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
What is the worth of a soul? (Patch 7.9)
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Threats & Synergies
Alistar is innately tanky from his passive and that he will go for relic shield most of the time. Try to go for early trades in lane and poke him out by taking advantage of his melee range. When he engages on your ADC, try to CC their ADC so that you minimize the damage that your ADC takes, maybe even go for a favourable trade if your ADC ignores the Alistar and has a gapcloser to cover the distance. In the case that your ADC is unable to trade back, just flay Alistar off to ensure that he doesn't stun your ADC for more follow up damage.
While Annie is squishy and can be caught pre 6, she does A LOT of burst once she has Tibbers. Try to prevent this by either poking her out with your hooks with some damage from your ADC until she is low enough to burst before you all in her. Try not to stay too close to your ADC as her W can potentially stun the both of you and leave you being unable to peel for your ADC.
Bard is a tricky lane as he does decent poke damage from his passive on hit. He can also bind you to creeps from deceptive angles. Additionally, he has decent sustain from his W for his ADC. The best engage timing would be to wait for him to collect his chimes (his W costs a lot of mana early game) and all in their ADC when he is roaming. In lane, try to always step on his shrines to lower their in lane sustain and to waste his mana.
Although Blitzcrank is tanky, he has nothing else to threaten you nor your ADC after he has used his Q/E combo. Try to turn on their ADC when he has used his combo on you or missed it on creeps as his Q has high CD early game. Try to stay behind creeps where possible and simply lantern your ADC when he gets hooked and hook their Blitzcrank for some return damage.
As long as Braum uses his E correctly, your ADC will have very little trading potential in lane. He is also quite tanky and hard to burst down even when focused due to his W. However, as long as he doesn't land a Q or AA on either you or your ADC, he isn't anything more than a tanky frontline for his ADC. Try to punish his melee range by AA'ing him where possible while not letting him apply stacks of his passive.
While she isn't seen very often in the support role, Camille is a relatively easy matchup as she should not be able to engage on your ADC at all. You can stop her dash midway using your E and counter her engage by hooking her while she is out of position. The only problem is her Q damage which does an insane amount even at lower levels. Prevent her from insta-bursting your ADC by keeping some distance using your Q/E.
One of the more staple support picks, Janna is deceptively squishy as she has a low CD shield (that also gives additional AD when not broken) that is maxed first. Always try to bait out the shield by walking up and AA'ing her first, before engaging on their ADC. Once she hits 6, it is almost impossible to kill their ADC due to her E/R, so try to poke her down first so that she is easier to deal with even with her shields/heals.
Karma is one of the more annoying matchups to deal with since she has so much loaded into her kit as a support. She has decent poke with her Q, a snare from her W and a shield from her E. Her R just makes her more of a bully from more poke and an AOE shield. She can still turn on your even if she is hooked with R/E and can damage your ADC substantially if you hook their ADC with an R/Q combo. Try to call for ganks as she pushes the wave quickly (maybe unintentionally) since her Q does AOE to minions.
While Leona is decently tanky from her W, she can be essentially ignored after she uses her CC spells (E/Q combo) since she does not pose a threat anymore. You can also flay her E quite easily since it has an indicator before she dashes onto her target, making her useless after as she doesn't have a gapcloser. Try to position yourself between her and your ADC to prevent your ADC from being CC locked and turn on them after she has used her E/Q. Bear in mind that you shouldn't too close to your ADC prevent a double stun from her ult.
Lulu has risen in popularity due to her kit which completely shuts down dive comps (zed/rengar/khazix) with her polymorph. She also offers a decent sized shield (if she maxes it first) and an 80% slow on her q. She is quite hard to catch due to her MS boost (self cast W) and makes it very hard to focus down her ADC as she can simply shield all the damage dealt and turn on your ADC with her Q. Her ult also poses a threat to you if you decide to reactivate your hook to fly in as it guarantees a knockup, leaving you vulnerable.
Miss Fortune, mostly seen with Ashe ADC, is quite squishy and has no escape tools. Punish her in lane by focusing her down so that she cannot poke you down in lane with her Q/E. Try to stand beside your creeps as well, so that her Q cannot hit you. Her poke is decent, but a hook on her almost always guarantees a flash or a kill.
Morgana is a hell of a support to be against as her E completely counters your CC. Her bind also lasts for an eternity, so dodge all of them or prepare to take a losing trade. Her ult also forces you to burn a flash, or you will be pretty much dead. Your best bet would be to bait out her shield and bind before CC'ing her/their ADC down for a kill.
Nami can heal your poke, slow you down for more return damage using her E and has an un-cleansable CC with her knock up from R, not to mention her passive which gives MS when her spells are casted on her allies. Once you hook her, she can W you for damage and it will bounce back to her for healing, which makes it a lost trade. Coordination is key to winning this matchup as both you and your ADC have to focus on either their ADC/sup to prevent them from having an extended trade, which will most of the time, go in their favour.
