Ashe, the Frost Archer, is one of the most simple, yet effective AD carries in League of Legends. With a 49.53% win rate and a 6.56% pick rate, she’s the perfect pick for making your teammates shine and improving your initiation potential. Let’s see how you can use Ashe to break open your Solo Queue games!
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Passive: Frost Shot
Ashe’s auto attacks and abilities freeze her enemies, slowing them by 10-20% (depends on level) for 2 seconds. Additionally, every following auto attack against frozen targets deals bonus damage based on Ashe’s critical strike chance. Ashe’s critical strikes deal no additional damage, but the slow on her passive becomes three times as effective.
How to use: Frost Shot is made for kiting. Whenever you spot a bulky bruiser or a sluggish tank, you should focus on keeping them permaslowed. Remember that your auto attacks deal bonus damage to slowed targets, and since that number grows with more crit chance, Ashe still works with the regular AD carry build.
Q: Ranger’s Focus
Passive: When Ranger’s Focus is inactive, Ashe generates stacks of Focus for 4 seconds when she auto attacks (up to 4 stacks). After 4 seconds of not auto attacking, stacks start to fall off.
Active: Ashe gains a boost of attack speed for 4 seconds, and her auto attacks fire flurries of five arrows. Flurries proc on-hit effects once, and the damage from each arrow benefits from Frost Shot and life steal. Ranger’s Focus reduces the delay on Ashe’s next auto attack.
How to Use: Say hello to your main steroid! Ranger’s Focus makes your damage output go through the roof, so use it to win teamfights and bot lane skirmishes. In the laning phase, you want to be mindful of your Focus. Auto attack creeps as much as you can to have 4 stacks in case you get involved in an all-in.
Ashe fires a multitude of arrows in the target direction, dealing damage to all enemies struck. Enemies can get hit by several arrows, but don’t take additional damage. Volley applies Frost Shot’s critical slow to all champions hit. If arrows from Volley last-hit their target, they keep going until they strike another enemy or reach maximum distance.
How to use: Volley is a perfect trading tool. Most of the time, you want to be shooting it from a long distance to whittle down your opponents. The range on it is immense, so the enemy bot lane will usually hide behind its creeps. However, if their minions are low enough, your arrows will pierce right through them and reach the champions anyway. Use Volley to increase your DPS and boost your kiting potential.
Passive: Ashe periodically stores charges of Hawkshot up to a maximum of 2 at the time.
Active: Ashe sends a hawk spirit to the target area, revealing its path and granting sight in a large radius at its destination. Hawkshot isn’t obstructed by brushes or terrain.
How to use: Your E is a pure utility spell. In the laning phase, launch it into the enemy territory to try and find their jungler. Later on, you can use Hawkshot to check brushes and reveal neutral objectives if you sense the enemy team is up to something.
R: Enchanted Crystal Arrow
Ashe fires a magical arrow in the target direction. The arrow breaks upon striking an enemy champion, dealing damage and stunning them for 1-3.5 seconds (depends on the distance traveled). Enemies around the initial target take 50% damage.
How to use: Ashe’s ultimate is the main reason she’s picked. This is a global crowd control spell, meaning you can even land cross-map stuns if you’re good at predicting enemy movement. Most of the time, you want to cast Enchanted Crystal Arrows to initiate fights or stun dangerous assassins. However, always look for opportunities to send long-range arrows, as your teammates will almost certainly secure kills if they get a free 3.5-second stun.
R > W > Q > E
Volley [W] is your main trading spell, so max it first. Follow up with Ranger’s Focus [Q] to have a strong steroid for the mid game teamfights, and since Hawkshot [E] doesn’t really do much in terms of combat stats, save it for last. As always, level up Enchanted Crystal Arrow [R] when you can.
Ashe Runes and Summoner Spells
Ashe has several viable rune options, but they all boil down to choosing between Press The Attack and Arcane Comet. In the first case, you want to go with Triumph, Legend: Bloodline, and Coup De Grace in the Precision tree to have the best possible mix of damage and sustainability. You can complement these runes with Domination (Zombie Ward, Taste of Blood) or Sorcery (Scorch, Celerity), depending on the matchup. This is the perfect rune page for all-ins and teamfights.
