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Ahri Build Guide by HoogieFletz

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League of Legends Build Guide Author HoogieFletz

Ahri - Play time's over - In-depth guide [S3]

HoogieFletz Last updated on April 22, 2013
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0


Utility: 9

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Hello all, I'm Hoogiefletz, Eu-NE player, and this my guide to Ahri - The nine tailed fox.
This guide will always be under construction since i will always keep him upgraded and updated.
After playing with Ahri decent amount of games and trying various builds, I have decided to create my own guide, and i will try to cover as much information as i can.

I hope you like it. :)

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Pros / Cons

The pros
+ Very decent diver.
+ Extremely mobile.
+ Harcore ganking ability.
+ Hard CC (one of the best)
+ High damage output.
+ Useful in team fights.
+ Fun to play.
+ Good farmer ( Orb of Deception single-shot ranged minions clearing when maxed)

The cons
- Mana hunger issues, at least in the early game.
- Mobility is high based on ulti with pretty high CD.
- Considered squishy.
- Somehow item depentand.
- Skillshot based, bad accuracy means being useless.

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Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Why Mark of Magic Penetration?
The more magic penetration you have the more damage you deal, best choice out of the other marks since flat magic penetration is much more useful than little AP bonus.

Why scaling per level AP over flat AP runes?
With quick calculation, the scaling per level runes gives you the same AP bonus at level 6-7 as the flat AP gives, in my opinion +15-20 AP at level 1 wont do much difference anyway compared to the scaling AP which triples it late game.

So why flat Greater Quintessence of Ability Power??
With quints this works a little different, the scaling AP quint wont exceed by much the flat one, the total difference in the end of max utilizing the scaling quint is just about 12 AP (at level 18), I think it is worth to pass on that to gain that little early advantage.
Other options
As you noticed, this guide prioritizing offensive gameplay, if you prefer a little more solid option, you can swap the glyph or the seal with flat magic resistant runes (glyph swapping is a bigger loss of AP, but greater gain of magic resistant)
Greater Seal of Magic Resist Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Why flat over scaling per level?
This will help us the most in the very early game and the scaling per level runes just wont do the job in the right time.

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In case of rarely holding the blue buff, I would recommend replacing the utility tree with defense.


Standard AP caster masteries , I prefer utility over defense tree mainly because of Runic Affinity , and the mana regen from the masteries is almost like another Doran's Ring which helping us with our high mana consumption.

In case of rarely holding the blue buff, You might consider replacing the utility tree with defense tree.

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Summoner spells

Those are our top choices.
Ignite - Since we're going for offensive game-play, this is a natural choice. Helping us to secure early kills and enhances our trading capability.

Flash - Goes both for offensive and defensive use. our Spirit Rush + flash will making every chase successful and will make you ungankable.

Other good choices
might be good for beginners, gives us a little sustain and trading boost. You can also consider replacing with Barrier for the same reasons, might be ever better for trading since heal is reduced by enemy's Ignite

not one of my favorite, but might be useful. enhancing your ganking capability and gives you global presence feeling.

Can be useful to secure successful hits with your Orb of Deception. can help both chasing and escaping.

Never get those -
Clairvoyance - Usually goes for supports, useless for us.
Cleanse - You have enough abilities to survive when focused.
Ghost - If you want to enhance your chasing\escaping capability, just pick Flash.
Clarity - Not the worse pick, but I still dislike it because we are aiming for the offensive path and this spell is nothing but sustain which also becomes even less efficient in late game.
Smite - We are not junglers.
Revive - Probably the most useless spell, Even if we die, Teleport will be a better option to get back to your lane faster.

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Spells Explanation

Essence Theft - (Passive) - Ahri gains a charge of Soul Eater whenever one of her spells hits an enemy (max: 3 charges per spell). Upon reaching 9 charges, Ahri's next spell has 35% Spell Vamp.

- Best utilized with your Orb of Deception.
- Orb changing its color when the passive is ready.
- Mediocre sustain ability, the common mistake is trying to maximize this utility with Hextech Revolver which is a big waste of money. will be collaborated in not-to-get items chapter.

