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KENNEN BUILD GUIDE: [S4] In-Depth Guide to Kennen Top and Mid by lPATCH

by lPATCH (last updated 10 months ago)

Featured4,227,968 Views 99 Comments
1
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration(+0.87 magic penetration)
9
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist(+12.06 magic resist)
3
Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp(+6% Spell vamp)
9
Greater Seal of Armor(+12.69 armor)
8
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration(7.2 Armor Penetration and 4.96 Magic Penetration)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details

Starting

Full Item Build

23
0
7
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 0/1
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 2/3
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
23 Offense
mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
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
0 Defense
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
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
7 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

Introduction

[http://i.imgur.com/T6toUWT.jpg]

Hello there readers, I'm lPATCH (it's an "L", not an "i") and I've been a Kennen main since mid-Season 2, which is about when I started playing this game. I always did like ninjas in games, and my main role was ranged midlaners so I was immediately interested in Kennen when I saw what type of champion he was. Total in just ranked games during these three seaons I've played Kennen over 1000 times, and I have a lot more played in normals. Mainly utilizing him for ranked I was able to reach 1994 elo in my first season of playing. Season 3 I capped at Diamond 1, 96 LP and ended the Season at 51 LP.

Kennen has always been a relatively safe laner with his ability to farm at long distance with Thundering Shuriken (his Q skill), his great sustain with a Hextech Revolver and spammability due to his energy resource as opposed to the usual mana one on most champions. No matter how badly you get denied as him, he will always have his usefulness as an AoE CC bot due to his ultimate and opponents won't be able to cut it short once you get Zhonya's Hourglass. He fills the much sought-after AP top niche when you have an AD mid and jungle, and does it well at that with his amazing teamfight. Kennen has, in my opinion, the most fun playstyle of any champion so far with his passive. The marks give him a combo-esque feel and allows for amazing plays when you really keep track of them. All in all, Kennen is a really fun champion who remains strong, and those who take the time to learn him will like the results.


[http://i.imgur.com/pcSsjGv.jpg]


The point of this guide is to be a resource that goes in-depth on each segment of what you'd like to know for Kennen in an attempt to help develop solid play through the many scenarios that can take place within League of Legends. I plan to go over the masteries, runes skills, builds, matchups, game phases, and tips I've learned while playing Kennen all this time.


Pros:
+ Safe laner if built for such
+ Has good mobility
+ Great teamfight
+ Good lane harass with his W (Electrical Surge), especially against melees
+ Energy resource is fantastic for laning
+ Capable of doing well in multiple roles
+ A lot of fun to play

Cons:
- Has to be in the middle of the opposition for maximum effectiveness
- Exhaust really screws him over in teamfights
- Not as good as most other APs when his ultimate is on cooldown
- Can be Flash reliant
- Is hurt badly by magic resist and health
- Wave clear generally relies on being ahead of opponent
- Can't stand pressure from those he can't kite



Legend for Key League Terms
CC - Crowd Control (stuns, snares, slows, etc.)
OoM - Out of Mana (mana is low or completely gone)
AoE - Area of Effect (Affects everything within a given area)
DoT - Damage over Time (You will receive damage over a duration, as opposed to instantly)
Ult - Ultimate (Generally a character's "R" skill)
MR - Magic Resist (Stat that reduces magic damage)
CDR - Cooldown Reduction (Stat that lowers cooldowns on skills)
AP - Ability Power (Stat that affects anything that scales with Ability Power)
AD - Attack Damage (Stat that affects anything that scales with Attack Damage)
APC - Ability Power Carry (Carry champions that deal mainly magic damage)
ADC - Attack Damage Carry (Carry champions that deal mainly attack damage)
Gank - When a player from outside the lane attempts to kill a laner
Squishy - Low in defenses like health, magic resist, or armor
Blue - Blue Buff (Given by Ancient Golem. Restores mana along and grants cooldown reduction)
Red - Red Buff (Given by Elder Lizard. Grants true damage along with a slow on auto attacks)
Dragon - Large monster that offers global gold to the team that kills it
Baron - Baron Nashor (Offers more global gold than Dragon and a great global buff to the team that kills it)

For Kennen in this guide:
Shuriken - Thundering Shuriken (Kennen's Q skill)
Surge - Electrical Surge (Kennen's W skill)
Rush - Lightning Rush (Kennen's E skill)
Maelstrom - Slicing Maelstrom (Kennen's R skill)
Energy - Resource for skills used by Kennen. Stays at a max of 200 and constantly refills by 10 every second.

Runes

Marks:
For marks I run 8 hybrid penetration and 1 magic penetration, as Kennen is a champion that tries to get auto attacks off when possible, especially top lane. By choosing theses over just straight magic pen, I gain 7.2 armor pen in exchange for a loss of 2 magic pen. If you'd like to go straight hybrid pen marks instead of 8 I'm sure it's just as effective; The 1 Magic Pen Rune is just something I like to do.

Seals:
For seals I run 9 flat armor runes, at least until they supposedly get nerfed come the rune changes. I used to run 9 scaling health, but I've been playing more on early aggression since then and that's not where they shine. Using your Surge Passive usually ends up in trading autos against ranged or eating minion damage against a zoned target, neither of which are fun to deal with. Taking these will lessen the pain from those sources while also giving more survivability for the popular AD snowballers of toplane.

Glyphs:
For glyphs I run 9 magic resist glyphs, as they help a lot in exchanges in mid lane. Magic resist is also very effective against those who deal percent health in magic damage. If you're going mid, take these for sure while if you're going top you can swap them out for something that may be more beneficial for the matchup.

Quints:
Quints are big, and for them I run 3 spellvamp ones. The in lane sustain, though not as strong as it was in S3, will really help you keep healthy in lane. You will start off with 6% spellvamp, which is half of what you'd get from a Hextech Revolver, totaling up to 18% if you decide to build one. Due to your ability to constantly use your skills in lane you can get more out of these than most other champions.

Masteries

mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 0/1
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 2/3
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
23 Offense
mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
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
0 Defense
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
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
7 Utility

Summoner Sets

The Usual Summoners


Explanation:
Let's be real, Flash is a given on most, as it helps with escaping, initiating, dodging, and so much more. On Kennen specifically it's vital, as having Flash up gives you such a huge boost on your ability to position or initiate with your ultimate in teamfights. Flashing onto a squishy and continuing your combo on them will almost always lead to their death with no way for them to retaliate. No matter what the scenario, YOU WANT TO HAVE FLASH.




Explanation:
This gives a lot of kill potential in lane. With it you can be more lenient with your all-ins, as you don't need to finish them off yourself or have to worry about them flashing away if you hit them with Ignite as they're about to die. It also halves healing which helps in killing heavy lifesteal or spellvamp targets. This is usually the second summoner I take when I play Kennen.




Explanation:
Though uncommon on him, Teleport allows for many big plays and opens up pushing options when they matter most lategame. Post-6 when you have your ult it opens up large ganking possibilities into the other lanes, whether you're top or mid. Ganking bottom lane from behind using Teleport and killing off the opposing bot lane is huge, especially if it nets you a dragon for your efforts. it also lets you go back to lane and barely miss out on CS if you're forced back for whatever reason. Lategame it allows for you to push back lanes while still being available to your team if a fight breaks out. Very underrated summoner spell, I rarely take it as well, but it's good.




Explanation:
This has been seen taken on some mids, as it can be used for baits or surviving close-call situations. I can see how it'll have it's uses, but remember, even though Barrier has higher numbers than Ignite, it only lasts for 2 seconds as opposed to the 5 on Ignite. This means it'll only shield less than half of the damage, so don't rely on it to survive if the Ignite ticks are about to kill you. In teamfights, Barrier should absorb the numbered damage as you should be taking more damage than that when you go in, so it has its uses when your in the middle of the action. It's more of a defensive summoner than an offensive one, which goes against my playstyle so I don't run it at all. Even then, it's still good on Kennen.



As for the others....

- Only helps stop a target from retaliating. If you couldn't kill them with Ignite, chances are they're not dying with this.
- Only if you're that worried about Exhaust.
- Can take the place of your second summoner, but never Flash.
- Pretty much a lesser version of Barrier on Kennen. Ignite halves it.
- You're not Karthus, this will rarely help you. Has a long cooldown.
- You're also not jungling, so this is unnecessary unless you don't have one on the team.
- Don't take this on Kennen, even if your team is mana-hungry.

Skills

Mark of the Storm
Enemies hit by Kennen's spells receive one Mark of the Storm, which lasts for 6 seconds. These marks stack and upon receiving 3 Marks of the Storm, they detonate to stun the target for 1 second and grant Kennen 25 energy. If the stun is applied more than once within 7 seconds, it has a diminished effect so it will only stun for approximately 0.5 seconds.

Explanation:
This passive is what makes Kennen such a fun champion for me. The mark and returns system allows for some serious combos that often catch opponent off guard, since you can setup what you want to do with them in advance. By successfully landing 3 marks on a target, they are stunned and a bit of your energy is refunded, as stated in the skill definition. Since Kennen will run out of energy if you spam constantly it's important that you make sure you actually get the stuns off on a target in order to fuel your harass. Be sure to always monitor how much marks you have on a target and plan plays ahead of time in order to make the most of this passive. As of Patch 3.9 mark management is of even more vital importance due to the duration being reduced to 6 seconds. When it comes to bettering your Kennen play, managing this passive is the way to start.
Thundering Shuriken
Kennen throws a charged shuriken in a line in front of him, dealing 75/115/155/195/235 (+ 75% AP) magic damage and applying a Mark of the Storm to the first enemy that it hits.

Range: 1050
Cooldown: 8/7/6/5/4
Cost: 65/60/55/50/45


Explanation:
This skill is one of the two main skills you need to pay attention to as Kennen. It functions as a single-target nuke with good base and a good ratio that also applies a mark of your passive on hit. This is your safe-farming tool with its great 1050 range and it also works extremely well with spellvamp, along with the fact that it's spammable, to keep you healthy in lane if maxed first. If you manage to land one on an opposing champion, it'll chunk them a good amount and will apply the vital first mark needed for the combo without expending the longer cooldown Electrical Surge and from a safe distance. Be warned though, it can be very difficult to land one of these against a smart player as they can just stand safely behind minions, so it isn't a first max in all situations, despite its benefits. Once you get Kennen's passive down these become much easier to hit.

Since this move is a skillshot that stops when it hits, it can be used to check brushes when you have no vision in them. You'll see the animation stop and hear the noise from when it strikes a target, so if you're ever worried about face-checking a brush don't be afraid to throw one of these in ahead of you to confirm whether or not it's safe.
Electrical Surge
W: Electrical Surge
PASSIVE: Every fifth basic attack will deal 40%/50%/60%/70%/80% of your total AD in magic damage and add a Mark of the Storm to his target.

ACTIVE: Sends a surge of electricity through all nearby enemies afflicted by Mark of the Storm, dealing 65/95/125/155/185 (+ 55% AP) magic damage and adding another Mark.

Range: 800
Cooldown: 14/12/10/8/6
Cost: 45


Explanation:

Now this is the other skill which needs to be watched when playing Kennen, even more so than Thundering Shuriken. Starting with the passive, which is an auto attack enhancement that adds additional damage and applies a mark when it strikes a target. This helps a lot with adding the oh-so-important first mark on a target, which sets you up for a combo with your other abilities. Try to land this on champions whenever it gets up but don't miss out on CS trying to hold onto it. Moving onto the active, it's unique among Kennen's abilities in the way that it can only be used once a mark is already on a target or targets. It will hit anyone with a mark within 800 range of Kennen, which is still pretty far. This skill allows you to push a lot easier and harass melees almost effortlessly by hitting them with its passive followed by the active. In teamfights it adds damage onto everyone marked by your ult, and will make sure they will have at least one mark still on them after they've been hit with each bolt, which also brings out more AoE damage than maxing Thundering Shuriken in fights with more than one person. Most of the time I max this first, as it allows you to push more effectively and opens up new harass options. What I mean by that is that when the skill is ranked to 5, the cooldown becomes 6 seconds which means with the 5% CDR from the mastery you can use it more than once on a target before their mark runs off with proper timing. This makes for a smart choice to max in a majority of the matchups.
Lightning Rush
Kennen transforms into a ball of electricity for up for 3 seconds. While in this state Kennen gains 230 movement speed and ignores unit collisions. Any enemies he passes through take 85/125 /165/205/245 (+ 60% AP) magic damage and have a Mark of the Storm applied to them, dealing half damage to minions. Kennen also gains 40 energy from the first enemy he hits. Kennen cannot use basic attacks while Lightning Rush is active. Additionally, for 4 seconds Kennen's armor and magic resistance are increased by 10/20/30/40/50. While Lightning Rush is active, Kennen can activate it again to cancel the first part of the ability.

Cooldown: 10/9/8/7/6
Cost: 100/95/90/85/80


Explanation:
This is your chase and escape skill with a high cost attached to it. It has the highest energy cost of all your abilities but gains a small refund of 40 energy when a target is hit. Keep in mind though, this only applies with the first enemy hit so hitting two minions with the skill will still only refund 40 energy. When you want to clear a wave it is smart to Lightning Rush over the minion wave followed by Electrical Surge to bring the wave to a reasonably low amount of health with some AP. However, this method leaves you open to ganks and retaliation from your laner, so do not do this freely unless you know that you're safe to do so. The damage on this ability is often overlooked as well, dealing solidly more damage than Surge at all levels with a higher ratio to boot. If you are ever attempting an all in try to hit them with this ability at some point for the extra mark and damage, but don't go out of your way and get yourself killed trying. I'll say it again since it deserves emphasis, make sure you don't use this skill for harass or waveclear unless you know the jungler isn't in the area or you'll be very vulnerable for a great gank by the opposition.

Don't forget about the bonus armor and magic resist as well. It can really help you get through otherwise fatal situations, though you can't auto attack while Lightning Rush is active. To work around this, you can cancel Rush in the middle of the active early and still receive the armor and magic resist for the full duration of what would've been the active. So be sure to cancel Lightning Rush as soon as you've used it for whatever you planned so you can auto attack again while keeping the bonus resistances.
Slicing Maelstrom
Kennen summons a magical storm around himself that zaps a random enemy champion within range every 0.5/0.4/0.33 seconds, dealing 80/145/210 (+ 40% AP) magic damage per bolt, for a total of 240/435/630
(+ 120% AP) on each target struck by 3 bolts and applying a Mark of the Storm for each hit. The storm hits 6/10/15 times, and cannot hit the same target more than 3 times.

Range: 550
Cooldown: 120
Cost: None


Explanation:

This skill may not require as much attention as Thundering Shuriken or Electrical Surge, but it is the biggest skill in Kennen's kit. This is what makes my favorite champ so good at teamfights, and is his shining point in them. Using this correctly can be the difference between a good engage or a bad one, as it allows you to lockdown a target, do high damage to them while damaging anyone else near, and refunds energy from all the marks of the passive being set off on those within it. In lane it can be used to setup a triple stun on a single-target with only 1 point in it. When maxed it can stun everyone caught within it on its own, which makes it difficult for others to stop you from destroying your target while simultaneously eating damage from the rest of your team. Combined with the invulnerability on Zhonya's Hourglass, the opposing side is going to have to think of a way to deal with you alone ahead of time. Make sure that this up before fights if possible.

An important overlooked part of this ultimate is the amount of bolts and how it increases per level. The bolts don't do much damage on their own, just the total of all of them together is what causes the real damage. Because of this, you should try avoiding fights with 3 or more people while it's level 1, as chances are you won't have any big items yet so you can't afford to be in the middle of 3 people with your ult not stunning even one of them. The bolts will be spread out among the group, doing little damage and not stunning them on its own, so always take the ult level into consideration before hard-engaging with it.

Champion Matchups

Ahri
Difficulty
Favors You
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:

This matchup falls in the favor of Kennen a bit. Max Electrical Surge first as it'll be hard to get a good Thundering Shuriken off against a smart Ahri post-6 and you can afford to be aggressive in this lane. Ahri is a skillshot reliant champion and one of Kennen's good features is his mobility. Start Surge and take advantage of your good level 1 granted by it by auto attacking with the passive on it followed by the active.

Ahri shouldn't be able to return as much harass if you can at least avoid her Q (the skillshot that goes out then returns) on its way back. Heal back up with your pots if you eat too much damage and keep pressure on with the Electrical Surge passive to active combo while avoiding her E (the pink skillshot that taunts). At level 6 things can get a little trickier as you'll have the burst to kill her but she should be able to get away from it with her ult (3 dashes with damage on each) before you can get the full combo off. To counter this, try to get her to about 75% health and apply two marks of your passive on her. If she gets into range after that and aren't afraid of jungler retaliation, use Flash along with your ult to insta-stun before she can get away and use your combo to take her out. Once you begin to snowball the lane in your favor, she'll have a very difficult time coming back.

Remember to punish Ahri players for using abilities to push the wave as that's a major opening for you to get a skill or an auto attack off on her before they come back up. If you can bait them out without her pushing, more power to you.


Introduction to Kennen and Myself

[http://i.imgur.com/T6toUWT.jpg]

Hello there readers, I'm lPATCH (it's an "L", not an "i") and I've been a Kennen main since mid-Season 2, which is about when I started playing this game. I always did like ninjas in games, and my main role was ranged midlaners so I was immediately interested in Kennen when I saw what type of champion he was. Total in just ranked games during these three seaons I've played Kennen over 600 times, and I have a lot more played in normals. Mainly utilizing him for ranked I was able to reach 1994 elo in my first season of playing. Currently this season I've managed to hit and remain in Diamond 1 running him mid and top, as he's still a strong champion despite having dropped out of popularity.

Kennen has always been a relatively safe laner with his ability to farm at long distance with Thundering Shuriken (his Q skill), his great sustain with a Hextech Revolver and spammability due to his energy resource as opposed to the usual mana one on most champions. No matter how badly you get denied as him, he will always have his usefulness as an AoE CC bot due to his ultimate and opponents won't be able to cut it short once you get Zhonya's Hourglass. He fills the much sought-after AP top niche when you have an AD mid and jungle, and does it well at that with his amazing teamfight. Kennen has, in my opinion, the most fun playstyle of any champion so far with his passive. The marks give him a combo-esque feel and allows for amazing plays when you really keep track of them. All in all, Kennen is a really fun champion who remains strong, and those who take the time to learn him will like the results.


[http://i.imgur.com/pcSsjGv.jpg]


The point of this guide is to be a resource that goes in-depth on each segment of what you'd like to know for Kennen in an attempt to help develop solid play through the many scenarios that can take place within League of Legends. I plan to go over the masteries, runes skills, builds, matchups, game phases, and tips I've learned while playing Kennen all this time.


Pros:
+ Safe laner if built for such
+ Has good mobility
+ Great teamfight
+ Good lane harass with his W (Electrical Surge), especially against melees
+ Energy resource is fantastic for laning
+ Capable of doing well in multiple roles
+ A lot of fun to play

Cons:
- Has to be in the middle of the opposition for maximum effectiveness
- Exhaust really screws him over in teamfights
- Not as good as most other APs when his ultimate is on cooldown
- Can be Flash reliant
- Is hurt badly by magic resist and health
- Wave clear generally relies on being ahead of opponent
- Can't stand pressure from those he can't kite



Legend for Key League Terms
CC - Crowd Control (stuns, snares, slows, etc.)
OoM - Out of Mana (mana is low or completely gone)
AoE - Area of Effect (Affects everything within a given area)
DoT - Damage over Time (You will receive damage over a duration, as opposed to instantly)
Ult - Ultimate (Generally a character's "R" skill)
MR - Magic Resist (Stat that reduces magic damage)
CDR - Cooldown Reduction (Stat that lowers cooldowns on skills)
AP - Ability Power (Stat that affects anything that scales with Ability Power)
AD - Attack Damage (Stat that affects anything that scales with Attack Damage)
APC - Ability Power Carry (Carry champions that deal mainly magic damage)
ADC - Attack Damage Carry (Carry champions that deal mainly attack damage)
Gank - When a player from outside the lane attempts to kill a laner
Squishy - Low in defenses like health, magic resist, or armor
Blue - Blue Buff (Given by Ancient Golem. Restores mana along and grants cooldown reduction)
Red - Red Buff (Given by Elder Lizard. Grants true damage along with a slow on auto attacks)
Dragon - Large monster that offers global gold to the team that kills it
Baron - Baron Nashor (Offers more global gold than Dragon and a great global buff to the team that kills it)

For Kennen in this guide:
Shuriken - Thundering Shuriken (Kennen's Q skill)
Surge - Electrical Surge (Kennen's W skill)
Rush - Lightning Rush (Kennen's E skill)
Maelstrom - Slicing Maelstrom (Kennen's R skill)
Energy - Resource for skills used by Kennen. Stays at a max of 200 and constantly refills by 10 every second.

Masteries

[http://i.imgur.com/7ToPVNC.jpg]


I had looked into this page awhile back as it seemed big on Season 3 Kennen. After some testing I could definitely say this page is overall better than the 21/9/0 I used to run on him at the start of Season 3. You still get the main benefits from the Offensive tree, the usual starting stats from the Defensive tree, while also gaining great CDR for your Flash along with sustain among other bonuses in Utility. All in all it seems the most beneficial and I very much recommend going with this on Kennen. This mastery page combined with Spellvamp quints allows for some ridiculous early lane sustain and it'll definitely help, especially with the number of potions at a time being reduced to 5.




[http://i.imgur.com/pM6lJsm.png]


This page is the usually more beneficial when running AD quints or when you plan to start with a Doran's Blade. It compliments auto attack harass more and gives out overall more damage for the aggression-heavy lanes.

Runes

[http://i.imgur.com/Y5wMMAk.jpg]

Marks:
For marks I run 7 hybrid penetration and 2 magic penetration, as Kennen is a champion that tries to get auto attacks off when possible, especially top lane. By choosing theses over just straight magic pen, I gain 6.3 armor pen in exchange for a loss of 1.8 magic pen. If you'd like to go straight hybrid pen marks instead of just 7 I'm sure it's just as effective; I just like to see the flat 6.0 magic pen as opposed to 5.5.

Seals:
For seals I run 9 scaling health as it helps in keeping you alive from every form of damage, except percent health. Since Kennen is a safe laner, he can take advantage of the fact that they're scaling and doesn't necessarily need the immediate armor given by the flat armor seals, which are the most common choice. They work in matchups against APs, ADs, and those who deal true damage.

Glyphs:
For glyphs I run 9 magic resist glyphs, as they help a lot in exchanges in mid lane. Magic resist is also very effective against those who deal percent health in magic damage, which works well with the health per level seals that I use if you're ever in such a matchup.

Quints:
Quints are big, and for them I run 3 spellvamp ones. The in lane sustain combined with 9/9/12 masteries will really help you keep healthy in lane. You will start off with 9% spellvamp, which is two thirds of what you'd get from a Hextech Revolver, totaling up to 21% if you decide to build one. Due to your ability to constantly use your skills in lane you can get more out of these than most other champions.




[http://i.imgur.com/uHgnqdl.jpg]

Alternate rune page that is effective toplane. Optimizes early auto attack harass and works better with 21/9/0 masteries.


Marks:
7 hybrid pen marks and 2 magic pen marks. For the same reasons above and still useful for auto attacks due to the armor pen it provides.

Seals:
9 scaling health seals for the same reasons listed above.

Glyphs:
9 magic resist glyphs for the same reasons listed above.

Quints:
3 AD quints to help maximize Kennen's early auto attack harass. This is fantastic against melee tops and works wonders with those who like to pick up a Doran's Blade or two. This is the only real difference rune-wise in this page, but as a reminder it works better with 21/9/0 than the 9/9/12 I normally run with Spellvamp runes.




[http://i.imgur.com/8PtpAN2.jpg]

This is the poor man's variation of a rune page. Typical AP page.


Marks:
9 magic penetration marks are the standard for most AP mids as they give out a better damage output than flat AP marks. They give overall less stats than hybrid penetration marks, but they're still effective nonetheless.

Seals:
The usual go-to for every role on seals. The 9 flat armor seals are cheap and very effective in blocking a good amount of early-game physical damage that you may take. Can't really go wrong with running these if you don't want scaling health.

Glyphs:
Same as the page above, very good choice in most roles.

Quints:
AP Quints are very cost effective and give a decent damage boost to Kennen's harass. They also scale with the % AP on Rabadon's, improving their efficiency when you buy it.

