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|Abaddon is versatile hero who specializes in absorbing damage and shielding his teammates. Unlike other supports, Borrowed Time allows Abaddon to be in the middle of the fight, converting heavy attacks back into health. His Mist Coil and Aphotic Shield makes it frustratingly hard for enemies to bring down his allies, and their low cooldowns can turn fights around at crucial moments. Curse of Avernus slows foes hit by your sword, giving them a hard time running from you and your allies (since you can hit them with no worries while Borrowed Time is off cooldown), at the same time increasing your allies attack speed and movement speed if they also hit the enemy. Although Abaddon's common build seldom allows him to do enough damage to kill enemies alone, he can still provide cheap nuke damage while played as support, and under favorable circumstances, he can also be played as a semi-carry.|
- Abaddon is most commonly played as a support whose main purpose is to protect its carry from a hard disable with Aphotic Shield and heal him regularly with Mist Coil. In this way, it is sometimes unwise to rush in the middle of a battle despite your ultimate, because you lose your usefulness if you get disabled or silenced. In such situations, Curse of Avernus can be rather useless during teamfights as you won't attack enemies much. Don't skip it entirely as it will help push towers at the very least.
- You will probably want to max Aphotic Shield first, not necessarily for its added damage block (though it helps) but mostly for its cooldown reduction. To further help you save your allies, you may consider purchasing an Aether Lens as your first major item, after disassembling your Arcane Boots.
- If you don't want to build Aether Lens, Tranquil Boots and a Soul Ring should solve all your mana problems and enable you to never go back to base. As a melee support that doesn't especially require mobility tools, you become a natural aura carrier. Get an early Headdress and a Buckler that you can later upgrade into a Mekansm. If you're having mana problems, you may opt to skip the Mekansm and build instead a Vladmir's Offering and a Crimson Guard with the Headdress and Buckler. Drum of Endurance is also nice and the early Wind Lace is always good to have.
- Though not always necessary, never forget Force Staff and/or Blink Dagger when playing support.
- Abaddon can be played very aggressively, especially in the early game, in a manner very different from his traditional support role. An early point in Curse of Avernus will allow you to trade hits very effectively with the enemy offlaner. The slow will help your low-ms partner catch-up to land his spells and extra auto-attacks. This can be even more difficult to be dealt with if you start off with an Orb of Venom as it fully stacks with your curse.
- Maxing Mist Coil early can catch your opponents off guard. Though extra levels in it do not come with the extra benefit of cooldown reduction, the DPS it provides compared to Aphotic Shield is still better, since its cd is already so low. Maxing Mist Coil will also help you self-trigger your shield thanks to the increased self-damage, and its cast range is decent. Finally, although extra levels in shield are nice, it becomes useless if there is nothing to detonate it to harm your opponent. All-in-all, it should be near-impossible for a lone enemy to get near you without taking heavy damage when maxing Mist Coil.
- As for items, everything can be OK on a carry Abaddon. Early Phase Boots will increase your harass and chase potential, but later Guardian Greaves can make you almost unkillable. Sange and Yasha is good all around, so is a Skull Basher or a Maelstrom for your right clicks. But if your opponents stopped trading hits with you and your team has no means to lock them down, you may also choose to simply run at them with a Radiance while casting Mist Coil over and over again; and sustain through everything with Borrowed Time whose cooldown you will have reduced through purchase of an Octarine Core.
- Although right-click items are mostly ill-advised on a support Abaddon, auras are still very nice on a carry Abaddon, as are most utility items like Eul's Scepter of Divinity or Blink Dagger. But you may aim for the more expensive ones if you're farming, such as Assault Cuirass, Shiva's Guard or Scythe of Vyse.
|+25% Curse of Avernus MS Slow||25||+250 Aphotic Shield Health|
|+90 Damage||20||15% Cooldown Reduction|
|+50 Mist Coil Heal/Damage||15||+6 Armor|
|+20% XP Gain||10||+25 Movement Speed|
Tips & Tactics
- Abaddon is renowned for his multipurpose spells capable of manipulating how much damage the enemy is able to deal to his team, and turn it against them. In this way, Abaddon is not only able to protect and heal his teammates, but also possesses offensive potential capable of dealing damage to enemies as well.
