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Ahri Build Guide by xenoproboscizoid

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League of Legends Build Guide Author xenoproboscizoid

Soulstealer Ahri; The Demon Fox of Mid Lane

xenoproboscizoid Last updated on February 5, 2015
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Introduction

Hi, my name is Xenoproboscizoid and I'm a rising diamond aiming for as high as I can get. Ahri has been my main since release and I've used her to climb to diamond two seasons in a row.

In this guide I will talk about how to play Ahri as an aggressive mage assassin; a build which leaves little room for error but certainly offers the greatest rewards.


Pros and Cons


Note: this guide's build section is out of date due to the removal of DFG, but expect an update soon!

Pros


  • Glass cannon
  • Awesome mobility
  • Superb catch potential
  • Moderate sustain
  • ~25% True damage
  • High roam potential
  • Totally hot


Cons


  • Glass cannon
  • Skill shot reliant
  • Ult reliant
  • Burst takes time at early levels
  • Item Reliant





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Itemization

Ahri's itemization is that of a glass cannon, and as with most glass cannons, in order to be effective you need to build for full offense. Ahri in particular is heavily item reliant to keep her damage up due to her low bases and drawn out burst sequence.

Below I'll explain the how and why of my Ahri itemization.

Starting Items (470g)




Doran's Ring gives Ahri everything she needs; the AP gives her early game pressure, the mana regen is vital for her consistent use of Orb of Deception, and the health gives decent early game survivability.




Despite Ahri's "spell vamp" passive Essence Theft, she still has to rely on health potions for in-lane sustain.







The Warding Totem is an important early game item for any solo laner as it provides a decent amount of vision until you're able to buy full wards of your own. Once you're able to buy wards for your lane, swap the warding totem out for a sweeping lens (explained below).


Common Starts You Should Avoid
Some players will still start with this item for the extra potions and the movespeed, which can help with dodging skill shots. You are an assassin, thus the best defense is a good offense; the extra movespeed from boots might help but you need the extra AP and mana regen from Doran's Ring. I recommend you do not start with boots.

Even against AD lanes I would advise against starting cloth armor. As I stated above, the best defense is a good offense and since most ADs you'll be fighting are melee you'll need the offensive stats Doran's Ring has to offer to zone and harass them.


First Back (Update Cost: 930g-1315g)




Since your first back will be close to level six, I like to rush Fiendish Codex over boots for the decent AP and CDR.




You're still in laning phase, so hp sustain is still important. Don't skimp on these unless you know you can get a fast kill.




I pick up a stealth ward pretty much every time I back. It's around level six because you'll be ulting in for kills, which can be dangerous if the enemy jungler is waiting for you.


Notes: Depending on when you back, try and grab your Boots of Speed on your first back since the extra movement speed is helpful if you want to roam. Typically you'll want to back at the same time as your opponent (unless you forced them out of lane early) so only stick around for the extra farm if your opponent does the same.

Early Game Core (Update Cost: 3130g-3480g)




Deathfire Grasp is an absolutely vital first item on Ahri. The AP is fantastic, the CDR is excellent and the damage boost is a superb asset when you're goal is burst. If you're not convinced yet, know that the DFG magic damage boost stacks with Ahri's Charm debuff, which gives you a spectacular 144% magic damage (the true damage on Orb of Deception is not magic damage and therefore is only amplified by charm). DFG gives you the 100-0 potential all assassins crave, so get it as quickly as possible.






Due to Ahri's reliance on her ult for landing her charm/burst as well as for survivability the extra CDR is extremely effective at giving her constant presence in the game. Since other CDR items would put Ahri behind in her build, and about 25% of her end game damage is true (making magic pen less necessary for her kit) lucidity boots are a powerful alternative to Sorcerer's Shoes. However, I would advise against these boots if you are behind or perhaps even with your opponents; while CDR will kill your ult up for engages, that won't be of much use if you can't kill your target in the first place. Therefore if you're struggling in lane, buy Sorcerer's Shoes instead.

