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KENNEN BUILD GUIDE: The AP Electric Kenninja! by Rainpwny

by Rainpwny (last updated 5 months ago)

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3
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power(14.85 ability power)
9
Greater Seal of Armor(9 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist(12.06 magic resist)
9
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration(8.1 Armor Penetration and 5.58 Magic Penetration)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details

Starting

Full Item Build

View Item Details
10
9
11
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
10 Offense
mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Defense
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
11 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Mark of the Storm
QThundering Shuriken
WElectrical Surge
ELightning Rush
RSlicing Maelstrom
View Skill Order Details

Introduction

Hello folks! I am a North American player going by the moniker Rainpwny, I was Diamond 1 in Season 3 and almost made it to Master Tier in Season 4. I consider Kennen to be one of my go-to champions for when I want to win my lane almost 100% of the time in a role that I do not even main (Top Lane).

I have a little over 5 years (as of February 2015) of experience with League of Legends and I believe that the pure amount of knowledge and experience I've gained over this period of time gives me the credibility to make this guide.

This furry midget is a pretty underrated champion whose popularity peaked somewhere during Season 2 when going AP mid, AP top and having both build the old Will of the Ancients (which used to have an aura that gave surrounding teammates spell vamp, and not just yourself) was all the jazz. He also made a resurgence a bit in Season 3 when Koreans tried him with Blade of the Ruined King , but eventually fell out of favor once again afterwards.

The original goal of this guide was to present a somewhat-tanky version of Kennen who would not serve as only a good source of CC, but as well as a source of initiation and zoning power while being fairly durable. After dabbling with Kennen some more throughout Season 4 and now Season 5, I have come to a realization that a more typical-AP build for Kennen works fine and may be preferable to the lot of you as you also deal damage.

While this guide is assuming that Kennen is to be played top, he can still do okay in the mid lane, but for reasons explained later I will clarify why I believe he is better served top.

Runes

A cookie-cutter build page. If you are new to the game and/or don't have many runes yet, I highly recommend this page as it will cover the bases for many other champions outside Kennen.

Alternatives:
9x Magic Penetration Marks
  • Magic pen runes are half the IP than their hybrid pen counterparts, and in the past were the go-to runes for Mages and other damage dealers.
  • Keep in mind that hybrid pen marks only provide roughly 2.5 less magic penetration, BUT you also gain 8.1 armor penetration. You tend to auto-attack A LOT during the early game as any ranged character, but even more-so with Kennen due to the nature of his skills . The loss of a few magic pen and it's effect on your spell damage is very, very minor, especially when it is made up with a decent boost to your early game harass (with auto-attacks).

9x Scaling Health Seals
  • In Season 4, Riot nerfed the armor runes, but compensated by buffing all/most Champion's base armor. As a result, people began considering health instead of armor for seals.
  • I personally still run armor seals, BUT I do occasionally run the page that has scaling health seals if I am against a magic damage heavy team and don't require the armor as much. Keep in the mind that the armor still helps during laning even if you are against a AP champion, if only to reduce auto-attack and minion harass.

Masteries

mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
10 Offense
mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Defense
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
11 Utility
The premise behind this page is to provide an overall balanced offense, defense, and sustain to Kennen. I don't think more points into Offense tree is necessary as Kennen's damage output is still great without having to do so, so I rather supplement his weaker points (squishiness and lack of sustain).

The main points here are the 3 points into Vampirism in the Utility Tree, providing both Life Steal and Spell Vamp. If you want more offense or defense, you can subtract and add points from and to the respective trees. Oppression from the Defense tree in particular has good synergy with Kennen due to the fact that Kennen will be in the middle of the enemy team, taking a lot of damage whilst stunning.

The Importance and History of Early Spell Vamp
Back in the short-lived days of Double WotA, it was essential for both the AP Mid and AP Top to rush a Hextech Revolver and build that immediately into a Will of the Ancients , this was important in that those carrying Will of the Ancients will essentially get a double dose of the aura that the item provided. This gave both the AP Mid and AP Top a ton of Ability Power and Spell Vamp, which made team fights a pain in the butt for the enemy as they have to deal with not only high burst, but also a team that is a lot more tanky than one they thought.

This is why Hextech Revolver was/is core for Kennen in a lot of guides, because not only does he do a good bit of damage and harass but now he has essentially infinite sustain since he doesn't have to worry about managing mana. To get to the point, 3% Spell Vamp and an additional 12% from Revolver will allow you to outlast and out-harass most opponents in with your spells. In the event that you get zoned out, you can use your Q to last-hit and heal-up a bit.

The 3% Life Steal will also aide in the sustain department as you SHOULD be auto-attacking a lot, whether it be to harass or to farm minions. Then you combine it with an additional 3% from Doran's Blade...

To do some theorycrafting here...
  • On average, I tend to be able to purchase a Hextech Revolver sometime between the 6 to 8 minute mark (assuming Revolver is my first major purchase).
  • Between 6 to 8 minutes, I tend to be around level 6 (sometimes 7). Having 3 (maybe 4) points into Q.
  • Level 3 Q will do around at least 185 damage ( 155 base + 0.75(40) ), with the '0.75' being the Q's AP ratio and the '40' being the AP received from Revolver (not factoring in any AP received from Runes, Masteries, or other items).
  • 15% Spell Vamp will give you roughly 28 health per Q, which is on a 6 second cooldown at this point of time.
  • Assuming you use your Q whenever it's up and deal full damage with it (which you can usually do against Minions at this time as their MR is negligible), you will be healing approximate 4.7 health per second. This is a little less than half the rate that a Health Potion heals (which is 150 health over 15 seconds, aka 10 per second).
  • Factoring in Life Steal from auto-attacks (potential 6% from Masteries + Doran's Blade), you will gain a little over 4 health per auto (64 base AD at level 6, with an additional 7 from Doran's Blade).
  • You can auto-attack about 4 times between each Q (0.69 base attack speed * 6 second cooldown), gaining 16 health total.
  • You can gain at least 44 health over a 6 second period. This is without factoring additional AD, AP, and damage from Runes, Masteries, and items AND without factoring in your other spells.

