Ashe Build Guide by Trophycase
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Hello, I'm Trophycase and welcome to my third guide on MOBAFIRE. This time, I will be talking about Ashe - The Frost Archer.
Sifting through the guides on the site, I found there were a lot of strong guides, however there were a few things I didn't like about each of them, so I decided to make my own.
Ashe is a ranged carry, which is a role capable of dishing out huge amounts of steady damage if properly played and protected. But the downside to these champions is that they are generally very slow and extremely fragile. This guide will try to diminish these weaknesses as well as provide you with:
- Strong damage output throughout the game
- Survivability through movement speed, summoner spells, and cooldown reduction (allowing you to continually slow enemies)
- A knowledge of how to play Ashe and other ranged carries
- Utility through Frost Shot, Hawkshot, and Enchanted Crystal Arrow
This guide does take time to pick up and will take some practice to utilize properly, but when you do, it is very rewarding. Ashe was my first champion played in LoL and I have had much success thousands of games later.
Please read and comment before voting. Please and thanks.
The one single thing that will improve your gameplay more than anything else is learning how to properly last hit. I cannot stress this enough, the number one reason people have problems with ranged carries is because of their inability to last hit. This should be your main focus early and mid game. In order to last hit well, you need practice. You must learn how to time your attacks with the rate the creep is dying, and become used to the damage your autoattack deals. Good farming means the difference between an 18 minute Infinity Edge and a 25 minute Infinity Edge, and that difference is unbelievable. When last hitting at your own tower, a rule of thumb to go by is this:
For melee minions: Usually each melee minion will take 2 tower hits and 1 autoattack to kill. So wait for 2 tower hits and then smack it with an autoattack afterwards. (After the tower has attacked the minions a few times, you may be able to treat them as caster minions).
For caster minions: Usually each caster minion will take 1 tower hit and 2 autoattacks to kill. So you want to make sure to autoattack each caster minion once before the tower targets it, and then after it takes a hit of tower, last hit it before the next tower strike.
Remember: Do not autoattack minions unless you are getting a last hit. Pushing the lane is the single easiest way to get ganked unless everybody is accounted for. Holding off on autoattacks will also help your passive Focus build up and make ensure easy last hitting or strong harass.
Another crucial part of playing a ranged carry is being able to be in the right place for teamfights. If you are in the wrong place, and get hit by a crowd control, or are charged by and anti-carry, 90% of the time you will die. You must be positioned properly to be an effective force in teamfights. Most of the time, you want to be near the back of the fight, continually firing off Volley until a solid engage has been made (which you may do with Enchanted Crystal Arrow at a good opportunity). In the teamfight, you want to attack the focus target, continually slowing with Frost Shot, with your support right behind you, ready to protect you if you get in trouble. If your focus target moves to a position that would put you in jeopardy if you pursue him, DO NOT FOLLOW HIM UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY! Being drawn into the middle of a teamfight is a death sentence.
Use Your Skills Often
Frost Shot - You must learn when to toggle this. It can mean the difference between an enemy getting away and the enemy surviving, but also the difference between having enough mana to finish off that enemy and not having enough to secure the kill. One neat trick is to toggle this for every other auto-attack, when you have enough attack speed, your can have 100% uptime on your slow, while using it on every other attack, saving mana. This skill is what makes you a favorite amongst ranged carries, chain slowing the enemy and kiting them all day long is your bread and butter.
Volley - Volley is a spam skill, use it often. It is very mana costly, but that should not deter you from harassing/farming with it. When laning, try to avoid hitting too many creep with this as it will push the lane. But it can be used to pick up creep that would be otherwise difficult to pick up. One important use for this skill is popping the shield on Banshee's Veil. Spamming Volley before teamfights can really help your tanks/magi out a bit. It can also be used in retreats, you can chain slow the enemy, allowing your teammates to escape the would-be assailants.
Hawkshot - Use this skill as often as possible. It can really help scout bushes, set up ganks, and watch important areas that are not warded. This skill has saved me from ganks many-a-time and should not go underused. I won't even mention the extra gold bonus (well, I guess I just did), but it just a fun, added benefit, but not substantial enough to level this skill before anything else.
Enchanted Crystal Arrow - This skill is a gamebreaker, use it often. Whether it is to secure a kill, set up ganks, help out other lanes, harass your own laning opponent, or save yourself from a gank, you must use this ability almost as often as possible. If you don't see any immediate uses for it elsewhere on the map, use it on your laning opponent and force them back, or force them to be defensive/get zoned. The cooldown is very low, so don't be afraid to fire this baby. Don't hesitate to use this to interrupt ultimates such as Death Lotus. Learning how to lead opponents with this and slamming them cross-map will have them crying "OP ASHE ARROW QQ!" and give you a nice gold bonus from assists to bolster your laning phase. This skill has the potential to change fights without you being anywhere near there, so learn how to harness this potential.
