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Ahri Build Guide by NewMeta

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League of Legends Build Guide Author NewMeta

Ahri - An In Depth Guide on the 9 Tailed Fox

NewMeta Last updated on September 5, 2013
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Team 1

LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #9 in
Middle Lane
Win 51%
Get More Stats

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


Utility: 9

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My Cork Board

Hi. This is just a section where I'll be posting credit to those who deserve it and other things that 2nd time readers may want to look at. If you're a 1st time reader, I guess you could read this but you may just want to skip to the Introduction down below. So yeah!

Those listed below are people who have helped me improve my guide and who have given me great advice:

  • Mooninites - For suggesting Spirit Visage for my Spellvamp Ahri section. Also for reminding me that Deathfire Grasp is important to any and all Ahris out there. (Support from 3Radication)
  • Vynertje - For reminding me of the times that we are in where Ahris do not use Hextech Revolver (R.I.P. Hextech...). Rune suggestion as well. (Support from GrandmasterD)
  • Sirell - Bringing up some Masteries changes and correcting my skill sequence. (Support from emoriam)
  • Emoriam - For some seal recommendations.

Things I Need To Do:
  • Fix masteries banner in the masteries section. I've tried to change it to what it says in my cheat sheet but it won't change. Anyone know how to do this?
  • Do matchups section

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Well hello there. I'm NewMeta, a new member to the MOBA community. This is my first guide on MOBAfire so I'm open to any and all suggestions and criticisms given. I am currently in Bronze so I'm not a pro or anything however I have spent a lot of time playing League of Legends and have a very nice idea of how to play the game with all sorts of champions.

This guide is about Ahri, the nine-tailed fox. Ahri was the first 6300 IP champ that I bought and she has continued to be one of my favorite mid-laners in the entire game. Her current status in the professional scene is pretty good due to her high mobility and decent kit. Her kit provides tons of sustain and crowd control which makes her an excellent laner and team fighter. I have played around 150 games with Ahri and continue to play her daily. Though I am only in bronze at the moment, I believe I have a strong understanding of Ahri's skillset and what she is capable of. Although I respect why some may judge me based on my current ranked status, I still encourage you to ready through my guide and send me any and all critiques you may have because that is how I will become a better player, by learning from those more skilled than I.

But enough about me, let's talk about Ahri. Ahri's main role is AP carry in the mid lane. She is a ranged assassin who excels at continuously hitting her enemies with her skillshot abilities. Because her abilities are mostly based off of skillshots, she takes a lot of time to master and use her to her fullest potential. Ahri is all about burst so keep that in mind when reading my guide.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read the guide; I would appreciate any and all comments and criticisms. And by reading this guide, I hope you learn to enjoy the immense power of the nine-tailed fox.



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Ahri's Solid Strengths And Her Wavering Weaknesses

+ Great mobility
+ Good repositioning ult
+ Great laning phase
+ Good ganks
+ Good CC (taunt)
+ Your orb deal true damageSPACESPACE
SPACESPACE- Focused a lot
SPACESPACE- Mana-hungry in early game
SPACESPACE- Susceptible to CC
SPACESPACE- No real escape without ult
SPACESPACE- Your CC can be blocked
SPACESPACE- Prone to silence

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Ahri's Mixed-Up Masteries

Alrighty, masteries. I run a regular 21/0/9 taking the normal AP masteries in the offensive tree and Meditation , Mastermind , one point in Expanded Mind , and Runic Affinity . As I say in my notes next to the masteries in the cheat sheet, masteries are REALLY all up to personal preference. Those 21 points in the offensive tree could just as easily be spent in the defensive tree or utility tree. It does come down to your personal preference and how you want to play with Ahri. Something else you may want to consider is that I do not take points in Wanderer . This hinders my mobility as Ahri which is something that Ahri should usually excel at. So, you could take points in Wanderer . These points could be taken from the points I put in Mastermind which are helpful for those long summoner spell cooldowns.

In Summary: Run 21/0/9 taking those AP points and any 9 points in utility. However, all masteries are up to you so take what you feel would be beneficial to your play style.

