Anivia Build Guide by Shirobon
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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.
Hey there Mobafire, Shirobon here with my first guide based around Anivia the Cryophoenix. I'm always welcome to feedback on your experiences and opinions, but please be sure to test out the guide before voting. :)
Anivia is an amazing AP carry, equipped with extreme burst damage second to none, two skills that slow, an area of effect stun, a game changing wall skill in Crystallize, and an amazing passive that revives her.
Please read this and understand that the first cheatsheet is my own personal build for Anivia that I would recommend, and that the second is not in whole a build, but alternatives that you can switch out in the first build for your own personal preference.
I.E., it probably wouldn't be a good idea to take both Ghost and Ignite as your two summoner spells, but if you feel you can get by without Clarity, it'd be fine to switch them out.
+ Extreme burst all game
+ 2 slows
+ AoE Stun
+ Game Deciding Wall
+ Great farmer with Ultimate
+ Built in Guardian Angel(Passive)
- One of the lowest base HP's
- Slow run speed
- Hard to play effectively
- Requires good positioning
- Difficult autoattack
- Can get mana hungry
// explanation of Mastery Tree set-up here
is taken to improve both Flash and Clarity.
Expanded Mind is taken to help with mana early game, add a slight buff to Archangel's Staff and to lead into Meditation .
Improved Recall is take for utility of recalling faster, and is more useful than level 1 Good Hands .
Tier 2: Swiftness is taken to increase Anivia's poor 300 base run speed.
Meditation is taken to help with mana regen issues.
Tier 3: Runic Affinity is taken to improve duration of blue buff, which should be taken at every possible opportunity.
Tier 4: Awareness is taken for increased experience gain, which is very important early game.
Tier 5: Intelligence is taken for increased cool down reduction, vital to any AP caster.
Tier 6: Mastermind is taken for 15% reduction on summoner spells, allowing Flash and Clarity to be available more often.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Health
Greater Seal of Armor: These are great seals overall for any champion, but Anivia can take a great benefit from using these. Anivia can be extremely fragile, especially early game, so these offset an extremely low HP score with a respectable amount of armor early game, 13 to be exact. These help offset harassment and overall help with the early laning phase.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Like all ranged champions (Barring Nidalee), Anivia gains no Magic Resist after leveling up, and can possibly begin and end with an extremely low base 30. I run these as the pay off late game is tremendous, as other than Banshee's Veil, Anivia has few to little viable sources to gain Magic Resist while following a good build.
Greater Quintessence of Health: Most important of all, with an extremely low base hp of 420, Anivia can be squishier than a baby Teemo, but these Quintessences help her survive the rough early game, with 3 providing three-fourths of what a Doran's Ring would provide in terms of survivability.
Greater Seal of Replenishment: If you're new to Anivia, or happen to have an extremely aggressive play style, these can definitely help as without carefully watching your mana at all times, you can run dry at crucial moments.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: While Anivia isn't the type of AP caster to focus on Cool Down Reduction heavily, these Glyphs can benefit her just like any other caster in the game. With nine of these, alongside a Frozen Heart and using a 9/0/21 mastery tree, you will obtain 38.10% cooldown reduction, almost the cap.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: While in the beginning Anivia shouldn't be focused on stacking immense AP, but rather survivability through Rod of Ages, having an early game AP boost is no joking matter, seeing as even without AP items till early-mid game, she can nuke just as hard as any AP carry around with her Flash Frost and Frostbite combo.
Flash: Practically the most versatile and useful summoner spell of all, allows for many of the greatest initiations, ganks, chases and escapes. Hopping walls, stealing Baron Nashor , the possibilities are endless! Take without a doubt.
Clarity: While most people may find this skill worthless outside of early game, I cannot express how useful it is late game, regardless as to what others may say. Anivia can get mana hungry the moment she decides to harass or go for a kill, as her full combo is not friendly to her mana pool whatsoever. During team fights, when blue runs out or is unavailable, I find myself always running out of mana, and it can decide and clinch victory for your team, seeing as without mana, Anivia is just a giant heap of frozen gold.
Ghost: Anivia is a painfully slow champion, and closing in on ganks can be painful if you miss your Flash Frost's stun, Ghost can help you get around the map to that decisive team fight when it's important, chase down that fed Tryndamere or escape by the skin on your teeth from a whole team chasing you.
