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Thresh Build Guide by CFCryo

Top The Most In-Depth AD Thresh Guide (Top, Mid, ADC, AD Support

By CFCryo | Updated on January 3, 2020
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Runes: Thresh Top "Lane Crush"

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Press the Attack
Legend: Alacrity
Coup de Grace

Bone Plating

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3 4
Ignite - Aggression (Top/Mid)
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


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Support Role
Ranked #21 in
Support Role
Win 51%
Get More Stats

Ability Order

Threats & Synergies

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Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

The Most In-Depth AD Thresh Guide (Top, Mid, ADC, AD Support

By CFCryo
What is AD Thresh?
AD Thresh can be played in a multitude of ways, not just the Full AD "One-shot" build we all know about.
Even though I say we all "know about" it, quite a lot of times I see people building it very inefficiently. Sure it can still work if you get fed, but what I've strived to build is consistency, to be nearly as effective, or more effective, than other builds in the current meta.

This means that I personally construct builds like this for use in Ranked, that doesn't mean, though, that you have to play them in Ranked at all, and they are certainly no "SECRET OP FREELO" build. There is a learning curve, even for a Thresh support main, to this play style, and the rewards to learning AD Thresh Top aren't even anywhere near as rewarding as putting hours into Yasuo or Lee Sin instead. It's hard to justify playing, learning, or putting any amount of time with the intention of taking it into ranked, but if despite all that you still want to do it, go right ahead.

I recommend playing about in normals, you're less likely to be flamed, and don't have to feel so much pressure to perform decently as an off-meta. Also, you probably won't be doing so hot, particularly if you're new to the idea. In fact, just don't use this in ranked.

Let's talk about what makes it work before I digress any further.

Full AD

Thresh has a 80% (Level 1) Total AD Ratio on his E passive, up to a maximum of 200% (Level 5 E) Total AD Ratio. This will be turned into magic damage on-hit in addition to the base AD physical damage you're already hitting. Assuming no crits or special things like that, your charged up attack will do 100% Physical damage, and 200% bonus magic damage.

That doesn't mean you have to wait 10 seconds for a full-charge all the time, however. Any seconds you wait will increase your damage by a % ratio proportional to the time you wait. So a half-charge on your Flay (Visible on the buff you can see that changes colour), will do 100% Total AD magical damage, which is still double the damage of a normal auto attack pre-mitigation.

With this passive alone, Thresh has very good poke in just auto-attacks, especially when timed around this passive. This potential is why his auto-attack range, for a ranged champion, is abysmal at only 450 units of range.
The waiting, hit-and-run style poking of Thresh's auto attacks with this mechanic has great synergy with Energise items, especially with their buff in Season 10. You can play around not only your E passive charge-up, but around the on-hit damage of Energise items like Kircheis Shard and Stormrazor to deal massive poke damage to your lane opponent.

The most important energise item for Thresh, considering his abysmal range, is Rapid Firecannon, increasing the energised attack's range to 600. Now, you can poke laners more easily and harass them hard, and have a much safer method of using your crazy E passive damage from a much fairer distance.

Every Energise item deals 120 magic damage on-hit. With Stormrazor as well, that's 240 magic damage, plus 55 AD which gives an additional 110 magic damage with Level 5 Flay.

Once you achieve 100% Crit by adding on Infinity Edge and Essence Reaver, you get even more AD, and the physical portion of your damage becomes 225% Total AD, with the 200% Total AD magical damage passive on E, plus tons of Energise on-hits, you'll hit and crit incredibly hard for that first auto attack.
It takes a while to get a feel for how much damage your auto attack is going to do depending on how far it is charged. There is much more to it than just going for assassination's on low or squishy targets, and that can only be realised through practice and experience, but I will try to put into words the 7 years of AD Thresh I have experienced.
Who am I, Cryobeat? Back to Top
I have mained Thresh in non-support roles since his release in Season 3. First as a jungler (Season 3 and 4 had MUCH easier jungles back then), then as a Top laner. I had experimented with many builds, deciding that an on-hit build was best, before the release of Rapid Firecannon which had me trying for AD burst builds.

Though I detested ADC Thresh, with the new Energise line of items and Stormrazor providing crit chance, I see it as maybe not "perfectly viable", but certainly not trash, and playable if only with some weaknesses.

With the AD Support items, you can also throw some damage onto him even in his main role. It compromises on durability and the ability to dive into enemy teams, but it's payoff is, if nothing else, extremely fun.

I also play other off-meta such as Tank Kassadin, Draintank Warwick, Tank Lissandra (Support but sometimes Jungle), and AD or AP Skarner.

