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Tahm Kench Build Guide by Doberick

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Doberick

The King of the Top lane

Doberick Last updated on July 27, 2015
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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

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Hi everyone, I'm Doberick and this is my Tahm Kench top build. I've been playing him for a week with this build and I think it's funny to surprise your opponents going ad AA based instead full tank or ap/tank. Sorry for my english, it's not my maternal language but I'll try to do my best to write this guide the clearest possible. I would appreciate any feedback.

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Why this build instead an ap/tank build?

Well I find this build more funny than the usual ap/tank or pure tank build. Your early is stronger with this build because you dont depend on to make a nice amount of damage, and once you get some kills you can snowball pretty easy. The other reason is having a good amount of attack speed, we can stacks our sooner and also get a better use of passive.

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// Pretty useful for most top laners, it gives you a very nice map presence and allows you to come back to your lane faster, gank other lanes, help in early fights...

// Mandatory for 90% of the champs. The best summoner spell.
Other options

You can change the for or even depending on your enemy.

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Pros / Cons


+ Nice dueling capability
+ Good splitpusher
+ Can save mates
+ Good damage even with tanky build
+ Helps other champs to initiate easier.
Tahm Kench is one of the best champs for 1v1 in early/mid game. His + allows him to have a nice map presence. Can use to save mates or to help other champs to initiate easier.


- No escapes
- No aoe cc
- Low mobility
- Low impact on the game
Here comes the weakness points. He has no escapes so if overextend an enemy gank can mean an enemy kill. He hasnt any kind of aoe cc, all his cc is for one target. Can be kited by some champs with high kite skills or high mobility. Even if he gets kills and stomps his lane, his impact on the game is lower than other champs with the same kills/farm.

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Skills explanation

An Acquired Taste
// Applies stacks to enemy champions
// This passive allows you to, once you applied 3 stacks on an enemy champion, stun him with or eat him with .

Tongue Lash
// Deals damage, slows and can stun the enemy target
// This is probably your main cc skill. Allows you to stun an enemy champion with 3 stacks of your . Use it when the enemy champion has 3 stacks or when you want to initiate a fight but you are'nt in melee range.

// Eats champions, minions or monsters
// This is your "secure kill skill" in 1v1, you can eat an enemy champion once he gets 3 stacks of your . Once you eat an enemy champion, he loses his stacks of so you must save it to use when the enemy champion is low hp, as a finish skill. You can use asap on an enemy champion to secure the kill if you are with your team or in a teamfight to cc some annoying champ like . Also you can use to save mates, to chase someone, to run out with a teammate or to help an initiate champ like to engage easier.

Thick Skin
// Heals an amount of damage taken and can give you a huge shield
// This is your main defensive skill. Gives you nice sustain for laning phase, allows you to towerdive early even without tank items and helps you alot in duels/teamfights. It can be used to counter skills like or . Use it as .

Abyssal Voyage
// Increases your damage and allows you to jump solo or with a teammate
// Well, this skill is what gives you a nice amount of damage even going tanky. The passive is clear, gives you 4/6/8% of your bonus health as bonus magic damage to your AA, and . The active is pretty useful to move around the map if needed and you can use it to gank mid near from the toplane if the enemy mid overextends. Remember you can travel with a teammate so you can make a nice ganks/engages.

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Items explanation

Blade of the Ruined King
// Usually your first item, it helps you to stay in lane thanks to the sustain it provides. His passive skill is pretty nice and his active skill is very useful for champions with low mobility like .

Mercury0s Treads
//You will buy this 90% of the games. If you are facing an enemy team AA based or they have 4+AD maybe you want buy .

Trinity Force
// Probably one of the best items in the game. It gives you all you need, hp, mana, ad, attack speed, movement speed, pretty useful passives....Once you get your and you will start to be scary .

Randuin's Omen
// This is your main defense item versus ad. Huge amount of hp and armor, nice passive versus AA based champions and his active is very useful. Once you wanna get this item, start buying first to get the bonus for your sooner.

Spirit Visage
// Nice item, gives huge hp for your , some cdr which well, its useful and his passive is nice with your .

