Ahri Build Guide by MiamiHurricane
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.
So you want to know how you should go about melting faces with Ahri? Well you have come to the right place! Should you be new to Ahri, a veteran, or simply looking for an amazing new champion to buy, I welcome you to my guide. This is my first Mobafire Guide and I hope you find it useful, new or not, in your quest to melt faces. I was looking at the other Ahri guides and I felt that none of them did her justice so I decided to make my own. She is a very strong champion when used correctly and does amazing damage late-game.
Ahri has been nerfed a few times in recent patches (if it happens again I'll put in a chapter listing the changes that have been made), which makes me a little sad, but the nerfs weren't that serious. Her Orb of Deception has higher mana costs now and her ultimate has a longer cooldown. Despite the nerfs, she's still a great champion (completely OP according to some, especially that Corki I kept 3-shotting last game lolz). Please leave your feedback in the comments section, I appreciate all of it. Also please test my build before downvoting. It is still a work in progress and I will be updating it regularly as I play Ahri.
Ahri is an amazing champion, my favorite by far. Though Riot has tagged her as an Assassin, probably because of the amazing mobility her ultimate gives her, I feel she is much closer to an AP Carry. Akali and Fizz are much better AP assasins as they have much stronger single-target burst.
While Ahri does have very high burst damage when built properly, and can win most 1v1s, but when it comes to teamfights it is hard to manage her damage output and focus it on a single target instead of having it spread out fairly evenly over the enemy team. This is because almost all her spells are multi-target and multi-hit (with low damage for each hit, but high damage if you land them all on the same person). This makes it hard for her to be a proper assassin, but rather easy to simply melt the entire enemy team instead.
Ahri can be a difficult champion to play, but with some good advice and practice you should do just fine.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to be the best or most experienced Ahri player, I have yet to try ranked Solo-Queue. This guide is to help speed you along the path to becoming a competent Ahri player but is by no means the only way to play her well.
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template and line dividers, which you can find here.
Pros / Cons
+ Good farmer
+ Good harassment
+ High mobility with ultimate
+ High damage
+ Great spells
+ Can be rage inducing
+ Fun to play!
- Blue-Buff dependent
- Low damage output early
- Only escape mechanism is Spirit Rush
- Many skillshots
- Multi-target and multi-hit spells with low damage individually
- Keeps getting nerfed
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: Standard AP runes, gives some good early-game ability power to strengthen your harass.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Again, standard AP runes, they let you hit just a bit harder which is always good.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: More AP! But this time it's AP/level which scales well into the late-game.
- Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration: Gives some much needed mana regen which builds up nicely as the game progresses. If you are conservative with your mana early game it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Other possible runes:
- Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: These can work as CDR is always nice, but I wouldn't recommend them. The AP/level runes just work so much better.
- greater seal of replenishment: I used to use these runes back when I always built a Tear of the Goddess on Ahri as they give good early-game mana regen, but have since found that the mana regen/level runes are just better
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: If you feel the need you can take these to increase your survivability in mid. I would not suggest them, but there are some champions that hit really hard forcing a fast Negatron Cloak (especially Ryze and LeBlanc). If you find yourself up against them (draft pick of course) and you have these runes, do take them along with 21/9/0 masteries. Sacrificing damage for survivability is worth it in those cases.
There really aren't that many other runes that would work well on Ahri in my opinion. If there are runes you like using on her that I have have not mentioned, please let me know in the comments and I'll add them into this section.
I go with standard 21/0/9 masteries though 21/9/0 would work just as well should you want the extra sustain (make sure to max out Resistance as you will almost always be up against an AP carry). I take the standard masteries in the offence tree.
In the utility tree I take Summoner's Insight If I am using Flash, that point goes into Good Hands if I'm using Ghost instead. I take Meditation to help with the early-game mana problems even more.
I experimented with using Swiftness instead to compensate for Ahri's slow movement speed (305 without boots, 375 with level 2 boots) but it just isn't worth it. The extra 6/8 movement speed (for 311 and 383 movement speed respectively) from these points is much more useful spent on Meditation . Besides, we will be grabbing a Lich Bane in the late-game which will increase our movement speed a bit. I also take Runic Affinity to increase the duration of the blue buff.