I have a YouTube channel based around off-meta and my main champion, Thresh. The content ranges from guides to off-meta, to commentaries, to live games (More soon). There's also some good meme content on there, check them out on the Channel here!
Items and Runes Back to Top

Starting Items

Doran's Blade is the standard start for AD champs, and helps with poking your opponents down in lane, and of course with 3% lifesteal and 80 HP as well helping you survive.

If you don't need immediate HP in a safe lane, Cull is a nice choice for a slight economical advantage. The on-hit lifegain it has synergies with attack speed as well so it's great for going into On-Hit builds in particular.

Doran's Shield is nerfed for Ranged champions but can still provide decent regeneration through laning phase, but if you're up against someone particularly oppressive like Gnar, Jayce, Kennen or Teemo, Corrupting Potion can give you more "bursty" healing to keep up.

Support Starting Items

Unfortunately, in Season 10, Black Mist Scythe is having its AD and HP nerfed rather heavily, down to 25 from 35 AD, meaning Pauldrons of Whiterock is only 1 behind on AD while providing superior stats, gold efficiency, and a much easier-to-farm gold passive. So, like any Thresh support build, you should take Steel Shoulderguards.

A note on Steel Shoulderguards and Relic Shield, don't ever use it on Caster Minions. Always save one for the Cannon minion every third wave, and otherwise, take Melee minions. Your gold income and therefore your quest progress depend upon the gold you get, so make sure you're using these slow-charging... charges... on worthwhile minions. Casters give pathetic amounts of gold, so can really put you behind compared to someone ignoring them and taking melees and cannons instead.

Full Crit Build

The first two items are absolutely core. Usually, you'll start with Stormrazor as it is the best damage you can get for your "one-shot" in one item, then follow with Rapid Firecannon that so you have the range to use it in teamfights without high risk. The next two items give you 100% Crit Chance. You can rush the Crit Chance by taking 2x Cloak of Agility then upgrading them into whatever you need. The 100% Crit Chance is quite a powerspike and so it can be worth rushing it like this.

With Infinity Edge, you increase your physical damage portion of your auto attack far further, and Essence Reaver keeps your Flay, Lantern and Box on a shorter cooldown for self-peel and assistance.

However, you can opt for Phantom Dancer and Statikk Shiv as alternative 3rd/4th items for their defensive and waveclear properties respectively, without giving up 100% crit chance. Statikk Shiv will provide another 120 magic damage, but Infinity Edge AD alone gives 160 magic damage on the first hit, not even counting the critical strike damage. Phantom Dancer will provide no on-hit damage at all, but has the defensive benefit of its shield, and attack speed helps you shred down tankier targets that don't just go down in one or two hits.

After your 4 crit items, your boot choice can either be Sorcerer's Shoes for scaling your magic damage against squishies, or Berserker's Greaves to have more attack speed to shred tankier foes. If you're up against squishies that you wanna one-shot, go for Sorcerer's Shoes.

Defensive items include Guardian Angel, Dead Man's Plate, and Maw of Malmortius. Though the other two are self-explanatory, Dead Man's Plate gives great defensive stats and movement speed. The latter helps you get in range for auto attacks on fleeing targets, and also gives 100 bonus damage on-hit when you've charged up Momentum. It's a defensive item that provides more damage and utility that works incredibly with Thresh kit, and so I almost always buy DMP on AD Support Thresh when I can get it.

On-Hit DPS Build

There are a LOT of item choices you can make for On-Hit Thresh. He's a bit like a blank-slate that you can build almost anything on, though of course there exist sub-optimal choices like Nashor's Tooth. It may provide on-hit damage and make use of AP from souls, but believe it or not, that AP passive doesn't even outdamage Wit's End at level 9 in the vast majority of situations.

Blade of the Ruined King is a solid item for any on-hit build, scaling with enemy HP rather than your own stats, and providing attack damage to scale Thresh E passive, attack speed to scale soul passive, and lifesteal that works with it's own on-hit to give the sustain a Top laner needs.

Guinsoo's Rageblade doubles all other on-hit effects with it's passive, and most importantly provides a ton of attack speed and hybrid penetration to scale Thresh' on-hit damage. With the amount of attack speed you're stacking, it really isn't hard to get it to 6 stacks, but it can be a bit weak on it's own before you've collected a decent amount of souls. It's never usually a good first item, so build it after another on-hit item.

Wit's End may have reduced healing for Ranged Champions, but the attack speed, damage, and magic resistance are certainly no joke. Extremely good to build against AP top laners like Teemo, Kayle, Ryze, etc. Just be sure to mix in some health like Bami's Cinder if magic resist alone won't cut it.

