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Anivia Build Guide by Johnny Knuckles

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Johnny Knuckles

In-Depth Anivia: Robo-Bird Brakes for Blue Buff

Johnny Knuckles Last updated on July 7, 2011
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Middle Lane
Ranked #1 in
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Win 53%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Introduction/Why I'm writing this guide

Hello and welcome to my (first ever) guide on MOBAFire, on how I play Anivia the Cryophoenix.

Just a short bit about myself, as well as a disclaimer: I've been playing LoL since about November 2010, not a long time by any means, and I don't consider myself the best player around. Regardless, I've decided that it's time for me to write a guide (and hopefully help out some players slightly worse than I), and who better to write on than my favorite champion, Anivia.

Anivia is my favorite champion for a number of reasons: her great damage, utility, and CC can push any team to victory, and her extremely high skill-ceiling allows for consistently interesting games.

Also, she has a ******* ROBOT BIRD SKIN. 'nuff said.

Hopefully, this guide will help out some newer players understand how to build and play Anivia (and, maybe, some experienced people will pick up a new tidbit or two!)

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For Anivia, I always take the following runes:

Greater Mark of Insight
Flat Magic Penetration Marks, for early-game damage (as well as late game). Combined with Sorcerer's Shoes, these will provide all of the penetration you need until you swap your boots for Void Staff later in the game.

Greater Seal of Clarity
Since Anivia has terrible auto-attacks, like most casters, she relies entirely on her mana bar to deal damage (and to escape from sticky situations). As such, mana per 5/level Seals allows her to regenerate mana that much faster.
Greater Glyph of Force
Anivia loves nothing more than inserting massive icicles into the brainpans of her enemies, and this particular surgical procedure requires great quantities of AP to be effective. Luckily, we have just the rune for the job- scaling AP runes make Anivia's mid-late game very deadly.

Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
While some Summoners hate Fortitude Quints, I swear by them. The small amount of flat HP they offer may seem paltry, but take this into account- Anivia's base and final HP are quite low (if not the lowest in LoL, very close to that). As a result, flat HP will make your early game survivability much better (specifically versus AD champions, which Anivia sometimes has a problem with)

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For Masteries, I use the 'standard' caster build of 9/0/21. This allows me to access both Archaic Knowledge (% spellpen) and Presence of the Master at once, which are basically mandatory for casters.

Also of note: I prefer Good Hands over Perseverance, simply because the reduced death time means a lot late-game. If you happen to accidentally misplace Anivia in a teamfight, her low health and general frailty (especially without her Egg) means that death is a genuine possibility.

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In-Depth Skills, Tips and Tricks

In this section, I will detail the effects and usages of all of Anivia's skills.

(Innate): Upon dying, Anivia will revert into an egg and will get an armor and magic resistance modifier of -40 / -25 / -10 / +5 / +20. If the egg can survive for six seconds, she is reborn with the same percentage of health that her egg had left. This can only happen once every four minutes regardless of cooldown reduction.

[] The spell that makes Anivia a true Phoenix, able to rise from the grave when slain once every four minutes. Extremely useful for baiting early tower dives, and prevents most AP carries from killing you in the early game. Additionally, it has a hidden passive: (Passive) Makes your enemies' blood boil.

-Knowing when to bait with Rebirth is one sign of a great Anivia, and can be learned relatively easily. Once you understand which champion you excel against in lane, try to bait the weaker matchups into an early fight (or even a tower-dive!). If an AP carry eggs you, don't fret- they probably don't have the burst to kill you again so early. Hatch, breathe a sigh of relief, and nuke them into kingdom come.

(Active): Anivia brings her wings together and summons a single piercing shard of ice that flies on a line, chilling, slowing movement by 20% and damaging anyone in its path. When the shard explodes or is detonated by Anivia it deals magic damage in a radius, stunning anyone in the area for 1 second. The magic damage done by both the shard and the detonation is the same.

