Stairway to Pro Episode 1 – Featuring Ashe!
Welcome to my newly-created Pro Series, featuring advanced strategies and overviews of each of your favourite AD Carries! This guide assumes you’re familiar with the basics of playing the Ranged Carry role. If not, I recommend heading over to Hersir‘s guide, which examines more introductory topics. The series will cover all AD carries over the coming weeks. Let’s begin!
Introduction: What has changed in the League since Season 1? We’ve witnessed certain meta compositions rise and fall, as one is quickly trumped by the other. But while the mighty bruisers were demolishing their AoE opposition, only to find themselves unable to tackle the toughest late game heroes, the fragile ranged carry kept farming the bottom lane with its trusty support and made it to be a dominant role in Season 3.
In this series we’ll focus on each AD carry, comparing its strengths and weaknesses. We’ll discuss the hero’s ability to push, CS, harass, farm under tower, survive both in lane and in teamfights and carry at all stages of the game. Let’s start with our beloved, iconic carry – Ashe!
Ashe, the Frost Archer
The iconic hero of League of Legends makes her way into Season 3. Regardless of previous nerfs, Ashe still has a strong place in competitive play.
CS - Our charming ranger from the North has a very clear attack animation that both new players and seasoned veterans will greatly appreciate. Still, her base damage is pretty low at 49; an amount high range or high HP ranged carries all share. Unfortunately, she has no method of boosting her early damage so practice is a must. Hawkshot‘s passive lets Ashe get a solid gold advantage over the enemy, provided she keeps up with farm.
Harass and lane control – Ashe has a top – tier range of 600. Couple that with her low-cost Volley and you’ve got yourself a competent poker in lane. Her Hawkshot provides excellent map awareness and is good at controlling the brush area. After level 6 Ashe becomes very dangerous as her signature ability, Enchanted Crystal Arrow, allows for easy gank opportunities and turning the tide of a 2v2 battle. She is excellent against champions who need to commit to do their work such as Graves, Tristana, Miss Fortune and Vayne, but struggles against powerful pokers such as Caitlyn, Ezreal and Varus.
Farm under tower - Ashe has trouble last-hitting minions who are being barraged by the tower. Her Volley will get in the way of looting those gold-bearing midgets more often than not. As such, champions who can push the lane (Corki, Caitlyn and Graves most notably) can hamper Ashe’s ability to last hit properly.
Surviving – Part of the reason why Ashe stepped down from her throne of top-tier pick back in Season 2 (that and Pulsefire Ezreal). Although armed with reliable crowd control skills, she has no way of dodging skillshots or quickly retreating. Ashe players generally rely on Hawkshot to provide them with superior map awareness and Volley for when things get messy. She is heavily dependant on her team backing her up early so she can reach her amazing late game well-farmed.
Carry potential – Ashe is a spectacular champion in an extended match as her Ultimate provides one of the best teamfight initiations. That, coupled with her ability to kite her enemies relentlessly puts Ashe among the hardest carries. She is very item-reliant and is generally not considered a threat in the early and mid stages.
When should I pick Ashe? - I would rate Ashe as one of the toughest carries to truly master. She needs a competent support who understands her strengths and weaknesses as well as a team willing to play a bit on the defensive side early. She truly shines in CC-heavy teams that can pin her enemies down after a successful Enchanted Crystal Arrow, or peel dangerous assassins from her. As such, she does well when fighting alongside champions such as Shen, Amumu, Orianna, Ryze, Ahri, Janna, Sona, Lulu, Alistar, etc.
Ashe hates being paired with aggressive supports as she simply lacks the damage to complement their engages. As such, champions like Leona, Blitzcrank and Taric don’t go well together with our frosty markswoman. Ashe excels at keeping champions without dashes off her tail. This means she counters Mundo, Udyr, Darius, Morderkaiser, Shyvana, Chogath, Skarner, Yorick and more. However, be wary of hard gap-closers that are tough to keep out of range. Champions like Xin Zhao, Pantheon, Riven, Malphite, Lee Sin, Diana, Ahri and Evelynn all fit that list. Ashe’s greatest counters are Irelia and Olaf. If the enemy picks one of them it’s highly advisable you skip Ashe as a potential pick unless you’re absolutely certain that your team can deny them gold and experience.
Q: Who are you?
I’m an avid player from EU West who’s been in the League since Season 1. My highest Elo is 1927 but I mostly play premade matches. In all teams that I’ve joined for various tournaments I’ve taken the role of an AD carry. I’ve played every champion in this category extensively, although special credit must go out to Vayne who is my personal favourite.
Q: Who is this guide for?
Mostly players who have decided to delve deeper into the role of AD carry.
Q: What can I find in it?
An overview of each AD Carry, its strengths and weaknesses, both in lane and in teamfights, as well as tips for synergizing with certain support champions. There are short lists of counters and allies, as well as more detailed explanations as to why that is the case.
Q: Should I completely agree with all your choices for counterpicks and good allies?
Of course not! I’ve based my opinion around general advice. Even though I don’t recommend a Taric/Ashe lane combo doesn’t mean a good duo can’t do wonders with it. The lists I’ve provided give information about easy counters and allies, those that don’t require as much team effort to be effective.
I hope you enjoyed the first episode of my mini-series! In my next article I’ll be covering Caitlyn!
Good luck on the Fields of Justice!