Summoner Spells



Explanation:
Let's be real, Flash is a given on most, as it helps with escaping, initiating, dodging, and so much more. On Kennen specifically it's vital, as having Flash up gives you such a huge boost on your ability to position or initiate with your ultimate in teamfights. Flashing onto a squishy and continuing your combo on them will almost always lead to their death with no way for them to retaliate. No matter what the scenario, YOU WANT TO HAVE FLASH.




Explanation:
This gives a lot of kill potential in lane. With it you can be more lenient with your all-ins, as you don't need to finish them off yourself or have to worry about them flashing away if you hit them with Ignite as they're about to die. It also halves healing which helps in killing heavy lifesteal or spellvamp targets. This is usually the second summoner I take when I play Kennen.




Explanation:
Though uncommon on him, Teleport allows for many big plays and opens up pushing options when they matter most lategame. Post-6 when you have your ult it opens up large ganking possibilities into the other lanes, whether you're top or mid. Ganking bottom lane from behind using Teleport and killing off the opposing bot lane is huge, especially if it nets you a dragon for your efforts. it also lets you go back to lane and barely miss out on CS if you're forced back for whatever reason. Lategame it allows for you to push back lanes while still being available to your team if a fight breaks out. Very underrated summoner spell, I rarely take it as well, but it's good.




Explanation:
This has been seen on a lot of mids as of late, as it can be used for baits or surviving close-call situations. I can see how it'll have it's uses, but remember, even though Barrier has higher numbers than Ignite, it only lasts for 2 seconds as opposed to the 5 on Ignite. This means it'll only shield less than half of the damage, so don't rely on it to survive if the Ignite ticks are about to kill you. In teamfights, Barrier should absorb the numbered damage as you should be taking more damage than that when you go in, so it has its uses when your in the middle of the action. It's more of a defensive summoner than an offensive one, which goes against my playstyle so I don't run it at all. Even then, it's still good on Kennen.



As for the others....

- Only helps stop a target from retaliating. If you couldn't kill them with Ignite, chances are they're not dying with this.
- Only if you're that worried about Exhaust.
- Can take the place of your second summoner, but never Flash.
- Pretty much a lesser version of Barrier on Kennen. Ignite halves it.
- You're not Karthus, this will rarely help you. Has a long cooldown.
- You're also not jungling, so this is unnecessary unless you don't have one on the team.
- Don't take this on Kennen, even if your team is mana-hungry.

Item Builds

Boot choices:
OR OR

These are the 3 main choices of boots on Kennen.

-
These are generally what you're going to go with on Kennen. The flat magic penetration is really useful early-midgame and adds a good amount of damage to your harass and burst.

-
This choice is effective in counteracting champions reliant on some sort of CC or silence to keep you at bay or champions with high magic damage burst. Some examples are , , and . It'll give you some very nice early magic resist and what will most likely be the only tenacity you'll get out of your build. Get these if you are going against tough magic damage dealers or CC reliant champions to reduce their effectiveness against you. More commonly built in midlane than toplane.

-
These have always been pretty effective in handling heavy physical damage champions or those who rely on auto attacks to take you down. Some examples are , , and . Their damage output will be severely reduced with this cheap buy and it should help you if you're having trouble. Get these if you want to take less damage from heavy auto attackers or physical damage dealing champs that give you trouble. More commonly built in toplane than midlane.

In terms of boot echanments-
OR
is extremely helpful in any situation where you need to defend the base or just for getting back to lane quickly whereas will bring up your Flash and Ghost if you're running it, which is big in teamfights, more quickly and Teleport, which will have a big impact all points of the game. Either way, get these when you feel they are necessary as there isn't really any particular point in the game where you need them.



Start of the game:
OR OR

Keep in mind, these are not the definite starting options, just the most general and they work against pretty much every matchup.
If you want specifics for a lane just check out the "Matchups" section below. After Patch 3.6 this section required some mass revisions. Both of these two new choices may seem outlandish but bear with me. So first off I'll explain the 5 potion, 1 ward, and 1 pink start, which gives the maximum amount of potions, wards to avoid early ganks, and a pink to deny some early vision from your opponent. This start gives you more than enough wards to ensure safety and opens up the possibility of setting up ganks by ridding of your oppositions ward(s). You'll have some leftover money but just save it as a bonus for your next back since there really isn't much more use for it this path. The Boots, 2 potions, 1 ward start became good after they reduced the amount of gold Boots cost, allowing for more than 1 potion. Last but not least is the Cloth Armor, 2 potions and 1 ward start. This seems to be the best start against ADs in my opinion as long as you don't eat too much return harass. If you have trouble taking too much damage back but aren't afraid of the burst just go the potion route instead. If you don't need to help the jungler with wraithes or wolves you can wait 5 more gold for a 3rd pot on this start.

- Doran's Blade
Due to an extreme amount of questions brought up by Ambition's play in LCS I thought I'd throws this in. Doran's Blade start can be really effective if you're confident that the opposing jungler won't gank early on when you don't have wards or the opposing laner is weak early with little-to-no CC. People that commonly start Doran's Blade toplane assume the jungler is going to start the buff closest to their side, meaning that the jungler will head towards the opposite side of the map before coming to their lane to get their other buff, giving them as a laner enough time to utilize Doran's harass before heading back for a ward. Even if you are willing to take that chance you need to be sure that the opposing laner won't be able to return a lot of harass. Most everyone starts with some potions so if they hit you enough you'll be behind in health and won't be able to utilize the harass from Doran's due to the HP difference. Maybe against someone like Singed or someone who can't reach you, but other than that I don't like it as a starting item.

If you really like Doran's items on Kennen, whether it be shield or sword, you can always pick them up on your first back so that they can still be used in laning.



First back goals:
OR

Your first back is important, as it's where you decide which direction you want to take in lane.

You either go for the aggressive laning style where you plan to bully your opponent with Haunting Guise, or the safe route where you prioritize farming over harass on your opponent with the sustain and movement from Hextech Revolver and tier one boots. Your skill choice should also factor into this decision, as an Electrical Surge focus won't gain the full benefits from spellvamp since it's AoE and leans toward lane harass which works well with the aggressive options from Haunting Guise as a result. The Thundering Shuriken focus will get the most benefit from the sustain on Hextech Revolver and from a long distance if you're low. It will also be easier to setup hits with this with the movement you get from tier one boots. All in all, you will get more damage from Haunting Guise as early flat magic pen will give you more damage on Kennen than flat AP, since his ratios aren't the best, along with good health for all-ins but you miss out on the great safety potential given from the 12% spellvamp on Hextech Revolver.
In comparison of stats:
- +25 AP, +200 Health, +15 Magic Pen
- +40 AP, +12% Spellvamp, +25 Movement Speed



Midgame goals:
OR OR

Just as your first back determined how you planned to lane, your midgame choice will affect how you teamfight.


Zhonya's Hourglass
The most notable of the choices, which is also a staple item choice on AP's that have to get close, is the Zhonya's Hourglass. When it comes to teamfights, Zhonya's Hourglass is the best option for all in's in which you plan to dive hard with your ultimate, and is extremely effective against teams with a lot of AD. The active on it grants a 2.5 second stasis which will allow your team time to respond if you jump into the middle of the enemy team, as opposed to you just getting focused down and punished for it. Activating Zhonya's Hourglass will not cancel Kennen's ultimate, allowing for damage even when you can't receive it back. Zhonya's also opens up a lot of options for baits and plays, getting important targets to dive you when you're low just to have you use the stasis allowing for you to get your cooldowns refreshed and giving your team time to pick them off. A good majority of the time, you'll want this as your midgame core.


Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Moving on to Rylai's Crystal Scepter, which is my favorite item on Kennen even if it isn't the most effective on him. It's pretty much a mix between the two options, Zhonya's Hourglass and Abyssal Scepter, giving defense against both physical and magic damage through the 500 health it gives. Rylai's also gives a nice 80 AP as well, which should not be underestimated even if it's 40 less than Zhonya's. The part of this item that sets it apart from the other two is the passive, which slows enemies hit by your abilities. That passive combined with the range on Thundering Shuriken opens up tons of kiting and chasing possibilities with Kennen. If you're being chased you can constantly throw back Thundering Shurikens while running to keep the enemy form catching you and damaging them in the process. If you manage to hit them low enough or stun them, it even allows you to potentially turn the situation around and kill off your chaser. also, even if it slows by a lower amount due to being AoE, Kennen's ult with Rylai's will help you keep enemies hit by the first bolt inside of the ult's range. This can be really helpful for enemies who try to avoid your ult by splitting up, and will make them take longer doing so, giving your team more time to get damage off in the chaos that ensues.


Abyssal Scepter
Now, for the final option of the three, we come to Abyssal Scepter. Abyssal isn't as strong as the other options stat-wise, but it costs a good amount less than the two and is great with and against magic damage heavy team comps. The magic resist and passive are the components that make this item an option. The Negatron Cloak portion of it is incredibly good against tough magic damage matchups, and it's a very nice early buy to have against them. The total +45 magic resist from Abyssal Scepter will help you a ton against APs, making you near impossible to one-shot in lane, which is why it's so good against AP-heavy comps. The passive redues the magic resist of all enemies within 700 range by 20, making this basically 20 free magic pen for everyone on your team if you have the opponents within your ult, which is why it is good for magc damage heavy comps. It also helps that the item has good synergy with Kennen's kit, making it easy to make full use of the passive against opponents.


All in all, Zhonya's Hourglass is the best option for most situations as it gives fantastic stats and the amazing stasis, which together justify the higher cost it has over the other two. Coming in second is the Rylai's Crystal Scepter for the kiting potential and high health it gives. Don't get me wrong though, Abyssal Scepter is a good choice on Kennen as well but it's not as good comparatively among the three.



Lategame options:
Past this point, everything is up to how the game has progressed! Don't forget that the choices you didn't take from midgame are very big choices as well. Here are options:


Rabadon's Deathcap


This is your big burst item. If it's damage you feel you need this should always be the first thing you look towards. Not only does Rabadon's give large amounts of base AP it also increases your total AP by 30%, effectively increasing the AP of all items bought prior and afterwards. You can see your AP jump the second it's bought, and this will lead to big damage on your Thundering Shuriken and Slicing Maelstrom, which hold the highest of Kennen's ratios. Be careful though, as Rabadon's has no defenses attached to it so it won't help you if you're getting focused down before dealing all of your damage. If you feel confident in your ability to survive, buy this ASAP after your midgame core item.



Void Staff


Another very important damage amplifying item on Kennen. Since magic resist hurts him quite the amount and he doesn't have the highest ratios, the percent magic pen on Void Staff will help you deal more damage tankier targets and even gives out more damage than Rabadon's Deathcap against them. It won't help as much in taking out squishier targets though, and they should be your primary focus. Costs less than Rabadon's too, which is a bonus.



Liandry's Torment


Though Liandry's Torment is a good item on champs who can proc it often, I wouldn't recommend getting it earlier than the other options on Kennen. Sure the percent damage sounds nice, but you shouldn't forget that it's 5% MAGIC damage. This means the damage is mitigated by magic resist, so you'll rarely see an instance where it hits for that much. The item is supposed to be effective against high-health targets, but they are generally the ones building resistances so it won't really be effective against them either with no way to constantly proc it. Works well with Rylai's Crystal Scepter though as it doubles the burn duration, doubling the damage since the opponent is slowed. Get it early only if the enemy is stacking HP with low magic resist. Otherwise, leave your Haunting Guise as is until you've built everything else.



Will of the Ancients


Very nice item when your team has multiple AP-scaling champions. You shouldn't overlook the fact that the aura affects you as well, giving you a total of 80 AP and 20% spellvamp, while also giving your team 30 AP and 20 spellvamp. Very nice aura item to have if you feel you want to aid your team more with your gold. A thing to note on the spellvamp is that it helps with all abilities, not just magic damaging ones. This means that your Graves can heal himself with his Buckshot if he's within the aura range, which is a whopping 1100. Normally I finish this building this at the end of the game.



Mercurial Scimitar


This is generally something I tend to avoid. Keep in mind, the main reason you're getting this is for the active, which is present on its component Quicksilver Slash, or QSS for short. If you do pick up QSS to cleanse yourself of whatever CC is causing you so much trouble, try to leave it that way instead of rushing it into Mercurial Scimitar as you don't need the AD more than you will the AP on other options. When you're done with everything else and have QSS, then you should finish building it into Mercurial Scimitar after you've completed everything else.



Hextech Gunblade


This is an often overlooked option. If you built a Hextech Revolver at the beginning of the game and don't have teammates who benefit much from Will of the Ancients, build this instead. In exchange for the loss of the aura for the team and 15 AP, you gain 45 AD, 12% lifesteal, and a damage dealing active that also slows a single-target. All-around better for yourself as opposed to the team-orientation that you get from Will of the Ancients. Should be noted that it costs 850 more gold though. Can be rushed in lane after Hextech Revolver but due to its high price it'll set you back on your important midgame core items.


OR OR

Randuin's Omen OR Warmog's Armor OR Guardian Angel


I'm opposed to all of these options, personally. You shouldn't really need that much tankiness as it'll really hinder your burst and damage output overall. If you're really having that much trouble surviving, you should build Zhonya's Hourglass, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, or Abyssal Scepter in accordance to the damage that is causing you trouble. If all damages are too much, don't be afraid to build all 3 and skip Rabadon's Deathcap altogether. That should be enough for you, but if it isn't, then go ahead and choose from the options above.



Spirit of the Spectral Wraith


This item has come up as a sort of selfish alternative to Will of the Ancients on non-jungling APs as of late. Looking into it, you gain 10% CDR, 10 mana regen (wasted on Kennen), and more damage to neutral monsters at the loss of 30 AP and the aura from WotA for your team. Though it may look negative the price is 550 gold less than WotA, making it easier to pick up earlier on. Even then though, I wouldn't recommend it much. The objective control and CDR are nice, but you'll ultimately get more for your team and yourself by purchasing a Will of the Ancients for most team comps. If you're looking for a selfish lategame alternative to build out of your Hextech Revolver pick up a Hextech Gunblade as, even though it's way more expensive, it'll give more stats as a lategame option. If you're looking into this item for early on, it'll delay your midgame core item a bit, but it's better than WotA during laning, I just wouldn't recommend a rush of either.



Most general build order:

-> -> -> -> -> -> -> ->

Matchups

This section will be dedicated on the specifics of common matchups from my experience. It is also too large to fit into one chapter, so it has been split into multiple ones. It'll go over which skill to max first between Thundering Shuriken and Electrical Surge, which items I'd recommend to start, what generally to get on fist back, and difficulty on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 being the easiest and 5 being among the most difficult. I'll separate it by top, mid, and champions that commonly do both. All champions are arranged in alphabetical order for their respective lanes.

PRO TIP: if you want a specific champion and have trouble finding them, CTRL+F their name to make your way down to that matchup without passing the wall of text.



Mid Lane
This lane is my favorite of the two, as it allows you to be a part of early-midgame fights around the map. In this lane you should try to roam if you manage to get a steady lead so you can snowball your sidelanes. Ward one side and stick to it so you can see ahead of time if the opposing jungler is headed to your lane, and escape through that side if he comes through the other one. Don't be afraid to take the tower early in this lane, as it opens up the enemies jungle when you get it down and allows you to push and roam without having to worry as much about your opponent reaching your tower in time. Now, here's the specifics on common mid matchups.


Ahri
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty easy)


This matchup falls in the favor of Kennen a bit. Max Electrical Surge first as it'll be hard to get a good Thundering Shuriken off against a smart Ahri and you can afford to be aggressive in this lane. Ahri is a skillshot reliant champion and one of Kennen's good features is his mobility. Start Surge and take advantage of your good level 1 granted by it by auto attacking with the passive on it followed by the active.

Ahri shouldn't be able to return as much harass if you can at least avoid her Q (the skillshot that goes out then returns) on its way back. Heal back up with your pots if you eat too much damage and keep pressure on with the Electrical Surge passive to active combo while avoiding her E (the pink skillshot that taunts). At level 6 things can get a little trickier as you'll have the burst to kill her but she should be able to get away from it with her ult (3 dashes with damage on each) before you can get the full combo off. To counter this, try to get her to about 75% health and apply two marks of your passive on her. If she gets into range after that and aren't afraid of jungler retaliation, use Flash along with your ult to insta-stun before she can get away and use your combo to take her out. Once you begin to snowball the lane in your favor, she'll have a very difficult time coming back.

Remember to punish Ahri players for using abilities to push the wave as that's a major opening for you to get a skill or an auto attack off on her before they come back up. If you can bait them out without her pushing, more power to you.

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Anivia
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 5 (Very difficult)


This is one of the most tough matchups for me in mid when I play Kennen. Levels 1-5 are vital, as it's the only time you'll ever be able to do anything to a good Anivia. You will rarely, if ever, have kill potential in this lane as Kennen has difficulty finishing her egg after his initial burst so try your best to get as farmed as you can.

Start Electrical Surge, then max Thundering Shuriken as you're going to have to be ready to farm from range post-6 and it's the only way you'll ever even be able to think about killing Anivia's egg. Try to harass her away from experience in between last hits without getting hit by her Q (slow moving AoE skillshot) to E (ice spear that does double damage if hit with Q or R) as much as you can before she gets her ult (AoE circle that makes a loud noise) to grasp as much of an advantage as you can before the lane becomes difficult since she shouldn't be able to stop you yet. Once the Anivia hits level 6, she can begin to push the wave very easily without missing any minions, leaving you having to farm under tower where you're likely to miss some on occasion. If she continues to apply pressure by using her ult to E combo while you try to farm under tower she can keep you from doing even that.

If you try to Lightning Rush over the wave so you can push it back with Surge, you'll get caught in Anivia's ult and receive the full damage from her E, which will chunk you reasonably even with some magic resist and you won't have time to heal it back up between her cooldowns. She can even wall you from your tower to setup a jungler gank if the situation is right for her, so try not to Lightning Rush for farming.

Just try to farm as best as you can from a safe distance without eating too much damage and try to get some help from your jungler if she pressures to your tower. Use your pink if you know where she wards and make sure the jungler knows she's blind. Together you should be able to take out the egg if there is no countergank from the opposing jungler. If you manage to get her egg down and see an opening for a kill before it's back up, take advantage as it's the only opening you're going to get. If it's possible, try avoiding picking Kennen into this matchup and instead pick someone who can push back just as hard from safety like Xerath or Twisted Fate.

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Annie
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


This lane can be troublesome for Kennen as you have to worry about getting bursted post-6, which is usually when his kill potential opens up. This is why I recommend Haunting Guise as well for the health. A common misconception is that Kennen should win this lane simply due to his range on Thundering Shuriken. However, this lane is led by Annie for the earlier portion of the game. This is due to the fact that she can punish Kennen easily by sitting on the stun from her passive (every 4th spell will stun), since she can hide behind minions so you can't hit her with Thundering Shuriken and will punish you with her Q (the auto-target fireball) for getting in range to hit her or minions with your auto attacks.

Using this method, Annie can zone you from the backline, sure, but she can't push you to the tower by using her abilities without her passive being wasted on the wave, which would give you an opening to harass her. What this means is that you can normally farm safely away with Shuriken without having to worry about the wave reaching your tower, causing you to miss out on some farm. Even then you may miss a little of the caster minions if they're targeted, but not enough to hinder you too badly.

If an Annie passes the minion wave in an attempt to zone you out, don't be afraid to hit her with a Shuriken as punishment. If it happens continuously and you can get her low enough, try to stun her out of her short range and go for the kill before she can retaliate. Once Annie hits 6 you will normally see more aggression from them, and you must always be wary of her Flash to ult (the bear) combo as it can kill you from around 85% health.

As the game progresses you will become more useful in teamfights than Annie is and she'll be pretty easy to pick off if she is the target of your burst as she's incredibly vulnerable without her passive up. So just do your best to farm out and avoid punishment so that you can scale better and be more useful to your team past the laning phase. If its tough for you, build a Negatron Cloak which can be built into Abyssal Scepter later so that you can mitigate a good amount of her damage. Keep in mind that she is escapeless, so shes vulnerable to jungler ganks if she overextends.

~~~~~~~~~~

Brand
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 4 (Pretty Difficult)


You'd think this matchup would be easy since Kennen can dodge Brand's abilities, but that's not true. This matchup is like Annie on steroids. You can't use your Lightning Rush to dodge abilities without expending half your energy and leaving yourself vulnerable to ganks. He also has auto-target harass with his E (flames appear on you and spread), long range harass with his W (fire appears under you and rises), and has a very good teamfight ultimate (bouncing flames) that works well against Kennen in lane.

Brand will out-trade you if you attempt to harass him and he stands behind minions, so try your best to focus on farming. He can push well from range, so you'll be in trouble if he pressures you to your tower, though this leaves him open to ganks from your jungler. If you do manage to get him low, try to avoid standing near minions with your ult or you'll eat a ridiculous amount of burst from the bounces on his ult if they hit you. If he stands behind his minions, he can keep you from hitting with your Thundering Shuriken or going in with your ult without taking more damage in return. If you ever pass his minion wave in an attempt to land a Shuriken he can stun you by using E followed by Q (flame skillshot) back for a longer duration than your stun and chunk you pretty hard if it lands.

The lane will be in Brand's control for the most part, since he can push and pressure a lot harder than you can to him, but he can't stun you if you hide behind your minions which should keep you from getting stun-bursted by his combo. As a result, I recommend grabbing a Hextech Revolver along with tier one boots since his stun, which sets up his combo, can be avoided, unlike Annie, which opens up safe-farming potential. You'll want to sustain his harass and try to avoid trading if possible so you can farm up for teamfights but even then Brand also has pretty amazing teamfight as well.

~~~~~~~~~~

Cassiopeia
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Cassiopeia is an overlooked laner for how much harass she can put out. However, none of this harass is auto-target, so if you can catch her after she misses a Q (snakes appear under you) she shouldn't be able to retaliate with certain damage, even if the window is small.

Be sure to punish Cassiopeias with a Shuriken if she passes her minion line too, as it'll keep her from playing over-aggressive along with some nice damage. She is an escapeless squishy and pushes the lane if she tries to spam you if you're near minions, leaving her very open to ganks as well. Once you get tier one boots and a Hextech Revolver, you should be able to dodge her skillshots a lot easier and sustain up what does hit you.

Post-6 if you ever get Cassiopeia low enough to all-in, dash at her and Flash over her when she decides to ult (stare/scream that stuns those looking at her) so you don't take the damage and avoid her stun. She's usually very easy to kill in an all-in without the stun on her ult so you should have little problem bursting her down, especially if you had two marks on her beforehand in which case she might not even be able to retaliate at all. Be cautious though, if you eat too much harass early on and she gets a steady lead it'll be difficult to take it back.

Be sure to only use Lightning Rush to get away from her when she's chasing and hit her with a Shuriken as punishment for passing the minion line, which will chunk her a reasonable amount, or for all-ins to close the gap. In teamfights Cassiopeia is easy to pick off using the same trick to kill her in lane, using Flash to avoid getting stunned by her ult and burst her down with your combo.

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Evelynn
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Evelynn is a champion that can get out of hand quickly if you try to simply farm against her. However, Kennen is also a champion that makes it tough for a good amount of melees to do just that. You'll be auto attacking her a lot so be sure to mind the damage you take from minions and her Q (Spikes that go in a line). The spikes shouldn't do nearly as much as your doing, and she'll run out of mana if she has to keep spamming them to farm and keep you at bay. Start Electrical Surge first and try your best to hit her with the passive on it followed by the active as much as possible and you'll see a good advantage right from the start. She has no CC until level 6 and she can't keep up with your Rush that well, making this a safe lane to start Doran's Blade as long as it's mid.

Once you have the lead, ward one side and stick near it while constantly applying pressure to keep Evelynn from roaming and making her farm at tower. If she can't roam, she'll have a lot of trouble snowballing and as a result she'll blow up in the middle of teamfights. There is constant kill potential in this lane, especially post-6, if you manage to keep her low, and once you see an opening for a good all-in be sure to take it. Don't forget to factor in her shield from her ult (AoE spikes under you) when you're deciding whether or not to go in.

If Evelynn does somehow end up roaming, be sure to warn your team, push, and do as much damage to her tower as you can. This will deny her minions and lower, if not destroy, and important tower on the map. Only follow if you have an idea where she's going in advance, otherwise you risk letting her get her gank off with negatives for doing so. A roaming Evelynn is an Evelynn doing her job right, so try your best to keep her low and applying pressure.

