[Guide] Kennen: DON'T TAZE ME BRO!
Welcome to my guide to the little electric ninja himself: Kennen. He is a maneuverable little bugger, who can employ several different builds. That is why I was very specific about the map and build I was referring to up front. This is the method which I have had the best success with so far. The way I see it is this: Kennen should always be moving. Speed kills (and saves your life too). And you are going to be spamming your abilities for stuns anyways. So you might as well do as much damage as possible while you are doing it.
There exists an ancient order originating in the Ionian Isles dedicated to the preservation of balance. Order, chaos, light, darkness -- all things must exist in perfect harmony for such is the way of the universe. This order is known as the Kinkou and it employs a triumvirate of shadow warriors to uphold its causes in the world. Kennen is one of these shadow warriors, entrusted with the sacred duty of Coursing the Sun - tirelessly conveying the justice of the Kinkou.
Kennen was born in Bandle City and it was said that in his first living moments he bolted first from the womb and second from the midwife who delivered him. His parents had thought that he would outgrow his boundless energy, but as he matured his energy found no limits and was matched only by his unnerving speed. Despite his astonishing gifts, he remained unnoticed (or at least uncaught, as he was quite the prankster) until, on a dare, he ran straight up the great outer wall of the Placidium. When word of this feat reached Kinkou ears, Kennen was quickly and quietly brought in for an audience. He found that the role of the Heart of the Tempest suited him, frenetically delivering both the word and the punishments of the Kinkou across the realm. He now works with his fellows Akali and Shen to enforce the balance of Valoran. This hallowed pursuit has unsurprisingly led the triumvirate to the Fields of Justice.
The Heart of the Tempest beats eternal... and those beaten remember eternally.
Mark of the Storm - Kennen's abilities add Marks of the Storm to opponents. Upon receiving 3 Marks of Storm, an opponent is stunned and Kennen receives 25 energy.
Duration: 1 second. Mark of the Storm has a diminished stun effect if applied more than once within seven seconds.
Comment: This is what makes Kennen what he is. The goal is the wail on the enemy and stun them as much as possible. Getting that 25 energy back is nice, and can help keep an assault on an enemy going; particularly when your ult is stunning multiple foes.
Thundering Shuriken - Kennen throws a fast moving shuriken towards a location, causing damage and adding a Mark of the Storm to any opponent that it hits.
Throws a shuriken that damages the first enemy it hits for 75/115/155/195/235 (+0.75) magic damage and adds a Mark of the Storm.
Comments: A great little skill shot. I experimented with power leveling this skill first, and then focusing more on the other two. It worked fine, but just not as well as focusing on the other two first. So as much as I do love it, it ends up being the last skill I finish off in the build. BTW, in TT, like every other skill shot, it is a great little way to scout out bushes.
Electrical Surge - Kennen passively deals extra damage and adds a Mark of the Storm to his target every few attacks, and he can activate this ability to damage and add another Mark of the Storm to targets who are already marked.
Passive: Every 5 attacks, Kennen deals magic damage equal to 40/50/60/70/80% of his attack damage and adds a Mark of the Storm to his target.
Active: Surges electricity through all nearby targets afflicted by Mark of the Storm, dealing 65/95/125/155/185 (+0.55) magic damage and adding another mark.
Comment: Your multi-functioning taser is an awesome skill. There is so much to love here. Let's start with the active portion. Its range is great, and many nubs will underestimate it. It can hit enemies you don’t even see because of terrain and bushes. The damage and scaling aren’t huge, but they are sufficient. I will talk a lot about some strategies to use with this skill later in the guide.
As for the passive, it is what it is. It gives a nice damage boost, but that is not why you care. With an AP build, you should be more interested in getting that free mark on your opponent. It is great for early game harassing. Again, I will talk more about this later on in the guide.
Lightning Rush - Kennen morphs into a lightning form, enabling him to pass through units. Any enemy unit he runs through takes damage and gets a Mark of the Storm.
Kennen moves very fast and gains the ability to pass through units, dealing 85/125/165/205/245 (+0.6) magic damage and adding a Mark of the Storm to any hostile unit he passes through.
Kennen is refunded 40 energy if he passes through an enemy while using this spell, but can only gain this effect once. Lightning Rush deals half damage to minions.
