Ornn, the Fire Below the Mountain, is one of the most dominant top laners in League of Legends. Despite his 48.60% win rate and 6.66% play rate, he can be deadly in the right hands, providing high damage and incredible tankiness to his team comp. Let’s see how you can use Ornn to climb the Solo Queue ladder!
Passive: Living Forge
Living Forge: Ornn can buy non-consumable items from the shop anywhere on the map. The Fire Below the Mountain takes 4 seconds to acquire his chosen item, but Living Forge is interrupted whenever he enters combat. Additionally, Ornn and his teammates gain access to masterwork upgrades.
Temper: Some of Ornn’s abilities apply Brittle to affected enemies. The debuff reduces the target’s Tenacity by 30% and makes any Airborne (knockup) effects last 30% longer. Brittle stacks up to 2 times and is consumed by the next immobilizing effect, dealing 7-13% of the target’s maximum health (based on Ornn’s level) as bonus magic damage. Ornn’s auto attacks against Brittle enemies knock them back for a short duration.
How to use: There are two parts to this passive. The first one allows you to shop at your leisure, so you’re guaranteed to have an item advantage if you play your cards right. As for the masterwork upgrades, they’re essentially stat boosts to items like Sunfire Cape and Infinity Edge. Even though having more stats is great, the upgrades aren’t very gold-efficient, and you shouldn’t get them until you’ve acquired 6 items.
The second part of your passive is Brittle or, rather, the ability to detonate it with your auto attacks. This deals a ton of damage to tanks and carries alike, and Ornn can get away with building defensive items only while still topping the damage charts. Always proc Brittle stacks when possible.
Q: Volcanic Rupture
Ornn smashes his hammer into the ground, sending a fissure in the target direction. The fissure stops at its maximum range or 200 units behind an affected champion, dealing damage and slowing all enemy units hit for 2 seconds. After a slight delay, a magma pillar erupts at maximum range, knocking away all enemies hit and creating impassable terrain for 2 seconds.
How to Use: Volcanic Rupture is a decent ability on its own. Its range is long enough that you can pick up CS and poke the opposing laner from afar, and the slow lets you land your other abilities. The magma pillar isn’t that big, though, so don’t expect it to block most choke points. Still, the spell becomes absolutely massive when you combine it with Searing Charge [E]—but more on that later!
W: Bellows Breath
Ornn surrounds himself with a protective shield equal to 12% of his maximum health for 2.5 seconds and marches in the target direction with 50% reduced movement speed for the next 0.75 seconds. During his march, Ornn becomes unstoppable and belches fire in a small cone, dealing damage based on target’s maximum health. The final bout of flame applies Brittle to all affected enemies.
How to use: Bellows Breath is your main trading spell. At max rank, it deals a whopping 18% of target’s maximum health as damage, so you can seamless tear through the enemy frontline. And if you proc Brittle afterward, the enemy champion will lose 30% of his health in a blink of an eye.
The fact that Bellows Breath applies a huge shield is the icing on the metaphorical cake, and few champions can withstand Ornn’s onslaught when his W is active. Keep in mind that this is an AoE spell, so it’s great for pushing. Also, Bellows Breath briefly makes you immune to crowd control, and you can use it to avoid stuns, roots, and even hooks.
E: Searing Charge
Ornn charges in the target direction, dealing damage to all enemies he passes through. If the Fire Below the Mountain collides with terrain, he emits a shockwave, dealing increased damage to nearby enemies and knocking them up for 1 second. Searing Charge can damage the same enemies twice. Magma pillars and other artificially created obstacles count as terrain, but get destroyed when Ornn charges into them.
How to use: Searing Charge is a potent gap closer that doubles down as crowd control. Whenever you see an enemy champion close to a wall, go in and stunlock him. Searing Charge has innate synergy with Volcanic Rupture [Q], and you should combine the two in trades and teamfights.
R: Call of the Forge God
Ornn conjures an elemental ram at maximum range in the target direction. The ram stampedes towards him, dealing damage, applying Brittle and slowing enemies hit for 2 seconds. Ornn can reactivate his ultimate to dash in the target direction. If he collides with the elemental ram, it gets redirected and knocks up all enemies struck. Call of the Forge God can affect the same enemies twice.
