How to Play as Ash

Ash Tips

Can't Touch Me!

Written By: Rockman
Edited By: Kolby

Introduction


So you want to play Ash? Ash is a badass. Hands down the definition of a zoner, she has a large Health pool, a moving shield, consistent blast damage, burst damage options, escape options, crazy knockback, and a long invincibility Ultimate to boot. She's the choice you would want in versatile maps, and maps with small corridors/hallways. Ash generally does not do well with restrictive walls on all sides. 

This Guide isn't to convince you to play Ash. This guide are for those who want to play Ash. So if you're not interested in Ash, you won't get much out of this guide.


**Use the Navigation Bar on the Sides to search and read it piece by piece. There is a lot of information here don't try to learn it all at once.

If there is anything you find useful please give it a thumbs up so more people can find this guide.
Terms to learn
RMB - Right mouse button
LMB - Left mouse button
KB - Knock back
CC - Crowd Control (Stuns, Slows, Knock backs, etc)
WTF - What the ****

Any other terms I've posted on this guide that you do not understand please mention it to me and I'll be sure to add it.

How to Make Her Effective

Disrupting The Backline

Ash is a zoner. With what seems to be a short ranged pop gun is actually a decently mid ranged cannon capable of causing most champion's overall damage to suffer fall off or poor aim in general. Finishing off Low health targets isn't your Forte but you can still get quite a few squishies with some nice burst damage.

As a secondary tank, Ash can play as a bruiser. Allowing her to control more space and just do a lot of damage.

Here are some tips.

Tip 1 - Keep a mid range whenever you can. Having someone all up in your face prevents you from paying attention to your surroundings. Don't get yourself sandwiched and keep opponents at a reasonable distance.

Tip 2 - Walk around your Siege shield. Similar to playing Barik you should learn how to move around your shield to make sure any hit directed at you is being absorbed by your shield instead of your face. If you have already kept a good distance as I've stated in Tip #1, you don't need to walk around your shield.

Tip 3 - Learn the KB combo and Burst Combo. The KB combo is to Load up Kinetic Burst (RMB) then use Shoulder bash (F) and spam LMB. The Burst Combo is to Shoulder bash (F), LMB while looking upwards about 40 degrees, LMB again looking straight. The burst combo is harder to utilize depending on the Knockback on your shoulder bash, how quickly you shoot (LMB) after Shoulder bash (F), your angle looking upwards, and how well you can land your second LMB.

KB Combo Damage: 800 + 300 = 1100
Burst Combo Damage: 800 + 400 + 400 = 1600
**Use them depending on the situation. Ash has a lot of potential because of this combo. If you don't learn it that's probably the reason why you're struggling to play her.

Tip 4 - The shield isn't just for you. Realize that you have a lot of health, and plenty of escape options to boot. If you have a good teammate don't forget to drop a shield for them and continue to do what you gotta do.

Tip 5 - Learn the Matchup. Her skills can be spammed but calculating the proper time to use them will give you less WTF happened moments.

Tip 6 - Similar to Tip 5. Learn when to Knockback. Knock back opponents that are attacking you, Knockback at the moment they closed in on you, Knockback during an early shield and knockback when they ult. If they've been attacking for awhile don't knock them back. Take advantage of their reload times.

Tip 7 - Siege Shield often. Most champions will avoid attacking your shield so you need to find a way to utilize it so they end up attacking it. Predicting attacks and Setting it up early is a surefire way to block some shots.

Tip 8 - Shoulder bash often. I can't emphasize how good shoulder bash is. It does a significant amount of damage and gives you huge movement options.

Tip 9 - Use the proper legendary. Having the right legendary can make your life a lot easier. For example a Makoa with the "Pluck" legendary (RMB) should be countered with the "Battering Ram" legendary (F).

Tip 10 - Stay alive. You have a lot of health but you'll be surprised how fast that thing can drain. Don't run in blind, you're not as strong as you think. Playing passive is usually the better option.

Tip 11 - Protect your teammates. You would rarely find a moment where you need to knockback a flanker from your support/damager but you should look for good opportunities to drop a siege shield for them or to body block.

Tip 12 - Turn around once in a while to check on your teammates. You excel in teamfights so make sure you have a team to fight with, you can also KB flanks if easily available.

