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Ra is my personal favorite ranged mage due to his excellent laning, damage-dealing, and support potential. This guide will cover the fundamentals of playing a support Ra in any lane, although he is better in a lane with a decent damage-dealer equipped with CC abilities. I have played him with numerous builds and play-styles. From this experience I can conclude he best played as either a high-damage lane pusher or as a minor support/damage-dealer. The build described in this guide will find a sort of middle ground and fully exploit the sun god's capabilities.
Please note that this guide may be aesthetically lacking but is as detailed as possible. I figure that a guide's content is far more important than the way it looks. I apologize in advance for the walls of text with minimal color and pictures.
9/8/12 - Guide Created.
9/10/12 - Item order modified; Changelog added; Added notes on Meditation and Purification Beads; Minor syntax corrections.
Boots of the Magi: The generic mage starter item. You can't go wrong with additional speed, mana, and magic power. You can switch this for Reinforced Boots if you want a tankier build. I don't recommend this however, your primary goal is to push your lane as hard and for as long as possible. The mana from Boots of the Magi will increase your time spent in lane.
Warlock's Sash: I always take this alongside Boots of Magi when playing Ra. It offers plenty of lane sustainability in the beginning with health and mana, and ensures you stay in your lane as long as possible. The extra magical power also adds some damage. Taking it second also allows you to start building stacks early. The health from this item builds Ra slightly tankier than other ranged mages in the beginning of the match allowing you to maintain your lane longer and take some risks when trying for early kills.
Gem of Isolation: This item combines excellently with Ra's abilities. It gives Solar Blessing a slow in addition to its damage and magical/physical power debuff. (It may also stack with Divine Light's slow. If known, comment below.) The added health and mana add to the lane sustaining properties of your two previously obtained items. And as always, more magical power is a bonus.
Book of Thoth: This is where your items start favoring magical power over sustainability. The teamfight phase should be underway by this point and your magical power combined with your support capability should make you a force to be reckoned with. This item adds a substantial amount of magical power as well as some mana and mana regen to maintain your presence during the teamfights.
Rod of Tahuti: Complements the Book of Thoth with more magical power and mana regen. And at it's third rank it offers a massive 25% bonus to your magical power. Your damage-dealing potential is significantly higher, with a small amount of mana regen as well.
6th Item - Situational: Your sixth item is situational, depending highly on the enemy team's composition. If they're primarily magical gods I recommend either Void Stone or Magi's Blessing. Void Stone gives magical protection as well as a nice magical protection debuff to your enemies. Magi's Blessing provides you with health, mana, and magical protection for extra tankiness. It also negates an enemy ability every minute and is perfect for surviving teamfights. In case you need physical protection, I recommend either Wall of Absolution or Breastplate of Valor. The Wall of Absolution gives physical protection, as well as mana, mana regen, and a magical protection debuff when you autoattack an enemy. Breastplate of Valor bolsters a large amount of physical protection and mana but it's cooldown reduction is invaluable as a support character, allowing you to pump out more healing, CC, and damage.
Purification Beads: These will help avoid getting stunned and focused on during teamfights or when ganked. Even with this build providing some defense, Ra is still very squishy. You can buy these anytime during the match, but if you can holdout I recommend waiting until you are around your 5th item.
Meditation?: Many people buy meditation with mages to stay in lane longer. Although that is the point of this build, I find that the Warlock's Sash is more than sufficient. Also buying Meditation early-game shorts you in funds when buying your items. If it's later in the match and you have extra cash, feel free to take it.
Sidenote: The order in which you buy your items can be switched. If you prefer to build magical damage before sustainability, then flip the order of the items to: Boots of Magi, Gem of Isolation, Book of Thoth, Rod of Tahuti , Warlock's Sash, and then your situational item.
Speed of Light - Passive
Description: Each time Ra uses an ability, his groundspeed is increased by 10%. Stacks 3 times.
Discussion/Tips: Ra's passive is underlooked quite a bit. During a life or death situation this ability can mean the difference. When you are down on health and being chased, blow all 3 of your abilities. Start with Solar Blessing, cast it slightly ahead of you to get the full benefit of it's heal. Then Celestial Beam, but don't turn around to try to deal damage, simply waste it in front of you for the extra speed. If the enemy hasn't given up the chase yet, cast Divine Light. If the enemy is close enough they will be slowed and by this time you have a 30% speed buff. This combo or some variation of it will save your life more often than not. Just keep an eye on your health ,the actions of the enemies, never overextend, and know when to cut your losses and run.
