How To Play Kennen In League Of Legends

Kennen is a very unique champion whose viability constantly shifts in and out of the meta. Despite this, he is still versatile enough to warrant a spot in most team compositions. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know to get you started playing the Heart of the Tempest.


There are quite a few ninjas in League of Legends, but none of them have the same kind of teamfighting impact that Kennen has. Mostly played in the Top or Mid Lane, Kennen shines best at being a strong initiator for his team. His passive makes it easy for him to CC lock enemies and open opportunities for him and his team to follow up with damage. Additionally, Kennen is somewhat of a lane bully who can use his range to oppress melee champions and go toe to toe with ranged champions. With everything he has going for him, it’s easy for Kennen to snowball out of control and carry his team to victory.


Kennen’s abilities are all about dealing damage, crowd control, and having a strong team fighting presence.

Passive – Mark of the Storm

Kennen’s abilities add one stack of Mark of the Storm to the target for 6 seconds. If the target reaches 3 stacks, it is stunned for 1.25 seconds and Kennen gains 25 Energy. The stun will be a diminished duration of 0.5 seconds if it occurs again within 6 seconds.

Mark of the Storm is the whole reason why Kennen always finds a place in the meta. The crowd control this can provide when used in conjunction with his other abilities make it a very powerful tool that you can use to lock down not just one, but multiple targets.

Q – Thundering Shuriken

Throws a shuriken that deals magic damage to the first enemy it hits.

Thundering Shuriken essentially works like a basic attack but with longer range, stronger damage, and has a cooldown. This is his bread and butter ability. You’ll be using this to trade with opponents and to begin your combos.

W – Electrical Surge

Passive: Every 5 attacks, Kennen deals bonus magic damage and adds a Mark of the Storm to his target.

Active: Sends a surge of electricity through all nearby targets afflicted by Mark of the Storm or Slicing Maelstrom, dealing magic damage.

Electrical Surge adds more to Kennen’s dueling power. Both the Passive and Active parts of this ability increase his DPS by a huge margin. It is also helpful for timing the crowd control from Mark of the Storm.

E – Lightning Rush

Kennen turns into a ball of lightning for up to 2 seconds, dealing magic damage to enemies he passes through. While a ball of lightning, Kennen gains 100% Movement Speed. Kennen is refunded 40 energy if he damages at least one enemy in this form. Upon returning to his normal form. Kennen gains Attack Speed for 4 seconds.

Lightning Rush is the first part of Kennen’s strong initiation abilities. You use this mostly to get close to your enemies and apply Mark of the Storm or to flee from them when they get too close. Apart from that, you shouldn’t use this ability too much as it costs a lot of Energy and has a pretty high cooldown.

R – Slicing Maelstrom

Summons a magical storm for 3 seconds that grants him bonus resistances and deals magic damage to all enemies near Kennen every 0.5 seconds. Each maelstrom hit applies Mark of the Storm.png Mark of the Storm, up to a maximum of 3. Successive maelstrom hits against the same enemy deal an additional 10% damage for each hit they’ve already suffered from this storm.

Kennen’s ultimate makes him a monster at teamfights. Slicing Maelstrom makes him very good at initiation and flanking with crowd control. Using this in combination with Lightning Rush will open up a lot of opportunities on how you plan to attack the enemies and apply your crow control.

Runes and Item Builds

When it comes to items, your focus should be to buy items that give Kennen Ability Power while also increasing his survivability.

Starting Items

For your starting items, you have two options. For more sustain, go with Doran’s Shield. This will reduce the damage you receive while also making you a bit tankier. The other option would be to go with Doran’s Blade. This item will increase your damage and allow you to last hit easier. 

Mythic Items

For your Mythic items, you have two choices. The best option is Hextech Rocketbelt. It gives Kennen damage, health, and an active that lets him dash. It’s perfect for him in every way so you should go for this Mythic whenever you get the chance. The other option for him would be Riftmaker. This increases both his ability power and his sustain. While it can be useful in certain situations, it doesn’t overtake Hextech Rocketbelt in terms of usefulness.

Full Build

After purchasing your Mythic item, it’s time to go upgrade to tier 2 boots. Since Kennen is a Mage, go with Sorcerer’s Shoes for the Magic Penetration. Next, you’ll need to rush Zhonya’s Hourglass. This gives him armor, ability power, and an active that allows him to enter stasis. Up next, you’ll need Shadowflame. This’ll give you more damage and help you deal with Tanks. Top off your build with a Rabadon’s Deathcap for more damage and a Morellonomicon for the anti healing properties.

Other Viable Items

While the full build we’ve shown above is generally considered the standard for Kennen, it is not set in stone. There are plenty of other items that you can purchase depending on your preference or what your situation currently needs. Items like Banshee’s Veil, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, Demonic Embrace, and Cosmic Drive are all good items to have especially if you’re leaning towards dealing more damage. Try to mix and match these item sets to see what works best for you. Doing so will help you develop a better understanding of the game’s deeper mechanics.


For your runes, go with the Sorcery tree and take Summon Aery as your keystone. This will allow you to deal more damage when you poke enemies with your abilities. Next, take Nimbus Cloak for the bonus movement speed whenever you use a summoner spell, Transcendence for ability haste, and Scorch for the burn damage. For secondaries, go with the Domination tree and take Taste of Blood and Treasure Hunter. Taste of Blood gives you heal while Treasure Hunter gives you more gold whenever you get a unique takedown. For your rune shards, take Attack Speed, Adaptive Force, and Armor

Useful Tips

  1. Lightning Rush is always better used when you have a purpose like when flanking, initiating, or fleeing from enemies. It has a very high energy cost and a long cooldown so use it wisely.
  2. Kennen is countered by champions like Mordekaiser, Dr. Mundo, Tryndamere, Renekton, and Volibear. If you get matched up with any of these champions, try your best to play it safe.
  3. For your summoner spells, always take Flash and Teleport. Flash increases his utility and mobility while Teleport gives him a more global presence around the map. 

So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Kennen in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!