Guide to Playing Ashka in Battlerite

Updated for patch 1.2.

Ashka is one of the most solid champions in Battlerite. He is a “glass cannon” type, but is surprisingly slippery with his two iframes (three if you include his ultimate). If you play him well, you can dish out lots of damage without taking much in return, and this is what makes him a versatile pick.

However, he is very fragile in inexperienced hands. If you go too aggressive, or if you misplay your precious defensives, you don’t have much to mitigate damage. Because of this, I don’t recommend him for brand new players even though he’s technically marked as Beginner Friendly.

Basic Abilities

Fireball (M1)

Fireball is Ashka’s bread-and-butter ability. It deals 15 damage, and if the enemy has the Ignite debuff on them, it reapplies 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 on Ignited targets. Don’t underestimate that extra DPS!

Fire Storm (M2)

Fire Storm is Ashka’s signature move, launching three separate projectiles in sequence that each inflict 16 damage and apply the Ignite debuff. It’s extremely potent but risky because of the 1s cast time. This is your only non-energy, non-battlerite way to apply Ignite on enemies.

Fire Storm has secondary value as a way to bait counters, d-barriers, bubbles, outs, etc. You can cancel before or after the first projectile goes out. Either way, it’s usually enough to get the target to waste at least one cooldown. (Learn more in our cancelcasting guide.) If they don’t, then at least you’ve tagged them with Ignite.

Or you can tag multiple enemies, one with each Fire Storm projectile, applying Ignite to each of them.

Be careful when using Fire Storm against melees. If they’re already attacking you, you probably shouldn’t use it — they’ll just tear you up during the cast time. But if they’re approaching you, then it may be early enough to start casting and get it off just as they reach you.

Battlerites

Combustion: Fire Storm bolts deal 2 bonus damage, 8 area damage, and inflicts Ignite on nearby enemies.

Whereas normal Fire Storm bolts deal 16+2 damage each, Combustion ups the damage to 18+2 damage each. That’s 60 total damage if you get a triple hit (a whopping 80 damage with the Wild Fire battlerite). The splash area is sizeable, and the area damage is actually 8+2 due to the Ignite. All said, this can add up to a LOT of damage very fast, especially on tight maps or comps that clump (e.g. around Blossom’s Tree or Pestilus’s Queen). Synergizes extremely well with the Magma battlerite.

Heat: Fire Storm can be cast while moving at 50% movement speed and 30% while channeling.

Heat is as close as it gets to a must-have battlerite for Ashka. Being able to move during Fire Storm changes everything about this spell, eliminating its biggest downside. Even though the movement is snared, the fact that you can reposition yourself while channeling is huge, and you’d be surprised how far you can walk during one full Fire Storm channel.

By picking up Heat, you’re free to cast Fire Storm more often. This significantly pumps up your damage output, not only with the Fire Storm bolts themselves but also with the Ignite applications. Now you can Ignite targets without being a sitting duck.

Wild Fire: Fire Storm launches 1 additional projectile.

Wild Fire is a polarizing choice when it isn’t combined with the Heat battlerite. The extra projectile means rooting yourself in place for longer, which sacrifices positioning. And if you tend to cancelcast Fire Storm, then you’ll rarely get to fire the fourth projectile, making it hard to get value out of Wild Fire.

But when paired with Heat, suddenly it opens up and becomes extremely powerful. Being able to move while channeling makes it so you can reliably fire that fourth projectile, and if you can hit all four, you’re dealing (16+2)x4 = 72 damage, and that’s without the Combustion battlerite. Of course you won’t hit all four every time, but that fourth projectile is still useful nonetheless.

Searing Flight (Space)

Searing Flight is a solid iframe. 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 aren’t out of the action for long.

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 without them being able to attack you.

Battlerites

Blaze: Your next Fireball after Searing Flight deals 2 bonus damage and inflicts Ignite.

If you like to use Searing Flight aggressively, which can be okay if you’re smart about managing Molten Fist (more on that later), then Blaze can be good. It boosts your next M1 from 15 damage to 17+2 = 19 damage. With the Magma battlerite, it ends up doing 17+5 = 22 damage. In addition, it sets you up to deal boosted damage per M1 on every hit afterwards.

The risk is that you need to hit your M1s after using Searing Flight. The buff only lasts for 2 seconds so you can’t delay much, and if you regularly miss those Blaze M1s, then you’re getting no value out of this battlerite. Good aim required!

