KENNEN BUILD GUIDE: I am the wind! Korean Inspired "Hybrid" Kennen Guide (Ragan Style) by Dunking

by Dunking (last updated over a year ago)

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Greater Seal of Armor( +12.69 armor)
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist( +12.06 magic resist)
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage( +6.75 attack damage)
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration(8.1 Armor Penetration and 5.58 Magic Penetration)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
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mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
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mastery 2 mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
30 Offense
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0 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Mark of the Storm
QThundering Shuriken
WElectrical Surge
ELightning Rush
RSlicing Maelstrom
View Skill Order Details



mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/4
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mastery 3 mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
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mastery 2 mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
30 Offense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
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mastery 1 mastery 1 0/3
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0 Utility

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Mark of the Storm
QThundering Shuriken
WElectrical Surge
ELightning Rush
RSlicing Maelstrom

Champion Matchups


Hello SoloMid community, I am Dunking and this is my guide to "Hybrid" Kennen. This build originated in Korea and was played heavily by the top laner of Xenics Storm, Ragan. It has been picking up some popularity in the NA scene, with players like Sycho Sid and Pr0lly running it in the LCS. This is not a "troll" build, try it for yourself and see! It focuses heavily on early game aggression and lane domination and later on you become a CC monster and initiation machine that can melt the enemy team.

Kennen is an energy-based champion who excels at the early laning phase with his powerful harass and zoning potentials. He provides a massive amount of AOE crowd control so he transitions well into the late game while still dealing a large amount of damage. Traditionally Kennen is played as an AP bruiser and in some cases an AD carry, but this build allows you to be flexible with your items and role based on the feel of the game.

This guide is focused on the top lane where you can bully out melee champions, but it can also be run mid.

In the olden days many Kennen players built a doran's blade or two on Kennen, think of this as the same thing, but with a bilgewater cutlass instead of the doran's blades. It's the same idea. Early W harass to win lane then transition into your typical AP build.

Why does this work? Starting out with an AD build will allow you to have a powerful laning presence with your auto attack harass, and from there you can choose to build like a typical AP Kennen or you can continue building AD to counter the enemy team's resists or to 1v1 better. You can be a powerful lane bully and build AD for strong split pushing and bullying against teams that have good wave clear and a stronger team fight than you, or you can build AP and melt enemy teams with your AOE damage.

Personally I hated Kennen as a champion when I first played him months ago, I thought he was weak and boring, not fitting my style at all. But with this build I found that Kennen was a very powerful early game force and people often underestimate the damage and CC that you put out, leading to many early first bloods.

-Extreme early game power and lane dominance, especially against melee's and squishies.
-Large amounts of CC to lock down the enemy
-High AOE damage and zoning power
-Strong poke and harass in sieges
-Good intiation/follow up intiation
-Decent escape
-Strong kiting/chasing power
-You can lean towards AD or AP, depending on how the enemy team builds against you.

-Squishy early game, if you get caught you will almost certainly die.
- You need to get close to the enemy team so you need to itemize to do so.
- Weak to heavy gap closing all ins who can stop you during E.
-Weak to displacement (Gragas ult, janna ult, Lee sin Ult, etc)

When to Pick Kennen and when to use this build?
Kennen is very powerful against melee top laners, especially if they lack gap closers. His powerful auto attacks and ranged harass can be used to bully them out of lane and he has one of the most powerful escapes in the game with his E on a relatively short cooldown as well as stuns from his passive in case they do manage to get onto you.

Kennen, and this build in particular, is also powerful against champions with weak early game fighting potential. You will be able bully most champions that are strong against a typical AP kennen, such as Yorick, Vladimir, and Jayce.

If you get counter picked by someone with strong gap close and burst potential consider going with a traditional 21/9/0 build and go straight AP instead.

Why does building AD work on Kennen? Isn't he an AP carry?
Kennen has some of the highest AS and AD in the game, even more than most AD carries, and definitely more than his fellow mages. Kennen actually likes auto attacking a lot because of his W's passive. Every 5th auto attack will deal additional magic damage that scales off of your AD. Building AD on Kennen allows you to play a powerful harass game.

For a comparison with a few popular AD carries:

Attack damage 51.3 (+3.3)
Attack speed 0.690 (+3.4%)

Attack damage 50 (+3.25)
Attack speed 0.658 (+3.1%)

Attack damage 51 (+3.1)
Attack speed 0.625 (+2.9%)

Attack damage 47 (+3)
Attack speed 0.625 (+2.8%)

Attack damage 47 (+3)
Attack speed 0.668 (+3.0%)

Attack damage 46 (+3)
Attack speed .658 (+2.65%)

Attack damage 49 (+3)
Attack speed .679 (+3.38%)

Obviously the thing Kennen is lacking when compared to most AD carries is a steroid, but Kennen deals a large amount of magic damage alongside hard CC, so abusing these high stats early game while making them meaningful later on will allow you to be powerful throughout the game. With this build you can choose to abuse Kennen's powerful laning phase as an AD and then transition into late game as a powerful AP carry, or go for a more AD/AS oriented build for split pushing.



Why run 30/0/0? This build allows you to have the maximum amount of early game damage through auto attack harass while still transitioning to late game with your AP damage. You could take two points out of the first level masteries and get improved flash and one other mastery, but I usually just take the full 30 in offence.

When running 30 in offense you gain a lot of early game strength through 3 AD, 5 Armor pen, 8% armor pen, and a small amount of scaling AD. You only sacrifice a small amount of early game durability in exchange for this (6 HP level, 30 flat hp, 3.5-5 resist). The scaling HP is nice in the long run but this build focuses on winning the early and midgame and snowballing. The 30 points in the offense tree are more powerful in lane when auto attack harassing the enemy.

People will not expect how much damage you put out early, use this to your advantage. Often times you will be able to cheese the enemy for first blood in the first 3 levels. Just be careful as you are pretty squishy with these masteries, if you get caught or jumped on it could be your death.

Against most match ups Kennen can easily harass the enemy without putting himself in danger of counter attack, so defense tree is not essential. If you are new to Kennen or against a difficult match up you may consider adding 9 points to the defense tree and focusing your 21 into AP masteries instead of AD.

Individual Mastery Explanations:

Tier 1
Summoner's Wrath- Improved Ignite will give you an extra 5 AD and AP. Not the most, but you do use both of these stats and it's only a point.

Fury: Bonus attack speed, not a whole lot but it helps. Feel free to switch these points around between Sorcery and Butcher, it's personal preference. (these points don't have a large impact regardless)

Sorcery: 1 CDR per point, not a large difference.

Butcher: If you need help CSing, but I don't recommend it.

Tier 2
Deadliness- Scaling AD isn't the greatest since you probably won't be auto attacking much in the late game, but you need this to unlock Weapon Expertise and it's better than anything else you could add to (tier 1 masteries).

Blast- Scaling AP will increase your damage late game and you need it to unlock Arcane Knowledge.

Tier 3
Weapon Expertise- 1 Point for 8% Armor Pen, a good increase to your auto attack harass.

Arcane Knowledge- 1 Point for 8% Spell Pen, a good increase to your early and late game damage.

Tier 4
Brute Force- The bonus flat AD is very powerful in the early game for harassing.

Mental Force- The Flat AP helps your early game damage a little, you could swap these points out for havoc but I don't recommend it as a 2% boost isn't very great.

Spellsword- Kennen is one of the few character's that gets a meaningful benefit out of spellsword. 1 Point will give a good boost to your auto attacks.

Tier 5
Sunder- The extra armor pen will make your auto attack harass that much stronger.

Archmage- Bonus % AP is a nice increase in late game damage.

Tier 6
Executioner: One point in a mastery that will help you secure kills on low enemies. Some people claim that this mastery is over rated but every bit could help you secure a kill, and if you're this deep in the true you should grab it regardless.

Why go full offense tree?

Every point taken in the offense tree has a large impact on Kennen's damage throughout the game.
With Kennen if you step out of position or get caught by the enemy early game you are likely to die regardless of the minor amount of HP and resists that the defense tree would offer to you, and late game you will have zhonya's and other items to make up for your innate squishiness. You must play to accommodate for this build's strength's and weaknesses. That means abusing your early game power in lane through harass and knowing when to disengage from a fight.

The utility tree doesn't have much to offer Kennen, Improved Flash is the only mastery worth it.
Many Kennen players like to go for the 3% life steal and spell vamp mastery but this requires investing points into many mediocre masteries such as Wanderer, and with the aggressive style of this build you do not need to look to outsustain your opponent.