Ignite: While I never find myself in the need to use this, it can help with Anivia's overall burst, destroying common mid lane opponents like Vladimir and prevent them from gaining massive heal when diving in for the kill, or just to shut that Dr. Mundo when he uses [Sadism] to go where he pleases.
(Passive) Upon death, Anivia reverts to an egg. If the egg survives for six seconds, Anivia is reborn with the egg's remaining HP.
This Anivia's passive, and is one of the skills she is more well known for. It can be thought of as a free Guardian Angel, but should not be used with the same mindset. During early game, it can allow one to play extremely aggressive, but I find it useful to farm and shrug off harass from the enemy. While your level is still low and you revert to an egg, your armor will actually be deducted, so while Rebirth can save your life, it is not an excuse to go Rambo and turret dive, as you will undoubtedly die. This passive's usefulness also extends on for Anivia as being able to bait turret dives from reckless opponents who will either die trying to kill you or be unable to commit and take a few shots from the turret.
(Q) Fires off a skill shot that will damage upon passing, can be detonated by pressing q once more or flying a set distance.
While this may not be Anivia's trademark skill, it is definitely what makes Anivia a great champion. This skill has great utility, allowing for an AREA OF EFFECT stun, and can stun a whole team that gets careless and clump up in team fights. It also slows while damaging any units it passes through without losing any damage output, and can be used to harass in conjunction with Frostbite. Any targets damaged by this spell are "chilled", and take double damage from Frostbite(E).
- Flash Frost is a fairly slow projectile. When firing, try to predict the opponents escape path.
- To get maximum use out of this skill, detonate the projectile after it has already passed through the opponent for a double hit, this strategy can also be used to break spell shields and still achieve damage plus a stun.
- Flash Frost has a decently high cool down, and having access to it can make or break a team fight. Always save it for imperative moments, and leave face checking bushes to your tanks!
(W) Places down a solid wall which cannot be walked through normally by both opponents and allies.
Without enough emphasis, this single skill can single-handedly screw over your whole team, or determine a winning ace, all based on your own judgement and use of it. The simple utility of a wall is game changing, allowing one to isolate certain opponents during team fights, and allowing for unparalleled control during team fights in the jungle. Placement of the wall is dependent on what direction Anivia is casting from and to.
- During vital team fight moments, if attempting to block an opponent from escaping, be sure they do not have a utility to get over it, such as Tristana's Rocket Jump or Shen's Shadow Dash, as you can end up deterring your own team mates in the process and ruin what may have been a successful team fight.
- With practice, you will learn how the wall works mentally, and will obtain better judgement as to what angles work, but do not attempt to use this skill with Smart Casting.
- Always remember if the wall is used to escape a champion right on your tail, or even a teamate, to aim it a bit further along than your target, as you can lock yourself and your team into fights when they should have escaped and lived.
- Bringing out the wall gives MAP VISION, allowing it to be used for warding, or checking Baron/Dragon, and the vision will persist the entire time the wall is on the field.
(E)Fires a heavily damaging shot that deals double damage on "Chilled" enemies.
This is Anivia's main damage output, and what makes her such a great nuker, dealing double damage to enemies recently struck by Flash Frost or Glacial Storm. This skill is not a skillshot, and is easily used in conjunction with Glacial Storm for heavy harassment. This skill is leveled to the max first simply for the massive damage output when used in combination with Anivia's Flash Frost or Glacial Storm.
- While the damage output is quite low without your opponent being "chilled", it can still be used as a finisher in a dire situation. However, do not this in a normal situation, as it will be a waste of mana and likely get you harassed back even harder.
- Frostbite has an AP to damage ratio of 50%, but do not be decieved. With it's damage being doubled when an opponent is chilled, the AP you get from items is effectively obtained.
(R)Summons an area of effect circle that damages, slows and applies "Chill" to all enemies within.
An overall amazing ultimate, it certainly isn't the flashiest around, but is indeed vital to Anivia's success from early game to endgame. Glacial Storm is an extremely useful farming tool, and can be used to push a lane quickly if the opportunity calls for it, but the downside is that is consumes massive amounts of mana when used too often. Use it within jurisdiction of farming or saving a turret, and when using it to harass together with Frostbite, be sure to quickly cast it and turn it off, to not waste more mana than necessary.
- Along with providing AoE damage in team fights, Glacial Storm also slows down the attack speed of enemies within, effectively giving your team an advantage when fighting right click to win champions, such as Tryndamere or Master Yi.
