Incredible utility, that which far surpasses any other champion
Relevant damage for a support
Insane playmaking ability and outplay potential
Scales extremely well with cooldown reduction
Extremely hard to learn, and even harder to master. Requires patience and many games played to become fully effective.
0.91 Armor x 9 = 8.1 Armor
I almost always run armor marks on Thresh. The added tankiness to survive minion damage and enemy autoattacks in lane is extremely useful and makes a big difference. Although 8 armor might not seem like a large value, it is invaluable during laning. You want as much armor you can get in bottom lane. Seals:
1.41 Armor x 9 = 12.6 Armor
Armor seals are still worth taking on Thresh in my opinion. You need the armor to scale with your health quintessences for effective health. You can still take health seals if you want to, but I think that having armor to go with your health quints are really good. Glyphs:
1.34 Magic Resistance x 9 = 12 Magic Resistance
Flat MR glyphs are your best bet here. Scaling MR is also viable, but generally the enemy support in bot lane does a respectable amount of magic damage. Flat MR gives you the most resist you can get at level 1 and will help you survive enemy support damage. Quintessences:
26 Health x 3 = 78 Health
I like health quints the best on Thresh because they make you tanky early on, and synergize with the abundance of armor you're getting from your marks, seals, and masteries. 78 health is a big deal at level 1, and makes the difference in a lot of trades
Defense Tree: 2 Points in Block:
2 damage taken away from champion autoattacks means a lot during laning phase. It really helps you win trades, and there's no substitute. Take this every time. 2 Points in Recovery:
Although the health regen might not seem like much, it helps a lot during laning phase. And it's a lot more useful than Enchanted Armor. 1 Point in Unyielding:
Any mitigation from enemy champions that you can take is really useful and important. This synergizes with your full armor and health rune page and allows you to go in for autoattacks that you would otherwise lose more health for. 3 Points in Veteran Scars:
Flat health from masteries scales well with your armor runes and other armor masteries. This makes you just a bit beefier to help mitigate all sources of damage. 1 Point in Juggernaut:
This build opts for a lot of health, and a percent increase in that is really gold effective and valuable. 3 Points in Hardiness:
5 armor is HUGE. While on paper it doesn't seem like much, it's actually a big amount for a mastery. This stacks up nicely with all the health you build as well as the health from runes+masteries. 2 Points in Resistance:
Most supports, and some ADC's, actually do a lot of magic damage. This small amount of magic resistance helps you stay alive against ranged support powerhouses like Annie. Utility Tree: 1 Point in Phasewalker:
Bot lane is really volatile, which means that you'll have to back a lot, a lot of the time. This also helps in situations where the enemy tries to cancel your recall. You also need it to go further down the tree. 3 Points in Fleet of Foot:
1.5% movement speed actually means a lot for a champion with low base movement speed like Thresh. Often you won't have boots until your 3rd or 4th back, and in a lane where CC and ganks are really abundant, you need the mobility. 3 Points in Meditation
Thresh goes through mana like it's nothing, especially if you spam. All of his abilities cost a lot of mana, and this slight amount of mana regen helps you keep up. 3 Points in Summoner's Insight:
Summoner spells are really important on support champions, and you really want the lowered flash cooldown for flash hooks and flash flays. This mastery becomes even more important when you take Exhaust, as it adds a lot to your already strong ability to lockdown enemy champions. 1 Point in Alchemist:
Potions mean a lot in the bottom lane, and an increase in their potency is nothing to scoff at. Despite not taking Biscuiteer, I really think Alchemist is one of the most underrated and powerful masteries out there. 3 Points in Greed:
GP10 is super valuable on supports, and this helps you get your sightstone as fast as possible. 1 Point in Scavenger:
This mastery synergizes really well with your Ancient Coin. Anytime a minion dies near you, you'll get a bunch of gold. This mastery alone can get you upwards of 200 gold during laning. Take this every time. 1 Point in Wealth:
Wealth allows you to start with 4 potions if you go for Ancient Coin, and 2 potions if you get Doran's Shield. Take this every time.