Nautilus is a terror both as a top laner and support because of how much damage he can do as a tank. The amount of CC he dishes out is definitely on par, if not more than you. He has a hook that will guarantee a stun from his AA, followed by a significant slow and damage from his E. His shield also negates most of the poke dealt to him. Try to take advantage of his high CD (well above 10s on his Q/W) and wither him down to a suitable HP for the kill.
Sona is an easy matchup, only if you play aggressively on her. Her Q poke is insane and her W sustain is nothing to laugh at. Never walk up to her and trade AA's as she will always win that trade with her Q AA. As much as possible, all in her when she mis-positions to poke you/your ADC. She is squishy and is relatively easy to kill.
Much like Sona, you have to play aggressive to win your lane. Her strength in lane comes from her ability to sustain her ADC with her W. Her heals are much stronger than Sona once she puts some points into it and her silence may be a bit annoying. Punish by going all in early since her W CD has been increased early game. Do not take extended trades as you will almost always lose due to the sustain that she provides. Consider taking ignite against her to cut healing to her ADC, thus netting an easier kill.
Tahm Kench is a tanky support that has the tools to protect his ADC when things are going rough with his W. His passive also makes laning against him tricky as he can eat and spit his target further away from incoming support. His E also makes him deceptively tanky in a drawn out fight as his grey health turns into a shield for 6s. As much as possible, poke him in lane slowly, making sure that you and your ADC can kill him even through his remaining grey HP.
Velkoz is an AP mage support that is also rarely seen bot lane, but can be quite oppressive due to his high damage output even as a support, thanks to his passive that does true damage on every 3rd stack. Dodge his spells to prevent being forced out of lane, which should be quite easy since all of them are skillshots, punish his mis-positions by going all in on him.
Zilean is a toughie to lane against as his damage is pretty high and is also quite hard to catch. His Q-W-Q combo can take away half of your HP, as well as provide an AOE stun. His E makes him so hard to catch as it provides a substantial MS boost to his target and he can refresh the CD such that the duration can potentially be doubled. Your all in is thwarted due to his R being able to revive someone. Try to all in him before he gets 6 while avoiding his damage. Keep in mind to stay a decent distance away from your ADC/creeps as his double bombs can instantly turn the tides of battle.
Zyra is puninshing for most Thresh players as she can block your CC while poking you down with her plants. She can use her W-Q or W-E to summon plants to block your hooks while the plants that she summoned pokes you down. She also does decent damage as her base damage is nothing to scoff at. Against her, try to land those unexpected hooks through creep waves/from out of vision range so that she cannot react in time to put a plant in front of your target. Once she hits 6, her R will cause your all in potential to drop as she has an AOE CC you and your team go too deep on her.
Malzahar has damage from the summoned voidlings and the silence which can be tough to lane against. However, like most AP mages, he is relatively easy to burst down before he gets his R. Be careful when he has multiple voidlings active as they do quite a decent amount of damage in the early stages of the game. Try to wait it out before engaging on him. Destroy his shield first by AA him when he has little to no voidlings on the ground, followed by a E-Q combo for a kill. Do be wary though, as he can summon a voidling to block your Q if you start with a hook from a distance away.
Anyways, here is my in-depth guide to the Chain Warden. Hope you guys enjoy!
- Very rewarding if played right.
- Extremely good peel for your ADC
- Versatile support, can be played as an engager or disengager.
- Dark Passage is one of the most broken skill even at rank 1 with its escape
- Can lock down opponents for long periods of time, including a 99% slow from The Box.
- Gets free armour from picking up souls
Choosing between Exhaust and Ignite is purely situational. Personally, I always take Exhaust since its better than Ignite in teamfights since it cuts the damage output of the opponent’s team. Although Exhaust has been nerfed to not slowing the target’s attack speed anymore, the damage cut is still a good enough reason for me to always take it as a 2nd summoner spell on Thresh.
However, that isn’t to say Ignite is completely bad. Against healers (Vladimir/Soraka), or if you are going to be highly aggressive in lane, Ignite would be a better choice, since it shuts down the lane if you are able to snowball your lead.
The armour and health helps in letting me take less damage from mistakes, such as missed Death Sentence or Flay.
The additional mana regeneration helps in sustaining my mana because Thresh's Death Sentence- Flay combo takes up a huge chunk of mana. Without enough mana regeneration (and also because Ancient Coin is outclassed by Relic Shield now), it would take too long before Thresh is able to engage for his ADC in lane.
Why not Greater Mark of Attack Damage?