Righteous Glory
// Gives a huge amount of hp for your but the best is the pretty useful active for , it allows you make a good engages using your on a teammate with nice engage like , , ... and with the speed boost from your + using you can surprise the entire enemy team. Also you can use that active to chase and finish an enemy champ who trys to run out.

Why I dont suggest to buy Wits End?

Someone probably is asking himself why I don't suggest to buy . It gives a nice amount of attack speed, and nice amount of magic damage on hit so it seems really worht for this build but I really think there are other better options.

Blade of the Ruined King
// This item is better for us due the sustain it provides + a nice passive + a useful active for .

Frozen Mallet
// This item gives us 30 ad, 700 hp and a pretty nice passive for us. The 700 hp gives us 8% of 700hp =56 magic damage bonus from . We got enough attack speed from + so I prefer this item instead .

The Black Cleaver
// It gives us 40 ad + 20 cdr + 400 hp + 30% armor pen versus someone after attacking him 6 times. The second passive is useless for us since we have , but the 40 ad + 20 cdr + 400hp + 8% of 400= 32 bonus magic damage from + the armor pen passive is better than

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How to play this build

Early game

You can easy get the first blood at lvl 1, 2 or 3, if you are enough confident go for it but take care about damage incoming from enemy minions. If the enemy refuse to fight you, just keep farming until you have your , this item increases your kill potencial significantly. Your 1v1 is pretty strong so take advantage of this and try to get a kill everytime you can. You have no escapes so ward the river and keep an eye on the minimap. Only overextend if you know where the enemy jungler is. Your allows you to take a huge amount of damage, use it as and don't be afraid to towerdive to finish an enemy. Once you get lvl 6 you can gank mid using , do it if the enemy mid overextends. Save your to gank botlane if you can or help in early fights on dragon.

Mid game

Finish your as soon as possible and help your mates to take objetives. You can also splitpush a lane to take the enemy focus on you, probably you can win any 1v1 so if the enemy team want to stop you, they will go 2 or more of them to kill you so your team can take towers or fight 4v3 and if they need help you can help them using your or . If you are splitpushing tell to your mates to don't overextend or they could be engaged and fight 4v5 until you come.

If you prefer to group with your teammates and win teamfights, use your skills correctly, you can go for the enemy carrys but you are useful protecting your carrys too. Use your to keep busy the enemy , , , your carrys can do their job easier. You can use your to help your best engager to initiate or save a mate if needed.

Late game

At this point you will have your build completed, or at least 5 items. You can continue splitpushing if you went that way but is better to group with your mates because any mistake can mean a free baron for the enemy team, a free inhibitor or both. Just do your job in teamfights, protect your adc and go for objetives once you win a teamfight.

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He has more sustain than you, more cc, can harrash you, and have more burst damage. Once he gets some hp you will need to dodge his and use your at the right moment to counter his to beat him. Call for an early gank and try to farm as much as possible.


The big problem versus is his which counters your + he has more damage than you once he gets his . Your has lower cd than his so you have to use it as soon as possible to bait it and then continue fighting. Time correctly his and detonate them before him. Call for a gank if needed.


If he goes aggresive you'll be in troubles, consider take at lvl 2 for better sustain. You probably won't be able to kill him 1v1 but he neither can kill you.


Take care about his early poke, consider take at lvl 2 for better sustain. Keep an eye on his rage bar. You can kill him even in Mega Gnar form but he can kill you too so wait for a gank to secure the kill or just keep farming until he makes a mistake.


He can harrash you early and use his to stops your counterattack. Buy a as soon as possible and upgrade your to .


Usually players play aggresive, use it at your advantage to get an early first blood and snowball. Use your at the right moment to counter her . If you aren't enough confident take instead .


Pretty like . Try to fight early and get a kill. Just take care about his knock up at lvl 6.


Play aggresive the first levels. Consider take at level 2 to counter his poke. Go for after . Use your to counter his . can help in this matchup.

I'll add more matchups information as soon as I play more games versus differents matchups.

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My games

Here are some of my games with this build. In the 3 or 4 first games I went to buy as my last item, but like I said in the Items explanation chapter, I think there are other better options.

I'll add ranked results as soon as possible.

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The End

Thanks to everyone for read my guide, I'm sorry for any mistake about my english and I hope this guide was helpful for someone. Any feedback will be appreciated.