This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page
Thresh - Tanky Supportive Guide
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Changed my preferred marks to Greater Mark of Attack Damage because I feel that they work better in giving you a heavier poke in lane with the passive on his Death Sentence. I have just found it to be better overall. I also changed his masteries to where he is primarily down the utility tree, mainly due to how high the cool down on his spells are I have found that path to be more beneficial. You're getting more gold, and the Regenerative Biscuit along with the Explorer's Ward are definitely helping me out in lane. [PICKPOCKET is also a perk from going down the Utility Tree due to the synergy with the passive on Death Sentence, while providing your lane a heavy poke, you also give yourself an extra 5 gold.
Greater Mark Options
I personally use Greater Mark of Attack Speed primarily because I like to play very aggressive with my ADC and when you land your Death Sentence they are forced into running which gives you time to beat them and your auto-attack is great for that, so increasing the speed of it allows your to have a higher damage output in your laning phase. Some other options I could see being viable for Marks are either Greater Mark of Attack Damage or Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. The Attack Damage Marks provide you with a very heavy poke when tied with the passive on your Death Sentence which can be beneficial to playing an aggressive lane and when receiving ganks from your Jungler. If you do choose to do the Marks of Attack Damage I would recommend maxing out your Death Sentence first. I think that the Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is also another viable option simply because all of your spells scale off AP and it can give them some more damage throughout the game.
Greater Seal of Armor
I feel that the Greater Seal of Armor is the best option when playing Thresh as a tanky support. I don't find myself running too low on mana so the Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration aren't necessary. The Greater Seal of Armor will benefit your sustain in lane and also give you more beef during team fights which helps you fulfill your role.
Greater Seal of Scaling Magic Resist
The Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist basically works together with the Greater Seal of Armor to give you more sustain during lane and team fights. The other option you could go if you're not getting the Iceborn Gauntlet or the Frozen Heart as your last item would be the Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction. The reason for this is because you don't want both the Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction and your last item to be the Iceborn Gauntlet or Frozen heart because even without these glyphs your Iceborn Gauntlet will perfectly put you at 35% CDR and same goes for the Frozen Heart.
Greater Quintessence of Gold
Having the Greater Quintessence of Gold is absolutely vital for this build to work, these glyphs combined with your philosopher's stone give you a sufficient amount of gold to work with and allow you to keep up with their supports income.
Early Game Warding
As you can see my starting items include both a Vision Ward and sight ward. I primarily use my Vision Ward to knock off their supports first Sight Ward which allows my jungle to complete early ganks. If you don't obtain vision as to the exact location of their Sight Ward placement then I recommend placing your Vision Ward in the River bush, I usually find their Ward located there due to how important that locations vision is while laning.
With the initial sight ward I will do one of three things. One, I could ward either of the lane bushes to prevent zoning. Secondly, I could save it for being put up after my first Vision Ward fades, and the last option is depending on how much pressure is being applied to your lane from the jungle/mid, for example if I see that mid is strangely MIA along with their jungler, I might put it in my tri bush to eliminate another possible pathway for them to intrude upon my lane and attempt ganks.
Mid/Late Game Warding
Towards the mid game one key point to have Warded is dragon and Baron Nashor . Not only will it give you information as to whether they are trying to kill Dragon or Baron, but it will also give you vision of two popular crossing pathways in which players use to go from one side of the map to another which is essential for counter ganking, understanding strategy, and sometimes just "catching people with their pants down" by picking up a free kill.
The mid game will consist primarily of pushing towers,very important skirmishes, and team fights. In order to do these things efficiently and strategically one must have vision so they are able to infer the actions of their opponents. Understanding what your opponents are doing and where they are is critical for doing things such as split pushing, sniping objectives, stealing blue buffs, stealing red buffs, dragon, ganking.
Also if your team is getting pressured, have your jungle warded, and if your team is the ones pressuring, have their jungle warded. Having vision in either of these situations will benefit you and your team.
These items listed above are your go to items, each one plays a specific role in helping you support your team. I grab the Mercury's Treads because it makes his abilities in combat more consistent, not only will it give you magic resist which helps you sustain and play your role as a tank, but it will also downgrade the enemy teams CC if they do decide to focus you.
