I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that I play exclusively Ashe, but I didn't really go much into the why. She's basically the only champ I think I can ever be remotely competent as. To some extent, this is because of a self-feeding loop; I only play Ashe, so I am only experienced as Ashe, so when I play other champs I suck, so I play more as Ashe, so I become more dependent on playing Ashe, and so on and so forth. She's who I practice playing as, so naturally she's the only one I'm good as.
But the reason I chose her to play as pretty much exclusively is because she is the champ that I just find is the most me to use. I'm still fairly incompetent at many aspects of her. In 80+% of the games I play, I lose my lane to my opponents. I am easily caught out of position in team fights, too far forward or isolated in the jungle for easy pickings or easy gank prey because I overextend.
In team fights, I have trouble following who's who, who's where, what's happening, and so on and so forth, frequently thinking I'm somewhere I'm not, and thus, making a ton of misplays because I can't track the information accurately.
I have been picking up knowledge from tutorials, from watching streamers, from watching pro play, on all the things which should be done, but while I do process some of that knowledge, I am utterly clueless as to what I should be doing, when. When do I go for plates on a tower, when do I instead of going for plates on a tower push the wave and recall, when do I instead of going for plates on a tower go to roam, when do I avoid pushing the wave and instead try to freeze it, how to pull off a successful freeze, when do I go for an all-in, when do I avoid an all-in and rely on poking, when I'm low on health yet am the only defender when do I recall and when do I stave them off; when I'm low on health and yet my team is there, when do I help them try to kill the enemy in spite of being low on health and when do I recall and hope that they have me covered?
In basic fundamental shot-calling like that, I am dismal. I need to constantly ask for advice from others, which is another reason why I don't like to go into PVP matches unless I have someone on my team; they can talk to me about it and give me advice I'd otherwise go without and they go into the game knowing I need that help without me needing to tell them about it every single match.
I know those are skills that I'd need to master on my own to take my play to a higher level, and I know some of them I might be able to, but I also know some of them I'll never be able to, which is why I know that I'll never get much better than where I am now--yet Ashe gives me the best chance of improving because she's the champ whose skills are best suited to my strengths.
Her skills are very useful for a player that works mostly on gut instinct. I don't know what to do when, and largely go with the flow. Unless given shots called, I have to guess what to use, when, and while I am objectively terrible at it, going with what I feel is usually something that works out. Having played as much as I do, and with the practice I do (this is one of the few things that going up against bots is actually useful for!), I have a fairly decent idea of what my abilities can do, when. Of when I can win an engagement, and when I cannot. Of how long (or rather, how short) my stun lasts, of how powerful my slow is, of how much damage I can deal and how much damage I can receive. (Okay so I'm still working on the 'receive' part because I tend to be a little bit clumsy about tracking my HP at times but I usually can tell, I just occasionally go into engagements at full HP and don't notice I'm taking damage or think I'm taking less damage than I am and in those occasions end up dead when I didn't know I was even at risk.)
Stuff like that, I kinda have a feel for, which I do off of instinct. And Ashe's skills are pretty good at getting good damage in, too. If I'm confused, caught off-guard, or just plain outright misclick (which I do often, mind you), I'll tend to mess up the usage of my skills, but I usually just have a feel for what to use, when. Still get complaints about wasted ults of course, but that's usually a result of a misjudgment of engagement (for instance as an example I think we're going to all-in them, but then my team...doesn't, because they had a reason not to which I wasn't aware of, e.g. they were out of mana which is something I am utterly terrible at tracking).
Still. While incompetencies like that are purely my fault. That doesn't change my statement that Ashe is suited for me. I like attacking from a distance, and Ashe apparently has the third-longest auto-attack range (behind Caitlyn my prior main who I couldn't get the handle of netting/trapping which're her signature skills, and Jinx). I usually excel at hit-and-run tactics, and Ashe's slow (both from her passive and from all her skills) makes her one of the best at kiting.
Mind you. Kiting requires effective timing and clicking and I am prone to misclicking, e.g. trying to attack but instead clicking to the side which causes Ashe to move towards my opponent instead of attacking then away, or launching two attacks instead of the intended one because my click backwards didn't register as I intended (I take a lot of tower aggro shots this way, where I'll poke or even kill a champ that was under tower protection, with the intention of running out of tower range before the tower aggros me, which works if I do it right, but hurts when I instead, sayyy, click to attack a minion behind me meaning I'm still in the turret's range).
