Anivia Build Guide by 7daysko
[ 9.22 ] Think Beyond One Lifetime (In-Depth Matchups)By 7daysko | Updated on November 8, 2019
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Choose Champion Build:
Anivia's Natural Habitat (ARAM)
Nesting For Your ADC (Support)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
Threats & Synergies
Really Squishy, he needs to get up close if he wants to do serious damage, which favours you hard. A good Karthus will farm with Q and wait for late game however, try to prevent that.
His blind is useless, his movement speed is futile. If he gets caught, he's dead.
Pretty defenseless, but she can be VERY annoying and dangerous after 6. Fight her after she's just used her stun, under perfect (for her) conditions, she won't have a stun again for 3 seconds. Her range nerf got reverted, so she can probably come out on top when you try to poke with AA be careful.
Yet another annoying match-up. He isn't much to look at pre-6, but once he gets his Riftwalk he is a NIGHTMARE. Combine that with his Q that cancels your ulti and his passive which reduces all incoming magic damage by 15% and you can forget about out-trading him. Depending on his skill though, this game could be easy early on, given that he's melee.
Rare, but pretty easy. Rush boots so you can dodge his skillshots and bait his E. If it's down, he either uses flash or dies.
He's in a pretty bad state this meta, but he still has quite the damage. You easily out-trade him though, and he doesn't move around much if chaining his skills. This means you get a free stun.
Your stun ruins his day. His ulti can't stop your ulti either unless you are really close to him, which you won't be. You most likely won't be able to match his roams, so try to secure a good lead.
Katarina has some insane damage, especially if she snowballs. However, her daggers help you predict how she will engage and you can stop her ulti with both Q and W. Did I also mention how your passive means she can't reset her cooldowns if you're killed? If you are fast enough, this lane should be a breeze.
Very annoying but she is also extremely squishy. She outranges you, but if you dodge her Binding it's hard for her to brust you down, allowing you to get close enough to kill her or force her out of lane.
If he's any good, don't expect any kill pressure. Post-6 however, he is extremely dangerous for your team, as he can help other lanes snowball with his ulti. Consider taking Teleport to counter-gank.
Skill Match-Up. He has superior range, but if you can dodge his E and time your combo correctly, you can disrupt his ulti mid-channel and burst him down.
Very annoying lane. Focus on farming and ask jungler for help. Her Qs are very easy to land and she gets to have an easy stun. Beware when your HP is below 50% as she can potentially kill you with her ulti. Exhausting her just as she casts her ulti reduces the damage significantly, so consider taking Exhaust.
Obviously, a skill match-up. Whoever manages to dodge a Q first has a huge advantage over his opponent.
Anivia's auto attack range makes it easy to ruin his passive, however he could still out-trade you if you use both Q and R before he silences/supresses you. Note that your wall is also capable of wasting his passive, in which case he will walk right through it instead of being blocked.
He can avoid your spells easily and he pushes the lane much faster pre-6, meaning you'll be farming under turret, which is very challenging for Anivia. He can easily farm though, being an ADC and all. Try to dodge his rockets as they hurt. You outscale him late game so hang in there.
His range is far superior. If you even think of getting up close, he can just stun you and run away, then keep on poking until you die. Definetely ask for ganks though, as he has no mobility whatsoever.
Bird Fight! Theoretically it's a very tough matchup as he has superior range, a knockup and a reliable escape. There's not many people who can claim to be skilled with Azir though, so this matchup could work well for you.
Not as scary as she looks. If you dodge her Q, she will fall back and wait for her cooldowns. If she decides to all-in instead, she will have wasted her ulti's reset (and potentially, her escape), so you can easily out-trade her. Never use your ulti before she uses her E though, and don't let her snowball because she won't need to cast ulti twice to destroy you.
This highly depends on Zed's skill, but it shouldn't be too hard to fight him. If he uses R, you could stun him as he emerges from it and deny him all the extra damage. Rushing Stopwatch and then building Zhonya's Hourglass is also VERY effective against him as Stasis renders his R useless.
Skill Match-up that favors her very slightly. After she gets her ulti, she is almost impossible to kill, unless she uses all 3 charges offensively. In that case, wait her out and use your combo. It's also important that you dodge her charm, as it makes it easy for her to land all of her abilities.
Use your AAs to proc his passive. His wall is better than yours and if he's any good, he will attempt to play around it when fighting you. Don't try to fight him around your creeps as he can potentially dodge everything. This matchup favors you hard late-game, but your laning phase is going to be sub-optimal.
Check the in-depth matchups section for more info. In short, she is pretty easy to lane against but make sure she doesn't get ahead.
Place R on his turrets and watch him have a panic attack.
Shouldnt be too hard. You have more damage and less mana problems than him (!).
