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Ahri Build Guide by Anthonie

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Anthonie

Ahri - Makes even Taric straight! (Massive Update!)

Anthonie Last updated on February 2, 2012
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Ability Sequence

1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
10
12
14
Ability Key W
4
13
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
4/
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 9


Guide Top

Chapter 1

spaace
Pros


+ Ranged champion
+ Great harass and sustain in lane
+ Great farm and pushing capabilities
+ Ability to deal a lot of damage to multiple targets
+ High burst mobility
+ Good damage throughout the whole game
+ Ability to punish bad placement with great damage
+ Fox-Fire fires three homing missiles
+ Ranged 2 second taunt
+ Amazing ability to recover even when doing bad.
+ Dance based on one of the songs of my favorite korean girl group, Girls Generation :D
+ Asian champion :D
ce
space
Cons


- Hard to duel with others
- High skillcap, not necessarily bad though
- Has to choose between burst or escape with ultimate
- Squishy before Rod of Ages
- Hurt a lot by stuns and snares, being unable to use Spirit Rush
- Hard to focus one target in a teamfight
- No escapability once Spirit Rush and Flash are down
- Very skillshot heavy
Speculation of Ratio's
What I read on the forums when looking up some Ahri first impressions is that people assume that Ahri falls off hard lategame because of her lower ratios. This is not true! At first you may think so because you only look at the ratio's, but a very important factor is forgotten.

All but 1 of Ahri's abilities hit more than once!

This is crucial in looking at her kit. Her 33% AP ratio on Orb of Deception suddenly becomes 66%, and in reality scales twice as much per level as it seems, just because it hits twice. Her Fox-Fire already has it listed at the bottom of the description, a 75% ratio with 320 base damage, pretty decent, isn't it? Her Charm only hits once, but has a powerful CC to make up for it. Last but not least, does the 30% ratio on her Spirit Rush seem low to you? Make sure you read it again. It says 180 +30% ability power per bolt! So that's 90% AP ratio per dash, and if you use all your ult stacks for damage, you will do 270% of your AP in pure damage. Aren't those ratio's high enough?


Guide Top

Introduction

Masteries
1/5
4/1
4/5
1/5
1/1
1/5
4/1
4/
1/
1/5
3/5
4/1
1/1

This is my standard set of masteries for an AP carry. These give great AP, AP per level, and some percentage increasing AP, as well as some cooldown reduction with Sorcery and increased damage with one point in Havoc and Executioner . I also master Summoner's Insight so I can get the 15 seconds off my flash so I can have more burst mobility and the standard 9 Utility masteries. I also max Summoner's Wrath so I have better last hitting when Ignite is down, and 1 point in Demolitionist so I push that mid tower faster so I can roam for kills earlier.

Another set of masteries that could be used, forgive me for the lack of visuals, is 9/0/21. In theory, this could give additional cooldown reduction on your flash and all your skills, as well as some spell vamp, which is always handy to have because Ahri's Essence Theft isn't ready all the time. However, I am not sure if I am willing to give up the great bonuses from the offense tree for the utility tree. In all honesty, I find myself easily hitting the cooldown cap without the masteries, I already have a cooldown reduction on flash and I get spell vamp items decently early on. It is because of these reasons that I favor the offense tree, but feel free to pick either of which you want.


Guide Top

Ahri's Dance and Girl's Generation

What to get

Flash: This synergises perfectly with Ahri's already good burst mobility. How does it feel to cross more than half a lane in one second?
space
Ignite: This will often secure you a kill where someone got away really low. Less raging about an enemy's low health and more kills for you. :D Ignite is always good as a combo finisher on an AP carry. Also disables healers like Mundo and Vlad.
space
Ghost: Replace Ignite with this. This adds even more mobility to Ahri. To be honest I feel that it'd be overkill, on the other side, there are situations where I wish I had some way to catch up to the enemy, or to get away after having used Flash + Spirit Rush.
What not to get and why
  • Exhaust: Usually Exhaust holds an enemy near you so you can secure the kill or allows you to duel a powerful enemy more easily. Ahri just uses all her skills in one go, and can easily catch up to people with ult. Your Charm works a lot like an exhaust, so you don't really need this.
  • Heal: You have a built in spell vamp passive, a Hextech Revolver and you could have used that summoner spell slot for something much better, in my opinion.
  • Revive: Not going to crack down on this as much as other guides do. It's viable for sure, but there is a reason why you shouldn't take this. Usually this will be really useful late game, where the respawn timer easily surpasses 50 seconds. The reason is usually when your team is aced, and you revive, you won't make much of a difference and might die again! It's too situational in my honest opinion, and you should try to die the least amount of times, even though that's easier said than done.
  • Smite: Jungle Ahri is not viable whatsoever. If you want to try though for the lulz, go ahead. :D Stonewall has a video of it over here!
  • Surge: Leave it to the nukers, hybrids and auto attackers. You usually don't auto attack much as Ahri unless you have a Lichbane, and the extra AP usually doesn't matter all too much. If you love bursting and assassinating with Ahri though, feel free to take it.
  • Teleport: The only reason that I don't have this under viable summoner spells is because there are better choices. If you want to take this, go ahead, it's pretty helpful, but usually the solo top needs this. Unless of course, you are the solo top.
  • Cleanse: Also pretty useful, like Teleport, but there are better choices. If the enemy team is hard CC heavy though, take this over Ignite.
  • Clarity: With this build, the Doran's and the early Codex, you will rarely run out of mana unless you spam. Don't take this.
  • Clairvoyance: Don't bother, leave it to the supports.


Guide Top

Pros / Cons and Ratio discussion




Soul Eater (passive): Pretty good passive. Every 9 spellcasts, your next spell will have 35% spell vamp. This will allow you to stay in lane when you usually would go back. When harassing, pay good attention to the stacks on this. Once you hit 9 stacks, try to hit as many minions as possible with Orb of Deception to give yourself a powerful heal. A nice story about this passive is how it saved me from an enemy Ahri once. She was chasing me with her ultimate, so I couldn't escape, and used my own. I would have died, but during one of my Spirit Rushes, my passive activated, giving me just enough health to survive her Spirit Rush.

Tips and Tricks
  • Essence Theft often requires you to push with abilities to attain it. Usually when you use it, you will also be pushing. Don't spam your abilities on minions to get your passive, because your harass will usually get you up to 9 stacks already. Doing so will only push your lane.
  • Don't go in for a kill, especially towerdive, unless you have Essence Theft at the ready. Unless of course the opportunity fits you or the jungler comes to gank.
  • Don't forget that 9 hits charges Essence Theft. If you use and hit all of your Spirit Rush's bolts, you will instantly either have your passive, or already have healed off it.
  • It is proven that using Orb of Deception with Essence Theft will provide the highest amount of spellvamp, but only if you are able to hit multiple targets (aka a minion wave). If you only have a single target, Fox-Fire provides the highest healing.


Orb of Deception (Q): Ahri's main damage ability. It's a skill shot boomerang nuke similar to Sivir's Boomerang Blade, so if you have any experience with Sivir, you'll easily find yourself in Ahri's playstyle.

Another thing that can't be forgotten is that on the way this ability does true damage, passing through any form of armor and magic resist, making her one of the only mid champions that has this. Sadly, in most cases the enemy mid won't build much magic resist early on, so the true damage will shine less.

What really stands out about this skill, is that, unlike other piercing skill shots ( Boomerang Blade & Piltover Peacemaker), this skillshot suffers no damage falloff whatsoever. It will do equal damage regardless of how many targets it hits. Feel free to hit as many targets as you wish with it to maximize it's potential!

Tips and Tricks
  • Don't forget that you can only get 3 passive stacks off Orb of Deception, regardless of how many targets you hit. If attempting to charge your passive, or just when harassing, try to position yourself to only hit 3 minions so you get the stacks.
  • Because Orb of Deception lacks damage falloff, this skill is a great farming ability. Just position yourself to hit as many minions and possible and see the money come in.
  • Because Orb of Deception has no damage falloff, position is key on this skill. You need to hit as many people as possible in fights to make maximum use of it. Ahri is all about doing damage to their entire team. Instead of hitting only 1 or 2 of them in a fight, take a second for them to line up and hit them all for a lot of damage.
  • Orb of Deception has a deceptively long range. Because it returns to your current position, just by moving backwards, you increased the length of the true damage segment of the orb. Or just by slightly adjusting to the right, you might still hit the Brand you missed when using the orb.
  • Orb of Deception at level 5 can easily kill the caster minions on the way through and back, allowing for extremely good farming and pushing.