Flash: This spell is useful on Ahri just as it is on almost all other champions. Her ultimate does give her 3 flashes already, but when it is on cooldown and in the early game she has not escape mechanism and Flash can really help. It is even more important since her ultimate has been given longer cooldowns.
Ignite: A great spell for finishing off that champion that always seems to escape with 100 health. Always a good pick on a caster.
Ghost: Another viable spell on Ahri as her base movement speed is rather low. I originally picked this over Flash as it was impossible for her to flee from a lost teamfight without it. But now with the recent nerfs to her ultimate Flash has become a much more important spell. You can still take Ghost, but I wouldn't recommend it.
- Essence Theft (Passive): Ahri's passive. Essence Theft grants 35% spell vamp at 9 stacks giving decent sustain in lane. Every time you hit an enemy with a spell you gain a stack (max 3 stacks per sell). Since most of Ahri's spells are multi-target you will usually trigger your passive every 4th spell. You gain the most benefit using this with Orb of Deception to clear creeps. If you trigger the passive with Orb of Deception and hit a creep wave you should recover around 50 health at low levels (levels 1-3). Morgana's passive, Soul Siphon, is better than Ahri's since it is more consistent AND gives the same amount of spell vamp at higher levels, continuously, so Essence Theft is useful but not the best.
- Orb of Deception (Q): This ability is your bread and butter. It is excellent at clearing creep waves and harassing enemies. It is also one of the easiest skill-shots to use. This spell has a decent range (880) and is very similar to Sivir's Boomerang Blade. It does magic damage on the way out and true damage on the way back which is useful against enemies that stack Magic Resist. If you Charm an enemy before casting Orb of Deception you are guaranteed to hit in both directions. Also if you catch an enemy right at the end of the spell's range it does both the magic damage and the true damage to them simultaneously.
- Fox-Fire (W): This ability causes 3 fox-fires to come into existence and orbit Ahri until she comes in range of an enemy (800) or the timer runs out (they last around 5 seconds). They then target and hit the closest enemy, one at a time (it's basically a channeled spell but you can move). The spell prioritizes champions so if there are any in it's range (800) it will tend to hit them instead of minions. This ability is great for building your Soul Eater stacks and filling your Tear of the Goddess. It does more single-target damage than Orb of Deception, but I find it to be less useful.
- Charm (E): This is a ranged taunt that causes the enemy to walk harmlessly towards you for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 second(s), does some damage, and slows them while they are taunted. It is a difficult skill-shot to land (harder than Morgana's Dark Binding or Ezreal's Mystic Shot in my opinion- it has a much shorter range too) and can easily be intercepted by minions. However, if you do manage to land it you can ensure that your Orb of Deception hits both times, force an enemy to walk into your tower, snare an enemy before a teamfight, and prevent an enemy from escaping. It is also very useful for checking bushes for potential ganks, and running from enemies. It is easy to land if your target is moving in a straight line towards you or not moving at all, very hard otherwise.
*I will be giving Charm it's own chapter soon as it has great utility and is can be quite hard to use properly.
- Spirit Rush (R): Your Ultimate. When activated you dash forward (not towards your cursor like flash but in the direction Ahri is facing) and release up to 3 essence bolts that target nearby enemies, prioritizing champions like Fox-Fire. This is great for escaping, chasing, and just dealing a ton of damage in teamfights. If the same enemy is hit by all 3 bolts it ends up dealing 300/420/560(+0.9) damage. Note that 3 enemies can be hit 3 times each making it insanely powerful during team-fights. However it is easy to hit every enemy champion on the enemy team twice, spreading out the damage more and making it far more likely that you will receive assists instead of kills.
This ultimate has been nerfed twice already making its cooldown significantly longer. It was originally 80/70/60, then it was 90/80/70, now it is 110/95/80. This is a real problem for Ahri players as it is her only escape mechanism. The longer cooldown now makes you much more vulnerable to ganks or simply being chased down after a failed team fight. With it's new, longer, cooldown Flash is an essential summoner spell.
Ability Sequence Order
Start with Orb of Deception at level 1 and max it first. It is great for harass, does decent damage, and is great at clearing creep waves. Next take Fox-Fire it at level 2 and max it second. Then take Charm at level 3 and max it last.