- Abaddon's versatile skill set allows him to be played as either a carry or a support, depending on what his team needs. He is able to gear his skill build towards protecting teammates and shielding them from harm, or for more offensive purposes to give himself more damage output.
- Beware that Abaddon has very long cast animations for Mist Coil and Aphotic Shield, requiring roughly 50% more time to cast his spells than most other heroes. Positioning and planning ahead are crucial for allowing Abaddon to get his spells off in time.
- One of Abaddon's early weaknesses is his poor agility, resulting in low base armor (and thus vulnerability to physical damage despite being a strength hero) and poor attack speed (hampering his carry potential). Rectifying his armor weakness is crucial in order to make him effective in any role he plays, though improving his attack speed is dependent on if he is playing as a carry.
- Depending on if he is being built as a support or carry, Abaddon has differing itemization priorities and skill builds.
- Abaddon is generally played as a safe lane support due to the vast survivability his skills provide for his team. His role in the safe lane is to control lane equilibrium through pulling creep waves, as his ability to harass the enemy off-laner is hampered by being a melee hero. He also stacks jungle camps for his carry to farm later, and acts as a babysitter capable of protecting his lane against enemy aggression with his powerful survivability spells. As a support he focuses on building mana items to allow him to continue casting his spells, and HP regen items to fuel the cost of Mist Coil, then utility items to give his team an advantage in fights. His skill build aims towards maxing out Aphotic Shield and Mist Coil first in order to maximize his early nuking power while also protecting his teammates.
- As a carry, Abaddon must gear towards tankiness and damage output, forcing the enemy to treat him as a threat so that he can take advantage of his ultimate. A carry Abaddon is geared less towards casting but more towards damage output, prioritizing Mist Coil for nuking power and Curse of Avernus for attack speed. Unlike most carries that try to directly attack and kill the enemy, Abaddon's carry potential lies in forcing the enemy to engage him and wasting their nukes and disables on him, and then negating that damage with his ultimate.
- Mist Coil's low cooldown allows it to be used multiple times in an engagement at all points of the game. It can be used as a heal in one cast, a damage nuke in another, and even cast to break Linken's Sphere on an enemy or Roshan.
- Beware of overtaxing yourself when using this spell repeatedly. While its low mana cost and short cooldown allows Abaddon to almost always have this spell at the ready, getting too low in HP can prevent him from being effective in fights due to the danger of dying to enemy focus without Borrowed Time, or being forced to use his ultimate too early.
- The health cost of Mist Coil is dealt as Pure damage, which allows it to interact with Abaddon's other spells.
- Because it is treated as damage by game mechanics, Mist Coil's damage is affected by both Aphotic Shield and Borrowed Time. Casting Mist Coil during an active Aphotic Shield prevents Abaddon from taking damage while simultaneously adding to its damage threshold, and can either proc Borrowed Time passively when falling below 400 HP or heal Abaddon if it is already active.
- The self-damage from Mist Coil is also lethal, which allows Abaddon to commit suicide with the spell. Deliberately used in this manner, Abaddon can deny himself in the face of attacking enemies, preventing them from profiting from his death.
- During pushes, Abaddon can cast Mist Coil and/or Aphotic Shield on a currently tanking lane creep, to boost their survivability.
- Use Mist Coil to secure last-hits at range.
- Casting Aphotic Shield on an ally applies a strong dispel on them, removing stuns as well as all otherwise purgeable debuffs. This makes the spell extremely strong against long-duration disables such as Sacred Arrow, Fiend's Grip, Chaos Bolt and so on, as the disable can be immediately broken and the target allowed to act.
- Aphotic Shield can be used as a farming and pushing spell, due to its area damage. Placing the shield on the leading creep in an attacking wave shields it from damage for a short time, and then inflicts area damage on the enemy creep wave once it bursts. Similarly, casting it on Abaddon while farming neutral camps allows him to deal nuke damage after shielding himself from their attacks.
- Abaddon's Aphotic Shield can be used to harass enemy farm. By placing the shield on an allied creep with low hp, enemy heroes will be denied the last hit, otherwise suffer shield damage in the process. This allows easy creep denying after the shield bursts. Abaddon can also deny the creep himself to make the shield burst if the enemy hero doesn't do so. This can harass melee heroes and ranged heroes to a certain extent, making it a lot harder for them to farm.
