Ashe is arguably one of the most popular and well-known champions. Since I've started playing a few months ago, I've seen her played more than any other hero. I consistently see her being played wrong.
Ashe's role in the game is obviously the 'carry'. She is designed to be a high damage dealer during the late portion of the game. More specifically, her slows and her stuns allow her to set up ganks until she can actually become useful with her damage late game. Many people overlook this trait and instead focus too much on farming, leaving their team outnumbered for a large portion of the game.
In this guide, I'm going to show you how to play Ashe in higher level (ELO) games, including tournament and future league play. Obviously, as we're in beta, the metagame changes every week, so note when this guide was written. I'll try to keep it updated as I see fit. As a general note, I've tested this strategy as well as a number of others. This is by far the most reliable strategy I've found.
[Q: Frost Shot]
By toggling Q, Ashe uses an arrow that slows the target instead of her normal one. Each regular shot costs mana, so make sure you aren't using this on creeps. Remember, there is no point in harassing an enemy who is standing still with frost arrows, so conserve your mana. Ashe is a very mana-intensive champion, so you need to micro this ability well.
Using this ability shoots out a 30 degree (about) cone of frost arrows towards a target. This ability is excellent for farming, in the cases where you have 2+ low health hitpoint creeps and you can't hit both. Because of its long range, Volley is also fantastic for chasing down heroes. Remember, it goes over walls, so make sure you make good use of it.
[E: Plentiful Bounty]
This is a passive ability that increases the amount of gold you get from each kill. Unfortunately, lower levels of it are too negligble for it to really be worth sacraficing Frost Shot or Volley. It's great later on when you can take out multiple creeps very quickly.
[R: Enchanted Crystal Arrow]
Ah, this is where Ashe's skillshot comes into play! If you've ever played Dota, this is the same ability as Priestess of the Moon's arrow. Ashe launches a nuke across the map which stuns the first enemy hero it comes in contact with. The stun is entirely based on the distance the arrow traveled, with the stun being almost neglible at point-blank range. This ability has an extremely short cooldown, so don't be afraid to use it. And remember, it's a global (usable anywhere on the map) so if you're for some reason not part of a team fight, send an arrow their way!
For every 3 seconds Ashe doesn't attack, this ability will increase her critical strike a bit. A lot of people like to say that this is what gives Ashe her damage, but in reality it only affects the first hit so there's really nothing special about it. However, this is a great ability for farming and harassing.
1. Frost Shot
4. Frost Shot
6. Enchanted Crystal Arrow
8. Frost Shot
10. Frost Shot
11. Enchanted Crystal Arrow
12. Frost Shot
13. Plentiful Bounty
14. Plentiful Bounty
15. Plentiful Bounty
16. Enchanted Crystal Arrow
17. Plentiful Bounty
18. Plentiful Bounty
Ashe's early game is all about farming/harassing. Plentiful Bounty may seem like a good idea at first, but it doesn't add up to enough until later levels. Maxing Volley first gives you a chasing ability, as well as some bonus damage and farming power. Volley does more damage at high levels, while Frost Shot just increases the slow. Level one Frost Shot is usually enough to keep up with your opponents, so it's not that important to level first. Enchanted Crystal Arrow is obviously taken as early as possibly to assist with ganks/teamfights/escapes.
- Avarice Blade/Philospher's Stone
You should only pick up a Gold/10 item if you need to go back to base before about 6 minutes and have the gold to do so. Because of the nerf to gold/10 items, it's not worth getting more than one. It takes 12.5 minutes to make even. If you can get the item you're farming for within 12.5 minutes, then it's always more beneficial to just save for that item. It is NEVER smart to get more than once Gold/10 item.
- Banshee's Veil
This is one of the underrated items in the game. Not only does it give Ashe health and mana, but the spell shield it provides is priceless. This will help you survive 100x more than a Warmogs or a health item. It stops you from getting disabled, chased, and harassed. This should be the item you're farming for. In addition to all it provides, it's also extremely cheap, so you shouldn't have any trouble aquiring it.
- Boots of Swiftness
Ashe has one of the faster movespeeds in the game, so you should take advantage of this. Coupled with her Frost Shot, no one should ever escape.
- Frozen Mallet or any +HP item
Even with Veil, you're still going to be focused in team fights and ganks, so you need more survivability. Normally after getting my veil, I'll pick up a Phage. Later on in the game, I'll upgrade it to a Mallet. Slows stack diminishingly in League of Legends. With Phage you'll be able to get an enemy champion going very slow. A Phage will also add damage, so it works well with Ashe. Remember, you're not getting it for the slow, you're getting it for the massive amount of HP it provides for the price. Warmogs is expensive and you have more important items to farm for.
