Anivia Build Guide by DAK Rise
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Introduction to the bird
IMPORTANT: This Anivia build guide prioritize damage over survivability. Therefore, this is a guide for Anivia players who are already familiar with her controls and confident that he/she will not die (take damage), and wish for some more extra burst damage from the beginning of the game. First time Anivia players may still use this guide, since I will still cover the basics of her controls, but it is not recomended to follow the item sequence.
Also the following guide is built based on personal 3 month+ experience of trial/error with Anivia, my most favorite champion in the game.
Now that's out of the way...
Anivia/the big bird/bird/Articuno
Anivia is a high damage AP nuke champion who also comes with various cc (crowd control); a stun, an aoe slow, and THE WALL, that could be helpful to her and her team. It is even possible to nuke down an enemy squishy in just 2 shots (Q+E) and instantly make it 4v5 if played in the right hands. She also has one of the most funny and the best passive ever that gives you an extra life with full health at the cost of a 6 second stun every 4 minutes.
But of course, she also have many fatal weaknesses that makes her a very difficult champion to play. She has the slowest base movment speed of only 300; heavilly dependent on her Flash Frost, which is a painfully slow and easy to dodge skillshot; and has one of the worst auto attack animations that can make her early game farming absolutely horrible. Her wall is also difficult to use since it requires fast and good judgement.
Basiclly, Anivia is a high skill/high reward type of champion that can devastate the enemy team if she is played by the hands of an experienced summoner.
Runes for the bird
I like to go with the following rune page...
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Replenishment
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Health
Magic pen marks for the extra damage
Flat mana/5 regen since I'll be rushing Tear of the Goddess with this build and only need mana regen early game..
Cooldown glyphs because Anivia is a mage whose main damage comes from her abilites. We want to spam nukes as much as possible (but not recklessly and waste mana)
Health quints to make up for her lack of survivability items. It also helps with her stay in lane a little longer and get more farm.
Masteries for the bird
I follow the basic 9/0/21 masteries like most casters. But there are some things I like to point out...
Expanded Mind gives extra mana which also translates to more ap if you are getting Archangel's Staff
Perseverence isn't really that good for mana regen if you do the math. Better to max out Good Hands
Meditation is nice for mana regen but you can also replace it for Utility Mastery if you are planning to get blue buff often.
Summoner Spells for the bird
When I first started to play as Anivia I used to use the Flash and Clarity combo.
Flash gave me A LOT of survivability and helped me get out of ganks many times. You can also use flash to get kills. Flash in to a low-health target who thinks they were safe because you are far away and fire a Flash Frost + Frostbite or Glacial Storm + Frostbite combo if he's really low.
Clarity is a solid choice for new Anivia players because she burns up mana extremely fast early game. Clarity will keep your harass going and keep you in lane without having to fear missing a Flash Frost or use your skills to farm. But since we are getting Tear of the Goddess early game, it loses it's usefullness late game.
So now, I like to use a Flash + Ignite combo.
Ignite gives you A LOT of killing power early game and gets you enough kills to get fed for even more damage. Enemies will not be able to escape with a tiny strand of health and will get you a guaranteed kill most of the time. But like clarity, it loses its usefullness late game. But the point of this spell is to get me fed early game to do some damage late game.
Other summoner spells...
Ghost is another good choice that gives extra survivability. It also allows you to go after enemies who had enough of your fury. Just ghost in, wall and finish him off mercylessly.
Exhaust Hmm.. never tried it before but it will certainly guarantee a Flash Frost hit.
Teleport Another nice choice. Keeps you in lane. Also, although I'm not sure it works anymore, you can teleport as an egg to a safe location when you're in danger. Just make sure the enemy doesn't have a hard cc and cast it just before you turn into an egg.
Other summoner spells are not that useful..
Items for the bird
Now let the pwnage begin!
In this build, the core items are...
I usually start the game with a Meki Pendant with two Health Potion to build into Tear of the Goddess. You can start with Sapphire Crystal if you want depending on your play style.
After you lane a bit you should have at least 1000 gold by the time you go home unless you're getting harrassed hard by anti mages such as LeBlanc or ganked often. If so, try to get at least 600 gold for Tear of the Goddess. Buy Boots of Speed and Amplifying Tome and/or Sorcerer's Shoes if you have the gold.
