Sivir Build Guide by Vapora Dark
Grandmaster In-Depth ADC Sivir Guide Season 11By Vapora Dark | Updated on April 28, 2021
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Runes: Duskblade Sivir
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Table of Contents
|Why Play Sivir||Gameplay||Understanding Matchups|
|Hi, I'm Vapora Dark, a veteran player that's been playing since season 1. During that time I've hit Master tier as a mid lane main in season 5, as an ADC main in season 7, again as a jungle main in season 8, and once more in season 9 playing a mix of all those roles. I can play every role to a very high level and have a very good understanding of the general aspects of the game on top of that.|
I've been writing guides on MOBAFire since 2011, among which my achievements include winning the MOBAFire guide contest multiple times, achieving the highest score on the site multiple times with multiple guides, achieving the most comments on a single guide of all time by a very large amount which hasn't come even close to being surpassed in the 3 years that it's been archived, and having the most collective guide views on the site by a very hefty amount. I've also written some champion guides for Riot Games on the Lolesports site.
In this chapter I'm going to be gathering a compilation of Sivir footage ranging from full gameplays, VOD reviews of myself and more famous players, as well as short plays, to help you learn the champion even better if you're willing to put in the time to watch some extra content on top of the actual guide itself, as well as give you an idea of what the champion can achieve in the hands of a good player. Click here to sub for more educational content.
What people think when they think of Sivir, of the things that define her, are her waveclear and her massive AoE damage potential in teamfights, allowing her to put out hypercarry levels of damage in certain conditions.
Her ult On The Hunt also frequently comes to mind as a utility tool to enable your team to better engage/disengage as well as overall improved teamfighting efficiency as they are more efficient at reaching their targets and dodging skillshots. This spell used to be pretty much consume her entire identity before being nerfed in order to buff the rest of her spells and stop her being one-dimensional, to the point where many people still haven't adjusted their perception of her to match her newfound identity, where she provides value through more traditional ADC means, namely being a strong champion individually and not just a utility bot that you pick when you want to get carried as she used to be seen.
Sivir's strengths are her waveclear - the strongest of any ADC -, her safety through On The Hunt and Spell Shield, massive damage in closer-quarters teamfights where Ricochet is able to get multiple bounces, and a very solid laning phase composed of strong trades, long range poke and unparalleled waveclear.
Her weaknesses are her very low auto-attack range, her inefficiency at dealing with tanks, and the overall unreliability of her teamfight damage, which ranges from hypercarry level to decent to awful depending on how many Ricochet bounces she gets and onto what targets. It's for this reason that her lategame overall tends to be unremarkable despite her immense potential in lategame teamfights.
|||||FLASH||||||Flash is the strongest summoner spell in the game, there is almost no champion that doesn't run it. It's an incredibly versatile spell, being able to be used either offensively or defensively. There is absolutely no circumstance in which you wouldn't want to run Flash, if you don't you'll be the easiest person on your team to gank and catch out, and you'll potentially miss out on a lot of kills that get away using their own Flash while you're unable to close the gap because you don't have Flash yourself.|||||
|||||HEAL||||||Heal is likewise taken every single game by both ADCs, and sometimes by mid laners as well. On a role like ADC, where you naturally have a lot of in-built damage, you want a summoner spell that'll increase your survivability to help you keep putting out damage, rather than an offensive one like Ignite. In season 3 ADC's would use Barrier until Heal got reworked into its current state, Heal is still the best choice on ADC over 2 years later as Barrier is a very selfish summoner in the sense that it only affects you, while Heal affects you and one more team-mate, which in a duo lane is very strong. Even though Heal is mitigated by Ignite, a common pick on supports and mid laners, it's still often the superior defensive spell for keeping yourself safe thanks to the movement speed boost, and the fact that it affects another team-mate as well just cements it as the single, most optimal defensive spell for ADC.|||||
|Lethal Tempo: Your 2 options here are Lethal Tempo and Fleet Footwork, Lethal Tempo gives you an amazing damage boost in both early fights and late-game teamfights while Fleet Footwork gives you a substantial increase to your early-game sustain. In tough matchups I recommend to go for Fleet Footwork to keep you safe and help you scale up and be useful later, but most of the time you'll want to take Lethal Tempo since you should expect to win most lanes and Lethal Tempo outperforms Fleet Footwork in any lane where you can fight back.|
|Triumph: This can be a life saver in close fights, and the 25g per takedown actually adds up to quite a bit in bloody games.|
|Legend: Bloodline: Since you have no more reliance on attack speed than any other ADC and you won't be buildling any lifesteal items until later on if ever, Legend: Bloodline will be an invaluable addition to your survivability and overall sustain once it stacks up.|
|Coup de Grace: This is the best rune in its tree for almost every champion that wants to go into Precision since it's the one that simply does the most damage in your average game. However, Cut Down can be situationally optimal into very tanky teams, you just have to keep an eye out open for the rare situation where it can actually be worth using for substantially increased teamfight damage.|
Magical Footwear: Since ideally you don't want to build Boots until a little later anyway this rune pretty much does nothing except put you 300 gold ahead after 10-12 minutes.