Orb of Deception - Ahri sends out her orb, dealing 40/65/90/115/140 (+33% AP) magic damage, and pulls it back dealing 40/65/90/115/140 (+33% AP) True damage.
Base CD: 7 sec
Cost: 70/75/80/85/90 Mana
Range: 880

- Main damage tool.
- Does true damage when pulls back.
- Long range.
- Skillshot, takes some practices to land successfully.

Fox-Fire - Ahri releases three fox-fires. After a short delay they lock on to nearby enemies (prioritizes champions), dealing 40/65/90/115/140 (+40% AP) magic damage. Additional fox-fires that hit the same target deal 50% damage [max damage: 80/130/180/230/280 (+80% AP)]
Base CD: 9/8/7/6/5 sec
Cost: 60 Mana
Range: 800

- Prioritizing champions over minions.
- You will be surprised when you will see the damage.
- Considered single target skill although it hits up to 3 targets (This is why rylai's scepter is just OP with Ahri)
- Great synergy with your ulti.
- Low cooldown and and mana cost. spammable at team fights.
- Can be wasted on minions if not used properly.

Charm - Ahri blows a kiss dealing 60/90/120/150/180 (+35% AP) magic damage and charming the first enemy it hits, causing them to walk harmlessly towards her for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 second(s).
Base CD: 12 sec
Cost: 50/65/80/95/110 Mana
Range: 975

- One of the best CC abilities.
- Successful hit can just give a free kill.
- Checks bushes.
- Use it before Orb of Deception to ensure the two hits.

Spirit Rush - Ahri dashes forward and fires essence bolts at 3 nearby enemies (prioritizes champions), dealing 85/125/165 (+35% AP) magic damage. Spirit Rush can be cast up to three times within 10 seconds before going on cooldown.
Base CD: 110/95/80 sec
Cost: 100 Mana
Range: 450

- Your ulti.
- High cooldown, use it wisely.
- Gives you extreme mobility, almost ungankable when you have this.
- Gives you the ability to dive in, get the kill and flee away.
- One of the best chasing ability.
- You can dash trough thin walls (blue buff's trees, baron\dragon pit, etc)
- Treated as dash and not as a flash. for instance you cant dash out of veigar's Event Horizon

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Skill Sequence - and why?

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

Spirit Rush - Always pick when possible (6\11\16) - boosting the damage, reducing the cooldown.

Orb of Deception over Fox-Fire - Why?
True damage, longer range and easier to farm with.

Fox-Fire over Charm - Why?
We pick Charm at level 2 just for the utility, the little upgrade of the stun duration doesn't worth it compared to the damage boost of Fox-Fire.

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Core Items explanation

Since the changes on the starting movement speed I find it more useful decent early sustain and the Crystalline Flask will escort us into the mid game to improve our skills spamming capability.
Can be swapped with Boots of Speed, I consider it only if there is a high skillshot depended enemy versus me.

Farm 950 Gold -

Those rings will solve your mana hunger issues in lane, while giving you some health and damage. Do not skip those!

Pretty trivial, more magic penetration means more damage. you can delay the purchase if you want to rush your Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

This is the first item that you want, and in my opinion the most important one.
Awesome HP boost, decent plus in your AP, and at the top of that, the OP passive.
Since Fox-Fire and Spirit Rush are treated as single-target shot, this item will slow the enemy for 35%, making Ahri KITING MONSTER and will help you to ensure easy kills and escapes.

You can choose between Giant's Belt or Blasting Wand first, basically depends on personal preference.

As other AP carrys, Rabadon's Deathcap will be our core item, giving huge boost to our damage output.
after completing your Rylai's Crystal Scepter, farm 1600 gold to buy Needlessly Large Rod first and than the rest.

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After-the-core items!

Ok, so we got our core items, what's next? we got various options and it is really depended on the game situation, let me collaborate:

First of all, if you haven't sold your Doran's Ring yet, do it to free up additional slots.

If you are not about the game situation and you are not sure what items you should buy get the "ideal end-game" purchase order, it will fit in general most situations.

- Awesome item, if you are confused about the game situation and you're not sure what you should buy, this will be our natural deviance.
Gives us very high AP boost, pretty good amount of armor and the awesome passive will save us more than once.
I would recommend getting the Needlessly Large Rod first, We're in the late game phase and tiny pieces of Seeker's Armguard wont be felt, plus considering that we're also short of free item slots.

