Ahri Build Guide by Aquilegia
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Teamfight oriented build
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hey everybody! I'm Aquilegia, and this is my third guide on MOBAfire.
Ahri was the first champion I picked up after I began shifting out of my only-play- Teemo phase (which lasted an embarrassingly long time). She was a little harder than I was used to, since she has a few skillshots, but I instantly loved her. She's beautiful, has a cute voice, and can be incredibly powerful. She's also very unique, being the only (I think) AP carry with true damage. Her mechanics might take a little getting used to since she is more close-ranged than other AP carries.
Ahri doesn't have the most powerful ratios in the game, but she has incredible base damage and true damage. So, instead of building her glass cannon, I focus on a few resistances, health, and spell vamp to mesh with Essence Theft. I also get some mpen to put some pain onto my enemies. I think this way maxes out her potential and she can deal crazy amounts of damage to the entire team while surviving as she stays in range.
I think Ahri is one of the most fun champions to play, so try this out and tell me what you think. Constructive criticism is appreciated, as are upvotes. :)
Pros & Cons
+ True damage
+ Lots of AoE
+ Very mobile
+ Built-in spell vamp
+ Unique Charm
- Relatively close-range
- Weak ratios
- Not very much CC
- Initially mana hungry
s p a c e s p a c e
Ahri is a champion that I feel should definitely go all out in the offense tree: she's your AP carry. The other 9 points are up for debate as to where you should put them, but I think that the defense tree is your best bet. You get a few resistances out of this and some health to help you out. Ahri doesn't really have the best defense, and in addition to that, she's relatively short range, so you need to be a little too close for comfort around your enemies. The defensive bonuses these masteries offer help her trades and burst damage to be delivered in a much safer way.
First of all, a point is dipped into Summoner's Wrath because I pick up Ignite to couple it. If you take Barrier or some other spell, this wouldn't be my first choice for you. Next, two points go into Butcher because Ahri has low AD and needs some help with last-hitting.
Blast is our next choice, which is necessary for any AP carry. It gives you 18 AP at level 18.
Arcane Knowledge is very important for Ahri. She needs magic pen since she doesn't have very hard AP scaling abilities, so opting for mpen is the best thing for her. It gives her a greater damage output. 8% is a lot, too.
Mental Force should be taken for 6 more AP. You should also take up Spellsword to aid in those pesky last-hits.
Archmage is like a baby Rabadon's Deathcap. It increases your AP by 5%, which is very helpful as you add on more AP: you'll get more than you paid for.
Executioner is great for a bursty mage like Ahri. It'll help you 100-0 targets since you deal more damage as their lifebar depletes.
Here is where we dip into a little bit of defense to help out Ahri when she's in range for her abilities, which isn't very far away from your enemy. Durability gives you 108 health at level 18, which is a pretty hefty amount for a little mastery.
Hardiness and Resistance both offer 3.5 MR and armor. This is a small bonus but helpful at the beginning of the game since Ahri isn't naturally defensive.
The 30 health from Veteran's Scars is irreplaceable, especially early-game. This is a great pick for a tiny bit of beefiness.
If you don't feel like Ahri doesn't need to focus on defense, then you can place your 9 points into the utility tree. Take Summoner's Insight because you take Flash. Also put points into Wanderer for some mobility. Ahri makes a wonderful ganker post-6, so this helps you get to other lanes faster. 3 points into Meditation helps with her mana regen and Expanded Mind gives her some extra mana. You should also put a point into Runic Affinity to keep up blue buff for whenever you have it.
This is a little unconventional, but I've tried this out, and it works very well for Ahri. Take only Summoner's Wrath , Sorcery , Blast , and Arcane Knowledge in the offense tree, but place your other points into Summoner's Insight , Wanderer , Meditation , Mastermind , Expanded Mind , Runic Affinity , Vampirism , Intelligence , and Nimble . Mastermind helps you a whole bunch with your summoner spell cooldowns, which is a little long with Flash. Vampirism stacks well with Essence Theft, Intelligence gives you CDR that you need, and Nimble boosts your mobility. It'll aid you in-lane as well as when you move to gank others.
Ahri's runes are that of a standard AP carry. You get AP from your quints and glyphs, armor from your seals, and mpen from your marks. These are all required stats for Ahri, but these runes can all be switched out for others based on preference.
| Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
These quints are the classic choice for AP carries. You get a bonus of 15 AP from these. This is best utilized early-game more than anything else. They help you out with harass as well as farming, since Ahri doesn't actually do too much with auto-attack and relies on the AoE from Orb of Deception for farming instead.
| Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
These are the optimal marks for Ahri. Since she doesn't have the best scaling, her best choice is magic pen. Her abilities all do magic damage (and some true damage), so mpen helps out her damage output more than anything else. You should be focusing on things like this more than building AP because of her ratios.
| Greater Seal of Armor
Okay, so these seals are another classic decision. Your armor stat increases based on level, so these stay with you for the entire game. Ahri doesn't have many armor items to build that mesh with her kit, so these runes are practically necessary for her. You don't want to take too much damage from the enemy jungler Rengar or Lee Sin.
| Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Again, these are another choice that almost all AP carries go with. Your scaling AP gives you almost 28 AP at level 18, which is quite a bit. You can always swap out these glyphs for others, though; Ahri is very versatile when it comes to items builds, runes, and masteries, because she isn't item reliant or reliant on AP for her damage.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed is a fantastic choice for any mid-laner who really likes to focus on ganking other lanes. Ahri is a very mobile champion, so you can capitalize on this buy purchasing these quints for some extra speed. She's great for ganking, so these are a good pick.
Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp is a quint that probably won't work very well on other AP carries, but is a great option for Ahri because of Essence Theft. She can take these over AP quints because of her true damage AND less-than-desirable scaling. If you're focusing on sustain, then go for these.
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration is something you should use if you're going for a more aggressive early-game where you autoattack a lot. This sort of playstyle is best against melee mids, but you'll probably be fine against ranged champs since you have a decent autoattack range, as well. This is also a great time to pick up Lich Bane in your build.
