Froggen's Official Anivia Guide for 2020
Tue 6th Oct 2020 - 7:57pm
The Cryophoenix of Summoner’s Rift is a bird that not often takes flight on the professional League of Legends scene, but when she does, there is one man piloting her more than anyone else. That man is Dignitas’ very own Henrik “Froggen” Hansen; having played a countless number of games on Anivia since he first started playing League of Legends, one would struggle to find a greater wealth of knowledge when it comes to all facets of Anivia’s gameplay. We caught up with Froggen for an interview just after the 2020 LCS had come to a close, and with his help we have collaborated on the definitive Anivia champion guide to help with your understanding of League of Legends’ icy avian. Read on!
Anivia’s greatest strengths are in locking down and controlling small areas in fights. If she can find the right opportunity to effectively influence a zone of her choosing, the results can be lethal for anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in her icy grasp. She is undoubtedly a Champion that thrives in a longer game, as her early itemisation revolves heavily around mana growth, and as such her strongest matchups come in the form of static lane opponents and champions with channeled abilities, so that your abilities land more easily.
This being said, some good matchups are Cassiopeia, Ryze, and (perhaps controversially) Katarina. Cass and Ryze both rely on closer range encounters without easy gap-closers, as well as a more jittery movement pattern once they begin fighting which make them great candidates for a well-placed Flash Frost. Katarina, on the other hand, is a very jumpy Champion, but the majority of her damage comes out in the form of her ultimate, Death Lotus, which is a stationary channel that Anivia can freely cancel with her Q or even her wall if placed well enough.
Froggen: "Her strengths revolve around her W (Crystallize). It really can be game-changing in the right situation and can have a huge impact on fights. I don’t think Anivia has many super favourable or easy matchups, but she’ll typically go even with Champions that don’t have gap closers and that let her do her thing in the early game."
Anivia, as a Champion, has some of the lowest mobility in the entirety of League of Legends’ huge champion roster. Her spells rely on perfect placement and timing, rather than insane APM, for greater success, leaving her vulnerable to attacks while her spells are on cooldown. Using this logic, two champions that you can use for greatest success against Anivia are Lucian and Zed. Both have the capacity to dodge her abilities with ease during the early game and move swiftly away from her ultimate to prevent being shredded in a Glacial Storm. Additionally, their cooldowns and ability to deal damage after their initial combo is perfect in dealing with her passive, Rebirth, once they have a few items.
Froggen: "Everything she does is just really slow, so if your opponent has any kind of dash or mobility to avoid her attacks they can cause a lot of trouble for you. Anivia’s hardest lane is Kassadin, for sure; you can never really hit him as his jump can negate your stun, wall, and ultimate… it’s an unplayable matchup, really."
Froggen: “Levels 1-4 it can change depending on what’s going on in the game, but this is the common progression to take. There are a lot of small reasons why you should do certain things differently, like I prefer to have 2 points in W before level 10 but it ultimately comes down to experience and what you feel you might need at a certain time so you can change it up as you go.”
The above ability progression is Froggen’s personal preference (generally), but there are the uncommon exceptions to this progression that can throw this off. As an example, perhaps damage becomes less of an importance in a game you’re getting stomped in and being able to cast a bigger wall is what matters most.
Anivia has a wide array of rune pages that can be used to great effect depending on the situation she is in. For a bit of extra speed that can prove to be invaluable for a Champion as immobile as Anivia, Froggen’s first suggestion is as follows:
Froggen: “If you want to kite better, Phase Rush is great to put some distance between yourself and your opponent. I usually always take Manaflow Band with Anivia, the synergy when you finish your Archangel’s Staff is super nice, and from there Transcendence and Gathering Storm are pretty straightforward.”
Inspiration as the secondary path is an excellent accompaniment, as the effectiveness of your Active Abilities can be enhanced with Cosmic Insight and Biscuit Delivery provides a much-needed kick of sustain during the laning phase.
Froggen: “My personal favourite for Runes at the moment is Unsealed Spellbook, as you can take Clarity early on in your laning phase. It’s provided me the most tangible difference in the early game, as I can stay for more CS and base with a Tear or something like that to enhance my early game presence sooner than I usually could.”
Again, Manaflow Band is too important to pass on in this sustain-focused build, and Perfect Timing takes its place as a powerful stepping stone to Zhonya’s Hourglass (which will become incredibly useful in matchups against Anivia’s greatest counters).
