Ahri Build Guide by ArezGOW
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Okay, insert funny joke here. Witty thing about epic tits here. Are we done. Can I explain the guide yet? Good.
Ahri is an interesting champion. Her ratios are super low (.3 on her B&B) meaning she isn't a true mage. She doesn't have amazing move speed or invisibility meaning she isn't a gank machine like shaco or twitch. All but one of her skills is a skill shot. She's also super squishy and suffers from mana starvation early to mid game. What good is she then?
Well, IMO Ahri is going to be one of the best kiters in the game. Once her ulti is up, a dash into and out of a group of enemies almost always gets them to chase, even right into a bush where your whole team is sitting. Combine that with her unique taunt that basically stuns and pulls towards you and the ability to hit their whole team from over a wall with Q and you have a viable champ. Notice I say viable and not awesome or OP. She's super hard to play and don't forget those ratios. Low levels, please practice with an easier champ and come back. Good players may still have trouble getting used to her timing and ranges. If played correctly well however, she can help lead a team to victory. I had a game the other day with a DC at 5 min and we still won 4v5 at 30 min by destroying, not a surrender. 34 kills to 8. I was 18/2/20. Remember, she'll never be a power house like Annie or a fed AD carry, but she can certainly help a team win.
A lot of finesse has to go into playing Ahri. She very mobile but very squishy so you have to play very carefully. Too careful though and you're no good to your team. Too aggressive and you'll end 3/10/6... not good.
Once you have all your skills the ulti is a situational use. Can be used to chase or run to great effect. I like to save it unless I know I'm going to get the kill, as having it to run is invaluable. For exchanges, while you'd think always lead with charm, I like to poke as much as possible with Q before landing E for several reasons. One, after someone gets charmed then takes the full brunt of your Q and W they will usually run. If you didn't kill them and your ulti is up, they may very well get away. Also, people love to gank Ahri and if you can charm WW as he comes out of the bush you can turn that gank into a kill, possibly double kill.
Generally I will cast Q-->Q-->E-->W (immediately)--> R-->R-->E-->W (immediately)-->Q-->R
Looks hard complicated right? I told you she was hard. Try to hit W as soon as possible (even before E if you're in assured position to get E off) as there is a slight delay before the W autoattacks the champion where they can move out of its range. Q has a pretty good range especially when chasing or being chased so it's easy to hit it last in those cases.
Most people will see a standard skill sequence up until level 12 and then go WTF this guy is ******ed. 2 levels in a row of charm before maxing fox fire?? You noob! The damage!! Well, let me explain.
The last 2 levels of fox fire add up to 120 damage more on a single target (plus maybe 180 in AP if you have most of your items). 300 damage vs a half second of stun seems like a no brainer right? I disagree. At level 12 you're getting into some heavy team fighting, maybe you went to grab blue and an enemy WW sees you in the bush. In either case, that 1/2 second can honestly make the difference between teemo running away with 20 hp before you can hit again or the WW coming to and running you down. It makes hitting with both ends of your Q easy as pie, and if you lead with Q, you'll frequently get 4 hits for serious pain. I know, 1/2 a second seems like nothing, but remember you're not a mage. DPS is not your biggest concern. If you can stun that carry who shoots 3-5 shots per second for just that extra half second while pulling them to your team that is often the difference between winning a team fight and hearing the enemy Cait get an Ace.
Finally, with the CDR from Deathfire and Blue buff your charm is only ever about 7.5 seconds away from being cast (less when maxed). Speaking of which, why Deathfire instead of Morello's? Isn't more CDR and AP better? Look below and I'll tell you.
WTF is up with my build? Well, after owning every Ahri I've seen using either the recommended or Phreak's build (or other random ****) I'm pretty confident in what I've come up with here.
Amplifying Tomb won't seem like as good a starting item a perhaps a Dorian's Ring might... but honestly you HAVE to play safe before level 6 anyway. Just poke them and last hit minions. Otherwise, stay back. You can trade up to Fiendish Codex pretty fast which will give more AP and mana regen.
If you're stomping in mid, maybe picked up and early kill, feel free to rush Hextech Revolver over the Boots of Speed to give yourself the sustain in lane this build is focused on. BE CAREFUL THOUGH. If you're doing really well, they will be trying to gank you. In this case, DO NOT pass up boots of speed as you're easily ganked before level 6 without any boots.
Whatever the situation, by level 5 you should have the Codex, Hextech and boots. Your sustain in lane should be good, then you get to level 6 and grab one of the most fun ultimates in the game. This is why you can rush Deathcap before level 2 boots. The mobility is great. Anyway, next item gives you a good boost in what you're sorely missing at this point: damage. Remember though, your ratios are looooooooooow. Don't assume once you have Deathcap you can start going against 2 champs or even 1v1 with a good AD carry. Use the bushes and charm to your advantage. Kite them. Play like a fox!