Runaan's Hurricane, a Hurricane of Souls, triples your on-hits for an AoE attack. This means all on-hit items you build like Blade of the Ruined King and Wit's End, plus the damage equal to your number of souls. This is great in teamfights as a Diver or a Peeler for shredding the enemy team while almost drain-tanking off of Wit's End and Blade of the Ruined King's healing on-hits. The AoE makes for excellent waveclear as well, allowing for speedier, safer farming of minions and monsters, thus faster and more-reliable soul harvesting.

I'd say pick a maximum of three on-hit items, then take the rest as defensive. Sunfire Cape, Thornmail, and Frozen Heart are great armour options, and Spirit Visage, Adaptive Helm, and Abyssal Mask are great magic resistance items, just bear in mind you'll already have resistance from Wit's End if you've built it, so don't overcommit to the stat when the enemy has barely any AP. You'll have to choose according to what your team needs and what the enemy team has, and in my opinion, that is the beauty of this clean-slate On-Hit Thresh, as he is a true Jack of All Trades.

AD Support

Your first non-support item should be Rapid Firecannon. You will gain AD once your Pauldrons of Whiterock evolves, and you need to make sure that the gold the item has granted you goes into something useful first and foremost. As mentioned before, without the range from Rapid Firecannon, it's very hard to be useful in teamfights. Taking it early not only gives good burst damage, but guarantees you'll be able to poke and be useful when the time comes.

Naturally, some of these items are pretty expensive, like Stormrazor and Essence Reaver. They're crit items that provide utility either in SR's slow, or ER's CDR. Their build paths are fairly forgiving but B.F. Sword can be sometimes hard to come by. If they're out of reach, you can instead opt for Dead Man's Plate.

DMP can make up for the lack of Relentless Hunter if you haven't got that, and gives bonus damage as well to channel through your Rapid Firecannon range. The Health and Armour build paths are greatly beneficial against the botlane ADC, and of course for the rest of the game as well.

Boot choice can vary depending what you need, but Boots of Mobility are often a good choice for the active Thresh, Ionian Boots of Lucidity can make up for the otherwise huge-lack of CDR in the rest of the items, and defensive boots are always welcome when their passives are useful.

The usual array of support items are also available should you need their active abilities, and should not be ignored, particularly Mikael's Crucible. Extra damage won't help when your ADC, or yourself, are locked down by an enemy's crowd control.

Press the Attack is good for bullying in lane for attack speed builds, and Electrocute achieves the same, but more bursty/hit-and-run rather than attack-speed based.

Taking either of these aggressive options is usually good paired with Resolve for Demolish. So the cool thing about taking Electrocute is that you can have both Resolve and Relentless Hunter for AD builds. The movement speed is great for catching up to someone to deliver that huge AD payload.

Fleet Footwork is a more safe option and 'good' at all times but not exactly excelling in anything. It provides sustain for any role you take Thresh in, something he severely lacks, and has some synergy with the Energize effect. It is slightly better in AD builds for that reason, and is a great choice for ADC Thresh.

Dark Harvest is very powerful, mostly for bot lane where you and your support can poke your opponent down to low health. That said, it is a bit 'win more' in laning, so there's little point in it if you're unable to poke your opponent or hard engage with your support. Very powerful rune, however. Only thing to watch out for is that it will NOT activate unless someone is already below 50% HP, so you'll more likely be two-shotting people even with this rune. For real one-shotting, you're better off with...

Predator similarly grants access to the Domination tree with Relentless Hunter for AD builds, and allows you to roam from Mid lane extremely well. Unlike Dark Harvest, it does work from the first auto attack, and is the most realistic rune to help you "one-shot". Though, the more you focus on that goal only, the closer you are to becoming a straight-up troll, so caution, sometimes memes should just be dreams.

Aftershock is the hardcore defensive option, and completely mandatory on Support Thresh. Since your first item is usually Kircheis Shard, you'll need some defensive stats to make plays at all, and Aftershock will handle that, similar to Aftershock on Pyke.
In top lane and otherwise, Aftershock is a great rune to deny enemy combo damage. Darius lands an Apprehend on you? Quickly Flay him towards you to activate Aftershock and hopefully dodge the Q ring, then the bonus defensive stats will help you tank the rest of the damage and survive.

Thresh is a versatile champion, so he has some versatility in rune choice, but here's a tl;dr:

Top Lane On-Hit - Press the Attack
Top Lane Full AD - Electrocute
Top Lane Bad matchup/Tank - Aftershock

Mid Lane Full AD - Predator

ADC Safe - Fleet Footwork
ADC Aggressive - Dark Harvest

AD Support - Aftershock
Summoner Spells Back to Top
Top/Mid Lane

Flash is mandatory in all lanes for playmaking, catching up, escaping (especially since you have no dash outside of Q'ing a minion or monster).