Ignite & Flash
First of all, Flash is a 100% necessity on all support champions. It is an invaluable tool matched my no other summoner spell. You need the mobility that it gives you, and the ability to make plays that it gives you. Nothing serves you like Flash does when you need to escape a gank, nothing serves you like flash when you need to finish off a fleeing opponent or make a play. Nothing else is viable. Take it every time.
Ignite is the other spell that you should take most of the time. It gives you dueling power in lane and allows you to win engagements 2v2 in bottom lane. Often, if you don't have Ignite, you'll lose fights because the other support does have it. I'd say you should take Ignite about 3/4 of the time.
Exhaust & Flash
Exhaust is your other option. You should only take Exhaust when the enemy team has an AD hypercarry on their team, like Jax, Vayne, Riven, Yasuo, Zed, etc. You really need it lategame against these champions. It is worth being slightly weaker in lane. But only if one of these hypercarry type champions are on the other team.
After the nerf to Doran's Shield, you should start with Ancient Coin most of the time. You can still start with Doran's Shield, but you should only opt this start against a lane where you'll get autoattacked a lot. Start shield against champions like Cait, Zyra, Annie, and Draven.
Standard Final Items
This is just a general idea of what you should build on Thresh. Most of the time, your build won't look exactly like this, but there are some staples here that you should always build. These "staple" items are Sightstone, Talisman of Ascension and Oracle's Lens. Everything else is situational. However, in general... Cooldown boots allow you to spam your abilities. It makes missing a hook less punishing than if you didn't have any CDR. However, you should never have these if they put you significantly above the CDR cap of 40%. CDR boots + Talisman + Locket = 45% cdr, but that's not that big of a deal, because you won't upgrade your Aegis immediately and it's only a slight waste of gold. Sightstone should be your main buy after your Nomad's Medalion. At a low cost of 800 gold, Sightstone is the main support item and you need to get it every game. Don't upgrade to Ruby sightstone until you have nothing else to buy. It is basically only giving you health, whereas there are other things that give more valuable stats for the same gold. Talisman of Ascension is a super important and valuable support item that is incredibly gold efficient and useful to your team. You should get it right after you get sightstone, most of the time. Aegis/Locket is a super good pickup, especially against heavy magic damage dealing teams. Aegis is super cheap now, and makes a big difference in teamfights, especially when you have Locket and its active. Randuins Omen makes you TANKY. Probably moreso than any other armor item in the game. You should pick up an Omen if the enemy team's ADC is fed, or if they have multiple AD threats that will autoattack you for a lot of damage. Being tanky is actually really important on a champion that goes in like Thresh. Banshee's Veil is in insanely strong item that protects you from many different kinds of catch. This item allows you to ward deep without the risk of being caught out and instantly killed. You should still be safe and make smart decisions, as the item doesn't make you invincible, but against fed mages or teams with heavy engage champions like Vi or Leona, Banshee's is really smart buy.
Also, the earlier you can upgrade your sweeper to an Oracle's Lens, the better.
Assuming you start with an Ancient Coin, you should look to back at a gold value where you can pick up your Nomad's Medalion, boots, and some health potions. On blue side, you can pick up a pink ward and put it in tri brush. Otherwise, just utilize your trinket and greenwards for vision. Your next back should be when you have 800+ gold. Buy your sightstone, and immediately sell your warding totem for a sweeping lens. Once you have sightstone, there's no point in having a warding trinket.
You should then look to build your Talisman of Ascension. Once you have boots, talisman, and a sightstone, your core items are completed and you should itemize depending on what the enemy team's threats are.
BOOTS OF MOBILITY
Mobility boots are super strong after they reduced the gold cost by 200 gold. Look to buy these if you smashed your lane and can leave your ADC to farm by himself. Roaming can win you games. Mid lane rarely expects a thresh to come out of the cut and hook them to their death.
Buy Merc Treads if the enemy team has a lot of crowd control. This should be self-explanatory. Tenacity is really important when you have to make clutch plays under risk of CC to save yourself and your teammates.
You should get Thornmail against teams that have multiple AD carry champions, or melee carries like Yi and Tryndamere. It does make a difference, but generally there are better options.
You should look to get Warmog's if you're snowballing hard, and don't really know what else to buy. It's a good tank item, but it is only giving you health, and generally resists are better. Aphromoo builds this item a lot.
