Build Guide by Magikchicken
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This is the Anivia build I use every day, not a once-or-twice gimmick, and certainly not a joke. So if you came here looking for something to use just for ARAM or Co-Op Vs. AI, prepare to be surprised: if you're at all competent at playing Anivia, you can and will rip up some noobs in 5v5 ranked using this build. =)
Anivia's an AP carry champion. Right? Of course. That's how everyone builds her. So, why would I insist on using a "TROLL BUILD LOL"?
The following are just MY reasons for building Tanknivia the way I do:
Anivia has ridiculously good CC for a champion who most people see as an AP carry. A half-second stun from her Q serves as a good interrupt for, say, Malzahar/Galio/Nunu/MF ults, etc. She has a frickin' AoE slow that serves as awesome deny and synergizes well with other champions' ults (see the above four examples.) Heck, her W (the wall) is all CC; it does NO DAMAGE whatsoever, with a fairly long cooldown. So, what better way to use it in a teamfight than to actually live longer than 20 seconds, and get 2 or 3 walls up instead of just 1? This is the part where skill comes in: many consider Anivia a faceroll, but mostly these are the people who then play her and ragequit because they can't handle her walls and slow-moving skillshot properly. When out in the open, it takes skill to wall properly so the enemy has to take the longest route around, preferably straight through your Glacial Storm where they'll be less able to dodge Flash Frost. In jungle teamfights, Tanknivia can be a menace to her OWN team if used poorly, but with a skilled player, she can trap two of the enemy team on one side of a wall with her carries, while her other foes degenerate into chaos trying to flash through or run around. Against squishy Anivia, the isolated opponents in question could simply rush her, egg her (or kill if the timer's down) and run; Tanknivia can keep them perma-slowed and force them to waste CC on her in order to get away.
2. Base damage:
Anivia has ridiculously good base damage on her Q and E, and really good AP scaling on both of the above too. She doesn't NEED to have 600AP to melt squishies, making the aim of Tanknivia, late-game at least, basically "Rush in, kill Ashe/MF/(Insert Squishy DPS Here) while completely ignoring the enemy's tanks and drawing all their CC, and watch as your team demolishes the rest of them while they pile your egg." She doesn't need to melt EVERYONE on the enemy team; just the ones who have very little hp and MR anyways. And if you've forced one of their carries to build additional survivability just to counter you? You've done your job, because they have that much less DPS.
3. As mentioned above, Egg:
True, the egg's not very good early game if there's more than one opponent. But the fact remains that in any kind of teamfight, it's basically an instant AoE taunt for the enemy's DPS. Squishy Anivia will die very fast as an egg, meaning it's only useful for when your team is RIGHT THERE to help you. The same goes for Tanknivia if she's ganked by 3+ of the enemy team, but any less and you WILL respawn and probably kill one or both of them. In a teamfight, if the enemy team is busy piling your 3000+HP egg, your true carries are free to rip ruthlessly into their life bars. And if they wise up to it and ignore you? You'll be up, with all your cooldowns done (except perhaps wall) and ready to help your squishies escape or chase with some AoE slow and stun.
4. Hybridization Potential:
There's one (1) item that accounts for the majority of the AP in my Tanknivia build: Archangel's Staff. It's THE item for Anivia, and the ONE reason Tanknivia, as I build her, even works. It's been pointed out a few times just how quickly Anivia runs out of mana. This item is the answer to your prayers, not just because of the free 1400 MaxMP it gives you by the time you've maxed it, but also because you can then build your AP to almost 150 with just the Staff + Tank items that give mana (i.e. Glacial Shroud, Banshee's Veil.)
This combo used to be even more awesome back before the Strength of Spirit mastery got nerfed from increasing HPregen by 3% of your maximum mana (when maxed) to only 1%, but that frees up some points to put into 9/0/21 mastery trees. Let's just say that that 9th point for magic penetration isn't useless when your tank has 150+ AP from one item.
