Ashe was among the first champions to be released in League of Legends. Surprisingly enough it is also one of the least changed champions to this day. Due to the lack of changes, the champion has mostly been played in only the ADC role. However, Ashe is played at Support with a very odd build path.
The unique build path that allows this mostly ADC-specific champion to be played at another role is lethality. Lethality Ashe is a build that has been seen somewhat regularly in recent times. The goal of this build is to get maximum ability haste. This allows you to be able to spam “Volley” constantly as well as have your ultimate at an incredibly low cooldown.
Even though it is commonly referred to as “Lethality Ashe,” the build contains no more than a couple of lethality items. You will often see these get reduced to a single lethality item. The core part of the build remains strictly focused on stacking ability haste.
Now, ability haste can be stacked through a multitude of items and builds. The confusing part is which of these items are actually useful on Ashe as well as providing haste. There are generally two schools of thought that are followed, and we will discuss both of these respective build paths in detail.
Also check out: IE on Ashe
The vast majority of lethality Ashe players take the “Arcane Comet” keystone. This is the ideal keystone as the main purpose of going this build path on Ashe is to poke the enemy relentlessly. Other than Comet, there is some popularity of “Hail of Blades”.
This keystone is basically only picked in matchups where the enemy team has a low-range bot lane. With Hail of Blades, you can bully and punish the enemy using your range advantage over them. However, this rune is not as efficient as Arcane Comet as the latter is effective throughout the game.
We will discuss the Sorcery rune page with the Arcane Comet keystone, as it is easily the optimum choice. This is followed by “Manaflow Band” and “Transcendence”. A case can be made for “Absolute Focus” as Ashe will mostly be poking without getting into any fights and maintaining high health.
The correct rune choice comes down to your judgment of the game and which you believe to be more suitable for the situation. Last but not least is “Scorch”. This rune adds a bit more damage to your poke, hence making it more effective. The secondary rune page includes “Cheap Shot” and “Ultimate Hunter” from the Domination page.
As mentioned above, lethality Ashe is played in the Support role. Subsequently, the starting items are also those which are useful for Support. ‘Spectral Sickle” is the best choice as far as starting items are concerned. Sometimes we see “Spellthief’s Edge” being bought, but Attack Damage is just more useful for Ashe.
Your early game items generally include “Tear of the Goddess” which will ultimately evolve into the “Muramana”. Most of the time, however, you do not progress this item further than the Tear in the early game.
You can buy “Executioners Calling” pretty early on if you are against a bot lane that relies on healing. Healing is often seen as a counter-pick to poke. As a result lethality Ashe has to deal with healing-based enemy lanes quite frequently.
After these basic starter items, you can move on to building your major items. This is where it gets confusing, as you do not always make out and out lethality items when playing this build.
Choice of Mythic Item
There are a couple of items you can choose from when it comes to the Mythic items for lethality Ashe. One of them is the “Duskblade of Draktharr”. This would seem to be the most logical choice from both the terminology used when referring to this build as well as the focus on maximizing haste.
Duskblade allows you to go for the most amount of ability haste as well as giving lethality and attack damage. Having said that, there is an item that is more effective for Ashe. It seems almost ludicrous to say but Imperial Mandate is actually the way to go.
The Mandate is an item that is for ability power or poke supports in general. It works impeccably with Ashe’s kit. Whenever you land Volley on an enemy, it slows them, hence dealing more damage thanks to this item on the initial contact. Furthermore, it marks them for your allies, and when they hit that enemy the Mandate adds even more damage to the target.
The difference between Duskblade and Imperial Mandate comes down to a few basic things. Imperial Mandate does more damage while Duskblade provides more ability haste. Of course, the effectiveness of each item may vary from game to game, but Mandate is the recommended way to play.
Lethality Ashe: The Complete Build
Once you have chosen the Mythic item you wish to make, the rest of the build is the same either way. You complete the Tear to Muramana. This is a core item for lethality Ashe. After this, you have the luxury to choose what you wish to make as the last two items.
One of the obvious choices is the “Axiom Arc”. One of the key points of playing Ashe in this play style is the ultimate usage. You are constantly looking to throw ultimates across the map to make picks for your team. This item allows you to have your ultimate up much faster.
Of course, if you have bought the Executioner’s Calling early on, you need to complete the item. For this build, you will make the “Chempunk Chainsword”. The “Ravenous Hydra” is also very popular with the poke Ashe playstyle for both ability haste as well as more area of effect damage.
An under-the-radar item that you can go for is the “Umbral Glaive”. This item allows you to kill enemy wards in just one auto attack instead of three. For control wards, you need two attacks instead of four. This is exceptionally useful for clearing wards efficiently, which is one of the duties of a Support.
When the enemy team has reliable ways of killing you, you need to adjust your build accordingly. After the three core items that you have to make, irrespective of the enemy team’s threat, you move on to making defensive items.
The choices for defensive items include “Edge of the Night” to defend against enemy engages. This also protects against spontaneous high damage abilities from enemies that are difficult to avoid. The only problem with this item is that the shield gets popped from the first ability that hits you.
“Zhonya’s Hourglass” is an item that is most useful in protecting yourself from diving champs. You can make sure you are protected from more than just the engage as you are at liberty to use the Hourglass when you wish. Hourglass is a bigger safety net than the Edge of the Night but it depends upon the player’s reflexes.
In case you need protection from ability power damage, you should make “Maw of Malmortius”. This item gives you a shield specially for magic damage if you get to critical health. You should choose the most effective combination of the defensive items as you can make two of them in one game.
That pretty much sums it up as far as the build for lethality Ashe is concerned. You are sure to have noticed that there is not much leeway in terms of changing up the items. This is because it has already been proven what is effective and what is not for this build path.
The choices that are available to you have been mentioned in detail along with the reasoning behind them. Another thing to note is that the first three items are mandatory. The upgraded Support item, Muramana, and either Imperial Mandate or Duskblade of Draktharr, these items are irreplaceable.
Having said that, it is also worth stressing that Imperial Mandate is generally the more productive choice. Following these three items, you are free to choose the build path you wish to take. To be aggressive or defensive, it is up to you to decide what the game requires.
You can double down on the defensive items to make sure you are safe. You can go all in on the damage side if the threat from the enemy team is not potent. You can even make a combination of both offense and defense. As every game is different, you will have to judge for yourself what is more useful in winning the game.
For more build guides, check out this LoL Nasus build guide.