- Playing As Tahm Kench
- Your most important function as a support is to keep fragile allies safe. Keep Devour's range and cooldown in mind and position accordingly!
- Consider carefully when to use Thick Skin's active. Sometimes shielding early to avoid further damage is good, but sometimes the healing is more beneficial.
- Playing Against Tahm Kench
- When you see Tahm Kench use the shield from Thick Skin, remember that he just opted out of a good deal of healing. He will also not accumulate new gray health until Thick Skin comes off cooldown. Use this to your advantage!
- If Tahm Kench harrasses you by spitting minions at you, try going in for a trade right after he spits. His Devour will be on cooldown and you should be able to trade favourably if he can't eat you.
- Ability Usage
- While laning, Tahm should always be looking for opportunities to harass with Tongue Lash. He can also harass by using Tongue Lash on a minion immediately followed by Devour, allowing him to swallow and launch a minion as a projectile. While this does give Tahm some AoE damage, it also eats away a large portion of his mana and prevents him from using Devour defensively until it comes off cooldown, rendering the combo too expensive to be worth executing unless it is being used to clear a wave.
- Players should be cautious about choosing when to use Devour as a support because of its long cooldown early on. Generally speaking, using Devour offensively or on a minion creates a window of opportunity for opponents to engage without safe escape for the ADC, so use it sparingly in a duo lane. Devour is best used offensively when opponents are fleeing or an allied jungler is preparing to gank your lane. When using Devour defensively, be sure to use it only when necessary or try to keep track of enemy cooldowns. By disrupting an ally's combo you run the risk of reducing their overall DPS or allowing opponents time to bring their skill rotation off cooldown in time to re-engage, effectively losing the trade or giving up a kill. Try to refrain from Devouring an ally until you see them fleeing from danger or know they would otherwise die to oncoming damage.
- Players should also be cautious about choosing when to use Thick Skin, as well. In most cases, it's best to use his grey health as a shield rather than a regen tool when tanking turret fire or being focused by burst champions. Tahm players can put themselves in dangerous situations or get caught off guard by choosing to hoard their grey health for regen rather than shielding. It is best to use grey health for regen while clearing jungle camps or following short trades; in most other circumstances, a shield would be more beneficial.
- Thick Skin makes Tahm very effective at diving turrets due to his high health values and his ability to bring allies safely into turret range using Devour or Abyssal Voyage without subjecting them to turret aggro. When he gets low on health, Tahm can activate Thick Skin while under turret to effectively double his health bar, providing a much longer than normal attack window for allies to operate in before being forced out of turret range. Be careful to avoid eating unnecessary damage while using Thick Skin to tank turret aggro because a large amount of unexpected damage or hard cc can lead to death before your shield can be activated.
- Abyssal Voyage is a very powerful re-positioning tool due to its ability to bring allied champions with you. A well-timed ult can turn 1v1 or 2v1 situations into advantageous encounters across the map, providing high amounts of global pressure while Tahm is roaming or not visible on the map. Though Tahm is unable to carry multiple enemy champions through Abyssal Voyage alone, he is able to carry more than one ally if used in conjunction with Kalista's Fate's Call. Try to travel to and from locations in the fog of war while using Abyssal Voyage to prevent enemies from predicting the gank or interrupting the channel. Remember that the skill indicator is larger than most brush patches, and will therefore still be visible to the opposing team when cast to or from a brush. The skill also emits a loud sound upon travel that can be heard by the opposing team; therefore, it is best to strike quickly following an ult if you are attempting to surprise the enemy team.
