Lately I’ve been finding myself posting in a lot of Sivir threads, and a lot of the same issues keep coming up, so I decided to compile all of that knowledge in a single post for everyone’s benefit. In this guide I hope to cover all of the facets of building and playing Sivir successfully, and I will continue to update the guide as new topics and questions arise.
Masteries: I’ve found the most effective setup for Sivir’s masteries to be 0/21/9. Sivir’s auto attack range is significantly shorter than most of her counterparts, meaning she has to move significantly closer to enemies in team fights and minions in the laning phase. Building up to the cap stone in the defense tree allows her to do so with relative ease. It also allows her to open with a Meki Pendant instead of a Doran item with little consequence to survivability. The offensive tree does not do much for Sivir over the course of the game. She benefits very little from critical strike chance and critical strike damage, only her Boomerang does magic damage, and with her farming ability she’ll do so much item based damage that the capstone, while definitely nice, is not especially exciting. The utility tree is generally good on all champions, but in Sivir’s case she simply benefits more from early game hardiness. The cooldowns on her abilities are not particularly long, and she’s not as reliant on summoner skills since she has a built in Ghost and Banshee’s Veil. She does however make strong use of the experience boost, as well as the boost to Teleport and health and mana regeneration, all of which are early in the tree.
Runes: I’ve found the best combination of runes to be attack speed Marks, dodge Seals, Mana Regeneration Glyphs, and attack speed Quintessences. The dodge Seals and Mana Regeneration Glyphs are fairly straight forward. Dodge works well with her passive and Mana Regeneration synergizes with an early Chalice of Harmony early game and can sustain her mana needs entirely late game. For Marks and Quintessences there are a couple other choices that are potentially effective: armor penetration and attack damage. However, of those two only attack damage helps with dropping early turrets, one of Sivir’s early game goals, and the other modifies it by a flat amount, while attack speed enhances it by a percentage. Also equally important to note, there are few attack speed items in the game that do not come with useless modifiers for Sivir, and thus cause her to waste gold. In combination with only Berserker Greaves, attack speed Marks and Quintessences put level 18 Sivir’s attack speed at 1.6 and her attack speed during On the Hunt at 2.3.
Summoner Spells: I personally run Teleport and Flash. Teleport allows you to disappear from a standoff in one late to crush a tower elsewhere while your team defends. It also allows you to stop an early game push on an undefended tower in 2 seconds with your fast minion clearing. It’s an all around strong spell for any champion that can push and take turrets faster than enemy players can respond. Flash is nice because in combination with On the Hunt’s speed boost and Spell Shield, it allows Sivir to get out of most sticky situations, even without the use of common defensive items like Mercury Treads and Banshee’s Veil. The only summoner spells I’d use in place of either of these are Ghost as an extra escape or chase mechanism if you find On the Hunt isn’t enough, and Exhaust because Sivir lacks a built in crowd control spell.
Skill Progression: I strongly believe in building up Boomerang Blade early on, as that is when it is most effective. Even though it now scales with attack damage, it will represent a relatively small portion of your late game damage in team fights compared to the early game. In contrast, Ricochet will represent the least of your early game damage in team fights, and the most in the late game. Note that I delay grabbing her ultimate until level 8 in favor of an extra level in both Boomerang Blade and Ricochet. Generally Sivir will reach Level 8 before most champions, and team fights will not have started breaking out before then. She also will not yet be able to do significant damage to turrets before then, which is when she’ll first want to start using On the Hunt. By raising Boomerang Blade and Ricochet an extra level, she has an easier time quickly clearing the oncoming minion wave and then sweeping the jungle for wolves and wraiths. Also note that I don’t take the last level of Ricochet until the very end. The last hit is for very little relative damage, and in general you will benefit more from a lower cooldown on Spell Shield at that point.
Level 1: Boomerang Blade
Level 2: Spell Shield
Level 3: Boomerang Blade
Level 4: Ricochet
Level 5: Boomerang Blade
Level 6: Ricochet
Level 7: Boomerang Blade
Level 8: On the Hunt
Level 9: Boomerang Blade
Level 10: Ricochet
Level 11: On The Hunt
Level 12: Ricochet
Level 13: Spell Shield
Level 14: Spell Shield
Level 15: Spell Shield
Level 16: On the Hunt
Level 17: Spell Shield
Level 18: Ricochet
If you find yourself playing against someone who routinely harasses you well using spells, it may be beneficial to take earlier levels in Spell Shield. Usually you can compensate with safer play and stick to the script, but this is always an option.
