How to Play Ashka in Battlerite
Written for patch 0.13.2.0.
Ashka is, without a doubt, one of the most solid champions in all of Battlerite. His kit may look like a “glass cannon” type, but he has so many ways to avoid damage that his survivability is enviable. If you play him well, you can dish out a ton of damage without taking much in return, and this is what makes him such a versatile pick.
However, he is fragile in the hands of the inexperienced. If you go too aggressive or if you misplay your precious defensives, you can easily get your health chunked down to zero. Because of this, I don’t recommend him for brand new players even though he’s technically marked as Beginner Friendly.
Fireball is Ashka’s bread-and-butter ability. It deals 15 damage, and if the enemy has the Ignite debuff on them, it will reapply it. Fireball is semi-unique in that you can move while casting it, but your movement speed is snared during the cast.
This spell is your main source of damage, but in order to truly maximize your output, you have to make sure the enemy is Ignited. The Ignite debuff deals 2 damage immediately when it’s applied, which turns Fireball into a 17 damage attack (a 13 percent increase to M1 DPS). Don’t underestimate it!
Fire Storm (M2)
Fire Storm is one of Ashka’s signature moves, launching three separate projectiles in a row that each inflict 14 damage and apply the Ignite debuff. It’s extremely potent but hard to land because of the 1s cast time, making it high risk and high reward. This is your only non-energy, non-battlerite way to apply Ignite on enemies.
Newbies love using Fire Storm to “triple barrel” targets — hitting them with all three projectiles — but Fire Storm’s real value is that it’s great for baiting counters. You can cancel before the first projectile goes out or cancel after the first projectile. Either way, it’s usually enough for a panic counter. (Learn more in our cancelcasting guide.)
Be very careful when using Fire Storm against melees. If they’re already attacking you, it’s too late. Don’t bother. But if they’re approaching you, then it may be a good idea to start channeling. As long as the first projectile comes out before they can attack, the knockbacks should be enough to let you land all three.
Searing Flight (Space)
Searing Flight is one of the best mobility spells in the game. It has a near-instant cast time so you can dodge almost every big enemy attack, and it has a fast travel time so you can get right back into the action.
The damage component is situationally useful: only use it offensively when you have the upper hand against targets who have no outs. Most of the time, Searing Flight should be used to reach a safe spot that puts just enough distance between you and an enemy so you can keep attacking.
Flamestrike is like a grenade in an FPS game: it shouldn’t be your main source of damage, you shouldn’t expect to land it every time, but it’s important to use often because it has a huge impact. Use it to force an enemy’s movements (they’ll walk in the opposite direction) and use it to set up your other abilities (like Firestorm or Infernal Scorch).
Note that Flamestrike goes through counters, and you can pretty much guarantee that Flamestrike hits if you cast as soon as the enemy’s counter goes up. Flamestrike is also great for securing mid orb!
Molten Fist (E)
Molten Fist is the reason why Ashka is so hard to kill. It’s super effective against melees because the knockback is significant and it Snares, giving you plenty of time to put more distance while blasting M1s.
But because you go immaterial during the dash, Molten Fist is excellent for dodging abilities. In most cases, prefer dodging with Molten Fist than Searing Flight, especially if you have the Lava Punch cooldown-reducing battlerite. Just be aware that Molten Fist does trigger counters — use it to dash away when facing counter champs.
Searing Fire (EX-Space)
Searing Fire is the same as Searing Flight except for two changes. First, it knocks back enemies at the target location. Second, for the next 4 seconds, every M1 that hits an enemy heals you for 15 HP. That’s enough time to throw 6 M1s in a row — if you hit all of them, that’s 90 HP of recovery.
This self-healing is why Searing Fire is so good, and the reason why it costs 50 energy instead of 25. Use it as often as you need, but be careful because that’s a lot of energy to waste.
Molten Chains (EX-Q)
Molten Chains affects all enemies near you with Petrify for 3 seconds. It’s one of the longest CCs in the game, and it requires almost no skill to use properly — unlike Flamestrike, you don’t have to aim it.
If you feel overwhelmed by an enemy melee, just cast it and switch to attacking someone else. And since it only costs 25 energy, you can use it often. With smart usage, Molten Chains lets you control the flow of a round. It’s also good for rune control against melees!
Firewall blocks projectiles and Ignites enemies who walk through it. When casting Firewall, its orientation will be perpendicular to the direction you’re facing. Note that you can use it two ways: offensively (place the wall close to the enemy to limit attack angles) and defensively (place the wall close to you to provide more coverage).
Overall, it’s a high-impact-but-situational spell that you shouldn’t spam — unless you grab the Conflagration battlerite, which turns Fireballs (M1 projectile) into Fire Storm bolts (M2 projectile). Then feel free to spam it as often as you want.
Infernal Scorch (F)
Infernal Scorch dashes forward, dealing 36 damage and leaving behind a trail of fire for 4 seconds. Enemies in the fire trail take 4 damage every 0.5 seconds and receive the Ignite debuff. It’s a powerful ultimate but highly situational, best used as part of a big burst combo on a disabled enemy.