[] A.K.A the "******* Ice Ball," Flash Frost is an extremely long-range (1.1k range), very slow moving AoE Slow, with an active Stun component. Learning how and when to shoot Flash Frost is what makes you a good Anivia pre-6. If you are able to do so, passing the skillshot through an enemy and THEN detonating it does double damage. Flash Frost additionally chills enemies it affects, allowing Anivia to follow up with a devastating double-damage Frostbite.

-If you simply can't land the skill-shot early, try this: repeatedly animation-cancel your auto-attacks so that it seems like you are auto-attacking just as you fire Flash Frost. Anivia's autoattack animation is quite long, and looks very similar to the wind-up before Flash Frost. This can reduce your enemy's chance of dodging the shot.

-Using Flash to get in close range generally allows you to successfully hit with Flash Frost. The enemy generally panics when you Flash, and will run straight away from you. Luckily, straight away is right into the path of your Flash Frost. Once the stun lands, follow up with a kill combo ( Frostbite, Ignite, and autoattacks). Then, make a joke about Sesame Street.

-If you have trouble aiming Flash Frost late-game, try placing Glacial Storm first. The slow provided by the storm should make aiming the Flash Frost much easier.

- Flash Frost also synergizes very well with Crystallize. For example, placing Crystallize to the right of an enemy, just as you fire a Flash Frost to his or her left, can generally ensure a successful stun.

- Flash Frost can be used as an initiation move from a great distance in a pinch. Firing one off into the enemy team can sometimes catch enemies unaware, as it can be fired from a great distance, leaving you safe and sound at the back of the fight. Flash Frost can be shot from the jungle to begin a teamfight, in a similar fashion.

-When escaping from those pesky enemies, a backwards Flash Frost with a properly-timed second activation can aid in your escape. This, combined with Glacial Storm, Crystalize, and Rebirth should ensure that you hardly ever die, unless you're three or four-man ganked (or out of position).

(Active): Anivia condenses the moisture in the air into an impenetrable wall of ice to block the movement of her enemies. The wall lasts 5 seconds before it melts.

[] Ahh, Crystallize. This spell will either make your team love you, or your team hate you, depending on how well you use it. It creates a wall perpendicular to Anivia at target location, growing in size based on the skill's level. The wall's duration remains the same, however.

-A well-placed wall can do any or all of the following:
-Save yourself from a multi-man gank
-Save a teammate from certain death by blocking his chasers
-End a teamfight, by preventing the enemy team from escaping your team
-Ending a jungle chase, by walling the enemy's escape route off
-Reveal the contents of a questionable bush (plop it right into a bush to check it)
And many more!

-Creative use of Crystallize is another hallmark of a great Anivia. Learn when to use it, and when not to (or where not to).

-Beware enemy champions with either a readied Flash or a built-in blink- they care not for the simple majesty of your ice-wall, and will jump it.

-Nothing makes teammates angrier than being killed because you trapped them with your wall. As such, make sure you practice with it before you attempt "the big save," and instead condemn your teammates to death.

-At max level, Crystallize can easily trap the enemy team in the Dragon or Baron coves. Epic lulz ensue when you are able to trap an entire team in a cove, and unload on them with all of your AoE and burst.

-Since Crystallize provides a small amount of line-of-sight, you can use to to check Baron from behind.

- Crystallize also pushes nearby allies and enemies slightly if they are too close. This aspect can be used to break Warwick's ult if used perfectly (the wall is placed in between Warwick and the target of his Infinite Duress. This technique may also work with a Malzahar who is too close to his suppression target, but this has not been confirmed personally.

(Active): Anivia blasts her target with a freezing wind, dealing magic damage. If the target has been chilled by Anivia's other abilities, they will take double damage.

[] Frostbite is Anivia's main source of early damage, as well as her go-to damage ability when ganking. Frostbite is the skill that makes people fear you early. Victims say the worst part is the projectile speed- nothing's worse than a massive icicle hurtling at terminal velocity toward you, attempting to nestle itself delicately in your eyesocket.
It's hard to pull off without being focused in a teamfight, though, so it may seem less useful late game. However, when used properly, it has an AP ratio of 1, which is quite high.