Biscuit Delivery: As the average game time has gotten shorter and shorter, lane sustain has become very powerful. As most carries buy no sustain for the early game, the missing health/mana regeneration the biscuits offer are second to none. The utility of these 2 runes is far too strong to pass up and as they'll be active in the game from the very start and have permanent effects they will never not be useful.
Sivir gains 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 Movement Speed for 2 seconds when she hits an enemy champion with Boomerang Blade, Ricochet or a basic attack. The amount changes every 5 levels.
Pretty simple passive. You hit something, you move faster, boom. Mainly used for kiting or chasing, but it can also be used just to run away by throwing Boomerang Blade behind you onto chasing enemies, to get a movement speed boost from it when it hits them. If they dodge it then it still disrupts their chase, helping you get away.
Sivir hurls her crossblade like a boomerang, dealing 25 / 45 / 65 / 85 / 105 (+50% of ability power) (+0.7 / 0.8 / 0.9 / 1.0 / 1.1 of total attack damage) physical damage to the first unit and 15% reduced damage to each subsequent target down to a minimum of 40%.
Sivir's main harass in lane. It hits like a truck, especialy if you can get it to hit twice, so getting a good Q off can be extremely impactful in lane.
Boomerang Blade does less damage to targets the more enemies it hits beforehand, so try to avoid harassing with it through minions a lot unless you actually want to push the lane.
In fights, if you're fighting with a team-mate that has a stun, save casting Boomerang Blade until your target is stunned so they can't Flash or anything to dodge it, to guarantee that you'll get as much damage from it as possible.
Sivir's next 3 basic attacks bounce to nearby enemies, dealing 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 % of her attack damage to each additional enemy hit. Enemies can only be hit once but there is no limit on how many targets can be hit per attack.
Ricochet's cooldown starts once the ability is cast and the buff duration lasts 4 seconds.
Late-game this is your main source of damage, often doing even more damage than your auto-attacks themselves. If your auto-attack crits then so will Ricochet, so once you have Essence Reaver, Phantom Dancer, Infinity Edge and a rank 5 Ricochet you'll do scary amounts of AoE damage. And unlike other AoE ADC's like Miss Fortune, you have this damage available to you on a 4 second cooldown.
Remember that Ricochet is an auto-attack reset, meaning that when you press W you will immediately begin another auto-attack even if you just finished an auto-attack. Here's a demonstration of Echo Fox KEITHMCBRIEF using Sivir's auto-attack reset, and here's myself demonstrating the AA-reset technique very clearly with Talon.
Creates a magical barrier which blocks a single enemy ability used on Sivir. Lasts up to 1.5 seconds. If an ability is blocked by the shield, Sivir regains 80 / 95 / 110 / 125 / 140 mana.
In lane this helps you cancel out harass and regain mana in the process, or prevent engages/avoid CC used for any other purpose. It's most effective when used vs CC usually, but most of your use in lane will be to block harass such as from Piercing Light or Piltover Peacemaker.
In team-fights you'll almost always just want to save it for CC or to block things such as Mimic to prevent yourself taking huge damage.
If you're winning lane and don't have to worry about blocking certain spells, feel free to spam Spell Shield liberally on any spell coming to you just to use it as mana sustain.
Late-game this spell will have a 6 second cooldown, so remember to use it every time it's up rather than using it once then forgetting about it.
Passive: Sivir gains 40 / 60 / 80 % bonus Attack Speed while Ricochet is active.