But the best part of Infernal Scorch is that it repositions you: not only do you deal a lot of damage, but if you use it properly, it can get you out of trouble or set you up to be aggressive on a weakened enemy. But as strong as it is, I still prefer to use Searing Fire, Molten Chains, and Firewall.
- Wild Fire: Fire Storm bolts deal 2 additional damage and inflict Ignite on nearby enemies.
- Blaze: Searing Flight increases movement speed by 30% for 2s and your next Fireball inflicts Ignite.
- Knockout: Molten Fist knockback force is increased by 30%, knocking an enemy into a wall inflicts a 1.2s Stun.
Blaze is the go-to battlerite for most Ashka players because it’s just so reliable. In almost every instance when you’d want to use Searing Flight, the extra movement speed helps. This alone would make this battlerite worthwhile.
But the Ignite factor is even better! By empowering your next M1 with Ignite, you gain an easy way to Ignite enemies without requiring energy. And the empowered M1 doesn’t disappear — you can hold onto it for as long as you like. Even if you use Searing Flight defensively, this battlerite sets you up for aggression later.
Knockout is an okay battlerite. Its main problem is being overshadowed by Blaze’s immense value, but the other problem is that Knockout serves no purpose any time you use Molten Fist as an escape rather than a knockback. The Stun is nice for setting up Flamestrike and Infernal Scorch, but it isn’t always reliable.
Ignore Wild Fire. You’ll rarely be able to triple barrel enemies, and Fire Storm is one of Ashka’s least used spells, so it’s very hard to get full value out of this battlerite. The AOE Ignite application is nice in theory, but not so useful in the real world.
- Heat: Fire Storm can be cast while moving at 45% move speed.
- Inferno: Flamestrike deals 8 bonus damage and inflicts Ignite.
- Fire Ward: Searing Flight grants a Shield absorbing 12 damage lasting up to 3s.
Fire Ward is the go-to pick in this round for the same reason as Blaze: it’s extremely reliable. Every time you use Searing Flight, you get the shield. There’s no way to mess it up. The shield amount and duration are both plenty, and it’s useful in all situations. Need to run? It helps you survive. Want to go aggressive? It helps you come out ahead in damage trading.
Heat is pretty nice on paper. Despite the self-snare, the fact that you can move is a huge boost to Fire Storm, and I really like the concept. I would pick it more often if it wasn’t so overshadowed by Fire Ward. The opportunity cost of picking Heat is just too great.
As for Inferno, the extra damage is okay, but not enough to make up for the inherent risk of Flamestrike (it’s hard to land consistently). The Ignite effect can be useful, but since you probably picked Blaze in the first round, there’s no need for another way to apply Ignite. Not worth it.
- Living Flame: Fireball & Fire Storm bolts heal you for 2 health when hitting a target affected by Ignite.
- Lava Punch: Molten Fist cooldown is reduced by 1.5s and hitting an enemy further reduces the cooldown by 2s.
- Conflagration: Fireballs traveling through Firewall turn into Fire Storm bolts.
These days, I tend to go Lava Punch because it significantly increases survivability (and therefore boosts room for error). The cooldown reduction on Molten Fist means you have a smaller chance of being caught without an out, which makes it harder for enemies to punish you. I’d even get this even if it lacked the extra 2s reduction.
Conflagration isn’t as amazing as it once was (Fire Storm bolts are only +1 damage over Fireball now), but it’s not bad either. Instead of placing Firewall on top of an enemy to apply Ignite, Conflagration lets you defend yourself with Firewall while still being able to Ignite targets. And against melees, the knockback is really nice.
Living Flame can be alright if your team lacks a support or if the enemy comp is very aggressive — those 2 HP heals can really add up if you’re good at managing Ignite. It can also free up energy (you rely less on Searing Fire), and that lets you use Molten Chains and Infernal Scorch more often.
- Burn Burn Burn: Fireballs deals 1 bonus damage to targets affected by Ignite.
- Eruption: The radius of Flamestrike is increased by 15%.
- Magma: Ignite reduces target’s movement speed by 14%.
Burn Burn Burn is very good, turning your M1 into an 18 damage attack against Ignited foes (a 20 percent DPS increase). As long as you’re good about applying, reapplying, and tracking Ignite, it shouldn’t be hard to get a lot of value with this.
I think Eruption is often overlooked. The size increase sounds small on paper, but because Flamestrike is an AOE target, a 15 percent increase to radius actually means a 32 percent increase to area. It pretty much means you’ll never miss Flamestrike if you time it so the enemy has no outs. It can’t be walked out of.
That said, I do like Magma the best. The snare is subtle but enough to have a noticeable impact on M1 accuracy, which synergizes well with Ignite reapplication. The snare can also throw off the enemy’s tempo, especially if you can keep the Ignite up for a long time, and that can give you the upper hand in a 1v1.
