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Orianna guide: manipulating League’s mechanical mistress

Position the ball and take out your enemies in a glorious Shockwave.

Orianna is one of League’s strongest champions, and a pick that has seen a significant amount of play since her release, both in solo queue and pro play. That is because our beloved Ori is a coveted utility mid. She can provide her team with shields, move speed and displacement. Even better, all of that excellent utility is wrapped up in the package of a high damage mid laner. Plus, you know, she is fun as hell.

To learn how to better manipulate The Ball and your enemies, check out our guide.

The Build


  • Doran’s Ring
  • Biscuit


  • Sorcerer's Shoes


With Ori we want to hit our stride early with a great sustain item like Morellonomicon, our staple. For the rest of the build, we want to focus on building up our AP while adding in some utility here and there.

  • Morellonomicon
  • Luden’s Echo
  • Void Staff
  • Zhonya’s Hourglass
  • Rabadon’s Deathcap

Ability Maxing

  1. Command: Shockwave
  2. Command: Attack
  3. Command: Dissonance
  4. Command: Protect

Runes and Masteries

For our runes, we want to grab 9 magic pen Marks, six CDR Glyphs, three MR Glyphs, nine HP Seals and three AP Quints.

On the Mastery side, we want to put 18 points down Cunning, taking Thunderlord’s Decree as our Keystone. Spend the rest of your points on the right side of Ferocity.

The Kit

Passive - Clockwork Windup/The Ball

Orianna’s basic attacks scale with her AP, dealing massive magic damage. Subsequent attacks on the same target increases damage. Orianna is also accompanied at all times by The Ball, her companion and main damage dealing tool.

The Ball is everything for Orianna, but we will get to that with all of her other abilities. So just chatting about Clockwork Windup, this allows Ori to be a serious threat with her basic attacks both in lane and out. While you may be used to thinking “Oh jeez, I am but a humble mid laner. Why would I ever prioritize auto attacking?” you need to get out of that mentality for Ori. Her autos do very high damage, which you should be keeping in your mind at all times.

Q - Command: Attack

Orianna commands The Ball to travel to a target location, dealing damage to all enemies it passes through. Once it reaches the location, it stops.

This ability sounds very simple, and on its own it is. That is the thing about Ori, all of her abilities are extremely straight forward, but together they make a beautiful cacophony. Command: Attack will almost certainly be your most commonly used ability, as it will be used to position The Ball for W and R combos. The only real advice for Command: Attack is to watch your mana. It has a cost, a simple fact that can be easy to forget.

W - Command: Dissonance

Orianna commands The Ball to drop an electric field under itself. This field damages and slows enemies. Allies that pass over this field will be granted a movement speed increase.

Command: Dissonance is a simple but versatile ability. You can use it to speed up you or your allies or you can use it to damage your foes. Either way, you will use Command: Dissonance as a follow up to Command: Attack more often than not. This process if fairly simple: use C:A to move the ball under your enemy, use C:D. This combo results in massive damage at the cost of a lot of mana.

E - Command: Protect

Orianna commands The Ball to shield herself or an ally. The Ball will damage any and all enemies it passes through on the way to its shield target. Passively, this grants tank stats to whoever The Ball is currently attached to.

Do not let the name fool you, Command: Protect is just as much a damage ability as it is a utility one. This shield can really save allies when you attach it to them. However, good Orianna players will know how and when to move The Ball between targets in order to maximize the damage output it can deal. Command: Protect is also used to select a carrier for The Ball, a crucial concept when preparing to use Orianna’s ultimate.

R - Command: Shockwave

Orianna commands The Ball to release a shockwave, dealing damage to all targets around it and pulling enemies toward The Ball itself.

Command: Shockwave is one of the most skill-based ultimates in the game, and will take many failed casts to truly perfect. While you can certainly Command: Attack The Ball into an area, the most common way to get great Shockwave off is to attach The Ball to a front liner via Command: Protect. The tanky engage will then carry The Ball into the enemy team for you.

Another great strategy for getting off clutch Shockwaves is simply being patient. “Duh,” you may be saying and to that I say “I agree.” However, in practice, this is far easier said than done. When a fight is going on it can be very easy to blow the Shockwave as soon as it looks decent. Instead, hole up. Keeping track of yourself and the enemy Orianna’s ball is very difficult in a fight. As Orianna, keeping track of The Ball is your entire job, so when your enemies slip up and forget to be wary of your tool of death, pop it and watch the entire enemy team crumble.

The Verdict

Since Season 2, Orianna has been a staple champion for League. Moreover, she has never really seen much backlash. Other popular, powerful champions like Lee Sin and Thresh have had their moments of anger surrounding them. However, Ori manages to dodge many of these complaints. Folks instead seem utterly content with Orianna, which is perhaps one of the highest compliments I can give to her design. While Orianna may not be my favorite champion (although she is certainly top five for me) or the one that I would herald as “best,” she is as close to perfectly designed as we will ever get.