- An effective escape tool alongside Flash Frost's stun and your Crystallize, when placing it to help an escape, place it further in front of your chaser so they will be forced to walk through it for a longer duration, thus achieving a longer slow.
- While it does allow for extremely easy farming and turret saving, use it sparingly early game, as it will eat through your mana without a doubt.
- Catalyst the ProtectorCatalyst the Protector: This item is the one and only possible way to start Anivia's early game off, in my opinion. It provides a good amount of HP and Mana which substantially helps Anivia early game, while providing great sustain in lane, healing 250 HP and 200 mana upon leveling up, which will happen often and fast since you should always be taking middle lane, no questions asked.
Sorcerer's Shoes: These are the standard boots for any AP carry, and unlike ability power, the magic penetration will persist to stay just as useful from beginning to end. These should be bought as soon as possible as Catalyst the Protector, significantly boosting Anivia's damage while laning in mid lane, seeing as the meta is AP casters in mid, and that except for Nidalee, you will be dealing close to true damage to any AP mid that isn't stacking magic resist with these boots and Magic Penetration marks.
: Mejai's Soulstealer: See section below, "Mejai's or not?"
: Rod of Ages: An overall amazing item for all AP casters, providing massive health, mana and ability power, albeit the downside is that the stats increase per minute after purchase, taking 10 minutes to achieve full stats. To counter this, Rod of Ages is our first major purchase in every game, which is also convenient as it is built from our early Catalyst the Protector. This item gives Anivia all the sustain she needs, allowing for a widely expanded mana and HP pool to finish up the laning phase, and have enough health and mana to participate in team fights.
- Rabadon's Deathcap: Getting to the point of obtaining this item means you've been farming vigorously or destroying your enemy in mid lane, and amply rewards you for your hard work. Providing a massive boost of 140 AP from the item itself, the truly remarkable point is it's Unique Passive, which raises your total AP by 30%. This passive alone gives this item a whopping 42 bonus AP, leading to this item adding 182 AP on top of what you'll already have from Rod of Ages and presumably Mejai's Soulstealer, with the latter providing a great 10.4 AP per assist and 20.8 AP per kill.
Banshee's Veil: A great item, it blocks a spell targeted towards you every 45 seconds, and can throw off other AP casters like Brand who rely on combos to efficiently rack up kills. It also adds a substantial amount of health and mana, and provides an impressive 50 magic resist, which Anivia does lack most of the time.
Frozen Heart: A great, great item, provides an immense armor boost, only one point away from a thornmail, alongside a massive 500 mana, which synergizes with Archangel's Staff, providing 15 AP even without Rabadon's Deathcap. The real selling point is it's aura that owning this item gives, debuffing enemies around her by lowering their attack speed by 20%, which stacks on top of Anivia's ultimate Glacial Storm's debuff, leading to a whopping 40% attack speed reduction, effectively shutting down teams with AD carries, such as Ashe or Master Yi. And just to top off the icing on this cake, Frozen Heart provides an insane 20% cool down reduction, effectively raising Anivia's Cool Down Reduction to 38% with nine Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction's, and 30% without.
Zhonya's Hourglass: This item is a great lifesaver in a situation where you are playing a match where the entire enemy team likes to hide in a bush like Garen and destroy you specifically, or you simply have incompentent team mates who are allowing you to tank for the team. Providing 100 AP, 130 with Rabadon's, the offensive boost on Zhonya's Hourglass is nothing to shrug off, also providing 50 armor to help with survivability alongside an amazing item active that allows you to be invincible for 2 seconds, though you are rooted down for the duration. Switch the item to the first slot of your inventory to hot key it to your "1" key for easy access.
Archangel's Staff: An overall amazing item, allowing for an extreme mana pool to be available to Anivia, and aiding in her mana hunger inbetween fights. Converting 3% of your total mana pool, Archangel's Staff grants 1 ability power roughly every 34 mana, giving 45 ability power by itself. It grants as much AP as a Needlessly Large Rod at around 1150 mana, which is easily Anivia's base mana at level 16 or so. What makes this such a wonderful addition that almost forces me to take it every game is that it synergizes with items with mana to not only have their own effects, but to also add AP into the mixture, putting offensive bonuses onto said items such as Frozen Heart and Banshee's Veil. For more info as when to purchase Tear of the Goddess please refer to the section below.
