Ahri Build Guide by EZ Zythian
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.
Hi, I'm EZ Zythian and I'm the AP carry player for Team EZ. One thing that's important to note about a lot of my core AP heros is that my builds are pretty static. It's very rare that I stray from the builds I'll put on my guides, not that it never happens. I find the builds here are typically best in all scenarios, but that doesn't mean I don't occasionally make tweaks from game to game.
On to Ahri! So why choose Ahri as your AP carry? Ahri's mobility is probably the #1 reason. She's a great counter to some staple heros in middle, like Karthus and Morgana and her roaming power is incredible. She has a strong CC for ganks, initiations, and pickoffs, and the mobility to move in to score kills and get out safely without even using Flash. This is where Ahri really excels.
You can see my stream at http://www.twitch.tv/zythian and follow me on facebook http://www.facebook.com/Zythian and twitter @EZZythian and our entire team at http://www.teamez.com
Pros / Cons
+ Strong Mobility
+ Great pick-off potential
+ Incredible Roaming
+ Extremely easy to gank her lane
+ Great Tower-diving potential
+ High Damage
- Susceptible to Crowd Control
- Very Skill-shot oriented
- High Risk/High Reward abilities
Tier 1 //
Easier last hitting and stronger auto attack harass.
Tier 2 // Sorcery Used to get to Tier 3 for Magic penetration and 4% CDR isn't bad in itself.
Tier 3 // Arcane Knowledge The strongest mastery in the tree really. 10% Magic pen scales through the entire game. Havoc 1.5% damage increase. Percentage increases typically go overlooked as minor, but 1.5% damage is pretty significant.
Tier 4 // Blast 18 AP (+5% from next tier) Free AP is always good.
Tier 5 // Archmage 5% AP boost, more AP is always good... 5% more AP is incredible.
Tier 6 // Executioner Da killing power.
||Tier 1 //
Mainly used to get to
in Tier 2, but a good pickup nonetheless as it does help with early levels.
for the flash CD reduction as you use flash as often as team fights occur typically.
Tier 2 // Swiftness I choose one point here mainly because it's the only logical spot to use it and still get to the next tier. Improved recall is an option as well. Meditation Early game Mp5 really allows you to be more aggressive in lane with abilities and still be able to sustain consistently
Tier 3 // Runic Affinity Must have on any AP carry who uses blue. 20% more buff time on your blue buff is extremely potent, especially in the later stages of a game.
Flash is pretty much essential on most AP carries, but I find it particularly useful on Ahri mainly because sometimes you're forced to use your ult into bad positions to secure kills. Flash helps you get out of that position, like a 4th charge of Spirit Rush.
I choose ignite to combo mainly in lane, but also at many other times throughout the game. Without ignite it's much harder to solo someone down in lane in your full combo. With ignite you can 100-0 pretty much anyone in a combo.
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: Flat AP is pretty standard on AP carries right now.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Magic Pen is the only real option in red slots.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: AP per level scales great into the later game.
- greater seal of Replenishment: Early game mana regen is extremely important to maintain pressure in lane, also helps with Essence Theft
Passive: Spell Vamp
Not a huge part of Ahri's kit, but certainly a nice laning sustain boost. Every 9 enemys hit by a spell, this passive triggers for your next spell. You gain life for the damage the spell does.
Orb of Deception
Damaging Boomerang-type skillshot.
Orb of Deception is a skillshot that travels outward in a straight line and then returns back to the caster, dealing unmitigated true damage on the way back and magic damage on the way out.
A 3-part Nuke based on proximity to Ahri
Fox-Fire is a 3-shot nuke which selects the nearest target to Ahri. It can hit minions, but if a champion is in range, it will always prioritize the champion. Short-range makes this ability typically high risk
Forces a target to walk harmlessly toward you
This is Ahri's set-up shot. Once an enemy is hit by charm it guarantees both directions of your Orb of Deception will land and it allows you to easily land your full combo.
Allows Ahri to dash a short distance, dealing damage to 3 enemies around where she lands.
