91%
votes
35
Dislike

KENNEN BUILD GUIDE: Forgotten Once More: A Kennen Top Lane Guide (4.3) by buckeyballs

by buckeyballs (last updated 7 months ago)

Featured2,208,039 Views 29 Comments
9
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration(8.1 Armor Penetration and 5.58 Magic Penetration)
4
Greater Seal of Armor(+5.64 armor)
5
Greater Seal of Health(+40 health)
9
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power(+1.53 ability power per level (27.54 at champion level 18))
3
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage(+6.75 attack damage)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details

Starting

Full Item Build

View Item Details
25
5
0
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/4
mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 2 1/1
25 Offense
mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
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
5 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
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
0 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

DISCLAIMER: A warning to all about to read this guide. There is ALOT of text in it (~10,000 words long). I did my best to make my writing as coherent as possible, but I can't guarantee anything. If you want to just take a quick look at what to build and what to max, then take a look at any other other fine Kennen guides out there. But if you want a more in depth explanation into this awesome champ, as well as useful general tips that aren't mentioned as much, then buckle down and enjoy the read!

Hi everybody, I'm buckey and I'm here to talk to you about my favorite AP carry: Kennen! A little background about me: I've been playing league for a little over a year and have found great pleasure in both the game and the community it has created. In season two I was fortunate enough to hit 1600 while maining as a jungler (ign Samurai Jacques). "But wait, buckey! I thought this was a guide about Kennen! Last time I checked he wasn't a jungler." This may well be true, but although my best role lies in the forest, I do find top lane extremely fun. I estimate that out of the 1000+ games I've played among my accounts, at least 150 of them have been with Kennen.

I pride myself in having above average game knowledge and attribute what little I have accomplished to that. I think about this game A LOT; in my free time I usually find myself thinking of optimal builds for different champs, calculating rune and mastery efficiencies, or assessing laning matchups. Because of this I like to think that I have a very good understanding of how different champions interact with one another in any given context. It is this understanding that led me to believe that I could create a suitable guide for the community. As this is my first guide, please be kind with your comments :) constructive criticism never hurt anybody though.

Why pick Kennen?
I first fell in love with Kennen on solomid.net, believe it or not. I stumbled across Ego Ignaxio's amazing guide and it completely sucked me in. I immediately bought Kennen without even trying him and he has been my mid lane main ever since. Shortly thereafter, I came across Wingsofdeathx's guide on solotop Kennen and I fell in love all over again. Although I have obtained other champions and strive to get better at them, Kennen has been and probably always will be my go-to top lane champ.

Kennen is a high skill cap champion, but do not be deterred by this, because he is also an extremely rewarding champion to learn and master.

Pros:
Extremely slippery and safe in lane
Manaless
Powerful harass
Low cooldown spells
Great utility
Good poke, base damages
Godlike teamfight presence

Cons:
Very level and item dependent
Damage falls off late game compared to other AP carries
Very high skill cap
Only form of waveclear is escape move and puts him at risk for harass.
Very rigid final build
Current teleport meta makes his harass not stick as well as it used to.

Why Doesn't Anyone Pick Kennen?

*obviously this section is now no longer applicable, as kennen has now seen a huge resurgence in popularity due to pros now realizing the power of magic pen kennen. but i'll keep this here for posterity.

Compared to his ninja pals (Akali, Shen, Zed) Kennen sees almost no play. A quick look on lolking.net on the date of this guide's creation shows that his popularity sits at 3.9%, compared to that of 9.25%, 11.76, and 11.73%, respectively. What could have caused our favorite yordle ninja to get so little love?

I'll just say this right here: the main reason why Kennen hasn't been picked recently is NOT because of his auto attack range nerf. Think about it: 100 range in league has been established to be about the width of a teemo. So 25 range would be a quarter of a teemo. Try visualizing that yourself; that is an extremely small change that is hardly champion breaking.

The reason why Kennen is no longer seen in competitive play is twofold: the large shift in the meta combined with the wota nerf. Right now we are seeing in competitive play an extremely aggressive, fast-paced game where top laners must be able to contribute to the team with a limited gold income. Kennen is hampered by this because he is extremely item and level-dependent.

However, this should not deter you from playing him. Although the competitive meta has shifted, this does not necessarily apply to those of us who play it casually. Sure, people will pick up champions based on what pros play because those champions are shown as strong in a competitive scenario, but they never use these champions in the same context as these pros. Ever since the professional meta shifted, I've seen maybe two or three early lane swaps, and even then the duo lanes did not play the lane correctly, failing to deny the solo laner farm as well as not pushing hard. We won't see this in everyday gameplay because it takes much more synergy and teamwork than what you would expect in a normal solo queue game. As such, this "meta" does not affect solo queue Kennen as much as people would think.

As for the wota changes, this definitely hurt him. I believe this nerf was the main reason why Kennen and AP tops in general have fallen out of favor. But because I do not believe wota to be core on Kennen (sacrilege!) I feel that he is in a very strong place if utilized correctly.

Runes

This first rune page is what you will run most of the time. It looks for a balance between strong early harass with good later game scaling. Hybrid penetration marks are a must for Kennen; because he benefits from both physical and magical damage, this rune will allow you to efficiently maximize your damage output both early and late game. A mix of armor and health seals gives you good durability through both poke trades as well as all ins. For glyphs, you can choose between magic resist (scaling or flat) or scaling AP. Unless the other team has a good deal of magic damage, I will go for AP per level in order to maximize my damage output. AD quints is where i diverge from most other guides. Going AD quints greatly increases your early auto attack harass, something which you should be taking full advantage of as a ranged character.

Masteries

mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/4
mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 2 1/1
25 Offense
mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
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
5 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
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
0 Utility
This First Mastery page is used in matchups Kennan can either go even in or win. It is used in order to get maximum damage. Season 4 masteries has very significantly buffed the offensive tree compared to the other two to the point where I find it viable to run more than 21 points into this tree. In the first tier I choose to pick up Fury instead of Sorcery because I value attack speed more on Kennen than CDR. This is because he auto attacks so much in lane; picking this up will result in more harass as well as an easier time cs-ing. Speaking of cs-ing, I also like to pick up Butcher, as the extra two damage makes last hitting that much easier. In the second tier I pick up both Brute Force and Mental Force to increase my auto attacks and my abilities. I pick up all the masteries in tier 3. Spell Weaving is a mastery that seemed to be made for Kennen in mind. Because he synergizes with comboing autos and spells, the damage stacks will very quickly stack up. Executioner is a must have for any damage dealer. Martial and Arcane masteries are a given, as any boost in damage is always good. In tier four I pick up Archmage and Dangerous Game. Archmage once again is a given. Dangerous Game is a perfect mastery in wars of attrition: a lot of times this mastery will save you from the last ticks of ignite. Devastating strikes and arcane blade are amazing masteries, they are both must haves.

For your remaining 5 points you can choose to go in either defense or utility. I feel like the early points in the defensive tree were nerfed too hard to consider putting points in, so I opt to get increased movement speed and the potion enhancement.

Summoner Sets

Primary Set
Flash is a must have for pretty much every champion. It is the most valuable ss in the game, bar none. When activated, your champion will blink in the direction of your mouse cursor 400 units. This is useful both in engages and escapes. If you find yourself out of position in a teamfight, you can immediately flash/ult in the middle of the enemy team (usually not recommended though). Usually, you use this ability to escape key enemy skillshots that could result in your death or to flash over walls to completely disengage yourself from confrontations.