However, if you are laning against a melee champion, you should take Fox-Fire first and max it first with Orb of Deception second. Using Fox-Fire you should be able to zone them pretty easily as it will lock onto them instead of creeps if they come too far forward. The reason for this is that it has higher single-target damage than Orb of Deception but less utility so in most cases you should level your Orb first.
You can level Charm second instead of Fox-Fire for the increased duration, but I find the difficulty of landing Charm and it's long cooldown (not to mention the rapidly rising mana cost- 50 at level 1, 110 at level 5) offset the advantages of maxing it second.
And of course, take Spirit Rush whenever you can (at levels 6, 11, and 16) as it is a very good ultimate.
Start the game by buying a Doran's Ring. You can start with Boots of Speed and some Health Potions but I find the ring to be better in most cases. It gives you 15 AP, which makes your spells hit that much harder. It gives you 100 health which helps with your extreme early-game squishyness and sustain, and it provides much needed mp5. You will occasionally have the match-up where Boots of Speed are a better opening item as it allows you to dodge their harass (very useful vs. Karthus- see the "Match-Ups" section below). Just make sure to pick up a Doran's Ring on your first back because it is a very useful item.
On your first back, if possible, purchase a Hextech Revolver. This gives you a lot of sustain and some nice AP and should keep you in-lane indefinitely when combined with your passive. You may want to purchase your Boots of Speed before your Hextech Revolver, especially if you don't have the 1200 gold necessary when you go back. I was originally against having this item on Ahri because of her passive, but after more experimentation it turns out it just works very well on her, you can almost never be harassed out of lane. When you have enough money go back again and buy your Boots of Speed (buy Sorcerer's Shoes if you have the money). If you are having a tough lane, being zoned, and not getting enough farm you can stack a few Doran's Rings. They have great stats for their price, but can't be built into anything.
Now comes the core build, items you will buy every single game. At this point the early-game has probably finished, a tower or two have fallen, and people start looking for ganks while continuing to farm. You need to finish your boots now so pick up some Sorcerer's Shoes. They should allow your spells to do close to true damage which is always nice. Ionaian boots of Lucidity are great second choice should you prefer them.
Next you build towards a Rylai's Crystal Scepter which provides a nice chunk of AP, health, and causes your spells to slow making it easy (read: possible) for you to kite, chase, or run. Make sure to buy the Giant's Belt first. Perhaps even buy it before you finish your Sorcerer's Shoes should you find the extra health necessary. Originally I would buy the RoA and build the Scepter later, but have since found it to be unnecessary. After the scepter, you want to build towards your Rabadon's Deathcap.
Teamfights should be breaking out quite often by now, and you will likely notice that you are receiving a lot of assists but very few kills. I have had many games where I start 2/1/15 (and end 11/2/20) because you simply don't do enough single target burst to kill anyone on the enemy team. You soften them up, and your allies finish them off (or you could just let your allies soften them up and finish them all off yourself Muahahahaha!). Once you get your Deathcap, however, You should be approaching 400 AP and dealing enough damage to burst them down from full health.
Once you have your Rabadon's Deathcap you should be dishing out massive doses of pain. If the enemy team has any sense at all, they will be focusing you, hard, or simply stacking MR. You have a decent chunk of health, but it's not likely to last if focused. Now it is time to finish off your Will of the Ancients.
Next you should build a Lich Bane. This will make your auto-attacks do ludicrous amounts of damage. Remember to auto-attack in-between casts of Spirit Rush for the Lich Bane proc for even more burst! It gives everything you need: AP, some mana, some magic resist, a sweet passive, and even some movement speed so you aren't as slow as mud anymore!
To finish off the build grab an Abyssal Scepter for some extra magic penetration and laugh as your 750 AP melts their faces. However, if they decide you are a serious threat and start stacking MR earlier on please build the Abyssal Scepter before your Lich Bane, or possibly even before you finish off your Will of the Ancients to keep your damage output high.
Remember that this build is not absolute, it is merely a guideline for what to buy. If the enemy team is has tons of AD, then please do buy some armor to mitigate some of the damage, Zhonya's Hourglass may be good here or you could straight-up buy a Thornmail if you are really worried. If you up against a heavy AP team or are taking tons of hurt from the enemy AP mid, then build a Negatron Cloak early on and build it into your Abyssal Scepter in the late game.
