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Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia

Mechanics Preview

By Ryan 'Morello' Scott [1]

Greetings Summoners!

Back in the end of September, we announced The Nine Tails Fox much to the excitement of our community. Well the time has finally come and after much anticipation, we wanted to reveal the gameplay style for Ahri, the Nine-Tailed Fox.

Ahri Ahri's gameplay style revolves around mobility and managing position to aim her spells. When played properly, Ahri darts around teamfights, picking off wounded stragglers and harrying soft enemies.

This is largely accomplished through her Spirit Rush.png ultimate, which allows her to dash multiple times before going on cooldown. Ahri can either use all three quickly to chase, burst, or escape, or she can spread out their uses to keep enemies guessing and juke around the battlefield. Combining this with her high magic damage and her Charm.png Seduction ability to lock enemies down, she can strike from unexpected angles or bait enemies into over-committing to disadvantageous situations.

Ahri's major gameplay decisions are based on her assessment of risk/reward. Her burst is high, but must be in short range to maximize it. This creates a dynamic that requires her to endanger herself to reach full potential. Play it safe and have more light damage, or commit and go for the kill? Use your dash for damage, or save it for escape? The choices are constant with these opposed strengths and weaknesses.

Her kit is really designed to appeal towards opportunistic players who prefer characters with a lot of action, and especially players that like to lull enemies into overconfidence, only to capitalize and punish them. Ahri's dangerous, seductive nature is something we're happy to deliver for players who like to toy with their enemies before destroying them.

