Thresh Season 12
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Runes: No Cd Runes
+8 ability haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 ability haste
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)
Ability Order Ability Order
Threats & Synergies
laning phase decide the fate of your match
Champion Build Guide
I hope you enjoy reading the guide as much as I enjoyed writing it, and most importantly, that you take everything you can from it!
It's not always smart to invade if the enemy team has a better level 1 team-fight than your team does (invading into a team that has Alistar is an infamously bad move that can go disastrously wrong), but especially at low Elo this rarely matters since enemies almost never stack as 5 in a single brush waiting for your team to facecheck, whereas at high Elo this is almost standard practice against a Thresh or a Blitzcrank since these champions are so good at invading that the invade is pretty predictable.
You'll just want to invade through the enemy bottom side jungle (where you're most likely to find an enemy champion), taking the route I'll show below for each side.
Depending on how late the invade was, if you manage to kill the enemy jungler or one of the bot laners, 4 of you can stay at the enemy buff and leash it for your jungler as well as protect him/it from the enemy team, while your top laner recalls and goes to lane. The enemy team won't be able to contest it since they have one member in base, and if their jungler stays to try and contest they're just wasting they're time and risking their life if you manage to Death Sentence them again.
Once the camp is dead your jungler will go do his own thing and you, your ADC and your mid laner will all get into lane and play the game as normal, with the enemy jungler at a big disadvantage.
If their bot lane has decidedly weaker level 1 all-in than yours, then this simple action will cause the target to take a lot of damage and if they're overextended enough, you can even Ignite to prevent a fully effective Heal from taking effect, and either go for the kill or force their Flash.
If you're laning with Death Sentence because you're coming back from an invade, don't waste your hook right as soon as you get into lane unless you know it's a guaranteed hit, since when it's on cooldown the enemy bot lane will know you're useless for the next 20 seconds as your auto-attacks will barely hurt and you won't have any spells basically until the next minion wave arrives either. Whereas the threat of having Death Sentence up is enough to cause them to play less aggressively since they don't want to get caught overextended by it.
You'll want to help your ADC shove the wave with auto-attacks, something Thresh is good at since he's ranged and his auto-attacks also do more damage than the average support's thanks to Flay. You'll also want to try and get last-hits for your Relic Shield, especially from melee minions since they give the most gold.
At level 2 you'll take Death Sentence and can look for a full all-in by engaging with Flay and going for a Death Sentence while they're slowed, as explained earlier. Ideally you'll want to hit 2 before the enemy bot lane, which is why it's important to shove with your ADC, and that way they'll be weaker than you and be squishier to increase your chances of picking up a kill.
Here's a clip of SKT T1 Wolf showing a perfectly played early laning on Thresh:
1) When he goes in to trade, he wastes no time with auto-attacks, he immediately Flays Janna towards him and then auto-attacks her, forcing her to have to back off rather than retaliate because of how much stronger Thresh's level 1 is. If he'd started off with an auto-attack however, Janna would have used Zephyr -> AA and walked away having out-traded him.
2) There is basically no downtime in his auto-attacking, if he's not auto-attacking a champion he's auto-attacking minions to help his ADC shove.
3) Once the second wave arrives, he stops trading entirely: This is the wave that determines who will hit level 2 first, and it's important that he focuses solely on helping his ADC shove so that they hit level 2 before the enemy bot lane.
4) It takes 3 melee minions from the second wave for bot lane to hit level 2. Notice how just before the last 2 minions are about to die, he already knows who's won the race to level 2, and starts walking forwards to engage before he's even level 2, reaching Xayah for a Flay just as he and Caitlyn hit level 2, and using his CC to prevent her from being able to kill the last minion to hit level 2 throughout the entire fight also even though the race to level 2 was incredibly tight.
5) As soon as the hook lands, he knows there's a chance a kill could happen, so he immediately Ignites her to reduce the healing from the inevitable Heal.
6) Though they got no kills, the enemy bot lane are now down 3 Summoner Spells and have completely lost control of the lane, to the point where even a jungle gank is likely to hurt more than help until their next recall minimum.
This is a perfect example of how to play the early levels with Thresh, and I recommend learning from this and striving to achieve this level of play in your own games, since it really wasn't that hard on a mechanical level.
At level 3 you'll be taking Dark Passage which can be handy either for aiding ganks or saving allies, but overall it won't change much in how you approach laning phase, so there's not much to talk about there that I haven't already mentioned in the Abilities chapter. At level 6 likewise nothing changes except you get even more kill potential, and you can look to abuse this at the fullest by following the tips in the Abilities chapter.
