On The Hunt
Hello and welcome to my Sivir guide. This guide covers any lane that is in combination with a support, but does not include solo top or mid.
At the moment, Sivir is one of the best Marksmen to learn both in competitive play and Solo Queue. Her strengths lie in her relatively low cost build spike and safety in lane. Since her buffs to Ricochet allowing her to crit, she has massive team fight damage output as well as utility from her ultimate. In this guide, you'll learn both the optimal build path and the mindset you should maintain at each phase of the game in order to secure the highest probability of winning.
Ability to spell-block game-changing abilities at little to no cost
Able to push multiple lanes extremely quickly
Team fight pressure just by pressing her Ultimate
Relatively long zone of threat due to her ricochet and boomerang distance
Forces teams to split up to try to mitigate her damage
Low attack range, susceptible to early poke
Lack of mobility aside from her ult, requires good positioning
Very team reliant, loses most duels until she achieves 3-4 items, unless she outplays
Spell block is hard to predict and use efficiently, which can either make plays or bait you into bad positions
As a general guideline, Riot has allocated different rune colors to a respective purpose. Marks = Offensive, so the best runes here have to do with combat stats such as AD, penetration, or attack speed etc. Seals = Defensive, best runes here are health and armor. Glyphs = Magical + Utility, In this section the best runes come from AP, Magic Resist, etc.
For this section, I recommend taking Attack Speed as they are the most gold efficient and relevant stat for Marksmen. Physical Damage is a close followup, but your early game base Attack Speed without items is horrendous for both trading and pushing lanes. Taking Attack Speed Quints will enhance your ability to both CS and trade with opponents seamlessly without missing too much.
Taking Physical Damage here for the same reasons as above is the most cost efficient. Attack speed runes do not give that great of a boost using reds. Physical damage allows for increase of damage on your abilities as well as higher margin for error when last hitting creeps. Some champions feel awful when CSing using auto-attacks like Vladimir mainly because they don't have a very high base attack damage and have no rune space to do so. As a Marksman, most of your gold is reliant upon your auto-attacks and thus investing 9 runes into physical damage is highly recommended.
The only defensive stat for bot lane that you should consider is Armor since you will be trading auto-attacks most of the time.
Glyphs are greatly varied for marksmen, but typically you will want to take some magic resist. I like to go with 6 flat Magic Resist runes and vary the last three with attack speed or mana regen depending on the champion. Some marksmen like Forg1ven or Rekkles like to go full Attack speed and disregard magic resist. This is OK, because most of the time you won't have to deal with a lot of magic damage, and by the time you do the rune set is negligible.
This skill is a must-have for every marksman. Positioning is the most powerful tool you have, both offensively and defensively. In the late game, you can use flash offensively for instantaneous 1k crits, or put yourself behind teammates or advantageous terrain in order to safely deal more damage, or just run from picks that could end the game. You can also prevent snowballs early game, by flashing away from ganks or bad 2v2 skirmishes. Absolutely a must take.
Allows a decent amount of mobility for team fights or skirmishes as well as healing you and your teammate up to deny potential kills. This is a great summoner that I would only alternate for Exhaust in really unique situations, which I'll explain below. I would take Heal for 90% of my games.
Surprisingly strong in certain situations, Exhaust relies on surprising your opponent when they try to duel you. You can mitigate most assassin's damage using this spell and even changes the flow of the game later on as it discourages assassins or bruisers from trying to pick you. This is a niche spell that could turn out really greatly, but some of the drawbacks is that it requires a different style of gameplay early on. You can't get poked down as you won't have a heal, and you won't have the extra mobility to run away. You could place a Heal on your support, but chances are they won't be used to playing with it and won't save you most of the time.
Generally you want to go R --> Q -- > W --> E
Your bread and butter for early game, allows you to trade at long distances and push up wave very quickly. The downside is that spamming this costs a lot of mana so use it sparingly unless you are able to regenerate a lot of mana with either runes or your spellshield. We level this first due to its great base damage, and early game pressure.
Ricochet is actually your prime ability right now and what makes Sivir strong. However, you won't be needing levels into this in the very early game as your auto-attack damage without more AD or crit is not that great. It still provides great harass in lane as you can hit all the minions including 1 lane opponent with it, so keeping it at level 1 provides great pressure. In my skill order set you can either level this or Spellshield at level 2 depending on their bot lane composition. I recommend leveling this for lanes that don't have any CC on the level 2 power spike such as Janna, Soraka etc.
A great ability that allows safety from hook-based champions such as Thresh, Blitzcrank, Morgana, and Nautilus. You want to take this at level 2 when you're versing such champions. Using Spellshield for mana is great, but be wary that an opponent will try to make a play within the next ~15 seconds (the cooldown of the spell) as you are most vulnerable during this time.
A huge ability in the mid-game as it allows you to find picks with your team. You can force a very favorable engage onto unsuspecting opponents with your jungler or support, and they won't be able to react as quickly with 3+ people rushing at them without burning escapes. In the late game, this ability becomes very useful for closing games as it goes on a 48 second cooldown with 40% CDR. Making for very easy picks, consistently, and huge teamfight pressure.