Skill Usage

  • Ahri Ahri is an extremely powerful mage-assassin who has been a popular pick by top players at Worlds in at least two seasons! Many mages are easily slain if caught by fighters at too short a distance, but Charm.png Charm and Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush make Ahri Ahri dangerous to any champion she catches off guard, as well as easily able to escape danger. She plays akin to a teamfighting, mage version of Akali Akali, with both having high mobility and burst.
    • Ahri Ahri's burst is more suited to tanks (true damage), is multi-target, and she has hard CC, while Akali Akali has greater single target burst and no skillshots.
  • Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception is almost always a first pick on Ahri Ahri, as its low cooldown makes it almost an extension of her basic attack.
    • Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception is a boomerang skillshot, meaning you can move after casting and it will change the path of the orb as it comes back. Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush can be used to help you to lead the orb's return in hectic teamfights; but don't waste the ultimate simply for this purpose unless it's absolutely necessary, as the damage from any single strike of the orb is low.
    • Do not be deceived by the low damage quoted for Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception - over repeated applications, the orb deals surprisingly high damage because half of it deals true damage. It is best used when your opponent is walking directly towards or away from you, is standing still, or is at the maximum range of the spell.
    • Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception grants exceptional waveclear - the ability to weaken or destroy large waves of minions in a single spell - if you learn to hit almost every minion in a wave with it, which can be done fairly easily with practice. Ahri Ahri can beat many champions that she can't in spell matchups alone by pushing large groups of minions at them. At it's best, try to hit as many minions as possible, but hit the enemy champion aswell. Thatfor just wait untill the enemy laner stands right behind the running wave.
  • Don't neglect Fox-Fire.png Fox-Fire! At higher levels it becomes more damaging, and it is a crucial part of her single-target kill combo.
    • You can aim Ahri Ahri's Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception and Charm.png Charm and activate Fox-Fire.png Fox-Fire while in the air after using Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush; she will cast the spell after the dash.
    • Use Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush and then activate Fox-Fire.png Fox-Fire immediately to ensure that all three bolts hit the intended target, or position yourself further away with the rush if targeting multiple champions.
    • Consider leveling Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception and Fox-Fire.png Fox-Fire over Charm.png Charm against single targets; this will make you a primary source of damage mid-game, although the lower CC time is a noticeable loss. (Versus teamfights this is less viable; you need Charm.png Charm to take the ADC or carry out of the fight for a few seconds.)
  • Charm.png Charm, of all Ahri Ahri's abilities, is the most versatile, useful, and able to turn the tide of the game in a single play. It is one of the most devastating stuns in the game to be hit with, for it forces a champion not just to be stunned but to walk forward out of safety or cover as well. However, it is a difficult skillshot to connect with.
    • Initiating with Charm.png Charm will allow you to maximize your damage, as the target will be unable to dodge Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception and they will take the brunt of Fox-Fire.png Fox-Fire's damage.
    • In teamfights, use Charm.png Charm to divide up the enemy team. Outflank the enemy and pull a member of the team to the side, or use it to pull a powerful enemy champion off a squishy teammate.
    • Charm.png Charm can slow enemy champions who are chasing you. Ahri is notorious as a champion who punishes chasing opponents, hitting them with Orb of Deception.png Orb of DeceptionFox-Fire.png Fox-Fire repeatedly while they are charmed, charming them into turrets and team ganks, et cetera. It's also just as useful for enemies who are trying to flee!
    • Charm.png Charm is also exceptional at checking bushes for ganks. Cast Charm.png Charm at a brush and listen for the hit / watch if it stops early. It is better to waste mana and no-one be there rather than to save the cost of the spell and be ganked.
    • If you hit an enemy with Charm.png Charm and then leave its area of vision, for example, by walking into a brush, it will no longer follow you until you get into its sight again. The slow persists in any case.
    • Due to the relatively slow projectile speed of Charm.png Charm it can easily be dodged if the enemy champion is expecting it. To regain the element of surprise, get into range but lead with a Spirit Rush or Flash and immediately follow with your combo. This both catches them off-guard, and reduces the distance your skillshots have to travel, thus reducing the time they have to react.
  • Using Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush all at once may not be the smartest choice in a fight. Try saving them using them to position yourself for your skillshots, chase down stragglers, run away, or to turn the fight with another quick burst to the right champions.
    • In the early game, Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush is great for finishing off running champions as you can usually turret dive safely since the skill can be used three times before going on cooldown. However, it is best to save the last Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush for escaping from turret range if it is used for turret diving. If you've only just gotten your ultimate, this is essential, as turrets will generally kill you in two to three shots at level 6.
    • Many players see only the offensive potential of Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush, but it is even better as an escape tool. Don't be afraid to use it to save yourself.
    • In particular, learn how to Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush through thin walls - ranked play requires the ability to escape through several walls, or chase a badly wounded enemy through several walls, and never miss a gap closer.
    • Though Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush itself is only one spell, each dash will reset the cap of Essence Theft.png Essence Theft, making it possible to gain up to 9 charges with it when used in teamfights or against minions.
    • Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush's cooldown is fairly reasonable, and will be available in most team fights. When in doubt, use it, and if you've made a mistake, use the other dashes to retreat backwards.
  • Ahri Ahri's Essence Theft.png Essence Theft - her passive - heals her on the next spell cast with Spell vamp after nine targets are hit by other spells. It grants Ahri Ahri high sustain relative to other mages, but is infrequent. Make sure you know when Essence Theft.png Essence Theft is up so you can use it on a full minion wave or bunched-up group of champions to heal yourself.
    • The healing potential granted by Essence Theft.png Essence Theft is at its best when used with Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception, as it can hit the largest number of targets. Use Fox-Fire.png Fox-Fire and Charm.png Charm to reach the nine-target count against minions if you have to when low on health to maximize the chance of using Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception and Essence Theft.png Essence Theft against a minion wave successfully. (Fox-Fire.png Fox-Fire will not proc Essence Theft.png Essence Theft if it goes over the nine-target count, so you can use it to gain up to three charges with no risk.)
    • Ahri Ahri can use Essence Theft.png Essence Theft to check bushes and fog of war, when she casts a spell, if it hits, it will grant a stack on her passive or heal her if it is fully stacked, keep this in mind when playing.
  • Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception, Charm.png Charm and especially Fox-Fire.png Fox-Fire are really good at kiting enemies and whittling away at their health; this is the basic nature of play with Ahri Ahri.
  • Ahri Ahri's Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception has been given a strong movement speed boost in Patch 5.2.
    • Direct Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception in the opposite direction of your running direction to keep the movement speed boost as long as possible. This can be useful in many factors.