But! It is still the thing that I generally like to do and try to get the most out of. Ashe is meant to be a kiter, and I like kiting and usually am reasonably decent at it. More than that, Ashe's skills make her ridiculously good at poking opponents; her volley (spread shot) attack is almost impossible to dodge (as long as I don't misclick) and almost impossible for me to miss on; the one and only defense against it is to have a minion (or fellow champ I suppose, but then that champ still takes damage) intercept the shot.
And to me that's usually a win-win. Keep the champ cowering behind their minion and presumably out of their attack range (so they can't hit me), potentially farm minions for me, or if they come out, nail them. Plus, build up ranger's focus (her rapid-fire attack), and she can take out anywhere from half to three-quarters of a champion's HP instantly. (Or if I'm lategame and fed against a champ with little resistance, instakill them, but that's fairly rare and requires specific circumstances to work.)
Ashe's skills are very effective at preventing champs from running away, and fairly useful (with good kiting at least) at allowing for a tactical retreat. Hit them, then run, with them slowed (or stunned if I needed to use the ult to cover the escape), until reaching safety. (Well, in theory. Because I mess up on the kiting, usually they still kill me, but again, that's usually from a misclick and I keep trying to practice that. I can pretty much almost 100% successfully kite by using volley on the enemy champ and run away, but using Ashe's auto-attack is where I usually fuck up the kiting and as mentioned, not click on an enemy which causes Ashe to reverse direction and walk toward the people who're trying and can easily kill her.)
Plus, I've found that unless the enemy champ is ridiculously fed or they are already at point blank distance or they outnumber me significantly, Ashe can pretty much kill most champs before they get close enough to kill her, assuming she's at full health. (Lower health, yeah, I need to run because it takes a miracle for me to win a fight against a champ that's not weakened when I am.)
Basically. I like the things that Ashe is designed to do, hit and run, poke aggressively, slow/stun enemies, hit from afar, and rapidfire attacks. Because Ashe can attack ridiculously quickly with the right items backing her. I like fast attacks; I like long-range attacks; I like multi-target attacks; I like attacks that slow/stun Ashe's volley and ranger's focus provide both, with her ult having unlimited range and adds that stun in.
Plus, hawkshot is useful for scouting. I admit, I don't have the hang of it. I know how to use it. When I use it, I can with a good solid 98% accuracy hit the location I meant to hit using it, and reveal what I intended to reveal. The how isn't the problem, though; it's the when and where that I'm not so sure about. Guides have helped that a little bit, but I still don't really know much about it, and this is a skill which unfortunately can't be improved on in bot games because bots don't go into the areas Ashe should be revealing. (I know that much at least.)
It's something that I can only improve on using by using it in PVP matches, making it few and far between where I get a chance to make use of it. Still! While I've usually been favoring other skills over it (because, again, I don't know how/when to use it so usually haven't used it, even though I knew I should), it's something that if I could get a hang on it (practice makes potentially passable?), I'd do well.
Ashe is someone who is designed to be fairly easy to utilize, too. She might have a lower skill cap than other champs, she might be less useful than other champs overall, she might be seen as trash compared to other champs in higher-level play. But for me, that ease of access is essential.
Her skills aren't hard to understand and the theory behind them is easy to grasp. Her skills are fairly easy to utilize effectively, or at least some semblance thereof. I usually fail, big time, to be what she's meant to be (the ad CARRY of the team), because rarely if ever am I in the top damage dealers of the match (well, in bot games I get to be the top about 40-60% of the time, but that's because it's against bots).
But I don't think I'd do any better at any other champ and/or in any other role. I'd never be able to pull off, sayyyy, Tryndamere top in spite of having watched the master of said champ and in theory knowing what to go for and what to do with him, because it's a role ill-suited for my skills, my playstyle, my general way of thinking, my handling of things.
I'd never be able to pull off any champ in jungle; I can barely navigate in the jungle yet alone master it.