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration is cute for AP carries, but you're sacrificing some armor by choosing them. If you really have mana problems, you should probably pick up blue buff instead. Ask your jungler for it, or buy Chalice of Harmony early on. These seals are viable, but there are better picks.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is a fine choice for Ahri. Again, she doesn't need to have much AP since her ratios aren't anything over 40%. If you find yourself in need of some more defense in the mid-lane, go ahead and take these. You can get AP from items, quints, and masteries, so you should be alright in picking these up.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction is a nice pick for Ahri, too. FOR THE BILLIONTH TIME, since her AP ratios are somewhat poopy, she can opt for other options. Getting off Orb of Deception more often means more and more true damage, so this is great for harass and other forms of damage without AP. Very viable picks.
Flash is a very important summoner spell for almost every champion, and this includes Ahri. It's a better pick than Ghost for her kit, since it's like a 4th Spirit Rush. You can see the same results from Flash as you can from Spirit Rush, and you can travel through terrain with it. Extra mobility. You can usually be safe by blowing Flash INSTEAD of Spirit Rush when you first need to, but if you end up having to use both (whether offensively or defensively), they stack super well since they're practically the same thing. 4 dashes is an incredible thing to have, and Flash has endless utility. You can Flash in and out of towers (although I'd suggest using Flash out of a tower instead), over terrain, to escape, to chase, and for whatever else. It's unparalleled.
Ignite is another nice spell to take, but this summoner spell is up for debate. Offensively, this is a great spell for Ahri. It brings even more true damage to your disposal. Ignite can be the thing that wins or loses you a kill or fight. I can't tell you how many times I've died to Ignite after being safely out of range of the enemy, or how many times I've secured kills after the enemy thought they had escaped. Because of the masteries I take, I gain 5 bonus AP and AD when Ignite is on cooldown, so throwing Ignite down before a fight can help out your damage output, too. It decreases the effectiveness of healing, as well, so many champions with spell vamp for self-healing abilities (or Heal, even) will be at a disadvantage after you toss this into the mix.
Barrier has slowly become more and more popular, and is pretty much the ideal choice over Ignite in the current meta. It's a great defensive spell, and can certainly help for someone like Ahri. She has shorter range, so she has to get up close and personal with her enemies. Being an AP carry, her enemies are generally bursty mages that like to 100-0 people. Taking Barrier really helps with stopping that. Taking this will probably win you more trades and draw out your survivability.
Cleanse is another spell that can help out Ahri. CC hits her a little hard, since she is typically in range for it and she doesn't really have a secure disengage. Charm isn't like a stun or snare, and it brings the enemy towards you (although slowly). Spirit Rush is her ult and you don't want to blow this every time you need to get away fast. Using Cleanse to escape stuns or other dangers can help you out a whole bunch. It also removes the debuff from Ignite and negates Vladimir's ultimate.
Teleport is a spell you can take if you're just frustrated with how long it takes for you to get back into your lane, OR press your ganking advantage. Ahri normally doesn't have that much of a problem with this first thing because of how mobile she is, but the time between recalling and getting to your tower can mean the loss of your lane. Your enemy free farms every second you're gone and they have more of a chance to wail on your tower. If you don't like the idea of all these things, but wish to sacrifice other spells more useful in trading, then pick this up. There's also the advantage of teleporting to bot or top on a ward, then surprise ganking from there.
| Essence Theft ❥ P
Ahri gains a charge of Essence Theft with each enemy unit hit by any of her spells, with a cap of 3 charges gained per spell cast. Upon reaching 9 charges, Ahri's next spell will have 35% bonus spell vamp.
This is one of my favorite passives. Essence Theft allows for a whole bunch of sustain while laning and during teamfights. Since Ahri's kit provides a lot of AoE, this basically means 35% spell vamp on every 4th spell cast. Combining this with other spell vamp items, runes, or masteries brings a lot of sustain to the table. This is infinitely useful for Ahri. She can stay in lane for insanely long amounts of time if you spend her mana wisely, and the healing can help her win trades or survive DoT. I really like this because of her all-in, short-range kit. She can heal during her burst and survive any potential backlash.
| Orb of Deception ❥ Q
Ahri sends out an orb in a line in front of her and then pulls it back, dealing magic damage (40 / 65 / 90 / 115 / 140 (+ 33% AP)) on the way out and true damage (40 / 65 / 90 / 115 / 140 (+ 33% AP)) on the way back.
This skill is Ahri's bread and butter. It's her main form of harass, farming, and damage in her burst. It's a skillshot, so it may be hard to hit at times, but it damages each enemy in a line it throws out. The damage doesn't decrease either based on how many enemies hit, so that's really nice. The main strength of this ability comes from the fact that it has true damage. This makes Ahri infinitely more unique than any other AP carry, since none of them have true damage in their kit. It also means that Ahri doesn't need to depend on ability power as much as the next guy; she'll always have some damage that won't be negated in any way. Use this ability as your main form of harass during the laning phase, and make sure you run around so that your second hit always strikes. It's great for farming, too, and deals the most damage during your burst. Most important skill NA.
| Fox-Fire ❥ W
Ahri releases three Fox-Fires to surround her for up to 5 seconds. After a short delay after cast, each flame will target the closest enemy unit to itself, prioritizing champions, and deal magic damage (40 / 65 / 90 / 115 / 140 (+ 40% AP)) to the target. Additional fox-fires that hit the same target will only deal 50% damage.
This skill pumps out a whole bunch of AoE and will give you 3 stacks of Essence Theft per cast, pretty much guaranteed. Fox-Fire makes Ahri a threat to multiple members on the enemy team since it deals the most damage when it hits 3 different targets. It is very, very powerful in teamfights because of this. Hitting the same target with this deals damage, but isn't as effective as it could be. Because of Ahri's other pieces in her kit, she can still easily 100-0 single targets. Ahri's kit doesn't make her much of a single target assassin, though: most of her strengths come from AoE in teamfights and ganks. The utility of Fox-Fire outlines how she is fantastic for ganking bot and how she will always have a major presence in teamfights, even though her laning capabilities might not be the strongest.
| Charm ❥ E
Ahri blows a kiss that travels in a line in front of her. The first enemy it hits takes magic damage (60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+ 35% AP)) and is charmed, forcing them to walk harmlessly towards Ahri while being slowed by 50% for the duration.
