*Edited for item additions and other fixes in guide on 082011*
First off, this is my first attempt at a guide on this site, so bear with me. Please leave feedback for me so I can improve upon this guide as well as guides in the future. Constructive criticism is welcome, but please try to refrain from using derogatory remarks if you disagree with something said.
Orianna is an extremely versatile character, and can be played successfully in many, many ways. With that being said, I encourage you to experiment with your own builds. This is just my ramblings about this hero, and what has worked and hasn't worked for me. Your experiences my be different.
Fits into many team compositions
Can fulfill many roles
underestimated in most non-pro games
Tough to play well
...not seductive? (up for debate i suppose)
So why play her?
First off, LoL is supposed to be fun. Orianna provides a unique playing experience that can benefit her team, and this is fun. She is not a gimmick hero with a unique playing style that sucks in ranked games *coughShacocough*. She is currently considered a tier 1 hero and thus one of the best overall champs in the game.
But, she is tough to play well. This is part of the fun, and mastering her feels oh soooo good. It is definitely worth your painstaking efforts to learn this hero inside and out.
So, on to the guide!!!
For masteries, i typically run 9-0-21, making sure to get the magic penetration in attack. 9-21-0 is also acceptable, but I really like the decreased cooldown on flash to go with my utility tree. If you are not yet level 30, start with your attack tree, THEN go for your primary defense/utility. The magic penetration is just too good not to have. If you are between levels 21 and 30, I would still recommend magic penetration over the 4% less damage and the cooldown reductions, but you may want to try a full attack tree while you level up to 30 if you want your highest mastery.
For runes, I run magic pen marks, flat mp5 seals, scaling AP glyphs, and flat AP quints. This gives good damage early, as well as giving much needed mana regen early game. The seals, along with regeneration from the utility tree will start you out with between 15-20 mp5 (tier 3 runes), which should be plenty in the early going. People often recommend additional mp5 runes for Orianna, but they are less useful as the game progresses and the AP in the early stages are critical if you don't plan on buying an AP item to start. Also, the reason I buy flat mp5 seals instead of scaling is I find my mana issues to be more problematic prior to level 7, when the runes even out. After level 7 I can typically rely on blue buffs and items to keep my mana pool healthy.
I start my games off with a sapphire crystal and 2 hp pots. The crystal is used in two primary items, and gives a nice chunk of early mana for harassment. I used to be an advocate of dorans ring, but found the sustainability of the hp pots are critical. It is tough not to take damage in mid against another mage, and I've found myself to be the target of the harassment in lane without regen items.
Your first large item should be Rod of Ages. I have been on the fence about this item for nearly two months, and have decided it is well worth the investment. By nature, Orianna is very frail. Her armor/magic resist is very small unless she is carrying the ball, and that shouldn't always be relied on. The hp bonus from RoA is huge, and it also provides a healthy chunk of mana and ap. The problem with RoA is a lack of early game AP. While this is true, staying alive takes priority over dealing damage. Buying the blasting wand before the catalyst is also an option.
From here I like to finish my tier 2 boots if I haven't already done so. Here is where the game can dictate your purchases.
Your two options as far as the boots go are obviously the cooldown reduction boots or the magic pen boots. If you've gone the 9-0-21 route with masteries, you can get away with the magic pen boots. If you are an advocate of 9-21-0, I'd recommend the cdr boots. It is very, very important that Orianna gets max cdr, and the sooner the better.
After boots, I like to buy a tear of the goddess. "But I already have plenty of mana with RoA!" Good! Tear will ensure you will never run out of mana. Ever. Plus with RoA and tear maxed, you will have around 3k mana. This is a prime sport for Archangels, which we will finish later.
After tear, I run straight into Nashor's Tooth. This can be replaced with Morellos if you wish, but I prefer the tooth to take advantage of Oriannas passive. The key about this item is the cdr. This item will max you out at 40 ( or should at least get you very close, with a combo of this and boots/masteries). It is true, again, that this isn't a huge boots in AP. That will be addressed next, but Orianna is more about utility than damage. One additional shield/dissonance in a fight could swing the tide, especially more than minimal added damage from ap boosting items.
After tooth/morellos, it is time to finish Archangels. This should be a quick process at this point, and should add a TON of AP, probably putting you around 300ish. I've found that a lot of games will end around this point, and thats ok. You've done your job.
If the game continues, its time to get deathcap. I am not an advocate of rushing deathcap straight from the beginning, as it tends to turn you into a glass cannon. This is fine if thats your style, but it will be harder to pull off as your opposition increases in skill. Your early farm will be tougher to come by, and after finishing the cap you will still be very very frail. There is absolutely nothing wrong with completing a game with Orianna without purchasing this item. That being said, the boost to AP when completed will be very substantial and this item is tough to ignore in longer games.
To finish your build, Lich bane is very effective. However, one other key item to make note of is Abyssal Scepter. Depending on the enemy lineup, this may be the most important item you will buy. With a heavy AP enemy team (3+), I'd recommend getting this even before your primary cdr item. With an average AP team, maybe two strong mages like Annie or Malz, you can get it after the cdr and before completing the AA. The boost to AP is effective, the magic resist is critical, and the lowering resistance of enemies is a nice treat. This is a very cost effective item on Orianna.
(edit: I have found this item to be even more effective every game I play, and have found myself building this item very early with good results)
Other items to note:
Philo stone: A nice item, the gp5 will pay for itself eventually. Personally, I have never liked this item, because while the regen is nice, the primary build takes care of your sustainability.
