*Note: I have never written a guide before. This guide may not be as awesome as others. If you feel something in here is mistaken, please say so.*
Orianna is definitely a new breed of champion in this game. What makes her more difficult to master is the fact that all of her abilities come from her ball, none of them come from Orianna herself. This makes her a great harrasser throughout the entire game. What does come from her, however, is her autoattack, which is a great tool in her arsenal because of her passive:
Clockwork Windup: "Orianna’s autoattacks deal additional magic damage every hit, subsequent attacks on the same target within a few seconds will add more damage per hit. This bonus stacks up to three times."
- This comes more in handy mid-late game than early game. You should not farm relying on this alone, no matter what lane you're in. Getting the last kill on minions is essential early game, and as awesome as clockwork windup is, it won't get you the last kill as much as you need to.
Now, her abilities:
[Q] Command Attack: "Orianna commands her ball to fly towards target location, dealing damage to targets hit but doing reduced damage for each additional target hit. Her ball remains behind at that location afterwards."
- Always keep in mind the "doing reduced damage for each additional target hit" part. This could make the difference between a kill and a 20-hp getaway. It's best to try to hit the enemy on a clear path than going through a minion wave. Also, if your target is running away from you, it's best to overshoot than to come up short in your distance estimations since the ball will hit the enemy on its way to its destination anyway. In fact, if you do, you will even have time to do [w] and finish them off with clockwork windup. This is a great scouting ability as well. Throw the ball in bushes to avoid surprises.
[W] Command Dissonance: "Orianna commands her ball to emit a magnetic pulse, dealing damage to units around it. Afterwards, the ball leaves a field behind for a few seconds that speeds up allies and slows enemies."
- There will be a short delay on this to take effect if you do it right after [Q]. Not sure why. Doesn't matter anyway, because if you overshoot your [Q] it can take effect in time to reach for the kill. It is also a very good defensive ability. If the enemy is chasing you and your ball is elsewhere, running away will snap it back to you. The second it does, hit [W] to slow them down and speed you up, saving your life and dealing a bit more damage to them. This is a very good strategy near turrets. The [Q] and [W] combo can make it easier to defend your squishy self and prevent your enemies from laying a hand on you.
[E] Command Protect: "(Passive): The allied champion the ball is attached to gains bonus Armor and Magic Resistance."
"(Active): Orianna commands her ball to fly to and attach onto an allied champion, dealing damage to enemies it passes through and shielding the allied champion when it arrives."
- This is a very useful ability because it has both offensive and defensive elements, and it is especially useful in team fights. You can attach it to an engaging ally (especially carries) immediately after the enemy strikes them to give them a bit more cushion. Right after you do [Q] and [W], you can cast this on yourself and the ball will not only protect you, but it will also strike every enemy on its way back to you.
[R] Command Shockwave: "Orianna commands her ball to emit a shockwave after a short delay, flinging affected enemies in the vicinity into the air a set distance towards, and possibly over, her ball."
- Where exactly the enemy will end up isn't exactly easy to predict, at least for me. However, this ultimate is extremely helpful in team fights. It can be the difference between your team obliterating the opposing team to dust or half of them getting away scott-free. Whether it ends up pulling the enemy closer or slightly farther away, it will confuse them and keep them from running away. Right after shockwave, if they are still not dead, hit [W] to deal some extra damage and slow them down so your team can finish them off (or you can, with clockwork windup). It is also a good escape move if everything else in your arsenal is on cooldown, but only use it that way in life-or-death situations.
If you're going the full AP path, max out your [Q] first. It is your main mode of harrassment and dealing damage, as well as your main mode of getting the ball where you want it to so every other ability can be strategically executed. After [Q], go [W], since it is your slowing ability, which can really help finish the enemy off.
In this path, you will have many assists early game, then many kills late game.
If you're going with the support path:
- (new players) start with level 1 attack, then max out [E]. Why? Because you need to be able to move the ball around, and you can't exactly do that with E alone.
- (experienced players) If you and your lane partner(s) are able to communicate well, max out [E] first. The point of playing Orianna as support is to make it easier for your teammates to devastate the enemy, so casting [E] on the engaging ally would allow you to [W] right on the ally's path and speed him up as well as slow the enemies down.
