Anivia Build Guide by coderwilson
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Standard Aniv support setup
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.
Hello Mobafire reader, and welcome to my first guide EVAH!!! Now before you go saying "What a noob, he doesn't know what he's talking about if he's never made a guide" let me give you some background.
I started playing league in season 1, before the hype, before the LCS, back when it was just another game. I didn't play heavily but it was just fun back then. Mid season 2, I started playing heavy amounts of game (probably to feed my WoW withdrawls) and started playing lots and lots of Anivia. I watched the best of the best and learned what I could from them. And I still love playing Anivia in the mid lane like the pros do sometimes.
Then, with the season 4 changes, she became instantly viable as a support and late game turret-saving champion. I expreimented in soloqueue and have played with and against many of the common and even some uncommon champions to be seen in bot lane.
So without further adieu, here we go!
Pros / Cons
Level 1 Stun, can hit multiple enemies
Level 2, super strong burst with Q into E combo
Great poke all throughout the lane phase
Passive (egg) is fantastic for baiting enemy all-ins and turning the fight
Wall that can be used to prevent enemy escapes, aid in disengage, or split up enemies in team fights
Late game, nearly impossible for enemies to take your turrets due to wave clear
Very hard for enemies to catch with all the slows/walls
Dang she looks good with her legendary skin :D
Takes a METRIC TON of practice to learn and master using her skillshots
Very squishey early game, must play very carefully and never get caught
Movement speed is slower than most
Mana-hungry, must manage well
First of all, you are going to need flash. This is absolutely critical on Anivia due to her low movement speed. You can use flash to give yourself some distance in escaping an enemy advance and give yourself a chance to use your spells (wall, slows, stun) to escape what would be for other champions certain death. Sometimes you can use your flash to hop a wall or even a turret to give yourself that extra second of safety. Or, once you get familiar with Anivia, you can use it offensively to flash->wall->flash frost->frostbite an enemy to lock them down for your adc to kill (but let's be honest, we're not going to let the adc have all the kills here, are we?)
For the second skill, it really depends on the opponent's support. If your opponent takes a healing support like Taric, Soraka, Sona, etc, I heavily recommend ignite to reduce the healing when you go all in. Also, to killsteal and frustrate your teammate.
If your opponent is going a tankey or CC heavy support, you need to look at the enemy ADC next. For enemies like Vayne and Jinx that end up being hypercarries late game, exhaust is definitely the way to go. They thrive on attack speed, and reducing both their AS and damage output is incredibly good in the late game, not to mention early.
Against most of the other ADCs that deal damage in big bursts but not so much on the crazy, constant, AS heavy side, I much prefer to take heal. "But nobody takes heal" you might say. So what? It works. Especially since either you or your ADC can kill an enemy, it's better to heal both of you up when the fight starts. And don't hesitate to use it as soon as you both have taken a little damage. Or if one person is getting focused, go ahead and use it.
Having the right runes is the difference between winning and losing the early game. You do have a few options here, but I like to go full offensive (which is probably really dumb to be honest) and try to win the game at early levels. Currently I run health quints, AP marks, seals for mana regen and glyphs for armor.
The mana regen seals are absolutely critical for this to work. Otherwise you will be basing every two to three minutes which is a waste of time and experience. Armor glyphs are also quite important, but depending on lane opponents (ad Twitch or Lucian or other AP-leaning champs) could also be swapped for MR.
As for the quints and marks, you could probably swap out the quints for AP for extra damage and the marks for armor. On second thought, I don't really recommend changing the marks unless you REALLY need defense or if the entire enemy team is AD based.
OK this is going to look like a really weird build, but there is a reason for it. First, you want to start with 9 points offense tree to give yourself some CDR and AP and boost your allies' damage to that target every time you do anything. Second, drop 9 points in defense to give you some much-needed health and damage reduction. Otherwise you will explode without early practice. Last, 12 points in utility for some (also) much needed mana regen, movement speed boost, biscuit upgrades, and 3 points in gold per ten to help get you to later levels. This ends up being 9/9/12 which is very rare in competitive play. Trust me, it will work.
If you don't like that, I recommend one of two alternatives. If you're not familiar with Anivia and how to play her, you can build 0/9/21 instead, going with extra gold, mana, cdr, and movement speed out of combat. This will allow you to stay in lane a bit longer and scale to late game a little faster which is where Anivia truly shines. Alternately, you can run 9/0/21 if you are VERY comfortable with Anivia and know her intimately, which will make you a real threat late game but is super squishey early on. It's ultimately up to you if you want to run one of these other builds.