This ability is another super unique thing that Ahri brings to the table. Her Charm is a form of CC that no other champion has. Charm is basically a combination of a blind, silence, slow, and taunt. It doesn't bring much damage to the table, but it brings a whole lot of utility. It can be used to check bushes and save yourself from ganks. Charming the enemy jungler as they dash towards you can turn the tides of the gank. It's also a fantastic initiation tool. Catching your lane enemy in front of minions can secure you a kill, and so can catching an enemy out of position leading into a teamfight. It also interrupts channeled abilities.
| Spirit Rush ❥ R
Ahri dashes towards the cursor and fires essence bolts, dealing magic damage (85 / 125 / 165 (+ 35% AP)) to up to 3 nearby enemies, prioritizing champions. In the next 10 seconds, Spirit Rush can be cast two additional times before going on cooldown. Each enemy can only be hit once per dash.
Ahri's ultimate gives her a huge mobility steroid. Its AoE is incredible, too. She can move through terrain using this, but it's kind of hard to do so. She needs to position herself against the wall before she can cast it and succeed in dashing through it. Anyways, using this ability to take down a single target is powerful, but like Fox-Fire, its true strength shows in teamfights and bot lane ganks. Dashing around the fight and hitting multiple enemies is a great way to get off a whole bunch of damage. It has a relatively low cooldown, so you never need to "save" your ultimate for any opportune moments. You can use it for escaping, chasing, burst damage, and taking down Baron or Dragon.
You should probably pick up Orb of Deception first because it helps out your jungler with leashing, gaining some farm off of mid lane, and harassing. It's a simple skill, as well as your highest damage, so going for this first is your best idea. It gives you the greatest benefit.
Take Charm second to begin punishing your enemy for walking out of position and to protect yourself against ganks. If you don't think the enemy jungler will be ganking you so early, or if you're pushed up to your tower, go ahead and drop your second point into Fox-Fire instead.
Your third and final ability taken should be Fox-Fire (or Charm, if you took Fox-Fire before). By this point, you should have all of your abilities and you're ready to bust out your combo on any enemy who falls out from behind his/her minions.
Naturally, Spirit Rush should be picked up at level 6 and focused on at levels 11 and 16.
Your priority is first on maxing Spirit Rush, since it's your ultimate. You should pick up this skill at levels 6, 11, and 16.
Orb of Deception is the skill you should focus on maxing first before any others (discounting Spirit Rush). It deals the most damage out of your kit and helps you the most during the laning phase. It secures you a whole lot of farm and is your main tool of harass. It's also really easy to wrack up stacks of Essence Theft when using this ability because of its AoE. Orb of Deception is also your source of true damage. Max this ability first: it brings the most to the table.
Fox-Fire should be the skill you max second. It pretty much guarantees 3 stacks on Essence Theft. It deals a huge amount of AoE damage and impressive single target burst. It doesn't take any time to cast and Ahri can do whatever she feels like after casting it. It can also be cast during your dashes of Spirit Rush. Max this ability second for the decreased cooldown and increased damage. It's a little more dangerous to use than Orb of Deception is because of its shorter range, so don't put all of your money into this ability.
Charm should be maxed last. It doesn't deal much damage and it scales poorly, but the duration of your Charm increases. It's good to max this skill last because it is just for utility: a one-point-wonder. It has the highest range out of all of your other abilities, so using this to catch enemies and have them walk towards you is really helpful to get them into range. Charm is basically a tool that is used to manipulate your enemies, but it can fulfill this at all ranks. Max it last to focus on your damage first.
You can go this route, which maxes Fox-Fire first after Spirit Rush, then Orb of Deception, and finally Charm. This method is best whenever you're going against a melee mid, since the Fox-Fires will always be in range to hit them. It's better for less mana and easy harass. This sort of playstyle compliments buying Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration and Lich Bane and autoattacking for harass. It's a little more dangerous than maxing Orb of Deception since you'll have to be closer to the enemy, but you can deal a great amount of damage in the laning phase. It's a little more high-risk, high-reward and aggressive.
Fox-Fire in this sequence, too, but with slightly less damage and mana cost. I'd mostly reserve this for whenever you need to conserve mana, but also want to hurt your enemy. You can throw autoattacks in the mix, too. Every little bit of damage helps.
Fox-Fire has 0 cast time and you can keep moving anytime you activate it. You should be moving after you cast Orb of Deception to control its return path.
Spirit Rush and then follow up by Charming the enemy. Your ult gets you into range from where you can then CC the enemy. Throw Ignite does ASAP to get the 5 bonus AD and AP when it goes on cooldown, that way you can deal a maximum amount of damage throughout the fight.
Doran's Ring + Health Potionx2 is my preferred start. This is a fairly aggressive start that still gives you some bulk with health. You get AP, mana regen, and a passive that restores 4 mana after killing a unit. Farming is going to keep your mana sustained as will the mana regen, and you have some Health Potions to keep your health up as well. The mana you'll be getting will be precious as you can also restore health using Essence Theft after your Health Potions run out.
Crystalline Flask + Health Potionx2 + Mana Potion is another great start for sustain. I don't find it all that useful because I find that I need mana and health at different times instead of at the same time, mostly because of Essence Theft. However, if you find yourself in need of potions a lot of the time, then this is the way to go. Crystalline Flask doesn't turn into anything later on, but it can save you a whole lot of money since you won't have to keep on buying potions over and over again.
Boots of Speed + Health Potionx3 is your standard start that gives you some movement speed and sustain. I don't necessarily prefer this start because Ahri is mana hungry at the beginning of the game, and you won't be bringing anything with you to keep up your mana pool. If you go this way, try to get first blue. If you can't, just be mindful of when you use your abilities. This start helps you out against enemies who have a lot of skillshots that you might need some help dodging.
On your first b, you should begin picking up these items. Grab your Boots of Speed as soon as you can, same with Hextech Revolver. Your boots are obviously precious: they boost your mobility and that helps you out as a mobile character. Hextech Revolver meshes well with Essence Theft and it gives you a nice beginning boost to your AP to tide you over until you build other AP items. You don't really need to rush a lot of AP with Ahri, so you can focus on other vital things: spell vamp for sustain and mana regen to get off your spells more often. The MR from Chalice of Harmony is also very helpful for laning, which will probably be against another AP caster. If it's an AD caster, build Seeker's Armguard in its place.
