Abaddon is many things, but there is one word nobody can deny him: Versatile. With his wide range of skills that can fill both attack/support roles with relative ease, and his innate survivability that makes him incredibly difficult to kill, even with (and perhaps especially with) the whole enemy team focusing down on him.
This guide is an unorthodox approach to playing Abaddon as a tank, as there are already a few guides out there teaching you how to play him the 'proper' way, usually as a semi-carry. But even after reading this guide, remember the one key thing: Abaddon is an incredibly versatile hero who can fill nearly ANY role required of him, so long as he's built and skilled correctly.
First, let's take a look at the skill build I've done for him. You will observe that the first skill taken is the Curse of Avernus (E); in the early game, one point in your E is enough to secure a first blood against a foe whose not being careful in lane, or caught off-guard. Just that one point alone makes you a valuable enough asset for offensive operations and ganking attempts in the early game. However, as we are playing him as a tank in this guide, one point is all we need, and its only there to provide that passive slowing bonus.
Next, fill in Mist Coil (Q) and Aphotic Shield (W) in, with equal focus on either one, and put in a point on Borrowed Time (R) whenever it is available. Your Q is an incredibly useful skill that allows you to nuke an enemy, heal your allies, and perhaps most useful of all, provides you the ability to instantly deny yourself if timed right. Lets play out a hypothetical scenario. Lets say you and your ally are fleeing from the enemy team. If you use your Q, the negative HP cost will kill you instantly, and it counts as a suicide instead of an enemy killscore. Your ally, too, has low HP, and isn't quite in the clear yet. Using a combination of W and Q, you can effectively commit suicide, deny the enemy gold, and safeguard your ally at the same time. Furthermore, by combining your Q and your W when the shield is already battered, you can also trigger your W to implode and inflict wide AoE damage.
For this build, the passive E is not maxed out until Q and W are done. While not as useful on an Abaddon played as a tank, it is still not advisable to ignore placing points into Abaddon's E completely, as at Level 4, it places a HUGE attacking bonus + slow on the enemy target you're going for - and most of the time, that will be the enemy team's carry, who you'll be targeting and absorbing damage from, so that the rest of your team can focus fire and take the carry down with the added bonuses from your E assisting them greatly. However, as a tank, your focus should still be on the Q and W, which, in the early and mid game, assist your team greatly, though in the later game they kind of wears out their use while the E comes into play more efficiently.
My way of playing Abaddon, as the name of the build and guide sugget, is fairly unorthodox, but boils down to a few simple facts. Once your build is done, you:
- Should lead the charge and initiate each and every fight fearlessly
- Should be taking nearly all the damage from the enemy in teamfights
- Should be hurting them immensely and/or wasting their time when they attack you
- Should never, never head in solo with this build, as you have become a team pillar
- Probably shouldn't die even once throughout the entire game despite all that. ^
In the early game, you should focus mainly on being a support ganker. Stay behind the lines, and make sure you are either babysitting the carry, or paired with a semi-carry who stands a good chance of securing first blood with your help. If you're babysitting, make sure you enable them to farm freely, using a combination of your W to defend the carry and hurt whoever tries to harass, and your Q to heal the carry when needed. If you're playing with a fellow semi-carry, work towards securing first blood by diving in with your shield when you're confident in it, letting it suck all the damage and explode in their faces, and MAKE SURE you go up close and personal with your E to inflict slow, as well as provide a bonus to your partner when they attack in conjunction with you. Use your Q only to secure the kill or heal your partner if you yourself are safely out of range and/or going to commit suicide when Q is used, as the health reduction makes it extremely risky to use in early stages of the game.
In the mid-game, you should leave the lanes completely and transition into a full-time support ganker. If you already have all the mid-game items as suggested by this guide, then go fearlessly into the fray. Start the initiation by triggering BKB if necessary, but most importantly, activating your Blademail as soon as the enemy team spots you and engages. Use BKB only when they have a team that strongly relies on magical damage to take you down. Rely on Blademail until your health drops to dangerously low levels, then activate your R and watch as subsequent forms of damage heal instead of hurt. If you're up against heroes like Ancient Apparition and Axe, make sure you don't stay in the range of their R ultimates, which will one-hit you instantly in spite of your R being active. By using this tactic, and making sure your allies are close behind you (as with this guide you have very low attack potential, only a strong supporting presence), you should wipe the floor with anyone you encounter. Furthermore, if the enemy team flees instead of engaging you, you have sufficient movespeed and your passive E to rely on to catch, slow, and butcher them as soon as your team catches up.
In the late-game, your role becomes that of the unorthodox tank completely. The tactics remain the same, only this time, with Heart of Tarrasque, you are able to absorb (and deal) far more damage before triggering your R. You should ALWAYS be in every teamfight due to your strong aura-support presence, and because you are building yourself into the ultimate tank, capable of taking huge amounts of punishment, returning that damage, and then promptly healing yourself once it becomes too much to take. This strategy relies strongly on your team as well, as they will need to take down the enemy quickly while you tank the damage for them. Once your R is spent, and your Blademail is on recharge, you should back away quickly, and use your Q and W to provide support while remaining close by to allow your allies' the benefit of your auras.
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