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Ahri Build Guide by ChaoXin

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ChaoXin

Behold Ahri's beautiful butt [S4]

ChaoXin Last updated on November 22, 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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Intro and something about me

Hi my name is ChaoXin on EU West and I was playing this game since season 1. I may not be the best player out there but I recently started to play ranked in season 3. I do really like to experiment stuff like Lulu on-hit top or playing suprise tank Lulu (yeah Lulu is my main subject for experimenting things). I always take solo lanes or jungle, the last pick is AD carry.

Ahri is my main AP carry since her release day.

In season 2 I had mediocre success and sometimes had the feeling that she may be even underpowered. Before Riot utilized the nerf-button she was a killing machine that ALWAYS killed the enemy mid laner in one combo. The days changed and I tried different builds that were good in their ways but not suitable to my playing style.

Starting from season 3 I had the greatest sucess ever. Back then I realized that build magic pen is far better than building AP early for Ahri.

In this guide I will share you my way of playing Ahri, the nine-tailed fox. My way is just one out of many ways to play Ahri.

My explenations may not be the best or the most convincing ones. But better try first then give feedback whether the build worked well or not because "The proof is in the pudding".

Note: English is not my mother tongue, so there may be mistakes all over this guide. This build had success on normal games, whether it works in ranked has been confirmed in season 3.

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Pros / Cons


+ Asian
+ Good mobility thanks to ulti
+ Partly true damage
+ Assassin
+ capable of towerdiving
+ taunt and slow
+ low cooldowns


- Squishy early without items
- Needs to be really careful when ulti on CD
- Can't kill enemy well when ulti on CD
- Skillshots
- Skills take time to hit (ulti and W) = no instant burst
- Low ap ratios
- Out of mana fast after full combo

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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

Always R>Q>W>E. Q is your main harass and damage ability, dealing true damage on the way back. You take E for CC for setting up combos and max W the second, because on high levels W does pretty much damage, suprisingly this skill has the best ap ratio for the maximum damage.

Also, use Charm and Orb of Deception to check bushes (you need to hear the sound, otherwise you won't know if somebody's in there).

Put into front: Use Spirit Rush as a gap closer inbetween your skills. NEVER use it as a last resort finisher or the like.
It is more a initiation skill...e.g. Ulti+qwe+auto-attack -> ulti+auto-attack+skills blah blah -> know what I mean!!
This defines a good or a bad Ahri.

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If you're dead you can't do damage even with 999 ap, so you need to get other items which provide you a little bit of sustain. I leave the burst items out because they're actually self-explanationary.

Item standard route

Doran's Ring+2x HP pots -> Haunting Guise -> Sorcerer's Shoes -> Fiendish Codex -> Deathfire Grasp -> Rabadon's Deathcap -> Rylai's Crystal Scepter -> Liandry's Torment -> Zhonya's Hourglass

Note: last item can be switched to more damage or to more survivability. However, it has a nice active which is pretty awesome. You may ask now, why not rushing Deathfire? Well, buying it as first item may be good but not best. Meaning you don't get the extra health from Haunting Guise, no extra movement and 30 magic pen. Don't underestimate 30 magic pen which are very much early. Compared to the enemy you got little overall boni that makes your champ stronger than him because of cheap buys. Now you want to boost the damage output with that nice active of Deathfire...voila penta kill incoming.

buffed in season 3 and lower cost. Combined with 2 health pots the most common start now.

Gives you magic pen, little ap and health -> cheap early item to exceed the enemy by health and damage because the enemy may save his money for more expensive items (e.g. magic wand, chalice, catalyst) or just stacks dorans.

Adds up with the previous item and your runes/masteries to about 8%+38 magic pen -> may do almost true damage. Ahri benefits more of it, her ap ratios are pretty low.

better than Deathcap in single target fights. Great for killing tanks and gives you tons of ap.

When building Liandry's you will have an extra Amplifying Tome to add a little bit damage. As always, it's cheap. Liandry's burn will only trigger with your Fox-Fire and Charm when not having Rylais. Actually this item also counters you if the enemy is buying this because we stack health like a boss, but let us hope he/she doesn't. And if yes only magic res will help.

That's why we need more slow by getting Rylai's slow added to your Fox-Fire that comes out to be insane and because you're already mobile by your Spirit Rush the enemy can't retreat. Don't hesitate to towerdive, you got dashes and health provided by these two buddies. At this point you will do tons of damage.