If they decide to stack some serious magic resist, the Void Staff will be a better choice than the Abyssal Scepter. But as long as most of the team has less than 100 MR, the Abyssal scepter is an all-around better item. Remember, while doing maximum damage is important, staying alive long enough to do that damage is even more important.
As with all builds, this one is not set in stone. Your build should be reactive, to an extent. These items are also very viable on Ahri, and can be great situational items when the base build just won't cut it.
- Ahri has trouble with crowd control spells, they simply destroy the mobility granted by your ultimate making you easy to focus. Should you see a heavy CC team in the loading screen, you may want to pick up these boots instead.
-If you find yourself being focused especially hard by the enemy team and constantly disabled during teamfights, pick up a Quicksilver Sash to turn things around. A Banshee's Veil may be a better choice in some situations.
-Generally the Abyssal Scepter will be a more useful item as it not only gives magic penetration to your whole team, but also gives you magic resist. However, it falls off if the enemy team decides to take a lot of magic resist. Should most of them have over 100 MR, take the Void Staff instead.
-Should you find yourself against a very aggressive AD mid, or an AD heavy team picking one of these up can be a lifesaver. Remember to buy the Chain Vest during the laning phase should it be necessary.
-This used to be a key item in my build but I have recently decided it wasn't worth it. I liked to buy an early Tear of the Goddess to remove my mana problems but proper conservation of mana, the right runes, and the blue buff have made it unnecessary. I would still suggest that if you go out of mana (OOM) with Ahri often that you buy an early tear (between Boots of Speed and Sorcerer's Shoes). I would also suggest that newer players or those without the right runes (the mana regen runes) take this approach.
-This item works well with Ahri giving AP, mana regen, and some much needed CDR. Unfortunately it just doesn't fit into the build I use, but if you want to fit it into your own build, then go ahead.
-This item provides AP, mp5, CDR, and a very strong active nuke. I can see it being an excellent item to build on Ahri, it just doesn't fit into my current build.
-I would not recommend this item as it is a snowball item. If you do well and get tons of kills/assists there are few items that are better. But if you do poorly it just sucks. It's also places a big FOCUS ME sign on your champion as no one likes it when an enemy builds up enough stacks for snowball items to be useful.
-I used to have this in the build, but have since deemed it unnecessary. It is a good sustain item and gives a decent amount of AP, but I find a Tear of the Goddess] + [[Rylai's Crystal Scepter make this item redundant (I originally had all 3 in the build). If you don't want to build the tear, this could help solve your mana problems, but you will have to either drop Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Lich Bane from your build.
Pick your poison:
Rylai's Crystal Scepter + Rod of Ages = tons of health, enough mana, and slows but lacks some burst damage
Rod of Ages + Lich Bane = enough health, enough mana, great burst
Rylai's Crystal Scepter + Lich Bane = enough health, slows, great burst, lacks mana
In-Depth Laning Guide
You will generally start the game leashing for your jungler (if you have one). This is rather straightforward, you stand in the bushes near the river to prevent level 1 ganks. If you haven't seen any enemies by the time minions spawn, they won't be coming and you can move closer to the golems. When the golem spawns (at 1:55) you just hit it with an Orb of Deception and head back to lane.
In most cases you will want to take mid lane. The times you want to avoid taking mid are when the enemy champion hard counters you (see the match-ups section). If you were playing draft pick and the enemy team picked Ryze or LeBlanc, you probably shouldn't have picked Ahri in the first place (unless they were counter-picking you). If you do happen to get matched up against one of them, see if you can have one of your other teammates take mid. If you can't then good luck, you'll need it.
If you are against a skill-shot reliant champion start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions instead of a Doran's Ring. Buy the Doran's Ring on your first back.
Play passively at the start, focus on last hitting minions and dodging enemy harass. You want to conserve your mana and avoid spamming your abilities. If you are certain you can hit the enemy champion, go ahead and cast an Orb of Deception.
At level 2 you will learn Fox-Fire, use it to build stacks for your passive (do not spam it though so you don't run out of mana). When your passive is fully charged, line up an Orb of Deception so it hits as many creeps as possible (I would suggest waiting for a new creep wave to arrive, hitting all 6 will restore ~50 health at levels 1-3). The best way to do this is to stand right behind the melee creeps so that you can hit every creep.
