Ornn, the beefy top lane forge God, is often regarded as a tank-only champion. And ever since he was released, both professional and solo queue players have only used his tank build.

However, Ornn can also deal a good amount of damage with a couple of offensive items. But is Ornn an AP or AD champion? And which items should you buy?

As an average Ornn enjoyer, I searched all popular pages and forums for offensive Ornn builds that aren’t just piles of nonsense.

And while I found many, a lot of them are simply outdated and not applicable anymore.

So the next step for me was to take those ideas and add my own knowledge of League of Legends to them (I’m a Diamond+ player since season 3).

I also tested these builds in actual games against high-ranked players to see whether Ornn can deal a proper amount of damage.

So, let’s break down Ornn as a champion first and see whether the AP or AD build suits you better.

Is Ornn AP or AD?

Ornn's E in-game

Ornn is a mix of AP and AD. Two of his abilities – W and R deal magic damage. And Ornn’s Q and E deal physical damage.

Ornn players max their W first, so they deal more magic damage in the early game. But in the mid game, Ornn has more physical damage.

Because of the way Ornn is designed as a champion, players are very conflicted about whether he deals more AP or AD damage.

But the better way to look at this problem is how Ornn actually deals his magic and physical damage.

Read Also: Full AP Rammus Build Guide

Ornn’s Magic Damage

Ornn’s only ability that scales with Ability Power is his R – Call of the Forge God. And even though this is a great ability to use in team fights, it only takes 20% of your AP.

This is very low when compared to many other AP champions in the mid and top lanes. 

And Ornn’s W – Bellows Breath doesn’t scale with AP. It deals magic damage, but it’s based on your enemy’s maximum health instead of your AP.

So no matter how many Ability Power items you have, you’re still not going to buff this ability.

Ornn’s passive also deals magic damage and scales with Ornn’s max HP!

Ornn’s Physical Damage

The Q – Volcanic Rupture is the best AD ability that Ornn has. It does a little base damage, but it scales for 110% of your AD!

So if you go with a full assassin build on Ornn, you’re going to do a lot of damage with this ability!

And Ornn’s E – Searing Charge deals physical damage but it doesn’t scale with AD! Instead, it does more damage if you have more Armor.

So if you’re going with an AD build, it’s good to buy the bruiser items!

Read Also: Jax AP Or AD Guide

Should You Play Ornn AP or AD?

Ornn's R damage

Truthfully, both the AP and the AD Ornn builds deal nearly the same amount of damage. And as stated before, the only difference is how that damage is dealt. 

As an AP Ornn, you’re much more focused on making your enemies Brittle and then auto-attacking them.

Your ultimate does the most amount of AP damage, so it’s good to boost it with items like Void Staff.

And as an AD Ornn, your playstyle is similar to a top lane bruiser. Your auto-attacks deal the most amount of damage as well as heal you when needed. 

In any case, both of these builds do average damage! So don’t expect to one-shot everyone on Summoner’s Rift like you would with Zoe, Zed, or Veigar.

And if you’re looking for a hyper-damage carry, Ornn is not your champion.

However, both the AP and the AD builds take advantage of Ornn’s damage and try to maximize it! They are incredibly fun to play around with, especially in games when there is already one tank in your team.

So will you give them a try? I did and I had a blast!

Read Also: AP Shen Guide – The Most Effective Build

The Best AP Ornn Build

Ornn AP build


  • Dark Harvest – an incredible keystone for scaling and maximizing your damage in the late game.
  • Cheap Shot – boosts your damage output every time you slow or knock up an enemy.
  • Eyeball Collection – passively increases your Ability Power as the game progresses.
  • Ultimate Hunter – extremely valuable for lowering the long cooldown of your ultimate will be the main source of magic damage with this build.
  • Triumph – returns a portion of your lost HP when you score a kill or an assist, quite helpful as a melee champion.
  • Coup de Grace – helps you deal more damage to targets below 40% HP.


  • Sunfire Cape – does a lot of damage throughout the game and synergizes with Onn’s passive and his W.
  • Cosmic Drive – provides you with a ton of movement speed and makes you a much more flexible champion.
  • Lich Bane – synergizes with Ornn’s passive and makes your auto-attacks hit much harder against Brittle enemies.
  • Void Stuff – its Magic Penetration is much more useful on Ornn than a flat Ability Power because of the low AP scaling. 
  • Thornmail – essential against AD champions and those that have self-healing.
  • Mercury’s Treads – allow you to quickly get out of stuns and other CC effects.

As you can see, the AP Ornn build doesn’t make him a squishy champion. You’re still a beefy boy, but you also take advantage of the obvious damage boosters. Your most important stats here are Health and Magic Penetration.

Situationally, you can also build things like Zhonya’s Hourglass and Rabadon’s Deathcap, or any other tank item in the shop. Everything works on Ornn!

As an AP Ornn, you want to max your W first, then your Q, then your E!

The Best AD Ornn Build

Ornn AD build


  • Conqueror – reliable keystone for amplifying your damage and healing in combat.
  • Triumph – can save you in sticky situations by healing you upon a champion takedown.
  • Legend: Alacrity – gives you enough Attack Speed so you can get more value out of your items.
  • Coup de Grace – makes you deal more damage to low HP champions.
  • Sudden Impact – will grant you Lethality each time you use your E – Searing Charge.
  • Ultimate Hunter – turns your ultimate into an ability with a relatively short cooldown so you can use it in every fight.


  • Divine Sunderer – synergizes with everything that Ornn does and boosts the damage of his auto-attacks after using an ability. It also grants 5% Armor Penetration and Magic Penetration per Legendary item!
  • Sterak’s Gage – it helps with damage but it also grants a large shield after you take significant damage yourself.
  • Black Cleaver – helps you with Armor Penetration so your Q will do more damage.
  • Death’s Dance – is a great dueling item and the additional Armor empowers your E.
  • Dead Man’s Plate – is a great way to further boost the damage of your auto-attacks and become tankier.
  • Plated Steelcaps – are the best boots for fighting AD champions.

Obviously, the AD Ornn build requires you to always be in melee range and use your auto-attacks more often.

So all the tank items, such as Thornmail or Abyssal Mask can be quite helpful for surviving. 

And as an AD Ornn, you should max your Q first, your W second, and your E third!


As you can see, Ornn can benefit from many different builds in League of Legends. And although his meta build includes only tank items, Ornn can also be an AD or an AP bruiser.

I hope you figure out how you should build Ornn and how his damage works. Both the AP and the AD builds are powerful, so I’d recommend you try them out.

Good luck and have fun!

Last Update: April 26, 2024