Fox-Fire: This skill creates three fires around you which lock on and attack a nearby enemy, champions are focused above minions and monsters. This skill just adds up to your burst. It can easily used when being chased by a melee enemy so they will be disheartened to chase further. This skill was mainly created to have synergies with others, though.

Tips and Tricks
  • Fox-Fire can make for some good harass too! Just come close enough so the fires don't bounce to a minion instead, and hit the W key.
  • However, getting close just to use this skill is risky. Fox-Fire is best used in combo after hitting your Charm and following up with Orb of Deception.
  • Using Fox-Fire with your Spirit Rush will result in Fox-Fire being shot as an additional 3 bolts, adding even more damage to your ultimate's damage.
  • Fox-Fire is great at picking off runners that try to use the brush of fog to juke. Since it automatically locks onto a target in sight, and damages him, if you merely chase with this on, the moment they appear in your sight once, they will take all 3 fires, resulting in the kill.



Charm: This skill is awesome. Ahri blows a kiss at a decently big range, and if the skillshot hits, the target will be taunted and slowed for two seconds, walking towards you! This is like a miniature Rocket Grab, made to get enemies out of position. This is why Ahri brings great utility to a team composition. Not only does she bring one enemy of the fight for two seconds, she also brings that enemy out of position. This is great for disabling carries.

Tips and Tricks
  • Don't initiate a fight with Charm, instead, wait until there are no minions to block the skillshot, and then fire it for a sure-stun.
  • Charm works well with gankers that have a hard CC such as Maokai, once Maokai has landed Twisted Advance, you get a free Charm off for a very long duration disable and an easy gank.
  • Try to leave your Charm in a teamfight until you can disable the carry with it. Hitting a tank with this won't change the teamfight by a lot at all.



Spirit Rush: This is what makes Ahri the queen of burst mobility, and make people rage about how they can never ever kill you. This skill grants you three flashes, but that's not all. Each dash also fires three bolts similar to Ezreal's Arcane Shift. As Ahri, the biggest choice is always whether to use your ult stacks for damage to save them to escape.

Tips and Tricks
  • Spirit Rush can give you an easy out-of-jail card when pushing. Simply push down a tower or two, and when the enemy team comes in, you can escape extremely easily with your ultimate.
  • Know when to activate Spirit Rush during a teamfight. Just read the teamfight section on how to.
  • Spirit Rush can easily catch a squishy enemy off guard. If your lane opponent is half health, you can easily score a kill by rapidly dashing through the minions and landing all your skills before he has the time to react with his own.
  • Each dash of Spirit Rush counts as a separate spell. So your passive will only trigger off 1 dash.
  • Spirit Rush's utility is multiplied when used to escape over walls. There are 3 walls around the Blue Buff Golem, and if you jump over each of them, you have an ensured escape.


Guide Top

Ahri, the queen of burst mobility

Before I start with all my in-game choices, I do want tell you one thing. This is something I came up with after playing high mobility champions for a long time. For me there are two sorts of mobility, Burst, and Sustained Mobility.

Sustained mobility is a passive or active speed boost. Your champion moves faster, and therefor can easily catch up to enemies. In sustained mobility there is rarely the element of surprise. Examples of sustained mobility would be Teemo, Blitzcrank or even Kayle. Non-champion forms of sustained mobility can be Ghost or Shurelya's Reverie.

Burst mobility consists of blinks. Your champion instantly dashes/teleports to another nearby location. The most popular form of burst mobility includes the summoner spell Flash. Champions have burst mobility in the form of a dash with high cooldown, such as LeBlanc's double Distortion, and Kassadin's Riftwalk, however since Riftwalk is on such a low cooldown, it might as well be a balance between sustained and burst mobility.

Ahri is a prime example of burst mobility with her ultimate, Spirit Rush! In fact, I say Ahri has the best burst mobility in the game, as when she has flash up, she can literally dash more than halfway across the mid-lane in one go. This allows for very aggressive pushing, using Flash + Spirit Rush to get away unscathed.


Guide Top

Masteries

Masteries
1/5
4/1
4/5
1/5
1/1
1/5
4/1
4/
1/
1/5
3/5
4/1
1/1

This is my standard set of masteries for an AP carry. These give great AP, AP per level, and some percentage increasing AP, as well as some cooldown reduction with Sorcery and increased damage with one point in Havoc and Executioner . I also master Summoner's Insight so I can get the 15 seconds off my flash so I can have more burst mobility and the standard 9 Utility masteries. I also max Summoner's Wrath so I have better last hitting when Ignite is down, and 1 point in Demolitionist so I push that mid tower faster so I can roam for kills earlier.

Another set of masteries that could be used, forgive me for the lack of visuals, is 9/0/21. In theory, this could give additional cooldown reduction on your flash and all your skills, as well as some spell vamp, which is always handy to have because Ahri's Essence Theft isn't ready all the time. However, I am not sure if I am willing to give up the great bonuses from the offense tree for the utility tree. In all honesty, I find myself easily hitting the cooldown cap without the masteries, I already have a cooldown reduction on flash and I get spell vamp items decently early on. It is because of these reasons that I favor the offense tree, but feel free to pick either of which you want.


Guide Top

Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3


Guide Top

Summoner Spells; What works, and what doesn't

What to get

Flash: This synergises perfectly with Ahri's already good burst mobility. How does it feel to cross more than half a lane in one second?
space
Ignite: This will often secure you a kill where someone got away really low. Less raging about an enemy's low health and more kills for you. :D Ignite is always good as a combo finisher on an AP carry. Also disables healers like Mundo and Vlad.
space
Ghost: Replace Ignite with this. This adds even more mobility to Ahri. To be honest I feel that it'd be overkill, on the other side, there are situations where I wish I had some way to catch up to the enemy, or to get away after having used Flash + Spirit Rush.
What not to get and why
  • Exhaust: Usually Exhaust holds an enemy near you so you can secure the kill or allows you to duel a powerful enemy more easily. Ahri just uses all her skills in one go, and can easily catch up to people with ult. Your Charm works a lot like an exhaust, so you don't really need this.
  • Heal: You have a built in spell vamp passive, a Hextech Revolver and you could have used that summoner spell slot for something much better, in my opinion.
  • Revive: Not going to crack down on this as much as other guides do. It's viable for sure, but there is a reason why you shouldn't take this. Usually this will be really useful late game, where the respawn timer easily surpasses 50 seconds. The reason is usually when your team is aced, and you revive, you won't make much of a difference and might die again! It's too situational in my honest opinion, and you should try to die the least amount of times, even though that's easier said than done.
  • Smite: Jungle Ahri is not viable whatsoever. If you want to try though for the lulz, go ahead. :D Stonewall has a video of it over here!
  • Surge: Leave it to the nukers, hybrids and auto attackers. You usually don't auto attack much as Ahri unless you have a Lichbane, and the extra AP usually doesn't matter all too much. If you love bursting and assassinating with Ahri though, feel free to take it.
  • Teleport: The only reason that I don't have this under viable summoner spells is because there are better choices. If you want to take this, go ahead, it's pretty helpful, but usually the solo top needs this. Unless of course, you are the solo top.
  • Cleanse: Also pretty useful, like Teleport, but there are better choices. If the enemy team is hard CC heavy though, take this over Ignite.
  • Clarity: With this build, the Doran's and the early Codex, you will rarely run out of mana unless you spam. Don't take this.
  • Clairvoyance: Don't bother, leave it to the supports.


