Ahri – A Review And A Guide

Posted: January 13, 2012 by xenocidebrm in Champions, Guides

Ahri is one of those champions you look at in lane and cringe at. She doesn’t do insane damage, she doesn’t beat every champion, and she certainly doesn’t have the best sustain. However, she is a good Jack-of-all-trades, except she’s more of a Queen than a Jack, being better than average at virtually everything.

Ahri, contrary to popular belief, is an assassin. Like many of the more powerful assassins, she combines lifesteal, range, and mobility to dart in and out of combat, scoring kills with multi-target burst. It is her multi-target burst that tricks people into thinking she is not an assassin: Ahri is the first mutli-target assassin. Much in the same way that Leona is a tank designed to combat a small group of enemies, Ahri too is designed around these early and mid game skirmishes.

Ahri’s passive, Soul Eater (now renamed Essence Theft), is a stacking ability, granting Ahri a stack every time one of her spells deals damage to a target. You may recieve up to 3 stacks per spell, as most of her spells can hit multiple targets. When Ahri reaches 9 stacks, her next spell will have 35% spell vamp and her stacks reset. While the spell vamp on paper appears significant, it delivers much less sustain than you would expect, encouraging Ahri to push her lane in order to keep her sustain up. While it can be used in teamfights or as a clutch heal during a gank, it does not fill either of these roles very well. However, with clever planning and positioning, you can use this ability in conjunction with Ahri’s ultimate to use a pre-stacked passive, ult three times, and then use your passive again. This grants you an enormous amount of health to play around with in a teamfight, so always assume that Ahri has around 70% more health than she appears to have.

Orb of Deception is Ahri’s Q, a skillshot ball that flies away from Ahri, then returns to her, dealing magic damage on the way out and true damage on the way back. Much like Sivir’s Boomerang Blade, this skill is slow but does heavy damage even with a low 0.33 AP ratio. This is because the 0.33 AP ratio is applied twice, once on the way out and once on the way back, making it a 0.66 AP ratio. The true damage is icing on the cake, allowing Ahri to virtually ignore champions stacking Magic Resist. Positioning, again, is very important on Ahri, as the orb will always return to her regardless of range. Moving around means that you will almost always score both hits on an enemy during laning phase, and its ability to hit multiple targets devastates teams who are clumped up. Hitting targets at the very end of the range will apply both the magic and true damage immediately, giving her deceptively high burst.

Fox-Fire is Ahri’s W. When activated, three balls of spirit-fire circle around Ahri for several seconds. If Ahri is near an enemy unit, the fires will fly out, striking the nearest target for magic damage. Each ball tracks individually and from its own location, making it one of the more technically impressive abilities in League of Legends. More than one ball can strike a single target, but each subsequent ball does 50% reduced damage, encouraging Ahri to optimize its damage by being inside of a group of enemies and having the balls strike individual opponents as opposed to on the outskirts where all three balls will likely strike a single opponent. Like Orb of Deception, it has a low AP ratio of 0.38 per ball of flame. This means that its total AP ratio versus a single target can be no more than 0.76 while its full damage when each ball strikes an individual target is a respectable 1.14.

Charm, Ahri’s E, is a skillshot taunt with a relatively long range. Again, it has a low AP ratio of 0.35 but this is mitigated by the fact that it is a ranged Rammus taunt that also slows the target by 50%! Using any of Ahri’s skills takes great positioning, and this one is no exception, as your taunt is blocked by enemy minions and monsters. However, the taunt allows her other skills to be in proper position, ensuring at least a free Orb of Deception on the target. This is Ahri’s most important skill in laning phase, a one-point wonder that turns her from a laner with decent harass and sustain into a Morgana-like lane-crusher. If you get hit by Charm, Ahri is virtually guaranteed to take away 1/3 of your HP bar or more.

Spirit Rush is Ahri’s R, an ultimate that puts other Flash-like abilities to shame. When activated, Ahri will dash towards your cursor firing essence bolts at the three nearest targets, firing bolts and prioritizing champions in a manner identical to Fox-Fire. Once the ultimate has been used, it remains available to cast up to two additional times within 10 or so seconds before going on cooldown. This ultimate does go through most walls as do the essence bolts, although they will not target enemies you don’t have vision of. This ultimate has a short cooldown and makes Ahri immune to ganking and an excellent tower diver. Like her other skills, it has a horrid 0.3 AP ratio, but its multiple uses jack its single target AP ratio up to 0.9 and its multi-target AP ratio to an incredible 2.7.

