LoL Ahri Guide – Builds, Strategy and Roles

By   /   Jan 20, 2012


Xan Hisam – Ahri; inspired by the nine-tailed fox from Korean mythology; hence the obvious reference in the name, is a powerful spell-caster with immense survivability, particularly after her ultimate becomes available.

With low base armor and health, Ahri is an easy target early in the game. Her spells do not require a lot of mana for casting and have high range; however they have to be casted over and over making her quite mana intensive. She is classified as a mage, an assassin and a ranger in League of Legends.

Ahri Abilities

Essence Theft (Innate Passive)
Ahri gains a charge of Essence Theft when one of her spells hits an enemy (max: 3 charges per spell). Upon reaching 9 charges, Ahri’s next spell has 35% Spell Vamp.

Orb of Deception (Q)
Ahri sends out and pulls back her orb, dealing magic damage on the way out and true damage on the way back.

Fox Fire (W)
Ahri releases three fox-fires, which after a short delay lock on and attack nearby enemies (prioritizes champions). Targets already hit by one fox-fire are dealt half (50%) damage from subsequent fox fires.

Charm (E)
Ahri blows a kiss that damages and charms the first enemy it encounters, reducing their movement speed by 50% and causing them to walk harmlessly towards her.

Spirit Rush (R)
Ahri dashes forward and fires essence bolts, damaging 3 nearby champions (prioritizes champions). In the next 10 seconds, spirit rush can be cast up twice more before going on cooldown. An enemy can only be hit once per dash.

Your Guide To Ahri Abilities

  • Spirit Rush can be used to dash through certain walls.
  • Fox Fire does not have a casting time, allowing you to move when activating it.
  • Essence Theft spell vamp is not lost if you miss your spell after accumulating 9 charges.
  • Fox fire is considered a single target spell and procs effects accordingly.
  • Each dash of Spirit Rush can proc Lich Bane given that you wait for the Lich Bane effect to cooldown each time.
  • Fox Fire and Spirit Dash only target champions that are visible to you.

All of Ahri’s abilities scale with AP; therefore, building a lot of AP is a good way to make Ahri. However, Ahri relies heavily on continuously casting her spells and needs a lot of mana to stay in lanes and team-fights for a longer period.

Apart from that, her low defenses and health make her vulnerable to burst damage. So, when making items for her, consider ones that give her mana and/or health along with AP like Rod of the Ages and Rylai’s Crystal Scepter. The in-game recommended items are appropriate for your early few games with Ahri.

How To Play With Ahri in League of Legends

Ahri is a difficult champion to start with. Almost all of her abilities are skill shots, and require timing and positioning for maximum effect.

She is a decent farmer and can kill multiple creeps quickly using fox-fire and orb of deception. The same 2 spells; in conjunction with Charm, are great for harassing opponents and getting kills.

Ahri Starter Build

As is the case with almost every champion when starting with them, your best choice is to use defense runes. That way, any mistakes you make during the game aren’t as damaging.

Your build should be something like this:
9 flat Magic Resistance glyphs, 9 flat Armor seals and 9 Magic Penetration marks which should give you slightly more than 8 Magic Penetration. You could also use 9 ‘Greater Mark of Alacrity’ for attack speed, which would help you in last-hitting minions, although they do become useless late game and I would suggest against using them.

For quintessences, you could use one for each stat; that is, one for Armor, one for Magic Resistance and one for Magic Penetration or you could stack any one of them. ‘Percentage increase in Experience’ quintessences are also useful for gaining supremacy in levels over your opponents, giving you the upper hand.

Spend points in offensive masteries to complement your rune set when using the suggested runes. Your mastery tree should be 21/6/3 (21 in offensive, 6 in defensive and 3 in utility). Follow the AP and magic penetration path in offensive masteries, get +6 armor and magic resist from the defensive masteries and increased maximum mana from the utility masteries.

If you are using experience increase quintessences, do get the ‘Awareness’ and ‘Sage’ masteries from the Utility tree to further increase experience gained. Your setting should somewhat be along the lines of 0/8/22 when going for increased experience.