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Ahri's Remedial Runes


Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Seal of Armor
  • Greater Quintessence of Ability Power This is usually a standard AP mid rune that is taken. You could easily replace this with a mana regen quint or scaling AP quint but I suggest going for the flat AP.
  • Greater Mark of Magic Penetration Another standard AP rune. Having the flat penetration will help you lane against those sort of people who like to get MR runes in the mid lane so they don't take as much damage from you. This rune will also help mid-late game when your opponents realize that you're doing damage against them and begin to get some MR. Again, this could be replaced by something else, depending on your personal preference.
  • Greater Seal of Armor After looking at some suggestions I've found that armor seals are very effective and one of the best seals you can get as Ahri. This will provide a nice amount of armor to protect you from banks and/or an AD midlane opponent. You'll also have some armor against the other team's carry. You can easily replace this with some magic resist seals if u feel that you're having more trouble against other laners or you're up against a heavy AP team.
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power This is where the scaling AP runes help. So, you've got your flat AP quints which will help your early game, now you have scaling AP glyphs which will continue to help you as the game goes on. With this combination of scaling AP and flat AP runes, you'll be able to maintain a nice AP climb throughout the entire game.

    Please Note: As stated above, runes are BASED ON PERSONAL PREFERENCE. So, if you need more mana early game, you may want to replace the magic pen marks with mana regen marks. It is really all up to you. Will start making an "Other Viable Options" section in this chapter once the entire guide is finished.

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Ahri's Sly Summoner Spells

Flash: Flash is basically your get-out-f-jail free card. When using this just flash away. Use this to get over walls when runnning away from enemies to further confuse them or when getting ganked and can't get back to tower without it. Can not really be replaced by anything except Ghost

Ignite: This goes well with your burst at lvl 6. If you Charm then q, then w, then ignite, you'll do some decent damage. Also, you could add in your Spirit Rush somewhere in there to rush at your enemy, ignite them, and rush away. So not a bad summoner to take, however there are others that you could replace it with.

Teleport: This spell allows you to teleport to any friendly minion,tower, or ward anywhere on the Rift. This allows you to have a global presence while still taking care of your lane. Replace Ignite if you use this, not worth replacing Flash for it due to the time it takes to cast.

Other Options:
  • Ghost: Provides you with extra movement speed so if you need to get down to that lane for a gank NOW, this would help. Replace Flash or Ignite with this.
  • Barrier: Could help when you're diving into a turret for a kill or when dueling an enemy. Replace Ignite with this.
  • Exhaust: Really not that viable due to Ahri's ult being able to close any sort of gap between you and your enemy. If you do choose this spell, replace Ignite with this.
  • Clarity: Take this if you're starting out with Ahri and having problems with her early mana management. This will hinder your damage output due to you replacing Ignite with this (NOT flash).
  • Promote: Unless you're trolling, no.
  • Smite: I've never seen a jungle Ahri and probably never will so this is not useful at all on her.
  • Revive: Not worth it.
  • Heal: Usually not worth getting in the mid lane. Sort of like Clarity except you REALLY shouldn't have trouble managing your health unless you're constantly harassed. So do not get this unless you're expecting so much harass that you won't be able to keep your health bar high.
  • Clairvoyance: Usually only for supports and even then it has to be used properly to be effective.

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Ahri's Astounding Abilities

Essence Theft is a great passive, one that makes Ahri such a powerful laner. Every time you use your abilities and they hit an enemy, you get a stack of this. After nine stacks, your next ability gains spell vamp, granting you health based on the damage you do. This works best with your Orb of Deception because it hits a ton of enemies in one cast (it goes through minions AND then back to you). Do note that your orb can only get you 3 stacks per cast. For the ability's in-game explanation, hit that spoiler below.
Spoiler: Click to view

Orb of Deception is your bread and butter ability. Your orb does damage + a third of your AP on the way to its destination AND damage + a third of your AP in true damage on the way back to you. This ability is essential to you doing decent amounts of damage to your enemies and to stacking your passive. Familiarize yourself with the range of this and then I suggest putting it on smartcast so you can cast it quicker. For the ability's in-game explanation, hit that spoiler below.
Spoiler: Click to view