Zeke's Herald gives a ton of CDR, and a carry steroid. You should get this item if you have strong melee carries or multiple AD carries. Tryndamere, Fiora, Master Yi, Riven, and others all greatly benefit from this item. Make sure you're not going over the CDR cap though.
Another big ticket CDR item, Frozen Heart should only be purchased when the enemy team has either fed melee carries or multiple AD carries. This actually makes a big impact on the DPS of champions like Tryndamere. Again, make sure you don't go over the CDR cap.
Get mikael's against champions with lockdown crowd control that can severely impede your carries ability to do damage. If the enemy team has champions like Ashe, Rammus, Fiddlesticks, Malzahar, Warwick, Urgot, etc... This should be a priority. Remember to use the active, it's useless if you don't!
Flay should always be maxed first. It gives you the strongest laning phase possible and is the best ability other than your lantern to peel for your carries. It does a lot of damage, both with its active and passive component. Dark Passage, or lantern, should be maxed second. The increase in the shield and the cooldown reduction is really valuable. Dark passage is one of the most unique and game changing abilities in the game, and you'll want to have it up as often as you can. Death Sentence should be what you max last. It just doesn't scale as well as your other abilities. Some like to max it first and rush 40% cdr, but while doing that is fun, winning lane is more fun. The autoattack bonus that E gives you is just more valuable than the CDR on your hook. The Box should be skilled whenever possible, at levels six, eleven, and sixteen. It does a LOT of damage, but ever since the nerf, it is a lot harder to hit consistantly.
Thresh's passive is really interesting. First, Thresh doesn't gain Armor per level like all other champions. Instead, monsters and minions that are slain near Thresh have a chance to drop a soul, that Thresh can pick up. He gains 0.75 armor and ability power from each soul.This is a very powerful passive, because not only do all of Thresh's abilities scale with AP, but once late game comes around, and you have a lot of souls, your armor value will be way higher than a standard champion.
Lategame power and tankiness for free
Gives you a reason to walk up and have a presence in lane
All of your abilities scale with AP
Cool looking effects.
There are a lot of souls that you can't get, because you'll get harassed.
If you don't have a lot of souls, you'll have low armor and be weak.
Death Sentence is your main CC ability, it is your long range initiate and catch tool. It has longer range than Blitzcrank's hook, but it has a smaller line missle and doesn't actually bring the target all the way to you. Hitting good death sentances isn't the only part about being a good Thresh player, but it is a big part of it.
Extremely long range
Stun, which interrupts channels
Fast moving projectile
Hitting a hook always looks good, and is always rewarding.
Very hard to hit
Windup time unlike Blitzcrank
Thin line missile
Dark Passage is Thresh's most important ability, and what, in my opinion, makes or breaks a good Thresh player. You can hit as many hooks as you want, but if you don't understand how to use your lantern correctly and effectively, you're not playing Thresh to even close to his fullest potential. This ability gives a large shield and can be the difference in games.
Best peel/escape ability in the game by far
Large AOE shield
Collect souls from long range
Bring your ADC to lane faster if you're ahead of them
Easy ganks for your jungler
Makes a huge difference in all stages of the game, be it early, mid, or late.
Sometimes, people won't click it. Very frustrating.
Very long cooldown early on.
Cast range isn't that long, despite the leash range being very long.
Flay is Thresh's most underrated ability, and a huge gamechanger as well. The passive autoattack component of this ability makes a huge difference in lane, and the ability itself does a lot of damage and has a powerful slow. Max this first, because it scales the best of all your basic abilities and makes you strongest in lane.
Incredible peel potential
Does a LOT of damage. Both with the autoattack component and the active.
Very hard to hit, especially if you're trying to flash flay.
Looks really dumb if you miss it.
Runs you out of mana
The Box is Thresh's ultimate ability, and mainly a teamfight tool. It does a lot of damage and slows for 99%. It's important to land this ability because it has a really long cooldown. Generally, you should use it in the middle of a teamfight.
Does a ton of damage
Great zone control in teamfights
Secure kills in lane as well as save yourself and your allies
Synergies with your other abilities.
Was nerfed, so it is very hard to hit now unless you're on top of your target. Before, you could clip people with it when you got up close, now, it is hard to do that.
