Hello! I started playing League seriously near the end of season 1. This is where I began to learn Anivia. My Season 1 Elo was ~1100. I practiced my skills in season 2 and ended season two at ~1700 elo. I have reached 1750 Elo after the reset in season 3 by mostly playing Anivia. This background story is just to show you that learning a high skill-cap champion like Anivia will be able to carry you even at low Elo such as ~1100 and higher Elo such as 1700. For experience at platinum and diamond Elo, please consult tips from other guides. This guide will teach you the mechanics of Anivia and the game decisions you will need to be making in game.
Anivia is a very safe champion in the mid lane. She has extremely high zoning and kiting potential so she can escape ganks with ease. You should not be worried about picking anivia early in champ select in your solo queue games. However, there are certain mechanics which are REQUIRED to deal with certain matchups like AD or Assassin champions. Without these mechanics, you have the potential to lose lane very badly if your opponent snowballs, so make sure to read the whole guide to ensure that no one can beat your Anivia. The runes, masteries, summoners, and skill order listed is a guide that will ensure you outperform your enemy under all circumstances. It is a generic guide that will give you the edge in all cases. However, in SPECIFIC cases, you can and should change it up to give yourself MORE of an edge.
With the new penetration changes in season 3, there is no better alternative to Magic Penetration marks. This guide will abuse the new penetration changes so every point you can get is valuable. The most cost-effective Seals (Yellows) you can get are HP/level yellows. You will itemize for very early mana regeneration in our build, so mana regen yellows will be unnecessary. Remember that building health on Anivia can be twice as effective, since your egg passive will benefit from your total HP. For Glyphs, take flat Magic Resist blues. They will ensure that you win early trades in lane. As well, you will not be heavily itemizing into magic resist, and these glyphs are important to keep up your defences. For Quintessences, it is very important to take Move Speed Quints. You NEED to be able to walk into auto-attack range and harass your opponent this way, and abuse Anivia's 600 AA range. One extra auto attack will dear more damage than what you would get with landing your full combo with an extra 15 AP. As well, move speed quints will scale into late game much better.
This is the typical skill order you will see 90% of the time or more. You will not have enough mana to consistently use your wall from levels 4 to 9. This is why I avoid skilling wall at level 4. If there is a gank incoming and my jungler will need me to use wall, then you can get it at level 4. You should not be afraid of junglers too much because you will be 600 range away from the enemy minion line, and you have your stun available pretty much at all times. Max E first for guaranteed damage because it is easy to land a double damage E. Your Q is harder to land but you will need to max it second because you are going to land Q's everytime you hard engage on your enemy and get him inside your ult. If laning phase ends very early and your team consists of high burst damage champions, skill a few points into your wall early to allow you to pick off people when they are out of position.
This build will maximize your tankiness, utility, and damage output through all stages of the game. With the recent changes to boots, some enemies will not start with them. As well, it is not too common for AP mids to take MS quints, so their MS will be quite low at level 1. You have masteries and runes which give you bonus movespeed, so you should further exploit this advantage by going boots at level 1. Movespeed is important in laning phase pre6 because it allows you to get in autoattacks. This is the main reason you get movespeed. Anivia's auto attack animation has a long travel time. This is bad for timing when to grab a last hit but it is AWESOME for attacking an enemy and then running backwards to avoid turret or minion aggro. You can stand about 100 range within enemy turret attack range and still have time to auto attack and run out of range before the auto hits and the turret aggros onto you. Same goes for minion aggro range. As well, there are not many other options available at level 1 that allow you to start with 3 health pots other than boots+3pots. This way, you will have a health advantage on your enemy if he chooses to start with a different build. Your next step is to get you tanky and to get yourself some mana. Anivia has some of the lowest base HP and highest mana costs. Catalyst builds into ROA which is VERY gold efficient and provides a ridiculous amount of both HP and mana. Remember that building HP on anivia can be twice as effective if you use your egg to its maximum potential. However, catalyst alone will not provide you will enough mana regenaration and tankyness. A chalice will seriously boost your mana regeneration and will compliment your current HP with MR to give you the most Effective HP ( damage mitigation). Anivia has some of the highest base damages in the game, and at this point if you can tank one combo from the enemy and land one of your own, you will GREATLY outdamage them. At this point mana should not be a problem because you will have both of these mana items and likely a Blue Buff from your wonderful jungler. USE THIS to farm up enough money for your next two items: Sorcerer's Shoes and a ROA. Sorcerer's Shoes are important because the earlier you get them, the more MS you will have and your will still be able to deal damage through autoattacks. The later it gets in the game though, the less damage your autoattacks will do thanks to scaling armor values and in general people getting tankier, and you are not building any AD or ARPEN. This item will be the start of your penetration build, which is very effective in season 3 because of the penetration changes and new items. It is also the cheapest source of Magic Penetration. Off the top of my head, I remember a thread with a Rioter (ricklessabandon) that did some math and said that Building 6 Sorcerer's shoes (in season 2) would cost you 6.6k gold and give you the same damage (on a standard caster, I think Annie) as 11k gold worth of AP! This is how important magic penetration is. (Will provide link ASAP) Secondly, building ROA early will allow you to gain the stats per minute sooner. These stats are more valuable early on and cost you nothing extra so getting them ASAP while still building you next item will put you further ahead of your enemy. Getting an early catalyst will also be more effective the earlier you get it because you will get more proc's off of it every time you level up. For further thought: ROA builds from catalyst and blasting wand and has a 740g combine cost. You don't even lose the catalyst passive when upgrading it. The base items (catalyst and blasting wand) give you: 200HP, 300MANA, 40AP and the catalyst passive. So you are paying the combine cost of 740 gold to get: +250HP, +150 MANA, +20AP as well as +200HP, +200MANA, +20AP when fully stacked. This is an unreal item.