DamnDirtyCat’s Ahri Build

Runes: Flat AP Quints, Magic Penetration Reds, Scaling Mana Regen Yellows, and Scaling AP Blues. Ahri is pretty much a standard AP caster, and you should use standard AP runes. Her low AP ratios might actually make her a viable candidate for replacing the Scaling AP Blues with inferior Magic Pen Blues or Quints.

Masteries: 21/0/9 or 9/0/21. Ahri benefits from both extra damage in the Offense tree and the fun niche portions of the Utility tree, making either set of masteries viable. If you want to aim more for the late game, favor the Offense tree, otherwise take the Utility tree for an amazing mid game.

Starting Items:  OR x3

Ahri’s early game is mostly crap. Since you’ll need an advantage, grab a Doran’s Ring or Boots and Pots to help farm up until you can grab some more items.

Early Game: AND OR

Grab Merc Treads if the enemy team has lots of CC, as a stunned Ahri is a dead Ahri. I don’t normally recommend Sorcerer’s Shoes, but since each individual hit of Ahri’s Fox-Fire and Spirit Rush count as individual spells, each benefits from the extra Magic Penetration up to three times (nine for all three uses of Spirit Rush). More Doran’s Rings if you are behind, otherwise start building your Rylai’s.

Mid Game:

If you haven’t finished your Rylai’s, finish that now, otherwise grab a Void Staff and/or Mejai’s Soulstealer depending on how well you’re doing. This is your strongest phase of the game, so make it count! Throw in a Fiendish Codex for some more CDR for more utility in teamfights.

Late Game:

Now it’s time to turn that Fiendish Codex into something useful. Go for either Morello’s Evil Tome if you’re in a lot of teamfights or Deathfire Grasp if you’re constantly in duel situations. Round out the build with an Abyssal Scepter, and Banshee’s Veil/Zhonya’s Hourglass.

Skills: R > Q > W > E.

Strategy: As an AP Assassin, Ahri does best in Mid. Play a mildly conservative early game, as you’re not strong enough to duel quite yet but you do out-harass most normal Mid champions. Whenever your lane is pushes, look to gank the side lanes. Farm until you hit 6, then destroy the other Mid laner or gank a side lane. These early kills are critical to keep Ahri viable late game, so nab as many as you can when your ultimate is up. While ideally you want to use your ultimate to kill people as opposed to escaping a gank, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Blue buff is very helpful to Ahri, but she’s not super dependent upon it, so if you’re ahead of the opposing Mid consider donating the Blue to another ally. Mini-teamfights are where you shine, so always pay attention to the map and head right into those fights. If you show up late, you can usually clean up and score a lot of kills, and if you show up early you’ll still do a ton of damage. Mid game is your strongest, so make sure to push those lanes! You’re not great at helping with Dragon or Baron, but your Orb can push enemies away from your team while they grab these critical jungle camps. Late game you start to fall off, so play a lot more carefully and you’ll be able to maintain an assassin’s presence until the bitter end.

Tactics: Your Q should ideally be lined up to hit both minions and the opposing player in lane to harass while you farm. / If you are missing health, charge up your passive and use your Q to regain health on a large minion wave. While in theory your W will grant you more health, it puts you too far in danger to be consistently useful for your passive. / You can harass enemies easily under their tower with your E and Q. When they’re low, dive in with your ultimate to score an easy kill! / Activate your Fox-Fire before entering a bush. The damage might be enough to deter a surprise attacker. / Although your ultimate does a lot of damage if you hit with all three uses, each use still requires the same amount of mana. Double check your mana bar before you dive in and use your ultimate only as many times as necessary. / Don’t overextend when your ultimate is down. / Using your ultimate to dive into a teamfight, followed by using Zhoyna’s active will cause enemies to spread their damage between you and their focused target. When you emerge from the active, use your remaining two ultimates to clean up or escape! / You can travel a shorter distance than the full range of your ultimate if you wish.

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