Unbench the Kench with Mithy

By Riot Mirhi

Everyone's favorite demonic catfish has proven to be one of the most influential champions at the 2015 World Championship. Tahm Kench has been instrumental in several teams' wins at Worlds, having been played by Chia-Wei "Albis" Kang (AHQ), Beom-Hyeon "Gorilla" Kang (KOO), Tian "Meiko" Ye (EDG), Bo "Pyl" Chen (LGD), and now Alfonso "Mithy" Aguirre Rodriguez (OG) with a 6-2 overall record.

Considering Tahm Kench's low professional playrate prior to the World Championship, you may be wondering why he's been among the most popular picks in the diverse tournament. Tahm Kench has been utilized to keep late game scaling champions alive, particularly Jinx, who has been the hyper-carry of choice for many AD carries at Worlds 2015. To aid the low mobility, late-game carry, supports use Tahm Kench's annoying Devour ability to eat their ally and keep the rocket-firing marksman alive.

"Right now the meta has been a lot about playing a hyper carry and defending him," Mithy says. "Tahm Kench is really good at that. He's really good at negating all these pick comps."

And other players at Worlds have agreed with Mithy's sentiments.

"Tahm Kench is a very good protector of the AD," ahq e-Sports Club's top laner Yi "Ziv" Chen said. "[Against] aggressive team comps… who can easily catch our AD, we have to assign Tahm Kench to protect him."

"I think Tahm Kench is good with a fast-push meta because you can deliver your AD carry with your ultimate wherever you want to go," said GorillA after playing him for the first time in competitive play.

In Game 2 of the Quarterfinals against the Flash Wolves, Mithy paired his Tahm Kench with Jesper "Niels" Svenningsen's Kalista to great effect. Daisy-chaining abilities together, Mithy ate Shuo-Jie SwordArt" Hu's Morgana before being Fate's Called back to the rest of Origen. He then spit her out to be slaughtered by the rest of Origen's frontline. Ouch.

"The Kalista combo, we've only played it once ever. In a scrim," Mithy explains. "This was the second time [we pulled off the combo]. The first time we did it… I was playing him [for] the first time -- I was reading the spells while we were scrimming. That's kind of how Origen's scrims go," he laughs. "I was testing if it worked or not, because I didn't know what to do in the scrim. It just kind of happened one time and I knew we could do it more often -- then I did it on the stage."

Mithy may be new to Tahm Kench, and while he's found good ways to use the champion, he also thinks it has some clear weaknesses. "If we're playing protect the AD carry and they're doing the same with another champion, like Morgana or Thresh, I feel that the Thresh or the Morgana have more room to do stuff than the Tahm Kench does. The only thing I can do is eat my AD carry and my AD can't even auto-attack while I'm eating him," he says.

But if you do want to play as Tahm Kench, he does have some advice for optimizing your play. "Position yourself so that you take damage for your team -- as in you're in the front line, but at the same time, you're in a good position to save someone in your team [while] you manage to output as much damage as possible. It sounds easy, but it's really hard because you need to be in both the front line and the back line at the same time if you want to do both things."

Mithy goes on to say: "Tahm Kench is pretty straight forward in what to do, but you have to pick it against enemy teams with a brawl comp," which he describes as any composition that aims to rush at you -- similar to a hard-engage or team-fighting composition.

As the Worlds 2015 Quarterfinals are only just getting started, Origen's support believes Tahm Kench isn't going anywhere. "I think we'll see a lot more Tahm Kench in the upcoming games and there will be very good ones," he says. "I think we'll get a better impression of what is good and what is bad about this champion."

Tomorrow we have another Tahm Kench support take the stage: ahq e-Sports' Albis. Given Chun-an "AN" Chou's penchant for playing Jinx, we'd fully expect the Kench to remain unbenched.

3 years ago

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