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Tahm Kench Build Guide by Zoolandor

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Zoolandor

Tahm Kench Support - Get In My Belly

Zoolandor Last updated on July 28, 2015
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Support Role
Ranked #14 in
Support Role
Win 51%
Get More Stats

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: 0

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 27


Utility: 3

Threats to Tahm Kench with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Janna She can disengage really well. Dodging her cyclone is going to negate a lot of her power. Just be wary of ganks, as that is where she is going to shine.
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Hi my name is Zoolandor. I'm a gold player on NA and the main role that I have played is support ranging from Leona to Zyra, even thrown a Sion and Shen when i'm feeling bored. I'm not sure what it is about support, might be I like to take care of someone else, or I was just tired of my bot lane getting destroyed and not being able to do anything about it.

I'm not the best, but I'm far from the worst. I hope you enjoy my guide and feel free to leave me a comment on how I did and what I can improve.

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Pros / Cons


+ Tanky
+ Sustain
+ Can save trapped allies
+ Lane presence
+ Good slow / stun (if proc'd)
+ Can transport ally with Ultimate
The best thing about Tahm Kench in my opinion is the fact that he is able to save his ADC from fatal mistakes. Thresh hook, Blitzcrank grab, etc. can be completely negated if you are quick enough to devour your ADC. You then have a speed buff to get away and a slow to stop follow up. You can also completely take an enemy champion out of a fight for up to 6 seconds.


- Ult is easy to disrupt/predict
- CC is not instant
- No escape
- Susceptible to poke
- Somewhat skill oriented
- Can devour wrong champion if not careful
The worst thing I see about Tahm Kench is that his ultimate takes forever when initiated unlike Rek'Sai or Twisted Fate, and the enemy can see it coming. He has to have 3 stacks on the enemy champion to stun or devour. He has no way to get away other than slowing the target. Champions like Sona, Zyra, and Nami can be hell if depending on play style in the beginning. And, finally if you mis-click an enemy minion instead of your ADC it can spell disaster.

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Runes / Masteries



Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Greater Mark of Precision

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Optional Runes

These are all viable runes that you can use, some people would prefer them over what I have chosen. After trying the build I currently have I prefer the ones previously mentioned.


The reason why you're looking a 0/27/3 is because in my opinion putting more in the defensive tree is more beneficial. You're giving up roughly 400 gold, 10% summoner cooldown, and mana. If you're not dealing with much in the AP department, you can remove the points from Resistance and Evasive and put them in the utility tree.

Another viable option is 0/21/9 for your masteries as show below. Personally I feel the 0/27/3 covers what you need, but this one is pretty standard for tanky supports.

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Summoner Spells

Standard for most champions, and Tahm Kench is no different due to the fact that he has no other escape. You can go without it, however the enemy jungler will most likely take advantage of it.

You are slowing the enemy, reducing their attack speed by 30%, AND taking away armor and magic resist allowing for more damage. This is good not only for escape but also making the enemy ADC weaker and easier to kill.

This is a viable option to exhaust as a kill secure, it is better you get the kill than no one getting it. The healing being halved can also be helpful if they already have life steal, or have a healing support ( Soraka, Sona, Nami, Taric).

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Champion Abilities

An Acquired Taste: These are your stacks for autos you need for your stun and Devour on enemy champions. Stacks can also be applied by your Q and W.

Tongue Lash: 800 Range which is longer than Annie's auto attack and a slow that scales the more points are added. If you have 3 stacks from passive you get the added benefit of a 1.5 second stun.

Tips and Tricks
  • Tongue Lash resets your auto attack allowing you to stack faster, for example use this sequence: AA > TL > AA to initiate Devour.

Devour: Allows you to swallow an Ally, Enemy minion or Neutral monster for 4-6 seconds (2-3 seconds for enemy champion). You gain a movement speed bonus when used on an ally, and basically can't move with enemy champion (95% slow). The minions/neutrals you can spat out doing exploding on the first thing they come in contact with and add a stack if it's a champion.

Tips and Tricks
  • When you Devour your ally you can flash with them essentially giving them 2 to get away.
  • You CANNOT flash when an enemy champion inside unfortunately.

Thick Skin: After taking damage it's a good shield, basically doubles your life. The heal is good however doesn't really become powerful until the later levels with Spirit Visage.