I'd never be able to pull off any real champ in support. To be honest, my Ashe playstyle is kinda sorta supportish, but not an official support. Not the defined role of support. Not doing the things that are the job of the support (e.g. wards, roaming, and so on and so forth). I don't quite mean 'living ultimate', either, which is what poor Ashe players are defined as being (although that is closer to what I mean).
But the way I play Ashe, I tend to keep my teammates alive long enough that they can win fights; I tend to slow enemies enough that my team can kill the enemy champs. I tend to usually not be the one to kill three enemy champs (what a proper adc is meant to be able to do), but rather tend to be the one who sets the enemy up for being killed. Not with my ult (though I do use it as part of that), but with a combination of my other two skills and auto-attacks, using my passive, mostly.
Assuming I'm not caught out of position (which I often am), I've found that I tend to get a ton of assists. I know that that's the "wrong" way to play Ashe and is dangerously close to the "basically a living ult" viewpoint of her. But it's the role I feel I can actually do somewhat competently. I don't have the necessary skills to pull off the hard-carry I'm meant to.
But...well. Hmm. How do I explain it? Basically--I am always going to be a trash-tier player. I'll never have the skills necessary to play any role as it's meant to be played. There's no Top role I'd do what Top is meant to. There's no Mid role I'd do what Mid is meant to. There's no Jungle role where I'd be a competent Jungler; I can never pull that off. There's no Support role where I'd be able to do what a Support champ is supposed to do.
And there's no Bottom champ where I can do what I'm meant to do and be a proper adc. Not even Ashe. I don't think I will ever be able to do what I am meant to do, not even on Ashe. But on Ashe, I feel like I have the best chance of getting some semblance of what I'm meant to do, while also kinda able to do my own thing with her. A thing where I can support my team in spite of not being the Support. A thing where I can help kill the enemy champs even if I'm not the one personally killing three champs in a row.
I'm not good enough to do anything that I'm meant to as any role, with any champ, properly. Practice can make me better, but never will I be good. Just...adequate, if that. But I feel like Ashe gives me the most freedom to do what I can do. Which is usually use my instincts to make snap-shot calls that can vastly help the team if they were the right call to make.
Obviously, I would prefer to win lane, even though I expect in every game to lose it (unless against bots in which case I might "lose" it, but there's always a teammate to take over and cause the team to win the lane, usually because I kept 1v2ing the enemy champs, winning, but being whittled down by this effort until they either kill me or force me to recall because in bot matches I don't automatically have a second champ to even things out).
Obviously, I would prefer to be what people expect Ashe to be, and actually carry.
Obviously, I would prefer to be using the champ to their maximum utility in their designated role.
But know I never can, not even close.
And because I can't be that, I do what I can to be what I can be. To be what I am useful as. Someone who falls behind compared to others, but who is not valued purely for her ult. Someone who can use her skills to help position the team for the win, even if she's not doing the damage she's meant to. Someone who can basically...I guess. Exert some control over enemy champs.
Basically, what I mean by this. Is that Ashe is meant at her full potential to basically be best at killing, repeatedly, the enemy. Over and over again. Killing them and killing them and killing them again. I can't do that with her. But what I can do, even without my ult. Is I feel like I am somewhat competent at controlling the enemy. Positioning them. Slowing them. Stunning them. Getting them low enough HP that they can be killed by my allies. Getting them low enough HP that they are forced to retreat. Forcing them to waste skills/spells.
I know that's not what Ashe is meant to do, but that's what I feel I am good at making her do. Well. "Good". In the sense of. "At least kinda sorta passably competent". Because I misclick, because I get confused, because I get caught off-guard, because I misjudge, because I don't track variables I should, and so on and so forth, things which some of which can be improved and others of which will remain true due to my utter incompetence.
There are plenty of other champs that are designed to do the things I just described; it's basically the thing Support champs are meant to do, more or less. (Not really, but it's a part of their job, especially in the laning phase; they are meant to control the enemy champs so that their adc can get ahead, more or less. Vast, vast oversimplification and again far far far from all they do but it's *a* basic PART of their job even though it's far from the entirety of their job.)
But I legitimately, honestly, think that I'd never be able to do the things I described as well on them as I do on Ashe. I can practice them on other champs, sure. I can try. And I can try. And I can try some more. I could practice all day on other champs, trying to master those things. But I legitimately, genuinely. Just don't think that there's a champ out there that has skills I'd be able to master for that sort of role, better than what I have as Ashe.