The 9 mastery points in the Offensive tree are simply because it has the best boosts in the lower tiers; the magic pen helps you beat other tanks 1v1 late game, and the -3% CDR is always good. The Utility section trades on both making Anivia's strengths even stronger (such as by increasing her base mana by 5% or reducing her summoner skills' cooldowns) and compensating for her weaknesses (Quickness + Quintessences making her move fast enough to chase, escape or just dodge skillshots.) I run the two points in Utility Mastery simply because, by the time you finish your Warmog's, keeping a Blue buff on you will LITERALLY remove any need to bluepill. EVER. You can just run back and forth farming lanes and pushing towers while the enemy team goes "FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU THIS ANIVIA" or teamfight indefinitely. Can you say, "Endless Glacial Storm right next to the enemy's turret?" Great for making them very reluctant to initiate on your teammates while they attack the tower; if they walk into it, the tower aggros on tanky, tanky Anivia, so your carries can immediately charge them with impunity. But I digress...
I usually run Ghost and Flash, but switch to Teleport and Flash if our team lacks teleport and the opposing team has any backdoor capability. All that's needed in the Masteries department is shifting a single point. =)
If you want, you can go 0/4/26 and pick up Awareness and that last point in Meditation, but I find that the 9th point in Offensive really makes a difference even on a low-AP build like this.
The following are the reasons for the items I chose. I created this build from scratch in my semi-newbie days, mixing and matching to see which items worked best. Feel free to change an item or two, or even leave suggestions in comments, but this is what worked best for me.
1. Regrowth Pendant into Philosopher's Stone. Not only does this item give you much-needed lane sustainability early on, but the Stone pays for itself within 27 minutes after purchasing. This means that, if you get it eight (8) minutes into the game, it will have paid for itself by the 35-minute mark. And since the build STARTS with the Regrowth Pendant, and is so generally cheap, you can b as soon as you have 365g and get it as early as 3:00 if you want (provided you've farmed properly.) Given that as Tanknivia you'll be playing conservatively (setting up ganks for your carries rather than doing the ganking yourself) until about 25-30 minutes into the match, it's good to be farming like mad and taking in a little extra gold on the side for the first half of the game.
ALTERNATIVE BUILD: Heart of Gold. If you want to be a little more bulky at the cost of less sustainability, build a Ruby Crystal first and go for a Heart of Gold instead. I find, though, that if you run flash, your opponent probably won't be able to burst you down anyways, especially if you're running the HP/level seals I suggested.
2. Tear of the Goddess. This item is indispensable on ANY Anivia, and on most spellcasters for that matter. A bit of early-game mana regen, and more importantly, a permanent stacking increase to max mana every time you cast. Since Anivia's Q and R are both cast 'twice', once to use and once to detonate/cancel, you will reach the 1000MaxMP cap faster than any other champion in the game.
3. Sorcerer's Shoes. You might wonder why I don't go with the Ionian Boots of Lucidity given that this is a TANK build, but let's face it; most squishies won't be building Magic Resist, and with these boots reducing their MR to nearly nil, you will be destroying them EVEN AT 0AP. That's not to say that you can't go with the Ionian boots; they're good too, and cover Anivia's one true weak point early-game.
4. Catalyst the Protector. This is the answer to your squishiness and mana woes. The awesomeness of its passive (keeping you from needing to b nearly as often midgame) aside, it's just good to have more HP and MP. Also, it builds into both Rod of Ages and Banshee's Veil.
5. Rod of Ages. RoA is just a good item for its cost, and it gives MaxHP and MaxMP, both of which this build requires. If you want, though, you could skip over it entirely and go straight to Archangel's and your true tank items; it's sometimes better to go tanky before you get the AP.
6. (Another) Catalyst the Protector*. Yes, another one. This one's for building your Banshee's Veil; if you decided to skip over the Rod of Ages earlier, you can use that Catalyst for building the Veil instead.
*ALTERNATIVE BUILD: Negatron Cloak. If you are noticing that your opponents don't have a great deal of single-target CC or that your allies have a lot of AP damage, Negatron Cloak is what you build here instead of Protector, to turn into an Abyssal Scepter later. This is less than ideal because it gives neither HP nor MP, but it does supply the Magic Resist you'll need while counteracting some of the MR your enemies are building.
7/8. Banshee's Veil*/ Glacial Shroud. These can be built in any order, depending on what the enemy team has more of. If their most fed carries are AD, build the Shroud first. If the fed ones are AP, go Veil. I usually like to build the Veil first because you've already got Catalyst and more armor than MR, but these two are interchangeable in order. The important part is that they make you start to REALLY become a tank, with the Armor and Magic Resist that entails, while giving you more mana to feed your Archangel's Staff passive and fuel your CC and squishy-raping damage.
