Orianna Build Guide by Aqua Dragon
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+12 Attack Damage or +20 Ability Power, Adaptive
Hi! I’m Aqua Dragon. I was Diamond in Seasons 5 + 6, and I play Support Orianna
I also play:
I also take people's suggested playstyles, optimize them, and then make guides on them!
Keep in mind this is not meant to be an exhaustive guide. As such, I won't be delving into everything. However, I hope I'll have explained sufficiently that my rationale will be self-evident, and to also allow you to make personal customizations as well.
Want to to discuss or watch this build?
Pros and Cons
- Best defensive shield in the game
- Powerful anti-melee peel
- Strong undeniable vision with the ball
- Moves extremely fast; difficult to catch out while warding
- Easily racks up assists; plentiful gold for items
- Negligible damage
- Weak waveclear
- Weak lane presence
- Unforgivably mana hungry early-game
- Only hard-CC is tough to aim and not guaranteed
What is Support Orianna? Why No AP Items?
Orianna is most known for their powerful chunking ability at mid, but underlying that damage are some of the best utility buffs in the game. Unlike other supports that often rely on hard CC, Orianna's primary strength is manipulating the movement speed of the battlefield and providing allies strong, long-distance shields.
Before picking any champion, it's important to analyze their purpose and then, more importantly, how suitable they are for that purpose. Orianna Support's purpose is to be an Enchanter support, similar to Janna. Now, we can analyze how Orianna fares with this purpose.
Sphere Heading Defense
First, Ori's shield: Command: Protect. The best way to understand its power is by comparing it to Janna's shield which is widely regarded as one of the best shields for a teammate. At rank 5:
Only Janna's shield
- 5 second duration, instead of Ori's 4
- 50 extra AD while the shield is active
- no travel time
- can be used on turrets
- has a 70% AP scaling ratio
But in return, Ori's shield
- 300 more range
- 1 second less cooldown at max rank
- 9-3 seconds less cooldown from ranks 1-4.
- 30 MR and Armor for the shielded target
- 60 non-scaling mana cost (Janna's goes up to 110)
- 10 more shield strength (Janna is 210, Ori is 220)
- Technically higher shield than 220 (due to passive stats)
- No detriment for being broken early
We can see that Orianna's shield isn't as offensive as Janna's, but makes up for it in range, cooldown, mana, amount, and durability.
Because its passive protection cannot be destroyed like Janna's bonus AD, in a duel between an ADC with Janna's shield and another with Ori's shield, the one with Orianna's shield will have the advantage. 30 MR and Armor is not to be underestimated. That 30 extra defense changes 1,500 effective health into a whopping ~2,000 effective health. Orianna's shield is also boosted by this, meaning it's actually 30% stronger than it actually says. At rank 5, it's actual shield strength is 273.
None of this is to say that Janna's shield is weak compared to Ori's. Rather, the opposite: by comparing Janna's powerful shield to Ori's, we find that Ori's offers similarly powerful utility.
Second, Command: Dissonance offers another powerful narrative. Command: Dissonance offers an immense 40% MS boost to all people in an AOE.
The more notable aspect is its 40% slow, which is so strong that any melee champions going toward the balled target become crippingly slow. At maximum CDR, the spell goes down to a 5 second cooldown, and the field lasts on the ground for 3 seconds; huge uptime!
To top it off, Command: Dissonance applies Aery's shield, providing significantly more Aery uptime. More notably, this means Command: Dissonance can be used to apply Ardent Censer's attack speed bonus from a 1,100 range.
These two spells are the biggest spells for Orianna's role. Command: Attack and Command: Shockwave also have utility, but theirs is far more apparent. Attack provides undeniable vision, while Shockwave provides a clumping tool and a ranged ~1 second AOE stun against chases and during engages. Both of these simply add to Orianna's already-powerful toolkit.
Why so Little Damage?
If you are casting your spells whenever possible to maximize their utility, you will quickly find that there is not even a few seconds of free time to use them offensively. Any damage dealt to opponents is incidental; Orianna cannot effectively be an aggressive support while also being a utility support.
In addition, Orianna has fairly lackluster or decent AP ratios. When building massive AP, these ratios are sufficient to chunk. But when relegated to a support status, where building massive AP is not always feasible, it is too cost-prohibitive to get anything more than incidental AP.
If you watch the previously linked video, take note of how few opportunities exist to use spells offensively.
This Rune ori That Rune?
Aery is why you're going Sorcery. The best keystone for passive enchanter supports.
Manaflow provides required mana; Ultimate Hat is great but mana takes priority.
Transcendence reaches the 45% spike a whole item sooner. Raw AP is underwhelming on Ori Sup and movement speed is nice but not as essential.
Gathering Storm gives AP for the shield. Not enough of a lane bully for Scorch nor roaming enough for Waterwalking.
