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I enjoy Ashe a lot. She's a fairly straightforward champion but her gameplay places tons of emphasis on not screwing up, even a little bit.
As far as builds, I usually started with boots and 3 health potions, or Doran's with an early return to base for boots and health pots (using teleport early). Infinity Edge is an absolute must; you may not always be able to rush it, but it is a core item and you should absolutely have it as soon as you can reasonably put it together. Boots -- Berserker Greaves, Merc Treads (if necessary), or the +3 movespeed boots; I know people dog on those a lot but every little bit counts. Defensive items were iffy -- if people can regularly reach you, chances are you're totally screwed anyway. I did pick up Banshees a few games. There's a lot of discussion about Zeal and how quickly to get it (if ever), as well as Last Whisper, and I found I preferred IE first, LW second, finished boots third, and zeal fourth, if I could.
In my opinion, Ashe really suffers in the current environment due to the number of champions with gap closers and high burst, and this is even more true with each new champion they release. Even a couple months ago I didn't have as frustrating a time w/ her as I am some games now. When I say in the video that it all comes down to your team (and your own positioning), I mean that moreso than I have with other champions I've covered recently. Yes, she can keep people slowed, yes, she has her Enchanted Crystal Arrow in a pinch, but sometimes you'll just be screwed if opponents can walk past all of your teammates. I would *not* recommend her against serious opponents unless you're confident in your knowledge of most of the dynamics in League of Legends.
That said, she's extremely good. In a couple days of playing I managed to pull off a pentakill, quadra kill, several triple kills, a couple baron steals and a lot of buff steals. The Crystal Arrow is fantastic, but I also should have emphasized that Hawk Shot is really a game changer, too, and gives her a utility that makes her very valuable in a good team.
Ashe is a ranged, high physical damage champion.
Ashe's passive is Focus. This increases her chance to critically strike by a percentage every 3 seconds. At level 1, this provides 3% critical strike chance every 3 seconds, culminating in 18% every 3 seconds at endgame.
This bonus stacks. For this reason, Ashe will begin many encounters with at least one guaranteed critical strike, and will critically strike more frequently than most other champions. Focus will help Ashe in early and mid game minion farming as well.
Ashe's Frost Shot causes her normal attacks to slow their target by up to 35%. This can be very effective both at chasing down players who are running away, as well as keeping close range attackers at a distance while she is moving away.
This costs mana per each normal attack, and if Ashe keeps it active when she does not need the slow, she will rapidly deplete her mana reserve. Ashe may prefer only to use Frost Shot in specific situations where the benefit is nearly certain to help acquire a kill or keep her or a teammate alive.
Ashe's Volley fires 7 arrows in a cone, dealing a base amount of physical damage plus bonus damage equal to her attack damage. Additionally, any targets hit by Volley also have Ashe's current rank of Frost Shot applied to them, slowing them.
Volley begins with the very long cooldown of 20 seconds, but reduces down to 4 seconds by the final rank. At max rank, Volley can be used very frequently for strong area damage. It is also very effective at farming minions.
Ashe's Hawk Shot passively increases the gold she earns from last hitting enemy units by up to 5. Additionally, she can activate to fire a shot that grants vision over a large area for 5 seconds.
The vision granted from Hawk Shot does not detect stealthed units but it does give sight to bushes in the affected area.
Hawk Shot initially has a short range that allows her to see in potential gank spots near her lane but not too much further. Higher ranks have a massively increased range and can be used for strong scouting in preparation for team fights or escapes.
Hawk Shot has a very long cooldown, and this cooldown does not decrease with higher ranks.
During skirmishes, Ashe may fire Hawk Shot before an enemy enters a bush to ensure her and her teammates do not briefly lose target on the opponent.
Enchanted Crystal Arrow
Ashe's ultimate is Enchanted Crystal Arrow, a massive skill shot arrow that is fired in a line and will travel across the map until it hits a target. This arrow ignores all unit collision and will only hit champions.
The champion that is hit by the Enchanted Crystal Arrow is stunned, takes magic damage, and is slowed by 50% for 3 seconds. The duration of the stun is increased by the distance the arrow has traveled before landing, maxing out at 3.5 seconds.
Additionally, all champions near the target take half the damage and are also slowed by 50% for 3 seconds.
While Ashe is a respectable carry in her own right, Enchanted Crystal Arrow is what sets her apart as a very strong addition to most teams. If it lands in an ideal spot, it is one of the best initiations in the game. This is true both in the early game, where she can fire either to her lane or across the map to any other lane, and in mid game and especially late game, where a well placed arrow can decisively change the beginning and outcome of a fight.
Enchanted Crystal Arrow is also a good escape mechanism if she is being chased. While the stun duration isn't as long when fired nearby, it can stop most aggressors, especially those who attempt to tower dive.
Followed up with frost shot to keep opponents in range, Ashe can kill many opponents who attempt to flee.
Enchanted Crystal Arrow has a variety of uses for sniping kills or buffs. Since the AOE damage hits all enemy targets, it can kill minions such as the blue golem, red lizard, dragon, or baron.
Countering & Champion Notes
Though Riot has marked her as a recommended champion, Ashe is extremely dependent on her team in competitive play due to her limited escape options and her need for farm. There are very few champions Ashe can go toe to toe with in a 1v1 situation before she has a significant item investment.
Countering Ashe primarily involves getting past her team. As a ranged carry, she does best by positioning herself out of reach of opponents and making herself hard to reach. Assassins with strong gap closers are best suited to reaching her and bursting her down during a team fight, though nearly anyone else who can reach her will be effective against her.
Don't underestimate Ashe's AOE damage in team fights. Volley is essentially a spammable AOE that can quickly turn the tide of a fight while also preventing easy escapes from those affected by the slowing debuff.
Ashe is an incredible farmer, especially at late game. If you can knock her farm down in the early game, especially to a point where she cannot acquire Infinity Edge quickly, it will benefit your team.
Keep an eye on her mana. Ashe players who are less familiar with her will quickly run out of mana by accidentally leaving Frost Shot active too long. Even so, Ashe does have a limited mana pool, and may not be able to use many abilities after extended team skirmishes.
If you see Ashe backing away from the minions in a lane any time after she hits 6, assume she is checking the map and potentially firing an Enchanted Crystal Arrow towards an opponent. This can sometimes be an ideal time to attack, as she may be distracted.
Watch out for an Ashe with the Teleport summoner ability. If Enchanted Crystal Arrow lands from across the map and she has a nearby allied unit, she can teleport directly to the target while they are stunned and follow it up with other attacks.