Ahri Build Guide by ikill4cookies
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
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.
December 21, 2011
Sadly, Ahri's release had to happen at the same time as many real life events and conflicted with school. I have not had time to update this in the last couple days at all. Though I had much more to add, looking at other guides- most are much more developed and contain nearly identical information. The goal of this guide was to educate players on usage of this Champion, not one of fame or popularity. Since other great guides have progressed so far already, I have decided to stop development on my guide. If I have anything to add I will just comment on others. Thanks to all that supported this guide in the beginning of its development and sorry you were never able to see it completed.
It is nearly impossible to create a guide to fit the play style of every viewer. The first build reflects my play style, which may be similar to yours, or entirely different. In the future I will add other builds, to hopefully appeal to a larger audience, but this guide is still a work in progress. I plan to make this build in-depth; therefore I still have hundreds more games to play, and more to test. If you feel that something I have here is not optimal, please comment on it and I will review it.
If you just want a quick list of items to buy:
Build 1= Standard
Build 2= Aggressive
Build 3= Defensive
Though these give you an idea of what to build, I highly suggest to read, or atleast skim through the rest of the guide.
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.
+ High Damage Potential
+ Strong and Unique Crowd Control/Initiation
- Relies on Skill Shots to achieve maximum damage
- Item Dependent
- Squishy, Especially Early Game
- Low Base Movement Speed
- Can have difficulty last hitting
I build Ahri as 21/0/9 to maximize her Damage output, as well as grabbing the increased buff duration in the Utility Tree. Unlike on Melee Assassins such as Akali and Talon, where it can be strong to spec into the Defense Tree; Ahri is a Ranged Assassin, you are not required to be in the middle of the fight, and generally shouldn’t be. In cases where you find yourself in a position like that, you can Spirit Rush out easily.
This set up takes everything that is relevant from the Offense Tree, with exception to 3/4 Mental Force to get improved Ignite. The other Mastery choices: Attack Speed, Critical Strike, Armor Penetration, Lifesteal, do not benefit Ahri.
The main goal of choosing Utility over Defense Tree next, is to acquire Runic Affinity , but the Masteries in between are strong as well. I take Summoners Insight for Improved Flash, Expanded Mind as a prerequisite for Meditation , for increased mana regeneration. Improved Recall is a filler, feel free to move it to Scout or Swiftness if it fits you. Personally I did not feel as if 0.5% Movement Speed will make a noticeable difference. At level 1, the Movement Speed difference is hardly over 1.5.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Magic Penetration is really the Only viable option for Marks, Unless you want to use Secondary runes, which I would not reccommend.
Regardless, Magic Penetration is never wasted, all champions start with a small amount of Magic Resistance, and Magic Penetration can put your target into Negative Magic Resist anyways. Overall a good stat to have that is hard to find through items.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
I have tried playing her without these, and instead survivability seals such as, Greater Seal of Vitality and it is perfectly possible. She doesnt have very harsh mana issues as some other champions. However playing her with Mana Regen Seals lets her harrass more, and proc her passive more.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Why do i choose Ability Power over Cooldown Reduction? (CDR)
Isn't it better to have your ult up as often as possible?
Well the cooldown is already fairly low as is (60 seconds at max rank).
How much will CDR actually affect this?
No CDR- 60 Seconds
10% CDR- 54 Seconds
20% CDR- 48 Seconds
30% CDR- 42 Seconds
40% CDR- 36 Seconds
Unlike other Champions with Heavy CD abilities, every 10% CDR only helps her ult 6 seconds. It also helps her other abilities as well, and may help to get multiple combo's out during the same fight, but i need to do more testing with it to see how I feel. I am not saying that CDR is bad, I have some in the build, I just do not think that Runes is the right place to get it. If you really want more CDR you could get different items which I will explain later.
9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power = 5.85%
9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction = 8.1% at lvl 18
Neither of these values are particularly game changing in my opinion. 9 Runes for less than 6 seconds off your ult?
Greater Glyph of Ability Power = 8.91 AP
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power = 27.54 AP at level 18
People like to go Greater Glyph of Ability Power for an "Early Game Advantage", but this advantage is only up until level 6. By level 4, I doubt you will even notice a difference. By mid game, the benefit has doubled, and by late game, tripled. In addition to that, you will almost always get the Flat AP Quints, so it is not as if your early game will be poor.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
This is almost a must, and the AP/level just does not compare this time.
The Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power is just underbudgetted compared to the Glyph. Though Quintessences do not have Primary and Secondary such as Marks, Seals, and Glyphs. You are only allowed 3 Quints, but 9 of every other rune. A way to access the effectiveness of Quints is to compare it to three of its Primary rune.
You can read more about Primary/Secondary Runes here
Everything. (Well almost everything) is situational. What you build, depends on what the enemy is building. Though not as much for damage dealers as tanks for example, it still is situational. I will try to cover as many situations as i can, but cannot possibly cover every single one. The item sequence is also very vague, some situations may call for one item before another, or one after.
Remember to buy a couple health potions in early/mid game to help your lain sustain.
Do not be afraid to buy wards. Remember:
Buy a Ward, Stop a Gank, Save a Life
I am probably not going to include a ward guide here, as there are millions of them out already.
Lastly, Elixirs are highly underrated until late late game. In my opinion, if you have extra money, you should buy an elixir, if you think a team fight is approaching. For example. If you know Dragon will spawn soon. Have an extra 250 gold? Buy an Elixir. Do not use it right away unless you need the item slot for something else. Use it just before the fight is beginning. Elixirs do not wear off after death.
I especially like to grab an Elixir when I am using Mejai's Soulstealer and want to get some early kills.
Start of Game
Situation 1- Standard
I will in most cases start the game with Boots of Speed and 3x Health Potion.
Ahri moves... pretty slow. Her base movement speed is 305, minimum is 300 ( Ashe Anivia) Boots are a much greater advantage than people think, it helps you chase down opponents, run away from opponents, dodge skillshots, and line up skillshots. Also, starting with boots, allows you to get three health potions to help your sustain
Situation 2- Aggresive
If you do not think movement speed will be an issue, you dont need to dodge skillshots or anything, or you are very confident in this match, you can start with Amplifying Tome with 1x Health Potion This will give you a small amount of sustain, but this early 20 AP allows your harass to hit much harder than people may normally expect. This is a more aggresive start
Situation 3- Defensive
You really... really... dont like the Champion your laning against. You know they will be aggresive and fear they may win you in lane. You want to play safer, more conservative build, of course not to assume the role of a tank, but be more sustaining. Try starting with a Sapphire Crystal and a 2x Health Potion. You can start with a Ruby Crystal, but I do not like to simply because you cannot start with Health Potion
First back/Early Game
Try to back with atleast a little over 1200. Like maybe 1300+. The more the Better.
This will allow for a Hextech Revolver for better lane sustain,
and a couple Health Potions.
If you have extra money you may want to grab a Meki Pendant to build into a Fiendish Codex for your Morellos Evil Tome Having the Meki's Pendant early will let you harass more.
Finish your Mejai's Soulstealer to start getting some stacks up, get Boots of Speed. At this point, the build on top says to get Hextech Revolver and Meki Pendant before Rabadon's Deathcap, but if you did very well, and your gold allows you to jump straight towards a Needlessly Large Rod, by all means, keep snowballing.
Turn your Sapphire Crystal or Ruby Crystal into a Catalyst the Protector, or even Rod of Ages if you have enough money. Rod of Ages, in my opinion, is a great item that gives a decent amount of AP, health, mana, and amazing lane sustain with the Catalyst the Protector built in, the only reason it is not in my standard build is, I feel like it falls off late game and your almost forced to sell it.
Soul Eater Passive- Ahri gains a charge of Soul Eater whenever one of her spells hits an enemy. This caps at 3 charges per spell. Upon reaching 9 charges, Ahri's next spell will have 35% bonus spell vamp.
This passive is good. It isn't an amazing passive, I like it, but i am not amazed by it. It does not rank up like some other passives like I thought it would. As Phreak said in the spotlight: You want to keep track of it, and aim your next abilities to hit as much as possible to make use of it.
9 Charges= Next ability has extra Spell Vamp
It is not, on 9th hit, has extra Spell Vamp.
For Example, if you have 7 charges, and use your Q to hit 3 minions, it does not make it so 1st hit gives it a charge, 2nd hit gives it a charge, and 3rd hit expends it with vamp. It will stop at 9th, until your next ability cast. Any excess charges are wasted.
Though this passive is nice to help sustain, you should not be pushing your lane simply to use it. The only time you should use your abilities is to secure multiple last hits, and to harass opponents. If you need your lane a little pushed, or need the vamp, try to harass the opponent through minion waves.
