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[Guide] Assistant Anivia, the Cryophoenix

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anata ga mori

Recruiter

11-08-2009

This guide explains why and how you should play Anivia as an assistant.

What it means to assist:

An assistant is one who gets a lot of assists (obviously). More generally it means that you fill in gaps when you are needed or just provide that extra bit that results in your side winning an engagement. You maintain map presence and respond to requests for backup, or take over lanes when your allies get killed. In a PVP fight you will of course dish out damage but your priority is not to get kills yourself; it is to chip away at enemy health and control the field to ensure that your allies live and your enemies do not escape. Never avoid getting a kill - if you can kill an enemy yourself, of course you should. However, there are situations where everyone focusing on killing one low-health enemy allows other low-health enemies to escape, or gets allies killed in the meantime. With your stun and walls, you have many opportunities over the course of the game to alter the flow of battle. This should not be overlooked.

Teaming up with an ally can make for repeated easy kills and demoralize the enemy. It's a lot of fun when it works. That said, playing assist is not very glorious. People rarely appreciate high minion kills or high assist numbers the way they appreciate kills, because those numbers are not visible until the game ends, whereas kills are broadcast. You may even accused of being worthless by people who do not understand how assist builds work and who were not there to see the kills you helped happen. Ignore these taunts. You are helping your team.

For a decent game with cryo it will not be uncommon for you to have only 3-4 deaths, and double digit assists. Understand that in most of the cases you will be the one to whittle down 80% of the health but you will not deal the killing blow; you excel at harassment but in mid-game you do not have the burst damage to claim kills yourself. Call a hard-hitting ally to ensure that the opponent dies once they are low on health. As the game goes on longer you will be more able to afford the expensive AP gear and kills will be more plentiful. However, if you play Assist Cryo properly, there isn't really an end game, since the enemies will be demoralized by repeated mid-game ganking.

Here's what I'm talking about - (See attached image for results of some games I played.)



Some of those numbers don't look very high because the enemies were so demoralized by repeated ganks that they quit the game/surrendered. The point I want to make is that your kill count is very low and that is NORMAL.

Assist Cryo only gets the killing blow under two conditions:

1. Early game, when nobody really has items and mistakes are fatal (enemies get stunned and damaged, and they're toast.)

2. Enemy incompetence. This includes:

2a. Enemy is bad at dodging flash frost (you follow up with a punishing combo and a few hits.)
2b. Enemy cannot perform simple maths (an opponent who is high damage and low hps may bet on you running out of hps first, and be wrong because you either outdamage him or have more hps)
2c. Enemy neglected to get magic resist gear by the time you have a high AP. (All late game kills fall into this category.)
2d. Enemy is somewhere he has no business being - trying to push or gank with low health, attacking a turret while you're around, etc.


In all other cases you will generally be the assistant to a more mobile hero with higher damage. Assassin types and stunners make wonderful ganking partners. Be happy when they close the deal.


Cryo has important weaknesses:

1. Low health. It's a mage.

2. Difficulty landing stun. An enemy familiar with your opening move can simply dodge it. Yes, it's got lots of range, but after everyone gets boots, you will rarely hit someone who is paying attention. Since you are a famously squishy target, and annoying to lane against, enemies will be watching you.

3. Needing both mana (to cast more often) and AP (to cast well). It's easy to burn through all your mana in seconds, but too little AP and your primary spell won't instakill minions.

4. Vulnerable to assassins - above and beyond the general low health/armor issue. Because your duty is continual farming, you will generally be at less than full health when they come to gank you. You are also a large, non-maneuverable target due to your atypical body shape. A sudden burst of damage will end you, and you have no real escape ability (wall doesn't prevent shunpo, leap, etc.)


That said, Cryo is good if you:

1. Enjoy farming/pushing/harassing

2. Like to engage the enemy from afar

3. Want to deny the enemy kills - the resurrection ability will generally save you as long as you can get to a friendly tower. As with all things, the more enemies are after your head, the lower your odds of survival.