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Fiddlesticks
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Fiddlesticks is just an all-around annoying character for anyone who has to get close to him. His Q (the fear, you lose control) will disable you for a ridiculous 3 seconds at max level. If you get close in an attempt to Surge passive or auto attack him, you'll most likely get hit with the Q, followed by W (drains life from you to him). This'll win him the trade pretty hard, even without using his E (crow that silences) during it. It's for this same reason that this lane functions like a more annoying Annie lane, though it has it's own set of weaknesses to take advantage of.

In lane, Fiddlesticks can very easily be punished with a Thundering Shuriken if he attempts over-aggression, but a smart one will usually stand behind their minions and punish you for getting to close to the backline. You may be able to trade with him if he messes up, but he is capable of healing it back up using his drain before you even has a Hextech. It should be easy to avoid a good amount of the damage but it's going to cost you some last hits to do so. Try your best to farm pre-Hextech Revolver and once you get it you can take some damage reaching the backline, just don't go too far out or you risk being fear'd into a jungle gank. Even when you have a Hextech Revolver, Fiddlesticks will be able to heal up faster between trades by draining minions. Try to cancel the drain if you can. Do this enough and he may even run out of mana, which would turn the lane in your favor as long as you didn't take too much damage. Sustain anything you can past trades point and you should be alright. Try your best to get minions and keep in mind you can take some damage going for some if you have a Hextech Revolver.

Post-6 opens up the Flash to ult combo for you, as it's the only way you're going to be able to get in on him without getting fear'd first. He's still squishy and your stun will cancel his drain, so if you can get him in a good combo he should go down without much of a fight. If you manage to get some marks on him beforehand, it's possible to stun him while approaching him and burst him without using Flash. It's usually not that easy to get the marks built up without eating a good amount of damage first. However, you must be careful of his post-6 burst as well as he can kill you just as easily with the proper setup. If he disappears from lane, always consider that he can be waiting in one of the side brushes for you to overextend so that he can use his ult (AoE circle around him) combo on you to burst you down. Ward these to keep yourself safe.

There are some key Fiddlesticks point facts to keep in mind though. His level 1 damage can be devastating if it bounces between you and a minion, as it has the same base as your Surge. Basically this means he can hit you for up to 195 magic damage plus 135% of his AP at level 1. This will ruin your lane, try to avoid the bounces at all costs. Moving on, he is a very weak pusher and will run out of mana if you apply too much pressure. Normally, this would mean push him to the tower while warding your sides, but his fear simply sets up ganks too well for that to be safe to do all the time. If he Flash fears you followed by his combo will give the jungler enough time to run by your ward and reach you, especially is their Flash is up. If you ever see the jungler somewhere else on the map like toplane or bottomlane, feel free to push to Fiddlestick's tower to deny him a good amount of minions. Also, keep in mind that Fiddlesticks major impact in teamfights is his ultimate, but it has a channel time before it goes off, so you can cancel it by stunning him. If you see an opportunity to cancel it, take it, and you'll have weakened the opposing sides teamfight significantly while also potentially taking out their AP Carry before he can react.

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Fizz
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Start Surge so you can harass him down and establish dominance right from the beginning. He has no hard CC until 6 so you should be safe from the jungler if you play it right until you can afford one, so Doran's Blade is a good start. Follow up with a Haunting Guise, which will help you harass harder and survive if he manages to catch you off-guard with his ridiculous burst.

This lane shouldn't give you too much trouble. Max Surge first since as he's melee and he can easily dodge over important Thundering Shurikens. Fizz is pretty weak in his early levels without all of his abilities, and even for a bit afterwards due to his high mana costs but be mindful of what he can do in extended level 2 fights. Straight from level 1 you should be harassing him as much as you can in between your last hits. He won't be able to do anything about it without blowing huge amounts of mana too return easily healed up damage, so just keep pressure. Fizz has a lot of trouble farming under tower if he's constantly being harassed while doing so. As previously mentioned, he has no hard CC pre-6, so you should be able to safely pressure him to his tower without much fear of ganks as long as you have at least one side warded after your first back. You should establish an early lead with little effort.

Post-6, Fizz should try be more aggressive since he now has his ult, so watch out if he comes running at you randomly, as it could mean he plans to go in for the burst or the jungler is near. If you keep him low though he will usually stay back and you'll still be in control of the lane past this point. You can burst him down with your combo as well, but make sure he is either low enough for you to kill him before he can retaliate or you have two marks on him so you can take him out before he uses his E (jumps on pole, can't be hit), as it makes getting away from Kennen's burst easy. You can try usually around 75% health if he has no magic resist items if you go with the two mark method.

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Gragas
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Gragas lanes function somewhat like Fizz ones, except he has a way to hit back when you try harassing him. Using his Q (rolls barrel to an area where it explodes), he can damage you a good amount for trying to harass him, but it's avoidable so none of it is certain damage. Take Surge at level 1 so you can poke him down before he has enough levels in his abilities for them to do good damage, and try your best to establish an early lead. Unlike Fizz, Gragas can sustain himself with his W (drinks from barrel) as it activates his passive (heals for using abilities) and its gives him mana along with damage reduction if the ability's channel goes through.

Be careful of the barrels he may be throwing out when you try to harass him as they hit pretty hard. Try to stay behind your minions as well so you don't get hit by his dash (his E skill) or he'll have an easy setup for the rest of his combo if it lands. All of this can be avoided though, so if you play smart and harass you should be able to constantly come out ahead in exchanges. Post-6 his ult (tosses barrel for large explosion) can throw you into a terrible position for a fight, and you don't want a burst battle with a Gragas unless you're ahead. It can also setup devastating ganks for him, so keep at least one side warded as much as you can. If you do manage to get caught in it, use your ult to either try to take him out if he's low enough or get out of the situation as by getting back behind your minion line.

At a certain point with some items, Gragas will be able to waveclear easily from range, and that's when you'll no longer be able to deny him from getting farm. If he uses his barrels to clear the wave, don't be afraid to Lightning Rush over the wave to clear it with Surge if you know the jungler isn't around. This'll usually help you get those last hits and will keep him from holding you to the lane for farming. He roams well, ward the entrances to the enemies jungle, mostly the one that leads to bottom lane as Gragas will make quick work of your squishy ADC and support. Follow him if he passes by the ward, he'll get there first with his constant dashes, but you can be there to turn the situation before it gets too ugly.

In teamfights Gragas is one of those champions that can make Kennen's life difficult with the knockback on his ult. Try your best to either wait until its been used, or to position yourself to use it as a jump to fly into his team. Don't let him make your waste your ult, as he'll have given his team a very big advantage in a teamfight where it's not up.

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Heimerdinger
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty easy) if poke route; 3 (Average) if farm route


Okay, you may be asking why Heimerdinger, who is a constantly laughed at pick, is anything but a 1 difficulty for Kennen. Well, the answer is kind of simple. Heimerdinger has never really been bad against those who have to come at him to take him out due to his turrets (his Q skill), which is what Kennen needs to do to take full advantage of his ult. Also, Heimerdinger has very long range harass that works even behind his minions with his missiles (his W skill), so you're going to have trouble hitting him while he has an easy time hitting you. The poke on them, if he maxes them first, will cause them to hit pretty hard and they'll add up, which is why you're going to want those potions early on. He is an escapeless pusher, so your pink ward can setup some good ganks early on.

Try your best to farm up, early on Heimerdinger isn't the best farmer, and he's going to either go the poke route, through maxing his missiles, or the farm route, through maxing his turrets. You can easily tell which route he's going early on by looking at the color of his turrets, if he places them at all. Post-4 if he doesn't place the turrets or they're yellow, he's going the poke route. Each one will change how you should play out the lane.

If Heimerdinger goes the poke route he'll have a lot more difficulty farming without pushing the wave or using his poke on the minions. If hes uses his missiles at all, punish him for it, they're on a 10 second cooldown at all levels. He won't be able to do anything back in that time but place weak turrets or try to hit his slow grenade (his E skill), which means easy damage for you if you land your Shuriken by passing his minion line, just be safe about it. If you ever just take the poke, the lane is going the way he wants as he's not getting punished for using his only harass. Sustain it back up as soon as you can with either potions or your Hextech, if you have it, and don't let him do it again. You can also try to push the wave to the tower if the enemy jungler isn't near, as he'll have a tough time farming under it with what he has. After you get him low enough after repeating this process, don't be afraid to all-in him.

If Heimerdinger chooses the farm route by maxing his turrets first, you'll have a tougher time. He'll be able to farm easily with his turrets and push without being there once he can place two, if you try to Rush over a wave with his turrets out you may end up eating a lot of unnecessary damage, and hard-engaging on him with his turrets out could end up very poorly for you. It isn't so bad when can he only place one. Try your best to push out a wave as soon as possible when his turret is out and when it's clear, start throwing Shurikens at it from a safe range so you don't eat any damage and you can take it out. He may continue to place it, but they have a long cooldown and will drain his mana. Once Heimerdinger gets a 3rd level in his turret ability, he can place two and the lane will just be that much more annoying. His wave will push harder and now you have two of them to get rid of, and he can protect two by standing near the one you aren't attacking. Try to keep taking them out from long range and sustain up the damage you may take from his trying to stop you before going on the next one. If you can get to a point where he can only have one turret out post-6 due to cooldown, you can try to all-in him if he has lost some health already. Try to avoid following a turret-maxing Heimerdinger into a brush, as it could very easily be a trap with fatal results for you.

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Karthus
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


This matchup is pretty easy, but slightly dependent on how the rest of your team is doing. If the enemy team is dominating, Karthus is going to pick up some assists, if not kills, if he's using his ult (hits everyone of the opposing team if channel goes through) right. Start Boots to help dodge his skillshots and take advantage of his weak earlygame. Open with Surge and max it so you can harass him while he tries to farm behind his minions, being sure to avoid his explosive dots (his Q skill).

Try to keep pressure on Karthus, he may not be the best at fighting champions early on, but he's got a kit built for farming. If you attempt a farm-off with Karthus he'll become scarier and potentially start picking up free gold from ulting as fights are going on around the map. Keep on him, he's squishy and can't deal with too much pressure. Pushing him to his tower isn't exactly beneficial, as Karthus can farm well under it and keep out of range of the harass you could be putting on him with its safety. Watch out for his wall (his W skill) as it can setup ganks well if you overextend.

Post-6 you have great kill potential, so try your best to get him low enough for an all-in. If Karthus manages to get you low after you kill him, pop your Rush if it's up to gain a small amount of bonus magic resist in an attempt to survive the ult that'll most likely follow. If you ever see him back away randomly in lane, there's a good chance he's about to ult to damage another lane. Try your best to cancel the ult channel, chances are it'll keep him from a kill or an assist. You may even be able to burst him in the process if you find the situation right.

Even though Karthus is an AP Carry, don't be afraid to rush a Zhonya's as it'll allow you to completely nullify the damage from his ult and all the AoE he has in bigger fights. You should be able to bully him enough without building against him anyway.

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Kassadin
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Kassadin is one of those assassin champions that is easy to bully around pre-6, but becomes a terror post-6. Like others of this same archetype, how a Kassadin lane plays out is entirely decided on how you play out your advantage before he becomes scary. Start Surge and make sure you try to turn the lane in your favor as soon as possible. The second you get an advantage, you need to start zoning hard. Ward both sides of the river and keep on crazy aggression, healing up what damage is returned with your potions. Try your best to keep him out of experience range and stop him from farming, while farming your minions at the same time. If Kassadin tries to get into range for experience or take some minions while low out of greed, kill him. I can't stress enough how important it is for you to get as ahead as you can before he hits level 6.

Now, when it finally does happen and Kassadin hits level 6, he becomes a force to be reckoned with. Unless you denied him extremely hard beforehand, he'll be porting right in front of you (his ultimate) to get a quick burst off and return back to safety while you're silenced (his Q skill; the ball silences) and slowed (his E skill; shoots a wave). You'll most likely have trouble if these exchanges continue, but there is a way to return harass.

Buy Mercury Treads so the slow and silence run off quicker and try to bait out his ult towards you when you have your Surge passive up. Throw it on him when he gets close to apply a mark and you'll be able to use the active while he tries to run back once the silence ends. You have a quick window for some extra autos while your sileneced and a bit after that since the slow will run off quickly and this will build up the passive again for when he jumps in next. If Kassadin jumps in while you have the passive up with his two marks, stun him, he shouldn't be able to get one of his moves off and throw a Thundering Shuriken at him to apply a new mark for your Surge active which should be up soon. This will setup a chain for punishment on him so he won't be able to get close without having to worry about the marks on himself first with the damage they can bring.

One of Kassadin's scariest features is his roaming capability post-6, so ward the entrances to your jungle with a preference on bottom-side so you can see him if he tries to leave for a sidelane. Follow him if you see him or push the lane to his tower if it's too late. Either way, don't let him roam without some sort of punishment.

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LeBlanc (OUTDATED UNTIL POSTED OTHERWISE)
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)

Okay, this is one of my most hated champions in this game. Not because LeBlanc is difficult for Kennen, but because she is very anti-fun to go against. Start out with potions for the upcoming poke you'll probably be eating, and quickly try to build either Merc Treads or a Negatron Cloak for this matchup. Possibly even before your Hextech Revolver, depending on how dire the situation is.

Pre-6 LeBlanc has yet to become her anti-fun burst-master self yet, so you need to take advantage in the best way you can while she's weak. LeBlanc is an incredibly weak pusher, so ward at least one side of the river with your ward and start pushing to her tower like mad. Heal up whatever she does to try to stop you with your potions, and laugh as she tries to farm at her tower. This will deny her a lot of farm, and will seriously hinder her already weak usefulness later. If she uses her abilities to try to get some last hits, she will run out of mana and you'll be able to bully her or repeat the process.

Post-6 is where LeBlanc becomes the she-demon she is, and you should hopefully have your Hextech, Negatron, or Mercs by now. You will get hit by her insta-burst poke, so be ready to see a good chunk of your health disappear. If you have Hextech Revolver, heal up quickly by using Shuriken on minions, pushing the wave while doing so. This will force LeBlanc to her tower in-between bursts, making her choose to chunk your health or farm minions, either way, you gain an advantage through it. If you manage to land enough Shurikens to hit her to a about 70% health in the middle of her dashes you can all-in her. If you do, don't get hit by her chain (her E skill; snares) or you'll be left open and she'll get away.

General tips against LeBlanc as Kennen are the previously mentioned push-frenzy along with some others. Be cautious of when you all in a LeBlanc with your ult, as her passive (clones herself when low) can take bolts from it, and at level 1 on it you only have 5. This means LeBlanc may not even get stunned from your ult alone if her clone takes 3 of the 5 bolts, so watch for that. Also, you don't need to kill LeBlanc in this lane as you will scale harder if you just survive as she'll be very weak in teamfights later in the game without snowballing. Take these tips to heart and show those LeBlanc players who's boss!

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Lissandra
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)

Lissandra is a mana-reliant AP mid with low CD poke and amazing CC. She functions in teamfights similar to Kennen, diving into the middle of the fray to maximize damage and CC put out against the opposing team. In lane she is pretty easy to trade with if you can land and dodge skillshots. Her burst, even at level 6, is pretty subpar so grabbing a Hextech along with good ward coverage should keep you from dying at any point during the laning phase, you just have to be able to keep up with her pushing ability. Start with Boots in order to help you dodge skillshots and look to take advantage in this lane.

Early on Lissandra's poke through her Ice Shard (her Q skill; low CD skillshot in a line) won't do much damage and is mana inefficient to spam, meaning she won't be able to do much trading or pushing until it has some levels put into it. Once your Shuriken is level 2 you can start forcing trades to try and drain her mana through having her spam. Your Shuriken has much more range than her Shard (725) so if you can get an opening from out of her range it becomes free harass for you. She is mobile due to her Glacial Path (her E skill; AoE skillshot that can be pressed again to jump to where it lands) so be wary if she throws it in your direction, as she may be attempting an all-in or setup a gank.

Post-6 you will win all-ins if you're even or ahead as long as you time it well so Lissandra doesn't have much time to react. Lissandra's ult is an auto-target stun with damage if used on an opponent and a damage dealing stasis if used on herself. If she casts her ult on herself she can avoid some damage from your ult at early levels and potentially turn the situation. Try your best to chain stun her to death to ensure she doesn't have time to stasis herself in an attempt to turn things around. All-in-all, this lane shouldn't be difficult at all as long as you don't make careless plays in an attempt to gain lane dominance. Play smart and it should come naturally.

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Lux
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


This lane would be a lot easier if Lux wasn't so hard to reach when it actually matters. Start off Elixir route and get your levels while avoiding Lux's potential harass. You're not maxing Surge for harass this time, though it'll be fantastic if you can actually manage to hit her with it, but to push back on Lux's amazing pushing ability. Her skills aren't the most difficult to dodge, so sustain shouldn't be a priority over the fear of her burst unless you're eating a lot of poke.

Pre-6 is when Lux is the most approachable in lane, as she won't have her ult (long-range lazer) for its amazing push and bursting potential. She is really squihsy pre-items too, so try your best to get harass off when she comes in range of her minions. She can't really farm or harass with her abilities early on without quickly running out of mana, so pressure her in an attempt to get them out. If she runs out of mana you have yourself an easy lane until she goes back, so zone her hard during the window to establish dominance.

Post-6 Lux will start coming to lane with Blue Buff and her ult, which in combination, make her very hard to reach and makes her push very strong. Use your Rush to Surge to push the wave back if shes pushes on you as she shouldn't be able to land a snare while you have Rush active. If the Lux plays over-aggressive and uses her abilities for poke instead of burst, abuse their long cooldowns to harass back and open up an all-in for later. Lux is very squishy on her own, but players normally build Athene's Unholy Grail on her and that'll make her a lot more difficult to burst due to the magic resist it provides. She also has a shield (her W skill) which recharges once it reaches her again if you knocked it off already, which goes well with the magic resist to make he a lot tankier than she looks. Keep these noted if you ever decide to all in, as chances are she'll be a lot more difficult to burst than she looks.

Come later in the game Lux can be easy to blow up in fights due to her lack of escape and squishiness, so don't be afraid to Flash and ult onto her if she's your target of choice. This will cause her to blow her moves trying to keep herself alive, and this usually won't work if you dodge her snare (her E skill). Though as general advice, try to avoid fighting Lux in the jungle as her AoE really dominates smaller areas.

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Malzahar
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Malzahar is a champion that can play on one of Kennen's key weaknesses early on. Kennen has trouble being pushed to his tower early on, and Malzahar is one of the best pushers midlane has to offer. Though, this does open up a few of Malzahar's weaknesses at the same time, so all you have to do is know how to play it right to stop this lane from being hell. Max Surge first for the counter-push and because you'll have a hard time hitting him with a Shuriken if his passive (spawns Voidling on every fourth skill he uses) pops a Voidling up in front of it.

Pre-6 Malzahar has to worry about not getting the mana refund from his DoT (his E skill; can be seen on face of target and bounces to another when finished) if he wants to constantly use it and it has a long cooldown from the start. When he uses it on minions in an attempt to farm, zone him out as he won't be able to trade against you in his favor without it. This will possibly stop him from killing the creep in time for the bounce, which will also deny him mana while he takes your harass. Try not to get trade with him while it's up though, as it does good damage that you can't avoid when it's on you. Keep up on this early weakness and you should be solid for the earlier levels.

Post-6 is when you really need to watch out for Malzahar. His DoT with some items will take out weaker minions on its own, so he will be able to push much more effectively even if he's not near the wave. You also now have to be more careful when harassing him when it's on a wave since he can use his ult (Face lazer; auto-target suppress) and DoT after the duration is finished. Try your best to harass in between his cooldowns while minding your own health for his all-in. You have a big advantage if you both decide to all-in though, as your ult will cancel his by stunning him while it's going off. This doesn't mean run in whenever without minding your own health though.

Malzahar has a weakness that shows in every matchup, and it's the main reason he isn't played. He auto-pushes the lane with his passive and has no escape. This means that he's very susceptible to jungler ganks, so be sure to ask your jungler ahead of time. The pink will come in handy if you know where he warded at.

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Master Yi
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Just as a heads up, this is about AP Master Yi, as AD Master Yi mid is uncommon and a joke for the most part. AP Master Yi is very annoying to deal with and is a very snowball-y champ, so it's imperative that you don't let him establish dominance in lane or your team will suffer. Since he has no CC at any point, you can get away with a Doran's Blade start in mid lane.

Start the lane off by auto-attacking him to death while he still doesn't have all of his abilities. You should be able to get him pretty low at level 1, and carry it over for a bit until he gets his Meditate (his W skill, channel that heals). Try your best to cancel Meditate whenever it comes up, though I understand this isn't always the easiest thing to do. Every time he Alpha Strikes (his Q skill, becomes invulnerable hits multiple targets), whether it's on you or the wave, be sure to punish him for it. He shouldn't be able to fight back, and try to keep check on the marks you put on him so you can stun him if he tries to Meditate after your damage-return. Unless you manage to stop that Meditate, your harass will have all been for naught, so always be sure you have a plan in check to stop it.

Post-6 Master Yi tends to become roam-happy, since his ult (gains movement speed and gets cooldowns reduced on kills/assists) offers a reset on his cooldowns on kill, which makes bottomlane a prime target for his burst. It shouldn't make things much more difficult for you, as you now have your ult and can punish him harder if he jumps on you. Ward your jungle entrances so you can see him if he tries to leave lane and push back if he does. You should be able to safely push the lane with your Rush to Surge combo, if he Alpha Strikes you while it's active he'll take free damage and you'll get a mark on him. Throw a Shuriken at him and use your active to push the lane while stunning him in place also if he does this. If you have Hextech Revolver this should also heal a good chunk of the damage you may have received, harasses him, and it pushes the wave so he can't roam unpunished. If he ever jumps on you with his ult active, chances are he's going all-in so you're most likely going to want to do the same. Always make sure you have Ignite or a way to stop his Meditate up in all-ins, or chances are he'll just heal a good amount of it back up and return to what he does while you're still hurt.

In teamfights you need this guy to be targeted down before he gets his resets off, and Kennen is very good at doing this with his AoE and lockdown. Try your best to combo him down when he goes in with Alpha Strike to save your team a ton of potential damage if one of them were to fall. If he's not extremely ahead this should be pretty easy to do.

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Mordekaiser
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


A Mordekaiser lane works sort of like a melee Malzahar, and is much easier to abuse early on than he is. Doesn't help that the potion limitation hurt him pretty hard indirectly as well, at least not for him. You are going to be extremely aggressive early on, so go the potion route for the two wards and the sustain for the damage your gonna take, as my way of handling this lane means you will take damage. The pink is also extremely handy as he is yet another escapeless pusher who is easy to gank. Start Surge, ward a side or two, and get ready for some action straight from the start.

The second you get into lane you need to be harassing this guy, Mordekaiser's abilities have a health cost and without his Hextech Revolver he'll be damaging himself right from the start. Here's what you should do to make the best of your early-advantage. Ward one side of the river and lean towards it. Everytime you auto attack Mordekaiser, stand to the side of him on your warded side so his Siphon (his E skill; hits in an AoE cone) only hits you and not the minions while your attacking him. This will stop him from getting a decent shield from his passive (abilities generate shield depending on damage they hit for) and you'll still be able to keep hitting him from range. This will zone him hard as he hurts himself trying to get you off of him while his shield only takes half of one of your auto attacks. Keep on the zone and you'll have yourself a very well-established lane dominance.

Post-6, if you've been zoning him, Morde shouldn't even have his Hextech Revolver yet, so you can easily kill him using your ult combo, especially if you hit 6 before him. Just don't fight him near the minions, or he'll get a good shield in the middle of the fight. Try to Ignite him in all-ins if he is level 6 as his ult (applies DoT that gets a ghost of the champ if they're killed while on them) will heal him a good amount when on its initial damage. He doesn't roam well, Mordekaiser farms like a beast when he gets some items, so be ready to Rush to Surge combo the wave if he gets to that point. This guy also becomes a beast if he gets enough farm, as he can ult and get a ghost of your ad carry, which is pretty much a lost fight if that happens. Try your best to focus him down first if when you fight in groups against him, which should also be easy since he has short range on his abilities and it'll take out the opposing AP Carry from the start.

