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Ao Kuang (or Ao Guang) is the Dragon King of the East Sea in the Chinese Pantheon. In Journey to the West, Sun Wu Kong bullies Ao Guang into giving him Ruyi Jingu Bang, the mighty As-You-Will Gold_Banded Cudgel that can expand in size or diameter at Wu Kong's command.
Ao's scared of Wu Kong for good reason and if you want to play Ao effectively you will keep your distance from other gods and rely on ranged abilities, open escape routes and map awareness to stay alive.
This guide is primarily written to provide advice and insight on making Ao a viable God for new players and players who commonly play Solo Queue or public matches with a team of three or less. The general advice is applicable to ranked play and 5 man matches as well.
NOTE: I accidentally published this instead of saving it before I was ready. If you are reading this guide and see this note, it is because the guide isn't finished yet. this guide will be fairly in depth and long when completed. Please do not down-vote (or up-vote) if you see this note.
Ao is an item dependent god. In general, the idea is to purchase items that increase Ao's magical damage. Some players will go for a glass cannon build, others will incorporate defensive items into their build to increase Ao's chances of survival.
As with any other god, you should build Ao with an eye towards countering the gods and item builds of the enemy. In general, I favor builds for Ao that offer a mix of magic power, magic penetration and utility.
I've found that level two Chronos' Pendant is Ao's best starting item. It provides superb starting sustainability, allowing you to stay in lane and Tornado down each minion wave for the first 7-10 minutes with no problem.
The +30 magical power you'll get at level two and 15 mp5 are an unbeatable combination for sustainability and damage. AO can easily clear an entire minion wave with only Tornado by level 5. In addition, a maxed out Chronos' Pendant is an excellent addition to Ao's arsenal with +50 mp, +25 mp5 and, the best part, 20 percent cool-down reduction. The cool-down reduction is a huge bonus for Ao, due to his ability dependent nature.
It will cost you 1390 to buy level two Chronos' Pendant, and you'll need another 1380 to buy level three. Depending on what situations you are dealing with in your lane, either buy level three when you make your first recall, get your second item (maxed to level three) and then get level 3 of the pendant, or get your full third item before finishing on pendant.
Boots of Celerity:
Ao can be difficult to play due to his fragility, lack of close-quarters defense and speed. To stay alive with Ao, you need to keep your distance from the enemy. To contribute to your team's success, you need to push, defend and be there for team fights.
Boots of Celerity are, in my opinion, the ONLY boots you should purchase for Ao. The 28 percent speed increase in combat and 40 percent increase out of combat make all the difference in keeping Ao alive and where he needs to be to contribute. Throw in Slither, and you'll be amazed at how many times Ao will escape a gank or scoot across the jungle to surprise the enemy with a well-timed Tornado or Spirit's Tempest. Boots of Celerity are crucial items to keeping Ao alive. Purchase them no later then third item. If you are laning against an agile opponent who likes to close the distance or chase, make sure you get them for your second item.
Void Stone:Voidstone is an excellent item for Ao. I usually try and make Voidstone my 2-3rd item. Here's why Voidstone is such a good early item for Ao:
1: It's relatively cheap to purchase all three levels (2280). The price for what you get in return is a significant investment and advantage, especially early game when items and gold are at a premium.
2: With +50 magical power and +60 magical protection, Voidstone is a nice mix of magical damage and defense. Early game, it's a big advantage, both in terms of surviving and in attacking.
3: -30 magical protection to all enemies within 30 feet is a HUGE bonus for Ao and any team-mates in the vicinity! Most Gods start with a base 30 magical protection that does NOT increase with each level (physical protection usually does). The -30 magical protection from a maxed out Voidstone essentially removes all magical protection from enemy gods caught in the radius. This results in a large increase in damage for Ao's abilities, and the magical attacks of Ao's team-mates if it happens to be a team fight situation. I consider this an essential early item for Ao. I suggest making it the second or third item for Ao.
Gem of Isolation:
Doom Orb:Doom Orb is a commonly seen starting item for mages. At level three, the 1900 price, decent +7 mp5 and potential of +160 magical power can seem very enticing for such a low price.
However, there's a reason Doom Orb is so cheap, and that's because you will only get the full +160 magical power with full stacks, and those stacks are lost upon death. Even if you only die twice in a game, that's still 120 stacks you will have to account for to get full use out of the Doom Orb. Late game especially the Doom Orb becomes a liability, because it is much more difficult to safely farm to replace lost stacks and at that point the Doom Orb is taking up space for another item that would probably be more beneficial, especially right after a respawn. And since Ao is notoriously fragile and often the focus of attacks (due to the easiness with which he dies), the likelihood of having to farm stacks multiple times per game is very high.
Think very carefully before buying a Doom Orb for Ao.
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