Phases of the game:

Early game - MANA! You will run out of mana repeatedly. Try to time flash frost to hit when an enemy seems to be hanging about in the center back ranks of their squads, because that will rack up damage on them while you damage the minions.

(enemy)
xxx

ooo
ooo

xxx
(you)

Even if they notice you doing it, this helps set up an eventual gank - once the enemy has wised up and is regularly off-center, an assassin can come in from the side and ambush him, because he is that much closer to the grass.

Mid game - health. Your enemies will have gained their skillsets and boots. They will want to repay you for that early harrassment you did. You also need to fight closer to the enemy in order to use your secondary skill. Focus on staying alive and pushing your lane. Be wary of sudden ganks from enemies switching lanes.

End game - resistance. People will be tossing around loads of magical damage. Be sure you can take a few hits. This is where you shine again, since in the mass battles it's very hard to keep track of you and a surprising number of your stuns will land.

Skills, in order of priority:

1. Flash frost - AoE damage and a short stun. The best skill, hands down.
2. Frostbite - the follow-up to flash frost. Annoyingly short range but substantial damage if done right.
3. Crystallize - requires a lot of practice to get down, but you can prevent low hps enemies from making it to safety with this. As an assistant, this is CRUCIAL. You want to ensure that your walls are properly placed to save your allies and seal the fates of your enemies.
4. Glacial Storm - while this looks impressive, it has more use as an area slow than as pure damage. It has short range, meaning you'll have to close with the enemy to use it. It also cancels if you are stunned/silenced, which will occur with alarming regularity in PVP. Nevertheless it is still useful both in PVP and turret defense. Very often the threat of this is enough to make attackers break off and run away - after which you must cancel it, because it burns mana at an insane rate.


Gear:

You must build cryophoenix with some tank gear to compensate for the character's squishiness. However, too much of that and I really do become useless. It can be hard to find the balance. I would generally recommend ONE dedicated tank item, as more will cut sharply into your ability to deal damage.

I have listed the most easily identifiable items below. If you find yourself a bit short, buy the component items and finish the build later.

1. Doran's ring. The staff chose this one well. You need the AP and mana regen badly. If you want an early kill you could go with boots of speed, but the early kill will only work if your enemies make mistakes.

2. Boots of Speed -> Sorcerer's Boots or Ninja Tabi. You are a large, clumsy bird that desperately needs at least level 2 speed. The former add AP; the latter add survivability. If you choose Ninja Tabi, that is your one tank item. You are done with tank stuff; get mage powerups for the rest of the game. You will rely on hit points for the rest.

3. Amplifying book, if you got Ninja Tabi, or Ruby Crystal, if you got Sorcerer's Boots.

4. Ruby -> Catalyst. It helps you stay in the field. If you didn't get the Ninja Tabi, and enemies are consistently targeting you, consider turning the ruby into Warden's Mail instead. This choice will hinder your damage because you've just sunk a large amount of gold into hps/armor, but it will pay off as you die less often in PVP.

If you have a lot of gold early on, take Catalyst all the way up to Rod of Ages. This must be done early or not at all, because the Rod takes 15 minutes to power up fully and nothing you do can speed the process along. The blast rod component is relatively expensive and you may need an incremental boost to mana before you dump such a large amount of gold into AP. If you want to push, consider Innervating Locket instead, which will help keep your screening forces alive. Late game, there are better options than Rod of Ages.

5. Sheen -> Lich Bane. You'll probably have to buy the Lich Bane in parts. Get the Sheen first. It helps you land minion kills and you really need the AP.

5. Abyssal Scepter. By this time people will be forming groups and ganking. Pull your weight with increased damage. Alternatively, consider Rylai's Scepter to punish anyone who didn't get a Veil by now with its annoying slow property.

6. Glacial Shroud -> Frozen Heart. As if you weren't burning through mana fast enough. The game really ought to end while you're on your 5th major item.

In general:

Gold gen - at most one. Best to have zero. Gold is generated when you get kills, and gold going into +gold generation is gold that should instead be going into AP. You will eventually need to sell the gold gen item to free up a slot for a more powerful item.

