Orianna General Guide by redpathcc
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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 all. First guide, wishing to introduce you to my fave support character - Orianna. I am pretty new to her but have been turning around games with her extremely versatile support.
She is not a cheap champ, so people don't usually buy her for support. I bought her for mid, and started playing her support when everyone else yells "MID!!!" every game.
Bear in mind that this guide is not the only way to play Ori, and almost certainly not going to be for top tier play. I decided to write this up on a whim, because I rarely see Ori at my skill tier, and thought that some others could give her a shot using a well rounded build.
I added a critiques section where I addressed previous comments. Please read through my justification for skills, runes, and items. Let me know what you think or if you have another opinion in the comments section. I would be happy to discuss alternatives!
Command: Protect is your E, and maxed first because you can keep it on your carry permanently, giving them additional Armour and MR. You also cast it to provide a temporary damage absorption shield.
Command: Dissonance is your W and maxed next, it has good damage and a beautiful MS buff which allows you and your teammates to both chase or escape.
Command: Attack is maxed last, because you only need it to move the ball around early on - damage is negligible and you would be better to conserve mana.
Command: Shockwave is your R and of course your ultimate - get it when you can. It drags enemies near the ball towards it, dealing damage.
N.B.: You can grab Command: Attack at level 1 if you think you'll need to facecheck bushes or scout early on. It helps stop invade on your neutral monsters.
If the enemy is very aggressive, you can grab two ranks of Command: Protect before you get Command: Attack
How to use Orianna and her abilities
Obviously people reading this are new to Orianna or want some tips, and a lot of guides seem to lack a general overview of playing the champ! So here goes.
Orianna is a clockwork robot. She also has a robotic ball, which she can command. Her abilities make the ball do stuff. She has a ranged attack.
Passive: Clockwork windup
Clockwork Windup: Your passive is quite strong - free damage: great! Each time you hit the enemy, you deal additional magic damage; more with each successive hit. This means you want to hit the enemy 2 or 3 times in a row if possible. With your AD marks on, you get even more out of this skill. As an added bonus, we have the pickpocket mastery, which gives us 3 GOLD every time we hit an enemy champ (short cooldown however).
I utilise this skill by standing in the brush at the bottom of the lane, and when I see the carry or support come close for a minion etc - just chuck a couple of hits their way. You could also use your 60sec ward on their brush once everyone is in lane, allowing you to get extra hits in. If they would counter with some hits of their own, you should be ready to cast your E and retreat undamaged.
You can make a fair bit of gold doing this and it helps you buy your philo stone earlier than the enemy! You also keep the enemy on their back foot, and hopefully at low health if they don't learn quick.
Q - Command: Attack!
Command: Attack: Ori's most basic ability. The ball moves somewhere and deals damage ALL THE WAY along it's path. If you get too far away from it, it snaps back to you. Many uses:
Before entering any brush to check if there is an enemy in there, and give them a fright!
Scope out dragon or baron from your jungle, scope out creep camps from behind walls, steal blue buff!
Place your W and R if the ball is not already in the appropriate place
Damage! This has a low cooldown. You can spam it later on.
W - Command: Dissonance
Command: Dissonance: This makes the ball send out a charged field, which deals damage (your main nuke) and SLOWS enemies, and SPEEDS UP allies!
When fleeing, cast this on the person at the front of the group and then everyone in the group gets to run over the field. Enemies following will be slowed... sorry, Volibear and singed!!
When chasing, cast this again on the champ in front of the group. Everyone chasing then gets the MS buff. If possible, cast it on the enemy champ so they are slowed, and then your allies are sped up. Pretty obvious but difficult to master!
You can also use this to exit your base faster or get into lane quicker after a death. It's low CD means if you are out of position you should spam it if you are not likely to need it again before the CD is up. Combined with the homeguard enchant, you fly out of base like nothing else.
E - Command: Protect
Command: Protect: Whoever you cast this on gets substantial bonus armour and MR while the ball is on them, and a temporary damage shield. If you move too far away from them, the ball snaps back to you.
I cast this on my carry at the start of the game and keep it on them whenever possible. The bonus defence stays as long as the ball remains on their character. When your carry engages, you cast it on them a second time, to give them the temporary shield. This surprises the enemy who thought they might be able to do some damage (sorry nope!), and allows your carry to go harder and come out on top of exchanges.
