Some Thoughts on Tahm Kench

Type: Tank/Support/Bruiser

Role: He’s a great top, a decent support, and a decent jungler.

So, what do I think of this guy?

He’s a champion with great… flavor (pun intended), plus he’s deceptive, in every sense of the word. He gets low, and you think you can kill him, and then he throws his E’s and doubles his health. He stacks pure tank items, and his AA’s hit like a midway fed bruiser. He’s a slow meandering hulk… except when he blows his R and teleports a quarter of the way across the map… with the enemy carry.

His Q – It’s kind of like Zac’s ability, but with better range and it only hits one target. Plus if you get the full passive, it stuns. This is an ok ability, though it certainly helps him win chases. This is not an ability I want to rely on as my primary harass. You have to be a special kind of derpy, even in silver, to wander past the creep line, with champs like Naut or Blitz or Thresh who will own you if they hit.  Unlike the other champions however, even if you manage to hit, the slow and damage is light enough to be shrugged off. I just can’t rely on this as anything but a slow. Sure, the Q will secure kills in a chase, but it probably will at level 1 as well.

His W – Devour is Tahm’s iconic ability, and it’s by far his most important. Devour is probably (without hyperbole) the single most versatile ability Riot has ever given a champion. I mean, just LOOK at what this devour can do.
1- Lane harass by shooting enemies at the enemy champions
2- Lane clear/push by shooting enemies into a wave.
3- Negates ganks (carry the carry to safety)
4- Save yourself with the movespeed buff when you grab an ally (not to mention yourself)
5- Initiate a fight by grabbing an ally (carry the carry to victory)
6- Negate a pick or dive on your carry by eating him.
7- Ridiculous hard CC that lasts 5 seconds on an enemy carry (Hilarious when Tyndamere spends his invincible time in your gullet)
8- Pull an overagressive enemy into the turret or your own team.
9- Doing a lot of damage to a single target.

I mean, can you think of ANY other ability that versatile in the game? I’d call it a swiss army knife, but it’s closer to a swiss army light saber. And just like a light saber, it has the potential to kill your allies or cut off your own arm. Be VERY careful about grabbing an ally. This thing has the potential for making people AFK or rage even greater than a poorly timed headbutt

Needless to say, I prefer maxing this ability first. Raising its power makes it’s ability length almost comical, and you can get the cool down to 7.5 seconds with CDR at level 4.

E: Iron Skin. When you take damage, and you think you are about to take a lot MORE damage, hit E to laugh at opponent.

R: Tahm’s a deceptive fellow. His ultimate is pretty nice, but everyone forgets that passive.

Tahm’s ultimate’s passive adds 4%/5%/6% of his bonus health as magic damage on auto attacks. That’s effing crazy. A giant’s belt grants 380HP (which is worth about 1010 gold). For Tahm, it basically grants another 600 gold worth of AA damage. Having 3000+ HP is nice. Being able to regen it instantly by pressing E is VERY nice. Being able to auto attack someone for 300+ damage at the same time is just evil.

Using his R is tricky without voice communication. You need the other players to be on the ball to use it properly, and your own map awareness needs to be pretty good. Like Bard’s magical journey/stasis, if you screw this up, you’ll probably die and get someone else killed as well.

One thing I like doing is telling the jungler to ping you when he’s heading bot, and then meeting him just above the lizards at 6. This lets you avoid the usual wards to jeep the junglers off. Naturally, you’ll also have to get your ADC to play defensively for a bit

My build with him routinely looks something like
Sight Stone
Berserker Greaves
Giant’s Belt
Giant’s Belt
Frozen Mallet

Since it’s a while before you can pick up any armor or MR, I find it important to start with a fair amount of the stuff. I could have started with 150HP from runes instead, but you don’t really NEED the extra health until you hit 6.

If the game goes late, I’ll pick up Warmogs (for even more HP), and Frozen Mallet (lock down and harder hits).

You don’t have to go quite this extreme, but you get the idea; pure HP isn’t just pure HP when you put it on Tahm.


One Response to “Some Thoughts on Tahm Kench”

  1. fugitiveunknown Says:

    On retrospect, the new patches and anti-tank meta have really hurt Tahm.

    As a Jungler, he gets outclassed by champions who benefit more from the MASSIVELY boosted AP items + devourer or runeblade. Incidentlaly, Kench benefits somewhat from devourer more than Cinderhulk IMO, which (god help us all) may actually need a buff.

    As a support, he was a bit questionable in the first place, but I’ll take Annie with some serious AP over him.

    As a Top, he’s less hurt, but he still suffers from indirect bonuses that AP tops like Rumble get from the AP item boosts.

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