Ahri Build Guide by Rasengan2theface
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Hello and Welcome my guide for Ahri, Kyūbi no Kitsune "The Nine Tailed Fox."
Ahri is our new, sexy, bouncy AP Carry/Assassin that greatly rewards smart play and punishes poor choices by your opponents, especially in one on one confrontations.
Runes for Ahri are fairly basic for an AP Nuke. For my more aggressive build, my suggestions are
Marks: Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Seals: Greater Seal of Replenishment
Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Quintessence: Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Magic Pen is useful from level 1 to 18 and it isn't easy to come by from your items, so getting as much as you can from Marks goes a long way.
Ahri, especially early game, has Mana issues and can quickly drain all her mana from spamming her abilities to clear minion waves. Straight MP5 Seals really help with the early push if you like an aggressive play style, especially if you get to lane with a support like Sona or Soraka that can actively heal you or a Champ that can actively place a defensive shield on you to eat some damage that you WILL be taking.
The The Glyphs of Force give a nice bump to AP and scale nicely as the game goes on. Ultimately they do better than Greater Glyph of Ability Power by around level 6.
Your Quint will serve you well early game and long run and pick up the 'slack' early game from your Glyphs. The only other option I see for Quints would be more Magic Pen, but straight AP seems to help the build better in the long run.
For the more defensive build, I swap my Seals for straight Armor and if you are really worried, swap glyphs for Magic Resist, especially if you feel like attempting to Mid. I would but if you plan on Duo laning, then stick with the AP Glyphs.
There isn't a lot to say about Ahri's masteries. For the aggressive Build, they're a fairly standard 21/0/9 that takes AP skills, cooldown reduction and improved Ignite and Ghost, which is fairly important to maximize damage and help counter certain champions.
In particular, Improved Ghost is important for stopping and kiting faster champions like Teemo and Master Yi. In particular, the combo of and Ahri's will allow you to keep out of melee range with Yi and either lead him into an over-extension or get you the kill with Fox-fire.
For Ahri's defensive build I go 21/9/0 dropping the point in Summoner's Wrath for an extra point of AP since that also equals Life Steal. On top of that, Ahri gets armor, magic resist and health for the early game, which is when she is most vulnerable.
For the offensive Ahri there are only a few prime choices for Summoner Spells.
Ignite and Ghost give Ahri nice boosts in damage, help prevent champion healing and help with Ahri's otherwise slow speed. Ghost also helps in the ways I illustrated above in regards to Fox-fire.
Defensive Ahri cares more about the instant jump from and maintaining a mana pool so she can use her ult to escape and evade with
Soul Eater*: (Passive)
Ahri gains a charge of Soul Eater whenever one of her spells hits an enemy (max: 3 charges per spell). Upon reaching 9 charges, Ahri's next spell has 35% Spell Vamp.
This makes Ahri easy to sustain in lane against players who aren't very aggressive or you can harass well enough that they don't approach her often to do significant damage
*Ahri's passive currently has the same name as one of Nasus' abilities. As far as I know, there isn't a fix for the tooltip as of yet, but I'll be sure to fix it as soon as I become aware of one.
Ahri sends out her orb, dealing 40/65/90/115/140 (+0.33) magic damage, and pulls it back dealing 40/65/90/115/140 (+0.33) True damage.
This is Ahri's Skill Shot/Farm too and makes her positioning very important. The shot has a very broad coverage area, so it can hit a lot of minions all at once and champions as well if they clump up together. I take this skill at level 1 and level it last.
Ahri releases three fox-fires. After a short delay they lock on to nearby enemies (prioritizes champions), dealing 40/70/100/130/160 (+0.38) magic damage. Additional fox-fires that hit the same target deal 50% damage [max damage: 80/140/200/260/320 (+0.75)].
These are like Homing Missiles for Ahri. One of the best parts is that here isn't much, if any, of a stutter-step when she activates the ability, so when chasing, being chanced or entering a team fight, this should almost always be the ability Ahri activates first. I take Fox-fire at level 2 and make it out by level 10.
Ahri blows a kiss dealing 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.35) magic damage and charming the first enemy it hits, causing them to walk harmlessly towards her for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 second(s).
This is Ahri's skill shot Taunt. It's good to note that it can hit and taunt minions if you miss, so you really have to position yourself well to pull your enemies in to you. If you like to turret hump and want either some free damage or a free kill, baiting an enemy in and using this to pull them into your Fox-fire and Turret-fire is priceless. Also, something important, this forces the enemy champ to "walk harmlessly towards her" so even if they get within melee range, they do not auto attack, though once it breaks most will get at least one swing in if you let them. This makes this ability powerful in team fights as well, targeting the AD/AS Carry on the enemy team will basically take them out of the fight for two seconds at max rank, it is also useful for catching fleeing champions and securing kills.
I take this skill at level 3 and have it maxed by level 13.
Ahri dashes forward and fires essence bolts at 3 nearby enemies (prioritizes champions), dealing 100/140/180 (+0.3) magic damage. Spirit Rush can be cast up to three times within 10 seconds before going on cooldown.
This is Ahri's big chase and escape and evade ability. It can be used to cover a lot of ground in running down a dying enemy, dealing damage along the way, or making a run back to a turret, tagging enemies that are just close enough. It also makes Ahri decent at turret diving. Spirit Rush can be used to dive over walls as well, much like Flash does, so remember that aspect of it as well, since it really helps in the run down. Spirit Rush should be leveled every chance you get and is typically maxed at level 16.
