Ahri Build Guide by Vicksay
[11.8] Vicksy's Master Ahri Guide for Season 11By Vicksay | Updated on April 21, 2021
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Runes: Standard Ahri runes
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
Ability Order Spell leveling order
Threats & Synergies
Annoying to deal with early if she constantly shoves, if you catch her with a Charm post-6 she's more than likely dead if she has Ignite. If she has Barrier you'll need jungle attention to help break that off, and if she has Cleanse you can play around it by forcing her to Cleanse your Charm then immediately applying Ignite. You can take Cleanse or Ignite in this match-up, but with no Ignite you lose immense kill pressure. If she randomly ults you can get easy Charms on her. Once you're fed this match-up is really easy, but I'll put it at even because if you don't snowball well she wins.
Morgana mid-lane on her own is not a threat in the slightest, she will never kill you on her own and her whole kit revolves around just pushing the lane and making every lane match-up neutral, making it impossible to kill her. What you have to really worry about is what her jungler is and later on in the game, her bindings and the target of her Black Shields.
Pretty fun match-up! It's quite even, slightly leaning towards the Syndra if both players are decently matched. Focus on dodging her Q harass early game and get some early boots. Merc Treads are very valuable in this match-up, and depending on what their jungle pick is, so is Cleanse. You have to use your ult well in 1v1s to dodge her Q/W as her ulti is unavoidable.
One of the most even match-ups you'll have on mid lane. Pre-6 she wins this, her early game harass with Q combined with Aery and Scorch is pretty scary. Post-6 with good play from you you'll win the all-in and when you snowball it's hard for Orianna to do much
Bird bitch is just going to make your life hell. Anivia's weakest point is her early game and Ahri can't punish her because hers is not that great either. Without jungle attention, Anivia is just going to perma-push the wave once she is level 6 and free-scale, 1v1 opportunities are slim as it's hard to kill her once, let alone through her egg again. Your jungler has to come mid to force her egg and Flash off CD for you to even attempt to kill her, but the easiest route is to match her wave shove and look for bot lane roams, as she's quite slow and not a good roamer.
You'll see a trend with AD based junglers paired with Ahri (so the mid can't just buy MR and be effective vs. both mid and jungle), Vi's ganks are guaranteed kills for Ahri post-6, and she can even pull off ganks pre-6 with Flash.
Another AD based jungler with CC, the perfect jungler to start fights for you and you can follow her up quite easily. Her level 2 ganks are nasty and her ult is a guaranteed kill even if the enemy has Flash.
Another AD jungler that can level 2 gank. His ult doesn't guarantee kills as much as the other AD junglers because it's not CC, but vs. an immobile champion with no Flash it's sure death.
One of the best supports you can have, Alistar has a combo where it's pretty much point and click, allowing you to follow up for an easy Charm into oneshot, and he's super tanky with his ultimate too so he can possibly get off more combos.
Her low cooldown Q is great for picks, which allow you to follow up with ease, and her Black Shield allows you to be more aggressive with your ultimate.
Hello everyone! My name is Vicksy, I'm a high Diamond/Master tier mid laner. I've been playing since the start of Season 3 on the EUW server, and I've been a full on mid main since Season 4. I have achieved Diamond 1 every single season since Season 4, hitting Master in almost all seasons multiple times, playing a mixture of Ahri, Viktor, Aurelion Sol, and Zoe over the years, reaching 224 LP Master in Season 10. I am a partnered Twitch streamer and a partnered YouTuber, and I like to stream every single day, while posting frequent videos to my YouTube. If you want to ask any questions on my channel or in the comments section below, please do!
My Ahri win-rate on my mid-Master account, Vicksy this season
Ahri is one of my favourite champions, heck, she is the reason I even started playing League, and is definitely the champion I have the most hours on. I have over 1 million mastery points on her, she was my first ever champion I played, and she has been a consistent pick of mine since I started in Season 3. She's an extremely fun champion with a kit that flows together really nicely. She has a lot of unique qualities that very few mid laners have - waveclear, mobility, CC, burst AND sustain, making her always a great solo queue pick. However, if she doesn't get fed, she tends to lack damage, because she's good at everything, and not great at any individual thing. This guide will show you step by step how to maximize your Ahri game play and climb the ranks!