Lich Bane: Very effective damage dealer late in the game, but should be purchased last to be effective. Don't buy this item with less than 350ish AP in my opinion, but otherwise very solid.
Rylais: Also a good item on Orianna, but it is situational. You already get an aoe slow, and the slow on all Oriannas abilities is only 15% from Rylais because they are AOE. The main reason to buy this item is that RoA isn't giving you enough sustainability, and you need more HP.
Soulstealer: An interesting concept with this item. Good Orianna players should not be dying very much, but should be racking up tons of assists faster than kills. This may stack slower than on a hero like akali, but the huge AP boost with charges can make you VERY dangerous. The cdr from max stacks is also very beneficial. Recommended only if you know what you're doing, and know how to not die :P
Frozen Heart is a solid defensive item if you find yourself getting focused, and would be ideal to replace tooth in the build. Being focused in fights won't allow you to utilize the attack speed and Orianna's passive, so this would allow an armor increase and also retain max CDR.
Banshees is also a no brainer when in comes to needed defense, but if you are surviving well enough without one, it generally eats up an item slot and doesn't provide much benefit.
If there are other items you want me to elaborate on, please let me know.
Other nuances that may or may not be known:
Orianna's shield may be her most important ability, and casting it promptly is key. With that being said, holding ALT while pushing E will auto cast the spell on yourself. This can speed up the process of shielding to get away, or harassing with Q -> E.
Orianna's shield will NOT be removed if you cast it, then move the ball. The shield stays on for its full duration or until it is destroyed.
The Ball provides sight in a small radius. Use it to check bushes, or safely check Baron or Dragon from up on the ledges. You can also use it to steal Baron or Dragon if you time your spells right, and it is worth using an ultimate if you think you can steal one.
When being chased, ALT+E then W is a very, very strong escape mechanism. If the enemy doesn't have a stun, it may even turn the tides to let melee chasers catch you to deal the damage with W. Not recommended against ranged heroes, obviously, and this is situational, but Orianna is very good at capitalizing on enemy mistakes. Try to induce as many as possible.
For Orianna's skill build, I like Q at 1, then leave it there. W should be maxed first, as it is a good AOE damage spell as well as being her biggest utility spell. E should be maxed next, as it does damage AND provides protection. Way better than Q in my opinion, as I like support/utility oriented Orianna. Obviously take your ulti when its available.
Many people like to max Orianna's Q first. This is fine if you are going a more burst mage / attack version of Orianna, and is only recommended in solo lanes (mid, 1v2). This version has lower cooldowns on a Q that hits harder, which allows for better zoning in lane. However, the skill build of R >Q > W > E makes Orianna less of a support, team oriented champ and more of a burst mage with small utility, like lux.
I want to reiterate that there is no one proper way to play this hero!!! Please experiement with her as much as your can, because she is NOT an easy character to master. However, I can guarantee you will have lots of fun playing this seldom used and oft underestimated character. This guide should be used as a starting point or used to stimulate ideas, not to be taken literally word for word.
Please leave me feedback!
There are some things that feel iffy:
1. Flat rather than Scaling, they break even at around level 4, Since Oriannas power leap is not before level 4 I would go for scaling rather.
2. Tear, it is something that is a really weak item unless you can support yourself with other items HP and AP wise, the mana helps but 1k gold is a huge sink especially as I usually get second blue anyway.
It just set you back soo much with mediocre rewards. Catalyst gives hp any AP item give damage. Mana is a terrible stat in an actual fight. In general for Orianna if you get ROA only get thing that will help in an actual fight.
I don't know why downvotes?
also, for the person who quoted the whole first post, gtfo ******.
I'm very happy to see you have nashor's on her, glad im not the only one who does that :P I think you're item build is quite good, and im glad you gave idea's for other options. Only thing you didn't touch on that I think most would like to know is maybe a little more about how to actually play in lane or in team fights. though that can be hard to describe just in text. the ball move and slow idea is a great one though, that had to be mentioned :P
I think its a great guide for any beginner to orriana, and not bad even if you've played her a few times (I was happy to find out her shield still works if you move the balla gain).
Down vote undoubtedly from OP. Anyway, to justify my point, I have glanced through the top 5 guides for Orianna on solomid.net (with 2 guides written by 2000+ ELO players and the other 3 by 1500+), all level up Q>W>E, and not one placed priority on W. Oh yea, every one of them also went 9/0/21.
To elaborate a bit further on the Q vs W debate:
I do not like to compare the two skills head to head, but rather think of the debate in the following terms:
Maxing Q first, it would be a huge mistake to level E over W. Thus the skill build becomes R > Q > W > E.
The main reason to avoid this is leaving E at such a low level early and mid game. The addition of armor, magic resist, passing damage, and shield is FOUR things per level.
If we don't want to leave W or E unmaxed early, the only skill left to leave is Q. Damage and cdr are tolerable losses compared to E's 4 benefits and W's 3 (damage, slow, speed). This is why i like R>W>E>Q
to person who says q should obviously be leveled faster cause >2k ELO does that:
how many people are >2k ELO? chances are most people using this guide are not. What works in 2k ELO does not nesecarily work in 1k ELO or normals. People in lower ELO also do not use or ban orriana very much beacuse she is not as much of a threat. My thinking for this is that people in lower ELO don't last hit as well/much and the people who would use her also aren't as good at her. SO maybe to interupt someone's farm, Q is more useful, but for lower level of play, W could easily be the better choice. Clearly, it is opinion, not straight up "this one first is better"
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