Thresh Guide - by dignitas KiWiKiD
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If you think you’ve got the aptitude, and are inkling for a new support, you should give Thresh a chance. Thresh is a champion that has seen consistent play since his release. Whenever Annie and other supports are banned or picked away in the LCS, you'll commonly find Alan 'KiWiKiD' Nguyen bring out his very formidable Thresh plays. Thresh's kit comes fully equipped with utility, engage, and disruption which makes him an ample champion both in and out of the laning phase. If Riot leaves him as he is now, you’ll always see Thresh because he’s very high skill, high reward. Although there might be other champions that are stronger picks than him currently, he’s always a good champion to learn and pick up because of his persistence as a strong pick throughout the changing meta that occurs each season. All of Thresh’s matchups are skilled matchups, and thus after reading this guide you’ll hopefully have the upper edge to make the best out of every matchup.
Marks – 9x Flat AD
Seals – 9x Flat Armor
Glyphs – 9x Flat MR
Quintessences – 9x Flat Armor
I’d consider this rune page to be the ‘safe’ way to run Thresh. If you’re looking to be a little more aggressive, I’ve also tried running a different set of Quintessences. Instead of running Flat armor, you’d run Two Flat AD Quintessence and One Flat Attack Speed Quintessence. I personally love this set up, and got this rune page from a fellow challenger player, Yuno.
For Masteries I run the same page that I use for Annie. Getting points like Wanderer, which provides 5% movement speed outside of combat, helps give you extra power roaming around the map looking for picks on players that are pushed out too far. Even though I’m a fairly aggressive Thresh player, you don’t want to skimp on masteries which provide you with extra utility and an increase in gold generation in case your roams don’t work out.
SUMMONER SPELLS - Ignite and Flash
All of Thresh’s abilities are incredibly important to his power level, so be sure to have one point in each skill at Level 3. Although Thresh' E (Flay) is typically picked up at Level 1, if you plan on invading, get Q (Death Sentence) instead. Otherwise you should take E first in order to get the extra damage on auto attack harass. After getting your E to level 3, you’ll want to diverge and put the points into your other two abilities. If you want to play more aggressively, like myself, then maxing your hook is the better option. Players looking to get their teammates out in a pinch can also max W (Lantern) instead for the shield.
Your starting items are fairly set in stone. If you feel like you don't need the mana potion, you can opt to get 3 health potions instead.
Ideally, you’d like to back with 1600 gold but that really only happens if you get a double kill in bottom lane. Realistically though, you’ll want to be making your first back at around 900 gold. This’ll let you get your Sightstone if you just want to go back bot lane and sit there. If you’re a man like me though, you’ll get Mobility boots and roam around to try and make something happen elsewhere. If you do choose to go Mobility boots, look at your map to see which lane is more pushed up to increase your chance at pulling off a successful roam. Although it’s usual to co-ordinate these ganks with the jungler, it's fine to try and pull it off on your own. Regardless of your decision, you’re going to want to change your trinket to the Sweeper Lens here.
Depending on what you bought on your first buy, you’ll want to get whichever of the two items you neglected to buy your first time back. That means if you went and got Mobility boots first, get Sightstone next. When roaming, make sure you ward to cut off counter engages on yourself. Dying in a roam is incredibly detrimental, and forces you to play from behind. Keep in mind that around levels 9-11, you’ll want to upgrade your Sweeper Lens for the increased vision denial it provides.
In most scenarios I like to rush out and upgrade my Targon’s fully. However there are situations where if I notice that the jungler isn’t getting an Aegis, I’ll get that instead of finishing Targon’s first. The reason why I prioritize Face of the Mountain is because flat health shields scale the best compared to shields that scale through AP ratios. Not only does it give Thresh extra survivability, the shield he passes to another is larger as well, especially compared to an item like Mikael’s.
Mikael’s helps provide further ways in which Thresh can help an AD carry peel targets trying to stick to them. It’s a strong item on Thresh and adds further utility to him.