Very annoying. Make sure to watch out for her roams. Try not to give her any kills as she snowballs very easily. I suggest building some kind of MR as well as taking Exhaust or Barrier.
Skill Matchup. You can probably afford to be aggressive early. She's also easy to gank. Watch out for her roams during mid-game and you'll be fine.
Keep your eyes on the ball, she relies on people not paying attention to it to deal damage way more than you think. While still dangerous in the late-game, she's generally not nearly as powerful without her ulti, so try to make your move if she misses it or wastes it.
Generally easy to deal with, but you need to be extremely careful because he is a huge problem if snowballed. Consider Banshee's Veil if you are having trouble with his stun.
Play extra safe. Her ulti's first cast STUNS you, so watch out for that. Also try to poke her in lane whenever possible, she doesn't have as much damage as you in the early game (unless you allow her to get close).
Deals a lot of damage, but is pretty easy to deal with, especially in the early game. Just watch out for her shapeshifting. The more creative she gets with it and the more her teammates are in on it, the harder it's going to be for you to deal with her, so make sure you always approach skirmishes carefully unless everyone is visible on the map.
Helps you pull of some great ganks mid-game, since your wall synergizes with her E. This means that Vayne doesn't need to reposition in order to stun someone, and it also means that you can almost certainly stunlock the enemy with Q after Vayne's stun.
Very good synergy for the same reason as Vayne. You can start a CC chain that almost guarantees a kill on a priority target.
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10 Adaptive (6 AD or 10 AP)
+6 Magic Resist
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Magic Resist
Threats & Synergies
Pretty annoying. He has a lot of disruptions and can be very tanky. He can also help his team get picks, especially since you have no escape.
Fight fire with fire eh? You deal much more damage than him and you don't need to expose yourself as much as him to poke.
As annoying as Alistar. Stay away from him and most of all, stay behind caster minions. He can also disrupt your ulti.
Very squishy and your damage is more reliable. Focus her for free kills.
If I were you, I'd never pick support Anivia against Braum. He has CC, a shield that cancels your stun and E burst, and a long range knockup ulti. Sad face.
Annoying, but nothing special. Her black shield doesn't mean much post-6, since you can easily wear it down before using your Q. Try to avoid her CC as much as possible.
Vayne is a great ADC for Anivia. Your W can help Vayne get an easy stun with her Condemn (E). Combine that with Anivia's Flash Frost, and you've got a lot of CC and a lot of damage relatively early in the game.
Slow party. Ashe has many tools to help you catch a target with your Q. Her ulti is also a great CC that's almost guaranteed to hit at close range, so you can chain-CC the enemy ADC or Support and grab yourselves a kill.
Caitlyn synergizes very well with champions that have CC because of her W. She can place traps under a stunned enemy and deliver a lot of damage as a result.
With this guide, I aim to help the player grasp Anivia's sometimes complex mechanics, while also recommending a solid build that covers for most of Anivia's problems, essentially turning Anivia into a force to be reckoned with. Whether you're looking to have some fun or trying to climb up the dreaded Ranked ladder, this guide is for you. Below, you'll find all you need to know about Anivia's strengths, weaknesses, match-ups and more!
Anivia is as much a part of the Freljord as the never-ending frost. Long before mortals had ever set foot on the land's frigid tundra, she had lived countless lifetimes and died as many deaths. The beginnings and ends of her eternal cycle always heralded great change, from the calming of raging storms to the ebb and flow of ice ages. It is said that when the cryophoenix dies, an era ends; and when she is reborn, a new era begins.
Though Anivia's past lifetimes have faded from her memory, she knows her purpose: she must protect the Freljord at all costs.
When she was last reborn, Anivia witnessed the rise of a mighty and united human tribe. She guarded their lands with pride as they prospered, but such unity could not last forever. The great tribe fractured into three, and after that upheaval, Anivia watched the people of the Freljord become embroiled in battle. As she strove to calm the turmoil tearing her home apart, Anivia began to sense a greater threat: an ancient evil growing deep within the earth. To her horror, she felt the pure magic of the ice itself become blackened and corrupt. Like blood in water, darkness crept into the Freljord. With her destiny so tied to the power of the land, Anivia knew if such evil took root in her home, that same darkness would find its way into her heart. She could no longer remain a mere guardian - the cryophoenix had to act.
Anivia soon discovered an ally in Ashe, the Frost Archer. Ashe too believed in unification as an end to the Freljord's perpetual strife, and Anivia offered the tribal leader her aid. Now, with war on the horizon, Anivia prepares to fight for peace, but she knows the inevitable truth of her destiny. One day, evil will rise from the ice, and she must destroy it - no matter the cost.
Anivia is a late-game burst mage. By playing safe early and eventually outscaling most of her opponents, Anivia has huge carrying potential as she provides her team with heavy damage, an AoE CC and ultimate, and a very helpful engage/disengage tool that can change the tide of every team fight.