Tip 13 - Reload behind your shield. You can probably take around 4-6 shots behind your shield before it wears off. You need to reload before that so you can continue shooting for when your shield runs out. (Sometimes you might have to reload twice behind your shield).

Matchups Vs Frontlines


In a game of Paladins you'll often come across other front liners. One step at a time learn the matchups and try not to overwhelm yourself with the information given to you.

Ash Vs Makoa (45:55) - She's not the best against Makoa. The ability for Makoa to pull Ash away from her team can screw her. If you don't have the "Battering Ram" legendary, you should pick it up against him. You can use Shoulder bash right when you get hooked to prevent 90% of his hookshot damage. Ash will excel against Makoa if you're able to consistently push him back, and support your teammates.

Ash Vs Ruckus (60:40) - She does pretty well against Ruckus. Ash pushing Ruckus back wastes a lot of his advance and dramatically reduces his damage. Play to consistently waste his time by moving around, shielding, and using his resources. The KB combo will mess him up.

Ash Vs Inara (40:60) - Inara's damage reduction, cripple and CC immunity probably makes this the worst matchup possible. You put out less damage than her so you need to find new areas where you can better contribute. Putting down a Siege shield for your teammates while you chip her can be one of the best option against an Inara.

Ash Vs Fernando (60:40) - Not too different from Ruckus. Fernando is pretty useless while his shield is up. Knocking him back means he will either use Charge to get back in. Or waste time walking with his shield active (leaving his team vulnerable). Don't be intimidated by his flame lance...You out space him so use that to your advantage (You have 2x more attack range than Fernando, so you have at least an extra 2 seconds of walking before he gets within your range).

Ash Vs Torvald (55:45) - Has a similar range to Fernando. His Runic blast (F) has an even shorter range but you'll probably still get hit by it. Runic blast (F) has a 10 second cooldown, you would want to have Kinetic burst (RMB) or Shoulder bash (F) ready at any moment after or near the time you felt 10 seconds has past. You want to push him ONLY while he's shooting, save your KB skills for when he's attacking, and Burst combo him when he's low on health.

Ash Vs Barik (50:50) - This matchup is pretty even. Knocking him back doesn't do much to him and Barik can play around his shield a little better than you can play around yours. You have more health but he has more damage and sustain. You want to keep the interactions against Barik short. The longer a fight goes with him the bigger your disadvantage gets. On the otherhand if you can get a few good shots on Barik and finish him with a good burst combo, he's as good as dead. You rarely ever want to attack his turrets.

Ash Vs Ash (50:50) - The awkward matchup. To be honest the best way to win this is not to knock her back too often. You want her to come into your range and don't walk into hers. Use your Kinetic burst when you have to reload and have Shoulder bash to escape. Also don't miss your shots, hitting the Full 400 damage means alot. Using the KB combo on her will only give her the excuse to heal up and support her team.

Ash Vs Khan (35:65) - This matchsup sucks for Ash, to a point it almost seems like Khan was created just to counter her. Ash's Shoulder bash gets countered by Khan's commander's grab, and Ash's ult gets countered by his ult, Her shield is the least of Khan's problems but it sure is annoying the other way around. You need to work with your team. Khan isn't particularly powerful playing Solo so as long as you can hold out you can still win this matchup.


Ash Vs Terminus (60:40) - I'm sure people who have played this matchup can say that they've had some fun knocking this guy back. Terminus' lack of range is laughable when hes always on the receiving side of getting knocked back. A good Terminus with some crowd control reduction can be annoying but it won't mean knocking him back won't have any effect. Keep in mind the space you keep between him and that you have a knockback combo in case it gets too close for comfort.

Card Explanations


This section is always a bit longer to explain but I'll try to keep only the important points in.

Talent/Legendary Cards


Battering Ram (F) - Decent Skill to have. It can guarantee survival and security when using the burst combo or escaping. Does great against Ults as well. ***Edit: OB62 has nerfed battering ram significantly with no CC immunity meaning you can't get out of some ults and getting stunned while charging wouldn't be uncommon.

Fortress Breaker (Q) - You can create a very good build around her shield. Fighting on point and consistently healing. You can also supply your teammates the shield more often, and reach massive shield score potential.

Rally Here (E) - This is an advanced legendary its fitted for those who have very good game sense and can survive on point for long durations of time. Picking this legendary implies that you better not be flanking. 