- Good choice if you feel like you need more magic resistant. this will also provide a nice passive that will also give a little boost to our damage, the passive will be more effective than Void Staff when the enemys are having less than 85-100 magic resistant, keep that in mind (not sure about that? - get Void Staff!)

- Enemy stacked a lot of magic resistant? this is our answer. this is a MUST versus high magic resistant stacked. If you are having doubts whether to choose Void Staff or Abyssal Scepter, than Void Staff will be more solid decision.
I personally always getting this items since the great synergy with Liandry's Torment and Sorcerer's Shoes.

- Very nice AP bonus, 10% cooldown reduction, and the nice passive.
This item gives us very nice single target burst (thanks to the active), very good vs tanks, i usually don't pick this item often, and I don't recommend it as top priority, but it might go well if you want to go extra offensive.

- Another nice item that might go well with our build, ENORMOUS amount of cooldown reduction with a pretty nice ap bonus, the passive is a very helpful vs hp regeneration champs (like Dr. Mundo and Master Yi). I usually pick this item only for the passive if the situation requires it, otherwise, we got some better picks to make.

- This item is like a permanent blue buff, gives you the ability to just spam your skills without running out of mana, after the ap nerf, this item is not on the top of my priorities. but still gives very good cooldown reduction along with the crazy mana regeneration and some magic resistant bonus, This item might be a good pick when you need a lot of mana with your team line-up (poking teams) , Another situation that you might considering getting this item is when you are not sure what you should buy but you just feels like getting more magic resistant along some offensive bonuses.

- This item is a may be game changer. when you hold this, enemies will automatically less focus you which is what we need as AP carrys. gives us some nice defensive bonuses as well besides the passive.
This item works really well on ahri thanks to her quick re-positioning abilities that will maximize the effectiveness of coming back to the battle without dying again right away.

has a great synergy with Rylai's Crystal Scepter since the double passive effect. giving you more magic penetration, some nice hp boost and of-course the awesome passive,may become very useful versus high hp stackers.
I would complete Haunting Guise first (and not double Amplifying Tome or any other possible combination).

I personally don't like this item, i always feel like there is always a better option.
this item is not giving much until its completely purchased since Sheen (which covers around 40% of the item's full price) is not so efficient on ahri.
If you like this item, its a viable choice despite i personally dislike it.

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Never buy those!

For obvious reasons, I wont list up all the existed items which you shouldn't buy, but i will name some of the common mistakes and some items that seems to be useful but they apparently aren't.

For those who missed the title - Those are the items that you SHOULDN'T BUY!

- I saw this one on few guides, the idea that stands behind it is maximize our sustaining passive. the result is just delaying your real core items by replacing it with mediocre sustain ability, wasting 1200 gold on an item which wont transform to any of our important late game items and also a real delay to our early-game damage output.
Since we're not getting Hextech Revolver, we also wont get Will of the Ancients, this item is a much less efficient than other late game choices.

- This item is not bad at all and I might say even useful, just, not on this build.
The Hp and mana bonuses are really helpful, Catalyst the Protector is a pretty decent item for mid lane as well, but there is just not enough space for this item, i mean, if we bring it as first item, it will delay our most important item Rylai's Crystal Scepter, if we buy it after it, we delay our damage boost from the Rabadon's Deathcap, and after that, it will be just too late for this item (since its scaling with time), thus, along with all the benefits of this awesome item, there is a big delay on our true core items which forces us to just pass on this one.

- Tear of the Goddess is too hard to be stacked when playing ahri, since we don't have enough mana and the cooldowns are too long in order to get this full stacked quickly.
And even if we could get this done in time, We don't have any mana items in our build in order to maximize the item's passive for more ap than othet items.

- Very arrogant item, the loss upon death is too heavy to make this item worth it. players tend to be tempted buying it after they are doing well in the early game, this may lead into a big success, but in most cases it ends in the loss of our advantage after a death or two.