Guide Top

Ahri's Kit




Soul Eater (passive): Pretty good passive. Every 9 spellcasts, your next spell will have 35% spell vamp. This will allow you to stay in lane when you usually would go back. When harassing, pay good attention to the stacks on this. Once you hit 9 stacks, try to hit as many minions as possible with Orb of Deception to give yourself a powerful heal. A nice story about this passive is how it saved me from an enemy Ahri once. She was chasing me with her ultimate, so I couldn't escape, and used my own. I would have died, but during one of my Spirit Rushes, my passive activated, giving me just enough health to survive her Spirit Rush.

Tips and Tricks
  • Essence Theft often requires you to push with abilities to attain it. Usually when you use it, you will also be pushing. Don't spam your abilities on minions to get your passive, because your harass will usually get you up to 9 stacks already. Doing so will only push your lane.
  • Don't go in for a kill, especially towerdive, unless you have Essence Theft at the ready. Unless of course the opportunity fits you or the jungler comes to gank.
  • Don't forget that 9 hits charges Essence Theft. If you use and hit all of your Spirit Rush's bolts, you will instantly either have your passive, or already have healed off it.
  • It is proven that using Orb of Deception with Essence Theft will provide the highest amount of spellvamp, but only if you are able to hit multiple targets (aka a minion wave). If you only have a single target, Fox-Fire provides the highest healing.


Orb of Deception (Q): Ahri's main damage ability. It's a skill shot boomerang nuke similar to Sivir's Boomerang Blade, so if you have any experience with Sivir, you'll easily find yourself in Ahri's playstyle.

Another thing that can't be forgotten is that on the way this ability does true damage, passing through any form of armor and magic resist, making her one of the only mid champions that has this. Sadly, in most cases the enemy mid won't build much magic resist early on, so the true damage will shine less.

What really stands out about this skill, is that, unlike other piercing skill shots ( Boomerang Blade & Piltover Peacemaker), this skillshot suffers no damage falloff whatsoever. It will do equal damage regardless of how many targets it hits. Feel free to hit as many targets as you wish with it to maximize it's potential!

Tips and Tricks
  • Don't forget that you can only get 3 passive stacks off Orb of Deception, regardless of how many targets you hit. If attempting to charge your passive, or just when harassing, try to position yourself to only hit 3 minions so you get the stacks.
  • Because Orb of Deception lacks damage falloff, this skill is a great farming ability. Just position yourself to hit as many minions and possible and see the money come in.
  • Because Orb of Deception has no damage falloff, position is key on this skill. You need to hit as many people as possible in fights to make maximum use of it. Ahri is all about doing damage to their entire team. Instead of hitting only 1 or 2 of them in a fight, take a second for them to line up and hit them all for a lot of damage.
  • Orb of Deception has a deceptively long range. Because it returns to your current position, just by moving backwards, you increased the length of the true damage segment of the orb. Or just by slightly adjusting to the right, you might still hit the Brand you missed when using the orb.
  • Orb of Deception at level 5 can easily kill the caster minions on the way through and back, allowing for extremely good farming and pushing.



Fox-Fire: This skill creates three fires around you which lock on and attack a nearby enemy, champions are focused above minions and monsters. This skill just adds up to your burst. It can easily used when being chased by a melee enemy so they will be disheartened to chase further. This skill was mainly created to have synergies with others, though.

Tips and Tricks
  • Fox-Fire can make for some good harass too! Just come close enough so the fires don't bounce to a minion instead, and hit the W key.
  • However, getting close just to use this skill is risky. Fox-Fire is best used in combo after hitting your Charm and following up with Orb of Deception.
  • Using Fox-Fire with your Spirit Rush will result in Fox-Fire being shot as an additional 3 bolts, adding even more damage to your ultimate's damage.
  • Fox-Fire is great at picking off runners that try to use the brush of fog to juke. Since it automatically locks onto a target in sight, and damages him, if you merely chase with this on, the moment they appear in your sight once, they will take all 3 fires, resulting in the kill.



Charm: This skill is awesome. Ahri blows a kiss at a decently big range, and if the skillshot hits, the target will be taunted and slowed for two seconds, walking towards you! This is like a miniature Rocket Grab, made to get enemies out of position. This is why Ahri brings great utility to a team composition. Not only does she bring one enemy of the fight for two seconds, she also brings that enemy out of position. This is great for disabling carries.

Tips and Tricks
  • Don't initiate a fight with Charm, instead, wait until there are no minions to block the skillshot, and then fire it for a sure-stun.
  • Charm works well with gankers that have a hard CC such as Maokai, once Maokai has landed Twisted Advance, you get a free Charm off for a very long duration disable and an easy gank.
  • Try to leave your Charm in a teamfight until you can disable the carry with it. Hitting a tank with this won't change the teamfight by a lot at all.



Spirit Rush: This is what makes Ahri the queen of burst mobility, and make people rage about how they can never ever kill you. This skill grants you three flashes, but that's not all. Each dash also fires three bolts similar to Ezreal's Arcane Shift. As Ahri, the biggest choice is always whether to use your ult stacks for damage to save them to escape.

Tips and Tricks
  • Spirit Rush can give you an easy out-of-jail card when pushing. Simply push down a tower or two, and when the enemy team comes in, you can escape extremely easily with your ultimate.
  • Know when to activate Spirit Rush during a teamfight. Just read the teamfight section on how to.
  • Spirit Rush can easily catch a squishy enemy off guard. If your lane opponent is half health, you can easily score a kill by rapidly dashing through the minions and landing all your skills before he has the time to react with his own.
  • Each dash of Spirit Rush counts as a separate spell. So your passive will only trigger off 1 dash.
  • Spirit Rush's utility is multiplied when used to escape over walls. There are 3 walls around the Blue Buff Golem, and if you jump over each of them, you have an ensured escape.


Guide Top

Skill order

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> and >

I take Orb of Deception at level 1 for harassing, pulling jungle and general usefulness. Before I get Spirit Rush, I get 3 points in Orb of Deception. Afterwards I try to alternate between Q and W, because Fox-Fire still deals great damage that can not be ignored and Orb of Deception is my main damage dealer and needs to be maxed asap. Charm is maxed last because the one second stun is already long enough and the additional levels don't provide that much apart from a longer Charm and a bit more damage.


Guide Top

Skill rotation in fights

Harassing
or


Utilizing passive
(on minion wave)


Getting a kill after harassing (around 50% hp)
in to surprise, follow up with and and hit whenever you can, using the remaining 2 stacks of to do damage and stick to the target. Finish with auto attack and/or Ignite.


Ganking
(try to land this when your team has the enemy on CC) > using to keep up



Guide Top

Items & Optionals


  • : I open with a Doran's Ring merely because of personal preference, and there shall be many optional starting items listed below. Doran's Ring basically gives that extra health that you need to lane. Since Charm brings your enemy closer to you, it also puts you in danger for counter harass. The higher amount of AP and mana regen you get also allow you to obtain and utilize Essence Theft, your passive more often, for better sustain.