Ahri takes a lot of typical AP items and her early game is very important. I start Ahri off with Boots of Speed and Health Potionx3. This is because Ahri is a fairly slow champion and the potions will help her sustain early on. Ahri shouldn't need to leave her lane until Level 6 with this early build. Her passive Spell Vamp will help with her sustain, along with the low cost of her spells and good spell management.
First Time Back
On your first trip back you should be able to afford a Blasting Wand and Sorcerer's Shoes. Most people would suggest getting your Ruby Crystal and Sapphire Crystel to build into Catalyst the Protector for extra health first, but smart and safe play will early you more kills with a Blasting Wand because of how strong Orb of Deception and Fox-fire will be.
Early Mid Game
After the first few towers are down, you should have or be ready to buy your Rod of Ages which will only make you stronger as the game goes on and is mostly there for your survivability. Your next choice of item is really a matter of choice based on how well you are doing. If you are doing well, then a Needlessly Large Rod and another Blasting Wand are in order for your Rabadon's Deathcap, but if you are getting focuses or harried a lot, then Amplifying Tomex2 for a Hextech Revolver that turns into Will of the Ancients is needed to help your survivability.
Late Mid Game/Early End Game
At this point you have your core items and it is mostly about what you need. If you are doing well, then staying alive becomes that much more important because you are going to get focused by good teams. The first item I go after at this point is Rylai's Crystal Scepter since it will help your escapes and make you less squishy. After that, the last item in my suggestions is Void Staff to round out the build and make you hit like an AP truck.
Items for every game always depend on how well you are doing and what the enemy team composition is. So there are always items that become handy in certain situations.
Thornmail is a must for AD and AS heavy teams. I would swap out Rylai's for this and maybe even build it before Will of the Ancient's.
Mercury's Treads I would take if the enemy team has a lot of taunts and stuns that spell certain death for the squishy Ahri.
Abyssal Scepter can easily be swapped for Void Staff if they have an AP carry that is really ripping you apart. It will still help with lowering their Magic Resist, but not quite as well as Void Staff and you don't take a loss in AP from the switch.
Zhonya's Hourglass is never a bad choice as it can really save you from a focus and 2 seconds for your allies to focus down the carry that is killing you can be the difference between a team fight win or loss.
Early Game Ahri's early game is mostly passive, focusing on minions and staying alive rather than early kills. This is mostly due to the fact that Charm will not taunt a target for very long and other than it's small amount of damage, isn't very powerful and due to the fact that Ahri is a very squishy champion early on. The only time you should get really aggressive with Ahri early is if your laning partner can support you for that. This is typically best done with supports like Sona or Soraka who can heal you and help push the lane. Sona in particular who buffs your AP and, once she attains her ult, can save you from over extension or hold enemies in place for you to nuke with her Ult.
Mid Game At this point in the game, you should have one or two kills under your belt, especially if you have a Jungler feeding you ganks or your partner helps push and support you. Dropping a tower should be easily attained at this point and, if mid is struggling, you can easily fill the roll of "Jungler" in terms of giving that surprise ganks from the bushes. Be wary of overextending though, because while Ahri's Ult allows her a bit of leeway on the matter, she is by no means ungankable. Ahri enjoys a lot of company and, unless overly fed, should stick with the group due to the paper-like material her cloths are made of.
Late Game Team fights will run rampant and this is the way Ahri likes it. Ahri should never initiate unless she can tag a Champion with Charm that isn't the tank. Pulling an enemy into the bushes is always a good initiator and by the time you need it again, Charm should be off of it's cooldown. Ahri's focus should be the enemy carry, always. Spirit Rushing into position, which will fire off 3 shots as well, casting Charm on the carry, followed by Fox-fire and Orb of Deception to catch as many champions in its path as possible is how Ahri deals it out. While he other abilities are on CD, use Spirit Rush wisely or not until you have to. Either use it to end a champion by giving chase or for escape if the fight goes poorly. Spirit Rush is as important for survival as it is for killing the enemy.
Strong Lane Partners
There are some champions that Ahri seems to do particularly well with. In reality, they really depend on the player and how skilled they are with the champion, but these combos have worked well for me in my experience.
Blitzcrank gives Ahri two things that she can work well with, a stun for when enemies decide to focus her and she needs to escape with his Power Fist and a ranged "Get Over Here" with Rocket Grab that can lead into a Power Fist that makes Ahri's abilities much harder to dodge going in and coming back. The only annoying aspect of Blitzcrank is that the passive from his ult can steal last hits on minions and, on occasion, enemy champions. But for the kills that he will help you secure, it's well worth it in the long run.
In closing, I must say that I actually enjoyed putting this together for my first ever guide. Ahri is an awesomely fun champion to play, in my humble opinion and is well worth the purchase.
I also look forward to a certain fiery orange skin that is sure to find its way to her skin list that pays ode to a certain 9-tailed Fox.
If you have any questions, concerns, comments or anything you would like me to add, feel free to comment below and I'll see what I can do to accommodate. Thank you for taking the time to read this guide and please let me know what you think as I will be updating the guide as I develop a better understanding of Ahri and her needs and ability.
12/16/11: Changed Skill Order, Found Orb of Deception, sadly, far more important in the early game than I had hoped. Really disappointed that Fox-fire isn't a better skill than I had hoped.
Totally forgot my chapter covering Items, revamped my opinion on her needs a little bit after a purely excellent game that gave me a strong early, mid and late game. Also decided to add a section for lane partners since I feel Ahri is a very strong top or bottom lane champion. I'll be updating the Lane Partner section as I find more champions that compliment her strength's.