Anivia Build Guide by Khazem

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Khazem


Khazem Last updated on November 1, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hello. I'm Khazem, a platinum Elo mid lane player. In this guide I will be talking about Anivia, one of my favorite champions ever since I first tried her after getting beat really badly by one.

Anivia is one of the most versatile champions in the game when it comes to builds. Cause of her very high base damages and utility she brings to her team, you can almost get away with building anything and still be very useful to your team. She has one of the most powerful and reliable waveclears in the game and can decide fights by splitting teams up and zoning people out.
Because of all this she is a difficult champion to master, but very rewarding if you can play her correctly.

- Why would I pick Anivia? -

  • Very safe AP mid pick. Anivia is a very safe champion that can farm well even in difficult match-ups. She's one of the best mages when it comes to counter building as you'll still be useful even with tank items.
  • Good waveclear. Anivia excells at stalling games and keeping enemies from attacking your tower by just ulting down creepwave after creepwave.
  • Great utility. Has 2 different slow, a stun and a solid wall that can cut people out of fights and completely zone them out. If mastered, Anivia is one of the best teamfighting AP mid champions.
  • Difficult to kill. Besides the fact that she can build very tanky, she also has a nice passive that turns her into an egg when she gets killed. This egg will be pretty weak early on, but later in the game it gains stats so combined with a big healthpool, Anivia is very difficult to focus down.

- Are there any downsides? -

  • Very immobile. Anivia is one of the slowest champions in the game and also lacks a reliable escape ability. This can make her feel very immobile at times.
  • Hard to master. Because she has such an important role in teamfights, she can be very difficult to pull off. Her Flash Frost can also be really hard to land and it will take some practise before you use all her abilities effecively.
  • Mana hungry. Her abilities cost a lot of mana, especially her ultimate. This often causes her some problems in the mana department, even though you generally try and build a lot of mana regen items.

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Summoner Spells

The usual setup for 90% of your games. Flash is something you'll always want on an immobile champion like Anivia, Ignite adds to your burst and helps you finish people off.

If you're against heavy CC teams, you can pick up Cleanse to get out of bad situations when you need to. Don't be too quick to pick this up cause you can also just buy a Quicksilver Sash.

Can sometimes be okay if you want to counter out some global pressure from a champion like Twisted Fate or heavy roaming champions like Evelynn or Kassadin.

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This is my standard Anivia rune setup used for most games. Magic penetration in marks for more damage, some much needed SCALING mana regeneration seals because Anivia has mana issues throughout the entire game, FLAT magic resistance glyphs for a safer laning phase and movement speed quintessences to deal with her immobility issues.

- Alternatives -

greater seal of vitality

greater seal of vitality
Greater Seal of Vitality: Good alternative if you're going for a late game build with Archangel's Staff. Late game health is great on Anivia because of the stats she gains on her egg.
Greater Seal of resilience: Can be used to lane against champions that deal physical damage in lane in order to survive. You'll often need these against the likes of Talon, Pantheon, Lee Sin, etc.
Greater Glyph of Potency: If you're confident about the match-up you're in, you can use these and just go for damage to dominate your lane.
Greater Quintessence of Warding: Used in difficult match-ups against early game dominating mages. ( Kassadin, LeBlanc)

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Tier 1 - Brute Force over Mental Force for last hitting, Summoner's Wrath if you get Ignite.

Tier 2 - Sorcery to get down to the magic penetration in the next tier.

Tier 3 - Arcane Knowledge because all your abilities do magic damage. Havoc for more late game damage and to get down to the next tier.

Tier 4 - Blast Another decent late game ability power boost.

Tier 5 - Archmage Same thing. Mainly effective later in the game once you start getting some ability power

Tier 6 - Executioner Helps you finish people off.


Tier 1 - Expanded Mind because mana on Anivia is a big deal. The more the better. Summoner's Insight is a must if you have Flash.

Tier 2 - Swiftness Just another useful little tool to help deal with Anivia's mobility issues.

Tier 3 - Runic Affinity to increase the duration of the blue buffs you should be getting.

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- Item Cores -

- Standard AP -

Standard build route for Anivia. Athene's Unholy Grail as first big item for the mana regen which will allow you to constantly clear waves without having too many mana issues. Rod of Ages is an overall great item because Anivia benefits greatly from all of its stats.