Let's Compare to Other Sustainy Champs:
  • Level 6 Irelia with 3 points in W and a Doran's Blade will be able to get around 4 autos off. Combined with W-active, she can heal for around 82 health in a 6 second period (which happens to be the duration of the W). She can heal for even more with her ultimate .
  • Level 6 Vladimir with 3 points in Q and a Hextech Revolver will heal for around 73 health every 7 seconds. If we factor in max stacks of his E , he will heal around 86 health.

Conclusions to Make:
  • On average, compared to Champions with innate sustain in their kit, Kennen with these masteries + Revolver will heal at almost half the rate of those champs. I think that is amazing given the fact that he is manaless and ranged (advantages over Irelia), and has the ability to stun multiple targets (advantage over Vladimir).
  • You save a lot of money on not having to buy as many (if any) Health Potions .
  • In later stages of the game and after or in the middle of fights, you can use the spell vamp and life steal to heal up from jungle creeps (especially from the pacifist Scuttle Crub), which will allow you to reenter fights or go for objectives that you normally would not try for when low on health.
  • Can save your ass from Ignite or other Damage-Over-Time effects!
  • The reason why early vamp works on Kennen over most other champions is the fact that he is manaless, thus he can spam spells and constantly sustain; has good range and damage on his Q (allowing him to sustain from a safe range), and has good AoE (meaning you heal A LOT). Very similar to a Vladimir .

Summoner Sets

Flash & Teleport
Flash is a must have for Kennen and 99% of the champions. The obvious explanation is that it not only provides a tool to escape, but also one to initiate. When used in conjunction with Lightning Rush () and his ultimate , it gives him a lot of power in team fights.

Kennen with Teleport is scary as he can come out of nowhere with his ultimate blazing, turning the tides of a fight.

Main Uses of Teleport:
  • Split-pushing one lane while your team goes for objectives (such as Dragon, Baron, or pushing another lane). Try to push the lane furthest from the objective your team is going for (like top if they Dragon or bot if they Baron). If the enemy team tries to fight your team, you Teleport into the middle or behind the enemy team and do your combo.
  • Recalling from lane to quickly buy and heal, then Teleporting back to your tower (for shorter cooldown).
  • Protecting your base. If you are grouped up with your team or just off on your own somewhere doing stuff and notice that a tower or inhibitor is in threat of being destroyed, you can Teleport to it to try to fend off enemies.
  • Helping your teammates (usually during laning phase). A common example is if your bottom-lane duo is in the middle of a skirmish with the enemy bottom-lane, and you Teleport into a ward (usually in one of the numerous bushes) to aid in the fight. A successful Teleport-assist can usually transition into a Dragon afterwards, though you may lose your own lane's turret in the process (but kills + Dragon is more than worth it).

An issue I see with Teleport is that you may be inclined to split push with it, which if you are the only one who can initiate fights on your team, the enemy may just take advantage and force one while you are split pushing. The few seconds it takes to Teleport is more than enough time for it to be disastrous to your team, especially if you don't react fast enough.
Mid and Sometimes Top
Ignite at the moment, is the third-most popular Summoner Spell after Flash and Teleport for Top Laners, it provides that much more damage which can be used to finish off opponents or used early in a duel to reduce their sustain.

I go Ignite in the top-lane when I am not confident in my ability to Teleport in a timely fashion and/or when I want to go for kills to shutdown the opposing laner. This is especially important when you are against a champion that can easily snowball out-of-control from farming or getting kills, such as an Irelia or Riven .

Item Builds

Starting Build(s)
The "I don't know what to start" Start
Against Aggressive Laners
[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]
Final Build(s)
Standard Final Items
Why Hextech Gunblade over Will of the Ancients ?
  • The only argument FOR WotA is that it is 900 gold cheaper than Gunblade
  • Gunblade not provides the same amount of AP and spell vamp as WotA, but you also get a moderate amount of AD and life steal, which Kennen can utilize.
  • The active from Gunblade gives you even more sticking power and does a decent amount of damage that scales with AP.
  • Kennen's single-target damage output is generally much lower than other (popular) AP champions such as Leblanc, but he makes up for it by dealing pretty significant AoE damage (and a lot of CC). The active from Gunblade pushes his single-target damage just enough where he can pretty much gib a priority squishy target (like the enemy ADC).

But Will of the Ancient's gives cooldown reduction and Gunblade doesn't! Isn't that important on a Mage like Kennen?
Nope, not really. This is due to the nature of champions that use energy as a resource instead of mana, you get to a certain point where your energy usage heavily outweighs your energy regeneration. Even with just the 5% CDR from the Masteries alone, I find myself running out of energy fairly often in fights. 10% additional CDR will technically allow you to maybe get one extra spell out faster; but not enough to make it worth missing out on the stats and actives from Gunblade, which will more than enough make up the damage lost from one extra spell.
Build Order
The order in which you build items depend heavily on each particular game's circumstances. Here are some examples of when I build certain items.

