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Hello! This is an intro to my arena guide for Ao Kuang! This is my first guide so feedback would be appreciated! This build is simply a balanced build that i came up with.
It is not a strict damage build but it does have its perks.
This is not a teach you how to play Ao guide because i believe experience is the best teacher. Ao is not the hardest god to learn he actually is probably one of the easiest. Practice makes perfect though!
Although I would like people to try this build out many of the core items in this build are replaceable and are situational. The core items are simply a guideline for a typical arena match with a balanced enemy team such as 3 physical damage gods and 2 magical damage gods or vice versa. You can also rearrange the order in which you buy these items based on the enemy team or situation.
I will go over this in more detail later in the guide.
At the end of this guide my goal is to simply provide a unique build that will hopefully catch people's eyes.
Before i talk about my build i would like to talk about the abilities i prioritize in arena. At the start i do like to put a point into each ability just because you never know what sticky situation may occur at the start of a game.
After that, you want to put points into Tornadoes when you cant put points into your ultimate.
Spirit's Tempest is first priority over everything else.
Once you maxed out Tornadoes you can go ahead and put points into Squall while still leaving Spirit's Tempest as first priority!
The last thing i max out is Slither mainly because i feel that it is your one quick getaway ability and if you haven't gotten away from your enemies then you probably need to use your actives to survive anyway.
Also keep in mind of your passive ability Graceful Winds when buying items. The more maximum mana you have the more damage you will receive from your passive which is why Book of Thoth works so well with his kit at max stacks as well as buffing up Graceful Winds just a touch.
My build is based around the fact that Ao Kuang is a high damage output god but is one of the squishiest gods in the game. It is an all around build to help him survive longer so he can stay in battles and not get two shotted by anyone.
Staying in fights in arena especially with the damage Ao can do is more damage you can output to the enemy team then you could do if you just stacked damage items and got two shotted by a Loki.
Now if you feel that the other team doesn't pose much of a threat to you in terms of team make up or lack of kill potential then by all means go full damage.
This build is more of a team based build it is not really a carry your team build but it can be in a sense. The damage Ao can do when hitting Tornadoes and Squall on multiple targets especially with Void Stone is devastating to the enemy team.
The build is heavily utilizing Book of Thoth. Without Book of Thoth your damage takes a heavy hit. Although the build may seem like you will lack damage by simply looking at the defensive items, Book of Thoth makes up for the defensive items being used.
I will go over each item and why I choose to use it.
Shoes of the Magi nothing special here. Pretty standard but i will say you can choose to get Shoes of Focus instead, but i prefer the extra penetration from Shoes of the Magi since I will be getting the cooldown reduction from Breastplate of Valor later on.
Book of Thoth...I know a lot of people may criticize this but it works really well in arena even if it is a stacking item. In order for it to reach its potential you need to get max stacks which is why i get this item first after boots. It works in tune with Ao Kuang's passive Graceful Winds.
Now to get the maximum amount of stacks you need to lane clear and by that I mean kill minions. Its not very hard to do as Ao Kuang since you have your Tornadoes spell. You should definitely tell your team to let you kill minions when you have this item, so they don't take potential stacks away from you. Even if they don't listen though, Tornadoes can usually get the job done anyway.
You do want to try to get blue buff whenever you can, so you can spam tornadoes more often and not run out of mana. You also want to try to place your tornadoes where you will clear the minion wave and do damage to an enemy god if you can. That is the ideal way of doing it.
During about mid-game you should have max stacks from Book of Thoth and your damage shouldn't feel any different than if you had gone into cheaper damage items at the start.
Rod of Tahuti is a pretty standard item for almost any mage. The damage is too good to pass up. The mana regeneration is also pretty nice since you will still be progressing into max stacks of Book of Thoth.
I get it early as my 3rd item because the next items I build are defensive ones. I want to stay on par in damage even if I do go into defensive items later on.
Breastplate of Valor is the first defensive item I buy if the enemy team is mainly physical damage gods or a physical god has the most kills or is just doing too much damage to me such as a Bastet or another Assassin.
It is a great item for many mages because it not only gives a lot of physical defense but it also gives a good amount of cooldown reduction. For Ao Kuang it also gives more mana which means you get some damage from it via Graceful Winds.
This item can be switched out for more damage like a Polynomicon if you are not threatened by any physical damage opponent or you can even grab another defensive item that goes better with the situation such as a Void Stone.
If there is only one person or nobody on the enemy team does physical damage then this item is practically useless or not worth getting unless that one person is an assassin like a Loki or a Bastet that happens to be focusing you, but even then I don't believe its worth wasting an item slot for one person that's what actives are for!
I chose Void Stone here to give me that bit of magic protection I need so I don't die instantly to mages who focus me or happen to be in front of me when my abilities are on cooldown.
I like this item because it gives you a bit of magic power as well as protection while also reducing the entire enemy team's magic protection by 15. As i said in the intro this is a team based build and a team fight oriented build. This will help you and your teammates do more damage overall especially in team fights.
Void Stone coupled with Boots of the Magi gives you enough damage to pose a threat to bruisers and tanks.
If there are 3 or more magic damage dealers on the other team I would get this before Breastplate of Valor.
If their whole team is magic then you might want to consider getting this 3rd.
