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3 Votes

Abaddon - The Lord of Versatility (Updated for 6.81)

April 29, 2014 by NickFreeman
Comments: 5    |    Views: 20950    |   

Build 1
Build 2

Lane Support

DotA2 Hero: Abaddon

Hero Skills

Mist Coil

2 8 9 10

Aphotic Shield

1 3 5 7

Curse of Avernus

4 12 13 14

Borrowed Time

6 11 16


15 17 18

To-Do List

- Add Friends and Foes section


- Minor update for 6.81 (AKA the "Agh's is suddenly useful" update), changes can be found in the item build and skill overview sections.

An Introduction

Hello everyone and welcome to my very first guide here on DOTAFire. I've chosen to make the topic of my first guide one of my favorite heroes, Abaddon. So, let's get acquainted with the Lord of Avernus.

The Font of Avernus is the source of a family's strength, a crack in primal stones from which vapors of prophetic power have issued for generations. Each newborn of the cavernous House Avernus is bathed in the black mist, and by this baptism they are given an innate connection to the mystic energies of the land. They grow up believing themselves fierce protectors of their lineal traditions, the customs of the realm--but what they really are protecting is the Font itself. And the motives of the mist are unclear.
When the infant Abaddon was bathed in the Font, they say something went awry. In the child's eyes there flared a light of comprehension that startled all present and set the sacerdotes to whispering. He was raised with every expectation of following the path all scions of Avernus took--to train in war, that in times of need he might lead the family's army in defense of the ancestral lands. But Abaddon was always one apart. Where others trained with weapons, he bent himself to meditation in the presence of the mist. He drank deep from the vapors that welled from the Font, learning to blend his spirit with the potency that flowed from far beneath the House; he became a creature of the black mist. There was bitterness within the House Avernus--elders and young alike accusing him of neglecting his responsibilities. But all such accusations stopped when Abaddon rode into battle, and they saw how the powers of the mist had given him mastery over life and death beyond those of any lord the House had ever known.

Pros and Cons

- One of the most versatile heroes in all of Dota, second only to Invoker
- Quite tanky and survivable
- Not particularly item dependent
- Can heal and purge allies
- Good base damage

- Melee hero
- Ultimate can be partially nullified by smarter players (Aghanim's Sceptor can more or less rectify this as of 6.81)
- Rendered useless by disablers
- Has no disables or stuns of his own

Know Your Place

As stated above and in the guide's title, Abaddon is an incredibly versatile hero who can find a home easily in many roles. That said however, it's very important to know what role you're needed in as Abaddon. I've seen many games fall apart because an Abaddon believed he should be taking a straight forward carry approach to the hero when that is simply not a viable strategy. Here's my insight on how Abaddon should play.

Big no-no

Abaddon thrives most in a Dual Lane, a Tri Lane, or as an Offlaner. In some situations he can be a decent Mid Laner, but it's generally only advisable if your team has no other mid capable heroes, and if the enemy mid has no skills that can harshly counter Abaddon. Abaddon despite being durable should not be placed in a Jungling position, as there are a multitude of heroes who would better benefit from the farm. Throughout the game Abaddon functions very well as a Support and a Semi Carry, offering his life saving abilities to allies both in lane and in team fights, as well as dealing very good nuke damage to enemies until the late game. Despite popular belief, Abaddon should probably never be your primary Carry or Hard Carry, as there are far stronger mid and late game heroes who are more ideally suited for the role. Honestly I feel putting him in a carry role is a waste of his abilities. If you want to carry, pick a hero whose skills are solely designed for the role, not one that can do much more than simply kill.

A Skill for Every Occasion

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's go over Abaddon's skill set.

Range: 800
Heal/Damage to Target: 100/150/200/250
Damage to Abaddon: 75/100/125/150
Cooldown: 5 Seconds
Mana Cost: 75

Mist Coil is a skill that can act as both a ranged nuke and a heal. Each time Abaddon casts it however, it will use up a fixed 75 mana and will also damage Abaddon for up to 150 HP. Late game this recoil damage isn't a problem, but it can be troubling in the early game if not managed well. While it's important to not spam it too much in the early game, remember it can save your laning partner if a fight goes bad, and can also be used to pick off fleeing enemies. After the laning period you should have no reason not to use Mist Coil often. Whether it be to add some nuking damage to an enemy, or to heal your allies both during team fights or even if you just happen to be nearby and they're missing a chunk of health. The cooldown and mana cost is so low that you should not be very hesitant to use it. This is all however granted you aren't near 400 health, for reasons we'll discuss later.

Range: 500
Radius: 675
Duration: 15
Absorbed Damage: 110/140/170/200
Cooldown: 12/10/8/6
Mana Cost: 100/105/110/115

Aphotic Shield is honestly Abaddon's best skill in my opinion. On top of the fact that it can act as a mini, single target pipe for an allied hero or creep and also deals a decent AoE nuke to enemies when it pops, it also purges many negative buffs. This is a huge advantage against heroes like Slardar, Bounty Hunter, Pugna, and any hero that relies on disable oriented items. Remember that if you or your teammate are debuffed in any sort of way, it's usually worth it to at least try to use Aphotic Shield on them. If it doesn't purge the debuff, it will at least give you or them a little more durability so it might not be as effective. As a general rule of thumb you should probably lay a shield down on any hero that's: debuffed, being ganked, being focused, fleeing, diving, or initiating a fight.