    Note: Feel free to switch around the order of Codex, Revolver and Catalyst as you wish! They are all good first buys in every situation. Get your Codex earlier if you don't worry too much about your lane and are doing fine. Buy Catalyst if you need it for survivability or against a nuker like Malzahar. Buy a Hextech Revolver if you feel like you need more sustain, for example if laning against a strong harasser like Viktor or someone with high sustain like Vladimir.
  • : I usually get this first, sacrificing boots for this first, and have almost always have success with it. You only need boots first if you're playing versus someone like Karthus, Cassiopeia or Xerath. Everything about this item is amazing on Ahri. The mana regen never lets you run out of mana. The ability power allows for better harass and more damage. And the cooldown reduction helps Ahri the most. Because Ahri has lower cooldowns than the average AP caster, I try to build on that by building cooldown reduction. An early codex will allow you to destroy your lane. All the advantages aside it also is very cheap.
  • : Next I pick up my boots, so don't fall behind in the movement department, and because I need them at some point anyway, this seems like a good moment to get them, if not slightly late.
  • : With this baby, and your passive, you will never need to use a potion ever again. The amount of lane sustain this and Catalyst give is insane! I try to get this item at a time that laning still is ongoing, but after catalyst so I can solve my mana problems. Therefor this item comes after my boots.
  • : Because I'm already so close to the CDR cap with this build, masteries and runes, I feel like Ionian Boots of Lucidity aren't needed. Therefor I get these boots, because the magic penetration is always welcome on any caster.
  • catalyst the protector: This gives me the ability to stay in lane forever. I also get some health and mana, as if the passive wasn't good enough already. Later this will be built into a Rod of Ages.
  • : I've already got the catalyst, and might as well work it into a Rod of Ages. This will gives you health, mana and ability power, as well as retaining that great Catalyst passive. You need either this or Rylai's Crystal Scepter for the survivability, because with Spirit Rush you will be close to the enemy and prone to focus.
  • : First I pick up a Needlessly Large Rod, and then this beauty. This will make your damage just skyrocket, and turn you into a real threat. If you've been bursting people before this, you'll be surprised at the amount of burst you get from this. Definitively a worthwhile investment.
  • : Because cooldowns become more and more important at this point in the game, I decided to upgrade my 10% CDR to 20% with the Morello's Evil Tome.
  • : This lets you penetrate that annoying magic resist that people will be building against you, and also free up your Sorcerer's Shoes for a different pair of boots. Void Staff gives percentage based MPen (40%), while Sorcerer's Shoes only give flat spell penetration (20). This means Sorc Shoes are more cost effective MPen early on when people don't have much resist, but later on, Void Staff just adds to your damage.
  • : Like said above, and what I read in many other guides, and agreed with, is that once you get Void Staff, Sorcerer's Shoes are no longer necessary for spell penetration, instead, I get these beauties to complete the rest of the build, my masteries and runes and hit 40% CDR without blue buff. Mercury Treads are a good alternative if you feel you need them.
  • : I don't get Will of the Ancients any earlier because only late game, when your team sticks together a lot, does this item matter. It gives a spell vamp aura and some ap to your team. It can be, however easily swapped out for Zhonya's Hourglass, Lich Bane or any other items ( Guardian Angel).
Optional items:
  • Different starting items can include: Amplifying Tome, Boots of Speed, Meki Pendant or Sapphire Crystal depending on your needs in lane. In all cases, you can get a health potion for extra sustain but you lose the +100 health from the Doran's. In my opinion it's just personal preference, but the Doran's stands out as the best in my opinion because of Essence Theft.
  • : If you don't want to use CDR runes or masteries, you can get this and Morello's to be extremely close to the cap already, leaving rune slots and masteries more free.
  • : I personally don't like this items, but as long as League of Legends has such an unpredictable fight factor, you won't always be in the best possible position to use your Spirit Rush, or you are just taking a bit too much damage mid. These are in that case.
  • : As suggested by Oharris, I can easily see myself getting this on Ahri due to her escapability. Replace Morello's Evil Tome with this. I personally don't like snowball items because the risk they carry. If you manage to get stacks and keep them, you will go out of control in terms of damage, but you will become the prime target to focus in a fight, which is something you don't want. If you are confident that you can get stacks and also stay alive, then by all means, this item surpasses Morello's Evil Tome.
  • : Swap with Zhonya's Hourglass. Gives you that late game survivability if you are having trouble with getting focused.
  • : Swap with Will of the Ancients. This item is great if an AD is fed and doing tons of work, and has a great active, and more AP than the average AP item (100 ap instead of 80 ap). However, I feel like the active conflicts with Ahri, who is meant to be moving all the time. It also doesn't have any synergy with her, except that it lets her wait for cooldowns. Kassadin will have Riftwalk off cooldown after a Zhonya, and always has to be close to his targets, Fiddlesticks can channel Crowstorm while in statis, so it synergises with them. It doesn't with Ahri.
  • : Swap with Rod of Ages. It's a matter of preference again. They give the same amount of AP, but Rylai's gives less health and a slow on every spell, while Rod of Ages gives you more mana, a great passive and more health. I don't prefer getting Rylai's now that Lizard Buff also works on spells. If you get Rod of Ages and the Lizard Buff, you will have what Rylai's would give you and more.

    Since so many people ask me why I don't get Rylai's, I have decided to quote a part of my F.A.Q. in here to explain another bit of why I don't like Rylai's on Ahri.
    Quoted:
    Q: Why do you try and get so much cooldown reduction?
    A: I feel like Ahri's cooldowns are a bit high, and this is also the reason I don't pick up Rylai's Crystal Scepter, basically how I feel Ahri plays without CDR is you roll out your entire combo and cross your fingers that the target dies. You can't follow up the Rylai slow with anything, because your Fox-Fire goes off cooldown after 5 seconds, Orb of Deception after 7 whole seconds without any CDR! I get Rylai's on champions with low cooldowns that can stick to targets, like Akali, with her two second Mark of the Assassin she will be able to apply a constant slow and actually follow it up with damage. I feel like Ahri needs cooldowns more than anything else.

  • : If the enemies aren't building a lot of magic resist, this is more efficient than Void Staff. It actually reduces magic resist, and on lower magic resist levels, can let your damage do much better than a Void Staff can ever give you. Also useful if an enemy AP is fed, but Banshee's Veil is usually the better choice in that situation unless it's only slightly fed.
  • : You can choose to turn your Codex into a Deathfire instead, subbing the CDR for the active. Do this if at least 3-4 members of the team are stacking health and you find your damage extremely lacking, or they usually have around 30% hp left after you do your combo.
  • : Replace Zhonya's Hourglass with it. This item used to be in the main build, until I felt like Ahri wasn't about auto attacking much unless it was a very close fight. Usually you'd use your entire kit and then kite while waiting for cooldowns. This item is, however, great for Ahri! The magic resist isn't that useful but makes you take less damage should the enemy AP try to focus you in a fight, it gives a good amount of AP, some movement speed, and some mana (you shouldn't have mana problems post- Rod of Ages). Lichbane only shines if you can manage it's effect. Try to auto attack as often as you can. This also lets you tear down towers if your game is close and you need to split push to win.
  • : Always choose this over Force of Nature as you're not a tank. This will help you against those pesky AP casters that are getting more fed than you.


Guide Top

Laning & Farming

Laning


Ahri is a pretty decent mid, not the best, but has great poke, but relies a lot on hitting skill shots to actually do well in lane. However, with good harass, it's not hard to actually pick up first blood if you play smart. Because I enjoy playing aggressively, I take Doran's Ring for the health and ability power. Many Ahri players will prefer getting Amplifying Tome or boots so they can get potions, but I believe that if you manage Essence Theft wisely, you will have all the sustain you need unless you overextend badly and in that case are meant to die.

Try to stay in lane for as long as possible, by last hitting minions with your auto attacks, and if out of range, your Orb of Deception too. Your Orb of Deception is your main last hit/harass ability, but don't get too spammy until you pick up your codex. Only go back when you really need to, as you need to accumulate as much gold as possible to pick up as much of your Fiendish Codex, Boots of Speed and catalyst the protector. That said, don't get greedy. An alive Ahri with less items is better than a dead Ahri with one extra item.

Don't be afraid to stay at a range and use your Essence Theft to heal yourself up from a distance and stay anyway if you're afraid of getting behind because of going back.

Try to harass with Orb of Deception when you have level 2 in it at least, as level 1 doesn't really do much damage for the mana cost.

Make sure you a get Golem Buff as often as possible from your jungler. Don't leave your lane to go do it alone however, if you do so, you might risk losing a tower in mid. If you can get your hands on the Golem Buff without your lane being pushing, then you are in a great position. Ahri with this buff is great! She can spam her Orb of Deception a lot, and play extremely aggressively without having to risk to run out of mana, and the cooldown reduction is perfect as well. If you want to go for a kill, doing it while you have this buff is the best idea.

Farming


Ahri might as well be one of the best farmers in the game for all I know. She has a great autoattack animation, quite similar to LeBlanc, so it shouldn't be hard to get nearly every last hit. You can easily pick up the last hits you won't have gotten with your Orb of Deception, but make sure not to push.

