Ahri Build Guide by Dddrgn
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Ahri - every mid champions fear when they enter the battlefield... but why? Some people claim that she is OP, deals too much damage with her individual blows - but I don't feel that that is the case.
This is written in a very relaxed manner, don't expect tons of in depth explanations over every little detail of her build, but I will not fail to say why I use each item.
First off - this will probably be not very organized, but I'll do my best to keep it somewhat understandable.
Ahri seems to generally be considered a high power AP assassin, popping out from the bushes and ganking constantly, while at the same time having the responsibility of holding mid - she is considered high mobility and very difficult to catch - but I kind of feel like she is more the opposite of that (at least at times). Ahri has 2 skillshots, and 2 abilities that automatically lock onto enemies, prioritizing champions. These skillshots set up all her combos, which means champions like Katarina who can teleport to dodge them, can often be her downfall.
Runes were intentionally left out of this guide, as at the moment, I use a generalized rune build, but I would suggest AP, mana, and magic penetration as your main focuses.
Anyways, I'm sure you are tired of my nonsensical rambling, so let's get to the real sections!
Ahri's passive is Essence Thief.
Ahri gains a charge of Essence Theft whenever one of her spells hits an enemy. This caps at 3 charges per spell cast. Upon reaching 9 charges, Ahri's next spell will have 35% bonus spell vamp.
This makes her have pretty good lain sustain, as most damage dealt can be fairly quickly regained, at the cost of some mana of course. To use this most effectively, use Orb of Deception into a large group of minions for max heal.
Ahri's Q is Orb of Deception.
Active: Ahri sends out an orb in a line in front of her and then pulls it back, dealing magic damage on the way out and true damage on the way back.
This is her main taunt, and also her most powerful damage dealing ability. I max this first as it is her most crucial spell when it comes to killing minions and champions. Used properly, it can stop enemies from escaping, or force them to fall back in a tough situation.
Ahir's W is Fox-Fire.
Active: Ahri releases three fox-fires to surround her for up to 5 seconds. After a short delay after cast, they will target nearby enemies, prioritizing champions. This is very useful for doing damage during a combo or a chase, as the abilities auto-lock onto the enemy, meaning that there is less work for you in the long run. you want to try to use it when focusing a single enemy, that way they all hit the same person to deal the maximum amount of damage.
Ahri's E is probably her most important ability.
Active: Ahri will blow a kiss that travels in a line in front of her. It will damage and charm the first enemy it encounters, forcing them to walk harmlessly towards her, while being slowed by 50% for the duration. Another skillshot, just like her orb of deception, Charm sets up all her combos. I use this very selectively, because using it and missing is just a waste of mana. You want to use this first, then continue to use orb and fox-fire, often against squishier champions, this alone used once will take out over half their health (and that's when Ahri isn't fed much).
Ahri's Ult is Spirit Rush.
Active: Ahri dashes towards the cursor and fires essence bolts, dealing damage to up to 3 nearby enemies, prioritizing champions. In the next 10 seconds, Spirit Rush can be cast two additional times before going on cooldown. Each enemy can only be hit once per dash.
This is the ability that makes people think that Ahri is high mobility, but to tell the truth, she is only that high mobility when she has it, and it's cooldown keeps of from being spammed. It has two real uses - chasing and running.
When used to chase, you first want to land a combo on the enemy, then ult to keep up with them, combo again, and finish them off with the last 1 or 2 bursts of spirit rush. This makes it very difficult for them to escape, even when they have expensive boots or ghost/flash.
When running, you have to be wary that it is very difficult (if even possible) to spirit rush over a wall, it is far safer to use it to get close to or behind a turret.
Flash teleports your Champion to target nearby location under your mouse cursor.
Flash is a must when you play ahri, even though her ult allows her to basically have three flashes. As a rule, I find this to be a spell that I always use, as it is beneficial for escaping ganks and baits, or even for chasing down an enemy that is escaping, who I would then cast ignite or orb of deception on. I look at it this way - it's way more important to escape and live to fight another day than to rush in and take 2 kills while at the same time dying. At least, that's how I view my use of flash. It is very well used to jump over walls in the jungle to help you escape, especially during a bad lane.
Targets a single champion dealing 50 + (lvl x 20) true damage over 5 seconds. Also reduces the target’s healing and regeneration by 50%.
This is my main secondary spell when I play Ahri, as it fits perfectly with flash. Unfortunately, it's cooldown is insanely long, but it often ensures kills that you would not otherwise get. I will often spirit rush once or twice to an enemy champion and ignite for the kill, then spirit rush into the jungle to avoid death. One mistake I see people make constantly is to use ignite as a taunt, rush them when they have high health and use ignite. It is specifically designed as a method to last hit even when they are not on your screen, as long as you can burn them beforehand.
After 4 seconds, teleports your champion to target friendly minion or turret. 3 minute cooldown if cancelled.
This is another possibility that works just as well as ignite, although it is not my favorite on Carries. It allows me to easily get back to the mid turret when I am forced to recall by the enemy, and it often saves my a lot of turret damage, but it has also caused me to teleport accidentally into the the middle of a gank or such - and then indirectly killed me. It is useful when used sparingly, for those tough situations. Still, I would almost always use ignite over this.
Onto the items I build! mwahaha.