Got Counterpicked?


If you get countered and feel like you won't be able to play aggressively or your auto attack harass won't stick you should adapt your masteries to focus on surviving the laning phase and just try to scale to late game like a typical AP Kennen. Skip the early AD and go straight for AP items so you will be useful in fights. Go 21/9/0, focusing on AP masteries in the offense tree and health/resists in the defense tree, for a slight increase in survivability since you won't be able to auto attack bully the enemy in lane anyways. Switch Hardiness and Resistance as needed based on the match up.



Flat AD Quints to help with your early game auto attack harass and additional damage on your W's passive. These will allow you to bully your enemy in lane more than AP Quints would and allow you to take even more advantage of Kennen's powerful auto attacks. (Recommended)

Flat AP Quints are for match ups where you feel you won't be able to safely auto harass and want to focus more on poking with Q. You can also take these against match ups where you expect the enemy to stack armor.

Spellvamp Quints are something that a lot of Kennen players like to use for additional sustain. I would only recommend these in farm lanes so you don't get pushed out and forced to back. Personally I would rather go AD against farm lanes since they are weak early, but if you don't think you will be able to get an early lead and want to play it safe take these. Spellvamp quints scale well into late game due to their multiplicative nature.

Lifesteal Quints are viable if you are planning to go for an AD heavy build from the beginning. They will provide a large amount of sustain in combination with a doran's blade and scale well into late game due to their multiplicative nature.

Hybrid Penetration Marks will give you maximum efficiency, since you use both auto attacks and spells. Hybrid penetration will greatly increase your laning power and early game damage, while only making you miss out on a mere 2 spell pen late game. If you don't own these I recommend AD marks in easy match ups and Spell Pen Marks in harder match ups. (Recommended)

Spell Penetration Marks are for difficult match ups where you plan to skip out on the AD and play for late game. Spell Pen marks are the best in slot for casters and will help you deal more damage early game with your spells.

Flat AD marks are okay if you don't have hybrid pen and want to dominate your lane early. Your auto attacks will be stronger compared to if you had hybrid marks but your magic damage won't be as high.

Flat armor seals are very helpful against AD top laners, even against AP champions they are good against creep damage and auto harass. These will help you survive in lane and be able to trade in case the enemy laner manages to close the gap with you. (Recommended)

Scaling Health seals are good against AP tops or passive farm lanes where you won't need the armor. You'll be harder to burst down in mid-late game team fights when you run in to ult.

Flat MR against AP tops or take scaling MR if you're against an AD. I personally like to mix my flat and scaling MR runes. This will round out your defenses and help you transition to a late game AP Bruiser like most Kennens. (Recommended)

Scaling AP blues are usable for late game damage if you feel like there isn't a magic damage threat on the enemy team, but usually you'll want some kind of defense since you're getting none in your masteries. When deciding to take these remember that many AD champions also have access to magic damage. (Lee Sin Tempest, Mundo Cleavers/W, Jayce's Melee E, etc)

Summoner Spells

Ignite will give you maximum early game power. This build is heavily centered on winning the early game and snowballing, and ignite gives you that bit of extra damage you need to finish off targets and secure kills. Good use of ignite is important, try to get comfortable with your champion's damage so you'll know whether or not ignite is needed to secure a kill. Igniting too early and having the enemy survive or wasting ignite on a target that's already dead is a waste. The healing debuff is also good against a number of top laners and is very useful if you plan on killing them. (Vlad, Yorick, Akali, Trynd, Rengar, etc)

Flash is just a great spell all around, it can be used to escape, chase, dodge spells, and initiate. I prefer flash over ghost on Kennen because he already has a move speed steroid on his E and the versatility of a blink is too much to give up. Being able to jump walls or dodge spells will allow you to make plays and escapes that you otherwise wouldn't be able to. Don't be afraid to use your flash aggressively if it'll get you a kill, but make sure your target is worth it.

(Example, lets say you flash forward to kill their 0/6 Soraka, this is not worth it. You gain very little gold, lose a major cooldown, and may or may not get caught/lose the next team fight due to your lack of flash)


These spells are fine against lanes you don't think you'll be able to bully.

Exhaust allows you to dive in with your E-R and shut down an enemy carry or peel for your own, better in late game than ignite (Unless there's someone on the enemy team that you need healing reduction for). I would recommend taking this against lanes like Irelia, Jax, or Riven if your team needs additional peel or if your support went for heal or ignite.

Barrier allows you to stand in the middle of everyone with your ult and live longer (Not really needed once you get zhonya's), but barrier allows for a safer laning phase and is good for baiting and repelling tower dives. Barrier is also stronger in duels than ignite if you time it properly and get maximum use of the shield. Remember that Barrier only lasts 2 seconds so if you try to save yourself from ignite/other DoTs with it you'll only block a few ticks. (Ignite lasts 5 seconds)

Teleport will allow you to split push or have an easier time against difficult lanes where you expect to back early. Teleport can be used against especially easy lanes where you don't need ignite as you will be able to dominate your opponent, push, and force a 4v5/free turrets. This build excels in 1v1s as long as you can position properly and don't get caught, so split pushing is a viable option.

You can also use teleport to gank bottom lane during the lane phase, but make sure your lane is pushed to the enemy tower or you get your jungler to cover top while you are gone. Usually you shouldn't teleport gank until level 6 so you can have your ultimate for easier stuns, but if you see a good opportunity go for it. Also ask your bottom lane where the enemies have wards so you don't teleport bottom and get spotted, that's a waste of a large cooldown and you will miss out on a lot of exp and CS.


Passive: Mark of the Storm
Kennen's abilities add Marks of the Storm to opponents. Upon receiving 3 Marks of Storm, an opponent is stunned and Kennen receives 25 energy.

Marks of storm last 8 seconds on the target.


Kennen's passive is very powerful and makes him a CC machine and early game bully. Your marks last for quite a long time (8 whole seconds!) so you can space out your spells and zone your opponent by threatening to land a stun. If you can stun your opponent at level 2 It's almost a guaranteed first blood. If your opponent stays out of range for you to activate your W then you are effectively zoning your enemy out of CS, win-win. Remember that when the enemy hits 3 marks all previous marks will disappear, so use your W before it hits 3.

Q: Thundering Shuriken
Throws a shuriken that damages the first enemy it hits for 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 (+75% of ability power) magic damage and adds a Mark of the Storm.

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


A nice AP poke spell with high range and travel speed, unfortunately it can be blocked by creeps though. Good for poking in lane or before a fight and for applying your passive marks. Since Kennen is an energy champion don't be afraid to spam your harass. Just make sure you have enough energy for lightning rush so things don't get messy.

-This spell has a wide number of uses outside of just poking the enemy. You can use it to check brushes more safely, CS from afar, and CS under tower.

-If possible I like to start my stun combos with this spell since it is the least reliable. (Your other abilities are not skill shots, so as long as you're in range you will be able to mark them with those)


W: Electrical Surge
Passive: Every 5 attacks, Kennen deals magic damage equal to 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80% of his attack damage and adds a Mark of the Storm to his target.

Active: Surges electricity through all nearby targets afflicted by Mark of the Storm, dealing 65 / 95 / 125 / 155 / 185 (+55% of ability power) magic damage and adding another mark.

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


The skill that allows you to dominate lane. Try to save your W auto-proc for the enemy laner, you can do this by last hitting with Q and zoning the enemy while your W proc is available. If they get hit by it you can try to land Q on them and activate your W for the stun. If your enemy just stays back when your W is up you could try to be more sneaky with it. For example, when you are at 4 charges auto attack a creep, walk up, then auto attack again before the enemy gets time to back away.

-In teamfights try to W early when you use your ulti, as targets may reach 3 marks and get stunned, making you unable to W you them after the marks disappear.


E: Lightning Rush

Kennen moves very fast and gains the ability to pass through units, dealing 85 / 125 / 165 / 205 / 245 (+60% of ability power) magic damage and adding a Mark of the Storm to any hostile unit he passes through.

Kennen is refunded 40 energy if he passes through an enemy while using this spell, but can only gain this effect once. Lightning Rush deals half damage to minions.

Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 Seconds
Cost 100 / 95 / 90 / 85 / 80 energy
Armor and Magic Resist Bonus 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50


A pretty decent escape spell as long as you don't get CC'd during it. It gives you a flat 230 move speed that doesn't decay, so you should be hard to catch as long as you use the ability well. Effective use of this skill will make or break the lane for you. Late game this gives a pretty high amount of resists, allowing you to dive the enemy team a little more safely. Good in combination with W to clear waves. (Early on you might have to auto attack the back line minions once and front line 1-2 times before using your E-W)

-This spell allows you to ignore unit collision, use this to your advantage when making escapes.
-This is a great escape tool but hard CC, especially targeted kinds, are very effective at stopping it. Be careful.
-This skill can help you chase enemies as well as initiate with your ultimate more easily.
-Sometimes you may choose to initiate with Rylai's slows/Twin shadows/Flash followed by your ultimate then utilize your E for the damage instead of using it as a gap closer, this is riskier and should mainly be done if your team is ahead and you are confident that you will win the fight.


R: 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


The spell that makes Kennen a devastating team fighter. You will be able to mark the entire enemy team and stun them with your E/W and just crush their health bars. Zhonya's and Rylai's are very good with this ultimate as they allow you to stand in the middle of the enemy team and survive.

Alternatively you can use this spell as a powerful peel for your carry and yourself, especially if you went for the Blade of the Ruined King path, stay back and us this ult to protect yourself while auto attacking.

-This ability has the same range as your auto attacks so anyone in range of your autos will also be in range of the AOE.
-Try to take note of who your ultimate hits so you know who will be marked for your W. You'll want to W before the enemies reach 3 marks but you'll also want to wait for a sufficient number of champions to be marked so you can deal as much AOE as possible.


Skill Order

Max W first for auto harass, bullying, and wave clear when combined with E.
Max Q next for more poke and damage.
Max E last.
Add points into R whenever possible.

Preferably you'll go WQE from level 1-3 for maximum kill potential at 2 but usually you'll want to take E if you know the enemy jungler will be top early.

In some match ups you may want to max Q first, mostly in difficult match ups and farm match ups. Q is great for last hitting under tower and CSing safely from afar, just be aware that your wave clear will suffer if you do this.

Why not max Q first all the time? Because it gets blocked by creeps and it'll be hard to pressure good enemies with it. This doesn't mean it's a bad spell, it just means it isn't as effective as W for bullying. Usually you won't be able to land a Q until you get 1-2 marks on the enemy and you're chasing past their minions.

Item Builds

Start Rejuv bead + 5 pots + ward against lanes where you want more sustain, such as more challenging AP tops like Elise and Swain. This is the safest start you can have so you can also use it against strong early game junglers if you are expecting to be ganked. You won't be able to play as aggressively if you play with this start.

Start Cloth armor +5 pots (or 3 pots and a ward, but I don't recommend this) against strong early game AD champions that you cannot bully. (Such as Jarvan, Zed, Pantheon etc) It will help you make a fast Seeker's Armguard and give you a safe early game. You should be able to farm safely with this start against most AD tops and trade decently.

You can start Doran's blade if you are against a match up that you can easily bully and the enemy team has a weak jungler. If you start Doran's just go double doran's blade instead of buying bilgewater cutlass. This is best against melee's with no gap closer or weak gap closers and when the enemy jungler is someone with low early game presence/no hard CC (Such as Warwick, Skarner, Eve, Hecarim etc)

Elixir of Fortitude + 3 pots isn't as good of a start as it used to be but it is still viable. You can use this against easy lanes that you can snowball like Doran's blade, but where you are looking for more sustain in case you get chunked low early by a bad trade or a jungle gank.

This item can be bought in place of the usual double doran's blades that many Kennen players tend to lean towards. The active is very powerful in securing early game kills and the AD/Lifesteal are great for harassing and sustaining in lane. Typically you leave it here and transition into your AP build. If the enemy laner builds armor to defend against this, that's great for you! If they don't buy armor you may choose to go for berserker's greaves and Blade of the Ruined King to dominate your lane more.

Haunting Guise is a great early-mid game item for snowballing and it also makes you more durable. Upgrades into Liandry's later which will help you deal more damage to tanks. With a Rylai's and your stuns you can deal full damage easily.

What? Why would you want this item?
Simple, this item provides Kennen with all the stats he could want. Move speed for kiting, MR for survivability when diving the enemy team, and AP for damage. The active is great for catching people mid-late game and for securing kills early game. It builds out of a GP10 and is very cheap to complete and provides your team with a good long range initiate, great for roaming and catching enemies.

Most games I want sorceror's shoes but berserker's greaves can be good for pushing and 1v1 bullying, and tank boots are needed against certain comps. (heavy CC, all AD, etc)

After the core go for these items:

More slows and general survivability, your Q applies the full slow from Rylai's. Your W, E, and R apply a reduced slow because they are AOE. This item is good for kiting/helping your team mates kite.

Melt the enemy team! The most AP you'll get on a single item. Usually you'll want Rylai's or Zhonya's before this so you don't melt yourself. If the enemy has a high amount of MR (Bulwark + negatron cloak on the carries) then get Void Staff before your Death Cap.

Great synergy with your ultimate, just make sure your ultimate is actually up before you Zhonya's. If you are behind you might want to rush this. Proper use of Zhonya's can make or break a team fight. If you initiate you don't always have to spam Zhonya's. If you're not in danger then you can save it for later. Remember that you become invulnerable during zhonya's which means it'll cancel targetted spells that are heading at you and it can save you from predictable bursts as well.

Used to be core on Kennen but after the nerfs to revolver and shift towards an aggressive meta it isn't as good. Still nice for double AP comps and against teams that can't burst you. I recommend getting a revolver in farm lanes where you won't be able to play aggressively and this is what you will want to turn that revolver into.

Typical end game against MR stacking, if the enemy team has a high amount of MR you might need this before your Death Cap. (For instance, if the enemy team has a bulwark and your priority targets also have a negatron cloak item)

Good for and against double AP comps. It will increase your survivability and damage greatly and synergizes well with haunting guise and sorcerer's boots against low MR targets.

Good against HP stacking and your plethora of slows and stuns will allow it to deal max damage with the DoT. If you want this you can get the haunting guise early for snowballing power and save the upgrade for last since liandry's won't do a lot of damage until late game. When poking you can space out your Q and W to let the DoT tick longer before reapplying.

If you feel that you can dominate your opponent 1v1, split push, they're stacking hp, or just want the active to peel for yourself feel free to complete this item at any point. Just remember that if you go for this item you will be squishier than if you went for a rylais or a zhonya's, play accordingly. Stay in the back and auto while throwing out spells and use your ulti as a peel, not an initiate. For more on Blade of the Ruined King read the section further down as well as the intro.

If you feel that you do enough damage and you're needed to win fights consider buying this item. This item is kind of awkward on Kennen though because usually you'll want to run into the enemy team with your ultimate and Zhonya's. This means that you will either be safe in the fight, or you will die and be trapped inside the enemy team. When you resurrect you will die nearly instantly unless your team can get the enemy off of you.

If you are having a lot of trouble with physical damage and autoattackers consider this item. It is very powerful in the current meta against items such as Blade of the Ruined King and the CC from the active will help you lock down the enemy team even more.

Remember, always buy a ward or two when you go back, unless you know you are entirely safe from the enemy jungler and need a large upgrade. Having a ward can not only prevent ganks, but secure kills. I like to keep a spare ward in my inventory if possible to ward brushes that enemies are trying to escape from. Having a ward in the lane brushes can also prevent lane ganks and allow you to harass when enemies try to hide.

If you have left over money after buying sightward and an upgrade buy a few potions. Additional sustain is never a bad thing and it can win you the lane. Even if you lose a trade you can come out ahead if you have more sustain than the enemy. In certain lanes you might want to consider prioritizing pots over an upgrade. For example, if you can go back for the first time with only 400 gold instead of buying a long sword buy a ward, health potions, and maybe a fortitude elixir.

Buy these before important team fights if you have nothing else to do with your money, the bonus stats could win you the fight, and the game.

Why is Blade of the Ruined King the only recommended AD item? Isn't this a hybrid guide?

Blade of the Ruined King is a very powerful standalone item due to its active and on-hit effect that scales with enemy health as well as the attack speed it offers. It allows you to put your W's passive to meaningful use in team fights and do something while your spells are down.

When to upgrade to Blade of the Ruined King from Cutlass?

Usually you'll just keep the cutlass and sell it later but there are some times you'll want to rush Blade of the Ruined King

1. You want to split push
2. Enemy laner is stacking MR early
3. Enemy laner is stacking HP
4. Your team needs more AD damage

If you don't want to rush Blade of the Ruined King but still want to pick it up usually you'll want to wait to get at least one defensive item before upgrading. (Example: Cutlass -> Twin Shadows -> Rylais/Hourglass -> Finish Blade of the Ruined King)

If you feel that you can safely auto attack the enemy team from the back then feel free to skip the defensive item, but play according to how you build. (Don't initiate with your ultimate if you build squishy, save it to peel)

What about X Hybrid item?

