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Oriana Guide: Introduction
This Oriana guide will focus mostly on how to set up your Oriana before the game starts - her runes and masteries are fairly simple and look a lot like the selections of other casters, especially utility casters like Morgana and Kayle. In terms of playstyle, Oriana is mostly if not completely unique. The fact that her spell focus on her ball and are entirely AoE flips the general paradigm upside down, even though her spells are pretty standard in terms of what they do. This mostly means that Oriana is less limited by issues of positioning and range, even though she still needs to be close enough to her ball to affect it. Though it can be tempting to think of it as such, the ball is not so much a pet as it is a unique casting mechanism - it doesn't act independently or attack.
Oriana, the Clockwork Girl is listed as slow, displace, mage and support among other things, which are all excellent descriptions. She comes with a full toolbox of damage and utility that can be emphasized depending on how you build her. Unfortunately, she is extremely squishy even with a shield and a speed boost, so you will always need to play her as a long range caster or support.
There is a lot of flexibiltiy in how you build Oriana, but focusing on mana/5 and raw AP is a good idea, though an aura/support build can be very effective and synergize with Oriana's abilities. Generally, she is built similar to other casters, even if her playstyle is completely unique.
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Oriana - Mastery Choices
In terms of mastery choices, Oriana differs very little from other casters. Her choices are either 21/0/9 focusing on offense or 9/0/21 focusing on utility. The defensive tree doesn't offer a whole lot for Oriana - if she's getting hit that much, a few extra armor or HP isn't going to make a huge difference. Putting 21 points in utility is highly recommended - the extra regen, XP and cooldown is an enormous boost to a caster like Oriana, plus you will want to pick up the masteries for whatever summoner skills you've picked, which should include flash, teleport or clairvoyance. If you can't get your jungle champion to let you have blue, you will want to do everything thing you can do boost your mana regen and cooldown, and utility is where it's at.
If you do put 21 points in Offence, make sure to get as much regen from utility as you can, and if you put 21 points in utility, get the cooldown and magic penetration masteries. You can't go wrong building Oriana as you would any other caster, stat-wise, she benfits from the same things.
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Oriana - Rune Choices
Oriana's most crippling deficiency, especially early game, is her heavy mana usage. The low cooldown on her abilities, even though they are relatively inexpensive, will run you out of mana extremely quickly. Even with a meiki pendant or another mana item you will likely have problems. This means that the most important runes that you can have to start with are flat mana/5 runes. Raw AP, health for survivability and cooldown for her ultimate are all good ideas as well. Check out our rune guide for detailed descriptions of the available runes and additional strategies for choosing and combining them.
Marks - A toss up between Magic Penetration and flat AP. Flat AP will increase your early-game farming ability and allow to zone your opponents more effectively (possibly Oriana's greatest strength), but Magic Penetration scales better.
Seals - Almost certainly flat mana/5. Scaling mana/5 is far less useful since you should be building a Tear of the Godess or Catalyst first anyway.
Glyphs - Scaling or Flat Cooldown Reduction is excellent on Oriana. The cooldown on her W and on her Ultimate are just long enough for you to want to invest in Cooldown. Flat Mana could also be useful for certain builds.
Quintessences - Flat mana/5, Flat HP for early game survivability or Magic Pen for overall DPS.
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Oriana - Summoner Spells
Summoner spells, as usual, depend largely on personal preference, but there are some things to keep in mind when playing Oriana. Though flash is an excellent choice for every champion in League of Legends from Shen to Veigar, it actually can be detrimental to Oriana - bear in mind that your ball doesn't travel with you unless you move beyond a certain range, and if you're not careful flash can put you at the very edge of your effective range with your only means of protection and damage half a screen away. For this reason, it can be a good idea to have both ghost and flash - even more so because Oriana is effective when allowed to use positioning to her advantage. Exhaust and Ignite can give an offensive edge if you favor an aggressive playstle. Clarity - especially if you're laning with another magic user - can be fantastic on Oriana because of her consistent mana problems.
If you like to play as a support caster, take Clairvoyance or Teleport to help your team in map awareness and respone. Keep in mind that you can use your ball to check tall grass and around corners, so Clairvoyance is not entirely necessary if that's how you prefer to use it.
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Final thoughts on Oriana, the Clockwork Girl and Pre-game
The best parts of playing Oriana come in how you choose to play her, in terms of item and stat choices she is fairly mundane. Choose your runes and masteries the way you would choose to play her, whether it's pure nuker or a support caster. The mana issue can be crippling, but if you can survive the early game with a decent amount of farming, you'll be able to power through the rest of the game on items and hopefully blue buff - the best way to ensure you survive that early game is to maximize your mana regeneration with runes and masteries.