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Ahri Build Guide by MRN.Heartbeat

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League of Legends Build Guide Author MRN.Heartbeat

Ahri guide for year 2013!

MRN.Heartbeat Last updated on June 27, 2013
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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


Utility: 9

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... Hi guys. My name is Heartbeat, and I'm a former professional League of Legends player from ex-Team MRN. Currently I have three accounts in Diamond 1, and I play every role at a very high level. I have played mid, AD, and support to a professional level.

So that's enough about me. Let's talk about Ahri, who's been under the radar for the most part in both solo queue and the competitive scene. She's seen a lot more often in the Korean scene, partially because she's extremely strong with how aggressive most Korean teams play. So in this guide i'm going to be talking to you guys pretty much everything about Ahri, who can easily snowball games from solo queue to snowball a victory.

Here's a video I did to show you how I generally play Ahri in a high ranked game:

Follow me on twitter! @HeartbeatLoL

Mondays~Fridays from 12~6PM PST

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So what's so good/bad about Ahri?


  1. Deals a LOT of both single target and AOE damage
  2. Carries a really strong catch ability (her charm)
  3. Doesn't have too many hard match ups
  4. Extremely mobile with her ultimate
  5. Strong wave clear ability
  6. Fairly low cooldowns on all her abilities, including her ultimate


  1. Has two skillshots that require good precision
  2. Quite vulnerable when she does not have her ultimate
  3. Her kit requires you to be close range so you have to know how to position

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... Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

I choose to go 9x Magic pen marks because nothing else will increase your damage output than these. These will significantly increase your damage output all game, and synergizes well with some magic penetration items that you will be getting.

I normally default to armor seals because Ahri will undoubtedly take damage in teamfights with her kit to dive in and assassinate the carries. Armor seals also lets you do extremely well against AD champions early game, so these are core. If you feel like you can get away with not having armor seals, Mana regen seals are pretty nice, but unnecessary in my opinion.

Similarly to taking armor seals, I take flat MR glyphs. Again, this is because I like having basic defensive bonuses because Ahri will take damage in teamfights and you want to be able to withstand some damage. Ahri's also an incredibly strong dueler so having these basic defenses will let you do that job comfortably.

I personally like AP quints because they increase your early game damage output for the most part. Because your W deals a lot more damage with these when trading early, I've gotten multiple kills pre- level 6 with taking early Ability Power. Not to mention, all your abilities scale really well with AP so there's no reason not to get these.

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These 21/0/9 masteries are what I choose to go most of the time when playing AP carries mid. The 21 in offensive tree will maximize your DPS, and as an assassin role you will need all the potential damage output you can get!

The 9 points in utility tree is extremely helpful for Ahri because of several reasons. One, it will give you basic mana regen so that you will always be able to sustain your mana to a certain degree. I choose to take the decreased cooldown on active items when I plan to build a Deathfire Grasp somewhere in my build. More DFG cooldowns up means more opportunities for you to kill a stray carry. And lastly the extended buff duration lets you keep your blue buff for a longer time, and as an AP carry who spams abilities you will definitely want the huge amount of mana replenishment as well as the decreased cooldowns.

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One of the reasons why I enjoy playing Ahri is because there are so many items that are great on her. However, in order to successfully carry your game you will need to buy the correct items against the enemy team. Let's talk about item builds!

Starting item options:

Starting with these will give you more sustain than any other item start. Because Ahri is such a good duelist pre-6, taking this amount of sustain is very.. fool-proof, because you can essentially play really really aggressive with it, or play defensive if something goes wrong.

sight ward

This start is better if you're just looking to play a non-aggressive standard lane, so that you can build into your chalice faster. Starting with this still gives you enough sustain from potions, as well as a ward for safety.

At this point you should aim to either rush your sorc boots ASAP if you want to roam and gank or get two doran rings if you're looking to stay in lane a bit more.

Going the Lich Bane first build

I'm sure if you saw OGN or other korean tournaments, you will see a couple mid players go lich bane first. Why is this? This item gives you AP, mana, and movespeed - all great stats for an ahri to have. Ahri is excellent at roaming, hence the movespeed becomes a very handy thing to have. But the attractive point in getting lichbane is not the stats, but the passive, which every time you use a spell your basic attack deals a bonus magic damage equal to 50 + 75% of your AP.

If you know how to play ahri, you can time all your spells to the 2 second cooldown of this passive so that you will be able to proc lich bane 4~6 times with all your spell rotation. Hence just by getting this item you can significantly increase your damage output. It's also relatively cheap compared to a deathcap or zhonyas, and the build path of getting a sheen is very strong early game so lich bane is an attractive buy if you're not pushed against the wall against a hard laner. You want to get this start if you're looking to generally output a lot more damage in skirmishes or teamfights, as well as still having the option to assassinate people.

