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.
Let me preface this guide by saying I'm writing this not only to share my experiences as a fairly new player using Anivia, but also as a tool for myself to help identify my gameplay flaws, and to hopefully improve. Hopefully a large contribution to this will be the comments, suggestions, and spotting of weaknesses in my build made by you, the reader.
I've been playng Anivia exclusively for a few weeks now, using builds based loosely off od Hypershatters Anivia guide, "Controlling Anivia" which I highly recommend to new Anivia players. And while I feel that my understanding of the character, and base is solid - I know that my execution is not perfect, or near perfect. With that being said, I'd like to share some insight, and my personal playstyle, build, and experiences with this Champion..
On with the guide.
Like every her Anivia has pros and cons.
I'll be outlining these Pros and Cons of Anivia...Since Mobafire has it recommended.
-Excellent laning/mid capabilities.
-Excellent early game survival (with Rebirth up)
-Excellent burst damage at levels 3+
-Great initiation/follow up spells. Flash Frost, Glacial Storm.
-Squishy early game, use caution with Rebirth on CD.
-Often focused in team fights
As far as item builds go, I haven't experimented a whole lot in terms of other builds. I do try to throw a Void Staff into the mix whenever I can. As far as core items go, I tend to go directly for a Catalyst, a Mejai's, then right to Rod of Ages as early as possible, then jump into a Void Staff if necessary, otherwise I'll move right into Sorc Boots, then Radabons, into an AA for the massive AP boost.
Mejai's justification; As pointed out by readers, it's possible that Mejai's isn't the best item to go with. Here's why I include it in my build.
I feel like Mejai's is an item thats going to force you to make a judgement call before buying, no matter which character you're using. If you're up 2-0, or 3-0 early on, and you feel confident you're going to keep playing fairly solid, I think it's an excellent choice.
Of course the counter argument to this is that as I stated earlier in the guide, the chances of you being focused in team fights is pretty high. While this is true, I generally do not accumulate that many deaths while Playing Anivia, a pretty typical game is something like 6-1 or 7-3. While these deaths are going to lead to losing stacks, I think that once you build up some momentum, this item becomes fantastic. You have many spells at your disposal, and coupled with being range, if you're playing smart you shouldn't have to worry too much about losing AP on Mejais. Again, it's best to incorporate this into your build on a case by case basis.
I'm definitely going to be experimenting with this build, and switching up my core items a bit - I'll be updating this guide as I work with my build.
I think masteries are an interesting concept. Of course, they're utilized by every MMO on the planet, but bringing them into a session based strategy game adds another layer of depth to the gameplay. I think that the 9/0/21 build is pretty standard/cookie cutter for Anivia, because it's simply the most effective. Of course the opportunity to customize this is going to be available for a point here and there. A good example would be throwing a point into Insight for clarity, instead of more GP5. I think it may be best to stick with tried and true, and not stray from the build much more than that.
I use a couple of different combinations with Anivia. I'll always use Flash in addition to an alternate.
Flash/Clarity Flash Clarity
I've really enjoyed using Flash and Clarity early on in using Anivia exclusively. My HP early game, doeasnt really seems to dwindle beyond what an HP potion can provide, however, once I reach level 3, and mana becomes an issue due to harrassing/first blood attempts, mana does become an issue. This is an excellent utility spell if your lane partner (assuming you're not mid) uses mana as well. However, this can be redundant, since it's really utilized early game, and early game I'll have a catalyst to restore HP/MP on level up. I've strayed a bit from this combination, and moved onto the following:
Flash/Ghost Flash Ghost
Flash/Ghost seems to be the most recommended combination among other players, and other guides and for good reason. When I'm using this combination, I like to make sure I've got a point into haste in my talent tree to maximize it's potential. However, I'm still not convinced this is the best alternate summoner spell to use, since Anivia has one stun spell, a wall and a slow spell. And of course we always have flash. For this reason, I've chosen to leave Flash/Clarity as my default two for this guide..for now.
I'll be experimenting with these more and update the guide with my experiences, should anything change.
Skill sequence. I feel like there's really only one way to build Anivia effectively to really get the most burst damage out of her. This of corse is going to be by prioritizing Frostbite, Glacial Storm, Flash Frost, and Crystallize.
Some guides do not suggest getting crystallize until later, but in my very limited 30 games or so, I couldn't count the number of times a wall has saved me early on. Adding a skill point into crystallize can be the difference between life and death early game, even if the wall is only used to drop the attacker back a step or two. I recommend tossing a point into it at level 4, or 7. Frostbite is too valuable not to level early game.
Passive - Rebirth
This is one of my favorite passives in the game. Essentially an extra life. When this spell is not on cooldown, a death will lead to Anivia reverting into an egg, upon surviving 6 seconds, she is reborn. This is an excellent ability to use early game in the mid, as it often baits players into tower range, or even just into attacking the egg, giving you enough time to respawn, and finish them off with a Flash+Frost combo.