Getting the early Philosopher's Stone is vital for this build, it will help you sustain in lane and will also keep you at bay with your gold income which is needed due to how you invest your skill points into the Defense tree rather than Utility, this item will also be used later on in the game to complete your Shurelya's Battlesong. Along with your Philosopher's Stone comes your Sightstone which is also vital for early game laning. It will give you a sufficient amount of wards and just like your philosophers stone will also scale into another item for your mid to late game( Ruby Sightstone ).
Your two powerhouse teamfight items are Locket of the Iron Solari and Runic Bulwark, they give both you and your team more sustain in team fights and allows you to contribute much more to engagements.
Last Item Options
After the core items are obtained I prefer getting Iceborn Gauntlet, not only will this balance you out perfectly at 35% Cool Down Reduction, but it will also give you more AOE damage,slows, and armor to have during teamfights. If your really against the Iceborn Gauntlet some other options would be Frozen Heart or Abyssal Mask as both of these items give you more tankyness while both passives contribute to team fights by hurting your opponents attack speed or magic resist.
In Game Purchase Insight
The core of Your early game should be focused around getting the Sightstone and Philosopher's Stone, towards the Mid game I get the Locket of the Iron Solari as soon as possible due to its contribution to team fights and also the stats help you fulfill your role in tanking teamfights. After the Locket is obtained you can start looking into your Mercury's Treads and Runic Bulwark, the Bulwark is another essential item and I would argue is worth rushing if you're absolutely dominating the lane. Towards the late game you want to finish off Shurelya's with your Philosophers Stone you bought earlier on, and for my last item I prefer the Iceborn Gauntlet, they give you AOE slows which is more CC, they give CDR, armor, mana, and ability power (all your spells scale off AP). It's just such a well rounded item for Thresh.
Sightstone and Vision Wards
Knowing when to upgrade your Sightstone is situational. Most of the time I find myself just keeping the normal Sightstone and buying 1 or 2 vision wards to kill the other supports ward when I return to my lane. Although if you do have the money I feel that it is the proper decision to upgrade your Sightstone due to how the extra map vision gives you more knowledge of player positioning which is key in pushing towers, ganking, and avoid being ganked yourself.
As for your Vision Ward purchases there is basically simple guidlines I stick to with them. For starters if I see someone ward my lane, I know that when I go buy I need at least 1 vision ward. Also if you are going back to lane with 125g or some silly number that's not enough to grab an item, it will Never hurt to grab a vision ward instead of going back with the extra gold. I can't tell you how many times I've spent my left over gold just to get 1 vision ward and sure enough, that bush was warded. Also the third and final situation in which vision wards are vital are stealth champions, for example if they have a jungle Shaco, it's never a bad idea to Vision Ward your tri or river bushes. These Vision Wards are extremely important and contribute to the overall status of early game. Also, if you succeed in planting your Vision Ward and eliminate an opponents Vision Ward, you just made a great play, You denied their vision and improved yours, you opened up a window for your jungle to gank, and you gained back some of the gold put into your ward. Having control over your lanes vision is essential to winning a lane.
Getting your Mercury's Treads is somewhat situational due to the amount of gold you will be funding into wards and defensive items. You certainly want them by Mid game, but no earlier than that. I would not worry abut them early on unless you get fed or are dominating your lane. Also if the lane you're facing is giving you trouble because of their cc, you might want to pick them up in response.
Landing your Death Sentence works especially well with Caitlyn because you can pull them into her Yordle Snap Trap and then reactivate it to get back to them, so with Caitlyn's trap and auto-attack damage combined with your hook and auto-attack damage, it's enough to force a recall if not gain a kill depending on how early it is in the game.
Once you obtain your Dark Passage, and Flay you can really start bullying. To initiate you want to land your Death Sentence and begin to pull them back and just before it ends reactive it to get to them, this way they will be as far as possible from any means of defense or escape paths and you along with your ADC can continue to damage them, after successfully landing a Death Sentence, you can then go on to Flay them back even further and for me personally this has always forced a recall if not secure a kill for my ADC if done properly.
Towards the mid game Thresh is basically the same except now The Box is far more relevant and extremely important to team fights. Ideally you want to initiate the fight with your Death Sentence by yanking yourself into a majority of their team, then once you cast The Box while your surrounded, your team will have an opportunity to land extremely efficient AOE spells and or skill-shots which is always relevant to coming out on top of an engagement.
Spells That Work Well With The Box
So basically you just want to center your engagements around the CC he provides in order for your team to have more accurate and efficient spells.