Fox-Fire is a multi-target burst ability. Basically, three little fires appear around you and they hit surrounding enemies, taking enemy champions as priority over enemy minions. This is used well after ulting into an enemy, using your Fox-Fire, then Charm, then Orb of Deception, and then ulting again either more in or back out does extreme damage to your enemy. For the ability's in-game explanation, hit that spoiler below.
Spoiler: Click to view

Charm is your one and only CC. It is probably one of the best CCs in the game due to it forcing your enemy to come near you. This is really what makes Ahri's burst so successful, land this and you should be able to take out at least a third of your opponent's health even without your ultimate.For the ability's in-game explanation, hit that spoiler below.
Spoiler: Click to view

Spirit Rush is your ultimate. It is a dash that provides Ahri's famous mobility and rapid repositioning in teamfights. You can use this 3 times simultaneously, each dash sends out 3 mini fires at either enemy champions or enemy minions, prioritizing champions over minions. Use this as part or your burst when you feel that you have enough damage to kill your enemy. Look through the "Ahri's Crucial Combos" section for more information.For the ability's in-game explanation, hit that spoiler below.
Spoiler: Click to view

Your skill priority:

Spirit Rush > Orb of Deception > Charm > Fox-Fire

This is to say that you should take your spirit rush (your ultimate) whenever you can (lvl 6,11,16) and then lvl your orb of deception, then charm, then fox-fire. This skill order is when your doing well at landing your charms, leveling it up will increase the range and duration of the taunt which can be vary helpful in teamfights. However, always max out that orb first. I prefer going with this just because it can usually benefit the team more in teamfights.


Spirit Rush > Orb of Deception > Fox-Fire > Charm

For this order, you're still taking your spirit rush whenever possible (6,11,16); however, instead of going for charm before fox-fire, it's the other way around. This is when you want to have more burst damage, however it will limit your CC options until you start leveling that charm. Although I prefer the first skill order, this one is pretty good too when you're fed and want to snowball a bit more.

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Ahri's Incandescent Items

Your starters


I go with dorans ring in 70% of my games. It provides nice health and mana regen plus a little AP. The encourages me to keep up my farm with Ahri. She is a great farmer and with this item's passive, you should be able to manage your mana effectively for a while during the early game. Additionally, since the cost of the ring has been lowered to 300 gold, you can buy your choice of 2 health or mana pots or a combination of both.

Another option is going for boots and any combination of 3 potions. This will provide you with some mobility and a little bit of sustain in both mana and health. I refrain from going with this start just because of the lack of power in the beginning of the game where I really need that first kill in my lane. This is a viable option though. Take when you are playing medium difficulty opponents (matchups section coming soon!!!).

The last alternative start is for those hard-hitting champions that have the ability to zone you out in lane. Starting with the two faerie charms will allow you to spam your Orb of Deception and keep up your mana regen. Your starting pots are up to you and if you want to, you can also get a ward. Turn those faerie charms into a Chalice of Harmony which will give you enough mr and mana regen to lane.

In Summary: Go for the Doran's Ring start if you're confident against your opponent, the boots if you're looking for those early ganks, and go with the Faerie Charm start if you're going up against a tough opponent and/or you're looking for early game mana regen and magic resist.

Early Game Goals

These are standard boots for any AP caster. They give you nice speed and magic pen that will help with those enemies who are recognizing you as a threat and building early magic resist. You could switch these out with Boots of Mobility if you wish or even boots of lucidity.
This is sort of situational depending on how you're doing in lane. If you got the first kill in lane then you should be able to save up for this. It grants an insane amount of AP that will help you probably secure your second kill. You will late be able to build this into your Rabadon's Deathcap.
If you are not able to afford a needlessly large rod within an acceptable period of time, go ahead and get this. This is a pretty nice item that you can get when you're up against a hard-hitting opponent and it will give you some okay mana regen as well.
This is the alternative to Needlessly Large Rod, if you did not get first kill in your lane or neither of you has died yet and you've just been trying to farm and harass, you'll probably only be able to afford this. If you can get Needlessly Large Rod, then get that but if you're losing your lane and looking for that damage that may get you that next kill, go for Blasting Wand.