-Always chill a target before using Frostbite. Both Glacial Storm and Flash Frost chill the target, so open with one of those, and then follow up with Frostbite

-There are a number of ways to pull off a successful Frostbite. However, its low range means that you will have to put your squishy bird body in harm's way to cast it. Fortunately, Anivia's kit allows her to protect herself while doing so.

-Basic Combo (early game)- lead a Flash Frost, stun the enemy, use the stun time to safely approach the enemy and use Frostbite

-Usual Combo (mid game)- This is the preferred method, and is most reliable. Cast Glacial Storm, or Flash Glacial Storm, followed by Frostbite. Quick, cheap, dirty.

-Kill Combo (early game)- Flash in, use Flash Frost at point blank to stun the enemy, auto-attack, Frostbite, Ignite, auto-attack. This combo is almost a guaranteed kill in the early levels, but make sure you know your matchup before using it.

-Tricksy Ult Combo (mid-late)- Frostbite has a travel time, so why not exploit it? If an enemy is close, use Frostbite first. While its in the air, cast Glacial Storm so that it chills the enemy. Frostbite should land and do double damage if you did it fast enough. The only downsides to this combo are a) the range on Frostbite is bad, and puts you in danger, and b) Glacial Storm will not go off unless the center of the circle is within the casting range, which can make for opportunities missed by a fraction of a second.

(Toggle): Anivia summons a driving rain of ice and hail to continuously deal damage to enemies on an area, slowing their movement and attack speed by 20% for 1 second, and chilling them.

[] Anivia's ultimate skill, the mighty Glacial Storm. Alternately termed "The Pit of Slow," "AoE Pit of Death," Glacial Storm is the be-all and end-all of Anivia's kit. Anivia screams like a hawk when she uses it, which is generally the last sound that your enemies hear before they die.

- Glacial Storm not only slows movement, but also attack speed. Use it to debuff AD champs in teamfights if you can.

- Glacial Storm is Anivia's farm tool. However, don't spam it early unless you like being OOM constantly. Once you get Blue Buff, however, spam it indiscriminately, poke with conviction, and laugh in the face of your enemies as you zone them.

- Glacial Storm is a great zoning tool, mainly because of the simple threat of your chill-comboed Frostbite. Enemies hate walking in it, because they know what happens next. Use this to your advantage. Place it behind turrets your team is killing, to prevent the enemies from engaging, but make sure to get out of turret range if they step in it.

- Glacial Storm allows Anivia to clear jungle camps. Don't be afraid to do so once you have Blue Buff.

- Glacial Storm, when placed in the middle of a teamfight, generally ends the fight. Attempt to CC enemies into it, and keep it goin' for massive damage.

-Remember not to leave Glacial Storm on if its not hitting anything, particularly in the mid-game. Especially without Blue Buff.

-Obtaining Blue Buff allows you to farm, poke, repeatedly gank, clear camps, and generally abuse Glacial Storm to its fullest degree.

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Note: Why Anivia Brakes for Blue Buff

I assume you're reading this guide because you like Anivia.

You also like winning. Right? RIGHT? I thought so.

Here's the secret: Anivia is a great champ, and she wins games. However, in order to do so, she NEEDS Blue Buff. Notice the 'allcaps'. NEEDS.

Anivia has bad mana issues early game, which only get slightly better as the game goes on. Additionally, my build does not rush Archangel's (as no build should, in my opinion), and relies on per level Seals for mana regen. CDR is also undervalued as a stat on Anivia, as her greatest asset, Glacial Storm, has an extremely short cooldown as it is.

The result? You need Blue Buff. You are the caster. You deserve it. After about level 6-7, once you have your ult, ask the jungler (politely, because politeness almost always works) if he/she can get you blue.

