On that note, I wanted to talk more about League for quite a long time.
I am still an Ashe onetrick.
But I can't always play her. When I'm autofilled to jungle, I've taken to playing Kindred. When Ashe is banned, I play a lifesteal on-hit Vladimir (think Kayle items: Gunblade Nashors Rageblade Beserkers Spirit Visage Death's Dance). Coincidentally, both use nearly-identical runes. I wanted to ramble on them for a long, long time, but I'll save it for another blog.
I wanted to talk about my progression on Ashe tonight specifically.
I've tried various setups. I tried an armor-shred Ashe, an on-hit build. PTA, BoRK, Runaan's, the idea being to build rageblade and black cleaver after that, and something more after that, don't remember--never got it off the ground because it never worked for me. Something similar to it might work for another player, but that style of play isn't me.
I've abandoned the idea that I'd run lifesteal Ashe for similar reasons in spite of how fun that is (tho every build I run tends to have a healing rune in it, beit bloodline or the domination one; only one getup doesn't have it, and even that one might if font of life allows you to heal as well, honestly not sure on how that works).
So I've been favoring poke-oriented builds.
I've got two or three (third was not always so) "tanky" Ashe builds; I've got two lethality Ashe builds; I've got two support-Ashe builds, and all of them work. (There is overlap there, btw. One support build is a tank build, one lethality build is also a support build.)
One tank Ashe build I play exclusively in toplane, because as a botlaner you're expected to deal damage and I wasn't convinced the build dealt enough damage. The idea of the build was to turn a squishy immobile adc into a tanky fairly mobile ranged tanky toplaner.
That build is Grasp-primary, with shield bash, minion deaths giving health, and I believe bone plating (tho most of those runes are flexible), with overheal and bloodline secondary. You take tabis or mercs, and build in whatever order the enemy champions dictate: Iceborn Gauntlet, Spirit Visage, Death's Dance, Deadman's Plate, and Abyssal Voyage, with some flexibility built in.
It actually works remarkably well and functions exactly as advertised by and large, unless I face an unfamiliar champion to me and/or get ganked and set behind. I become tanky, ridiculously hard to kill, and provide a reasonable frontline, while offering the utility Ashe offers, with her ult, with her slows, etc. I really like it as a toplane build but I know it's only viable in that lane.
The other tank Ashe build is also a support build, but one which came back to my original theory behind building manamune on Ashe. It still runs Grasp-primary, but runs sorcery-secondary, transcendence and manaflow band. This one runs with font of life, due to no items/abilities giving a shield for shield bash. The build here is similar: rush manamune, build mercs/tabis whichever of the two is better, and then build exclusively items that give mana that're also tanky items.
The universal item I'm building first in that build is Zeke's Convergence--I know it is a support item, but it gives 300? mana, high armor, and also magic resistance. From there, depending on need, there's: Righteous Glory (300? mana, health regen), Iceborn Gauntlet (highest mana item at 500, gives waveclear, good armor), Frozen Heart (slows attacks, highest armor, 400? mana), and Abyssal Mask (400? mana, extra mr).
The idea of this build is obvious enough. It is basically to be the ultimate utility, with a good balance of everything. Still an immobile champion, sadly, but otherwise monstrously good. Absurdly tanky, good cc, arrows quick to be off cooldown from the cdr, and once the manamune transforms into the muramana, dealing the maximum possible damage, while also boosting an ally's damage potential.
I've run it both top and bot, concluded it's better top and works just as well as the other tank build. If not better. Every game I played it in, I was either even or ahead of my opponents! And then my botlane got crushed, losing that lane, and/or my jungler inted/fed, and/or my midlaner fed or even in one instance ragequitting the game. I never lost using it in laning phase and it worked to do exactly what I wanted it to do, every single time. But alas, it is not a 1v9 build so even if I won an isolated 1v1 or even surviving 1v2s, if my teams lose 4v4s or even 4v3s where they had number advantages, not much I can do!
Basically, the build I feel works and works really really well, so I quite like it. A tankier Ashe does remarkably good in toplane, the one and only flaw to be had is that botlane players sometimes want Ashe, which is problematic, and it's less effective of a build in the botlane 2v2 (still works, just not as well).
The next notable build of mine is a manamune into full-lethality Ashe mid: Dark Harvest paired with Cheap Shot (which is GODLY good on Ashe). From there, well, eyeball's the only real rune to use in that column, and when it comes to Hunters, the choice is between Ultimate Hunter and Ravenous Hunter. Ultimate Hunter would eventually allow for spamming arrows on a ridiculously low cooldown, but I'd have no lifesteal in the build unless I built sanguine blade (which I don't).