Active: Sivir rallies her allies for 8 seconds, granting all nearby allies an initial 40 / 50 / 60% Movement Speed bonus that reduces to 20% after 2 / 3 / 4 seconds. Allies that enter On The Hunt's radius after the cast are given the same bonus movement speed value and duration Sivir currently has.
On The Hunt is what makes Sivir such a teamwide utility-focused ADC. It basically defines Sivir as a champion, though less so now that Ricochet deals so much damage and you have a reason to pick her other than for pressing R.
It can be used for a variety of situations, including running away, disengaging as a team, enhancing a team's engage, or just signalling to your team that they should engage. It's really hard to waste it since there's almost no situation where your team doesn't benefit from the speed boost.
In lane you'll want to use it either to help you secure kills, to improve the effectiveness of a gank from your team-mate, to run away from bad fights, or to run away when being ganked.
You max your skills in the order of R-Q-W-E. Boomerang Blade is Sivir's strongest way of trading in lane, so you'll max it first to be able to hold your own against the enemy ADC. Afterwards, you max Ricochet because it'll lower the CD, improving your DPS, waveclear and team-fight AoE, especially once you pick up some crit chance. I will often start maxing Ricochet early, after 3-4 points in Boomerang Blade because I want to make sure I have it fully maxed by the time I have Essence Reaver and Phantom Dancer, since Boomerang Blade max isn't as good out of lane and this is around the time that laning phase would end, and switching to an earlier Ricochet max in time to match your first items powerspike ensures you'll be as strong as possible when mid-game arrives. Spell Shield is maxed last as there aren't many benefits to maxing it besides the low cooldown and you generally won't need to be spamming it.
In season 11 Sivir has two different itemization options, lethality or crit. Lethality works best against squishy comps who she can chunk out with Boomerang Blade while crit gives her more DPS to burn down tanky enemies in teamfights through autos. The AoE doesn't differ too much between both builds since while crit Sivir does more AoE through Ricochet, lethality Sivir does more AoE damage through Boomerang Blade. I will now talk you through how to build her with both playstyles.
You'll start your build off with Tear of the Goddess and 2 Health Potions instead of Doran's Blade, and then rush straight into Manamune. Sivir's spell costs are high and you'll mainly be playing around Boomerang Blade so you need plenty of mana to sustain your playstyle. After you've completed Manamune you can start on your mythic, Duskblade of Draktharr. This is your best mythic option because of the large amounts of ability haste it can offer, and since most of your damage will come from Boomerang Blade this is a very important stat. After this point, you should consider the following items.
Serylda's Grudge works best against comps that are already beginning to build some armor. Even if it's only on one or two champions, the % armor pen will work on squishies too while allowing you to deal far greater amounts of damage to those building armor. This item should fine its way into your full build at some point either way because it offers a lot of ability haste and the slow synergizes so well with your playstyle.
The Collector is the greatest choice for raw damage against squishy champions, and gives some crit which will work well with Ricochet even if you're not building any other crit items.
Edge of Night is a survivability-damage hybrid which can work extremely well against certain champions such as Tristana who are very reliant on certain abilities while having limited options to remove the spellshield.
Chempunk Chainsword is an essential item against certain teamcomps or champions who rely excessively on healing, especially if none of your teamates are building grievous wounds. You can start with just the Executioner's Calling and just hold onto that until 6 items before looking to upgrade it, since the full item isn't very cost-efficient and you already obtain most of the anti-heal benefits from just Executioner's Calling.
Guardian Angel is a good item to build when your team's win condition hinges on your own survival. Usually built as a final item but can technically be built at any point after your first 2 core items if you need the survivability.
Ravenous Hydra provides you with amazing sustain as well as a large amount of ability haste, making it a solid choice to round out your build with at some point should you not need any other item more pressingly.
Sivir itemization is a little diffent from standard because she wants to rush Essence Reaver instead of a mythic item. Given how heavily reliant Sivir is on her abilities, the CDR and mana sustain provides her with more than mythics can give her.
Your mythic options are between Galeforce, Kraken Slayer and Immortal Shieldbow. Galeforce is the strongest and what you should go in most games but Kraken Slayer and Immortal Shieldbow can have their uses; Kraken Slayer against tanky comps and Immortal Shieldbow against high burst. Kraken Slayer is not just the best item for dealing with tanks but the highest DPS item in general, while Galeforce offers both a lot of safety as well as a lot of burst. It can help you get more kills and snowball, and stay safe from opponents whom might benefit from your immobility. As Sivir, you should default to Galeforce unless you really need one of the other two, particularly Kraken Slayer to take down tanks.