Late game, Ahri becomes even a better farmer, as I usually double my team's creepscore without even trying. Since a level 5 Orb of Deception can one hit kill caster minions, all you need to do to farm an entire wave is to hit the all minions with Orb of Deception, turn on Fox-Fire. The fires usually bounce to either all 3 melee minions or to two, leaving you to last hit one of them. See one of those delicious huge minion waves? Just position yourself so they are lined up, and fire Orb of Deception, it has no damage falloff, so every minion will take equal damage, and caster minions will die, all of them. Isn't that just so good?


Guide Top

Post-Laning Phase and Teamfights

Pushing


After laning you want to do what Ahri is great at; Pushing and farming! Using your amazing farming skills, kill an entire wave fast, and pressure an enemy tower. If you get ganked Spirit Rush will easily save you. Just keep farming to finish your build up, and pick up a tower and kill or two.

If you only see one enemy come to protect the tower from your pushing, don't immediately run off. You might even be able to score a kill. Try to poke at him with Orb of Deception, and Charm. If Charm hits, run towards the enemy and hit Orb of Deception and Fox-Fire for quite a lot of damage. Rinse and repeat until you feel confident enough to dive with Spirit Rush for the kill.

Teamfights


This is often where I see other Ahri players do bad. They will either initiate using Spirit Rush or use their skills incorrectly!

If you watched the Ahri Pentakill video at the beginning of this guide, you will see perfect Ahri teamfight behavior. So here I'll give some teamfight pointers in the form of do's and don'ts.
  • Do try to position yourself to hit as many people as you can with your Orb of Deception.
  • Do try to save Spirit Rush until you feel it is needed, and when there are at least three enemies around to take full advantage of Ahri's split damage.
  • Do start a teamfight standing the back using Orb of Deception and trying to get a lucky shot with Charm. When the opportunity arises and most enemy CC has been used (!!!), turn on Fox-Fire and Spirit Rush and dash through the enemy team dealing huge damage to all of them, giving you either a lot of assists or a sweet multikill.
  • Don't initiate a fight, ever! Fed or not, Rod of Ages or not, you are extremely squishy and if you Spirit Rush in, you will just be killed without doing anything at all.
  • Don't use Spirit Rush when the enemy team has CC (ie. Amumu hasn't used ultimate yet)! CC will screw you over, and you are now in the middle of their team because of Spirit Rush, and you're squishy. You will be a sitting duck to focus.
  • Don't use Spirit Rush when the enemy team is still high on health, unless you see you are losing the fight and need the extra damage. Spirit Rush is mainly a chasing/killing blow spell, doing a lot of damage to the enemy team at low health and chasing those who run to ensure that ace. This is because when the enemy team is low they won't be trying to focus you as much as they would when they were full, because of the damage you can do. They will usually run, which is even better for you.
  • Don't hit an enemy tank with Charm. That's exactly what they want. To be in the middle of your team and taking all the hits. You want to save Charm to hit an enemy carry, because if you can pull that Caitlyn away from her safe position in the fight closer to your team, and also disable her for 2 seconds, your team will love you!


Guide Top

How to deal with certain champions (Lengthy and detailed)

I've created this part of the guide to explain how I lane mid against other champions, if I need to adjust my build slightly, or if I use any special positioning. I'll also list their difficulty in the form of five stars (*****). After I finish doing the mid champions, I'll go to other champions and talk about their threat to Ahri out of lane.

This is a still a work in progress, as I haven't laned against every champion as Ahri yet, but I'll fill in as much as possible, partially from experience with other champions mid and partially with knowledge of how Ahri plays.

* - Easy as pie to lane against, Ahri will usually have a huge advantage against this champion, even if the player makes a mistake, or the enemy player does well. Can still be a danger fed though, as any champion.

** - Ahri will have the advantage in this lane, but make sure not to mess up. The line is very close, and if the champion manages to punish you for a mistake you make, the lane will become tougher.

*** - Both sides will be pretty equal. It'll all be about who can punish the other side for making a mistake and how much the jungler helps you or the enemy.

**** - These guys pose a huge threat and will usually have an advantage over Ahri, either by just being a better lane champion, or because they have a stun, snare or taunt. Get some jungler help with these, and try to punish their mistakes to get the advantage.

***** - Banes of Ahri's existence in lane! These are monsters that can rip Ahri apart, or just simply out-do her in lane. If you know the opponent is capable of nuking you instantly ( LeBlanc), then swap with your tanky top lane for an easier time. You need to be babysat by your jungler to win this lane, but if not, simply sit back and try to farm using the range of Orb of Deception. Winning a lane against these guys requires great awareness of what they are capable of, and when you have to do what.

Middle champions (and possible middle champions)

Ahri (***) - I totally dislike mirror matchups, mainly because both parties can do the exact same, and basically the one taking the initiative will win the lane, but anyways. Ahri versus Ahri really only depends on player skill, runes, masteries and build. Both of you have the same range on your Orb of Deception, so whoever uses it first, and dodges the enemy's one by walking backwards, will get the harass off. Be aware that Ahri can catch up to you since she has the same ultimate, so don't play risky with your life, since she can towerdive you and your Spirit Rush won't save you.

Akali (***) - A minor threat, and usually puts herself solo top anyway. In the case that she is mid, feel free to harass her with Orb of Deception, because she is melee and can't do much until she has her Shadow Dance. When she does, however, be careful of her burst, as she might force you to Spirit Rush to escape. Try to play aggressively versus an Akali, while avoid her post-6 burst. Also don't forget that Fox-Fire and Spirit Rush can't hit a stealthed target, and will instead target minions if you decide to use it while she is in her Twilight Shroud.

Anivia (**) - Pretty easy to lane against, especially once you have your ultimate! Make sure you juke to the sides, and not backwards when she uses Flash Frost however. If you don't get caught by Flash Frost, the lane will be easy as pie. If you do, make sure you get potions on you way back. Once the two of you hit level 6, you will not be caught by her combo, ever. Your Spirit Rush allows you to escape her wall, ultimate, and flash frost with ease, and Frostbite doesn't do much if you aren't slowed. Watch out for her Rebirth when going for a kill or diving however.

Annie (****) - The horrors of Annie. Play extremely safe in this lane and try to poke her with Orb of Deception. If she catches you with her Pyromania stun, you will take quite some damage. At level 6 she will outdamage you by far, so go back if possible to heal. If she hits her Pyromania + Summon: Tibbers combo, with the rest of her spell combo, you will die. However, if you have fast reaction time, and can Spirit Rush just when she uses Tibbers, then the fight will be in your favor by far, having lost her stun and a lot of her damage.

Ashe (*) - You rarely see Ashe mid at higher levels, and there is a reason for this. She easily gets outdone by AP casters. You will easily out harass her, and you can dodge her Volley by hiding behind minions, while Orb of Deception does pass through minions. Her only threat is how it's hard to escape once she has the constant slow on you, but you shouldn't get in a situation where she is constantly attacking you, because you can burst her down, since she is so squishy. Be sure to warn your teammates when you see her fire Enchanted Crystal Arrow, and make sure to Spirit Rush dodge it when you see it going for you, since the stun can mess you over.

Brand (*****) - My god, Brand is extremely difficult to lane against, since he is completely based around dominating a lane. You might want to start Boots of Speed or get them earlier, to dodge Pillar of Flame. If you try to get away from minions to hit your Charm combo, he'll counter by using his Conflagration + Sear, which stuns you, and then his pillar, which hurts a lot. Try to play aggressively when you can, but don't play risky, as he'll always win a risky duel because Charm brings him towards you for an easy Conflagration.

Caitlyn (***) - An absolute offensive pest in mid. You won't often find her mid because she will be babysitted bottom. But when she is might, she will be extremely aggressive! The reason she isn't four or five stars is because she still has the problem of being a squishy ad carry that melts fast. Her Piltover Peacemaker will be extremely annoying harass, try to stay behind minion to make it's damage lower and dodge it if possible. She will also set up a line of 3 traps and you have to maneuver through it, and if you get caught, take a Piltover to the face. Trigger these traps when she can't follow up with a Piltover. Also her range. When you try to last hit, she will counter by just auto attacking you. This damage will build up to be an annoying lane.