Void Staff: In matches where your Sorcerer Shoe's and Greater Marks of Insight aren't cutting it, perhaps you must face your nemesis, Galio or the entire other team fears your damage output and stack magic resist, regardless as to what it is, it's time to pull out the big gun, a nice big Void Staff. 40% magic penetration is no joking matter, but at the same time it can be in certain situations. 40% will only begin to be worthy of vital inventory space if the other team has sources of major magic resist, such as tanks or tanky characters like Amumu or Wukong, or offtanks in general, as they will almost always buy Mercury Treads and a few magic resist items, and at least 3 members of the enemy team will likely have around 150-200 magic resist. The higher the magic resist, the harder a Void Staff can work for the gold you spent on it. On the other hand, on a squishy team full of carries who will only focus on their damage output or even 1 main magic resist tank and a hopelessly squishy team, a Void Staff can go against you, providing only half decent AP for the price your paying, while only deducting 40% of the enemies 30-40 magic resist, which is not impressive at all. A must take for teams with plenty of magic resist, preferably take it only when 3 of the enemies have 100 or so magic resist.
- Guardian Angel: Though I do not personally take this item on Anivia, it could lead to some major saves in team fights where you, as the AP Carry with obscene amounts of burst and crowd control, are getting focused down, to go along with your Rebirth. It can save you if you're caught in a bad position by diving in head first, as you will most likely die. Guardian Angel will save you, hopefully long enough that your team mates can catch up and shoo away nasty predators, and if anything, Rebirth can even give you a third chance. But for the most part, i'd shy away from purchasing a guardian angel, if you need either magic resist or armor, Banshee's Veil and Frozen Heart are the ways to go respectively, as they provide defensive bonus' on top of mana which will add AP if you have purchased an [Archangel's Staff].
When to shed a tear.
This is one of the more important decisions in playing Anivia, as it will affect your play style throughout the game, presumably until late midgame.
When playing AP casters, the most important task is to keep a healthy mana pool, as without any, casters are useless in terms of damage output and escaping skills, and become giant minions, waiting to feed that Tryndamere his Infinity Edge. Anivia is absolutely no exception to this rule, and can become an incredibly mana thirsty beast. Most people buy a Tear of the Goddess as early as possible when playing Anivia to help remedy this issue. Tear of the Goddess gives your character 4 mana to your permanent mana per spell cast, essentially building up your mana throughout the game each time you cast a spell. Most people get the wrong idea, and rush Tear of the Goddess before they purchase Catalyst the Protector, and I personally find this to be a GRAVE mistake on part of playing Anivia. While there are indeed benefits to purchasing a tear early, I believe that the pros and cons of buying it later heavily outweigh the pros and cons of an early purchase.
Purchasing an early game Tear of the Goddess
- Improved mana regen
- Allows to be more aggressive
- Allows for early stacking of mana
- Delaying CORE build, namely Rod of Ages which requires times to reach full potential
- Anivia is NOT a character that should be spamming spells like Karthus.
- Seeing as Anivia's first vital purchases are Sorcerer's Shoes and Catalyst the Protector, she is already lacking AP. She does not have the health to not rush Rod of Ages and an early game tear will delay her survivability even further.
- Though her ultimate toggles it twice, it consumes more mana than she can afford for the sake of stacking her tear. To gain decent mana farm, she'd have to spam Glacial Storm much more than the Tear of the Goddess can support with it's extra mana regen.
Purchasing an Archangel's Staff late game
Catalyst the Protector
- Allows for quicker building of the core build, i.e. allowing for Rod of Ages to gain stats earlier in the game
- Clarity is taken to offset mana problems in tight situations, and is useful from early game to late game to help replace mana regen, Utility Masteries are also taken to help offset mana issues
- Anivia should NOT be incessantly spamming skills, but farming smartly and using skills when the opponent is vulnerable, better Anivia players will not spam until mana hungry, reducing the need to purchase a Tear of the Goddess early to stack mana
- Rod of Ages, Frozen Heart and Banshee's Veil all give vital survivability to Anivia, and mana to top it off. The added mana will add to the overall AP bonus of Archangel's Staff, making up for the mana that could have been stacked up to that point, in which Anivia isn't the greatest Tear stacker for reasons already said, and the Tear can still be stacked late game, when Anivia has a massive manapool from other items, and is constantly casting spells non-stop to help in team fights.
