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Focus On Assists - Support Ashe

Last updated on February 20, 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: 13

Honor Guard

Defense: 1

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 16

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Welcome to my guide for playing the quirky-but-effective Support Ashe. I was inspired to try this after a game in which I was playing support for an Ashe, and the course of the game inversed our roles. Inspired by my ally's endgame comment about her being Support Ashe that game, I elected to try supporting with Ashe with the full intention of being a support, as opposed to a carry.

After some experimenting and tweaking, I found myself a victim of interesting success. So here it is.

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Why Play Ashe as Support?

-Useful scouting skill on a slightly shorter cooldown than Clairvoyance, alternate-able for great area knowledge
-Ult is a handy initiator for duo bot, as well as teamfights-A benefit often denied to supports
-Frost Shot and Philosopher's Stone provide a near or total permaslow for a long period of time
-Passive is useful for lane harass, particularly in comparison to its usefulness as a carry
-Hawkshot provides a handy support benefit (gold) for those occasions where you do kill a minion or ward.
-Interesting effectiveness with melee carries/assassins

-Like most supports, quite squishy in the early laning phase; must be played with care.
-No peel pre-6
-No sustain aside from Summoner Spell Heal
-May be considered a troll build by many
-Dependent on laning partner playing smart

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Let's cover masteries first. After I finalized my rune choices, masteries became relatively easy to select. I'm covering masteries first because the runes will hopefully seem more sensible this way.

In the Offense Mastery Tree, we take 3 points in Brute Force, 1 point in Butcher, 4 points in Sorcery, 4 points in Deadliness, and 1 final point in Lethality (13 points).
Brute Force, Deadliness, and Lethality contribute to your laning harass. Of particular note, her passive (Focus) and it's over-time critical chance. These 3 masteries scale phenominally with her passive, and are the primary reason to place ANY points in Offense at all. Butcher is purely a filler point. Feel free to trade it for 1 extra point of Enchanted Crystal Arrow damage (AP) if you so wish. Sorcery decreases the downtime on Hawkshot and Enchanted Crystal Arrow-the most vital abilities to Support Ashe.

In the Defense tree, we take a single point in Summoner's Resolve to increase the effectiveness of Summoner Heal. Because this is Ashe's only lane sustain, every point healed can and will count. Do not neglect this mastery point.

In the Utility tree, we take 1 point in Summoner's Insight, 3 in Good Hands (alternatively, 1 each in Improved Recall, Scout, and Good Hands), 3 in Expanded Mind, 3 in Meditation, 4 in Greed, and 2 in Wealth (16 total).
Naturally, Summoner's Insight is for use with Clairvoyance. Ashe has the greatest ability to scout among supports, so there's no sense in passing up a way to improve her awareness further. Good Hands is never a truly poor choice on a champion, as less downtime is more time to help your team. Expanded Mind and Meditation push the limits of Frost Shot. Greed increases your gold gain, which is a fine benefit for a support. Wealth permits you to begin the game with Brawler's Gloves, a Ward, and a Health Potion.

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For runes, I take all runes of Avarice available. Between Seals and Quints, I gain 5.25 additional gold every 5 seconds. With Greed masteries (and before GP/10 items), this gives a total gold gain of 20.25 per 10 seconds (including natural gains) from the very point when minions spawn.
In addition to these, I take Critical Damage Marks to maximize the use of her passive as a harass tool. I finish it off with flat Cooldown Reduction Glyphs, to further reduce the downtime on Hawkshot and Enchanted Crystal Arrow.

Attack Damage Marks, Movement Speed Quints. Attack Damage Marks also work effectively with Focus Crit harassment. Also, because Ashe is quite slow, a little extra movement speed never is undesirable.

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Summoner Spells

I feel that Summoner Spells Heal and Clairvoyance are the only ways to go with support Ashe. Heal provides your one and only lane sustain for sticky situations, and Clairvoyance is a handy knowledge tool for areas outside the reach of Hawkshot (or to scout without giving away your directional location).
Should you absolutely abhor one of these choices, Flash and Teleport are viable choices as well.
Flash can be a last ditch escape tool, although I find that escaping isn't even close to first priority as support. Teleport has interesting synergy with a well-aimed Enchanted Crystal Arrow--allowing you to reach a target hit for maximum stun to start applying Frost Shot hits. It is also useful purely for reaching your carry in lane, because Ashe is dismally slow.

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Skill Sequence

Skill Sequence is very simple for Support Ashe. Hawkshot at level 1-2 for scouting purposes, and maximized for range and the bonus gold from destroying wards/mushrooms/Jack-in-the-Boxes/etc. Frost Shot takes next priority, as it's a useful utility to your team in that opponent s must either remove the slow or blink to escape your teammates if Frost is being applied. Your level 1 and 2 skills are the biggest ifs of playing support Ashe. If your team invades, it may be prudent to take Frost Shot at level one to potentially secure First Blood for your team. Typically I favor Hawkshot otherwise, particularly against level 2 gankers.
I take a single rank of Volley sometime between levels 4 and 8, and leave it at 1 until I must level it further. Your job is not to deal damage, and damage is the main purpose of Volley. As skirmishes and teamfights break out, its application of Frost Shot becomes more relevant, so don't forget to use it then.
As with most champions, I take my ult at each level it is available.

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I begin the game with Brawler's Gloves, a Sight Ward, and a Health Potion. The Potion goes without saying-you're squishy, it helps. Brawler's Gloves reduce the buildup time on Focus by only requiring you to obtain 92% critical chance for a guaranteed crit, as well as building into your first GP10 item--Avarice Blade.