So right now you have your Sorc's Shoes, an ROA, and a Chalice. Hopefully some wards and hp pots too. I have found that the biggest damage increase here is Liandry's Torment. Firstly, this is still decently early in the game and most people will only have none, one, or two MR items. This means your will be able to bring the enemy MR close to zero. Magic Penetration is more valuable the closer to zero your enemy MR approaches. Check LOLWIKI article on maths but this is 100% true. Second benefit of Torment: It provides a DOT that deals %HP damage. This has a good synergy with the previous paragraph on ignite and baiting the enemy into thinking he is still safe. Your Q will proc 5% damage because move speed is impaired but it is AOE. Your ult will also proc 5% for the same reason. However, your E will proc 10% assuming you have chilled the opponent beforehand. You ult will also CONTINUOUSLY apply the 5% damage INDEFINITELY. Tornment also gives you 200HP which is very significant especially combined with ROA.
After Torment, you should be getting a Void Staff and a DFG. Like I mentioned before, MPen is more valuable the closer you get your enemy to zero. You will need to be melting the bruisers that jump onto your back like in the late game. Get a void staff since the percentage penetration is now applied before the flat penetration, making both more effective. Your next item should be DFG because of how it synergizes with the rest of your item build. You will have 4% CDR from masteries, 20% possible CDR from Blue buff. 10% CDR with blue elixir. You will be at 34% CDR with blue buff and 14% without. DFG will provide you with 40% CDR with blue buff (9% wasted) and 29% CDR without it. Since anivia is a DPS mage (ult, wall) with burst available (Q,E), cooldown reduction will scale up her damage harder than building more AP or MPEN. The difference between a 14% CDR E and a 29% CDR E is 4.3 seconds - 3.55 seconds = 0.75 seconds. 0.75/4.3 is 17.4%. You will be able to get 17.4% more E's in your fights which ideally equates to 17.4% more damage output. As well, Anivia (as mentioned before) will want to melt the bruisers that may jump onto the back line. Bruisers with high HP will be greatly hurt by the DFG active, since it scales with enemy HP. As well, DFG then increases ALL magic damage dealt to that enemy FROM ANY SOURCE. Even your allies! Not only that, but the burst from DFG is treated as a single target spell and it will apply the 10% burn from Torment if you have placed your ult underneath your enemy! For other uses, your DFG can allow you to 100-0 a squishy carry lategame with your R-DFG-E-Q(-E) combo.
The last item you get is up to your discretion. By now you should have enough damage to kill anyone and enough defense to kite and survive anything. I can't tell you what to build because this final item should be situational. You could upgrade your chalice to an Athene's although this is not necessary since the nerf, or you could sell it for a final offensive of defensive item. I will update this section as I get more experience with the current season 3 items.