Long cooldown at all ranks
High mana cost
Long cast animation
Alistar lanes can go either way. This will either be a farm lane, or he'll try to play aggressive. You shouldn't go in with Death Leap if you hit a hook, because he'll pulverize you and then headbutt you into his tower. It is really easy to harass him a lot though. It is also possible to flay outplay his headbutt if you time it correctly.
Annie has way longer range than you, and this will probably be a hard lane. A good annie won't let you hit her at all while harassing you a lot with her insane autoattack range. You must hit a hook when her stun is down in order to win this lane. Post 6, her all in is stronger than yours. So be careful, and do your best to not get zoned. If she walks up to auto you, ping her so your ADC knows to autoattack her too.
Like Alistar, this lane can go either way. If he hits hooks early on that chunk you or your ADC, it gives him control over the lane. Just don't get hooked. Easier said than done of course, but it's really important to not let him get ahead. Keep in mind his shield, and keep in mind that he's melee.
As long as you don't get chunked by Dark Wind early on, you should win this lane. You are a superior skirmisher and you should win fights against a fiddle support. He's also really squishy, and easy to all in if you lane a hook. Play aggressive.
Janna is probably the easiest lane for you. She can't really harass, and you can just all in whenever you want. The later the game goes, the harder it is to kill her, however. She can also outplay your Death Leap with her tornado and monsoon. If she takes anything other than shield at level 1, all in at level 1.
This would probably be the hardest lane for thresh. Karma just does so much damage and is so slippery it can be really hard to lock her down, even with your kit. Her Q does so much damage, and is really hard to avoid, especially if she uses Mantra for it. You have to dodge all of her Q's until she runs out of mana to win this lane. Careful of her tether.
As long as you can flay Leona's Zenith blade, you will win this lane. It is really easy to do so. Just press E on her as soon as you see her cast it. You have to be careful at level six though, she has the strongest level 6 of any support and you can't flay Solar Flare.
Harass her as much as you can during lane. She'll get frustrated and E you to which you'll flay. It's really important that you don't get behind in a Leona lane!
Lulu is another difficult matchup for Thresh. She does a hell of a lot of damage early on, and can out aggress you because of her superior autoattack range. However, she is squishy and you shouldn't be afraid to all in if you hit a hook. Keep in mind, it's really difficult to kill someone in a Lulu lane when she's six, be it her or her ADC.
Morgana is not really hard to play against, she's more annoying to play against. She can just Black Shield all of your abilities so they'll have no effect. You have to use Flay first when you fight in this lane, because it comes out faster than your hook and she probably won't shield it, You can bait out the shield with flay and then wait until it dissipates to use hook. Don't get binded.
Nami isn't really that hard to deal with, as long as you don't get bubbled. Her W doesn't really do a whole lot of damage and you can pretty much win trades all throughout laning, provided you don't get bubbled.
If your ADC is getting chased down by her autoattack slow, give him a lantern immediately.
Not a lot of people play Sona nowadays, but she's a really strong bully in lane. Despite this, she'll die in one hit if you land a hook on her. If she's harassing you with her Q, flay her. Don't let her walk all over you, trade back. Missing any of your abilities is costly in this lane. And if you get a gank, just kill her. She has no escape and is insanely squishy.
Soraka lanes will probably just look to farm, but you should play aggressive and make her use her heal on herself. Make her run out of mana healing herself from your harass. Just like Sona, aim to kill her if you get a gank. It's practically free.
Taric lanes will either passively farm, or play extremely aggressive, depending on what the AD is. Make sure to harass him as much as you can without getting stunned in the face, as he is a melee champion. Keep in mind that he has terrible mana problems.
You're overall a more useful champion than he is. Keep that in mind, you outscale him.
Zyra is really hard to lane against. Especially if she lands her abilities on either you or your AD. She's really squishy though, and will probably die if you hook her. Kill her plants immediately as they spawn. They do a lot of damage if you just let them sit there. It's dangerous to all in on a death leap post level six, because her ult does a lot of damage and is huge zone control. Keep in mind that she has long auto range, and you don't.
