Guide to League of Legends’ Ahri: Recent changes, builds, items, & more
February 23 2022
Ahri, the Nine-Tailed Fox, is one of League of Legends’ oldest and best-loved champions. Released over a decade ago, Ahri still makes her way into the meta on a regular basis. The improvements to Ahri in patch 12.3 shot her all the way to the top of the rankings for the mid-lane role, making now the perfect time to pick up the champion for your arsenal.
Patch 12.3 changes improved several aspects of Ahri’s kit. As well as improving the AP-scaling ratio of Ahri’s Q, it reduced the mana-cost of Ahri’s W and E, improved the targeting of her W. There’s also a new passive that allows her to get additional charges for her ultimate based on the death of her target(s).
Ahri, the Nine-Tailed Fox—basic abilities
While Ahri is already over ten years old, keeping up with all the champions in League of Legends is quite a struggle, so let’s take a quick look at the basics of Ahri’s abilities.
Ahri’s current passive, Essence Theft, is incredibly simple. Kill nine minions or monsters, gain some health. Keeping track of how close you are to your passive is worthwhile as it creates excellent opportunities for you to trade health and mana with your opponents before you heal back a portion.
Q - Orb of Deception
Ahri’s Q—Orb of Deception—is her primary wave clear and damaging tool. Optimizing your use of Orb of Deception is one of the trickier things to learn with Ahri, as the spell heavily relies on your movement and control of the lane. If you can keep the perfect distance between you and your opponent, Orb of Deception becomes nearly unavoidable. In addition, at the max range of the spell, you can instantly hit both parts of the spell to take a large chunk out of your opponent’s life total.
W - Fox-Fire
Fox-Fire is one of Ahri’s spells that received a significant upgrade in the League of Legends 12.3 update. The three fox-fires now prioritize enemy champions and last-hitting minions much more effectively. Previously these would often go where you wouldn’t want them, often causing issues for Ahri players farming under their tower.
In addition, the mana cost reduction is quite significant as that was previously one of Ahri’s weaker areas (before she purchased a Lost Chapter). The new Fox-Fire helps you trade more effectively in the lane and helps you catch the first minions very effectively. The spell is so effective that players have started to use Fox-Fire as their level-one spell over the previous Q - Orb of Deception start.
E - Charm
Another one of Ahri’s tools, E - Charm, got a quite significant rework in 12.3, which is a large part of Ahri’s rise in the current meta. Previously a large amount of Ahri’s damage relied on landing Charm, as landing it granted a % damage buff to all of Ahri’s other spells. However, in the 12.3 update, Charm now deals significantly more base damage, has better scaling with ability power, and costs a notable twenty less mana.
The change improves Ahri’s options a lot, as she no longer needs to hit the first Charm to have kill potential on her opponents.
R - Spirit Rush
The last major change to Ahri is to Spirit Rush, a short dash that deals damage to nearby enemies. Initially, Spirit Rush has three charges that Ahri can use in the span of 15 seconds after her first cast. However, the new rework allows her to play much more aggressively as being part of a champion kill grants her an additional charge of Spirit Rush in addition to a time extension of when she can use it. The improvement to team fighting and even to Ahri’s solo-killing potential cannot be underestimated.
The two Rune setups for Ahri
Ahri has two main paths for rune setups, each having a different playstyle associated with it. Ahri nearly always runs a primary Domination rune setup, with Electrocute, Taste of Blood, Eyeball Collection, and Ultimate Hunter. The Electrocute setup is a staple for the champion and just synergizes immensely with Ahri’s preferred trading patterns.
The secondary setup has some more flexibility, with the common options being an Inspiration setup with Biscuit Delivery and Timewarp Tonic or Sorcery with Manaflow Band and Transcendence. How you decide between the two comes down entirely to your lane opponent. If you expect to be constantly fighting, like against a Viktor or Syndra, you want to prioritize the extra sustain from Inspiration alongside a first item Corrupting Potion.