I would not recommend going deep and building items like these, there are simply better options. Blade of the Ruined King is the best stand alone item and getting multiple pure damage items like these will leave you squishy and vulnerable.

Building this item will leave you weak and defenseless in lane, and you only get sustain once you get knocked below half health.

Not a bad choice, but expensive. You're better off with Blade of the Ruined King. If you really need spellvamp Will of the Ancients is a better idea.

This item forces you to spend a lot of money on mana that you don't use. As much as this build enjoys slows and kiting this isn't the item for Kennen.

This item is made out of a lot of weak parts that don't do much in lane and the combine cost is rather large, so it'll lower your laning presence significantly if you try to build this. It also offers no sustain or defensive stats.

This item has been picking up a lot of popularity lately. It's received a few nerfs though and frankly it isn't worth it on Kennen. Your autoattacks on their own don't do enough for raw attack speed to be good. The AD, lifesteal, and onhit, in addition to the attack speed on Blade of the Ruined King make it worth while.

Even after the latest buff which added on hit magic damage to Nashor's Tooth I don't feel like it is worthwhile on Kennen. It offers no sustain or survivability and the build path is pretty bad. With Kennen you want to win lane, and it is hard to do so with just a fiendish codex and a bunch of attack speed. The other options let you spike earlier and snowball a lead.

Tons of damage! This item offers way too many stats that Kennen doesn't need and is very expensive. Leave this item for Phreak.

When to Buy Boots?

As many of you may or may not have noticed, boots have become less prominent in season 3, both as a starting item and as an upgrade in general. Ever since 25 move speed was put onto characters' base stats and removed from boots they have died as a starting item. They simply don't offer any combat stats and other starts allow for more sustain in lane via health pots. Sometimes you'll see players go 20 minutes into the game without buying boots, and sometimes supports don't buy boots at all.

So when should I get my basic boots?

Basic boots offer very little in the laning phase, and usually you are better off buying combat stats to help you survive or snowball the lane. For example, if you went back and bought boots and the enemy top laner came back with a fortitude elixir, long sword, doran's blade, amplifying tome, or a cloth armor alongside several potions you would be in a bad spot. (Yes I know some of these upgrades cost more than boots, but the point stands. If you don't have enough money for the item you want that doesn't mean buy a subpar item instead.)

I wouldn't buy boots in lane unless I really needed them to stick to a target/kite better or the jungler was constantly camping top.

If the enemy top laner has a gap closer and can safely jump on you buying boots will help you trade damage back as they chaase/disengage. You shouldn't need boots if the enemy is just walking up to you at normal speed though, even if they have boots. You should be able to stun them or lightning rush them away to stay safe.

I would wait to finish at least the bilgewater cutlass before considering boots, and even after that if I am fed I'll just skip boots and buy Twin Shadows since that offers only a little less movespeed.

If you take the enemy's tower or if they take yours and you want to start roaming around the map then you will need boots, but not when you're just 1v1ing the enemy in lane.

When should I get tier 2 boots then?

You can buy early merc treads if you really need the tenacity, or you can wait to see the feel of the game. If you know you're going to be dueling and splitpushing you can get berserker's grieves. If you know you'll be a team fight presence then buy sorcerer's shoes. Buy Ninja tabi if the team has like 3-4 auto attackers.

I like to finish two or three items before upgrading my boots because even though the upgrade is somewhat cheap, it puts a delay on an important item that you will need to survive fights, such as Rylai's or Zhonya's.

When should I enchant my boots?

Boot enchantments are generally not worth it until you are running out of upgrades. For example, let's say you have 5 full items, and a Blasting Wand you plan on turning into a death cap. You can't save up the money needed for the large upgrade but you need something for the next team fight, upgrade your boots.

If you are losing the game or need to back without giving up too much baron pressure buy homeguard boots.

Buy Furor boots if you went Blade of the Ruined King and are in a commanding lead, this will make you able to kite and stick to targets.

If you are the main initiator for your team and you need flash to catch the enemy this will help you greatly. It's okay for split pushing as well.

If you are the team's initiator and your team is low on mobility consider getting this so they can follow up better.

I don't recommend these on Kennen but general permanent move speed can be useful.


Match Up Difficulties on a Scale of 1-10.

General Matchup Info

Generally Kennen excels against melee champions who have a hard time sticking to him or locking him down. Kennen also excels against champions with a weak early game or heavy resource consumption.

Kennen is weak against high burst/CC champions or champions with multiple gap closers.

The thing to remember about Kennen is even if you fall behind due to jungle ganks or bad trades you can still come back in the lane (Depending on the match up.) If you get off some smart pokes you will be able to shut down the enemy laner and catch up.

Individual Top Lane Match Ups (A-Z)

Akali- You will beat her pre-6, just don't stand in her shroud and let her proc Q's on you for free. Try to deny her as much as possible to keep her behind. If she gets ahead early she will snowball hard. Once the lane hits 6 it's iffy. If she jumps on you use your ulti and you should be able to win as long as you don't get outplayed by her shroud. Try to keep a pink ward on you at all times to avoid this.

Easy lane 4/10, just watch out for her roams and hope your team doesn't feed her.

Cho'Gath You should win early, as he can only use his passive if he can actually get near creeps. If you zone him hard enough he will not be able to sustain. If he knows you're going AD and he picks up cloth-5 this may be a little harder, but you will outscale him. Be wary of ruptures, as a good QWR ignite will almost definately kill you or force you out of lane. Depending on how the first few levels go you might want to max Q first in this lane. If Cho builds early armor then go AP and punish him, if he builds MR finish Blade of the Ruined King as it will be very effective against his feast stacks which give him a large amount of health.

~6/10 depending on the early game and how he builds.

Darius- Darius is weak against ranged harass champions such as kennen. Just pressure him early as he has no sustain. If he hooks you E away as he has no way to stop you during it. As long as you play safe and don't get caught by his burst you should win the lane, if you DO get caught use your ulti and try to turn the fight around, you probably won't be able to survive and it isn't worth it to burn flash only to die to bleed + ignite damage. Buy an early giant's belt if you want to survive the lane more easily, true damage is countered by HP and you won't really need armor for his Q because you'll be able to out trade it.

3/10 Easy Lane

Diana- She is a weak early game melee mage who is reliant on her ultimate. You will dominate her early game and should be able to beat her post 6 as well, much like the akali match up. Try to juke the Q's by running to the side instead of backwards. If she tries to jump you just ulti her, be careful of letting her shield refresh as that is one of the ways you will lose a trade. Keep harassing her and you will be able to run her OOM as she will most likely have to shield your harass and CS with Q.

Judgement: 4/10 Easy Lane.

Elise- You both do very similar things, this matchup hinges on your ability to dodge cocoons. If she manages to get her full QEWREQ off you will be in trouble. Her spiderlings can block your Q, which is a large annoyance, so you will mostly be relying on your W to proc stuns. Once you hit 6 you can ult her if she rappels onto you, just disengage and kite her, making sure to dodge cocoon. I recommend building sustain and trying to run Elise out of mana or forcing her to farm under turret.

Judgement: 6-7/10 skill match up.

Fiora- Annoying match up, she has a double gap closer, insane amounts of damage, invulnerability ultimate to cancel your ultimate, and an auto attack block for your harass. You should probably just go straight AP in this match up, consider maxing Q if you get zoned. Match up gets much easier once you get zhonya's because it cancels her ultimate. Consider buying ninja tabi and hextech revolver and just try to survive this lane, you outscale her.

7/10 difficult match up.

Galio- Annoying champion to play against, almost definately going to be a farm lane, whether you go AD or AP. If there is any chance for you to kill him at all its at level 2-3. After that you will want to pick up sustain and farm it up, try to dodge his Q's so he can't force you out of lane and don't hit him if he activates his W, you'll only be giving him free health. If you suspect that galio wants to all in you with his ulti or during team fights, activate your ulti so that he will get stunned, this will cancel out his ultimate. (You will still take damage, but not as much. It will also cancel the taunt and could win you a team fight)

5/10 Even match up, farm it up.