Level 1, take Flash Frost (Q). No questions asked. This is the hardest skill in Anivia's kit, but you need it level 1. This will provide your lane with a stun right away which is handy for both engage and disengage. If you read the tooltip, this skill deals damage on contact as well as when it is burst (by pressing Q while it is flying). Offensively you want to get both triggers to hit on your primary target, so shoot it at the target and press Q immediately after it passes. Although if you can get multiple people in the stun, that is much more valuable than the extra damage, so use this ability wisely.
Level 2, time for your bread and butter, Frostbite (E). Before you do anything, make sure to hotkey this ability (by pressing escape then clicking the lightning bolt under E). The damage on E is amazing if you can catch an enemy with either Flash Frost or Glacial Storm (R). The damage will proc the secondary damage effect on any target slowed, meaning you don't have to stun them with Q to get it to work, just have it pass through them. Similarly with glacial storm. Continue levelling this ability every chance you get.
Wait until level 4 to upgrade Crystallize. Practice dropping that just in front, just behind, and right on top of your enemy so you can get a feel for the mechanics of this very unique ability. Also practice dropping this right next to a group of minions or a wall to force the enemy to walk a certain way and make your skillshot (Q) much easier to hit. Sometimes you will guarantee a hit using the wall this way. Oh and it's also good for disengage and jungle fighting. Learning to use this skill takes time and experience for sure.
Once you hit level 6, upgrade Glacial Storm, and again at level 11 and 16. Your frostbite (E) just became guaranteed to do tons of damage. If you catch an enemy out of position, don't hesitate to drop glacial storm right on them and throw an E to get some quick damage down and make them hate your guts. Don't over-engage though, just get your R->E out and back off.
At this point, you should alternate between spells that can proc damage. Often you can R->E then wall them into running a certain way to Q->E and force them to base.
As for levelling up your Q and W beyond level 1 spells, I recommend getting a second point in Crystallize (W) at level 8 just to extend your wall size to make everything a bit easier to hit, then level Flash Frost (Q) all the way up to level 5 before finishing the wall levels. You can experiment with the order of those two spells as you play Anivia. Really, we just need Q for the stun and the E damage, so increasing its damage is not quite as critical, but once you've got a big enough wall, neither is that.
Start with the spellthief's edge and potions. This will give you that slight boost in AP to punch an opponent in the face and have the hp/mp regen from pots to stay in lane longer than they do. If you know you're going up against a rough lane, you can also consider doran's shield to start, but you sacrifice a lot of your poke threat by doing this. You also need a warding trinket to protect your lane. Communicate and alternate with your ADC to keep your lane constantly warded.
Upgrade to frostfang on your first back in order to get the 4 gold/10 going as early as possible. If you can, try to hang onto this until you've completed at least four (preferably five) of your items. You also get money for poking enemy champions. Handy. Oh and buy at least two wards on your first back, preferably potions too.
Next on your list of must-haves is a sightstone and a switch to the sweeping lens. If you can, try to stay in lane post-Frostfang until you reach 950 gold so you can outright buy this. From here on, warding duty is yours and yours alone (but you can always ask for help).
You can get a Chalice of Harmony if you are having mana problems. I usually do this to help stay in lane as much as possible. You may consider buying one or even two fairy charms before your sightstone just to help with mana issues early game.
Grab tier 1 boots. Enough said.
Next on your list is Rod of Ages. This is absolutely critical, I cannot say it enough. You are going to need the health that you get throughout the game, not to mention extra mana and AP. The health will benefit both your normal and your egg forms, and especially in lower ELOs, you will come out of a teamfight alive because only one person focused the egg when they "killed" you. The order in which you get it can vary. If the other team is winning, think about getting catalyst first. Stalemates and winning for your side, definitely grab that blasting wand so you can blast all the peeps! :D
Upgrade to sorcerer's shoes. If you're losing, immediately get homeguard's to help defensive efforts. You may even need to do this before Rod of Ages if you are losing hard and fast in a game. However, if your opponents are turtling and you're spending most of your time in their half of the map, you can consider getting alacrity instead.
From here on, the build is really yours to make your own and depends on the enemy team comp too. If they have lots of tanks and high-HP targets, you might want to get an early Liandry's (helps with your health too). Lots of AP casters? Upgrade the chalice you bought earlier into Athene's Unholy Grail. You say they're all squishey? Consider just straight damage items like Rabadon's Deathcap and Void Staff and completely ignoring Liandry's. They're all attack-damage based? You can get a Zhonya's which is extra handy if you remember to use it in a pickle. If you're not sure what to buy, just go look at all the AP items and see what looks good to you. There is no perfect answer to this. You could even buy defensive items like Sunfire Cape or Banshee's Veil...but why would you do that when you can just kill it before it kills you?
Phases of the game
During the laning phase, your #1 priority is to keep your lane from getting ganked. You MUST communicate with your ADC in order to keep the lane warded at all times. Beyond that, you want to test the waters with your Q pokes whenever you see a decent chance to hit. How do you know when there's a decent chance? It takes time and experience, but in general when they are overextended or up near a wall, you can shoot the Q so they either have to run away or run through it. Practice this a LOT.
