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1- Starting Vamp Shroud/Boots I is fairly common for Magic Power mids. The vamp gives good sustain and the boots are nice for a bit of stats and MP.
2- First back you should finish your boots (buy them to 3) and pick up a lvl 1/2 aegis, depending on your cash. The leveling of actives is very new, so sorry if my opinions on it are a little tweaked, but I would almost never buy lvl 3 of any active. From what I can tell, lvl 2 is a little more expensive with a longer cooldown, but the same as they were previous patch. If you need the shorter cooldown / longer aegis and can afford it, buy it, but lvl 1/2 should last you till end of laning at the very least.
3- Ao Kuang's passive gives him extra magic power based off his maximum mana, so book of thoth was made for him. It increases that percentage (his passive gives per 5%, thoth gives per 3%), and with each minion kill gives more mana. This will help you spam tornadoes and get your MP godlike. Some people like to start book of thoth I first item, but I find it's an extremely risky strategy. If it isn't ranked and you're confident, give it a shot though.
4- Spear of the Magus is in my opinion the better of the two big pen items (magus/obsidian shard), assuming you got both the stacks, it reduces the enemies protection by a flat 25% and gives you an extra 35 magic pen. This will make your tornadoes hurt way more, even to those pesky tanks.
- Secondly, Gem of Iso. I really like this item on Ao because it provides you with extra chase potential, and extra escapability. This is important for a god that doesn't have any jumps/dashes. With your 2 active and a gem of iso tornado on an opponent, you can catch up or escape easily.
5- Shouldn't have to justify tahuti. If you've built a considerable gold lead, spend it on more damage. With some gods you might want to buy some defense items with that gold lead, but I like my ao to be a glass cannon.
6- Later in the game you can't always return to base when you've got low health, because if the enemy sees you gone they could try and push an objective. The lifesteal helps you stay in team fights later, and if you're going to go down the passive on it can make your last hurrah ult/tornado really hurt.
7- If you're facing a phys god mid or one of the side lanes fed (which shouldn't happen because you should have ganked and helped them out), and you find them bursting you down before you can get a tornado off, it might be a good idea to pick up a Wall of Absolution. I know I said I like building Ao glass cannon, but if the cannon is shattering before you can even fire, you should make the appropriate adjustments.
Also, in terms of a second active, if you are getting ganked a lot or find the enemies catching you out a lot, you could buy sprint. A sprinting ao with his 2 on is hard to catch. I almost never do, because Ao has a speed boost built in, and you shouldn't be out of position to the point the enemy kills you for it.
If they have good CC like a hades or ares ult (or anything that scares you) pick up Beads. The cc immunity can be really helpful if they manage to dive through the front line and onto you.
Sorry the intro is after the build explanation. I just figured a lot of people would come just looking for what to build and leave afterwards. You guys still reading are the ones that are gonna get good at Ao though. I'd like to start off saying that I'm not a super skilled player or a super high level player. I'm only lvl 23, but I know a lot about the game. When I play MOBAs I like to get really into the mechanics and how it works. I watch a lot of streams and a lot of tournaments, so I can see what the community is thinking about a lot of things. Ao Kuang was my first god, though. I've been playing him for as long as I've been playing the game, so I really understand him at this point. This is also my first guide, so it won't be pretty and it will be very wall-of-text-y, but if you're too lazy to read a wall of text you're never going to master a god. If you really care about learning Ao Kuang and want to get good, this shouldn't have to be pretty. On to his skills then.
- Squall is a lined projectile that is your average skill shot. If it hits an enemy it explodes in a small area, damaging and slowing everyone affected. This can do a decent amount of damage, and you can use it to harass your lane opponent if you feel comfortable, but keep an eye on your mana. You need to always have enough mana to put down a tornado for the incoming wave.
- When activated, slither removes all slows for a short time, and increases your movement speed. This is very strong for escaping, or chasing someone down. You can also use to to gank a lane fast, but if you do USE IT WHEN YOU LEAVE THE LANE. This is important, do not go into the jungle and slither or god forbid slither when you get to the side lane. They will hear it and run if they're paying attention. You don't want slither still active when you get to the side lane, you want them unaware of the gank. More on ganks later.
-This is your bread and butter, the strongest skill in your arsenal. Tornado places a circle AoE that, when stepped in, places a DoT seperate tornado over the opponent who walked in it. This does excellent damage and is great for harass/farming. Keep in mind the tornado on the ground does no damage, it just applies the damaging tornado, and it lasts for 5 seconds, while the damaging tornado lasts for 3 seconds. The three seconds does not start counting down until they leave the large AoE tornado, though. This means if they stand in the large tornado for the full five seconds, they will be dealt 8 seconds of damage, not 3. This is more important for farming and killing, because most enemies will get out of the larger tornado by 1 second. If you can get an ally to stun them inside the tornado, this will come into play though.
4- Spirit's Tempest
- Ao Kuang's ult does insane damage in a long line in front of him, knocking aside anyone in the damaging path. This is INSANELY hard to land, though. Ao used to have a glitch that when his slither was active, his abilities would be invisible, but that was fixed. The enemies can't see the line it affects, but they see the dragon head appear and look down the path it will hit. I will have a section dedicated to landing his ultimate later on, all you need to know for now is that if it hits it hits like a truck.
Yes, I need an entire section dedicated to this. Ao Kuang has three ways of farming, His 1, his 3, and his ult. Yes, his ult. More on that in a bit.