Normal Cards

Heavy Metal (Max HP) - Recommended to have. She can stack up to 600 health when maxed and that is a lot to carry around.

Percussion (RMB KB) - Recommended to have. Knockback on Kinetic burst stalls a lot of time for your teammates and can score you a few early kills.

Thrive (F Heals) - It can save you by providing you HP in an ongoing situation. I would leave this card as optional.

Brawl (RMB Heals) - With the right playstyle using brawl can heal you a lot. Experiment with it to see if that is your style.

Trebuchet (Q Ammo) - Works only with certain builds. It's okay to have this level 1 but isn't necessarily a game changer.

Vanguard (F Dmg Reduce) - Works great on surviability I would consider it an option for team fight situations. 

War Machine (Elim Reduce Cooldown) - Viable but it's too small to make a difference and eliminations aren't something you want to gamble on. Its a high risk to reward style of play.

Watch Tower (Q reveals) - There are moments you might want to help throw down a shield around the corner for your teammate while looking for a skye/other people hiding but thats it. Keep it level 1 or don't have it at all.

Battlement (Q Duration) - Personally I'd like to have my shield ready than active. I would leave this as an optional card. It reduces synergy with Siege Engine (RMB Reduce Q Cooldown).

Castle Forged (RMB Cooldown Reduce) - Calculate it correctly with your other skills and it'll work great with Siege Engine (RMB Reduce Q Cooldown)

Fervor (Cannot be slowed %) - Not really a big deal. You can push opponents and you have shoulder bash if you really needed to close the gaps. If you were really having a problem, you would just get resilience.

Furious Charge (F KB) - Great to have for the KB combo but can reduce the damage of the burst combo. Try not to go past level 2 if you still want full damage on the Burst Combo.

Gate Crasher (F Cooldown Reduce) - Personally a must have skill. Shoulder bash is so good you want to find ways to use it often.

Indomitable (CC reduction) - Not a huge deal but if you for some reason don't want to get the resilience item then the CC probably wasn't a big deal in the first place.

Ramparts (Q Cooldown Reduce) - Work it around with your builds. You can use it independently but be ready to adapt your playstyle if you get it.

Siege Engine (RMB reduce Q Cooldown) - It's a great card that synergizes with many other cards such as Castle Forged, Ramparts, Brawl, Trebuchet, and Percussion. It's a skill that you would want to commit to in order to make efficient. Its an optional card.

Loadout Builds


I wouldn't recommend you completely copy the loadouts as everyone plays Ash slightly differently but you can start with these cards and adjust accordingly. Learn to experiment so you can gain a sense of how to play her rather than being a rigid stick.

Front Liner's Build






The utility front line. Just enough knockback to disrupt enemies but not too crazy enough for them to get resilience. Has enough sustainability to last a teamfight, and just enough knockback to do a full damage burst combo.


Shield Build






Expect to have larger shield numbers than any other front liner. If you use the general attack pattern you will always have ammo while your shield is down. Try to supply shields to your teammates that know how to use it. 

Attack pattern (Use for consistency):
LMB X4 > Q > LMB 4 > Reload > RMB + LMB > LMB X4 > RMB + LMB. Rinse and repeat. 



KB Fun 
(A good way to start into playing Ash)


Percussion IV, Furious Charge II, Vanguard I, Heavy Metal I, Gate Crasher IV + Battery Ram Legendary
If you're looking to have a lot of fun, knocking enemies back ridiculously on map such as fish market, and frog isle, this build is for you! High Risk against resilience but very rewarding.

Map Picks

Map picks mean a lot to Ash. The map will determine if she can support her teammates, if she can afford to move around a lot, where she can zone, and if knockback is applicable.

Maps rated from Excellent to Terrible, Best to worst maps in order from top to bottom

Ascension Peak





Bad (Quite the uneventful map for Ash, there are areas to work around to create opportunities or damage for your team but nothing particular that lets Ash stand out).

Brightmarsh 



Terrible (Little area to work with around objective, too many places to be poked at, too many places to be flanked, not enough space to knockback, and too many places for people to run, and hide).



Fish Market  



Pretty Good (Contesting any Choke points is advantageous for you).


Frog Isle 



Excellent (Knockback opportunities are everywhere)

Frozen guard 



Bad (Little area to work with around objective, map outside objective is too open).

