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Orianna Build Guide by xylotastic

AP Carry Orianna Guide - Balls Deep Penetration

AP Carry Orianna Guide - Balls Deep Penetration

Updated on July 14, 2013
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League of Legends Build Guide Author xylotastic Build Guide By xylotastic 2 5 11,010 Views 13 Comments
2 5 11,010 Views 13 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author xylotastic Orianna Build Guide By xylotastic Updated on July 14, 2013
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Hello everyone! I'm xylotastic. I'm not a pro or even a high-elo player, but I do have a passion for this game and specifically to Orianna, my favorite champion. I feel the current guides available aren't utilizing her full potential and are often very misleading, so I decided to make my own. I hope you pick up something valuable from this guide and I will appreciate your feedback on it.

Pros / Cons


+ Great farmer
+ Very hard to gank
+ Scales like a beast
+ Great poking and kiting
+ Game-changing ultimate


- High skill cap
- Farm dependent
- Has a hard time against assassins


Standard 21-0-9 ap carry masteries. Notably important to this build is the spellsword mastery, which complements Orianna's passive and Nashor's tooth passive to make her auto-attack deal 35% ap or around 200 bonus magic damage at full build. And considering this is a penetration build, that's almost 200 true damage every auto-attack.


  • Greater Quintessence of Scaling Mana Regeneration: Scaling mana regeneration quints and seals are the most gold-efficient runes in the game. Along with tear of the goddess, Orianna only needs one quint or three seals to maintain her mana demands.
  • Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Did I mention this is a penetration build?
  • Greater Seal of Armor: Orianna starts the game with 8 armor, which means that at level one, any attack damage champion deals almost true damage to her. Granted, her armor scales -- but not fast enough, and she still needs a decent flat amount of armor to survive early game against ad mids or ad-based junglers.
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Unlike armor, orianna starts with a decent amount of magic resist. So getting a full batch of flat magic resist runes is not as efficient as using scaling runes to make you tankier as the game progresses.

Summoner Spells

Flash: Aside from Command: Dissonance, the only escape Orianna has. Since she's very squishy until much later in the game when her shield is leveled and she gets seraph's, this one is a must.

Teleport: Maybe it's my solo queue mentality, but teleport always seemed overpowered to me. Get back in lane so you don't miss creeps. Gank bottom using the brush ward. Pick up that massive creep wave on the other side of the map before it dies to the tower. Steal baron from your base. Backdoor their nexus. So many uses for this spell that for me it's a favorite.

Other Options

Ignite: Orianna is not an assassin, but she can be played aggressive. Take this if you want to go for kills in lane.

Ability Explanation

  • Clockwork Windup: Great passive. Makes last hitting in lane so much easier. Makes you win early auto-attack exchanges with your lane opponent, or just harass melee champs really hard. Once you get Nashor's tooth you'll be auto-attacking almost like your ad carry.
  • Command: Attack (Q): Your bread and butter ability. With max rank CDR you get this every 1.8 seconds. Use it to last hit from safety in lane, harass, scout a brush before you face-check, and position the ball for your next attack. Keep the ball close to your opponent so he cannot react when you send it on him.
  • Command: Dissonance (W): This ability has many uses. Along with Command: Attack, it's one of your primary farming abilities until very late in the game. It deals a high amount of damage around a decent area, which makes it great for wave clearing. It's also part of your main + combo to harass. It is used to escape ganks, chasing and kiting along with Command: Protect. The same + combo will save more allies ***es than you can count, when you put the ball on them and haste them out of danger.
  • Command: Protect (E): Protect yourself. Protect your allies. Most people forget that this ability deals decent amount of damage. When Ahri dives your tower, wait until the last tick of the ignite to pull the ball through her and shield yourself while she dies to the last tower hit.
  • Command: Shockwave (R): Game changing ultimate. Get it on their adc+apc, and you win the teamfight. Get it on all 5 members and your team gets the ace. This ability is your only hard CC so use it wisely. Use your teleport to gank with it. When you're being chased and it's your only option, place the ball behind the enemy and pull him backwards. Drop it on enemies who try to tower dive you. You can defend turrets 1v5 if you place it from a safe distance. This is your main initiation and your main damage source. However, unless you are completely safe and see 5 enemies baiting in a warded brush, do not be the first to initiate. You are too squishy and will probably get hard CCed and die. Wait for Sona to drop her crescendo before you ult, or put the ball on your tank and let him dive in for a wombo-combo.

