Unlike most assassins; Ahri's teamfighting (5v5) is much better; because she can harass with Orb of Deception (not easy to dodge in messy teamfights when they're all clumped up), Charm to force an enemy outside their teammates protection (and enable a quick follow up by your teammates besides ensuring a full blast of your Orb of Deception).
Playing Against Ahri
Ahri's mobility is significantly reduced when her Ultimate, Spirit Rush, is down. Plan engages and ganks accordingly.
Stay behind minions to make Charm difficult to land, this will reduce Ahri's damage potential significantly.
Essence Theft (passive) will heal Ahri for its maximum potential when used with Orb of Deception on a minion wave. The passive helps Ahri stay in lane longer than other mid laners.
Orb of Deception is Ahri's main farming and harassing tool during the laning phase.
An ideal early game harassment would be Orb of Deception + an autoattack. This can deal quite a large amount of damage, especially on those who don't have much Magic Resist.
Orb of Deception's mana cost is quite high during early game, with a relatively low cooldown of 7 seconds, so it can be tempting to spam this ability which will burn out Ahri's mana very quickly. Therefore, it is advised not to spam it recklessly.
It is best to aim Orb of Deception at its maximum range to ensure both parts of the ability will hit the enemy.
Maxing Orb of Deception is generally best, as it increases the unmitigatable damage in Ahri's kit.
Fox-Fire is Ahri's single target nuke that is best used when at close range to an enemy champion.
At rank 1 and 2, Fox-Fire's damage is negligible and has a long cooldown. However, beyond rank 3 it will start to put a hurt on those who dare to charge into Ahri.
Maxing out Fox-Fire first before Orb of Deception is not a bad idea when it comes to extreme melee matchups (e.g.: Yasuo, Fizz, Akali). The secure single-targeted damage (as the ability is auto-targeted) helps Ahri retaliate should they try to engage or juke.
However, with recent nerfs to Ahri's, it is not advised to max out Fox-Fire first, but it should still be the second ability to max out after Orb of Deception due to its low cooldown and reliable damage.
Be wary that using Fox-Fire at close range also puts Ahri into risk of being disabled or worse, bursted down, as she is a squishy champion.
One should always estimate the amount of damage done by a single combo ofSpirit RushFox-Fire as the AP ratio is cut down significantly: from 94%AP in total to 73%AP. This could mean life and death during intense diving situations where you can't finish off the low health enemy.
Fox-Fire can also be used to charge up Essence Theft due to its low mana cost or to quickly kill 3 low-health minions (the flame will split automatically if the damage is sufficient to kill the target)
When using your E-Q-W combo, ensure you land an autoattack before casting Fox-Fire to ensure that it targets your opponent and not the nearest minions.
If able, stand far from nearby enemy minions to avoid wasting 2 hit of Fox-Fire on them.
Charm is Ahri's trademark skill and only form of disable. It will only affect the first enemy hit; enemy minions can block it.
Charm has a long cooldown and a high mana cost early game. Take great care when using this ability to trade with your opponent as it will burn out Ahri's mana quickly.
Delay the use of Charm to determine the enemy's moving pattern to land a hit. This tactic also forms a habit to save more mana as one should only land Charm when necessary.
Setting up a perfect Charm for a gank will devastate your opponent, usually resulting in a kill or at the very least force them to use Flash.
Use Flash during Charm's casting animation will result in the projectile fired in the position that you are flashing into. Use this technique will more likely to catch your enemy off-guard than FlashCharm.
Charm can lure the enemy into your turret's range, thus favoring you in a trade.
Use Charm to turn the fight into your favor if an enemy is aggressively attacking you under your turret. Charm will ensure that the enemy dare not fight back since they're under the tower's range.
During teamfights, try to Charm the enemies' carries, which will likely result in their death. Alternatively, you can use Charm to save your marksmen/markswomen from diving assassins such as Zed and Talon.
Charm has a decently long range and the projectile is small. Practice hitting your opponent with it through gaps in their minion waves.
Ahri's ultimate-Spirit Rush is what makes her slippery and versatile. Use Spirit Rush in teamfights to re-position yourself if enemies try to lock you down.
With 3 charges of Spirit Rush and Flash, Ahri can cover massive distance to close or expand the gap with enemies. Often, opponents will burn their own Flash in a futile attempt to escape her; if you know your opponent has Flash, save one charge of your ultimate for it.
Spirit Rush can dash through most walls. Use this trick to create shortcuts when chasing or escaping.
Focus on using Spirit Rush to juke any incoming skillshots rather than damage the enemies as the damage of 3 dashes is still somewhat low unless you are very fed.
Use the 10-second span after your first use of Spirit Rush to wait for your abilities' cooldown then engage your enemies again.
In rare scenarios however, Spirit Rush's damage can be used to finish off low health champions if other skills are unavailable lest they Flash away.
Use Spirit Rush right where you stand (hover the mouse over your champion) to deal the immediate damage from Spirit Rush without putting yourself into an unfavorable position. Use this technique when your E-Q-W combo doesn't deal enough damage to kill your target.
Flash can also be used in the same manner with Spirit Rush, simply Flash mid-dash (or Flash and Spirit Rush) will fire the bolts in the new position, thus dealing damage to any outranged enemies.
The best use of Spirit Rush comes with reaction time - if you can react to your opponent's aggression in time, you can turn it against them. Many midlaners rely on landing their combo as quickly as possible, like Vel'Koz and Zed. Dodging their all-in combo plays leaves them completely open to Ahri's return aggression, resulting in an easier kill.