As I stated before, it's a good habit to pick up a stealth ward every time you back. Around this point in the game it can be used to keep track of your opponent mid laner, spot enemy jungler or to get vision on dragon.















Once you're able to purchase wards for your lane (you'll want to grab one or two on your first back), it's important to swap out your warding totem for a sweeping lens. This is because it's much easier to place wards than it is to clear them, making the sweeping lens a unique and valuable asset. As a mid laner and catch-based assassin, you'll want the sweeping lens in order to clear enemy vision when you roam or hide in a brush for unsuspecting prey. Note that upgrading your sweeper into an Oracle's Lens should be left until later unless you have the money to spare and most of your team has stuck with the warding totem.

Notes: It's obviously inadvisable to stay out of base until you have the gold for both of these items, so I'd advise prioritizing the Deathfire Grasp over Ionian Boots of Lucidity. I've often found that with the power of DFG I can stay out of base until I've got +1600g, and in cases such as this I'll just grab another needlessly large rod rather than the boots. That being said, if you need to back due to low health and you only have enough for the lucidity boots, don't hesitate to pick them up.


Item Core + Sequence (Total Cost w/four Wards and Doran's Ring: 16,905g)





Explained above.








Explained above.








Best AP item ever; gives you the stats you need to scale into the late game catch-kill assassin you're meant to be.



This upgrade can be left until later, but the utility it offers can make or break a base defense if things go sour.















Excellent AP item that gives you the freedom to initiate teamfights. Ahri generally isn't a teamfight champion however, so I often leave this item until after my Void Staff unless I'm fighting a heavy AD comp.












This is a great item to buy once the enemy team starts picking up magic resist. For many AP mids this item can be bought even before Rabadon's Deathcap, but since ~25% of Ahri's damage is true, void staff can be left relatively later in your build.

Sitational Items for your 6th slot



Lich Bane is one of my favorite items because I love the stats it gives (mana, movespeed, AP, and a scary late game on-hit). This item synergizes well with Ahri's kit because of how drawn out her burst is. It's an easy feat to hit your Lich Bane procs after your charm combo and at the end of or even in between your ult casts.

After the recent Rylai's change which increased it's AP to 80 at the cost of 100 health, this item has re-entered viability for Ahri. Rylai's not only gives Ahri a slow for more catch potential, but it gives her some much needed health, which can help you survive any crowd control that may be thrown your way.

I almost never build abyssal since I tend to favor Banshee's Veil, however after the recent nerfs to to the latter, I've started to favor the former. Let me first be clear that this is an item that shouldn't be completed until after your primary core of Deathfire Grasp and Rabadon's Deathcap as it will gimp your damage otherwise.

Twin shadows is a hugely underplayed buy, it's gold efficiency is completely unreasonable if you consider the stats you're getting (good AP, CDR, Movespeed, and an extra form of catch or escape). I haven't tried this item much due to is somewhat poor slot efficiency (it gives a little bit of everything, but only a little), but I think it has the potential to become a much more popular pick with a little exposure.

Guardian Angel is good all-around defense item to buy if you're doing well personally but your team is struggling. Due to the long late game death timers, it's vital that you as a carry must not die unnecessarily and this item gives you a little bit of leeway on that regard.

Sorcerer's shoes are a common staple for most AP mids and the magic pen they offer will certainly increase your damage output. These boots will do just fine, however I highly recommend you try out the lucidity boots if you haven't already.

Morellonomicon has spectacular gold efficiency, offering excellent CDR, acceptable AP, and a great healing reduction passive. This item is should only be bought if you opted for Sorcerer's Shoes over Ionian Boots of Lucidity since you'll otherwise go over the CDR cap.

I like the idea of what alacrity boots offer, and the 20 extra movespeed will be more useful than homeguards if you're sieging the enemy base rather than the other way around. Even so I rarely notice the effects of this upgrade, so I tend to default towards homeguard regardless.