I typically follow this up with Heart of Gold. Philosopher's Stone is an okay choice as well. I favor HoG for the bonus health, as Ashe is quite squishy. Feel free to switch these two up, getting both or only one (I typically purchase both for the interesting combination of Shurelia and Randuin active abilities).

My Boots of choice are Ionian Boots of Lucidity. As has been mentioned previously in this guide, CDR is essential to maximize the utility of support Ashe. Ionian Boots are a cheap and easy way to amplify her CDR.

Aegis of the Legion is a fine item when skirmishes and teamfights begin to break out, granting any nearby ally some extra survivability and damage. Additionally, you should find at this point that you are significantly less melty than you would be as a carry Ashe.

Barring alternative circumstances, Philosopher's Stone should be the first GP10 to upgrade if your purchased it (which you should). Shurelia's Reverie can quickly close a gap between teams, particularly if you land an ultimate in the enemy team. Additionally, the mana regeneration from Philosopher's Stone/Shurelia mean you can keep Frost Shot toggled on a vast majority of the time.

Randuin's Omen is useful both as a defensive item and a teamfighting item, reducing the DPS of enemy carries and the movement speed of all enemies in range.

Your Avarice Blade is an interesting point of contention now. You can upgrade it into Youmuu's Ghostblade for some Attack Damage, CDR, additional crit and armor pen to deal some damage in fights, as well as a 2 second AS/MS buff, or you can sell it for something appropriate to the game at hand. Note that if you do this, you will have a large excess of CDR and may want to trade Ionian Boots for Berserker's Greaves or Mercury's Treads. Note that you should still have Ionian Boots at first.

Should the game allow, feel free to build an Infinity Edge as your final item. With 30% Critical Damage in runes/masteries and a bonus 50% on this item, you can potentially deal 280% damage to enemies--a potent figure even with meager AD. Alternatively, you might elect to pick up more survivability or leave the slot bare for further wards. The decision is up to you.

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Laning with Support Ashe

There are some very important aspects to laning with support Ashe.

1. Focus. Not just you, but your Passive Ability. When your passive has built up to give you complete critical strike chance, attack an enemy champion for the guaranteed critical strike. Although you are not playing to deal damage, this can build up over time, especially if your laning opponents are not high-sustain champions (and even if they are, they probably are wasting valuable mana to undo your damage). Try to make the absolute most of this passive by not idling at 100% crit chance instead of using it. Keep in mind your Brawler's Gloves/Avarice Blade Critical Chance.

2. Frost Shot. Don't turn it off. You are not going to autoattack often, so you shouldn't be wasting mana in leaving it enabled. It will also be applied on your crit harass for if your carry can poke as well before the enemy leaves range. Additionally, it is useful for jungler ganks.

3. Hawkshot. Don't hesitate to check if you are in doubt. You have, essentially, double Clairvoyance by running the Summoner Spell and levelling Hawkshot. Do not take risks. You don't have to. Another handy use for Hawkshot is clearing the enemy Red/Blue camp (based on side) on the minimap so your team will know when they respawn.

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Teamfighting with Support Ashe

In teamfights as support Ashe, there are certain actions you should take when and if possible.

1. Hit an opportune ultimate. This is particularly devastating if you hit a carry, assassin, or burst caster. Your team can converge on the stunned target and remove them from the fight without the target's resistance. Alternatively, if it does hit the tank, that is up to 3.5 seconds for which the tank cannot protect the team's squishies, nor can he counter-initiate. This ultimate is long as it hits.

2. Remember Summoner Heal. If you took Heal (which you should), and it is cooled down, do not hesitate to use it to spare the lives of a carry or mage. Keep in mind that you should not use it to protect yourself. You are not a carry, and therefore it is better if you take focus than your carries.

3. Apply Frost Shots to any target that may try to flee. The permaslow provided drastically reduces the chance of escape without the use of Summoner Flash or a blink ability.

4. Remember active items. If the enemies attempt an escape, Shurelia's Reverie may let your team catch up. Randuin's Omen can turn a chase in your team's favor. These items work just as well in reverse, providing a slow to enemies and a speed buff to allies should the fight be unfavorable to remain in.

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Tips and Tricks for Playing With and As Support Ashe

Playing As Support Ashe
-Do not spam Volley in lane. It's mostly a protective kiting move in lane.
-Try to learn your passive's buildup time. This will simplify harass.
-Practice hitting Enchanted Crystal Arrow.
-Do not hesitate to take a last-hit if no one else is available to do so; Hawkshot's passive will make supportive use of it.

Playing With Support Ashe
-As her carry, try to play with extreme caution. Unlike Taric, Janna, and Alistar, Ashe does not provide a reliable non-ultimate peel to save you if caught out of position. Unlike Soraka, Sona, and Alistar, she does not possess a spammable or strong heal with which to undo enemy harass or ally error. In exchange, she will provide you with powerful initiation and immense utility.
-Also as her carry, consider running a Heal Summoner Spell of your own if you are concerned about sustain.
-As her teammate, try to be aware of when Enchanted Crystal Arrow is available for use; also be aware of when it is used, and make every effort to capitalize on it if an enemy is hit.
-As her teammate, allow her to destroy wards for the 26-30 gold she will receive (as opposed to your own 25, which you can get from simple CS-ing).
-Also, don't object if she gains CS while alone with minion waves. Everyone can use gold, and supports are no exception.
-As a team player, don't hesitate to call for CV/Hawkshot on a key point--but don't expect them to be available at any given moment. On a similar note, do not expect her to handle all warding.

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In conclusion, Support Ashe is a fun and interesting way to play a classic carry as something far from it. With good teamwork and play, she can be as game-changing as any typical support may be.
Don't doubt it before you try it.