The CD on this spell is low, so use it early in battles and frequently as possible, so the CD refreshes and you can often save an ally who would have died from ignite etc. Also, make sure you cast it on someone who will be taking damage!! Even if it's a full HP tank, you can shield them if there is no one else in danger. It will allow them to come out unscathed.
This spell also deals damage to enemies it passes through! So you can position the ball to deal substantial damage to enemies before shielding your teammates.
Finally - this kill gets you easy assists!! You might be too far away to hit an enemy, but you can shield a teammate who did and you get the assist. BOOM - free moneys!! This is very important for getting your items.
R - Command: Shockwave
Command: Shockwave: Your ulti. Never rush to use this one - there will be an opportunity for it, and if you use it prematurely you will kick yourself for missing out later on.
The ulti does a lot of damage, and stuns enemies when you activate it as they are pulled towards it. You can use it to:
stop a fleeing enemy from reaching a tower
delay enemies who are chasing your team
AOE stun and damage or finish off enemies with low HP
AOE stun enemies who would be ripping your team apart
steal baron, dragon and blue buff
The beauty of this spell is that you can place your ball perfectly through use of Q. You can make your ulti go off wherever you want - over walls, in baron from your jungle - anywhere! The range is pretty great when your consider it's AOE and the distance you can throw your Q.
That said, this is one of the only ulti's that can TOTALLY fail in every way. If your ball is out of position, it can hit no-one and you look like a real idiot (I have done this many times) - so be careful and keep track of the ball! Early on you might find it useful to cast E an ally who is in the middle of a fight before using your R.
Of course the abilities are nice by themselves, but you have to learn how to combo to be effective. Some basic combos are as follows:
Poke: Q, W, auto attack
Super Poke: Q (to just past the enemy), W, E (on yourself), auto attack
All three of your skills deal damage in this combo, as the ball moves past the enemy each time. You are also shielded from the exchange that may follow. It does leave you a little vulnerable so make sure you can back it up or flee.
Ultimate: Q (to centre of bunched up enemies), R, W
This deals damage on the way in, then sucks enemies together, before slowing their move speeds. This combo wins team fights by disorienting the enemy and dealing great damage. It also protects your team for a short while.
Save teammate: E (on teammate), W
Shields and buffs MS of an ally or yourself, slows chasing enemy
Dragon/baron steal: Q (to monster, click to see health points), W+R (when hp is low)
I like to get the Rejuvenation Bead and Faerie Charm right off, so you can easily build Philosopher's stone even if you screw up early on! This will snowball you right out of the gate. Of course you also need a sight ward and some Health Potion for sustain. You also have a 60 second ward and a biscuit from masteries.
You might prefer to instead grab just a Faerie Charm and spend the rest of your dough on 2x Sight ward and a Vision Ward.
Soon enough someone in bot lane will get a kill (even if it's the enemy!), and you can get back to fountain.
First trip back
I buy the philosopher's stone ASAP, followed by Boots of Speed. Hopefully you can get both. You still only need 1 sight ward for now, or a Vision Ward if you want to clear the enemies' ward enabling a gank for you, so buy that if you need to. More on placement of wards later.
Now you have some core items, you can choose which items you want first. Staying in lane a long time? Chalice of Harmony, for mana regen. Getting drilled by their AD? Emblem of Valor for armor and regen. Getting ganked, worried about TP's into the bushes or just want more coverage? Get Sightstone, the HP is great too. You should get all three of these items.
You can also get Kage's lucky pick, as suggested by Oyooy. This item is great if your lane isn't getting many assists, allowing you to keep up with gold. It also provides some nice AP and can be built into a MR / Offensive slow item later on, Twin Shadows.
Now you have some MR, Armour, mana regen, health regen and free wards. You're pretty tanky and can stay in lane a long time by employing your shield and natural tankiness.
Ideally, I would love to get the CDR boots every round, because Ori spams like crazy, and it's frustrating not to be able to cast when you want. However, you can get CDR later on money items, and you can't spam spells if you're dead. By this point you should be able to identify the enemy who is likely to carry, and enemy team composition, so get the boots to counter that which might kill you.
Ori is fast, so if you're winning the +15ms enchant is nice. If you're not, homeguard is AWESOME. Sometimes homeguard is awesome anyway, giving you the element of surprise.
