LoL: Kennen Guide

Swamp Master Kennen.There’s been a lot of back and forth in the community about Kennen so I thought it would be appropriate to put together a full guide. I’ve fallen in love with the midget ninja and I’ve been playing him to great success in most every game I’ve tried. Kennen is one of the strongest gankers in the game and, when played well, provides excellent utility and killing power to a solid team. He will easily carry a team if his opponents allow him any kind of farm.

I build Kennen AP, despite all the claims of his poor AP ratios. Personally, I think his AP ratios are excellent, good enough that they might catch a nerf in the near future. For runes, I roll with magic pen marks, dodge seals, cooldown reduction per level glyphs, and health quints. I go back and forth on masteries but for this guide I’ll recommend a 9/21/0 build, taking the 15% spell pen from the offense tree and making sure to grab the extra health and the 4% damage reduction from defense. The rest is up to you.

For summoner skills I take Cleanse and Ignite, but Ghost, Exhaust, and Teleport if your team needs it are all good options.

Kennen is a very powerful farmer so I always like to take him mid solo. Grab a health crystal, get to lane, and get ready to farm. At level 1 I have 820 health, which is a ton for a mid toon. Most of my opponents are somewhere around 500, so I have a huge advantage early. I take Thundering Shuriken (his Q skill) first and focus on last hitting. At level 2 and 3 take one rank of your other skills to prep for your combo. Keep last hitting to get up a decent farm.

Kennen is an excellent harasser. I take Electrical Surge at level 2 so that I can keep my mark count on my target as often as possible. Whenever I have the chance I like to Shuriken my opponent. I’ll then use either the passive from Electrical Surge or the active to keep my marks up. The active has surprisingly good range and can be used any time a nearby target has a mark. Try to always have at least two marks on your target so he’s prepped for a gank. At level 3 you can start rolling with your combo. Without boots your opponent will have a hard time avoiding Lightning Rush. I try to get a stack or two on the target and then Lightning Rush in. The stun procs some extra energy so I can Shuriken again while I’m standing on top of my target and auto attack for some harass and hopefully another mark from the Electrical surge passive. The high early health pool allows me to soak a little minion damage and bring my opponents down to half health or so. Once you have your opponent to half health you should be able to get an easy kill. Again, work up two marks on the target while you farm, regen some energy, build up your Electrical Surge passive and Lightning Rush in. Your stun procs extra energy again and with an auto attack you gain a mark, Shuriken will net you a mark, set your ignite and then auto attack the target down. As they start to run away you should have plenty of energy for a quick Electrical Surge active for a second stun. This combo is your bread and butter until you have your ult. Obviously it relies on your ability to keep marks on your target, so get some practice, even on bots if you want.

For the rest of early game you’ll main Shuriken for the cooldown reduction and increased damage. I follow that with Lightning Rush, again for cooldown reduction and because the damage scales better for the early game than Electrical Surge. Obviously, you want to take your ultimate as often as possible and save consecutive ranks of Electrical Surge for the end of the game.

You should find it very easy to farm. In the mid lane it’s important that you only last hit. You want to keep your target closer to your turret so you don’t have to dive for the kill. I typically wait until I have 1400g, which should be around level 5 or 6, before heading back to base to pick up Haunting Guise and my boots.

At 6 your ganking power only improves. If you’ve done a good job farming your Guise will give the penetration needed for some early kills on targets with low magic resistance. Stack up a mark or two (preferably two) and Lightning Rush in. Once rush hits I Shuriken and start to auto attack for the duration of the stun, planting one mark on my target and dealing a little damage. Once stun ends (which is fast, don’t get me wrong), I pop my ult, which drops another mark and then Electrical Surge for a second stun. You may have to wait a second for the energy to Surge, but if you prepped your target correctly you should have a mark waiting on your Surge passive just in case. That combo alone will kill most targets at 6. Thankfully, you brought Ignite for anyone that might be a little more durable.

You should have shut down your middle opponent without much trouble, leaving you free to head out to other lanes. Communication is key for getting teammate support for those ganks. If you can land a single stun on a target, your team should be able to finish them off. Side lanes are tougher to gank because it can be hard to hit with Lightning Rush. I like to run in and Shuriken a target if possible before I Rush so that the target is primed for a stun (with Rush and Surge). That stun procs enough energy for another Shuriken, which typically brings down early game targets. When you aren’t ganking, always be farming. Guise gives you enough health regen to stay in lane, even at fairly low health, and heal up with Shuriken throws. You can also jungle for buffs early in the game for a little extra damage boost.

By mid game you should be working toward some high tier items. Personally, I like to mix survivability with AP. I tend to Rylais early in the game for the slow and the extra HP. In games where I can tell I’m going to have loads of early kills I’ll take a Mejai’s but I usually prefer less risk, especially if I’m in solo queue. That 1235g can almost get me a tome and a blasting wand, which is much better AP than the 5 or so stacks of Mejai’s I might get early game. I’m of the opinion that builds should be tailored to your individual playstyle, but here’s my typical build:
Guise
Sorc Boots (Merc if things are ugly)
Rylai’s
Zhonya’s -> GA if I’m crushing, if not –
Void Staff or Abyssal depending on my opponent
GA

I’ve had a few people recommend Lichbane, which I think would be great. For now, though, I have trouble justifying buying mana items, especially when I don’t have trouble getting kills with the straight AP items. If I’m facing a magic heavy team I might try this for the extra MR, a nice move speed buff, and the AP attack synergy. Kennen still isn’t in my top 3 so I can’t say I’ve played him enough to test every build, just several and mine’s worked so far.

The last thing I think it’s important to cover is teamfighting. Kennen can be brutal in a team fight, but you need to make sure you enter at the right time and use your skills to max the energy procs from your passive. The best method I’ve found is waiting for your opponent to settle on a target. I typically have enough health that I won’t be focused. Once they’ve chosen a target it’s time to get in the mix and hit as many people as possible with Lightning Rush for a mark. From there I like to Electrical Surge to get a second mark and then ult so the first hit stuns 2-3 people and I proc energy back for a quick Shuriken toss. As often as you can, you should be spamming Surge. In between Surge, only Shuriken when you know you’ll hit a champion. Other than that you should be auto attacking for Surge procs and saving your energy for another Rush -> Surge combo. Rush can also help you run down anyone that flees.

That does it for the guide. I’ll try to update here as I learn more about the midget ninja. Until then, feel free to post questions and comments and I’ll try to answer from my experience.

  

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