In the current metagame, Ashe is usually paired up in a sidelane with a strong support such as Janna, Sona, or Taric. This is because, as an AD carry, Ashe relies on farm more than she relies on levels. For this reason, the AP carry is usually the one that will take middle lane. However, in solo queue, where supports are so often not picked, you may choose to take middle just because you can do such a great job with it anyway, the levels can't hurt, and it is easy to farm there, as well as assist both lanes with arrows that are a bit easier to aim than if they were coming from bottom. When laning, you want to make sure to harass with your Focus crits as well as Volley. If you can get your opponent to low health, try to zone them out of exp and gold range, this is not only a huge disadvantage to your enemy, but is very demoralizing as well. Your main focus during laning phase should be to last hit. But don't be afraid to try to pick up kills/assists with Enchanted Crystal Arrow and don't forget to use Hawkshot! Also, try to learn the proper time to push, if your opponent leaves the lane, it is usually a good idea to push, to either have your creep die at the tower and deny them exp, or take down their tower.
Simple Questions, Simple Answers
This section will consist of frequently asked questions, as well as answers to them. If I see a question in the comments of the guide, I will do my best in order to answer them in this section.
Why Good Hands over Perseverence ?
Perseverence provides next to nothing throughout the whole game for a costly 3 point investment. Just looking at a benefit comparison, we find that in the late game (where death timers can be ~70 seconds) we slash 7 seconds off of that, which can be game-breaking. Looking at Perseverence , with our 44 hp5 and 24 mp5 at level 18, 3 points in this mastery would give us 1.76 hp5 and .96 mp5, which is almost nothing late game. Unless you think regenerating 25 health in the course of a teamfight will make or break the game, take Good Hands.
What is my job in teamfights?
Simple, kill important targets while chain slowing the enemy team. You should be providing the main source of damage on the focus targets, while using Volley on major clusters and Frost Shot on single targets. There may oftentimes be chances for you to engage a teamfight with Enchanted Crystal Arrow as well. So sit in the back with your support, and fire away. If you get into trouble, don't be afraid to pop Flash or Exhaust if your tank or support cannot save you.
Mercury's Treads or Berserker's Greaves?
Berserker's Greaves are the better choice in the early game, while Mercury's Treads may serve you better in the late game. But really, it all depends on the amount of CC reduction and magic resistance you need. When playing Ashe, you are generally the first target of disables and other crowd controls during the late game, which is why Mercury's Treads may be more beneficial. Berserker's Greaves provide a very cost-effective form of attack speed, but you may need some tenacity lategame, unless you decide to go Quicksilver Sash or feel Banshee's Veil is enough. You may also choose to sell Berserker's Greaves later for Mercury's Treads.
Doran's Blade - Really the only thing I would consider using as a first item other than Boots of Speed (Against high range or strong early game champions). It provides great survivability, a nice damage boost, and that bit of lifesteal to help sustain you in the lane. All around a great item, I will get one or two of these depending on my need for survivability in the lane. You don't need Boots of Speed in a duo-bottom, but it may be a good idea solo mid.
Berserker's Greave] - I wasn't sold on this choice of boots until I saw nearly every Ashe in the Dreamhack tournament use them (although they did make some questionable item decisions), once you get Zeal you should have more than enough movement speed that Boots of Swiftness are a bit unnecessary. Mercury's Treads are a great idea for a more late-game oriented setup.
Infinity Edge - The most core item on Ashe, it couples oh so well with your passive, kiting ability, and Phantom Dancer. After obtaining this item, you will notice a very sharp increase in damage that will make you a force to be reckoned with.
Zeal - Provides a cheap source of everything you want on Ashe - Attack Speed, Critical Strike Chance, and Movement Speed. This will really help your kiting capabilities and damage output, as well as build towards that Phantom Dancer that is so core.
Phantom Dancer - Another core item. This crit works so well with the passive from Infinity Edge and can really help you kite with the bonus attack speed, movement speed, and Frost Shot. This will be another sharp dps increase as well as provide you will survivability in the form of movement speed, which is very nice. In the extreme late game, you may choose to sell your boots for a second one of these, which will provide about the same movement speed and a huge dps increase.