Since Ahri likes to use her full burst combo rotation in quick succession, it is best to utilise the Electrocute keystone since it provides extra burst damage to her combo.
Sudden Impact is an excellent rune which synergises with her overall kit for extra temporary magic penetration.
Taking Sorcery as your secondary rune offers lots of different rune options and combinations that all work with Ahri.
Transcendence is a very powerful rune for Ahri. Not only does it help Ahri reach maximum CDR faster, it also boosts her mid-game power spike. This is not to mention that some of the items build for Ahri has excessive CDR stats (Lich Bane, Zhonya's Hourglass, Hextech Protobelt-01 to name a few), which would be turned into useful AP.
Gathering Storm is generally better than Scorch as it scales well for Ahri at all stages of the game, barring the first 10 minutes. This means, beyond 20 minutes and so on, Gathering Storm gives Ahri more raw damage on her spell rotation than Scorch.
Ahri can also be played as a mage with a more pokey playstyle with Summon Aery. However, to be able to use Aery multiple times, you will have to delay your combo significantly because Aery has a internal 2 second cooldown.
One could consider using Arcane Comet for Ahri as it gives more AoE damage and also cools down quite fast, especially during teamfights.
Cosmic Insight is also a great rune in the Inspiration path. With 45% CDR, Ahri'sOrb of Deception has a cooldown of 3.85 second, giving her more opportunities to deal more damage.
Luden's Echo is the core item to rush on Ahri, offering mana sustain, high ability power, and cooldown reduction.
The item also resolves Ahri's mana hunger. Furthermore, it provides extra damage with the Echo passive for harass and for wave clear.
Morellonomicon is now an excellent item to build on Ahri as it gives survivability, AP, and most importantly: magic penetration.
Sorcerer's Shoes plus Morellonomicon make for excellent magic penetration. This amount of magic penetration (33) is enough to burst down any squishy champion with a full spell rotation.
Alternatively, Rod of Ages can be a potential choice as the item will resolve Ahri's mana problem and grant her quite a chunk of AP as well as health (over time), both of which are very useful stats for Ahri.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter is no longer an excellent item for Ahri; while much of her kit involves kiting around enemies and dodging skillshots, the slow is too weak to make much of an impact in duels, and it does not scale as well into the late game. While it can be useful if you are pressing an advantage, Luden's Echo is usually a better buy, as it greatly enhances her all-in potential.
Zhonya's Hourglass will mitigate any source of physical damage, the extra armor is precious as it complements to the already-low base armor of Ahri. The active from the item will likely neutralize all physical (and even magical) burst, namely Zed'sDeath Mark and Syndra'sUnleashed Power.
The former is useful when the enemy team has lots of sustain or when you need more CDR while the latter may come in handy if the enemy team has squishy carries who are going to build MR to counter you.
Ahri is quite flexible when it comes to boots choice. She can also buy Ninja Tabi to fend off heavy physical damage dealers such as Yasuo and Zed. Likewise, she can equip herself with Mercury's Treads to counter devastating Crowd Control effects and heavy magic damage dealers like Veigar or Annie.
Cooldown reduction is helpful on Ahri, due to her being a combo mage/assassin - having your abilities available more often not only increases her DPS in teamfights, but also her survivability with Spirit Rush.
Keep in mind that once you have maxed it, Fox-Fire will deal massive damage to squishies. If they build magic resist, counter with a Void Staff.
If the enemy team is stacking health to counter your true damage, Liandry's Torment is an acceptable choice. Combined with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, they will grant Ahri a large chunk of extra health and percent health damage. As a bonus, Liandry's Torment features a nice piece of magic penetration.
Consider building Liandry's Torment over Void Staff if the enemies, especially key targets, don't have any much MR-i.e., the amount of Magic Resist is under 50 as you can completely negate their whole defenses, dealing nearly true damage.
Lich Bane can add a surprising amount of damage to Ahri's burst, provided you can find a moment to land an autoattack. It also offers mana, movement speed, and cooldown reduction, which are all very useful stats for her.
Lich Bane goes well with Luden's Echo in terms of bursting power. This build is extremely effective to one-shot annoying and slippery champions who are likely to sidestep to dodge nearly all of your skillshots with their huge movement speed boost like Kalista, Ezreal, Zed, or Yasuo.
Lich Bane will proc with each cast of Spirit Rush. Carefully weaving autoattacks and spells will result in extreme DPS.
Hextech Gunblade can be a situational item if you really want the extra healing and the Lighting Bolt active for extra damage and sticking power.
Another reason why you could consider taking Hextech Gunblade is because Ahri has one of the greatest attack speed rates compared to other AP assassins and mages.
Ahri does not have a very high burst by herself unless she is ahead, so avoiding her skillshots will cut her damage exponentially.
Banshee's Veil can provide protection against Charm which is key for Ahri to maximize her damage.
Side stepping her Orb of Deception, especially on the return damage, is pivotal to win the lane against Ahri.
Keep track of her Spirit Rush charges in skirmishes and team fights. Avoid wasting summoner spells if she has all of her escape options available. You can tell if she has dashes remaining by the swirling lines around her feet.
Stay near minions all the time will greatly reduce Ahri's bursting power as they will cover Charm, absorb a portion of Fox-Fire and Spirit Rush.