Tip: Buy Elixir of Brilliance and wards whenever you have spare gold! These may buff up your gameplay significantly!! I see many people underestimating the power of elixirs even though they give you a better edge to your gameplay with just only 250 gold! Plus!! The effect doesn't dissapear even when you die!
Continue laning to mid game buying an Archangel's Staff and elixirs in the process. Now... Here is when you have to decide. Is your team dominating the other team with you getting lots of assists and kills while not dying. If so, get Mejai's Soulstealer. If not, obviously don't get it. It is very easy to get stacks for Mejai's Soulstealer with Anivia but also very easy to lose them if you're not playing correctly, especially with this build. You should be at around 20-25 min by this time.
After that get Rabadon's Deathcap and your core items are now complete! At this point, you should be able to kill squishies with just 2 hits (Q+E)(Just remember to double hit with Flash Frost. I'll go into more detail later.) if you have about 10 stacks on Mejai's Soulstealer and the squishies are foolishly trusting the tanks and not getting MR.
Now.. you have 2 slots of items left!
This is when you buy a little bit of survivability as well as getting more AP!
Here's some items I like to buy...
Zhonya's Hourglass - Gives a lot of AP (100) and 50 armor!! Great survivability against AD heavy teams with an awsome active! You can use the active after nuking someone down to wait for your cooldowns to refresh or just use it when you're in a pickle and let your teammates take care of the problem for you. Example: I just got off a game today and poor Katarina overextended to kill me at low health. I poped the active and she ran in circles unable to click me while my team jumped on her. Very nice item.
Abyssal Scepter - Another good choice. Gives MR and AP. Great against AP heavy team. I like to buy this with Zhonya's Hourglass for MR and armor. It also has an aura passive that reduces MR of nearby enemies by 20! Gives a great extra burst damage.
Void Staff - If you want more damage and the enemy is stacking MR, this would be a useful item. Gives AP and 40% magic pen.
Archangel's Staff - Wait! We got that already! But if you're not getting focused (somehow..) and would like more damage, this is a good item. Although it only gives you 45 AP, it's 3% mana to AP passive stacks. So you can get as many of these as you like. With full Tear of the Goddess proc, the item should give you more AP than Rabadon's Deathcap. If the game is really long (1hour+), I suggest you sell your Mejai's Soulstealer for this item..
If you're team is losing or getting hit pretty hard, it is sometimes better to just get armor/MR.
Thornmail - Obviously for AD carries like Master Yi. Gives nice 100 armor too.
Banshee's Veil - Great MR item with a nice passive. Great for cc heavy teams. Also gives health and mana for you to use for Archangel's Staff.
Frozen Heart - A lot of armor and a good passive against enemy AD carries. Plus CDR!
Guardian Angel - OK... You already have your passive but you still want another 1UP. Gives some MR and armor. Really great troll item. The enemy would have to kill you 3 times to finally get rid of you. LOL (Add Zilean buff and they would have to kill you 4 times....)
Skills of the bird
Passive: Rebirth - As I said before, gives Anivia another life with full health after she dies. 4 minute cooldown. When she dies she is turned to an egg for 6 seconds that is targetable with +/- bonus armor depending on level. While she is a egg she cannot move or use summoner spells. Think of it as a 6 second stun.
During the laning phase if you are ever about to die, Flash behind your turret or close to it so that you can safely rebirth.
At low levels some champions may not even be able to break your egg. So if you nuke someone down to low health and egg, and if that someone foolishly decides to attack the egg and not run away, kill him when you're back. But if 2 people, say goodbye.
If you're at low health but still have the egg, you may be able to taunt people to your turret range and kill them. You would be surprised how many people forget about Anivia's passive.
The teleport egg trick I mentioned earlier.
Q: Flash Frost
As I said before, this is your main spell. Anivia heavilly depends on it. How you use it can determine a good Anivia player or a bad one. It is a VERY slow projectile that can pass through minions dealing damage and applying slow (chilled) to every thing that it passes through. At the end of its range or by manual detonation by pressing Q again, it explodes and anything that gets caught in its blast takes damage and stunned + chilled.