Finally - your team is getting some kills. You are getting tons of assists and can buy the good items. You can choose the order here, depending what you need! Get them all!
Team defence and HP = Aegis of the Legion
HP and Wards = Ruby Sightstone
MR and CDR for spamming = Athene's Unholy Grail
Context dependent items
So you have the core items. Athene's, Aegis, Sightstone, Boots. You still have your philo stone, but by now you can sell it if you need the space. Your enemy might be dangerous by this time, so you'll need some extra defences.
If the main threat is physical damage, you have a few options:
Frozen Heart: I love the CDR, but only get it if no one else on the team has it and you didn't get the CDR boots. Randuin's Omen: Tons of HP, armour, and slows the enemies who hit you. Also has a nice active! Get this if you think you don't need the CDR. Thornmail: Sometimes the enemy went all AD champs, this item will teach them a lesson that it doesn't work. It's mainly good if you already have a lot of HP.
If the main threat is magic damage, again you have some options. Banshee's Veil is an all round great item, and you can rush the Runic Bulwark to give your team some more MR. Of course, you could go some potentially offensive options such as Twin Shadows.
If you are getting focused down for being too awesome, grab a Guardian Angel. They will either leave you till last (so you can provide support) or waste their focus on you while your team owns.
Sometimes it might be necessary to get some extra damage output to assist the team if your mid has failed, but this guide will focus on the pure support role.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage. Your passive adds more and more damage with each basic hit. This means you should hit the enemy to take advantage of it and try to harass the enemy support and carry! The marks are good value and help your AD secure the kill while you have low magic damage output early on. More on this later.
Alternatives include: Greater Mark of Armor, which make you even more tanky against your AD opponent in botlane. Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, which helps you deal additional damage with your abilities and passive.
Greater Seal of Armor. As we are botlane, we are gonna get drilled by the enemy AD from time to time. It helps to have some armour so your face doesn't melt.
Alternatives include: Greater Seal of Gold, Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist. Good value glyphs, I use them on many champs. Helps mid and late game to survive those mid champs nukes, and also the tankier champs sustained magic damage output like Malphite or Amumu.
Alternatives include: Greater Glyph of Ability Power, Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Gold - Gets you your early game items quicker. My regular choice.
Alternatives: Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
I used a mobafire mastery the first time I played Ori - thanks mobafire! The listed build is not final but is my present revision of it and seems to work well!
Flash and Exhaust. Can't beat em.
Save the flash for clutch moments. Use it to finish an opponent, or to escape. Don't engage with it.
Use the exhaust on the enemy AD carry when they decide to engage your carry. If your carry is confident, they will not flee, and the enemy will melt before you and your AD's attacks. Don't use exhaust on the enemy support, unless it will definitely secure the kill.
Orianna has a special role in teamfights like most supports. I have already explained how to chase by casting Command: Dissonance on your initiator, and when to use your Command: Shockwave, but in team fights things can get a little crazy, so here's a few tips.
Before teamfights, cast Command: Protect on your initiator, the bonus stats help, and it means the ball doesn't have to travel to them before they get the shield if you need to cast it on them again. It also means your ball is in the perfect place for a lethal ulti combo. Don't forget that Command: Protect damages enemies and can make the difference in a tight squeeze!
Some things go for all champs, like wards and positioning.
You want to be behind the front line, so you can provide backup to all your teammates. Don't get caught in the jungle if there are enemies. Stick with your carry or teammates. Don't die unnecessarily or you will let your enemy get "to stronk".
Wards are important. Always keep the river warded, I like to place my ward a little further up the river than the brush, so you can have more warning of an enemy approach. Your team will get frustrated if there are no wards on the map, so make sure you have at least one in your inventory at all times, until you get the sightstone. Then just make sure you are placing wards whenever you can, and you will get the hang of it.
Other popular places I put my wards are:
Directly in front of baron and dragon
Next to blue buff
Brushes on both sides of midlane river
Tri-bush for botlane
And wards in the enemy jungle never go astray to help your team push to win
Critiques, further explanation and alternatives!
In this section I will address critiques of the build and why I choose or choose not to incorporate them.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
This item is heavily critiqued by our readers, forcing me to re-think my decision to use them!
The reason I have preferred AD marks is that the damage you get from them early on is totally free, you can conserve mana for when you need it. The other thing is that with the Pickpocket mastery and Clockwork Windup, orianna is just begging for you to be autoattacking your enemies early on anyway.