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Morgana
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Morgana was a popular pick and ban back mid-season 2 for her safe laning and great teamfight. However, like Kennen she fell out of popularity on the transition between the seasons. Morgana is still a safe laner who can farm lanes with ease once she gets a few levels and items on her. In terms of aggression, her combo revolves around her hitting a slow-moving skillshot, so as long as you manage to avoid it you shouldn't be taking much damage from her. You want to start the Boots route to help with just that. The boots and Hextech Revolver route is to help you dodge that one skillshot and heal yourself from the bit of damage you take from using your Rush over her Tormented Soil (her W skill; places AoE DoT on the ground) to Surge combo for pushing back. Morgana has little kill potential in lane and'll have trouble hitting her combo against Kennen.

Pre-6 is where Morgana is easiest to take advantage of, as without her ult and levels in her Soil she'll have trouble pushing and responding to aggression. Max your Surge and apply the passive to active combo to keep her out of range. The only way she can punish you for passing the minion line at this point is by hitting you with her Binding (her Q skill; slow skillshot snare that stops on first hit) to setup her combo, but that's easy to avoid and you shouldn't get hurt much before there are that many levels in it anyway. Her Soil can't clear waves yet either, so she will be denied if you can keep her out of range to auto attack for last hits. Try to setup an advantage to keep her from getting the items and levels needed to auto-clear minion waves.

Post-6 Morgana starts to wrack up the spellvamp on her passive (scaling spellvamp per level) and should have some levels in her Soil along with a level in her ult (AoE slow-lines that stun if you stay in them too long). You need to be more careful at this point when passing the minion line as she can just ult to setup her combo or a gank, which can either kill you or force a Flash in most situations. If she manages to catch you in the lines of her ult, just try to Rush away and only Flash if it's necessary for your escape. You can still harass with your abilities, you just have to be more mindful of when it's a good idea to do so. Like if when shes uses her Soil to push the wave she it'll be on cooldown and the only real damage you'll have to worry about is the Binding, and that's easy to dodge. Some Morgana's will push the wave and disappear, this could mean she's roaming so either warn your team ahead of time or ward the jungle entrances.

An important thing to take note of is Morgana's Black Shield (her W skill; CC-blocking magic damage shield) can be extremely annoying for Kennen both in and out of lane since it can block stuns. In lane if she tries to use it to block the active on your Surge, just apply the mark with your passive and wait for her shield's duration to run out before you use the active. This opens up stun potential and wastes her shield in the process, which is a pretty high cooldown at all levels. In teamfights she can use it on your target to make your life more difficult. You either have to break the shield before the third mark is applied or wait for it's duration if you need your target stunned.

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Orianna
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 4 (Pretty Difficult)


Orianna is another safe mid choice who brings great utility to the team, though unlike Morgana, she is very good at punishing those who get in range of her C: Attack (her Q skill; places the ball in an area where it does AoE damage), which is a whopping 825 range in comparison to your 550 auto attack range. This allows for good harass from behind the minion line that punishes you for getting into Surge range. This means you're going to have a hard time harassing Orianna while she has an easy time punishing you for even farming. Doesn't help that she pushes well by using C: Attack to C: Dissonance (her W skill; AoE area that slows those caught in it) and can pressure Kennen from even behind his tower. The only thing stopping this from being a 5 difficulty is the fact that her damage isn't auto-target unlike Anivia's main damage, so it can be avoided even if it's difficult, and there is kill potential if Oriannas low enough.

At the start of the lane you still need to be wary of Orianna's ability to harass, though she won't be able to spam it as much without blue or Chalice of Harmony. Try your best to judge when she's going to throw C: Attack your way and move away from where she's going to throw it. It's on a pretty low cooldown from the start and only gets shorter as she puts levels in it. So just keep away from the ball and try your best to farm without eating damage from it. Try to avoid trading straight up auto attacks without your passive on Surge up, as her passive (scaling damage per level with an AP ratio on auto attacks) will usually cause her to come out ahead in straight auto attack trades. If you can manage to make her waste enough mana on trying to harass, which is pretty tough to do with how easy the C: Attack is to hit, you can be more aggressive until it regens or she goes back.

Post-6 doesn't exactly throw things in your favor, as now Orianna should start getting Blue Buff and have a Chalice of Harmony, which will allow her to spam more and give her some magic resist. With spammability being a new option for her, Orianna can now start to pressure you to your tower even harder and even harass you outside of its range with the distance on her abilities. Try your best to stop her from backing you to it and warn your jungler ahead of time if she begins to push the wave. Her ult (AoE pull-in around the ball's location) can setup an easy kill for her if she gets you low enough, so constantly Shuriken the wave when it's up to keep your health up and push back a bit. This ult of hers can also setup jungler ganks pretty well from a distance, so always mind its location.

There are quite a few tips that I think deserve mentioning in an Orianna lane. For one, never stand between her and her ball as it's the easiest time for her to hit you with her combo. Also, in all-ins her shield (her E skill; damages on way to target) adds a bit more to her health so like all other shields be mindful of it before going in. When it comes to teamfights make sure you avoid her ball after you ult or her ult may re-position you to a bad spot and waste time on your ults duration.

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Ryze
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Opposite of the Annie lane is a common misconception that Ryze should destroy Kennen, however, this is not the case unless you let him get out of hand. Do not underestimate the power of an early game advantage, which is definitely something Kennen can get on Ryze if played right. Start potions and get ready for some trading early on against this guy. He is escapeless, so your pink ward should have him playing cautiously if placed correctly. Though you're going to max Shuriken first, start Surge at level 1. It'll help you get an early advantage with the passive to active combo right from the get-go. Ryze is a time-bomb, you don't want this guy to get to his amazing lategame so you're going to take advantage of his weak early one.

At level 1 Ryze tends to be afraid of trading so you should try your best to be aggressive. The second he hits level 2, farm until you're level 4 and have all your abilities along with a second level in your Shuriken. At this point in between last hits throw an auto attack or two to try to bait a reaction from him. If he doesn't react, free harass. If Ryze does react, you need to back up quickly before he can click you since his abilities have about the same range as your auto attacks, and try to bait him out past his minion line. If you can do this you have one of two options. One, you can Shuriken him while backing up and Surge active to send him back to his line with damage, or you can let him snare you on your minions when you use your abilities so he eats a lot of minion damage while and you can heal up with your potions afterwards. Just try your best to take advantage of his weak early game at this point.

Once the lane begins to progress Ryze will start becoming tankier and hitting like a truck. If you managed to get a lead earlier, you can keep trading with him in an attempt to all-in him with your ult, if not, it's time to farm and just punish him for passing the your wave with Shurikens. Keep in mind for all-ins you won't win an extended battle with Ryze as he is a sustained damage AP, whereas Kennen is more burst-y. If you're going to go hard, make sure you can kill him without giving him much reaction time or you may find yourself in a bad spot. There will be a point where he becomes too difficult to trade with, and you need to be able to judge when that is.

Ryze isn't the best pusher or roamer, so he should be in lane most of the time but he does set up ganks well. Watch out for his Prison (his W skill; auto-target snare) setup to a gank. Also keep in mind that Rune Prison is a snare, not a stun, So even if you are rooted in place you can still use your abilities while caught in it.

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Sion
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Similar to Master Yi I'm only talking about AP Sion, as AD Sion is an incredibly uncommon and weak laner. Though AP Sion may be uncommon as well, he has an extremely annoying laning phase and he's pretty easy to play. Luckily, even from AP Carry standards, he falls off incredibly hard lategame. Your goal is to not let him bully you around in the laning phase to the point where that can be overlooked. Take the potion route for the harass that is most likely going to being brought from him early on and to take advantage of his lack of escape.

AP Sion is known for two things. Big push, and big dives whether it's in your lane or the sidelanes. He isn't capable of doing either of these right from the get-go so be ready to harass him. His shield (his W skill; shields then explodes for damage) is his big waveclear and what'll help him eat some of your harass. If you can manage to break the shield at any point before it explodes, it won't do its damage, which will also make it hard for him to farm without eating more harass to his health. Watch out though if he attempts to use it on you instead, which will probably combo'd into with his stun (his Q skill; auto-target stun/damage) which makes for a painful combination. Though the stun is auto-target, so it will hit you, it is slow-moving so you can drag Sion away from your minions and reduce some of its damage by Lightning Rushing away from him when you see him use it. If you managed to drag him away from his minions he'll have a lot of trouble farming if you harass him while everything's on cooldown.

As Sion starts to gain levels and he can instantly clear waves using his shield you need to watch out for him roaming to other lanes. Whenever he uses his shield to clear a wave he won't be able to do anything but stun you, so Rush to Surge over the wave to start pushing it back and ward the jungle entrances so you can see him if he tries to roam. Follow him if he walks by one, as he will have no problem diving your sidelanes if no one helps them. His ult (ridiculous AoE lifesteal on auto attacks) doesn't really help him when he's AP so you don't necessarily have anything more to fear when he hits post-6. A tip against him at all points is to do the same as Morgana and use your Surge passive to apply a mark to him and wait for it to explode before using the active to damage him directly. However, his shield can last up to 10 seconds while your marks only last for 8, so this only works if he detonates it early. Lategame his shield will be lost along with his usefulness in most teamfights when it's taken out before it can do its damage, especially if he's caught in your ult.

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Talon
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Talon is a scary AD caster with a kit great for bullying around AP Carries. He has a silencing gap-closer (his E skill; jumps on target to damage and silence), long range poke on his Rake (his W skill; AoE damage out and on return), and good burst once he gets his ult (AoE damage out and on return; stealths Talon, gives movement speed). Squishier mids like Twisted Fate would have a terrible time against him but Kennen is a mid that normally builds a little tanky anyway, so it won't be as hard for you. Even though he's melee you need to be careful when trying to Surge passive him while all his abilities are up so watching cooldowns in this lane is imperative. Get a Seeker's Armguard with boots on your first back and build Haunting Guise after it, you'll want the armor for when this guy has his full combo.

Before Talon has his first 3 abilities harassing him is easy, you don't really have to be afraid of using the Surge passive for the active on him yet. Keep up harass this early until you know he has his 3 main abilities, and after you can punish him for using any of his abilities on the wave. Talon will most likely use his Rake to push the wave or hit minions he doesn't want to run up to, and you can continue the auto attack barrage after he has. If he ever jumps on you and silences you, back away while auto attacking him between steps and let loose chasing him when he starts running back to his wave. Hopefully one of these was a Surge passive and you can then use the active once the silence runs off.

Post-6 is when Talon gets his ultimate to complete his combo, so you need to be more careful with what jumps you allow him to get off. The same rule as before applies though, if Talon uses anything on the wave you can still punish him as long as your health is at a reasonable level. Talon's post-6 tend to become a little roam-happy, so you can expect some abilities to come out on the wave too. If your harass isn't enough to keep him from leaving the lane, ward the jungle entrances as usual against most roamers so your lanes can see him coming ahead of time. As long as Talon doesn't pick up some kills he should be pretty controllable at all times in lane, so just play it safe and harass when the openings arise.

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Syndra
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 4 (Pretty Difficult)


Syndra is pretty underplayed due to her high-skillcap and bad early reputation. However, it's been known for some time that a Syndra in the right hands is a terror in lane and this can lead to bad things for your team if she gets an advantage. Her single-target burst is the highest among AP mids, so it is very difficult to all-in her on equal ground. She also has amazing poke that can all be taken full advantage even from behind the minion line and fantastic push once she can spam a bit. Like Orianna though, none of her abilities besides her ult (auto-target burst that does more damage if more spheres are placed) so it is possible to avoid the damage even if it's difficult. Be ready for a harass-filled lane, though you won't be doing the harassing. You may want some for of early magic resist in the form of Negatron Cloak or Merc Treads to help with this lane.

Pre-6 is still not going to be the most fun, though Syndra won't be able to spam her abilities without worrying about her mana since she shouldn't have blue or her items. This is where farming is going to be the easiest for you, so every last hit counts. Try your best to dodge her main harass (her Q skill; AoE circle) and return harass before she has all of her abilities in the form of auto attacks. You won't be able to get a Shuriken off as long as she's behind the minion wave, which she has no reason to pass with the 800 range on her main harass. You're maxing it for the safe laning and because you don't want to get in range to hit her with a Surge passive for the active. Your goal is to farm, you can't hope to harass a Syndra without eating more in punishment.

Post-6 is when the terror begins. You cannot afford to have harass stick which is why you're going the Hextech Revolver and boots route on your first back. At this point if you ever get dropped to about 75% health you're in a prime position to be instantly bursted down by Syndra from range, so sustain up with Shurikens faraway from her if that happens. Her ult is terrifying but its range is 675 at ranks 1-2 and 750 at max, which isn't much as her main harassing abilities. Try your best to farm and keep yourself alive in this lane in preparation for teamfights where you can be released from this horrid 1v1.

In lane at all points YOU MUST AVOID HER STUN AT ALL COSTS. It is setup by using her push (her E skill; pushes objects and if a sphere hits from it it stuns) to knock a sphere into a target, which stuns them for a good duration. It isn't the easiest thing for her to hit, but she can first slow using her toss (her W skill; tosses object for AoE slow where it lands) to slow first to make it easier for her to land. Getting stunned can result in either eating more harass, being setup for a jungler gank, or just downright being bursted on the spot if she's post-6. In teamfights if you have a Zhonya's Hourglass and she targets you with her ult you can use the active to take no damage from it and still put it on cooldown, effectively reducing her impact in the fight.

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Twisted Fate
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Twisted Fate is a very annoying champion to go against since he can be tough to control at times. His map pressure and ability to clear waves in a quick two abilities are some of the main reasons he's banned most games. Though Twisted Fate may be annoying for pressuring the map, he is very easy to bully in his own lane before he can insta-clear waves. It's your job when you go against a Twisted fate to make sure he's punished in his homelane and to try to stop him from roaming. You have some great kill potential in this lane, so be sure to make use of it.

Pre-6 Twisted Fate isn't really a threat to anyone, including the sidelanes since he doesn't have his ult (gives vision of enemy champions and allows one teleport to a location). The only things you really have to watch for are his Pick a Card color (his W skill; shuffles colors: gold is stun; blue is mana; red is AoE slow) and to make sure you dodge his Wild Cards (his Q skill; skill-shot that throws in a cone) which are easy tasks. Ward your sides because you're going to be playing aggressive right from the start. Whenever he pulls up a blue card in lane you can Rush at him to harass him with your Shuriken and Surge, though you must be sure to hit the Shuriken if you're going to do this. With the blue card pulled up he can't stun you to auto-hit his Wild Cards, so just keep trading with him when he goes for mana on the blue cards and dodge the Wild Cards when you do. You will be coming ahead in these trades if you hit the Shurikens so keep trying to apply pressure.

Post-6 is when your team has to watch out. Warn your team and ward the jungle entrances so you can see him shortly before he ults to another lane. Twisted Fate's ult may help him roam, but it does absolutely NOTHING in all-ins when he's in his own lane. This means at level 6 you gain a huge advantage and since Twisted Fate is a very squishy champ who generally doesn't get early magic resist you'll have tons of opportunities to make use of it. One Shuriken to Surge poke should be enough to get him to a burstable level when he has no defenses, so when your cooldowns are up after that don't be afraid to Flash, ult, and Ignite that guy to death. A behind Twisted Fate will have a lot more trouble helping his team than he should, which will make everyone's lives easier.

If Twisted Fate ever does manage to port to a lane you the two standard options as retaliation. You can either follow him or push to his tower and try to take it down. You should assess the situation to tell which is best and don't waste time deciding which of the two you want to do. If the lane being ganked by Twisted Fate is running and looks like they are going to get dived or survive awhile longer, run down and save them or clean up the enemy survivors. If the lane looks like it's in a situation where they're just going to get killed off quickly, don't bother wasting time going down. Deny the Twisted Fate farm and push down his tower.

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Veigar
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


A Veigar lane can be a tricky one as you really need to know what you can and can't survive in terms of burst to take advantage of Veigar's weaknesses. You can afford to build resistances early while Veigar tends to have to maximize burst, and by taking advantage of this you can burst him just as fast as he would you. Start the potion route as you're going to be auto-attacking a lot from the get-go and Veigar is escapeless. Though I recommend getting this second after Mercs, Haunting Guise is extremely effective against Veigar as it gives you health and since it has less AP than Hextech Revolver his ult (Auto-target burst that scales on your AP as well) will do less damage while you still get more from the magic pen on Guise. You should get Merc Treads before your Haunting Guise in this matchup as they're also very helpful in this lane as it will reduce his damage and make his combo harder to setup since his stun (his E skill; giant AoE stun) won't last long enough for his Dark Matter (his E skill; AoE that drops after time) to hit you.

Pre-6 ward a side as usual and begin auto attacking Veigar as much as you can between last hits. He'll have to use his Q (auto-target damage; gains AP on last hit) to hit you to try to even out the damage which will drain his mana and deny him the AP he'd normally gain from last-htting with it. You have less leniency in seeing the jungler in this matchup as his stun (his E skill; AoE cage that stuns if border is touched) can setup ganks from afar, so even though you should be auto attacking you have to be smart about it. Heal up damage you take back with your potions and he should start to get zoned after you apply enough pressure to him this early. If you can get him to his tower, which is risky for the gank reason I just mentioned, he will have trouble farming at it.

Post-6 is when Veigar gets his full combo to complete his amazing burst, but by now you should have your Haunting Guise or at least Merc Treads which will make you much more difficult to burst. He should still be extremely squishy, so all-inning him is almost always an option when his stun is on cooldown. Be wary if you do eat too much poke though, as the previously mentioned items may hinder his burst but they won't stop it from hurting, so you need to keep your HP up. Veigar has to be wary of the same though, and you should still have an advantage from earlier on in the lane. This matchup really isn't that tough or special compared to other burst casters.

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Viktor
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Viktor is another of those underplayed champions who is actually known to be pretty good. He's no Syndra, but he's a very good champion in his own respect. Viktor does good burst damage, long range poke with his lazer (his E skill; skillshot lazer), and brings team utility with the silence on his ult (AoE cloud that silences when released; is also a DoT) and his stun cage (his W skill; slows then stuns if you stay in it). As a guy who plays Viktor though, I know some of his weaknesses in lane and they can easily be taken advantage of. I prefer the Hextech route against him because the boots really help with the skillshots and even though he's a burst caster how hard it can be for him to set his combo up properly so you can sustain when he gets you to a low enough point.

I'll say this from the get-go, dodging Viktor's lazer is key in this lane, but it's one of the more controllable skillshots so I can understand that it can be difficult. At the start of this lane marks one of Viktor's key weaknesses. Viktor is another one of those champions with an early pushing problem, similar to LeBlanc but not as severe. If you can pressure him to his tower he will most likely be forced to use some of his abilities to get the last hits and this will cause him to run out of mana very quickly. So just start pushing with constant auto attacks and maybe some Shurikens thrown in there and he's going to have to try to push it back. Once he gets a few items on him or Blue Buff this weakness won't be open to be taken advantage of, so use it while you can!

Once Viktor gets his ult he goes from being a poke champ to the burst-man of metal he is. His burst, however, requires him to be closer to his target than most if he wants to make use of his full combo. With this in mind, if you ever get low and have your Hextech Revolver just back up and spam your Shuriken on the wave to heal back up to where you think yourself safe. Your Shuriken outranges everything in his kit except maybe a max range lazer, and you definitely should not be getting hit with that from that far. With a few items you'll notice he becomes a pretty strong pusher, so be ready to farm under tower or ask for a jungler gank in advance when it happens.

I feel some fine points in this matchup need more explaining. You're maxing Shuriken because getting in range for a Surge passive to active will throw you into range for his combo, or, if he's not level 6, his stun cage. You don't want to be caught in either of these, and even if you do get the passive off on him he can use his shield (his Q skill; auto-target damage that shields) to damage you back and block some of the active if he uses it right. Just punish him in this matchup by throwing a Shuriken at him for running past his minions to try to setup his burst. Don't all-in unless he has taken a good amount of damage beforehand or you may find yourself silenced and counter-bursted.

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Xerath
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 4 (Pretty Difficult)


Xerath is another underplayed champion that is actually pretty good. Well, not pretty good, I'd argue the guy is blatantly stupid strong. Not because of how he does against Kennen, but because of his safety in lane and all of the free stats he gets. His passive gives him armor based on his AP and the active on his Locus (his W skill; makes him immobile for bonus effects) gives him 40% magic penetration while also increasing the range on his abilities to ridiculous amounts. This siege tank is going to be hard for you to move in lane and all-inning him is very risky, so your job is to farm what you can. Kennen's inability to push early will be tested by Xerath's ability to push at all points, so hopefully you have some experience farming under tower. Start with boots unless you're not confident in your ability to dodge skillshots, in which you should go the potion route for the help sustain while being able to take advantage of his lack of escapes with the pink ward pressure. Go the Hextech Revolver and boots route so you can sustain the long range poke and to help dodge his skillshots.

The start of the lane is where you're going to have the easiest time farming, as Xerath won't be spamming poke at you right from the get-go. Try your best to keep the wave in the middle of the lane by damaging the minions as he does by watching the damage you both do to them. Also try to stand to the side of the wave so if he goes for harass on you he doesn't also push the wave, unless you have plans for a jungler gank. Anytime you see an opening in his minion wave for a Shuriken, try for it as that's your best bet for getting damage onto this guy even this early without eating more in return.

Post-6 is when things get scary. If you ever get too close to Xerath he can burst you the entire way back as you try to run away now that he has his ult (3 uses; skillshot AoE damage in a circle). The lowest ranged ability he has with his Locus active is 1000, and that's how he sets up his combo. If he ever lands his Mage Chains (his E skill; auto-target damage and causes stun if another ability hits within 3 seconds) on you post-6 you need to back up a bit and farm with your Shuriken until it's off. You will have a hard time reaching the guy for an all-in, which I wouldn't recommend anyway, as he can burst you as you try to approach him. With Blue Buff in his possession he can now also push the wave constantly and harass you with his Arcanopulse (his Q skill; straight-lined skillshot) from 1300 range away while Locus is active. Just farm and dodge, your focus in this matchup is later on for teamfights.

It's worth noting that you should build health and NOT magic resist if you're trying to build against Xerath. The free magic pen on his Locus will make the magic resist much less effective while health isn't effected. If an all in does ever break out between you and him you can use your Flash to dodge one or two of his abilities along with Rush. Everything you manage to avoid will make a large difference in the outcome.

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Ziggs
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 1 (Very Easy)


This is probably the easiest mid matchup for me when I play Kennen. Ziggs is a skillshot-based poke champion that has trouble against mobile champions (!), being locked down (!!), and he's very squishy (!!!). All of these make this guy so much fun to go against as Kennen, so prepare yourself for a fun lane. Even if this lane is easy and you'll be harassing a lot, I prefer boots and Hextech Revolver in this matchup so I can sustain what actually does hit me while making it harder to be hit as well. Ziggs isn't exactly high on burst, so with sustain you should be unmovable by him.

From the start you can go to town on Ziggs with auto attack and Surge harass as long as you watch for two things. His passive, which is an auto attack enhancement that lights up the bombs in his hands when it's up, and his Bouncing Bomb, which is his Q skill that throws a bomb for AoE damage where he chooses. Wait for him to auto attack a minion with the passive when it's up, as he'll have to eventually if he wants to get minions, and watch for the Bomb toss. Both are easily avoided and you have pretty much free reign if he can't land either and you have a lot of potions for what he does manage to hit you with. Just keep up pressure and he'll have to farm or try to hit you with Bouncing Bomb to just get last hits, which will cause him going out of mana quickly, making him even less of a threat.

Post-6 you get serious kill potential. His ult (throws a large AoE bomb, good range but travel time increases the farther it's thrown) doesn't give himself much defense against what you can do to him, so be ready to take advantage. If you manage to get Ziggs caught in your ult stun combo, he'll have a lot of trouble leaving it so barrage him with everything you got and you should make quick work of him. I'd say at about 80% health you can take him out with Ignite if he has no resistances at this point, and lowering him to that will take very little effort. You can push the wave as you please with Rush to Surge if you want at this point as well, giving you more lane control as he'll have trouble landing Bouncing Bomb while Rush is active if you're mindful of it. This lane is in Kennen's control at pretty much all points unless Ziggs somehow gets an early lead, so be sure to abuse your power.

