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Anivia Build Guide by Magikchicken

Tanknivia: Bane of Squishies

By Magikchicken | Updated on April 29, 2012
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LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


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Win 55%
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Tanknivia LoLWin — by Magikchicken

Hi, all! Seeing "Tanknivia," you might assume this is a "troll" or "fun" build... However, believe it or not, this is the Anivia build I use in ranked matches! So if you came here looking for something to use only as a silly build in ARAM or Co-Op Vs. AI, prepare to be pleasantly surprised: if you're competent at landing skillshots and have good instincts about where to place walls, you can and will rip your opponents up in 5v5 ranked using this build. =)

So... "Anivia's an AP carry champion, right? Of course. That's how everyone builds her." Why, then, does Magikchicken insist on using a "TROLL BUILD LOL"? Hmmm...

Well, the following are just MY reasons for building Anivia the way I do:

1. Crowd Control:
Anivia has ridiculously good CC for a champion who most people see as an AP carry.
[*] Flash Frost is a (small) AoE stun; it doesn't stun for a long time, but its range is fantastic and its AoE nature makes it very useful for stalling a bunch of enemy champions who are chasing your teammate in a mob or fleeing in a clump. It can also serve as a good long-range interrupt for enemy ultimates, such as those of Malzahar, Galio, Nunu & Willump, Miss Fortune, etc.
[*] Glacial Storm is a frickin' huge AoE slow that is spammable, serves as a zone deny, and synergizes well with other champions' ults (see the above four examples.)
[*] Crystallize, of course, is all CC; it does no damage whatsoever, doesn't scale with AP, and has a fairly long cooldown. So, logically, the best way to use it in a teamfight is to actually live longer than 10 or 15 seconds, and get two or three walls up instead of just one.

This is the part where skill comes in: people will cry about Anivia being a faceroll and requiring no skill, but these are invariably the people who, immediately after saying this, try to play her and promptly ragequit because they can't handle her walls and slow-moving skillshot properly. When out in the open, it takes skill to wall properly so the enemy has to take the longest route around, preferably straight through your Glacial Storm where they'll be less able to dodge Flash Frost.
In jungle teamfights, any Anivia can be a menace to her OWN team if used poorly; a skilled Anivia, however, can trap two members of the opposing team on one side of a wall with her carries, while the rest of her foes descend into chaos trying to Flash through the wall or run around it. Against squishy Anivia, the isolated opponents in question could simply rush her, egg her (or kill her if the timer's down) and run; in contrast, Tanknivia can keep them perma-slowed and force them to waste CC on her in order to get away.

2. Base damage:
Anivia has ridiculously good base damage on her Flash Frost and Frostbite, but mediocre AP scaling (50%) on both of the above. (That said, Frostbite will act as though it had a 1:1 AP ratio if you use it on a chilled foe, which you should always be doing.) Because of her strong base damage, Anivia doesn't NEED to have 700 AP to melt squishies, which is why the aim of Tanknivia, in late-game at least, is basically "Rush in and kill Ashe/ MF/(Insert Squishy DPS Here) while completely ignoring the enemy's tanks and drawing all their CC."
Then you get to watch as your team demolishes the rest of them (from the safety of your ridiculously bulky egg.) ^ v ^

To reiterate, Tanknivia doesn't need to melt EVERYONE on the enemy team; just the ones who have very little HP and Magic Resist. If you've forced one of their carries to build extra survivability just to counter you... Then you've done your job, because they have that much less DPS for late-game.

3. As mentioned above, Rebirth:
True, the egg's not very good early game if there's more than one opponent. But that, of course, is common sense: "Don't get ganked early." The fact remains that in any kind of teamfight, it's basically an instant global taunt for the enemy's DPS.
Squishy-build Anivia will die very quickly as an egg, meaning that the egg is only useful when your team is RIGHT THERE to help you.
The same goes even for Tanknivia... IF she's ganked by 3+ of the enemy team. But any less and you WILL revive in time... and probably kill one or both of your opponents if they were at all low on health pre-gank.
In a teamfight, if the enemy team is busy piling your 3000+HP egg, your true carries are free to rip ruthlessly into their life bars. And if your opponents wise up to it and ignore you when you get egged? You'll be up eight seconds later, with all your skills off cooldown (except perhaps wall) and ready to help your squishies escape or chase with some AoE slow and stun.

