What happened with Ahri?

1234511 ... 29
Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Riftic

Senior Member

02-13-2013

As of late, we've seen quite a bit of controversy over a somewhat controversial champion, Ahri. People either love her or hate her.
The hate is understandable, at release she was an extremely slippery high damage assassin. A complete blast to play and a nightmare to go up against. Things have changed quite a bit since then, however, and Ahri is almost a completely different champion.

I'd like to share my thoughts on Ahri, and hopefully foster a constructive discussion about one of League's most loved and hated champions.

I see Ahri as a champion that started out as a fantastic and incredibly fun champion, but was slowly nerfed (both directly and indirectly) into obscurity.
As it stands right now, she doesn't bring enough to the table for me to give anyone an honest recommendation to play her. And this breaks my heart, because she is by far one of the most fun champions to play in this game.

I fully understand and agree with removing her "tanky" viability. Aesthetically and mechanically Ahri doesn't strike me as a champion that would want to or should benefit from being tanky. She's an assassin and should have acted like an assassin from the start.
However, her current state doesn't allow her to fulfill this role of an assassin. The previous patches to Ahri have slowly and systematically picked away at every single part of her kit except Charm, which had effectively brought her down to mediocrity near the end of Season 2. Slightly overnerfed in my opinion, but still playable, still good; just requiring higher than normal skill and game sense to pull off.

Take, for example, Ahri's pick rate before her nerfs: 25%. After her nerfs, that pick rate plummeted down to 5%. That is an extremely large change, and given Riot's more recent track record with popular champions (Diana, Rengar), I'd say it is not impossible that they went too far.

And then Season 3 hit. The entire game changed, and Ahri changed with it.

Deathcap got nerfed, but was eventually rebuffed to be close to where it was. This lower AP often leaves Orb of Deception being unable to clear caster minions in one cast, leaving them with a sliver of health. Next, Athene's got nerfed, drastically reducing the AP and making it almost entirely a defensive item. This punched sustained Ahri builds right in the gut.
And then lastly, we have the elephant in the room that is a pretty hot topic right now: Health and Resistances. With a massive shift to health over resistances, we've seen quite a lot of things, but the thing I've seen nobody discuss is the devaluation of True Damage. With resistances being less powerful and less required, true damage - the ultimate counter to resistances - has become less valuable. Ahri happens to be one of a handful of champions that rely on true damage as part of their kit. This has obviously impacted Ahri negatively in Season 3. The true damage component of Orb of Deception does not help her in the slightest against health stacking. Previously, it allowed her to partially bypass resistances, making her damage deceptively higher against high-resist targets. But now she no longer has that benefit and her damage output has fallen behind because she was balanced around those numbers.

In addition, it looks like the health meta is here to stay. See this thread for further details on that particular subject:
http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=3119156
Any problems identified as a result of this new meta are going to have to be directly addressed, such as the Kha'Zix nerfs during the preseason.

In short, what I'm trying to say here is that even though Ahri received no changes in Season 3, she became weaker. I believe this was the straw that broke the camel's back - you see, Ahri was not exactly known for being powerful near the end of Season 2. Consider Season 2 Ahri for a moment, would she have been viable with further nerfs? Many people over the past few weeks have been discussing this particular topic and the common answer was 'No.' I'm of the opinion that if a champion wouldn't be viable if they got nerfed, they are on the edge of viability.
I believe this was what pushed her onto or right over that particular edge and opened up all this recent Ahri controversy. Consider the past few patches since the Preseason began; each one has brought a lower and lower Ahri pick rate. I feel that if we continue this, Ahri will become even more of a rare and unplayed champion, which once again, breaks my heart because she is so fun to play.

Next, I'd like to compare Ahri to some of the popular AP champions and explain why I would never pick Ahri over them. I'm only doing a handful of champions because otherwise we'd be here all day.

Anivia:
Anivia brings some of the greatest team-wide utility that you can find on a champion. She can zone out entire areas with her ultimate, create choke points or trap enemies with her wall, keep the entire enemy team slowed, she has a stun that lasts as long as Ahri's level 1 charm but has a longer range with a small area of effect, and she brings damage equivalent to Ahri. Ahri has two things over Anivia, her ultimate's ability to reposition herself and her charm at later levels. Anivia's teamwide utility vastly outweighs Ahri's ability to reposition herself in battle. It's a single person's benefit verus an entire team's benefit. Charm does eventually have a longer duration than Anivia's stun, but this does not happen until near max character level, where's it is too little, too late. Anivia brings equivalent damage, and superior teamwide utility over Ahri. When you're looking for an AP mid, I'd take Anivia over Ahri any day.
Update: I read an article after the time of posting this that showed that Anivia's damage output actually exceeds Ahri's by 24% to 42% depending on the length of the battle. This calculation assumed equal AP.