Something that low elo players do not do is take into account is your other laner's flash cooldown. Always take note of when he uses flash in chat (it has a 5 minute cooldown without summoner cooldown reduction). Knowing exactly how long it is down gives you a solid window of opportunity for your jungler to perform an easy gank.

I take ignite in lanes where I feel I can get a kill early and snowball. 9 times out of 10 I pick this up over Teleport. This ability will apply a true damage DOT on the champion you have targeted for five seconds. It is a very powerful finishing move that will very often secure a close kill.

Once you feel like you can kill your opponent with an ignite + full combo, then do so. Half the time this won't pick up a kill, but this will usually result in him burning flash because he panicked. If he does, then tell your jungler that his flash is down and it will be an easy kill. Always keep track of when your opponent's flash is popped and time it.
Flash & Teleport
I take teleport in tough matchups i.e. I can't kill him without jungle help. When running this, always tell your bot lane to ward the enemy's lane brush, as this gives you the optimal position to tp in. This is my next best choice for kennen, as it gives great map presence.

Item Builds

Starting Build(s)
Default Starting Build
Against Skillshots
Tough AD Matchup
Early All-in
Starting Item Choices

dorans-blade: Pick this against champs you can safely harass. This is good to use when you learn how to kite effectively.

boots-of-speedhealth-potion4: this is used when you either need to dodge a lot of skillshots or if there is a lot of jungle pressure.

cloth-armorhealth-potion5: only against hard ad matchups where you need to rush seeker's armguard.

elixir-of-fortitudehealth-potion3: to snowball lane; no longer recommended

Possible First Buys


If you're fairly new to Kennen, this is a good first buy, especially against melee bruisers that can't get to you very easily (darius, singed.) It will make itemizing against you extremely difficult, as early game most of your poke is going to be AD, but building this into a Gunblade later will make sure you still stay relevant late game. I prefer this over the old double dorans blade build, as this is not a dead end item build. You can also choose to build as a hybrid Kennen by building this into a BORK. This is very situational though.


As I said before, I don't personally recommend spell vamp Kennen. As I play a much more aggressive playstyle, I feel like the early magic pen build is much stronger; his base damages are good enough and his cooldowns are low enough to where you can win the war of attrition against most tops. Only get this if you feel like you will be outharassed and need the sustain i.e. you picked a losing lane


Haunting guise is key to my aggressive style of Kennen. This combined with sorc boots and runes give 38 magic pen as well as adding in the 6% mpen mastery will give close to true damage at early levels. I consider this to be my core build 90% of the time.


Get this combo if you're up against a hard AD bruiser who doesn't use too many auto attacks. Generally you don't need to rush this, armguard is better as a second item after your core to increase your midgame survivability. However, it is a good item to keep as it gives a good deal of AP and armor when fully stacked, making rushing an Hourglass not as essential; you could choose to build Rylai's first depending on the situation.

Other Boot Choices


If you were against a hard ad top, you started cloth 5, and the enemy team doesn't have too much cc, pick up ninja tabi. If you forsee early teamfights and they DO have a lot of cc, pick up merc treads. If you do end up buying one of these, get void staff earlier than you usually would. However, come late game, switch your sorc boots with mercs, as the 15+ mpen isn't as valuable as tenacity is on late game Kennen. But in most cases I prefer the early-mid game power that Sorc Shoes gives.
Final Build(s)
Standard Final Items

Your first big buy is almost always Zhonya's Hourglass(ZH). One could say that it is the perfect item for Kennen. A massive boost in AP and armor coupled with one of the coolest item actives in the game makes this the most core of core items for Kennen. UPDATE As I said in my explanation of Seeker's Armguard, it is no longer required to rush this item unless you feel you need the active early in the game. You can choose to build your Rylai's Crystal Scepter first, but make sure to get ZH no later than this, as it is too good an item to bypass.


From here you can choose to pick up a defensive item. Health scales well with Kennen as he gets free resistances from his e as well as the resistances he naturally gets in his build. Rylai's is his second core item. As I said before, Kennen is nowhere near the highest damage dealer in the game, so he has to cater to his strengths. He has massive teamfight presence with his aoe, and as such, you should build around that. Rylai's gives a powerful slow that will cripple the enemy team. With his low cooldowns, he will be able to permaslow absolutely anyone. Depending on how the game is going, choose to first get either giant's belt if the opposing mid is strong or blasting wand if not.

/


At this point in the game you should decide what you're going to do with your haunting guise. If at this point in the game the enemy is stacking health and little mr, complete liandry's torment. This item combined with the slow from rylai's results in tons of teamwide damage. The synergy between these two items and kennen is a match made in heaven. If you see a lot of mr, then you're better off selling your haunting guise and building a void staff. Cause, you know. Magic pen is good against mr and stuff. It is completely viable for you to choose to get both of these items instead of selling haunting guise, but only do this if you don't think any of the situational items are better.


As I said better, since Kennen's base damages are quite good and his ratio's aren't the best, rushing magic pen is much better versus getting lots of AP. Realistically, deathcap will be your fifth or sixth item.
Build Order
There are different build items depending on what item you rushed first, but generally this is what you want to go for. Replace haunting guise with whatever item you rushed and pretty much follow the rest of the build order.

Situational Items

Hextech Gunblade
Pretty good item if you start with bilgewater or you needed to go revolver. Kennen scales with AD to some extent, so no stat is wasted. Your teamfight damage will suffer if you go this route though.
Blade of the Ruined King
This is the alternative to building gunblade. I think this was a popular item rush in Korea for a little while. By rushing this item you counter a lot of different itemizations that bruisers like to go when against a Kennen. Usually I'll build this when I'm against a very heavy sustain champion that I need stronger poke and sustain for, such as Cho Gath or Vladimir.
Abyssal Scepter
Abyssal Scepter is a good pick up in double ap vs double ap due to the extra mr and mr reduction aura. It synergizes well with Kennen since he is usually found in the middle of the teamfight, so this aura will be able to be used to its fullest potential. The aura on Abyssal is worth 550 gold per person it applies to. That means if you have just one other person on your team who benefits from it, it's gold value from its aura gets doubled. It is an extremely powerful teamfighting item, and since Kennen revolves around teamfights, this is more often than not your best bet.
Guardian Angel
I'm not a fan of GA on Kennen. Since his mechanics dictate that he's going to be in the middle of the enemy team, it will do him no good to resurrect himself, as he'll just be killed immediately again. It is nice to note that if Kennen dies while is ult is still ticking, it will continue to tick while he is being resurrected. There are always situations where this would be useful, but these situations are few and far between.
Twin Shadows
Use this skill order in all easy/medium matchups or if you're going AD Kennen in order to harass better.
Randuin's Omen
Use this skill order in most hard matchups in order to cs easier.
Quicksilver Sash
You could pick up QSS, but I don't like this item on Kennen for two reasons. You're investing a late-game slot with an item that has midgame stats. Secondly, it doesn't build into anything Kennen can use. Only in very specific situations (i.e. the other team has suppression skills and I am a big target) will I ever pick this up.

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
Use this skill order in all easy/medium matchups or if you're going AD Kennen in order to harass better.