Cassiopeia (***) - To be quite honest, I rarely lane against Cassiopeia since she is so underplayed. When I do, I don't have that much trouble. Laning against Cassiopeia equals getting boots first no matter what. If you are capable of dodging her poisons, her Twin Fang won't do much either. If you can't dodge her poisons, treat her as a four star threat. Her ultimate shouldn't be much of a threat if you can predict when she uses it. If you get caught by it, you might take a lot of damage though, so be careful.

Ezreal (**) - Ezreal shouldn't be too hard. Both of you are skillshot based, however his main skillshot doesn't pass through minions while yours does. His auto attacks may do a number though and he has something similar to your Spirit Rush with his Arcane Shift. If you are low health, make sure to juke to the sides to dodge the Trueshot Barrage that will be incoming. If you use your Spirit Rush to dash around him to dodge his skillshots, you'll make quick work of him without taking that much damage.

Fiddlesticks (***) - He's so annoying! This champion I feel is created just to annoy you to death. He will throw his Dark Wind to get off free undodgeable harass, and his Terror into Drain will do a number on you. Try to use Charm to cancel the drain whenever you can, and when you see him channel Crowstorm, just Spirit Rush away.

Fizz (***) - Haven't seen this guy much since his nerf but I was quite excited for him, so I can easily compare his playstyle with Ahri's. Basically, Fizz excels at getting close to you and doing damage, and that's where Ahri's damage also excels. When he comes close, just tag with him with Charm and unfold your combo as he harmlessly takes damage. He shouldn't be much of a threat but late game his damage is quite immense, but so is yours. Take care.

Gangplank (**** or **) - This guy can either be an extreme pest early, or play passively. Late game he'll be a pest either way with his criticals and possibly tankyness. If he maxes Parrrley first, be prepared for heavy harassment. Try to keep your distance from his Parrrley range as your Orb of Deception has a larger range, and poke at him. He can also level his Remove Scurvy first, which makes him resistant against harass, but also makes him play more passive as his own harass suffers from it. In this case focus on farming as he'll heal most of your harass.

Gragas (***) - This guy is also underplayed like Cassiopeia. He has great sustain, getting mana back, and also health with his passive Happy Hour. Try to dodge his Barrel Roll as much as possible by juking, possibly getting boots first. His ultimate shouldn't be a big problem if you can just dash away. If he catches you with your burst mobility down however..

Graves (***) - Another member of the AD carry mid family, this guy is actually quite good. My friend, playing LeBlanc got dominated by him once. He will hurt a lot up close, which is where you do damage with Fox-Fire and Spirit Rush. You need to juke his Buckshot with Spirit Rush no matter what, or risk losing the fight hard. If you juke his skills, his auto attacks will still hurt but the fight should be manageable. Make sure to poke him a lot in lane with Orb of Deception, as his own range is lower than yours.

Heimerdinger (**) - This guy is cake. He's confined to the space around his turrets. The only reason that I don't mark him one star is because his ultimate still does a number with that slow. Usually you can just safely kill his turrets as well as harass him without receiving any counter harass. The only danger could be the rockets. If you are in trouble, ask for a gank. Heimer will always push using his turrets, so he's really weak to ganks. Don't forget that once he dies, his turrets die too, so if you burst him fast enough, you won't suffer from UPGRADE!!!.

Karthus (***) - Karthus is a pretty nice lane opponent, but start boots first! And also be irregular with your movement to dodge Lay Waste or suffer the consequences. Wall of Pain's slow is strong but you should be able to get around it. Defile will make you think twice about using Fox-Fire and Spirit Rush near him. His ultimate Requiem can also kill you when you think you got away with low HP. But he's also very squishy, so you can easily beat him down.

Kassadin (****) - This guy has counter-harass, and on top of that, sustained burst mobility and a great slow. He starts out as someone who sticks to a target and kills him, and ends up as a powerful nuker. Up to level 3 he won't harass much as his Null Sphere doesn't do much yet. From level 3 however, whenever you try to harass, he'll silence you with some great damage, so you can't counter harass. Then when you're half health at your turret when he hits level 6, he'll use Riftwalk and his Null Sphere and Force Pulse to get rid of you fast. He also takes less magic damage with his passive.. Play aggressively against this guy, because he has a melee autoattack, but stay out of his null sphere range. Your Orb of Deception easily outranges his null sphere. Try to get a gank too.

Katarina (**) - Katarina isn't that hard, since her main damage ability Death Lotus can be avoided easily, simply by using Spirit Rush to get out, and then the remaining 2 stacks to go back in once the ultimate has ended. In fact, you don't even have to get out. Charm will cancel her ultimate as she uses her, granted you land the skillshot fast enough. Her Bouncing Blades is free harass, but won't bounce much early on and lacks damage. Her Shunpo puts her in range for a free combo as she tries to run back to her side of the lane. Tear her apart as Ahri.

Kennen (****) - Pretty good mid, and usually picks up Hextech Revolver to have great sustain too. His Thundering Shuriken will not go through minions but he will spam it because he uses energy. If he can't hit you with it, then he will switch to charging Electrical Surge on minions, hitting you with the passive auto attack, and using the active. His Lightning Rush is decent but can't escape from your Spirit Rush. Stay out of his ultimate though, because the stun can really screw you over. Get out of it asap using Spirit Rush or risk death. Also count the amount of Marks of the Storm on you, they are the small blue orbs around your character. If you have 3 on you, you get stunned. Make sure when you have 2 you aren't near Kennen to gain a third or risk taking a lot of damage.

Kog'Maw (**) - Kog'Maw often won't be mid. AP Kog won't prove any trouble damage wise. Usually Kog'Maw will be AD/AS, and his auto attacks will hurt. But he isn't a problem. His skills are easy to dodge. In lane, you will out harass, out sustain and out damage him. Be careful of his passive, Icathian Surprise though. Not a big threat at all.

LeBlanc (*****) - LeBlanc is completely designed around destroying AP carries mid, and feeding off that. If up against LeBlanc, the best course of action would be to swap with your solo top tanky champion, because after LeBlanc bursts she can't follow it up, and the tanky champion will have plenty health left. If you have to lane against LeBlanc however, be prepared to take a lot of damage. Starting level 3 she will harass you and if she does it well she will blink back with Distortion before you can respond. Starting level 6 LeBlanc gets an insane nuke. Your best bet is to get get your catalyst fast, and if matters get out of hand, build a Banshee's Veil instead of Rod of Ages. Whenever she gets close with her Distortion, hit Fox-Fire and Orb of Deception to do a decent amount of counter harass. Make sure you are always above a certain amount of health to not get instantly killed by her. LeBlanc is a huge threat in lane, you have to focus on farming and staying alive above all.

Lux (***) - Lux is all about skillshots. Dodge them and you'll be in a spectacular position. You can easily avoid Light Binding by staying behind your minions. Prismatic Barrier barely shields her and it's not hard to avoid Lucent Singularity. The only time to worry is if you are caught in her full combo, that will deal quite the damage. She also outranges you by far with Lucent Singularity, so that might cause some trouble.

Malzahar (*****) - This guy is an absolute monster! He's got Call of the Void, which silences you, and does a nice amount of damage. His Malefic Visions will make him always have more minions kills than you, and force you to stay away from the minion wave (and last hits) to avoid getting a DoT on you. His Null Zone won't be a big threat in lane, but when you hit level 6, it is. Malzahar is a mage with a death combo. You do the entire combo, and the enemy dies. What he does is, he lays down Null Zone, and suppresses you on top of the null zone using Nether Grasp, if this didn't do much damage, he will finish with Call of the Void, Malefic Visions and Ignite. The major weakness in this combo is that you are mobile. If you can avoid standing on Null Zone when he Nether Grasps you, you will have avoided a lot of the damage, so make avoid that Null Zone after level 6 your top priority.

Miss Fortune (****) - In my experience, one of the strongest AD carries to go mid. Her Double Up is quite irritating, because technically it's free harass, however, it's quite mana heavy. It isn't hard to get out of Make it Rain, but that skill is usually used to wear you down. Her ultimate Bullet Time shouldn't be hard to get out of and even less so with Spirit Rush. Miss Fortune in lane will do a lot to just wear you down slowly by harass, and then when you're low enough, Exhaust you and shoot you to death.