- Mastery Usage
- Item Usage
- Tahm Kench synergizes best with items that provide health and resistances, such as Thick Skin, and should be considered due to the Tahm's high bonus health scaling and overall utility. is a worthwhile pickup during the early game phase that can later provide a large amount of damage or utility when built into or . , , and . is especially useful to Tahm due to its synergy with
- An offensive item to consider would be Tongue Lash and naturally seeks to auto attack in attempt to proc An Acquired Taste more quickly. Building additional CDR with also gives Tahm permaslow potential, helping him close in on enemies before using Devour. While doesn't provide any health, it dramatically increases his spammability and provides a decent amount of armor for solo lane play. Players should not build both and in a single match though, because the passive slows from each item do not stack. , which gives him the sticking power that he lacks while growing out his health pool. should also be considered as an alternative because Tahm Kench can proc it often following
- Tongue Lash, allowing him to burn a whopping 12% of an opponent's health every 6 seconds, in addition to the increased offensive capabilities granted to him through its additional bonus health and Tongue Lash's high base damage. is a very powerful item on Tahm because of the low cooldown and slow on
- While Tahm can effectively utilize any support item while in that role, he best utilizes Tongue Lash and Devour. Because of Tahm also likely possessing a large amount of health, the 10% of said health being converted into a shield for a squishy ally will be tremendous in proportion to their health. Support Tahm should also seek to invest in early to increase his tankiness and vision control. because of its high health gains and his ability to safely farm siege minions using
- While Tahm has great map mobility with Abyssal Voyage, he lacks an easy way to get into teamfights outside of it, and it's hugely telegraphed. An early investment in a or a can allow Tahm to engage on the enemy team while slowing down a crucial target for several hits, allowing him to build up stacks of An Acquired Taste and take an enemy out of a fight with Devour.
- in particular is valuable to Tahm due to its movement speed being passive, allowing him to get away from enemies he can't deal with by himself and bait them into a trap by his teammates. Be aware that you lose stacks of momentum while slowed, stunned, or otherwise incapacitated, so use your improved speed to dodge incoming crowd control even if it means you might take some damage.
- The Grey Health mechanic on Thick Skin means that, unlike other tank supports, Tahm Kench is very resilient to poke. However, due to the fact that he lacks a means of healing his teammates, other than the passive on and its upgrades, it is recommended that during the lane phase, you harass his ADC instead of Tahm Kench himself.
- Grey Health is not a shield. It only applies a shield when Tahm Kench activates it. You can take advantage of this by using hard CC on Tahm Kench, so that he will not able to activate this ability and survive for a longer time. This and his damage potential makes Tahm Kench more vulnerable to hard CC, when compared to other tanks.
- Tahm Kench excels at countering hard engages and dives, thanks to Devour. Avoid wasting your most valuable single-target abilities such as Death Mark or Assault and Battery before baiting Tahm Kench into using this skill. On other hand, it is a single-target skill that can only really be used to save one ally, so for example, if Tahm Kench is protecting the ADC, just focus their mid laner.
- This can also be countered by using champions with lots of AoE abilities, such as Xerath, Karthus, and AP Kog'Maw.
- Keep in mind that Devour cannot avoid delayed damage. Thus, if Zed has already dealt enough damage to kill an enemy, Tahm Kench cannot save them even with Devour. This also means that other delayed damage skills like Hemoplague can still deal damage to Tahm's devoured allies.
- Because Devour has a short range, players can also try to isolate Tahm from high value targets before engaging them with single target abilities. Hard CC with long durations or skills that displace enemies, such as Skarner's Impale or Gragas' Explosive Cask.
- Tahm Kench lacks an engage of his own. This can be taken advantage by constantly harassing his team with poke. Tahm Kench, as explained above, is difficult to outlast with poke, but it is still a viable way to wear him down as the Grey Health will not regenerate his entire health.
- Affecting Tahm with Grievous Wounds (for example, Varus' Hail of Arrows) can severely hinder his ability to regenerate with Grey Health, by either delaying his regen or reducing the amount he receives in compensation. This however will not hinder his ability to shield, so players should attempt to apply hard CC or provide ample room to chase should they try to use a delaying tactic. or an ability that inflicts
- Between the bonus damage from Abyssal Voyage, the high shield power of Thick Skin, and Tahm's respectable single target lockdown with Tongue Lash and Devour, Tahm bears the distinction of being quite possibly the best tank duelist in the game. Trying to 1v1 Tahm late game is an exercise in futility, as even if he doesn't have kill potential on you, he can delay the fight for potentially minutes on end, allowing his team to turn the tides. Do your best to fight Tahm with a numbers advantage, as he lacks any real AoE damage or crowd control and, while durable, can only take so much punishment.
- Tahm Kench is not just a support. He is also a top laner, and a good counter to many of other common top laners. He is really difficult to outduel as a melee champion, but he is actually quite vulnerable during the early game, especially because he is mana hungry. A lane bully such as Darius or Renekton can hold their own against Tahm Kench, especially since they have sustain. But keep in mind that they will not be able to combat Tahm for a long time, and he will eventually outscale them in utility.