Vampiric Scepter - Provides you with some much needed lifesteal to help you out in teamfights/laning. It is really a matter of personal preference when to buy this item. But I feel that you should really get it no later than this point, as you will not be able to heal back harass or punishment you may have taken.
Banshee's Veil - This will give a much needed survivability boost. The health is needed to survive sudden bursts from enemies, while the magic resist will allow you to go toe-to-toe with casters (and increase that painfully low magic resistance). The spell shield is invaluable for avoiding CC/nukes that may happen to come your way and has saved my life many a time. The mana should not go unnoticed as well, it will really help your ability to spam spells. You can never really go wrong with this item. This is a must have if the enemy team has an anti-carry or heavy nuker (e.g. Veigar, Kassadin, LeBlanc, maybe Annie) Also great if you accidentally get out of position and get hit by a Rocket Grab or something.
Last Whisper - I have changed my mind about this item, the damage it provides from your first attack with stacked Focus and the extra damage it provides during your Volley spamming that The Black Cleaver just cannot provide is extremely valuable. Not to mention it is cheaper. While The Black Cleaver does provide a debuff your entire team can use, the current metagame doesn't really call for more than one AD carry, so nobody else will be getting much benefit from it.
The Bloodthirster - A solid item for large amounts of damage and lifesteal. It will provide a large damage boost to that first crit from your passive, as well as sustain you in teamfights as well as the lane. A powerful amount of damage that will compliment your Last Whisper+ Infinity Edge combo.
Guardian Angel - A great option for the survivability portion of the build. When I do use this item, I am usually surprised at how it saves me, though I always thought the passive to be worthless. If you can properly position yourself when you die, this item can pay off in big ways for cleaning up in teamfights. Even without the passive though, the armor and magic resist can really help. This is an item that is really growing on me and I am liking more and more the more that I use it, if a teammate has an Aegis of the Legion this can make you a really tanky Ashe.
Quicksilver Sash - A cheap, effective form of magic resist. This item has been receiving consistent buffs that make it all the more tempting to take. If the opposing team is Ignite, CC, or magic heavy, this may be the way to go. Basically a cheaper form of survivability if you don't want Banshee's Veil that can be more effective if they have a ton of CC. If the enemy team has Warwick, Malzahar, or Urgot, this is a great option because it can get you out of that suppress. This is basically a free Cleanse and can save you if you happened to get stunned.
Executioner's Calling - A very unnoticed and underused item. Not only does it have crit and lifesteal that supplement the build quite well, but it has a nice passive that deals damage and can shut down that pesky Swain, Warwick, Olaf, or healer on the opposing team. The price for this is very good and you may choose to get this even after Phantom Dancer for a mid game damage boost.
Cloak and Dagger - A cheap source of attack speed, crit, and tenacity. Great against those CC heavy teams that you know will focus you. It is sort of similar to Zeal in that it is very cost effective. Never really a bad choice to get this item.
The Black Cleaver - A solid choice that can replace Last Whisper. However, the issue with this item is that it does not benefit your Volley (which you should be spamming) nor have the armor reduction for your first hit (which will most likely be a critical strike). Another decent choice if your team is pretty physical heavy, but not your best option.
Stark's Fervor - A good choice if your team is AD heavy and nobody else has one of these babies, the passive can really help out if you are physical heavy or they have some armor. You should get The Black Cleaver instead of Last Whisper if you buy this item.
As a sidenote: At the end of the game, you may want to sell your boots in order to buy a second Phantom Dancer, the movement speed will be about the same and you will have another large stat boost. I usually don't do this, as getting Mercury's Treads is, most of the time, a better idea.
Another sidenote: After a completed build, always remember to pick up elixirs in the order of Elixir of Agility--> Elixir of Fortitude--> Oracle's Elixir--> Elixir of Brilliance
Runes, Masteries, and Summoner Spells
Greater mark of desolationGreater Mark of Desolation - Pretty much standard on any ranged carry, makes your late game immensely better and synergizes well with The Black Cleaver and Zeke's Harbinger. You may choose to use flat AD runes for early game last hitting, however they are quickly outclassed by ArP in mid/late game.
Greater Seal of Clarity - Provides a strong amount of mana regeneration in combination with utility masteries, it really allows you to spam Volley and Enchanted Crystal Arrow.
Greater Glyph of Shielding / Greater Glyph of Warding (or any combination of them) - You need some magic resist until you get Banshee's Veil and these will provide it. Scaling are usually preferable because in the current meta you won't be taking much damage in the duo bottom lane, but some early game MR can still be really nice.
