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Thresh Build Guide by Sacrados

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sacrados

Thresh - The Strain Warden

Sacrados Last updated on January 28, 2013
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Support Role
Ranked #16 in
Support Role
Win 50%
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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: 1

Honor Guard

Defense: 13


Utility: 16

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Although I'm fairly new to Thresh (as he should be to you as well) I have practiced with him since his debut, and have learned how to bring out his true potential in being a dangerous support champion. I'll also be working on an AP Thresh guide, since I believe he has some, but very little AP damage potential, but still requires some support.

The champion spotlight of Thresh covers a lot of the basics with him, but, does not show how to make him endure in a lane, since Thresh can be useless very fast if he runs out of mana, and his move set drains it fairly quickly due to Thresh being a tank and a support.

The way I typically play Thresh, is by stalling a bit early game, until I reach at least level 3, and harvesting as many souls possible, due to his passive Damnation which prevents him from increasing his defense and can only be increased with the harvesting of souls, so that I can combo his skills, like Death Sentence and Flay. Once an enemy is low on health and starts to run away, my usual ally goes for the chase, and if he lands the kill, but is pursued by another enemy champ, I just simply reel them in with Dark Passage , and prevent the enemy from landing the kill. I use Thresh, as a guardian for my allies, meaning that my top priorities are keeping them safe, and helping them land kills, and unfortunately, Thresh may need to die on a few occasions to prevent an enemy gank, which can cost you the game if they succeed to kill everyone, as Thresh is not meant for ganking, rather supporting an attack or an escape. For early game, I get Crystalline Flask to replace Health Potion and Mana Potion since you'll be taking a good amount of damage at your lane, top or bottom, and it saves gols, since gold is very crucial for Thresh to obtain the items that he needs, because you will not be farming at all with him. I never go mid lane with Thresh, since that is suicide for he can be pushed fairly easily, and has poor damage output, making it easy pickings for the enemy mid lane. I also go with sight ward, for the extra support and caution of enemies hiding in bushes attempting to gank. Also unforunately for Thresh, you will get killed several times at end game, due to the enemy team being stronger and faster, and ganks become more frequent, I typically die at end game due to team ganks, but not without setting up kills first, by binding as many enemies as I can with The Box and enjoying the carnage I have set up as I die, since your allies should be behind you ready to assault the enemy, as you are taking all of their hits.

This guide is intended not only to help Thresh endure in a lane early and mid game (since late game, his mana should be insane and no longer a problem to endure,) but also to bring out his raw straining power that will help your team, and ruin the opponent team.

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9 Greater Mark of Armor are essential for Thresh due to his passive preventing him from gaining defense upon leveling, and making bottom and top lane difficult, since that's usually where the hard hitters are lurking, especially ADC champs.

9 Greater Seal of Armor are for more defense, just to make you more of a tank early game, before harvesting souls.

9 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is for the magic resistance, which every tank usually has, just for the added defensive variety.

3 Greater Quintessence of Gold are for gold gain, due to the fact that Thresh (in this guide, or in general) is not meant to farm or make any kills, since he lacks damage output and skills to make any kills, unless the enemy has severely low health. With that in mind, Thresh is meant to make farming easier for your partner that you're supporting, not make it harder by taking their farms from them.

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Pros / Cons


Death Sentence can real in an enemy that is attempting to escape, and help your partner finish the job
Dark Passage allows Thresh to keep allies hiding behind bushes and walls to launch a surprise assault, it can make great escapes and assist allies in peril, or just grant a nice little defense buff while laning
Flay can keep enemies away from and place them toward your allies and yourself. If played right with death sentence, flay can easily set up a kill for your allies
The Box is a great ult that can be used defensively and offensively. combo with death sentence, and fray, you can trap any enemy or enemies, and set them up as easy kills for your allies, or if your allies are attempting to escape, place the box to slow enemies that are coming toward you
Damnation has a pretty good effect, granting Thresh increased defense and ability power permanently from harvesting souls


    Needs to have a good amount of gold throughout the game to become durable during a match
    His skill cooldowns are not the shortest, so a failed dark passage or other skill can make a dangerous opening for your opponents
    Does not gain defense, and can easily be starved from eating souls, due to many enemies that will attempt to punish you, the moment you attempt to obtain a soul.
    Extremely reliant on allies, but does terribly in team ganks due to low attack and ability power
    Relies a lot on combining his skills, if Thresh has low mana, he might only be able to use one skill which has minor effects without using another skill for a combo
    Extremely reliant on mana, and useless without it

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The mastery point for Summoner's Wrath , is just for the exhaust summoner spell

The mastery points in defense, are for just that, Thresh's defense, since you want to start out with as much defense as possible, due to damnation, and to be able to last early game before devouring souls.

