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Ornn guide: Making the most of League’s big builder

Burn, build, ram and break.

Riot Games

From his ancient, fiery forge built deep in the mountains of the Freljord, Ornn has finally emerged onto the Rift. A gigantic tank with endless CC and damage, Ornn will fit perfectly into the current meta. But unlike so many other tanks, limited by their items and filled to the brim with gold, Ornn can pop a squat and build himself a brand new Warmogs right in the middle of the map. Not only that, but he can grant his allies enhanced versions of regular items.

But before you can get to building, you need to understand what all Ornn can do and how he does it. Here is a quick look at his kit and what you should build on him.

The Kit

Passive - Living Forge

Riot’s Tooltip:


What does it do:

Ornn plops down his hammer and starts building whichever item he has selected. After a few seconds of sitting, the item goes straight into his inventory. He cannot build potions or other consumables. Allies of Ornn can also spend a little extra gold to upgrade their items.

Ornn is a walking shopkeeper, although he is far less talkative. Effectively, Ornn is always building and always getting stronger, which is a key fact to remember when laning against him. Because the only penalty of purchase is a brief second away from the action, Ornn can just pop back, build some items, and jump back into the action in a moment’s time. Make sure you check his inventory before you fight.

While Ornn is a master craftsman and able to build anywhere, he has absolutely no sustain in lane. Once his health is down, all he gets is moderate health regeneration. The key to laning as Ornn is taking as little damage as possible, and regenerating your health by simply building more. When picking against Ornn, grab someone who can poke. Forcing Ornn to go back to base is only for health reasons and is incredibly wasteful.

If Ornn is in the jungle, you can pick up a Hunter’s Potion early on in the game, allowing Ornn to stay out and farm camp after camp without ever having to go back.

For a more intensive look at how this all works you can check out our separate guide for this ability here!

Q - Volcanic Rupture (Max second)

Riot’s Tooltip:


What does it do:

Ornn sends out a line of damage that slows any targets hit. At the end of the line, a small pillar is formed. This pillar acts like a wall, blocking movement for its duration.

Like almost all of Ornn’s abilities, Volcanic Rupture is simple enough on its own. However, when combined with a whole host of other options, it makes Ornn feel as though he is in control 100 percent of the time.

Q is a decent, semi-ranged ability that allows for farming at a distance and poking enemies. The primary use of this ability when fighting champions is setting up a wall behind an enemy and then slamming into it with your E. But we will get there soon enough.

W - Bellows Breath (Max first)

Riot’s Tooltip:


What does it do:

Ornn spews flames from his mouth, granting him a shield for a portion of his max health and dealing damage to enemies based on their current health. The final belch of flames marks enemy targets as Brittle, causing CC to last longer against them. Finally, Ornn’s basic attacks deal additional damage and knock back enemies who are marked as Brittle.

Oh boy, this is a hell of an ability for Ornn. Not only does it look very cool, but it does tons and tons of damage to all targets, including the beefy ones. Because of Bellows Breath, Ornn basically has no need for damaging items. Depending on the meta and how hard you are steamrolling, you could of course build a Black Cleaver, but with Bellows Breath, that is just extra. This W allows you to literally melt your enemies with only a few levels of point investment.

Walk up, be bold and burn everyone in front of you.

E - Searing Charge (Max third)

Riot’s Tooltip:


What does it do:

Ornn dashes in a target direction, damaging all targets hit based on his defensive stats. If he runs into a wall, Ornn creates a shockwave that deals damage based on his armor and magic resist as well as knocks up nearby enemies. Any player made terrain hit by Searing Charge, including the pillars made by Volcanic Rupture, shatter.

As a dash, this ability is a fine way for Ornn to dodge a gank or something like that. However, as an engage or a counter attack, Searing Charge is exceptional. Imagine a situation where you get dove under tower. Charging into your own turret will knock up the assailants, resulting in a easy turn-around for you.

The basic combo with Searing Charge is to use Volcanic Rupture to place a wall behind your foe and then charge directly into it. You can even set up a near permanent knock up state by carefully placing a wall while using your ultimate, Call of the Forge God.

This is Ornn’s main CC and it has quite a lengthy cooldown. You can go in or you can get out, but you can’t realistically do both. Choose wisely.

R - Call of the Forge God (Max when available)

Riot’s Tooltip:


What does it do:

Ornn blows his great ram’s horn, causing a flaming ram to run towards him from the direction that he is facing. Enemies who are caught in the ram’s path will take damage, be slowed and become brittle. Ornn can hit his ultimate again to dash forward quickly. If he collides with his ram, he will redirect it. Enemies hit by the redirected ram are knocked up, take damage and become brittle.

Call of the Forge God is easily one of League’s most iconic abilities already. From both a thematic and spectacle standpoint, the great ram elemental is beautiful to behold and can change the course of your game entirely. This is not only an exceptional teamfighting ultimate, but a powerful duel and catch ultimate as well. Once you become skilled enough at redirecting your big friend, there are very few limits to what Ornn can do.

However, the big if there is how good you are at re-direction. A great Ornn will create angles that even Vel’Koz would be proud of, while the average Ornn will send it back where it came from. The key with Call of the Forge God is to get as much out of a single cast as you can. If you are able to make multiple members of the enemy team brittle and then your Orianna gets a Shockwave in, everyone is dead and you made it happen.

While live practice is certainly the best practice, serious Ornn players may consider hoping into the Practice Tool and grabbing some graph paper.

The Build

Lane Start:

Doran’s Shield

Jungle Start:

Hunter’s Machete, Refillable Potion (back and build Hunter’s Potion after first clear)


Ninja Tabi or Mercury Treads


Dead Man’s Plate

Spirit’s Visage/Abyssal Mask

Gargoyle Stoneplate

Warmog’s Armor

In lane item:

Sunfire Cape

Jungle item:

Stalker’s Blade Cinderhulk


Ornn strikes that perfect balance of iterative and staple tank. In many ways, he reminds me of Camille, a fairly straight forward champion who has a lot of hidden depth buried just beneath the surface. But then again, Ornn is probably most similar to Ivern (they were both designed by the same Rioter after all). Like his tree counter-part, Ornn takes a simple mechanic that has been core to League forever, and twists it.

The result of this mechanical mangling is a champion that feels both familiar and inspired at the same time. The champion design as of late has been very good. Xayah, Kayn, Rakan — all champions that have deep uses but take a lot of practice. Ornn is not like them. Instead, he has a relatively low skill floor, and even newer players will be able to tackles his kit pretty easily (he is no harder than Poppy, for example). But yet again, Ornn strikes a perfect balance. While Ornn should be playable by all, hours of work put into him will not only be noticeable, but necessary for high end Ornn players.

Ornn feels like a champion for everyone who has ever enjoyed playing a tank. He has the beefy stats and easy positioning that we are accustomed to, but he never allows you to be bored or complacent. You are always fighting, burning, building or ramming.