  • I build Abyssal Scepter as my first major items AFTER Doran's Blade if my opposing laner (and enemy team) deals significant amounts of magic damage. I also usually skip Hextech Revolver and go straight into Zhonya's Hourglass afterwards.
  • I rush Zhonya's Hourglass as my first major item after Doran's Blade if am against a laner that deals a lot of physical damage AND I can make use of the active of Hourglass to prevent heavy damage. Hourglass can be used to avoid damage from spells such as Riven's ultimate and Zed's ultimate .
  • I build Void Staff as my third or fourth major item (usually after Rabadon's Deathcap) if the enemy team is stacking a lot of magic resistance (example being 3+ enemy champions with over 100 magic resistance).
  • I usually build Gunblade a lot earlier (before or right after Rabadon's) as I really love the active and stats it gives, but the damage output may technically be a lot less than the other items.

Why is Zhonya's Hourglass built so early on Kennen?
The invulnerability from it's active holds a lot of power. It works with Kennen's ultimate, in that you can activate your ultimate, activate Hourglass, and you will be invulnerable while the ultimate is still active. This gives you a lot of safety when jumping into the middle of the enemy team, and without Hourglass you would rarely have the confidence to initiate.

Situational Items

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
  • Replaces, Hextech Gunblade, Abyssal Scepter, or Void Staff
  • If you have trouble sticking to targets, this may be the item for you! Slowing targets makes it even easier to hit your Q and your ultimate !
  • The slow allows you (and your teammates) to chase targets, but also allows you to escape from enemies as well.
  • Health makes you more durable, and therefore less likely to die.
  • Replace Abyssal Scepter with this if the enemy team does not have any magic damage.
  • Replace Void Staff with this if the enemy team is not stacking magic resistance, in which case Abyssal Scepter and Sorceror's Shoes is enough magic penetration.
Liandry's Torment
  • Replaces Abyssal Scepter or Void Staff
  • Build if you are against a very, very tanky enemy team (something like mid Swain, top Mundo, ADC Urgot, support Alistair, and jungle Malphite).
  • Has great synergy with Kennen's kit, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, and Hextech Gunblade.
Twin Shadows
  • Replaces Hextech Gunblade
  • A cheaper alternative to Rylai's and Gunblade that accomplishes similar purposes (SLOW PEOPLE!!!)
  • If you bought an early Amplifying Tome with hopes of upgrading it into a Hextech Revolver, you can upgrade into components for Twin Shadows instead!
Ninja Tabi
If your team composition already has a fair amount of damage dealers and not enough tanky guys AND the enemy team has a lot of physical damage, build this!
Mercury's Treads
If your team composition already has a fair amount of damage dealers and not enough tanky guys AND the enemy team has a lot of magic damage and CC, build this!

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Mark of the Storm
QThundering Shuriken
WElectrical Surge
ELightning Rush
RSlicing Maelstrom
See the "Skills" section for an explanation of when and what to max first.

Skills

Mark of the Storm
Kennen's most important ability, this is what allows him to be that potent initiator, CC-heavy, and lane-dominant champion I spoke of. To tally it up, with one usage of each part of each spell, you can get off a total of 7 marks on an opponent (1 from Q, 2 from W, 1 from E, 3 from R), equating to two stuns and some left over. One of Kennen's strong point is the amount of disruption he can provide against one or multiple opponents, which is all because of this passive.
Thundering Shuriken
Kennen's main form of harass during lane. Plenty of people may say to max Electrical Surge over this, but in my opinion this skill is better if you can skillshot worth a damn. Thundering Shuriken has about 150 more range, a shorter cooldown, and a higher base damage and AP ratio over Electrical Surge. Thundering Shuriken also being a single-target spell means that it will receive full effects from Spell Vamp, which is great when you are using it to harass or last-hit minions with.

The shorter cooldown and reduced energy costs from leveling it up first is a lot more important than people realize, as it allows you to do that much more damage in a drawn-out fight. If you manage to ever stun someone you are guaranteed to hit your shuriken (barring minion-block and your inability to hit stationary targets); and combined with your ultimate, you are pretty much guaranteed to get almost two additional stuns off, which gives you time to hit one or two more shurikens.
Electrical Surge
The issue that arises with Thundering Shuriken is that the enemy can easily avoid it by hiding behind a minion or just straight up dodging it. As a result, this skill is preferred to be maxed first for some; trading range and damage for reliable harass and better wave-clear. It's kind of hard to avoid getting hit by a charged-up auto-attack without also being zoned out from the lane.

Keep in mind that the active portion of this ability is considered a multi-target spell, which means that Spell Vamp is less effective (but if you are hitting multiple targets it can balance out). This spell in conjunction with Lightning Rush or Slicing Maelstrom will allows you to deal damage to multiple targets.

Max this first if you can't skillshot or are against someone who can constantly push the lane.

To reiterate, Electrical Surge is consistent and guaranteed in actually damaging things, and if your opponent is clever they may elect to hide behind minions, which means Electrical Surge is better if you actually want to be able to harass your opponent. Additionally, you may need to constantly mass farm or push the lane if you are against someone who can push well or will roam a lot (such as Shen or anyone with Teleport), and the increased damage and lowered cooldown will definitely help you with pushing.
Lightning Rush
This spell is used to escape, chase, or initiate. Keep in mind that you can cancel the ability a short delay after using it, which can be useful if you want to throw in some auto-attacks after using it (to proc the W-passive or just to finish off an opponent). The fact that this skill gives armor and magic resistance while using it is very important as Kennen will no doubt be flying into the middle of the enemy team with his ultimate blazing, making him a focus for damage, so any additional defenses is helpful for survival.
Slicing Maelstrom
I'll be honest here, it was only after reading up the wiki on the details of this spell that I learnt just exactly how it works. Not only does it have a certain number of lightning bolts (which scales from 12 to 20 bolts total), but these bolts target random enemy champions at rapid (but consistent) intervals and not just hit everyone in the circle at the same time. This really hurts his team fighting power in the pre-level 11, as there is simply not enough lightning bolts to fully all 5 members of the enemy team. This also makes you inclined to stick to as many targets as long as you can and as much as you can, as the bolts will go off even if no one is in range (hitting nothing, obviously).