Skills

Mark of the Storm
This is definitely my favorite passive in the game. Correct management of this passive is the key aspect of playing Kennen well. When used correctly and with max ranked spells, you can stun a target up to three times. In laning phase, it is important to properly space out your procs in accordance with your cooldowns. Doing so will greatly increase your laning presence. For example, say you get a mark on your laner. You see that he's going in for a cs. Just walking up to him will result in one of two things: he will eat the free w/q/auto harass for 20 gold, or he will walk away and zone himself out of money. Remember that the passive will stay on your opponent for eight seconds; don't let that passive wear off, doing so will greatly decrease your laning presence. In teamfights it is important to get your marks on the high priority targets. Q-ing the ap/ad carry is a good rule of thumb, since when you pop your e/r/w combo, he will be the first to get stunned and will be first in line to get stunned again after your cd's come back up.

It is important to note that Kennen's passive has diminishing returns: if you attempt to chain cc a target, the second stun will last only half as long, so keep that in mind.
Thundering Shuriken
A linear skillshot that hits the first enemy in its path. This is Kennen's best farming and poking tool, as it's cooldown at rank 5 is only 4 seconds. If you choose to max this, take AP quints and masteries, as it has a good AP ratio. Otherwise it won't start scaling until later in the game. Max this if you find yourself in a farmfest/losing lane. Spam it when setting up for teamfights. This is a good skill to facecheck brushes with, as it has a very long range and gives off a noticeable sound when it hits an enemy.

This usually isn't a good skill to max in the top lane since it doesn't go through minions and therefore can easily be minion blocked. As I said previously, you would only max this in lanes where you need to concentrate more on cs-ing than harassing.
Electrical Surge
Kennen's best non-ultimate skill. This is one of the best laning skills for harass in the game. It consists of two parts: a passive that applies to your auto attacks and an active that will be available if you have a mark on any target. The passive is what makes Kennen such a dominating laner at top; every five autoattacks will be an enhanced autoattack that deals extra magic damage based on your total AD. The active is a targeted ability that damages all enemies with at least one mark of the storm. In teamfights it is important to always be auto attacking in between abilities in order for your w passive to come up; it is more important for the extra mark than the damage, as its scaling is not that great since you're building AP. However, the active is an extremely powerful teamfighting skill that, combined with your e, will automatically put two marks on every enemy, allowing your ultimate to stun the entire team with its first 5 ticks.

I usually get this at level one, build the stacks while helping my jungler if I'm on blue side in order to have two on-demand procs at level one. At level two this gives you three stacks with your lightening rush, so use this to your advantage to quickly stun your enemy and get even more free auto attacks on him. Once you have a mark on your opponent, you can zone him with the threat of your w active. Just walking anywhere near him will cause him to either back off or get harassed for free. Max this in matchups with outplay potential/you win outright.

If you're having trouble getting the passive onto your opponent, a good trick is to build it to four stacks and auto him twice so it procs on your second auto. Many laners don't expect this and will not be able to react to it quickly enough.

There is one serious bug that pertains to this skill. It is where if you autoattack an enemy unit with the w passive up and it dies before the missile hits it, you will lose the mark and your w passive will be reset to zero stacks. This is inconsistent with his other stacks, as the stacks will stay the same in the same scenario. For example, say your passive is at two stacks. You auto a minion that's about to die, but it dies before your auto hits it. Your passive will stay at two stacks. However, if your enhanced auto attack is up and you do the same thing, you lose that stack and your counter will be reset as if it actually hit.
Lightning Rush
A one-point wonder that is actually pretty underrated. When activated, Kennen turns into a little ball of furry electricity with increased movement speed, armor, and mr. While this ability is active, he ignores unit collision. All enemy units he passes through will take damage and will have a mark applied to them (you can't apply more than one mark on a single unit). Kennen will also be refunded energy for the first enemy unit he passes through.

Not only is this an amazing escape skill, it also gives good defensive bonuses. Say an enemy karthus begins his ult. Simply press e and bam, 10 extra armor and mr. Huehuehue all the way back to base. At rank 5, it gives you 50 bonus armor and mr. However, q and w give too much damage to justify maxing e over either of these. The extra resistances won't be as useful until lategame when you're in teamfights.

Because resistances are at such a premium in season 3, and since Kennen naturally builds health, thereby increasing his effective health dramatically, is the reason why he can dive into the middle of an enemy team and tank a surprising amount of damage. In teamfights make sure to e as many enemies as possible so your stun will come out quicker when you pop your ult.

An important thing to take note of this skill is as soon as you e whatever enemies you're targeting, deactivate the ability as soon as you're in a good position. This is because while this ability is active, Kennen cannot auto attack, and since he revolves around auto's, it is imperative to get out of this active when you can.
Slicing Maelstrom
One of my favorite ultimates in the game. At level 3 rank, this can stun the entire enemy team, making this an extremely potent follow up ult. You can initiate with this, but I generally prefer not to. It's better to follow up on someone tankier with a more immediate cc, such as an amumu or a malphite. However, if you do end up initiating, it is important to find the optimal place to hourglass as quickly as possible, because even though you are pretty tanky with your build and e bonuses, you are still a yordle and you are made of squish.

Its important to note that at rank 1, it takes a while for Kennens ult to fully tick on a single person. Level 1 ult will only have six intervals, meaning that because the ult has a 3 second duration, it will take 1.5 seconds for the full damage to take effect since it can only tick three times on one person. Therefore it is important to chain your abilities together in order to stun the enemy as quickly as possible. I wont go over these spell rotations myself, as I feel Ego explains it much more eloquently than I could, so I recommend you go to his Kennen guide and read up on it.

Champion Matchups

Akali
Difficulty
Favors You
You beat her hard early. Her shroud doesn't stop any of your abilities from hurting her, and if you use your w while she's stealthed, you can tell where she is and land a q. Keep your distance from her though, because a lot of her early damage comes from her q passive proc. Once she hits six and has a couple items, be careful. Kennen can't disengage from her well because she has multiple jumps and will be able to stick onto you, even after you stun her. Do your best to shut her down early.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG (Haunting Guise)
Chogath
Difficulty
Favors You
One of the more annoying champs to play against as Kennen. Very little of your harass sticks to him because of his passive. If you can get early jungle pressure, then it will make him less inclined to cs and in that case, you'll be able to harass him better. But most of the time it's going to end up being a farmfest.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: Bilgewater
Darius
Difficulty
Favors You
Pretty annoying champ to deal with, it gets very easy once you have a firm grasp of what his and your ranges are. He outdamages you by a lot, but he can be easily kited. His q range is around the same as your auto, so bait it out and follow up with a full harass combo. This is a dangerous game to play though, since the outer edge of his q does significantly more damage. With this matchup it's more a test to see who understands their champ's limitations better. If he manages to pull you in, immediately disengage with e and follow up with a quick w/q to stun him. Once he hits six, be very careful as he can very possibly 100-0 you with a full combo + ignite. I highly recommend getting the unyielding mastery in order to mitigate a significant amount of his passive damage. A general rule of thumb: if you're going up against any champ with a DOT effect, ALWAYS take unyielding.\

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG
Diana
Difficulty
Favors You
She's akali 2.0, but with better poke, a shield, and a better gap closer. She's very difficult to deal with. Dodging her q's in all stages of the game is extremely important, as most of her burst depends on her landing it. Try your best to bait out her shield, wait for it to go down, and then harass. She has no reliable escapes, so ask for a gank early. 