+ Incredible Burst
+ Enemies don't expect your damage most of the time, letting their guard down
+ AoE Ulti with a convenient slow debuff
+ Your Crystallize offers unmatched utility, and can change the tide of battle
+ Rebirth fully heals you if ignored by the enemy team, making it a superior Guardian Angel
+ Very fun to play
+ Exceptional at teamfights
+ Can destroy the entire enemy team if not focused hard.
+ Her Crystallize is the best Flash burner in the game!
+ Very low CD on your ulti, unlike most mages.
+ REALLY vulnerable to CC
- Missing your Flash Frost or misplacing your Glacial Storm punishes you severely.
- Frostbite, your main source of damage, depends heavily on landing your other abilities
- Flash Frost is possibly the slowest skill-shot in the game
- Your ulti can be interrupted by most forms of CC, putting it in full cooldown.
- Weak Early Game; farming can also be challenging.
- Crystallize is very hard to master and, if misplaced, can kill your entire team
- No "real" escape other than Crystallize or using CC on enemies
- Hard to master
- Anivia is a burst mage that truly shines in teamfights. Her kit offers amazing crowd control and can turn teamfights around with incredible damage and kiting potential. The nature of her Frostbite, which deals DOUBLE damage to targets recently stunned by Flash Frost or recently damaged by a fully formed Glacial Storm alone, helps you remove carries from the fight in a heartbeat.
- Unfortunately though, Anivia is fragile and easy to shut down. She is really weak to CC, has no reliable escape, and is severely punished in case she misses any of her abilities. The hardest part of Anivia to master is definetely her Crystallize, which has the potential to make or break a fight. In general, her laning phase isn't optimal against the majority of her match-ups, and if you are not careful, you could fall behind very easily, putting yourself and your team at a disadvantage.
Flash Frost (Q)
By far the slowest skill-shot in the game, Flash Frost has two stages. Upon casting, Anivia sends a projectile that passes through minions and champions without being blocked upon initial contact damaging and slowing all enemies hit. Upon recasting, the projectile explodes on a small radius, damaging and stunning all enemies caught in the blast for 1.1-1.5 seconds depending on level. It also applies the chilling debuff on all enemies hit by either the slow or the stun (more on that on the Frostbite section).
A spell that makes Anivia a very fun champion to play. In theory, Crystallize is Anivia's "escape" spell along with Flash Frost. However, it's so much more than that! Also known as the "Flash Killer", this gem can be used to block an enemy's path, block an ally's path (nothing quite as good as playing with friends), trap enemies in your Glacial Storm and set up an easy stun when used to surprise enemies attempting to dodge Flash Frost.
This is your main trading tool. It is known for giving Anivia the ability to delete champions from the game, given the right circumstances. By circumstances, I mean the fact that Frostbite will only deal double damage if you've either recently stunned an enemy with Flash Frost or if an enemy is standing inside a fully formed Glacial Storm.
Glacial Storm (R)
COST: 75 + 40/50/60/s
Your comfy ultimate. With a criminally low CD compared to other mid laners and a very helpful AoE damage and slow, this spell is full of utility. Upon casting, a small, well, Glacial Storm starts forming. After 1.5 seconds it reaches maximum size and deals 300% damage to all enemies caught inside, while also applying the chilling debuff to all enemies caught inside. A lot of people (especially in lower elos) tend to underestimate Glacial Storm and stay in it for long periods of time. It never ends well.
SEASON 9 CHANGES
A look at the new stat-runes and what they mean for Anivia
There are 3 new small rows of stat-runes this Pre-Season. These are;
- 10 adaptive force (6 AD or 10 AP), 9% attack speed, or 1-10% cooldown reduction (lv 1-18)
- 10 adaptive force (6 AD or 10 AP), 5 armor, or 6 magic resist
- 15-90 health (lv 1-18), 5 armor, or 6 magic resist.
First things first, now that Attack Speed is seperate from Precision, I think Domination and Inspiration are good options. In general, a good setup would be to take 9% attack speed, 10 adaptive force and finally, either armor or magic resist, depending on the enemy team and the enemy midlaner.
The reasoning behind this is that the extra attack speed gives you an easier time farming as well as a bit more AA poke, while the adaptive damage and defense gives you a good bonus in the early game. You can always get more adaptive damage instead of attack speed, but Anivia doesn't really lack damage without it.
Arcane Comet: The keystone I take most of the time. Summon Aery helps poke enemies down, but its damage isn't nearly as much as Arcane Comet and Scorch helps make up for the extra poke. Keep in mind that Arcane Comet can be dodged. It's almost impossible not to hit a comet since Anivia has a stun and a slow that make sure it hits, but champions like Yasuo or Ekko can just dash away. Arcane Comet is also better for Anivia than Electrocute since you can lower its cooldown with your Glacial Storm instead of waiting for 55 seconds.
