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In game, Thresh is a support that thrives on communication and cooperation. He controls fights by displacing enemies and repositioning allies.
During the laning phase, Thresh uses the range of his basic attack to terrorize opposing champions with his Death Sentence passive. He shields his lane partner with Dark Passage and with well-executed positioning offers them the unique benefit of the lantern's escape potential. Flay's versatility lets Thresh push enemies into range for further harassment or swat them away to protect an ally.
In the mid game, the synergy between Thresh's abilities shines. An opportune lantern can bring a teammate along for the ride when Thresh hooks an enemy with Death Sentence. Flay can chain into a mid-range Death Sentence to knock an opponent up and grab them out of the air. Thresh can put enemies in an even scarier situation by isolating them in The Box or can cast The Box and then drag or knock enemies into it to trigger the damage and massive slow from breaking its spectral walls.
Late Game and Teamfights
Because Thresh scales through collecting souls for Damnation, an effective soul harvester will become a potent damage-soaking tank during the transition to late game. In team fights, Thresh frustrates enemy positioning with Flay and Death Sentence, while shielding allies with Dark Passage. The Box can inflict heavy burst damage and split enemy teams as they try to disengage.
- Thresh's strength as a support comes from his incredible amount of utility, CC, and AoE, stemming from his ability to displace and disable enemies with his Death Sentence, Flay, and The Box. His Dark Passage can be used as a reliable escape or a way for allies to easily follow up with him. His passive, Damnation allows him to continually gain power as the game progresses to make him deceptively strong and durable. However, champions with strong disengages can hinder him from utilizing his power to his full potential.
- While Damnation allows Thresh to continually gain power, he starts off weak. Be cautious early game.
- Throwing Dark Passage on to nearby souls can let you collect them without getting close.
- This tactic can be useful if you are in a lane against champions who can be more aggressive than you earlier, have a fair amount of poking abilities, or ways to counter your CC (e.g. Lulu, Ezreal, Morgana, and Braum.
- Avoid using this method too much as Dark Passage has a long cooldown and can leave you without mana to use your other abilities.
- Flay's passive is strong enough to make building attack damage worthwhile.
- While the passive's damage scales off attack damage, it is still magic damage, and will benefit from magic penetration.
- At rank 5, with no attack speed bonus, it adds ~24% of your attack damage per attack. Which is ~20.5 at level 18, without any damage bonuses. (Pending Testing).
- It's worth saying that the passive effect does not encourage continual attacking, as you will not get any bonus damage if you do not let the ability "charge".
- Death Sentence is a great initiation tool. Consider the merits of pulling them vs pulling yourself. Keep in mind that it can also be cast on neutral monsters. This can be used to escape, set up jungle ganks, or to simply increase mobility.
- Dark Passage is a great way to save an ally. Not only do you shield them, but you can allow them to escape if they click the lantern.
- Consider teaming up with melee champions who have dashes, such as Xin Zhao or Jax. They can jump on the enemy, be shielded from counterattacks, and jump back to safety.
- If an ally is coming in to gank your lane, you can place the lantern in his path and initiate, the jungler/ally can use the lantern to jump to you and help secure the kill quickly.
- Dark Passage can be a good scouting tool, particularly when checking the Baron and Dragon pits. However, be wary of the ability's long cooldown.
- Flay is a good escape and chase tool, depending on the cast direction.
- Just as Flay's active is useful, so is its passive. Wait for it to charge, and then autoattack an enemy champion for decent harass damage. This method is especially useful in the early game.
- If an enemy is camping inside The Box and refuses to touch one of the walls, consider using Flay to push them into one. The slow and damage will be worth it especially if you Flay them towards a turret or allies.
- Death Sentence can actually be sped up by casting Flay in the same direction immediately after, causing the ability to more closely mimic the speed of Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab. This can be especially useful against champions with high dodge potential, such as Ahri.
- With abilities that scale off ability power and attack damage, as well as having heavy crowd control, Thresh can make use of many stats, allowing him adapt to changing situations and match ups, but is most often played as an off-tank support.
- Thresh has many starting options as a support depending on how he's played.
- Thresh, and active can help you engage with your team. is an option to sustain yourself when not as experienced with
- can also be a decent option to sustain both yourself and your lane partner.
- Thresh's ability power ratios are fairly low, but he gains extra on-hit magic damage, making magic penetration from items like a valuable stat.
- Flay's passive component has great damage potential and can be combined with several other effects for devastating results.
- Since the passive multiplier grows between attacks, you will not get a fully multiplied effect building both attack damage and attack speed.
- With a lot of souls (at least 100), Thresh can deal decent DPS.
, , and ,
- Damnation. damage will also be increased by the bonus AP from
- With lots of AD and time to wind up, Thresh can deal a very high amount of damage in a single hit. (up to 450% AD if using an and not counting collected souls)
- The bonus damage is magical and thus that component will not crit.
- Thresh's gap closer, crowd control, and the ability for allies to move to him with Dark Passage allow him to be a great initiator. Consider building tank and aura items like , , or .
- Dark Passage anymore, he still makes great use of its stats as a tanky support while granting his teammates magic resistance and a shield. is probably the best item when playing support, even though he can't shield the entire team with
- Thresh's effectiveness in several roles depends very much on the number of soul he has collected.
- Under 100 souls, your armor is lower than that of the most champions. Thus, you should consider buying items with high armor values or play defensive.
- Between 100 and 200 souls, you can consider building something more offensive or refocus on magic resist or health if you are building as a tank. You have matched the armor of many champions, and with 115 souls you surpass Maokai, having the highest base armor at level 18 (passive abilities, such as Shatter not included).
- Over 200 souls, you can build Taric) and 150 AP, only by the collected souls. You can also add a for powerful magic resistance reduction, or a to this build for adding on-hit, AP-based magic damage. In this case, you should take some magic resist and health item, like or . and to start becoming an offensive champion, having 162 base armor (surpassing even
- Building Damnation, which replaces his armor growth stat, is considered bonus armor and therefore increases its damage for each soul. can be very effective, since the armor from
- Since Thresh receives a lot of his power through Damnation, zoning him out from collecting souls is especially effective. Take into account your own minions' positions as these are where souls may spawn.
- Thresh will commonly use Dark Passage to collect souls. It can be a good idea to wait until Dark Passage goes on cooldown before going on the offensive.
- Remember that every death leaves Thresh with downtime where he can't collect souls. His passive can be his downfall if successfully utilized against him.
- Thresh has high offensive capabilities, but only in a relatively close range.
- Thresh's Death Sentence is his main initiation ability, and much like playing against other aggressive supports, avoiding it will limit his ability to get on top of you and unload his combo.
- Using allied minions to shield yourself can be effective, but note that Thresh may still choose to pull himself anyway to get in range for his other spells.
- Thresh is not very durable early on, and harassing him will make it risky for him to use his spells effectively. Use these opportunities and his high cooldowns early on to force fights.
- Be aware that Dark Passage can be used to quickly bring one of Thresh's allies into a fight. Try to gain vision of areas behind Thresh from where his reinforcements could approach.
- Dark Passage when used to help his allies escape can be halted or prevented by placing obstacles (such as wards or pets) or moving onto the lantern and blocking it with your own hitbox.
- As of Patch 3.11 you can Cleanse the stun, break the chain, and prevent Thresh's Death Leap component into you team using on a hooked ally. It can be self-cast.