Keep in mind that Slicing Maelstrom is still a huge zoning power and will force your opponent to reposition themselves constantly to avoid it. I am also sure that not many people actually realizes his ultimate works this peculiar way, and as such will still try to avoid the big lightning ring not knowing that it essentially becomes useless after hitting a certain amount of times.

Initiation with the ultimate involves using Lightning Rush and then flashing toward the enemy and pressing R. After a bunch of the enemies are marked by the ultimate would you use Electrical Surge to stun them and deal as much damage as fast as possible. This also means that after the ultimate's over, opponents will be left with at least one Mark of the Storm left on them as opposed to zero. This is important because 3 marks means the opponent is stunned and will then be reset back to 0, since the ultimate can only hit 3 times and you can only use the active portion of Electrical Surge when they are marked at least once, you can see why it is important to have some marks left over on a BUNCH of enemies after the ultimate it over, as it means you can use Electrical Surge again when it's up.

Champion Matchups [UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

Fiora
Difficulty
Favors You
A champion you can punish fairly easy pre-6. Like Irelia, if she decides to dash to you, you just do your combo to stun and take out a chunk of her health and be able to get away with minimal damage. Since Zhonya's Hourglass is an early rush for Mister Kennen, you'll find that she isn't as scary as she seems (unless you play really bad). Her ultimate is annoying admittedly as she can use it to dodge your ultimate, but keep in mind that Kennen's ultimate has a much longer duration than hers, so you will almost surely get off the 3 hits from it. Additionally, you can just Lightning Rush, Flash to your tower, and laugh as she finds herself taking tower hits when her ultimate is over. Even more, once you get a Zhonya's Hourglass all you have to do is use it whenever she uses her ultimate and you avoid all the damages just like that.
Irelia
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
I believe this to be a mostly skill dependent match-up heavily favoring Irelia. She will outscale and beat you in duels eventually, if you can be very aggressive and pick up a kill or two, then you can outlast and survive the laning phase. The biggest point here is to constantly auto-attack harass her, and have a fast reaction to Lightning Rush away for when she decides to go in on you. If you are quick enough, you will only take an auto attack or two and you can counter it with a Q and W to her face. One combo I like to do is to Lightning Rush as she dashes to me which will damage and add a mark, and then immediately Q and W to stun her and you just run away. You have to punish her as much as possible during the early levels to delay her from getting to that 'OP' stage. If you can survive the laning phase, then you will find that you are (subjectively) more useful in team fights due to your ultimate alone.
Kayle
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Pretty hard matchup as Kayle's Q and auto-attack harass is a lot more painful and easier to hit than Kennen's. The only opportunities you'll have to go in is when her E (Righteous Fury) is down and you have a brief window of opportunity to get some pain in. You will either have to farm passively or go all in, there is no time for a battle of attrition as Kayle WILL beat you in that. You will most likely need jungler help.
Rumble
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
A good Rumble will constantly push the lane non-stop. Making himself gank-bait.

A bad Rumble will constantly overheat himself, which is an opening for you to harass and try to kill him.
Swain
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
l very annoying to deal with, though I don't actually see Swain enough to worry about the enemy picking him. Swain has better sustain and can be much more tanky than Kennen as a result.

If you don't have a lead by level 6, you are better off playing this lane very passive and just focus on farming as he will outsustain and kill you. The biggest thing here is to avoid Nevermove , and to make sure he doesn't get blue buff (which he can have easy access to if he's on blue team). Coordinate with your mid and jungler for ganks and a strict denial of blue.

If you manage to get to level 6 before him, it doesn't hurt to try and all-in him. Another point to make here is that he uses mana and you don't, so if you can constantly harass him and force him to use up his mana (to sustain or counter-harass), then you can beat him by forcing him to constantly base or by zoning/killing him when he is out of mana. Another good tactic is to push really hard and force him to stay or else he misses out on CS and his tower will take a lot of damage. Of course, you need to take caution when trying to push with Lightning Rush + Electrical Surge, as a good Swain will try to take advantage of that and try to do his combo.

Once again, DO NOT GET HIT BY NEVERMOVE. Or you will most likely die.
Teemo
Difficulty
Favors You
Buy Doran's Shield, farm. His harass is very annoying. If you can poke him down with Q, you may be able to sneak in an all-in at level 6. Be wary of mushrooms from his ultimate .
Yorick
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Much like Swain you have to take advantage of the fact that he uses mana. The biggest annoyance here is that Yorick's ghouls blocks your Q, so it is definitely advisable to max W instead.

Unlike Swain however, you don't have to worry about dodging any spell and as long as you don't overextend or get too cocky in engagements with Yorick, he should not be able to kill you (and vice-versa).

When to pick Kennen and Team Synergism

Picking Kennen
The main reason to pick and build Kennen is if you find your team lacking in the Crowd Control (CC) and initiation department. I would notice all the time where the teams are sort of unbalanced, where one team (usually the enemy) will pick a bunch of strong champions that synergize with one another, while the other team (mine) picks what is undeniably a mess of fruity pebbles in comparison.