I also have the highest rated Zoe guide on this site, along side the highest rated Aurelion Sol guide too if you guys wanted to learn these champions!
+ Great mobility on her ultimate
+ Great 1v1 potential
+ Decent waveclear
+ Great at roaming
+ Great at creating picks
+ Can fit into many team comps
+ Is a fox
Ahri is the jack of all trades mid lane - she has a unique combination of having sustain, CC, waveclear, damage and mobility, which most mid laners don't have access to. Her ultimate Spirit Rush allows her to be really aggressive in lane, as it's not only a killing tool but a free escape from jungle ganks. Ahri's ability to create picks through the use of Charm and Spirit Rush constantly is almost unmatched, making you amazing at roaming, and with the damage amp Charm offers you can be sure you will kill anyone mid game without Spirit Rush if they lack MR. Because her kit is quite versatile you can easily fit her into team comps without worry.
- Weak early game
- Is pretty feast or famine
- Has a lot of counters
- Relies on hitting skill-shots
- Falls off when people get more items
- No mobility without her ultimate
Ahri without her ultimate is the same as any other mage, super squishy and a sitting duck, it's very important to use Spirit Rush well to have the least downtime as possible. She doesn't have the best early game because of how mana hungry she is, she's forced to mostly only use Orb of Deception until her first base (her Charm is a HUGE mana sink) and it's not that reliable in terms of poking compared to other mages, as you have to hit 2 parts of it rather than just one. Because Ahri is the jack off all trades and master of none, she doesn't have anything she's "great" at, which includes her damage, and it's pretty pitiful if you don't get ahead, and she has no tools to help the team out other than her Charm. She also tends to get outscaled because of this too by other dedicated mages.
These are the best summoner combinations in my opinion. You pretty much always want to take Flash, it's just the best Summoner Spell in the game and Ahri has some unique interactions with it (her Orb of Deception and Charm), and I have chosen Ignite for my second rune here. This is really important for Ahri to take as her damage is not as great as other mid laners, you will need this to finish people off in duels, which in turn grants you more gold and helps you snowball. Ahri is great at roaming too, she loves to gank bot-lane because there's 2 people to kill instead of 1, and there will almost always be one of them running Heal as well, and Ignite cuts this by half.
Take this when the enemy team has very devastating CC that you need to stay safe from, especially from junglers like Elise. Rammus and Sejuani, mid laners such as Twisted Fate and Zoe, supports like Morgana, tanks such as Shen or Maokai, or marksmen such as Varus or Ashe
Keep in mind you do not have to take Cleanse versus only one champion that has CC, but if it's the enemy jungler or mid laner that has it along with it being unavoidable or easy to land, I highly recommend getting used to Cleanse and taking it - if they have a combo like Twisted Fate and Sejuani your life will be hell without Cleanse.
These are in my opinion the best runes by far for Ahri, and they fit my play-style very well. I will cover why they are good individually below.