Diana
Diana used to dominate the same role as Ahri, the AP mid assassin, before her nerfs. She's had a pretty tumultuous history, but she's in a pretty good spot now. Diana has superb base stats and her shield makes her naturally tanky, even when building pure offense. Diana is bested by Ahri in only two ways: Diana has no hard CC and Diana has no escape mobility. However, if an enemy is within range, she has one of the best gap closers available.
Now, in terms of what Diana has over Ahri, there's a fair bit. Both Diana's burst damage and sustained damage are superior - she can pick out a target and simply kick down their front door. She's tankier than Ahri and she's not afraid to take a few hits. Her poking ability is on par with Ahri's, except that Diana's poke has a shorter cooldown at max rank and is much less mana intensive. At rank one, Crescent Strike is 15 mana cheaper than Orb of Deception. At max rank, Crescent Strike is 35 mana cheaper than Orb of Deception.
Diana wins this one because of her superior damage, natural tankiness, and cost-effective poke. She assassinates far better than Ahri does, but doubles as a bruiser at the same time.

Elise:
Right away, we have some interesting things to say about Elise. She has a stun, like Ahri, but its duration is 1.5 seconds at first level instead of Ahri's 1 second. At later levels, Elise's mana cost on this ability is almost 50% cheaper, and it has a smaller cooldown by 2 seconds. This stun's range is also longer than Charm's range by 100. Next, Elise has special interactions on her Neurotoxin/Venomous Bite abilities that increase her damage based on her opponent's current health. This actually allows her to build quite tanky and still put out pretty respectable damage. Finally, her Rappel ability has the same range as 2.17 of Ahri's dashes, has absolutely no cost, and it only has a cooldown of 26-18 seconds depending on its rank! Elise clearly wins the mobility competition. Elise also wins the brawling competition since she can get away with going tanky and still putting out pretty good damage. Elise, like Anivia, brings more to a game than Ahri does.

Ryze:
Tanky with tons of damage, what else is there to say? Ryze lacks the mobility of Ahri, and only has a snare compared to Ahri's full stun, but he more than makes up for it with his tankiness and incredible scaling. Once Ryze gets going, his AOE and damage potential are almost unmatched. Ryze is a monster of a teamfighter, and he can take more than a few punches, unlike our wonderful Ahri. Ryze doesn't have any fancy mechanics or flexibility, but he more than makes up for it in sheer brute strength that Ahri could never hope to compete with.

Katarina:
Recent developments in the meta have further proven that Katarina is a force to be reckoned with, whether she builds glass cannon or tanky. She brings unmatched cleanup potential, surprisng amounts of tankiness, and all around a lot of sheer strength. Katarina can easily rival Ahri's mobility with Shunpo, and even have it act like a flash if she has a ward available. The difference here is that when Katarina jumps on you, she's going to mess you up really badly, unlike Ahri who tends to poke their opponent down until she can safely fight them. Katarina's teamfighting is superior to Ahri's in every way and Katarina brings more damage to pretty much any situation than Ahri can. The only thing Ahri has over Kat is a CC, but it doesn't come close to bridging the gap between these two champions. Katarina doesn't care about disabling you, she just kills you.

Lux:
Lux is a great champion. She's probably one of the best balanced champions in the game. She has a long list of strengths: powerful teamfighting, zoning abilities, slows, snares, burst damage potential, and sniping potential. All of her abilities have incredible range on them. While her snare isn't as good as a dedicated stun like Ahri's charm, Lux can land it from an incredible distance - never even putting herself in harm's way. But here's the real advantage: her snare can hit two targets, this makes Lux's snare invaluable in teamfights and during the laning phase since she can lock down two enemy champions or fire her snare right over a minion to hit her opponent. During fights she can zone opponents with Lucent Singularity and punish people who wander into its radius by chunking them for a good bit of damage. And then there's her ultimate. Final Spark is an amazing ability with a myriad of uses. And since it has such a low cooldown at higher ranks, it can be used in most situations without worry of needing it when it's on cooldown. Lux takes this one over Ahri easily with her well-rounded presence and versatility.

And so I have a strong opinion that Ahri needs changes for the better. I hope I have thoroughly explained my reasoning behind this and if anybody has any questions about this, I would be glad to answer them.