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG
Drmundo
Difficulty
Favors You
Annoying as hell. You have an early window of opportunity to kill him, but if you don't succeed it will turn into a farm fest. He does a crapload of damage while being tanky, so don't be lazy with your spacing. Once he hits six a vicious cycle of your whittling him down for five minutes followed by him ulting to heal all of it back will begin. Not killing him before six means not killing him at all in laning phase, so kindly remind your jungler to visit early.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG
Elise
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
I really really REALLY don't like this champion. I don't know what riot was thinking giving her such a powerful kit. She can completely mitigate your ult damage with her rappel, her poke is better than yours with her two percent-based skills, and her all-in is better than yours because of her spider form. She has innate sustain, a powerful gapcloser, and one of the highest base damages in the entire game. If you ever try to engage on her, she can just stun you and get loads of free harass. Also, her spiderlings will block your q's, so if she's not completely braindead she'll switch to spider form if you ever try to land one on her. Not to mention the fact that she can build liandry's/full tankmode and still do enough damage to kill anyone on your team. Go hard in defense, max q to farm, ask for ganks, and curse riot to hell for making such a broken champ.

Start: Boots
Max: q
Rush: Revolver
Fiora
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Yet another tough Kennen matchup. Her riposte will deflect your w passive onto yourself, she has two gap closers that will make disengaging difficult, and (here's the kicker) her ult makes her invulnerable to your ult while they're channeling (if you're close to a brush, immediately go into it, as doing so will cancel her ult). Go AP quints, max q, and do your best to land them, because they're the only way you'll be able to land harass on her. If you manage to kite her effectively, you'll outscale her easily late game.

Start: Cloth Armor
Max: q
Rush: Armguard
Galio
Difficulty
Favors You
he counters AP. Kennen is AP. There is only one way this can end. As soon as he farms up his chalice, you'll never be able to move him out of lane. The good news is he can't kill you either, as his damage, while high, is pretty unreliable. If you can dodge his q, he can't do anything to you. You can choose to go AD Kennen in this matchup, which will make killing him much easier. Otherwise this is a massive farmfest. Unless your jungler has high AD damage, don't bother trying to kill him.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: Bilgewater
Gangplank
Difficulty
Favors You
Annoying in lane, but he's very manageable. He has one of the strongest level ones in the game, so don't let him stack his passive on you early. Get unyielding to lower his dot damage. If he chooses to harass you over csing, he will run oom very quickly. CC is not very effective against him because of his oranges, so when your jungler comes to gank, make sure to save one cc after he e's out of the first one. If he's trying to harass a lot, he'll probably be in your face more often than not, which is a perfect opportunity to auto/w/q him. More often than not, this matchup becomes a farmfest, but it is definitely in your favor.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG or Armguard
Garen
Difficulty
Favors You
He a weaker darius in that he has good damage but can be kited easily. Like darius, stay out of range of his e and q. If he ever charges up to you, immediately disengage with your e/w/q combo and you'll come out ahead every time. A good garen will do his best to gain bush control. DO NOT facecheck a bush with a garen, he will just silence you and e you to half health. Garen is a good opponent to practice keeping your passive on, as his passive wears off every 9 seconds, while yours does every 8. As long as you can stay even with him, you'll outscale him and be much more useful lategame.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG
Irelia
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Oh man. This champ. Even with all of her nerfs, she's still a terror for Kennen. Her passive makes your passive almost useless, she does mixed damage, meaning it is very hard for you to itemize against her, and her dash-stun combo combined with her hiten style will chunk and zone you hard. This is one of the cases where you should push early and get a doran's shield. Also, delve deep into the defensive mastery page, getting tenacity and block at the very least. If you find yourself behind and the other team doesn't have a lot of cc, consider getting ninja tabi as well. Her early game is her weakest point, so do your very best to harass her when you can. If you can, get an early gank and put her behind since it is very difficult for her to come back, but that is reliant on your jungler.
NOTE: choosing to build  bilgewater makes this matchup MUCH easier, perhaps knocking it down to a medium rating; if you manage to come out ahead in the first few levels, I suggest doing this. If you find yourself even/behind, rush armguard.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: Bilgewater or HG
Jarvaniv
Difficulty
Favors You
A fairly easy matchup. He does a lot of damage with his e/q/auto burst, but if he messes up his gap closer, he's screwed. Just e perpendicular to where he's jumping to avoid the knockup and kite him. It is VERY important that you don't let him hit you with his first auto, as his passive is a big part of his burst. He is also extremely mana hungy, and if he messes up too many combos, he'll be oom and will have to back.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG
Jax
Difficulty
Favors You
What separates a good jax from a bad jax is how well he can unitize his e. If he manages to land a fully stacked e on his laning opponent, he will win the trade. If he doesn't, he wastes a huge amount of mana and dps and will be vulnerable for the next 18 seconds. Abuse the fact that you can disengage so easily, wait for his e to go down, and q/w/auto away. If you can shut him down early, he will have an immensely hard time coming back. Get the block mastery and pick up dorans/tabi if you fall behind early. Save your ult for when his e is down because it mitigates aoe damage.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG
Jayce
Difficulty
Favors You
Jayce is extremely difficult to deal with if he's any good. His ranged e/q combo will do tons of damage to you, so it is extremely important that you dodge it. Stay a good distance behind your creeps until he uses it. If he misses you, that is your chance to take advantage of him. You have 14 seconds until his e/q comes up again, so take that chance to zone/harass. Ganking jayce is extremely hard unless you land an immediate stun, so in most cases it will be a case of who can outplay who.

Start: Boots
Max: w
Rush: Armguard or HG
Katarina
Difficulty
Favors You
An easy lane so long as you don't give away an early easy kill. Kat, more than any other champ in the game, gets shut down from cc, and kennen has that aplenty. If you see her top she's most likely playing bruiser kat and will not be doing that much damage. If she ever tries to all in you with her ult, just stun her quickly. If she's low enough, pop your own ult and you should be able to kill her. AA harass her constantly, she can't do anything to retaliate.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG
Kayle
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
very hard matchup. If she gets her slow onto you, you can't e out of it since the slow lasts longer than your e. She'll just auto you to death. Do your best to break line of sight with her (hide in bushes) every time you see her use her w on herself, because that usually means she's about to go in on you. Stun her as quickly as possible while you're in brush and break away. Definitely pick up block and dorans shield with her, as pretty much all of her damage comes from autos. You have a very short window of opportunity to harass kayle, and that is when her e goes on cooldown. You have 8 seconds before it comes up, and in that time you should be able to land a w/q on her. But keep your distance, as her q has a very short cooldown and will most likely be up for her to close the gap. When she hits six, she just gets annoying as hell. If she dives you and pops ult, do your best to hold onto your stun as long as possible before using it. With any luck she didn't do enough damage and will take a bunch of tower hits. She's pretty susceptible to ganks, so let your jungler know you might need a bit of help.