Orb of Deception Q- 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 your hardest hitting ability, because of that True damage on the way back. With that in mind, the Majority of the spells damage is on the way back. With its slow projectile speed, along with a small slowdown and pause at the end, it is difficult to land both hits on an enemy.
If you try to get them with the tip of it, both hits will happen simultaneously, but, it takes longer to get to them. What if they dodge it? You lose out on both hits.
If you try to get them close range, it will fly behind them, and they will dodge the hardest hitting part.
The easiest way to get both hits off, is of course, to Charm them first. However, Charm is a skillshot too.
The projectile, being as slow as it is, can curve and change course based on where you are, after you cast it, if you move to the left for example, it will shoot straight out, then curve to the left on the way back, this can help set up double hits without the assist of a Charm.
For Example: If you were chasing an enemy, he was running straight to base (unrealistic i know, but concept is there), your behind him. If you shoot a Q straight, he will probably dodge it because he is running away from it, he has more time. What you could do is, ult to his side, and shoot a Q at him from the side. The projectile will fly through him, and as your both running you will run past it, and it will follow you back up. At this moment you can ult again in front of him, to curve the shot to hit him again. I know reading this in text is confusing, I'll try to add pictures as soon as i can. Again this isnt like, a move, or something. Your not going to think, "I'm chasing a guy, I'm going to use that move this cookie guy taught me" I am using this as an example of ways to manipulate the orb to your liking.
Fox-Fire W- Ahri releases three fox-fires to surround her. After a short delay they will attack nearby enemies, prioritizing champions, to deal magic damage to them. Additional fox-fires that hit the same target deal 50% damage.
By pure numbers, this ability, if all three hit the same champion, and true damage did not matter, it will actually do more damage than your Q. However this ability is unreliable, can take a long time to fully unload damage, unless you are close, and is affected more by magic resists than your Q. This damage comparison is also done in a 1v1 scenario, if you lined up two opponents with your Q, the damage output is dramatically higher. I will explain why I max this last, even though it does good damage.
Charm E- Ahri blows a kiss that travels in a line in front of her. It will deal magic damage and charm the first enemy it encounters, causing them to walk harmlessly towards her.
Amazing. Ability. It is like Rammus taunt, only more range, and doesnt make them attack you. Plus. It's cute. What more can you ask for?
Now Phreak said in the spotlight, that it was a ranged "nuke", this confused me. Looking at the numbers now, it definitely is not a "nuke" but it does do more damage than you would expect from a CC. For perspective, it would do a little more than one hit of an orb or a fire. The damage and the Charm duration increase with rank.
Spirit Rush R- Ahri dashes towards the cursor and fires essence bolts, dealing magic damage to 3 nearby enemies, prioritizing champions. Spirit Rush can be cast two additional times before going on cooldown. Each enemy can only be hit once per dash.
This ultimate, has so many uses it is hard to find a place to even begin.
You can get over small ledges with it for escape, for all that mattered you could use it in a straight line three times to escape.
You can chase people with it
You can dodge skillshots with it
You can use it to get in get out, Fox Fire, ult in, throw a orb, ult out, ult out
For all that mattered you could even ult in the same place just to do damage ._.
My favorite usage is to line up, and to curve, your Q's
This ability is what makes Ahri an assassin, and makes her so unpredictable.
Alright why E before W?
Every rank of Charm increases the duration of the CC, up until 2 seconds.
If you only used Charm to land your Q's you would really only need 1 or at most 1.5 seconds. But the beauty in Charm is the initiations it gives, and not just the burst damage you have, but the burst damage during a team fight.
You are in mid, 5v5, everyone is poking at eachother, your looking around for an opportunity, and that one carry just steps a little bit, too, close. You need to react right away, ult to close the distance, land a Charm on them, not only so you can hit a Q, but so the rest of your team can jump in and do damage too. 1 Extra second of Charm, means just that much more time, they are walking closer to your team.
This and, the damage really isnt that bad. People say: Max W first for the nuking power. I say, the damage from charm is about 2/3rds of what 3 Fire hits on the same target would do. It happens almost instantaneously, unlike Fox-Fire which, shoots slowly (unless you are close to your target, but you dont wan't to constantly risk your life like that) Fox-Fire is a great spell, I love it, but the Utility from Charm is way too strong. Plus. Its cute.