League of Legends Reviews: The Thresh Prince of Adobe Air
By Jason Harper (Hhean), OnRPG League Reporter
Thresh is a support focused on disabling the enemy and body guarding his lane mate. He has the unique ability to move both friends and foes, making him an excellent choice for dive compositions, and to help carries that usually lack an escape. While Draven and Miss Fortune are the obvious choices to pair with Thresh, given their strong laning and lack of an escape, he also does very well with Vayne, who adds her own displacement ability on top of Thresh’s.
Has some of the tankiest base stats in the game
Completely screws with enemy positioning
Provides an escape or gap closer to allies
His ultimate is incredible for area denial and lockdown
Can provide a shield to his whole team (stacks with the Locket of the Iron Solari)
Is the only character with both a pull and a ranged harass
Quick autoattack animation
Short auto attack range
Damage output is awful, he can lose out in damage trades to most other supports
His passive prevents him from bush camping when fishing for hooks
His passive makes his transition into late game unpredictable
His hook cannot pull people through walls (but he can leap through them)
Players unfamiliar with Thresh won’t use his lantern to move around
Damnation [Passive]: Thresh gains no armour or AP when levelling. Instead, when an enemy dies, they drop a soul that grants armour and AP when picked up. Minions have only a 20% chance to drop souls, while siege minions and champions always drop souls. The gain per soul begins at 1, but with every second soul he picks up the potency of the soul diminishes by .01, to a minimum gain of 0.5. In practical terms this means his growth will be very quick for the first 50 or so souls, but will diminish as he heads towards 100 souls. Given the passive forces you to either move or blow his Dark Passage just to keep up with other champions as they level, the passive is a crippling disadvantage that Thresh players will have to constantly deal with. Expect people familiar with playing against Thresh to make gaining those souls have a high cost.
Death Sentence [Q]: Passively grants additional damage to Thresh’s next auto attack, scaling with his attack damage, number of souls and the length of time since his last attack. When activated he throws out a skillshot that pulls an enemy towards him a short distance, pauses, then pulls them in again. After hitting an enemy, Thresh can activate the ability again to jump next to his target. This can be done even after the second pull if you abuse the small window where the chain is still on his victim. He can hit targets through walls, but enemies will not be pulled through them (Some of the thinner walls are able to be pulled through, but the target has to have been right up against the wall just before the pull). He can still jump to targets on the other side of walls with his second activation.
The windup on the ability can be excruciatingly long, and the projectile speed isn’t incredibly fast either, so make use of blind corners and brush to hide wherever possible. Failing that, try to catch people as they’re attacking, as it will give them less time to dodge out of the way. One oddball way this benefits Thresh though is that provided the hook is still travelling through the air, the attack will hit its target and drag them along regardless of what state he’s in. He can be suppressed by a Warwick leaping onto his face and still be slowly dragging a nearby carry to their death.
Dark Passage [W]: Thresh hurls his lantern at a spot on the ground, granting vision, and shielding all nearby allies. If an ally right clicks on the lantern they will be pulled to Thresh’s current location. If Thresh goes out of range of the lantern without having gained the shield he briefly counts as the lantern’s point of origin, giving a shield to both himself and nearby allies. The lantern will also collect any nearby souls, allowing them to be safely harvested from a distance.
Flay [E]: Linear skillshot that pushes an enemy back. Since the origin of the skillshot begins behind Thresh, he can fire it backwards to pull enemies towards him (while pushing other enemies away from him on the other side). Great for both reeling in victims, and body guarding your carry when enemy junglers stop by.
The Box [R]: Places a pentagon of pain around Thresh. Any enemy who makes contact with one the box’s walls will break it, taking damage and being slowed to a crawl.
Combos & Shenanigans
Thresh is an opportunistic character, looking for gaps to throw his Death Sentence. Always be aware that it’s a highly choreographed attack, with a long windup and slow projectile speed. To mitigate these problems, try to abuse corners and brush to hide his casting, or hit enemies within close range. Even if you hit someone at near melee range, Thresh can simply walk backwards as he pulls them, dragging the enemy behind him in the same way you’d drag people along with a taunt. When playing against Thresh, abuse the long cooldown periods on his Death Sentence to bully him while he lacks his most threatening ability.
Thresh doesn’t use his full kit often, mostly just fishing for hooks to Flay people, or using his lantern to protect himself and allies while going into dangerous situations. When he does blow everything he’s got, he has two main combos, one for isolating a key target, and one for acting as an initiator or follow up.
Isolation Combo – Hit the enemy with Death Passage before Flaying them back. Trap them in The Box then drop Dark Passage on top of yourself and pals to mitigate damage from the enemy’s death throes.
Initiation Combo – Drop Dark passage at Thresh’s feet and Death Passage the nearest target. Jump into the enemy team and put ‘em in The Box. Flay for good measure before laughing as your teammate rides the lantern to glorious victory.
I usually prefer the former to the latter, as it can be done safer, and Thresh doesn’t have the durability to survive the enemy team’s burst. However, the latter is still situationally useful, often when catching a low health team on the retreat.
Use the lantern as a scouting tool, both for checking for wards and for spotting targets in brush to hit with your hook. The lantern stays for a very long time, giving you ample time to throw a lantern, ward, and get out before it expires.
One complaint that’s often said about Thresh is that he places the burden of knowledge on his teammates to know how his lantern works. While you can’t stop awful players being awful, you can increase the likelihood that someone will grab it. Always be aware that Dark Passage has quite a slow projectile speed (When trying to save someone, anything that isn’t instant is slow), so lead your shots to always have the lantern land just ahead of where the person is moving. Ideally you want to just clip them with the outer edge of the lantern’s shield radius to give them that little bit extra durability when they’re moving their mouse to click on the life preserver hurled in front of them. Avoid throwing the lantern on minions or enemy champions, as your teammate’s right click will prioritise attacking over using the lantern.
Against an enemy Thresh, standing on his lantern will prevent your enemies from using it as an escape.
Don’t be afraid to just drop the lantern at your own feet when you think a fight is going to kick off. The AoE shield that it grants is good enough on its own, even without someone making use of it. When retreating away from an enemy team, a good way of protecting any allies bunched around you is to hurl the lantern in the direction of the enemy, allowing you to see their approach. As you pull back, the tether on the lantern will be broken, immediately granting yourself and allies the shield. You gain information and a little bit of added security all in one go.
Thresh has a whole tonne of depth in his design. This is one of my longer champions articles, and I’ve had to cut out plenty of things about the character. He’s got plenty of good stuff in his kit, backed by a variety of versatile tools.
Compared to Blitzcrank and Zyra, his main competition in the ‘hard CC monster support role,’ he certainly has his own little niche. Blitzcrank is far more of an all or nothing contender, acting just as often as an assassin as he does the team’s support. While he will lock down a target longer and harder than Thresh, he grants no defense for his team, and has less AoE capabilities than Thresh. Zyra on the other hand is going to be much better for poke comps, or teams that need a little more late game damage output as she transitions into a second mage for your team. Given the increased number of AD mids these days, that particular advantage is hard to argue with, and will likely keep Zyra as the reigning queen of support until her inevitable nerfs. Thresh does have far better synergy with diving, aggressive compositions though, which have become increasingly dominant since season 3.
Super good. If he isn’t picked in tournaments it’ll only be due to his competition hedging him out, and even then he’ll be jumping into the fray the moment any of his rivals are nerfed. He might see less use in solo play, as he’s at his most powerful with a coordinated team at his back. Also rates highly on my subjective ‘fun-o-meter’, but I have a love for displacement focused characters.
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