If there is only 1 person who is magic on the other team I would probably get an earlier Gem of Isolation for all those melee or a Hide of the Urchin here.
If you feel there is no magical threat on the enemy team you can also buy a Polynomicon for the great damage potential it offers with Squall.
Now some people do use Gem of Isolation, but not enough of people in my opinion. Not only does it give you another potent slow, but it also gives you some health and mana (remember Graceful Winds) as well as damage.
Basically any ability you hit now has a slow as well. It works very well with Tornadoes especially if you hit multiple targets with it. It can help you and your team clean up kills and it also gives you more crowd control in team fights.
It does work with Spirit's Tempest as well. You can Spirit's Tempest on multiple targets and they will all be slowed which is easy pickings for you and your team if they didnt get one shotted by it ( I kid you not squishies get one shotted late game).
Maybe you will hit another Ao Kuang with Spirit's Tempest that stacks all damage items and then realize why I run defensive items.
Why get actives? Well for the most part they clear up your gods weaknesses. You also want to counter what the other team can do to you like crowd control or their ultimates. It gives you extra utility such as more mobility or more survival.
I would buy one active at the start of the game such as level one beads or something. You should have at least 300 gold to spare right at the start, so why not buy an active to begin building up to counter the other team?
Do Not Get Meditation as an active!! It is a complete waste of an active in arena in general unless maybe you are an Ullr or something then I can understand, but everyone else it's pretty much a don't do. In arena if you run out of mana simply go back to base! Either walk or press your B key if its safe to do so. It doesn't take long and you will be right back in the action fairly quickly. In late game it will be useless to you mainly because the items you buy will give you mana regeneration or more mana to use anyway. Late game Ao rarely runs out of mana unless you are spamming abilities or too aggressive, but even then it is still not worth getting or spending gold on when you can have cc immunity, more survival, or more ways to get out of trouble.
I typically run Greater Purification and Greater Sprint for the most part. Greater Purification helps a lot vs most teams and is a must have for teams that have a Ares, Hades, Athena or a good Kumbhakarna. Even vs teams that don't have those gods I find it useful because it can get you out of sticky situations such as stuns, silences, and slows.
Greater Sprint in arena is also good for Ao because it gives you that second escape. Yes you do have your Slither ability, but many gods can still catch up to you or cc you during it so its just nice to have a second Slither in your belt. I typically use this vs a team with a Nemesis or a Osiris or even a Bastet so I can kite through her ult with Slither and Greater Sprint.
Greater Amulet is also a great active for Ao Kuang because it gives you those seconds of immunity to wait for an enemy ultimate to go away or for your cooldowns to come back up and you are getting focused. You can use this for a team with a Bastet, Odin, Zeus, Serqet, Bakasura, or Freya. It is also good to get if you are being heavily focused by the other team or you do the most damage or are most fed on the team.
Combat Blink I have seen used, but I wouldn't recommend it mainly because its a big investment to get it to level 3. I rarely ever use it, but it can be useful if you are facing a team with an Odin or you find you are having a difficult time of getting away and you need that escape.
Get potions when you finish your build and your actives or you don't need any more points in your actives!
At this stage the game should be just about over so you are going to want that extra damage punch for all its worth.
Spend your gold on all the potions you can with Elixir of Power being the priority if you can afford it (you probably wont be able to). If you cant afford it don't wait or sell anything just to get it instead buy as many Potion of Magical Might as you possibly can and consume one every time you die or it wears out.
In team fights you want to be in the back line. Meaning you want to be a good distance away where you can still do damage and your tank can take hits for you.
You want to prioritize targets constantly look at the enemy teams score and figure out who is the other teams best player or who has the most kills on their team.
If its a tank then look at his build if he is building damage items then he is as squishy as anyone else would be and you can focus him. If he is in tank gear then find the second best player on their team and aim for them.
Sometimes this might not be the ideal thing to do either. For example, if the other team has a healer you typically want to focus them down first unless you see that you can eliminate a bigger threat more easily!
Why focus the healer? Taking out the healer in the bigger picture will help your team a great deal in the team fight especially if your team doesn't have a healer! You don't have to kill the healer, but try to get them low enough or make them retreat where they fear for their own life instead of them healing their teammates. Hel is a good example of a healer you want to do this to.
Kills are not everything even in an arena!
For the Cons the main one would be that you wont do as much damage as a full damage build would do in the late game. You need to lane clear for your team and for the Book of Thoth stacks. Although the defense is nice to have teams still can blow you up if they focus you. Lastly, Void Stone's effect does not work in all situations and almost will never work with your Spirit's Tempest unless the enemy is at a close distance.
The Pros are you are not nearly as squishy as you normally would be. You last longer in team fights. Your damage output is still good even with the defensive items. You can help your team with slows for team fights or clean ups. Void Stone will help your teammates and you with a magical protection debuff when you do go in to tornado or squall in a team fight.
Thank you! I know it feels like a book, but I hope this helps!
I will probably be making a Serqet arena build next so stay tuned!
Caution: This build does not mean you are a tank! You still need to avoid damage whenever you can and as much as possible! This build is just to help your team and yourself win and stay alive as much as possible.
Thank you for reading! Feedback is appreciated! Remember to rate if you liked the build! I will update this build when I can and make further improvements and additions where I see fit.
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