If you're going for a single-target assassin build, you should probably end up taking Sorcerer's Shoes and Doran's Ringx2 as soon as you can. The Doran's Rings give you some bulk, mana return & regen, and some AP for dealing damage. You'll be able to trade evenly, with increased mobility and damage with the magic penetration from Sorcerer's Shoes. These tide you over until you can buy your core for this build: Abyssal Scepter.
After you purchase those first 3 items, you should upgrade your boots to Sorcerer's Shoes. The mpen is vital to your character because of your scaling, and it's always nice to be faster. Upgrade Chalice of Harmony to Athene's Unholy Grail for the CD reduction and AP. Its unique passive is useful for you because you're an AoE assassin. During every teamfight, you get 12% of your mana back on kill or assist. You will be killing and assisting a whole lot with your kit. Most single target assassins will blow their burst and then be unable to do much of anything else since they're out of mana, but your kit allows for you to be a terrifying presence throughout the entire battle. (If you bought Seeker's Armguard before, upgrade it to Zhonya's Hourglass instead of Athene's Unholy Grail.) After this, look into building Rabadon's Deathcap for some AP (finally). As an AP caster, this item is core for you and your DPS.
For a single-target build, Abyssal Scepter should be rushed. It gives you some magic pen-esque capabilities. The aura is great for you since you will never waste it. Your ult and this item have relatively the same range. It also gives you some great survivability against whoever you're fighting mid, preferably if they're an AP carry. After this, pick up Rabadon's Deathcap for a huge AP bonus that almost every AP carry needs. Haunting Guise comes next for its bulk and magic penetration. You also get a little AP from it, too.
We're nearing the end of your build. Upgrade Hextech Revolver to Will of the Ancients for AP and spell vamp. It also helps out your team, too, which is crucial. You should take Rylai's Crystal Scepter at this point, as well. It gives you some health for tankiness, which you need because of your short range, as well as AP and an AoE 35% slow. How? Each bolt of Fox-Fire is counted as a single-target ability, and you have 3 bolts, so you're going to be pumping out 35% slows in AoE. Charm is counted as a single-target ability, as well. The rest of your kit is counted as AoE, though, but you'll still be providing a 15% slow to all those affected. Void Staff is purchased last for more mpen and a little bit of AP. Again, because of your poopy scaling, the mpen is more precious than anything else.
For a single-target burst build, Liandry's Torment should be finished for the magic penetration, greater health and AP, AND a burn that synergizes well with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, which is your next item. It works wonders for you because of the health, AP, and slow that is triggered at full effect by Fox-Fire. Lastly, you should purchase Void Staff for more penetration and AP. It has great synergy with Abyssal Scepter, as well.
Are you facing a team with a lot of AP and you're getting wrecked? No worries, these are all good options for Ahri. Abyssal Scepter gives you some AP and MR, and the aura won't be wasted on you because you'll typically be in range for it, especially when using Spirit Rush. You can take Banshee's Veil for health, which you will need for your range, mana, MR, and a spell shield. This is very helpful against mages like LeBlanc. Spirit Visage is another choice that works surprisingly well for Ahri. You get increased healing on Essence Theft, plus CD reduction, health, and MR. Twin Shadows is a cheap pick that gives you AP, MR, and movement speed. This is great for you, being so mobile. The active is cool, too, and is actually useful in teamfights to slow 2 enemies.
Ahri doesn't have that many options when it comes to armor, but the ones she has are pretty strong, and you can always opt for Thornmail, too. Iceborn Gauntlet gives you AP, armor, CD reduction, and mana. All of these stats aren't wasted on Ahri. It also has a passive that slows enemies inside of a circle on your autoattacks after you activate an ability. Use this to capitalize on the mobility you have and the mobility you'll be taking away from your enemies. Zhonya's Hourglass gives you an incredible amount of AP with some armor, and an active that can save your life. It's not necessarily the best thing for Ahri, though. She should always be in motion, but the active can save you from a Darius or Garen ult.
Liandry's Torment is a good item that provides health, AP, and mpen, which are all things that Ahri needs. It will increase your damage output, HOWEVER-- you won't be procing the increased tick from any part of your kit. Charm is not treated as a slow, and it won't proc the double damage. You could build Rylai's Crystal Scepter + this, but I feel like you'll be sacrificing too much of your other items to see any real benefit.
Lich Bane is a decent item for Ahri because of the mobility boost as well as the AP. Her autoattacks have the same range as her ult, so you should be in range to autoattck often. It won't be dangerous to do so and it could be an important part of her kit. She doesn't actually need to autoattack, though, so I think your money could be better spent elsewhere, like on an item that she NEEDS. If you're taking Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration, this item is pretty important for you.
Morellonomicon is like a more offensive version of Athene's Unholy Grail. You get more AP, no MR, CD reduction and mana regen, but also a passive that inflicts grievous wound. It would definitely work for Ahri and all parts of her kit, but I think that Athene's Unholy Grail is more core for her, esp. because of the MR that it offers. It's still viable but more defense is suggested.
Spirit of the Spectral Wraith is like a less expensive version of Will of the Ancients. If you're concerned with a lot of early spell vamp, you should probably pick this up in advance and trade it for WoTA when you're into the late-game phase. It has incredible gold efficiency. (Although you miss out on the CDR for Smite.)
Deathfire Grasp is a great item if you're looking for heavy burst. Ahri isn't exactly the best single-target burst champion (her Fox-Fire decreases in damage when striking a single target and you waste 6 bolts from Spirit Rush if you're focusing on only one person), but she's able to do so. I don't think she really needs all the AP this item offers, but it's playstyle preference. If you're going with my second build, this is a great option.
