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Agni have one of the best kit among AP casters and for that reason he is often a high priority pick in competitive matches as well as a sure bet to stomp a public game. There are three reasons why he is so awesome: dash, stun and damage over time.
Dash is pretty self-explainatory. You can use it to escape, initiate or to close the gap to your target. It also deals a good amount of damage. His stun is both a great tool to line up your other attacks as well as to coordinate with your team mates. The stun itself is not very long but it gives your allies long enough to land their skillshots 100% of the time. Wether that is Ra's ultimate, Arachne's pull or Anhur's stun doesn't matter. It will score you the kill. Damage over time is not unique to Agni. You can find it on gods like Bastet's Razor Claws and Ao Kuang's Tornadoes. However, Agni is probably the god who does it the best. His dash applies damage over time, as well as his Flame Wave and ultimate when combined with his passive. The small numbers really adds up and leaves your targets very wounderable.
Agni does not scale very well from magic power. However, penetration always pays off. Most gods begins with around 30 protection of each type. Spear of the Magus, which you can find in the first set of builds, gives you 30 penetration. How much does that really matter? Let's see. This is how you calculate damage reduced by protection:
Protection / protection + 100. With 30 protection, the calculation looks like following: 30/30+100 = 30/130 = 23%. That means with Spear of the Magus tier 3 you will deal 100% instead of 77% damage.
You can also choose to start out with Chronos' Pendant for the MP5 and later the cooldown reduction, which will increase the amount of ultimates you can dish out over a period of time. Doom Orb is also a good choice, especially if you are in a side lane and have a team mate to help you out keep those stacks.
Next, you should buy boots. Reinforced Boots is always a safe bet but Boots of the Magi is also good. I would not recommend you to get Boots of Celerity as escaping is not an issue for you.
Your next item should be Void Stone. Agni scale pretty good in physical protection, so getting Void Stone will bring your magical protection up to the same level. It will also boost your damage in close quarter combat. To finish off your build I like to build Gem of Isolation, Obsidian Shard and Rod of Tahuti.
Laning with Agni is really easy. Make sure you have your passive stacked before you use your Flame Wave or Rain Fire and you should be able to clear a minion wave with almost all your abilities. Path of Flames is really useful if you outpush the enemy, as you can stay just outside his tower range and dash away from his minions. Flame Wave can most of the time hit an entire minion wave, and so can Rain Fire. Once you hit level 5, make sure you harass your enemy as much as possible while still killing his archers. With the penetration from Spear of the Magus, this should really hurt him. If he decides to stay behind his archers, try to zone him off and don't waste mana to kill the minions.
Agni can be a great asset in team fights. His stun makes any following skill shot easy to land and when he decides to unleash hell, it's gonna hurt. If you find your enemies in a crowded spot, start off with one ultimate, followed by an instant stun and then spam the rest of your ultimates. If you haven't killed them already, follow up with the rest of your abilities or let your team mates steal your kills, anything for a deicide.
If the teams gather up on mid lane, you can initiate as well. Use your dash, followed by your stun and something to ignite it. The short stun should allow your team mates to continue, either by more stuns or by nuking whoever got stunned. If the enemy rushes you, Path of Flames can be used to dash through their tanks. Their squishies are probably not ready to deal with you, so use whatever abilities you can and score a kill as quickly as you can.
Agni is a very versitile AP god with a kit of abilities that can prove useful in many ways. He can be played in both mid and side lane, in both competitev and casual matches. He is more of an all-round fighter than a glass cannon, but that can often be much more useful. Finally, I hope you leared something but don't let this guide limit you. Try out different builds and see what you like the most. Agni synergize very well with almost any god so make sure you try out different team compositions as well. Good luck and have fun in-game.
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