Start: Cloth Armor
Max: q
Rush: Armguard and Merc Treads
Khazix
Difficulty
Favors You
Most top kha'zix's max q. You really want to make sure that he never gets in range to use it on you, as it does a huge amount of damage. If he maxes w, you're in a bit of trouble, as he will push the wave extremely hard and harass you under tower. Stay close to your minions so he can't use his passive on you. After he uses his w, you can harass. Just quickly e away from his e/w combo and you should come out ahead.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG
Leesin
Difficulty
Favors You
this is the most skill-oriented matchup in my mind. It is entirely reliant on who is able to best use their kits to outplay the other person. Lee has two mobility spells, a shield, and an attack speed and ms slow. Kennen has range and a kit that encourages kiting. If you can keep your distance from him, and if you manage to dodge his q's, you should be able to win this matchup. Don't rely on your ult to kill him, as his ult will just punt you away. If you do decide to ult him, you MUST keep your distance. You do this by staying away from the creep line so he can't gap close or escape, and you must also dodge his q. If you manage to do that, you either burn his flash or kill him.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG or Armguard
Lissandra
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
She has very good base damage and she has ok range, better if she knows how to use minions to extend her q range. She is also very good at pushing, a tactic that counters Kennen. What you have over lissandra is that your cooldowns are shorter and you are manaless. You have to make sure that you don't get pushed into your tower because she is best at harassing under turret. Make her run oom and then try to harass her with q's and w actives. Don't get within auto attack range of her if you can help it. She is also very good at assisting ganks because of all her cc, so always be on the lookout.

Start: Boots
Max: q
Rush: Merc Treads, Armguard
Malphite
Difficulty
Favors You
Pretty easy matchup. All of his skills are very short-ranged. The best he should be able to do is land a q every once in a while, but that will run him oom soon enough. If you ever see him walking towards you, just walk away and q/w him, which should be enough to deter him. Harass him constantly in order to keep his passive down. Just be careful of his ult. If he lands it and the jungler is there to help, more often than not you're dead.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG
Nasus
Difficulty
Favors You
the annoying thing about nasus is that his passive lifesteal outsustains your harass as the game goes on. To combat this you need to go a little cheesy and use AD marks and quints, as well as start with cutlass. The thing about Kennen's harass is that it isn't in big chunks, it revolves around whittling down the enemy's health until you can do a full combo. Nasus' sustain is enough to do that without extra AD. I can't stress enough how important it is for you to zone this champion out early, otherwise he'll just rush his tank items and sustain all of your harass, all while outscaling out.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: Bilgewater
Nidalee
Difficulty
Favors You
AD: annoying champ to deal with. AD nidalee will max heal and shrug off a large portion of your harass. Don't let this deter you though, she will eventually run oom. DO NOT step on her traps. If you do, she will immediately start attacking you while your resistances have been shredded. Her spear isn't scary like AP nidalees, but still make the effort to dodge as much as you can to avoid free damage. If she decides to build chalice and spirit visage, she essentially won the lane, as there is literally nothing you will be able to do to her. Once she hits six, her damage skyrockets with her cougar form, so if she ever tries to duel with you while in cougar form, don't try to fight back. Her q does TONS of damage, especially when you're low. Just kite/stun her and keep your distance. She's going to be annoying throughout the entire game, as she will be split pushing like mad. Running TP is not a bad idea here.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG

AP: AP nidalee is just as annoying, but for different reasons. Her q allows her to poke you down without you being able to retaliate. I recommend warding whatever brush she decides to stay in and make sure to dodge her spells. ask for an early gank, as AP nid is very squishy and very easy to gank pre six.

Start: Boots
Max: q
Rush: HG
Olaf
Difficulty
Favors You
A good Olaf will know that a good Kennen will never let him get in range to get e'ed, so he will most likely max q. As Kennen, it is fairly easy to dodge this, as it has a noticeable wind-up animation. If he ever misses his q, he loses the trade. Once he hits six he becomes a bit terrifying, as he will ult out of your stun and come charging at you. But in this case, AS LONG AS YOU DODGE Q, you should be fine. You definitely win this matchup, but it's not one where you can expect to get a lot of kills. If he's ever chasing you, try to angle your pathing so that when you dodge his q, he has to run a suboptimal route in order to pick it up, allowing you to further your distance from him.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG
Pantheon
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
If the pantheon is smart and gets alot of mana pots, you're gonna have a bad time. His q cooldown is ridiculously low, and with three manapots he'll be able to outdamage you all day. Get familiar with his q and w ranges and always stay out of range of them. Max q to poke him when you can and to cs. Ask for an early gank, as he does not have any reliable escapes. Consider running tp to counteract his ult. If you see him running down towards mid, he's probably about to use his ult. Immediately follow him and stun him to cancel it.

Start: Cloth Armor
Max: q
Rush: Armguard
Poppy
Difficulty
Favors You
Like nasus, you need to go cheese and run full AD runes in order to push her out of lane. She can't retaliate or cc you like nasus can, but if she gets her triforce before you have two complete items, consider your lane lost.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: Bilgewater
Renekton
Difficulty
Favors You
You beat him fairly hard early. However, I consider him to be a medium matchup because he gives you very little room for error; if you mess up, you're going to get punished very hard. Most renektons use their first dash to get in ability range, use their combo, then dash out before the enemy can retaliate. If you are able to dodge his first dash, he can't do anything to you, as he'll have to use his second one to recommit, giving your creeps a lot more time to aggro onto him. If he does manage to stun you, be prepared to get chunked. Auto him all day, but keep track of his dash cooldown. Try to bait out his ult; DO NOT try to kill him when it's up. Once it's down you can be much more aggressive with him.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: Bilgewater or Armguard
Rengar
Difficulty
Favors You
You have the advantage as long as you properly kite him during laning phase. Early game instead of starting w start q, this is to combat his early brush control. You can also use your free ward to ward whatever brush he is in so he can't surprise you. He will try to use his passive in the brush to jump on you and use his combo, so make sure you're standing in your creepwave. If he does jump to you, immediately stun him and continue autoing him. Your creepwave will automatically aggro to him since his jump is considered an auto and he will take a ton of early damage. You do this successfully early game, he won't try it again and will not be able to harass you effectively. Do your best to gain bush control so he can't use his jump offensively. When you safely can, push him to his tower, since without the side lane brushes he can't get to you without using his ult. Once he hits six, be careful. If you see him pop his ult, immediately back to your tower. As soon as he jumps you, stun/ult him. If he is in tower range, good. If not, fine. Don't let him do his full combo, as his triple Q does tons of damage.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: Bilgewater or Armguard
Riven
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
She is very good at gap closing, so you need to always make sure to keep your distance with her. Try to bait out her gap closers by staying just out of range. If she wastes just one of them, that gives you enough room to win a trade with her (as long as you properly kite). For the love of god, do not get stunned by her, because she will completely destroy your health bar if given the chance.

Start: Cloth Armor
Max: w
Rush: Bilgewater or Armguard
Rumble
Difficulty
Favors You
Annoying to deal with, but manageable. Keeping your distance with him is extremely important. Leve1 1-3 rumble is extremely weak, so harass him with autos while you can. If he manages to farm up any items, then he will outpush you to no end. Don't get hit by his e's, stay out of range of his q's, and you should be fine. He will push the lane extremely hard with his aggression, so let your jungler know if there is an easy opportunity. When he ults you, get out of it as quickly as possible, the damage it does over time is very high.