This is a hugely versatile skill that I rely on constantly. It does better AoE damage than ES (to enemy heroes), and has better scaling. The problem is that it brings you into melee if you are not careful. Make sure you know where your enemy is, and what they can do to you before you spam this on minions.
TIP: Most enemies can make you pay for closing the distance with them, so be careful. Wait until they pop an ability before you use LR (morde’s mace attacks, mundo’s cleaver, etc)
Slicing Maelstrom - Kennen summons a storm that strikes at random nearby enemy champions for magical damage.
Summons a magical storm that deals 80/145/210 (+0.4) magic damage to a random enemy champion near Kennen every 0.5 seconds. This storm attacks up to 6/10/15 times and cannot hit the same target more than 3 times.
A Mark of the Storm is applied to enemies on each hit.
Kennen’s ultimate is ok, but not great. It will remind you of Fiddlesticks when you first try it, but it really isn’t even close. It only hits a certain number of targets a certain number of times for its duration. And it can only hit the same target three times. Recently it was improved to provide more strikes and apply a mark on each hit. So it is singularly able to stun an opponent now (or an entire group of them). Another nice thing is that the duration did not increase, so the rate at which the bolts is fired has actually increased.
It is only on a two minute CD, so don’t wait around for the perfect circumstances to use it. If you feel like you have a solid gank, go ahead and use it.
1. Lightning Rush or Thundering Shuriken
2. Electric Surge (or LR if you got TS)
3. TS or ES
6. Slicing Maelstrom
First and foremost, in your first three levels get all three skills. You want to have your entire salvo available to you as early as possible. More details on which to pick are below in the Pre-Game Ganking Phase. Just remember not to take ES first for TT. I can see the argument for using it first on SR, but NOT FOR TT.
After level 6, I then alternate LR and ES, leveling SM when it is available. And I save TS for last. As I mentioned before, I do not like doing it this way. But I have to admit that this has yielded the best results in-game.
The reason I do it this way for TT is that LR simply does a lot more damage than ES to enemies. Most things I have seen suggest power leveling up ES. There is nothing wrong with doing it that way, I just find that leveling both gives you better damage output.
Runes are a matter of preference IMHO. So I will provide a number of suggestions, and then defend the ones that people will think I am crazy over.
Red: Spell Pen (actually, I don’t have an alternative suggestion here, get the spell pen)
Yellow: HP, Dodge
Blue: CD, AP
Quint: Run speed, HP, AP
Dodge runes v. HP runes: I understand the added durability that HP runes give. But hear me out. This guide is about TT. You aren’t going to be taking the 5 man beatings you would on SR. Dodge runes do just fine to enhance your survivability, especially considering how many melee DPS you see in TT. Furthermore, speed is massively important to Kennen. With the mastery build, you will get a 10% boost to your speed after every dodge. This can save your life, or help you get in for the kill (minion dodges are always good). So all in all, I actually prefer dodge runes.
AP v ??: Sometimes, it is all about doing maximum damage as early as possible, particularly on TT. Your cause is helped a lot with +24 AP at level 1. Particularly if you get a Tome as your first item, I can see a decent argument for AP. That said, having the CD in blue and the HP in Quints are both huge. And furthermore, I have already said repeatedly how important run speed is to Kennen. I am just providing a few viable options.
9/21/0, or 0/21/9. Kennen is supposed to be an assassin, but the offensive tree does not support AP builds all that well. In lieu of that, I like building him to be sturdy. The AP, CD reduction, and spell pen from the offensive tree is better than what you get in support. But there is something to be said for getting bonus experience too. As for the defensive tree, I have a fondness for improved cleanse, which I consider one of the few ‘must have’ pieces of this guide. Speaking of which…
Cleanse: An absolutely necessity in my book. Kennen needs to be close to his foes for LR and SM. When you get focus fired (and you will), you are going to need to step away quickly. Popping cleanse and then LR allow you to put some distance between you and those that would harm you.
Ghost or Flash: You can take either. Flash keeps getting nerfed, and there is talk of removing it entirely. So you might as well use it while you can. Ghost is a perfectly viable alternative (and in many ways superior) in terms of catching your enemy, or getting away from them. Say it with me again: speed kills.
Exhaust: Exhaust is always a good decision. If you took improved exhaust in your mastery build, the extra debuff to MR is very nice.
Others: Heal is ok if you find yourself needing the bandage. But I prefer the other spells (flash, ghost, exhaust), because of how strong they are both offensively and defensively. The rest… I would not take unless I had to (e.g. if I am the one on the team who is designated to take clairvoyance).
