Originally, Blade of the Ruined King, The Bloodthirster, Mercurial Scimitar, Death's Dance, and Hextech Gunblade (then from there, not sure, since Ashe can't use Ravenous Hydra and at the time there wasn't Sanguine Blade).
With the addition of Sanguine Blade, you'd keep those but add it in for six items that gave lifesteal, even if one of them Ashe doesn't get much use out of (that being the gunblade; Blade of the Ruined King is godly on Ashe, Bloodthirster can be decent on Ashe, Mercurial Scimitar to counter CC on the enemy team is a situationally decent item for Ashe; Death's Dance Ashe can get some use out of; Sanguine Blade as I've previously mentioned, Ashe gets incredible utility out of due to how broken that item is).
This is not a very pragmatic build even for having fun tho, in part because it requires a ton of gold to pull off and you die repeatedly before you can get strong enough to hold your own--get going with it and you're incredibly hard to kill, but fall behind and you're worse than worthless because this is a build which doesn't even give you much access to your utility abilities (i.e., your ult).
However, a more pragmatic build is only building ~3 lifesteal items, getting tier two boots (if you lack attack speed, berserkers; if you're near or at risk of hitting the attack speed cap without the berserkers greaves, then opting into boots of mobility or maybe boots of swiftness is the better option), and then adding in extra items like Runaan's Hurricane (double or even triple bolts = double or even triple stacks of conqueror, plus the fact that basically no champion in the game is better suited for that item than Ashe due to how Ranger's Focus works with it) and Guinisoo's Rageblade (because every third attack = double stacks of conqueror).
You can get close to the attack speed cap, maybe even hitting it with that combo. Sayyy, Sanguine Blade + Blade of the Ruined King + Bloodthirster + Mobi Boots + Rageblade + Runaan's Hurricane. This gives you reasonably good movement speed, reasonably good attack damage, reasonably good attack speed (in fact, can take you to the cap!), and ridiculous lifesteal. For a fun build, not bad! (Not a build to run competitively, obviously, but when playing casually...might as well!)
But that video taught me that there might be a better option for the fun build. For whatever reason, I always thought that Spirit Visage doubled only the healing from passive regeneration items/passives/abilities and the healing from active-use items/spells/abilities/etc. (sayy, the summoner spell heal, as an example).
For whatever reason, I didn't think that it doubled the healing from lifesteal.
Of course. I'm not quite sure where it'd fit in, even though for the full-lifesteal troll/fun build on Ashe, it would be a great addition. (Mind you, I already have Spirit Visage as an item to build in some cases normally anyway, but usually to counter assassins particularly magic ones, e.g. as an item to counter Eve as a hypothetical example.)
It'd give CDR in a build otherwise lacking it. (I mean, if I did build Death's Dance, that'd be some, but Spirit Visage + Death's Dance gives a respectable 20% total, in a build which can feasibly have absolutely none normally.) It gives a ton of MR. It gives a lot of health, in a build which health is something you should have a lot of. (Doesn't matter if you can go from 10% health to full health with one auto, if the enemy can KILL you with one auto; you need to have enough health to survive long enough to lifesteal.) And it apparently gives a huge boost to lifesteal among other healing sources.
But while I can easily see where it'd slot in to the full full FULL lifesteal build (replacing Hextech Gunblade as Hextech Gunblade doesn't do much for Ashe), I do have a little trouble figuring out where it'd fit in for the more hybrid/pragmatic build.
Runaan's Hurricane can make you attack three targets and gives crit chance in a build which otherwise lacks it. Plus, it has really good attack speed, and also one of the highest movement speeds of items in the game!
Rageblade gives attack damage, magic damage, armor penetration, plus the huge attack speed. It, and Runaan's, also help proc Conqueror's healing effects.
Tier 2 boots, particularly Boots of Mobility/Swiftness, give Ashe much-needed movement speed to allow her to keep up with targets, not to mention, when she does need to flee, allowing for escape when need be.