Putting pictures into this one will take too much time and effort, so I'll just use the names and leave the rest to your imaginations. (or you know, the pictures at the top of this guide).
- I always start my build with boots of speed and 3 health pots, a pretty standard starting build that is versatile and works with almost every champion in the game. My reasoning is this, if they can't get your health low, they can't force you to recall easily on mid. Of course Ahri has her 35% spell vamp every 9 charges, but that uses a lot of mana, which in the end forces her to recall. With the health pots, this can be avoided, giving her the sustain that she needs early game to farm minions for money until she can get more mana related items.
- Something that I don't see done often, I build Philosopher's stone as quickly as possible. Most people seem to build catalyst of the protector, or sapphire crystal, they give mana, perhaps even a bit more correct? Well, even though I don't build Philosopher's stone into anything, it gives me both mana and health regen that makes a huge impact on how long I can hold a lane, even during mid and late game. This item gives me early game sustain, and a small advantage late game, adding onto her already good health regen, and then giving her the mana that she uses up so derping often!
- I then immediately head for Rabadons, building the two items underneath it first of course (that seems to be a no derp). Ahri does almost all of her damage with AP, so it is very important to build a large amount of it as early as possible. This makes the blows from her combo do far more damage, and can mean the difference between defeat or victory in the mid lane, as well as in ganks. without this item, especially against tanks, her attacks end up being too weak to do much, even when her combo is used.
- Then comes her Sorcerer's shoes, every mages favorite comfy boots. The added magic penetration fits perfectly with her now fairly-high AP, plus helps to counter enemy champions who commonly build magic resist. Either way, it's a small advantage that makes a big difference, because it saves you mana by requiring less attacks to get the kill - mana which you can then use in a gank to help your poorly faring top lane XD.
- Then comes the Abyssal scepter, which you of course buildup to instead of buying directly. This gives you much needed magic resist and AP, as well as decreasing the magic resist of nearby enemies. Talk about annoying, after all this building they won't be able to stop any of your magic damage now will they? Anyways, this gives you slightly higher defense as well as making your already lethal attacks more dangerous, considering that it decreases their defenses while increasing yours.
- Rod of Ages is of course an essential defense item for Ahri, giving her health, mana, and regen with it's passives. Then, it tacks on another 60 AP, not fun for the teemo or ryze that keeps trying to charge you. This makes you less vulnerable to attacks from the enemy, giving you longer sustain, and making you more effective in teamfights. It also stacks with your previous items that significantly increased your AP and defense.
- Finally, get that Deathfire Grasp (if possible, considering how expensive this build is). The addition of 100 AP and lower cooldowns can make a huge difference, because that means you can use your combo more, while having it deal far more damage. Just watch your AP stack higher and higher, at this point I don't see much of a way for them to dodge your abilities. Unfortunately, most games that I play end before I am able to acquire this glorious item, but it's worth going for if you can.
Pros / Cons
I guess I'll just list off a few of the positive and negative things about the nine-tail fox.
- High AP damage
- Fairly high range
- Escaping from ganks isn't difficult
- Devastates single opponents.
- Ineffective against large groups
- Does little damage to well-built/fed tanks
- Vulnerable when her ult is on cooldown
- Squishy as derp.
Now for the main summary on how exactly I play her, let's get to it shall we?
I always always always run mid, this is her specialty (at least when built this way).
I grab my start items and wait by the turret until minions spawn, being aware of the top and bottom lanes, which I will be ganking fairly often depending on the difficulty of my lane. Once the minions come, I get to work, using my basic attack to last hit, and my Orb of Deception to pick at the other champion's health. Champions such as Katarina can be a pain in the butt to lane against here, or even sivir, because they have good methods of dodging skillshots and have longer range than Ahri does.
Mid game, whenever my lane is clear, I push to either top or bot, depending on which needs help the most, and try to get them to the turret, then quickly move back to mid, expecting their champion to be back. (As I made fairly clear, I do not attack the turret when I help a lane, I give them room to recall or hit the turret as hard as possible. Remember that you are not a jungler, mid is your responsibility).
Late game, I initiate teamfights using my charm/orb/fox-fire combo, then chase down anyone who attempts to escape using Spirit Rush. In the case that my team is ineffective against the enemy in teamfights, I am a bit more careful, staying at the sides and using orb of deception to pick at the enemy's health. Generally though, I will use all abilities on individual targets over and over, this way they either die or lose most of their health.
Remember, charm is beneficial to Ahri's play-style, and if you miss it often, you are likely to have a very difficult time keeping your lane together. You have to try to guess at where the enemy will run, then fire it ahead of them so they walk right into it. This is particularly useful for pulling enemies into your turret, especially if you have someone like cho'gath who can pop a stun to prevent them from escaping your turret-fire.
Ahri is squishy, so you have to be careful, and don't be afraid to recall often. If you are on lower than 1/4 mana, you need to recall because her basic attack does so little damage, that it might as well do nothing against champions, although it can still be used fairly well against minions, especially late game.
Late game, never go solo as Ahri, keep at least one champion with you at all times just in case of ganks and traps, especially when spirit rush is on cooldown.
I hope you guys enjoyed my mediocre, somewhat useful guide to playing Ahri. If there is anything you feel that I missed, please leave a comment and I will be sure to update the guide to have the content included. :P