Burning Feet: Searing Flight increases movement speed by 30% for 2s.

I highly recommend Burning Feet as a must-have battlerite for newbie Ashka players for two reasons. First, the haste works double duty, allowing you to be offensive (chase down targets) or defensive (run away from tunnelers). Second, it’s reliable and you’ll always get value out of it. It’s not like you can miss the haste, which is a huge selling point for the inexperienced.

Positioning is crucial for Ashka, and the haste lets you reposition yourself after using Searing Flight to disengage. Very useful.

Fire Ward: Searing Flight grants a Shield absorbing 15 damage, lasts up to 3s.

Fire Ward is only good for two things: aggressive Searing Flights (or Searing Fires) and 1v1s. The shield is good to absorb one M1 attack, but across multiple engagements in a round, those HP savings could add up. It’s good in 1v1 situations because it gives you a slight edge when M1 trading.

But I don’t consider it good enough to dedicate a battlerite slot to it. If you need more survivability, you can pick any number of other battlerites that don’t force you to go aggressive for full value.

Flamestrike (Q)

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 those hits can be potent. Use it to force enemy movements (they’ll try to walk out of it or waste an out to dodge it) and to set up your other abilities (such as Infernal Scorch).

Note that Flamestrike goes through counters! You can pretty much guarantee that it’ll hit if you cast as soon as the enemy casts counter. Flamestrike is also great for securing mid orb!

Battlerites

Ember Fire: Flamestrike heals you for 75% of the impact damage.

On a single target without Inferno, Ember Fire heals 15 HP. With Inferno, 21 HP. That’s a hefty bit of self-healing, enough to let you keep putting out pressure even when injured. If you can catch two targets in Flamestrike, that means 30 HP and 42 HP healed, with and without Inferno.

It works on the orb and other stationary objects (e.g. Blossom’s Tree, Pestilus’s Queen). If you’re injured, you can drop a Flamestrike and get some easy healing.

Eruption: Flamestrike radius is increased by 15% and cooldown is reduced by 1s.

Eruption is good. The size increase sounds small on paper, but a 15 percent increase to radius actually means a 32 percent increase to area. That’s a lot of extra coverage, making you more likely to land each Flamestrike and easier to catch multiple enemies. Much harder to walk out of.

But its real value is the cooldown reduction, which brings the normal 8 seconds down to 7 seconds. More Flamestrikes per round equals more offensive pressure and map control. It also means an easier time with orb control because Flamestrike is more likely to be ready when you need it.

Inferno: Flamestrike deals 10 bonus damage and inflicts Ignite.

Inferno is a strong battlerite. While the extra damage is flat-out good for offensive pressure, it’s even more useful for orb control. Without it, you’d put a Flamestrike under the orb and need 3 M2s. With Inferno, you can now break it with 2 M2s.

The Ignite comes in handy too, giving you another non-energy way to apply it besides Fire Storm, and it synergizes well with the Magma battlerite. With Inferno and Magma, a Flamestrike on a bare target ends up doing 20+10+2+3 = 35 damage (41 damage if you include the rest of the Ignite ticks). That basically clears the target’s entire recovery HP.

Molten Fist (E)

Molten Fist is what can make Ashka hard to kill. It’s effective against melees because of the knockback and snare, giving you time to put distance between while throwing M1s.

But because you go immaterial during the dash, Molten Fist is even better for dodging abilities. When you aren’t surrounded, prefer to dodge with Molten Fist than Searing Flight. Be aware that Molten Fist triggers counters, so dash away when fighting counter champs.

Battlerites

Lava Punch: Molten Fist cooldown is reduced by 1.5s and landing it reduces cooldown by an additional 1.5s.

Lava Punch is really, really good. Molten Fist’s baseline cooldown drops from 9s to 7.5s, which puts it ahead of pretty much every other defensive cooldown in the game. You can dodge stuff all day long with Lava Punch, and if you hit a target with it, the cooldown drops even further to 6s.

If you need survivability, grab Lava Punch and don’t look back. Use Molten Fist as your main dodging ability and save Searing Flight for special cases, such as when you need to escape over a wall.

Knockout: Knocking an enemy into a wall with Molten Fist inflicts a 1.2s Stun.