- Slightly more mana hungry early game
- Encourages less aggressive playstyle (Which can even be positive)
Overall, I believe that the early purchase of a Tear of the Goddess is not necessary, and though it can help out early game, that seemingly small 995 gold spent on it will indefinitely delay Anivia's ever so important Rod of Ages, and this is especially important seeing as the Rod of Ages provides Anivia with her first source of AP in the build, alongside survivability and sustain, not to mention that the quicker it is purchased, the faster Rod of Ages can achieve it's max stats, while on the other hand Tear of the Goddess only allows for marginal mana stacking seeing as Anivia cannot spam her skills relatively well and being even more squishy than what would be comfortable without an early game Catalyst the Protector. If you are new to Anivia, or do not feel confident without the mana regen, I have an alternative build on the second cheat sheet focused around purchasing a Tear of the Goddess early, without a Mejai's Soulstealer in the build, which will be discussed in the next chapter.
To Mejai's, or not?
This is definitely one of the more controversial topics i've had to deal with after hundreds of games playing Anivia, and though most think of it as a giant "TARGET ME!" over your head, I think Mejai's Soulstealer is vital to the success of a good Anivia, allowing you to carry in difficult games and plow through the enemy team when you get fed early. Holding onto a Mejai's throughout the whole game will eventually pay off for multiple reasons that are unique to Anivia and few other champions.
Reasons to use Mejai's
- Allows you to obtain 16 AP per kill, or 8 per assist.
- If you are continuously fed, your AP will skyrocket for a relatively cheap source of AP, Mejai's Soulstealer costs 1235 gold for a potential 160 AP and 15% Cool Down Reduction when fully stacked, which is uncomparable in terms of pricing, i.e:
- Rabadon's Deathcap = 3600 Gold, provides 140 AP.
While costing only a third of Rabadon's Deathcap, it can provide 20 more AP than the base of Rabadon's, and though their unique passives can't compare and compensate for the price, 160 AP(208 total AP with Rabadon's Deathcap) is nothing below impressive for the cheap price, though there are of course reasons that some may not use Mejai's Soulstealer. However, Anivia is the type of champion that can hold onto her stacks easier than others, and has more ways to grab assists at the very least than most champions if she cannot pick up kills.
PRO'S OF Mejai's Soulstealer
- Even if you do poorly early game, Anivia is still strong enough without massive AP to pick up kills and assists in team fights easily
- Two of Anivia's skills are area of effect spells, and can strike multiple opponents from afar quite easily, so if you can't contribute to fights completely, small damage will allow for multiple assists, which can easily stack up a Mejai's
-Anivia is less likely to die in less committed team fights with her egg, and unless it's the sort of fight like at Baron, chances are you'll live through small skirmishes with your team mates, as most people don't focus Anivia first, being turned away by her egg. Even in the event of a committed team fight, Anivia should not be jumping in headfirst anyways, and allow tanks to initiate.
CONS OF Mejai's Soulstealer
- Though you have all these tools that help you hold stacks, you may die every now or then, causing for a loss of one-third of your currently held stacks
- The other team will attempt to focus you first if they are well coordinated, though is definitely isn't as much of an issue outside of ranked team game
Though the mastery over Anivia is higher than most, once you feel comfortable with her i'd highly recommend using Mejai's Soulstealer, allowing her to faceroll through anyone once she gains momentum with stacks, especially after purchasing a Rabadon's Deathcap. I consider it a core item that allows Anivia to have an even stronger burst, as she is a capable champion that can hold onto and gain stacks easier than most AP casters.
If you feel that you should not need to use Mejai's Soulstealer, or would rather ignore it altogether, build your entire Core Build, but skip out on Mejai's and head straight into a Rabadon's Deathcap, building 3 Situational Items instead of 2.
To conclude, Anivia is an all around excellent champion with few faults. She can carry a team hardcore to victory, save lives with her many slows, stuns and wall. Her burst damage is unrivaled, and she is one of the few viable candidates to run Mejai's Soulstealer with her excellent crowd control to help escape and pick up easy kills.
Please do not be afraid to comment, ask questions or vote, thank you for reading, if you have any concerns, voice it out and i'll see what I can do about it. Happy carrying!
Thanks and Credits
This is all the info I have compiled from my own experience of playing Anivia for hundreds of games, and it has had great success in ranked so far.
I'd also like to thank and credit JhoiJhoi on her awesome guide on making guides, and all the templates used in this guide! Be sure to check it out here!