Banshee's Veil is my go-to magic resist item on Ahri despite it's recent nerfs. It offers a good mix of HP and MR and the spell shield passive is a superb defense against catch. Although it provides great defense, I wouldn't recommend buying it until after you've completed at least two Needlessly Large Rod items as it will otherwise put you behind in damage. If you're fighting a team against whom the spell shield would be ineffective (spammable, low impact skills VS high impact, high cd skills) then consider purchasing Abyssal Scepter for the additional offensive capabilities it provides.


If you feel strongly about an item I haven't mentioned here, or one I've mentioned below, please do PM me or post more suggested items in the comments on why you feel that item is viable and I may include them in situational items section.

Items I Avoid on Ahri




Chalice of Harmony and Athene's Unholy Grail are tempting items to buy on almost any AP mid since you rely so heavily on mana in order to function. While the idea of an endless mana pool, an excellent chunk of CDR and a dash of MR may seem like a "safe" purchase, it is for that exact reason you should avoid it. The Ahri that wins games is not a safe champion, she is a dangerous champion and Athene's is not a dangerous item. Ahri would benefit from the CDR but there are better items for that ( Morellonomicon, Ionian Boots of Lucidity), Ahri likes AP but the mere 60 that Athene's provides is too slight to be slot efficient, mana regen is usually helpful but Ahri's mana problems aren't nearly so bad as some ( Syndra, Karthus, Xerath, etc) and due to her ranges you wont be burning too much mana on harass; you can start and end a fight on half a pool or less. Instead of using a slot for Athene's, rely on your blue buff for mana and keep a tab on any enemies who have one (you may be an assassin, but that shouldn't stop you from stealing a few buffs off your fallen foes).

Haunting Guise and Liandry's Torment are a somewhat contradictory pair of items. Haunting Guise feels like a good item for close range mages or assassins since it gives HP and the flat penetration helps for taking out squishy targets with low MR. Unfortunately, it's stats are too slight for the item to be slot efficient in the late game, and additionally since such a significant portion of Ahri's damage is true; the gains from flat AP are relatively greater than those of flat penetration. Furthermore, upgrading this item into Liandry's Torment doesn't solve any of it's issues. The costly upgrade will fetch you 25 AP, 100 HP, and a slow-burning questionably viable dot, which is where the contradictions come in. While Haunting Guise seemed like a handy (early game) item for an assassin, the Liandry's dot is a horrible passive for any burst-oriented character, even if the target is slowed. If you have 3k to spend, your burst will be relatively greater for the addition of a flat AP item like any of the Needlessly Large Rod items, a Void Staff or most of the items listed in the situational section above.

Will of the Ancients (also known as "wota") is a niche item for the very few sustain damage mages out there ( Vladimir, Cassiopeia, Azir). The reason you don't want to buy it on burst-oriented mages and assassins is because in the act of bursting a target, you are not trading damage and therefore you do not need to regenerate in order to finish off the target. On someone like Vladimir your damage takes much longer to dish out, and therefore it becomes a strict necessity to regenerate health during a fight. Therefore although it may be tempting to buy wota on Ahri because it would synergize with her passive, she's too burst oriented to have a true need for it.

Rod of Ages (also known as RoA) is a devilish item; it provides very poor early game stats, but those stats are often vital for the champions that purchase it. Due to RoA's early game trough, it should only be bought on those champions that heavily rely on both the health and the mana. Health and mana would certainly be a handy addition for Ahri, but she doesn't rely on either stat; blue buff is more than enough for her mana needs, and she can survive by avoiding damage with her ult and charm rather than tanking it with extra health. Additionally, RoA's poor early game AP would gimp her early game killing potential and therefore her ability to snowball effectively into late game.

Archangel's Staff is a poor purchase for the same reasons as RoA; the early game power is lacking and Ahri doesn't need a thousand extra mana. The other thing to consider is that Ahri can't spam enough to stack a Tear of the Goddess, and if you try to you'll no doubt miss opportunities for lane kills or roaming opportunities.


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Runes, Masteries, Summoner Spells

Standard Runes



Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Explanation:

The majority of your damage is magic and marks offer the greatest efficiency for magic pen of any rune type.


Since the nerfs to armor seals, flat hp or scaling hp seals are the best defensive alternative. In the case of HP seals, the scaling runes reach flat rune efficiency at level 6, making them the much more effective choice. If you're really having trouble in the early game (pre-six) then you can run the flat seals, though I would recommend against it.

These should be swapped out for Greater Seal of Armor when fighting an AD mid or a strong ad team.

As with the scaling HP seals, the scaling ability power glyphs reach flat rune strength early on (level 7). I don't have anything against the flat runes, but seeing as most of your kills will be won after level 6 the scaling runes give much more power when it counts.

These can be swapped out for Greater Glyph of Magic Resist when fighting high pressure AP mids with hard to avoid damage ( Syndra, Veigar, Xerath, etc).

While I would normally favor scaling runes, the scaling AP quints are absolutely terrible while their flat counterparts a highly efficient. The chunk of AP you'll get from these runes is vital for early game farming and pressure.


Standard Masteries


Masteries
1/5
4/1
3/5
1/5
3/5
3/1
1/
3/
1/
1/
1/5
3/1
3/1
1/5
1/1


I won't explain every mastery choice here since most of them are pretty standard, but I will go over some of the more controversial picks.

Double-edged sword is an intimidating mastery since it increases the damage you take, however I urge you to recall that you are an assassin and as an assassin you'll always deal more damage than you take. Therefore by numbers alone you're gaining much more than you're losing from taking this mastery.

Dangerous Game is a pretty derpy mastery since for the most part the HP/Mana gains are insignificant. If for example you're missing 1600 health (a pretty significant chunk for a squishy assassin like Ahri) you'd only get 80 Hp back, 40 if you're ignited. The only saving grace for this mastery is that there aren't any viable alternatives, though if you prefer something like Spell Weaving , have at it.

phasewalker is a decent mastery as the reduced cast time of recall can get you out of a tough spot as well as minimize the time spent away from lane experience and farm. I've recently decided to swap out Scout for Phasewalker since I've started favoring Sweeping Lens over the Warding Totem, and increased casting range on sweeper isn't markedly useful.

Summoner's Insight is an excellent mastery choice because the extra CDR on summoner spells gives you more opportunities for flash charms.


Standard Summoner Spells



Flash like Spirit Rush is a key aspect of Ahri's kit since it allows her to pull off sexy Flash + Charm plays. Ahri is also very vulnerable before level 6, making Flash her necessary tool for early escapes.

Ignite: Ahri's early game burst is pretty low as most assassins go, making ignite a very useful tool for getting those early kills off which you can snowball. Additionally, since Ahri uses Spirit Rush to gap close on targets, she can easily apply ignite where other mid laners (e.g. Lux, Xerath) may have fewer opportunities to do so.


Summoners you should avoid:


Barrier is a defensive spell; therefore taking this over ignite will gimp your damage. Barrier will help you survive but it will not win you games; you're purpose is to kill, not to avoid death.

Heal isn't viable for the same reasons as barrier, only heal is even worse since it's effectiveness is reduced by ignite.

Teleport is generally inadvisable for mid laners since they have pretty easy access to the entire map anyway. Additionally since Ahri is rather squishy, teleporting behind enemy lines can make you vulnerable to a well timed bind or stun from the enemy team. Lastly taking teleport will not only gimp your damage due to the loss of ignite, but it won't assist in your survivability, meaning you're very likely to lose lane if you take this summoner spell.


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Gameplay

In this section I'll go over how I play Ahri. My explanation will be split to describe the laning phase and the post-laning phase. If want more information on Ahri's abilities, I suggest you look at this excellent wiki page.

Laning Phase



Ahri's laning phase isn't spectacular, but it isn't poor either. I split my focus in the laning phase between two goals: Farming and Harassment (for more on CSing, check out my CSing Guide), of which I tend to favor harassment.

Harassment:
Harassment is an important goal for any mid laner since keeping your opponent low and on their toes makes them vulnerable to ganks/solo kills and wary of your damage output. Ahri's harass takes some time to get used to, but once you've mastered the art of hitting Orb of Deception or Charm + Orb of Deception combos, you'll find your damage to be quite substantial.

Hitting Orb of Deception will give you good harass, but hitting charms is your lifeblood in lane. Hitting a charm with a followed up Orb, Fox-Fire, and 2-4 autos will chunk your opponent for anything from 30-50% of their health in early levels; often enough to send them home or to set up a kill for the next combo. If you can hit 2-3 orbs on your opponent, pulling off a charm combo will easily grant you a pre-six kill, so be sure to practice landing those charms whenever you've got the mana!


Speaking of mana, getting the second blue buff is important for Ahri to maintain presence in both lane and on the map. This holds especially true if your opponent gets his/her blue buff, so make sure to ask your jungler nicely!





Level 6:

Once you get your ultimate do not be afraid to use it. If you are using your ultimate solely to escape death rather than imparting it, you are losing lane. A good policy to keep is that if your ult is up, try and use it as soon as possible to either force your opponent out of lane, kill your opponent outright, or gank another lane.

Farming:
Farming minions is an important goal for any mid laner, and luckily for Ahri, she can often farm with Orb of Deception while simultaneously hitting the opponent. Since Orb won't be one-shotting minion waves until you get your first rod item, you'll often need to employ Fox-Fire or Charm (avoid using charm unless on siege minions) to pick off the remaining low minions before your allied minions do.


Coordinating with your Jungler:
Setting up ganks for your jungler__is most easily done with a Charm, though if you jungler__is able to get in and cc your opponent first, save Charm to follow up. If it's your responsibility to set up ganks, then it's important that you use charm combos even when you're jungler isn't there; if you only save it for ganks then any aggressive change in your positioning will be tell your opponent your jungler__ is nearby.

Post-Laning Phase



This is the point at which you truly leave your mark on the game. If you've played well you should have at least one kill and assist, which is a good foothold from which to snowball into late game.

As I've hopefully hammered in by now, Ahri is an assassin, therefore she fully flourishes in small skirmishes rather than full 5v5 teamfights. You're goal is to roam, grab farm and pick off anyone you can. While doing so do not be afraid to spam your ult and/or Flash to land your charms; you are an assassin, and in order to kill your target you need to burn those cooldowns.

In team fights you want to play an aggressive zoning/catch role. You're goal is to land a charm on a high priority target (this can be made easier by flashing/ulting into position) and letting your team jump in on it. That being said, if you charm a tank, be sure not to follow up with more than an Orb of Deception, as you may bait your team into a poor engage.


Guide Top

Match-Ups

In this section I'll go over the strategies I use to counter common lane match-ups. If you have any special requests on champion match-ups you'd like insight on, please PM me or post it in the comments and I'll respond or add a segment for them!



Akali is a scary late-game hyper carry who's mobility allows her to dodge your charms and chase you through your Spirit Rush dashes. On the other hand, Akali is a squishy melee champion with a poor early game, giving you a significant leg up in the laning phase. There are two main strategies to keep in mind when fighting Akali:
  • Because Akali is vulnerable early game you'll want to keep lane pressure up; don't let her free farm, but don't push your lane either; zoning her off the creeps is great until you get ganked and she earns all that gold back with a kill or assist. The balance here is to hit her with a few casts of Orb of Deception but keep minion hits at a minimum, once she's scared of your harass you won't need to cast so much to keep her off the wave, you're presence will suffice. Alternatively, if you're very confident in your jungler you can let her push wave and just call for a couple of ganks to give yourself a lead.
  • The second strategy revolves around her Twilight Shroud. Twilight Shroud will not only grant Akali access to the minion wave, but it increases her armor and MR (making harass less impactful) and even allows her to get some Mark of the Assassin hits on you if you stray too close. As such, the absolute best counter to Akali is to carry a Vision Ward into lane every time you back (though don't bother starting with one. Since pink wards are visible however, save dropping one until you get a gank or you're confident you can take a solo kill.