On wallbang maps like Sky Ring Day and Orman Temple, Knockout can prove useful. Molten Fist normally doesn’t interrupt channels (e.g. Sirius’s Astral Beam) and your only other interrupts are Flamestrike or Molten Chains (both long delay), so this battlerite gives you a way to quickly disrupt.

Knockout is also good for setting up Infernal Scorch. The 1.2s stun is just enough to cast and hit, but only if you’re standing next to the target when you cast Molten Fist. If you’re too far, the travel time back to your original spot is enough that Infernal Scorch may not hit in time.

I don’t suggest trying to slot this battlerite into any ordinary build. You may need to build a playstyle around it for it to work.

Fire Punch: Molten Fist travel distance is increased by 50% and knockback force is increased by 25%.

Fire Punch can be useful, mostly for the extended range and not so much the knockback force (not that the knockback force is bad). Picking it would come down to two reasons: you’re against melees or you’re against some huge AOEs (e.g. Raigon or Lucie ultimates) and want to be able to clear them without Searing Flight.

But more often than not, Fire Punch isn’t worthwhile.

Energy Abilities

Searing Fire (EX-Space)

Searing Fire is the same as Searing Flight with two changes. First, it has a slight knockback where you land. 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.

This self-healing is Searing Fire’s purpose, and the reason why it costs a whopping 50 energy. But there are some heavy risks. Don’t use it just for the self-healing, since it’s your most precious escape ability. It can also be denied by counters, d-barriers, and reflects, so be very intentional about when you use it.

Note that M1s during the “Pure Fire” state do NOT gain energy.

Molten Chains (EX-Q)

Molten Chains hits all nearby enemies with Petrify for 3 seconds. It’s one of the longest CCs in the game, and unlike Flamestrike you don’t have to aim it. The trick is to remember that this ability even exists in your kit. Most people forget.

When you feel overwhelmed by an enemy melee, just cast it and retreat or switch to attacking someone else. And since it only costs 25 energy, you can use it often with little risk. Smart Molten Chains usage lets you control the flow of a round, and it’s also good for middle orb control! More on that later.

Firewall (R)

Firewall blocks projectiles and Ignites enemies who walk through it. When casting Firewall, its orientation is perpendicular to the direction you’re facing. You can use it two ways: offensively (place it close to the enemy to limit attack angles) and defensively (place it close to you to provide more coverage).

Overall, it’s a high-impact-but-situational spell that you shouldn’t spam, even with the Conflagation battlerite.

Battlerites

Conflagration: Fireballs traveling through Firewall turn into Fire Storm bolts.

Firewall’s main benefit is being able to attack ranged enemies without being attacked back. What more does Conflagration add? Mainly the ability to Ignite. Yet while the bonus damage from Ignite is certainly nice, it’s hard to justify an entire battlerite slot for it — especially if your build has other ways to Ignite targets. Firewall is already strong enough on its own.

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 risky because it’s easy to miss, so try to combo it with incaps and stuns.

Remember that Infernal Scorch repositions you. You don’t want to burst a target only to find yourself in a really bad spot and end up dying! On the flipside, it can get you out of trouble and can even set you up to be super aggressive on a near-death enemy. But because Ashka’s energy abilities are so good, you may not use it very often.

Battlerites

Raging Fire: When Infernal Scorch ends, you turn into Raging Fire, causing your Fireballs to turn into Fire Storm bolts for the next 3s.

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 should already be Ignited by the Infernal Scorch. So instead of dealing 15+2 per M1, you end up doing 16+2 per M1. Not a big increase, and certainly not enough value to warrant taking up an entire battlerite slot.

Perks

Battlerites

Magma: Ignite deals 3 bonus damage when first applied and reduces target’s movement speed by 10%.

Overall, a very strong and versatile battlerite. But don’t just grab every single Ignite-related battlerite and expect to put out hundreds of extra Ignite damage. Think about how you intend to apply Ignite, and remember that the value doesn’t exist when reapplying. As for the snare, it’s subtle but significant if you can keep it up.

Inspiration: Increase your maximum energy by 25% and energy gained from abilities is increased by 10%.

Inspiration is never bad. It just depends on whether you’re willing to give up a slot for it. While Inspiration doesn’t add any extra utility to your kit, it does allow you to spam Searing Fire, Molten Chains, and Firewall more often. You also get a faster ultimate, but I wouldn’t get Inspiration just for that. If you aren’t using your EXes often, then you should give up Inspiration for something else.