Celestial Beam - Key Bind: 1
Description: Ra Summons a moving beam of intense light from the sky, doing 95 / 145 / 195 / 245 / 295 (+70% of your magical power) magical damage to anyone caught under the beam.
Cost: 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 mana.
Cooldown: 10 s.
Discussion/Tips: A fairly difficult skillshot to hit on enemy gods, but is flawless at clearing creep waves. Simply aim it down the line of creeps. At later levels it will clear entire waves by itself and is your go-to ability for lane pushing. It can also be used to harass enemy players early game.
Divine Light - Key Bind: 2
Description: Light starts to emanate from Ra, stacking slow on enemies near him the longer they stay. After 3 s, the light detonates, doing 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+40% of your magical power) magical damage and increasing the slow by an additional 3s. Any enemies facing Ra at the time of the explosion are also blinded.
Cost: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 mana.
Cooldown: 12 s.
Discussion/Tips: I max this last because it is mainly used for utility. The damage is too little to make much of a difference, but the slow is perfect for escapes and chasing down enemies with low health. It also a good source of CC for teamfights with the added blinding effect. It's range renders it incapable for pure damage-dealing. Ra is simply too squishy to get that close for such a small amount of damage. Best to stick to using it only for the CC effect.
Solar Blessing - Key Bind: 3
Description: Ra summons a pillar of blessed light that lasts for 6s. Allies inside the blessing are healed for 10/20/30/40/50 (+10% of your magical power) per second and gain a 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 magical and physical power bonus. Enemies are damaged for 20 / 35 / 50 / 65 / 80 (+20% of your magical power) magical damage and incur a 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 magical and physical power debuff.
Cost: 65 / 75 / 85 / 95 / 105 mana.
Cooldown: 18 s.
Discussion/Tips: This is the ability that ties Ra's role as a support god all together. Offering healing and damage buffs for your allies as well as damage and damage debuffs to your enemies, this ability is useful during the laning phase and in teamfights. This ability can be cast on the melee creeps to buff your creeps, debuff the enemy creeps, and heal you if you stand close enough, all at the same time. I recommend this when Celestial Beam is on cooldown. During teamfights, this ability can be cast into the fray to give your allies a tremendous advantage. Also can be cast outside of combat for it's heal. This is one of the most versatile abilities in the game and has a wide variety of uses. Experiment with it in all situations to learn what works best for you.
Searing Pain - Key Bind: 4 (Ultimate)
Description: Ra calls on the power of the sun to decimate his foes in an extreme blast of heat in front of him, doing 400 / 475 / 550 / 625 / 700 (+100% of your magical power) magical damage to all enemies unlucky enough to find themselves in the path.
Cost: 90 mana.
Cooldown: 70 / 65 / 60 / 55 / 50 s.
Discussion/Tips: Ra's ultimate is not as powerful as some of the other range mages, but do not underestimate it's potential. It is a skillshot and requires some practice to hit your target everytime. Just keep in mind that there is a slight "charge-up" period, so aim it slightly ahead of your enemies if they're moving. Also remember that you are immobile and vulnerable during this time. It has potential in teamfights if you can line up several enemies that are low on health, but it's real benefit is the range. Given practice you can snipe retreating enemies with ease.
- Is very useful in teamfights.
- Has healing and CC capabilities.
- Very versatile. (Build and playstyle.)
- Good escape abilities.
- Very squishy.
- Low damage compared to other ranged mages.
- Is relatively difficult to master.
- Abilities are skillshots and require practice.
Oftentimes you will see Ra being played mid-lane. I don't recommend that with this build. Although it is possible, most of your mid-laners build damage and this build is for support. What is a support character without a teammate to support? Ra is best paired with a melee fighter or a tank. As for jungling, a support-style Ra simply doesn't do the damage needed to effectively jungle. His ultimate being a skillshot also denounces his ganking ability. It is best to keep Ra in either right or left lane where he can support his lane partner, inflict some CC on his enemies, and push the lane.
The above information should set you well on your way to playing Ra as an effective support character. His heals, CC, and damage should be sufficient to push a lane and is invaluable during teamfights.
Please leave a comment. Share any questions, concerns, and especially mistakes on my part. Typos, inaccurate information, etc. I am thankful for any community contribution. Thanks for those of you who took the time to read through the entire guide, and even more to those who tested it.
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