Health regen
- one. Survivability in PVP is a matter of anticipation and hit point gear, not hit point gen.

Mana regen - as many as you like. You will never be able to keep up with your mana consumption.

Remni has an excellent guide (http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2761) that suggests Frozen Mallet. It's great in theory but in PVP you aren't really going to be autoattacking - too much of your survival depends on staying a long way away from the pointy swords of the enemy. If you have superb micro control, give it a try.

(http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2761)


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11-08-2009

follow this guide if you want to suck dick


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anata ga mori

Recruiter

11-09-2009

Uh, thanks. That pretty much illustrates the inability to understand how Anivia is best played that I was talking about. Teamwork, people.


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AFKray

Senior Member

11-10-2009

Your mentality on how to play Anivia is a bit flawed. Sure she is a brilliant support character and is normally played that way, but you can't ignore the rediculous amount of burst she can deal. Frost Bite IS her best skill, or Ice Wall. Flash Frost is simply the skill shot. You also get Doran's ring first. I'm pretty sure anyone in high ELO would laugh at the mention of a Doran item.

1) Anivia is a fantastic farmer, therefore gold is never an issue.
2) You said heart of gold.....that one made me chuckle.
3) You suggest Ruby over Sapphire first, even though you claim you need the mana.
4) You build Anivia with tank items....the only "tank" items you should be getting would be like Merc's treads. (pretty much the only real viable boots imho. too broken not to use)
5) Rod of Ages/Archangels should be your first items. Period. I prefer RoA for the health due to your squishiness. Getting an early tear also helps.
6) It seems by the way you build your Anivia, that you die a lot. There is no other reason to get "tank gear" unless you die and want to therefore live longer. With Anivia's 600 Range, you should not be dying, especially with Egg. Flash Frost/Glacial make getting away quite easy, especially with Merc's, as you will win the slow war. Also, carefully placed Ice Walls for a split work wonders, but that takes practice, as does Wall bugging them. (getting them stuck IN the wall)

p.s. I wouldn't post of a screenshot of subpar Anivia play. If you are going negative despite having Egg then you are definitely not playing as a team. (seeing as your team should be protecting your egg, if you are alone then well, you undermine your guide). Anivia will most likely end the game with a great K/D ratio, and this as I pointed out in my guide, is due to her very high innate burst. This burst sits on a 5 second cooldown (less with reduc, to about 4). If you are not getting the kills, then you really arent' participating in the fights fully. Your frost bite should be on cooldown almost all the time, and therefore your huge burst typically lands the killing blow. However, I do like how you promote the support aspect of Anivia, as that is her true forte. It just so happens that she appears like a carry due to this burst.


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anata ga mori

Recruiter

11-10-2009

Thanks for your comments.

I actually haven't used heart of gold in the past 10+ games I've played, and even when I mentioned it it was hardly an enthusiastic recommendation, so I'll take that down . . . but most of the other stuff stands. People attempt to gank Anivia a lot. Yes, she has huge range on flash frost. No, she can't remain at max range and harass/push effectively - she has to get up close and land hits on the enemy to keep the pressure on. It is during this time that she is vulnerable to ambush. When I say she's an assistant I'm talking about PVPing in groups - I've never said she can't solo lane, and in fact I mention taking over lanes for people. Anivia is great at laning; it's just that this doesn't have much to do with the PVP phase of the game, during which she should be an assistant and not try to solo PVP. I get the feeling you agree that she is not a solo PVPer.

Doran's ring? Sure, because it's just two clicks, and you do need some mana regen and AP early on. It's important to grab an item and get the hell out there into the grass in your lane ASAP. If you get there before your opposite number does, you can stun him with a well-placed shot, follow it up with 2 hits, and take off a good chunk of his health. If you're alone, this gives you the upper hand for the subsequent laning/harassing. If you're with an ally, this potentially gives your team first blood.

Gold is always an issue. There will always be more items you want; you can always use more AP, more mana. I get that you're saying that you can comfortably and reasonably progress, but you can't deny that more gold = better items. Gold only stops being an issue when you have six finished items. Till then, its an arms race that you had better win.

I suggested one tank item, explicitly no more than one, and I'll stick by that. A quick look at Remni's guide verifies that he suggests the same (though he suggests only Ninja Tabi, whereas I believe that it doesn't have to be that item.) I don't die a lot even when a gank team comes for me, because I build in that little bit of survivability and it often makes the difference. You talk about using ultimate or wall to evade enemy pursuit - realize that I'm talking about getting ganked before you have any of that. Thus the early ruby. Egg will save you if you can make it to a tower, but if you're harassing/pushing to put the pressure on, that can be a long trip to make with 2-3 enemies shooting at you and trying to prevent you from running. Most of the time even if I had a partner laning, my ally died first, so they weren't there to protect my egg.

The screenshots show that I don't die a lot and I get a lot of assists. You realize that it's my results from a bunch of games, not an entire team's result for one game, right?

As for landing kills, either you are stunning people strategically to keep your allies alive and walling to keep enemies from fleeing, or you are focusing on getting up close to land frostbite. You can't do both due to the different ranges involved and the fact that you have a limited amount of time, and can only be in so many places at once. Sure, you should drop your ultimate on a group of enemies clustered together. Sure, if they aren't running, you should hit one with frostbite to follow up. But it's better for you to wall them in and ensure that your heavy DPS get 2-3 of them rather than go for the glory yourself. You need wins, not kills. There is absolutely nothing subpar about winning so early that you don't have the late game kills.


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AFKray

Senior Member

11-10-2009

Quote:
anata ga mori:
Thanks for your comments.

I actually haven't used heart of gold in the past 10+ games I've played, and even when I mentioned it it was hardly an enthusiastic recommendation, so I'll take that down . . . but most of the other stuff stands. People attempt to gank Anivia a lot. Yes, she has huge range on flash frost. No, she can't remain at max range and harass/push effectively - she has to get up close and land hits on the enemy to keep the pressure on. It is during this time that she is vulnerable to ambush. When I say she's an assistant I'm talking about PVPing in groups - I've never said she can't solo lane, and in fact I mention taking over lanes for people. Anivia is great at laning; it's just that this doesn't have much to do with the PVP phase of the game, during which she should be an assistant and not try to solo PVP. I get the feeling you agree that she is not a solo PVPer.

Doran's ring? Sure, because it's just two clicks, and you do need some mana regen and AP early on. It's important to grab an item and get the hell out there into the grass in your lane ASAP. If you get there before your opposite number does, you can stun him with a well-placed shot, follow it up with 2 hits, and take off a good chunk of his health. If you're alone, this gives you the upper hand for the subsequent laning/harassing. If you're with an ally, this potentially gives your team first blood.

Gold is always an issue. There will always be more items you want; you can always use more AP, more mana. I get that you're saying that you can comfortably and reasonably progress, but you can't deny that more gold = better items. Gold only stops being an issue when you have six finished items. Till then, its an arms race that you had better win.

I suggested one tank item, explicitly no more than one, and I'll stick by that. A quick look at Remni's guide verifies that he suggests the same (though he suggests only Ninja Tabi, whereas I believe that it doesn't have to be that item.) I don't die a lot even when a gank team comes for me, because I build in that little bit of survivability and it often makes the difference. You talk about using ultimate or wall to evade enemy pursuit - realize that I'm talking about getting ganked before you have any of that. Thus the early ruby. Egg will save you if you can make it to a tower, but if you're harassing/pushing to put the pressure on, that can be a long trip to make with 2-3 enemies shooting at you and trying to prevent you from running. Most of the time even if I had a partner laning, my ally died first, so they weren't there to protect my egg.

The screenshots show that I don't die a lot and I get a lot of assists. You realize that it's my results from a bunch of games, not an entire team's result for one game, right?