4. Hybridization Potential:
There's one (1) item that accounts for the majority of the AP in my Tanknivia build: Archangel's Staff. It's THE item for Anivia, and is a major reason that Tanknivia, as I build her, even works.
Any Anivia guide you read will point out just how quickly Anivia runs out of mana. This item is the answer to your prayers, not just because of the free 1400 MaxMP it gives you by the time you've maxed it, but also because you can then get an AP bonus of 165 with just the Staff + Tank items that give mana (for example, Glacial Shroud --> Frozen Heart, Banshee's Veil...) That's not even counting the final bonus of 80 AP from Rod of Ages, which is normally this build's only other source of AP.

This combo used to be even more awesome back when the Strength of Spirit mastery used to increase your HP Regen by 3% of your Max MP, but the Archangel's Staff alone makes all that mana worth it. Let's just say that that 9th point in the offensive mastery tree for 10% Magic Penetration isn't useless when your tank has 150+ AP from one item.

NOTE: The "Summary" section at the top of the page shows only 105 AP because that is how much is gained from non-passive item bonuses; it doesn't include the passive 20AP bonus from maxed Rod of Ages, nor does it display the 120AP gained from the Archangel's Staff's passive when you have 4011MP at end-game. So the actual final total AP is 245, not 105.
Thanks to Daisieheart for drawing my attention to this! ^_^
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Runes, Masteries, Summoner Skills


The 9 mastery points in theOffensive tree are simply because it has the best 9th-point boost; the Magic Penetration helps you beat other tanks 1v1 late in the game, and 4% Cooldown Reduction is always good.

The Utility section trades on making Anivia's strengths even stronger (such as by increasing her base mana or reducing her cooldowns) and on compensating for her weaknesses (the Quickness mastery and Movement Speed Quintessences help her move fast enough to chase, escape, or just dodge skillshots.)

I put a point into Runic Affinity simply because, by the time you finish your build, keeping a Blue buff on you will LITERALLY remove any need to bluepill. EVER. You can just run back and forth farming lanes and pushing towers while the enemy team goes "FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU...!" Or you can teamfight indefinitely, if that's your team's cup of tea. Can you say, "Endless Glacial Storm right next to the enemy's turret"? It's great for making your enemies very reluctant to initiate on your teammates while they attack the tower; if anyone on the opposing team walks into the Storm, the tower aggros on tanky, tanky Anivia, and your carries can immediately charge them with impunity. But I digress...


Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush

I use HP/Level seals, Flat Cooldown glyphs, and Magic Penetration marks. I go for Magic Penetration because whether you're taking top or mid, you CAN get first blood just by harrying your opponent to about 1/3 health and then letting off a well-aimed Flash Frost --> Frostbite combo if you nullify enough of your opponent's base magic resist. Also, Magic Penetration remains useful into late game against the squishies who are your true target, since they will be building little to no MR.
You can, however, substitute Greater Mark of Health for additional early-game bulk at the cost of melting squishies less quickly, like so:


Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush

I usually run Ignite and Flash, especially since Ignite gives much-needed bonus AP early on.
However, I switch to Teleport and Flash if my team lacks a Teleport and the opposing team has any backdoor capability. If I do, I switch that one point in Summoner's Wrath to Mental Force , since Summoner's Insight then covers both of my summoner skills.
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The following are the reasons for the items I chose. I created this build from scratch in my semi-newbie days, and have continued mixing and matching to see which items worked best. This build is the result of a long time experimenting with items on Anivia; feel free to change an item or two, or even leave suggestions in comments, but the following setup is what I discovered works best for me:


Not only does this item give you much-needed lane sustainability early on, but the Stone pays for itself within 27 minutes[/color] after purchasing. This means that, if you get it eight (8) minutes into the game, it will have paid for itself by the 35-minute mark. And since the build STARTS with the Regrowth Pendant, and because the upgrade is so cheap, you can recall as soon as you have 365g and get the Philosopher's Stone as early as 3:00 if you want to (provided you've farmed properly.)
Given that as Tanknivia you'll be playing conservatively (setting up ganks for your carries rather than doing the ganking yourself) until about 20-25 minutes into the match, it's good to be taking in a little extra gold on the side while you farm like mad for the first half of the game.
If you want to have more damage threat at the cost of sustain (such as if you're versus a very squishy opponent who you're confident you can outrange or outmaneuver despite Anivia's slow movement speed,) build an Amplifying Tome first and go for Kage's Lucky Pick instead. It'll give you some passive gold gain while still being a useful contribution to your fighting strength, and later on it can build into Morello's Evil Tome, which, with the new active ability, can be a very good substitute for Ignite if you're running Teleport. The Evil Tome can be a placeholder while you save up for Warmog's Armor, or if you choose not to sell it, it can bring that little bit of extra damage and Cooldown Reduction you might need mid-to-late game.


Enough said; everyone needs boots... even, apparently, birds who have talons, and who fly instead of walking...(???)


This item is indispensable on ANY Anivia, and on most spellcasters for that matter. It gives a good bit of early-game MP Regen, and more importantly, a permanent stacking increase to Max MP every time you cast. Since Anivia's Flash Frost and Glacial Storm are both cast 'twice', once to use and once to detonate/cancel, you will reach the cap of +1000MaxMP faster than any other champion in the game.


This is the answer to your squishiness and mana woes. The awesomeness of its passive's sustain aside, it's just good to have more HP and MP. Also, it builds into either Rod of Ages or Banshee's Veil, depending on how fed you are early game.


RoA is simply a great item for its cost, and it gives bonuses to Max HP and Max MP, both of which this build requires. If you want, though, you could skip over it entirely and go straight to Archangel's Staff and your true tank items; it's sometimes better to go tanky before you get the AP.
IMPORTANT: If you can buy your RoA at any point prior to 20mins by selling your Philosopher's Stone, do so. If, however, you haven't got the money to build this before 20 minutes in, skip the Rod of Ages; it's no longer worth it, as the game will likely be over before it maxes out.


You might wonder why I don't go with the Ionian Boots of Lucidity or Mercury's Treads given that this is a tank build, but let's face it; most squishies won't be building Magic Resist, and with the Sorcerer's Shoes reducing their MR to nearly nil, you will be destroying them even when you have 0 AP.
That's not to say that you can't go with the Ionian Boots; they're good, and cover Anivia's one true weak point (long cooldown on her Q and W) early-game... but they'll also mean that you need to expend more mana per poin of damage in the late laning phase, and will thus run out far too easily unless your jungler is feeding you Blue buff.

7. (Another) Catalyst the Protector*.

Yes, another one. This one's for building your Banshee's Veil; if you decided to skip over the Rod of Ages earlier, you can use that Catalyst the Protector for building the Veil instead.
If you are noticing that your opponents don't have a great deal of single-target CC or that your allies have a lot of magic-based damage, Negatron Cloak is what you build here instead of Protector, to turn into an Abyssal Mask later. This is less than ideal because it gives neither HP nor MP, but it's cheaper, and it does supply the Magic Resistance you'll need while counteracting some of the MR your enemies are building.


These can be built in any order, depending on what the enemy team has more of. If their most fed carries are AD, build the Glacial Shroud first. If the fed ones are AP, go Banshee's Veil. If either one is an option, I usually like to build the Shroud first because it's cheaper and gives amazing cooldown reduction, but these two are essentially interchangeable in order. The important part is that they make you start to REALLY become a tank, with the Armor and Magic Resist that entails, while giving you more mana to feed your Archangel's Staff passive and fuel your CC.
You can choose to substitute Abyssal Mask for the Banshee's Veil if you went Negatron Cloak earlier instead of Catalyst of Aeons.


This is where the Tear of the Goddess from earlier comes in. There's no downside to Archangel's Staff; It's only another 1860g in purchase/combining costs, since you aleady have the Tear from earlier, and its passive is the centerpoint to making Tanknivia go from "Meh, CC and not much more" to "WTF? This tank actually kills squishies in one combo??"