Froggen: “I’ve actually seen a few different experimental Rune pages lately, and my favourite is Electrocute. It’s super aggressive and works well with her kit to just blow people up. Presence of Mind works quite well with this too, since the whole build is reliant upon getting kills.”
This build is really only effective once you have a grasp of Anivia’s kit, as it’s heavily dependent upon locking down the kills and playing with a higher level of confidence. Definitely the most aggressive of the three.
These two categories share only one similarity: they don’t really change. Anivia’s Summoner Spells, for pure consistency, should almost always be Flash and Teleport. Flash is a must and Teleport allows Anivia to return to lane sooner, which is highly valuable thanks to her non-movement based kit.
Froggen: "Always Flash and Teleport… well, actually, Flash and Teleport are the most consistent. You’ll usually take those, but Flash and Ghost is loads of fun for extra mobility if you want to continue experimenting. But you should really pretty much just stick to Flash plus Teleport."
Anivia’s items are best left to Froggen to describe:
Froggen: “Yeah, her items really haven’t changed in the last 10 years, haha, you’ll just want to go Rod of Ages and Archangel’s Staff and, from there, feel it out based on how the game is going.”
Rabadon’s Deathcap, Void Staff, Zhonya’s Hourglass, and Banshee’s Veil all work incredibly well to provide Anivia greater damage or defensive capabilities, depending on what the game needs, and all of these should be accompanied by some standard Sorcerer’s Shoes. Below are two very different builds, both capable of dealing insane amounts of damage, but one is more clearly offense-oriented while the other takes a defensive stance.
Gameplay Tips and Tricks
Counteracting Anivia’s low mobility is a challenge for any player trying to learn her from scratch, and deciding when is the best time to pull the trigger and wall your opponents off is a highly valuable skill when you’re aiming for that S+ rank. Here we will discuss early game vs. late game, map presence, common mistakes and how to avoid them, and teamplay with Anivia.
Anivia’s map presence often looks fairly unremarkable compared to Champions like Twisted Fate, Galio, and the likes of them during the laning phase, so committing to controlling your lane until you’ve earned the gold to make a meaningful impact is vital. A rookie player will constantly look for fights and opportunities to kill opponents, but learning how to play slowly in the early game can be just as imperative for closing out a win in the long run.
Froggen: “Usually, if there’s nothing to do in the game and nobody’s fighting a lot, you’ll just want to base to keep your mana high when something finally does break out, and that’s also why Clarity, Manaflow Band, and Archangel’s Staff are so important. The most common mistake people make on Anivia is trying to do too much in the early game, and one of the main things with Anivia is just hoping your teammates don’t int while you build your mana items… I see people on Anivia try and over-contribute, then die, and the game is just over for them from there.”
In the late game, however, Anivia really comes into her own; a chilled opponent is a weak opponent, and a double damage Frostbite can really sink its teeth into an enemy health bar when Anivia has built up her items.
Froggen: “In the late game, you just need to keep track of where the enemies are and who is your biggest threat. Then you use your wall and stun to position yourself favourably and then blow them up!”
And this ties in well with the next idea of teamfighting; Anivia finds herself uniquely equipped for those late game scraps in the Baron and Dragon pits, as she can lock others in an icy maelstrom with her W + R combo to melt down their health before the cavalry comes through and cleans them out. Not only that, but as a disengage tool her W can comfortably close the doors on chokepoints through the Jungle, and her Q can fly long enough along a corridor to collide with a pursuer making straight for you.
Finding the right team composition for Anivia can often be the make or break when taking the Cryophoenix onto Summoner’s Rift, as keeping up with her pace and making up for her slower early game is essential to prevent your enemy from snowballing into the lead. Finding Champions that live for the skirmish are ideal, and as Froggen says:
Froggen: “Teammates that can play around objectives and control specific parts of the map work really well with Anivia.”
So Bard, with his Tempered Fate, Caitlyn’s Yordle Snap Traps, and Nunu as a chilly combination can all be viable opportunities for teamplay, among others.
And there you have it! We’d like to thank Froggen immensely for letting us take a look into the behind-the-scenes of one of the most prolific Anivia players to ever hit the Rift, and for taking the time out to answer our questions. You can catch Froggen on Twitter over at @Froggen- GLHF!