The only starting items that you should take are these. Doran's blade allows for great sustain and base HP in lane. It used to be the case that you could sometimes get away with taking longsword or cloth armor for more potions, but it is not cost effective anymore as the price of potions has gone up.
Great boots that enhance your ultimate and passive. Sivir has no escape abilities so movement speed is essential. This item also is very cheap and cost efficient. You could also alternate this for Boots of Lucidity which are very solid as well. The CDR would bring you to 40%, and allow your flash and heal to go off of CD much quicker, they also cost the same so they truly are an alternative as opposed to the +200g options such as Berserker Greaves.
Bread and butter of your item build as this allows you to spam your abilities consistently throughout the game once you get Statikk Shiv. Not only does it keep your mana pool up, it gives a whopping 30% CDR at max, and decent amount of critical strike and damage, making it a solid first item. Having this will make it extremely easier to push out waves over and over without backing, creating map pressure for the enemy team and more pressure for your team to make plays around the map.
This item can be substituted for Rapidfire cannon if you find that your waveclear is great enough, and you need longer range to stay away from opponents that rely on catching you out if you're close such as Lissandra. I take Statikk Shiv about half the time in order to increase my wave clearing potential as well as team fight damage. It works really well with Ricochet and provides you decent AoE magic damage.
Simply a great item that increases your late game damage output by enhancing Critical Strike, Damage and Critical damage. You don't take this first or second because both Critical Strike and Critical Damage are highly reliant upon having a lot of offensive items before becoming useful.
Aside from the ability to cleanse all debuffs, this gives one of the greatest amounts of attack damage in an item along with great lifesteal and an active that allows you to reposition quickly. This essentially works as a secondary flash for repositioning as the burst of movement speed is great and ensures that you're not CC'd while moving. I take this even if I feel that spell shield is more than enough to block out incoming CC.
Armor penetration is important in the late game, especially with the new meta shifting around armor stacking. You should take this last as it only affects BONUS armor as opposed to TOTAL armor. Take this if you have 1+ opponent that will most likely hit 300+ armor during the game. If you are against enemies that are squishy and do not stack armor I recommend Phantom Dancer as it gets you to the Critical Strike cap as well as increased movement / attack speed and reduces damage against you making it a solid 6th item.
The early game is most difficult for Sivir as she is a champion that highly relies upon her stats. The way you want to play the lane, is to ward out constantly to prevent jungle ganks, and push up the lane with your Ricochet and Boomerang. You can win against most lane matchups this way as there will not be another AD that can clear as effectively as you can. Be wary though, that you back off as soon as you push the wave, because you leave yourself susceptible to a bad trade if the enemy turret clears the minions and your opponents initiate upon you. Generally speaking, this is a solid strategy for making it through the early game, because Dragons are not very worth it and early skirmishes are not worth it as ADC. To ensure the highest win %, have your jungler gank other lanes as you push up to ensure that the rest of your team is ready for the mid / late game.
At this point you should have Essence Reaver and maybe even Statikk Shiv. At this point in the game, you can easily push up 1-2 lanes at the same time, allowing your team to rotate around the map for Rift Heralds, turrets, picks, and Dragons. You want to force the enemy AD to keep coming bot lane to clear waves slowly, as you just press Ricochet once and clear the entire wave in 2-3 seconds, before moving elsewhere. Pushing lanes is highly dangerous as the enemy team will be frustrated that you're causing so much map pressure, so be wary of picks and ward out if you decide to push solo with enemies missing on the map.
If your team decides to group and fight, you should be good enough to fight with 1-2 items, but don't over commit as you're not that strong without Infinity Edge. Your main source of damage comes from your Ricochets critting for 600+ damage per target, so try to stall until then. You want to make picks during this time with your ultimate, and group for sieges as opposed to full out 5v5's, but you're more than well equipped to do so anyways.
A quick tip on teamfights as any marksman is that you should always be focusing the front line in this order:
Bruisers --> Tanks --> Backline
Bruisers are generally any tanky melee or frontline champion that can solo you in a 1v1 setting or deal massive damage (>30% of your HP). You want to focus them and not go past them, because as soon as you get close, they will focus their damage onto you. If two of the frontline bruisers are within range of you, you're almost certainly dead, especially if one of the backline has the ability to follow up with ranged damage. The ONLY case you should go for the backline, is if the frontline currently has NO cooldowns AND the backline is preoccupied with your team's bruiser or assassin. In this special scenario you are allowed to go for backline IF you feel that you can finish them off without risking your death. However, in 99% of situations you want to be focusing the frontline and positioning well to not get CC'd or chunked. Sivir is especially good at doing so, because her ricochet allows her to hit the backline without putting herself in danger. Therefore, even if your team initiates, if you feel that they saved cooldowns for you, don't walk up and start attacking until you are absolutely certain that you can get good damage off without risking your life. It is often best to wait 3-5 seconds after initiation to begin attacking, because most bruisers and assassins will be forced to hit a target instead of waiting for you, lest their team dies.