At level 3 you can start being aggressive. Now that you have Charm, use it to zone and harass. Proper usage of Charm is what separates good and bad Ahri players. Charm is a difficult skill-shot, it is similar to Morgana's Dark Binding, but it has a shorter range. The reason you want to try so hard to land Charm is that a full combo will drop your enemy to half-health.
Your Basic Combo:
It can be hard to harass enemy mids as Ahri. Landing Charm ensures that your other spells will hit allowing you do do a significant amount of damage. Star by landing Charm on an enemy (which can be rather tricky and take many attempts, fortunately it only costs 50 mana at this point), immediately activate Fox-Fire while walking towards them and follow that up with Orb of Deception.
Early in the game this will drop most enemies to half health forcing them to use a potion, recall, or simply be zoned as another combo + Ignite will always finish them off. To zone them keep the creep wave in the center of the lane and only last hit with auto-attacks. Stand behind their caster minions and they should be pinned to the tower, unable to get any gold or experience (beware of ganks though). If they decided to keep duking it out in the middle just kill them. Later on in the game you can take out enemy carries with a single round of your combo.
Keep farming and harassing. If you can land your combo properly, you should be able to grab a kill before level 6, zone them hard, or simply force them to go back. Once you reach level 6 you can be even more aggressive. If they are low health and tower hugging, push your creep wave to their tower and Spirit Rush in, Ignite, and Spirit Rush back out (land a second Spirit Rush on them if necessary).
If they have 1/2 - 3/4 of their health, Spirit Rush next to them, land a Charm at point-blank range, follow it up with Fox-Fire, Orb of Deception, Ignite, and the last 2 casts of Spirit Rush and they should die.
If they have a lot of health harass them down using Orb of Deception or your full Charm combo so you can take them out with ease a bit later.
Keep farming your lane and see if you can pick up blue with the jungler's help when it comes up again (should be at ~7 mins). If you have blue, go ahead and spam your abilities to push your lane and see if you can gank the top or bottom lanes.
If you are severely zoning the enemy mid, they are likely to call for a gank from their jungler. If you have wards in place, this won't be a problem. If you don't, it still shouldn't be a problem. When their jungler comes out of the bushes he will charge straight at you making Charm very easy to land. If you feel you can take on both the enemy jungler and the mid, go ahead and unleash your combo. If not then just Flash back after Charm hits. If you are level 6 and your ultimate is not on cooldown, you could use that to escape if necessary.
When your jungler ganks the key is to not tip off the enemy mid to his presence. If you were playing very passively and then get very aggressive, they will suspect something and likely flee. If you have been aggressively trying to Charm them from level 3, they probably won't notice. If they are heavily zoned, what the heck is your jungler doing trying to gank your lane in the first place?
Try to land Charm so that your jungler can reach them with his own slows/stuns/taunts. One way to do this is to move up the side of the creep wave opposite from your jungler (e.g. move up the north side of the creeps if he's ganking from the south). The enemy mid should move to the other side of the creep wave to make landing Charm difficult unless they are idiots. This will make it easier for your jungler to jump in even if you don't manage to connect with Charm immediately (you can always hit them AFTER your jungler stuns/slows them). Follow up with your combo and hopefully they will die.
The mid-game generally starts when the first tower falls. If this happens to be the enemy's mid tower then congratulations! Push the creeps towards the inner tower mid and start ganking. If this is the enemy's top or bottom tower, keep farming mid but expect your teammates to start roaming around looking for ganks and helping you push your lane and take down the enemy tower.
It is unlikely that things have gone this smoothly for you though and it may be your tower that has fallen. Keep farming mid and trying to push and make sure you warn your team when the enemy mid is missing and looking to gank (see if you can tell them which lane he's going to gank, base this on the direction you saw him leave the lane if you saw him leave, ping 3 places along his probable route so they have no excuse for missing your MIA/SS). Should one of your team's other towers have fallen, be very wary of ganks and try not to over extend. Focus on staying alive instead of zoning and buy some wards for the river if you have not already done so.
As the game continues and more towers fall, you should start seeing team fights. These are most likely to break out at the dragon or in mid (unless the first tower for both sides is already down). Your goal here is to do massive damage without dying. If you try to initiate, you will die (with one exception) so don't initiate, leave your tank to do that. That exception is this: if someone on the enemy team overextends and comes too far forward, attempt to land Charm, if you do then you should have secured a kill making an even 5v5 into an easily winable 4v5.