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Zilean
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Ok, this guy isn't exactly fun to go against but it doesn't mean he's going to be the toughest thing out there. His entire kit just isn't fun to play against, his Bombs (his Q skill; auto-target AoE explosion after 4 seconds) make for ridiculous poke, his Time Warp (his E skill; slows enemies or speeds himself) makes him very difficult to catch or run from, his ult (brings target back to life if killed while it's on them) makes him tough to all-in, and his Rewind (his W skill; reduces cooldowns on abilities) brings all of it up faster after it's down. You're going to want sustain in this lane to keep up with the ridiculous damage his poke does.

At level 1 of this lane you have an advantage, all Zilean will most likely have is 1 rank in his Bombs. At level 1 they don't do much damage and he can't use them twice in a row without Rewind, so start Surge and harass him during this small window. Past that, try to stay away from Zilean and farm up for your Hextech Revolver, punishing him with a Shuriken for passing the minion wave if he tries to bomb you. Chances are he's going to get some off, but that's what your potions are for.

Once you get your Hextech Revolver things should be fine as his harass won't stick as hard. Though at this point you both are most likely level 6, I wouldn't recommend all-inning Zilean unless you can kill him in one or a chain stun so he can't get his ult off. This is because his ult will bring him back up and you won't have as many options to retaliate now that yours is down. Just constantly keep up the punishment for passing the minion line and trying to sustain up what he does as he doesn't exactly scale the hardest. This lane isn't all that complicated just pretty damn annoying.

With that being said, I have some tips. In lane if Zilean ever uses bombs to clear the minion wave you have 10 seconds to go as aggressive as you want on him. He can do absolutely nothing but slow you when his bombs are on cooldown as they're his only real source of damage. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS WINDOW. In group fights or in lane when Zilean ults someone you can get them low but DON'T KILL THEM, switch targets or just wait until the duration is off before finishing them so they don't get brought back to life with more health.

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Zyra
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Last but not least of the common mids we have the queen of plants herself, Zyra. She used to be a bannable pick after her release, but they nerfed her quite a bit and she hasn't seen much use since. Don't think this means she's weak though, as Zyra is still really powerful in the right hands. Kennen has a kit, however, that can make this lane somewhat easy compared to other mids due to his sustain from Hextech Revolver, burst, and mobility. Her plants (her W skill; places a seed that grows once another of her abilities hits it) give free gold since you can Shuriken them followed by one auto attacked to take them out instantly.

Zyra is a combo character as her damage and burst become easy to hit if she lands her snare (her E skill; skillshot snare that passes through targets), so all you have to do is avoid that and you shouldn't have any fear of getting bursted. She can still poke though using her Deadly Bloom (her Q skill; AoE skillshot in a circle) it's just you should be able to sustain it up from range if it does manage to hit you. She is squishy, so if you see an opening to hit her with a Shuriken due to her abilities being on cooldown, take it and you'll see a good chunk of her health vanish. She isn't mobile so hitting one shouldn't be very difficult if you pass the minion line.

Post-6 however, you'll want to watch what you do a bit more. Her ult is a giant AoE nuke in a circle that will knock you up if you're still standing on it when it ends. If you do end up getting knocked up, you will be open for the rest of her abilities and that would throw you in a terrible spot. You have kill potential though, and it's best not to waste it. All you have to do is try to take her out in one or a chain stun combo to stop her from retaliating. This is best done by Flashing over her snare or after she's used it when she's at about 75% health to land directly on top of her while Rush is active and use everything you need to take her out. If you aren't sure if you can, don't risk it and just keep farming up off of minions and free plant money.

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Top Lane
This lane is the most isolated from the rest of the map, so it's the most straight-up 1v1 you're going to get when playing Kennen. Most top lane champions are melee, which means you're most likely going to be seeing more trades. You also usually won't be playing to burst from high health anymore, as top laners tend to build resistances, but instead whittling down your opponent to zone them or go in for a kill if they get greedy. You'll be generally more safe, but your actions have a much bigger punishment on mistake, so be careful. Junglers sometimes love to camp this lane as well but it's not as bad for Kennen to deal with as melee top lane champions. The champion line-up for this is less than mid lanes as a good amount of tops do both commonly. With all that being said, here they are.


Darius
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 4 (Pretty Difficult)

No face says "Welcome to toplane!" better than Darius's. This man is known to be annoying as hell to go against as melees, and he isn't exactly a fun matchup for Kennen as a squishy ranged either. This matchup leans towards Darius for a majority of the lane but Kennen can get an advantage and barely hold onto it if he plays things right. If you die even once you aren't going to have a very enjoyable laning phase so mistakes must be kept to a minimum. I prefer Haunting Guise in this lane as Darius doesn't do much poking against Kennen, he just sort of mauls you on the spot with his abilities, and once he's level 6 his true damage, which the health is good for.

The start of the lane is where you should try to establish dominance. Since Darius is a melee champion you can harass him quite a bit before he starts getting his abilities, just be mindful of his spin (his Q skill; spins in a circle for damage around him) as getting hit by that early on will chunk you. Chances are you'll be hit with the end of it if it hits, unless your hugging him for whatever reason in which case I recommend you stop, which will cause it to deal more damage than if the base were to hit you. Once he has all of his abilities YOU MUST ALWAYS BE MINDFUL OF HIS GRAB (his E skill; pulls champions in a cone in front of him to him) as it'll set up his Crippling Strike (his W skill; auto attack cancel that slows) which will make it difficult for you to run, and when you finally do get away he can hit you with his spin on the edge. This will destroy your health bar and, once he has his ult (auto-target nuke dealing true damage based on blood stacks), your life.

The last section was full of enough "what not to does" for one matchup, so I'll start on what you should do. Whenever you do get grabbed instantly use your Rush to put a mark on him followed by a Surge and Shuriken to stun him and back off while Rush is still active. If your stuff is on cooldown and he has no marks, tough luck. If he ever misses the grab you have a large window of freedom though to harass him, so just do your best to avoid it even though it sometimes feels impossible. Prioritize health in building against Darius over armor, as he tends to simply build resistances against his opponent and still do tons of damage due to his ult's true damage aspect along with the bases on his abilities. Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a good midgame defensive option because of this.

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Fiora
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Fiora isn't much of a common pick due to how easy she is to counter by a good majority of popular tops in lane. Unfortunately Kennen isn't one of them, and this matchup has its own set of backs and fourths for both champions. Fiora is all AD, and is absolutely destroyed by armor, so get a Seeker's Armguard followed by a Haunting Guise to make her think twice about jumping on you with her Lunge (her Q skill; auto-target gap closer that can be used twice if quick before it goes on cooldown). Her Riposte (her W skill; active returns damage if hit with an auto attack) can make it difficult for you to hit her with a Surge passive without it being nullified and eating damage in return. If you ever feel you're having a bit of trouble against a Fiora get Ninja Tabi as they are possibly the best early game item you can get to ruin her damage output at the cost of some of your own.

Chances are Fiora will start level Riposte level 1 to help her against your auto attack harass, and it will be her main ability in trying to deal with it. To counter this you have to go into a mindgame battle with Fiora where you try to bait out her Riposte so you can auto attack her for awhile. Kennen's auto attack animation isn't the fastest traveling, but it has a bit of a delay before the attack is released so you can bait out her Riposte by pretending your about to throw it and quickly cancelling it. If she uses it, you can wait out the 1.5 second duration and attack her afterwards while it's on cooldown. If she doesn't, you can try to bait it again or take the risk throwing it. The harass war is all mindgames in this one.

Once level 6 you have to keep Fiora's ult in constant consideration. Her ultimate is an auto-target multi-hit nuke that makes her invulnerable during its duration. What this means is while she's ulting yours will not hit her, along with anything else you try to do to her. Fiora's ult also procs on-hit affects so expect her to come out of it with more health than when she used it if she has any sort of lifesteal. If she ever all-ins with it don't panic and throw your abilities around but instead wait until she's finished to use your ult along with the rest of your abilities.

Fiora is can easily be peeled off when she jumps on you with Lunge by activating Rush to get a mark on her while she's close, followed by a Shuriken and Surge to stun her. HOWEVER, you mustn't forget her Lunge can dash twice, so all of this past the Rush has to be done while your moving away from her or after she uses the second Lunge unless you want her right back on you. A big counter to Fiora in lane is a Zhonya's Hourglass if you manage to get one, as the active will cancel her ultimate when she uses it on you alone. This will allow for some large plays if you manage to pick one up early enough.

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Gangplank
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Gangplank is a rather old champion that with a somewhat dull kit who is able to do every role in this game. He's not the best at any of them, in fact he's mediocre at most. However, the CC removal from his oranges (his W skill; heals a bit of health and removes CC) along with his ability to poke you back when you auto attack harass with his gun (his Q skill; auto target AD damage from range) make him no pushover for Kennen. You won't be able to harass him easily without eating some damage in return, so you need to make sure you have some sort of sustain to keep up trades, which you want to do as he scales well into lategame and it'll drain his mana. Get a Hextech Revolver to help with this along with your boots and go for a Zhonya's Hourglass afterwards.

At the start of the lane his gunshot along with his passive (DoT damage with a slow on attacks) making trading with him at level 1 too difficult. Wait until your about level 4 when you have two points into Surge before you try trading with him and you should be able to start trading decently. Keeping up constant trades should cause him to run out of mana from all the gunshots he's using to try to hit you back. Get him to this point and you'll be able to trade with him for free and this will zone him out.

Post-6 still doesn't up much kill potential for you as Gangplank can still simply use his oranges to jump out of a sticky stunlock from you. His ult (giant AoE cannon-fire that does damage for each ball that hits; slows in the area) can make it hard to all-in him as well as you don't want a prolonged fight standing in it. The only way to really all-in a Gangplank as Kennen is to harass him low enough to zone and have him be greedy enough to try to farm anyway, so it'd have to be a punishment for his mistakes. Chances are he'll have some resistances on him at this point to help against your harass, and it does a very good job at that. He'll become very tough to move out of lane at one point, but he shouldn't be able to move you either. In teamfights you shouldn't go for Gangplank unless he builds no resistances, and he normally does, so focus other priority targets instead.

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Garen
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 1 (Very Easy)


You may be asking yourself about the starting items right now. Well, you see, even though Garen is another toplane bully champion, similar to Darius, the key difference that makes this lane so much easier is that Garen has no way to instantly close a gap between you and him, so you can harass him all day with absolutely no punishment in return. Garen runs on no resources, just cooldowns so he can spam his abilities. Even then, your only concern is him catching you with the movement speed bonus on his Decisive Strike (his Q skill; gives movement speed and silences on hit), which he should never be able to do with the combination of your boots and Lightning Rush. This means he should never be able to damage to you at any point in the lane. The one potion is your one mistake, which should be easy to avoid, and the ward is so that an early jungler gank doesn't ruin your lane.

Every single point in this lane, right from the start, you should be harassing Garen every time he tries to farm. The constant auto attacks and Surges will keep him low and stop his passive (after 9 seconds starts regening .4% of his health a second) from activating to heal him up. I mean sure, he can run back far from you to so his passive starts to heal him, but we call this zoning and he won't be getting any farm for doing it. Whenever he runs at you with his sword glowing he's going for a Decisive Strike, so just back up until he hits a minion with it or the duration is out, using Lightning Rush if necessary, and that'll be the best of what he can do to reach you. If he passes the minion line while trying to hit you you can use a Shuriken from range to mark him and Surge for free harass during this period. Post-6 isn't much different, he still can't reach you and you still get to freely harass him. In case you're thinking about all-inning, be careful with how close you get as Garen is only scary because he can't reach you, but if he does you'll be in a terrible spot due to his silence and early game damage. You really don't need to kill the guy as zoning him when he's only really good in the laning phase is more than enough.

If you do get hit by Decisive Strike into the rest of his abilities at any point in the lane you'll get chunked horrendously or even killed on the spot if he's post-6. Play your range to your advantage and don't take any risks. Also, remember that though this is a pretty much free harass lane you still need to prioritize farm above all else!

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Irelia
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 5 (Very Difficult)


It pains me to go from an easy matchup to an extremely difficult one like this so fast. Regardless, Irelia is definitely one of the most tough matchups for Kennen to deal with due to her passive (literally) tenacity and difficulty to kite. A well-played Irelia will keep on you in lane if you get to close, and in melee range you aren't going to win. Her Hiten Style (her W skill; active gives true damage on auto attacks; passive heals on auto attacks) means she can both manage to build resistances against you while still doing tons of damage due to the true damage aspect and the passive means she can sustain some of the poke you manage to deal to her. Your goal in this lane will be to farm away from her, which is why you should go boots and Hextech Revolver as getting close enough to auto attack Irelia, or too close to your own minions for that matter, will result in some terrible punishment.

Right from the start of the lane if Irelia started Blade Surge (her Q skill; auto-target gapcloser that can be used again if it kills target) she can jump on you and stick unless you start Rush, as she has 10 more movement speed than you. Not saying she will, just saying to be cautious of it. When she hits level 2 you can't be anywhere near her until you have Rush, so pick it up either first or second. Try your best to farm things out, which by the way is what Irelia pretty much wants in every lane as she is an extreme carry-killer. I wouldn't recommend trading farm with one, but as Kennen you have to and she can make it hard for you to do. Once she has her Hiten Style and Equilibrium Strike (her E skill; slows if she has higher % health than target and stuns if she doesn't) you getting jumped on will result in some serious health loss. You won't be in that bad of a spot if she simply jumps on you as you can stun her off, but skilled Irelia players usually don't directly jump on champions unless they think they can kill them with one. When you go for farm and get close to your minions as a result, Irelia can Blade Surge to a dying minion to kill it, Equilibrium Strike you so you have trouble running, Hiten Style auto attack you, and Blade Surge to you AGAIN once you've blown your abilities to get her off. Normally in most matchups your stun gives enough downtime to get away from gapclosers, but Irelia has passive tenacity and is more than likely to build Merc Treads to make your life that much more difficult.

Later in the lane is more difficult than early if Irelia chooses to build magic resist and/or health against you. Her ult (skillshot that deals damage and heals Irelia; 4 uses) will just make her jumping to you all the more scary while yours will pretty much be used for peel as it won't do much to her when she gets some items. You're still just doing your best to farm and survive.

Tips for the lane: Try to avoid standing near minions with low health, so she can't double-jump you. Watch out for health before Equilibrium Strike is used as she may be waiting for you to panic-throw an ability so she can stun you. Whenever Irelia's Blade Surge is on cooldown is a safe period for you, so if she messes up getting the refresh on it or just finished jumping on you you have a small window of opportunity for free farm and harass. Speaking of Blade Surge, to get some damage off on an Irelia Blade Surging minions to farm, you can throw a Shuriken at a low minion that she isn't close enough to auto attack and she should run right into it.

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Jax
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Jax is an overall strong top laner that is known for his multiple damage types and fantastic lategame. Like Irelia you would never want to just farm against this guy, but unlike her you can actually stop Jax. Earlier on in the laning phase you have a good advantage to setup midgame dominance, and if played right you'll be able to zone him or maybe even kill him with good harass. If you don't manage to establish a lead early on in the lane midgame will become a farm fest, and like I said, you don't want that against a Jax.

Take Surge at level 1 and start harassing him right from the get-go. The barrage of auto attacks will make his early life hell for the first 2 levels as he won't have good ways to respond to it. At level 3 though chances are he'll have all 3 of his abilities, including Counterstrike (his E skill; dodges all auto attacks while active and stuns afterwards). Since Counterstrike plays a big part in this lane I think it's an important to take a bit to talk about what should be done against it. Counterstrike will be Jax's main way of sticking to you in this lane to deal damage with its stun. When he begins twirling his weapon in the air it's active, and that means it's time for you to back up. Like Fiora you should try to bait this out whenever you can, though you won't be punished as much for not doing so as you can stun him before he's able to get it off. When he activates it and you don't think you have time to get away before he can jump, activate Rush, throw a Shuriken at him (this can hit him mid-jump) and use Surge quickly so he'll instantly be stunned when he lands on you. While stunned he cannot use Counterstrike again early to end the active and stun you, so you'll have time to back away with Rush while it's still active. Counterstrike has a long cooldown early on and when it's down he won't be able to stick to you, so you more leniency in your harass windows. Keep him low by avoiding Counterstrike and harassing him to zone him out. If he overuses Counterstrike he'll run out of mana in a heartbeat.

Once Jax hits level 6 he's capable of poking in bursts, so be careful and even more so for Counterstrike. His ult's passive makes every third basic attack deal bonus magic damage and combined with Leap Strike (his Q skill; auto-target gapcloser) along with Empower (his W skill; auto attack cancel that deals damage) will make that one jump hurt a lot. This is the point where your earlier advantage will come into play, if you are ahead you should still be able to out-trade and zone him him, whereas if you were behind or even you need to start farming. You'll, ultimately, have to be the judge in the end of whether or not you think you're far enough ahead to keep up the zone game.

Regardless of whether or not Jax is using Counterstrike when jumping on you with Leap Strike, remember the stun combo I mentioned above. With his gapcloser blown he will be open for some hard punishment if you get some distance, so stun him even for simply jumping. Also keep in mind that Counterstrike causes AoE abilities to do 25% less damage while it's active, so try to save all abilities but your Shuriken until after the duration is over for all-ins.

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Malphite
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Malphite is a tanky-initiator style champion who ends up banned on occasion due to how hard he is for the AD Carry to deal with in temafights along with his AoE ultimate. He is fantastic against AD champions due to how well his kit goes with armor and his role as a tank. Boasting two armor scaling abilities, Malphite can build pretty much all armor against his opponent and still do reasonable damage while being unmovable. Hopefully you've already caught onto how this isn't so bad for Kennen. Malphite's only resistance scaling abilities scale with ARMOR, while you do mainly MAGIC DAMAGE. All he'll be able to do is poke you with his Shard (his Q skill; auto-target damage that steals movement speed) and the damage won't be enough to keep up with the sustain from your Hextech Revolver.

From the start of the lane be ready to trade with Malphite whenever you get up you Surge passive. Chances are they're going to slightly in your favor, but you're not trading for that reason. Use your potions to keep yourself healthy between Surge passives and keep it up, if he continues to trade with you his mana will be gone very quickly. His Seismic Shard takes up 70 of his base mana of 215 from level one, going up in cost per level put into it. If he runs out of mana because he keeps trying to keep up with your harass you'll have a very nice advantage as he won't be able to trade back anymore. At this point, you have complete lane control along with the fact that Malphite will have to eventually build magic resist to keep up with the harass, even though it is more beneficial to build armor.

Once Malphite has his ultimate (skillshot dash that throws himself in an area for AoE knockup and damage) you must be careful for how well he can setup jungler ganks if you overextend. His ult has a good range of 1000 too, so be sure to ward farther down or in multiple areas if need be so you can watch for a gank setup ahead of time. His ultimate also does decent damage, so mind it if you ever decide to all-in as well. Just keep trying to keep his mana low so you can trade for free and you won't even have to worry about it at all.

Thought I should say this, though Malphite can do both top and mid if built as an AP, it isn't common to see an AP mid Malphite at all. Unless this changes all of a sudden or it's requested enough I'm just going to leave him up as a top lane.

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Nasus
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


In case you don't know about Nasus, I'll just say ahead of time he's a lategame monster that shouldn't be allowed to free farm at all in lane. This is due to the fact that his Siphoning Strike (his Q skill; auto attack cancel that gains bonus damage for kills) will scale infinitely with his farm, so try not to let him get any without getting punished. It is your job as the one laning against Nasus after all to make farming very difficult, which is a pretty easy thing to do against him early on. He can manage to build pure resistances early and abuse the his passive (scaling lifesteal per level) to try his best to ignore you and farm up, making denying him more difficult as time progresses. Get an advantage early and keep this dog away from your minions.

The start of the lane is where your life is easiest as it's when Nasus is the most squishy and when his passive lifesteal will be at its lowest numbers. Your job is to keep him away from farm in the form of constant harass and aggression. He has no immediate gapcloser, just Wither (his W skill; attack and movement speed slow that increases over its duration), which means he's going to have an incredibly hard time reaching you early on. Keep poking away at his health in an attempt to zone him out and eventually he's going to have to back up to his tower. Even at his tower you can barrage him with harass making it hard for him to farm even under that, as long as you have wards up.

Once Nasus gets his ultimate (Grows larger; AoE magic damage around him and gains immediate health) it won't really do anything on its own to help him farm, it'll just get him out of some otherwise fatal situations in this lane so keep up the zone game. By now he should have some resistances and his passive lifesteal will have scaled up a bit so it won't be as easy to get him off of the minions. Regardless, this doesn't mean switch to farming as you still need to harass him away as, no matter what, you cannot start a farm lane with Nasus.

Always be mindful of his previously mentioned Wither skill. The slow and duration of it (5 seconds) are a little ridiculous, so he can setup jungler ganks pretty easily. Junglers tend to want to help out this dog if he's on their team, so you must make sure you always have wards up for how aggressive you're going to be playing out this lane.

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Olaf
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Olaf is yet another true damage dealing bruiser that toplane has to offer. His ultimate is extremely annoying for Kennen both in and out of lane as it makes it so he can't be CC'd. As long as it's active, you cannot lock him down, which combined with the fact that he can build straight resistances and still hurt (love you true damage) means that if he's in your face you're in for some serious trouble. He even has active lifesteal on his W skill so he can sustain up some poke. However, the reason he isn't as difficult as he sounds is that he has no instant gapcloser, just the slow from his Undertow, (his Q skill; skillshot that damages and slows) which means if you can dodge it you're A-Ok. Buy a Haunting Guise to help break through some magic resist and for the health against the true damage.

Before Olaf has his ultimate you can stun the guy all you like without having to worry about him breaking through it. Play this lane out like you would the other melee bruisers without immediate gapclosers while always being mindful of his Undertow. If he manages to hit you with one of those he can walk up to you and smack you with Reckless Swing (his E skill; auto-target true damage) and back up. If he picks up his axe while doing this, the 8 second cooldown will be reduced by 4.5 seconds, meaning another may be coming soon. As long as you avoid them, life will be very easy at this point. Just keep up harass and farming away.

Once Olaf does hit level 6 you must be more mindful of where he's at. If he decides to all-in you with his ult your only hope is Rush, and if he hits you with Undertow he'll catch you anyway as you won't be able to stun him. He should be quite a bit tankier at this point so he won't be a pushover anymore and he can keep sustaining himself with his Vicious Strikes (his W skill; active gives lifesteal and spellvamp), so zoning won't be easy. Just farm up if you feel like the harass isn't sticking and keep watching out for those Undertows.

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Poppy
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 1 (Very Easy)


I honestly forgot this champion existed, seeing as I haven't seen a single one since Season 2. Anyway, Poppy is another farm-for-lategame champion with a weak earlygame. She, unlike Nasus, has an immediate gapcloser through her Heroic Charge (her E skill; pushes champions and stuns if hits them into a wall) so she can reach you with ease. However, the range on it is pretty bad (525) and it'll drain her mana since it has a decently-high cost and her base mana pool is terrible (185). This means, even though she can harass you it'll be very limited and that's not even bringing up the fact that your auto attack range can go farther than it. You can safely start Doran's Blade this lane as long as you are cautious of the oppoising jungler. As laughable as she may be in lane, remember, she's a lategame terror so you must keep her zoned and off of minions.

From the start of the lane you should be harassing as much as possible. If she manages to jump on you with Heroic Charge and follows up with Devastating Blow (her Q skill; auto attack cancel with a base and % health damage) you'll take decent damage, but at the cost of about half her mana and you can just potion it up. As the lane progresses and she gets her ultimate you still shouldn't have much to fear except a dive. Her ultimate targets one champion, giving her a % damage increase towards them and makes invincible to all but her target. While being horrifying in teamfights since she can target your support and go to town on a carry, it will just mean she does more damage to you in lane unless your jungler or someone else is there. However, the invincibility DOES apply to towers so if she calls her jungler up for a dive you may have trouble as she can simply tank the tower with her ult on you. You can see this coming ahead of time as chances are her minions won't be at your tower, since Poppy is a horrible pusher, and she'll just be running straight at you past the line.

Something you should know about Poppy though before I end this one. She has one of, if not the most, ridiculous passive in the game. Whenever a single amount of damage exceeds 10% of her CURRENT health the damage is cut in half. Luckily your ult does damage in small, seperate bursts for a total high amount but it's still something to take in consideration if you ever want to all-in or dive her.