For third item your main option is Infinity Edge but you can also consider The Collector as a cheaper alternative against comps that won't build much armor. The lethality makes it equally as effective relative to its cost against low-armor targets, and can potentially allow you to hit a big powerspike one back sooner, as well as sit on Serrated Dirk instead of B. F. Sword which is both a stronger component and also more affordable since it lets you pick up a Long Sword if you can't afford anything else. Should you opt for The Collector you should build Infinity Edge afterwards, while in the reverse you have The Collector as an option but also have the following items to consider.
Lord Dominik's Regards is essential against multiple tank comps, especially when they're particularly focusing on stacking armor. It's recently become a trend to build this early (2nd or 3rd item) against tank comps but I believe this is misguided because the damage increase onto tanks is nowhere near enough to compensate for the amount of damage you lose onto non-tanks compared to building your regular core items. This, as with any situational item besides components like Quicksilver Sash, should only be considered after your first 3 core items, and never before.
Mortal Reminder is essential against comps or individual champions with high reliance on healing, such as Vladimir, Aatrox or Dr. Mundo. You should also consider rushing Executioner's Calling as your first big component in laning phase against supports like Yuumi or Soraka because all their strength in laning phase comes from their healing, and cutting it in half has a greater impact in fights than building damage. You also don't have to complete Mortal Reminder until you've completed the rest of your build, since it's a very cost-inefficient item and most of its benefits are already obtained with just Executioner's Calling.
Navori Quickblades is limited by its high cost but an amazing item to pick up when you can afford it. Once you have a lot of crit it dramatically lowers your cooldowns.
Bloodthirster is now an amazing choice if you can afford to spare the gold now that it gives 20% crit chance. This is an item that offers a great mix of offense and defense between its +20% lifesteal and the huge overheal shield. A great item to be considered when in search of some tankiness as an ADC.
Guardian Angel is a good item to build when your team's win condition hinges on your own survival. Usually built as a final item but can be built at any point after Infinity Edge if you're not lacking in damage.
Stormrazor and Phantom Dancer are both strong damage-focused final items if you don't need other situational items and don't have to worry about survivability. Stormrazor offers more single-target burst damage while Phantom Dancer offers more DPS.
Mercurial Scimitar is mandatory against certain champions whose CC can be devastating and hard to avoid, such as Skarner, Malzahar, Lissandra and many more. You can start by building just Quicksilver Sash at any point after your first item, whenever you deem it necessary, and just like Mortal Reminder you don't want to upgrade it until you've completed the rest of the build since it isn't a very cost-efficient item once you already have the active.
Generally you'll want to start with Ricochet at level 1, as [sivir has a lot of matchups that she can't properly trade against early on if she can't hit a point blank Boomerang Blade, as the damage decreases if it goes through minions.
Ricochet means you'll have even worse trades, but very few ADC's can out-push level 1 Sivir if she starts Ricochet, so you can just out-push the enemy bot lane and rely on avoiding trades as they won't want to trade against you if you have the minion advantage. Later on you'll probably level up Q at level 2 and you can land good Q's easier once the enemy bot lane has no minions left, especially when the ADC is at their tower trying to last-hit minions under tower, where he's a sitting duck.
Sometimes you can start Q at level 1 instead if you intend to play aggressively right away, which makes the most sense when you have a stronger level 1 bot lane with a support such as Janna or Thresh vs Leona or Alistar, but with the supports in reverse you would get out-traded pretty hard against any ADC, so you would definitely want to start Ricochet and go with the route of avoiding trades.
At level 2 you can also optionally skill Spell Shield if you know you lose trades and you just want to minimize the damage dealt to you. It's especially useful vs champions with very telegraphed/reactable harass, such as Inner Flame/ Soulflare or Hymn of Valor. It's less smart to try and use it against spells that leave you with less time to react, such as a Piercing Light cast through minions.
Throughout laning phase your win condition is almost always just to shove every wave into tower and force the enemy ADC to last-hit there. Sivir isn't great at harassing under tower with auto-attacks, but when the enemy ADC is trying to last-hit under tower it's the easiest position for you to land point blank Boomerang Blades, and you may be able to get some auto-attacks off while they're last-hitting caster minions too.