Summon Aery: It can't be dodged unlike Arcane Comet, however it offers much lower damage. It isn't as valuable to you as it used to be since its poke damage isn't enough to give you lane dominance anymore, and the shield bonus has no use on Anivia. Scorch is a very good alternative to this, however.
Manaflow Band: After its rework, Manaflow Band is actually pretty good for Anivia. You gain mana when poking with any of your abilities and, upon reaching 250 Mana, the rune also restores 1% missing mana every 5 seconds, which is pretty impressive as it will prevent any serious mana problems earlier than usual.
Nullifying Orb: While it seems a little underwhelming at first, this rune is actually a life-saver. It helps you stay safe during your early game (which is invaluable for Anivia) and it gives you a slight advantage for close skirmishes. It doesn't help much later in the game or if you're against a mid-laner like Yasuo or Lucian, but it offers great protection against your opponent (Keep in mind, Zed's passive deals magic damage so it's really useful against him as well).
Transcendence: After the Celerity nerfs and the recent item changes, this is a good situational rune for Anivia. It doesn't really offer as much as Absolute Focus, but it's certainly less situational than that rune. If you believe you can't really stay safe enough to unravel the full potential of Absolute Focus take this, as extra CDR is still of some use due to your Flash Frost and Crystallize.
Gathering Storm: A very strong run, but a very situational keystone as well. It's a gamble; will your game last long enough to make Gathering Storm useful? Keep in mind, it doesn't help your laning phase at all (enables after 10 minutes) and most games end at around 30 mins, which is where the problem lies. This rune starts making a big difference after 30 minutes into the game, so sometimes when you think you'll have trouble in the laning phase, it might be a better idea to opt for Scorch instead.
Scorch: This is basically a nerfed version of Deathfire Touch , the difference being DFT had no cooldown and scaled with AP/AD, making it insanely strong late-game. However, DFT doesn't exist anymore, and after the nerf of Aery, Scorch stands as one of the most useful laning keystones for Anivia in the early game.
So what's better? Scorch or Gathering Storm? Is there any situation where one is more useful than the other?
Scorch on the other hand, gives you some good poke damage for the laning phase, but is nearly useless later in the game as it doesn't scale with anything. In fact, the most damage Scorch can do at level 18 is a mere 30 damage.
So what does this all mean? Scorch is only useful for an aggressive laning phase. This is because its damage was nerfed while its cooldown was reduced, which means that you have to poke as much as possible to take full advantage of it. Gathering Storm on the other hand takes some strength from your early game and gives you some powerful mid-late game scaling. The champion you're up against plays an important role on what you'd want to pick as well. If the enemy laner has lots of sustain in general, Scorch won't do much for example. In general though, it comes down to one thing. Want your laning phase to be slightly stronger? Scorch. Want to scale better later? GS.
Cheap Shot: This rune synergizes perfectly with Anivia's kit and even though it comes with a cooldown, it gives you some room to breathe during the laning phase, as you're more of a threat than before.
Ravenous Hunter: My personal favourite rune from the Domination tree, this synergizes so well with Catalyst of Aeons's unique passive. It heals you for a % of the damage you've dealt, and the healing increases with every unique champion you've killed. Combine that with Rod of Ages and you're looking at some serious sustain. After the rework of Hextech GLP-800, it's still a good idea to take Ravenous Hunter if you buy that item, since a bit of healing is better than none at all.
OTHER VIABLE RUNE PATHS
Presence of Mind: This rune helps you stay in the fight by refunding a lot of your mana when getting a kill or assist. It also refunds 10% of your ulti's cooldown, but it isn't that significant since your ulti already has very low cooldown.
Coup De Grace: With Coup De Grace you deal extra damage when the enemies are below 40%. This counts for all enemies, so if numerous people are below 40% in your Glacial Storm, you'll get a great damage boost.
Kleptomancy: By far the most fun keystone currently. Autoattacking champions after using an ability gives you extra gold and there's also a chance it's going to give you a consumable as well. The consumable can be anything from Control Wards to Elixirs and Mana potions (!). The extra gold is very useful for Anivia as you can rush Rod of Ages and Hextech GLP-800 so much faster, especially when combined with Future's Market.
Future's Market: This might not seem like much of an essential, but it allows you to buy key items like Tear of the Goddess and Rod of Ages on an earlier back, which means a lot for your mid-game. It's a lifesaver if you're forced out of lane.
Perfect Timing: You get a free Stopwatch at 10 mins. You can normally get a Stopwatch from the shop with 600 gold so this is extremely useful against champions like Zed (even though you'll probably get it a bit after he hits 6), since you can rush Zhonya's Hourglass much faster than before.