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Renekton
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Renekton is comparable to Garen in the respect that both are resource-less toplane bullies who shine earlier on in the game. However unlike Garen, Renekton has a gapcloser that's more than just a movement speed buff in the form of a dash that can be used twice if the first passes through an enemy unit known as Slice and Dice (his E skill). However the dash is a skillshot and not auto-target so you Renekton players can potentially mess it up and you can avoid it if you have a good idea of where they're going to use it. The cooldown on Slice and Dice is also high at all levels so once he uses it you have a long grace period to harass him for free. Get a Haunting Guise for the health and harass and get ready take on this alligator.

Until he has all of his abilities you have free reign, so harass him as much as you can up until that point. Once he does get them all though it's sort of like Olaf. Always be mindful of him running towards you as he may be trying to set up a Slice through the minions so he can Dice to you (apparently the two uses have separate names), and if he reaches you it'll setup his combo. The key differences are that Renekton can spam his abilities since he has no resource and that his way to get in is on a much longer cooldown. If he manages to get close enough to you he can use Ruthless Predator (his W skill; auto attack cancel that stuns target) to lock you down and Cull of the Meek (his Q skill; AoE damage around him) as he backs away. Though this will chunk you considerably, remember that his Slice and Dice will still be on cooldown for awhile so you still have your free reign period to do more than enough back to him.

Once Renekton has his ultimate (grows in size; gains health and causes AoE magic damage), which is pretty much the same as Nasus's, you'll have to be mindful of his health is for all-ins and for potential dives. Granted him diving you shouldn't happen so you all you really have to watch out for is when you try to all-in him. Try to avoid diving him when his ults up as a result, as he will almost always be more healthy than he looks.

Since Renekton's passive is also big in this lane on what it can do I'll go into detail on how it affects his abilities. The bar where Renekton's mana normally would be is instead filled with what is called Fury and goes up by 5 on every auto attack. Fury caps at 100 and it only takes 50 for his moves to gain bonus effects, consuming the 50 when used. His Cull of the Meek gains increased damage and health on targets hit; Ruthless Predator will gain an additional hit, damage, and increased stun duration; Slice and Dice deals additional damage and shreds a percentage of armor for targets hit. His ultimate isn't effected by Fury, but it gains an additional 5 Fury a second while it's active.

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Rengar
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Rengar is yet another resource-less toplane bruiser that does mainly physical damage. Much like Garen and Renekton he has a form of sustain and a way to close the gap. Unlike those two, his is auto-target so if you're in range he's going to be on you. His gapcloser comes in the for of his passive, Unseen Predator. Whenever he's in a brush he can jump onto a target from 600 range and it has no cooldown. Due to this there's a good chance he will be camping in a brush, so you'll need to be prepared for that. The sustain on his Battle Roar is also pretty annoying to deal with, but he needs to get 5 stacks of Ferocity before it can be used. I'll go more in depth on what his Ferocity is and what it does to his abilities at the bottom paragraph of this matchup.

Right from the start of the lane Rengar will have his gapcloser and an ability since the gapcloser is his passive. Whenever he goes into a brush you have to be prepared for him to jump on you. This will be annoying until you have all of your abilities, so until level 3 just focus on farming. Once your level 3 you can use the melee-peel combo to get him off, but this actually has a cooldown unlike his jump. Even then though, if he constantly jumps on you with his abilities on cooldown he isn't going to do much either. Harassing him when he is visible won't be free as he can throw his Bola Strike (his E skill; auto-target slow with damage) to hit you back when you auto attack him, though that's about it. Without the 5 stacks of Ferocity he shouldn't be able to gapclose you without receiving more damage in return as long punish him with your abilities. The lane doesn't change much for Rengar when he has his ultimate (stealth's Rengar, giving him vision extended vision of champions and allows use of his passive anywhere) as all it really serves to do in lane is catch you off guard with an out-of-the-brush gapcloser or help him run from ganks.

All-in-all this guy may have an instant gapcloser but out of his sustain, sticking power through the snare on his Bola Strike, and that follow he can only choose one at a time when he has 5 Ferocity stacks. Speaking of which, Ferocity works like this. Rengar gains 1 Ferocity per ability that hits an enemy, capping at 5. Once he reaches 5 stacks he can Empower one of his abilities, but this ability is considered separate and this does no place the un-Empowered one on cooldown. Here's what the abilities do once they become Empowered: Savagery (his Q skill; auto attack cancel with increased damage; gives attack speed) deals an additional 100% of Rengar's AD and the attack speed bonus is doubled; Battle Roar now heals some of Rengar's health on use; Bola Strike snares first and than slows after the snares duration. His ultimate isn't effected by Ferocity but it generates 1 Ferocity every .75 seconds over its 7 second duration.

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Shen
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Shen is another of the three ninjas that work in the triumvirate with Kennen. Him, Akali and Kennen have all been looked at as top champions at some point within their careers but have all also fallen out of popularity in recent times. Shen is a tank that runs off of the Energy resource as well, has ranged harass, sustain, and global map pressure. There's not much he can do to you, but there's also not much you can do to him past the early points of the laning phase. Once he starts getting some resistances on him (which are usually health for him) it'll become too tough to move him out of lane. Same goes for you, making this just a farm lane at a point but he can help his team on a whim once he gets his ult (targets an all to teleport to them and shield them).

The start of the lane is the only time you'll be able to move this guy as he won't a lot of resistances and his Feint (his W skill; shields Shen on use) won't be big enough to hinder much damage. Take advantage and try to zone the guy out while being mindful of his Shadow Dash (his E skill; skillshot dash that taunts all opponents it passes by) as it will lock you in place for a bit, which can either setup jungler ganks or can be used to deal damage while your taunted. When you go in to trade with him you should also expect a Vorpal Blade (his Q skill; auto-target ranged damage that heals Shen on unit kill) which does decent damage, but not enough to out-trade what you should be doing to him.

The second Shen hits level 6 you need to warn your team so they don't get caught off-guard by Stand United. If Shen ever tries to use his ult you should either do your best to try and cancel it before the channel finishes so he doesn't teleport or push his tower down extremely hard if he manages to get it off. It's about at this point that first back purchases will be made and Shen will become a lot harder to move. Ward your river and keep him at his tower so he will second guess using his ult to help out his team as it'll most likely cost him a tower if he leaves when your minions are already at it.

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Singed
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 1 (Very Easy)


Singed is known for being an annoying, fast, tanky, and difficult to chase by most all League players. His laning phase isn't the best against ranged champions as he has no way to close the gap against ones with mobility. You know what that means? He can't reach you, so you get to harass for free. The only way the guy can think of catching you is by trying to slow you with his Mega Adhesive (his W skill; throws an AoE slow on an area) but you can simply Rush over it if not walk before he catches you. Abuse your early-game dominance and enjoy being able to harass for free with pretty much no fear of repercussion.

From the start of the game Singed isn't the tanky beast he becomes later, so not only can you freely harass him but it'll hurt and stick pretty damn easily. Harass him whenever he goes for last hits while keeping away from him and you'll see soon enough how much dominance you can really have early on. If he ever tries to throw down Mega Adhesive so he can catch up to you and Fling (his E skill; auto-target ability that tosses target behind Singed) you simply need to back away, Rushing if necessary, to get away and continue doing what you were doing when it disappears. Once Singed gets his ultimate (gives Singed pretty much every stat, except tenacity and CDR I believe) he'll be able to run at you a bit faster, but he still won't have enough to keep up with your Rush. You should still have pretty good lane control.

If Singed somehow manages to Fling you Rush over him followed by Surge and Shuriken to stun him while also getting back your distance. If he ever starts to farm behind your tower call up your jungler while farming his minions in the middle of the lane with Rush and Surge. Together you should be able to take him down pretty easily as you have the lockdown to keep him in place for what should be long enough to kill him.

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Tryndamere
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Tryndamere is a resource-less melee carry champion that runs off of the Fury system similar to Renekton. unlike Renekton however, Tryndamere's Fury is only used for his Bloodlust ability (his Q skill; grants passive AD and active heals for an amount based on Fury) and his passive, which grants up to 35% critical chance the more Fury you have. The sustain from his Bloodlust is actually pretty noticeable, making it difficult for harass to stick. He also has a skillshot gapcloser similar to Renekton in the form of his Spinning Slash, and it also does damage if it manages to hit you. All in all, I'd like to say this lane is pretty similar to the Renekton matchup except that Tryndamere has better sticking power but less burst if he reaches you.

As with most melees, this lane begins with you harassing him as much as you can between last hits while avoiding the gapcloser that will allow the enemy to retaliate. However, even if Tryndamere isn't close enough right after using Spinning Slash he can use Mocking Shout (his W skill; decreases attack damage on nearby champs and slows them if they're looking away form Tryndamere) to slow you a reasonable amount if he manages to catch with it while you're running. Even if he does manage to catch you though you shouldn't be in for much punishment as all he has are auto attacks to hit you with at that point. Try your best to harass, keep your distance, and farm up. Though his Bloodlust offers him sustain he won't be able to utilize without first building up Fury, which requires him to auto attack. If he is zoned he can't sustain himself and will have to go back to base as a result.

Once Tryndamere hits level 6 he'll get the ability he is most known for, his ultimate. Tryndamere's ultimate instantly builds Fury and makes him unable to die for 5 seconds. This means his health can still be lowered, but it won't go below 1 for the duration of the ult, and it can be activated regardless of any sort of CC. This will make him much more difficult to kill in lane, but you can still zone him out. If you try to all-in him he can just wait it out to see how it's going and Spinning Slash his way out if they aren't in his favor. Like I said, you should probably stop thinking about kills at this point and instead just try your best to keep him away from minions, which should still be rather simple.

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Udyr
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Udyr is a common jungler who is known for being one of the easiest champions to kite in this game. He is melee with only a small movement speed buff to use as a gapcloser, meaning you as Kennen should have no problem surviving this lane, if not outright winning it. It is, however, due to his ability to sustain with Turtle Stance (his W skill; gives a shield and lifesteal while active) and push with Phoenix Stance (his R skill (has no ult); AoE damage around Udyr) make him an eventual annoyance unless a heavy advantage is made early. Either way, you shouldn't have to worry about dying so worst case scenario you get out-CS'd which is bad but at least you're not dying consistently.

Early on is important, Udyr should never be able to catch you so abuse your harass as much as you can between last hits in an attempt to zone him away from CS. His sustain, even early on, is annoying but at least he won't have his tanky items yet to negate a majority of the damage you actually do manage to do against him. If ever runs at you with his Bear Stance (his Q skill; increases MS and stuns with autos) just back up and throw a Shuriken at him as punishment. Not much else to it, this is pretty simple.

Post 6 you gain a huge advantage as Udyr has no ultimate skill, meaning you gain a big jump in power while he gets the usual level up. I mean, that's pretty much it, you have more opportunities for all-ins and damage while he is still the same Udyr we all know and love.

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Volibear
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 1 (Very Easy)


Here we come to yet again another toplane champion with no way to reach Kennen. It almost feels repetitive going over what to do, but I guess there different kits warrant different explanations. Volibear has no way to actually reach Kennen with his kit, as his only chance of actually catching up to him comes in the form of his Rolling Thunder (his Q skill; gives movement speed and flings target behind him if he attacks them during its duration) and it won't be enough to catch up to your Rush. Start boots to make it even more tough for him and enjoy your free harass with absolutely no retaliation.

Like I said, as Volibear has no way to close the gap besides a temporary movement speed buff with a decently high cooldown, which means you can harass away without fear of punishment. If he somehow does manage to fling you back you need to re-distance yourself ASAP so he doesn't get off his Frenzy (his W skill; after 3 auto attacks Volibear can use the active to deal great damage) and chunk you as a result. His ultimate is also one of the less noticeable ones as all it does is add a bouncing lightning effect to his auto attacks, and these shouldn't be hitting you anyway. Just keep out of Volibear's range in this matchup and you'll have absolutely no problems harassing and farming.

As a vital part of his kit I'd like to say a bit about Volibear's passive. His passive, when Volibear is brought down to 30% health, will activate causing him to heal 30% of his maximum health over 6 seconds. It has a cooldown of 120 seconds and it isn't affected by cool down reduction so it won't be activate every time he's low. Just keep his passive in mind if you want to dive or all-in as you should definitely have Ignite up before you do either.

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Xin Zhao
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Xin Zhao is an auto attack based melee AD champ who is often taken as a jungler. However, he can be used as a bruiser for toplane since he makes a great duelist. With Kennen he won't have much opportunity to actually duel though since the nature of his CC requires him to stick for 3 hits and he can be peeled off pretty easily on the first or second. Though this lane is easy if played right, Xin Zhao will become difficult if the lane gets into his favor due to his sustain. The passive on his Battle Cry (his W skill; increases attack speed when activated) heals him on every third auto attack he uses, meaning if he is actually able to farm without fear of you he'll become difficult to move out of lane. If the lane ever does fall out of your control build Ninja Tabis to block a significant amount of his damage, allowing you to farm a bit more safely as well.

Be careful at levels 1 and 2 as you won't be able to peel him off easily with all of your abilities if you don't have them yet. This means if he jumps on you with Audacious Charge (his E skill; auto-target gapcloser that slows) he might actually be able to stick and knock you up with the third hit of his Three Talon Strike (his Q skill; next 3 autos do more damage and third knocks up), which you can't hope to out-trade at that point. At level 3 however, just stun him whenever he jumps on you, which will damage him in the process while also getting you to safety. Abuse this while harassing throughout the lane and you should find this to be pretty easy.

Post level 6 you should have all-in potential as long as you watch how you position yourself against Xin and his ult. Xin Zhao's ultimate is an AoE circle around him that knocks back all enemies that aren't marked by his Challenge passive and grants him resists based on how many are hit by it. If you simply charge at him with your ult and he begins to run without hitting you back his ult will sweep you away, effectively ending the situation. In teamfights this is pretty annoying as well if you don't mind his position, so always watch for whether or not your marked and where Xin is standing in any fight with him and his team.

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Yorick
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 5 (Very Difficult)


This guy... This guy is the anti-fun champion of the toplane. He is a lane bully whose usefulness later in the game is somewhat dependent on how strong the rest of his team is due to his ultimate (creates a weakened mirror of a teammate that brings them back to life if they're killed while it's up for 10 seconds). This bully boasts good sustain, slows, movement speed buffs, and long-ranged harass. Doesn't help that all of these work in the form of ghouls that count as units to do the damage, so landing a Shuriken in a lane where you pretty much need them to farm is very difficult as the ghouls will take the hits if they're in the way. Luckily he isn't the best lategame on his own, just depends on how his team is doing when the time comes. Since the potion nerf this got quite the bit more difficult to manage.

Level 1 is your only opening in this lane and even then it isn't exactly a big window. Once he has his slow and sustain ghouls he'll be in top shape to start taking dominance, and this dominance will burden you until the laning phase is over. Whenever he uses a ghoul of any sort on you just try you best to get rid of it on the spot a Shuriken so the whatever effect it applies will be cut as quickly as possible as they're gained by hitting a target. Also, try to avoid trading with Yorick as his sustain is too ridiculous even from early on for you to effectively trade with him even if you manage to deal more damage. Just do your best to farm and avoid getting close to Yorick.

Once he has his ult, Yorick just becomes scarier to deal with. Chances are you're not going to be all-inning him, but if you do you have 10 seconds of Yorick to deal with even after you kill him. Keep trying your best to farm up, which should be easier once you get your Hextech Revolver as it'll allow you to sustain yourself from the poke at long ranges, even off of his ghouls. There really isn't much to this lane besides that. Your job is to farm and Yorick makes that very tough to do.

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Zac
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 4 (Pretty Difficult)


Zac is an incredibly strong jungler whose strengths come from his massive amounts of CC along with his ability to build tanky and still do good damage. Though his kit has him intended to be a jungler, those traits also make him a great top who is difficult to move out of lane. His passive creates blobs that fly off of him after skill usage that heal for a percent of his maximum health when picked up by him, while his skills take a percent of his current health. This gives him amazing sustain, especially if he builds a Spirit Visage against you to negate some damage as well. Max Surge to help push back and damage him when the opportunity arises. Just be mindful, as he has the potential to poke back as he is also a manaless champ with ranged harass options.

You must keep in mind what abilities Zac is using and maxing along with when they're on cooldown before attempting to trade with him. Early on he shouldn't be that tanky, so trading should come out if your favor as long as you only get hit by his Stretching Strike (his Q skil; Arms stretch out to hit in an AoE line and slows). Once he picks up some tanky items it's a whole different process though as his sustain and damage should keep him able to take harass without much worry. At the point where trading feels too difficult switch to prioritize farming while trying your best to keep the wave away from your tower. Zac's push with Unstable Matter (his W skill; Splashes in a circle around him dealing AoE damage) is ridiculous, and with his ability to escape through Elastic Slingshot (his E skill; charges up to shoot himself at a distance, knocking up those hit) he is pretty safe while doing so. This ability also sets up ganks rather well.

Do your best to farm up while being mindful of Zac's gank setup before and after level 6. His ult (AoE knockup and constant damage) and ability to build tanky while doing damage will make all-ins a pretty risky. If your jungler comes to help always watch for Zac's attempt to Slingshot away and try to stun him while he's charging it for distance to cancel it. Marks are very important to mind on opponents with cancel-able abilities, and Zac is no exception.



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Champions Who Commonly Either Mid or Top
Now for the final section we have champions that are known for commonly going top or mid lane. In the difficulty part of each matchup I'll label a difference if there is one between the two lanes as the choice of lane can easily affect how it plays out. Now, for the final section.


Akali
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: Mid: 2 (Pretty Easy); Top: 3 (Average)


Here we have the final ninja in the triumvirate, Akali. Akali is a melee, magic damage dealing assassin runs on the energy resource. Like most melee assassins she is relatively weak before she gets her ultimate and how the lane plays out will be dependent on how well you abuse her before she becomes strong. Start Surge at level 1 and be ready to harass the second you walk into lane.

Akali's only goal before she hits level 6 is to farm until she gets her ultimate, and your job is to make this difficult and set yourself up to be ahead for when she does. Through her entire pre-6 phase she will have no way to immediately close the gap between you and her, so you can trade without having to worry about taking much damage in return. When I say trade it's because her Mark of the Assassin (her Q skill; auto-target damage that marks targets; champions with marks attacked by Akali receive more damage) has 600 range so she'll be able to toss it at you when you harass her. You'll come out ahead in these trades and she will no longer be able to use her Mark of the Assassin to farm while it's on cooldown, and without her best way of farm pre-6 she will be missing out on some minions if you keep up the harass while she goes for them. If she ever uses her Twilight Shroud (her W skill; stealth's Akali while she's inside it and gives her bonus resistances) to try to farm, keep in mind that all of your abilities can hit her while she's stealth'd within it.

Once Akali hits level 6 she will have her ultimate available, and that's when things become scary. Akali's ultimate works on a system of stacks, gaining one over different periods of time. Every stack allows Akali to use her ultimate to instantly close the gap between her and her target, dealing magic damage to them. This means you are no longer going to be in safe range of Akali's damage if she decides to jump on you with her ult, and if you didn't establish an early lead you won't be able to out-trade the small bursts from her combo. You can use the melee-peel combo to stun her once (Rush for mark when she jumps, Surge + Shuriken), but unless you get far enough away she will just jump right back onto you if she has enough stacks for it. Keep up farming while only harassing if you feel you are still able to do so at this point.

The reason midlane is easier than toplane against Akali is that in toplane the longer lane allows her to chase farther with her ultimate if you overextend, whereas in midlane you can get close enough to the tower much more quickly for her to have to back up. This means you'll be safer if you want to get her off of you in midlane than in toplane.

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Cho'Gath
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Cho'Gath is a CC-packed melee tank that is able to deal true damage with his ultimate (auto-target true damage that gives Cho'Gath stacking health on kill). He has natural sustain due to his passive (killing a unit heals health and mana) which means harass won't stick as well as it will with other melees and he has a scary way to close the gap between you and him in the form of his Rupture (his Q skill; AoE skillshot that knocks up those hit and slows). Luckily, since it's a skillshot him being able to close the gap will be dependent on your ability to dodge it. He also has a silence through his Feral Scream (his W skill; AoE skillshot silence in a cone) which means approaching him will result in a downtime of no abilities unless he manages to miss it. Regardless, you shouldn't be in melee range of Cho'Gath and can avoid being put in a tough spot as long as you manage to dodge Rupture.

This entire lane will revolve around your ability to dodge Cho'Gath's Rupture. If he misses he'll have no way to close the gap, meaning you can freely harass him. At the start of the lane he is squishy and his passive sustain won't help him stick as much as it will later, making this the best point to try to zone him out with harass. The longer you manage to keep him away from farm the longer you have until this turns into a farm lane between you two, so try your best to abuse your early advantage. Once he gets his ultimate you have to watch out for two things. You cannot let Cho'Gath freely stack it as it will give him free health, making him tankier without even buying any items to help him do so, and you need to watch out for his burst. Cho'Gath's ult does an incredible amount of single-target true damage so he is capable of a bit of burst even if built straight tank. As soon as you feel nothing is sticking to him you can stop risking getting into Rupture to harass and instead begin farming.

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Diana
Starting items: (Mid); (Top)
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Diana is yet another melee AP assassin who becomes scary when she hits level 6. Once again your job is to establish as much dominance as you can before then. She runs on a mana as a resource, unlike Akali, so you can drain her mana to help zone her by forcing constant trades before she has her ultimate. Start Doran's Blade for the short mid lane and Boots route for top, but be mindful of your potions if top as they allow you to afford to get hit a few times with Crescent Strike (her Q skill; crescent-shaped skillshot) while forcing it out. She may use her Pale Cascade (her W skill; shield that deals damage around Diana and refreshes if it gets deals it all) to absorb some of the damage when you trade, but this will also take some of her mana. Basically you want to force trades with Diana to force out her abilities, resulting in mana loss which will eventually allow you to zone her with ease.

Pre-6 Diana may have no gapcloser for you to worry about so get your harass in while you can. Chances are she's going to retaliate by throwing a Crescent Strike your way, which is exactly what you want. This will drain her mana the more you force it out and, if you stand on your minions while she tosses it at you, will push her wave towards your tower a bit. You don't want the wave pushed to the point where you'll be farming under tower but a bit passed the middle so that Diana has to overextend a bit, possibly opening up gank potential while you're harassing.

Once she has her ultimate, which allows Diana to instantly gapclose for damage. Normally one gapcloser doesn't give Kennen much trouble as he can use the melee-peel combo to get them off, but Diana has followup for after she uses it that make it not so simple. If she manages to land a Crescent Strike the cooldown for her ultimate will be refreshed as long as the light effect is on your character, giving her two gapclosers if she sets it up right. She also, can use her Moonfall to pull you towards her and slow you at the same time if you get too close. If you had a good lead from earlier you should still be free to harass, or as long as she doesn't get her refresh on her ult you can just melee-peel combo her off of you while at the same time getting out of the range for Moonfall. As long as you dodge Crescent Strikes you should still be able to harass Diana even when she has her ultimate.

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Elise
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 4 (Pretty Difficult)


Elise is an extremely annoying ranged AP transformation champion who has been nerfed many times since her intial release. Being a transformation champion means that she can switch between two sets of abilities by using her ult, which in her case automatically has a point in it right from the start. She has two % health abilities, a stun, an incredibly long-ranged escape or gapclosing ability, and good waveclear. What makes her so annoying to deal with as Kennen is that her Neurotoxin (her human Q skill; auto-target ranged harass based on % current health) has more range that his auto attacks while dealing pretty high damage the second it hits you. This makes trading very difficult with Elise so you should build in a way that prioritizes sustain and just try to farm things out.

I'll say this now, there is pretty much know point where you can straight up trade with Elise, you just have to punish her for her mistakes and farm. If she ever passes her minion line to hit you with an ability just toss a Shuriken at her for the over-aggression and she should back up back to her minion line. Also, If she ever goes into spider form by using her ult she becomes melee and you'll be able to harass her as you see fit until she switches back. Be careful though when she does switch as she has an incredibly long-ranged gapcloser known as Rappel, which webs herself into the air making herself invulnerable until she selects a target to jump to or waits out the duration. This can not only allow Elise to close the gap, but also dodge your ult when you do get it by waiting up for a majority of the duration or jumping to a faraway target. Her passive also gives her spiderlings while in this form, which are stacked from using abilities in human form, and these are capable of blocking your Shurikens. Once you get your Hextech Revolver you should be able to sustain the poke you receive while still being able to punish over-aggression, and at this point farming should be pretty easy. If you can manage to come out of the lane with decent farm against an Elise you've done your job well.