Item Build: There are two main ways to build Sivir: Damage Heavy Squishy and Durable DPS. Which build is optimal is decided by the make up and skill level of both your team and the enemy team. If your team has the necessary tools to protect you, such as strong competent tanks and crowd control spells, your best bet is to be a Damage Heavy Squishy. If on the other hand the enemy team has the necessary tools to get past your team’s defenses, such as strong assassin type champions, or generally beefy champions that will run past your tanks, Durable DPS is the better choice.
Damage Heavy Squishy Item Progression:
Meki Pendant > Chalice of Harmony > Boots of Speed > B.F. Sword > Berserker Greaves > Blood Thirster > Last Whisper > Blood Thirster > Blood Thirster
As you can see the main focus of this build is to stack your damage and rely on your team for protection in the team fights.
Durable DPS Item Progression:
Meki Pendant > Chalice of Harmony > Boots of Speed > B.F. Sword > Berserker Greaves > Warmog’s Armor > Blood Thirster > Last Whisper > Blood Thirster (Or Atma’s Impaler if the enemy is AD heavy)
Warmog’s Armor turns Sivir into a high damage ranged DPS with 3000 HP. It allows her to stay in the fights longer despite receiving unwanted enemy attention. The damage output is only moderately hindered (by about 3000 gold to be exact), but the survivability jumps a lot. In less organized teams this is usually your best bet.
Frequently asked questions about items
if you are smart with your spell shield and are in lane against somebody you can abuse it with, I find that I can run MP5/lvl yellows and get away without a chalice (since the MP5 kicks in by the time teamfights start)
Maki pendant opening also makes it seem like you can't use your spell shield well, you should be fine without that and instead going for a Doran's blade. Ashe will hit you for 200 damage (sometimes up to 250) as SOON as she gets into lane with you. That instantly drops you below half without a doran's blade, and no real damage to throw back (level 1 Q does not nearly match that). You will be owned in that lane if you don't get some HP.
I'm a huge fan of Sivir as well. I play her primarilly as a backdoorer. If you think about it, she was MADE for backdooring (yes, I know, she's also a staple in every team fight, but still..). People always give me **** for my strange build, but I average 5 turret killls a game, so I have no complaints.
So what do you think of this build?
Meki Pendant->Chalice of Harmony
Sell 1 Zeal
Phantom Dancer/Stark's Fervor/Bloodthirster
Spells are: Teleport, Cleanse
Endgame stats (approximate): 145 attack, 2.0+ attack speed, 550 movement
So what's my strategy? I look for the most outer tower, and aim to destroy it. I'll teleport to my minions if they';re already AT the tower, otherwise Teleport is reserved for getting to undefended towers or just places in general. This build is meant for me to do that most efficiently. Chalice allows me to spam Q and Ricochet and clear creeps quickly. If I get ganked? I switch on my Spell Shield to avoid the initial spell, Cleanse for back up, and even if I already used my On the Hunt on the tower, I have enough speed to get away, at which point I merely run across the jungle and proceed to backdoor another tower. The Bligewater Cutlass is a relatively cheap item that gives me all my attack and lifesteal needs, giving my boomeragns a little more oomph, and giving me the lifesteal to solo creepwaves, and replenish my health after a gank.
I prefer mid, as Spell Shield is pretty much OP during the laning phase, and it, along with my ult and Cleanse makes me ungankable. If there's an Ashe or Trist on my team though, I might give it to them, since they don't have the same farming capabilities as I do. I'll generally lane with tanks or support, so they don't suffer as much from the gold deprivation from my Ricochet.
This isn't to say I don't have a strong presence in team fights either. I switch on my On the Hunt, and throw my boomerangs and hit all 5 of them at 2.5 attack speed, and throw in a Boomerang Blade whenever I can.
Sivir may be tagged as a carry, but I'd like to think of her as a carry in the sense that she can take out turrets and inhibitors to indirectly win the game.
What do you think?
My Sivir build is pretty similar to yours (I tend to go PD's for attack speed but I can see where you're coming from... I just don't have attack speed runes yet), and I'm curious about your thoughts on the banshee's veil. Whenever I go against a CC or burst heavy team I see it as essential (or at the very least infuriating to the enemy).
Also, I agree that chalice is better than manamune [Ior[/I] no mana regen item. It allows for much more freedom in your play style at the start at such little cost, and can be sold later on for your late game items when needed.
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