On that note--Blade of the Ruined King has an active which allows for closing distance on the offensive, or creating distance on the retreat. (Mind you, I suck at actually USING it, forgetting to use it most of the time and failing to properly activate it when I try to use it, but in theory properly utilized it's an amazing tool for this build.) It's got great lifesteal, great attack damage, decent attack speed, and its passive can help shred through enemy's health bars, too.
Bloodthirster might seem like a weak link, since while it gives the highest lifesteal of any item, it does basically nothing except that...but one of the key features of this build is the above-maximum-health shield. Overheal works IN TANDEM with Bloodthirster. Plus, as a BF Sword item, it gives good attack damage, too.
Sanguine Blade gives lethality (which is armor penetration), very high attack damage, and in an isolated duel (and this build is good for dueling in the lategame), the highest attack speed boost of any item in the game, and even at lower levels giving respectably high attack speed.
Which of them would I replace?
I mean, if I could get away with moving slower, probably the boots. But if I needed that movespeed, which of the items would I replace? To be honest, as much as I think it is an OP must-buy item even post-nerf...probably the Sanguine Blade, actually. Sanguine Blade is unparalleled in 1v1s, but while the build is very good at 1v1s, most of the time I'm not engaged in 1v1s (mind you, that's half the reason why this is a troll build for Ashe; a built great for 1v1s, from someone who is almost never in a situation to 1v1, is obviously not optimal).
I'm in a duo lane; I'm often engaged in teamfighting. So Sanguine Blade doesn't get the extra lethality and doesn't get the extra attack speed. Its removal removes a significant amount of the lifesteal, but Spirit Visage might more than make up for that. I'm not quite sure how to test this though; the training tool doesn't really work that well for testing lifesteal since you need to face something which takes your health away and an enemy champion who in the process of you lifestealing from them, you obliterate, doesn't give the best of testing conditions for seeing what build provides the maximum lifesteal per second, as it were.
Of course, if I was engaged in dueling and nothing but dueling in 1v1s, I might replace Runaan's. I'd lose crit chance, I'd lose some movespeed, I'd lose the extra waveclear/lifesteal from extra hits on minions, but in a 1v1 it wouldn't help me lifesteal much more.
Obviously, I could also forgo the Rageblade, since Sanguine Blade serves similar functions--attack damage, attack speed, and armor penetration, and both items are similar in having specific conditions to get the most mileage out of them.
I guess it would depend on what I was doing in the game to be honest. Not getting much use out of extra mobility, get rid of the boots; not getting much time in a solo lane, get rid of Sanguine Blade; not getting much time outside of a solo lane, probably get rid of Runaan's.
Of course this is all hypothetical because it relies on getting a full build in a game, when I almost never do anyway in even the best of games, not even close. And it also is, again, not a build I could run if my teammates wanted me to actually be trying hard.
If we really really really needed to win, I'd need to run something else; if I was playing ranked, I'd need to run something else. But if I was playing a normal, regardless of whether it's a normal with others in my group or I'm playing solo, I could probably get away with it. Still might be flamed by teammates if I'm going solo, and would definitely get commentary from my teammates if not going solo (trying to encourage me to play more optimally), but it'd at least be okay to do.
Not a clue what is the best build order. I'm not really sure leaving a lifesteal item for third is a good idea, but Runaan's Hurricane and/or Rageblade are items that I've just found so incredibly useful for me in terms of being...well, not dead weight. When I build Blade of the Ruined King as a first item (which mind you, is a legitimate choice for Ashe and in fact incredibly common), in spite of it giving an incredible array of stats between its lifesteal, attack damage, attack speed, hp shredding, and active, for whatever reason regardless of what runes I'm running, I just don't seem to make much of an impact with it as a first item, and still get smashed until I build a second.
