League of Legends: How to Play as Thresh
This will be a step by step for beginners who are learning to play Thresh in League of Legends. First and foremost let's clear the air and admit that all bottom lane roles are only as good as the support. Thus, highlighting the importance of having a teammate along side of you down in the bottom lane. Lets get started, Thresh is a champion that can counter and outplay several of his opponents. Your opponents may think that they can get by with an Ezreal or Tristana counter pick. Which may work once in awhile, but with this in depth guide, a good player can outplay even their toughest match-ups. Thresh is by far one of the best champions to overcome a scenario where the enemy team or your team is outnumbered.
His passive ability, "Damnation", tends to seem unimportant at times. However, over the course of a game where you have a greater number of souls collected, the percentage of armor and magic resist becomes very useful when engaging on enemies that are able to burst you down with heavy amounts of damage. Collecting souls aren't as valuable as staying alive, so don't feel obligated to risk a death or two just by collecting a few souls but still be vigilant on gathering souls throughout the game.
Q Ability: Death Sentence
The most important ability that Thresh has within his kit is his "Q". In my opinion this is what makes Thresh so much fun to play as a support, and nothing feels better than connecting a successful hook on an opponent resulting into a kill for your team. "Death Sentence", the name stands for itself. If it lands, more often than not a kill will come out of it. Be cautious, this can be a difficult skill shot to land if not experienced with the range and timing of this ability. Death Sentence is the ability to max out skill points in first, due to the fact that it stuns enemies and on the second cast will pull your champion towards the enemy that was hit initially.
W Ability: Dark Passage
"Dark Passage" is another key component to Thresh's gameplay. While a player casts the lantern ability, it grants vision in fog of war brushes, collects souls from the passive ability, as well as shields Thresh and the nearest ally if they are within range of the lantern. Now, if an ally champion clicks on the Dark Passage ability, Thresh will then pull the lantern to himself bringing the ally champion to Thresh's ongoing location.
E Ability: Flay
The "Flay" ability allows for Thresh to knock his enemies backwards or forwards depending on the casting direction of the ability. The passive that flay provides is that if thresh doesn't auto attack any enemy for a period of time, a charge will build up and cause the next basic attack to deal more damage. This ability does well for lane phases of the game as it is able to poke down enemy health bars when a player allows for the passive to charge up. The biggest impact the ability has is the knock-up, it can be used as a disengage or an engage ability.
R Ability: The Box
Thresh's ultimate ability is "The Box", which creates a barrier of five walls that damages and impairs the movement speed of enemies who cross the barriers. This ability comes helpful in both disengage and engage situations.
Now, lets dive into the ability combinations that make up the unique game play of Thresh. Know your opponent match up, this will take time to learn against the different types of match ups that you may encounter on summoner's rift. Knowing your opponents' abilities and the cooldowns of those abilities are vital to a successful Thresh play. Like I mentioned above, Death Sentence is the most important ability when it comes to playing Thresh. When facing an opponent like Ezreal, Tristana, or any champion that has their summoner spell Flash available it is important to consider where the opponent could displace their position. This takes a lot of practice, you are reading your opponents intentions and predicting the projected landing zone of the opponent. A highly skilled Thresh player will be able to manipulate their opponents movements by only allowing their opponent to have a single escape route, this is called zoning. This will make it easier for players to predict where the opponent is playing towards next in order to connect the Death Sentence ability. As you are laning against your opponent and you see an opportunity to hook your opponent, whether that is because your opponent is out of position, there is a window of opportunity between minions, or there is a lack of vision. However, you find your entry point, seize it. After initiating with your Death Sentence ability, activate it for a second time to pull yourself towards the target you stunned. Following the initiation, you have the opportunity to use any of your three remaining abilities (assuming they're on cooldown). If you want to quickly turn a situation where you have an ally right by your side, you will cast the Dark Passage ability towards the ally of preference. By casting this ability in between the first activation of Death Sentence and the second activation it will pull your ally towards you with Dark Passage, as you are pulling yourself towards an enemy with Death Sentence. Now, you're staring in the face of your opponent. Personally, I would use The Box ability because of the impaired movement speed and damage output. Also The Box stays active for five seconds, during these five seconds if the opponent has not passed through any walls of The Box, you can then Flay your enemy into one of the walls to apply the effects. If your opponent is still alive, at this point they are expending every possible resource to evade your clutches. By this point the cooldown on your Death Sentence should be expired, thus allowing you to recast this ability to stun your opponent for a second time. These methods described are ideal for a laning phase encounter, however, these chain of abilities can be used during many situations throughout a match on summoner's rift.