During the early game as Thresh, you'll want to play aggressively, Don't allow the enemy support and AD to just farm up the creeps for free like it is nothing, you have to control the lane. If you want to rise in rank, you have to win lane. You can't just passivly farm. Thresh is an aggressive, lane dominant champion. And you need to take advantage of that. If the ADC goes up to last hit, autoattack them. It is a 0.25 second window where you can get free damage and pressure on your opponent. And you need to take it. You should put your trinket down in the lane brush as soon as you get to lane, especially if the enemy support is standing in there. It's not important to ward the river until post 3 minutes, when most junglers finish their second buff. If your trinket isn't up by then, ask your ADC to ward with theirs.
Another main thing I want to stress about the early game, is that you should actively try to NOT get hit by enemy CC. Don't randomly die in lane. You always want to have a lead when you play Thresh, so that if you hook someone, they'll die. Don't give your opponents an edge by dying for free.
Look to back at a gold value where you can buy your Nomad's Medalion. That is your main objective, to not be forced to back before you have that gold. After you get that, you should get sightstone on your next back, swapping your warding trinket for a sweeper. You can then progress into the midgame.
Mid game plays out differently depending on whether or not you're winning lane. If you are winning, which you should be, because you're thresh. you should take your tower and ward the river all over. Roam mid and kill the enemy mid laner. To win in solo q, you have to have an objective based mindset. You can't just be bloodthirsy and mindless. Dragon means everything. Getting your enemy bot lane tower destroyed means everything. Control means everything in LoL. And Thresh is one of the best game control champions in the game.
...If for some reason you're behind in lane, you need to either ask your jungler to gank, or cede your tower and then roam while having your carry freeze bottom lane. It is a better option than just getting zoned out of XP. Actively try to make a difference in your game.
If you're roaming, don't forget to drop wards wherever you go and to sweep common enemy ward locations. Buy a pink ward and place it in a sneaky spot, it could last you a good percent of the game. And they don't count toward your 3 ward count. Ward their jungle. Ping when you see their jungler. Keep in mind when their buffs should spawn. Again, an objective based mindset wins games.
Lategame is where Thresh shines. Mid game is where Thresh shines. Early game is where Thresh shines. All of these statements are true. During lategame, you'll want to focus on objective control, wave control and MAP CONTROL. Map control is what you can have the most impact on as a support. You should still be timing buffs, dragons, and barons, but your focus should be vision. Keep important objectives warded. It is often the difference in a game. And just like I said for early game, don't get randomly caught. Dying in the lategame is often what loses you the game, even if your opponents don't directly end off of you dying. Never surround yourself in fog of war. Actively ask yourself the question. Could this be warded right now? Could there be 5 people standing in this brush I'm about to facecheck? Prudence wins games.
During this stage of the game you should be fighting over control of baron and waiting to land a hook. If you do land a hook, think before you go in on it. Who did I just hook? Will my teammates follow up if I go in? If they do follow up, can we kill who I just hooked? These are questions you need to ask before you just fly into the enemy team like an idiot. And don't just spam Death Sentance. Think about it before you press Q, it can make or break the game.
Teamfighting as thresh is simple. Your objective is to peel for your AD carry. What that means is that you should use your abilities on whoever your AD carry is hitting. The faster you kill the enemy front line, the faster you win the fight. If an assasin is diving your ADC, you shouldn't be deep in the enemy team's backline trying to flash hook one of their carries, you should be flaying the assasin that's trying to kill yours! People teamfight incorrectly as Thresh all the time. Thresh's kit is designed to save his allies and lock opponents down. You need to be the babysitter that your six item carry deserves. Because if you're not there for them in the fight, you will lose the fight. It's as simple as that. You'll be tanky at this point, and should be able to survive for yourself. Make sure to throw your lantern to an ally in need. The shield is actually really significant. And remember to use your actives, especially Mikaels if you have it. Summoner spells as well.
In conclusion, Thresh is a powerful solo queue force that, although comes with a high skill cap, can carry games very hard and can be the difference in games. He is worth learning and mastering, and can teach you a lot about the dynamic of bot lane. He's also good for learning how to play aggressive in general. Go out there and make a play!!!
This guide was not written by me but i think it is the best thresh build out there atm so I've included it here.