[title][img=skills/anivia/p.png] Passive: Rebirth[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] This passive is much more effective at low Elo. If your opponent forgets about it, he might be willing to trade kills with you. When this happens, you will simply get egged and he will die, giving you an easy advantage. This passive will likely not save you if you die 1v1 in the middle of the lane early on. Minion damage will almost be enough to kill you alone with your reduced armor/mr. Instead, if you must, try to get egged when your jungler is nearby to pick up a kill or when your tower is in range to pick up a kill and defend you. Note that it is not simply enough to be under tower range if the enemy can DPS you from OUTSIDE tower range. You have to be far enough away so that they can't DPS you for free. In teamfights midgame, your egg means that you should not be afraid to lead a chase. This way you will have more range on your wall or ult or Q, and if the enemy who you are chasing turns to kill you, your team will pick up the kill while you bait him and get egged. DO NOT: get egged when your team is retreating. Your team will leave, and you will die. DO NOT: get egged under a tower while you have aggro diving for a kill. It's much too risky and will result in an almost sure death. DO: Frantically ping when you are about to get egged to get assistance from your oblivious jungler nearby. DO: Play extremely aggressive and "All-in" when your egg is up because it is likely your opponent will back down and allow you to get a small advantage such as zoning him off of a creep.
[title][img=skills/anivia/q.png] Q: Flash Frost[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] This Q is very slow and you will need to use certain tactics in order to land it. If you stand at maximum range (1100) and shoot it directly at an enemy, your Q travels at 850ms. It will take ~1.3seconds to arrive. Given 100ms ping and 400ms reaction time (VERY GENEROUS), your enemy will have 0.8s of say 350ms to travel a total of 280 distance sideways. The radius of Q is only 75. You're gonna have to do better than that. HOW TO LAND Q: The animation for Q is similar to your autoattack. Lauch your Q right after you launch an autoattack. Ward an area of Fog of War and stand where your opponent cannot see you or the beginning flight of your Q. Shoot your Q so it hits them when they're not expecting it. (Examples include, shoot from behind a wall, around a corner, from a bush. Deal damage to your enemy so they are forced to retreat towards their tower. They do not have much room to juke you because they have to keep moving forward or else you will catch up with them. this limited range of their motion should allow you to predict where they will go and hit them with your Q. This will take practice in predicting enemy motion, so start playing a lot of games! Land your R on them to slow them to make the previous paragraph about chasing easier to do. Place your wall next to them at an angle to their path to the turret. They now have only one way (either left or right) to juke while going towards the turret because the position of the wall means that it they were to juke the other way, the wall would force them too close to you. Throw your Q at the open avenue of escape. This also takes time to practice, especially the positioning of the wall. ADVANCED: Throw your Q so that they will be able to outrun it if they keep walking straight and so they won't juke it sideways. At the last moment, place a wall slightly blocking their path. Their impact with the wall will stop them for a TINY MOMENT and allow your Q to catch up to them. This works best in the jungle. WARNING: you will need a high enough movespeed to follow your Q or else you will not be in range to wall properly. Properties of your Q: It deals damage twice, once on its way through the enemy, and once on activation(or end of 1100 range). You should wait until the Q has slightly passed the middle of your enemy's body to activate it, or else you will miss out on the first Q damage on the pass-through. Since it deals damage twice, it can pop spell shields and banshee's veils on its first pass and still stun the enemy on the activation. The Q provides a Chilled debuff for 3 seconds which slows movespeed AND ATTACK SPEED. This means that with enough CDR lategame, you should be able to R-E-Q-E and get double damage from R-E and have your E come up quickly enough again for your Q-E.
[title][img=skills/anivia/w.png] W: Crystallize[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] NOTE: Crystallize always faces perpendicular to your own position. Your Crystallize is going to be the most difficult spell to use properly. You can use it in 2V1 situations when the enemy jungler ganks to escape or in 2v1 situations when your jungler ganks to set up kills. When running away, place your W to create a corner with the side of Crystallize and the side of a wall somewhere on the map. Make sure it's in between you and your chaser, forcing him to go all the way around this corner while you have already passed in a straight line. When chasing an enemy, force them towards a wall, and place your W to create a corner to force them to run sideways, buying you time to catch up. You can use a level 1 wall to close the small gap between the mid turret and side wall, trapping your opponent in that little 'dip', until they run out