Gangplank- You should win this match up, as everytime GP tries to Parley you, you can hit him back much harder. Make sure you don't get baited into All-inning when he has orange up, as he will just shrug off your stun and walk away while you burn your summoners and cooldowns. Once you hit 9 you should be able to double stun him with your ulti and multiple W's. You outscale GP by a landslide, if GP doesn't win early then he is going to be pretty useless later on. Just remember not to fight him inside of his ultimate, it does unexpectedly high damage if multiple cannons hit you.

3/10 Easy Match up

Garen- Garen is weak against ranged harass, easy lane for you. If he runs at you with his Q use your E to run away and keep up the harass. If you get caught with a Q it could be the death of you though, so be careful when your E is down unless you know you can stun him when he runs at you. Try not to let him abuse his passive by keeping up the harass and don't face check the brush and you will be fine in this lane. If Garen can't win early game and push down towers he won't be doing much later on. Try to wait for his W to go on cooldown before you all in him, it has a very long cooldown (30 seconds at rank 1)

2/10 Easy Match up

Irelia- Skill dependent match up. Make sure you watch your creeps to make sure she can't refresh her Q and jump onto you from there. She will definitely win trades and all ins, so it's your job to stay safe and poke at her. She scales very well into the late game and can shrug off your stuns. You should try to beat her levels 1-3 where her sustain and damage is still low.

Consider buying an early giants belt rather than twin shadows to help against her true damage. Randuin's Omen is a good late game defensive option against her to deal with her attack speed.

6/10 skill match up, I'd favor Irelia in most cases.

Jarvan IV- You can zone Jarvan easily in the early levels, E away if he EQ combos you, if he ults you use your own ulti and try to kite him as much as you can. Watch out for his burst damage, especially if he builds AD caster. If you try to all in him try to do it while his flagtoss is down, or he will be able to easily disengage, or even turn around on you and burst you. Consider buying early defenses to survive his all-in because if you're too squishy he'll be able to force your flash every time he ults.

3/10 Easy lane Early
8/10 Hard lane later, especially if he builds damage.

Jax- Jax has an auto attack dodge, a gap closer, and a stun to stop your E. Not a fun lane for kennen to be in. Early on you should be able to out trade his combo with your harass, but at 6 he will be able to all in you. You should be able to disengage with your ultimate and your E but make sure you don't stick around too long since most Jax's max Q against ranged champions for lowered cooldown on the gap closer. If possible set it up so you can stun him once he jumps on you with his E so that you can run away before he stuns you.

Jax scales well into the late game and has his own AOE stun and absurd damage, be careful and try not to feed him/let him splitpush his way to victory. When Jax hits 6 remember that every third attack will deal additional magic damage, so if you see him attack creeps twice back up because he'll probably want to jump on you with the third hit.

3/10 Pre-6
6/10 Post-6

Jayce- Jayce is very similar to kennen, autoattack and poke champion with disengage. Kennen's early damage should be stronger. If you see him miss his E-Q combo that is a good time to go in. Be careful of letting him Hammer form E you away when you ult him. If he melee forms you post-6 just ult him and kite him around. His burst is much higher than yours but you should win a sustained fight. Note that if you flash his Melee Q you can avoid both the damage and the slow.

5/10 Even lane

Katarina- Similar to the Diana match up. You should win early and be able to zone her and force her to CS with Q. If she ever tries to fight you post 6 just use your ulti and decimate her. If she shunpos onto you kite her and auto attack her for free until she backs all the way off. You should be able to out trade her and outpoke her at all stages at the game as long as you are ready to cancel her ultimate.
Your only concern should be if she tries to shove and roam, but she has to stand next to minions to clear them out with W. Get free damage on her if she starts shoving the lane so that roaming will be riskier and shove back.

2/10 Easy lane.

Kayle- Her autoattacks will hurt more than yours and her slow is a major pain. You will not be able to out-trade her early. She will most likely be pushing the lane so just let the wave hit your tower and farm with Q. When the wave isn't at your tower land as much Q-W harass as you can. You will outscale her and be better in teamfights. Kayle's ulti is great for protecting a single target from burst damage but with Kennen you will be AOEing her entire team and you can save your spells for after Intervention wears off.

8/10 Difficult match up, try to make it to late game.

Kha'zix- You should beat him early, just dont let him get close. If he E's to jump in back off and attack from max range, when he is walking back to behind his creeps chase him for a bit and keep dealing free damage. Post 6 he will mostly be looking to clear the wave and back off with his spikes, in lane and in team fights if he ever jumps in simply ult him and lock him down.

2/10 Easy lane

Lee Sin- Lee should lose to you early as long as you don't get hit by all of his Q's. Stand behind minions and auto harass if him if he goes in for CS. Later on his sustain, shields, and slipperiness with W will be annoying, so it will be tough to kill him or poke him in lane. Just farm and outscale him, be careful not to let him kick you out in team fights, consider using zhonya's before he can kick you.

5/10 Even/Farm Lane

Malphite- Tanky top laner with an attack speed slow. Consider skipping the bilgewater and going AP and poking him down. Don't leave him alone for too long or he will get his passive back up. If he has to back off completely and miss CS to activate his passive that is great for you. Be careful of jungle ganks post 6 as his ulti combined with the jungler's CC will be able to catch you out.

4/10 Even/Farm Lane

Mordekaiser- Not many people still play Morde top but if they do just bully him early. Later on he will push nonstop, call for a jungle gank and with your stuns he should go down easily. Consider skipping the bilgewater in this lane if you are the one being pressured. When Morde is pushing it will be difficult to auto harass him through his shield. He shouldn't ever be able to kill you due to his lack of CC and melee Q/W abilities.

5/10 Even/Farm lane

Nasus- Easy lane, try to keep him down and deny him as he will turn into a monster late game. Wither can be annoying, so consider going straight AP. Your auto harass will still be a pain if you go AD and will force out withers that will run him out of mana, but you won't be able to finish him off most of the time. If you want to stay AD then consider rushing Blade of the Ruined King depending on his items. (If he's buying health and MR get BoTRK, if he's buying glacial shroud etc buy AP) With your poke you should be able to deny him and force him out of lane quite easily, just don't let him free farm since he does have quite a lot of life steal. If Nasus maxes E first for the wave clear just try to keep the wave pushed to his tower and force him to go OOM so that he can't scale his Q up. Beware of Wither in conjunction with jungle ganks and do not use your E while withered.

2/10 Easy Lane

Nidalee- Not many people still play Nidalee top but if they do-
AD: You should win early game hard, all in her. Later on it becomes a farm lane and she will out-sustain you. React to her build and get whatever she is not building resists for.

AP: Should be an easy match up, dodge spears and chain slow/stun her so she can't pounce away. She should die quickly.

In either case wait on your ignite before trying to all in because you could get baited by her heal. Don't force trades with her because she will outsustain you with her E, unless she builds no mana item and you know you can run her OOM while being able to sustain yourself.

AD- 6/10 try not to give her free towers
AP 3/10 Easy lane if you all in properly

Nunu- He snowballs you, consumes, and laughs. Try to build some sustain and poke him down until he is oom. Don't let him freely auto attack minions for his passive and you will be able to force him out of lane. Ward up because if you get hit with a snowball and the enemy jungler is nearby you are in big trouble. Watch out for cheesy strategies where he tries to solo/duo baron at 15 minutes.

5/10 Annoying lane

Olaf- Should be an extremely easy match up as long as you don't get chain slowed by axes. Kite, juke, harass, win lane. He will need ghost + his own ulti if he wants to have any hope of killing you, and in addition to that he will have to land all of his axes. Consider going Blade of the Ruined King against him and skipping out on the twin shadows or saving it for later. The move speed active and health drain could save your life from a ghost Olaf, but remember that you won't gain any move speed if Olaf's ultimate is on. (The active steals move speed and while he cannot be disabled he isn't slowed, therefore you gain nothing)

2/10 Easy Lane

Pantheon- He will out burst you and outpoke you. Try to get ahead levels 1-2 before he gets his full spell rotation up. His passive is very annoying in trades since it can block your autos and he can W to stop you during your E. Consider skipping bilgewater and try to poke him down with Q. Ward up so he can't freely jump midlane and try to get as much farm as you can, Pantheon falls off in the late game.

7/10 difficult lane

Poppy- You should be able to harass her easily, just don't let her stun you against a wall. Don't allow her to have short trades where she just EQ's you, keep attacking her from a distance until she backs all the way off. Poppy excels at short trades so just keep it going as much as you can without overextending and back off before her cooldowns refresh. Poppy has mana problems so if she tries to keep trading with you she will eventually go OOM. Poppy has very poor pushing power and isn't the best at farming under tower so just apply pressure and harass her under tower if possible. Don't try to kill her without ignite, Poppy passive baits are strong.