While you're laning as Ahri, you should mostly focus on staying there and farming (BEFORE LEVEL 6). You're not a single-target assassin, so taking down your enemy in one burst isn't very likely. They will probably out-range you and have some form of CC that you won't be able to handle, as well as being a single-target assassin themselves. So, rather than stupidly trying to force engagements, try your best to stay at max range. You should harass here with Orb of Deception. One thing I always like to do is toss Orb of Deception at my enemy while picking up CS on the way. Orb of Deception is a great tool for farming and for harass. Make sure you punish your enemy every time they step out of position or out from behind their minions. Ahri is great at doing this; it's one of her greatest strengths. As soon as they step out, Charm them, activate Fox-Fire, throw Orb of Deception, and back off. This little combo will deal a great amount of damage.
However, make sure you realize that this doesn't mean to never try for kills in the mid lane. You should be on watch for how low their health is, and engage when you think you'll be able to pick up a kill. Just know that you probably won't be able to 100-0 a single target as well as you'd be able to 100-0 three different people. Engage when you're sure of a success, but stay back and at max range during every other time.
You should always be mindful of ganks. Charm is thankfully a very powerful defense against ganks, as is Spirit Rush, so be sure to use these to your advantage if you need to. Ahri is also great at turning the tides of a gank single-handedly. She does the most damage in AoE, so having 2 enemies instead of 1 is a great opportunity to do work. This comes with a warning, though. Ahri is relatively squishy, and you have to know that you have the upper hand whenever you want to fight your lane enemy and the jungler.
Anyways, like I said, pre-level 6, you should focus on harassing and farming with Orb of Deception, while punishing your enemy frequently for falling out of position. That's all you have to worry about. Ahri is a very relaxing champion to play pre-level 6, but she is far from boring. It's nice to not have to worry about constantly engaging your enemy and getting kills. If you can pick up a kill, though, then go for it (by all means)! Harass until your enemy is low enough, and then ~go in for the kill~. Just don't expect to 100-0 targets unless you're fed.
Another great thing about Ahri is her ability to turn the tides of an engagement made by the enemy. If Kha'Zix jumps towards you, or LeBlanc dashes into range, just Charm them and pull off your combo ( Fox-Fire + Orb of Deception). I can assure you, they'll regret trying to pressure you, and it's smooth sailing from there. Ahri excels in close-range, so stunts like this really shine in her favor. You'll probably be able to get a bunch of kills off of this.
To reiterate, your focus here should be farming and harassing, but not engaging (unless you're sure you have the upper hand). Push the tower relatively hard, since you have a lot of reliable escapes. You could even freeze the lane if you want to. But yeah, stay back, toss around Orb of Deception, and try to wrack up as many creep kills as you possibly can.
Warding! This is one of the more annoying parts of playing in the middle lane; you have two bushes to worry about. You'll probably be ganked fairly often since Ahri can put a lot of pressure on the enemy lane. A good thing about this is that you can generally push safely without wards-- you have 4 dashes ( Spirit Rush + Flash) as well as Charm for some CC and disengaging. Regardless, warding is still really important, and you need to keep up with it if you're pressuring the enemy (like I tend to do). I made a little diagram to outline great ward positions.
Okay, so. The pink/salmon colored circles are great places to ward (closest to the middle lane, I mean). They are choke points where the enemy jungler will typically be passing through. If they're in your jungle, they'll be coming out of it one way, but they'll be coming out of the other way if they're just chilling in their own jungle. It's also classic to place sight wards in the bushes beside mid lane. You can place Vision Wards here if you need to, like if your enemy is constantly warding and you need a gank. The other places are nice to keep an eye on, but YOU don't need to be the one warding. Your support and jungler should take care of these other spots.
When you hit level 6, you instantly become an incredibly powerful ganker. You can stop focusing so much on pushing your tower and harassing your enemy, and you should start focusing on ganking bot lane while keeping your lane farmed (and making sure your enemy doesn't free farm, either). Bot is the best place for you to gank. It typically has an ADC and a support down there, which means multiple targets, which means maximum damage potential from you. Top lane is nice to visit if you can secure a kill, but you'll be doing the most work in the bottom lane because of how many people are there.
When you're ganking, the best way to go about it is to hide in the bush in the river. Ping to let your teammates know that you're about to go in (and it'd be nice for you to ping "on the way" when you're... on the way down). After that, run out a little, then Spirit Rush into range and Charm an enemy when you see a chance. Toss Ignite on the ADC to deal some extra damage and to get the 5 bonus AP when it goes on cooldown. Activate Spirit Rush again and hit up Fox-Fire mid-dash, then throw Orb of Deception when the enemy support and ADC are lined up. If they aren't, that's okay, too. Focus the ADC. Keep using Spirit Rush around the fight until you've exhausted all 3 dashes. You should activate your abilities whenever they come off of cooldown after this point (but you'll probably have gotten a kill by then). The best thing to do once your ult is down is to: Charm, Fox-Fire, then Orb of Deception.
Post-level 6, you should keep your lane as pushed as you can and turn into a menace for the enemy ADC. Leech most of your kills from bot lane since that will be the easiest for you: multi-target executions rather than struggling to come on top of a single-target assassin. Make sure you don't fall behind in CS and that your tower is safe and sound. It might take some practice in knowing when you can safely leave your lane to gank, or knowing how to stay caught up with it after you leave. Roaming and practice is the best advice I can give you.
Here's a diagram I made for knowing when to gank! Since you still have to keep track of your lane, it's good to have an idea of the best time to leave your lane. Your best chance is when the enemy is pushed up to your tower. Otherwise, you should still be farming your own lane. If top has a lot of juicy opportunities, then go top. If bot is generally pushed up to the enemy tower and is doing well for themselves, don't go bot if you don't have to. If bot is generally pushed up to the enemy tower and isn't doing all that well, be a good teammate and help them out (or tell them to stop pushing so hard). You can towerdive safely because of all of your dashes and escapes, so don't worry all that much about it. But don't let the tower focus you. You are squishy, and you will die.
Ahri has one of if not the strongest teamfighting presence in the entire League. Her kit allows for a great engage as well as sustain and damage to the entire team. This is the part of the game where she excels, and all your CS and kills from ganks come to play. If you're going to play Ahri, get good at catching people out of position and timing engagements.
