Top / ADC.

SPECIAL THANKS: Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.