Start: Boots
Max: w
Rush: Bilgewater
Ryze
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Unless you can immediately stun him, trading with this champion is a bad idea. He out damages you by a truckload, and if you try to start out with a w auto, he will just root you in place and unleash his entire combo. Poke him with your q, and only if you manage to get two stacks on him do i recommend going in. Try to push him to his tower, as it is very difficult for him to farm under turret.

Start: Boots
Max: q
Rush: HG
Shen
Difficulty
Favors You
He's easy in the sense that he can't kill you, but hard in the sense that it is very difficult to kill him. His sustain is broken, he's extremely good at farming, and he can shrug off your harass with his shield. Always watch for his ult. As soon as you see him channeling it, stun him as quickly as possible to stop him. In lane land as many w's as possible and, with a little jungle help, you should be able to zone him.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: Bilgewater
Shyvana
Difficulty
Favors You
As I stated in my shyvana guide, this matchup is a joke. Shyvana has one the highest damage potentials in the game, but her problem is that she needs to be in melee range in order to use it. Not much to say here, just keep your distance and you win.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG
Singed
Difficulty
Favors You
In the name of all that is holy, kill this champ early. If you don't put him behind, he will turn into an unstoppable farming machine. Abuse your range as much as possible, as singed pre-six is extremely vulnerable to harass. If you don't manage to deny him enough experience/gold, he will just pick up his catalyst/tear and farm/spam laugh all day. Keep track of where his poison trail is at all times and stay out of it. If you see him walking towards you, immediately back up and kite. Once he has his slow pool, don't try to e directly away from him, as he'll usually place it in front of you. Try to e around it, and he usually won't be able to catch you.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: Bilgewater
Swain
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
He's an extremely strong duelist who gives kennen a pretty tough time. His e hurts a lot, and you cannot engage on him because of the crippling slow his q gives. If you ever make the mistake of trying to all-in him, he just slow you, pop his stun right under him and activate bird mode. Because he is really bad at pushing without his ult, I suggest going a roam-heavy strat. Get the unyielding mastery, since most of his kit is based around dots, pick up TP to impact other lanes, and when you see an opportunity, push as hard as you can and gank. If both players are evenly matched, you won't kill each other, so in that sense it's also a farmfest. You can't afford to run AD here because he will kite you without you even getting into range. Just farm up and wait for ganks/roaming opportunities.

Start: Boots
Max: q
Rush: Mercs, Armguard (for quick hourglass, not really for laning)
Teemo
Difficulty
Favors You
The devil himself. Even though he's short ranged, he'll still be able to blind you pretty easily. Max q and do your best to make him overextend into your creep line and harass him with it. His sole purpose in life is to make his laning opponent more useless than him, so as long as you're not down by 3 levels you'll still have a bigger impact than him.

Start: Boots
Max: q
Rush: Giants belt and Armguard (for early hourglass)
Tryndamere
Difficulty
Favors You
Another ticking time bomb. Shutting him down, again, is a must. Follow the same guidelines as with Nasus and Poppy: poke him hard early with autos and w's and try to zone him out early. He's much squishier than the other two, but he trades that off with a strong gap closer, so be careful. Tryndamere's a bigger problem than the other two in the sense that he gains his power spike much earlier (as soon as he gets lifesteal and a stattik shiv). That puts the pressure on you and your jungler to shut him down early.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: Bilgewater
Udyr
Difficulty
Favors You
A laughable matchup. His lack of gap closers means that pretty much anyone who can keep their distance from him will win. He does insane damage with his q, but if he's never in range to use it, then you have nothing to worry about. Probably the easiest lane matchup for any ranged character.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG
Vladimir
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
probably one of the most annoying champs to play against, regardless of who you're using. As soon as he gets his revolver, he will be immovable in lane. Your only hope is to kill him extremely early before his q cooldown gets ridiculously low. His damage pre-six is bad, and if he makes the mistake of using q to cs, immediately jump on him. Do your best to gain bush control and poke him with your q while you're hidden, since he cannot retaliate with his own q without having line of sight. If you force his w, consider that a win and be aggressive in the time that it's down. He's very susceptible to ganks, so let your jungler know that you're gonna be needing help killing him. To be perfectly honest, if you weren't able to get a significant gold lead by the time you are both level nine, you lost the lane. At this point he will farm like a machine and will slowly but surely outscale you. Max q in this scenario, unless you choose to do Bilgewater route, which means max w.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w if Bilgewater, q if Revolver
Rush: Bilgewater or Revolver
Volibear
Difficulty
Favors You
he suffers the same problem with udyr and shyvana in that he is completely melee based and can get kited for days on end. Do your best to be aggressive with him, and don't let him use his passive to stay in lane. If you see his health getting close to the point there it will kick in, ignite and all-in him. Even if it doesn't kill him, his laning sustain will be completely countered and he will probably have to leave. Just don't let him flip you and you'll be fine.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG
Wukong
Difficulty
Favors You
pretty easy lane. He has very high burst, but after his combo he's a sitting duck. If he e's to you, immediately e him as well and begin autoing him. If he uses his stealth, pop your w to see where he is and throw your q there. Follow up for a little longer for some extra harass and then back off. Brush control is your best friend in this matchup. Pop out of brush to harass and walk back in to keep him from gap closing. If he decides to ult on you, pop your ult and e, back off as quickly as possible, wait for your stun to go off, then do your full combo and you should come out ahead.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG or Armguard
Xinzhao
Difficulty
Favors You
This is like an easier version of the wukong matchup. If the xin is smart he will max e and try to burst you with it and a couple q's. If he's like every other xin out there he'll max q and try to stick with you to get all three hits off. Either way you play the same. As soon as he e's to you, e away and kite. He can't do anything to you outside of that. Utilize brush control to keep him from closing the distance.

Start: Doran's Blade
Max: w
Rush: HG or Armguard
Yorick
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Oh dear. If any champ had a hard counter, Yorick definitely contends as Kennen's. He will outsustain you and outdamage you. When he picks up his tear/chalice, there is absolutely nothing you can do to him. If you try to land a w, he will pop ghouls in your face and heal whatever you did to him and then some. If you try to land a q, his ghouls will block it. The only thing you can hope to do is farm. Playing against Yorick is a good way to learn how to properly use bush control to de-aggro yourself from minions, as his ghouls will stop attacking you as soon as you are out of their line of sight. But honestly, just farm up and take solace in the fact that you outscale him. Or dodge.

Start: Boots
Max: Q
Rush: Revolver

Changelog

04/23/14[highlight]
  • [highlight]Patch 4.6[highlight]
  • Changed seal choices to mainly health and health per level. More gold efficient as well as more in line with the current top lane meta.

[highlight]11/20/13[highlight]
  • [highlight](Patch 3.14)[highlight]
  • Fixed a bug where Electrical Surge would not properly hit a target if Mark of the Storm wore off or was fully consumed before the casting time of Electrical Surge completed
  • This fix is HUGE and is a long time coming. I noted in my explanation of electrical surge the bugs that plagued this otherwise powerful ability, and riot finally fixed one of them. Now if you cast it at the end of mark of the storm's duration, it will still apply the damage instead of not working and going on cooldown. This bug fix also created a new gameplay change: if you manage to activate electrical storm right before the stun procs, it will still deal damage as well as add a mark. For newer Kennen players this won't mean much, but for those who are mechanically sound with him I feel like this is a great buff. Yayy!