- Used as a counter-gank spell, Aphotic Shield has the power to completely turn situations around. Shielding a teammate who is being ganked stops them from taking damage (and can be further augmented by healing them with Mist Coil), forcing the enemy to commit additional time and attacks, and then turning that damage against them, effectively causing a double shift in HP of the shield's listed value. The damage from a bursting shield can potentially damage an enemy enough to bring them within kill range.
- In the same vein, Aphotic Shield is a powerful tower-diving spell for finishing off weak enemies. Placing Aphotic Shield on an ally prevents them from taking damage from tower hits for a short time, and the shield bursting deals nuke damage to the enemy, usually enough to finish them off. As well, tower-diving allies do not need to stop to perform cast or attack animations in order for the shield to burst, allowing them to easily chase within range of the detonation.
- Unlike most other sources of damage negation, Aphotic Shield blocks any damage that is taken after reductions. (This means that magic resistance and armor can increase Aphotic Shield's potency, as none of the shield's power is wasted on damage that is reduced by resistances (e.g., a 200 magic damage nuke on a target with 25% magic resistance deals 150 damage to the shield).
- Casting Aphotic Shield upon the same target before its duration has ended automatically detonates the shield before reapplying another. Combining this tactic with its massive radius can help to increase your DPS in a teamfight or finish off enemies during a chase.
- In practical terms, the short debuff duration of Curse of Avernus means that Abaddon must constantly focus on attacking an enemy in order to inflict them with the slow for more than a short period of time. Additionally, allies must coordinate with Abaddon in order to ensure that they can maintain the speed buffs through focusing on affected enemies, as the buff duration is only marginally longer than the debuff.
- During the laning phase, Curse of Avernus can be a useful spell to get at least one level in, as the movement speed shift can allow Abaddon and his allies to gain a speed advantage over gank targets. This can also be used defensively, inflicting a ganking enemy with the debuff to prevent them from easily chasing allies.
- Curse of Avernus can be a useful spell for farming, as it reduces neutral creeps' attack speed while boosting that of Abaddon, increasing his damage output while simultaneously reducing theirs to mitigate any damage dealt to Abaddon's HP pool.
- In concert to the above, Abaddon can push creep waves surprisingly well through judicious use of Curse of Avernus. Inflicting the debuff on enemy creeps reduces their damage output while also boosting that of allied creeps, causing the creep wave to push towards the enemy base without needing to expend mana. The curse can also be inflicted on enemy buildings, particularly their towers, cutting down their attack interval while also increasing that of all creeps attacking them, accelerating the tower's destruction.
- Abaddon benefits from building items that provide additional slows, as they stack linearly with that applied by Curse of Avernus. Further reducing the enemy's movement and attack speed can give Abaddon and his team a powerful mobility advantage.
- Remember that while Curse of Avernus's debuff can be purged, it can also be applied through spell immunity. This allows Abaddon to inhibit the enemy's attempts to re-position and attack even if they activate spell immunity, which can give his team a crucial edge in fights.
- Borrowed Time is a good way to make the enemy to waste time and spells on Abaddon, as he can simply heal back up and force them to engage him all over again when their abilities are on cooldown. This is best exploited if Abaddon is already at full health, as the enemy then needs to expend resources to bring him to low health first, before proccing Borrowed Time.
- Abaddon can tower-dive quite effectively in the early game combined with Borrowed Time, as he can simply ignore tower and creep damage in his pursuit, and then finish the foe off with his other spells. Remember that Mist Coil's self-damage is treated as a heal during Borrowed Time, allowing Abaddon to use it as a self-heal and nuke with only mana as its cost.
- During Borrowed Time, Aphotic Shield does not proc any damage shielding, as any incoming damage is treated as a heal after reductions. Casting Aphotic Shield during Borrowed Time not only removes debuffs from Abaddon, but also leaves him with a fresh shield once it ends.
- If the enemy attempts to avoid attacking Abaddon during Borrowed Time in an effort to prevent him from healing, Abaddon can force the issue by taking advantage of enemy area nukes and attracting the attention of the enemy's towers and creeps. Spells such as Macropyre, Midnight Pulse and March of the Machines can deal area damage outside of the casting hero's control, and can be used as sources of healing during Borrowed Time.