Morgana (****) - Ah, Morgana. She is what I like to call an Anti-AP champion. Her Soul Siphon will prevent you from getting much harass over, her Black Shield will make you think twice about charming her and her Soul Shackles will kill you, so Spirit Rush out of range of that one as fast as you can to avoid that stun and her follow up combo. To to focus on farming as you will not win the lane against her, and just decimate her later on.

Nidalee (**) - Nidalee mid is quite an uncommon site nowadays, and only people who really like Nidalee will do this. This is because she fits more into the Melee DPS solo top role with her Cougar than an AP caster, mainly because her lack of nuke. In the off-chance that you do find her mid, she shouldn't be too hard, granted you dodge the Javelin Toss, so if you have trouble with that slow skillshot, pick up boots earlier than Codex. The traps shouldn't be too hard. Primal Surge will undo some of your harass, but is heavy on mana, so you can force her to go back by repeatedly harassing. When he enters her Aspect Of The Cougar, she becomes even easier. Since melees are predictable around minions, harass her all you want. You can also easily kite her once she enters cougar form using Spirit Rush, Charm and if you have it Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

Orianna (**) - I don't see Orianna all too often mid, and that comes with a reason. I've been playing her, for about 5 games on a friend's account, and feel that apart from having no presence or danger in mid at all, she does barely any damage! The only reason I don't mark her 1 star food for Ahri is because on the off chance I do see an Orianna do well, she does extremely well. You need to see how good the Orianna you are going up against is, and test just how far you can go with your Orb of Deception harass. Do watch out for her longer range counter harass and the ability to stop you dead in your tracks with her slow and ultimate.

Ryze (****) - Ah, Ryze, unique even among the AP casters as the only AP caster that has terrible ratios (and no multiple hits), but all abilities scale off mana and have extremely low cooldowns, as well as his passive reducing the cooldown of all of his spells, and him passively getting CDR. Because Ryze doesn't need to build a lot of AP to do well, he will often get a fast Negatron Cloak into Banshee's Veil to counter a lot of the damage you throw at him, but the mana from Banshee's still giving him damage! This will be a very tanky mage, and you will need to focus on farm, while poking him as much as you can, especially with the True damage segment of your Orb of Deception. Overall a difficult lane, but since he has no escape abilities a gank should win you the lane. However, after playing a few more games vs him, do realize that he has the potential to stop your Spirit Rush with his Rune Prison, because you are in range for it when using your ultimate at all times. Immobilizes are Ahri's arch enemy, and this thing really hurts.

Swain (***) - Swain is a pretty average mid versus you. Swain is built around beating the enemy down in lane to get fed, similar to LeBlanc, but instead of burst using lots of damage over time that builds up. His main combo of Torment into Decrepify will be extremely easily avoidable if you stay at maximum range and poke at him. She shouldn't be too hard, and if he is, pick up boots earlier to avoid his Nevermove. Make sure to counter his crow form's healing with Ignite if going for the kill though, as the healing might just save him!

Talon (***) - Talon is also an aggressive laner, and will often rock mana per 5 second seals to spam his Rake. Fortunately for you, Orb of Deception easily outranges Rake, and Essence Theft also will give you much more sustain than him. The only things to watch out for are his burst at level 6 using Noxian Diplomacy and Shadow Assault, and his silence using Cutthroat can prevent your escape using Spirit Rush and/or Flash.

Tristana (***) - Another viable mid for normal games. She will be quite annoying, utilizing her passive Draw a Bead to increase her range passively and just shoot at you. However, early on, she will have low range. Keep poking her with Orb of Deception until you see she is low enough to go for the kill with Spirit Rush. She will Rocket Jump away, but with Charm and Spirit Rush you should be able to catch up relatively easily. She is still very squishy, but has high damage, and is a lategame champion, so try to shut her down early, but don't underestimate her damage early on, because her ultimate Buster Shot can chunk you for quite a lot of health.

Twisted Fate (*** or **) - The cardmaster can go either AP or AD/AS. AP, he will prove slightly troublesome. He is easily outranged by Orb of Deception however, and outsustained by Essence Theft. However, he has infinite mana and a stun with Pick A Card. If you get stunned, AP TF will follow up with Wild Cards to take a lot of your health out. You can easily avoid Wild Cards if not stunned though. If you can't, pick up boots earlier. Make sure you get to a safe location when you are under the effect of Destiny though, so he can't ambush you from behind. The AD/AS cardmaster mid is cake to you. He won't do much early on, simply because he can't, and is a weaker AP TF in lane. Just destroy him without much trouble, so his late game will also be bad.

Twitch (*** or *) - Twitch will rarely be mid, because he roams, and when roaming, you leave your lane completely open to pushers. A good Twitch will always ambush using his stealth and get fed early to make up for his late game falling off. If you are laning against Twitch, make sure to get a Vision Ward! He is difficult to deal with with his constant popping up behind you and shooting trick, but with a vision ward, he turns into an easy kill. If you act as if the ward isn't there, he might wander right into a free kill.

Urgot (**) - I believe Urgot to be relatively easy. Pick up boots if you have trouble dodging Noxian Corrosive Charge, because if he doesn't hit that, he will barely do any damage to you. If he uses Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverse on you, simply Spirit Rush away if in danger, or nuke him down if you get the chance to. Be aware that his ultimate does give him magic resist though.

Vayne (***) - Vayne isn't too hard mid. She suffers from the regular AD carries mid problems, but has only a mediocre escape at best, but her ultimate improves this escape with stealth for 1.5 seconds. Feel free to control the flow of this lane, as all she can do is last hit and Tumble to auto attack you once. Something you can easily kite and counter with Orb of Deception. Try to stay away from being between Vayne and a wall, because Condemn will stun you and hurt you a lot if you hit a wall. If you ever do find yourself between Vayne and a wall, and you are afraid of death, be sure to use Spirit Rush to escape. Don't forget that her ultimate gives her the ability to chase extremely well, so use Spirit Rush over walls to shake her off.

Veigar (*****) - Fed or not, this guy is an absolute destroyer with his ultimate, Primordial Burst. I once beat a Veigar into being 0/14, but even then he was able to get his first kill on me by simply nuking me with his full combo. This is one of the few champions I would advise Mercury's Treads on, because if you don't have Tenacity, the Dark Matter will usually hit you once he has you stunned with Event Horizon. Be aware of his burst at any point in the game, but apart from that godlike burst, you will usually dominate him in lane since he has no escape abilities.

Viktor (**) - Viktor needs a really good buff. If he tries to Power Transfer you, he has to get in range for a free Orb of Deception before the shield even gets back to him. You shouldn't have too much trouble getting out of his Gravity Field, especially after level 6, but if you do get caught, he's set up for a combo. His Death Ray is interesting is that it's a skillshot that comes from any direction, not directly from the caster like usual skillshots, and it passes through minions and gives him vision! But it's predictable and slow. His ultimate isn't good, because you will have your ultimate too. The silence doesn't last long enough to block your ulting, and this thing usually won't do much damage because of how fast you can Spirit Rush away, overall an easy lane.

Vladimir (***) - Vladimir isn't that damaging of an AP carry, but he indeed is very tanky, due to his passive Crimson Pact giving him health for AP, and vice versa. His Transfusion is a nasty single target nuke that can easily undo any harass you use on him, however it has a long cooldown early on, hitting the 2s cooldown only when he is level 9. His Sanguine Pool makes him invulnerable for a period of time, but has a long cooldown and takes 20% of his health. You have to be careful about going for the kill and especially towerdiving while he has this, as it can turn an easy kill into him trolling you to death. His Hemoplague will do damage, and make you take 14% more damage from his entire team. Don't Spirit Rush with this on you no matter what, unless you want to suicide! Hemoplague's damage isn't immediate though. The health gets removed after a certain time (when the debuff ends), so the skill makes you think you have more health when you in fact, don't.