Pay attention if you think a teamfight is about to happen. A well-aimed, well-timed Charm can lead into a perfect engage. Watch for the enemies who fall out of position or the perfect opportunity to charm the enemy ADC. Once you do, it's best to wait for your team to see if they follow up. You're really squishy and you can't afford to run in alone like most tanks can.
Once you see that your team follows up on the engage, use Spirit Rush to get into range. Tap Fox-Fire and Spirit Rush again, Ignite someone if you can, then throw Orb of Deception into the enemy team. Spirit Rush around the fight again and toss out autoattacks if your spells are on cooldown, but use them again as soon as they come up. Make sure to take as much advantage of you AoE as you possibly can. Spirit Rush around as many enemies as possible and try to get your Orb of Deception to hit as many enemies as possible, as well. True damage for everyone!
Make sure you autoattack between all these if you're a Lich Bane junkie. Otherwise, it's not too important. An extra 100 or so damage is always nice, but negligible from you without the mastery Spellsword and especially without Lich Bane. These are two things that I don't really recommend on Ahri, but can be taken since her ult and her autoattack have about the same range.
Anyways, to wrap this up: while teamfighting, your goal is to spread as much AoE as you possibly can around the enemy team. Stay just in range of your abilities to stay safe, and you'll be naturally regenerated by Essence Theft. Don't worry about your sustain too much as long as you play offensively and safely!
Tips & Tricks
Okay, this is just gonna be a cute and small and quick little section to highlight key points in playing Ahri.
- Have a lot of mana but not so much health? Take advantage of Essence Theft.
- Autoattack your enemy while you're waiting on creeps :)
- Make sure the true damage from Orb of Deception hits!
- Try to stay at max range for all of your abilities to stay safe
- Don't stress about rushing AP! You have bad ratios and true damage anyways
- Each bolt of Fox-Fire procs as a single-target spell
- Use Charm to check bushes!
- Spirit Rush can move through terrain, but make sure you're RIGHT against the border
- Punish anyone and everyone who falls out of position
- GANK AFTER LEVEL 6
- Always do as much AoE damage as you can
|Green = Easy||
Yellow = Moderate
Red = Difficult
|Fighting Akali is going to be a pain in the behind. The good part is that you out-range her. The bad part is that Twilight Shroud makes it harder for you to Charm her, and once she gets Shadow Dance, she's going to deal a whole lot of damage while keeping you out of a safe range. The best thing to do here is to harass her and deal as much damage as possible before she hits level 6. This means trying to kill her. After this, just use Spirit Rush to get away from her after she ults to you. You'll have the same amount of charges, and if you save yours, you will be able to escape from her while dealing damage.|
|Anivia is really, really annoying. Rebirth kinda poops on your ability to burst her down, and Glacial Storm almost saps all of your mobility. Flash Frost has range you can't deal with, too. Luckily, Spirit Rush can pass through Crystallize. What you'll have to do here is stay back and farm. I wouldn't focus on harassing because you're putting yourself in danger of Flash Frost. Call for your jungler for a gank to pop Rebirth, then ask for another gank ASAP to take her down. Teamwork wins this lane. She's esp hard to deal with because of her pushing capabilities, so while it benefits you to roam, she'll destroy your lane when you do so.|
|You out-range Annie by a whole lot, so this lane will be very easy for you. Pull your combo on her as often as possible and harass her while farming. The only thing you have to worry about is a stun with Summon: Tibbers. It shouldn't be that big of a deal, though; you can Charm him and Spirit Rush away.|
|Most of Brand's abilities extend farther than yours, but they're all skillshot-based. Good thing you're a mobile champion, huh? Harass him, dodge his skillshots, and farm. Be sure to stay behind your minions so he can't stun you with Sear, and you should be okay.|
|Cassiopeia can be a huge problem for you if she's a good player. Bad players are laughably easy, though, so I suppose this is a skill-based matchup. She has a good amount of range, so you need to watch out for it. Dodge her poison and move on her whenever she is out of position. Farm and harass as much as possible. Use your mobility to your advantage, too.|
|Diana is going to be a really easy lane for you. Use your mobility to dodge Crescent Strike and eradicate her shield with Orb of Deception. If she tries to Lunar Rush you, Charm her and pull off your combo to turn the tables. You shouldn't have much to worry about. Charm and Spirit Rush are good counters to keep in mind whenever she uses Moonfall.|
|Evelynn is surprisingly powerful. You outrange her by a good bit, so use this to your advantage by staying out of range of her abilities while staying in range of yours. Harass her down. Pick up a Vision Ward to place in the middle of your lane so you never lose track of her. Getting into her range could be the death of you. Play it safe and use your range to your advantage.|
|Fiddlesticks has a lot of abilities that frustrate your kit. Terrify saps your mobility and Dark Wind is especially annoying to deal with. Both of these abilities will bog you down. Drain also lowers your health and ups his, making your sustain from Essence Theft almost useless. The great part of these abilities: you out-range all of them. Stay back and harass and farm and you will be A-ok. When he uses Crowstorm, just try to Spirit Rush out of range. You can't fight him in it.|
|Fizz is another really annoying champion, but only because of Playful / Trickster. He can dodge all of your abilities with this, but most annoyingly Charm. Try to Charm him whenever he Urchin Strikes to you. You can Spirit Rush out of Chum the Waters, or at least dodge it. You outrange him so keep that in mind, but be wary of whenever he uses Playful / Trickster to close the gap. Charm him when he comes out of it. Stay at max range, harass, and farm.|
|The amount of MR Galio will have is the most annoying thing on the face of the earth. You probably will not be able to kill him without a significant amount of help, and in addition to that, he out-ranges you. You can easily keep out of Idol of Durand, but all of his other abilities will be the death of you. Stay back and farm; don't worry about harass. He'll punish you for being in range of his abilities. Your best bet is to roam once you hit 6.|
|Gragas's Explosive Cask and Barrel Roll will be hard to deal with. They have a great amount of damage and range, but his other abilities do not. Bait out Barrel Roll and avoid it, then use your kit to deal as much damage to him as possible. It pretty much has the same cooldown as Orb of Deception, so get out as fast as you can once you pull off your combo. Stay back, avoid barrels, and farm. Pull a combo when you can, but don't put all of your focus into harassing.|