- Abaddon retains the ability to cast Borrowed Time through any disables excluding Silence and Hex. This allows Abaddon to snap himself out of most enemy disables, including targeted channels like Dismember and Fiend's Grip and directly engage the enemy or cast his spells (for instance, to heal an ally with Mist Coil or protect them with Aphotic Shield). However, beware of persisting area disables such as Ice Path and Chronosphere, which can immediately disable Abaddon again after casting.
- Beware that since the damage instance that procs Borrowed Time is not healed up, it is possible for Abaddon to die if an attack brings him from above 400 HP to death in a single instance, as Borrowed Time does not passively proc. In order to circumvent this, Borrowed Time can be manually cast before reaching the threshold, and with good timing can bait the enemy into healing Abaddon.
- With Aghanim's Scepter, Abaddon gains the ability to shield all nearby allies from harm during Borrowed Time, by giving them a damage resistance buff that redirects half of all damage they would otherwise take to Abaddon during his ultimate. Used at the right time, it can give teammates much more survivability by doubling their effective HP against all damage types for the duration of Borrowed Time, while forcing the enemy to heal Abaddon himself.
- Tango and Healing Salve are important in order to keep Abaddon from being harassed out of the lane, particularly as he is a melee hero.
- Clarity fuels Abaddon's powerful spells, giving him the mana to make or break engagements through manipulating the HP and damage taken by his allies.
- Iron Branch are cheap and give Abaddon additional attributes. They can be built into a Magic Wand or Mekansm components, or simply sold for more inventory space.
- Animal Courier is expected as support Abaddon is less item-dependent than others.
- Boots of Speed are important to get early on Abaddon, as he needs good positioning in order to make use of his spells. It also allows him to more easily chase down enemies with Curse of Avernus.
- Magic Stick is important for giving Abaddon burst HP and mana regen whenever he needs it. Both can fuel his spell-casting and increase his longevity in fights, allowing him to accomplish more.
- Ring of Basilius provides Abaddon with more armor, bonus damage, and mana regen to fuel his spell-casting. The aura boosts his allies' survivability, further increasing his ability to protect them, and the item can be disassembled and both components recycled for later items.
- Orb of Venom allows Abaddon to apply a slow with his attacks, and stacks alongside Curse of Avernus. It can be a good item to build for an aggressive posture, in order to inflict a stronger slow on gank targets.
- Tranquil Boots are very powerful on Abaddon, on top of being the cheapest boots upgrade available. The increased movement speed gives Abaddon better positioning, allowing him to get his spells off more easily. The additional armor gives him tankiness, increasing his effective HP against physical damage. The HP replenishment allows Abaddon to recoup the HP cost of Mist Coil, ensuring that he never puts himself at too much risk when casting the spell.
- Magic Wand gives Abaddon increased attributes and much more burst HP and mana regen, giving him much more survivability and allowing him to use his spells even after running completely dry.
- Mekansm gives Abaddon a powerful heal with which to protect his team, alongside Mist Coil. It also gives Abaddon more tankiness through the additional attributes and armor, making him harder to bring down.
- Observer Ward are important to purchase regularly as a support. Providing map vision gives Abaddon and his team forewarning to engagements, allowing Abaddon to show up to keep the tide of fights in his team's favor.
- Town Portal Scroll is important on all heroes. Abaddon's ability to turn ganks around and give his team a strong survivability advantage make him a strong hero to have present in any engagement.
- Urn of Shadows is a useful utility support item that synergizes with Abaddon's ability to protect and heal his team. The increased strength gives Abaddon more HP and base damage and the mana regen helps keep his mana pool filled. Urn charges can be used to heal teammates or damage enemies alongside Mist Coil, and can be used on Abaddon himself to recoup Mist Coil's HP cost.
- Arcane Boots is a strong support item that allows Abaddon to replenish his teammates' mana as well as his own. Given the strong defensive power of Aphotic Shield, having the mana to cast it whenever it is needed can greatly benefit Abaddon's team.
- Power Treads helps give a carry Abaddon more combat presence. The increased attack speed allows Abaddon to utilize his physical attacks more, and attribute switching can reduce the mana cost of Aphotic Shield, reduce the HP cost of Mist Coil, and give Abaddon more HP and base damage as needed.