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I hear a lot of confusion about this issue, there is a lot of information about it in many guides,
I will try to simplify it generally, so, first of all, what is smartcasting?
quoted from lol wiki -
''Smart cast automatically casts the selected ability at (or towards) the current mouse cursor position, as if you had first pressed the ability button and then left-clicked at the target position. Smart cast works for self-buff abilities, targeted abilities, ground-targeted abilities and skillshots. Smart casting a support buff ability (an ability that can be cast on yourself e.g. a shield or a heal) when the cursor is on an invalid target will self-cast the ability instead. Note that you can use self-casting to self-cast support buff abilities regardless of cursor location. Using smart cast can be invaluable because it reduces the time delay between activating and casting by cutting the user input in half; activate vs activate and click.''

In other words, you don't have to click the mouse on your target, you just need to mark it with your cursor when pressing one of your skills.

How this is helping?
Smartcasting saving a lot of time when casting, allows us to smash the keys with just caring about putting the cursor on the right place. I recommend using smartcast with all the champions, and particularly with ahri, skill shots in generally are just much more comfortable and faster to use with smartcasting and it will give us a major enhancement to our playstyle.

Where can i configure it?
The regular Options menu, you go on key settings, scroll down a little and looking for smartcasting, than you replace the q\w\e\r in the right places.

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General tips

Here is some of the facts the you should know:

+ You can stop channeling abilities with your Charm (example - Death Lotus)
+ Orb of Deception is actually getting a bit further than the skillshot mark shows.
+ You can maximize the range of Orb of Deception since the orb is going back to ahri's current location.
+ The maximum damage from Fox-Fire will be gained by trying to split each fireball to a different enemy.
+ Best Essence Theft utilizing will be done by using Orb of Deception.
+ Our Spirit Rush dashes are able to go trough some thin walls\trees\inclines.
+ Spirit Rush is not considered a flash, we wont be able to avoid by going through shots.
+ Although Fox-Fire hits more than one target, its considered single-target shot.
+ Charm is a very useful bush checker.
+ Start with Charm if planning a jungle invade.

Our main combo will be:
Charm ---> Orb of Deception ---> Fox-Fire
Hitting Charm first will give us a certain success on full hitting our Orb of Deception, and Fox-Fire will deal some additional damage. You will be surprised from the damage of the full combo even at low levels.

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- During your first four levels or so, you can use Q immediately after you auto-attack to catch any cs you might miss if multiple minions are low.
- Poke with Auto-Attack, Q or W, depending on how your mana looks and what spell you're maxing first, when your opponent moves in to last hit. It forces them to take damage or miss cs.
- You can usually gauge your opponent's skill level by observing how they react to your harass.
- You can use Q or W, whichever one you're not maxing first, to gain Essence Theft stacks. Because it's the one you're not leveling, it'll cost little mana and deal little damage to ensure you don't push your lane for that spell vamp.
- Always look out for an opening. I've pulled off charms in-between minions that my opponents were not expecting. Take note of minions that are about to die and look out for a gap you can possibly angle a charm through.
- CSing should almost always be a priority over harassing. Maintaining a gold lead while being smart about your attacks is better than mindlessly throwing things at someone and losing gold to do it.
- You can throw an orb or charm into bushes to check them for enemies. If you hit someone, you'll hear the impact and gain Essence Theft stacks.

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Team fighting

+ Try to land a successful Charm, in a good timing, this will probably end up as a kill.
+ Spam your skills into the thick of things and focus primarily on staying alive yet doing as much AoE damage as possible.
+ Never initiate or stay in the front, always wait for someone to initiate and try to get the best position to stay out of reach of enemys while keep spamming skills.
+ DO NOT dive into the center of fights thinking that Spirit Rush deals a lot of damage. You will die in a blink of an eye. Your primary damage comes from your Q\W rotation and survival is essential to repeat this rotation multiple times in a prolonged team fight.

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Hard match-ups

Generally, ahri is extremely vulnerable to silences and high burst champs, however, getting countered doesn't mean we lost the lane, its just mean we need to play extra safe and maybe even going different item path. but still, avoiding picking ahri in draft pick might be a better decision after you see the following champions:

Definitely one of the hardest counters for ahri, her silence and high burst will make our life harder than usual, play passive and just farm up without going into a trade, keep out of her reach and dont let her land her Q on you. Ask your jungler to help you when possible and if you get one or two early kills you will snowball on her and she will be much less of a threat. If you can't manage those early kills and you feel like falling behind or getting 100 to 0 burst, we will pass on one of Doran's Ring and replace it with early Negatron Cloak (upgraded to Abyssal Scepter after the core), and when we're build our Rylai's Crystal Scepter we will get our Giant's Belt first.
If the early game wont be a disaster, LeBlanc truly shines in the early game and if she's not over-fed her late-game phase is pretty mediocre, You should out-scale her in the late game.