The secondary rune is sorcery. I used to run transcendence, before I realized that I never exceeded the cdr cap so all it'd do is get me to max-cd faster. Now I use manaflow band for some extra mana and mana regen, while running gathering storm. The build is manamune and ionian boots, into duskblade, into ideally ghostblade (for movespeed and highest lethality), and from there there's options: umbral glaive for ward sweeping/killing and cdr and extra lethality, or rapidfire cannon for extra range and built-in crit and extra movespeed. Technically those aren't mutually exclusive, that's six items, but games tend to not last long enough for me to get even remotely close to that full on the build.
I could, if forgoing the rfc, build either sanguine blade for high high high isolated damage and lifesteal, or edge of night for a spellshield to give me protection.
This build is ridiculously squishy and rather immobile. But the poke hits like a truck and I don't think there's any higher-damage poke-oriented build for Ashe. Sure, sustained damage over time builds, probably are better builds, but poke damage from volleys and an ult that, post-muramana, can in of itself half-health any non-tank champion? It's a feel-good build.
I could run it botlane, but in botlane it tends to be less effective because it takes longer to get online and it's easier to get dove and harder to get influence and such, so I mostly run it midlane.
So that leaves the botlane, which uses the same exact runes between support/adc-Ashe, just building differently. Arcane comet, manaflow band, transcendence, and gathering storm, with presence of mind and bloodline as secondary. As the support, the build is spectral sickle as the support item into manamune into lethality, starting with ubral glaive, then duskblade, then maybe ghostblade. (Which, with ionian boots, would be full build.)
The idea of that is to poke poke poke and bully the enemy team, force them away with low healthbars. You want your adc to get the kills, minions, etc., so you just focus on utility but still deal significant damage.
As the adc, the build is manamune into...well. Into anything. If iceborn gauntlet is built, or abyssal mask is built, is fairly tanky. Other items would be rfc for crit, attack speed, range, and movepeed, and runaan's for crikt, waveclear, movespeed, and attack speed. You could maybe throw in an ER in there somewhere, too, for replenishing mana, extra crit, extra damage from excess cdr, and raw attack damage. It's really really good at poking, throwing volleys nonstop, and giving decent survivability.
But I want to try out a new build now.
It was mathed out that, statistically speaking, in damage over time over a period of ten seconds in a sustained engage, the highest-possible damage build for Ashe, that is also the cheapest build possible, that is also applicable regardless of opponent's hp and at all stages of the game?
That's actually still a manamune into muramana build. But, manamune into runaan's into a suggested IE into something like Death's Dance into a final situational utility-based item, was what the person who mathed it out suggested. (That person being one of Cloud 9's ace adcs.) Running lethal tempo and inspiration, in their case approach velocity and magical footwear.
That build would, presumably, rely on autoattacking and kiting to an extent that, while it'd work for other Ashe players, has been shown to not be ideal to my style. The one and only autoattack build I've managed to not be trounced on is the lifesteal build, and even then it wasn't very remarkable.
So I wanted to make a build that would still be good at poking, while also having the high damage of that sustained damage over time when actually autoattacking.
The build I came up with is in fact circling back to lethal tempo as a rune, taking presence of mind, bloodline, and on the third I believe the one that does the most damage overall on Ashe is Cut Down. And as secondary, running sorcery, in this case, transcendence and manaflow band. Transcendence here is actually necessary due to a lack of cdr in the build otherwise and still wanting to get to that 40% mark. Well, I still only get 30%, between ionian boots, the cdr rune, and transcendence, buuuut, there is an option for that to get it up further.
I'd still run manamune, but then build Runaan's. The items I'd be looking to fill out the build: Phantom Dancer, Infinity Edge, Blade of the Ruined King, and Essence Reaver.
Not in that order necessarily, mind you. I'm honestly not sure what order to build in, I'm actually thinking cheapest item to most expensive, which would be phantom dancer into bork or er, then the other, with ie replacing boots as a sixth item if I ever got that far.
Phantom Dancer would help make me be less immobile, especially in tandem with Runaan's also giving movespeed. It'd give that shield to give temporary tankiness as well. Building it gives the 50% crit in tandem with Runaan's, and pairs well with the attack speed.
I've yet to test it out, but my theory here is that the manamune with presence of mind and manaflow band and a still-respectable 30% cdr from just ionian boots and runes. So I could still spam volleys, with volleys dealing pretty dang high damage post-transform (doubly so, with any of the items that have attack damage in them).
And then with high attack speed, being able to use autoattacks in tandem with that. Escape potential (especially with bork-pd, a classical combo), cheap build, good slows/damage, I wanna try it out and see if it works in practice.
We'll have to test it out sometime, but ah well. Probably not tonight.