Chain slow items will be very effective at locking her down and preventing her from all-inning you with her ult. Poppy will win the trade if she all in's you so watch out for her tower dives. Try to kite around the tower as much as you can and when her ult expires stun her under it if she decides to stay around. If you don't think you will be able to kill her in this way just lightning rush away and stun her to disengage and hope she brought flash instead of ghost so she won't be able to catch up.

4/10 Easy Lane

Renekton- Renekton has a double dash, a stun, and is ridiculously tanky while being able to chunk your HP bar. Not a fun lane to be in. His Q sustain makes it hard to auto harass him since he can just jump on you. Consider skipping bilgewater and try to chunk him with magic damage since most renektons will get a hexdrinker at most for MR then go for items like Randuins and Sunfire Cape. Farm up as much as you can, Renekton is a pure tank you and you will provide much more damage and utility for your team.

8/10 Hard Lane

Rengar- Don't face check the bushes and the lane will be easy. Poke him down, make him take damage every time he tries to build ferocity stacks. His Bola Harass can actually be a huge pain but don't be afraid of it, just trade the damage back, you will win the trade. If Rengar jumps on you don't panic, just disengage and once you're at a safe distance auto attack to trade the damage back, you should come out ahead. Twin shadows can reveal him if you catch him before he stealths. Wards in the brush can be handy and allow you to harass more.

Get an early cloth armor if you're afraid of his burst damage.

2/10 Easy Lane

Riven- Poke her, E away if she tries to engage on you. Riven will need to burn her shield and Q charges to close the gap, greatly reducing her damage and trade potential. She will have to flash W your E if she wants any hope of being able to kill you. Even if she does you can just trade flash or chain stun her to force a disengage. As long as you play well there is no reason you should lose this lane. Just remember that even though Kennen has a large advantage in this match up Riven does have the potential to burst you down if you get out of position and let her combo you.

2/10 Easy Lane

Rumble- You should try to play aggressive and bully him levels 1-3. After that avoid getting caught by harpoons and taking flamespitter damage, rumble will out trade you. If you see him overheat try to kite him and don't let him auto attack you as it does a large amount of damage. Rumble is a powerful laner once he gets his spell rotation available so play safe and poke when you see good opportunities, but don't play too aggressively as he will be able to force you out of lane easily. If an engage does happen don't fight inside of his equalizer, you will melt.

6/10, winnable if you beat him early levels, otherwise difficult.

Shen- Harass him and be careful of taunts. Do not underestimate his damage potential, his Ki Strike and Q damage is actually high if he can get it off. If he tries to poke you with Q instead of going in with taunt make sure you poke him back and don't let him hit you for the regen. If you get taunted back away from minion aggro before reengaging. Counter build his resists and try to keep him under his turret to make sure he can't ult for free, if he leaves you should be able to deny him a large amount of CS and potentially take the turret. If he does ult you can most likely cancel it with your stun.

3/10 Easy lane (don't get taunted under his turret and hope your team plays around his ult)

Singed- Harass him, and if he tries to run at you for a fling kite him. If he ghosts or ults at you just E away and stun him. Simple match up. Singed outpushes you but only if you let him, zone him. If he tries to farm behind your tower just clear his wave with EW and don't let him draw too much pressure. If the jungler does decide to come help you it shouldn't be too hard to catch him with his tenacity nerf and your many slow items. I reccomend not sending 3 people to kill singed unless you have a sure kill as his team will probably take dragon or bot/mid turret when you chase Singed.

2/10 Easy Lane/Farm Lane

Swain- Tough lane, you have to win early. Once he hits 6 he will be able to outsustain your harass and slow you followed by a snare to stop your E. He will be unkillable no matter how you build, but you will do a lot more in team fights, just try to keep up in farm. If he is 6 and your jungler wants to gank him make sure you have ignite or he could just bait you and win 1v2 depending on how much damage output your jungler has. One option to survive this lane is to push up to his tower and force him to CS instead of bullying you, but remember to ward accordingly.

7/10 Difficult match up

Teemo- Teemo's constant auto harass hurts more than yours but your spells and burst are more effective than his. If you land a stun on him he should die, just be careful of his blind. Don't get baited into shrooms and the lane should be easy. Make sure you let your jungler know where his mushrooms are if you want a gank.

4/10 Easy Lane.

Tryndamere- Auto harass him and kite him if he E's in. Don't let him gain free fury on the creeps and let him heal, apply constant pressure. If he ults try to keep him stunned and slowed in place so that you can finish him off once it ends. If possible try to land your ignite on Tryndamere just before his ultimate ends. This will lower the heal from his Q and finish him off as his ult ends. Don't try towerdiving him, just force him out of lane and take any towers that you can, as he will probably become a split pushing nuisance later. If you want to roam make sure you push your lane out, as giving Tryndamere any towers will be a large problem later in the game.

3/10 Easy Lane

Udyr- You will be able to harass and kite him with ease early on, but once he gets a good number of points in turtle stance it'll simply become a farm lane. Get as much poke off as you can and run him out of mana since turtle no longer restores mana on-hit. Try to win the lane early on and get free turret damage whenever you can, as he has no way to stop you.

4/10 Easy/Farm lane

Urgot is very weak when you are at your strongest, levels 1-3. You should be able to bully him and deny him. Once Urgot gets to around level 5 his harass will be very powerful, try to dodge his E so he can't lock his Q's onto you. If he misses his E go aggressive on him. Post 6 he may try to catch you and all in you with his ulti, but as long as you have your E up and he doesn't cancel it with his ulti you should be okay. Depending on whether he rushes damage or tankiness it may be a farm lane. Urgot will almost definately win an all in if he lands his E, so be careful.

6/10, win early and try to snowball, Dodge his E otherwise his Q's will chunk you out of lane.

Vi is should be easy to deal with pre-6. If she Q's at you just disengage and poke her down while she runs back to her side of the lane. Once she hits 6 beware of her gap closing and burst potential, especially in conjunction with jungle ganks. Consider building a little defense so she can't instantly burst you once she hits 6. If you survive her initial burst you should be able to stun lock her with your own ulti, as she will have no escapes left. Remember that she can't be disabled when she ults, save your marks for after she finishes using it.

3/10 Pre-6
7/10 Post 6 Skill match up, you can win if you avoid getting caught and poke her down before she initiates.

Vladimir- Many people think Vladimir is a tough lane for kennen, but with this build it is easy to force vlad out of lane early or get first blood. Levels 1-5 you will destroy him and his Q sustain won't be enough due to the long cooldown. If Vlad starts 9 pots just try to all in him and force him to play passive or kill him. Later on the match up will be harder but if you got an early lead you should be able to keep it. If you plan to kill him post 7 you probably will want to wait for your ignite and all-in him. Trading is not something you want to do against Vlad.

2/10 levels 1-6
7/10 levels 7+

Wukong- Harass Wukong and E away if he E's you, if he is greedy he will probably try to auto attack you before using his Q to maximize his damage, but you will be able to get out of range. If he tries to cyclone then ulti and move away from him. You can easily tell when he decoys because it won't have any of your passive marks on it. Beware of his burst potential, especially if he builds for damage. (Brutalizer, BT, etc) Wukong has no sustain in his kit and if he builds life steal then you will be able to trade with him easily, take advantage of this..

3/10 Easy Match Up Bruiser Wukong
6/10 Skill Match Up AD Caster Wukong

Xin Zhao- Xin Zhao has a gap closer and can easily slow you and knock you up, dealing immense damage. He will probably have to use his first 1-2 Q strikes on minions if he wants to knock you up during your E though. Once his E is down try to kite him and trade the damage back, otherwise he will flat out win the lane for free. Unfortunately Xin has a fair bit of sustain from his W so this is difficult as well. Try to do your best and survive the lane, you should be able to outscale him as long as you are able to peel him off of your ADC in team fights. Difficult match up, consider early ninja tabi/armguard.

8/10 Hard lane

Yorick- Yorick harasses and sustains hard, you will have to kill him levels 1-3 if you want to get an edge in the lane. His ghouls can block your Q, which is a pain. You will outscale him greatly so just keep your farm up and try to sustain. If you do plan on all inning him make sure you have your ignite to reduce his healing and be careful of his ulti, as he may be able to force a 1 for 1 trade after you kill him.