Whenever you're shoved under tower, have Q on CD and can't poke anyone with auto-attacks, you should be auto-attacking the tower to make sure it goes down as soon as possible, since it's a +650g boost in power for you if your team allows you to take full local gold (as they should).
Outside of laning phase, your objective is to destroy the nexus. No I'm not kidding, that's literally the best way to describe it. Every action you take in laning phase is to set you up for mid-late game, every action you take outside of laning phase is to bring you one step closer to destroying the enemy nexus. The way you do this is by performing actions that will make killing the enemy team easier (acquiring gold, dragons, barons) so that you have less resistance, and destroying towers as a way to acquire gold, have better control of the map, and open up routes to the nexus.
|At this point you should be grouping with your team as much as possible to teamfight and siege down towers. Sivir isn't the best at directly dealing damage to towers during sieges due to her low auto-attack range, but Spell Shield should keep you relatively safe as you sneak in whatever auto-attacks you can, and you can use Boomerang Blade and Ricochet to harass champions under their tower to whittle them down, as well as Ricochet wiping out whole minion waves single handedly as soon as they come.|
Sieging towers is pretty simple, but you need to be careful about it. When both teams are alive and your team is trying to take a tower, it's your job to do as much damage as you can to the tower without dying. You need to do as much damage as you can while remaining safe. This means you can't just walk up to the tower and stand there auto-attacking until it dies; this leaves you open to get engaged upon, unless there's no resistance from the enemy team. Instead you have to repeatedly poke the tower. Walk up to it, attack it a bit, back off if someone dangerous is walking up to you. Now you might think "but what if they never stop protecting their tower? Doesn't that mean it's never safe for me to auto-attack it?". If they're constantly standing in a defensive position in relation to their tower, then they're in range for your team to poke them and force them back. They need to be in a place where it's safe for them to sit and look for a good engage, where your team has no way to attack them besides tower diving them, which only works when you're super ahead. And if they advance, that takes them further out of safety, so if you match their movements to stay safe from an engage, they'll be forced to move back for their own safety again, as they don't want to get engaged on either, nor poked down to a point where they need to back to recover their HP.
So you should think of sieging as, slowly whittling down a tower. It almost never takes a single minion wave to destroy a tower (unless you have baron buff), it can take many, many waves, but slowly but surely, the tower will go down if you can siege it properly.
When you're attacking a tower with enemies nearby you always want to be positioned at max distance from the tower while you auto-attack, and in between auto-attacks you should move backwards then forwards, so that while your auto-attack is "on cooldown", you're not spending any more time closer to the danger than necessary. It's also good habit in case they start to try an engage and you're already automatically moving backwards the moment you finish your auto-attack, meaning you'll often protect yourself from an engage faster than you can actually react to it, so long as you notice in time to not move back towards the tower for your next auto-attack.
||Against teams with very high wave clear (hello Anivia), it can be very hard if not impossible to siege down towers, especially inhibitor towers that actually recover HP all the time. Your options in these situations are to engage on the enemy team under their tower, which only works when you're reaaaaaaaally far ahead, or go get baron. The enemy team won't usually just give up baron for free though, and so you can use this to bait them into a fight. They'll need to constantly have vision on baron to make sure you're not doing it, which can be hard to keep up if your team places pinks and uses Oracle's Lens to clear their wards, so at some point they might have no choice but to face check baron to make sure you're not doing it. Even if you are, you can take the opportunity to turn around and team-fight.|
Ever wondered how pros can get 300 CS at 30 minutes before? No, it's not completely down to "insanely good last-hitting mechanics". You can do it too, just by using a simple wave control technique. Watch this video to understand how minion waves work (it'll also go through lane freezing again).
So when 2 minion waves collide on bot lane, in the middle of the lane, you should be there to push those 6 minions. And then you leave bot lane. No, you don't stay to push the 2nd minion wave too and force your wave to hit the tower. Aside from being at risk if you do that, it's also just not smart to do it. Because once you clear the first wave and your minions advance to crash into the next minion wave, your minions will be on the enemy's side of the map, and as you just learnt from the video, that means that the wave will slowly but inevitably start to push towards your side of the map.