Tips and Tricks
  • Don't hit this as soon as your being attacked, it only gives you what you have lost. I found that halfway is a good spot because if you wait longer then that and they have CC you won't get to use it.

Abyssal Voyage: The passive increases your damage based on your health. The active is very similar to Rek'Sai, but you're able to take someone with you and you don't need any anchor to initiate it.

Tips and Tricks
  • Aim where you are expecting for your enemy to go and out of their vision so they don't see it coming.
  • If you decide to not execute, just move and the cooldown will be reset to 10 seconds.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> > >
You're going to want max out Tongue Lash is because of the slow which goes up 20%. Following that you have Devour which increases your movement speed 10% when you have an ally inside your belly. After those the reason that you maxing Thick Skin last is because even though you gain 24% in heal maxed out, 90% of the time I've found you will activate the shield and not take the regen.

*** If you would like you can max Devour first instead of Tongue Lash, I prefer the 20% slow. Some people want it for the extra speed to escape and 4 seconds off cooldown.

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The aura is great for a Vayne, Master Yi, Yasuo etc. You also now have 40% with Face of the Mountain and Locket of the Iron Solari reducing your cooldowns by almost half.

Stops an enemy champion's ability, good health, magic resistance and it also has health regeneration. The other items already give you 40% CD so this becomes more viable and cheaper than Spirit Visage.

The fact that your getting a shield and magic resist for your whole team is pretty self explanatory.

This one is simple, all your items except boots give health and this turns 10% of your health into a shield. On top of that your reducing your cool down 10%.

These can be switched out for Mercury's Treads if you would like or you feel that the CC is strong with the other team. I personally find the 10% damage reduction from basic attacks more valuable, especially dealing with ADCs.

The final upgrade on this should be the last thing you buy before you start eating Elixir of Iron like MM's.

Other options

35% AOE slow for 2 seconds, health, and attack speed reduction if they hit you. Can compliment Frozen Heart very nicely for the attack speed reduction.

It's a heal, shield, 10% CDR, and removes specific debuffs from your ADC.

45 armor and 450 health to start and then at max level your doing 450 damage a second to all champions around you. Those stats are nothing to scoff at, but I would only suggest that if no one else has it because the aura doesn't stack.

Even though you pop shield 90% of the time, there are going to times when you don't, and this basically allows Thick Skin to be level 6 giving you another 6% bump in your health regeneration.

It's a great if your really far ahead, but if you are behind I wouldn't bother as it takes 10 minutes to get full stacks.

A good option for gaining/denying vision quickly. As well as being able to go quickly from bot lane to middle if needed. These would be a judgement call depending on your play style.

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Laning Phase Wards

Blue Side

Red Side

Best position for pinks


**** I'm not going to tell you where you should ward past laning phase due to the fact that it depends on where the enemy tends to go. You only have 4 wards including pink if your team is not helping you and you have to judge where this team likes to travel the most. ****

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One of the highest auto attack ranges in the game allowing her to farm safely and harass from a distance. Piltover Peacemaker having a range of 1300 is also a bonus to that. Also has Yordle Snap Trap which if you Devour and enemy close to it you can spit them on it allowing for a longer engage. She also has her own escape which added to yours makes a difficult lane to gank.

Excellent farming capabilities and higher damage then Caitlyn offers with her attacks. While her AA is shorter range then Caitlyn's she is able to adjust by using rockets making roughly the same range. She also has Flame Chompers! which allow for the same trick as Caitlyn. She has no built in escape, but you make up for that with your devour.

Good range to start with, also her basic attacks and Volley allow for great follow up on top of your Tongue Lash. Her ultimate can also be a great engage for you to get stacks up if properly timed. She is similar to Jinx with no built in escape.

Lower end of range for top picks on auto attacks, however his abilities more then make up for it. The range on his Piercing Arrow scales higher then Piltover Peacemaker, Hail of Arrows is a great slow, and to seal their fate he has Chain of Corruption. If executed properly on your target, no one should get away without a Cleanse or similar item.

Lowest on the range scale, however he is one of the highest scaling as far as damage. To make up for his range he has a speed boost with Blood Rush and a significant slow with Stand Aside that has a range of 1050.


Tumble will allow her to close the gaps to engage on whatever target you're on and your slow from Tongue Lash can set up a target for a good Condemn. One of her issues though is that she needs to build up her attack speed to become a real threat.