Generally, I would say you have three main choices in terms of your first item. Those would be the Ruby Crystal, boots, and the tome. I am a big proponent of maneuverability, so I tend to go with the boots and a couple of health pots.
Depending on the enemy composition, I would say that sorcerer’s shoes, swiftness, ninja tabi, and mercury treads are all viable boot options. Swiftness is my top choice; but again, it depends on the enemy team. Unfortunately, this item build does not include something like a phantom dancer to increase your run speed by a percentage. So swiftness helps with that a bit.
Boots + 3 health pots
OR Doran's Shield
Upgraded boots (based on your needs for that match)
Blasting Rod, Tome, Giant’s Belt (depending on what you need first)
Upgrade to Rylai’s Scepter
Banshee’s Veil/Warden’s Mail
Those last three are interchangeable according to the match. But odds are you will get one of those at most. I have never been in a game in TT where it has gone on long enough to get all three.
Other items to consider are the soulstealer and leviathan. If you are a big fan of snowball items, I suppose you would fit it in between the boots and rylai’s. The problem is that on TT, time is precious. And waiting around for an item to snowball slows you down early on. And I don't like putting off getting the scepter any longer than I have to.
So that begs the question: when is it necessary? Mostly when you have a team stacked with magic or melee DPS and they are all gunning for you. That is when you pick up either the warden’s mail or banshee’s early on. Warden’s, in particularly, is very beneficial, and pretty inexpensive to boot.
Pre-Game Gank Phase:
Everyone who has played on TT has probably dealt with this. Everyone on the map clamors to the middle to try to gank the other team. They either desperately want to get the first blood, or want to control the lizard buff. If your team decides to engage in this ritual, you need to pick your initial skill wisely. If you have a skill shotter (Mundo probably), I advise you take LR. It will hit all the enemies at once (most likely) and do more damage than your other skills. If you activate it correctly, you will zip right by all the enemies and be a safe distance away by the time they can target you.
Do not be the first to initiate! Let a sturdier member of your team take care of that, or more ideally let the enemy come to you. Be sure to cleanse off ignite and exhaust if you pick them up. If they give chase, kite them as your team eats them. Just remember to use extreme caution. Do not LR in unless you are sure you can get out and away.
On the other hand, if you do not have someone with a skill shot, then go for TS as your first skill. It is unlikely you will be able to get enough hits on a single target to stun someone. But it keeps you further away from the initial combat, and annoys people who think they can hide in bushes.
TECHNIQUE: If you find yourself with LR as your first skill, try to position yourself in a way that you do not LR in, turn around, and back track to your team. Try to run straight through the enemies and out the other side (if one is available). This puts more distance between you and the enemy, and sometimes confuses them into which direction they should go. Most importantly: make sure that you have a direct route back towards your end of the board that goes through where your allies are, and not your enemies.
Early Game ‘Laning’ (level 1-6):
TT kind of has a laning phase. It depends on how blood thirsty you and the enemy are. As Kennen, I do try to push it to level 6 myself, particularly if I solo lane (which Kennen does very well). The main goal is to harass, harass, harass. All of your abilities are great at that. TS should be obvious. LR has the biggest punch, but is much riskier.
And then there is ES, which is your most versatile tool. Basically, every 5th physical attack you should be aiming for your enemy. It does the extra damage, and puts a mark on him. But if you don’t have an easy shot, don’t wait around for it. Use it to kill a minion, and try again after your next few shots. You will always get another chance.
By the end of this phase, hopefully you have at least your upgraded boots and have already started on your first components of Rylai’s.
TECHNIQUE: Hit your enemy with a mark (probably with TS or passive ES), but do not immediately hit the follow up mark with ES. Wait for some time to pass, and taze them at a distance. They should now back away if they are smart (probably nine out of ten times). This will give you free reign to wail on the minions and farm some gold. LR to the other side of their minions, and force your opponent back even further with a TS for the stun.
But that isn’t the fun part. The fun part is when that 10% they make the mistake of hanging around in combat. That is why I say to put some time between your initial TS mark and the first taze. Some players forget they now have two marks on. Make them pay.
If they do not back off, wait a few moments again and build up your next passive strike with ES and your CDs to be up. Then unleash hell. First LR in for the damage and the stun. Follow that with a TS, your passive ES hit, and then your active ES (which should have finished its CD, or be pretty close) for a quick second stun. Early in the game, this will at least cripple most opponents.