The chilled effect of Flash Frost is very important as it allows you to follow up with Frostbite which I'll explain later.
How to hit with Flash Frost:
Flash Frost is VERY SLOW making it VERY easy to dodge.
The key to landing a Flash Frost early game is predicting your target's movement. Look at the dispersion of the minion waves and predict when they will come up to last hit/harass. It is also good to analyze your opponent's movement pattern. What happens if you move up? Are they running in circles? Back and forth? Do they like to harass you a lot? Are they unable to move because they are stuck in between minions? Having precognition will make you one of the best Anivia players.
Another way of landing a Flash Frost is to simply shoot through the minions or shoot immediately after you auto attack a minion. The constant animation of caster minions or yours can sometimes distract your opponent and not notice the projectile.
A very easy way of landing a Flash Frost is shoot when you are running away. If the enemy decides to chase you down. Shoot a Flash Frost while you're running away. This gives very little reaction time for the chaser, who should be preocupied with thoughts in killing you, to dodge it. During the laning phase, you can pull this off by just overextending slightly away from your minions and most of the time they will chase. But this can be a bit risky if your opponent have hard cc.
Shooting through walls also gives a better chance in landing a Flash Frost. Hit them when you're out of sight, or when they least expect it. Be creative.
It is sometimes more easier to hit the stun when you shoot from a far distance and not manually detonate the Flash Frost at all.
Try to double hit with your Flash Frost. Damage by going through the target and damage by the explosion.
When the target runs along with the projectile the target may take damage multiple times since the Flash Frost is "going through" him.
You can easilly farm minions by double hitting them with Flash Frost. One shot minion kill is possible at around 200-300 ap.
W: Crystallize (aka THE WALL)
Forms a wall of ice that is impassable. Wall length depends on level.
I level this skill last because I find it only useful in teamfights that happen only late game. Although it may be nice to have 1 point early game.
This is a great skill in initiating team fights as well as blocking of escape routes while chasing or block enemies from chasing you while you're running away in jungles. But be aware that people can use Flash or use certain skills to jump over them.
Walls can also be used to guide enemies for an easy Flash Frost
Max level wall can block most passages in the jungle. So when you need to run away, run through the jungle.
You can also block the big gap between a turret and the jungle leaving a small narrow gap on the other side of the turret, forcing the automatic pathing to take that path, allowing an easy Flash Frost hit.
You can also wall pin an enemy. Wall an enemy between a jungle wall and Crystallize so that they won't be able to move. Difficult to pull off but it becomes basically a snare making an easy Flash Frost target.
You can get blue buff more easilly using the wall pin. The golem can't attack you.
You can stop Nunu's ult with the wall by placing it on him because it shifts his location.
This is your main damaging spell. Max this one first.
This is a click to target spell that cannot be dodged. It has decent damage but DO NOT use it on enemies that are not chilled unless you are certain you can kill them. Otherwise it would be a waste of mana. If the target is chilled the damage it deals is doubled. That's why Anivia is so dependent on Flash Frost. You can also use Glacial Storm if your Flash Frost misses to apply the chill effect though it is not as long as Flash Frost.
R: Glacial Storm (Ulti??)
A toggle-like spell that is an aoe slow with decent damage. It also applies the chill effect but not as long as Flash Frost. Basically when the target leaves the aoe there is about 0.5-1 second until chill effect is gone. It only has like 6 second cooldown so it's not really an ulti. More like another skill. Skill is canceled when stunned.
The wall gives you and your team sight. Use it to scout bushes, across jungle walls, etc.
When you have blue buff, you can keep the skill on as long as you like. Enemies would think twice about jumping in to get you or the turret.
Although it drains a lot of mana you can use it to farm minion waves instantly. Stop the skill as soon as you don't need it.
If you miss your Flash Frost, you can use Glacial Storm to fire your Frostbite. When you do this it is better to fire your Frostbite first and use Glacial Storm to chill the target while the Frostbite is still traveling towards your target.
When there's a teamfight, make the enemy team dance in your storm and spam Frostbite!! Use Crystallize to make them stay inside a little longer.