Let's start with his 3. This is how you should farm 99.9% of the time. By rank 3 it will kill any standard (non-jungle, non-cyclops) creep. What I like to do is line the tornado up with the entrance to their red buff before the creeps leave their outer tower. This way it will land on all six minions and hurt them good. You can also place in anywhere along that line, meaning you can cut off the direction the enemy is walking and possibly hit them with the tornado. This is a bonus though, your goal is hitting the creeps. If I can I will put a video up explaining this better later, but all you need to know is that no matter where you place the tornado in the lane, it will hit the creeps, so you can place the tornado to one side of the lane to cut off the opponent's path. I see too many ao's put their tornadoes dead center because they're afraid it might miss.
Keep in mind, though, your 3 is NOT a harass tool. It is PURELY for farming. If you get some damage on the enemy that's a bonus, but if you try and hit them with it and you don't have it ready for the next creep wave, then you've lost lane dominance. Only use your 3 on the enemy if it will pick up a kill.
Next is his 1. This is only used to farm if you need to pick up stragglers that either weren't hit by the tornado or didn't die from it. If you aim for the creep in the middle (assuming it's 3 side by side), it will damage them all. Other than that, this is for harass.
As with some other mids (like Ra), you can use your ult to clear an entire minion wave. The cooldown is long, but if you aren't confidant in landing your ult yet or won't be in a position to use it for awhile then this won't matter. Only ever do this if you need to back. If you are low on health or mana, or just need to buy an item, you can clear the entire wave with an ult, back, buy, and be back just as the next wave is hitting your tower, assuming your opponent stayed. From my experience, mid is very relentless when it comes to backing. If you leave and don't have someone to cover your lane, they can hurt your tower pretty bad. So if the enemy sees you backing, they will often clear the wave and back themselves.
NEVER use your ult on a wave so you can gank. If you go to gank you want that ult up just in case it's needed. Even if you aren't confidant in landing it, you still need it up so you can have a final hail mary to try and pick up a kill you couldn't get otherwise.
I am going to assume you are solo-queue-ing. If you've got a friend you're playing with on skype/teamspeak/mumble/whatever, then they will tell you when and if they need a gank. Otherwise, you probably will just have to figure out yourself. If it's really bad, the lanes might ask for a gank, but you shouldn't let it get that bad in the first place, unless your lane is giving you trouble as well.
There are two and only two times you should gank. 1: you killed your lane opponent. They're dead and you know they're dead. Push out the lane and go to a lane that needs help ASAP. 2: Your lane opponent backed. With the second one you have two options, push and try and get the tower, or push out the lane and gank ASAP.
ONLY GANK IF YOU'RE AHEAD. If the lane is tied and you gank, that gives them a chance to get ahead, and if you leave while behind to gank you're a dumbass.
NEVER GANK WHEN YOUR LANE OPPONENT IS STILL IN THE LANE. If they're smart, they'll push the tower. If they're stupid they'll try and chase you in the jungle. You're Ao Kuang, you don't want to fight 1v1 in the jungle, so both of these are bad choices for you.
If your lane opponent leaves to gank, call the mia and the incomming if you saw, then take the tower. Be sure they are ganking though. Do not leave your side of the lane until you see all five enemies somewhere else, including your lane opponent who left to gank. He might just be hiding in the jungle waiting for you to overextend.
You're probably wondering, "Why don't I follow them so my teammates don't die?" And that's a good question. If you're premade and are talking to the people he's ganking it might be different, but generally you shouldn't follow. As I mentioned earlier, he might be hiding in the jungle waiting for you to overextend. Following him counts as overextending. You have no escape and you are still in the laning phase so that means no gem of iso. Fighting 1v1 in the jungle is scary for Ao kuang. The easiest way to explain this is by imagining fighting Agni in the jungle. He has insane damage, a stun, and an escape that also damages. No thanks.
"Well why don't you wait to see them in the lane and then go counter-gank?" That's called showing up late with a starbucks. The gank already happened, you'll probably just run into the enemies while they're headed for your lane. Just push the damn tower and take it if you have time. Keep and eye on the map and the second you don't see someone, back up.
So let's talk about how you actually gank with Ao Kuang. As I said, the second you leave your lane, pop your 2. This will get you to the lane faster, but it will be off again and quiet when you arrive. Tell the lane you're ganking ([VSG1] [VSG3]) (I'll gank left/right lane), then go in behind the enemies and place a tornado behind them. One of three things will happen here.
1- They'll get scared and run away, right into the tornado. They take damage and you all follow up.
2- They get scared and run forward. The right/left allies attack them and you come in from behind.
3- Your allies run forward at them and they either back into the tornado and take damage, or hold their ground and take damage.
You win no matter what. Keep in mind that is just initial damage, they can still kick your ***es or escape, that's entirely up to your squalls/ult and your allies though.
I lied. This isn't a favorable matchups section. Ao Kuang can win any lane and he can lose any lane, it depends on how you play him. I've done really good against almost every god, and I've also done really bad against every god. It depends on their skill level compared to yours.
This section won't be too long, as the others were, I'll just make it quick. Use your tornado for zoning/damage, and save your ult until you are sure it will hit at least two good targets. Something you could try is ulting at the very beginning of a team fight, as they initiate, and force the enemies to split up, allowing your team to focus on the important picks. Team fights are all about skill and team unity, which is hard to guarantee in solo-queue.
Ao Kuang is in my opinion one of the top three gods. I'd rank him #3 despite how much I love him, just because of how strong Agni and Poseidon are currently. He's a great god to pick up and really fun to play. Finally, if you have any advice for improving my guide I would love it. I know it isn't the best right now, but I plan on updating it frequently and listening to feedback. Thanks!
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