Overall Playstyle

The best thing about Ashka is that his playstyle is pretty open-ended. You have a lot of survivability, you can pull off heavy damage combos, and you can put out sustained damage from a distance. But playing him well can be hard.

Offensive

Ashka is one of the best at zoning: his M1 reaches farther than other M1s; it deals a respectable 15 damage; he has a fast attack rate; he can move while casting. Only Jumong can out-zone him, which means you have a neutral game advantage. Harass, harass, harass as much as possible. 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. Try to position yourself at the edge of your attack range, and try to dance-dodge while attacking.

Ignite management is a key component of Ashka’s offense, even if you don’t pick any Ignite battlerites. Careful use of Fire Storms to keep enemies tagged will boost your output considerably. That being said, I do recommend at least one battlerite that lets you apply Ignite in a more reliable way. Whether that means picking Heat (safer Fire Storms), Conflagration (attack through Firewall), or Inferno (supercharged Flamestrikes) is up to you.

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. But don’t be stingy with Flamestrikes either. 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, you can immediately follow up with a 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 it (good). Either way, you come out ahead.

Defensive

In order to survive as Ashka, you have to know when to dodge using Molten Fist and when to dodge using Searing Flight. If you have to think about it in the middle of combat, your reaction won’t be fast enough.

Coming from other champions, your muscle memory may default to Searing Flight as your primary out, but you have to relearn this. Searing Flight is more reliable (it can’t get bodyblocked like Molten Fist can), so use Molten Fist for dodging projectiles and AOEs and save Searing Flight for when you’re surrounded or need to jump over walls.

It’s safer to Molten Fist away from champions instead of knocking them back. If you try to knockback but miss, you’ll end up in a dangerous spot: right next to the enemy. Knockbacks can be useful of course, such as bumping someone away from the orb, but just remember that it’s a riskier option.

Never use both Molten Fist and Searing Flight or else you’ll be caught without any mobility. Smart enemies will punish you for this and kill you within seconds. (Learn more about not wasting defensive cooldowns). And remember that Molten Fist and Searing Flight both turn you immaterial. Use them to avoid delayed-damage effects, such as Lucie’s Deadly Injection or Croak’s Venom.

Lastly, don’t underestimate Firewall or Searing Fire. Firewall is incredible even without the Conflagration battlerite because it gives you the upper hand in any ranged duel. Searing Fire can completely restore all recovery HP with just 3 hits. Both are especially good in 1v1 situations.

Orb Control

Ashka has a few combos for breaking the middle orb:

  • 2 Fireballs > Flamestrike > Fireball
  • Flamestrike > 3x Fire Storm
  • Flamestrike > 2x Fire Storm (with Inferno)
  • Fireball > Flamestrike > Infernal Scorch (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.

Build Ideas

Standard Ashka

  • Wild Fire (M2)
  • Heat (M2)
  • Burning Feet (Space)
  • Blaze (Space)
  • Magma (Perk)

This is the most common Ashka build right now. Heat is pretty much a must-take in every build and Wild Fire synergizes so well with it. Burning Feet and Blaze are both pretty reliable and straightforward to use. And since you’ll be tagging Ignite a lot with M2s and Blaze M1s, you’ll get good value out of Magma.

Survivor Ashka

  • Heat (M2)
  • Burning Feet (Space)
  • Ember Fire (Q) / Blaze (Space)
  • Lava Punch (E)
  • Inspiration (Perk)

If survivability is your main concern (like when you solo queue with no healer), then this build provides a good balance of offense and defense. Heat lets you Fire Storm without compromising your position, Burning Feet helps a lot with positioning, Ember Fire’s self-healing is potent, Lava Punch makes you more slippery, and Inspiration allows you to spam Searing Fire and/or Firewall as needed. You can swap out Ember Fire for Blaze if you expect to use Molten Chains a lot.

Artillery Ashka

  • Wild Fire (M2)
  • Heat (M2)
  • Eruption (Q)
  • Inferno (Q)
  • Lava Punch (E)

This build may not be tournament-approved, but it can be fun to play when you want to try something unconventional. It’s a mid-to-long-range artillery build that puts out big bursts with quad-barrel M2s and buffed Flamestrikes. M1s will still comprise most of your damage, but the burstiness of this loadout is great for chewing through recovery HP.

Conclusion

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.

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Zanetski

He is the lead writer at Battlecrank. You can find him on the Battlecrank Discord.

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