How to use: While your ultimate can be used for peeling, it works best as an initiation tool. The range on it is quite long, so you can slow the entire enemy team from afar and follow up with a devastating knockup. It’s worth noting that the ram’s hitbox is a bit wonky, so you want to stand right in the middle of its path to have the best chance of redirecting it.
R > W > Q > E
Bellows Breath [W] deals insane amounts of damage and lets you push minion waves, so it’s a good idea to max it first. Follow up with Volcanic Rupture [Q]. It’s good for poking and setting up Searing Charge [E] combos. As for the Searing Charge itself, save it for last since it’s perfectly capable of fulfilling its purpose at rank 1. Don’t forget to level up Call of the Forge God [R] whenever you can.
Ornn is a tank, and you definitely want to pick the Resolve runes on him. Grasp of the Undying is the clear-cut best keystone for laning and teamfighting, but your second choice is a bit more complex. Demolish gives you splitpushing pressure, but Font of Life is better for skirmishing, and Unflinching can come in handy against heavy crowd control. Your next slot is equally versatile. Conditioning is worth picking up if you have a favorable matchup and aren’t worried about dying in lane, but Iron Skin (vs AD) and Mirror Shell (vs AP) are better in the early game. Your last rune should always be Second Wind since you can take full advantage of it in trades.
Your second rune path is Sorcery. This is mainly because Ornn’s abilities cost a ton of mana, and picking up Manaflow Band is a great way of mitigating that. As for your second rune, grab Scorch if you want to put an emphasis on laning and Celerity if you want to make your presence known in teamfights.
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Ornn Summoner Spells
Since Ornn is a top lane tank, his summoner spell options are limited. Most of the time, you want to run Flash and Teleport. The former is great for escaping sticky situations and initiating fights, and the latter gives you some much-needed map pressure.
1.) Sunfire Cape > Ninja Tabi > Abyssal Mask > Righteous Glory > Warmog’s Armor > Gargoyle Stoneplate
Ornn is a tank whose abilities deal health percentage damage and scale with defensive stats, so he wants to stack armor and MR in his build. After the recent buff, Sunfire Cape is one of the strongest items in the game, so rushing it is always a good idea. Next, grab Ninja Tabi to mitigate damage from marksmen and AD top laners. Abyssal Mask is a perfect anti-mage item since it grants you health, mana, CRD, MR, and a couple of useful unique passives.
Then we have Righteous Glory. After you cast Call of the Forge God [R], this is your go button. The potent active lets you instantly jump into the fray and stick to their backline, which is exactly what Ornn wants. And if you follow up with Warmog’s Armor, you’ll be able to exit the fight and replenish your health pool within a few seconds.
Last but not least get Gargoyle Stoneplate. Even the beefiest tanks will have a hard time dealing with AD carries in the late game, so Stoneplate should help you deal with their damage. And don’t forget that you can upgrade Sunfire Cape/Abyssal Mask to scale even better in the late game.
Ornn Situational Items
There are plenty situational items you can include in your Ornn build. For starters, Frozen Gauntlet is a very powerful option if you already got a solo kill onto your lane opponent and want to press that advantage. Not only does it increase your damage output but the freezing passive makes it easier than ever to stick to your target.
Next, Ninja Tabi are undeniably great, but they won’t do much against mages. Pick up Mercury’s Treads if you’re having trouble dealing with AP casters. In a similar fashion, you can even buy Adaptive Helm to mitigate the damage from the likes of Ryze, Corki, and Cassiopeia. Thornmail lies on the opposite side of the spectrum. While it won’t do much against spellcasters, it’s incredible at countering 4/5-man AD comps.
Frozen Heart and Randuin’s Omen also have their merits when facing several auto attackers. The former is better versus bruisers like Jax and Irelia, and the latter works best against crit-based marksmen. Finally, if you want to bring some utility to your team, build Locket of the Iron Solari. Considering you’re stacking health, its shield will be massive, and it will get even bigger once you upgrade the item with your passive.
When to pick Ornn?
Ornn is a powerful tank that can go toe-to-toe with most opponents in the laning phase. His mix of damage, tankiness, and crowd control makes him useful in almost every situation, and provided you ban his hardest counters, you can even blind pick him. Still, you want to have other damage dealers on your side, so don’t pick Ornn if your team needs another carry.