Take ‘Flash’ and ‘Ignite’ as your summoner spells. You can invest a point or two in improving one or both spells when deciding on your masteries. Having ‘Flash’ on Ahri makes it nearly impossible to trap her by making her extremely good at moving in and out of battle.

Ahri Items, Abilities and Tips

A ‘Doran’s Ring’ should be your first purchase. Once you’ve made some gold, start grabbing components for Rod of the Ages and the standard boots.

After completing Rod of the Ages, upgrade your boots to Sorcerer’s Shoes. When done with these 2 items, start working on Rabadon’s Deathcap if the match is going well, if not, focus on Rylai’s Crystal Scepter buying Giant’s Belt first.

Your 4th item should be whichever of the two you did not make. Now, buy components for Will of the Ancients or make it in one go if you have enough gold. For your last item, you can either go with Void Staff for magic penetration, or you could make a defensive item like Guardian Angel or Banshee’s Veil depending on what you need in the match.

For abilities, start with ‘Fox Fire’, or if you’re good at skill-shots, learn ‘Orb of Deception’. At the next level, unlock ‘Charm’. From here onwards, level ‘Fox Fire’ and ‘Orb of Deception’ until they are maxed out before leveling ‘Charm’ again. Which of the 2 you level first depends on which one you’re more comfortable with. Level up your ultimate at levels 6, 11 and 16.

To nail ‘Orb of Deception’, cast it towards an enemy after first landing ‘Charm’ on them. Follow it up with ‘Fox Fire’ and ‘Spirit Rush’. If you level fast and play right, this should be enough to kill an enemy champion. Do watch the charges on your ‘Essence Theft’ passive.

Once you have 9 charges, hit all 6 (or 7 if there’s a turret minion) minions in a wave with ‘Orb of Deception’ to quickly replenish any lost health.

Pay attention to the map, and time your advances with Ahri’s ultimate carefully because it’s just as easy to rush to your death when using it offensively as it is to escape certain death situations when using it defensively.

Go to next page for advanced play-styles and build strategies.

On this page you will find advanced play-styles with different build strategies you can employ from time to time.

Ahri Advanced Play-Styles – Build Strategy

All-out AP
Masteries: 21/0/9
Focus on the AP and magic penetration path all the way down to the final mastery. Get mana and movement from utility.

Runes: Fill your rune set with flat AP runes in every available slot.

Summoner Spells: ‘Flash’ for sure. For the second spell, go either ‘Clarity’ if you intend to spam your abilities a lot, or ‘Ignite’ for more offensive power.

Abilities: Unlock ‘Orb of Deception’ first and then ‘Charm’ at level 2. Continue leveling ‘Orb of Deception’ until it is maxed out. Do not level ‘Charm’ any further until you have maxed out ‘Fox Fire’ as well. Leveling ultimate whenever it’s available goes without saying.

Items: Start with Amplifying Tome or Sapphire Crystal, depending on how often you intend to use your abilities. When making your first visit back to the shop, make sure you have enough cash to buy a Hextech Revolver or Catalyst the Protector (depends on which item you bought first) and Boots of Speed.

Next, finish up on Will of the Ancients or Rod of the Ages, whichever you went for first. Once done, work on finishing the other previously mentioned item. When done with both of those items, rush Rabadon’s Deathcap. Make a Void Staff as your 5th item.

For your last item, you can either go with Morello’s Evil Tome for cooldown and AP, or make Zhonya’s Hourglass if enemy DPS is being bothersome or you need some time in stasis to avoid enemy abilities. If the match still isn’t over, you can buy all the elixirs and just hope the match goes your way.

It’s a Make or break play-style. Chances of recovering after making mistakes early on are fairly low. A game going downhill will usually continue to go downhill. However, it’s easy to get strong enough to kill multiple enemy champions in one combo.