His damage is good and the range on his Mystic Shot is great. The attack speed from Essence Flux will also be great assistance on adding your stacks. He also has the ability to close gaps/escape with Arcane Shift. Unfortunately all his abilities including ultimate scale with ability power lowering his damage potential.

Explosive damage from both his Buckshot and Collateral Damage. Add to that his Quickdraw for engages and escapes and you would have top tier synergy. The only thing holding him back is his range for his auto attacks.

His damage is great from Phosphorus Bomb and the range is decent. Valkyrie is a great gap closer/escape and his ultimate Missile Barrage is great for poking the enemy. Only drawbacks to him is he is a lot squishier then most and limited by auto attack range.

One of the lowest AA ranges on this tier; however, his Relentless Pursuit assists with this. Damage from his Piercing Light and The Culling are significant allowing for good follow up on targets.

Has good clear on minions and her passive Draw a Bead just needs levels to scale up for range similar to Caitlyn's. She also has a great engage/disengage with Rocket Jump which allows for optimal follow up. Her ultimate Buster Shot is more a CC than a kill securer and unfortunately scales with AP.

Skill Dependent

The thing with him is you need to wait for his AA range to scale up. He has no escape so his and your positioning needs to be spot on. His abilities have great range allowing for good engages and the slow from Void Ooze can be just what you need to get to the enemy champion. He is unfortunately very squishy opening the possibility of bad trades and he is another whose abilities all scale from AP.

Boomerang Blade and Ricochet allow for great harass, and if she uses her Spell Shield properly the mana consumption will be significantly reduced. Add to this that her On The Hunt is an AOE speed boost she can get a great teammate. Problem is until level 6 she is dependent on you to save her if she gets caught, and her AA range leaves something to be desired.

Good damage she is similar to Vayne though and needs to build up attack speed to become a real threat. She has great movement with her passive Martial Poise adding potential escape for her. Sentinel can be useful when you don't have your Sightstone and her ultimate Fate's Call is a great engage/escape for you. She is just very dependent on position if not played right can be put into a world of hurt.

Not Recommended

Damage, Range, and Health are lower than the top picks and add to that she has no escape other than Make it Rain. I'm not saying you can't do well with her, but their are better picks. Her slow coupled with yours though can make for a good engage and if she knows how to Double Up properly makes the lane possible. Her ultimate Bullet Time also unfortunately scales with AP.

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Team Work

Laning Phase

In the beginning you can use your tongue to harass if you would like, it is relatively cheap and does a bit of damage. I would mainly use that in response to poke however. Using Devour to throw minions at people for harass is not recommended, it costs twice as much as your Q and the damage is not significant to justify it. Unless they are out of position I would just recommend playing defense, and allow your ADC to farm.

Team Fights

There are two basic ways to team fight as Tahm Kench:

  • In the middle initiating stuns/champion removal
  • Standing back next to your ADC and APC

What generally determines what style I will play depends on the type of team we are fighting. If they have some kind of lethal assassin such as Rengar, Shaco, or Zed I will play more towards the back to ensure their safety. If they don't have that lethal capability I will be in the center attempting to remove someone from the fight with Devour.

It really just comes down to reading the ques that your given. Don't be that support that chases down a Dr. Mundo wonders what happened to your ADC when Rengar appears. Remember also that you have your Face of the Mountain and Locket of the Iron Solari to help your team as they can be a saving grace.

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In my humble opinion Tahm Kench is the support you have always wanted. For all the times you have cursed under your breath that your ADC is caught by a lucky/blatant snag, you finally have the power to save him. The weight is now landing a lot more squarely on your shoulders because now you have that capability. Take that into consideration, but also acknowledge the fact that you can't save everyone. This champion however can separate the men from the boys.

Any advice/comments you have about my guide, good, bad, or indifferent please make them. I can only go up from where I am, regardless of how well I believe I made this guide.

Thanks for reading,

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Patch 5.14

Version 2.5 - 26JUL2015: Changed core build path and added Synergies.

Version 2.0 - 25JUL2015: Changed main Quintessence and marks after testing. (change attributed to tradtrad)
Version 1.5 - 23JUL2015: Added Team fights, optional items, summoner spells, ward placement and aesthetic changes. (advice given by Emoriam)
Version 1.0 - 21JUL2015 - Published