Defensive mix

Abyssal Mask You want more magic pen and a little bit of magic resistence because your base res is low -> being more tanky and doing more damage.

Zhonya's Hourglass Almost the same as the previous item but it provides a nice active to survive better in team fights.

Will of the Ancients Gives you spell vamp that helps you to survive even better.


Void Staff may be better than Abyssal sometimes if the enemy is stacking magic resistence like an idiot. Thus it gives you more damage in that case but not more tanking power. Sometimes I buy this before Deathcap because the more magic pen you the better you can wipe out enemies.

Items I used to buy (season 2)

Athene's Unholy Grail Even ATN Forellenlord bought this item for Ahri. Had great sucess with it because it gives you all stats that an ap carry needs. Still a viable choice for early game if having trouble on lane.

Lich Bane Gives no magic resistence anymore and damage is decreased. Because of your low ap ratios, your auto-hits dealt far more damage than your skills. Didn't test it in season 3 but doesn't seem to be really attractive to me now.

Not really needed

Seraph's Embrace Ahri's spells are not that mana hungry so that you need to rush Tear of Goddess. Blue buff handles this problem already (see at chapter "Early, mid, late game, playing style and harass tactics").

Morellonomicon More like a support item but gives CD-reduction. You better not buy this.

Rod of Ages A pretty standard item for almost every ap carry but not here. As stated above I don't like this item because the ingredients are expensive that slow down your early cheap items advantage.

If Leblanc and silence rush

Of course not only silence but also other CC. Without Quicksilver Sash you will get messed up badly by Leblanc or similiar champs. You won't be able to combo and just insta-die, even with your huge amount of health.

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Early, mid, late game, playing style and harass tactics

Please read the following chapter aka Combo tactics carefully...
(I know, I repeat myself but this really hurts my eyes when seeing "bad" Ahri players)
Put into front: Use Spirit Rush as a gap closer inbetween your skills. NEVER use it as a last resort finisher or the like.
It is more a initiation skill...e.g. Ulti+qwe+auto-attack -> ulti+auto-attack+skills blah blah -> know what I mean!!
This defines a good or a bad Ahri.

Early game

I always recommend to play aggressively but do NOT overextend pre lvl 6, the enemy jungler knows that ganking an Ahri on lvl 6 is a waste, so he/she will always try to get first blood on mid. If you see the jungler just Charm and Fox-Fire to slow both.

Some new exprience I gained in ranked games: full combo drains your mana really fast. It's actually no good idea to continue doing risky stuff now, meaning if you killed somebody retreat immediately to base. Of course there are exceptions not to do so e.g. team is pushing turrets, you are getting blue buff and so on.

At the beginning just farm like every other AP carry and hit with your auto-attack at early levels to harass and to aggro the minions -> your lane gets pushed.

At lvl 4 you have all your 3 skills to mini combo the enemy, your Fox-Fire does not do that much damage on lvl 1, so your Orb of Deception is better to harass.

How to harass: Always pay attention to the enemy that wants to last hit your minions. When he/she is about to walk and to hit the dying minion shoot your Orb of Deception right into his/her face.
Don't use trough minions, that will push your lane unless you want to heal with your passive.
Because the enemy is in auto-attack animation he/she may be unable to react and hitting twice with your Orb of Deception gives a great burst.
Remember: We got no mana reg, so be sparingly with your skills.

Mid game

At lvl 6 you can overextend like a boss to kill, towerdive and something the like or to escape ganks with your ultimate. When your ulti is on CD you need to play passively unless you got flash ready. Your ulti+flash covers the almost whole way from the enemy tower to your tower. If needed you can gank other lanes too and secure the kills to make yourself even stronger.

At ~10/15 min you should have Haunting Guise and Sorcerer's Shoes that gives you almost true damage. Here starts your snowballing. Sometimes it's possible to kill the enemy jungler + mid laner (if they are stupid enough).

Late game

Finish your core and buy situational items. If a team fight is about to start try to poke them with Charm to harass or to shut down an enemy (AD carry should be instakill). Don't always use your ult at the beginning (if 5vs5) otherwise you won't be able to catch up fleeing enemies that flashed outa the massacre. Your priority is to kill the carries fast because Spirit Rush makes you also a good assassin.

Fun fact in normal games: When buying much health the enemy won't go for you the first but instead others and will be confused. I call this psychological warfare or League of Tanks. This may be good or also baaaaaaaaaaad.