The objective of this play style is to have immense offensive capabilities. The focus on spell vamp in items is to mess up enemy calculations. Your seemingly low health acts as a great bait to lure enemies and set-up killer combos.

The build opts for flat AP runes instead of magic penetration because the player has to take advantage of Orb of Deception’s true damage on its way back. For this, precise skill-shots are necessary. Even way early in the game, you should be strong enough to take out enemy mages and DPS characters in one combo.

However, it is crucial that you do not die much and kill a lot. Make the most of every opportunity you get at an enemy champion but do not let bloodlust cloud your judgment. Always know when you have to move back.

Balanced Spell Slinger
Masteries: 21/9/0
Take the same path for offensive masteries as before. Spend points in defensive masteries that increase health, magic resist and armor.

Runes: Magic penetration in Marks and Quintessences, flat armor in Seals and magic resistance per level in Glyphs.

Summoner Spells: Simply take ‘Flash’ and ‘Ignite’. ‘Ignite’ is necessary to make sure you don’t miss kills.

Abilities: Alternate between ‘Orb of Deception’ and ‘Fox Fire’ early on. Do not unlock ‘Charm’ until level 8. Max out ‘Orb of Deception’ and ‘Fox Fire’ first. Unlock ultimate at level 6 and upgrade it at levels 11 and 16.

Items: Begin match buy buying Doran’s Ring. At your next visit to the store, purchase shoes and whatever components of Rod of the Ages you can buy. Keep working on finishing Rod of the Ages. When done, upgrade shoes to Sorcerer’s Shoes and start making Rylai’s Crystal Scepter.

This should give you enough health to fully participate in team-fights. Next, make a Rabadon’s Deathcap if you’re able to amass enough gold. If not, simply keep playing until you have enough to buy a Needlessly Large Rod.

Finish up on Rabadon’s Deathcap as soon as you can and move to creating a Void Staff. For your last item, make Guardian Angel if you need defense. If not, Lich Bane would be a wise choice. The proc effect should be really helpful, as should the passive movement speed buff. The slight magic resistance should decrease incoming magic damage by roughly 5% as well.

It’s a relatively easier, textbook play-style involving low or almost no risk. You won’t be making too many attempts to kill your opponents and will focus on killing minions until made, therefore, making your chances of failing low. However, the focus on a passive play-style will not make you the dominant force in a match leaving victory at the mercy of your side’s teamwork.

A more traditional approach to playing spell-casters, this build should give Ahri moderate firepower along with some pretty decent health, allowing you to last longer in fights. Focus on last-hitting minions and not missing any creep kills since high creep scores early on are vital for getting strong quickly.

This play-style rewards consistency. The more you practice it, the more you can perfect it. Make sure to move with your team once the lane phase ends. Don’t initiate team-fights, but don’t be the last person to enter a fight either. Your health should let you survive enemy AoE attacks.

Use Spirit Rush to quickly move around in a team-fight to evade as many enemy abilities as you can. Since you will be dealing moderate damage, the enemy team will try to focus you, so keep moving in a fight to make targeting difficult for your enemies, and always take cover behind your team’s tank.

How To Counter Ahri

When playing against Ahri, take cover behind minions so that she can’t land ‘Charm’ on you. Stay at a safe distance to avoid being targeted by ‘Fox Fire’ and keep moving to evade ‘Orb of Deception’.

When going for a kill on Ahri, do not overextend when she still has her ultimate. Either try killing her when ‘Spirit Rush’ is on cooldown, or tactically disable her with the help of another teammate and finish her off in one combo.

If you chase her, make sure not to travel in a straight path and zigzag to dodge her abilities as she would definitely try to cast ‘Charm’ and ‘Orb of Deception’ to get you low enough for a kill or to set up an escape.

During lane phase, continuously harass Ahri and keep her low on health. That way, she won’t attempt to kill you. If you shut Ahri down early in the game, she isn’t much of a threat in team-fights later on.

So, did you like the guide ? let us know your feedback in the comments. If you want to add something to the guide, don’t hold back.

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