In the second scenario, grab Manaflow Band, Celerity, and Scorch in the Sorcery tree. As for your secondary runes, throw in Precision (Triumph, Coup de Grace) or Domination (Taste of Blood, Zombie Ward). This page is ideal for harassing enemies from a long distance. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and the need to provide more damage/utility to your team.
No real choice here. Ashe is an AD carry, so she wants to run Flash and Heal every game. The former is your only escape, and it will be an absolute lifesaver on an immobile marksman. And the latter will prove very useful in bot lane skirmishes.
1.) Essence Reaver > Berserker’s Greaves > Runaan’s Hurricane > Infinity Edge > Lord Dominik’s Regards > Mercurial Scimitar
Ashe’s core build combines utility and damage. Essence Reaver is perfect for reducing cooldowns on Volley [W] and Enchanted Crystal Arrow [R] while throwing in AD and crit on top of that. Berserker’s Greaves are the best option for auto attacking AD carries, and Runaan’s Hurricane will provide some much-needed wave clear.
Since you’re already stacking crit, Infinity Edge further empowers your Frost Shot auto attacks. Tanks are going to be a problem at this point, so buy Lord Dominik’s Regards to shred through their armor. As for Mercurial Scimitar, the enemy team will be constantly trying to CC you, so the cleansing active is bound to come in handy.
Like most marksmen, Ashe has several situational items to consider. First, take a look at Ninja Tabi. The extra armor and auto attack damage reduction are great for mitigating damage from assassins and AD carries, so get them if you’re getting focused in fights. In a similar fashion, don’t hesitate to grab Phantom Dancer instead of Runaan’s Hurricane.
Even though we’ve listed Lord Dominik’s Regards as a must-have item, it’s a good idea to replace it with Rapid Firecannon (more poke) or Statikk Shyv (more burst) if you’re not facing any frontliners. Also, consider buying Mortal Reminder against sustain tanks like Maokai or Vladimir. Keep in mind that Ashe works well with Blade of the Ruined King, and you can even rush the item to dismantle tanks and duel other carries.
Last but not least, evaluate your defensive options. An item like Maw of Malmortius is perfect for countering fed mages, and Guardian Angel is invaluable against strong assassins. Get them if you’re having trouble surviving in fights.
When to pick Ashe?
Ashe brings a great mix of damage and utility to her team. Enchanted Crystal Arrow [R] is amazing for finding picks and initiating teamfights, and Hawkshot [E] lets you track the enemy jungler in the early game. However, Ashe isn’t an ideal solo carry, so you’ll want another source of damage in your comp. Moreover, the Frost Archer needs peel in teamfights, so you need to have a tank or a strong defensive support on your side.
Ashe Matchups and Counters
Even though Ashe isn’t the best 1v1 champion, she often wins bot lane matchup thanks to a powerful combination of Volley [W], Frost Shot, and superior range. Not only can she kite out most short-ranged AD carries, but she can also blindside marksmen like Caitlyn, Jhin, and Varus with a sudden ultimate. Throw in Ashe’s insane Ranger’s Focus damage, and she ascends to a lane bully status.
Her notable weakness is the lack of disengage. Ashe hates facing champions that can catch her out or force all-ins, and picks like Miss Fortune, Twitch, and Tristana are the bane of her existence. If they’re also paired with an initiating support, Ashe has to spend the entire game on the back foot.
Laning Phase and Early Game
Ashe has a lot of pressure in the laning phase. Most of the time (unless you’re facing a very hard matchup), you want to buy Doran’s Blade and start pushing. Use Volley [W] to damage minions and the enemy bottom lane at the same time. If you see the opposing marksman overstepping his limits, mix in an auto attack or two. The slow from Frost Shot is great for chasing, but don’t get carried away because you never want to be tanking minions in the early game.