Item Usage

  • Ahri Ahri's damage requires her to get close to her opponents, thankfully she can build items that give her good damage while reinforcing her kit's theme of avoiding damage instead of tanking it.
  • The standard starting item on Ahri, as with many other mages is Doran&#039;s Ring item.png Doran's Ring along with 2 Health Potion item.png Health Potion. This start provides good combat stats with health and ability power, and mana sustain with the flat mana regeneration and passive.
    • Spellthief&#039;s Edge item.png Spellthief's Edge and Faerie Charm item.png Faerie Charm are poor choices as starting items. Spellthief&#039;s Edge item.png Spellthief's Edge gives weak stats and the gold generation will be very weak considering that you will be last hitting minions, and Faerie Charm item.png Faerie Charm only gives mediocre mana sustain with no combat stats at all. It does allow you to start with a lot of potions and/or Sight Ward item.png Stealth Ward, but Warding Totem item.jpg Warding Totem should cover your warding needs until your first trip back to the shop.
  • Ahri Ahri will usually build a Morellonomicon item.png Morellonomicon as her first big item. It provides 80 AP, 20% cooldown reduction and decent mana regeneration for only 2300 gold, with a forgiving build path as all parts cost 445G or less. Athene&#039;s Unholy Grail item.png Athene's Unholy Grail is not preferred because it is more expensive, gives less AP and Ahri Ahri does not really need the extra mana regeneration and MR. Morellonomicon item.png Morellonomicon gives a bigger and faster power spike. Only build Athene&#039;s Unholy Grail item.png Athene's Unholy Grail when you really need the extra MR.
    • Early Boots of Speed item.png Boots of Speed can be purchased in matchups where you will need to dodge lots of skillshots before level 6. Later they will usually be upgraded to Sorcerer&#039;s Shoes item.png Sorcerer's Shoes for damage, or occasionally to Ionian Boots of Lucidity item.png Ionian Boots of Lucidity if you need the cooldown reduction.
    • Luden&#039;s Echo item.png Luden's Echo is Ahri Ahri's second core item that she will build in the majority of games. The item gives a lot of AP, mobility and its passive is a big boost to her burst and poke. It also greatly increases her ability to kill a minion wave with a single spell. Combined with the movement speed this makes your strong roaming potential even better. If you are able to obtain a strong lead early in the game (enough to buy Needlessly Large Rod item.png Needlessly Large Rod on your first back), or if you know that you will get blue buff from your jungler, you can rush Luden&#039;s Echo item.png Luden's Echo as your first item for a very strong offensive powerspike.
    • As an ability power carry, Ahri Ahri will need to build Rabadon&#039;s Deathcap item.png Rabadon's Deathcap and Void Staff item.png Void Staff at some point for her damage to scale into the late game. There is no set order for these, and you should build them according to how much gold you have available, the amount of MR on the enemy team and whether or not you need a situational item.
    • Good final item choices on Ahri Ahri are Zhonya&#039;s Hourglass item.png Zhonya's Hourglass and Rylai&#039;s Crystal Scepter item.png Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Both give 100 AP for damage. Zhonya&#039;s Hourglass item.png Zhonya's Hourglass gives you armor for some survivability against physical damage but more importantly gives you the powerful stasis active which can allow you to avoid burst damage or crowd control effects that would result in your death. Rylai&#039;s Crystal Scepter item.png Rylai's Crystal Scepter gives you some health for defense but also a strong slow on your spells, making you already exceptional ability to kite and chase even stronger. Note that Fox-Fire.png Fox-Fire counts as a single target spell and therefore applies the full slow duration.
  • In difficult matchups where your opponent is a big magic damage threat or if there are several AP threats on the enemy team, Abyssal Scepter item.png Abyssal Scepter should be considered as a first item (or later in the game should you not feel the need in laning phase). It provides a decent amount of MR to increase your survivability but also a nice amount of damage with 70 AP and an MR reducing aura.
    • Similarly, against AD opponents like Zed Zed, Yasuo Yasuo or Talon Talon, an early Seeker&#039;s Armguard item.png Seeker's Armguard will give you helpful armor to mitigate their damage, and can be upgraded to Zhonya&#039;s Hourglass item.png Zhonya's Hourglass right away or later in the game. Against Zed Zed especially, rushing Zhonya&#039;s Hourglass item.png Zhonya's Hourglass is strongly recommended as the active counters his ultimate when timed right.
    • While true defensive items are usually not a good choice for mages, Banshee&#039;s Veil item.png Banshee's Veil is a possible last item if you need to make absolutely sure that magic damage burst does not kill you in teamfights. Think hard about it though, as you will sacrifice a lot of damage going this route. In the same vein Mercury&#039;s Treads item.png Mercury's Treads can be considered as a replacement for Sorcerer&#039;s Shoes item.png Sorcerer's Shoes.
    • Lich Bane item.png Lich Bane is a situationally strong late game pickup for Ahri Ahri. Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush's bolts have the same range as her auto-attacks, allowing her to get up to three procs per ultimate. Her generally spammy nature in the late game with CDR makes Lich Bane item.png Lich Bane a very powerful damage item, but lacking in utility and somewhat unwieldy to use.
  • While it is rather unusual (it might be a bad idea for ranked games), she can be played as a marksman. Her range is average, her attack speed has a good base, making items effective. The mobility with Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush makes it harder to single her out, especially if she has a Quicksilver Sash item.png Quicksilver Sash. The crowd control of Charm.png Charm has a duration long enough for a squishy target to die from crits without reply, and she has strong synergy with Trinity Force item.png Trinity Force due to her multi-cast Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush's Her burst falls of in mid-late game though, as all her abilities scale from AP only.