As for landing kills, either you are stunning people strategically to keep your allies alive and walling to keep enemies from fleeing, or you are focusing on getting up close to land frostbite. You can't do both due to the different ranges involved and the fact that you have a limited amount of time, and can only be in so many places at once. Sure, you should drop your ultimate on a group of enemies clustered together. Sure, if they aren't running, you should hit one with frostbite to follow up. But it's better for you to wall them in and ensure that your heavy DPS get 2-3 of them rather than go for the glory yourself. You need wins, not kills. There is absolutely nothing subpar about winning so early that you don't have the late game kills.


if you are getting ganked early, then either a) you need to position better or b) you're facing gank squads. then, a Ruby won't really matter. in the end the catalyst is your first item so it doesn't matter, unless you are going for a tear build.

As for what you think your "role" is in "pvp", eh. You can "strategically stun" and frost bite at the same time... same with Wall and glacial. You should be doing the best of your ability to defeat the enemy, which includes utilizing your absurd damage output. And that "stun" is for a tiny amount of time. It's more for positioning purposes really. And to set up a Wall split.


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anata ga mori

Recruiter

11-12-2009

Quote:
AFKush:
if you are getting ganked early, then either a) you need to position better or b) you're facing gank squads. then, a Ruby won't really matter. in the end the catalyst is your first item so it doesn't matter, unless you are going for a tear build.


If I'm actually dying, it's generally B. (Laning/harassing hard, we're both down to low hps, suddenly 2 more enemies jump out of the grass.) Ruby/ninja tabi has in fact kept me alive several times long enough to run into tower range before I get egged. Obviously it doesn't work all the time.

In the higher end game of course you'll see more aggressive people who don't let damaged players escape that easily and will die to try to nail you. Survivability gear is much better for new players (the target of this guide) than for high end players because it will actually keep them alive more often.

Quote:
As for what you think your "role" is in "pvp", eh. You can "strategically stun" and frost bite at the same time... same with Wall and glacial. You should be doing the best of your ability to defeat the enemy, which includes utilizing your absurd damage output. And that "stun" is for a tiny amount of time. It's more for positioning purposes really. And to set up a Wall split.
Interesting. I always thought the best use of stun was to interrupt enemies and thereby mess up their damage output.

I think comparing our respective ability priorities would be enlightening. Mine is flash frost (stun as often as possible, always stun, it messes up the enemy plans) followed by ultimate (if they react and break off, they aren't shooting at you while they reposition) followed by walls and frostbite. You have to be close to use frostbite and by the time an enemy's health is precariously low they've generally seen it coming and been running.

If I have more than 5 kills a game it generally means we lost the game, because it means that my allies probably didn't do enough damage, which is why they weren't getting those kills.


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dreamydischarge

Senior Member

11-12-2009

you're a fucking scrub, quit playing anivia. This is how she's meant to be played.


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Aregionius

Senior Wrenchman

11-12-2009

Wow...That's overly harsh, that screenshot proves nothing, Annie is 7 and 0, the team you were playing just sucked. If you're good you could have gotten those kills playing pretty much anyone.

Truth is, not everyone can play hyper agressive and get away with it. There are a lot of people who don't play at the very top of this game that can greatly increase their chances of a team win with assists and support rather than trying to go all, crazy dps / AP builds and dying because it doesn't work out.


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anata ga mori

Recruiter

11-12-2009

Quote:
dreamydischarge:
you're a fucking scrub, quit playing anivia. This is how she's meant to be played.


Getting 7 kills because you created a new account to go against noobs (grand total of 2 kills by the other team? really?) is hardly an indication of how a class is normally played against players of equal skill.

It's not like I never get kills - but I don't want to showcase those as something to aim for, because in almost all cases where I got kills the other team was just horrible, or my allies were sad and couldn't get the kills that they should have gotten first. If your allies are at least as skilled as you the carries WILL get the kills first.

I mean, here, have a screenshot with 7 kills in a game where my teammates mostly sucked (except that Ryze, and the Cho had some link issue) and my enemies weren't total noobs. What does this prove? Anivia is meant to get kills? Hell no, it just proves that this wasn't a game where my allies played their best.

What you don't seem to comprehend is that I can get kills - but if I have to step up and do it as Anivia, odds are something is seriously wrong with the carry classes on my team.


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