- Infinity Edge/Black Cleaver
It's pretty self explanatory. This will give you damage to kill enemy champions. Once you finish this, the game should pretty much be coming to an end.
- Atma's Impaler
Even though it got nerfed, it still adds a ton of damage and survivability at level 18. If you have a veil/mallet, this gives you more damage than a Bloodthirster or a Black Cleaver. The armor turns you into a tank and the crit isn't bad.
What not to get:
Just like Dota, lifesteal really isn't good for anything other than farming. There are rare times when you'll see a Warwick save his life through lifesteal, but it's not worth getting on Ashe. If it's late in the game and you find yourself against another carry, then a Bloodthirster might not be a bad idea. Otherwise, stay away.
- 2+ Gold/10 Items
The first Avarice is already cutting it close to what would be acceptable to get. With the second one, you're just delaying your farm even more. League of Legends is designed to have short, 30-40 minute games. With these only becoming profitable at 12.5 minutes, it's not worth getting more than one.
- Phantom Dancer/Attack Speed Items
I see game after game where an Ashe gets a Phantom Dancer as her first item. Do NOT get this. Very rarely will you just stand against an enemy champion and just attack eachother. You're going to be doing chasing, and that means you want each attack to do as much damage as possible. It would be acceptable to get this as your final item, but if the game is honestly going that long, I suggest you find better people to play with.
- Too many regen items
A regrowth pendant isn't necessarily a bad first item (it turns into Warmogs!), it's just that you won't really need it. Harassing in this game relies much more on heavier nukes. Buy your starting items based on what heroes you are up against. For example, if you absolutely have to lane against Nunu/Judicator, a regrowth pendant isn't going to do much compared to pure health. Usually 1-2 health pots is more than enough, and if you're really having that much trouble in a lane you shouldn't be there in the first place. Ask for a switch.
You should be taking Flash and Teleport the majority of the time. Flash will be benefitial no matter what their lineup will be, as it can be used to initiate and escape. Until Riot implements an draft mode, it's pointless to take ghost or cleanse. Teleport will help you farm and stay in the lane for longer, as well as connect with your team. Leave Clairvoyance to the rest of your team.
Mastery advice is coming soon.
How to play:
This is the most important part of the game, for every champion. How well you do here can affect your entire game. With that in mind, be reasonable with your lane. What are you honestly going to get out of taking a lane solo? It certainly won't make your farming easier, and you really don't need the levels. A caster such as Lich or Cryopheonix on your team could benefit much more from the experience. It's best to lane a tank with a stun or a support hero that doesn't really need the gold from the lane.
You should NEVER autoattack in League of Legends, despite what tons of people will tell you. Last hitting in LoL is just as viable as it was in Dota. With your passive crit ability you can easily last hit creeps. This is what you should be focusing on. If you're not ahead of creep kills on your team, then either you're in a bad lane, or you're doing something wrong. Align Volley to last hit multiple creeps AND harass enemy champions. Just using it repeatedly to push a lane is a sure way to run out of mana. By sticking near your tower, you have an extra layer of protection that Ashe desperately needs.
Use teleport to buy and refill on health/mana when you get low. The Catalyst item of the Banshee's Veil should be the first thing you rush. It'll give you the mana you need to farm and replenish your health mana every time you level. Help out your team with Enchanted Crystal Arrow any time you can. You should be using it every time its up.
At this point you should have gotten your Veil and boots. You need to start roaming the map with your team. You have a continous slow, something that most heroes don't have. Stay in the back of team fights and assist your team with mass slows via volley and chasing with Frost Shot. It's much more important to survive, so don't suicide for kills. Picking up Lizard would be a good idea, and try to get Golem if no one else on your team needs it. Ashe has serious mana issues, so make sure you leave your Frost Shot off if the enemy isn't moving. You need to farm your damage item as quickly as possible so you can actually start doing damage, so make sure that when your team isn't doing anything you're picking up creep waves and neutral camps.
You're going to get focused more and more as the game goes on, since you're going to be doing the damage. Thankfully, you picked up a Veil and a Mallet, right? Stick with your team no matter what. Do NOT go off alone and push towers. Your job is to carry, and your team needs you for your damage output. Above all else, stay alive! Dying with a 60+ second revival time can pretty much mean game over later on.