The key to Ahri. Spirit Rush allows you to constantly reposition in team fights. It allows you to keep up with champions to flash and close gaps very quickly on enemies before they can even prepare for you coming.
Orb of Deception - I max Orb first mainly because of its pushing/farming power. Maxing Fox-Fire can be more reliable in a single-target situation where you can't guarantee charm landing, but Orb allows you to quickly push your lane and roam to others, probably Ahri's greatest strength.
Explained mainly above, but ranking Fox-Fire second maximizes your damage output. It makes for easier pickoffs through sheer damage if you're by yourself. If your team is roaming as 5, maxing Charm would probably secure more kills.
Can be maxed 2nd or last dependiong on personal preference and game pace. Somewhat explained in the Fox-Fire section. Some people would also tell you to get Charm at 2 or 3 instead of 4. The reason I don't do this is because I don't plan on scoring a kill in the first 2-3 levels. I plan on harassing my target down enough with the combination of Fox-Fire and Orb that when I do hit 4 and have charm I can then secure the kill, instead of trying to force too hard using Charm, which is much less reliable for harass and can run you out of mana faster trying to go for combinations that may or may not land.
Boots of Speed: Boots allow you to move around the lane easier to move in and out of harass, avoid ganks, etc. They allow you to also pick up 3 health potions for an extra 450 health in lane. Lastly, boots are essential for dodging skillshots (brand, cass, karthus, etc. etc.) against most of the strongest mid laners.
Doran's Ring: I always get atleast 2 Doran's rings, sometimes 3 depending on game. The reason being it allows you to more easily clear waves, and gives a ton of roaming power early on into the game since you can push and have the mp5 to sustain through pushing and ganking. Also since you don't really build health items on Ahri, this slight early health boost can really help.
Will of the Ancients: OPTIONAL: The reason I get Will of the Ancients is because spell vamp is so incredible strong when synergized with Essence Theft and Fox-Fire. I only really purchase this item now against strong harass champions or those who also have a lot of spell vamp (vlad, kat with revolver, etc.) Since Fox-Fire is considered a single-target spell you gain full spell vamp for each charge of the spell, resulting in a very significant amount of health returned. This allows you to out-sustain basically any lane by just harassing or farming with Fox-Fire.
Deathfire Grasp: I rush this item in nearly all situations now. The added burst into your rotation is incredible. It allows you to 100-0 any champ in the game. Used right as you dash in for the first time it just synergizes perfectly with Ahri.
Rabadon's Deathcap: Standard AP choice. Pump out the damage. Makes you a massive threat in team fights and allows for massive damage on pick-off opportunities throughout the game.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Gives massive kiting potential and even more team fight utility. Once again, like Will of the Ancients, Fox-Fire counts as a single-target spell so you get the full slow from Rylai's. Overall just a great team utility pickup.
Void Staff: Typically at this point in the game the other team has picked up MR. Make their gold useless.
Zhonya's Hourglass: Really an optional choice, but if you don't need any defensive items, this would be my pick-up. It gives a very large amount of AP, and the on-use can be used after your Spirit Rush has been completely used to wait for your cooldowns to come back up, or if you do actually get caught early on in a fight to make the other team switch targets.
Ahri's Pre-6 laning is extremely strong. Her abilities have pretty low mana costs and allow you to play very aggressive early into the game, securing level 6 and sometimes even earlier kills. As with any carry, farm is incredibly important, especially at these early levels, so while harassing your opponent is always good, if no one scores a kill and you've been missing cs to harass and your opponent is out-cs'ing you, you've lost the lane.
You need to balance farming with harassing on Ahri. As appealing as it is to try and zone your opponent and try to score a kill, it often puts you in bad positions pre-6 to be ganked and missing cs is never to your advantage. To counter this, I'll usually use Orb of Deception to last hit a minion while I aim at the enemy solo. This allows me to get my harass shots in, farm minions, and keep pressure up in lane.
When you have no minions to last hit soon, but you know your lane opponent does, that's when you can move up to play more aggressive, using Fox-Fire and/or an orb to push him off the wave, forcing him to eat damage or miss cs. You don't want to do this if it's going to hurt your last hitting in the process. The focus has to be on forcing him into awkward positions, not forcing yourself into them.