When laning against Yorick make sure to utilize the brush. Walking into a bush will deaggro his ghouls unless he has vision of the bush. (He can ward the bush or spam W to keep ghoul aggro on you, but this will force him to spend more money or burn his mana pool faster, so it doesn't hurt to try using the bushes)

6/10 Annoying/Farm Lane

Zac- Zac can't really do anything to you early on in lane. Just poke him down and make him drink all of his health pots, you probably won't be able to kill him because of his passive and sustain. This is mostly a farm lane although his all in's can be scary if you don't see him coming at you with his E/Ultimate. Try to stun him before he ults because he gains a large amount of tenacity while bouncing.

Either go full Blade of the Ruined King or skip the cutlass in this lane, the cutlass alone won't be enough to poke him down.

Remember to step on his blobs or zone him away from them to keep his sustain down if you can. It'll make a large difference in the long run.

Ward well, Zac is very powerful in conjunction with jungle ganks due to his CC, initiation range, and damage.

5/10 farm lane, you win pre-6

Zed- You will beat him early but once he hits 6 he can burst you like nothing. If Zed uses his living shadow to poke you, back off as he will be able to E twice while it is up. Once Zed's shadow is down play aggressive as it has a long cooldown (Around 20 seconds depending on whether or not he double E'd you). If Zed tries to all in you Ult and stun him with your spells and disengage with E, then hope you survive his burst. His Ult is on a lower cooldown than your own, so play passive when your ult is down. Consider rushing zhonya's to cancel his ult's damage. He will push the lane nonstop and poke at you under tower, consider maxing Q to farm more easily under tower.

2/10 Easy pre-6
7/10 Hard Post-6
1/10 Laugh once you buy zhonya's

General Counters and Synergies

This section is dedicated towards champions that counter Kennen in team fights rather than in lane. For lane match ups refer to the above chapter. Consider these champions and take note of the enemy team's picks and your own team's picks when you're thinking about picking Kennen.

Team Fight Counters

In team fights Kennen is weak against enemy champions with strong displacement effects/disengage,
counter initiate, and anti AOE kits (AOE shields, damage reductions, etc).

These champions don't necessarily make you useless or bad in fights, they just make your job more difficult. Getting Zhonya's Hourglass will help a little against the displacement and counter initiate champions. Navigate your way into the enemy team and ultimate followed by an instant Zhonya's before you can get knocked out of the fight. If the enemy team has a high amount of MR auras such as Soraka, Bulwark consider getting a voidstaff before your death cap.

Team Composition Synergies

Although Kennen is a good initiator it is best when he is the follow up to your team's main tank. Kennen enjoys being on team's with powerful AOE damage and crowd control and in the right comps your team will be able to destroy the entire enemy team before they get a chance to fight back.

Champions who are able to let Kennen initiate safely are also great to have with you:

Early Game

Harassing in Lane
When using auto attack harass in top lane it is best to stay to the top side of the lane. This way you can walk in and out of the lane brush to get rid of minion aggro every time you auto attack the enemy. The ideal time to auto attack the enemy is when they are CSing. If the enemy is melee and you do this, you just did damage to them for free! If the enemy is ranged and they are CSing, their auto attack will be on cooldown so you will have the upper hand if they try to trade back with you.

Your enemy might try to hide in the lane brush and only come out for CS to counter your auto attacks. What you can do in this situation is throw your Q into the brush, and if it hits the enemy W them for harass. Try to keep control of the brushes, but never face check them, especially against high burst champions or champions with CC, this is the easiest way you can lose your lane. Face checking the brush is essentially giving your enemy a free gap closer, and Kennen does not want to be in melee range against scary bruisers, tanks, and assassins.

Ideal Situation
Early game you should try to find out where the enemy jungler started by seeing where the enemy midlaner comes from. Ward when you know the enemy jungler will be on your side of the map. For example, if you are on the blue side and you know the enemy jungler started with his own Blue Buff assume that he will run straight to Red Buff and be on your side of the map around 3 minutes in. Always try to keep track of where the enemy jungler is and play accordingly. If the jungler shows bottom or mid that means you can play more aggressively top lane.

Much of ANY lane in League of Legends is decided by one factor, who hits level 2 first? If possible start at wraiths or wolves with your midlaner while your bot lane leashes for the jungler at the opposite side of the map. If you need to help your jungler leash then ask if you can share some EXP from their first camp, and if possible give them a smiteless leash. (Auto attack the buff camp until around 2:04 then run to lane, you won't miss any exp or CS usually) After this auto attack the wave and try to push to an early level two. If you hit two before your enemy you will be able to zone them and out trade them hard, as this is the largest power spike in the game. If the enemy laner hits two before you play passively.

Bully the enemy with autoattacks and try to save your W auto for them, this is easiest done when the enemy walks forward for CS. If you land your W passive on them throw a Q for the second mark and then activate W for the stun. This will be an autodeath for most squishy toplaners, and a large amount of free damage against beefier tops. Repeat and try to zone the enemy top out of CS. You should win early game against all squishies and melees as long as you properly harass and trade. You do not want to all in your enemy until you get them low on health and they are ready for the kill because you are vulnerable early with these masteries. If your enemy attempts to all in you use your E to run away and stun them with your other spells while trading back damage.

Remember to constantly keep your lane warded, even if it means skipping out on an item. Even if you feel that you are safe from ganks this will protect your other lanes from roams and will let your team know when the enemy jungler is top.

When Behind
If you are losing lane don't panic and try to make plays to get back into the game, this will most likely just result in you feeding more (Unless you see a really good opportunity, like an opponent's major ability is on cooldown or they eat too much poke and have no sustain). Try to get as much farm as you can with your range and wait for the jungler to come. If you get REALLY far behind don't blame your jungler and yell at them to come top, this will most likely just result in the enemy top laner killing your jungler and getting further ahead. Accept that you are not going to carry the game and allow your jungler to create pressure on the rest of the map and gain dragon control.

Mid Game

Ideal Situation
With twin shadows and bilgewater on top of your natural CC you will be great at catching out enemies, initiating, and roaming. Come down for dragon if your team needs you, roam after pushing out your lane, and take whatever objectives you can (Contest enemy buffs, help push mid, etc). If you can't come down for dragon make sure your enemy top laner can't come either so your team can have a 4v4. If your lane is pushed up to the enemy tower it is best for you to roam down and help though.

If you are winning your lane it should be easy for you to take the turret after harassing the enemy down or killing them. If you are much stronger than the enemy laner you may consider denying EXP and gold from them by farming waves behind their tower when they are backing or low on HP. Make sure you properly ward when doing this. Sometimes it is better to take the tower if you want to roam more and push for an earlier win as well as help your team with global gold, take this into consideration when deciding what to do with your lane.

One thing to note is that often times players will win their lane early then go around the map and be unable to make an impact due to enemy turtling. Meanwhile the laner you shutdown catches up in farm and maybe even takes your tower. Make sure you properly push out your lane before roaming and if the enemy team turtles continue to dominate your lane opponent and deny them while splitpushing.

When roaming you can use Lightning Rush for the move speed to get around the map more quickly, but make sure it is off cooldown before you initiate your gank, you will need it to close the gap. Be careful when using Lightning Rush to roam, as if you caught while it's on cooldown things could go badly for you.

When Behind
If you are behind try to farm up as much as you can because you will most likely be more useful than your enemy in team fights. Kennen is a hard character to dive if you use your stuns and escapes properly so just play it safe. If you are behind consider buying more survivability and utility items like Abyssal Scepter, Zhonya's Hourglass, and Rylai's Crystal Scepter so that you are even harder to dive and provide usefulness to your team. There is no reason to rush a Deathcap when you are starved for gold, you will just die in team fights.

Late Game

At this point you are pretty much a typical AP kennen, use E and ult to melt the enemy team and stun them, your AOE CC and damage will make you a great contribution to team fights, even if you are behind. Don't get caught, don't throw at baron, typical late game advice. Make sure to remember using your item actives as you probably have 2-3 of them at this point in the game, they are great for peeling and catching enemies.

There are a few main scenarios for late game:

You are ahead and sieging
Use your poke to your advantage to get the enemy team to leave their towers. If you can force someone to recall then your team can easily dive 5v4 or get a free turret as the enemy backs off. If you can safely do so poke the enemy turret with auto attacks alongside your AD carry.

You are behind and turtling

When turtling as Kennen it will be hard for you to help your team clear the wave since you need to get close to the creeps to Lightning Rush them and W. You can either do what little you can by throwing Q's at the minion wave or focus on poking down the enemy team. You will be able to deter a push or a dive if you get the enemy team low enough.