Ignite is used when you bully your opponent and can secure a kill with it. As a ranged top laner, Thresh has decent dominance over many melee top laners.

Teleport helps get back to lane to keep up CS and soul farming, but more importantly it allows you to teleport to bot or Dragon fights to support with your massive utility and formiddable mid-game damage.

That said, if you find yourself only using TP to get back to lane every 6 minutes, maybe you should consider another spell. Sometimes and in some Elos, TP just won't be as good as it is in Pro play.


Standard ADC spells with Heal for movespeed and keeping you and your support alive. The movespeed can get you in range for a final auto-attack burst or for a Flay if need be.

AD Support

You could also go Exhaust which is fairly standard, and Ignite can work, but since you aren't building tank outside of Steel Shoulderguards, you're a very easy target similar to squishy supports like Senna and Soraka. Therefore, Barrier can help you keep your damage up and deny some focus. Exhaust can do the same but only "protects" you from one source, but may have overall better utility. I usually prefer Barrier.
Of course, you can take Ignite but you may find the lack of extra defense with this squishy start may be your downfall.
How viable is AD Thresh Back to Top
I may think he's viable, but my opinion really does not matter for this argument. I might have plenty of experience, but literally none of it is high elo.

When I play ranked, which I rarely do, I peak at Gold most seasons just to get the Victorious Skin reward, and never really have time nor motivation to rank up further, though I plan to do just that in 2020!

So what I'm trying to say with this guide and my channel's guides, I suppose, is that though I cannot say for sure if he is viable, but if someone more capable comes along to learn AD Thresh, maybe THEY can shine at a higher elo. I've had comments before saying they've played my builds (Thresh and AD Kassadin/Tank Kassadin) at Higher Elos than I'm at, and had fun with and performed decently well.

To reiterate, I literally cannot say for sure if they're competitively viable, I would be more comfortable declaring that they just aren't, but until I rank up and find out for myself, it's impossible for me to give a satisfactory answer for you.

What I will say is this:
- If you want to climb easily, this is not the answer you're looking for.
- If you're already determined to climb with off-meta like this, then maybe you can try it if losses and learning won't deter you.
- But no matter what, no build will ever guarantee rank, and no off-meta build is guaranteed to be superior to the rest, more often the opposite.

There are disadvantages to taking it, especially if you underperform. Squishy AD Thresh can't freely peel and dive as much as a tankier support Thresh. But with some control, macro and game knowledge, On-Hit Tanky DPS Thresh could, but will no longer be in the bot lane to help the ADC early.

There are champions that can fill the role of ranged top like Jayce, and champions who can be a strong bruiser lategame.
What is unique to Thresh is that he is both at once and more. He has an absolute ton of potential due to his pockets of power and his versatility depending on how he is played and built, as a result:
I cannot claim he is totally "viable", but I will not listen to neighsayers who do not have years of AD Thresh data and exploration to back their negative claims.

That is the issue with off-meta. You can only prove and disprove them on paper and in theory because there is never a big enough sample size. When that sample size appears, it's already meta (Blue Ezreal).

Well I hope I haven't sounded either too proud or too casual about this. I personally want to believe in the build as much as I can, but I cannot use my personal opinions to sway people towards the wrong thing. That's why, first and foremost, I present this as a fun alternative to the usual Thresh, and I recommend you give it a try, but not to be too quick to dismiss it if it doesn't work immediately. There is a learning curve, like any other champion.
Video Guides Back to Top
As mentioned earlier, I'm a YouTuber. I have a ton of videos on Thresh and some of them are guides. I will embed them all here with a note on what year they were released. So, some data will be outdated (Base Stats were changed around Season 8), runes were changed, items changed and removed, but here are some of my best guides for Thresh:
(Season 10, December 2019
(April 2017, Most Detailed AD Thresh Guide)
(June 2019)

Hope you enjoy, and hope it helps learn this complicated AD boi.
AD Thresh in Gameplay Back to Top
I'll try to stick to current-season Thresh videos, so from the top will be the most recent, going downwards will be less-recent possibly seeping into previous seasons.

Most of these will have commentary, and hopefully I add to this section with more live games, as most of them are replays for now.

The rest will be Season 9:

Hope they're insightful, or at least, entertaining!
League of Legends Build Guide Author CFCryo
CFCryo Thresh Guide
The Most In-Depth AD Thresh Guide (Top, Mid, ADC, AD Support