Deathfire Grasp first build

This item gives an insane amount of AP, as well as some cooldown reduction. You want to go for this first if you're looking to just pretty much looking to assassinate single target for your mid game. Having this lets your overall burst dps become unmatched, and especially if you're looking to roam top and bottom, getting this will just decimate people mid game with your full rotation. You want to get this if that is what you wish - to get pick offs to snowball the game, and not looking for a teamfight.

Against a hard AD mid laner

Armguard was invented to let AP mids fare better against all the emergence of AD assassins/bruisers that came to mid lane, such as khazix or zed. Get this if you feel like you're having a difficult time staying even with an enemy zed, or other AD mids.

Against hard AP mid laner

This item start used to be one of the most popular ahri builds before the range on abyssal scepter got nerfed. It is still an excellent first item if the enemy is a really strong karthus player or other AP mids that you will take unavoidable damage. This item is good both offensively with the aura and added magic pen, and defensively with the MR.

Other Late Game Items - things that you will be building after your first item.

... Nothing increases your overall AP than this item. Extremely strong because all 4 of your abilities have strong AP ratio, so fitting this somewhere in your build will definitely make you both output more damage, as well as give you extra wave clear capability.

... An overall strong utility item to get on Ahri. Your W will proc the full single target slow from Rylai's passive, making it an extremely strong buy for an Ahri player thats looking to provide more than just damage in teamfights.

... For any AP mages, you will NEED this item going into the mid-late game stages when everyone has MR, and your spells do a lot less damage. You will need this against tanks to do any damage to them, and especially with that stupid item called runic bulwark you will need to get this item to well-round your build.

... Probably one of the strongest defensive item for an Ahri to get. If all your looking to do is dive into AD/Ap carries in a teamfight, you will definitely want to get a GA, so that you can survive the dive. This lets you dive right into the middle of the enemy team, while still doing unavoidable damage with your W and R.

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Essence Theft (Passive)

Ahri gains a charge of Essence Theft whenever one of her spells hits an enemy (max: 3 charges per spell). Upon reaching 9 charges, Ahri's next spell has 35% Spell Vamp.

An okay passive that can really help you with that extra sustain in lane. Also allows you to make some clutch plays when you're able to time this passive's proc just right to survive a high risk maneuver.

Orb of Deception

Ahri throws out and pulls back her orb, dealing 40 / 65 / 90 / 115 / 140 (+33% of ability power) magic damage on the way out and 40 / 65 / 90 / 115 / 140 (+33% of ability power) true damage on the way back.

This is your trademark harass/wave clear ability. It has two damage parts, one where it goes forward which does magic damage, and then again going backward dealing true damage. Because this ability does true damage, it is incredibly strong all game, and to a certain extent makes this ability stronger than it really is in terms of raw damage shown by the indicator. Remember you can displace the 2nd part of your orb using your ultimate or even flash, so keep that in mind.


Ahri releases three fox-fires, which after a short delay lock on and attack nearby enemies (prioritizes champions), dealing 40 / 65 / 90 / 115 / 140 (+40% of ability power) magic damage. Additional fox-fires that hit the same target deal 50% damage, up to a maximum total damage of 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+80% of ability power).

You spawn 3 fires around you which will home in on close targets around you. It will prioritize champions so if you use it close enough to an enemy champion all 3 fires will hit them, but with diminished damage after the first fire. It has a really low cooldown, so you'll be able to use it multiple times in skirmishes/teamfights.


Ahri blows a kiss that deals 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+35% of ability power) magic damage to an enemy and charms it, causing them to walk harmlessly towards her for 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds.

Your skillshot CC ability. It's stronger than a stun because it draws the enemy to you. You might want to get this as a reaction if your team goes in for a level 1 and you see someone walking by. Ever since a couple patches ago, using charm on a jungle creep will reset it, so don't use charm on blue buffs or any jungle creeps.

Spirit Rush

Ahri dashes forward and fires essence bolts, damaging 3 nearby enemies (prioritizes champions) for 85 / 125 / 165 (+35% of ability power) magic damage per bolt. Spirit Rush can be cast up to three times within ten seconds before going on cooldown.

Your ultimate, which gives you 3 dashes that will damage 3 targets near the target area. You can use this as an escape or to gap close, or even to just flat out all-in a champion if you happen to land a random charm in lane. Remember that in early levels the cooldown is fairly long, so don't make the mistake of going into lane thinking you have ultimate and die because you don't have any escapes left.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

This is the standard Ahri skill order that I use 80% of the time. The reasoning behind this is that you will be able to harass/wave clear with your Q spell. Q's second proc has true damage, so it will be relevant all game from early to late game. Next you want to max W, because it will add a lot of single target damage output if you're trying to assassinate, and the cooldown on the spell is extremely low so you'll be able to spam this a couple times through most fights. Lastly you want to max charm just for the increased damage and charm duration which becomes more rewarding later in the game when you're looking for catches with your charm.