Anivia can't get it by herself, at any point in the game. Even late, getting it solo takes too long to be efficient. So, do the following, errgame:

1. Reach level 6-7 in mid.

2. Ask your friendly neighborhood jungler or top (or bot) to help you obtain blue.

3. Obtain blue.

4. Farm, harass, clear jungle camps, spam your ult, be happy, be free.

Make sure to get it before teamfights, too.

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My item build fluctuates greatly between games, depending on the composition of the enemy team, but generally goes as follows:

1. I almost always start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion. As I generally take the mid lane with Anivia, the Boots supplement her extremely low base movement speed, and allow me to dodge skillshots quite easily.

2. After starting with boots, I'm faced with a choice: I either pick up Catalyst The Protector, if I am laning against either an early-game AD such as Caitlyn or an anti-mage like Kassadin or LeBlanc. However, most games I get Tear of the Goddess first. The mana/5 that Tear offers, combined with its unique passive (which triggers twice when Anivia's ult is cast and turned off), synergizes very will with Anivia.

3. After Tear, I finish my boots into Sorcerer's Shoes. The flat penetration offered by these boots allows Anivia to do great early damage.

4. After finishing my boots, I begin to save for Rabadon's Deathcap. If I'm having a good game, I'm generally able to wait until I have 1.6k gold, and buy Needlessly Large Rod. If I'm forced to go back, or die, I pick up Blasting Wand. I then promptly finish Rabadon's Deathcap. This gives me the sweet sweet AP I need to begin freezing enemies to death.

Note: At this point in the game (after either NLR or Blasting Wand), I begin regularly buying Elixir of Brilliance. These give me early CDR, which I do not build (due to Anivia's love for Blue Buff), as well as a chunk of AP to supplement my damage. If you find yourself with 250+ gold and on the summoning platform, grab an Elixir and as many wards as you can.

5. After Rabadon's, I generally grab a resist item, either Negatron Cloak or Chain Vest. These allow me to resist some harass that I cannot dodge, as well as survive longer. From here, I have two choices:

6. (Choice 1): If the enemies are not too bright, and have not begun building Magic Resist, I finish my Tear into an Archangel's Staff, providing me with more Mana, AP, and Mana/5.

6. (Choice 2): If the enemies are on to me, I build a Void Staff, sell my Sorcerer's Shoes, and buy Ionian Boots of Ludicity. This combo trades the flat penetration of the boots for CDR, and instead builds percent-based penetration, which works better against high-Magic Resist teams.

7. From here, I determine whether the AD or AP champions on the enemy team are fed, based on kills and creep score. If AD is outperforming AP, I turn my earlier Chain Vest into a Zhonya's Hourglass, which allows me to survive even longer in teamfights. Zhonya's active also allows me to survive between bursts, as well as to place my ult right in the thick of a teamfight without being focused instantly.

7a. If the converse is true, and the AP champions are dominating their AD counterparts, I grab Banshee's Veil. This builds from my Catalyst The Protector, if I chose to purchase it earlier, and provides me with a potent spellshield that allows me to evade CC that may lead to my death.

8. At this point, I'm constantly buying Elixirs of Brilliance, but my build is generally finished. If I have not already gotten it by this point, I finish my Archangel's Staff last.

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A note about ganking

Anivia ganks are awesome, and are generally a sight to behold. Alongside your jungler, no one should escape your terrible, icy wrath. The CC you bring to ganks prevents almost all escapes, and a well-timed Ignite will take care of those pesky fleers.

However, beware of a) your mana pool, if you don't have Blue, and b) your movement speed.

Anivia is slow. Really slow. If you attempt to gank without at least Boots 2, the mid tower may be down by the time you get back. As such, I'd advise against constant ganking, even though she is well suited for it. Only gank constantly if you're sure you won't get denied and forced to go B or return to your lane.

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Closing Remarks

Hopefully you enjoyed my first guide. Maybe, you even learned something new. I'm not the World's Foremost #1 Anivia Expert, but I do consider myself an Anivia aficionado, and I've had a lot of fun writing this.

Hopefully, you had fun reading it. Be kind with those reviews, and peace.