The Baron Dance
Kennen excels at fighting near Baron due to the small area and his massive AOE ultimate.
-If the enemy team is the one on Baron you can easily run into the pit and ult them with zhonyas.
-If your team is baiting Baron you can peel off with Lightning Rush and initiate onto the enemy team with your ultimate as they funnel at your team.
-Twin Shadows is great for baiting Barons. As the enemy team comes to you use the active to catch people.
-In a similar manner, if your team is potentially being baited by the enemy team at Baron you can use Twin Shadows to check where the enemy team is or to disengage when they try initiating. If you have Rylai's this will also help you kite the enemy team and get away safely.
-If you have vision control over baron and someone on the enemy team is bot you can try to force baron
-Dragon is less important at this stage in the game, don't risk giving the enemy team a free baron by getting out of position at dragon unless you know where they are.

The Split Push Game
-If you are ahead and split pushing because your team is unable to siege turrets keep constant pressure while your team pressures the lane on the opposite side of the map. Usually you will be in bottom lane while your team is at Baron. Preferably you have teleport if you plan on split pushing and the enemy doesn't. If they do have teleport you can cancel it with your stuns, so try to keep vision on them. If both of you don't have teleport then just keep pressuring and try to take towers if possible. If the enemy top leaves to try and 5v4 your team you should be able to beat them to the fight with your Lightning Rush.

When split pushing you should be able to poke whoever is sent to defend against you. If they get low enough you can dive them or force them to back so that you can take turrets.

-If you are behind and being split pushed against try your best to clear the waves and poke the enemy down to stop them from pushing. Be careful of dives because if you die it could mean lost towers and objectives all across the map. If possible you should try to get someone else on your team to defend against split pushes because you are a very powerful initiator/disengager, this means you will either be able to poke down the enemy team and force a good 4v4 or help stall out the game by helping your team escape.

Team Fights

You will be able to destroy squishies in fights, run into the enemy team and use your ult with zhonyas to stay safe while dealing massive amounts of damage. Many mistakes players in general make is that they will zhonya's immediately, if you there is no reason for you to zhonya's then don't! Keep moving with the enemy to keep them inside of your ult for as long as possible. After your ult is down you will either aim for the enemy carries or peel for your own depending on the situation, try to figure out what is best for the game. Typically if your carry is more fed than theirs you want to peel, if your carry is behind then dive the enemy carry.

Sometimes you may choose to initiate with Rylai's slows/Twin shadows/Flash followed by your ultimate then utilize your E for the damage instead of using it as a gap closer, this is riskier and should mainly be done if your team is ahead and you are confident that you will win the fight.

Remember that if you can safely auto attack in the fight you should. Your auto attacks aren't insignificant, especially on squishy targets, and your W passive will be very useful in stunning targets and dealing extra damage.

If your team is the one being initiated on your ultimate is a great counter initiate. Anyone that dives into your team will get stunlocked and kited.

Before a team fight try to poke down the enemy team, you are resourceless so there's no reason you shouldn't be throwing out Q-W's whenever you can. Auto attack harass is risky as you could get engaged upon, but if you are confident that you can win a teamfight this is okay to do. If the enemy team initiates on you and tries to focus you it won't be a big deal if you pop your ult and zhonya's.

The ideal location for you to teamfight is in the jungle, where enemies will be clustered together and forced into your ultimate, or zoned off and split apart. If the enemy attempts baron or dragon you can easily trap them inside the pit with your ultimate + zhonyas.

Buffs/Nerfs Related to Kennen

Patch 3.9
Base Attack Damage at level 1 reduced to 50.5 from 54.6
Mark of the Storm-Mark duration reduced to 6 seconds from 8

These nerfs hurt Kennen's early auto attack damage and bring him more in line with other top laners. He still has the same strengths with his long ranged harass and ability to zone but you can no longer cast W twice off of one mark due to the duration reduction on his passive. Kennen was previously one of the best top laners in the meta and even with these nerfs I believe he will be strong.

Change Log

April 13, 2013
-Initial Guide Released

April 14, 2013
-Pictures added to the runes, masteries, and skill sections
-Match Ups Added (In Progress, will add more detail as I learn more about the lanes)
-Added more detail to Team Fights chapter

April 15, 2013
-Added more info to runes and mastery sections
-Added Example end game builds
-Cleaned Item Build Section
-Added more info to the Introduction chapter
-Added more info to the Skills chapter
-Added more info to Early Game, Mid Game, and Late Game chapter

April 16, 2013
-Added more information to the Skills chapter
-Added more information to Summoner Spells chapter
-Added more information to Item Builds chapter
-New chapter! When to Buy Boots
-Added a little info to Introduction chapter
-Updated Early and Mid game chapters
-Added a subsection to the Introduction chapter "When to pick Kennen"

April 17, 2013
-Added more to the Introduction chapter (Why does Building AD on Kennen work?)
-Added more to the Skills chapter (Lightning Rush)
-Added more to the Items Build chapter (Dedicated Hybrid Items)
-Added more on proper auto attack harassing in the Early Game chapter
-Updated the Yorick Match up
-Added more information to the Team Fight chapter
-Champion General Counters and Synergies
-Updated many parts in the Match Ups section

April 18, 2013
-Updated several match ups and added a general match up section

April 19, 2013
-More Match Up updates and Zac added

April 20, 2013
-Added Guardian Angel and Randuin's Omen to Item Build chapter
-Updated Early Game chapter
-Updated Summoner Spell chapter (teleport gank tips)

April 21, 2013
-Added more info to Item Build chapter (When to upgrade to Blade of the Ruined King)
-Updated Match Ups section
-Updated Early Game chapter

April 28, 2013
-Updated Masteries chapter
-Updated Runes Chapter
-Updated Summoner Spells Chapter
-Updated Skills Chapter
-Updated Item Build's Chapter
-Updated Match Ups Chapter

June 6, 2013
-Updated Item Builds to account for fort pot nerf (very late)
-Updated Match Ups
-Updated Midgame/Lategame
-Updated Masteries Explanation

June 8, 2013
-Updated Runes (Lifesteal Quints optional)
-Updated Item Builds (Fort pot start explanation)

June 22, 2013
-Thoughts on New Nashor's Tooth added in Items Chapter

July 12, 2013
-Added Buffs/Nerfs Chapter
-Removed the "Double W", No longer useable due to mark duration nerf

Final Comments

Thank you for taking the time to read my first guide. If you have any comments, questions, or criticism I would be glad to hear them. I hope you find success with this build and enjoy it. This build changed my perception of Kennen as a champion and I hope it does for you too.

Final note, if anyone asks whether you are AD or AP tell them that you are the wind.


October 6, 2013 - 02:40 PM #1

Very nice guide. Me and my boyfriend are going to try this!

July 12, 2013 - 05:26 PM #2

I believe it should still be effective as Kennen still has the range advantage in most toplane match ups. It just means you have to spend a little more time harassing before going all in to finish off your opponent.

July 12, 2013 - 12:02 PM #3

Alright, still having AD quints, 30/0/0 masteries, and going for early AD poke (with dorans or bilgewater) is most effective?

July 12, 2013 - 03:44 AM #4

I will be updating the guide in a few days when I have more experience with these changes. I think he should still be a strong top laner and very powerful in AOE comps.

His poke and zoning potential will fall a bit since you will have to rely on actually landing your Q and spacing out your spells now instead of just using double W at level 9.

July 11, 2013 - 10:35 PM #5

Thoughts on the new nerfs to Kennen in the 3.9 patch? Is he still a good toplaner? What changed?

July 9, 2013 - 10:55 PM #6

I like Wit's end as an item but it's build path is pretty bad, the individual pieces don't do a lot for you

July 8, 2013 - 10:36 PM #7

I use Wits End in place of a BOTRK if they are AP like Singed or Rumble, it steals MR now making your spells stronger.

June 22, 2013 - 09:28 PM #8

I'm still not a fan of Nashor's Tooth with the on-hit magic damage because the build path is pretty bad and it offers no sustain or survivability unlike Doran's or Cutlass/Botrk

June 16, 2013 - 02:23 PM #9

What about Nahor´s tooth now with the changes?

June 7, 2013 - 06:38 AM #10

Your items chapter is short on information, particularly with regards to the starting items.

Your mid game chapter has absolutely zero mention of dragon, and the same goes for early and late game. This is unacceptable.

I hate to harp on the masteries, but if you say that the extra 9 points in offense are more worth it than 9 points in defense, there needs to be hard, mathematical evidence for it. You need to mathcraft it out completely, and it's entirely possible that you may even need a separate chapter just for that.

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