After clearing that first wave you just go pressure mid or teamfight or whatever, then you just return bot lane in 2-3 minutes when the enemy minion wave has finished pushing to your tower (and make sure to get there before the minions start dying to the tower). At that point it'll be a 15-20 minion wave. Assuming it's 20 minions, and you've been off of bot lane for 2 minutes, you'll be getting 20 minions for the 2 minutes you've spent off lane, keeping with the 10 cs per minute rule you always want to aim for (though won't always be able to achieve).
But even if it isn't quite 20 minions, the time that you've spent off of bot lane, you'll have spent farming mid lane, and maybe even jungle monsters. You'll essentially be farming 2 lanes at once, keeping you easily above the 10 CS per minute rule so long as you can consistently get to the bottom lane wave in time before the minions start dying to the tower. This won't always be possible, as CS isn't the most important thing in the game. Sometimes you'll be busy teamfighting, or making sure you're around in case a teamfight starts. But in general you'll want to go farm the wave as much as possible, then push the wave onto the enemey's side of the map to restart the push, both to get ahead in farm and to avoid having a huge minion wave destroy your tower.
When the wave that you're pushing is a cannon wave, that messes with this technique a little bit. Because you'll be killing the enemy cannon minion and letting your own cannon minion push uninterrupted, the enemy minion wave won't slowly push up to your tower. Instead your minions will continue to push forwards, very slowly. When it's a cannon wave, you should either push the 2nd wave too (if it's safe to do so, not at all safe to do when the enemy team is ahead in towers and enemy threats are unaccounted for on the minimap), or just recognize that you won't be able to get the wave to push back to you in this specific situation and settle for creating a slow push instead, rather than trying to create a farming opportunity for yourself later on.
The video also explains how to create a slow push, but this technique is very rarely useful in solo queue with how uncoordinated everyone is outside of very high Elo. Keep it in mind in case you ever think it could be useful, but most of the time it just ends up creating a huge minion wave for the enemy AD carry to farm, getting him ahead in farm instead of you. It's better suited for ranked 5s assuming your team understands the strength of a slow push, or if you're a high Challenger player and for some reason reading a MOBAFire guide.
In some situations, notably when you expect to be sieging for a while and especially sieging towers that are really close to the enemy base, such as inner towers and inhibitor towers, it's really not ideal to have to force yourself to go back bot lane to farm every 2 minutes. If you do the technique and you can't go bot you'll essentially have just created a slow push against yourself, causing the enemy minions to die to tower, wasting gold, damaging your tower, and possibly even destroying it. Rather than putting yourself in that situation, this is when you want to create a slow push against the enemy team, as they'll hopefully be too busy defending against the siege to send someone to clear bot. This way they'll be the ones losing minions to the tower, taking tower damage, and possibly losing a tower if it's already low. And if they do send someone to clear it, you'll either have an easier time sieging or your team will be able to dive the enemy team 5v4 under tower.
When it comes to team-fighting as an ADC, there is one golden rule which is the most basic team-fighting rule of all, and yet makes you an infinitely better team-fighter if you start following it; attack whoever's closest to you. If you stand at the back, behind your frontline, and just auto-attack whichever enemy is absolutely closest to you, you have the best possible positioning, as you'll only be in focus range of whoever's diving you, or whoever you're attacking. It's recommended in general to take down the enemy carries before the tanks, but as the ADC if you try to attack a carry then you're in range of every single member of the enemy team, and if they all focus you then you'll go down in under a second. By keeping your distance and attacking just whatever's closest, you'll be hardest to kill, and can therefore output maximum DPS by just staying alive and being able to auto-attack all fight long. The only time you should attack the enemy team's carries is when there's no other enemies standing between you and them.
The best players of all know not only when to follow that one basic rule, but also when to take even further measures to stay safe. Before you ever even get into a team-fight, you should have already analyzed what all the threats to you on the enemy team are, and play more safely or aggressively accordingly. For example, if a Shyvana is the one trying to dive you, you'd want to follow the rule of attacking whatever's closest, and just kite her while your team also hopefully tries to peel her.