Mid-game (level 6-12):
After you get SM, you should start ganking. This should be fairly self explanatory. Get five charges on your ES passive, and then mark a target.
In group fights, you obviously want to let your meat go first. When it is your turn, LR in, and hit your SM. This will quickly build a second mark on all your enemies. At that point, you want to hit your ES to get a massive group stun. You then focus specifically on your teams’ main target with TS and your ES passive to get the next stun ready.
Defending a tower is tricky with Kennen. You want to hug the tower as much as possible to protect you, but you need to get into melee with the enemy to back them off. To be able to take that risk of moving out and then back in, cleanse is a necessity.
Unless you have picked up a rageblade, you probably will not have too much you can contribute in terms of taking a tower down. You can, however, keep the enemy at back with your TS and ES while you stay out of range of the tower. Also be sure to farm the enemy minions out of the way of your team with LR/ES if you can do it safely.
I also want to make mention of taking control of the creeps on the map. Those buffs are powerful in TT, and controlling them helps to control the flow of the game. Your aren’t much of a jungler (compared to others) until later in this phase, but you are good at ganking. Just beware of some of the more powerful junglers (warwick, udyr), as they are hard to gank if the enemy is halfway decent. I advise bringing a friend along against them.
Late Game (13-18):
There aren’t any huge changes in technique between here and the mid game. But with Rylai’s, and whatever else you have picked up, you should now easily be able to clear creeps out of camps by yourself. Check them regularly, and grab them whenever you can.
Based on which items you decided to pick up, take on the role that best suits those items. With Hourglass, you can stay pretty close to the battle and have your ‘Oh ****’ button ready. With that much AP, it is also likely the enemy is going to be hurting bad by the end of your first spell rotation.
Rageblade allows you to push towers pretty well. If you went this route, you should have gotten it by the mid-game though. Take any opportunity you can to get a few hits in on enemy towers. If you cannot go into full on tower dive mode, the damage will stack up really quickly.
If you picked up warden’s mail or banshee’s, it probably means you are getting pummeled during team fights. Play much more carefully, and employ a lot of hit and run tactics. Only engage if you are sure you can also get out of the battle safely. Preferably, wait for SM to be up so you contribute some damage to the cause too.
So there you have it, a guide for Kennen specifically for TT. I am hoping to try him out as either AD or on SR next. As you might have been able to tell, I don't believe there is only one way to play any character. I was just trying to give a jumping off point for Kennen starters. If you have alternative suggestions, please feel free to share. I always like experimenting with new things.
I have been starting with Doran's shield more lately, just to shake things up. I have to admit, it can extend the preliminary laning phase. The real point is: it depends on who you are laning against. If you are up against someone who can harass you like you harass them (Ezrael for example), it is a good item to have.
But if you are up against someone who has no chance of really poking you (most melee, poor ranged), the boots are still the way to go.
Now that the guise doesn't have spell vamp, I have been following a different build order. It is still a strong item to have as it has lots of stats you need. But it just isn't strong enough. Lately, after I have upgraded my boots, I get a blasting rod, followed by a giant's belt. This gives me some extra damage, and the flexibility to build towards either Rylai's or Guinsoo's.
The rageblade has grown on me. If you have good meat in front of you, the damage can really add up early. While waiting for your energy to come back, you will be autoattacking. And as mentioned before, it provides potent tower damage.
Kennen is getting looked at according to the Riot Design Team. I am looking forward to see what they come up with. I honestly think he is pretty balanced in 3v3 (though even there his scaling does leave something to be desired). But I will also be the first to admit he severely lacks in 5s. So it will be interesting.
I give you a +1 just for the title..."don't taze me bro"...man...takes me back...
(not for me, for kennen!)
I'll just do neither and call it good.
Fairly accurate guide. +1
thanks sir, was wondering if anyone was actually reading it, or stopping at the title
Very nice guide. I often use AD Kennen, but he doesn't work as well in TT, because AD is much better end-game(And, there being no end-game in TT...). I'll probably use this guide, so thanks, and +1.
i could have just taken your word for it... but im a glutton for punishment, and tried to do AD/AS on TT. yeah, doesnt work. this functions as my apology to those who sat through my underperforming while trying new things. ill stick with what i know from now on :P
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