and away around the far side of the turret. You can use a higher level wall to completely block off the entrance to Baron from Blue side Blue Buff. You can use this if the enemy is waiting until the last second to engage and try to smite steal. Simply wall off the enemy jungler and don't let him get in range of smite. You will need experience and reaction time to figure out for yourself how and when to place walls in the middle of the jungle to separate the enemy team. The pathways are small enough that any rank wall can be useful. If you know the enemy has a dash, sometimes it is better to not place the wall, as he will be able to dash through it while some of your own team may not be able to follow. Placing the wall directly on top of an enemy under turret will deal 1 true damage and draw turret aggro. Try to place the wall a tiny bit off of them so that you don't draw aggro this way. When doing a turret siege or defending your own turret, and there are 5 players on both teams in a lane (4 or 3 can work too), you can place the wall in the middle of the group of opponents, and with a large enough wall, you can separate one key player and force him to take damage while running around to rejoin his team. The wall gives you vision so don't hesitate to place it across a wall or in a bush to check vision. When ganking bottom or top lane, if the enemy is hiding in a bush waiting for you to walk in melee range so they can juke or burst you, place the wall on one side of the bush to reveal them and also slightly impair their pathway. Sejuani can break a hole through your wall with her dash. Your wall can keep an enemy inside your ult for about two more ticks if you place it right in front of the enemy as they are walking out the very edge of your ult. If your Crystallize is at an angle to a wall already on the map, an enemy caught in the 'pinch' at this angled intersection will be unable to move and thus stunned for the whole duration of the wall (5 seconds. NOTE: This is very difficult to pull off as it is a kind of unintended effect of how terrain works)
[title][img=skills/anivia/e.png] E: Frostbite[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] Your E is a low cooldown, high damage nuke with 350 base damage and 1.0 AP scaling if you hit a chilled enemy. ALWAYS make sure you get the chilled bonus on an enemy champion. You can use this skill to last hit minions when under pressure because it doesn't have a very high mana cost at early ranks. You can throw your E at an enemy and place your R while the projectile is in the air and still do double damage. However, I recommend when possible to place your R first to slow them and then reach them with your E because normally your enemies will not let you get in range of your E spell. Q keeps the target chilled for 3 seconds while R only keeps it chilled for ~1 second after expiry. You can combo R-E-Q-E with some cdr and have both E's get double damage. You cannot proc double damage on Dragon, Baron, Master Yi when ulting, or Olaf when ulting because they cannot get chilled in the first place. When soloing blue buff midgame, you can place your R while walking around the buff pit, Q the golem blind to stun in, E when around the wall, kite the golem backwards to the middle of your R, then E again when off cooldown and in general this should be enough to kill the golem. Don't be afraid to throw a non-chilled E at an enemy escaping with 200hp.
[title][img=skills/anivia/r.png] R: Glacial Storm[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] Your R is going to tick for at least 3 ticks before you can turn it off again (0.75 seconds). It ticks damage every quarter second. It is the easiest way to walk up to an enemy and R-E or E-R them from double damage. If you turn off your R immediately afterwards, it shouldn't take up too much of your mana pool. Use R to slow ATTACK SPEED of bruisers that can dive you. In teamfights, try to place our R only once - perfectly. By the time everyone leaves your ult you should already have decided the fight. Placing your R to trigger E on a lonely enemy and then waiting for 6 seconds while the rest of your team fights in a clumped space is a loss of 4 enemies *4*6 seconds = 96 ticks of DPS. Use your Q as well as your R to protect your AD carry if they team is heavily focused on diving. Use your R to deal strong DPS to objectives like dragon, baron, or buffs, BUT ONLY when you can afford the mana. Don't get engaged on at an objective with no mana because you were trying to kill it and are now OOM. You can clear the new wolf and wraith camp with R-Q-E and leaving the R on while you auto a few times to finish the camp off. The size of R is 800 diameter so it is large enough to clear an entire creep wave usually no matter what weird situation it is in. The leash range on R is 615 range, meaning you can place it 215 range from the edge of the circle (subtract the 400 radius) but you can then walk the whole 615 range away from any edge and still maintain the ult. Stuns, silences, knockups, knockbacks, and fears will cancel your ult. Taunts and snares will not. You can place your R in advance of a coming creep wave and then move back, to clear it quickly and safely and not allow the enemy to damage your turret. You can also place the R next to a turret, and walk backwards to just out of turret range, to pose a threat to anyone who stays to defend that turret.