Minion Dematerializer: A very interesting rune. It might seem a bit useless, but it actually helps your wave clear tremendously as you can use the Dematerializers on the caster, melee and cannon minions to gain permanent extra damage against that minion type. It also slightly helps with farming under turret early. The downside to this is that you already have more than enough waveclear with your Glacial Storm for later, so there's not much use for it other than CSing in lane.
Approach Velocity: It's basically a ZZ'Rot, but for movement impaired champions. Gives you a lot of survivability in teamfights and also boosts your dueling potential against enemies caught in the Glacial Storm. This can also work somewhat well with Celerity after its rework.
Overgrowth: Though this rune is tank oriented, Anivia can benefit from it since her builds usually consist of 2 HP items. With your fast wave clear and HP from items, you can end up with quite a HP boost in the late-game. If you're going Resolve, now that Bone Plating and Second Wind are in the same tier, Overgrowth is probably the best choice between the other runes on T1 and T3.
Second Wind: This is a very nice rune for all vulnerable scaling champions, since it gives you some much needed sustain in lane. Unfortunately, it is now in the same tree as Bone Plating, so you can't combine the two for maximum lane survivability. It still works great on its own against lane bullies, though.
Bone Plating: A nice anti-poke rune. Early in the game, it can deny a lot of damage or poke, which can help you stay in lane or punish your opponent without risking too much. Bone Plating is very efficient early against champions who rely on several abilities for maximum poke ( Zed is a good example).
Conditioning: Another strong survivability rune. You get a defense boost 10 minutes into the game. This is very useful when you're playing against a team with a lot of assassins, and it also synergizes very well with ZZ'Rot, since it increases your armor and magic resist by 5%. It makes Anivia a much tougher nut overall.
GHOST: Ghost is a great spell for mages like Anivia. It gives you the ability to reposition very quickly in a fight, and it helps you survive enemy ganks. Its cooldown is much shorter than Flash as well, so you won't have to rely on that for a quick escape.
TELEPORT: All around, Teleport is a very useful spell for both you and your team. If you're forced out of lane, you can return to base to heal or buy items and then teleport back to your lane, so you won't miss any minions. You can also teleport to an allied ward or tower, to help your team with a teamfight or a gank, quickly outnumbering your opponents. It's a solid choice for Anivia as you're always up against champions with a better roam these days. However, an enormous cooldown and the inability to cancel its channel are serious drawbacks and could lessen your impact in the game.
(STRONGLY RECOMMENDED) FLASH: A spell of unmatched utility, Flash can be used to engage, disengage, and secure objectives. It is essential for Anivia, as it covers her lack of escapes, giving the player some much needed safety. It's also useful for picking off an enemy carry by getting Anivia close enough to perform her combo (use this at your own risk, it doesn't make Flash Frost any faster!).
IGNITE: Ignite has always been a good choice if you're looking to secure early kills. It's also a great pick if the enemy team has a champion that can mitigate a lot of damage through healing, like Vladimir and Maokai, without having to buy Morellonomicon.
BARRIER: A good defensive summoner spell all around. It offers great protection against burst damage, especially from assassins. Keep in mind though, its shield only lasts for 2 seconds, which means the enemy (especially if they're ahead) could ignore you while the shield is up, and finish you off when the effect wears off.
EXHAUST: Very useful against all-in assassins like Zed who won't stand much of a chance against you whenever Exhaust is up. Its movement speed slow can also help you land your Flash Frost with relative ease. However, post-6 you have Glacial Storm to slow enemies with, so Exhaust's slow doesn't really mean much past that point.
CLEANSE: Cleanse is very useful in situations where getting stunned means certain death. When enemy comps rely on chaining CC, this can be a lifesaver.
DORAN'S RING: Possibly the best start for Anivia. It provides health, damage, mana regen and a perfect early game passive. It covers a lot of your early game weaknesses and also leaves enough gold for 2 Health Potions.
THE DARK SEAL: A pretty interesting item. It gives you flat mana instead of mana regen, unlike Doran's and it also gives you some extra lane sustain to make up for its lack of health. Worth considering against some tough DoT lanes. This item is inferior to Doran's Ring for Anivia in some ways, but it encourages roaming around the map. If that's what you're going for, you can consider this. With that being said, make sure to pick Teleport as it gives you huge roam potential. Always take this with Refillable Potion for the best sustain during the laning phase.
CORRUPTING POTION: If you fancy yourself a bird alchemist, always start with this. On a serious note though, you can start with this if you are up against an enemy that can control the lane quite easily because it gives you much more breathing room than a more offensive option like Doran's Ring or Dark Seal. On its own, Corrupting Potion gives you great early HP/Mana sustain and some poke potential and since it's refilled everytime you return to base, it eliminates the need for you to keep on buying potions on a constant basis so you're able to stay in lane. Going for a Dark Seal early into the game gives you even more sustain with the addition of some extra AP, so you can apply pressure or roam with as few unecessary backs as possible.