Whereas if you play against a more passive early game champion like a Kassadin or some kind of Tank, you can use the Sorcery setup with a Doran’s Ring start to get better scaling through the mid-game of your match.
The low-rank alternative
One of Ahri’s strengths is using Q - Orb of Deception to clear caster minions in one attack at certain points in the game. While most higher-rank Ahri players reach the required AP-benchmarks for the “Sweet spot,” the point where you can clear the entire minion wave in two Qs, lower rank players may struggle to gain enough gold if they don’t consistently find kills.
Something Ahri players used to do back in the day was to switch the Biscuit Delivery rune for Minion Dematerializer. The rune gives you three charges which you can use on minions to gain additional damage against those minion-types, 6% for the first and an additional 3% for each of the other charges. The way you can benefit here is to use these Minion Dematerializer charges on the Cannon (1x) and Caster Minions (2x), which helps you reach the threshold at a much lower ability power number.
Itemization options for Ahri - Everfrost vs. Luden’s Echo
With Ahri’s playstyle, your first item is most commonly the Everfrost. Since your ultimate ability Spirit Rush allows you to get close to your opponent, the Everfrost item is incredibly easy to land. Then, if you snare them, you can follow it up with your rotation of spells to find a kill or to set up a pick for your teammates.
Some players choose to pursue Luden’s Echo instead, however. Luden’s Echo outperforms Everfrost on some occasions, primarily when your enemy team plays a large number of champions who build magic resistance. For example, if you face a tank-Ryze, a Sion in the top lane, and a Leona in the bot lane, you likely benefit a lot more from the % magic penetration Luden’s Echo and its mythic passive provides.
Similarly, if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t want to (or can’t) get close to the enemy champions for a pick, then Luden’s Echo may be the better choice.
Secondary item choices for Ahri, the Nine-Tailed Fox
The most popular item for Ahri is the new Shadowflame item, which you can build in almost every scenario. The item provides a large amount of ability power, and its unique effect increases your damage drastically. In the right situations, it is certainly worth considering delaying Shadowflame to pick up parts of a Zhonya’s Hourglass instead. Pivoting to a second-item Zhonya’s is most common against champions like Zed, Yone, and Yasuo, against who you both want the Armor the item provides, in addition to the renewing Stopwatch effect.
How to approach the game as Ahri - Gameplan overview
Ahri has several key points you want to be aware of when playing the champion. You have significant power spikes at levels three and six. At level three, you first unlock your three spells, which allows you to start taking more aggressive trades to proc Electrocute. And at level six, when you have all-in potential or a solid escape against nearly anything the opposing team can throw at you.
Ahri is a pick-centric champion at her core, although the new buff to Spirit Rush significantly improves her prowess in team fighting scenarios. Try and join forces with your Jungler to invade the enemies, take control of vision, and try to catch out the enemy team whenever you can. Similarly, if you have control of the mid lane, you can push the wave and then roam to Bot or Top after you hit level six. You have an immense amount of movement available, especially if you pick up an early set of T2 boots like Sorcerer’s Boots or Ionian Boots of Lucidity.
If you are at all familiar with League of Legends, you might know Ahri is one of the game’s most iconic champions. While the “best” champions change regularly, certain champions have become much more popular than others over the years. A great way to measure the popularity of a champion is to see how many different skins the champion has available. For example, Ahri is among the group of champions with the most available skins in League of Legends, with 13 unique skins and additional chromas available.
Image source: Riot Games
Ahri’s oldest skins are the Dynasty and Midnight skins, both released alongside Ahri back in 2011 and are currently available for 750 RP. In addition, Ahri is also one of the elite club of champions with not one but two Legendary-tier skins. The Star Guardian and Spirit Blossom Ahri skins are available at 1820 RP.
If you haven’t played Ahri in a while (or ever), why not put these tips to the test today? Make sure you run the G-Loot app while you play to complete missions and earn rewards.
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