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Combo tactics

Start with Orb of Deception to harass them so they only got about 75% health left.

Ideal combo: Hitting Charm, adding Orb of Deception and Fox-Fire for extra damage, enemy flees/flashes, you Spirit Rush after them to secure the kill.

Suprise combo: Spirit Rush right into their face (save the other 2 dashes), hit Orb of Deception then Fox-Fire and Charm, Spirit Rush while avoiding enemy skills after them.

Always pair your Fox-Fire with your Spirit Rush. This will suprise and slow them and Liandry's Torment burn will trigger to a great amount of damage ( Ignite should finish them off, always use).
Don't use your dashes in short time: ALWAYS in combination with/in between your skills W/Q/E but if everything is on CD the I give you the permission to do so.

Sometimes you want to Fox-Fire first then Charm because a slowed enemy is easier to hit.

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Match-ups [WIP]

I don't really remember all match-ups that I encountered, so this chapter may be added with further stuff in the future or not.

Leblanc (difficulty: hard). She has silence and a gap closer that will **** you up pretty hard. Don't let her harass you if possible, use health pots to sustain her damage and call jungler for help. Counter her by buying quicksilver to suprise and combo her because everybody knows that LeBlanc is very squishy. Late game you have better team fighting capabilities.

Fizz (difficulty: hard). His combo is deadly at lvl 6. All you need is Haunting Guise and Sorcerer's Shoes and of course to dodge his ultimate. After that he's an easy kill. Always try to keep him low health, pretend to use or use your skills like Charm so he jumps away and follow with Orb of Deception to harass, abuse your range auto-attacks so he won't be able to go in to burst you away.

Katarina (difficulty: easy). Actually an easy match up, harass with auto-attacks and Fox-Fire and cancel ultimate with your Charm. If you fail your Charm she will probably go all in, so be careful about that.

Annie (difficulty: hard). Can completely shut you down if played right. The stun is enough to harass you to low health so don't get close. Harass her with Orb of Deception to a safe amount (better not getting into Annie's auto-attack range) to kill her with a quick combo starting with Charm, otherwise you will just walk right into Tibbers and die.

Lux (difficulty: medium). Similiar mechanics to Ahri when comboing. When you get snared you're dead or almost dead, so when her snare is on cooldown you can go all in and she won't be able to stop your ultimate, also it will be easy for you to dodge hers. If you're very familiar with Ahri you can also iniciate with ultimate and the other skills while avoiding being Finales Funkelned. Try to keep distance so she misses her explosive aoe skill.

Twisted Fate (difficulty: easy). Annoying harass, all you need to do is to be able to dodge his cards. You won't be able to hit him with Orb of Deception if he uses them to last hit. Always keep your health high enough, otherwise he will Ignite, stun, card combo you. At lvl 6 you should be able to do massive damage to him, because Twisted got no ultimate to burst but rather to teleport away. When getting Rylai's and Liandry's his card throw combo won't be enough to finish you off. Suprise combo works really good here.

Cassiopeia (difficulty: easy). You need to keep in motion to dodge all her poison spells so she runs out of mana fast. Your Charm is enough to delay her ultimate if you go all in. While dashing you want to face the direction Cassiopeia is looking to avoid being changed into stone -> will be pretty easy because Fox-Fire and Spirit Rush are auto-aim skills.

Kassadin (difficulty: easy-medium). If he reaches lvl 6 you're literally screwed. To avoid being raped auto-attack him constantly and harass until he wants to surrender. Don't push!! Otherwise he will set up ganks pretty well with his silence. You want to reach lvl 6 faster than him or he will jump away. Actually you got also a jump advantage...If you combo you need to set up your Fox-Fire before he silences you.

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The end

With my current build I had the greatest winning rate with her since release day even against counters where I may should have thrown the game but suprisingly sustained well and could carry on (better stay alive, you won't do damage if you're dead).

Don't be confused if I make changes to the core and so on. This guide is still under process and is made personally for myself so I do not forget how to play her. This build seems similiar to others but I didn't even take a reference.

If you have any suggestions to improve the build (buying order or other items) don't hesitate to leave a comment. I may work on it if I got the time to do so. Out of many builds this worked best for me especially for normal games. Suprisingly this works for ranked very well. Ah and keep in mind that my English is not perfect. Thank you.