|For your chosen keystone, we're going with Electrocute. Easy to proc unavoidable burst damage? This is everything Ahri will need. She also sucks at making use out of other damage keystones, Arcane Comet is great on champions that have constant CC to guarantee the comet hits like Vel'Koz or Lux, but Ahri's CC is only tied to her Charm, but you can't throw it out that often because of its huge mana cost. She sucks at collecting Dark Harvest stacks as she generally plays around her Spirit Rush cooldown, and Summon Aery is only a good niche on some mid laners now, mostly a support keystone. She can proc this quite reliably with the Fox-Fire changes, auto W auto in lane makes for an easy proc.|
|On this part of the tree, you have multiple options! Taste of Blood, Sudden Impact and Cheap Shot are all good choices for Ahri, I change these out based on the game. With Cheap Shot, you will always apply damage after Charm, and I would take it if I'm vs a kitey/tanky team where I open with Charm usually. With Sudden Impact, it's great vs. a super squishy team where you open with Spirit Rush for the extra magic penetration to pop squishies fast. Taste of Blood is amazing if you're in a hard match-up early game, as Ahri's early game is not the best out there, and having extra healing every now and then might be the difference between a kill or a really good first base.|
|If you're a confident player, you go Eyeball Collection here. With Ahri, you suck at scaling, so you're going to be wanting to snowball early on so you can end the game earlier. If you're not as confident yet, you can go Ghost Poro. It's the most reliable rune for AP out of the others on the tree, as this rune just requires you to place wards in areas where they won't get swept to spawn the Ghost Poros, and also an extra bonus when the Ghost Poro spots an enemy champion.|
|For some reason I don't see Ultimate Hunter being taken THAT much on lower elo Ahri players, but it's so good I cannot stress it ENOUGH. Ravenous Hunter is really strong because it provides healing to those that do not naturally have it, but you have your passive, so it doesn't matter. Ahri's ENTIRE champion exists around having her ultimate up, and having 25% free CDR on your ultimate is AMAZING. More ultimates = more plays = more kills. TAKE IT.|
|Minion Dematerializer is a great choice for Ahri. It gives you extra damage to minions which allows you to clear a lot better! It allows you to start one-shotting caster minions with Orb of Deception even earlier than level 9, and allows you to get lane priority through nomming a cannon, allowing you to get a really clean base or move to help your jungler as that's the meta for mid laners right now.t|
|Our last rune in the Inspiration tree will be Cosmic Insight. This rune is amazing and honestly sleeper, it gives you great CDR on items and summoner spells - this alone lowers your Flash cooldown to 4 minutes and 15 seconds! If you combine this with Ionian Boots of Lucidity, it reduces Flash to 3 minute 51 seconds! Also most of the time you'll be running Everfrost on Ahri, so it slightly lowers that too!|
Domination: you can substitute Taste of Blood with the others runes on the same row. With Cheap Shot, you will always apply damage after Charm, and I would take it if I'm vs a kitey/tanky team where I open with Charm usually. With Sudden Impact, it's great vs. a super squishy team where you open with Spirit Rush for the extra magic penetration to pop squishies fast. Ghost Poro is a great choice instead of Eyeball Collection if you aren't going to be getting many kills early on.
Inspiration: if you're in a hard match-up, you should go Time Warp Tonic and Biscuit Delivery alongside a Corrupting Potion start to have huge amounts of sustain, and if you're in a hard counter match-up that you're going to be building a Zhonya's Hourglass second vs. like a Zed, you can take Perfect Timing for an early Stopwatch.
Sorcery: this is what I previously ran on Ahri before I found out that Inspiration was better. Taking Nullifying Orb is still really good into burst AP mids + heavy AP teams, Manaflow Band is still okay if you want a bit more mana regen, and Transcendence is the next best thing you can take.
Precision: I know what you're thinking, why on earth would I ever run this rune tree? This is an amazing choice where there is a HUGE amount of CC on the enemy team, so much so that you can't play the game unless you have some form of tenacity. Legend: Tenacity combined with Mercury's Treads gives you 51% tenacity so it makes it a lot harder for the enemies to lock you down, and you can also take Cleanse on top. We go with Presence of Mind because it's the next best rune on the tree, and gives you a decent amount of mana regen!
The bonuses towards your runes are pretty clear cut here. For the first bonus we go 10% attack speed for easy last hitting and auto harass, while it seems like giving up AP is bad you really need to try out Ahri with this rune, she almost feels like a different champion with the attack speed, I can't play her without it now!
You can also opt for 9 adaptive twice for a total of 18 AP and choose between the MR or armour for the final choice, as the HP one isn't very good. If you're in difficult match-ups you can just double dip in the defenses, taking +16 MR or +12 armour, allowing you to get through lane a lot easier, however I prefer single resistances so I can get AP and attack speed.
Essence Theft is Ahri's new (old?) passive. Whenever Ahri hits an enemy with one of her abilities, she gains a charge of Essence Theft, and she can gain up to 3 charges per ability cast. One she reaches 9 charges, her orb changes from blue to green, signalling that the next spell she uses heals her based on level, AP, and enemies hit.
A pretty straight-forward passive that can save you many times. One thing I notice the most about new Ahri players is that they don't juggle her passive well enough. Using Fox-Fire to bring yourself up to 9 charges and then using Orb of Deception across a huge wave will return a respectable amount of health in laning, and later on in the game with lots of AP it can heal you tremendously!
!!IMPORTANT!! Ahri's passive now will proc with ANY SPELL! This used to be the case a long time ago, but for the past few years Ahri has only been able to heal from casting Orb of Deception. BE AWARE of this! You can use Orb of Deception for those chunky heals in large minion waves still, or you can use Fox-Fire for a burst of healing in other scenarios like a 1v1 - remember, Fox-Fire is still counted as a single target spell, even though it hits multiple times, so it's better than Charm for a non-AoE heal. This is great to use while fighting enemy champions and healing from neutral objectives!
Orb of Deception is Ahri's bread and butter ability. Ahri sends out her orb in the target direction, dealing magic damage to all enemies it passes through, and when it returns back to her it deals true damage instead.
This spell is so important for Ahri - it's her wave-clear and main damage source in one spell. Learning the range of this ability is really important because it hits twice, you want to be trying to hit enemies in lane at the very edge of its range so they can't dodge either side of it. You one-shot the castor minions when this spell is maxed at level 9, assuming you're not terribly behind.
You can also combine Flash directly after casting Orb of Deception to hide the animation and get a sneaky kill on someone, exactly like how the Charm Flash trick is performed.
Fox-Fire is Ahri's second damage spell. On activation, Ahri gains a burst a 40% movement speed decaying over 1.5 seconds, and summons 3 spectral flames which orbit her for up to 5 seconds. After 0.4 seconds, the flames will target the closest enemies in range, or if an enemy has been recently hit with Ahri's Charm or basic attack, they will hit them after 0.25 seconds with slightly more range. Missles will deal 200% damage to minions below 20% health, and flames will prioritize low health minions that can be killed by Fox-Fire.
One thing to remember about Fox-Fire is that each flame targets independently of others, meaning each flame has its own range, as shown below.
Rough graph of Fox-Fire's targetting
This means that when Ahri finds herself surrounded, if she hasn't Charmed or auto-attack an enemy, you'll find that your Fox-Fire bolts flying off on different targets, like so:
There are some other important things to note with Fox-Fire. If you lose sight of your target, Fox-Fire will not target them, and the bolts would fly off on other targets if there are any - this makes it super important to have vision around brushes with your Stealth Ward or Control Wards because of this. However, with the new buffs the Fox-Fire targetting will target lower health minions a lot more, also dealing 200% damage to minions below 40% health. Carmed champions are still the flames' first priority.
Another cool mechanic with Fox-Fire that many don't seem to know about is how it doesn't cancel previous orders - meaning you can use Fox-Fire during the casts of your other abilities like Spirit Rush AND you can use it while auto-attacking and it doesn't interrupt them. This makes Ahri's kit flow really nicely and it's the biggest reason why I love taking Lich Bane on her - being able to freely auto attack a tower with no down-time and instant Lich Bane procs is amazingly strong.
Charm - Ahri blows a kiss in the target direction, dealing magic damage to the first enemy hit, forcing them to walk towards Ahri and slowing them by 65%. If Ahri hits an enemy champion, her abilities will do 20% bonus damage to them for 3 seconds.
An important thing to note is only Ahri's abilities will gain increased damage to the Charmed target, so no buffing Ignite or Luden's Tempest damage, and don't forget Charming a target will allow your Fox-Fire to target better!
A well known trick with Charm is you can cast it then spam Flash afterwards, this makes the animation harder to see and because of that people can't generally react to it, allowing it to be hit a lot easier!
Post 9.14, Ahri gains the ability back on her Charm to interrupt dashes, which is AMAZING! It makes some match-ups that were really difficult a lot more bearable, like LeBlanc, and having that outplay potential is great for increasing her overall skill-cap. I truly believe Ahri will be a top-tier solo queue pick with this change.
Spirit Rush is Ahri's ultimate. Ahri dashes towards the cursor, firing energy bolts to up to 3 targets around her, dealing magic damage. Spirit Rush can be recast twice more within 10 seconds with no additional cost, with an innate static 1 second cooldown.
This is a great ultimate to tie Ahri's kit together. You can use her ulti to dodge important abilities, cross terrain, making sure your return Orb of Deception hits, and so much more. One important thing to note when combining Spirit Rush with Flash to cross a large distance, always Flash first and THEN Spirit Rush - if you use Flash immediately after casting Spirit Rush, it will CANCEL the dash and make you waste the abilities, and also Spirit Rush bolts will be more likely to fly off to random targets if you use it first. Just like Fox-Fire, your bolts will fly to other targets if you do not have vision on the target, brushes are Ahri's worst enemy! Use your Stealth Ward effectively!
The most common thing I see Ahri players do is NOT USING ALL OF THEIR ULT CHARGES! Even if you kill someone and still have 2 charges left, use them to get Orb of Deception passive stacks on minions for the heal, to get back to lane faster over walls or just even in a straight line, or just to simply push the wave! This is a habit you should get into to get the most out of your ultimate.
Another common thing I see people doing with Spirit Rush is ulting right on top of the enemies character model, in some scenarios this is good to try and dodge line skill-shots but most of the time people do this without even noticing - Ahri herself doesn't do damage with the dash, she fires bolts to enemies AROUND her, meaning you don't need to get super close, and also people ult so close to the enemy they tend to make the second portion of Orb of Deception miss because of this, always be aware!
After the set of changes Ahri received a while back, there is only one way to max her spells now, and that's Orb of Deception > Fox-Fire > Charm, with a level in your ultimate whenever you can at 6, 11 and 16.
At level 1, you can actually go any of Ahri's abilities first. You should take Charm if your team is preparing for an invade and you have other CC on your team so you can easily land it, Fox-Fire if you're vs. a melee champion and you can use auto > Fox-Fire > auto for a smooth Electrocute proc. In all other situations, you go Orb of Deception.
At level 2, if I've started Fox-Fire or Charm, I go Orb of Deception. If I've started with Orb of Deception, you can choose between the two abilities here. I like to think how my lane/jungle match-up is going to go before I decide on my leveling order. If I feel like there are going to be some early fights, I want to have all 3 of my abilities at level 3. If my enemy laner has 0 waveclear and I want to be consistently shoving them under tower, I'll put another point into Orb of Deception at level 3, so this makes me take Charm at level 2. You always want to have Charm by level 3 the latest, you can ignore Fox-Fire until level 4.
You max out Orb of Deception because it's Ahri's bread and butter tool - her waveclear and her main source of damage, also scaling true damage is amazing.
You max out Fox-Fire second because it's her other damage spell. A lot of people seem to complain about her W being "boring" to play with but I disagree. When maxed it goes from a 10 second CD to a 6 second CD, going down to a 3.6 second CD with 40% CDR, allowing you to use it ALMOST three times during Spirit Rush - the amount of damage that comes from this is not to be sniffed at, AND it's an auto-target spell. It's also the perfect spell to use to weave in Lich Bane autos as well. Now with the added 40% movement speed, you definitely want to be maxing this, lower cooldown = more zoomies!
You max Charm last all the time now. Nothing annoys me more than Ahri players fighting saying Charm max second is still good. The reason Charm max second existed was because before it had a base CC duration of 1 second, so you would max this second to bring it up to 2 seconds but still missing out on lots of damage, but now her Charm has a 1.4 BASE duration, which is absolutely amazing. Putting 4 more levels into an ability to double its duration was fine - to only get 0.6 second extra CC? That's garbage, and it also stays at a static 12 second CD. MAX THIS LAST PLEASE!!
In this section I'll be breaking down Ahri's item builds. DISCLAIMER: These items are new and I've only had limited testing on PBE, so my opinions may not be entirely correct. From looking at all of them and playing them a little, I've created a list of the items that I think Ahri will use the most. As time goes by and more builds emerge I will refine this section, and I hope you guys enjoy the pre-season fiesta!
Doran's Ring is back! It's received some healthy buffs, reverting its mana regen passive to a previous state: giving you 6 mana for minion kills instead which I prefer a lot more, as it punishes people that miss CS! It also grants you health if you're max mana, which is pretty awesome.
Corrupting Potion has been a start that I've been using more and more recently. With the amount of champions that also take this, along with other high sustain starts ( Fleet Footwork, Doran's Shield, Teleport, the Resolve tree, etc) I feel like this is almost necessary depending on what champion you're playing against - it feels really bad just losing out on an early lane just because your sustain doesn't match theirs. I've also found that this is a really good starting item vs. really difficult matchups!
Dark Seal is such an amazing item now, and even more pre-seasGetting an early Dark Seal whenever you have 350 gold is always my preference though, it's an amazing item. It is already gold efficient (123%) without any stacks, the +25% healing from potions has been removed and so has the mana, in favour of HP and also more AP from stacks. At max stacks, you can get a whopping total of 65 AP!! That's 1520 gold worth of stacks on a 350 gold item.. THIS IS INSANE!! It becomes 434% gold efficient, more than ANY other item in the game!
Control Wards win games - I cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure you get these as early as you can and place them, they stay placed indefinitely, and if you're strong enough to protect them you can gain an insane amount of vision the entire game through it. Every time you have 75 gold on a base pick one of these up and place it around mid, in conjunction with your Stealth Ward you can get a serious amount of vision around mid lane - which is especially good on Ahri as she is amazing at picking people off that are out of position by abusing vision.
Here I will list 3 major items on Ahri, and I think the majority of them should be built every single game, not necessarily in the exact order below as you should build accordingly.
Mythic's are a brand new item type newly released - I'll run you guys down with a brief explanation on how they work: you can only buy one of these in a game, and each mythic gives special bonuses to legendary items that you purchase (boots don't count). This makes this first purchase really important, and you should take care and weigh up the options to help you decide which one to pick. All 3 Mythic items are
Everfrost is a Mythic that has been consistently buffed over the last few patches, now having an amazing build path and its active has been buffed to do more damage and is easier to hit, I now think this is one of the top contender Mythic's for Ahri. It allows you to be extremely aggressive and pick people off, and it also helps vs. champions that are extremely aggressive and want to dive on you consistently to land the easy root and also have the extra HP, and it helps those games where you have to deal with the front line first before back line. It has such a low cooldown of 20 seconds so you can use it multiple times in a fight. This item is seriously so overlooked on Ahri, I urge you guys to give it a try!
Liandry's Anguish is an overall great tank busting item if you so happen to get countered by a lot of tanks, as it grants % health damage AND increases your damage by up to 12% based on how much health the enemies have - heck, it's even great vs. bruisers as their items tend to give them 400 HP each. The damage increase caps out at 1200 bonus health, this is really important and requires you to scout the enemies items or understand what champs build correctly before purchasing. The passive damage also tends to out-damage Luden's Tempest a lot of the time if there's at least one non-squishy on the enemy team, and the damage is only going to get higher after this change.. I also really enjoy the CDR from its Mythic passive, allowing you to stack up a lot of CDR to keep Spirit Rush on a low cooldown as possible to create more picks.
Luden's Tempest is the third Mythic item choice on Ahri. This is the best item vs. a full team of squishies as it has flat magic penetration, and it gives even more magic pen through its Mythic passive, and it gives you a chunk of movement speed after hitting an ability, which can allow you to chase quite easily after landing a Spirit Rush bolt. It also got buffed to have the cooldown of its passive loweredI consider this the weakest option on Ahri, but its still usable in the correct situation.
Rabadon's Deathcap has had its cost lowered by 200, back to what it was in Season 10! It's still a really strong item, and you'll be building this every single game. This item definitely should be purchased before Void Staff unless the enemy team has a decent amount of magic resist on multiple members. This item will most likely continue to be a staple pick-up for every mage for years to come.
Void Staff got a slight nerf, but it's still a core item to buy every game if the enemy has, or is going to buy magic resist, however it's not a must have 3rd item if your enemy has small amounts of magic resist. Don't be afraid on skipping out on this altogether if the enemy team literally has ZERO magic resist, but that will be a very rare occurrence. It now has Blighting Jewel as a component, giving you a mini Void Staff while you get enough gold for the real deal. Sweet!
Horizon Focus is a brand new item, and it's a great buy on Ahri. While she's not a long range mage, it procs when you Charm someone, AND it also procs from Spirit Rush - how it works is it determines WHERE you cast the spell and then when it hits, I've tested this out and if you're doing a mid-long range dash with Spirit Rush, this applies Horizon Focus. I urge you to try it out, it gives her a lot of extra damage!
Cosmic Drive is an amazing item on Ahri. It gives you a HUGE bulk of Ability Haste, the most Ability Haste out of any one item, and gives you flat movement speed which you can combine with Luden's Tempest's passive. This is a great item where you're hitting lots of frontline trying your best to kite away, wanting a lot of Ability Haste from them, and I'd definitely partner it up with Liandry's Anguish and Demonic Embrace
Morellonomicon is a sub-par item compared to others on Ahri, but you are forced to buy it in games because of how much healing there is. Personally I prefer buying raw damage over this if I'm quite fed early on, and if I'm not fed and their healing is really good, I'll opt into this instead. However, if you're laning vs. a champion that has really strong healing (such as Vladimir or Sylas) you DEFINITELY want to be picking up an early Oblivion Orb, even more so if there's stronger healing scattered around in other roles, like a Nami support or a red Kayn jungle. You should sit on the Oblivion Orb until last item.
Zhonya's Hourglass is a great defensive item. Even just having a Seeker's Armguard early on vs. a Zed or a full AD team in general is amazing to have. You don't necessarily have to build this vs. only AD threats, it is a great counter to many AP mid laners because dodging damage is a lot better than just soaking slightly less damage - as it can completely negate abilities such as Syndra's Unleashed Power, Veigar's Primordial Burst and even Karthus' Requiem. I don't recommend getting this early on instead of your core items unless it's absolutely necessary (vs. Zed, Vi and others) as it doesn't offer much damage. Buying it late game however is a great idea, as you already dish out a decent amount of damage with a 4+ item build, and you just need something to keep you alive - a Zhonya's Hourglass can never go wrong.
Banshee's Veil is another great defensive item. Pick this up if you're afraid of an AP mid bursting you down constantly or poking you from afar (like Zoe or LeBlanc), not only does this item have magic resistance but it has a spell-shield that blocks a single ability, helping to disrupt champions that need to hit all of their spells too correctly kill someone. It's also REALLY good vs. champions that really rely on hitting their crowd control straight up even if they aren't the enemy mid laner, such as Sejuani, Elise, Blitzcrank, etc.
Lich Bane used to be one of my favourite items on Ahri, I've been an avid user of this on her since Season 5, but after the huge amount of changes it's just worse than last season. It's better on melees because of the removed mana and proc damage increased based on base ad, but I don't think it's worth it second anymore. It's still a great item to round out your build when you want to swap out boots as it gives you 10% movement speed, but there are just better options now.
Sorcerer's Shoes are gonna be the boots you'll be building almost every single game. Ahri needs more oomf to her damage, and when she gets fed, the flat magic pen matters to much, even more so with the damage amp from her Charm. You'll be able to one-shot squishies really easily with this pick up, and even one-shot them without using Spirit Rush if they have no magic resist.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Ionian Boots of Lucidity is a newer boot choice on Ahri. After it received quite a few buffs, it's now a great choice on her! It gives a decent amount of Ability Haste and also reduces summoner spell cooldowns by 15%! You can also combine this with Cosmic Insight to have 33 Summoner Ability Haste, which makes your Flash cooldown less than 4 minutes! Whenever you base and have 600 gold left with tier 1 boots, you should definitely pick these up.
Mercury's Treads are a great option if you need some protection vs. high amounts of CC and AP on the enemy team, such as a Fiddlesticks, LeBlanc, etc. You can't deal damage if you're permanently CC'd or dead, so there will be some games you will have to take these if you want to perform well, especially since Ahri is a mid-range mage and generally can't out-range most champions.
Ahri's laning phase I would say is the weakest part about her - she has extreme mana constraints early game alongside pretty weak early damage, allowing other champions to lane better than her, her mana issues are so bad you are pretty forced to only use Orb of Deception before your first base, Charm is a huge mana sink early and Fox-Fire does so little damage early on. Her only CC can also be blocked by minions as well.
She also has really hard counters that I would never pick her into, such as Yasuo and Malzahar. However you can harass your enemy and maybe even get a kill if you use your mana well. You can also hard push an enemy into tower over and over if they have really weak wave-clear early, like a Veigar or Anivia.
What you want to be mostly looking to do in early laning is hitting max range Orb of Deceptions on the enemy champion to make sure they can't dodge any part of it, weaving in auto-attacks when you can, and vs. melees you can easily auto > Fox-Fire > auto for easy Electrocute procs. You want to be using your Charm VERY scarcely to make sure you don't go out of mana too fast.
Ahri pre-6 is the same kind of champion like a Xerath or a Lux, you're immobile and also really squishy, so jungler ganks can punish you hard and you have to keep this in mind, especially if you're out of mana or you miss Charm - make sure you have adequate vision with good use of your Stealth Ward and try to always have a Control Ward in one of the side bushes to protect you. Even though Ahri has Spirit Rush at level 6, you don't want to be playing like you're invincible to ganks. While your Spirit Rush is your get out of jail free card for ganks, it's also your play making tool, you want to be using this as much as possible to start plays rather than use it to run away.
Because of Ahri's great mobility and push potential, this makes her an excellent roamer. If you can get priority by shoving the minion wave, you should look to find kills on the side lanes instead of getting tower damage if you can, preferably bot lane because 2 people = 2 kills! Because of Spirit Rush you can tower dive easily, and most supports on bot lane have a form of CC, so you can wait until they hit theirs for a free Charm into an easy one-shot.
Once laning phase is over, you'll be entering into mid-game, which in my opinion is Ahri's strongest part of the game. It's the time where you start to ramp up in damage and get a lot of levels in your spells for more damage, and it's where people generally don't have enough defensive items so your damage doesn't get negated. You can upgrade your trinket to an Oracle Lens here to start sweeping bushes as you can easily pick people off.
While her late game is not the strongest, Ahri is such a versatile champion that at this stage you can fill almost any role. You can wait in bushes to pick off unsuspecting squishies, you can group with your team to protect your backline by kiting the enemies frontline with Charm and interrupting some important dashes, and you can even side-lane with Baron Buff and Lich Bane if you're strong enough to 1v1 most of the people on the enemy team.
You should be looking for easy Charm pick offs, whether in team fights or hiding in brushes, while saving your Spirit Rush unless you need it to one-shot someone after hitting the Charm or to kite. If you have other people on your team that are really strong you should hover near them and threaten your Charm on people that are trying to jump your team, so you can protect them and possibly interrupt their dashes too. While you want to be trying your best to get Charm pick-offs without using Spirit Rush, if you see a stray carry do not be afraid to ult on them and use your full combo.
Swapping your trinket to an Oracle Lens here helps with you getting picks, people will be afraid of fog of war late game and sometimes will face-check to try and get that Baron vision, Ahri is really great at punishing this. With the damage amp from your Charm you can generally one-shot anyone late game that has no MR from brush with no retaliation. You can also keep hold of your Stealth Ward if you feel like the vision is better off because your support isn't warding well enough, and also later on you should sell your Doran's Ring late game to buy some Control Wards, which makes you that much deadlier.
If you're fed, Ahri is great at split-pushing. Once you have the Baron Buff you should command your team to go 4 man in one lane and you go to another, however this can be quite tricky in solo-queue because of people not listening. With Lich Bane and an Elixir of Sorcery, you do a serious amount of damage to towers, while not interrupting wave-clear on minions and also being really safe with Spirit Rush - and if you catch anyone with a Charm you will win any 1v1 with ease.
And that's my Ahri guide! I hope you found this guide helpful, and if you did please give it an upvote to make it more visible, and please post any questions you may have and I'll get back to them ASAP! Match-ups will be added slowly in detail.
If you'd like to see my Ahri gameplay, you can follow my Twitch channel - I play her very frequently, and if I'm not just ask in chat and I can play a game of her for you! I stream every single day, starting from 7-8 PM UK time!