Flay provides enough additional damage on your auto attacks to ensure that you will be doing enough AA damage, even without runes. This allows you to do significant damage to enemy champions and for last hitting creeps with Relic Shield charges, if Flay passive damage is charged up.
I do not like Courage of the Colossus because most of the time, UNLESS you Flay multiple members of their team, you will most likely be receiving a 1-man shield from your hook. It also has a hefty CD time of 45s-30s, scaling with your champion level. I feel like the extra shield is only helpful in lane, and also because it is extremely hard to land a multiple man Flay first in teamfights (most of the time, your main engage will come from a Death Sentence, giving a "1-man shield"), I prefer taking Stoneborn Pact .
If the lane is going well, consider going for the targon's brace followed by Sightstone for more vision. This will allow your ADC and yourself to stay in lane longer than your opponent, thus punishing them either by outrading, or making them have bad recall timings.
On the contrary, if the lane is not doing so hot, you might want to rush a Sightstone first to avoid getting dove by the enemy jgler and/or mid lane. Remember, your first priority is to keep your ADC SAFE!
For the choice of boots, I usually go for the Ionian Boots of Lucidity for reduced CD on skills and my summoners for more of those flashy plays. However, if the opponent team has a heavy CC comp, I do consider getting a Mercury's Treads if we are even or behind. I purchase a Ninja Tabi when the opponent team has a AA focused team comp to cut their damage dealt to me.
With your completed Sightstone and targon's brace, you can either rush a Redemption for more teamfighting pressure, or your can rush a face of the mountain and followed by Locket of the Iron Solari for shields.
After completing your supportive items, ie Redemption and Locket of the Iron Solari, you can either go for more tanky items to peel for your carries Randuin's Omen and Frozen Heart, or you can go for a support focused build by going Zeke's Harbinger for more damage on your carries.
With the new items coming out in 7.9, Gargoyle Stoneplate can also be viable in the build, if you want to play the role of ''suicide Thresh'', but without the suicide anymore. You have the option of using the 2nd part of Death Sentence to enter their back line and use the active portion of Gargoyle Stoneplate to give yourself more survivability and also be able to cast The Box, trapping most members of the opponent team.
Maxing Flay may give you more AA damage, but in teamfights, your AA damage will pale in comparison to your carries'. Some might argue that your increased AA damage will help get kills, but I can also counter that by saying that my larger shield protects my ADC better, allowing them to do more damage. The added slow will come in handy, but usually, a nice Death Sentence on their carries will spell their end. There isn't much merit to a larger slow, unless your team is running a poke comp and are trying to wither down their front line before committing to a full on team fight.
When positioning for engages, take note of your aggressive/escape space, or as I like to term it. As depicted below, take note that when you have too little aggressive space, it will not be wise to initiate a trade, unless you are sure that you will not be ganked in the next 20s. However, if you have too little escape space, ward defensively to avoid getting dove under tower, or call for your jungler to turn if they dive.
When you are ahead with a sizable lead, always try to freeze the minions closer to your side of the lane. This is to force the opponent to overextend for CS, which you can punish by walking up to land a Flay- Death Sentence combo for an easy kill. Even when behind, you should also freeze so that you can still CS without fear of being ganked, if you have warded defensively.
The only time that you should push the lane is when you killed their ADC, or when they need to back. This way, you deny the ADC CS and exp, which delays their power spike at level 6.
When to roam as a support?
Roaming is a great way to help out your teammates, especially when they are getting pressured near their tower. To even roam as a support, you first have to ensure that your ADC is not in any danger of getting killed. Communicate with him that you are going to leave lane, so that he can freeze the wave nearer to his tower. Help him out by warding defensively as well, so that he can spot for a dive.
Alternatively, when you and your ADC back, you can just run to another lane and gank, before you go back to bot lane. Usually, when you and your ADC back, it means that the wave has been pushed to their tower and will most likely reset to you. Therefore, the wave will be nearer to your tower even when your ADC is back in lane, making him less susceptible to all-ins.
In the event that your team does not have an engage, you can start the fight with Death Sentence, but try not to use Flay, but save it when the enemy jumps onto the carries.
Do remember that when fighting around bushes, ward those bushes while keeping an eye out for your carries. This is a mistake that many lower ELO players make. Warding those bushes ensures that your carries do not (1) lose vision, (2) do not get surprised when they turn back on them and (3) make sure that the enemy has to back off from that bush, if they are simply using the lack of vision to wait for their cooldowns.
Your Dark Passage can also be used as an engage tool for your tank, when you land a hook on their carry and need someone to follow up. Throw your Dark Passage out first, then take the second part of Death Sentence. The Dark Passage tether will not break as long as you are in the flight path, giving them time to react and take the lantern for a free ride into their back lines.