- Vladmir's Offering is a solid item on Abaddon, no matter what role he takes. Its aura grants armor, HP and mana replenishment, lifesteal, and bonus damage to Abaddon and all nearby allies, making it a powerful item to have present in any fight.
- Pipe of Insight gives Abaddon greatly increased magic resistance and HP regen, allowing him to shrug off magic nukes and vastly increasing his survivability. The active allows Abaddon to further protect his teammates through shielding them from the enemy's magic nukes for a short time, synergizing with Aphotic Shield.
- Drum of Endurance is a good all-around attribute item that gives Abaddon more HP, mana, armor, attack speed and damage, as well as an aura that he and his team can utilize for much longer due to Abaddon's tankiness.
- Radiance is a strong carry item, as it greatly increases Abaddon's attack damage and gives him a burn aura that forces the enemy to engage him. The aura also inflicts a blind debuff on the enemy, causing them to miss attacks directed at any friendly units so long as Abaddon is nearby.
- Assault Cuirass greatly increases Abaddon's armor and attack speed, giving him physical survivability and increased damage output to allow him to carry effectively. The aura also greatly benefits teammates, and reduces enemy armor, allowing Abaddon and his team to deal more damage.
- Aghanim's Scepter extends the duration of Borrowed Time and allows Abaddon to shield his allies from damage. The reduced damage can also force the enemy to heal Abaddon as it is redirected to him during the ultimate.
- Heart of Tarrasque drastically improves Abaddon's HP, making him significantly harder to bring down. It also allows him to quickly replenish his HP outside of combat, making him a powerful threat if he is farmed enough.
- Scythe of Vyse provides Abaddon with a single target hard-disable, making it a powerful support item. It gives Abaddon stats across the board and greatly improves his mana pool and mana regeneration, allowing him to make strong use of his spells.
- Guardian Greaves greatly boosts Abaddon's survivability and allows him to greatly support his team. The heal and mana replenishment are very powerful, and the self-dispel allows Abaddon to remove debuffs from himself that may be preventing him from participating effectively in teamfights. The aura is also very strong, giving Abaddon and his teammates enhanced survivability when they are at low health, giving Abaddon more time to save and protect them with his spells.
- Glimmer Cape is a strong support utility item, allowing Abaddon to cloak a teammate in invisibility and greatly boost their magic resistance. If needed, it can also be used to help one of Abaddon's teammates initiate invisibly on the enemy.
- Solar Crest is a powerful support item that further enhances Abaddon's ability to protect his teammates. The armor and mana regen give Abaddon survivability and mana sustain, and the active allows Abaddon to either enhance a teammate's survivability against physical attacks, or induce an armor debuff and miss chance on a troublesome enemy to reduce their ability to fight.
- Mask of Madness is a cheap lifesteal item that can give Abaddon tremendous attack speed in order to increase his damage output as a carry. The lifesteal allows Abaddon to maintain his HP while farming, and recover the HP cost of casting Mist Coil. Using the active in combat allows Abaddon to utilize his physical attacks to deal damage, while at the same time boosting his movement speed to better allow him to take advantage of Curse of Avernus. The increased damage vulnerability can be ignored in favor of Borrowed Time, which prevents the enemy from using it against him.
- Blade Mail can be a powerful semi-carry item that fills in several of Abaddon's deficiencies. The bonus armor increases his tankiness, the bonus intelligence gives him more mana for casting spells, and the bonus damage increases his damage output for fighting and farming. The active can allow Abaddon to use his HP pool offensively during fights, discouraging the enemy from focusing him down when he does not have Borrowed Time activated.
- Force Staff is a strong utility support item that helps Abaddon to get his spells off and protect his teammates further. The increased intelligence and HP regen give Abaddon a bigger mana pool and helps sustain his casting of Mist Coil, and re-positioning himself allows him to get within range to use his spells to protect his allies. As well, the active can also be used to help push escaping allies to safety if enemies are pursuing.
- Blink Dagger greatly increases Abaddon's mobility, allowing him to engage the enemy more effectively during teamfights, position himself for casting his spells on his teammates, and chase enemies down as needed. Both Aphotic Shield and Borrowed Time can be used to prevent Blink Dagger's on-damage cooldown from proccing, allowing Abaddon to use it to blink whenever needed.
