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How to Counter: Orianna

By Remox - 11th June 2011 - 04:30 AM

A major factor in increasing one's experience and skill in any competitive game is the importance of countering. In League of Legends, this is no different. Be it adapting to the new characters introduced every two weeks or learning how to work around tried and true strategies used by older characters, countering is amazingly important. This series focuses on this element of the game by offering techniques, lesser known secrets and general tips to avoid getting dominated by that flavor of the month strategy.

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How to counter... Orianna, the Lady of Clockwork!

Basic Introduction


Orianna is the first champion to fully use a Pet in League of Legends. Because of this, her mechanics are fresh and require some thought. She fulfills the role of an AP Caster Support, the same role as Karma for example, with great laning harass, a shield and an anti-initiation ultimate that can be used during teamfights.

All her abilities are casted through her pet: The Ball. Let's have a look:
  • Command - Attack: Orianna commands her ball to fly towards target location, dealing 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+0.6 per ability power) damage to targets hit but doing reduced damage for each additional target hit. Her ball remains behind at that location afterwards.
Basic ability that lets Orianna move the ball where she wants it, dealing damage on the way. This skill has very low cooldown (4 seconds max. level) and it will be used to position the ball for her other abilities.
  • Command - Dissonance: Orianna commands her ball to emit a magnetic pulse, dealing 70 / 120 / 170 / 220 / 270 (+0.6 per ability power) damage to units around it. Afterwards, the ball leaves a field behind for a few seconds that speeds up allies and slows enemies for 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 % .
An AOE slow/speed buff for allies casted directly under the ball. Notice the speed buff for allies, very important if you want to calculate whether or not an enemy might catch one of your teammates.
  • Command - Protect: Passive: The allied champion the ball is attached to gains bonus 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 armor and magic resistance.

    Active: Orianna commands her ball to fly to and attach onto an allied champion, dealing 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+0.45 per ability power) magic damage to enemies it passes through and shielding the allied champion when it arrives for 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+0.6 per ability power).
This is the second ability that is used to move the Ball. It can be used to attach it to either her ally or herself. Things to notice: it will grant armor and magic resistance if the Ball is attached to an ally and damage enemies within the travel path. Take into account that the Ball can be elsewhere around the field (near Orianna) but not necessarily on her. The pathing of the ball is something to take into account, instead of Orianna's position, if we want to avoid her skills.

Finally, her ultimate:
  • Command - Shockwave: Orianna commands her ball to emit a shockwave after a short delay, flinging affected enemies in the vicinity into the air a set distance towards, and possibly over, her ball dealing 150 / 225 / 300 (+0.7 per ability power) magic damage.
Oriannaís ultimate is a crucial spell and one of the best counters to initiation. If properly executed, shockwave can be used to fling enemies rushing your team out of position leaving them open for a counter move. As with dissonance, it is cast under the Ball in an AoE.

Let's not forget her passive!
  • Clockwork Windup: Orianna's autoattack deal additional 5/10/15/20/25/30 (+0.2 per ability power) magic damage every hit, subsequent attacks on the same target within a few seconds will add 15% more damage per hit. This bonus stacks up to three times.
AP scaling auto attacks! It will add unexpected damage into her combos, but forces her to go close into the battlefield.

Countering in lane


Orianna can be very aggressive in lane by using the Ball to zone; using her Commands from a distance (the leash range is 1125, once past that mark the Ball will go back to Orianna). That being said, her main strength is also a way to spot her weakness.

Combos during lane

Command - Attack > Command - Dissonance

Really basic, perhaps combined with autoattacks to proc the passive. Take into the account that Command - Attack goes through minions reducing its damage and Dissonance speeds Orianna and her allies.

Command - Attack > Command - Shockwave > Command - Dissonance > Command - Protect

At level six, the strongest combo available combined with autoattacks. You will be slowed and sucked into the ball with shockwave/dissonance combo. Remember, itís also possible dragged behind the Ball, for example, into her tower. Orianna can also use Command - Protect to shield herself while also dealing additional damage.

During teamfights/duo lane, she will use Command - Protect on the initiator/partner to trigger the entire combo once he's around you or your team. The only way to prevent this is to focus Orianna (especially with Silences and Stuns) or for an assassin to force her out of the leash range, causing the Ball to go with her.

As a Puppeteer, her armor and health values are low, take this into account all the time as she is squishy.
  • Armor: 8 (+3 per level)
  • Health: 385 (+79 per level)
Basics with every hero
  1. Boots of Speed: Crucial if you want to dodge the Ball and possibly counter-harass while her skills are on cooldown.
  2. Stay behind minions: Reduces damages from Command - Attack spell. Always take into account the position of the Ball to actually hide behind minions effectively.
  3. Autoattack her: She has very low armor.

Specific Heroes


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Kassadin as a hard counter: Silence to prevent Orianna any form of casting, Rift for dodging the Ball, Force pulse to slow her and, combined with W, heavy melee harass during lane (spot where orianna is most vulnerable). Cho'gath, naturally tanky, with another Silence plus CC and true damage. Orianna will have a very rough time laning against him at level 6.

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During teamfights, you have two options. Either disrupt orianna's positioning or counter her Ultimate. Olaf can perform the first option very easily by ignoring any kind of CC plus true damage. To counter her ultimate we have two heroes: Janna and Gragas. Janna is the defensive disrupt, using her Ultimate after Orianna's. Gragas, offensive option, can throw away Orianna (breaking the leash range of the Ball and reseting its position) or also counter her Ultimate the same way as Janna.