At level 2, you have a choice to make. If you have an all-in opportunity in front of you, put a point into Ranger’s Focus [Q] and go for the jugular. Ashe deals a ton of damage, and as long as your support follows up, you can easily secure kills or force summoner spells. However, if the laning phase is very back-and-forth and you have a hunch that the enemy jungler is nearby, unlock Hawkshot [E]. Sure, it won’t do anything in 2v2 skirmishes, but you can give your allies valuable information by granting them vision of the enemy jungler.
Until you hit level 6, the ideal trading pattern is hit-and-run. You never want to fight without Volley and Ranger’s Focus, so only move in when you have offensive spells ready. From then on, apply your slow and kite the enemy marksman with superior range. If you can, get the push going—landing Volleys will be much easier when the opposing duo is stuck under its turret.
The game changes when you unlock Enchanted Crystal Arrow [R]. Of course, your ultimate is a great disengage tool, but most of the time, you want to be using it offensively. Try to apply a slow with a Volley or an auto attack and follow up with a frozen arrow to catch out the enemy AD carry. Connecting your ultimate often results in a won 2v2, but it can be even more impactful if your jungler/mid laner is nearby.
Finally, you can shoot cross-map arrows. The best time to do this is when you’ve recalled or moved into the fog of war. Keep an eye on enemy laners and their positioning. Chances are they’ll be moving around in a certain pattern, and if you manage to read it, cast your ultimate and ping your teammates to indicate that you’re sending CC their way.
As long as you see their jungler on the opposite side of the map, you should keep pushing the minion wave. Your goal is to chip away at the enemy turret and—once you take it—transition into the mid game.
Mid game presents countless opportunities to Ashe players. Since you’ll be moving around the map, you’ll spend more time in the fog of war, which makes it easier to land Enchanted Crystal Arrows [R]. The moment you leave the bottom lane, you should try to set up a gank onto one of the solo lanes. Even if it fails, don’t be discouraged. It’s impossible to land 100% of your arrows, so concentrate on poking and sieging while waiting for its cooldown.
When your ultimate is down, you should stay in the back and wait for someone else to pull the trigger. Otherwise, you’re very likely to burn Flash or die in the beginning of a teamfight. As for 5v5s themselves, approach them with caution. The golden AD carry rule of focusing the closest target is ever so relevant on Ashe, and you should always hit tanks if you don’t have a clear shot at the enemy carries. In general, if a play puts your life in danger, it’s better to ignore it and deal damage from a safe distance.
Of course, there are times when this strategy just doesn’t fly. One example would be when the enemy team has a hypercarry like Kog’Maw or Jinx, so you have to take them out to win a teamfight. The best way of doing this is to pick them off with Enchanted Crystal Arrow before a 5v5 starts, but you can also save your ultimate to stunlock them later on. Just remember to apply Frost Shot with Volley [W] to make it easier to hit your ult.
In the late game, Ashe can tear through tanks and carries alike. Ranger’s Focus gives her a ton of damage, and if someone makes a positioning mistake, you can throw out a Volley [W] and finish them off with a few auto attacks. Hawkshot [W] becomes even more important because you can use it to check for ambushes and neutral objectives.
As for objectives themselves, Ashe is pretty good at rushing Baron and Elder Dragon, but she never wants to be caught in the pit. This is mainly because Flash is your only reliable escape, and you should hold on to it for as long as you can. The situation gets much better if you’re the one doing the catching, and you can trap the entire enemy team in the pit with Volleys and long-ranged auto attacks.
In general, though, don’t go for hero plays. A single mistake might cost your team the game, and the safer option is often the better one.
Ashe is the ultimate utility carry. She does respectable amounts of damage, but her main strength is the insane amount of value Enchanted Crystal Arrow [R] and Hawkshot [E] bring to the table. Combine that with the slow from her passive, and Ashe has all the tools to make her team shine. And ultimately, this is one of the most reliable ways to win in Solo Queue.
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