||But sometimes you need to turn the safety notch up another level and straight up walk away from someone that could be a threat to you. For example, if you're playing vs Talon, you cannot be one of the ones trying to focus him down while he still has enough cooldowns and HP to be a threat. Even if he's the only person in range of you, and you have 3-4 team-mates around you, you still can't be auto-attacking him until the threat he presents has been neutralized ( cutthroat goes on CD, or he gets so low that he'd die before he could burst you). All the skill and mechanics in the world won't stop him bursting you down in half a second if he gets near enough. And you not only need to stay out of his E range, you also have to account for the extra movement speed he can get from Youmuu's Ghostblade and Shadow Assault, and how quickly they can help him close the gap. Not to mention how quickly he could cover a huge distance to get you with Flash.|
No, when you're playing against Talon and you see him running in your direction, you stay as far the f**k away from him as you can get. Don't help your team kill him, that's not your job. Your job is to not die to assassins, and your team's job is to protect you from assassins, which in a lot of cases, they must do by killing the assassin whenever he tries to get to you, hopefully unsuccessfully. If the assassin commits their cooldowns onto someone else when they realize they can't get to you, that's when it's safe for you to walk back into the fight. Or if the assassin gets CC'd and blown up uselessly before they get to do anything, then it's also safe!
Champions that present such a large threat to you aren't just limited to assassins ( Talon, Zed, LeBlanc) that can burst you down within a second. Other champions, mostly if fed, can just out-duel you so brutally, that even if you have 2-3 team-mates helping you in an effective 1v3/1v4, you're still going to die if they can get in range of you. Champions that can commonly do this when fed are bruisers like Irelia, Jax, Renekton, etc. Champions tanky enough to qualify as tanks while still dealing huge damage to a squishy target like you, especially when fed.
Against champions like these, it's really necessary for you to watch out and keep your distance. You can try poking at them with Boomerang Blade and the occasional auto-attack, but you can't fully commit to DPS'ing them down until again, they either fall so low at your team's hands that they're no longer a threat, or realizing that they can't get to you, they commit their most important cooldowns (mobility and/or CC) onto someone else. In Irelia's case, it's safe to commit onto her when she's used either Bladesurge, as she won't be able to gap close to you or burst you with it (though Flash may still pose a threat), or Equilibrium Strike, as it'll prevent her using her deadly 2 second stun on you. And if she's used both then until they come off of cooldown she presents almost no threat at all, so long as you maintain good positioning and kite if she tries to walk towards you.
When following the rule of "attack whoever's closest", often you'll have to choose between two champions that are at a more or less equal distance from you, and it'll be optimal for you to attack one or the other, but it's hard to be completely certain about who the right target is. That being said, here are some things for you to consider which will hopefully lead to you making the right choice:
1) Which is the bigger threat?
You'll want to take out whoever's the biggest threat not just to yourself, but to your team as a whole, and disregard the weaker enemy. Sometimes it's not very clear cut, others you have to choose between a fed Riven and a 1/1/5 jungle Sion, in which case it's a very obvious choice which you should focus.
2) Who would die faster?
When the targets are equally threatening, you'll want to focus whichever one is squishiest/lower HP, as the sooner they're out of the fight, the sooner your team gains a numbers advantage. Sometimes even if they're the lower threat, it's still worth focusing them down first if they're going to die significantly faster, but only sometimes, and it depends on how big a threat the other possible target is.
3) Who's least likely to get away from you?
The less mobile one is the least likely to walk away and succeed in getting away. You'll want to focus the least mobile one as they're the ones most likely to die if they get low. A tank with gap closers like Zac (and let's just say his passive isn't up so you don't need to worry about that) may get low, then just leave the fight with Elastic Slingshot before you can finish him off. If your other option is an equally tanky Nautilus for example, he's less likely to be able to get away alive when he gets low, so it'd be smarter to focus him in a situation where it's just as easy to auto-attack both.
Generally, from top to bottom those would be the most important factors to take into account respectively, but sometimes one factor, if it's big enough, can over-ride a generally more important factor. For example, choosing to DPS down a negative KDA, full AD Lee Sin, over a fed Riven, because you can kill the Lee in about 2 seconds while the Riven is both tankier and more mobile, so takes a fair while longer to kill.
That's it for my Sivir guide. I hope you found this helpful and learn to play Sivir as well as you want to. I personally think she's one of the more fun ADC's and hopefully you'll share this opinion!
If you enjoyed this guide you may also enjoy Vapora's Guide To Tristana, my guide to my favourite ADC. They have very different playstyles but I find Tristana equally if not more fun to play. Otherwise you may still want to read it if you're wanting to improve your ADC skills because it's kind of like a general ADC guide as much as it is a Tristana guide.
Special thanks to Janitsu for doing my banners and the coding in the mastery chapter.