Mid Game - Your Tools For Success

This is pretty self-explanatory. One of the best sources of AP for any laner. With this, you're orb will really start to hurt the other team. This is a must because Ahri will being to fall off very quickly if you do not give her all the AP she needs. I recommend getting this before rylai's (if you are choosing to get rylai's) as long as you have the money to get it. If you are not having the best of laning phases, it's okay if you get rylai's or another item before this; however, keep in mind that you will not be dealing as much damage as you may want to.
People choose to go with this item because of the amazing slow that it grants an assassin like Ahri. Ahri only has her Charm to rely on for slow without this item. I recommend getting this if you are newer to Ahri. Once you play enough games with her you'll be able to start relying more on hitting your Charm for cc than relying on rylai's. In any case, this is a safe item that you can secure that gives decent AP, great cc, and a decent amount of health.
120 AP will always help. Additionally, activating the active will slow anyone you are chasing. The 15% CDR may come in handy as well so you can start throwing orb after orb at your enemies. Basically, an item like this on Ahri will increase your chase potential and give you some more burst.
I love this item, I really do. It grants you nice damage against tankier enemies and gives you that extra damage against everyone. I normally choose this over Rylai's Crystal Scepter because I benefit more from this item's burn than rylai's slow. This is really up to you I suppose. Getting this AND rylai's may also be an option but doing so will hinder you damage output.

Final Touches
This item's passive is very beneficial because you will often be caught in the middle of a teamfight after hitting your Fox-Fire and then Spirit Rushing in. This will reduce any MR the other team has attempted at getting because they are realizing that you are a big threat. Abyssal Mask will also grant you some AP and MR which will both come in handy when dueling the other team's AP carry. I suggest getting this item when the other team starts getting some serious magic resist.
Again, the 120 AP is always appreciated but this item's passive it what really makes it popular. If you ever find yourself in a situation where the other team is focusing you or you are in the middle of a teamfight and you just are getting hit by everything, pop this item's passive and you'll be able to draw the attention away from you. This gives you time to plan your next move and maybe reposition yourself in the teamfight.

Serious Situationals
Replace Abyssal Mask with this if the enemy team is just building MR because of your threat to them. This item will really cut their MR like a hot knife cuts butter. Very situational though; you can choose this or Abyssal Mask because they both grant the same amount of AP however, the additional magic resist that Abyssal Mask has gives me more incentive to get that over this. Up to you though.
If you were/are falling behind in the early game, I suggest getting this to help out a bit. In an ideal game, you don't really want to get this because you sacrifice a serious amount of magic damage for this. However, this will give you some nice mana regen and additional AP which may bring you back into a game.

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Ahri's Secret Spellvamp Side

After looking at a guide by JohnCreek, I realized that Ahri has a very high potential for becoming a total spellvamp monster. Before I talk about the items necassary for Spellvamp Ahri, I want to say that this playstyle should only be used by those who are experienced with Ahri.