*ALTERNATIVE BUILD: Substitute Abyssal Scepter for the Veil if you went Negatron Cloak earlier instead of Catalyst.
9. Archangel's Staff. This is where the Tear of the Goddess earlier comes in. There's no downside to this item; It's 1860g in purchase&combining costs if you aleady have the Tear from earlier, and its passive is the centerpoint to making Tanknivia go from "Meh, CC and not much more" to "WTF this tank actually kills squishies??" For the uninitiated, I will explain: The Archangel's Staff (non-unique!)passive is to convert 3% of a champion's Maximum Mana into AP. 3% may not sound impressive, but let's just say that by the time this build is complete, Anivia will have more than 3000 mana and the passive alone will be giving you upwards of 90AP. That's not including the 45AP the item itself gives you; All in all, for a total price of 2855g (995g of which is the already indispensable Tear of the Goddess), the moment you buy it you will be getting +400MP, +5mana/s (+25mana/5s) regen, and AT LEAST 100 TOTAL AP (despite having only Archangel's and Catalyst for mana boost), which will only increase as you buy more +MaxMP items and level up. Without the Staff's passive, 2855g would be slightly overpriced; with it, it's bordering on ridiculously cheap.
10. Warmog's Armor. Despite the HP bonuses from Banshee's Veil and RoA, and your impressive Armor/Mres, by this time (unless you're just ridiculously fed) you will be feeling the pain again as your HP gets low. The answer to this is an item that will make people on BOTH teams say, "wtf warmogs on anivia? noob uninstall plz." So, sell your Philosopher's Stone and buy the groanworthy armour. The plus side to this unfortunate side-effect of being hated on is that, as a high-level Anivia, you will max it extremely quickly after a few waves' farming with your R, and that by now, you will be extremely difficult to kill unless your allies are scrubs and fed the enemy Xin Zhao to 18/0/9. And the best part? If you've run Ghost and Flash, in a teamfight you can and will be able to screw up your opponents' attempts at piling you, and then rush straight to the back and chase down any squishy, except maybe for Kassadin or Ezreal, destroying them with burst damage and slows while their team tries ineffectually to chase you down or turns to fight your team 4v4. Yes, this means you've got to be able to trust your team to handle themselves in a fight... but if you CAN'T trust them, the game is already lost.
11. Frozen Heart. Finish the Glacial Shroud into this. The Heart is basically the same, but more, with a rather nice passive. With the CDR-reduction overhaul a while back, it gives 5% less CDR than it used to, but the accompanying reduction in cost actually makes it even better for this build, since you're getting the same amount of mana and armor for even less gold.
NOTE: If the enemy team is big on attack speed, you may want to try finishing this before Warmog's.
Popular items I don't build, and the reasons:
1. Sunfire Cape:
Sunfire's not useful on Anivia because she's generally so slow. She chases well with summoner skills, but without them, she'll have trouble keeping up with most champions to get close enough for the damage in between casts of Flash Frost and Glacial Storm.
And, for that matter, you don't want to melt your tank! D= The enemy carries will be trying hard enough to do that as it is!
2. Guardian Angel:
The GA is redundant because, face it, as a tank you'll mostly be dying to ganks rather than to single opponents, and if they can kill you twice from full HP before your team arrives, it's unlikely a third life starting at low health will do much good. Play like a tank rather than a carry and you'll have no need for GA.
3. Rabadon's Deathcap:
Yes, this item would give an extremely nice boost to your AP. But that's not the point of Tanknivia! By late-game/endgame, you should be laying down large quantities of AoE CC, and melting (or freezing?) the enemy's squishies if they dare come close to the teamfight. Rabadon's is for if you're trying to do all the damage yourself; that's what carries are for.
When playing Tanknivia, remember that while you don't have as much damage as an AP build, you are bulkier, and by late-game you'll be nigh on unkillable. So play like a tank instead of a carry; stick near your DPS, and be prepared to initiate if your team is behind you.
Blue buff is your friend; mana problems are the one thing that can render you useless, and with it, late in the game you will literally never need to bluepill except to spend your cash. Nothing makes your opponents say "OHSHI" like an ENDLESS Glacial Storm sitting between them and initiating on your tower-pushing team as the first turret of the game gets demolished.
Enjoy playing Tanknivia, and remember...