|Heimerdinger out-ranges you and will push your lane hard. This is incredibly annoying because he makes it more difficult to gank and you probably won't be able to deal with him in-lane. Try to keep up with his pushing as best as you can while farming and harassing whenever possible. Don't focus on harassing too much because he will probably take advantage of his range.|
|I don't think Karma will be that big of a deal for you, but Inner Flame out-ranges you. She has a heal and a shield. Her shield shouldn't be a problem with Orb of Deception, but her heal can be annoying (if she can get it off). It probably won't get on you since your range extends it. Harass her and stay behind your minions so she can't harm you with Inner Flame. Pull your combo off on her whenever she falls out of position.|
|Karthus has a few things that can be annoying for you. He outranges you with all of his abilities, and has a really bothersome global ult. Wall of Pain hurts your mobility and Defile makes it hard to Spirit Rush on him because of the range. Dodge Lay Waste and pull your combo off whenever you can. Ahri can move around fairly well, so harassing him while avoiding Lay Waste is very easy to do. I would try to avoid engagements that would be very even and down to the wire. Even if you win, Death Defied can be the death of you.|
|Okay, so basically, Kassadin's kit is a big "HAHA **** YOU" to yours. You will be alright before he hits level 6, so try to deal as much damage as you can before then. You'll outrange him so just harass and farm and engage if you can. After he gets Riftwalk you should probably just roam. He'll ult into range and silence you so you can't get off Charm or Spirit Rush, and then burst you down or slow you so you can't get away. There's not much you can do, so I would try to avoid fighting him 1v1. Roam as much as you can after you hit 6, but keep up with your lane if possible.|
|Katarina is a lot harder to deal with than she seems like she would be. You outrange her Shunpo (and all of her other abilities), so stay back and harass and farm. If she does jump to you, try to Charm her (PRE-LEVEL 6). You can then pull off your combo on her and be alright. After level 6, save your Charm for when she uses Death Lotus. If you don't it'll really bite you in the butt.|
|Kennen outranges you, but there isn't all that much to worry about. If he uses Lightning Rush to you, Charm him once he comes out of it and pull off your burst. Stay behind your minions and harass him from there so he can't harm you with Thundering Shuriken. You should be totally fine when you harass from the safety of your minions while farming and engaging after he uses Lightning Rush.|
|Kha'Zix is generally a terror for mid-laners, but not so much for Ahri. Void Spike outranges you, but is easy to avoid if you stay behind minions. If he Leaps to you, Charm him and pull off all your abilities. Every engage he tries to force will most likely turn in your favor. Stay back so the only thing you have to worry about is Void Spike, which can be avoided if you hide behind your creeps, farming and harassing.|
|LeBlanc is a single-target, heavy burst assassin. You have a lot of burst, but taking down a single target isn't your strong suit. Don't force an engage on her if you don't have to. If she uses Distortion to get into range, Charm her and take the cake with your combo. You outrange her, so stay back and harass. Punish her for falling out of position or for trying to engage on you. You should probably rush MR and roam after she hits level 6, because Mimic on sigil of silence hurts. Really bad.|
|Lux is my least favorite matchup of all time. Her range is incredible and her damage is on par with yours. Her shield can be negated by Orb of Deception, but if she knows what she's doing, she will harass the **** out of you with Lucent Singularity. It can easily zone you out of CS and there isn't a safe place to farm from, either. I'd suggest tower hugging and sustaining yourself with Essence Theft by doing the best you can with farming. Don't focus on harassing. Stay behind your minions. If she gets off a Light Binding and moves towards you, Charm her and try to combo her. Leave ASAP, though. Final Spark is terrifying, but you can easily Spirit Rush out of it. Roam whenever possible.|
|Malzahar is easy for you to deal with, but your main concern is stopping him from farming. You can generally dodge his skillshots and stay out of range of Nether Grasp, but the farming potential of Malefic Visions makes him a menace. Charm him and combo him whenever you can, and you'll be able to deal a whole lot of damage to him. Just make sure he doesn't farm. Shut him down in lane by harassing as much as you can.|
|Master Yi is relatively easy to deal with. He has Meditate but Charm and Ignite easily counter it. All he has, really, is Alpha Strike, so try to avoid it if you can, but Charm him once he comes out of it to open up your combo. You can easily keep up with him when he uses Highlander by using Spirit Rush, so remember that. You don't have to stay behind your minions really, but be safe. Harass him as much as possible.|
|Mordekaiser seems like he would be harder than he is. Orb of Deception can obliterate his shield with a single cast, and the returning true damage is the real kicker. Engage on him once his shield is down and he won't be able to retaliate. I would take either Barrier or Ignite against him. Barrier for Children of the Grave and Ignite to negate all the spell vamp he'll build. You out-range him, so use this to your advantage. Harass him as much as possible. Don't group up with your creeps because of all his AoE. So yeah, just engage after eradicating his shield and you'll be unstoppable.|
|Morgana is more annoying than anything else. She has great range and spell vamp, but she doesn't have much heavy damage. Harass her as much as possible while avoiding Tormented Soil. Black Shield can counter your Charm if she has good reflexes, but Soul Shackles doesn't work to well on you since you can Spirit Rush out of range. Dark Binding is also really annoying, but all you have to do is stay behind your minions.|
|Orianna is harder to deal with than she seems to be. She'll sap your mobility with Command: Dissonance and outrange you with Command: Attack. Her shield can be dealt with, but Command: Shockwave will really hurt you. Orianna is a very manipulative champion, and that's hard to deal with for Ahri. Farm, but don't focus on harassing. She'll send the ball to your position and hurt you with W, or harass you with autoattacks. After you hit 6, your best plan is to roam.|
|Pantheon won't be much of a problem if you stay out of range. You don't have to keep behind your minions or anything like that, but make sure to use your range to your advantage. Harass him from afar. You'll be able to take his health down a lot if you stay at your max range. He won't be able to touch you because you'll be far out of his. Grand Skyfall might cause a problem for you, but Spirit Rush out of it if necessary. If he's coming towards you to land his stun, Charm and combo him. If he has stunned you, Charm him as soon as you come out of it and try your best to retaliate.|