You will be dealing the majority of your harass through auto attacks in lane, especially pre level 6. I would say about roughly 60% of the damage I do is from auto attacks. You have the second highest range of all traditional AP mids in the game (second to Annie). The travel and windup animation for your auto is long and easy to cancel. If you alternate spamming clicks on a low minions and the ground next to it(or alternate regular and attack click on the ground) then you can "stall" your auto animation and get it to release without the beginning animation, because the beginning animation is the looping part in the stall and you simply release the mouse when you want the 'stall' to end and continue from where it left off. You can walk into turret range or minion range and auto and while the auto is travelling, you can walk back out of range, hitting the enemy for free. Try to watch when the enemy will be last hitting a creep. Either walk forward to auto them (BUT DONT MISS YOUR OWN CS FOR THIS) or do that 'auto attack Q' that was mentioned earlier that looks like one motion and try to get them to not see the Q coming for them. Then follow up with E-autoattack. After every E you should be able to autoattack. Be careful to not tank minions while autoattacking, because you will end up going even, or below their health. Like I mentioned before, use your ult tick + ignite + auto for hidden damage that the enemy might not expect. VS MELEE CHAMPIONS Autoattack them ALL THE TIME. You should be able to auto them while standing behind the enemy minion "call for help" range so you will not take any creep aggro. Only stop auto attacking them to cs your own creeps. Especially versus champions such as kassadin that shoot you with one high burst spell, they rely on you getting too scared off to retaliate. You should tank that spell and move forward into them, not in melee range, but close. Then you can chain 3 or 4 auto attacks at them and come ahead in the trade. When dropping your ult on a minion wave and not using any of your other spells to clear the wave, you can choose between: securing melee minion last hist by timing your auto attack landing with a tick of the ult, or autoattacking each of the melee minions the same amount of times so they all die at the same time to save you 1 or 2 ticks on your ult to save you some mana. Do NOT trade auto attacks with champions like Orianna who have empowered autos, because it is a risky trade. If you hit each other the same number of times you will lose the trade, but if you use your superior range to kite and get one more auto off, you will win by a small margin.
Pre level 6, you should be able to gain an advantage or at least stay even with your opponent through using your auto attacks. Maintain a good level of farm so that he doesn't pull ahead only on superior mechanical skill. Level 6-9 is where you are weak because your mana costs are very high, and your opponent might be someone like Annie who is at their strongest and looking to trade/burst at level 6. Buy two wards ALMOST MANDATORY every time you go back to lane and your wards are expired. I suggest to push hard around your first return trip, using all your mana and going back once, but the pressure you are putting on their mid at this point in time will stall him enough until you reach a few more levels and finally get more mana or Blue Buff. At this point it is 70% time to farm and 30% time to roam. It is your first blue buff and you want to abuse it and gain a significant farm advantage over your opponent. You cannot roam too effectively if you are not winning your lane because it can backfire on you. Use your blue buff to spam E's on him and zone him. Alternate freezing the wave until he leaves, then pushing hard with your ult so he comes back to lane late and misses creeps. Try to grab a few wraiths and wolves. Now with this advantage you should be ahead in farm and experience. Either look for an overextended opponent or a top lane that you could dive. If you dive, YOU MUST know where the enemy jungler AND mid are. Now that you know this, you should be the one tanking the turret. Firstly, you have a second life in case things get hairy. Secondly, you allow a solo-q player to do whatever he wants and go all in. Solo-q players are not comfortable trusting others to perform well so they may bee too cautious and give up this possible kill by leaving the turret too early. YOU SHOULD ANALYZE the situation and assume that the friendly top laner will go all in and that you will tank. This way of diving is predicable on your side and you can certainly figure out whether you will succeed or not. If not, DON'T EVEN GO TOP. When ganking top or bot who is overextended, and with no wards: Walk hugging the wall to deny them the most vision until the last possible second. They will likely run into a bush to hide. If there is no way to get vision, then use your wall first, slightly moving their path. Follow with R-E leading the R into where they are going. Dodge any CC that will cancel your ult like Leona stun or Cait trap. By this time, they should be slowed enough for your ally bot lane to be dealing damage. If they look like they are low and scared, DO NOT Q. wait for the flash, because they WILL flash. They land a Q-E for the kill. If they are NOT LOW AND NOT SCARED, then you should land a Q because they WILL NOT flash.the difference between these two behaviours is something you have to learn by their movements and experience. If your bot lane is very low and unable to help, land at least one R-E and see how much damage each side takes in the 1V2. if you are ahead, follow up and your low teaammates will fight because you will probably be able to get them SUPER-low in exchange for an egg or maybe nothing at all, and then your teammates will pick up the kill. IF THE ENEMY TURNS ON YOUR LOW TEAMMATES - you should have saved your q and use it to peel them off. By this time the ad has committed and is dead no matter what, just make sure your own AD or Support doesn't die.
Anivia is a safe pick with a huge skillcap. She can defend any opponent with the right technique. She is dependent on her mana bar and therefore relies on autoattacks in the early game. Your base damages as Anivia are very high, so make use of the penetration items. Build tanky with HP to make better use of your egg passive. Buy wards to see your enemy AP while you coordinate ganks on other lanes. Master the subtleties of your QWER skills to know exactly how much damage you can take as well as dish out. Thank you very much for reading this guide and I hope it can help you step up your game as Anivia.