TEAR OF THE GODDESS: This is a very essential item for Anivia as it refunds some of your mana back, in addition to broadening your mana pool with each spell cast. Since it's an item that takes quite some time to stack, it should be top priority on your first back.
CATALYST OF AEONS: This is your second most important item. It builds into a Rod of Ages. Generally, you want to finish RoA as soon as possible because it needs 10 mins to fully stack, so it's important to get Catalyst right after Tear of the Goddess, unless you are going for a build without RoA (not recommended, as you get little to no sustain).
OBLIVION ORB: This is a very good early-game buy for several reasons. First of all, it gives you some good flat stats similar to Haunting Guise (which it pretty much replaces now), but most importantly, it gives you +15 magic penetration, which gives you a good amount of extra damage in a combo. Generally, building this item after you finish RoA is usually worth it even if you don't need Morellonomicon so you end up selling it later.
BLASTING WAND: The second item you need to build Rod of Ages. If you don't have enough gold for Catalyst of Aeons and feel like you can easily win lane skirmishes, this item gives a nice damage boost to help you drive your enemy out of the lane (you'll most likely able to fight a 2v1 as well if you get chased to your turret by a gank without getting hit). It's a good idea to combine this purchase with Boots of Speed if you have the gold for it (1150G), since the extra Movement Speed makes up for your lack of health.
STOPWATCH : Even though it builds into situational items, Stopwatch is actually extremely useful on its own. You get instant stasis and even though the stopwstch can only be used once per game, it is very useful for 600 gold. It also makes it harder for annoying assassins like Zed to snowball, as Stopwatch counters the engage with his ultimate (just one stasis can make a huge difference in some games).
CONTROL WARD: You want to pick this up as often as possible. You can use this to set-up some easy ganks, defend yourself from enemy ganks, scout an objective for enemy wards etc. It is very useful and it can single-handedly win your lane (and game) if placed strategically.
ROD OF AGES: This is the item you'll want to rush first. It takes a while to stack so you never really get an instant powerspike from it, but this doesn't make it a bad item. Quite the opposite, it offers large quantities of health, mana and ability power. This is the best item for a squishy and mana hungry mage like Anivia.
But what about Hextech GLP-800? It offers an active and a mid game powerspike!
- Following GLP's rework, this is now an easier question to answer. In general, GLP has been nerfed as far as Anivia is concerned. The item is now built from Lost Chapter and not Catalyst. This means that it no longer offers HP or sustain. In return, it offers 100 more Mana and 20% CDR, HOWEVER 10% of that CDR is from Lost Chapter's new unique passive, meaning that you only get 10% extra CDR since Archangel's is also built from Lost Chapter now. Even then, CDR is not all that great with Anivia anyway.
ARCHANGEL'S STAFF: The upgrade to Tear of the Goddess. This is an absolute essential as its passives directly benefit your mana pool and sustain. You are also rewarded with a large amount of Ability Power based on your mana. Anivia needs to be able to sustain her ultimate for as long as possible during teamfights, either to zone enemies out of the fight or to deal damage, and Archangel's Staff is the perfect item for this.
RABADON'S DEATHCAP: This item doesn't need much of an explanation. It offers a huge damage powerspike since it offers the highest Ability Power in the game. Since items like Archangel's Staff eventually outscale its stats, Rabadon's unique passive also makes sure your total Ability Power is increased by 40%, making it pretty strong in most stages of the game. When snowballed, buying the item third makes you impossible to deal with in 1v1 or even 1v2 situations. However, you're sometimes better off delaying its purchase in favor of items like Liandry's Torment or Zz'Rot Portal, as these items offer great utility for you (Liandry's for example will melt champions like Cho'Gath 10 times faster than Deathcap).
LIANDRY'S TORMENT: A very powerful mid/late-game item. It synergizes so well with your Glacial Storm's slow since its damage doubles against slowed enemies. Due to its unique passive, this item works very well against HP focused champions like Vladimir and Cho'Gath. Its new passive also increases your damage up to 10% for every second in combat, which is perfect for games where fights tend to last longer than usual and when there's not many interruptions on the enemy team so you can keep your ulti on for as long as you want. This passive is generally perfect for Anivia as prolonging fights while dealing insane damage is one of her strong points. Generally, don't build it if everyone on the enemy team has low HP or a lot of CC, since you'll want to deal short bursts of damage.
MORELLONOMICON: After its rework, Morellonomicon is now a good choice for Anivia. It now offers a lot of AP and HP and has a cool new UNIQUE Passive previously seen on Liandry's Torment, meaning you get 15 flat magic pene, which makes this item a perfect powerspike item against squishy targets and assassins. You still get the Grievous Wounds passive of course, so this is a perfect item against enemies like Vladimir or Soraka as well. In general, Morellonomicon now fits in a couple of Anivia builds, and its magic pen. gives you a nice damage boost and burst potential. Its magic pene is still weak against teams that actively build M. Resist, though.
