The pick was crucial in earning the reigning LCS champs their first win of Spring.
In the past year of League of Legends, the ADC meta has fluctuated immensely. What once was a role where players could have thrived on any champion should they win laning phase and scale properly became one entirely dependent on specific combinationsthose that would become vital win conditions in pro play.
One of these specific bot lane duos consists of Ashe and Heimerdinger, which first gained popularity at last years World Championship, where it successfully threw the standard Lucian/Nami, Zeri/Yuumi, and Sivir/Yuumi pairings that had dominated the international meta to that point.
While these two champions struggled to find widespread usage alone, together they created one of the most poke-oriented combos that forced enemies to either stay back or get sent back to base.
Yet since then, this pairing has evolved further to capitalize on their abilities to both slow and completely immobilize groups of enemies at once. Heimerdingers Rylais Crystal Scepter rush remains his most powerful build, but now more players have been opting for more supportive builds on Ashe as ADC. This takes away considerable damage from Ashe, but in turn, makes her much more difficult to deal with or approach safely.
Despite this new build not having much success thus far in pro play around the world, reigning LCS champion Berserker opted for the pick in the opening match of the 2023 LCS Spring Split and emerged victorious, taking down 100T just as he did to lift the trophy last September. But in doing so, Berserker stepped out of his normal position as kill leader for C9 and instead joined his lane partner Zven as a playmaker with cross-map ultimates aplenty.
Heres a breakdown of this new Ashe ADC build that is certain to disrupt nearly any opposing League strategythough it needs team synergy to truly shine.
Hail of Blades: Whether it be in the support or ADC role, Hail of Blades has become the premiere keystone for Ashe players planning on building Imperial Mandate to ensure she still has ample attack speed. This stat is particularly important for Ashe due to her basic attacks slowing enemies they hit, therefore the brief bonus Hail of Blades provides for consecutively attacking enemies may deal more damage to enemies than they expect.
Taste of Blood: Ashes slows allow her to constantly damage enemies from afar, thus making Taste of Blood an efficient way to heal her without having to rely solely on health potions. Players should remain wary of incoming crowd control while dishing barrages of attacks on the opposition, as Ashe has no innate ways in her kit to escape.
Zombie Ward: Though this rune takes away from other, more offensive options Ashe can opt for, it does make her even more of a secondary support without having to actively place wards down herself.
Ultimate Hunter: Ashes ultimate is one of the most powerful teamfight-initiating abilities in the game. With Ultimate Hunter, Ashe is rewarded with ultimate haste for taking down (or helping to take down) unique enemies which, when combined with the ability haste the items she will be building provides, can bring the Enchanted Crystal Arrow cooldown to sub-25 seconds.
Biscuit Delivery: Ashe struggles with her high mana costs, much like many other ADCs do. However, since she wants to be using her Q and W as often as she can, she needs as many ways to keep her mana high as possible, and Biscuit Delivery is a great way to do that during the laning phase.
Approach Velocity: This particular rune is one of the best ways players can ensure their Ashe pick will be powerful before the game starts, regardless of how they end up building her. Approach Velocity activates whenever an enemy is slowed, and since Ashe can do that with almost her entire kit, enemies wont be getting away from her without wasting crucial movement spells.
Bonuses: +10 percent attack speed, +9 adaptive force, +6 armor
For players familiar with Ashes support gameplay, theyll notice it is virtually the same with this build in the ADC role, bar one crucial item addition: Ravenous Hydra. This item, which received substantial buffs (and subsequent nerfs) in the preseason, has become a popular option among a variety of ADCs not only to its cleave passive but also due to the large amount of ability haste it provides.
Ravenous Hydra also ensures Ashe always has a bit of attack damage in her arsenal, as most of the items she purchases with this build tend to provide ability power or very small amounts of AD.
However, players must be aware this particular Ashe build isnt known for dealing much damage outside of laning phase. Rather, its the low cooldown of her abilities that make her an effective teammate regardless of where she is on the Rift.
The most important factor of this build is ensuring you can not only survive in lane but do more than simply keep your opponents away from their waves of minions. Therefore, players should purchase a Tear of the Goddess with their first back as well as components of Ravenous Hydra, which should be their first completed item. Berserker couldn’t reach full build in this game, but a Manamune is essential if the game goes late.
Once players successfully complete their Imperial Mandate as their second item, Ashe becomes an ultimate machine, being able to shoot arrows across the map with seemingly no cooldown. Just because Ashe can send out these arrows at a rapid pace, though, doesnt mean she should at every opportunity.
Nearly every ultimate used by Berserker successfully initiated a teamfight from afar or locked down an opponent that was attempting to run for coverinflicting them with the debuffs from Imperial Mandate that allowed his teammates to capitalize. When he wasnt ulting, Berserker was constantly slowing enemies and proccing his items, thus creating multiple favorable situations for the other carries on his team to capitalize.
When paired with Heimerdinger, as seen with Berserkers gameplay alongside Zven, Ashe can prevent teams from front-to-back teamfighting, and even more importantly push opponents away from major objectives. However, players need to remember that even though theyre building supportively, they are still playing in the ADC position, meaning they want to CS in order to get these coveted items as quickly as they can.
Before opting for this build, players should understand how much it differs from a normal Ashe ADC build in that it is much more team synergy-oriented and does not have great potential to solo-carry a game.
Should League players want to play Ashe more aggressively, they should stick to her standard carry build that has remained powerful for the past several patches.