As a heads up to accommodate an update, Elise's mana costs have been increased quite a bit over the nerfs. It is possible to try to force trades early on regardless of whether or not you win them and sustain with your potions to get her to run out of mana. If you manage to do this you'll actually be able to get lane dominance. Keep in mind though that none of her abilities in spider form have mana costs, just her human form.

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Galio
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Galio is an anti-magic damage champion who gains 1 AP for every 2 magic resist he has due to his passive. He has an amazing AoE ult that instantly taunts all those caught within it and fantastic waveclear. Though he is effective against Kennen, Galio's earlygame before his Chalice of Harmony is pretty weak, and you can take advantage to set yourself up for an early lead that you can try to hold on to for the remainder of the laning phase. Due to the skillshot poke he often sends out in lane through his Resolute Smite (his Q skill; fires an AoE skillshot blast) it is best to go boots and Hextech Revolver as he won't have enough burst to kill you without poking you down first. Even if you don't get an early advantage against Galio you can afford to farm as he isn't exactly a lategame monster.

When you first walk into lane against Galio is your best point to take advantage of him. Barrage him with auto attacks and Surges in an attempt to zone him or force him to recall, sustaining whatever damage you may receive in return with your potions. If he recalls try to avoid doing the same if you can to get a level or two on him which will help you harass him down even more when he returns. If he ever gets to the point where he has too much magic resist for you to harass him well, use your Surge instead with Rush to push the wave and focus on farming.

When Galio gets his ult his burst will have increased by a good amount. Either way though it won't be big enough for him to take you down without a good amount of poke first, and with your Hextech Revolver it'll be very difficult for him to get you to that point. If you do ever see an ult from Galio coming you can activate yours beforehand to stun him when he ults you, cancelling his ult and significantly reducing the damage it'll deal. Don't get overly paranoid and blow your ult just because he's walking at you though, as that'd just be embarrassing. In teamfights you can use this to save your team from some CC and damage by ulting on where he plans to initiate.

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Jarvan IV
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: Mid: 3 (Average); Top: 4 (Pretty Difficult)


Jarvan is a melee bruiser champion who re-gained popularity shortly after the release of his Warring Kingdoms skin. All it took was some play for people to realize that a bruiser with a gapcloser which knocks up and who has the ability to isolate a squishy carry is actually incredibly strong. As Kennen, Jarvan's gapcloser poses a serious threat as it can be used very quickly and will set you up for some serious pain. For Jarvan's gapcloser to work, he first has to throw down his Demacian Standard (his E skill; skillshot that throws a flag to a location dealing damage and buffing allies) and hit it with his Dragon Strike (his Q skill; skillshot that damages enemies hit and reduces their armor) for his to dash at it, knocking up all those caught in between the path. This combo can be used from 770 range away, meaning you're not going to want to be throwing many auto attacks at Jarvan when he has this combo. Grab boots to help you dodge it and Seeker's Armguard to help with some of the damage if it does manage to hit you.

At level 1 Jarvan won't have his gapcloser combo, so you are safe to auto attack him at pretty much this level alone. Once he does have it I wouldn't recommend getting that close to him unless your confident you can dodge the gapcloser in time. If you do manage to dodge the combo you have a flat 13 seconds until his Demacian Standard comes back up in which you can harass him as you please. Always be sure to punish him with a Shuriken whenever minions aren't standing between you and him as well. The only reason this is so difficult is that the gapcloser comes out so fast that it's very difficult to dodge, and if it hits you it's going to hurt.

At level 6 Jarvan becomes even scarier to lane against. His ultimate does damage and creates a wall trapping himself with his target. This means if he decides he wants to all-in you after hitting a gapcloser he can lock you in an arena with him in an attempt to take you out. You either have to Flash out or wait out the duration (3.5 seconds) as Kennen if you want to escape the walls. When your Flash isn't up this becomes absolutely horrifying for how well it can setup ganks or stop you form running from Jarvan. It's also got 650 range, so he can even use it before he gapcloses to keep you and check and knock you up when the duration is over. You must be careful for this ultimate when he hits level 6.

The reason midlane is easier than toplane is that you're closer to your tower. Much like Akali this will allow you to reach a safe point much quicker and can possibly make Jarvan stop in what would otherwise be a fatal chase for you.

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Jayce
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Jayce is a transformation utility-poke champion who does mostly physical damage. Like Elise he starts with a point in his ult at level 1 which allows him to switch forms. You job against this guy is to farm, same as it's his job to just farm against you. Neither of you can harass each other well when standing behind minions so abuse openings in the waves to try to hit him with Shurikens while you farm as I almost guarantee he'll be doing the same. What you need to watch for is his Shock Blast (his cannon Q skill; skillshot blue ball that does AoE damage) paired up with his Acceleration Gate (his cannon E skill; increases movement speed of all allies who run through it) as when it goes through the Gate on the way to its target the missile speed will increase along with the blast radius when it reaches its destination. Once you get Hextech Revolver Jayce's harass won't stick so well while yours will unless he has bought some sort of lifesteal. Keep on the farm/poke war and don't let him harass you out!

You know the drill, your job is to place farm above harass while taking openings or dealing punishments as the opportunities emerge. Stand behind minions so he has a hard time landing Shock Blasts and expect him to do the same against your Shurikens. If he ever throws down his Acceleration Gate you can expect one to follow, so move accordingly. If Jayce ever switches to hammer form in an attempt to close the gap between you and him with To the Skies! (his hammer Q skill; auto-target gapcloser) you can use the melee-peel combo of Rush to Surge and Shuriken to close the gap and do good damage to him as punishment. At level 6 he really doesn't get anything special since he already had his transformation ult, but you gain nice kill potential if you manage to poke him low enough or he foolishly jumps on you with To the Skies!. By trading farm with Jayce you're giving the enemy team a heavy pre-fight poker, but by letting you farm he's giving your team a heavy midst-fight teamfighter. It's mutually beneficial but in solo queue chances are a good amount of teams won't be playing correctly with a poke champion on their team, so you're at the advantage.

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Katarina
Starting items: (Mid); (Top)
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Katarina is a resource-less melee AP Carry who specializes destroying teams with little CC. Her passive is what makes her as strong as she is, as it reduces the cooldowns on her abilities for every kill and reset she gets, meaning she can spam re-use everything but her ultimate again off of simply an assist in fights. As a ranged, CC-heavy champion you can give her a rough time at pretty much all points of the game. In lane she will have a lot of trouble keeping up with the harass from your Surge as her only real non-all-in answer to it is to throw her Bouncing Blades at you (her Q skill; auto-target blade throw that bounces up to 5 times on unique targets) and these won't out-damage your Surge combo. She has no CC, so you can even afford to start Doran's Blade to zone early on, but only in mid. Constantly keep up the pressure and she'll be reduced to farming with her Bouncing Blades, meaning she will miss out on farm while it's on cooldown and have no way to properly trade back. Keep up harass and CC her if she ever gets too close to keep good control on this lane.

At level 1 you should really lay some damage onto Katarina's health bar. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Surge passive to active combo is extremely potent at level 1 and will be very useful in securing early lane dominance. As both of you start getting your 3 main abilities you should still be able to do good damage to Katarina as punishment for trying to farm. If she ever uses her Shunpo (her E skill; auto-target teleport to the target and deals damage) to try to poke with her abilities you can smack her with the melee-peel combo (Rush to Surge + Shuriken) to stun her in place, gain some distance, and auto attack her all the way back to her minion line. She can trade with you pretty much every time you go in to do the same to her, but you should always come out ahead.

Once you both have your ultimates you gain a lot more kill potential while she doesn't gain much, as Katarina's ultimate, Death Lotus (Katarina spins dealing AoE damage over time and halving healing), is a channel and can be cancelled mid-use by CC. So if she ever jumps on you to try to burst you for whatever reason you can turn it easily with your ult, unless you were low before the fight. Katarina's tend to also become roam-happy post-6 so ward the jungle entrances so you can see her leaving ahead of time, following if necessary.

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Kayle
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Kayle is a versatile champion capable of filling out multiple roles and building in multiple ways. The most prominent of the recent builds is AP Kayle, which makes use of how well attack speed affects her ranged AoE auto attacks through Righteous Fury (her E skill; increases range on her auto attacks and gives them splash damage) and Liandry's Torment to deal large damage to one target while also whittling down those near them. No matter what the build, Kayle is an extremely competent kiter and chaser due to the slow on her Reckoning (her Q skill; auto-target nuke that slows) along with her movement speed buff on Divine Blessing (her W skill; heals target and grants movement speed). Kennen has a tough time dealing with her chasing and kiting potential, along with the fact her ult (2/2.5/3 seconds of no damage) can seriously mitigate the damage on his burst. Your job in this lane will be the oh-so-familiar one of farm and punish.

Kayle is really strong at level 2 once she has both Reckoning and Righteous Fury, and this will be the point where you try your best to avoid her. You'll be farming and taking advantage of the fact that, though her Reckoning has a good range of 650, her Righteous Fury only increases her auto attack range to 525, meaning if she chases you after Reckoning for her full damage she'll have to pass her minion line. If she does this throw back a Shuriken while you continue running, using Rush also if necessary to escape the damage. Your Rush and her Reckoning slow have the same duration of 3 seconds, so as long as you weren't in auto attack range at the point where you started running with Rush you should also not be close enough to get hit when it's over. When both of you hit level 6 she can use her ultimate to remove pretty much all but one bolt on the damage of yours, you can still stun her and everything but a big chunk of your burst will have gone to waste. I wouldn't recommend all-inning because of this, so just keep up the farm and punish game.

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Kha'Zix
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Kha'Zix is an AD melee assassin who has a pretty damn good kit for his job. Until a nerf not too long ago he was considered overpowered, but that time has passed. He may have long-range poke, a gapcloser, and sustain, but Kennen has a kit that works well against how his works. His poke comes from his Void Spike (his Q skill; skillshot that doesn't pass through minions) but since it doesn't pass through minions you can just hide behind them to avoid any poke he'd throw at you. His gapcloser is Leap (his W skill; leaps to a location dealing AoE damage) and you can use the melee-peel combo (Rush to Surge + Shuriken) to distance yourself again while damaging him heavily in the process. The sustain comes from Kha'Zix being right next to target he uses his Void Spike on, and since you're good at zoning him from minions along with yourself he won't be able to sustain much. Harass him in between farming with Surge while reacting to his abilities and you'll find that this really is pretty simple.

At the start of the lane you have what you need to gain dominance, and it's your job to use it. Harass Kha'Zix whenever he goes in for last hits and you should soon have him either backing up or using Void Spike to farm, both of which are very advantageous to you. If he jumps on you, punish him. If he tries to sustain, punish him. Everything he does warrants a punishment in the form of auto attacks and Surges, and don't let him get away with any of it for free. Once he hits level 6 though, things can get interesting in a variety of ways.

Whenever Kha'Zix puts a point into his ultimate it not only lowers the cooldown of the active, but it also gives Kha'Zix an evolution point for one of his abilities. His ultimates active stealth's Kha'Zix, giving him movement speed while invisible and makes his next attack do bonus damage in accordance to his passive (bonus damage on next auto attack after being unseen). Back to the evolution points, each one can be used to upgrade the effects of one of his abilities, and he gains one for every rank put into his ult. His Taste Their Fear (his Q skill; does bonus damage and even more to isolated targets) gets even more increased damage to isolated targets and increases his attack range by 50. His Void Spike will now shoot 3 spikes in a cone that now slow and consume his passive. Leap gains increased range and will have its cooldown refreshed on kills and assists. Finally, his ult when evolved allows Kha'Zix to stealth 3 times and he takes 40% less damage while stealthed.

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Lee Sin
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Lee Sin is a melee bruiser who runs on the Energy resource and is insanely strong in the right hands while also being pretty bad in the wrong ones. He is capable of so much, but it really takes a good Lee Sin player to get the best out of him. His kit has all the tools needed to take Kennen on, but it is ultimately up to whether or not the Lee Sin player can properly utilize them. This makes the lane quite the skill matchup, as the difficulty will be heavily reliant on the competency of both players. Grab boots and a Seeker's Armguard on your first back to make dodging his main gapcloser easier while taking less damage if you do manage to get hit.

Early on you have to be wary of one thing, Lee Sin is actually capable of out-damaging your Surge passive to acitve combo with his Sonic Wave to Resonating Strike (his Q skills; first active is a skillshot that deals damage and reveals while second active closes the gap for more damage). It's for this reason that I recommend starting Lightning Rush against Lee Sin, as you cannot afford to get hit by the two and having him land it when you don't have Rush can lead to a quick first blood for him. At level 2 you can grab Surge to start harassing yourself, and you should be while doing your best to dodge Sonic Wave keeping in mind that it's skillshot that cannot pass through minions. This means as long as you stand behind your minions you should be safe, however Lee Sin still has several ways to try to make it easier to land. If you ever get to close to an enemy minion Lee Sin can use Safeguard (first active of his W skill; jumps to an ally unit shielding them) to jump near you followed by Tempest to Cripple (his E skills; first active does AoE damage and reveals while second active lowers movement and attack speeds of those hit) to slow you down and hit you with a Sonic Wave while you try to run. There are a ton of neat tricks Lee Sin can do and some still surprise me, so just be mindful of his abilities and what they can do when facing one.

Lee Sin also has several annoyances in his kit that aren't fun for Kennen to deal with. For one, his ultimate kicks an enemy champion knocking them far off in the direction of where he kicks them. This ult will have to be something that you watch for at all points in the game when you're thinking about ulting, as he can use his to kick you away from a fight, wasting a good amount of the duration of your ult. He also has sustain on the second active of his W, which grants him bonus lifesteal and spellvamp upon activation. This combined with the first active, Safeguard, can make him hard to harass out of lane if you don't constantly hit him. If you drop pressure for even a little he may end up healing a decent amount of his damage taken back, and you don't want that.

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Nidalee
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


This is the matchup I find most boring for Kennen, as it's about as farm lane-y as it gets. Both champions have sustain, good poke that doesn't pass through minions, mobility, and punishment. Nidalee is a ranged transformation champion who actually doesn't start with her transformation from the start, it actually has to be ranked up like a regular ultimate. Most build Nidalee as an AP Carry as it gives her ridiculous lane sustain and what is, hands down, some of the best poke in the game. Her Javelin Toss (her Q skill; skillshot that increases in damage with distance) hits like a truck when built AP and has a ridiculous 1500 range. Luckily these death spears cannot hit more than one target, so minions can be used as shields for whenever she throws it at you. Both of you can't really touch each other if you stand behind minions, while being able to punish the other hard for passing them. She has sustain in the form of her Primal Surge (her E skill; heals a target and grants them an attack speed buff) while you have your Hextech Revolver. You both just can't move each other without the other making mistakes, making this incredibly boring if both players are playing smart.

At the start of the lane is when you're both weakest, her sustain is weak and will drain her mana but at least she has some, which is why you should be starting a lot of potions. Both of you should be just farming while punishing the opponenet for over-aggression, not much more to it. Once she hits level 6 she will have access to her cougar form, which will turn her into a melee with fantastic pushing potential. Though, due to the hidden rule where you both must farm and only farm, she can be punished pretty harshly for using transforming as she'll have to pass her minion line to attack minions while in that form which means a free Shuriken hit pretty much. So even post-6 this lane remains a farm fest where the only real fun comes from punishing the other from trying to make it anything but such. If you manage to get Nidalee low enough somehow you can all-in with your ult to take her out. Easier said than done though.

Nidalee's Bushwhacks deserve a brief mention as they do a lot more than they seem. Bushwhack is Nidalee's W skill and with it Nidalee can place traps on the ground that can be difficult to notice at times. If someone walks over one of these traps they're dealt damage over time and are revealed for 12 seconds. The often overlooked aspect of these traps is not only that they actually do decent damage, but they also reduce the targets armor and magic resist by a scaling percent on level, starting at 20%. This is pretty huge so just as a heads up you really need to be careful of Nidalee for a bit after springing one.

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Pantheon
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 4 (Pretty Difficult)


Pantheon is a melee AD bruiser who is chosen mid more commonly than top as he has a kit that excels at killing squishies. He has great auto-target harass from range, an instant auto-target gapcloser that stuns, and an ultimate that allows him to roam like Twisted Fate. The ability to lockdown Kennen and successfully trade with him makes this matchup a little difficult but not completely hopeless. This is one of those lanes where you try your best to farm and punishing over-aggression while trying to avoid being in range to get combo'd by your opponent. In this case, your bully is Pantheon.

Right from the start of the lane you'll have to be mindful of Pantheon's Spear Shot (his Q skill; auto-target spear throw) as it has 600 range and does good damage for a low mana cost. The cooldown always remains at 4 seconds as well, so it is very spammable whereas your early ranked abilities are not. Do what you can to salvage as much farm as possible in an attempt to gain levels and hopefully Pantheon will get over-aggressive, running past his minion line opening up a Shuriken hit. Once he has his full combo Pantheon can instantly jump to you if you get too close, stunning you, and unleash the rest of his combo to chunk your health. When he first jumps on you activate Rush to get a mark on him, followed by Surge and a Shuriken to deal damage back and make sure he won't keep on you.

Post-6 Pantheon will become roam-happy, so ward them jungle entrances as usual in lanes where your opponent roams. His ultimate allows for him to jump anywhere 5500 range from him, dealing damage in a large circle where he lands. If he gets the jump on one of your sidelanes (get it?) he'll usually have an easy time making quick work of them. It's your job to either follow if you believe the gank will last past your teammate(s) instantly dying or pushing down his tower while he's gone. Keep all this in mind and you should be prepared for this lane.

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Riven
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


Here we have another skill matchup, and so close to the last one at that! Riven is a resource-less, mobile, burst-y AD bruiser who has no form of damage besides physical. Her kit is really strong and she is a fantastic lane-bully, making her a fear of many toplane champions. Her core abilities require her to be close to her target though, so Kennen has a natural advantage in that aspect. However, Riven boasts a whopping FOUR gapclosers in the forms of Broken Wings (her Q skill; has 3 uses each dashing a bit dealing damage and the third one knocks up targets) and Valor (her E skill; an AD scaling shield that dashes). Luckily Broken Wings, which is 3 gapclosers itself, also work as a good majority of her damage, meaning the more you can avoid letting Riven get close the less damage you'll receive if she actually manages to reach you. If she doesn't reach you at all you'll take no damage and be able to harass her the entire way back to her minion line for free. Get boots and Seeker's Armguard to help you keep your distance while reducing some damage and follow it up with a Haunting Guise before you complete your Zhonya's Hourglass. This should make you tanky enough to survive if Riven catches you with all of her abilities and give you good damage output. Whoever plays better in this game of tag will come out ahead in the lane.

Right from the start of the lane you must be cautious of Riven getting close to you. I recommend starting Rush as if she catches you this early on, especially if she hits level 2 first, there is a good chance you may end up dead. Her passive (empowers auto attacks on ability use) combined with her Broken Wings make her level 1 a terror for most. If she manages to reach level 2 first she can rush at you with Broken Wings and follow up with Ki Burst (her W skill; AoE stun that damages around Riven) for some incredible burst and brief lockdown, which will most likely lead to your death this early. Always be mindful of the distance between the two of you and harass her when you deem it safe. Keep in mind what abilities of hers are on cooldown and how this will effect her charging you as judges for when you can take on an offensive. You have the advantage of being able to whittle her down from range while she has the advantage of being able to kill you on the spot if she catches you.

Once Riven gets her ultimate you need to be all the more careful. Her ultimate gives her a 15 second buff that grants her 20% bonus AD, extends the range on her auto attacks and abilities, and allows her to use Wind Slash once during it's duration. Wind Slash is an execution-style move, meaning it does more damage the lower the opponents health is. It also is a ranged skillshot that fires out in a cone, so regaining your distance won't matter if you're low on health with it up. If you ever see Riven's sword become whole it's time for you to peace out as I guarantee she isn't using it to just farm minions. If she manages to catch you with it active chances are you aren't going to make it out alive, so caution must always be exercised while it up. You can still take advantage of your range to poke her down, but you will now be punished harder if you allow her to reach you.

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Rumble
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Rumble is a resource-less melee AP caster that is known for his powerful damage output and teamfight-winning ultimate. He is pretty tough to deal with if he gets out of hand but Kennen has a good kit for making that avoidable while potentially putting him behind in the process. You will be trading a good amount in this lane, as his Flamespitter (his Q skill; flames emit from the mech, dealing damage in fron of Rumble) will hit you a bit when you try to throw on a Surge passive for the active but you should be coming out of these ahead and have a couple of potions to keep you healthy.

Start Surge at level 1 and try to whittle Rumble down right from the start. Chances are Rumble will have started with his Electro-Harpoon (his E skill; skillshot that slows on hit and has 2 uses) and he won't be able to hit you with it from behind his minion line. If he ever tries to maneuver around them to hit you with it just re-position yourself and start auto attacking him from safety. When Rumble gets a point in his Scrap Shield (his W skill; 2 second shield with 1 second movement speed boost) he'll try to use it to reduce some of the Surge damage. To work around this shield all you need to do is hit him with the Surge passive and wait for the 2 seconds the shield lasts before using the active to get full damage. Rumble should have his Flamespitter at least by level 3 and when he does you'll have to watch out for accidentally standing in range of its damage when harassing him as it does hurt. Remember two things about Flamesplitter, it only does damage in the direction Rumble is facing and you cannot stop it once it's active, so even if you stun him don't stand in front of him when it's on.

Post-6 is when Rumble gets his scary ultimate. The ult fires a line of missiles onto the floor, creating a burning zone that does damage over time and slowing enemies who attempt to move over it. You do NOT want to stand in this when it's fired as the damage it does really does add up to ridiculous amounts. It has an incredibly high range of 1700 so he doesn't exactly need to be near you to put you in the burning area. If Rumble ever fires his ult at you, prioritize leaving the area of effect above all else to minimize its effectiveness. If you ever all-in a Rumble make sure you move off of the zone and keep behind him when he's stunned and you'll have mitigated the damage on two of his big-damage abilities.

I feel as if though Rumble's Heat system is worth measuring. Where the mana bar normally would be lies Rumble's Heat gauge, which slowly rises with ability uses. If abilities aren't used for 4 seconds the gauge will begin to decrease in large margins each second. When the Heat gauge fills up halfway it'll become yellow and all of Rumble's abilities will gain a bonus as a result. The effects and damages of all his abilities besides his ult are increases by 25% when he is in this state. When the bar reaches full, however, it will turn red and Rumble overheats, silencing him for 6 seconds while his Heat gauge resets to zero. Take advantage of when Rumble players mismanage this and overheat to get in free damage or even all-in.

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Swain
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 4 (Pretty Difficult)


Swain is one of the more tanky ranged APs in this game who also is capable of doing a lot of AoE damage. In lane Swain is known for being able to bully melees with his auto-target harass and difficulty to approach once he has his ultimate. Though he's ranged, Kennen has a tough a time dealing with auto-target harass as it tends to make going for the Surge passive not worth it and it opens the option for the opponent to safely stand behind their minions while still being able to harass. His abilities don't have the longest range but can be setup with his Nevermove (his W skill; marks an area and after 1 second enemies on it are damaged and snared), which actually does have a good range of 900. Getting hit by Nevermove needs to be avoided at almost all costs, so watch for when Swain seems like he's about to place it. Go boots to help dodge this and Hextech Revolver to help keep up with him in sustain.

Like I just went over, this lane will be a lot harder if you don't dodge Nevermove. He should have it at level 2, so always be cautious and ready to move out of its area once it's placed. Your goal is to farm and dodge, and if he goes over the minion line to try to harass you, punish him with a Shuriken. Early on the damage from these will stack up and he won't have his sustain yet so the pressure should make him think twice from trying to stop you from farming. If you end up getting hit by Nevermove remember it's a snare, so you can still throw you abilities at him while you can't move and get out of there when the duration runs off. Chances are you won't win the trade if this happens but at least he won't have put free damage on to you. The mana cost on Nevermove is also pretty high at all levels so if you manage to dodge enough you can get him to run out of mana, but you need to zone him if this happens. Swain's passive gives him mana for killing enemy units, meaning he will gain mana for farming so keep him away from his minions if he ever manages to run out.