[highlight]09/03/13

  • Changed Rengar matchup

07/29/13
  • Forgot to put doran's blade into starting items =P

07/10/13
  • (Patch 3.09)
  • Kennen's base attack damage reduced by four to 50.4
  • Mark of the Storm's duration reduced to six seconds from eight seconds
  • Riot made these changes to balance out kennen's absurd advantage over melee champions. While I do agree he was a bit on the strong side, they went too far. I would've agreed with implementing one of the two, but not both. This does hurt kennen's laning phase quite a bit, as his poke is now not as strong and the time frame for this zoning potential was decreased by 20%. But by no means does this make him weak. The fact that I like to run AD runes makes this less of a big deal, but I might have to switch some stuff up after some testing.

06/20/13
  • Not a change, just wanted to express my joy of seeing kennen see competitive play again. Not only that, but my stance towards the early magic pen build has been reinforced by how all the LCS players have been building him lately; i haven't seen a single spell vamp item on a kennen all season. I think the main reason why kennen has been able to find a resurgence is partly because of his ult buff as well as the early tower objective meta that is going through NALCS. This accelerates the game pace to a quicker mid game, where kennen excels. Seeing my favorite yordle come back in the pro scene makes me so happy!!! =D

06/14/13
  • Much needed update!
  • After testing, decided that hextech gunblade is pretty good on kennen in certain situations
  • Replaced double doran's build with bilgewater cutlass rush
  • Edited some matchups
  • New starting items with recent price changes; fort pot start is no longer viable in my opinion. since the cost for fort pot is now 350, unless you get first blood you will essentially sacrifice 300 gold for experience. not winning early is even more risky, on top of the fact that you can't get an early ward. too damn risky, really not recoomended.

03/08/13:
  • Added AD Kennen item build, will expand on it more later.

02/14/13:
  • Patch 3.02
  • Liandry's Torment: AP reduced by 10, passive damage per second increased to 2% from 1.66%, multi target spells no longer do reduced damage. this is an awesome buff to kennen, as most of his spells are multi-targeted, meaning the liandry's proc is going to hurt many times more than it did before. this change more than makes up for the loss of 10 AP.

02/11/13:
  • Tweaked masteries to take armor pen instead of ap/level to boost his early game harass more; combined with runes, he gets 13.1 armor pen at level one, making his auto harass even better. Both choices are good, just depends on what you want out of Kennen.

02/09/13:
  • Changed marks to hybrid pen from magic pen. Decided this fits kennen's kit much better.

02/04/13:
  • GUIDE APPROVED!!! =D

02/03/13:
  • Added map in early game section to illustrate ward spots.
  • Added Seeker's Armguard to item section.

02/01/13:
  • (Patch V3.01.0.1)
  • Kennen's ultimate now does not cost any energy: this is an awesome buff that will definitely be felt in teamfights. I've noticed for a while that Kennen was the only energy-based champ with an ult that costed energy, so this change feels like he's more on an equal footing with those champs. Now that it no longer costs energy, perhaps he'll experience a rise in popularity (fingers crossed!)
  • Seeker's Armguard Added to Game: I need to test this item out, but from a first-look perspective this is a perfect item for Kennen. I need to figure out when exactly you should get this, but my first intuition is if you're against a hard AD matchup, you could replace hextech revolver with this. Otherwise get this after your core magic pen items.

01/26/13:
  • Guide created

KILL POTENTIAL

IMPORTANT: Something I don't see talked about a lot in guides is killing potential. When you're laning against someone, when do you know you can kill them? When your damage output exceeds their current health. This is pretty self-explanatory. But something I don't see a lot of people doing is calculating exactly how much killing potential any given champion has. Just take a moment and think about your absolute favorite champ. The one you feel like you know inside and out. Could you tell me off the top of your head exactly how much damage he does at level 6? Level 9? Don't worry if you don't know, most people don't think to go through the trouble of figuring out exactly what their champion is capable of.

For all my favorite champs, I have cheat sheets for damage potential at different stages of the game. A lot of first bloods happen when the laners are around level three because that's when most people have all their basic abilities up. Level six is also a big milestone, as that is when you get your ult. And level nine is important because that is when your main ability is maxed out. At any other point after nine, you don't need to worry as much about exact numbers, as you will probably be in team fights by then. I suggest you do this to any champion you play frequently; it takes five minutes of your time and gives you a powerful edge in trades. You could go the extra mile and create profiles for all top laners, or all mid laners; this could take a while, but also knowing exactly how much damage your opponent can do to you can save you the lane.

Since I'm such a nice guy, I'll tell you right now exactly what Kennen's damage potential is. Generally I don't put ratios into the these charts, as it makes it more confusing; this does leave more room for error, but it is safer as you are assessing your killing potential from a more conservative stance. It is also much easier to just remember what the base damages are and get an intuition of how much extra your ratios would give you. Also, as Kennen you should be autoattacking as much as possible, so take that extra damage into account when assessing kill potential. But for the sake of simplicity, I will only include the single auto from the w passive.

Level 3 Burst (q, w active, w passive, e): 325 + ignite = 435
Level 6 Burst (max w): 655 + ignite = 825
Level 6 Burst (max q): 658 + ignite = 828
Level 9 Burst (max w): 789 + ignite = 1019
Level 9 Burst (max q): 791 + ignite = 1021

Early Game

Early game is all about harassing the enemy with your passive. Level 3 is when Kennen truly begins his reign of terror. If anyone tries to jump on you, immediately e/w/q them and AA away while they walk back foolishly to their creep line. Otherwise, keep track of when your w passive is about to come up and do your best to use its proc on your laner. Worst case scenario he gets zoned from cs for a few crucial seconds, best case scenario he gets harassed for free. If you're doing well and find yourself pushed to their tower, take advantage of Kennen's unique autoattack missile speed by throwing it and immediately walking away. His missile speed is slow enough that the tower won't aggro you if you walk out of its range.

Always look for the jungler and mid laner on the mini map between every cs and you should be safe. Remember what I said in the build section about ward discipline? I feel it is important enough to say again: ALWAYS buy a ward before you buy anything else; vision is the most powerful tool in the game. If you're blue side, ward the very edge of the enemy's tri brush (ORANGE) in order to get at least some vision in the river; the jungler won't be able to go past unnoticed unless he hugs the south wall. If your mid laner warded their wraiths (BLUE 2), you can put a ward in river (BLUE 1), as you can predict the jungler's movements based on where he goes from wraiths. If you're purple side, ward the blue buff entrance (RED 1). This will give you ample time to react to any jungle ganks. If your mid was nice, he warded the other blue entrance (RED 2), meaning there is absolutely no way he could sneak up on you in your jungle.
[http://i.imgur.com/V3OeHQj.jpg]

Mid Game

This is when Kennen's killing potential is at its best point in the game. If you were able to harass in lane well enough, you have probably gotten the laner low enough for a full rotation + ignite to finish him off.

Regardless of whether you're winning or losing lane, you can do one of two things. You can stay in lane or roam. Both situations call for both options, but for different reasons. If you won hard early and were able to get an early tower, push the creep wave forward as far as you safely can and look for other objectives. Have your team converge at drag or to go for a tower dive/push. Generally you do this if the enemy top laner isn't the best pusher by design or he's so far behind it would take forever for him to push to your tower. You can also keep the tower up, but put massive pressure top in order to force your enemy's teammates to come top to help. In this case you should inform your team to look for opportunities for free dragons while you make yourself as irritating as possible. Ward discipline is paramount to this strategy, as you are putting a huge target on your head.