In that case...
VOID STAFF: A really strong item against tanky teams. It ignores quite the amount of the enemy's magic resist. You should always build this if more than 2 people are buying heavy Magic Resist ( Adaptive Helm, Spirit Visage, Locket of the Iron Solari etc...). Unlike Morellonomicon, it doesn't come with a neat passive and extra HP, but it makes your damage more consistent and reliable.
ZZ'ROT PORTAL: A great item for many reasons. It offers some very good defensive stats and a great passive that gives you extra movement speed as you walk near turrets and portals. Both of these help Anivia survive sticky situations and also allow you to deal much more damage before having to back out of a fight. Its active is also great for slow-pushing a lane. In general, if you need neither Zhonya's nor Banshee's, this item is the perfect alternative as it gives both Armor and Magic Resist. You can always buy both of course.
ZHONYA'S HOURGLASS: A good defensive item whose active helps you survive delayed damage effects from champions like Zed, Ziggs, Karthus, Zyra etc. It is also useful for baiting opponents into wasting their spells (or even ultimates) on you, making themselves vulnerable in the process (for example, if Talon uses his ultimate and leap to kill you, going into stasis not only negates all of the damage, but it also puts him inside your team's backline with no way of escaping.) You should always pick this up against Zed and Fizz and Karthus.
BANSHEE'S VEIL: Yet another defensive/damage item hybrid. In addition to its Ability Power and Magic Resist, it also comes with a pretty neat spell shield that recharges every 40 seconds (provided you don't get hit within that timeframe). You should pick this up to counter engages like Unstoppable Force and Enchanted Crystal Arrow or stuns/snares that could get you focused down and killed like Light Binding and Dark Binding
* Creating a balanced build for Anivia
- I strongly encourage experimentation, and even though Anivia's core mostly revolves around the idea of building mana, there's many items to choose from. While I've voiced my opinion for items like Hextech GLP-800 or Zz'Rot Portal, my experience with an item can be different than yours. You might hate ZZ'Rot because it is completely defense oriented, for example. You'll never know until you try. That's why I encourage you to experiment with many item combinations, as there's many ways of building Anivia efficiently. Find what item suits your playstyle best. If you lean towards GLP instead of RoA, that's perfectly fine (Hell, Froggen does too)!
That being said, you'll want to balance the build accordingly. When sacrificing HP and AP with GLP, you should consider taking an early Liandry's Torment or Zz'Rot Portal for the extra HP or defense respectively, for example. If going for an offensive oriented build, picking up Banshee's Veil or Zhonya's Hourglass helps you dish out some extra damage while still maintaining a light defense just in case. If you're more of a defense kind of guy, picking up a Zz'Rot Portal alongside your Zhonya's will ensure you're hard to eliminate! Another thing to consider is game stages. You don't want a build that focuses entirely on the early game. You'll powerspike sooner, sure, but you're wasting some of Anivia's potential.
Tl;dr - You should never consider every situation equal. Your damage won't mean much if you don't get the opportunity to deal any of it. Play smart and build depending on the matchup, this is the key to success with Anivia in the current meta. And remember to have fun, because that's what the game is about (I mean, I've tried Anivia ADC and it isn't all that bad honestly).
Anivia is one of those champions that struggle a lot in the lane. Anivia requires a large mana pool due to her high mana costs and then nature of her Glacial Storm, This requires you to prioritize mana items like Tear of the Goddess, meaning you won't be doing as much damage early on as mages who prioritize damage due to their kit ( Viktor is a good example). It isn't impossible to get an early 1v1 kill in the lane of course, since your damage output after level 3 completely eclipses that of most mages. However, you should always prioritize farming, as Anivia's core is pretty expensive and you'll want to finish it as soon as possible.
That doesn't mean AFK farming of course. When you're in lane, you should always poke your opponent with your huge AA range whenever the opportunity shows itself. A Q+E combo also works great. For maximum effectiveness, try poking the opponent when they go for a lasthit, as there's a small window where the opponent can't fight back unless they lose the creep to run away or retaliate. I almost always go for a poke when the enemy is busy killing a cannon minion, as it gives lots of gold and many people would rather get poked than lose it. By poking the enemy laner, you are applying important pressure on him, and you might eventually force them out of lane.
If they stay in the lane instead of going back to base, you should then attempt to keep your opponent zoned out constantly. You can achieve this by staying between him and his caster minions. If he gets too close in order to farm or receive the XP, go for the kill. You should always be careful however, as zoning the opponent requires you to over-extend most of the time, making you vulnerable to an enemy gank. Which brings me to my next point, warding.