I have however played with armour marks before, and found them to be very effective against your AD enemies - allowing you to possibly grab some alternative to Ninja Tabi such as Mercury's Treads, Ionian Boots of Lucidity, or just buff up on armour completely!
I will give the Greater Mark of Magic Penetration a bash and see the results.
Greater Seal of Armor
A solid choice, some great alternatives also in Greater Seal of Gold, Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration. Choosing mana regen may allow you to grab kage's lucky pick instead of philosopher's stone early on. You could even go 5 mana regen seals, 4 armour. Do it if you are confident that you won't get harassed too much by the AD. Choosing gold may help you snowball early on, but you definitely miss out on some early sustain or tankiness. Do it if you're confident in lane.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
A cheap and effective rune choice. However, if you are against a weak AP team or just confident that your ganker can shut mid down and jungle/toplane magic damage won't be a problem - you have good alternatives to buff your own damage - Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power, Greater Glyph of Ability Power. These buff your passive, ability damage, and shield from early on.
Greater Quintessence of Gold
My usual choice, gives you early game advantage when used to snowball more gp5 items. Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed will give you even more utility however and remains useful the whole game. Greater Quintessence of Ability Power is also a great choice because it gives you more damage and shielding capability from early on.
There's no denying this could be taken at level 1. It's really handy if you have the enemy in your jungle, and often scares off any potential invaders if you throw it into a bush. Grab this first if you are going to be scoping out jungle.
You could max this first if you feel confident in your lane, and the enemy are allowing lots of pokes.
For newer players, I stand by maxing this out first. You can totally deny ganks and engages on your carry, or yourself.
This can usually be maxed second in any game - it has great burst damage and provides your team with a movement advantage.
In regards to item sequence, play your level. If you're in high elo, you already know what to start out with, and the risk of vision wards countering you. If you want to counter the enemy with vision wards or get extra early vision, make sure you grab the Faerie Charm at least.
Many additional lategame items have been suggested. I wasn't intending to make a comprehensive guide, but here we are! So here are some alternative items.
Zhonya's Hourglass - A good item to be sure, providing you with tankiness, lots of AP and a lifesaving active. However, it is costly - it's not always that you return to base with enough money for the Needlessly Large Rod, and it doesn't really add to your utility.
Liandry's Torment - Unexpectedly good! You get HP, AP, MPen, and a great damage dealing passive to boot. Since you impair enemies MS, this is doubled. You can also buy it in reasonably small parts, which is good for a support. Get it if you're not worried about defence.
Mejai's Soulstealer - Lots of AP, and possible CDR. Good, since you aren't planning to die, and you often finish a game with over 40 assists! Get it if you can spare the money and think your carry is going to get consistent kills.
Abyssal Scepter - Good utility item for your AP teammates. Situational however, get it if you have the money and their mid is beating yours. You might be better off grabbing the all round Aegis of the Legion if you haven't got it yet.
Iceborn Gauntlet - Nice! CDR, armour, AP, and an AoE slow. You can build it in small pieces too. You can get this if you have finished your core build and want to pin down their roamers.
shurelya's reverie - I've never been enchanted by this item - the stats are just not high enough for it to occupy my endgame slot! There are also better slots to get your CDR from. The MS buff comes in handy on occasion though
Morellonomicon - More of an offensive item, get it to shut down fast regen champs like Dr. Mundo, Master Yi, and Singed. You get some CDR, but you can get that on many other options.
Locket of the Iron Solari - great item for topping up your CDR, tanks you up, and synergises with your Command: Protect.
Wow. I wrote a lot more than I thought - Orianna is fun compared to a lot of champs, and you get so much utility out of her, it's crazy. People are often surprised and she is one of the champs I regularly get complimented on for helping my teammates survive and nail the enemies!
My build focuses on providing great utility to your team, with some sustained damage, all the while getting pretty tanky yourself. You will have tons of extra HP and defence from the Ruby Sightstone, Aegis of the Legion, Boots, and Athene's Unholy Grail, all of which grant your team great utility. You can then focus on extra defence or offence as you please.
Hope you enjoy playing her as much as I do.
Summoner redpathcc on NA
Credit to contributors
Thanks to those in the comment section who contributed to the guide: