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Ahri Build Guide by Ravenholm

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Ravenholm

Ahri - A Complete Guide

Ravenholm Last updated on February 12, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hello I've been playing Ahri since she's come out and I find her to be an incredibly flexible and dynamic champion to play as. There have been many teamfights and team comps that would be nearly unbeatable if it wasn't for Ahri's great utility, survivability and damage. She is my favorite and best champion by far so without further wait my Ahri guide.

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Pros / Cons


  • 2 skill shots - fun, skill and great at hitting targets you can't see!
  • High burst
  • Amazing mobility
  • Low cooldowns
  • Range CC/taunt
  • Farms and pushes with ease
  • Built in spell vamp
  • Can carry bad teams

  • 2 skill shots - a blessing and curse all wrapped up in one
  • easy to run out of mana if you aren't careful / know how to play her well
  • burst, mobility and damage wrapped up into one ability
  • focused a lot late game

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Runes / Masteries

For runes and masteries I use a typical AP caster style runes and 21/0/9 masteries.

x3 for good AP

x9 love that magic penetration! These help a lot with First Blood

Greater Seal of Replenishmentx9 early game mana management is Critical. Those extra bits of mana equal out to a lot of extra Orb of Deception pokes

x9 ability power? yes please. Grab these for that extra bit of ability power

I don't see much need to explain EVERY mastery choice as I'm sure you already know why they are being chosen. I will however explain why I did not get certain ones.

- 5 Ability power? That's not very much... especially seeing as you're probably not going to try for a kill every time Ignite is up.

- As Ahri you aren't going to die very much. She can get away so easily that this should not become a factor for you. However, you MIGHT want to try it if you're new to Ahri as it can give you more up-time to practice.

- Ahri is a very slow champion... very slow. So what does this have to do with mana regeneration? Look to the left of it in the mastery tree!

- And by Hardiness I mean the entire defense tree. Ahri does not need a lot of defense since she can get away so easily. She does however, need a lot of burst and damage.

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Summoner Spells

Ahri is a typical AP nuke assassin and goes for the tried and true Ignite/ Flash combo.

- Great for that little extra bit of damage, for heavy healers, and great to troll you up some Tryndamere! I take this spell every time as Ahri it's just too good to pass up!

- Probably the most overused summoner spell in the League... and with good reason! You might say, "but you already have 3 flashes!" WRONG! Spirit Rush doesn't reach as far, it has a slight wait time between each use and you don't have it to protect from early game ganks.

- This is a good spell for those that are new to Ahri. She is quite vulnerable to CC since she is all about getting away and not about staying there to fight. However, with good practice you can overcome these problems. If CC is a problem with the enemy team grab a Quicksilver Sash and Mercury's Treads to counter it.

- This isn't that great on Ahri seeing as you can chase very well and hopefully your tank will be going in first. It can save your fox hide if all of their carries are focusing you. Vayne isn't so big and bad when 70% of her damage is gone!

- I've already said that Ahri is slow... and she is. I think Flash is better but if you like Ghost more then take it to match your playstyle, but believe me when I say that extra Flash is worth it!

- This should only be used while trying to practice Ahri to keep her in the lane more. Late game it is worthless! By that time your mana pool is going to be so big you're just never going to run out.

- This is also good for a practicing Ahri. You can Recall a lot more to help you with buying items and staying alive long enough to practice. This also has some merit when combined with a Sight Ward or two in your enemy's jungle.

- This is another good spell for practice. It is a pretty strong heal now and can not only save your hide in a teamfight but you alli's as well. Grab it for practice but nothing more. You are going to be running away more than fighting.

- You do not want to push your lane. If you did you would use Orb of Deception. You do tons of damage and a cannon minion isn't required. Leave this one for Heimerdinger.

- This is actually a pretty good summoner spell and most people don't give it credit but it is not very good on Ahri. She is a hit and run assassin, not a through damage champion like Kog'Maw. Leave this one for him.

- You don't jungle. Moving on.

- Not good for Summoner's Rift and you can outrange the turrets in Dominion.

- Buy some wards, leave this to your support. You can get away from virtually any gank, even that punk Rammus.

- Pretty worthless for someone that's used primarily to assassinate low health targets. Oh, and you're not going to die much. 4 deaths in one game for Ahri is pretty bad.

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Skill Breakdown

Let's cover the skills themselves before we get into an order so you have a better understanding of what I mean.

- So let's break this down. On the way out it does regular magic damage but on the way back it deals true damage! Ok so this means we would rather hit them on the way back than on the way out. No problem. However it would be best to hit them both on the way out and the way back. The easiest way to do this is to throw the orb so that it hits them at the end of it's travel path. At that point it "explodes" and deals both the true damage and the regular damage at the same time. It has a reasonably slow travel time so you need to line of your shots to get the most out of it.

- A lot of people don't give Fox-Fire a real chance to shine. It does a considerable amount of damage but the only problem is it locks onto the closest target it can find meaning minions if they are there. The range on it is pretty big so if you can melee them you can hit them with Fox-Fire as well. This is particularly useful when chasing someone down. Don't stop to right click them, just press W and watch that much more of their health get taken out. It is highly unreliable around minions so don't get mad when it misses your target in the lanes but in the jungle it will shine that much more. It is also more mana efficient than Orb of Deception at racking up Essence Theft charges. If you're in need of health use this to get the charges and the Orb of Deception to spend them when a fresh minion wave comes.

- Interesting... it does a little bit of damage... Should we be factoring this with damage in mind? No not really, but when at the end of a teamfight let loose with this baby for that little bit more of damage just because. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've actually KILLED someone with Charm. Also, let's look at it in terms of skillshotting. It hits the first target it finds so it will hit minions and neutral monsters as well. Clear a path and then slam them. If you hit someone with it and they are behind a wall they will not walk INTO you but they will start on the shortest path to you. Something to consider. Charm Also outranges turrets and Orb of Deception. What does this mean for you? When looking at the cursor for a shot it will hit targets up to slightly after the end of an arrow. Sometimes you will want to move forward a step or 2 to land a good Orb of Deception and further still to land Fox-Fire.

- Good lord is this one awesome ult. It is damage, chasing, juking and just plain gap maker/closer. The projectiles will lock on to enemy champions, as in it fires at 3 champions, not at the 3 closest targets like Fox-Fire. Keep this in mind. That means if two people are low and you dive them with Spirit Rush they are both going to take the same full amount of damage. It does not get split. It will also lock onto minions if there are not champions nearby. Pft ok so what? That doesn't really matter. Wrong! Use it to escape near Baron Nashor at low health and it can get messy. Just a heads up.

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Skill Sequence

The order in which Ahri up-grade's her skills can change with playstyle and team composition and can mean the difference between winning and losing!

Levels 1 - 6
  • Level 1 - The best way to start off is by getting Orb of Deception. This is your most powerful spell and can be used offensively to poke and farm.
  • Level 2 - The next best ability to get is Charm. The real reason we get this next is to protect ourselves from ganks and Fox-Fire isn't really going to be used yet.
  • Level 3 - Next we'll get Fox-Fire. The reason I buy this next is because I like to charm and QWE combo my opponent as soon as I get the chance. There will be minions in the lane and that is why you need to get as close as possible so that the missiles lock on to you opponent. They never see it coming. This little extra bit of burst will come in a little later.
  • Level 4 - At level 4 we're going to go ahead and start maxing Orb of Deception since it is going to be our primary spell we'll be using from here on out.
  • Level 5 - Still maxing Orb of Deception!
  • Level 6 - This is where Ahri becomes a real pain to lane against. After she has Spirit Rush you can dive their turrets all day long. If you bursted the enemy down a good bit wait for them to come out to last hit minions. When they do hit them with an Orb of Deception. You should have hit them enough times that they will be at 20% health. Go ahead and dive on in! If they are at 30% or below its a guaranteed kill! Make sure you activate Fox-Fire when you're right next to them for maximum damage. To escape either Spirit Rush back out or over the walls. Recall immediately! If their jungler comes up to gank you, (and the chances are slim,) you shouldn't have to waste your flash to escape.

    Levels 7 - 18

    No need to break it down step by step here. For the most part you're going to want to look at how the game is playing out at this point. Of course you're always going to take Spirit Rush at levels 6 / 11 /16 but for the other abilities you're going to want to take based on the situation, so ask yourself...

    Do you completely dominate the lane? As in you have him pushed (or not pushed) to where ever you want and you have a jungler for ganks?

    Are you getting hit a lot but you aren't taking TOO much damage and a little more spell vamp can solve the problem? (ie Karthus is landing a few Lay Wastes on you.

    Are you currently fed? As in even the sight of the Ahri icon on the minimap force your lane (and the next closet lane for that matter) to recall?

    Are you completely lane dominated? As in you have been shut down and are forced to play defensive, (ie the enemy is crazy good at landing damage on you are you are highly prone to being turret dived and ganked.)

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Rod of Ages and Why You Should Wait to Buy It

Rod of Ages - one of the most overused AP items in the game and with good reason. It provides the greatest amount of bang for your buck at lower levels. It gives scaling AP, health, mana, and most importantly awesome lane sustain.

Ok then you ask me, "Ravenholm why do I not buy it?"

Easy! It gives stats that Ahri does not need early game. She already has good lane sustain with Essence Theft, she does not need a lot of health early game since she is mid and over leveled with one of the BEST escapes in the game.

Ok then, "What do I replace it with?"

Also Easy! A Deathfire Grasp! This baby is going to give you everything you need when you are the up and coming gank of the century. The uses are endless. First and foremost it gives an awesome 60 AP, 10 mana regen AND 15% CDR! This means more Orb of Deceptions and more Essence Theft which means more lane sustaint WHEN YOU ARE THERE! By the time you have your Deathfire Grasp you should have already completely stomped your opponent in mid lane and be ganking top, bottom and jungle at your leisure.

Yeah BUT " Rod of Ages gives just as much AP as Deathfire Grasp AND it gives me tankyness so it's better since I can take more damage."

Ok, fair enough, I'll give you this one. Ahri CAN take more damage with Rod of Ages BUT you don't take any damage anyway! Dishing out the pain is going to be much much much MUCH more beneficial.

Bottom Line

1. Rod of Ages only provides ONE attack stat.
2. Deathfire Grasp provides an amazing active.
3. Deathfire Grasp is 700 gold cheaper.
4. Deathfire Grasp's recipe items are very cheap and give tons of AP.
5. Frostfang gives a good bit of bonus gold for buying this eatly, not to mention it provides substantial AP.

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Items make the Ahri! That and how well you can land all of your skillshots... but anyway there is a lot of play with Ahri's items. I've even built her to be tanky! (Doesn't work too well fyi.)

Your First Item!

or x2 - Doran's Ring is your best friend. It's going to get you early game survivability, more AP and more mana. It's a perfect item for Ahri! Keep in mind that the more mana you have the more health you have because more Orb of Deceptions means more Soul Eater charges which means more health! The only time I buy Boots first is when I lane against Karthus, Lux or Cassiopeia. They all have hard hitting AoE abilities that can wreck your day!

Where to next?

or The next thing I buy is Boots of Speed if I don't already have them and then a Frostfang and Amplifying Tome. This gives me TONS OF FREAKING AP and some bonus gold and allows me to stomp people.

- is a great item for Ahri. The magic penetration makes a big difference in your damage and you absolutely want to have that extra speed. Why not Boots of Swiftness then you might ask? The stat loss does not outweigh the extra speed.

- this is truly an amazing item and I can't begin to tell you how many times this has won teamfights in ranked matches with me playing Ahri. Not only does it give a ton of freaking AP, mana regen and CDR but it also has that Deathfire Grasp + Ignite chase combo AND it can burn a tank's health real easy early game. An amazing item on Ahri if I do say so myself.

- an awesome item for any AP caster especially near the beginning of the game. This gives you lane sustain, tankyness, and upgrades over time. A perfect item for Ahri. You're going to want to buy this around 20 minutes but I've been in games where I've netted this AND Soccer's Boots at 15 minutes by feeding on bad players.

- the hands down best AP caster item in the game. 140 ability power AND on top of that you get 30% more ability power! A complete must have!

Where you want to go next is your choice! It's all going to depend on the situation.

Late Game

Now we have to ask ourselves a few questions again...
Some Variation
Below are some items that a lot of people like but I personally do not.

- This gives some added tankyness to Ahri and a slow. The main problem with this slow DOES NOT proc off of Orb of Deception and Spirit Rush, of which are your 2 primary sources of damage. Fox-Fire is a very unreliable spell and can easily hit minions / the target you are not chasing.

A lot of other people also like the passive on this item. The main problem I see with it is this, they're in your melee range you're probably too close to them. This is a late game item and late game is where Ahri is weakest. If you do like this item you need to remind yourself that you need to STOP and BASIC ATTACK in between all of your abilities (yes this means in between Spirit Rush.)

- Now this one I do like but it should be the only pure defense item you're getting. The real use to this item is in its awesome passive! A free Revive every 5 minutes?! Yes please! This is good after you get focused down in a teamfight.

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Basic Tactics

Poking - the Orb of Deception is GREAT at poking mid lane and whatnot. Line up your shots well and they are going to be hurting BAD. Enemies see 2 options, stay behind minions so you cant Charm them or stand in the open so you can't farm. If they were smart they would stand out in the open and outrange you. Most people aren't that smart and will stand behind minions. If they do this make sure you poke AND farm last hits. I find that Ahri is big on opportunity. Playing too aggresivly usually leads to dead foxes and playing too reserved leads to poor foxes. Strike a balance between offense and defense for best results.

Bush Checking - Ahri is an AMAZING bush checker. If she checks your bush not only are you going to get a number of people in there (up to 2 but hey) but you will also severely punish them for standing there. The Orb of Deception outranges most other attacks in the game. You can alternatively check with Charm and see who's hiding in there and make room for your tank to smash on in there and catch them by surprise.

Leading your target - Ahri is GREAT at hitting stationary targets... and so is everyone else. But where the real skill of a skillshot is being able to lead your target and get a good hit on them. Charm and Orb of Deception both have decent travel times; use this to your advantage. A lot of people won't except some of your shots when you line it up right. One my my favorite things to do (especially when I play Blitzcrank) is to purposely miss a lot of my skillshots in the beginning to make them feel safe and think that I am a bad player. By the time they are playing aggressive enough they are cocky and will fall straight into your trap. A well lined up QWE will burst about half of someone's health if they are equal to you. Devious little fox aren't we?

Turret Diving - Ahri can effectively dive a turret at lvl 6 do to Spirit Rush of course. With Spirit Rush you can jump in and grab the kill and then quickly escape to enemy jungle or back out the front depending on how much health you have and/or if the turret has locked on to you or not. Keep in mind if you are low health and straight DIVE another low health enemy if he doesn't hit you, he gets no kill. Keep this in mind if a jungle comes up to gank you from behind. Just slam into the next turret and take the execute. Hey, turrets need gold too.

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Advanced Tactics

Mid Fight Charm - Charm works great as a taunt but it works even better as a CC. When you are mid fight you want to try your hardest to get that Charm off to either shut down their carry or shut down their support. Sometimes you'll have to choose between Master Yi and Vayne or whatnot. Just use your best judgement. There is no right answer at this point and can depend on your team setup, how fed they are and how fed the enemy team is.

Counter Ganking - Ahri is great at counter ganking especially when she's fed. If you see some people running thru your Sight Wards you can bet they're going to go gank top or bottom. Find a collision path and melt their carry. If you can't kill him I guarantee you will at least save their targets and maybe even push a turret. Remember, Ahri doesn't need to ward the mid to protect against ganks once she's level 6. Instead just slap some Sight Wards down in their jungle and profit from that much more knowledge. Keep this in mind if someone else is going to take your lane for a little/extended bit of time. They might need the extra cover.