Flash frost is an amazing utility skill, especially in team fights. I made the mistake of using this to harass early on from level one, and to get creep kills. Of course this seems to be a very ineffective/impractical use for this skill, given your base mana pool (or even your mana pool with a crystal). I make it a point not to toss one of these unless its to either save my life, or im level 3+, so I can effectively combo this with Frostfire for early burst damage.
Crystallize is an amazing skill when used correctly. This skill can easily make the difference between winning, and losing a team fight with the right positioning. It can also be combo'd effectively with a lane partner, if you're duo'ing. I've found great refults in using this in conjunction with Blitzcranks Rocket Grab. This skill can get a little bit of getting used to, as the angle of the wall is going to change in relation to Anivias position, but with practice, it gets relatively easy.
Again, I recommend pointing into this early if you can, as early as possible. It could save your life/your team.
Frostbite is an amazing skill when used with Glacial Storm, or with the chill effect from your Flash Frost (or with any other champions chill effects for that matter). The damage output is outrageous against squishier characters, from level 3 on, and it doesn't get any easier to use. Chill, Frostbite.
Glacial Storm is one of the best utility spells in the game. It gives you the opportunity to slow an entire enemy team for a couple of seconds, at a very low mana cost. However it's very important to use this spell wisely, and to remember to toggle it off once the target is chilled. The mana drain is horrendous early game, and it get's a bit better late game, and you can leave it on for a few seconds longer without much consequence.
After reading various opinions/guides/threads on Anivia, I feel like Glacial Storm brings in mixed opinions. Some of these opinions pointing out thats it's a fairly weak ult. I do not find this to be true at all...again this is a utility spell, not a killshot/burst damage spell. It's become second nature to pop a Flash Frost, Frostbite, and toggle a quick Glacial Storm on/off in order to maximize Anivias damage, and slow enemy movement speed, which opens up enormous opportunities for yourself, and for your team. Excellent.
Anivia has two slows, a stun, a wall, and a damage spell, essentially. Of course Flash Frost, and Glacial Storm deal damage, However a chill and Frostbite is where your burst is going to come from. I've developed a habit of jumping into team fights with a Flash Frost, followed by a quick Frostbite and Glacial Storm. While this is definitely effective, I think the order of your skills in combos is situational. In other words, I've been trying to force myself to analyze whether or not the group stun is necessary in a team fight. Let me explain
A group aoe chill/stun is obviously incredibly effective in a team fight, and it can lead to more assists for you, but I think burning this stun early, and putting it on cooldown, can lead to enemy champions escaping with low HP. If it's appropriate to chill with Glacial storm first, Crystallize, then Frostbite for burst, that saves your stun for an escaping champion. I'm not saying this is right, or always going to be better than opening with a stun. Just something I've observed over the last week or so, while playing Anivia. Because Anivia possesses the option to slow stun wall and deal high burst damage, I don't feel it's possible to pinpoint on combination and call it the most effective, but here are what I find myself using the most.
Flash Frost, Frostbite, Glacial Storm, Crystallize. This is what I find myself using the most often. Of couse the crystallize is situational, and you only want to burn mana/cooldown on it, if it's going to be effective, otherwise let it go.
Glacial Storm, Frostbite, Crystallize, Flash Frost. This is what I've been trying to use more and more. It allows you to get the burst off early in a team fight, and leaves your crystallize available to stop an escaping enemy (again, situational) and leaves frostbite available to use on it's own, or possible with Flash+Flash Frost for a stun to finish off the enemy champion.
I'll be adding videos of these combination, as well as what I think is proper utilization of Crystallize soon, hopefully.
So, first guide in the books?
Not hardly. I plan on bringing updates to this guide whenever I see fit. In doing so, I'm sure I'll be correcting parts and adding to parts of this guide, and thinking to myself 'wow what was I thinking'. I see this as a good thing, since those changes will be brought on by actual experiences in game using Anivia.
I decided to take some time to write this guide, and for it be (fairly) intelligently written, and to bring up the opportunities to present points/counterpoints, and to help improve everyones Anivia experience. Hopefully some of this was accomplished in this brief guide. Please, comment if you vote; everything helps, I'm here to learn just like everybody else.
Published first version of guide.
Introduction - Added introduction
Pros/Cons - Added pros/cons.
Items - Added first item build.
Masteries - Added masteries.
Summoner Spells - Added summoner spells and variations.
Skills - Added Skill explanations.
Skill Sequence - Added justification for skilling sequence 1-18
Summary - Added summary page.
Updated guide with Icons under the Skills chapter.
Updated guide with Icons under the Summoner Spells Chapter
Adjusted Summoner Skills chapter (cr. Mowen)
Updated Items chapter with Mejai's Justification
Added the chapter 'Effective Combinations'
Added Updated chapter.