Of course...If your team happens to be the one to pick a ton of CC and AoE, the addition of Kennen is simply overkill; which is never a bad thing in League of Legends.

Kennen's laning and team fighting power just makes him a safe and strong pick (I can't stress it enough!) and is why I love him so. So if the position is open, it really doesn't hurt to just pick him whenever you can.

Who does Kennen Counter?
Kennen has no problems beating many melee champions, especially ones with low mobility and/or no sustain. Champions like Darius , Renekton and Olaf are ones you can easily kite and harass without much worries, though this doesn't mean you should be too cocky as champs like Riven can gib you if you aren't careful.

Kennen just has too much ranged harass, CC, and mobility that melee champions are heavily outmatched most of the time. It is your duty that if you are to go against one, to try to zone and deny them as much farm and experience as possible, but again do not get too cocky and be aware that the enemy jungler may decide to camp your lane to assist their brethren.

Example of Champions that Synergizes well with Kennen
Amumu
First one that comes to mind. Not only is he another fellow Mage-like midget who will be in the middle of the enemy team, but he's also a decently-strong jungler with amazing ganking potential and team-fight presence. He will put you in the back burner a bit as he will be the one to initiate over you, but that happens to also be a good setup for you to go in afterwards. Both of you will be front line, AoE, and CC buddies.

Galio
Follows the same thought process and reasoning as Amumu, but doesn't have as strong an initiation as Kennen or Amumu (relies on Flash more than Kennen).

Vladimir
Doesn't have hard CC like the previous two, instead he has an ultimate that increases all damage done to an opponent for a duration, which means Kennen's ultimate is even more scary. One favorite tactic of mine is for Vlad to get caught out of position on purpose, and then he throws out his ultimate and immediately blood pools (and Hourglass after) which will slow the enemy, allowing you to jump with your combo.

Maokai
Tanky, AP treebro who has good initiation with his root and knockbacks. His ultimate is a damage-reducing AoE which is useful in making you that much more durable, combine that with Vladimir for example, and now your team deals more damage, takes less, and has the enemy locked down with CC.

Essentially anyone with good initiation, AoE damage and/or CC goes well with this midget.

Early, Mid, and Late Game

Early Game
Farm, farm, and farm. Find a good balance between harassing (with auto-attacks, Q, and W) without taking too much damage and missing farm. I find that generally if I am against a melee champion that you can deal A LOT of auto-attack harass, and it's nearly a guaranteed Q to the face if they try to attack you. Against ranged champions like Nidalee or Teemo however, you generally gotta play a bit more passive and just farm it up.

One of the main reasons I may put a point in Lightning Rush at level 2 is the worry of an early gank by the enemy jungler, and Lightning Rush gives such an absurd amount of movement speed that it makes escaping very easy (and you can dodge skillshots easier as well).

I do not roam much, I tend to just farm and harass until laning phase is over, though once you reach level 6 you can try an all-in. You can also surprise your opponent pre-6 and pick up a kill with a constant flow of auto-attacks + using all your skills (including Lightning Rush) to get 2+ stuns off and then finishing them off with Ignite.

Also ward your lanes people!

Mid Game
I consider this the time period of when laning is not necessary anymore for most of your team, and things begin to transition to strictly objectives and team fighting. So around 15ish minutes if you find that there is a Dragon dance going around, and you ARE the only one that can initiate then you should abandon your lane in favor of aiding your team, otherwise apply pressure and constantly push top to try and force the enemy top laner and possibly others to defend it.

IF you are against someone like a Shen or anyone with Teleport, it's even more important to keep pressure and if the enemy decides to ulti/teleport, immediately go in on him with your combo to stun and stop him/her! If you fail at this task, or the enemy laner has long left the lane to aid his team at Dragon and you are still there for whatever reason, then push as much as you can and destroy turrets! Keep an eye on the minimap and ward so as to decide when to back out.

Whenever your lane is pushed, group up with your allies and be ready to fight. Don't be afraid to use your ultimate if you manage to catch 2+ (sometimes even one) enemies out of position.

Late Game
Stick with your teammates, push any lane IF AND ONLY IF you know it's safe to do so. Pick up objectives like getting buffs, Dragon, and whittling down towers. ALWAYS keep an eye on the enemy to make sure they don't do anything sneaky like taking Baron.

If your team is ahead at this point, it is a good idea to force fights (if your team composition can support it) whenever your ultimate is up, just make sure your team can follow up. If you have a good amount of tanks or bruisers, tower diving is very much possible, BUT if you are literally the only one that can then that is one good way to throw the game.

If your team is behind, then you must wait until the enemy is trying to get an objective like Baron or try to bait them out to tower dive, as that will give you small advantages and hopefully the chance to turn the tide.

Kennen actually has a fair amount of poke, his Q's range almost matches Ezreal's Q, and combining that with your W and lolHeUsesEnergy, you have infinite poke and might actually surprise an enemy with a stun which would open up an avenue of initiation.

I think the only other tip I have for you is to NOT BE AFRAID TO USE YOUR ULTIMATE, if you can kill someone important with it (like their fed ADC), then it's worth it!

Team Fights: What to Do Before and During

Before the Fight
Depending entirely on both team's composition, you will either be hanging in front or stealthily around the potential conflict area. Follow one or more of the following points:
  • If your team consists of mostly squishy people and you are literally the only bruiser (cause this guide is for bruiser Kennen, remember?) then you should stay around the front line so the enemy will not be as willing to initiate onto your squishy teammates.