Because, again, to reiterate, I am a trash-tier player. I am not good; I am barely passable as passable, if that. I can get better, but only to some extent; I will always be a trash-tier player, it's just that in the future with practice I'll be a higher-level-trash-tier player rather than the lower-level-trash-tier player I am now.
I could be wrong, of course. I haven't played every champ in the game and even if I had the only way I'd 100% know for a fact I am better on Ashe than any champ is if I put in the hours on each of those other champs equivalent to Ashe and found out after all that practice, "Yeah I do better on Ashe".
But knowing who I am as a person, as a player. What I am good at, what I am not good at. Ashe is just the champ I feel is the best suited for what I tend to do. Plus. If nothing else. I don't really play League to win. I mean, winning's the goal, especially if I have an objective requiring I win a match. You don't exactly play to lose. (Well, you could call a match against someone you know is a better player a guaranteed lost; when I duel my girlfriend I know I'm not going to win no matter what so that's technically speaking playing a guaranteed loss...but it's not like I roll over and just let them win, I fight and lose because they are better than me and they outplay me and I make stupid mistakes which squander any advantage I may have had a chance at holding. So I don't play to lose, I just lose because I'm not as good.)
But while I don't try to lose.
And while I will sometimes really want a win.
And while I will definitely want a win if an objective requires it.
I mostly play League to have fun.
And I don't get tilted playing it. I just...don't. I'll get annoyed by a losing streak, but I won't be surprised by it because I know I'm incompetent and most of our losses can be attributed in large part to me making a ton of mistakes which put our team behind/me helping to snowball the enemy team's lead over our team.
And Ashe is who I just have the most fun as playing as. Because what she does matches my style. What she does matches what I like to do. What I like to do doesn't really line up with what she should do (again, she should CARRY the team and I do everything but), but handling her is just fun for me.
Admittedly, it gets less fun to get repeatedly killed unless I see it coming, to be dead more often than I am alive unless I know it'll happen, to constantly be running to the action because Ashe be slowwwwwwwww (at least with the boot passive she automatically gets free boots with a bonus 10 movement speed that can be upgraded to better boots with more movement speed, and she has good movement speed boost items like Runaan's bow that also serves as a broken thing because her ranger's focus attacks also split off which is RIDICULOUSLY OP but I digress).
By which, I mean, beit death or by recall, if there's action half-way or all-the-way across the map, by the time Ashe can get there it's usually too late beit my team lost or my team already won or the damage to my turrets was already done or something to that effect.
Unless I expect those things to happen (e.g. it's a given that's the outcome when dueling my girlfriend, because, again, my girlfriend is going to win our duel no matter what I do so I don't really get affected by it then because I expected it going in as a given), it can get a little annoying. It can get a little less fun. If you're constantly OUT of the battle, then there's not a lot of fun to be had because the fun to be had is IN the battles.
Yet I still get enjoyment out of it all the same, and I tend to learn from each defeat. Maybe by the next day I'll have forgotten the lesson I learned (hopefully not but you can only hold onto so much information before some of it gets lost), but usually I'll at least not make those same mistakes I made for the rest of that night if nothing else, and will take the advice/criticism I receive into consideration.
Usually with a back and forth; "don't do that", "well, this is what happened that caused that", "okay, well in the future, do this instead", and then I try to do that this instead. (Particularly, "I KEEP ON HAVING X HAPPEN TO ME"; "To not have X happen, do this", "Kk, will try" and bam, X happens less often. Never gets altogether removed, but happens less after I'm given the answer necessary to help me actually improve on the mistake.)
I feel like I probably didn't quite get out my strengths (few as they may be) out properly and why what Ashe's skills are, are well-suited to what I do. Which is what I set out to do; I set out to say why I prefer playing her and yet while I feel like I explained a lot I don't feel like I really conveyed it effectively. Or rather. I feel like I probably conveyed the wrong message, and don't really know how to convey the right one.
I still like having typed this blog out, because it felt good to talk about the subject some. I like playing Ashe, and while I'll never be able to play her as effectively as she's meant to be played, I still like playing her and think that she's the best champion for me to use of any.