Before lv2: Really are you that desparate to harass?
Flash Frost > auto attack...
Before lv6: Basically...
Flash Frost > Frostbite
But remember if the Flash Frost doesn't hit, don't waste mana and use Frostbite. It's simply not worth it.
Add Ignite at the end if you think you can kill him
Also, be warned, once your Flash Frost is on cooldown you are very helpless and open for harass from your opponent until it's back!!!
After lv6: Same combo still applies.. with Glacial Storm at the end for some extra damage..
Flash Frost > Frostbite > Glacial Storm
You can add Crystallize to the end of the combo to make your target stay in the aoe a little longer.
There are not much other combos but...
If the enemy is lingering with low health but runs away when you go up,
Flash > Flash Frost OR Glacial Storm (since it's easier to hit) > Frostbite > Ignite
Ashe's arrows and Nunu's slow + ult also has the same chill effect as Flash Frost and Glacial Storm. This makes a good combo in the side lanes. It saves mana too.
Laning of the bird
Anivia is a solid mid laner. It is more easier to focus farming and harrassing at the same time compared to side lanes although there can be a bit more pressure between you and your opponent since you're both out there alone. This can be good or bad. Depends on your play style with Anivia and the play style of your oponent. There are some champions that are difficult to deal with than the others. I'll go in more detail later.
Also, don't expect to go ganking the side lanes as Anivia too often since she is VERY SLOW... Another reason why she should mid because the distance from home is the shortest. You don't want to be out of lane and waste time going back and forth.
Anivia can also side lane, though it doesn't work as well with this build because farming becomes harder in side lanes and you need farm for this build to work. You'll get items few minutes behind when the enemy gains some levels and/or build MR making your nuke not as effective making you not as fed and the cycle continues... But of course this doesn't happen all the time. You can work with your partener and get fed from kills.
The best laning partner for Anivia should be someone with a hard cc such as a stun or a snare (a lot of people) allowing you to land an easy Flash Frost and commence rape from there. You can also lane with Ashe or Nunu for easy Frostbites.
Anivia shouldn't solo lane 2v1. It is very easy to zone out Anivia especially when there is a healer on the other side. Anivia is a single-target nuker. Not good against 2v1...
Tricky foes of the bird
There are some champions that may or may not cause some problems to your laning.
Namely those with silence/hard cc, built in banshees/flash, and high health regen like Vladimir....
For these opponents you have to be especially carful or else you would be stopped hard mid combo and get nuked right back. For these champions, you have two choices: 1. Flash Frost from a distance and stun them for a Frostbite and immidately retreat OR 2. wait for them to waste their cc/shield and attack while it's on cooldown.
As for Vlad... you also have two choices..: 1. Nuke him faster than he regens health OR 2. Just play passively and farm. Vlad is a problem. He is healthy meaning you have to burn down more mana to take him down (so choice 1 gets you oom VERY FAST). And he has no costs for his drain meaning there is nothing restricting him from regaining his health other than his cooldowns... leaving you with no mana and for him to freely harass you. Pool is a pain too...
End game of the bird
So you have all your items and you and your team starts moving together. Now what?
Most team fights happen at this stage so here's some team fight basics for Anivia.
Anivia is a AP nuker. Not sustained DPS. Therefore, once a fight is initiated, she would go in blast all her skill combos and go back out and wait for her cooldowns. She shouldn't stay in the middle of a fight and get focused. Stay behind your team. Your Flash Frost has a decent range. If it hits, go in and nuke with your other spells. If not just stay back and wait for your Flash Frost.
Before team fights, you can also use Flash Frost to poke and perhaps nuke down someone in two hits and make it 4v5 before the fight even starts.
If you don't know where your enemies are, scout with your wall and use those wards! And above all, stay with the team and don't overextend. Obviously. Anivia is very slow to get out of sticky situations.
The end... of the bird??
Thank you for reading my ridiculously long and very first guide. I post this build because it has helped me earn a lot of wins and got me a very positive k/d ratio, and I hope to see more Anivias in the future! (They are pretty rare like the legendary Articuno XD). But I know this build isn't perfect and does have issues, especially regarding survivability, and I'm open for better ideas.