Now you've got level 2 boots and it's time to upgrade the Codex and Hextech... Deathfire? Srsly? Yes, and here's why. Deathfire, even if you don't hit with it early is minimum 200 damage. WAAAAAY more if you hit it early on a tank. Morello's Evil Tomb, will give you 12 (really more like 6) extra damage per spell. While the extra CDR would be nice, you can see that even with both hits on Q and all 3 W's you're getting 12X9= 108 extra damage from Morello's which is still (generous) 100 damage below the minimum from Deathfire. If you hit your charm to Deathfire to Q it's pretty much a 1 shot on anything except a beefy tank or people with heavy MR. Sold yet? This can be purchased after Will of the Ancients if the enemy team doesn't have any beefy champions.
Next I get Voidstaff as only the worst teams will have not started stacking MR by now as your team is facerolling them. If they don't have MR, you've already won to be honest, but you can save this for a last buy.
The last 2 items (you only get 1) are up to personal preference. I like the movement speed, extra hit damage and MR included with Lichbane. Also, consider that as your last item you have 1 slot to build with. Lichbane is built from Sheen, while Rylai's will only net you the Giant Belt. Note: If you're having a hard time staying alive or you're losing most team fights or getting focused before the end of team fights, go ahead and get Rylai's instead as it gives more survivability (in most cases... MR vs health).
Masteries are standard for AP casters. Runic Affinity over Transmutation because Blue Buff is amazing on Ahri and 1% more spell vamp isn't needed. Nothing to see here. Move along.
I go all AP and magic penetration runes. Why the mix? Why not all per levels. Why no health or mana regen?
Well, the flat AP quints and seals help you trade better in mid lane levels 1-5 when you don't have the benefit of your ulti and you may be up against someone with a much better damage output. The per levels are obviously just to help with your poor ratios. No health because unlike some casters with a bit higher base health, Ahri has no staying power. Her utility is in her mobility. To play her properly you need to keep from getting hit, and a few extra hp here or there is not going to make a bad Ahri player a good one. While mana seals may be of some use, you really just need to manage your pool until mid game or you get a blue buff. Ahri's skills have a low cool down and are very spammable so it's very easy to get OOM. The counteract this, there's regen built into the items, but ultimately you just need to get good at placing the skill shots and last hitting to conserve mana.
Ignite and Flash are the best options IMO. Flash plus your ulti will make you hard to gank after lvl 6 without them leading in with a stun. Ignite is a must for securing that kill after they've disappeared behind their turret.
Ghost is also a usable option, but I wouldn't suggest it.
This is the hardest part. I can give you the most epic build ever, but if you can't hit your skill shots, initiate properly or know when to run, you will never be good with Ahri.
First, pay attention to your team and the minimap. Ahri has a hard time staying relevant without feeding and getting a few early kills, so getting ganked more than once early game is pretty much GG for your team.
Last hit those minions! Gold is very essential to you, especially before level 6. See the items section above. Also, don't waste a Q to last hit 1 or 2 minions early game. You'll go OOM so often that you'll get pushed back just from having to go back to base every 2 minutes. Late game you can take out a whole minion wave with just both hits of your Q, but for early game play smart.
Once you're level 6 a whole new world opens up for Ahri (que Aladdin music). You can use your ulti to initiate, run, and do either one through small walls as well. Also, don't forget about the damage. It'll help you tower dive, grab the kill and run.
One of my favorite way to play Ahri is as a mid-late game combo ganker/kiter. Sit in a bush or over a wall with a few friends while a group comes up the lane. Hit your charm through the wall and W then Q immediately. They'll run (if they're smart) or chase. Either way ulti up to them, then immediately right back. The rest of the team should follow right into your team a man down or close to it at least. All your cooldowns (except your ulti of which you have 1 more) with be ready so get to the back of the group and unload. Works like a charm. See skill sequence above. Note that it is more tailored for a single target with a chase, but is can still be used in roughly the same way for a team fight. Just remember to stay at the back.
The one area Ahri really shines is kiting. Her R puts her just out of range to where the chasing enemy thinks they can still get to you before the tower. Once near the tower, hit the easy E in a straight line to pull them into it while hitting your W then Q right after still in a straight line. By the time they realize they screwed up and are about to die, you chase with the last 2 R's and finish them off. I've gotten probably 1/3 of my total kills with Ahri using this method and having about 1/3 of my health. When people start screaming about her being "OP", "so gay", or "nooby", you'll know you did it right. You can also keep spamming Q while running and getting both hits as the auto run from attacking leaves them in a perfect straight line to you at all times.
If this guide didn't turn you off to playing Ahri completely, I'll finish with some positives. Ahri is very fun to play. On reaction dodging Blitz's pull and Morgana's trap one after the other with your R and turning around to blast them will definitely give you a rush. She can induce massive rage in the enemy team by kiteing well with her. Did I mention epic tits?
In my opinion she'll never be very popular for high level ranked games or professional play as even a small slip up can cost you the game. Furthermore, her early game is so pivotal and so easily thrown off that she can be rendered irrelevant to the overall flow of the game with just 2 early ganks. However, if you can stay alive and play well enough you'll have a great time. Playing her is some of the most fun I've had since I started playing LoL.