- Farmnivia -

A build aimed at late game allowing you to continiously clear the minion waves in your lane and run around clearing jungle camps while stacking your tear. Anivia is a beast for stalling games to late game this way.

- Lane Sustain -

Build that allows you to stay in lane forever, even in difficult matchups. Also gives you a ton of survivabilty so you'll be pretty much impossible to kill. Use this when you have trouble staying in lane to farm.

- Difficult Lane -

Allows you to survive in lane against heavy burst or generally champions that tend to do well against Anivia. Also useful against double (or triple) AP team comps.

- Finishing your build - Offensive items -

Archangel's Staff: Great item to solve your mana issues. Anivia also has no problem stacking up a Tear of the Goddess.

Rabadon's Deathcap: Best item if you just want to increase your damage. Should not take priority over other AP items if you can benefit from other stats, though.

Void Staff: Once people start getting a lot of magic resistance, you need one of these.

Haunting Guise: Grants you a good amount of damage and health. Usually gotten when you want to completely dominate your lane.

Will of the Ancients: Fits well in a sustainy build and also helps your team out with a nice aura.

- Finishing your build - Defensive items -

Guardian Angel: Makes you even harder to kill than you already were. Procs before Rebirth.

Frozen Heart: Against physical damage heavy teamcomps, this can be a very strong item. Anivia benefits from all the stats.

Zhonya's Hourglass: If you find yourself heavily focused, this will save your life more times than you can count.

Quicksilver Sash: When focused by heavy CC or supress, you can get one of these.

Warmog's Armor: Item that will make you incredibly tanky late game because it scales so well with Rebirth. Get this if you want to increase your overall durability in teamfights.

Mercury's Treads: Good to get against CC heavy teams or if you just want some CC reduction after you get Void Staff.

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Passive: Upon dying, Anivia will revert into an egg and will get an armor and magic resistance modifier of -40 / -25 / -10 / +5 / +20. If the egg can survive for six seconds, she is reborn with the same percentage of health that her egg had left. This can only happen once every four minutes.

Great passive that makes Anivia deceptively tricky to kill. If you build a nice amount of health late game, the egg can becomes really tanky and it will almost serve as an improved Guardian Angel.

Flash Frost
- Q -: Anivia brings her wings together and summons a single piercing shard of ice that flies on a line, chilling, slowing movement by 20% and damaging anyone in its path for 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+0.5 per ability power) magic damage. When the shard explodes or is detonated by Anivia it deals 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+0.5 per ability power) magic damage in a radius, stunning anyone in the area for 1 second.

One of the hardest abilities to land, but managable with proper use of your wall and ultimate. Deals a great amount of damage if you can detonate it AFTER it does its first half of damage but before it flies out of range.

- W -: Anivia condenses the moisture in the air into an impenetrable wall of ice to block the movement of her enemies. The wall lasts 5 seconds before it melts.

This is the ability that makes Anivia so powerful in teamfights. If used properly, this can cut off people from fights entirely and give your team a massive advantage before the fight even starts. Can also be used to keep people inside your Glacial Storm longer or to force them to walk into Flash Frost.

- E -: Anivia blasts her target with a freezing wind, dealing 55 / 85 / 115 / 145 / 175 (+0.5 per ability power) magic damage. If the target has been chilled by Anivia's other abilities, they will take double damage.

Anivia's main damage ability and the reason why she doesn't have to build a lot of damage items to be effective. At max rank, this ability deals 350 BASE damage.

Glacial Storm
- R -: Anivia summons a driving rain of ice and hail to deal 80 / 120 / 160 (+0.25 per ability power) magic damage to her enemies, slowing their movement and attack speed by 20% for 1 second, and chilling them.

The ability that enables most of Anivia's combo's and actions. Also acts as a great zoning tool or peeling ability. Make sure to always place this on a smart spot in teamfights as having to wait for its cooldown can set you back in an important fight.

- Ability Sequence -

This skill sequence might seem a little odd, but it's pretty difficult to put in a cheat sheet. Always max Frostbite first, no exceptions. It's your main damage source and you need it to do any damage at all.
Start maxing Flash Frost second, but switch to maxing Crystallize when the teamfighting starts. A lot of people don't seem to understand this but the utility from a wider wall FAR outweight the extra damage you get from your Flash Frost which is mainly just used as a stun. If the laning phase drags on and you really want the dueling power, you can max Flash Frost second.

