Sivir Build Guide by Dark Kuno
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Greetings and welcome.
This guide explains why Sivir is among the best Ranged AD Carries (RADC) in the Howling Abyss game modes.
Sivir is generally a forgotten or overlooked champion. While she is viewed as bottom tier or mediocre (at best) as a RADC in Summoner's Rift, her kit makes her among the top choices among ranged AD for the Howling Abyss game modes.
As most know, in ABAM/ADAM/ARAM poke and the lack thereof can make or break a teams ability to win.
Unlike most champions, Sivir possesses two abilities that provide large amounts of repeated long range damage on very short cooldowns.
- Boomerang Blade
Boomerang Blade is Sivir's most obvious source of long range poke damage. While it is a skillshot, the good range, good missile speed, damage on both the outbound and incoming paths combined with the fact that it cannot be blocked by minions or other champions makes it among the best in the game mode. The audio cue on the ability hitting a target is also extremely useful for avoiding face-checked brush ambushes or detecting/killing other obscured units that aren't visible but you know their position (idle Heimer turrets in brush, stationary Teemo, etc).
With a moderate amount of AD and 2-3 ranks, Boomerange Blade will also 1-shot caster minions in the waves, and is long enough in range that it will reach from the front melee minion to the last caster in an oncoming wave. The width on the affect is also enough that you can still hit the majority of a wave with one Boomerang Blade without even needing to take advantage of the capability of adjusting its return trajectory by moving Sivir herself.
Boomerang Blade creates a regularly underestimated amount of burst damage in a duel or team fight situation.
Just as powerful but often undervalued, is Sivir's other direct damage ability. Ricochet also provides an excellent source of poke damage from range and a devastating source of burst damage in duel/team fight situations.
As poke, while it does not deal as large a chunk of damage as Boomerang Blade, it does provide a constant source of almost unavoidable damage to opponents if used properly. Ricochet will punish enemy champions who try to hug the back of their minion lines. The key to using it as a poke damage source is proper targeting of the initial basic attack. The mechanics of the ability will attempt to have it jump to targets in the direction it is already traveling (front to back, left to right, etc). Ideally, aim for the 1st or 2nd caster minion in an oncoming wave to ensure it jumps to the champions behind the minions instead of other minions.
In a duel or team fight situation, Ricochet again provides an often unexpected source of burst damage. Primarily because it reset autoattack. Casting it immediately following a normal basic attack will result in a 2nd immediate autoattack that will generate the bouncing blades. This 1st attack also behaves as a normal autoattack and will benefit from lifesteal as well as applying any other normal on-hit affects (including stacking or triggering Statikk Shiv).
The autoattack reset also makes it a very useful ability for more quickly taking down turrets the inhibitor/nexus. Although be aware that Ricochet attacks on structures can still bounce to nearby enemy units. So be careful about using it against turrets if an enemy champ is within bounce range. That will result in drawing turret aggression when the bounce hits the enemy champ. However, that also means it can be uses to help push the turret while simultaneously clearing nearby enemy minions more quickly (and freeing up your minions to attack the turret as well). It can also make for a nice "parting" shot for your last auto against a turret if the enemies manage to reach it in time to defend before you have to disengage.
- Spell Shield
As mentioned earlier, poke can make or break an ABAM/ADAM/ARAM game. Spell Shield can negate a large portion of the opposing poke. Proper usage and timing can also negate an enemy team's attempt at initiation (blocking an Enchanted Crystal Arrow, Rocket Grab, etc).
It is also very handy for eliminating persistent dangers such as Teemo's Noxious Trap or Nidalee's Bushwhack.
The mana regained from successful blocks is a nice bonus but not necessary based on proper item selection (we'll get to that later).
- On the Hunt
On The Hunt's power can vary from game to game and situation to situation.
In the early game, it's primary purpose is to push turrets down as quickly as possible. Not only does it apply its affect to you and you allied champions, but it will also affect minions. This combined with Ricochet are what make Sivir the best pusher in the game on maps with turrets and other destructible structures.
Outside of pushing down turrets, it's main use will be during team fights and/or to enhance a chase or disengagement. It is on a short enough cooldown that it may also be worthwhile to use it for the purposes of returning to lane faster following a death.
As with most AD, there are a variety of rune choices that would work well for Sivir.
However, in the Howling Abyss game modes, I've found the best option is to go with the following
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Lethality
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
These runes focus on generating maximum damage from Sivir's poke early game while still providing benefit going into the late game when enemies begin actually building defensive stats.
Armor pen marks will outperform Greater Mark of Attack Damage on Sivir in the early game, because your main damage will be from Boomerang Blade and Ricochets vs sustained autoattacks. And they will further improve the impact additional AD purchases through the game provide. Especially at the early-mid phases when (like you as Sivir) most non-tanks are more focused on buying their resource sustain and early damage.
CDR runes have also served far better than armor or mana regen yellows in my experience. The more frequent Spell Shield availability provided more damage reduction and mana gain than the armor or mama/5 runes. Additionally they increase damage output by granting more frequent Boomerang Blades and Ricochets.
Scaling Magic resist blues are the best option available. Although I use 1 Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction to raise CDR contribution from runes to 4%.
An argument can be made for Greater Quintessence of Life Steal, but that is a personal preference between taking the improved lane sustain at the expense of poke damage output. Personally, I prefer the higher damage and safer play style option.
Summoners and Masteries
Summoner Choices can be odd in the Howling Abyss game modes.