So, depending on what route you want to take with Orianna, you have a wide repertoire of choices for items. Because Orianna's cooldowns are so long, some sort of cooldown reduction is suggested in any build you choose. These are merely my suggestions from experience, so take with a grain of salt.
If you want to go strictly AP:
- Start with an Amplifying Tome and a red pot. Build the tome into a Fiendish Codex (or a Void Staff, that depends on who you're laning with and against).
- Sorcerer's Shoes
- Mejai's Soulstealer
- Rabadon's Deathcap
- Nashor's Tooth (built from the Fiendish Codex) speeds up your autoattack (which is great later in the game for your clockwork windup), gives you AP, and reduces cooldowns even more.
The last item is situational. If you're going against a lot of AP champs, I would suggest Banshee's Veil or Abyssal Scepter, depending on the situation. If you're going against a lot of physical attacks, Zhonya's Hourglass will help you more. If they build up magic resistance, build a Void Staff (if you already haven't). A Lich Bane could certainly be useful late game when your clockwork windup is in its full glory.
If you want to go the support route, I would suggest:
- Rush Catalyst the Protector, it will build Rod of Ages. RoA will increase your health, mana, and AP every minute.
- Ionian Boots of Lucidity
- Ryalis will give you a bit more durability as well as more AP, but more importantly, it will slow your enemies down, along with [W], it will be very difficult for them to run away from your team.
- If your team has any AP carries, Abyssal Scepter and Will of the Ancients would be wise choices.
You want to give yourself some durability as well as as a decent amount of AP to help your team, so don't neglect AP entirely. AP is important if you're going to do [E] on a carry that doesn't have much health because that ability is dependent on how much AP you have. The more AP you have, the more protected they are.
Personally, I would do a mix of the two routes. I would personally prefer getting as much AP as possible as well as some durability, then hold off on magic penetration until late game.
Amplifying Tome - Catalyst - RoA - Ryalis - Deathcap - Archangels - Void Staff
Command of the ball:
- Being aware of the location of your ball at all times is key to Orianna success. If the ball is far from you, you can either pick it up or get far away enough for it to come back to you.
- Remember that your abilities come from the ball, so knowing where it is and controlling where it goes is essential.
- Always pay attention to the arrow over your head, what colour it is, and exactly how far from you the ball is. If you don't, it could lead to wasted abilities, multiple deaths, and wasted ultimates.
- Putting the ball inside a bush (if there is one nearby) while you autoattack can lead to a surprise attack in your favor since the enemies will not really see it coming because they are not aware of where the ball really is.
- You are very squishy. Do not get caught alone by the enemy team. Always be near a turret (and by near I mean within its range) or with an ally.
- Don't engage, you're squishy.
- I don't suggest playing aggressively (as in, with intention to gank) until you're at least level four.
- Like I said before, don't rely solely on clockwork windup to farm early game, it will ruin you.
- Because of [Q], it is possible for you to farm and harrass at the same time.
- Once you have a catalyst, you can harrass more and bait your enemies into a false sense of security as you're about to level up.
- Try to get the blue buff as much as you can.
- A lot of the time, you won't be able to finish enemies off because of your cooldowns, so stick around with your team. They will finish them off and you will get stacks on your Mejais.
- Still don't engage, you're still somewhat squishy. It's best to back up the engaging ally, that way they won't focus on you and you won't feed.
- Now that you've got most of your items built up, you can really start to be more cocky. If you have Banshee's Veil, you are less of a target to AP enemies because no one likes wasting mana in abilities that won't affect you. Do, however, look out for AoE abilities that could disarm your veil and make you vulnerable again.
- You still need to stick with the team. Don't get caught alone. If you played Orianna well up until this point, they will focus on you specifically.
- The most difficult part of Orianna gameplay is to be as far away from the enemies as possible while still being close enough to manipulate the ball and harrass them. This is something you master over time.
- In team fights, try your best to get as many enemies as possible with your ultimate. The more you get with it, the more kills your team can get, the easier it will be to push.
Nice guide! I like the tips at the end, I think every Orianna guide should have at least some as a few of the things simply aren't spelled out for you.
Speaking of which
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