Ahri Champion Review

Posted on at 3:46 AM by Moobeat
Ahri, the Nine-Tailed Fox, after having been revealed nearly three months ago, is finally available for play! Described as a "mobile Mage / Assassin" by Riot, Ahri is inspired by the kumiho, a mythological Korean creature who has a nasty habit of seducing men. I've slunk through numerous games in the past week with our new champion and while she hasn't seduced me into considering her one of my favorite champions, she does offer of a unique play style in comparison to other AP champions.

 Stepping on to Summoner's Rift with Ahri is a bit like playing a weird hybrid of Lux and Akali. Like Lux, she has a wealth of long range, skill shot based harass and CC, but takes a page out of Akali's book when it comes to quickly darting around in team fights and mopping up kills. She also faintly reminds me of Morgana in that she really has to manage her "in the mix" style positioning to facilitate her high risk vs reward game play instilled through her ultimate.

 While Ahri can certainly hold her own in a game of Dominion, I much prefer her on Summoner's Rift where her abilities can really outfox the enemy team. She excels in damaging multiple targets and picking off low health foes, so the frequent and large team fights of Summoner's Rift are a perfect place to call home. It is also worth noting that if you have not played Ahri, I can confirm that her ultimate is indeed as fun to use as it looks. There are so many kills to be earned and deaths to be avoided that come out of an ultimate that allows you to flash three times in a row.
Ooo, mama!
Lets take a look at Ahri's foxy kit..
( Passive ) Essence Theft - Ahri gains a charge of Soul Eater whenever one of her spells hits an enemy (max: 3 charges per spell). Upon reaching 9 charges, Ahri's next spell has 35% Spell Vamp.
Essence Theft is an easy to charge passive and is active about every four spells. It offers up enough healing that I feel comfortable taking a starting Doran's Ring and don't often get bullied out of lane. It may be bland but it certainly does serve its purpose.
( Q ) Orb of Deception - Ahri sends out her orb, dealing 40/65/90/115/140 (+0.33) magic damage, and pulls it back dealing 40/65/90/115/140 (+0.33) True damage.
Orb of Deception is a quirky little boomerang ability and functions as Ahri's bread and butter skill for damage. Between its exceedingly low cooldown and modest mana cost, she can just fling her orb around all game. It is worth mentioning that like other similar abilities, such as Sivir's Boomerang Blade or Orianna's Command: Attack, the damage from this ability is not diminished based on the amount of targets it passes through.The tasteful use of true damage on the trip back gives the ability a nice flavor and ensures its damage is always on par moving into late game.
( W ) Fox-Fire - Ahri releases three fox-fires. After a short delay they lock on to nearby enemies (prioritizes champions), dealing 40/70/100/130/160 (+0.38) magic damage. Additional fox-fires that hit the same target deal 50% damage [max damage: 80/140/200/260/320 (+0.75)]. 
Fox Fire leaves a lot to be desired for me and while it gives you an easy means to burst a solo target or a melee champion that has engaged you, it is often clunky and hard to aim in the midst of a team fight which leads to sporadic damage when you don't necessarily need it.
( E ) Charm - Ahri blows a kiss dealing 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.35) magic damage and charming the first enemy it hits, causing them to walk harmlessly towards her for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 second(s).
Charm is by far my favorite ability to come out of Ahri's kit. It is very punishing for those who you are able to catch out of position and can frequently be used to initiate team fights or pull tanks for easy harass.

( R ) Spirit Rush - Ahri dashes forward and fires essence bolts at 3 nearby enemies (prioritizes champions), dealing 100/140/180 (+0.3) magic damage. Spirit Rush can be cast up to three times within 10 seconds before going on cooldown.
Spirit Rush is absolutely the key stone to her kit and is the biggest part of what makes her fun to play and frustrating to play against. With this skill alone, Ahri has the ability to dish out major AoE damage, escape ganks by having three functional flashes, and chase down fleeting opponents. This being so, most of her usefulness is wasted when its on cooldown and I found fighting without it to be painstakingly difficult; you're left with no escape or means to catch anyone who might inch away from a fight
The Fox and the Hound..
 Even in my first game I started to question Riot's labeling of Ahri as an assassin. Her kit isn't built like Talon's or Akali's and she can not simply enter a team fight, burst down a target, and expect to survive. She functions much better harassing and whittling down the enemy team with her long range, attempting to snag an out of place opponent with Charm, and cleaning up fights with her ultimate. In light of this and the fact that her AP ratios are a little low, I like to build her a little bulky and focus on utility first then damage. As far as skill order, I prioritize R > Q >W > E because a maximized Q lets you effortlessly farm minion waves and I prefer the additional damage from W over the extended time on E for mid game team fights.

Quick Build:

This is the build I found myself nestling in to and really haven't deviated away from it too often. For my first item take either Boots of Speed and 3 Potions or Doran's Ring, depending on if I have an aggressive or passive lane opponent, and then focus on gaining an early stat advantage over my lane for a level 6 brawl. After polishing off two Doran's Rings and Sorcerer's Shoes, I quickly rush into a Rylai's Crystal Scepter as my first core item. Between hitting everyone with your Q and Fox Fire counting as a single target spell, the slow from Rylai's turns you into a major pain for the enemy team. This early kitting and utility wins out over the suggested Rod of Ages for me since Ahri's low mana costs and passive diminish the value of the Catalyst effect. Next up we move on to Will of the Ancients followed by a Rabadon's Deathcap. WotA couples well with Soul Eater and ensures that Ahri will always be able to sustain through long team fights. If my team is lacking anyone else who can make use of the Spell Vamp aura, I will occasionally flip flop the order and build a Deathcap first. Our last two items are situational and vary match to match based on need. Likely choices include Void Staff for increased damage, Death Fire Grasp for increased burst, Zhonya's Hourglass for defense, and Quicksilver Sash should you find yourself getting pinned down hard.

Tips and Tricks:
  • For the sake of Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Spell Vamp, each bolt of Fox Fire counts as a single target spell.
  • Make sure you aren't just dash, dash, dashing for damage when using Spirit Rush; be mindful about casting spells and them sparingly within the 10 second window to maximize your mobility.
  • Charm essentially functions like a taunt that disables auto attacks, so be sure to keep an eye out for opportunities to bait enemies into turrets, traps, or team mates.
  • Charm is perhaps the best crowd control effect in the game.
  • Low mana costs and the built in healing on Essence Theft give her great sustainability in lane.
  • Spirit Rush allows for very high mobility in team fights and protection against ganks.
  • Amazing AoE Damage output in team fights.
  • High skill cap due to numerous skill shots and delicate positioning in team fights. 
  • Due to the nature of Fox Fire's "lock on" and using Spirit Rush properly, can be very difficult to effectively burst a specific target in a team fight.

All in all, Ahri is a fun mage champion with high skill cap and a tough learning curve. Ahri certainly won't appeal to everyone, especially those who have difficulty landing skill shots, but she does offer a fast paced and in your face style of gameplay that you won't find on many other mage-style champions.

I know it's late, but better late than never right? I hope you guys have a wonderful holiday over these next two weeks. If you have any comments or suggestions for the champion reviews you are more than welcome to leave a comment below or shoot me a tweet. I'm really not to sure what I should call these, they're sort of borderline between a review and a guide.. some help with that would be wonderful!