For the benefit of those who find the tooltip rather hard to read, I will explain: The Archangel's Staff's passive effect is to convert 3% of a champion's Maximum Mana into AP. 3% may not sound impressive, but let's just say that by the time this build is complete, Anivia will have more than 3000 Max MP, and the passive alone will be giving you more than 90AP.
That's not including the 45 AP that the item itself gives you; all in all, for a total price of 2855g (995g of which is the already indispensable Tear of the Goddess), the moment you buy it you will be getting +400MP, +5MPregen/second (that's 25MPregen/5sec), and at least 100 total AP, which will only increase as you buy more +MaxMP items and level up.
Without the Archangel's Staff's passive, 2855g would be slightly overpriced; with it, it's ridiculously good value for your money.


Despite the HP bonuses from Banshee's Veil and Rod of Ages, and despite your impressive Armor/MR, by this point in the match you will be feeling the pain again (unless the enemy team has been hardcore denied all game.) This is because your MaxHP is still very low for a tank.
The answer to this problem is an item that will make people on BOTH teams say, "wtf warmogs on anivia? noob uninstall plz."
But are we perturbed? Hell no. :D
Sell your Philosopher's Stone or Morello's Evil Tome (if you haven't already) and buy that groanworthy Armour. The plus side to Warmog's Armor (with the minus being the unfortunate side-effect of being hated on) is that, as a high-level Anivia, you will max it extremely quickly after a few waves' farming with your Glacial Storm, and that after doing so you will be extremely difficult to kill (unless your allies are scrubs and fed the enemy Xin Zhao to 18/0/9. I'm not bitter... honest. =P)
And the best part? In a teamfight, you can and will be able to simply rush straight to the back and chase down any squishy, destroying them with burst damage and slows while their team tries ineffectually to chase you down or turns to fight your team 4v4. Yes, this means you've got to be able to trust your team to handle themselves in a fight... but if you CAN'T trust them, the game is already lost. You're a tank, not a carry.
NOTE: When teamfighting against champions with lots of escape skills, (such as Kassadin, Ezreal, Vayne, Graves, Fizz, etc...) it's usually best to be content with just making them burn their escape to get away from you. Instead of chasing, stick around and fight their team 5v4. If they do come back into the fight, they will do so with their escape skills on cooldown, which is a good time to renew your assault on them.


Finish the Glacial Shroud into this. The Frozen Heart is basically the same as the Shroud, but more, and with a rather nice passive aura that'll help your whole team out. It's also not very expensive to upgrade, so if you want to do this before getting Warmog's Armor, go ahead.
NOTE: If the enemy team is big on attack speed, you definitely want to try finishing this before Warmog's.


Popular items I don't build, and why:

Sunfire Cape:
Sunfire's not useful on Anivia because she's generally so slow. She chases well with summoner skills, but without them, she'll have trouble keeping up with most champions to get close enough for the damage in between casts of Flash Frost and Glacial Storm.
And, for that matter, you don't want to melt your icy tank by putting a fiery item on her! D=> The enemy carries will be trying hard enough to melt you as it is! =P

Guardian Angel:
This item is redundant because, as a tank, if you die at all it'll be to ganks rather than to single opponents. If they can kill you twice from full HP before your team arrives, it's unlikely a third life starting at low health will do much good. Play like a tank rather than a carry and you'll have no need for Guardian Angel.

Rabadon's Deathcap:
Yes, this item would give an extremely nice boost to your AP. But AP is not the point of Tanknivia. By late game/endgame, you should be laying down large quantities of AoE CC, and melting (or freezing?) the enemy's squishies if they dare come close to the teamfight. Rabadon's Deathcap is for if you're trying to do all the damage yourself; damage is what carries are for, so leave that job to them.
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Tips and Tricks

When playing Tanknivia, remember that while you don't have as much damage as an AP build, you are bulkier, and by late-game you'll be nigh on unkillable. So play like a tank instead of a carry; stick near your DPS, and be prepared to initiate if your team is behind you.

Blue buff is your friend; mana problems are the one thing that can render you useless, but with the buff on, late in the game you will literally never need to bluepill except to spend your oodles and oodles of cash. Nothing makes your opponents say "OHSHI" like an ENDLESS GLACIAL STORM sitting between them and your tower-pushing team.

Enjoy playing Tanknivia, and remember...

"Stay cool."
League of Legends Build Guide Author Magikchicken
Magikchicken Anivia Guide
Tanknivia: Bane of Squishies