  • If your team has another bruiser or tank that can initiate, then you should try to hang 'behind the scenes', for example if a fight might break out in the middle lane, then you should hide around the river and jungle waiting for the right moment to go in. Stay out of enemy sight (be wary of wards and use Red Trinket to flush them out!), and sneak up on them when the situation arises (as in, if the enemy or your team initiates, or if you have the opportunity to catch priority targets out of position).

  • If your team has a lot of poking potential (long-ranged harass like AP Nidalee), you should stay around the front line and let them poke, if the enemy gets sufficiently low OR they initiate on you, then you initiate with Lightning Rush, Flash, and Slicing Maelstrom.

  • If the enemy team has a lot of poking potential, then you should try to guide your team to more open areas as the narrow corridors of the jungle make it much easier to get poked. Keep in mind that narrow corridors happens to also be good for you as it makes it easier to hit the (clumped up) enemy with your AoE.

  • If your team is on the offensive, that means you most likely have some form of advantage (more gold, more Towers, Baron Buff, or confidence from winning previous skirmishes), your goal here is to try and force a fight while you are still ahead without taking too big of a risk. 'Too big of a risk' means for example, tower diving, which generally when a team gets too cocky would go in much too deep and forces your allies and you to take a lot of tower damage (which is nothing to scoff at no matter what point of the game). I recommend that if you can not find an opportunity to initiate, then to start sieging on the enemy towers, which means you slowly whittle them down while pushing the enemy back to their base. To do this as safe as possible, you wait for your minions to take tower hits before you can start attacking the tower, simultaneously you have the non-ranged champions on your team trying to scare the enemy away from protecting it. If the enemy is successfully preventing you from sieging properly, then the person with the highest mobility and/or pushing potential should start pushing a separate lane to try and also split the enemy's attention away.

  • If your team is on the defensive, that means they most likely have some form of advantage against you, this makes your decision of whether to initiate or not that much more critical. If the enemy is sieging you, then your team will have to try and kill their minions as fast as possible so that they can not take your towers without taking some form of damage. Poke with your combo as much as necessary, and you will have to decide if it's worth risking an initiation to stop them from taking too much of your base. If you believe your team can kill some of them and possibly force them away (even if you technically lose the fight), then it is a battle won as you successfully prevented them from destroying too many of your buildings. Usually you SHOULD initiate if they are pushing in on the second or third inhibitor, as losing two or more inhibitors makes it really hard for your team to come back.

During the Fight
When your ultimate is up and blazing, you may think your goal is to simply try and hit as many people as possible, but there is more to it than just that. Your goal is to make it easier for your allies to fight, so you stun the enemy bruisers and assassins going for your carries OR you stun the enemy backline to make it easier for your bruisers and assassins to get to them.

Whichever you do depends entirely on the positioning and overall health of both teams, so for example if your allies are straggling a bit behind that means you SHOULD NOT go for the enemy backline as that will leave you stranded between them and the enemy frontline, which may be less than desire-able, it would be better for you to defend your backline in this situation by staying in front of them. You should also do this if you are the only bruiser/tanky or CC-heavy guy on your team, because if you go in too deep you'll leave your squishy teammates as open targets.

If you have someone else to initiate like Amumu or Galio, then you should be following up with your combo as well. You may be relegated to peeling for your AD Carry if no one else is doing so (a job usually reserved for the Support, but you may have a Support who can initiate like Leona), which simply means help keeping the enemy off of him/her. Otherwise, your goal is to soak up damage and try to do as much damage as possible to the enemy and especially to priority targets (enemy AD or AP Carries, Assassins, and really fed people).

Don't forget to use Zhonya's Hourglass! You should not always use it right after your ultimate, but to wait for the enemy to try and kill you and then using it to prevent yourself from taking the brunt of the damage (such as from various other ultimates). It just so happens that most of the time you initiate you will be taking a ton of damage as well, which is why you'll use it right after initiating most of the time.

Be wary of...
Knockbacks. Champions like Alistar, Lee Sin, and Janna can screw you over as they can knock you away when you try to initiate on their team. You have to be careful or else you may waste your Flash and ultimate. You can also try using Hourglass before the knockback hits to prevent it.

Opinions on Different Types and Roles for Kennen

Mid Kennen
Kennen is perfectly fine as a mid, but I feel he is better as a top due to a number of factors:
  • A lot of mid champions have the potential to burst someone down in a relatively short period of time (<3 seconds I would say), Kennen does not have as much of an immediate burst unless fed.
  • The mid lane is the shortest lane, which makes escape easier for both you and your opponent. A lot of mids tend to have a quick way to lock down the opponent while Kennen needs to stack marks to get a stun off. The top lane being the longest lane makes an overextended enemy an easier target to chase, stun, and kill.
  • A lot more mids are ranged in comparison to the top lane, which generally have more melee-based champions and if you haven't gotten the idea yet, Kennen dominates most melee champions.

AD Kennen
Somewhat fun, he used to be a lot stronger back when his auto-attack range was 575 (nerfed to 550). The biggest upside to AD Kennen is that he's one of the few AD carries with hard-CC pre-6, and he has the most CC out of any standard AD carry there is. His ultimate can also double as a way to help you peel and kite enemy bruisers, which is not too bad especially if your teammates are unable to peel for you. The issue that can also be a blessing with AD Kennen is that he will do split damage, with all his spells doing magic damage and his auto-attacks doing physical damage, which means your spells will heavily drop-off in damage as the game progresses and you will essentially be an auto-attack champion with a ton of CC. AD Kennen's "steroid" is that every fifth auto-attack will do bonus (magic) damage, which frankly sucks in comparison to AD carries like Graves, Tristana, and Vayne who have attack speed, movement, or AD buffs instead. Essentially, Kennen doing magic damage will hurt him more as the game goes on than help him (unless the enemy stacks only armor), but the mixed damage is very good in the earlier stages when the enemy can not itemize against both efficiently. Try Runaan's Hurricane on him (), it makes stacking his W hilarious :p.