Ability Sequence Order

> > >
Max Command: Attack first. Unlike Command: Dissonance, it scales with both damage and cooldown, and doesn't increase the mana costs. You will also be using it much more often. If you are laning against a heavy harasser, consider putting a few early points in Command: Protect to survive the early game.


Item Sequence

Sorcerer's Shoes 1100
Seraph's Embrace 2900
Rabadon's Deathcap 3600
Liandry's Torment 3000
Nashor's Tooth 3000
Deathfire Grasp 3100

Get this item right after tear of the goddess. Getting your penetration items early is always more efficient since your base magic damage from your abilities and auto-attacks is high enough that it will take a lot of big-ticket AP items to compare to. There are only 4-5 magic penetration items in the game, and this one is a must. The earlier you get it, the earlier you can start causing havoc.

Get tear of the goddess on your first back, unless you get obliterated in lane, in which case get another doran's ring. Stack it constantly, even just throwing balls around every 4 seconds. Don't upgrade to seraph's until you've completed your sorcerer's shoes, haunting guise and fiendish codex. You won't have the stacks anyway, and early penetration and CDR is much more important to you. Once you get it, use the active as a makeshift barrier. It is one of your only defensive tools so use it wisely.

After seraph's, your other big-ticket AP item. If you get this before 20 minutes, you're doing good. If you have your penetration and early CDR all set, and have 1600 gold to spare, don't hesitate to get a needlessly large rod even before completing your seraph's.

Your second must-have penetration item. For the penetration stats, it's only required to get a haunting guise, right after your sorcerer's shoes. You don't need to upgrade it until very late in the game. Along with deathfire grasp, this item will help you chunk down tanks easily in the late game.

Your main CDR item. Combined with Clockwork Windup, makes your auto-attacks hit like a truck. Great for split-pushing or just taking objectives in general. The CDR from fiendish codex is enough for most of the mid-game, but make sure to get this after your rabadon's.

Another huge AP item. This is your last item and the most exchangeable one. It gives you a little extra CDR for the late game as well as the ability to chunk down the beefy level 18 tanks. Don't be afraid to switch this item for the game's needs.

Situational Items

Replaces nashor's tooth as your CDR item against ad-heavy compositions. Aside from the ridiculous amount of armor and great passive, grants a good amount of mana that along with your seraph's translate to more ability power and a larger shield. Instead of fiendish codex, rush glacial shroud as the early CDR item right after getting your penetration items.

More penetration! This item is so good I wish all my games had double-ap comps. Unless the enemy stacks a high amount of MR, this is a better penetration item than void staff while providing a ridiculous amount of MR, not to mention helping other casters on your team. If you are laning against a burst AP champion like ahri or fizz, consider getting a negatron cloak right after your tear to be able to survive their burst. Upgrade it after you get your other penetration items and fiendish codex. This item replaces deathfire grasp in your final build.

Get this item when the enemy team has both an Ahri and a Zed. Or more generally, get this item when you are likely to get focused and bursted by mixed damage champions before you can deal your damage. Seeker's armguard is a great gold-efficient item, so get it early after your tear, especially if you are laning against an ad champion like zed. This item replaces deathfire grasp in your final build.

Great item when the enemy is stacking MR across the board. You don't need it until late game when percentage penetration is higher than flat penetration. This item replaces deathfire grasp in your final build.

Get this item when the other team has a lot of hard CC, or you are laning against someone like Brand or Annie that can stun you every 20 seconds. If you plan to get this item, consider starting with a null-magic mantle instead of a doran's ring.

Get this item if you want to assassinate the enemy carries late in the game. It dramatically increases your front-end burst to a whopping 110% of your AP in a single attack. Because of the movement speed stats, you can either get this instead of your DFG or even instead of your boots.

What NOT to Get and Why

Almost every Orianna guide puts this item as part of the main build, and I strongly disagree. The main argument goes like this: "It has all the stats Orianna needs". That may be true, but it ignores the fact that there are better items for the same stats. Tear of the goddess alone gives Orianna all the mana regeneration she needs with a large mana pool, and seraph's provides an awesome shield and a ridiculous amount of AP (130+ at level 18). You certainly shouldn't get both, and seraph's is just too good to pass up. The only stats I really miss from the time I used to build athene's is the MR stats, but usually getting an abyssal scepter or mercury's treads makes for a better choice if you absolutely need the MR.