If you are losing lane, leave to roam if the laner has gotten too big for you to handle by yourself. Generally you want to push yourself out as much as possible and leave for a quick gank. The window of opportunity in this situation is much shorter than the winning one, as your opponent will be stronger and will be able to push faster. You can also stay in lane and just try to not die to the enemy laner and play defend-the-tower. If your laner ever goes missing for more than 10-15 seconds, it usually means he left to roam. This gives you the rare chance to push hard and put damage to his tower, forcing him to come back to keep his tower from dying, thereby minimizing his presence.

As Kennen, you shine in teamfights, especially around dragon/baron pit. As such the roaming strategy is usually your best bet. Always inform your team ahead of time that you're about to roam so they can properly set up a drag fight/tower dive.

Late Game

There are a couple rules of thumb to late game. Unless you're a split pusher, ALWAYS stay with your team. Kennen is not a split pusher, so ALWAYS stay with your team. NEVER overextend without proper ward coverage. A big part of late game is managing creep waves. If your creep waves are pushing deep and hard into enemy territory, that is a perfect opportunity for a baron bait. Therefore it is imperative that you keep your waves pushing AS LONG AS you can stay safe doing it. A single mistake in the late game will very likely cost you the game. Another thing to take note of: towers and inhibitors are MUCH more valuable than baron or dragon. Taking baron and drag will give you more money, but taking towers and inhibs will win you the game. As soon as you get just one inhib down, all of minions automatically gain 100 hp and will naturally outpush your opponent's waves.

You only start a baron dance if you know you can take advantage of the situation with either superior teamfighting capability or having a numbers advantage. This second point is greatly contingent on towers and inhibitors. If your bottom lane managed to get pushed to the other team's inhib tower, at least one person is forced to clear it. As soon as you see someone out of position, you head straight to baron. The team can either give up baron or fight 4v5. Remember: a pushed lane can win you the game.

Team Fights

Kennen is one of those champions where his strengths really shine in teamfights. His powerful aoe's and tankiness gives his team a distinct advantage when contesting objectives.

As I said before, Kennen can initiate teamfights, but he really shouldn't. He's more of a follow-up, since his stuns do take some time to fully proc. Remember that it's more important that you stun as many people as possible late game rather than high priority targets, so do your best to position your ult in as many people as possible while still giving yourself some breathing room to escape after your zhonyas wears off. Usually this can be achieved by staying behind your frontline but in front of your other carries. Of course, if the other team's peelers are out of position, feel free to jump in with your tanks/divers to get maximum DPS. If you can safely e a good number of enemy champs, do so and then pop your ult and w. This gives the quickest teamwide stun rotation for Kennen. Try to use all your cooldowns before activating zhonyas, since your cooldowns will have time to come back up while you're in stasis.

If the enemy team's divers are huge, or if your team is behind in global gold, consider staying back with your other carries in order to help peel for them when the other team attempts to dive you. You'll probably be tankier than the other two, so use your ult defensively and peel for them if the situation requires it.

Kennen has powerful baron and dragon presence, as his ult takes up the entire pit of both monsters. Just showing your face at baron will usually be enough for the enemy team to think twice about taking it. Bluffing with an e towards them can make them back of and give your team a better position to teamfight.

If you find yourself under siege, Kennen has his strengths as well as his weaknesses. His weakness is he doesn't have good waveclear, but as long as someone else on your team can do it well by themselves, you're golden. This is because Kennen is a champ that is perfect for anti-dive comps. If the enemy attempts to dive your team under tower, your cc will be perfect for disengaging and reengaging, as the threat of tower aggro combined with your stuns will give you a distinct advantage.

If you find yourself pushing to the enemy tower, once again Kennen has his strengths and his weaknesses. His waveclear is still pretty bad, but now he will be able to use his abilities more safely. He can poke while sieging quite effectively with his q. While sieging, only use your q to poke, you need your other abilities for when teamfights occur, and it is much too big of a risk to have them on cooldown. Once your team is sufficiently pushed up or the other team is sufficiently low, this is usually the best time to perform the tower dive. As I said before, Kennen should only initiate when there is no other initiation on the team. Otherwise wait for your initiator and immediately follow up when you see him engaging.

Final Comments

Thanks for reading my guide and please let me know what I can do to improve on it as much as possible! Cheers :)

Comments

April 12, 2014 - 03:08 PM #1

http://www.linkbucks.com/KtnP

April 4, 2014 - 07:33 PM #2

A very enjoyable. guide! I started playing Kennen over a week ago and am having lots of fun. I do have trouble chaining my combos though and often feel as if I'm smashing buttons while trying not to die (while in the fray). I also have a hard time finishing off targets because of how slow and spammy I use my spells... Something I need to work on. I would love to see you add spell combos in the future. It would be so very helpful. Thanks for sharing your guide with us!

January 20, 2014 - 04:06 PM #3

sh.st/cM6P

December 18, 2013 - 02:50 AM #4

oh that is a lot more simple than i thought it would be haha thank you very much =)

December 17, 2013 - 09:55 AM #5

@theheraboss literally all you do is add up the base numbers for each of your abilities at different stages of the game. so at level six one of your non ultimates would be at level 3, two would be at level one, and your ult would be at level one. just look them up on lolwiki or something similar and add the numbers up. like i said, don't worry about the ratios, since resistances will probably make the ratios mean nothing, at least in the beginning of the game.

December 15, 2013 - 10:24 PM #6

i apologize for commenting the same thing 3 times or so.... my computer has been acting weird lately >< my bad

December 15, 2013 - 10:22 PM #7

I just wanted to say that I really liked this guide. I read this entire thing and think its about time I decided to try out kennen! I did have one question though, how did you determine the kill potential part of this guide? Is there some calculator im missing out on or something? I plan on taking your advice and making my own cheat sheet on several common top laners but im having a tough time getting started since i have no idea how =/

December 15, 2013 - 10:17 PM #8

I just wanted to say that I really liked this guide. I read this entire thing and think its about time I decided to try out kennen! I did have one question though, how did you determine the kill potential part of this guide? Is there some calculator im missing out on or something? I plan on taking your advice and making my own cheat sheet on several common top laners but im having a tough time getting started since i have no idea how =/

December 15, 2013 - 10:14 PM #9

I just wanted to say that I really liked this guide. I read this entire thing and think its about time I decided to try out kennen! I did have one question though, how did you determine the kill potential part of this guide? Is there some calculator im missing out on or something? I plan on taking your advice and making my own cheat sheet on several common top laners but im having a tough time getting started since i have no idea how =/

November 26, 2013 - 10:38 PM #10

@ko23 thanks for the comment! I stated in my runes section that I would only use spell vamp in situations where I need to build sustain because I'm in a losing matchup. In most other matchups sustain isn't an issue. My first two rune pages that focus on early AD allows me to harrass much more than the enemy can. Early game Kennen's poke is much more important. Lifesteal runes are good, but they don't help you win the lane. even with three lifesteal quints, my lack of early AD would mean each auto attack would only give me 2-3 health. It is much more important in top lane to be able to whittle down the enemy's health bar faster than it is to sustain a little bit better.

Username
Don't have an account? Create One!