Post-6 Swain gets his signature move, which turns him into a giant bird. This transformation constantly deals damage to enemies near Swain while it's active, healing him for a portion of the damage. The longer he stays in this form the more mana it takes to keep it up, making Swain a little Blue reliant if he wants to use it for more than just all-ins. Getting near Swain becomes very difficult when he has his ultimate, but you shouldn't really be looking to get near him in the first place. If you ever decide to all-in for whatever reason make sure you have Ignite to half this guy's healing, as it'll be too difficult to kill him if you don't. Your goal remains to do your best to farm and punish him for over-extending, though he will now be able to heal up the damage from it a lot easier.

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Teemo
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 3 (Average)


As much as I like Teemo it's hard to find someone more annoying to go against in League. The guy is posesses fantastic kiting abilities, harass that comes from ability-enhanced auto attacks, free wards that do ridiculous damage if AP as an ult, and has a blind. This lane isn't all that difficult, but it's very damn annoying since Teemo's main damage comes from auto attacks, which are in his case basically auto-target abilities with an extremely low cooldown. Though it should be easy to all-in him due to his squishiness and lack of immediate escape, it really isn't due to his ability to control parts of the lane with his ultimate. Grab boots and a Hextech Revolver to keep yourself from getting poked down by this little ball of hatred.

Right from the start of the lane there is a chance Teemo chose to start with his Toxic Shot (his E skill; always active and applies a poisonous DoT to his auto attacks), meaning you should avoid trading auto attacks with him. Even if he starts with his Blinding Dart (his Q skill; auto-target damage and blind) it will do a good chunk of damage while also stopping your auto attacks from hitting him. Your job is to farm, and Teemo can't stop you without passing the minion line due to the short range on his auto attacks and abilities. If his squishy self runs by your minion line you can chunk him with a Shuriken and Surge, which should let him know not to do it again. You are much more useful in teamfights than he is so just farming is beneficial for you anyway.

Post-6 Teemo will get his ultimate, which allows for him to place invisible explosive mushrooms around the map. If you an enemy steps on one they explode, dealing AoE damage based on Teemo's AP, reveal for a bit and slow the champions hit. With these setup Teemo can block off parts of the lane unless you want to purposely step over them and eat the large amounts of damage they're capable of. They're also good for blocking jungler routes, making your jungler reluctant to gank your lane if against a Teemo. You must always be mindful of where these are placed as avoiding them is ideal for your health, mental and otherwise. Once he is level 6 try to avoid chasing him too far as he may be leading you through a minefield.

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Vladimir
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 4 (Pretty Difficult)


I'm pretty glad this guy dropped out of popularity. Vladimir is a resource-less champion who has sustain built into his kit, think about that for a second. It's a good thing this sustain happens to be on a long cooldown early on, but it will slowly become shorter and shorter the more ranks put into it. Due to this you have a timer to get a good advantage in lane, and once Vladimir hits level 7 it goes off. At level 7 Vladimir's Transfusion (his Q skill; auto-target damage that heals Vladimir for a portion of the damage) will be on a short 5.5 second cooldown, which will be lowered again to 4 in two levels. Transfusion at this point combined with a Hextech Revolver he'll be too hard to move out of lane unless you're far enough ahead to seriously be damaging him on harass. However, there remains one problem that makes this not so easy, and that's that Kennen has the same problem early on with high cooldowns and lows bases. This means you will have long intervals between good harass just like he has long intervals on his sustain. His passive is also very annoying, as it grants health for AP and AP for health, making him somewhat tanky by building offensive. Try your best to get an advantage early on or he'll have complete control of the lane.

Early on your going to have to play the role of the smart aggressor, taking advantage of cooldowns to harass in opportunities that allow for little retaliation. Surge passive and active are your best friends in this, as Vladimir will most likely hide behind his minions in an attempt to farm early on. Vladimir's base AD and attack range are both rather low, so try your best to trade an auto attacks when you can with him. Whenever he uses Transfusion to either farm or heal himself you need to take advantage of its long early cooldown to pressure him like mad. Your goal is to get to a point where he won't be able to get close enough to sustain with his Transfusion on minions, which means he also won't be close enough to farm them. Keep up pressure and hopefully you'll be able to extend the timer by a bit.

Post-6 you gain a lot more kill potential than Vlad does, but your about to the point where if you didn't get an advantage that he'll become the leader of the lane. You have a window to all-in, harassing him down with Surge first to about a point where he's at 70% health. When you finally feel the time is right Rush towards him and try to get his Sanguine Pool (his W skill; turns him into a pool, making him untargettable and draining health of those who stand on him) out first before you activate your ult so he doesn't sink under the majority of it while running. If you manage to catch him with it down it should be an easy kill. Be careful for him trying to panic burst with his ultimate, which increases the damage you take from all sources by 12% for 5 seconds and deals damage afterwards, as it could turn things pretty fast if you're not careful. Hopefully you'll have a good enough lead soon or else you can expect to switch over to farming instead of harassing.

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Wukong
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Wukong is a melee AD bruiser who has a teamfight that rivals even yours. His ultimate, Cyclone, has him start spinning, knocking up and damaging anyone around him. He can also be a lane bully like you, but he runs on the mana resource so he can't spam his abilities if you continuously trade with him. He has an immediate gapcloser in the form of his Nimbus Strike (his E skill; auto-target dash to a champion dealing AoE damage) so if you go into a harass with Surge chances are it won't be free. You should max Surge first though, as his Decoy (his W skill; stealth's Wukong and creates non-moving clone that deals damage after 1.5 seconds) can be used to block Thundering Shuriken when you try retaliating. Both of you have chances for aggression this lane and chances are you'll both be punished for farming somewhat. Abuse the fact that you're an Energy champion and force trades to cause Wukong to go out of mana, giving you free reign until it regenerates.

Both of you are capable of harming each other at the beginning of the lane, but if he jumps on you you should be able to come out ahead. Simply back up until he backs off and pelt him with auto attacks to put yourself ahead in the trade. Like all other champions with only one immediate gapcloser you have free reign as Kennen to harass him as you please while it's on cooldown. Wukong has no sticking power pre-6 past his initial gapcloser as well, so you can use the melee-peel combo of Rush to Surge and Shuriken to re-distance yourself if he jumps to you. Not much to this lane at this point really, you'll be trading a good amount in an attempt to have Wukong run out of mana and healing with your potions in between them.

Post-6 Wukong gets his teamfight winning ultimate, which will also further serve to increase his all-in potential in lane. You need to be more mindful of your health when trading with him at this point as he'll have a bit more sticking power if he decides to all-in with Cyclone. Though you also gain more kill potential with your ult, so not much changes other than the fact that both laners need to be more mindful of their health in between trades.

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Zed
Starting items:
Skill order: >
Usual first back:
Difficulty: 2 (Pretty Easy)


Here lies one of the biggest lore-related enemies to the triumvirate, Zed. Zed is a melee AD assassin who runs off of the Energy system. He excels in destroying a squishy on the opposing team among the chaos brought in teamfights, though whether or not he gets out is on the skill of the other players. In lane he has Energy issues if he tries to overuse his moves, and it's easy to take advantage of this as Kennen. Your only real concern pre-6 is him poking you with his Razor Shuriken (his Q skill; skillshot damage in a line), and even then if he spams it he'll run out of Energy. Max Surge and be ready to try to get lane dominance.

You have a big advantage from the start of the lane and you should use it to pressure Zed as much as you can. Harass with Surge passive to active as much as you can and eventually Zed will have to start trying to farm from range with his Razor Shuriken, causing him to miss a lot of it while also running out of Energy. Later on when he gets the other two abilities you should always watch for the positioning of his Living Shadow (his W skill; sends out a shadow that mirrors his abilities; 2nd use switches places with it) as he can use it to further the range of abilities or gapclose. It also functions as his escape though, so if he gapcloses to you with it be sure to punish him for it. You shouldn't have much trouble dealing with Zed at this point.

Post-6 is when Zed becomes scary, or in Kennen's case, when he's supposed to become scary. Zed's ultimate is an instant auto-target gapcloser that marks the target for 4 seconds. When the 4 seconds are up, it will deal damage based on how much the target took from Zed during its duration along with 100% of his total AD. As Kennen you can ensure this does minimal damage with ease. The second Zed ults you, simply stun him by Rushing followed by a Surge or Shuriken and gain your distance again. If the situation is really dire you can just Rush and ult to get away, but regardless you aren't allowing Zed to do the damage necessary to get the most out of his ultimate.

Early Game

Mid Lane

Choose your starting items and prepare yourself for your matchup. Early game in midlane consists of farming up to at least get the levels for your abilities while harassing as the opportunity arises. Keep at least one side of the river warded and lean towards it if you plan to be aggressive, just make sure you don't miss those last hits. This way if the enemy jungler pops up on the side your on, you'll see it ahead of time and if he appears out of the unwarded side you'll have vision of a safe escape route. Try your best to get to level 6 as that's when your kill potential really opens up on most matchups, so focus on that above all else. Help your jungler if they're being bullied in their jungle, as early on this happens quite commonly. Other than that, there isn't really much special about early game midlane on Kennen.


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Top Lane

This lane is a lot more action-packed from the get-go most of the time for Kennen. Chances are you'll be up against a melee, so play as aggressive as you safely can in between last hits. Ward the river in the middle of the tri-brush and river brush if you're on blue side, or down in front of Baron pit if you're on purple. Try to keep the opponent from going in the upper brushes in the lane, or you won't be able to auto them if they constantly go out and back in between their last hits. If it becomes too much of an issue, ward it so you can be sure that they can't hide from your barrage of harass. The ward in the brush can also help you see the enemy jungler in the case of a lane gank.




Always be sure to ward your lane at the start of the game. You don't want one gank to ruin your entire laning phase and, trust me, it does happen!

Mid Game

Mid Lane

This is where midlane starts to get serious. Midgame midlane is where you should try to start making plays happen around the map. Dragon opens up as a big early objective and you should try to think of ways in which you can secure it for your team. You can roam to bottomlane, catch their jungler, or kill your mid opponent to open it up if your team is healthy enough. I would advice against roaming top at this point in the game unless you plan to take the tower or else the enemy could retaliate for you showing by taking dragon for themselves, which will be worthwhile for them even with a kill if you don't get the tower.

Keep in mind ranks of your ult when you force fights around the map. With only 1 rank in it, Maelstrom will only be able to put out 6 bolts onto enemies, and they're applied randomly to champions within it. Without being able to stun your targets this early on you really need to be careful about what you jump into. You also most likely won't be that tanky shortly after getting your ult, so you really do need to choose your fights wisely.

It is also important to keep mind of your jungler's location. It is also important for midlaners to help their junglers if they're in sticky situations or warn them if your lane disappears. If you and your jungler help each other out you'll gain a good amount of control over the map as you both are the roles with the most impact on the map. You can also follow them if they decide to gank, which will increase chances of success and the money pool your team receives from the kills you may get as a result of more assists.

Always keep in the map in mid when it comes to midgame as Kennen and really think about roaming once you hit level 11. With 2 ranks in your ult you'll be able to fight in larger groups with more success and you should also have at least one core item to help you lead them in the direction you want. Remember, winning your lane isn't always enough to win the game. You have to be in the middle of the result of your other lanes, so it's best to not only reduce the threat of your own opponent but all of them in order to maximize success.


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Top Lane

This lane is the most isolated, so unlike mid roaming won't be as much of a consideration. Dragon becomes very sought after since everyone should be strong enough to take it at this point, so you can roam down for that if you're confident in your tower not being lost over it. What I like to do when playing toplane as Kennen is push go for the opposing top tower and keep up pressure in an attempt to force others to come top. If you plan to do this you need to ward the river AND an entering point to the opposing jungle so you can see if an opponent is heading your way ahead of time so you can back up. Keep up pressure and you'll either get the 2nd tier top tower or force attention to your lane, both of which are beneficial to your team. However, this tends to only work if you are ahead or in control of your lane opponent.

If you manage to take your tower early and don't feel confident in your ability to keep up pressure, push your lane out a bit and head towards mid to tag-team with them to take down mid tower. Once your lane starts pushing to your tower head back up, push it back, and head back down to mid again. This'll keep up force attention to midlane or net you a free mid tower if you keep up the process.

If your tower gets taken out early it means that their toplaner will have the options I mentioned above. If they're keeping up pressure and you can't deal with them yourself you're going to have to call up help even though it may cost you a dragon or jungler pressure in other lanes. Unfortunately, that's one of the consequences of losing your lane. If they instead rotate to mid, you need to push top as fast as you can to force them back up. Try not to freeze and freely leave your opponent to hurt your other lanes as that won't be good for the team at all. Toplane Kennen isn't very good at dealing with being on the losing end of these outcomes but is really good at being on the winning one. How your lane plays out is imperative for not only you but your team.




Just because it's no longer early game doesn't mean you should forget about wards! Try to buy at least one on every trip back to the base!

Lategame/Teamfighting

At this point in the game what lane you were doesn't really matter as it's the time where your team starts coordinating to take objectives as a group. Though Dragon is still nice, Baron opens up as the new primary-monster objective with its capability to turn games or make a lead even larger. As a strong teamfighter you need to make sure you stick with your team as much as possible to make the best use of your strengths. Both teams should be looking to get a good engage or catch an opponent out of position to make use of the long respawn timers at this point in the game to push down towers and objectives.

In terms of pushing, Kennen is a relatively snowball-y sieger and defender. If you're ahead you can manage to get close to auto attack towers and Rush over minions followed by Surge when defending them. If you're behind it becomes difficult to do either of these. People won't be scared to stop you from autoing their tower if you aren't a large threat, and people definitely won't let you Surge over their minions for free if you try to while defending. Always be mindful of how strong you are during pushes from either team during lategame.


TEAMFIGHTS

It goes without saying that teamfights are important, and as Kennen you should be making sure you play them out correctly. You need to identify threats to your team and take them out in accordance to priority. You also shouldn't be initiating unless you have no one else who can, instead letting your more tanky teammates go in first so you don't eat everyone's initial burst. You should be playing one of two roles in a teamfight depending on situation, and this should be decided usually before the fight breaks out. You need to always be mindful of cooldowns when these break out, especially Exhaust and Cleanse.

More commonly you'll find your teamfight role to revolve around being a carry-killer, trying your best to rush the opposing sides squishy damage dealers in order to wipe them out of the fight before they can get off their damage. This is usually really easy to do with Flash, but becomes more complicated when it's on cooldown. When Flash is up you should look for an opening once the abilities that can hinder your ult are on cooldown and attempt to Flash onto your target with Rush active, for the mark and damage, and activate your Maelstrom. If you manage to do this and hit with Surge they'll be stunned the second you reach them, making landing a Shuriken easy readying them to be stunned again. Most targets should not be able to survive this chain of events if all goes well. However, without Flash you'll have to try to Rush yourself into range to get targets locked into your ultimate, which means you're going to have to run through the opposing frontline. Make sure the enemy doesn't have any knockbacks or CC to stop you from reaching your target when you do this as you'll lose your biggest opportunity and will be left out in the open with no Lightning Rush.

The other role you can take on in fights is the peeler, which should only be done if you're really behind and your squishy damage dealers are big. Basically in this role you hug your sqhishies and chain-stun anyone who dares to get near them, setting up your damage dealer to kill them while lowering them yourself in the process. This will really help against the opposing rushers and leave the opposing squishies open if you kill them fast enough. Remember, this should only really be done if you're behind so don't be afraid to jump in front of your carry to take skillshots and whatnot if you think it'll save them at this point.

Always be mindful of how you use your Zhonya's Hourglass if you have one, regardless of which role you take. Jumping in and instantly using the Zhonya's active isn't usually the best idea, as it allows for the opposition to split up or run out of it while you can't move. Instead you should use the active when you start getting targeted, saving you from eating what could be lots of damage. It's ultimately up to you to use it when you see fit, but I'm just saying think twice about instantly using Zhonya's once a teamfight breaks out and instead consider using it for other purposes.

Though you should attempt to get your ult's damage off on as many people as possible do NOT constantly switch targets in an attempt to do so. There's not really much point in damaging and stunning someone just to have them regain safe distance because you're looking to do the same to someone else. Switch targets after your primary one is finished or completely removed from the fight to get the best out of your ultimate.

Tips and Tricks

Constant Marks; Very Important for Laning!
As you most likely know by now, Kennen's mark system works on a system that allows him to setup stuns in a combo-esque fashion. Due to the fact that your Surge can only hit enemies already marked with your passive, you need to usually go out of your way to get a first mark to setup a stun. However, if you take advantage of each downtime on an opponent while stunned you can apply another first mark to start another rotation. This means you actually need to be mindful of your cooldowns however, as you shouldn't be spamming your abilities just because they're up. Try to time your stuns in a situation that sets up a hit with a Shuriken or Surge passive to keep marks going, allowing for a long chain of harass that'll require the enemy to back up to end. Let's say you stun someone with Surge, you should then, while they're stunned, position yourself to hit them with a Shuriken, which would be simple since the opponent can't move. This will give you 8 seconds to get up your Surge passive, which should then be used to reset the mark time and add another. Follow it up with Surge which should be off cooldown by now and throw another Shuriken while they're stunned. Starting to see the chain? This will also refund 40 Energy on each stun, allowing for the combo to constantly be used over and over until the the marks run off by whatever means. As of Patch 3.9 this is more important than ever.



A Couple of Stun Setups
Melee-peel combo: Rush an enemy that is in melee range followed by a Surge active and a Shuriken to stun them in place while Rush is still active to regain your distance. If they had a mark on them beforehand you can just Rush and Surge to auto-hit the opponent with a Shuriken while they're stunned and you're running.

All-in setup: Try to get two marks on the enemy beforehand, however you please to do so. Get your Surge passive up, wait for your cooldowns to refresh and approach the enemy with Rush, Surging them on the way to stun them. Activate your ult, throw a Shuriken at them and pass through them with Rush to stun them again where they stand. Deactivate Rush, throw the passive and let your ult strike them twice more to stun them a third time on the spot. If this is executed well you will have pretty much maximized your burst on a single target and stunned them 3 times in a row. This feels amazing to pull of correctly.

There is much more you can do, but these are two of the setups you should be using commonly. Have fun finding out more for different situations as you learn him!



Roaming as Kennen
I thought I'd add this little tidbit after watching a friend of mine attempt to roam as Kennen. When roaming you can use Rush to help you reach the lane that you plan to gank, but MAKE SURE YOU HAVE IT UP WHEN YOU GET THERE. Most enemies aren't going to let you just walk up to them and burst them down, you're going to need a way to close the gap. Even when you have Flash up, use it to land on top of them with Rush to maximize your damage and lockdown. Regardless of where you're going ask where wards are located, avoiding wasting your time if they don't know or if everything is warded. I recommend going bottom lane over toplane a majority of the time as when you go toplane there is only one target, and he tends to be harder to pick off since toplanes tend to build more tanky. You can also lose dragon as their will be four opponents near it whereas you'll be away from it up top. Down bottom lane there are two squishy targets that open up dragon potential if picked off. You should generally prioritize them, and chances are the opposing mid will do the same.

Always be mindful of where the opposing mid is at when you roam, by the way, as they can counter-gank, potentially turning the situation around in the opponents favor. You can also arrange to have your jungler head down to join in, but so can the opponent. Watching the map is key when you plan to roam as you may end up fighting a 3v3 or even a 3v4.



Farming Under Tower
Kennen is a champion that has trouble against early pressure as his pushing ability early on in the game is pretty pathetic. To compensate for this, I thought it might be important to add this, even if some of it applies to champions besides Kennen. When under tower you have 3 types of minions to worry about early on, Fighters (melee), Casters (ranged), and Siege (cannon-riders). Each has a different way of successfully being last-hit under tower.

Fighter minions - From full health let them take two tower shots before auto-attacking them and this should snag you the last hit. If they already have taken a bit of damage try your best to get them to near half before the first tower shot and hit them one more time afterwards for the last hit.

Caster minions - From full health these need to be auto attacked twice along with one tower shot to successfully pick up. Generally you'll auto attack them once, have the tower hit them, and auto attack again to get them. However, on Kennen what I usually do is use Lightning Rush over the full-health Caster minions and cancel it immediately after I've hit them all. This leaves them at a point where only one auto attack is needed to finish them after a tower shot. If they have about 80% health or less when they reach the tower it'll take them out in one shot, so try to get those ones before they're targeted by the tower.

Siege minions - The cannon-riding minions usually don't have as much of a pattern to them due to the amount of turret hits they can take. You must make sure you get them though, as they are worth the most gold and give most experience for being near. Watch their health drop between tower shots while keeping in mind that towers do more damage per hit and go for the last hit when they can't take another tower shot. You can attack them a bit beforehand to speed up the process so your tower doesn't take as much damage.



Safely Rushing to WaveClear
When in lane there are times that come up when you want to Rush and Surge the wave to clear it but don't quite know it's safe. What I commonly do when the opponent is missing walk up to the back of the minion wave and Rush back towards safety, so that if the enemy were to have been waiting for you to burn it you'll already be using it as an escape instead of having it be down midway through the wave.

Changelog

January 17, 2014
~Started on the revisions for Season 4. Until I update this changelog saying that this is complete, take the matchup section with a grain of salt. Most everything else is up to date though.


August 25, 2013
~Changed the 21/9/0 mastery page in accordance to a suggestion. (Thanks, bynak)
-Updated the description for said mastery page.


July 28, 2013
~Fixed some errors with the update I made yesterday.


July 27, 2013
~2,000,000 views milestone, amazing.
~Many starting items have been changed.
~Elixir of Brilliance start has been removed.


July 10, 2013
~BIG PATCH DAY! KENNEN NERFED!
-Mark of the Storm passive only lasts for 6 seconds as opposed to 8.
-Kennen's base AD reduced to 50.5 from 54.6.
~Added in two matchups, Xin Zhao and Udyr as requested.
~Changed sections associated with the Mark of the Storm.
~LeBlanc has been changed to "OUTDATED" until I have expirience against her after the patch.
~Added in the fact that I only play on NA and not EU.


July 2, 2013
~1,250,000 views, I'm speechless. Thanks so much to everyone who has viewed.
~Added the AD quints rune page in the "Runes" section.
~Added in Zac and Lissandra to the "Matchups" section.
~Added additional information to the Doran's Blade start under "Item Builds".
~Updated several builds in the "Matchups" section.
~Fixed some spelling errors throughout the guide.


May 30, 2013
~600,000 views, absolutely amazing
~Added in Cloth Armor, 2 potions, 1 ward on more matchups
~Added my thoughts on Doran's Blade start into that "Item Builds" chapter
~Fixed some spelling errors
~Zac top and Lissandra matchups have been requested but I need more matchup experience before I put them in.

May 15, 2013
~Added "Safely Rushing to WaveClear" to the "Tips and Tricks" section.
~Changed a few matchups starting items in the "Matchups" section.
~Only 1 ward and pink in the potion route, as opposed to 2.
~Added the Lightning Rush option to the "Skill Order" section.

April 30, 2013
~Brought my general build up to date
~Fixed some spelling errors with yesterday's update

April 29, 2013
~250,000 views, I'm glad so many have at least glanced at this.
~Changed starting items for Patch 3.6 (5 potions max in inventory and Fort pot is 350 instead of 250)
~Updated masteries to include Summoner's Wrath
~I hope everyone's as excited for ARAM queue as I am!

April 11, 2013
~100,000 views, thanks a ton to the viewers!
~Added "Farming Under Tower" to the Tips and Tricks chapter
~Added Spirit of the Spectral Wraith to item choices
~Preparing for the nerf to both of Kennen's main starting options

April 2, 2013-
~Guides featured!
~Re-added my old mastery page and why I used it
~Fixed some grammatical errors

April 1, 2013-
~Guide released!
~Updated runes and masteries (should've done before releasing)

Final Comments

Hopefully after reading this guide you'll have a better understanding of Kennen as a champion and what he is capable of. His combo-esque playstyle really does make him a fun champion and don't let anyone tell you he isn't viable or good, as he is still strong despite lack of play. Take time to learn this champion and I guarantee you'll be amazed at what you're capable of doing on Summoner's Rift. Good luck!


Feel free to comment or contact me if you have any problems with the guide, would like to see an unlisted matchup, or have any questions. I spend a lot of time spectating and wouldn't mind watching a game or two of yours if you feel as if though you can use the pointers. Due to an influx of friend requests as of recent I'm having trouble separating those with questions from those who randomly want to add me. Send me a PM on this site and I'll be sure to add you if you want to send a request. Also, to resolve some confusions ahead of time, the lPATCH from EU and I aren't the same. I only play on NA.
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