Your basic bread and butter for Spellvamp Ahri. In a normal game, you would usually sell this in the later stages of the game for some additonal damage; however in this build we use the revolver to its fullest extent...and further. You get this item ASAP then build it into Spirit of the Spectral Wraith then buy ANOTHER so that the unique passives will not collide and make your second hextech useless until you build your first one into something.
In a normal build, this item would be bought if you were falling behind. In this case however, you are going to get this right after you get your first Hextech Revolver. This will allow you to get your second Hextech Revolver and grant you some AP that will be EXTREMELY useful due to your lack of damage output with this build.
Once you get your second revolver, rush this. Before you get this item, you will not be dealing enough damage to effectively use your spellvamp. Once you at least get Needlessly Large Rod, you will really start surprising people with your healing capabilities. I cannot stress enough that if you DO NOT get this item then you WILL NOT be able to carry your team effectively. Also, you will be getting this later than usual so you will be sacrificing some early damage output for this spellvamp build. Don't get the wrong idea however, most Ahri players will be able to get to rabadon's without much trouble when going with this spellvamp build due to Ahri's massive laning strengths.
WoTA really isn't as cost effective anymore as it used to be. However, the spellvamp it grants only contributes to your build. I could see someone just completely ignoring this item and getting something with more damage though. Build this with that second Hextech Revolver that you had gotten earlier in the game.
I don't ever build this because it really isn't worth the money at all. You do not need the AD that is grants and because it grants AD along with AP, the AP granted is relatively low compared to what you could get with an AP based item. Yes this item has spellvamp but in this case, the spellvamp just isn't worth it. You can choose to play around with this or not, I recommend not getting it though.
Spirit Visage will drastically increase your healing capabilities and give you some nice survivability tools. HOWEVER, you are still giving up on some damage. The whole point of the build is to find a nice point between a good amount of spell vamp and AP. Once you get confident with Spellvamp Ahri, you may want to try this out instead of maybe WoTA or Spirit of the Spectral Wraith.

Spellvamp Ahri is successful because she is able to constantly regen her health while dealing decent damage out. This creates a more versatile sort of play style where you can remain in the middle of fights for longer while getting hit by enemy attacks. Due to your spellvamp, that damage doesn't affect you nearly as much as it would if you were building Ahri the way she is currently being built in today's meta. Additionally, Spellvamp Ahri strongly warns opponents to not chase the Ahri. This is because a skilled Ahri could simply kite a chasing predator while regaining her health at a shocking pace. Then, a fully regen-ed Ahri could turn around and fight her chaser and usually take them down due to that pursuer's health already being dwindled by Ahri's kiting.

Keep in mind that by taking all this spellvamp, you are dramatically decreasing your damage output from great to decent. This CAN be made up for if a skilled player is using Ahri but sometimes a Spellvamp Ahri will not work out. This leads me to talk about WHEN to build Spellvamp Ahri. I have found success with this build when I am facing any AD mid laner due to my opponent's lack of ranged attacks. This provides me with easier skillshot opportunities. Additionally, most AD mid laners have gap closers that provide them with good bursty damage. With Spellvamp Ahri, one is able to simply Charm and Orb of Deception to regenerate her health again and maybe turn around the fight. THAT is Spellvamp Ahri's major strength:

Her ability to turn around a fight.

Because normally an AP carry is squishy and quickly dies if focused properly. But Spellvamp Ahri can appear squishy while maintaining a healthy enough spellvamp number where she can regenerate her health with ease in the time it takes for an Orb of Deception to roll out and come back.

I also choose Spellvamp Ahri when I am up against a tankier team or even just a tanky mid laner because this sort of allows me to even up with them on the amount of damage I can take and maybe even give me an upper hand in damage output. Specific matchups can be found in the "Matchups" section which is currently under construction.

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Ahri's Menacing Matchups

(Currently Under Construction)

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A Sly Summary

Ahri is my favorite champion in League of Legends because of her amazing burst damage, her great mobility, and her ability to catch enemies off guard and carry a team off of a good start. Thought she falls off late game like many other AP carries, Ahri can still contribute much to a team. Her appearances in the professional scene are growing and so more and more people may be thinking of playing her. If you are one of these people, I strongly encourage you to give her a shot because the power of the nine-tailed fox is a dangerous force to be reckoned with.

Thank you for reading through my guide, I hope you learned a few things. As I said in my introduction, I have played about 150 games with Ahri and continue to play her everyday. At her best, she can destroy many other AP laners and all other champions. If I have not explained how she can do this through my guide, please tell me via a comment/vote on this guide or even a PM on my account (info below). I hope you enjoyed my first guide and I look forward to plenty of suggestions on ways to better improve not only the guide but ways to maybe even better my play overall. Again, thanks for reading and good luck on the Rift!

You can PM me at:


I welcome all comments, questions, and concerns.