Against some bot lanes the approach of beginning trades by walking up to their face and using Flay isn't actually the greatest idea. Some supports like Zyra and Karma have enough range, damage and CC on their spells that can be very punishing for you to try and walk up to them and then you won't even be able to reach them. Thresh's laning is better against relatively low ranged supports like Lulu and Janna, who need to be in Thresh's range to do anything as much as he needs to be in their range.
Against mage supports you're probably going to be getting pushed in since they'll have better waveclear and better zoning, but you can still go aggressive in these lanes if you chance a Death Sentence onto either them or their carry and can all-in that way, even if just for a trade rather than a full all-in to lower their HP and force them to play more defensively, at which point it's easier to land more Death Sentences since you'll be able to walk past the minion line.
If you're on blue side, you should place a Control Ward in the tri-brush, and a regular ward in the river brush (if the enemy bot lane has a Control Ward there, clearing it if possible), covering the two main paths from which you can be ganked.If you're on red side, you need to do the same but in reverse: Control Ward in the river brush, regular ward in the tribrush.
This is because it's easier to defend your Control Wards when they're on your side of the map compared to when they're on the enemy's side, and if your jungler's coming for a gank they're most likely to do it from your side of the map and the gank is more likely to succeed if the enemy bot lane can't see the jungler coming until they're as nearby as possible. With Thresh specifically it also means your jungler can come in from those spots for you to throw a Dark Passage to them as you move to engage, which is slightly more effective than them coming through the lane from your tower, as they can get closer before you give the gank away to the enemies by throwing Dark Passage into fog of war.
Not exactly warding but kind of relevant to the subject, something that's also important to remember is the blast cone on the red side jungle next to the river. If you're playing on red side you'll need to clear it whenever it's up since it's very easy for the enemy jungler to gank you if they can get into your jungle and blast cone themselves over the wall, bypassing the visin you have in the river.
You'll also want to keep a Stealth Ward on the dragon pit at all times after you get your warding item to make sure that the enemy jungler can't sneak dragon, which will also serve as a deeper ward to grant even more vision and keep you safe from ganks. Should you ever want to do dragon with your jungler, you should place a Control Ward inside the pit so you can be sure the enemy team has no vision of the dragon and has very low chances of managing to steal it.
If they don't lane swap with their top laner however, then he's stuck in a 1v2 lane and you should call your jungler and even mid laner if possible to come dive him 3/4v1 to immediately kill him as well as immediately get another free tower in response to the enemy bot lane's refusal to counter the lane swap.
In lower Elos however I never bother lane swapping and wouldn't recommend it since your team will probably have no clue what to do and the swap might end up doing more harm than good. In these situations your best bet is to push in bot as far as possible with your ADC, then quickly rotate mid to pressure the tower 3v1 while the enemy bot lane has a long distance to push the minion waves back into your tower before your ADC has to go back down to farm up the wave, and then you rinse and repeat.
You should be able to eventually wear down the enemy tower until it goes down, sooner or later depending on who your ADC is and how much waveclear the enemy mid laner has; or if you can get a good gank off on the enemy mid laner you can probably just get the tower down in 1 push.
If you have Turbo Chemtank, you can look to engage a fight by using the active and running up to a carry, Flaying them backwards and then trying to hit them with Death Sentence. It's risky, and you can get blown up if you do it in the wrong situation where the enemy team is easily in position to defend their carry as you charge towards them, but it's also the most reliable way of finding an engage on a carry that's out of position.
If this isn't an option, you could always try fishing for Death Sentences and try and catch out enemy carries like that, especially effective either when your team is sieging an enemy tower or the enemy team is sieging yours, where the carries have to walk up either to defend or to hit the tower.
Remember also to try and play around vision whenever possible: try to throw hooks from places where you know the enemy team has no vision, since if they can't see you casting your hook it's extremely hard to react to it once it comes into vision.
If you ever land a hook onto a carry, if you're close enough you should cast The Box then Flay the target into one of the walls. If you're not close enough, you need to evaluate whether going in on the hook is worth it; sometimes it can lead to a kill, but sometimes the target can just Flash out of The Box unharmed and you just end up killing yourself and engaging a bad fight for your team. Remember that hitting a hook doesn't always mean that the target is as good as dead, and judge for yourself what hooks are worth going balls deep for and which aren't.
Once in a team-fight, whether it's one initiated through a good hook or from your team-mates, your role is to sit back and protect your own carries from the enemy team. To do this you have two great peeling tools in Flay and Death Sentence, both of which can be used to drag attackers away from your carry, and even The Box can heavily impede their efforts of getting onto their target. You can also use Dark Passage to get your ADC to safety in situations where they're being dived on and you're a fair distance away from their attacker.
It's also very important that you remember to use your item actives whenever necessary, since so much power of supports is concentrated into the item actives that they buy.
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