Warding is very important during the laning phase as it gives you all sorts of advantages. For one, you can defend yourself from a potential gank as a well placed ward will reveal the enemy jungler's whereabouts. In addition, a well placed deep Control Ward can remove pressure from your team,. For example, bot-lane can go for a favorable trade and force the opponents out of lane if your ward spotted the enemy jungler roaming around top-lane. They know that they needn't worry for enemy back-up, allowing them to play more aggressive. Don't forget that tracking the enemy jungler also means you can coordinate with your team to take side-lane turrets or other objectives safely. You should always buy Control Wards when you have spare gold.
During the mid-game, there's a couple things you can do. First, if you've gotten any kind of advantage over the opponent from your laning phase, you should look to share that advantage with your teammates by roaming. Anivia isn't the best roamer in the world, but saying that her ganks are oppressive is an understatement. She has a stun, a slow, a wall and an ability that deals chunks of HP every couple of seconds. If the enemy has pushed an ally to their turret, it's always worth paying their lane a visit for an almost guaranteed kill.
Everytime you roam, you should keep an eye on the enemy mid-laner, as he could follow your roam and potentially outplay you. That's why it's best to push your lane (doesn't take long with Anivia's waveclear) when you're about to roam. That way, the opponent will take some time to follow, as they'll have to clear the minion wave first. If they decide to follow immediately, they will lose gold and XP.
If the enemy is roaming and you're still in the lane, you should always notify your teammates multiple times through pings (fun fact - the question mark ping isn't for being toxic) and through chat. Sometimes, pushing the lane and trying to take the enemy mid-turret down is better than counter-roaming, as the first helps keep the pressure up for the enemy team.
You must evaluate the situation and choose what the best course of action would be. If you have Teleport, you could push the lane and teleport to whichever lane the opponent is roaming to for a counter-gank and a possible surprise attack.
Finally, during the mid-game, you'll succesfully finish your core and start dealing damage effectively. This is where Anivia's teamfight capabilities start to show. Since small fights break out often during this stage of the game (mostly over dragon or turrets) and the opponents will mostly try to push an advantage, you should always be aware of the map and give information to your teammates about the enemies' whereabouts. Why is this your job? Because as a mid-laner you should always look out for the rest of the team regardless of what champion you're playing. You should always consider the option that your teammates don't have great map awareness and try to fill that gap for them.
Avoid getting caught at all costs, as your damage is very important for your team in case a fight breaks out. Keep on buying control wards whenever you have space in your invertory. You should also consider switching to Farsight Alteration after 20 mins.
In this stage of the game, you should focus on a couple of things. Once again, vision control is extremely important, especially now that dying can cost you the game. You should always look for opportunities to take objectives and pick enemy champions. Normally you'd have to move as a team, but this is rarely possible in SoloQ or Normals, unless you're a team of 5. That's why you should keep an eye out for your allies and save them whenever possible if they get caught.
And now for the most important part of the late-game, teamfighting. In teamfights the most important thing when playing as Anivia is positioning. You must position yourself in a way where you'll be able to sustain Glacial Storm without being interrupted. While the most important targets are the AD and AP carries, you should never risk your life to get to them, unless you are absolutely sure you'll land the killing blow, your Rebirth is up and your team is there to back you up. That being said, you should never pass a chance where the enemy carry tries to facecheck/walks near a bush you are in. At this point in the game, your full combo can kill them almost instantly, without them ever having the chance to fight back, which in turn gives you a significant advantage.
Also, you should avoid bringing the fight to the enemy team if possible, since you end up being positioned dangerously. If they bring the fight to you however, you should take advantage of the narrow spaces in the jungle, not only to kite more effectively, but to use your AoE to its outmost potential.
If your team happens to lose a teamfight and you're forced to protect your base, you should try to slow the siege asmuch as possible with your Glacial Storm or Crystallize. If the enemy team moves towards Baron instead, you should never contest it alone unless you are playing on the Red side of the map, in which case you can Glacial Storm + Crystallize from behind the pit and hopefully pick up a kill, or the baron himself.
Finally, as a side note, if your team has won a fight, and can close the game, you shouldn't bother with the baron, the dragon, the bot-lane outer turret or any of that. I can't stretch this enough I've won as many games as I've lost due to bad shotcalling. The late-game is all about capitalizing on your enemies' mistakes, and the longer the game gets, the bigger the possibility of your team making a mistake becomes. You should always focus on ending the game as soon as possible.
If you have any questions, ask away in the comments, and if you liked this guide, make sure to leave a like, it really helps. I'll also be adding more matchups with time.
Most of all, thanks for reading and have fun in the Rift!
I will make an effort to include changes that affect Anivia's gameplay directly in some way. Very small buffs on counterpicks will generally not be listed unless I believe they are important enough. Keep in mind that any major champion changes or reworks related to Anivia will still appear in the "In-Depth Matchups" section.