Whereas, no joke, Rageblade as a first item, for instance, seems to make it so that the only times I'm worthless are when I'm in a spot I REALLY shouldn't be (as in, 1v3 or so), and/or moments of extreme stupidity. (Which to be fair, since it's me, happens a lot.) I know it's an item which most of the time is, on Ashe, a "situational buy at best" in terms of being built, but like.
Every time I complete it as my first item, I feel like it allows me to actually have impact on the map, just by itself. Regardless of what runes I am using, but actually, especially when I have even partial lifesteal runes. (No need for conqueror, just having ANY lifesteal from runes, with a rageblade, allows me to die less often, and stay in lane when I might otherwise be forced to back, because I can heal up.)
I don't have a clue why that item seems to help me so much, it just seems to make a big difference and seems to be a big power spike for me for whatever reason. If it's my second item it's a second-item powerspike; third item, a third-item powerspike; first item, still a first-item powerspike.
My thoughts are, maybe, to build in the order of: Rageblade, Boots (because I need boots early-on to return to lane as quickly as is possible, since if I am winning lane I need to keep pressure up; if I am losing lane I need to do my best to prevent the enemy adc from snowballing; regardless of which, I need to be in lane as quickly as is possible), then lifesteal item either BotRK or Sanguine Blade (probably Blade of the Ruined King), and from there I probably only get to build one more item before the match ends.
Bloodthirster's extra shield might be a key part of the lifesteal troll build, but I actually think that it's most effective as the last item built to be honest. It's what I've been defaulting to trying to build, but I think that's been a mistake on my part to be honest.
Which would leave the options as Spirit Visage or Runaan's Hurricane. Runaan's would be better for waveclear and movement and damage, Spirit Visage would probably be better for staying alive. So, situational, for whichever of those I felt I needed more.
And then the other if I could.
And Bloodthirster as the final if the game went on long enough (but it wouldn't).
And if I had the gold to spare, subbing in Sanguine Blade if the conditions where it could be better, were met. (Selling one item to put it in instead.)
Again I feel the need to emphasize.
Yes, I know. No matter what order I build these items in. No matter which items I use, and substitute in. I am aware. Not an optimal build. It is, no matter how you build it, explicitly a bit of a troll build, built not to win, but to have fun. If I was asked by, as a hypothetical example, sayyyy, my girlfriend, "don't run this", then I would oblige; I wouldn't run it. If we desperately needed a win and didn't have time to play many more games, even if I wasn't told that, then I would self-enforce not running it.
This is not a viable build, it is not competitive, it is for fun. No matter what you do, you can't really make it work that well. But what you can do, is try to make it work as best as is humanly possible given what it is. You'll always know that a different build would be more optimal, more successful. The goal isn't to win; the goal is to make a fun build and try your best to win given the fun build.
Just because it's a for fun build, doesn't mean you're not going to try and win, doesn't mean you're not going to try and make it work the best it possibly could, given what it is. Yeah you know it's not the most optimal; yeah you know other builds would perform better. But the goal is to have something which would allow for fun, in moments that otherwise wouldn't be fun, while still trying to have some semblance of effectiveness.
I can sum it up as basically, "We are probably going to lose. But I am going to try my hardest in spite of thinking that, and even if we do lose, I'll have fun playing this game." Trying the hardest, in spite of using something that isn't designed to optimize win chances, knowing that even if trying your hardest fails, it's more fun than what the optimal build might be.
So, basically. The challenge is to try and find the best build order to win, given the combination of my natural incompetency as a player and ineffectiveness of the suboptimal fundamental build choices from runes onward. And heavy lifesteal Ashe is one of my favorites to do precisely that. I suck, regardless of what build I run. But I have more fun with this build than I do with a more optimal build. I may, or may not, perform worse with the fun-build than the optimal-build. It's kinda hard to tell; I am such an inconsistent player who sucks on even my best of days, so it's really difficult to tell if I do better or do worse with the fun lifesteal rather than optimized paths. Depending on item build order, probably (as I mentioned, rageblade first seems to work very well; other items first seem to not work very well), also my choice of starting with Doran's Blade or not (I honestly can't tell if I do better with it or without it, I think I do better with it but I'm not positive), bunch of variables like that.