Recommended Items

Summoner's Rift
Starting Doran&#039;s Ring item Health Potion item2 Warding Totem item
Early Boots of Speed item Forbidden Idol item Needlessly Large Rod item
Essential Sorcerer&#039;s Shoes item Morellonomicon item Luden&#039;s Echo item
Offensive Rabadon&#039;s Deathcap item Zhonya&#039;s Hourglass item Void Staff item
Defensive Abyssal Scepter item Rylai&#039;s Crystal Scepter item Athene&#039;s Unholy Grail item
Consumables Health Potion item Vision Ward item Elixir of Sorcery item
Howling Abyss
Starting Fiendish Codex item Forbidden Idol item Health Potion item
Essential Morellonomicon item Luden&#039;s Echo item Sorcerer&#039;s Shoes item
Offensive Rabadon&#039;s Deathcap item Void Staff item Liandry&#039;s Torment item
Defensive Rylai&#039;s Crystal Scepter item Zhonya&#039;s Hourglass item Abyssal Scepter item
Consumables Oracle&#039;s Extract item Health Potion item Elixir of Sorcery item
Crystal Scar
Starting Boots of Speed item Prospector&#039;s Ring item Health Potion item3
Essential Sorcerer&#039;s Shoes item Abyssal Scepter item Haunting Guise item
Offensive Void Staff item Wooglet&#039;s Witchcap item
Defensive Rylai&#039;s Crystal Scepter item Will of the Ancients item Moonflair Spellblade item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Sorcery item
Twisted Treeline
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran&#039;s Ring item Refillable Potion item
Essential Sorcerer&#039;s Shoes item Wooglet&#039;s Witchcap item Abyssal Scepter item
Offensive Void Staff item Rylai&#039;s Crystal Scepter item
Defensive Will of the Ancients item Athene&#039;s Unholy Grail item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Sorcery item


  • All of Ahri Ahri's spells can be avoided with proper positioning or juking. Her Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception and Charm.png Charm spells are line skill shots that move fairly slowly so you can step to the side to avoid them. Her Fox-Fire.png Fox-Fire and Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush spells target the 3 closest enemy targets, but do prioritize champions in a smaller range, staying behind minions, tanks, or your team can help you avoid some or all of the damage or make Ahri risk putting herself in a bad position if she wants to damage you with them.
  • Don't chase Ahri Ahri unless you are a very tanky champion or know her spells are on cooldown. All three of Fox-Fire.png Fox-Fire's attacks will hit you if you're the closest thing to her, and if you're low on health, she'll Charm.png Charm and kill you. Wait until Ahri Ahri is low on mana or vulnerable, or until you know Charm.png Charm and Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush are on cooldown, before chasing.
    • Ahri Ahri is particularly very vulnerable when her Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush is on cooldown; without it, Charm.png Charm is her only defense against a gank. Try to engage her when you think her Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush is on cooldown, dodge the Charm.png Charm, and then strike her as hard as possible.
  • Always remember to move away from her Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception path after she uses the spell as the orb will return to her and deals true damage to you.
    • Buying health can help you to survive against her true damage.
  • Ahri Ahri has a hard time dealing full damage through crowds of minions, as Charm.png Charm, Fox-Fire.png Fox-Fire, and Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush are all fully or partially blocked by minions.
    • Take cover behind minions when engaging her in order to avoid her Charm.png Charm, which is not a passthrough.
    • When Ahri Ahri uses her Fox-Fire.png Fox-Fire, take cover behind minions so the spell will only hit you once.
    • Her Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception remains dangerous in any case and is a passthrough; expect her to use it when you're inside minion waves, and the other two spells when you are outside of them, and dodge back and forth in and out for best effect.
  • If fed, Ahri Ahri has one of the strongest snowballing power levels in the game - and Charm.png Charm remains dangerous until the end of the game. Avoid giving her kills to snowball; if not fed, she is intensely vulnerable by midgame and may even be a snack in late game.
  • Ahri Ahri's mobility is one of her greatest strengths, so a combination of crowd control like stuns and slows will lower her utility.
  • When laning with a partner against Ahri Ahri, be sure to remember not to activate any movement speed boost abilities or item effects if a partner is affected by Charm.png Charm.
  • A strong counter-pick to an Ahri Ahri is someone with CC or a snare, such as Ryze Ryze, as his Rune Prison.png Rune Prison is able to lock her out of Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush without much difficulty, or Veigar Veigar's Event Horizon.png Event Horizon can stop Ahri Ahri if she turns up the attack, and his Primordial Burst.png Primordial Burst can instantly decimate her if she has high AP.
    • Heavy tanks also counter Ahri Ahri since the post-Season 3 nerfs.
  • Ahri Ahri's Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception now has a huge movement speed burst when the orb is in flight.
    • Ensure that you remember to dodge her Orb of Deception.png Orb of Deception and cast your spells to read Ahri Ahri as she will gain movement speed to dodge.
    • Given the huge movement speed boost, also remember that Ahri Ahri has even better chasing potential when paired with her Ultimate; Spirit Rush.png Spirit Rush.

Champion Spotlight

Ahri Champion Spotlight06:34

Ahri Champion Spotlight


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