- Armlet of Mordiggian is a useful mid-game carry item to build. While the HP cost of the active cannot be converted into healing by Borrowed Time, Armlet provides many powerful carry bonuses, and Borrowed Time can still be activated once Abaddon's HP is low in order to quickly recover HP through enemy damage.
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity increases Abaddon's support potential tremendously and is relatively cheap to build. The bonus intelligence and mana regen greatly improve Abaddon's ability to cast his spells to protect his team, and the bonus movement speed gives him better positioning ability as well as allowing him to get within range to use Curse of Avernus against enemies more easily. The active allows Abaddon to instantly disable an enemy from range, or can be used on himself to remove silences that may be preventing him from casting his spells or manually activating Borrowed Time.
- Rod of Atos gives Abaddon greatly increased support potential while also making him more tanky. The huge intelligence boost greatly improves his ability to cast spells, while the bonus HP makes him harder to bring down in fights, as well as increasing the potency of Borrowed Time. The active allows Abaddon to root an enemy from long range, preventing movement abilities and allowing him to get within range to inflict them with Curse of Avernus to further debilitate their mobility.
- Crimson Guard is a powerful utility item that benefits Abaddon both as a carry and a support. The damage block, increased HP and bonus armor make Abaddon much harder to bring down with physical damage, and the active gives all nearby allies enhanced damage block and armor, increasing their resistance to physical damage for a short duration.
- Heaven's Halberd gives Abaddon increased tankiness and a strong active that helps him carry in teamfights. The increased strength and bonus evasion give Abaddon much more survivability against physical attacks, and the active allows him to disarm an enemy carry during a fight, preventing them from effectively contributing.
- Black King Bar can be a necessary purchase on a carry Abaddon if the enemy has a large number of disables. While Abaddon can remove debuffs from himself with Aphotic Shield and Borrowed Time, spell immunity allows him to act continuously without the fear of being chain-disabled and rendered unable to participate in fights at all. The bonus strength and attack damage also increase his HP and damage output, giving him more carry potential.
- Lotus Orb can be a very powerful utility support item that further allows Abaddon to keep his teammates alive. The item gives Abaddon increased armor for tankiness and mana and HP regen for self-sustain, allowing him to always be ready to participate in fights. Using the active on himself or a teammate discourages the enemy from casting single-target spells on them, as they can be turned back against the enemy; if Abaddon is not the target of the Echo Shell, he can also remove any disables placed on the targeted ally with Aphotic Shield, effectively using the enemy's disables against themselves with no effect on Abaddon's team.
- Moon Shard greatly increases Abaddon's attack speed, giving him much more physical damage output, and increases his situational awareness at night. It can also be consumed in the late game to give Abaddon a permanent attack speed bonus and free up an inventory slot for other items.
- Shiva's Guard is a strong item to build on Abaddon whether he is a support or carry. It greatly increases his armor and intelligence, increasing his tankiness and greatly improving his mana pool. The passive aura greatly reduces enemy attack speed, which can be stacked alongside Curse of Avernus, and the active ability allows him to inflict a damage nuke and slow enemy movement speed as well.
- Silver Edge gives Abaddon offensive potential and a powerful active, increasing his carry potential. The item's attributes give him a great status bonus, attack speed and physical damage output, while the active can give him both initiation and escape ability, something he otherwise lacks. The active allows Abaddon to apply a break to an enemy during initiation at the same time as Curse of Avernus, negating their passives and reducing their overall damage output while simultaneously dealing backstab damage and applying Curse of Avernus to them.
- Eye of Skadi is a very powerful carry item to build on Abaddon. It gives him stats across the board, improving his HP, mana, base damage, and attack speed, as well as giving him a powerful attack that can greatly slow any attacked enemy alongside Curse of Avernus.
- Satanic is mainly strong on agility hard carries due to their high physical damage output and small HP pools, but can be very strong on carry Abaddon as well if he has built up enough physical damage output. The lifesteal and armor greatly increase his tankiness, alongside the bonus strength, which gives him HP and more damage to utilize the lifesteal. The active can be treated as a pocket version of Borrowed Time, allowing Abaddon to bring his HP back up to full in a matter of seconds using his damage output, drastically increasing his tankiness and forcing the enemy to work down his HP a third time.