Once the tank has initiated and the enemy team has used their CC, jump in with Spirit Rush and hit as many enemies as you can. Use Fox-Fire and Orb of Deception between casts of your ultimate for maximum damage. If you have a Lich Bane auto attack between casts as well for the proc. If they decide to focus you, Flash or Spirit Rush out of range and just poke with your Charm combo. If everything went well their team should be dead or fleeing and you should have picked up a couple of kills and some assists. The best I have ever done was a Quadra-Kill (I had the Pentakill stolen from me by a teammate).
It's not very clear when the the mid-game turns into the late-game, but it is probably when an inner turret has fallen and teamfights start focusing on the Baron or inhibitor turrets. At this point you should be quite far along in your build, have a high creep score (at least 200, most of them before the 20 minute mark), and be fairly well fed.
Your role in team-fights remains the same, the AP carry that murders everyone on the enemy team once the fight has been initiated. Just be very careful about enemy CC and being focused, if you are dead you will be useless to your team and there is a good chance the enemy team will score an Ace which could lead to a come-from-behind win (if you are the primary carry anyway). Having several tanky champions with some good CC will help significantly as it will make you hard to focus down ( Jarvan IV and Cho'Gath are both great teammates).
When you purchase your Lich Bane you will start being able to take down towers very quickly and enemies even more quickly. If everything goes well the enemy team should surrender soon. Congratulations, you just crushed the enemy team hopefully inducing rage and calls about how OP Ahri is! If not, learn from your mistakes today so you can crush your enemies tomorrow.
In this section I will talk about the various laning match-ups you will likely face, and their difficulty. I will be updating this as I face off against more champions with Ahri.
5: Avoid this match-up if at all possible
4: A challenging match-up, but can be done
3: The champions are roughly evenly matched, comes down mostly to player skill
2: A rather easy matchup but you must remain vigilant.
1: If you play Ahri properly, you should never lose the lane against this champion.
Difficulty = 3. Not the worst champion during laning phase, but having Baleful Strike thrown at your face every few seconds is a real pain and may force you to buy a Negatron Cloak. But if he is hitting you with Baleful Strike, it means he is not last-hitting minions with it to build up AP making him a bit less of a threat late game. The real problem comes later, when you've both gotten high AP, he can literally 2-shot you. You want to try to avoid him at all costs when the teamfight stage arrives.
Difficulty = 4. I have not actually played against Gragas as Ahri, I have, however, played against Ahri as Gragas. He is a difficult opponent for Ahri. His Barrel Roll has a much longer range than any of Ahri's spells and does large amounts of damage, his Drunken Rage allows him to shrug off a good portion of your harass, and his Happy Hour lets him lane for a very long time before having to recall. You simply cannot do enough burst to take him down during the laning phase, and he has enough sustain to minimize your harassment. On the other hand he can very easily burst you down. I would suggest purchasing your Giant's Belt early on to make you difficult to burst down. I would also suggest playing rather cautiously and make sure to dodge every barrel.
Difficulty = 5. Ryze is just a pain to lane against as Ahri, the few times I've been unfortunate enough to do so I simply get decimated in lane, starting 0/5 or 0/8 (I normally go 10/3 when I play Ahri). Even with the Hextech Revolver you cannot out-heal his Overload harass as it is really strong, and if the enemy jungler decides to gank and Ryze casts Rune Prison you are doomed. Basically, stay away from him if at all possible.
Difficulty = 5. Laning against LeBlanc is really difficult, as anyone who has had to go against her mid should know. Her burst is incredible and she has high mobility making mid hell for her opponents. Fortunately she drops off significantly late game and isn't very good when it comes to teamfights, unfortunately you may never get there because of how hard she will shut you down. LeBlanc is like Ryze on steroids, she's simply harder to face in every way. Her Sigil of Silence does massive damage and is a strong harass, and you will never be out of her range because of Distortion. But the worst part is that Ethereal Chains actually stops your ultimate, it is impossible to ult out of it. If the chains land and you don't have flash, expect to die very quickly.