Oh and always put a point in Glacial Storm when possible.

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- Laning -

The laning phase can start out a little rough for Anivia. She's slow, mana hungry and doesn't have an easy way to harass her opponent properly before level 6. Your primary goal is to try and farm as best as you can. This will take some practise on its own because Anivia has a really slow auto attack animation.
A lot of mid laners will try and push Anivia to her tower before level 6 because she's awful at last hitting under a turret. Try and counter this by auto attacking the creeps as much as possible and keeping the lane as even as you can.

Harassing pre-6 can be hard as you need to land your Flash Frost before you can Frostbite if you want to do any damage at all. Flash Frost is a very slow skillshot that can easily be dodged. In order to land it, you need to either predict enemy movement by looking for a pattern, or force them to walk into it by walling them off and watching what direction they're running. This requires some good timing and reaction speed but it's the most reliable way of landing it pre level 6.

A quick example.

As shown in the screenshot, I placed my wall directly in the path he would otherwise use to run to the right, forcing him to move to the left. At the same time I cast my Flash Frost to the left of the wall, right in his escape path so he's almost forced to run into it and has little time to react.

Once you hit level 6, harassing becomes much easier and Anivia turns into a really strong laner. It's very simple really. You apply your chill effect by placing your Glacial Storm under them and then hit them with a Frostbite.

A handy little technique:

I fire off my Frostbite without any chill effect. If it lands like this, the damage will be significantly lower.

Right as Frostbite is about to hit, I activate my Glacial Storm. The frostbite lands and the double damage is applied.

When you hit level 6, your primary goal should still be farming. Use your Glacial Storm to clear the minion wave in your lane as fast as possible. This leaves you with time to run around your own jungle camps and clear them for more gold (if your jungler allows you to). If you don't have any jungle camps to clear, you can also use this time to roam.

When going for a kill as Anivia, make smart use of your wall and Glacial Storm to keep them in it for as long as possible.

As I'm dueling the enemy Xerath here, I already dealt a good amount of damage with my Frostbite while he was standing on my Glacial Storm. As he tries to get away, I block off his initial escape route with my Crystallize forcing him to stay in it longer and take more damage. If I had mana in this situation, I could have easily landed a Flash Frost by reacting to what direction he wanted to run around my wall in and finish the job with a Frostbite + Ignite.

- Match-ups -

Easy match-ups

Anivia is generally strong against melee AP champions. Pre-6, you can be a complete bully to her by throwing stuns out when she goes in for last hits. After 6, provided you use the correct build and get some magic resistance, you can just R -> E her and come out ahead of every trade. Make sure to position yourself so it's easy to dodge her Q's. If you get hit by one, back off and try to stun her when she goes in for you.

Same deal as with the Diana match-up. You can completely counterbuild her burst and outtrade her by spamming Frostbite Glacial Storm. Evelynn is a melee champion so she can't avoid the combo if she wants to last hit properly. You can also counter her roaming by shoving the minion wave really hard.

You can be really aggressive in this lane. Karthus doesn't have what it takes to duel you. You can push him around all you want in this lane. Focus primarily on trying to stop him from farming, but make sure to keep your own farm high as you want to at least match his late game pressence. Careful for ganks, his wall is a powerful follow-up on ganks.

Not easy per say, but definitely managable especially if you build a lot of early MR. Her trades are quite strong and she will be annoying to deal with pre-6. Don't try to stun her when you know her E is up cause she'll be able to completely go to town on you if she knows your stun is down. Instead, save it for when she goes aggressive on you and/or to interrupt her ultimate. At level 6+ with some magic resistance, you should come out ahead of every trade. Build sustain if needed, but the general 'anti-mage' build should do fine.

Twisted Fate
Another champion you can pretty much push around all day. He cannot outtrade you in a straight duel. He can stay back and farm rather safely so just focus on pushing your wave really hard. Not only does this make his last hitting harder, it keeps him in lane. The hardest part about laning against Twisted Fate is controlling him to keep your other lanes safe.