Gap-closer, Silence and invisibility is the nightmare of Ahri and talon got it all, i can certainly say that a good Talon will win a good Ahri, the way we deal with him is playing passive, farming and avoid going into trading, nothing more than harrasing with our Orb of Deception in a safe distance. I recommend skip on one of our Doran's Ring and get early Seeker's Armguard for extra armor. getting the Giant's Belt first for the Rylai's Crystal Scepter is also essential for surviving this lane.
Ask your jungler to help you soonest as possible, don't let him roam too much and dont get into trades, he will snowball really hard on you and if he gets the first kills in the lane we are screwed.

Not an hard countered, but might be troublesome without early knowledge of dealing with.
Before Akali is level 6, we shouldn't have any troubles, we can free harass, zone and outfarm her, after she gets 6, its become risky to overextend especially without our Spirit Rush ready.
So, my first advice, do not overextend your lane especially without Spirit Rush ready!
She out-trades us post 6, don't engage her when you are both on the same health percentage, try harass as much as possbible and try to let her waste her Twilight Shroud.
Twilight Shroud can make us waste our Fox-Fire and our Spirit Rush since it doesn't hit invisible targets, however, when she is in her Twilight Shroud, throw your Orb of Deception predicting her current location. landing an successful Charm will be crucial in trading.
About iteming, early Negatron Cloak (upgraded to Abyssal Scepter after the core) is essential, and getting Giant's Belt first for the Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a must.

Another silencer, his Riftwalk is just better than our Spirit Rush and his Null Sphere wreck our combo. Kassadin will constantly try to land his Null Sphere when possible, keeping out of its distance (which is not that hard) will keep us safe because he wont be able to 100 to 0 Ahri in the early game.
Always harass with your Orb of Deception when you are in the right angle and , keep an eye if his Force Pulse is ready to cast. he will probably use his Null Sphere for farming minions so when he does that we gout around 9 seconds which he's vulnerable.
If everything is going fine i would stick-up to the usual purchase order, while getting the Giant's Belt first right after our double doran's ring\, but if he gets some early kills and you feel like falling behind i would recommend skipping one of Doran's Ring and replace it with early Negatron Cloak (upgraded to Abyssal Scepter after the core).

As listed above, Ahri is vulnerable to high burst champions like: Annie, Veigar, Fizz, Malzahar etc, and they are all treated the same way.
Avoiding stun&skillshots, making a good harassment and farm well is the key to win those lanes,
we might prefer avoiding a full trade with those guys and we should play extra safe against them.
About iteming, Don't rush on changing our regular purchase order, this will delay our damage output of course and we want to do this only when its really needed.
If you are falling behind or you feel like getting too much damage so you can't even do something in the lane we will pass on one of Doran's Ring and replace it with early Negatron Cloak (upgraded to Abyssal Scepter after the core), and when we're build our Rylai's Crystal Scepter we will get our Giant's Belt first.

This section will be constantly under construction and updated and i will try to cover as much match-ups as i can.

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Purchasing Ahri

As a player, i always look around for some recommendation before getting a new champ. a specially 6300IP champ, so in addition to the pros\cons section let me add some info that might help you with your decision.

Ahri to pretty challenging champ to play with, Skillshot depended, squishy and some tricky skills to get use to. low skilled player might get disappointed and even feel useless during the game.
However, Ahri is very rewarding and fun to play with, a viable pick that fits in most team compositions.
Anyway, If you look for an AP carry for middle lane, with high roaming\ganking abilities and good scaling into late game, Ahri is a very good choice that diffidently worth the cost. Ahri is not easy to learn and you might even fail hard in your first games with her, so if you feel disappointed because of her damage output or laning phase you are probably doing something wrong and you should practice her more, rewarding feeling is guaranteed after proper using her.

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This guide will always be under construction and I will do my best to keep him as updated as possible.
If you have any questions or any constructive feedbacks i'll be glad to hear.

Thanks for reading.