Therefore, I come to my suggestions about what to do. I believe these all to be extremely reasonable changes. If you disagree, please let me know and tell me why.

Suggested Resolution:
- Drop the mana cost on Orb of Deception to 80 at max rank from 90. True damage is less valuable now and it should be appraised as such. Some of you may notice that this is a revert of a previous nerf - this is correct. This change was made for an almost entirely different champion. When this change was made, Ahri had a much shorter Spirit Rush cooldown,( 37.5% to be exact) much higher damage output from both Foxfire and Spirit Rush, and had the ability to build tanky like Ryze.
Back then was the peak of both Ahri's power and the power of resistances. Both of these things - Ahri's strength and the value of True Damage - have dropped considerably since then and the mana cost on this ability should reflect those changes. It would also give Ahri more freedom in team compositions; she could have the to option to build mana regeneration items instead of always requiring blue-buff, allowing her jungler to take the buff instead of Ahri if they needed to do so and Ahri opted for the regeneration items.

- Next, increase the AP ratio on Foxfire from 40% to 42.5%. The original nerf to this ability was very heavy, but it met its goal with success: the removal of tanky Ahri. The AP ratio was also slightly modified at the same time. During the patch preview, some insight was shared regarding where Riot wanted Ahri to go in terms of design:

Quote:
"Players will be rewarded for building full ap"
(You can see the full patch preview and explanation here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fusp6idi-3w#t=27)

Ultimately, this goal was never met and was a failure. It was more of a lie to the community than anything else. After the change, Ahri required (and still does) exactly 800 AP to pull even with her previous damage. This was and still is an unobtainable number. There was no reward for building full AP after this change, only punishment.
My suggestion would lower the AP requirement from 800 AP to exactly 400 AP to pull even. This causes Ahri players to actually be rewarded for building full AP. This change would meet the goal that the original change never did. It would also have the side-effect of improving Ahri's late-game damage, a common and very legitimate complaint.

- Finally, a very slight cooldown reduction on her Ultimate, Spirit Rush. According to the patch preview, Spirit Rush is intended to be Ahri's primary way to mitigate damage. Currently, her cooldown makes doing this difficult. Therefore I suggest reducing the cooldown by 5 seconds at all ranks, changing the cooldown to 105/90/75 from 110/95/80. Her current cooldown is too restrictive and leaves her with very extensive downtime periods where she is unable to contribute meaningfully since her Spirit Rush is a core component of allowing the rest of her kit to work optimally or evade lethal damage.

These small suggestions would bring Ahri back up to a level where she can have the opportunity to truly shine again in the right hands.

I would love for everyone to share their thoughts about Ahri (Including you Riot!), and what should be done about her.
Problems with the game won't be fixed unless we help identify and fix them.

Thank you for reading.

I would also like you direct everyone to another thread on Ahri, made by a fellow named Archomental.
You can view the thread right here: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/....php?t=3116591


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Centennial

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

02-13-2013

I think it's because she gets shut down easy in team fights with CC and the new penetration makes her tanky build less effective


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

SaltyKracka

Senior Member

02-13-2013

tl;dr


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Atreiyu

Senior Member

02-13-2013

Her tanky build not viable (at least the S2 one) her only competitively optimal build is DFG - pure assassin (all AP).

That makes her really good in skirmishes ONLY but really bad in 5v5 as AOE or one lockdown skill kills her.

I'd rather play Kassadin or Katarina or Eve or TF for the skirmish/roaming ability with other bonuses + being still good in 5v5


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Riftic

Senior Member

02-13-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyKracka View Post
tl;dr
I'm not adding a TL;DR. It only takes a minute or two to read.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Zero Suit Senpai

Senior Member

02-13-2013

I actually read all of that. I'm not going to make a long response because I'm way lazier than you are, but I think you bring up a lot of good points. Ahri is pretty mediocre right now. Health stacking was the nail in the coffin for her.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Righteousness

Senior Member

02-13-2013

I agree with most points she has just felt weaker of late, but it may just be a side effect of all the warmogs.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

StonerSundays

Member

02-13-2013

We nerfed her because she was to tanky and dealt lots of Damage. Meenwhile

Ryze
Diana
Teemo
Morde


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

AORainmaka

Member

02-13-2013

I main Ahri. She's the janitor of team fights. Make a mess. I'll clean it up.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Monkoton

Member

02-13-2013

Yeah the amount of ahri players have slower decreased and I barely see any today. Better pick ryze and carry late game than ahri. (i have both champs).


1234511 ... 29