Fizz is one of the more annoying match-ups to face due to his Playful / Trickster, which can not only dodge your Charm and Orb of Deception burst, but can follow that up with a devastating damage+slow. This does not make him impossible to fight however. There are three main tactics one can employ:
  • Keep your distance when his Playful / Trickster is off cooldown, and only cast at him at the maximum range of your Orb and Charm. This way even if you miss or he uses his pole you should be able to walk out of range of his retaliation.
  • Don't use charm unless you know Playful / Trickster is off cooldown. That way you can retaliate with your full Charm + Fox-Fire + Orb of Deception combo once he lands or dashes through you with Urchin Strike. At early levels your burst will be greater than his so long as you hit that initial charm.
  • Although your mobility will help in dodging his ult, if you do get hit you're very likely to die. With this in mind, if he chooses to initiate a fight with Chum the Waters, do not be afraid to ult/ Flash out of the way. If he misses you've got a serious leg up in the proceeding fight, especially if you use another Spirit Rush charge to dodge our of the Playful / Trickster damage.



Kassadin is vulnerable to ganks early game, but don't underestimate his damage. If he consitantly hits you with Null Sphere and Force Pulse you will notice the damage. Be especially wary of Force Pulse as the slow it applies is an excellent tool for setting up ganks. While it's not always possible to do so when trading damage, try to save your burst for once his Null Sphere magic shield wears off (it only lasts 1.5s, but if you don't have the time just cast through it). This match-up is an easy one so long as you don't get cocky; just hit a couple of Charm combos and you'll either get a kill or force him out of lane.



Katarina is very similar to Kassadin except that she's much more slippery early game. If you can manage to hit a Charm, cast Orb of Deception immediately as she will try to Shunpo away as soon as the cc wears off. If she uses Shunpo directly on you, wait until she starts walking away before using Charm as it is much easier to dodge at melee range. Finally, when she ults, simply use Spirit Rush to dash out of range or if you're fast, throw a charm at her; once she stops or gets CC'd out dash right back in and chase her down for the kill.



LeBlanc is in a very weak state right now. She can still deal decent harass with any of her Distortion combos, but so long as you position a decent distance behind the creep wave and your reactions are fast enough you should be able to Charm her right out of her dash. Even if you take a few hits, she's squishy enough to push out of lane if you get off a Charm + Fox-Fire + Orb of Deception combo.



Lux is a frustrating lane to fight because despite her lack of an escape, her Prismatic Barrier (easily one of the better shields in the game) makes her extremely difficult to solo kill. Just let her push the wave with Lucent Singularity and call for a gank to put her out of action for the rest of the game. Regardless of how her early game goes however, bear in mind that her catch potential with Light Binding can always get you killed.



Malzahar is a match-up based on reaction times. He, like Lux is highly vulnerable to ganks early game and his kit will naturally push the wave so be sure to coordinate with your jungler. Once he hits six, there are two strategies to dealing with him:
  • Once Malzahar hits six, he will almost definitely kill you if he manages to get off at least his Null Zone + Malefic Visions + Nether Grasp combo. You can't dodge Malefic Visions or Nether Grasp, but you can dodge his other two skills. Therefore if you choose to attack him, you should either plan on bursting him 100-0 before he can react (usually only possible if you can hit your charm from out of vision or with a surprise Flash), or if that's not possible anticipate taking the hit from his ult and either flashing or dashing out of his null zone before tanking through his Nether Grasp. Picking up a Quicksilver Sash might also be a good idea so long as it doesn't put your build too far behind.
  • The second strategy is to avoid him altogether. This might seem silly, but Malzahar has pretty low aggression potential, and he has trouble getting kills unless an opponent jumps on him or he's in a team fight. Therefore the best way to deal with him is often to simply avoid him on the map, or in teamfights wait until he ults someone else before charming him off his target.