Difficulty = 3. Playing against yourself in blind pick is always awkward and always comes down to how good the other player is. I tend to dominate enemy Ahri players as they generally play too passively allowing me to take a huge lead in creep farm.
Difficulty = 2. Not particularly difficult to lane against, but he can be annoying. Since he never uses mana, he never has to recall when OOM like you may have to at the start of the game. He also recovers health with his spells and will take an early hextech for sustain so he's hard to harass out of lane. He's even harder to gank because of his Sanguine Pool, but on the other hand he can't harass you out of lane or gank you. You also out range him and will probably have him pinned by his tower most of the time and should be able to take a creep advantage.
Difficulty = 2. This is usually a rather easy match-up. While his incessant spamming of Lay Waste is irritating, as long as you are paying attention it should never hit. On the other hand Karthus is slow and squishy, it is very easy to burst him down. But if Karthus plays super aggressively and has a good jungler ganking you may have a hard time. I suggest starting with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions so you have the mobility to avoid Lay Waste (I like to call them "exploding zits"). On your first back get a Doran's Ring and then start building the Hextech Revolver and go from there. As long as you are wary of ganks, you should be able to basically free-farm and get first blood which will set you up nicely for the mid-late game.
Difficulty = 2. Ziggs generally is not that hard to lane against. He relies on Bouncing Bomb which is a skillshot and has a rather high mana cost to harass. Take Boots of Speed and Health Potions first when you lane against him to make it easier to dodge. If he is good at landing his skillshots, he can be a pain, but most of the time he won't be (and the boots will make it easy to dodge). Once you have your Hextech Revolver you should easily be able to heal away the occasional Bouncing Bomb hit and endlessly harass the squishy Ziggs. He may still become a problem late-game regardless of how well you zone him and deny creeps, but you should have no trouble taking him out in a 1v1 situation.
> > Note < <
I do not yet have many match-ups despite playing Ahri in the majority of my games. To decide what difficulty to assign a given match-up I must face that champion several times (preferably in quick succession).
Example ( Karthus):
I was mid against Karthus for the first time. I had started with a Doran's Ring like I normally do and was forced to back early as I could not dodge Lay Waste. After buying Boots of Speed and returning to lane I was able to easily dominate Karthus for the rest of the game leading my team to victory. I decided his difficulty was a 2.
The next game I faced another Karthus. This time I started with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions and had a very easy lane completely crushing him. My teammates claimed that Ahri should never lose to Karthus, and I agreed lowering the difficulty down to 1.
Two games later and I was once again facing Karthus in mid. This Karthus played super aggressively, spamming so many Lay Wastes that I could not possible dodge them all (not if I wanted to kill any creeps at least) and I was quickly pushed back to my tower. To make things worse, bottom lane decided to feed (especially the jungler, Shyvana, I think she was 6/0 by the 10 minute mark) and whenever I managed to push out the slightest bit I would be ganked, leading to a quick loss. That Karthus player was obviously quite a bit more experienced than the earlier ones. Had bot lane not fed, had I not been ganked every 90 seconds who knows how it would have turned out. As it was, the Karthus that game felt like a 4 but given the other circumstances (bot lane feeding hard and lots of ganks) I decided to only raise it back to a 2.
Thank you for reading my guide, I hope you enjoyed it and that it helps you become a better Ahri player. Ahri is a great deal of fun to play and I hope you all enjoy yourselves! Please leave comments or questions below and I will address them as best I can.
2012-3-5: Made a few changes to the layout, if you can think of more improvements please let me know.
2012-3-4: Added the rather long chapter on laning (will touch it up later). Changed the name of the guide from "Ahri, Another Tail to Tell" to "Ahri, Melting Faces" because I never really like the original title (was a friend's idea and I couldn't think of anything better at the time).
2012-3-2: More general updates.
2012-2-27: Removed the Archangel's Staff from the main build, placed it into optional items. Added Karthus to the match-ups section.
2012-2-20: Updated the build, changing it to have two paths, Archangel's Staff path and Lich Bane path. Made other minor changes to the guide.
2012-2-4: Minor fixes to spelling, grammar, and formatting
2012-1-27: Added some more match-ups
2012-1-24: Removed the Rod of Ages and added Will of the Ancients to the build
2012-1-4: Made some general updates to the build and its layout