More CDR, more shields, more items, more wins.
Biscuit's mana is too essential to pass up. Footwear is awesome, but mana is needed.
Zombie Ward and Ingenious Hunter
If going for a situational Domination tree, these are the two most useful non-combat runes to pick.
For a primary rune tree, nothing competes with Sorcery + Aery.
- Its additional shielding power is welcome.
- Easy to refresh.
- Dissonance gains the Aery shield.
- Allows Ardent to be activated more regularly.
Insight provides CDR and mana.
Domination provides stronger wards and more Active Item CDR.
Resolve heals autoattacking allies + stronger low-health shields.
These are differences that are best evaluated in-game, and that's precisely what I did. Insight was the winner, for the following reasons:
- Ori's build just barely doesn't have enough mana. The permanent mana given by Biscuits provides the tiny bit required to have literally just enough mana for most fights.
- Orianna doesn't always build active items, especially with how great they work with Zekes, Ardent, and Athenes. This makes the Domination tree more situational. Ori also isn't as dependent on wards as other supports because the ball acts as an unkillable pseudo-ward.
- After extensively testing the Resolve set, including having a team of premades for the sole purpose of maximizing Font of Life, I found the runes underwhelming. Font of Life scarcely healed and barely caused Ardent Censer to proc more. Revitalize was okay.
Domination Secondary is situationally awesome.
Resolve Secondary is disappointing; look elsewhere.
What about Spellthief's Edge?
Spellthief's Edge initially seems like a better pickup than Ancient Coin since it would provide both more money and more lane pressure. In practice, it underperforms.
Breaking even could possibly justify making Spellthiefs just for the added pressure. However, it ultimately becomes far too mana intensive to apply real pressure even with Spellthiefs. Orianna's limited early mana pool gets nearly exhausted just shielding/speeding the ADC from damage. Adding harass on top of the cost quickly becomes untenable. The only reasons you should ever be casting Command: Attack on the enemy is to stack Manaflow Band, to gather vision, or to reposition the ball.
Even just shielding yourself to make frequent trades with autoattacks devours what little mana you have since you have to return the ball to the carry. This leads to the extra poke being anticlimatic and infrequent, meaning it rarely makes any difference due to Ori's inability to capitalize on the poke. It becomes a negligible damage difference even in best case scenarios.
Perhaps more importantly, picking Ori for strong lane presence is like picking Kassadin for early game. It's not Ori's role, and trying to itemize for that role tends to be suboptimal compared to playing to the strengths. A Coin rush fits more in line with Ori's general passivity. If you feel you absolutely must have Spellthiefs despite all this, make sure you only pick it against melee supports who are easily harassed and can't put your ADC in danger.
Stage of the Game
In the early game, your goals are to
- Shield the ADC from harass
- Keep vision of the lane bush
- Use Command: Dissonance when fighting or running
Don't Harass with Spells: Keep the ball on the ADC at all times, except when using Command: Attack to keep an eye on the lane bush. As before, you cannot do this regularly. In addition, attempting to harass with your ball is futile and exorbitantly mana-intensive. If you can harass, only do so with autos and never with spells.
Stack Manaflow Band with Command: Attack: This is the caveat to the harass part above. Command: Attack costs 30 mana, and hitting enemies with it will give you 25 permanent mana; good deal! Be cautious not to waste spell casts, since you are already extremely pressed for mana as is.
Nullify Enemy Autos: Command: Protect is a useful tool to help your ADC win trades. If you notice the ADC's in range of each other, shield your own to nullify the entire autoattack.
As the laning phase ends, your role will expand past being just a shieldbot
- Group with the team
- Conservatively use Dissonance to speed allies to locations
- During teamfights, keep the shield rotating to the highest priority target
- Peel off melees by using Command: Dissonance
- Disrupt channels with Command: Shockwave
Stay on the Outskirts: The ball is the source of the utility, meaning as long as you're within 1,100 units of the fight, you're able to make an impact. Don't get close unnecessarily.
Use Dissonance on Minions: Command: Dissonance can speed up minions. Use this to your advantage when you're pushing with the team.
Use Dissonance for Aery: Command: Dissonance is able to apply Aery's shield. By extension, Command: Dissonance is able to apply Ardent Censer. Use this information wisely.
Your roles from mid-game remain, but as your items and CDR increase, so too does your impact
- In fights, you should basically never stop casting your spells
- Use Command: Dissonance constantly to speed toward locations
- Use Dissonance to also clearly cover a huge area with the Oracle's Lens
- Use Dissonance on minion waves to reach towers faster with them
Keep the Ball on Allies: You should keep balls on allies primarily for its passive stats rather than its shield. The shield is still strong, but the 30 extra defensive stats become especially meaningful extra defense.