Generally speaking Barrier and Flash are going to be the best options for the majority of champs in the game mode. This is no different for Sivir.
That said, Exhaust is also a solid choice to replace either of the other two.
Not much need be said for mastery choices. They are pretty straight forward for a RADC.
The only divergence from the usual Offense tree masteries one would expect is the investment of points into Sorcery
The points there serve the same purpose as rune selection. Providing higher availability of Spell Shield and greater use of harassment/poke abilities.
Combined with the recommended runes, you will start the game with 8% CDR, 24 flat armor penetration and 8% armor ignore.
The Utility Tree offers the best options outside of the Offense masteries. Summoner's Insight is a given when taking flash. If you chose not to take Flash simply shift the point to Wanderer to unlocck the next tier.
Meditation is the best option in this tier. Combined with starting item purchases and use of Spell Shield, should provide all the mana sustain needed to keep up pressure with Q and W spam.
Mastermind is an obvious choice, and beats out Summoner's Resolve by a wide margin where Barrier is concerned. The more frequent availability is superior to blocking an additional 20 damage.
Item build and purchase order
Now we'll cover item selection.
Start the game with the following items
The Health Potions and Long Sword are an obvious choice.
Many people will question why to start a Tear of the Goddess. The reason is simple. The key to establishing lane dominance and maintaining or relieving pressure is resource sustain. By itself, the tear will provide all the mana sustain Sivir needs to perform throughout the game. Being able to continuously throw Boomerang Blades and Ricochets at your opponents is more damage in the long run that starting with additional raw damage items but not being able to gain any benefit from them due to being OOM.
The mana regen also helps ensure you will also have the 75 mana available for Spell Shield when it is needed while still being able to spam both offensive abilities regularly.
The Long Sword is needed to grant enough starting AD for the choice of armor pen runes to be meaningful.
Generally speaking, you will not need more than the 2 starting Mana Potions to have enough resource sustain to benefit your team.
Depending on the opposing team roster, it may also be necessary to replace the Long Sword with Boots of Speed for additional mobility and dodge capabilities. Although unless the opposing team is made up of a majority of champs with fast missile speed nukes/crowd control/non-ultimate displacement abilities, the longsword start is still preferable thanks to Spell Shield availability.
Ideally you will not die until you have ~1800g. Your 1st ideal purchase should be completed Manamune + Avarice Blade. If you do not have enough for both, the Avarice Blade takes priority.
Sivir clears minion waves extremely well. Even with your 4 allies in lane, you are going to get a large number of last hits with both normal last hitting and Boomerang Blade+ Ricochet usage. The sole purpose for grabbing it early is because it is a component of Statikk Shiv (which you are going to get) and it will significantly accelerate your build both passively and actively.
If you have enough after purchasing Avarice (and manamune depending on how long you've been out without dying), feel free to go ahead and pick up Boots of Speed and restock Health Potions.
Finishing Manamune is 2nd priority after avarice blade. Tear in and of itself provides not direct damage beyond spamability of poke/harrass abilities. Manamune turns that starting sustain into direct damage output and gets it stacking towards Muramana sooner.
After Manamune, Avarice Blade and boots 1 are bought, your next objective is to save to a B. F. Sword and finish your T2 boots (either Berserker's Greaves, Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads depending on opposing team comp).
The decision to rush Infinity Edge or go ahead and pick up a Vampiric Scepter and Sanguine Blade is entirely up to you at this point. Which ever BFS item you make, finish Statikk Shiv next.
Once shiv is complete, work on another BF sword and work towards which ever between Infinity Edge and Sanguine Blade you didn't finish first. Finish up your items with a Last Whisper to cut through opposing armor and if the game goes long enough beyond this point add Enchantment: Furor to your boots.
As with any other game mode, you will need to adjust your item selection to suit the opposing abilities and tactics.
The most commonly built situational item on the Howling Abyss, would be the AD anti stealth item
While mostly purchased by AD to counter Shaco's Jack In The Boxes and Teemo's Noxious Traps, it is also a solid item purchase against Akali, Kha'Zix, Rengar and Vayne. The active allows you and your team to maintain vision on these champions through their stealth mechanics to persue, avoid and otherwise interact with them through a fight.
Banshee's Veil is the deffensive item of choice against teams with one or more extreme burst AP champs ( Veigar, LeBlanc, etc) that have the potential to 100 to 0 a fragile ADC in a single ability salvo. Combined with Spell Shield Banshee's makes it extremely difficult for such an ap assassin to burst Sivir down. In addition, the added health and MR helps against enemies in general and the bonus mana provides additional AD through Manamune/ Muramana.
Frozen Mallet is an unusual choice. However in situations involving high mobility champs who lack a gap closer, it will allow Sivir to kite effectively to make up for her complete lack of escape mechanism. The additional Health is also a boon to a generally fragile RADC. Combined with Fleet of Foot the constant slow will further enhance Sivir's chasing capability.
Mercury's Treads and Ninja Tabi selection will depend on whether you feel the need for additional MR vs heavy AP champ comps or additional armor vs heavy AD comps.
Maw of Malmortius would be an additional option against heavy magic damage comps. In situations in which you thing it is necessary, I recommend getting the Hexdrinker early (after Avarice) and finishing the Maw before continuing with the usual build path. Generally though you will only need either Banshee's Veil or this. Very very rarely will both be required save against the most nightmarish AP heavy comps.