Sniping - What do I mean by sniping? Ahri's abilities do have a very large range and if you sit yourself in a bush behind a turret or around a corner that's getting pushed you might just get the chance to throw an Orb of Deception and grab up a kill. You're going to have to be very sneaky about it and it doesn't work that often, but when you do get that chance... it's pretty funny really. This also works well when there aren't many turrets left and you Charm their carry. A lot of the times the other team gets angry and 2 or 3 will try to find you. So if you got 3 following you what's the 4 on your team going to do to those 2 guys that didn't notice their team ran off? Steamroll! (only works on cocky / bad teams. Test the waters and find out)

Initiating - "I'm not a tank! Why would I start?!" Because you have RANGE on them. Not only can you punish them for venturing too far out, you also line up the PERFECT shot for your tank or utility to do whatever they need to do with a well placed Charm. If you do want to try and start a fight you're going to want to be near the front with your tank still in front of you so he can save your hide if you do mess up. Just remember, you are still NOT a tank so you will have to immediately back off as the enemy will expect a full QWE combo by you.

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Phases of the Game

Laning Phase - let's start out in our mid lane phase. I'd hope your team gives you mid since once you hit level 6 you are effectively "broken." Anyway, you're going to want to just last hit every minion you can. Don't use your Orb of Deception to farm the lane unless you are getting pushed up into your turret. Yes that opens him to an easier gank BUT he's probably got Sight Wards and you lose valuable farm. Poke at you lane opposition with Orb of Deception and try to slam him with it when he goes in for his own last hits. After watching a few times to see his movement pattern you will be able to easily predict his methods and punish him for trying to get money!

Level 6 - hmm, once you're level 6 you've honestly entered your ganking phase. If you can't get a gank mid or if mid has recalled just go to another lane and smash them. They usually don't see it coming and with a well placed Charm as well you have 3 people beating on one poor helpless guy. Make sure to save your Spirit Rush if you can but make sure you get the kill!

Mid Game - once you're around level 10 - 14 you're going to be rolling around in gank squads. Place some Sight Wards around mid so that you can see the guys trying to help mid as they push. Slam 'em with a Charm and have your team melt the guy.

Late Game - late game you're going to be a lot less useful than your early game. Sit in the back and try to just chase after kills and poke with Orb of Deception while waiting for that guy to take that ONE step too far and Charm him to initiate. It can get pretty ugly. If your team is carry heavy try to CC their support while your carries do all the work and if your team is support heavy to try get as many pokes as possible with the Orb of Deception to prep for a team fight.

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Warding Spots

Warding is a very big part of your life as an assassin. If you know where they are you know where to go and kill them right? So let's take a look at my warding spots.

  • Red - Baron and Dragon are critical ward
  • points for not only ganking when the other team is going for a kill but to also see what is going on in the rivers.
  • Yellow - Ward in these bushes to go for ganks on the middle. It also lets you see where people are going to gank top and bottom lanes.
  • Blue - Ward here and you will know where their jungler is so you can quickly dispatch him in the early game. Ahri WILL destroy a tank early game because you will probably be 1 - 2 levels higher than him.
  • Green - Have your lanes ward here to protect themselves against ganks.

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Foot Notes / Change Log

Thanks for taking the time to read through my Ahri guide. I will be updating it regularly based on feedback and patches and even me learning some more as I keep on playing!

Leave a comment below if you have something to add or if you have a question and I will see what I can do to answer it / add it into the guide. If a question / comment does make it into the guide I will be sure to put in credit where credit is due!

1/22/12 - Guide published
1/23/12 - fixed error in items section, thanks Needlous
1/27/12 - fixed minor errors
1/30/12 - after trying some more suggestion from other guides (ahri and other AP) i've updated a better item order!