Xerath (**) - Xerath is a danger to most AP carries, just because of his insane poke. However, your Orb of Deception has only 25 less range than Arcanopulse, so throw it out and run backwards so he can't retaliate. Locus of Power immobilizes him to cast a longer range version of a spell, but spells are still just as avoidable. If you have trouble with Arcanopulse, just pick up boots earlier. His main damage ability, his ultimate, Arcane Barrage is so easily avoided by Ahri, and thats why I place him at two stars, because if you do it well, he will never hit you with his ultimate. You can easily see where he casts it, and with good reaction, can dodge every hit of this with Spirit Rush, doing damage in the process. If you don't dodge his ultimate, Xerath easily goes to four stars though, so practice it with a buddy!

Zilean (**) - Finally we arrive at the end of the AP mid list. Last but not least, Zilean. Zilean isn't strong mid at all, and lacks burst. He makes up for it with his powerful utility Time Warp and Chronoshift. His Time Bomb can make for powerful harass, but the range is tiny, all of your abilities outrange his time bomb by at least 100 range, so he can't harass with it without getting counter harassed. Overall, not that difficult because of his smaller range, but still annoying with his utility.


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Smartcasting; Why Ahri loves it

Ahri is a great champion to have smartcasting on for. Heck, Riot already gave you an incentive by making her ultimate smartcasted by default. Ahri relies on skillshot for all but Fox-Fire, and skillshots require a good prediction and fast reaction to hit. You might say that you have mastered the technique of 'pressing Q then clicking right away', but you will never lose that 0.5-1 second of clicking time, and that might be the difference between hitting or missing a skillshot! Especially when two of your skillshots are either your main damage ability or your biggest utility skill!

Smartcast is something I definitively advise any Ahri player to turn on, because you will benefit from it so much throughout the whole game. It promotes instinctive and reactive play rather than rational play, the former usually being the less good. Don't think about firing that Orb of Deception, just toss it out and hit the enemy or not.

Only do this when you are used to her ranges though, as you might start missing skillshots if you underestimate her range.


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Summary and Scores

Ahri is a great AP mid with a high skill cap, meaning a lot of her capabilities lie in player skill. So don't go mad if you don't do well at first. When you master when to use her abilities and how, you will be doing good every game, and never go negative, ever! Harass in lane, last-hit a lot, punish people for being out of position, and make the entire team range about how you are uncatchable with your ultimate.

If you have any questions, notes, spelling errors and especially tips, post them down below so I can improve the first guide I spent quite long on.

Scores and videos

This is where I want to see your Ahri scores using this build! Send them to me and I'll put them up here. If I find a great Ahri video or you do, let me know, so I can put it here as well! This section is meant to show off how amazing Ahri is, to convince that one person to get her over another AP mid.

My scores (18 december 2011)

Ahri is also good in ranked (8 january 2012)


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Thoughts on patch notes

This is where I put my thoughts on Ahri buffs or nerfs, and how they affect this build and Ahri as a whole.

Ahri Nerfs (Sejuani Patch 17/1/12)

  • Orb of Deception mana cost increased to 70/75/80/85/90 from 60/65/70/75/80
  • Spirit Rush cooldown increased to 90/80/70 seconds from 80/70/60

The change to Orb of Deception might cause some builds to have mana problems in lane, but not this build. Using my build, you'll still be able to use as much of Orb of Deception as you want, because of the mana regen my build provides early on, and the catalyst/rod of ages later for mana.

The change to her ultimate, Spirit Rush, increasing it's cooldown by 10 seconds, is slightly more significant, but not a big problem. This build innately provides you with a lategame permanent 40% CDR (Swapping boots for Cooldown Boots after Void Staff, Morello's Evil Tome, and blue elixir), and when your ultimate used to be 36 second cooldown lategame, it will now be 42 seconds. It makes a slightly bigger difference before you get CDR, but since you get an early Codex, you should still have your ult cooldown faster than an Ahri that omits it, and an Ahri with ult is always more powerful than an Ahri without ult.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Here I will put any questions posted in replies and answer them, so that anyone else who reads the guide may learn from it.

Q: Why do you try and get so much cooldown reduction?
A: I feel like Ahri's cooldowns are a bit high, and this is also the reason I don't pick up Rylai's Crystal Scepter, basically how I feel Ahri plays without CDR is you roll out your entire combo and cross your fingers that the target dies. You can't follow up the Rylai slow with anything, because your Fox-Fire goes off cooldown after 5 seconds, Orb of Deception after 7 whole seconds without any CDR! I get Rylai's on champions with low cooldowns that can stick to targets, like Akali, with her two second Mark of the Assassin she will be able to apply a constant slow and actually follow it up with damage. I feel like Ahri needs cooldowns more than anything else.

Q: What is the range of dmg from her ulti? a.k.a. At what range do the bolts of your Spirit Rush fire? ~Ducktide
A:Very interesting question! I thought I could solve it by a simple google, but I couldn't, so I hopped right into a custom game and leveled 6 so I could test it for you. I took three screenshots that should explain it perfectly!

The first picture below is the range at which Fox-Fire will barely hit the dragon, basically the max range of Fox-Fire.

The second picture shows the range of Spirit Rush at the exact same spot. This is the range you can dash to and the range at which your bolts fire.

The last picture shows the max range at which the bolts will hit the dragon. So basically, if you want to know the range of your ultimate's bolts, make sure to keep your target within 450 range, which is quite small, it's smaller than the ranged auto attack range.

Q: What is the point to Runic Affinity if you are going for the 40% CDR anyway?
You won't have this early game. All you will have before you get your morello's evil tome, and after your fifth item, your cooldown boots, is 15%. A blue buff in lane will help immensely, better pushing because you have your ult for damage. More Orb of Deception spam. It's just great to have that CDR and mana regen while in lane, since it lets you dominate.


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Replays

Everyone loves replays! And I have LoL Recorder on all the time to capture good games with Ahri to add to this guide and show to others! However, to watch these, you need LoLReplay, which you can find right over here! Not only can you watch lots of replays, but also automatically record your own, without pressing any button whatsoever! These files are also very small, unlike Fraps videos, where one game can easily take up a few gigabites, a replay only takes up around 7mb, so don't worry about your computer getting too full on replays. :D

These are examples of my Ahri play, as well as analysis on how and why I did certain things and why I died. Feel free to download these and watch them if you want to have some first person experience with this Ahri guide.

Replays
Ahri (Anthonie) vs AD Ezreal in middle (download)
I'm pretty satisfied with how this game went. Knowing Ezreal, I was able to play aggressively in lane, constantly poking with Orb of Deception. Once he was low and I found an opening, I was able to pick up the kill with Flash and Ignite. Once I had the lane advantage, I capitalized upon that, and make the gap bigger and bigger as you can see through this replay. My only two deaths could easily have been avoided. The first death was to Ezreal's Trueshot Barrage, I could have avoided it, but didn't pay enough attention. The second death was because I was too pushed in mid after having picked up a kill using Spirit Rush. With Spirit Rush on CD, I wasn't able to escape, but it did come off cooldown on time for me to burst down Ezreal. I didn't use it to escape because Ignite + Grog Soaked Blade would have killed me already.


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Changelog

18/12/12 - Guide created and published. :D
18/12/12 - Worked extremely hard on the guide, incorporating comment suggestions and adding a new section called 'How to deal with certain champions (Lengthy and detailed)'.
19/12/12 - Worked on the 'How to deal with certain champions' part of the guide, also added an optional or two and a new section about smartcasting. Heavily debating making video guides.
20/12/12 - Finished the AP mid section of 'How to deal with certain champions'. On to the solo top section of it. Looking at other top rates guides to see what I can add/change about this guide.
7/1/12 - Happy new year! Updated the item build slightly to be more optimized and added Viktor to the matchup list, according to a few edits here and there.
17/1/12 - New patch incoming, so I should update the guide. I swapped around Hextech Revolver and Catalyst. I felt like the Hextech Revolver gave slightly more lane sustain and should be build earlier in order to provide it's full use, but I also feel like all 3 unbuilt items (catalyst, codex and revolver) should be freely interchangeable depending on how your lane is going. Ahri also took a slight nerf this patch, so I will cover those as well. It's kind of sad that my build has fallen to 60%, but I'll continue to update it, and see if I can find some way to get it back up. Also added another frequently asked question.