Late game is when you hit 4-5 items, at this stage you are more than ready to group for every fight possible as long as you make sure that you have the same amount of team members or more than your opponent at the time of fighting. Due to the current death timers, getting picked off at this period of the game is devastating so you want to utilize both your map pressure and team fighting capabilities by not getting solo'd, and wait for your teammates at all costs. Sieging at this point of the game is also very risky due to death timers, and potential of being flanked, so what you want to do is force favorable fights, and then go for turrets, as your damage can easily overwhelm turret defenses once your opponents are dead and their base defenseless. For this reason, baron fights are also highly favorable, if you can bait your opponents to come check it, but do not try to fight both baron and your opponents unless you are at least 7-8k gold ahead of the enemy team, or have a really good composition against theirs.
Difficult at first to play against as he can trade damage onto you with his Dash and passive, also his Piercing Light (Q) is hard to spellblock as it comes nearly instantaneously. With enough practice, if you are able to deflect this, his trades become very weak. Since Lucian is a good lane abuser with the correct support, I recommend avoiding trades with him and pushing up the lane as much as possible as he does not scale well without snowballing.
A fairly simple matchup, Ezreal is heavily reliant upon his Mystic Shot, so if you ever find yourself in a duel with him, as long as you can dodge or block 2+ of them, you should easily win the fight. It is important to stand behind minions at all times in order to avoid his poke. Pushing up to turret against him is not that great as his Mystic Shot cooldown is low enough to allow him to farm easily. It is better in this case to trade with him while behind minions and zone him from the wave, while looking for a gank.
This will most likely be your most difficult matchup as she does not rely upon spells to hit you, and your range is severely lower than hers. Her early game 1-3 will be really annoying to deal with as she can zone you from the wave, so early on I would recommend backing off and allowing her to push to turret while you soak experience and don't allow her to snowball. Once you hit 6, it'll be difficult for her to push up as your ultimate will allow your team to catch her out if she does so. If she is not focusing on poking you, push up the wave as fast as possible with your Boomerangs and Ricochets so that she'll be busy last hitting instead of zoning.
Similar to Caitlyn, there's nothing really you can do in this situation early on if he decides to go aggro on you. Try to avoid trades and push up the waves as fast as possible, as catching axes and last hitting takes full mental effort, but be careful of his movement speed burst as he can easily trade from afar and catch up to you. Keep a good distance and farm into the mid-game. If you can get 1-2 ganks off on him after level 6, assuming you haven't died, you can reset his stacks to keep his pressure healthy.
Relatively difficult to play against due to his range and damage. You can't trade with him because, although you can block a spell, the raw blunt damage he does with his autos, 4th shot, deathfire touch, and his support can add on quickly. You want to abuse his inability to CS at turret easily, and his lack of wave-clear and push up to turret safely. Be warned that he can snare you from a huge range, so if the jungler ganks, be ready to spellshield his root even if he's not on the same screen.
Ashe's only advantage in lane is her 600 range, and frost arrows that bypass your shield and slow you indefinitely as you don't have mobility. Her volley is extremely easy to spellshield, so you can use it to gain mana if you need to. Her early game is relatively weak, so you do not need to push the wave up, and since her mobility is quite low, you can freeze the lane to setup for jungle ganks. Post-6 you should save your spellshield for potential arrows.
A really strong opponent because, her E and R are counted as multiple spells, so you can only really block her Q. She can bait out your shield by trading auto-attacks, which are indefinitely stronger than yours early on with her passive, and destroy your spellshield with an E. This is a good lane to push up as her waveclear is not that great, and her bullying potential is large.
Twitch actually is a difficult matchup in the early game. His E is really hard to predict, and he could easily bait out your shield by auto-ing until you're low. You can only really spellshield his slow, as it moves slowly. To play out this lane push up and back off. Occasionally he will go invisible and try to slow you by throwing his slowing bomb, and you can easily back off and shield it, allowing you to escape. Be careful to never overextend against him, as his dueling potential is really good once he gets one or two items.
This is actually a tricky matchup if two highly skilled players are playing against each other. Both of you will do massive damage in the late game to the opposing enemy teams, but kog'maw has a severe range advantage. When he activates bio arcane barrage, back off until it wears off and only trade when it's down. In the late game, this holds especially true, and only fight him if you he's at around half health and you are sure you can burst him down quickly. Never focus him unless you are sure you can burst him within 1-2 seconds because his sustained damage will shred anyone. A common mistake for marksmen, is that they will feel pressured by the damage output by the enemy carry. Position well, and only overextend in teamfights if all potential dangers are null.
Sivir is an extremely strong pick that you should consider taking even when you can't see opponents picks. She plays well into almost every matchup, and even if she doesn't you have the tools to force lane to stall out until you get your items. This guide should give you the tools you need to succeed in mindset, but it is up to you to practice the rest.
Thanks for reading this far, and look out for my future guides.