There’s a few different options you can take for Thresh later in the game. Getting either a Banshee’s Veil or Randuin’s will depend on what the enemy team comp consists more of, physical or magical damage. The ZZ’Rot portal might seem weird but it’s actually a decent item to get as it provides extra pushing power along with armor and magic resistance. Another that I need to mention is the fact that sometimes I’ll sell my Mobility boots later in the game and get Lucidity instead to get closer to the 40% cooldown rate cap. The extra cooldown adds further disruption and peel out of Thresh in an extended team fight.
This is an optional build in case your jungler decides to get Aegis of the Legion. You'll likely only be getting one of either Banshee's Veil or Randuin's Omen, and then opt for a ZZ'Rot portal as the final item in the build instead. The beginning of the build starts the same.
If I’m the only initiator on the team, I might consider going Righteous Glory in order to be a little tankier going into the fray. However it’s not the best item because you’re paying a lot of gold solely on the active ability of the item, meaning the amount of tanky stats you get is limited. Talisman is an item I’ve tried to run a few times, and I find that it’s not really suited for Thresh who initiates fairly deep into the enemy’s team. This means you’ll usually get killed quickly after engaging because the item doesn’t provide you with any resilience. It’s an item better suited for supports that sit in the back like Janna and Sona. Captain boots are an option, but in general the Homeguard enchant is just a better purchase overall.
Good Against – Thresh is really good against bot lanes that don’t have any sustain or Mobility boots. Champions like Jinx, who lack quick escapes and dashes, are easy pickings for hooks. Overall though, Thresh mostly has skill matchups where the skill of the Thresh typically dictates how well your bot lane will compare to the other. Although most people say that Thresh counters Leona, this isn’t a concrete fact. Thresh has the upper hand on Leona up until level 6, when she unlocks her ultimate. The burst potential from Leona post-6 is incredibly threatening to Thresh who requires items to be more resilient. If you’re a Blitzcrank player, Thresh has a very similar pool of AD Carries that he’s good against.
Jungler wise, Thresh is good against targets that are can be killed fairly quickly. I like to pick Thresh against junglers like Rek’Sai because of this. If you’re a god, you can also time your hook to land at the end of where she’ll pop up in her tunnel, scoring some extra brownie points for your team. It’s also possible to just Flash and Flay her out of the tunnel as well, even before she manages to go over a wall. Rek’sai either dies in this situation or is then forced to burn her Flash. I also like to pick Thresh against junglers like Zac and Jarvan as you can disrupt their abilities by timing your flays or landing good hooks.
Strong Synergies - As for AD Carries that Thresh pairs well with, I’d go for picks like Graves and Lucian. Champions that are strong with good burst, essentially champions that can get kills early on in the laning phase are good choices to play alongside Thresh. It’s also possible to pick an AD Carry like Jinx, you just have to realize that her kill potential isn’t as high so consider playing a little safer if that’s who you’re with. Once you get out of laning phase though, Thresh adds an additional element of escape for the immobile AD Carries like Jinx and Varus through his lantern.
Heavy gank junglers like Rek’Sai, Zac, and Lee Sin also pair very well with Thresh. They add an extra layer of kill potential during the laning phase by having exceptional ganks themselves.
Bad Matchups – Right now in the Cinderhulk meta, Thresh isn’t as good because the amount of good hooks you can get off on targets is reduced. Although landing a hook is usually a good thing, similarly to Blitzcrank, if it hits a Sejuani or other high health tank then going into it isn’t all too helpful for your team. I think before in Season 3, when Jarvan and Elise were more popular Thresh really excelled because you could kill them immediately when your hook hit them. Getting picks is one of the easiest ways to excel as Thresh, and right now most champions are too tanky to be bursted down from a single hook.
Thresh is a champion that I don’t think will ever fall out of favour as long as Riot doesn’t touch him. Thus learning his kit and how to fully utilize his abilities and item builds is a lot more useful because of the longevity of Thresh’s use. His ability to provide further escape utensil for the team, while also providing an incredibly strong engage tool is vital in forming a strong team comp, allowing for Thresh to fit into a lot of teams. Coupling this along with his tendency to have strictly skilled matchups means that a great Thresh player will never feel useless on their team.