Whenever you DO manage to hit a Q, you want to follow with an E every time if possible. It should be pretty obvious when your Q will hit, and if you force a dash of some kind, it's almost always away from you, so you should be safe following your Q to land the E. Also, any time you can hit with an auto attack, that will help with the damage even if just a little, so try to throw that into your Q-E combos when you can. Once you get ult, try to combo R-E to get the same damage, but only when it's exceptionally safe to do so (2v1's or at extreme range).
Of course, use your Q-stuns and walls and ultimate (once you have it) to disengage from any ganks. Junglers get so frustrated walking out of the bush and into a wall of ice.
Once you get your ADC fed like nobody's business (you dawg you), you can leave him and start warding the jungle and visiting other lanes. With your stun, wall, and slows for days, mid lane will love seeing you show up in lane, get a kill, and shove that turret down like it was a fifth grade bully. At this point, you should be able to clear waves for anyone, so don't hesitate to let your team member know you'll hold the lane.
Getting into the mid and late games, Anivia becomes one of the best tower defense champions in the game. Very few enemy teams will fight under a tower with no minions, so abuse this by dropping your Glacial Storm (R) well in front of the tower and backing up so you won't die from enemies. You should be able to place it well enough to encourage enemies to come in from one side where you can throw up a wall while the minions all wander lazily to their deaths and the enemy champs sit there sucking their thumbs. You will find with only three or four of you defending, the enemies won't even touch your tower.
And that's pretty much how it goes. Keep defending like crazy, don't be afraid to push a lane with your ultimate when you see all the enemies are occupied elsewhere. Don't forget to use your wall in teamfights to separate an enemy team, but NEVER to separate yours. Use your Q-stun and R-E to lock up and shut down enemies dumb enough to sit in the blizzard of death during teamfights as well.
Most importantly, keep your attitude positive. You will be amazed how many games you are losing that you can turn around just by defending like crazy until your team can pull out a win for you.
Team and Lane compositions
First and most importantly...BAN LEONA!!! If you get stuck against a Leona, the entire game is 100% dependent on who catches whom in a compromising position, and Leona is a beast at that. It is less critical to ban Blitz, Thresh, or anyone else, as you can out-damage most tanks at early levels and out-CC most others.
Sustain supports like Nami, Sona and Taric are the hardest to deal with (barring Leona) because you can't whittle them down before engaging hard. You especially should be careful of Taric for his stun. For these comps, make sure you buy lots of health potions and tease them with Q or Q-E poke, but don't really go in hard until you get a gank. Then...KILL THEM ALL!!!
Poking supports like Lulu, Karma and and Zyra are a relatively easy matchup. Of course, buy potions when you intend to be in lane trying to trade with them, but for these if you can land a Q make sure to follow with your E (and a wall when appropriate) so your ADC can follow up. As always, try to hit them with a full combo once or twice before really going all in. This isn't too hard of a matchup, but it does turn out to be a skill competition at some level.
Your bread and butter are low-damage, non-healing tankey champions (like Blitz and Thresh). They hook you? Great! Kill their buddy. Obviously don't try to get hooked, but don't waste the opportunity either. These champs will not be nearly as potent as you early game and nowhere near as helpful to their teams late game.
As for YOUR teammate, it is best to have an ADC with mobility. Tristana and Ezreal stand out in this regard, but other very strong candidates are Lucian, Draven and Graves for their short dashes or speed boosts that can get them in or out of a fight very quickly.
A few last pointers and reminders. Don't forget your egg. Change your playstyle depending on if your egg is up or not. Egg is up? Sure, let's have a 3 on 3 fight in bot lane! Egg is down? Stay away from me. Always know if your egg is up or not and play accordingly.
Remember to keep a positive attitude even if you die a lot. Anivia is not an easy champion to learn much less master. It's going to take time to learn how far your Q will go if you flash first or how far you can reach with your wall or even how to place your wall. Don't get frustrated, don't let your team make you frustrated. Even if you die, you will still be useful late game because of your ability to defend towers.
I highly recommend spending some time playing Anivia in the mid lane. I'm not going to make a guide right now for that, but watch Froggen's games as a mid laner and read guides about that. This will improve your game as a support Anivia tenfold.
Above all, have fun! It's a game! Yes, everyone wants to win, but even if you lose, look at what you can do better and what you did well. Always look to improve your game. Don't worry about someone else's game.
Well, that's about it. I hope you have a chance to try this out. Anivia is one of the hardest champions in League of Legends to play successfully, so give her a chance, give yourself some practice with her, and you'll be quashing all of your foes in no time! That is...if you can find a good ADC to play with. :D