Even Match-ups

Skill match-up slightly in Anivia's favor. Dodge her skillshots and go in for harass if hers is down. Make sure to stay behind minions if her charm is available. Always be careful of her all in potential when she is level 6.

Complete skill match-up. If you can avoid his skillshots well, you can win this lane. If he can land his skillshots, you can lose this lane. Move around unpredictable and try and make sure to never be in a position where he can stun you.

Another skill match-up that depends on you dodging skillshots. If she hits her Q on you, back off because you're about to take a lot of pain. If she misses her Q, you can go in aggressively for a quick R -> E. Build sustain if you have trouble dodging skill shots and you should be okay.

This match-up is definitely in favor of Anivia. The reason I didn't put this in the 'easy match-ups' section is because she has so much follow-up on jungle ganks and you can lose your lane if you're not careful, but at the same time, you need to push up your lane against her. Ward properly and counter push aggressively. Go for a R -> E whenever possible but remember to stay behind your creeps (if there are any) to avoid getting binded. Honestly you should never die 1v1 in this lane because while she does have a good all-in, she can't properly follow up and kill your egg.

Can be quite annoying and I would give Orianna a slight edge in this match-up due to the constant harass and zoning she can preform with her ball. Move around as much as possible in an attempt to dodge her constant Q harass. If she misses one, go for a quick R - E and back off again. Build some sustain to stay in lane and play cautiously. Focus on outfarming her by taking jungle camps if possible.

Hard Match-ups

Probably the hardest match-up and usually considered Anivia's hard counter. His Q not only interrupts your Glacial Storm, it also keeps you from doing anything back to him and does a lot of damage. Play this lane as safe as you can and just try and farm up for later in the game, where you should prove more useful to your team. Stay as close to your tower as possible at all times and stack magic resistance as fast as possible. If you know you're facing a Kassadin, you can prepare by using more magic resistance than usual in your rune setup.

While her burst is scarier than Kassadin's, she's a bit less potent of a champion overall. Still a very difficult matchup but generally slightly easier to survive because her burst actually has some kind of cooldown. Again, stay far away from her and just try and farm up. Shove your lane when she's missing because she WILL try and roam if she can't get kills on you.

- Teamfighting -

Anivia's main duty in teamfights is to try and split up the enemy team and create more favorable situations for your team to fight in. This can be done by strategically placed walls or using Glacial Storm as a zoning tool.


Scenario: My team is doing Dragon and the enemy team wants to come contest it. Xerath face checks and I wall his team (red circle = enemy team) out. Xerath is now completely cut off from his team and will die if he doesn't have Flash available.
Same thing can be done with Glacial Storm.

While the enemy team can still run through Glacial Storm, they'll be slowed and taking damage the entire way through. This gives your team a huge mobility advantage and allows you to fight under your terms. You can later use your wall to cut off people's escape route or keep enemy threats off you or your carry.

When fighting in an open area, this becomes slightly more tricky. Look for oppertunities to cut people out of the fight, or catch them off-guard. As an AP carry you still want to look to deal damage to the enemy team. Place your Glacial Storms correctly and try and maximize the amount of Frostbites you can get off on a target. With proper use of your wall and the slow effect of Glacial Storm, you can set people up to run into your stun and take a lot of damage.
Aim primarily for the enemy AP or AD carry, but if they're being well protected, focus at protecting your carries by dealing damage to the enemy front line or just throwing as much crowd control on them as possible. Keep looking for oppertunities to cut people off with your wall and keep using your Frostbite on the best target you can reach that you can also get a chill effect on.

One of the most difficult, but also most important things about teamfighting as Anivia is prioritizing. Do I need to peel for my team or do I have to burst down the enemy carry? Do I have to use my wall as an engagement tool by cutting someone off or do I have to use it to disengage and protect my team? Do I use my stun offensively or defensively?
There are all questions you need to be asking yourself in a teamfight and helps you get the most out of Anivia's teamfighting ability. There will be a lot of trial and error. You might sometimes look really bad if you do something wrong or make a wrong decision, or you might be considered a hero when you pull off that clutch wall/stun that allows you to pick up the kill and win you the teamfight.
Good decision making comes with experience, it's not something I can simply explain. Use common sense and react to the situation. Anivia can do almost everything in a teamfight, utilize it well.