When disengaging from a bad fight, drop The Box if you did not use it in the teamfight. The 99% slow will either force the enemy to back out or burn at least a Flash to chase your team down.
A tip for Thresh to disengage and keep one carry safe is to look for which jungle creeps are alive and hook while throwing a Dark Passage to your carry. Make sure that you fly to the creeps before your carry takes the Dark Passage, if not he will simply faceplant into the wall.
When to drop your Redemption?
We all know and love (or hate) Redemption. It changes the pace of teamfighting quickly as it provides a significant AOE heal for the team. Most of the time, you will want to drop it slightly after you engage, as dropping it too early means that the heal could be wasted as no damage was taken, but dropping it too late could result in a lost fight. Of course, focus on dropping it nearer to the back line, so that your carries can kite the opponent's threats, while still being in Redemption's range.
From personal experiIn ranked, nerves may get the best of you and your hooks might seem to always miss. However, do not let that get to you. In lane, it is very easy to dodge since their laners only need to worry about your CC, hence they will be extra mindful of your Death Sentence. This isn't so in teamfights as they will need to look out for your ENTIRE TEAM's CC. They will be less observant of where you are throwing your Death Sentence. Furthermore, you can start your hooks from bushes without vision, making it easier to land on the unsuspecting victim.
From personal experience, there are games that are going to be really good, while others may seem to be a lost game. But do not forget this, sometimes games are decided by a SINGLE teamfight. You could have played badly in laning phase, but one good Death Sentence can win you the game. NEVER GIVE UP until you are 100% sure that you have lost the game. Always try one more proper teamfight, with the team fully there.
ence, there are games that are going to be really good, while others may seem bleak. But do not forget this, sometimes games are decided by a SINGLE teamfight. You could have played badly in laning phase, but one good Death Sentence can win you the game. NEVER GIVE UP until you are 100% sure that you have lost the game. Always try one more proper teamfight, with the team fully there.
- To increase the chances of hitting your hooks, you should and always look out for the opponents dodge patterns. Whether he dodges left or right, inwards or stands still when you throw your Death Sentence. All this information is critical and will give you more insight on how the enemy plays.
You can also always walk up to Flay first into a Death Sentence, but always make sure that your ADC can follow up, if not you will be taking a ton of damage while doing so.
- Alternatively, you can corner the opponents into a walled area, such that they can only juke in one direction, as shown below. This is a common example in the bot lane when playing on either side of the map. Usually, with Death Sentence, what you want to do is aim for the champion's hitbox (champion's outline). Meaning that even if the enemy is hugging the wall, there is a certain "fatness" to the champion, that even if you hook slightly to the right of the wall as seen, they will still get hit by your hook.
- Another way of predicting the enemy's movement is by understanding that players tend to dodge intuitively. That is to say, if they are running straight for their tower and you throw a Death Sentence, they will instinctively dodge inwards, or towards you. Of course, this isn't a foolproof way of landing EVERY single hook, but there's a good chance of it happening.
- Some say that using Flay cancel a travelling ability is extremely difficult. In actuality, this only applies to some champions that have a very fast travelling animation, for instance, Diana's Lunar Rush or Akali's Shadow Dance. However, in the case of Jarvan IV's infamous Demacian Standard- Dragon Strike combo or Tristana's Rocket Jump, there is a visual or audio cue to look out for.
In Jarvan IV's case, you will know that he is going to jump when he casts his Demacian Standard, while you can hear the start up cast sound for Tristana's Rocket Jump. Pay attention to these cues and soon you will be able to cancel these skills with ease.
As for the faster travelling animations such as Lee Sin's Resonating Strike, you will have to predict when they will cast it and this, unfortunately, comes with experience and player tendencies. Pay close attention to when they are most likely to casts such spells and predict their direction.
- Predicting a flash dodge is one of the most flashy (pun not intended) plays that a Thresh can do and usually your team will praise you for it. Always pay attention and time the enemy's cooldown properly, and check if they have any repositioning abilities, such as Ezreal's Arcane Shift or Vayne's Tumble. From there, estimate the distance as accurately as possible.
Usually, if you cast Flash into Death Sentence while the opponent's Flash is up, they will panic and Flash towards their towers. It should make it easier to predict where they will be.
Of course, that isn't to say there aren't more, but these are just some that I would like to share with you guys.
My first guide ends here, please give me tips on how to improve and maybe I’ll do another guide when I have more time on my hands. Your feedback means a lot to me. Hope you guys have fun in solo queue and best of luck! :)
05/04/17 - Changed build path/itemisations to a more "standard" build path (Patch 7.9 just hit
- Changed many tabs because of the new support items (itemisation/teamfighting/runes
- Added a tip/trick that I realised from playing more Thresh :)