Hybrid Kennen
Ah, Hybrid Kennen, a very unique Kennen build indeed. You may have seen pr0lly try out Hybrid Kennen on their LCS game against Good Game University years ago and are wondering what others think of that build. Honestly it's decent I guess, you can see it as a combination of AD Kennen and AP Kennen. The thought process here is to make Kennen an even more of a stunning machine, going items such as Twin Shadows , Blade of the Ruined King , or Hextech Gunblade . All these items provide an active that will slow enemies, and both Blade of the Ruined King and Hextech Gunblade will amplify your auto-attacks, with Gunblade providing more sustain and AP and Blade of the Ruined King giving you attack speed, allowing you to proc your W faster. Essentially, this boosts your disruption potential by a lot and keeps your auto-attacks potent, but you suffer by building fairly squishy at first for these items and not getting as much AP (which will lower the damage on your spells). This kind of Kennen ONLY works if your team already has a fair amount of initiation and CC. If you try to go Hybrid as the only initiator, you will die fairly quick because of the lack of tankiness or Hourglass. If you do go Hourglass with Blade of the Ruined King, you'll be wasting the auto-attack portions of the stats because you can not auto-attack at all while using Lightning Rush and Hourglass, and afterwards you'll probably be in the middle of the enemy team as a squishy somewhat AD carry. Might as well play AD Carry Kennen.

Shameless Self-Promotion

Here are some Season 5, full gameplay and commentary of Kennen I have played so far from my Youtube channel. Try to take note of how I play him and why I do certain things.



Glossary

AD: Attack Damage. A stat for champions that you can increase with Runes, Masteries, Items, and various buffs. Increasing your AD will increase the amount of damage your auto-attacks will deal, and for certain champions it will also increase your spell damage.

ADC: Attack-Damage Carry. Technically refers to any champion who build items that supplement their attack damage, which increases their auto-attack and sometimes spell damage, and tries to deal large amounts of damage to the enemy champions. Generally used for ranged champions (marksman) such as Graves or Jinx .

AoE: Area-of-Effect. Refers to abilities that can hit multiple targets at once.

AP: Ability Power. A stat for champions that you can increase with Runes, Masteries, Items, and various buffs. For most champions and spells/abilities, increasing your AP will increase the amount of damage the spells will deal. For Support champions, AP will sometimes increase the utility of your spells (such as a bigger slow and more movement speed on Janna .

Bruiser: A durable dude that can deal damage.

CC: Crowd-Control. The ability to prevent the actions of the enemy. In League of Legends terms, CC refers to status effects such as slows, stuns, silences, knock-ups, etc. These status effects are usually applied to enemy targets through the use of a champion's skills. In Kennen's case, his passive gives him the ability to CC one or multiple targets by stunning them.

Champion: The characters that you play in League of Legends. There are over a hundred of them!

Early Game: For me, it refers to the first 10 or so minutes of the game. I use it synonymously with the laning phase, aka the time when you are spent farming in a lane as opposed to grouping and team fighting.

Mid Game: For me, it refers to the time between 10 and 25ish minutes into the game. This is the time period after laning phase where both teams begin grouping up for objectives (Baron, Dragon, Towers, and Inhibitors) and having team fights.

Late Game: The time period of the game where most players are approaching the max number of items (6 + trinket) and respawn timers are getting lengthy (40+ seconds). Buffs such as Baron are heavily contested at this time and can be the difference between winning or losing.

Team Fights: When multiple members of one team fights multiple members of the other team.

Q, W, E, or R: Refers to the the default hotkeys of the 4 abilties/spells of a champion.

D and F: Refers to the default hotkeys of your Summoner Spells.

CHANGELOG

FEBRUARY 8TH, 2015
  • 90% done updating the guide for Season 5
  • Created a Glossary section and have begun populating it with commonly-used League of Legends terms.
  • Revision continues.

FEBRUARY 6TH, 2015
  • Have begun updating, removing, and revising all sections of the guide for Season 5.
  • Have begun removing the times I've called Kennen, "Mister Kennen". My current self is somewhat embarrassed at my younger self for trying to be cutesy and funny.

APRIL 30TH, 2013
  • Adjusted starting items with the Elixir of Fortitude price increase

APRIL 12TH, 2013
  • A little bit of revision
  • Added my opinions on Hybrid Kennen (or Kennen with Blade of the Ruined King/Hextech Gunblade)
  • Readded Twin Shadows to 'Alternate Tanky Stuff'

APRIL 6TH, 2013
  • Added Hextech Revolver to 'Rainpwny's Early Faves'

APRIL 2ND, 2013
  • BEATING THE DEAD HORSE WITH CALLING KENNEN MISTER KENNEN

APRIL 1ST, 2013
  • Further revision (NO THERE IS NO APRIL FOOLS JOKE GO AWAY)
  • Renamed '!@#$ AP Bruisers' Item Section to 'Typical AP Carry'