|You outrange Ryze by a whole bunch. He should be 0 problems for you as long as you stay back. The only thing that can cause you trouble is Rune Prison, but you can easily Charm him from it and combo him that way. His spell vamp might get annoying, but there's nothing else you really have to worry about. Harass him from max range and farm.|
|Sion should be pretty easy. Stay back and harass him as much as possible, but stay at max range. Don't get hit by Cryptic Gaze and you'll be perfectly fine. His shield might be bothersome, but Orb of Deception can take care of it. Cannibalism is going to be a really annoying ult, but an Ignite should help you out to decrease healing effects. If you stay at your max range and fight him from there, you will be totally fine and win your lane.|
|Swain has annoying sustain, but so do you. It's almost impossible to be trapped by Nevermove with your mobility, and you outrange him. Stay back and harass him, and be sure to punish him with Charm and your combo whenever possible. You'll be able to do incredible amounts of damage to him and he won't be able to keep up.|
|Syndra is really hard to deal with. She has pretty high range and cc that can shut you down pretty hard. She's another one of those manipulative champions that Ahri is going to struggle with. The best thing to do is dodge her abilities. She is skillshot based other than her ult, so use your mobility to your advantage. Her stun can be lethal, so watch out for Scatter the Weak. Her ult is targeted, but you outrange it. Stay back, harass her, dodge, and farm. Roam whenever possible.|
|You and Talon are essentially even. Once he hits level 3, be very careful of his burst. He's going to start opening his combo on you. Make sure you stay back. You won't be in range of Cutthroat if you stay at max range. If he runs towards you, Charm him if you can. If you can't, try to Charm and combo him as soon as your silence wears off when he uses Cutthroat. Shadow Assault is going to be really annoying, so just wait until he shows up from stealth. Don't waste Charm by hitting air, and don't use your ult since you won't be hitting anything. Take a Vision Ward for the middle of your lane and you should be fine.|
|Fighting Twisted Fate is a skill-based matchup. You should be able to dodge Wild Cards easily with your mobility, and Pick A Card is well below your range. Stay back, harass as much as possible, and punish him for falling out of position. You should try to let your team know whenever he is missing or if you see him using Destiny. If he uses Destiny to you, Charm him ASAP and combo him down. It won't be that hard to deal with.|
|Veigar is bothersome because his damage to you increases as your AP increases. You outrange him for the most part, and Dark Matter is easy to dodge. Just make sure to not touch the walls of Event Horizon. A stun like that from someone like Veigar is going to be lethal. Stay back and harass him and use Charm with your combo as often as possible. STAY AT MAX RANGE and don't let him catch you in his stun, and you should be alright. Make sure he doesn't farm Baleful Strike. Try your hardest to deny creeps from him.|
|Viktor is a menace for anyone who is caught within his range, but fortunately for you, you're not one of these champions. Abuse your range hard. Harass him very, very hard and Charm + combo as much as you can. Viktor is a champion you can really press your advantage on. You can Spirit Rush out of Gravity Field if you need to, so don't worry about it all that much. All of his skills can be easily dodged and you will never be in range for Power Transfer. Stay back and hit him hard.|
|You're going to outrange him, but he's going to have a dumb amount of sustain, health, and AP. Your chances of getting him from 100-0 aren't very likely, but he might not be able to do that to you, either. Stay back and harass him as much as possible while farming. Use Charm and your combo whenever you can. His ultimate is the most annoying thing and can really hurt in teamfights. Pick up Cleanse for him or Quicksilver Sash. These things negate his ult. Abuse your range and harass him as hard as you can.|
|Xerath is another champion that Ahri really has a hard time dealing with. He is going to outrange you with everything, and it's going to hurt. Try as hard as you can to stay out of range of his stun, so stay at your max range. His ult and Arcanopulse will probably be the death of you, so you really need to try as hard as you can to dodge them. Buy boots and upgrade them as soon as possible to have the most movement you can for dodging. You can also use Spirit Rush to escape from Arcane Barrage. Try to harass him if possible, but don't push it if he's destroying you with Arcanopulse. Roam as much as you can instead of trying to stay in lane.|
|Zed is going to make laning hell for you, and you probably won't be able to kill him. He'll damage you and do all of his stuff from his shadow clone, so, you will most likely be unable to Charm him. If you do, he'll probably clone away before it hits him. His ult makes him almost invincible and does a ton of damage to you, so I would really suggest just staying back and farming. You can harass when you can, and try to combo him if you see an opportunity. I would roam post-level 6 more than anything else.|
|Ziggs outranges you and has a lot of manipulative abilities that can hurt you hard. He has a slow with Hexplosive Minefield and an ability that can move you around ( Satchel Charge). His Bouncing Bomb can hop over creep waves and explode on you, which is really something you can't deal with. Since he outranges you so much, farming should be your main focus. Do not focus on harassing him, and try not to trade to near-death. Even if you escape, his ult goes a pretty long way, so you might not be able to avoid death. Spirit Rush out of it if you have to. You might have to roam more than stay in lane.|
|Zyra outranges you and can stomp on your mobility with Grasping Roots and Stranglethorns. And even after you kill her, Rise of the Thorns is a huge threat to you, so near-death trades aren't a very good idea. Your best bet is to stay back and farm and combo her when you get the chance, but don't focus on harassing her. Kill her plants as fast as you can and avoid being rooted. You should be fine if you play safe. You should probably just roam after you hit 6.|
Submitted by Scarletal
Not many since I didn't plan too hard on making this guide, but I'll get some. No worries. :)
Thanks so much for reading my Ahri guide! I hope I helped you learn how to play one of my favorite champions, and helped you to appreciate her unique mechanics. Let me know if I need to fix anything with this guide, too. I have a few other guides: one for Riven and one for Sejuani. If you wanna check those out, here's some links!
I especially want to thank LiLStormcloaK for letting me use his Matchups layout!
06/11/13 - Guide released! Itemizing chapter revised to include information from the Mpen Oriented Build.
06/13/13 - Deathfire Grasp added, Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration added. Skill Sequence where Fox-Fire is maxed first has been added.
06/14/13 - Added a screencap!
07/07/13 - Removed Pros & Cons brackets and Rune Page image.