Ornn Matchups and Counters
Ornn is great at countering melee champions. Whether it’s lane bullies like Riven or Renekton or tanks like Maokai or Sion, you will outtrade them if you use your spells right. On the other hand, ranged top laners will have an easy time exploiting you. If the enemy team has someone like Jayce or Teemo, consider picking something other than Ornn. Also, it will be hard to stop champions like Jax, Nasus, and Gankplank, so be wary of locking in Ornn against scaling picks.
Ornn Laning Phase
Ornn’s laning phase is all about abusing his abilities. Before you leave the fountain, you need to choose between Corrupting Potion and Doran’s Shield. The former is the most powerful consumable in the game, which is great since you can’t buy those with your passive. But the latter might be more useful in tough matchups. In any case, walk to your lane and start farming.
If the enemy champion makes the mistake of walking up to creeps, activate Bellows Breath [W] and hit him with an auto attack. The shield will mitigate the damage from most top laners, and the burst from W and Brittle is enough to win a short-term trade. Don’t overstay your welcome, though. You never want to take an extended fight when your spells are on cooldown.
Repeat this pattern a few times, and you’ll easily chunk out the enemy laner. Remember that it’s fine to take reckless trades on Ornn because you can always buy a Doran’s Shield or a Sapphire Crystal if you’re running low on resources. Also, keep in mind that if you’re laning against someone like Jax or Riven, you can dodge their CC with Bellows Breath.
Once you unlock Volcanic Rupture [Q] and Searing Charge [E], you have a strong combo at your disposal. Cast your Q first and use E right before the magma pillar erupts. If you’ve hit the initial slow, it will be very hard for the enemy champion to back out in time and avoid your knockup. Follow up with W and an auto attack to seal the deal.
Most of the time, all you need to do is push the wave with Bellows Breath and trade when someone tries to challenge you. And of course, ward around to prevent jungle ganks.
Call of the Forge God [R] is a surprisingly potent laning spell. Of course, the slow and the knockup are incredible, but it’s even more important that it applies Brittle. So you go for the R > W > R combo for a double Brittle proc.
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Ornn Mid Game
In the mid game, Ornn wants to teamfight as much as possible. His ultimate makes him one of the best initiators in the game, and you can even start a fight from a screen’s worth of distance away, especially if you have Righteous Glory. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t want to use it next to champions that can stunlock you and interrupt the second cast of the ability.
While Ornn’s kit is decent for peeling, you only want to be playing defensively when there’s a fed damage dealer on your side. In all other cases, it’s much better to get into their backline and keep their carries busy. And if someone tries to ignore you, chunk them out with Bellows Breath [W] and Brittle.
Ornn’s kit is made for turret diving. The champion is beefy enough to withstand several turret shots in a row, and Call of the Forge God [R] ensures that your enemies can’t disengage from you. Combine that with the fact that there’s plenty of terrain to activate Searing Charge [E], and Ornn is a natural at punishing players under their own turrets.
The same concept works with objectives. When you’re doing Dragon or Rift Herald, Control Ward a nearby brush and blindside incoming enemies with your ultimate. And if you’re the one trying to contest the objective, Call of the Forge God, Volcanic Rupture [Q], and Searing Charge will be very useful for trapping the enemy team in the pit.
Ornn Late Game
While Ornn doesn’t scale as well as other late game tanks, he makes up for it by adding scaling to his entire team. Thanks to the masterwork upgrades, your allies will always have more stats in extreme late game situations. In fact, it’s often a good idea to stall the game out because you’ll simply outmuscle your opponents later on.
That’s not to say you have to play passive. Your playmaking potential from Call of the Forge God [R] reamins incredibly high, and Bellows Breath [W] and Brittle will still shred most enemy champions. The best time to look for engages is when the enemy team is trying to set up Baron or Elder Dragon, but you kick-start the fight anytime someone makes a positioning mistake.
Ornn is what happens when an already powerful tank receives several buffs in a row. His kit is so strong that he wins matchups he has no right of winning, and he can seamlessly translate his lead into the mid game. And in the end, that sort of dominance is exactly what you want on your Solo Queue climb.
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