MARCH 31ST, 2013
  • Removed Haunting Guise from 'Rainpwny's Early Faves'
  • Removed Twin Shadows from 'Alternate Tanky Stuff'
  • Removed Warmog's Armor from 'Alternate Tanky Stuff'
  • Added Spirit Visage and Randuin's Omen to 'Alternate Tanky Stuff'
  • Added Elixir of Fortitude to 'Starting Items'
  • A quick look-over and further revision
  • Added Team fighting section
  • Some clarifications and additions to most sections

FEBRUARY 10TH, 2013
  • Finally added the appropriate images for Seeker's Armguard
  • A bit of revision

JANUARY 1ST, 2013
  • Patch 3.01, which introduces the new League System for Ranked also came with a pretty good Kennen buff! Kennen's ultimate no longer has an energy cost and the skill descriptions in the guide has been updated to match that.
  • Added Seeker's Armguard to the appropriate item sections

Comments

May 5, 2013 - 12:21 PM #1

JUST CREATED DIS ACCOUNT TOO GIVE YOU SOME THUMBS UP, MISTER!

April 13, 2013 - 01:45 AM #2

Nah I don't do replays anymore, they didn't update their program fast enough one time and I never bothered to update it anymore afterwards.



You shouldn't worry about my obviously non-biased games, I just tend to avoid uploading complete steamrolls. Das all.

April 11, 2013 - 01:16 PM #3

Hello Rainpwny,



Do you use LoLrecorder? If so, could you upload all of your plat+ Mister Kennen games? Would like to see more of your games, not just the obviously non-biased once from your yt channel. :)

April 7, 2013 - 08:17 PM #4

Downvotes from people that can't think for themself, and don't like others doing it either, likely.



I used this build in a game recently, and it seemed to fit our comp perfectly. We had a Kat mid, jungle Vi, with Ashe and J4 bot lane, vs Ren top, WW jungle, Kass mid, and Draven/Thresh bot lane.



We had a lot of cc, but it was my stuns that were able to keep Kass locked down mid/late game. Mr. Kennen initiating let J4 follow up with the arena (when he was patient enough) and more importantly, let Kat come in super late after most of the aggro was already on Vi, J4, and I. I also was the champion on the team that wasn't afraid of WW; Vi melted to him.



Laning vs Ren was similarly painless. I started red elixir (and it did save my life when I had to use it), and he was never able to kill me in lane. I rushed Revolver before Armguard; I knew I couldn't kill Ren, and was able to escape several ganks from their jungler. This allowed our Vi to ignore me early game and take the first dragon. I also ran 9/10/11, skipping Runic Affinity for Safeguard. I would not have been successful in the lane at all running 9/0/21.



Item build was somewhat hybrid, finishing Hourglass first, then Rylai and Merc. Wota was next (as Kat had built one too :D), followed by Visage (Kat had the Abyssal, so I skipped it) and Wardens. By the end of the game I was nearly unkillable, and the few times I died (finished 7/4/23) were to allow my team to get the ace.



All in all a really solid way of building and playing Kennen that many players might overlook initially, as long as you choose the right time to use him in this manner.

April 3, 2013 - 04:17 AM #5

So many dislikes, and no one saying why -_-

April 2, 2013 - 09:26 AM #6

I meant to hit upvote, but I accidentally hit downvote and it wont let me change it.

April 2, 2013 - 05:50 AM #7

Very interesting take on Kennen. Thumbs up from me.

We both got Featured at the same time too :D

March 19, 2013 - 03:04 AM #8

Hey if you see this comment i just wanted to let you know i love your kennen gameplay and hope you put up more sometime and also to ask what do you record with because the quality is ver good and I would like to record as well. Thx and POST MORE KENNEN GAMEPLAY XD

January 21, 2013 - 02:18 AM #9

I personally do not build Doran's Blade on Kennen, but it is an excellent early item on him due to the fact that you will be auto-attack so freaking much.



Rabadon's over Liandry's is perfectly fine as you will indeed do more (noticeable) damage. I did some mathcrafting and compared my "Final Items" with both Rabadon's and Liandry's. Going Rabadon's will give you about 208 more damage on your Ultimate, 105 more on your E, 95 more on W, and 130 more damage on your Q. All Liandry's has over Rab is the 5% to 10% Current HP burn and the 300 health.



My mindset with Liandry's is that not only is it an upgrade to the strong early-midgame item that is Haunting Guide, but it provides decent Health and AP in addition to making your pokes really strong and your initial damage strong (since you will be initiating fights a lot). Additionally, since this game has people building a good amount of HP (especially since Warmog's is very strong), people will usually have 2-3k HP, which means your Q will initially do 200-300 extra damage with Rylai's + Liandry's (before resistances of course). So my other thought process was to help take down the tanky guys.



But again, Rabadon's alone will make your spells do 100-200 more damage, which I concur with your point in that it will burst down the squishy carries faster.



Honestly, I'm just trying to build a Kennen who is more tanky than what most Kennen guides do (which is to build him as an AP carry). I want this Kennen to serve more as a Tank and Initiator so I'm trying to get as many good AP items with defensive stats in there as I can, which led to me skipping Rabadon's.



Thanks for the comment! I have to revise that part of the guide now because you made good points.

January 21, 2013 - 12:35 AM #10

Hello. I was wondering what you think of Doran's Blade on Kennen. I have been buying it lvl 1 for most of my ranked games and had a ton of success with it. It works well with maxing W first but is also very powerful with Q as well. I am also not quite sure why you go Liandry's on Kennen because late game getting a deathcap will allow you to burst down enemy APs or ADs much faster, which is what you really want out of Kennen late game(besides the giant stun that destroys everyone anyways). Just my opinion, but tell me what you think of Doran's Blade. Good guide! - Toragar

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