Ice Mines 


Pretty Good (You have capture advantages and long walkways to knockback).

Jaguar Falls 

Pretty Good (It's easy to be greedy with her Knockback here. Bait out movement skills and use them sparringly)


Serpent Beach 


Pretty Good (Ability to cover flank routes, and decent locations to burst combo).

Splitstone Quarry 



Decent (Low probability but possible to use death zones on the sides, less flanking opportunities and plenty of poking locations).

Stone Keep  


Pretty Good (Enough space to work with but little to be greedy with).

Timber Mill 


Almost Bad (Enough locations to KB and burst combo but very susceptible to taking damage).






Item Build



Blue Items (Defensive)

Illuminate

Not too useful but great if you're feeling greedy.

Resilience

Recommended depending on the opponent's team composition. Prevents ridiculous upsets. First or second pick.

Haven

Depends on the Opponent's team composition. More survivability. First or second pick. If I find the whole team/significant damagers are direct damagers I'll pick this item up first.

Blast Shield

Depends on the Opponent's team composition. More survivability. First or second pick. If I find the whole team/significant damagers are blast damagers I'll pick this up first.

Yellow Items (Utility)

Master Riding

If you have a need to set up early. Go for it!


Morale Boost
The ultimate can be abused but I'd rather save them for stretch limits and capture points. So you would probably end up saving your ultimate charges anyways.

Nimble

Chasing a running opponent is a nice way to finish them off where you are lacking. Especially if you have a hard time hitting a long range Shoulder bash. It also helps you walk around your shield.

Chronos

Works well with the right loadout. 

Green Items (Healing)

Rejuvenate

Depends on your healer

Veteran

Depends if you're a solo tank or if you got a s***ty healer

Kill to heal

Nice if you plan to Kill steal/support kills.

Life Rip

Useful if you are good with using your shield.

Red Items (Offensive)

Bulldozer

Shouldn't really be focusing on Turrets. Pressuring the opponent is an attribute you must have and shooting turrets will take most of that time away. First, second, or possibly third pick. If you figure out that you can one shot it with level 2 bulldozer, pick it up on the second push when you have stacked credits.

Cauterize

Very Useful with the added bonus of blast damage every point 0.9s compared to 1.5s of cauterize. First or second pick. If you can figure out that you can do well without it or if their composition is spread too thin across blast and direct damagers, pick this item first.

Wrecker

I guess if you really need to take down their shields and you don't have a wrecker teammate and they have no healer. Second pick maybe first. (You might've lost anyways due to bad communication).


Deft Hands

Don't. If you're considering it you're probably super greedy. First pick on Onslaught only.

Skill Explanation


I put this at the end for a reason. I don't think I need to explain everything but I'll leave it here anyways. I'm keeping it simple because there will always be more than one way to play.

LMB (Burst Cannon) - Does 400 blast damage every 0.9 seconds. Very good to pressure opponents, The fact that it's blast is a nice attribute although 400 damge isn't a large number to work with but is enough for enemies to be worried about.

RMB (Kinetic Burst) - Super heats your next shot and does 300 Damage while knocking them back. The bread and butter knockback skill. Use it to keep space and pressure if you manage to pressure their front line to keep that distance from you. You've won the battle.

F (Shoulder Bash) - Hurtle forward knocking the opponent back dealing 800 damage. Its a great escape tool and combo starter. Also does enough damage to keep your opponent worried.

Q (Siege Shield) - Deploys 5000 Health Shield. Its a moving shield. Has advantages when pushing the payload but needs to be setup early when capturing the objective. If you find yourself panicking while using this skill the chances are slim that you will win.

E (Assert Dominance) - Leaps and Plants a Banner of self Immunity. Using it on Clutch moments where opponents are forced to approach you is crucial. You shouldn't throw this out while midway to pushing a payload unless its a chokepoint. Save it for objective captures and the final stretch to scoring the payload/defending.

Conclusion


I guess I should say something here. I would like to thank screenshots for existing =), and I would also like to thank Hi-rez for making Ash badass. 

Don't forget to if you found the guide useful, and to comment or notify me if you want me to add anything!



How to Play as Ash How to Play as Ash Reviewed by kolby on 1:20 AM Rating: 5

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