Thresh is arguably League of Legends’ most iconic support, with the Chain Warden being a popular pick at all ranks. If you want to master him, we’ve got the ultimate guide including the best builds and runes.
Since his release in January 2013, Thresh has always been atop the League of Legends meta. He’s the one support that has survived many meta shifts, with masters of the champion always being able to climb solo queue by maximizing his kit’s effectiveness.
If you want to learn more about the Chain Warden, we’ve got the ultimate guide right here, including the best Thresh builds and runes that can take you all the way to Challenger (or Mastery 7, if that’s more your style).
Who is Thresh?
Thresh was once a lowly warden in the Blessed Isles, guarding arcane secrets scattered across Runeterra. However, after being exposed to the Black Mist and seeing the isles transform, he now finds delight in capturing and torturing souls — including Senna’s.
On Summoner’s Rift, he captures champions and gives them a death sentence as a support, landing long-range engages for his team to follow up on.
Thresh abilities & gameplay
Thresh is a jack-of-all-trades support. While his primary goal is landing hooks to engage on enemies, he has plenty of anti-dive utility to protect carries, like his ultimate which makes it impossible for enemies to get through certain chokes.
You want to use his strong lane presence to try and establish an early advantage (Flay auto attacks hit hard), before stopping enemy engages in team fights. Flay is definitely Thresh’s best tool — not only can it be used to engage by bringing enemies towards your team, but it’s equally as good as a disengage tool by dragging champions off your allies.
You might be tempted to throw his hook out off cooldown, but don’t. Try and Flay enemies first (either by flashing onto them or walking up), and hook as they run away (or dive your carries).
It’d be remiss to ignore his W too, which can get allies out of a sticky situation. Remember to throw your lantern where your allies are going so they don’t have to walk back into trouble to click it.
Thresh can max any ability depending on the game situation. Maxing E is good for extra lane power, while maxing Q will give you plenty of engage. W is great if you need an escape for your carry. The best overall in most situations, however, is Q max into E, saving W for last.
- Passive: Damnation — Thresh can harvest the souls of enemies that die near him, permanently granting him Armor and Ability Power.
- Q: Death Sentence — Thresh binds an enemy in chains and pulls them toward him. Activating this ability a second time pulls Thresh to the enemy.
- W: Dark Passage — Thresh throws out a lantern that shields nearby allied Champions from damage. Allies can click the lantern to dash to Thresh.
- E: Flay — Thresh’s attacks wind up, dealing more damage the longer he waits between attacks. When activated, Thresh sweeps his chain, knocking all enemies hit in the direction of the blow.
- R: The Box — A prison of walls that slow and deal damage if broken.
Best builds for Thresh
Thresh has a pretty linear build path. In pretty much every game you’ll want to build Locket of the Iron Solari — it’s strictly his best mythic as it provides a handy boost of defensive stats to your allies.
The same goes for the items afterwards. Zeke’s Convergence is great for powering up your carry, while Knight’s Vow and Redemption will keep them safe. If you need healing cut you can pick up Thornmail, but you’ll likely want to save your last slot for a Watchful Wardstone.
The only place your Thresh build will deviate a lot is in your boots. If you can get an early base on around 1,000 gold, picking up Mobility Boots and roaming around the map is a great idea to push other lanes ahead. However, if you need to babysit your carry in bot lane, there’s no point in getting Mobis, so get Lucidity boots instead.
Top meta Thresh build in Season 11
- Mythic: Locket of the Iron Solari
- Boots: Mobility Boots (if you’re roaming early) / Ionian Boots of Lucidity (all other situations)
- Steel Shoulderguards (support item)
- Zeke’s Convergence
- Knight’s Vow
- Redemption (good replacement for Zeke’s Convergence if you prefer the healing)
- Watchful Wardstone (once you hit level 13)
- Thornmail (if you need healing cut)
Best runes for Thresh
Much like his build, Thresh has one really excellent rune page. With Guardian, you can keep your carry alive thanks to the proximity shield. Combined with Font of Life, there’s plenty of sustain going around.
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The rest of Thresh’s runes are a bit more self-serving. Bone Plating and Unflinching increases his own tankiness a bit, while Biscuit Delivery helps with some of his mana problems. Cosmic Insight cuts his summoner spell cooldowns, which combined with Lucidity boots gives maximum uptime on his Flash-Flay-Ignite combo.
You can choose to swap Guardian for Aftershock if you are your team’s primary engage, putting yourself into the middle of the enemy team after landing a Death Sentence. However, this is not the ideal way to play Thresh, so try and avoid this situation.
Top meta Thresh runes in Season 11
- Font of Life
- Bone Plating
- Biscuit Delivery
- Cosmic Insight
Thresh skins in League of Legends
- SSW Thresh (Legacy) — 750 RP
- Deep Terror Thresh — 975 RP
- Blood Moon Thresh — 975 RP
- Championship Thresh (Legacy) — 975 RP
- High Noon Thresh — 1350 RP
- Pulsefire Thresh — 1350 RP
- FPX Thresh (Legacy) — 1350 RP
- Dark Star Thresh — 1820 RP
- Spirit Blossom Thresh — 1820 RP
- Pulsefire Thresh Prestige Edition — 100 Prestige Points
- Unbound Thresh — Special Event Skin
Thresh will be a staple support pick for years to come, so even if you don’t main support, he is a great champion to learn in case you get autofilled.
If you use his kit to keep allies alive, rather than focusing on killing enemies (after all, you’re only a support), you can single-handedly transform teamfights.