But regardless of my performance, I will always have fun while running it. I do try my hardest to make sure that my fun isn't detrimental to the fun of my teammates, try my hardest so that if we lose it wasn't specifically due to me; if we win it's not despite of me. I do try my best to try to achieve those goals. But while that is obviously something to strive for (you don't want to have fun at the expense of others), even if I was the reason we lost, even if we win despite of me, I want to play mostly for fun and I will never not have fun while running builds I invented.
To put that another way. A lot of the time, for Ashe, I ran runes I was told to run; I built items I was told to build, in the order I was told to build. Sometimes by others, sometimes by guides, sometimes by watching what pros were building when playing Ashe.
Some of these worked better than others, some of them could've worked better than others even if they ended up not being actually better. But the whole time. I felt like I was being asked to be something I wasn't. It wasn't until I started running the runes I wanted to, and building the items I wanted to, that I felt like I was really being me in a game. Ideas like the ultimate cooldown Ashe, and the lifesteal Ashe. Things which're distinctly me, my own inventions, my own creations, my own identity.
I can still have fun while building more conventionally. And if I were asked to play seriously, I would play those more conventional builds. Mind you, in my personal opinion...I wouldn't perform much better. Because, again. I suck. I am not good in any way shape or form, regardless of what runes, what items, I run.
But I have the most fun, when I am doing something which I feel has my stamp to it. Something which I put in, not because it was something which I was told to put in, but because it was something that I decided would be fun to put in.
Again, I don't want my fun to be detrimental to the fun of others. So I still try to play my best in spite of the trollish fun builds, the suboptimal choices I make in runes/items. And if it were that serious, I would even forgo the fun builds to run the conventional builds in a (probably futile) effort to try (and almost assuredly fail) to perform "better", in a push come to shove scenario.
But left to my own devices, given the option, given the freedom, to run what I will want to, I will run what I think is fun, regardless of whether it is optimal or not. And, mind you--properly executed, it's still effective! I legit think that my fun build, while it's not the meta build, while it's off-meta, is actually quite powerful. Every build I make for fun, has counters to it, obviously. (Healing reduction being an obvious counter to the lifesteal build, as an example.)
But I mean...even the optimal builds for Ashe, have counters to them. And given that I am a lower level player. Someone who probably would've been placed in Iron if I had played enough games to get an official ranking rather than the unofficial Bronze II. Given that I play pretty much only Normals, against opponents who're often just as incompetent at the game as I am. (Okay, not quite; they're often slightly better than I am because I am bottom of the barrel trash tier.)
The off-meta builds don't really present much of a problem in of themselves. A higher skill player would know how to counter them, how to exploit them, how to punish the off-meta build. But I'm not playing against higher skill players; I'm playing against players who're only slightly less incompetent than I am. So the off-meta build, given where I am, isn't actually an issue and works just well enough to not be utterly worthless.
So if it isn't much of a problem. And is fun. Because I invented it, I made it, I created it, rather than just being told what to do. I have played with it, have figured out how to kinda sorta play using it. Because it has the stamp of being mine because I figured it out on my own through trial and tons of error, rather than being something I adapted because I was told that's what I should be doing.
If it's fun, and isn't too much of a problem. Even if my teammates roll their eyes at the suboptimal nature of it, because it's not as effective as the hypothetical maximum would be. If it is the most fun I can have, and in of itself isn't creating huge problems that could be solved by not running it.
Is there a reason not to run it?
I'll not run it if there's good reason to not run it--if we really really need the win, if it were a ranked game, if I am told not to run it by my teammates, if I know that my teammates have been tilted the last few games and are short on time and need me to perform at my absolute highest possible theoretical skill.
But in all other situations--running something fun, which I invented, is...well. FUN.
And I honestly think that's the right way to approach playing the game casually for entertainment.