Orianna is one of the easier match-ups you can face, though that's not to say you can slack off. In order to win lane you need to be able to both dodge her Command: Attack + Command: Dissonance (the attack is difficult to dodge, so just make it your goal to dodge the follow-up dissonance) combos and/or retaliate with Charm + Orb of Deception combos. You'll find that she has lower cooldowns, but you have higher damage, so if you do take hits be sure to return fire. Your real lane advantage comes at level six; once you start dashing around with Spirit Rush you'll start to see how clunky and slow Orianna's kit is. As most Orianna's know, their kit relies on a successful Command: Shockwave, and as all new Ahri plays should know, shockwave is one of the easiest and most satisfying skills to dodge with a well timed dash from Spirit Rush.



Syndra is my absolute least favorite lane to fight since at most stages of the game, she can kill you with a single Dark Sphere + Scatter the Weak + Unleashed Power combination. There are two ways of dealing with Syndra:
  • The first way requires impeccable timing and prediction. The tactic is to Spirit Rush or Flash to one side just before or just as she casts a Dark Sphere + Scatter the Weak combo. If you manage this, you've just dodged the first instant death move, but you're not safe yet. At this point you can try for a full-scale Charm combo which, with enough damage can kill her in one go. If you miss the charm or you don't have enough time to cast it, get ready to dodge her Force of Will; if she hits it and follows with Unleashed Power you'll probably still die. If you dodge that one as well you should be safe to tank through her raw ult and kill her, though you must remain wary of any follow up Dark Spheres.
  • The second means of dealing with Syndra is similar to how you deal with a Malzahar, which is to simply avoid her on the map and to wait for her to ult someone else in a team fight. Regardless of whether you avoid or fight her however, it's advisable to rush a Zhonya's Hourglass as a second item. If you can dodge the stun, or if she ults slightly late, you can Zhonya's just as she casts Unleashed Power to dodge most of the burst. Although it seems counter productive to buy armor when you're scared of magic damage, whatever you do, don't build magic resist as your primary defense against Syndra.



Talon lanes can go either way but they're not too intimidating. The trick to fighting Talon is to harass him just out of range of his Rake (both Orb of Deception and Charm outrange it) and to not panic when he jumps to you with Cutthroat. Pre-six he can't follow up his jump with anything but Rake and Noxian Diplomacy, and although this combo will deal a decent chunk of damage, your Charm + Fox-Fire + Orb of Deception retaliation will deal more. Once he hits six, start bringing Vision Wards into lane to drop as soon as his cutthroat silence wears off. With this vision, and provided you're at least even with him in lane you should be able to kill him by either dashing away from him (to minimize damage taken) within his circle of blades then following up with a Charm once the blades retract or (if you can tank the full ult retraction) casting Charm immediately and dashing at him for the kill.



Xerath is an annoying lane opponent, but provided you leep on your toes, he has relatively lower kill potential. His Arcanopulse can be difficult to dodge due to it's deceptively long range (the charging marker distance does not exactly match the hitbox distace), and the width of the skill shot. Luckily you should be able to get into the groove of dodging this skill while retaliating in return. Xeraths true danger lies in his Shocking Orb, which has a surprisingly long range. Should he hit his stun, he can easily follow up with a quick Arcanopulse + Eye of Destruction, dealing a huge chunk of damage as well as applying a significant slow. The best way to fight Xerath is therefore to attack just after he casts Shocking Orb or Eye of Destruction, both of which have long cooldowns. From then on just dash and walk in circles around him, though never moving directly towards him as that will make it much easier for him to hit Arcanopulse or Shocking Orb once it's off cooldown.