The mastery points in utility, are for increased mana regen (very useful on Thresh), improving that flash summoner spell, decreasing cooldowns (very useful for stacking skills), and increasing starting gold, and gold gain throughout the entire game.

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Crystalline Flask and sight ward are for starting game. Crystalline Flask is great for saving up gold, instead of wasting it on Health Potion and Mana Potion that you will need quite frequently early game. Sight Ward is just for every support champ, to spot hidden enemies, and warn against attempted ganks.

Sightstone, Boots of Speed, and emblem of valor, are essential for early game. Sightstone is used for extra health, replacing sight ward, and building into Ruby Sightstone. Boots of Speed are for the extra movement speed, and build into Ionian Boots of Lucidity. emblem of valor is for added defense, and builds into Aegis of the Legion.

Ruby Sightstone is for added health mid game, Aegis of the Legion is for increased armor, magic resistance, and increased health, and builds into Runic Bulwark. By now, you should have built Boots of Speed into Ionian Boots of Lucidity for added speed and cooldown reduction, and Kindlegem for even more health and cooldown reduction, and it also builds into Locket of the Iron Solari

By the end of the game, you should finally have built Locket of the Iron Solari for the increased armor, cooldown reduction, health, and health regeneration, Runic Bulwark for even more armor, magic resistance, and health, and a Randuin's Omen for yet again, even more health and armor.

Optional Enchanments include enchanment captain and enchantment homeguard. You can also replace Ionian Boots of Lucidity for Mercury's Treads for reduced stun and slow time, and for more magic resistance, and replace Locket of the Iron Solari with shurelya's reverie replacing armor boost, with a 10 mana and health regen boost. You can also purchase Mikael's Crucible instead of Randuin's Omen for tanking an opponent with high AP, and increasing your mana by 300.

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Skill Sequence

It is good to start off with either Death Sentence or Dark Passage (although I recommend Dark Passage.

The reason Fray is a bad starting choice is because it's meant for a combo attack, and if it's the first skill you have, you'll have to approach an enemy, which is suicide for Thresh (make the enemy come to you!), so it should come third to be used as a combo with Death Sentence. Dark Passage should be maxed immediately because it's a great support tool for a support champion, and since Thresh relies heavily on his allies, he must put them before himself, and provide as much support as possible. Of course, next to be maxed is Death Sentence, which goes perfect with sealing a kill on an enemy who is trying to escape, or protecting an ally from an enemy chase.

Of course, Thresh's best tool is The Box, which seals enemies in, and if they break a wall, it severely lowers their movements speed, and deals magic damage. However, this skill can seriously backfire against enemy ults such as the champion Nunu. If you and your allies are attempting to gank enemies using The Box, enemies such as Nunu can launch their ults while trapped, and will damage all of your allies and yourself because of a perfectly positioned ullt, and can get you all killed, so be mindful of those types of enemies.

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Flash and Exhaust are crucial for Thresh.

Flash is not only a defensive tool, but also an offensive tool, and the great thing for Thresh, it's both at the same time! What I mean is that for Thresh flashing toward an enemy while casting Death Sentence, Flay, and The Box, is an instantly easy kill set up for your allies who need a defensive diversion to make an assault, while flashing away and casting Dark Passage gives your allies a quick escape, while you can cast Death Sentence to reel in an enemy as you make your escape, and most of time, grants another kill.

Exhaust is just to further slow and wear down an enemy attempting to escape (usually other tanks who can survive all of Thresh's tricks,) or to help an ally or yourself escape a chasing enemy.

An optional spell is Heal which just heals you and allies from time to time, which I find unnecessary for Thresh, but better than the other spell choices if you are for some reason against Flash or Exhaust

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It is crucial that Thresh survives as long as possible early game to try to collect as much souls as possible, and protect his allies. With Crystalline Flask , you don't need to keep wasting gold on potions, which can delay the obtainment of crucial items that Thresh needs to survive. If you keep leveling as much as possible early game, and consume enough souls, mana conservation will be less of a problem later on, granting Thresh more opportunities to combo skills, and set up kills for his allies. Other items are optional depending on the enemy team you're facing, and if you just want a change in pace, but it's crucial you focus on increasing Thresh's regen, he relies on his mana! This is my first guide, and I hope you found it useful, I'll be making slight adjustments in the future to make it better looking and fix any grammatical errors, and adding more tips if I come across any new methods to Thresh that are extremely helpful, so feel free to leave any criticism or ideas to add or take out, and enjoy being an amazing support for your allies, and your enemy's worst nightmare.