Similar argument to the one above. You need seraph's and you don't need that much mana regen that you get from both. I've seen pro players build this and bashed my head against the keyboard.

When it comes to defensive items, stacking armor or MR is always more gold efficient than stacking HP. Unless you are a champion that scales off HP like Zac, this item is not a good investment.

This is a great item, but I wouldn't recommend it on Orianna. Even though getting a catalyst the protector catalyst is great for the laning phase, you get all the mana regeneration you need from your tear, and as the explanation above, stacking HP is not really what you should be aiming at. Unlike Ryze, Swain or Morgana, you shouldn't find yourself in the middle of the enemy team during a teamfight, so you really don't need to be stacking that much HP.

Strategy: Laning Phase

During the laning phase, you should be farming. You are not an assassin so you cannot rely on getting kills in lane, so your income has to come from your creep score. Make sure to last hit everything you can. Push the lane out and get your wraiths and your wolves. Ward their wraiths and get them too. Communicate with your jungler to get you the second blue buff so you can spam your abilities and farm faster. Unless your lane opponent is roaming heavily, do not try to take his tower as it will deny him a lot of creeps. When your lane opponent does decide to roam, put pressure on his tower or use your teleport to counter-gank him. Be careful not to over extend. If you are getting ganked, + and start walking away. Wait until -after- the enemies used their hard CC to flash it and get back to safety. Always ward one side of the river and stay close to it. Run to that side instead of your tower if you are being ganked.
  • The Farmer:
    As Orianna, you can outfarm any champion in the game. If they don't harass you, make sure you outfarm them. Prioritize last hitting over everything you do, but make sure to harass them when you have the chance.
  • The Pusher:
    These champions try to win the lane by out-pushing you. They have stronger wave clear at the early levels and will push you to your tower where you can't last hit as well. Communicate with your jungler to punish them for over-extending. Once you reach level 8 you should be able to wave clear with a single combo, so you shouldn't worry about them after that stage.
  • The Harasser:
    These champions will try to poke you down and zone you out of farm. Wait until level 3 and trade in kind. Dodge their skillshots and land your own. Get a decent amount of health potions to sustain in lane.
  • The AP Assassin:
    These champions can burst you down. They have good gap closers and higher single-target damage output. Don't stay in lane with low hp and keep your distance. You should be able to farm from safe range using Command: Attack. Harass them from safe distance when you can to get their HP low enough so they are afraid to dive you. On your first back, consider getting a negatron cloak along with your tear if you can afford it. Most of these champions reach their full burst potential only at level 6 so be aware that they will try to dive you at that stage. Immediately + + when they dive you to make them back off. Once you get your negatron cloak you can easily out trade them.
  • The AD Assassin:
    Very similar gameplay to the AP assasin, with the obvious difference that you should get armor as soon as you can. Stack a couple of cloth armors on your first back to later build into your seeker's armguard, or get a chain vest to later build into a glacial shroud.

Strategy: Combinations

  • Basic Poke/Farming Combo:
    Use this combo to farm everything until late game. Don't use it before level 3 as it will not be worth the mana cost. Use it to harass your opponent in lane.
  • Late Game Farming Combo:
    You deal enough damage now that you don't need Command: Dissonance anymore.
  • I'm Being Dived Combo:
    Use it when someone tries to dive you. They won't expect the damage and you will interrupt their combo. Watch them run away and don't forget to press Ctrl+4 at that exact moment.
  • Surprise Ultimate Combo:
    When your lane opponent has less than 50% hp, put the ball in lane and play super-passive. Wait until they get in range of the ball and drop this combo on them for a quick kill.
  • Savior Combo:
    Put the ball on your ally and haste him to get his over-extending *** out of danger. Combine this with captain boots to get a lot of friends.
  • Offensive Savior Combo:
    Your ally is in a 1v1 against a melee and hes losing? no problem. Put the ball on him and immediately Command: Dissonance to crush his opponent's health bar.
  • Standard Team-fight Combo:
    Get this on high priority targets. You can instakill a support with it, but don't use it unless you get at least a carry and two other guys in the shockwave.
  • Ball Delivery System Combo:
    Put the ball on your friendly malphite and let him ult onto the enemy team. Getting this combo right is what makes Orianna too fun to play.


When played right, Orianna is the strongest champion in the game in my opinion. It is fun to play and a very good choice for almost any team composition. I hope you enjoy this guide and I'd like to hear your feedback about it.

Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.
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xylotastic Orianna Guide
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