Greater Glyph of Focus / Greater Glyph of Celerity - These can provide a nice amount of cooldown reduction all throughout the game. It allows you to get that Volley and Enchanted Crystal Arrow off much more often. These or the CDR/lvl runes are also a good choice, because your arrow needs to be fire off as often as possible.
Greater Glyph of Clarity - These provide another boost to your mana regeneration pool, with utility masteries and MP5/lvl seals, you can spam abilities on cooldown. These are generally a better choice if you want to go 21/0/9 and need the mana regeneration.
Greater Quintessence of Strength - These are an extremely strong option in this slot, they will provide comparable damage to the ArP ones (because of Last Whisper and Focus) as well as give you an easier time last hitting. These are stronger than one might think.
greater quintessence of desolationGreater Quintessence of Desolation - These will provide a damage boost mid/late game. It will be a slight damage increase over the flat AD runes if you can get a long streak of autoattacks, however they are very close, and I like the extra last hitting from the flat AD.
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude - These are another good option, but I choose not to use them, because although the early game health is nice, 1 or 2 Doran's Blades provides me with the early game health boost I need. If you want to go Boots of Speed instead.
I really like 21/0/9 because of the strong damage it is able to put out, as well as the cooldown reduction.
Some may choose 9/0/21 for the summoner spell cooldown and cooldown reduction and mana regeneration, and Ashe is very summoner spell dependent, but I feel that with the changes to Havoc, offense masteries are a good choice. Another option is 15/0/15 or 0/9/21, the first is used if you like to have a bit more in way of mana regeneration, movement speed, and cooldowns on Flash, the second is used for a lane that will provide heavy harass, such as Urgot, Brand, etc. that may require a bit extra resistance. But it is never advisable not to have Awareness. As Ashe, your mastery setup is very flexible. Much of it is personal preference and can be chosen to suit your personal playstyle. Much of it depends on match-ups as well, if the enemy has Jarvan IV and you think you need Flash more often, it might be smart to go 9/0/21.
A must have on Ashe. This spell can be used both offensively and defensively. Defensively, you can create distance between that jungler with lizard buff, get out of that Cataclysm, or get a well timed Flash after Irelia's Bladesurge but before she can get that Equilibrium Strike off. Offensively, you can get in range after an Enchanted Crystal Arrow, surprise an enemy, or just finish off a kill.
The more I use this, the more that I love it. Especially since you will be going up against the opposing AD carry a lot in the game, this will come in handy. You can use it for escaping, chasing, helping a teammate, anything, this is just a great summoner spell to have. Great for all enemy auto-attackers as well as champs with AoE ultimates.
A good option against a very CC heavy team, or if for some reason you plan not to go Banshee's Veil. The CC escape and near-immunity it provides is very a very powerful tool to negate opponents. A very underestimated summoner spell.
This is another great spell that can used both offensively and defensively. Can be used to escape that assailant, or continue kiting a fleeing opponent. This spell has a lot of utility and the speed boost should not be underestimated.
Good for getting back to the lane or setting up ganks with the max duration stun of Enchanted Crystal Arrow, sight wardSight Ward or minions. Can also be useful if you are getting backdoored by that Twisted Fate or want to finish off a tower that has a large wave of minions at it. I don't really recommend this because you need the other escape mechanisms.
Summary / Closing
Thank you for reading my Ashe guide. I hope you enjoy "Dat Ashe" as much as I do, and playing her this way.
Please read and comment before voting, please and thanks :D
If you do downvote, please leave a comment, like jesus christ, NO I WILL NOT GO AND REVENGE DOWNVOTE YOUR GUIDES, just tell me what you didn't like.
Ashe is a bit hard to get the hang of and play to her fullest potential, but if you can utilize the things outlined in this guide, you will have amazing success with her!
Also, check out this cool video of a crossmap arrow snipe, sent to me by Skrallz. (I will eventually have a section devoted to videos/replays)
Also, if you have any questions/critiques/comments/praise for me, please feel free to ask, I will try to get back to you very quickly!
(This will include guide changes, and/or changes in relation to items or Ashe herself).
6/28/2011 - Guide Published
6/29/2011 - Fixed quite a few things including the items, runes, and masteries.
7/2/2011 - Summary added
7/8/2011 - Patch v220.127.116.11
Enchanted Crystal Arrow
Cooldown increased to 100/90/80 from 75 at all levels
Slow duration no longer scales with level and now slows for 3 seconds at all levels
This was a bit of a nerf to the arrow, but nothing extremely significant, you can just expect to spam it a bit less at all ranks really.
8/18/2011 - Updated some aesthetics and stuff.
8/24/2011 - Updated more aesthetics. Also changed summoner spells, runes, and updated a lot of information.