However, I want to point out a special skill order if you're against melee casters for both AP/AD mid. This includes champions like Kassadin, or Zed, or Khazix. Against these champions, you will be able to harass them much much harder if you get your W to levels 2 or 3, instead of just flat out maxing Q first. This is because your Q is indeed a skillshot, so it isn't guaranteed damage. However, these melee champions will need to become very close to the creeps to farm, and when you turn on your W, then they will get hit by all 3 fires, which is guaranteed damage. This will let you poke and pressure them in lane for free. I still don't recommend maxing W out all the way because it will give you absolutely bad wave clear.

And of course, level your ultimate at levels 6,11, 16.

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Match ups

Let's talk about some Ahri match ups, how does she do against popular mid champions? I'll rate them from 1(easiest) to 5(hardest).

- 4 she's extremely tanky, and very resilient to your harass early even if you do level up your W first. Try to harass her as much as you can early, and always be pushing back at her because otherwise you'll just be pushed to your tower all day. After level 6, you can both outplay each other, you must dodge her Q, and then look for an all-in since she won't be able to use your ultimate twice.

- 2 Pretty easy match up. You just have a free-farm lane, and it's good to take faerie charm start here because if you know how to zone properly you won't ever be pressured by the karthus. Be careful still of ganks with karthus wall. After 6, remember you can EASILY stop his ultimate by using your ult charges and charming him while he's channeling.

- 3 skill match up. This all depends on if you can land your Q, or if he can land his Q+E poke. At level 6 you can definitely wait for him to miss his Q+E poke, and then all-in him and he won't be able to do much against you.

- 2 khazix used to be troublesome because they always used to max W first and just wave clear and farm from far away. However they can't do that anymore with the recent patch, so if you get your W couple levels early, you'll easily shut this lane out. Just remember not to isolate yourself!

- 3 Lux out ranges you pretty hard. However she has 4 skillshots, hence after level 6 you can easily outplay her. Look for her to use some spells and go in while some skills are on cooldown. You should be able to dodge her only escape which is to bind you with her Q. Pre-6 she is more dangerous than you are because of her range so be cautious about trading with her.

- 3 Orianna will beat you during laning phase. She can shield your poke, and her dueling is much better than yours because her spells + autoattacks do a lot of damage. Just try to hit 6, and look for an all-in. You can easily dodge her ultimate with your ultimate!

- 3 so many people say ryze beats ahri, and so many people say ahri beats ryze. This is a skill match up. A lot of ryzes think since they don't have any skill shots they can just dodge your skills and beat you, but they will have to walk up to you, in which you can charm them, Q+ auto attack them, and back off. Of course, if you ever miss your charm they will just zone you for that cooldown duration, so make sure you don't miss! after level 6 you should be able to beat him, and he's pretty easy to gank as well because ryzes tend to be aggressive in lane.

- 2 You crush him extremely hard. I reocmmend taking TP instead of ignite because you can kill a TF without ignite, and when he ports in you can use your TP, and provide way way more damage for the countergank. In lane, watch his pick a card cooldowns and zone him accordingly!

- 4 This is an extremely hard match up. You can beat him early levels by using W and auto attacks, but after level 5~ forward it gets really hard because he just instantly wave clears and if you walk even a little bit too far forward he will try to kill you. After you get a zhonya's hourglass you should be completely fine, but until then try not to duel him at even health.

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Laning phase

There's almost no bad places for an Ahri. She can play defensively and aggressively easily. Just know that if you're playing aggressive in lane, be ready for a jungler gank to come anytime. this means if you didn't start with a ward, be ready to flash fast and get out of there. Most lanes you'll be throwing out your Q's when the enemy is about to CS, and if they come too close you can use your W to do even more damage. Keep in mind if you throw out a random charm and miss, the enemy can feel no threat against you and then will move up.. so be extremely wary when throwing out your charm. Against most match ups, right when you hit level 6 , if you see that the enemy laner is below 70% hp you should be able to get that kill if you are able to land everything.

-> -> -> -> AA -> -> -> AA -> -> -> AA

As you become more experienced you will realize that Ahri can be picked into almost anything and she snowballs extremely hard. So try not to do anything stupid, and play the lane out! if things don't work out mid, then you can always roam after level 6 and try your luck in other lanes.

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Team fights

Before going into teamfights, you should already have decided if you're going to play really aggressive and dive in towards their backline to enemy carries, or if you're going to stay back with your AD carry and throw your spells. With the charm ahri does decent job of peeling while still doing good damage to bruisers, so being in the back in completely fine. With aggressive items like DFG+ zhonyas, you should aim to dive the carries because you will be doing guaranteed damage while still being relatively safe after you use that zhonya's.

Of course, make sure you keep looking for that pick-offs using your charm, I've won countless games landing a charm on carries which led to easy 4v5's.

positioning is key, and my best advice is not to use all your 3 charges right away. Use one proc, throw a spell rotation, always be auto attacking, and just try to get as many spells as you can while still displacing yourself with your ultimate!