Yasuo is another obnoxious lane to fight but despite his hype, he doesn't have much solo kill potential. Here are a few tips to dealing with him:
  • Pre-six you want to keep your distance as his autos, hits from Steel Tempest and dashes from Sweeping Blade will dish some scary sustain damage.
  • Yasuo is obnoxious because between to his near constant motion from Sweeping Blade, his passive shield, and the safety of his Wind Wall, he's extremely difficult to land any damage on. As such, don't burn too much mana trying to harass him in lane; instead focus on dodging Steel Tempest and maintaining high health and mana pools.
  • Once you've hit six, wait until he uses both a Steel Tempest knock-up charge and Wind Wall before dashing in to go for a kill. Provided you've kept you health up in lane you can even tank his ult with relative safety and follow up with and easy Charm to chase him down for the kill (just be sure to stay outside of his auto range). The most important scenario to avoid is to fight him on top of his wind-wall since he can simply walk back and forth through it to dodge literally everything you throw at him.



Zed lanes can really go either way, though if I had to give one of them the edge, I'd give it to zed. As with Yasuo, Zed's mobility with Living Shadow makes him somewhat difficult to pin damage onto. Here are a few tips for dealing with Zed:
  • Most Zeds must rely on Living Shadow to harass or farm from a distance rather than to escape or dodge. As such, focus on farming until he throws out his shadow, after which you can easily bully him or get an easy gank off.
  • Zed's true power comes with his level six, where Death Mark makes him one of the best duelists in the game. Since you cant dodge Death Mark (until you get Zhonya's), you goal once he ults is to dash just after the ult lands such that you dodge Shadow Slash (if you're lucky) and Razor Shuriken (if you're fast). A lot of Zeds will cast Razor Shuriken and Shadow Slash right as they land and in the direction in which they ulted from, therefore the best way to dodge Razor Shuriken is to dodge to the side or diagonally away rather than directly away. Once you've dodge his shuriken, don't be afraid to retaliate, though be sure to keep your distance until Death Mark had popped.
  • Zed is extremely easy to counter with items, mainly Zhonya's Hourglass and Quicksilver Sash. Ahough would never advise building the latter on Ahri until late game, Zhonya's is a great second item (DFG always comes first) for her. The trick to dodging zed is to use Zhonya's while Zed is in "mid air" during the casting time of Death Mark. If you time it properly, his ult will be cancelled completely, though he'll still be standing right next to you when you come out. Most zeds are smart enough to hold their Shadow Slash and Razor Shuriken for when you come out of Zhonya's, so an alternative strategy is to use Zhonya's just after Death Mark lands but just before he casts his follow up spells. This will result in you taking the Death Mark debuff, but dodging his entire follow-up burst, arguably resulting an less damage taken on your part.



Ziggs can be an annoying lane to fight; His low cooldown and long range on Bouncing Bomb allow him to constantly kite your range while simultaneously harassing you and/or farming. His lane safety is slightly compromised once you hit level six since you can gap-close to him, but your aggression can still be countered by a well-placed Satchel Charge (though if you time it you can dash in the flash over the charge to maintain your closeness to him). Once you've gap-closed however it's no cake-walk. Due to your proximity to eachother, his Mega Inferno Bomb will cast with minimal travel time, making it nearly impossible to dodge completely. As such, be you only initiate if Ziggs is already low enough to burst quickly or if you've got enough health to take a few hits.


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Ending Notes

If there is one message I wish to convey with this guide, it is that you must not be afraid to make fantastic plays. When your Flash is off cooldown, or Spirit Rush is up look for quick jump + Charm combos that enable team kills.

You will make mistakes, but mistakes are the badges that prove you tried.


Photo credit:
Pro/cons picture done by Erina on DeviantART


Need to work on your CSing? Check out my guide here: CS Like a Pro

Playing too passively? Check out my guide on aggression


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Changelog

9/15/14:
Updated itemization section to include Sweeping Lens as part of Ahri's Core rather than as a situation item.
Updated masteries to opt for Phasewalker over Scout .