Once you're level 4, your opponent should either be low or atleast have gone through a health potion or 2. You can look for a kill opportunity with your jungle, or just look to put a lot of pressure out with a Charm if possible. If you can force your opponent to have to back earlier than you and give you the chance to get level 6 first, you've pretty much won the lane.
As soon as he comes back if you're 6 and he's 5, you can most of the time just all-in and force them to back a second time, even if it doesn't score the kill, the advantage you've given yourself at this point is incredible.
Pre-6 ganks can be very effective with any Crowd control to allow you to guarantee Charm. Post-6 however can easily be ganked by any hero. Most of the time you don't even need a gank assuming your Ignite is up. Once you've landed a Charm/ Orb of Deception combo, you can use Spirit Rush to close the gap onto the enemy hero and Fox-Fire. You want to use Spirit Rush then to move into an advantageous position (typically between your opponent and wherever he wants to go). Make sure you don't Spirit Rush out of range of the hero so the damage portion still lands, use Ignite and they should die. There are really no heros who could live through this entire combo as long as you haven't missed an ability.
Once you're able to easily clear creep waves with a couple Doran's Rings and a few levels of Orb of Deception you're then able to roam. Once you push your lane you can look for ganks in either top or bot lane very easily. Moving to either lane and using your combo with or without ult can result in a lot of kills for either lane. Tower diving on bot lane with your ult is also very easy since you can use your ult to move in and out of tower range to drop tower aggro.
Team fighting as Ahri is typically pretty simple. You want to land Charms on carries whenever possible, but landing a Charm/ Orb of Deception combo on anyone can be great initiation and often lead to a free pick-off followed by a 4v5 team fight in favor of your team.
On these types of pickoffs, it's important not to get over-anxious and blow your Spirit Rush into the hero if his team is behind him. At this point of the fight the enemy team typically hasn't blown any of their crowd control(CC) effects and one wrong Spirit Rush can result in a very quick death in a short amount of CC before you can even ult out again.
It's important to remember that while your ult does damage, it's not its only purpose. Spirit Rush's main purpose is mobility. Ahri demands so much attention, but once the focus is turned to you, you're able to Spirit Rush back out of range of the enemy team and they waste their time playing cat and... fox. Also when all of your cooldowns aren't up, a quick spirit rush out, then using the 3rd charge to move back in and use all of your cooldowns again can be extremely effective.
In the end, Ahri's main goal in team fights is to do large burst to high priority targets and land crowd control. Fox-Fire and Charm are extremely key for strong pick-offs, but Orb of Deception and Spirit Rush can be used for overall teamfight presence and don't necessarily need to be saved to try and hit high priority targets, since the true damage element of Orb of Deception does a lot of damage to even the tanks on their team.
The combination of massive damage and good control and kiting ability are what make Ahri such a huge asset in team play.
Ahri is one of those champions that I know no matter how much time I spend writing this guide, I feel like I'll be leaving something out. Some intricate use of Spirit Rush or how to tell when you should be maxing Charm over Fox-Fire or any variety of random stuff.
I feel like I could go over warding and other stuff, but that should really be an entire guide in itself, and not just thrown in some random solo mid guide. So... this is it for now I guess! Basically, Ahri is an untouchable powerhouse. Between the ridiculous kiting potential of her ult, Charm, and her other abilities in conjunction with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, and her extremely high damage, Ahri can really be a staple for a lot of team comps.
I hope you enjoyed the guide, if you feel like I missed a big section or there's something I should add to make this guide just over the top awesome please let me know in comments below. As always, general criticism, praise, or feedback on anything in the guide is very much appreciated. Please +1 the guide if you found it helpful!
Once again, you can see my stream at http://www.twitch.tv/zythian and follow me on facebook http://www.facebook.com/Zythian and twitter @EZZythian and our entire team at http://www.teamez.com
Credits to jhoijhoi for a lot of the formatting, which you can find here.