Author: MMOsite Writer Alexander Hinkley
Tahm Kench, the River King, is the latest new champion to be released for League of Legends. Tahm Kench is a fat river demon whose primary role is to act as a support but has a secondary role as a tank. His tankiness makes Tahm Kench one of the few support champions that is actually viable in alternative game modes such as Dominion.
Riot has been pretty obsessed lately with having abilities accumulate stacks of something or other and Tahm Kench is no exception. His passive adds stacks of “An Acquired Taste” to enemies whom he hits with basic attacks or damaging abilities. After Tahm Kench has applied three stacks to an enemy, his Devour and Tongue Lash abilities will have additional effects against that enemy. You’ll know you’re building up stacks because a little fish symbol will appear next to the enemy champion. Although the added effects are indeed powerful, this passive is nothing to write home about overall.
Tahm Kench’s Q ability is Tongue Lash. Basically it is a long range lick that both damages and slows the first enemy it hits. The slow ranges from 30% at level one to a beefy 70% when the ability is maxed out. The damage isn’t bad either considering it scales with 70% ability power. Tongue Lash is one of just two damaging abilities in Tahm Kench’s arsenal so it is a key component to his kit. With a range of 800, it is his main harassing/poking ability as well. Definitely learn and then max out this ability first.
As previously mentioned, once you have added three stacks of An Acquired Taste on an enemy champion, Tongue Lash gets empowered. If you Tongue Lash an enemy with three stacks, it will also stun them for 1.5 seconds. Try to focus on one specific champion during team fights, ideally their ADC, so that you can quickly gain An Acquired Taste for them then stun them with Tongue Lash. Be sure to coordinate with your teammates who you are going after so they know to also focus them.
Devour is Tahm Kench’s W. This ability has a wide range of potential uses. Initially, it can be used to swallow an enemy minion, a neutral monster, or even an allied champion. This renders them unable to do anything for four to six seconds because they are inside Tahm Kench’s body. If Tahm Kench swallows an allied champion, he gets bonus movement speed. This aspect of the spell is helpful for scooping up a teammate who is in danger and then hightailing it outta there. If Tahm Kench swallows an enemy champion, on the other hand, his movement speed is reduced by 95% so keep that in mind before you gobble someone up.
Once three stacks of An Acquired Taste have been applied to an enemy champion, they can also be swallowed by Devour (but not before). The duration an enemy champion stays in Tahm Kench’s gut is reduced to two to three seconds.
So what’s the point of this ability other than to temporarily get someone off the battlefield? Well Tahm Kench can reactivate the ability to puke up the character he previously swallowed and dealing a huge percent of their health in magic damage (up to 32% +2% per 100 AP of the targets maximum health). That’s almost a third of their max HP even if you have zero ability power! Enemy minions or neutrals will be spat forward as a projectile which also deals damage to whomever they hit. Enemy champions get spit out right at Tahm Kench’s feet.
What’s also cool about this ability is that it couples nicely with Tongue Lash. If you activate Devour while Tongue Lash is being cast, you can swallow enemies from a distance. This combo can be used to snatch up enemy champions with three stacks of An Acquired Taste on them if they are trying to desperately flee from a battle for example. Learn and level Devour second.
Tahm Kench’s E ability is where he gets most of his tankiness from and is called Thick Skin. It is a passive ability in which Tahm Kench stores all the damage he takes. After he has not taken damage for several seconds, he will then regenerate anywhere between 20% to 44% of that damage (based on the ability’s level). Alternatively, Tahm Kench can also activate the ability to convert all of the stored damage into a substantial shield that lasts for six seconds. In other words, if you deal 300 damage to him, he can make himself a 300 damage shield effectively negating the damage you just dealt to him during that scuffle. This ability makes Tahm Kench very hard to kill alone. It can also be quite frustrating to go up against. Right when he is about to die Tahm Kench can suddenly produce a massive shield which is almost like healing himself back to full. It’s as if you have to kill him twice to actually kill him.