- Raging Fire: When Infernal Scorch ends you turn into Pure Fire causing your Fireballs to turn into Fire Storm bolts for the next 3s.
- Everlasting Fire: When Infernal Scorch ends you transform into Pure Fire causing your Fireballs to heal you over the next 3s.
I think this is a no-brainer: always go for Everlasting Fire.
The problem with Raging Fire is that Fire Storm bolts only deal 1 extra damage on top of normal Fireballs, and there’s no need for the Ignite effect because the enemy will already be Ignited by the Infernal Scorch most of the time.
On the other hand, Everlasting Fire provides amazing survivability. Chances are, you are going to get way more value out of the self-heal than the tiny bit of extra damage you’d get with Raging Fire.
The best thing about Ashka is that his playstyle is pretty open-ended. You have a lot of survivability, you can pull off some heavy damage combos, and you can put out sustained damage from a distance. But playing him well is hard.
Ashka is arguably the best at zoning: his M1 reaches farther than most other M1s; it deals a respectable 15 damage; he has a fast attack rate; he can cast while moving. Only Jumong can match him, which means you pretty much always start with the upper hand when trading attacks. Harass, harass, harass. Chip away at the enemy’s health.
To truly master this, you’ll need to know the concept of critical range and the fundamentals of movement. In short, you should always be positioned at the edge of your attack range, and you should dance-dodge while attacking.
Ignite management is key to Ashka’s offense, so always pick the Blaze battlerite. The ability to Ignite with M1 is indispensable because every other way to Ignite involves a ton of risk (e.g. Fire Storm) or energy (e.g. Firewall). That said, if you’re ever in a spot where all enemies are focused on your teammates, don’t be afraid to tag each one with Fire Storm. Once Ignite is up, keep M1ing. Don’t let it fade.
Try not to be reckless with Flamestrike! Wait until an enemy is disabled, then cast it directly under their feet — it’ll be a guaranteed hit if they have no outs. With practice, you’ll know when Flamestrikes are going to hit or not even as you cast them. When you know it’s going to hit, immediately start casting Fire Storm.
Flamestrike is your number one tool against counter champions, which is great because Ashka is vulnerable to counters otherwise. Bait the counter with Fire Storm, cancelcast when they fall for it, then immediately place a Flamestrike under them. Either the Flamestrike hits (good) or they use an out to dodge (good). Either way, you’re ahead.
The key to surviving as Ashka is knowing when to dodge using Molten Fist and when to dodge using Searing Flight — and this has to be second nature. If you have to think about it, your reaction time won’t be fast enough.
Coming from another champion, your muscle memory will default to Searing Flight as your primary out, but you have to relearn this if you want to play Ashka to his fullest potential. Searing Flight can’t get body-blocked while Molten Fist can, so use Molten Fist for dodging projectiles and save Searing Flight for when you’re trapped.
Use Molten Fist to dodge away from champions. It does have a knockback component, but if you miss, you’re going to end up in a worse position. It’s not a risk worth taking most of the time. The only exception is if you have the upper hand and you want to keep up pressure on the target, but even then I’d prefer to dodge sideways.
Never use BOTH or else you’ll be a sitting duck and die before they come off cooldown. Learn more about not wasting defensive cooldowns. And remember that Molten Fist and Searing Flight turn you immaterial. Use them to avoid delayed-damage effects, such as Lucie’s Deadly Injection or Croak’s Venom.
Lastly, abuse Firewall and Searing Fire! Firewall is incredible even without the Conflagration battlerite because it instantly gives you the upper hand in any ranged matchup. Searing Fire can completely restore all recovery HP with just 3 hits. With these two, Ashka can turn around any situation.
Ashka has a few combos for breaking the middle orb:
- 4 Fireballs will break it.
- 2 Fireballs > Flamestrike > Fireball will break it.
- Flamestrike > Fire Storm will break it.
- Fireball > Flamestrike > Infernal Scorch will break it. This is nice because you’ll reclaim some energy, but only do it if you can hit at least one enemy.
Ashka is also good at preventing enemies from breaking the middle orb:
- Molten Fist to knock the orb back towards your team and/or away from the enemy team.
- Firewall to block ranged enemies from sniping the orb.
- Flamestrike in front of enemies who are approaching the orb so that they stop or turn around, giving you time to break the orb.
- Flamestrike under the orb while melees attack it. Time it well and you’ll get the orb and harm the enemies.
- Molten Chains to disable melees around the orb, giving you time to set up a Flamestrike or just break the orb with Fireballs.
All in all, Ashka is conceptually simple: zone and harass with M1, be careful to use Fire Storm only when you’re safe, save Flamestrike for when enemies are disabled or without outs, and prioritize Molten Fist over Searing Flight for dodging. Remember to be smart about orb control and try to snag it every single time.
What’s tricky about Ashka is execution. He has so much potential but getting there requires a good bit of nuanced decision making. This is what separates the good Ashkas from the great.