Duration of Slow: 2.5
Slow: 5%/10%/15%/20%
Duration of Bonuses: 4.5
Bonus Attack Speed: 10/20/30/40
Bonus Movement Speed: 15%

Curse of Avernus is a passive skill that gives Abaddon and his allies a good level of chasing and pushing power. Once an enemy is hit by Abaddon's basic attack, it will apply an up to 20% slow for 2.5 seconds. Any hero who attacks the slowed target during this duration will gain a 15% movement speed bonus, as well as a scaling attack speed bonus up to +40. This buff will last for 4.5 seconds, and gives Abaddon and his allies an added edge when chasing a foe or ganking. Situationally, if Abaddon doesn't need to worry about taking some damage, it can be used to hinder an enemy that is trying to chase down one of your fleeing allies.

Duration: 3/4/5
Cooldown: 60/50/40
HP Threshold: 400
Aghanim's Scepter Upgrade: Borrowed Time redirects 35% of all damage dealt to nearby allied heroes to Abaddon when active (Allies within a 900 AoE of Abaddon will have their damage redirected)

Borrowed Time is a skill that will activate passively once Abaddon goes below 400 health, but can also be activated manually by simply pressing R (or whatever you have your ultimate bound to). During its duration, 100% of all incoming damage dealt to Abaddon will instead heal him, and most negative buffs applied to him will be removed. It also costs no mana what so ever. While this skill gives Abaddon great amounts of tankiness and escapability, if triggered during a team fight smarter players will almost always completely ignore him until the duration ends. It will still keep Abaddon from dying in many cases, but you will likely still be at low health by the end of it's duration, which limits it's usefulness a bit and also can leave you vulnerable if being chased by a faster opponent than you. Never the less this skill is great to have when offlaning or diving. Remember, it's good practice to use Mist Coil while under the effects of Borrowed Time, as the recoil damage will also heal you. Might not be a bad idea to take some tower hits as well if you're near one. It should also be kept in mind that many players will not expect Borrowed Time to activate until Abaddon is low on health, so it might catch some enemies off guard and therefore cause them to get a few attacks off on you if you activate it manually before then.

It's also worth noting that since the 6.81 update, Aghanim's Scepter in conjunction with this skill has become far more useful. With it, combined with all of Borrowed Time's normal abilities, allied heroes within a 900 AoE of Abaddon will have 35% of their damage redirected to Abaddon himself instead. What this essentially means is if you are heading into a team fight and your teammates are getting focused over you, you can pop your ult and redirect a fraction of the incoming damage dealt to them and have it all hit you instead, allowing your teammates added durability over the length of your ult as well as regenerating more hp for yourself. This can save carries, supports, initiators, anyone on your team including you. For this reason, Aghanim's is now a worthwhile pick up to consider as an extension if your team fights aren't going quite as well as you'd like. Not to say this should be picked up in place of mek or pipe if not already bought, but it's still something to keep in mind.

Also, please, don't Mist Coil or walk casually into a creep wave when you're nearing 400 HP. I can't tell you how often I see people wasting their ultimate entirely due to sheer carelessness.

Tools of the Trade


Assuming you're not on the offlane, you should always buy wards or courier as Abaddon. Your early game is always going to be a passive role, so getting one of these things should fall on you. Even if you're playing mid, wards and courier are important items for you anyway, so why not be the one to pick them up?

The rest of Abaddon's starting items with the exception of offlane should be pretty standard. Regen and Iron Branches should suffice in the early game. If you want to skip wand and go straight into your Urn of Shadows, you can pick up a Gauntlet rather than branches.


You're probably questioning the notion of boots as a starting item and potentially flipping your monitor right now, but hear me out. As a melee hero with no truly secure escape mechanism, Abaddon can be extremely vulnerable in the offlane before he hits higher levels. Any competent enemy lane will quickly shut you down if you do not have the ability to get out of dodge faster than they can chase. This is where boots come into play. No other laning set up will ever start with boots first, so you have an instant movement speed advantage over them. This makes you a lot more difficult to shut down because you will be out running them fairly easily granted you're not acting carelessly. With your remaining gold pick up some regen so you can recover from any harass thrown at you.


Early on you should finish your wand (assuming you did pick up branches), then pick up your boots. If you've been offlaning you can skip wand unless you're experiencing heavy spell harass. After this, you should build up an Urn of Shadows. Urn is a great item on Abaddon, as it gives you some extra damage through it's strength bonuses and gives you a second heal that you can use on yourself as well your teammates. The added +50% mana regen is quite nice too. Be sure to communicate to your team that you will be building this urn fairly early, as ideally you should only have one on your team at a time.

I usually pick up an Orb of Venom next. It's a relatively cheap item with an attack modifier that both stacks with the slow from Curse of Avernus, and gives Abaddon some extra harassing ability with the added poison damage. Keep in mind you can skip Orb entirely if you're not getting much in the way of gold or, if you feel it just isn't necessary.

Afterwards you should upgrade your boots. Personally, I feel Phase Boots are the best choice here. It gives you some added mobility which further adds to your survivability, and will help you reach team fights faster. Plus bonus damage is always nice. That said, Arcane Boots should be picked up by Abaddon if no other team mate intends to do so or if you are planning to play as a straight support.

Now, Vlads is an item that should be picked up using your own judgement. While it is a great lifesteal item for Abaddon and will not interfere with any unique attack modifiers you have, I personally get this item for the aura. Vlads will give you and any ally around 15% more damage, 0.8 more mana regen, and an added 5 armor. As well, any melee heroes within the 900 radius of you will receive the same lifesteal bonus you do. If your team has one or more melee oriented hero besides you, I would almost always get Vlads. In other circumstances however it's kind of situational. If you believe your team can benefit from the extra damage and regen from the aura then by all means go for it, but if not it can easily be skipped in favor of a different item. In any case though if you want lifesteal on Abaddon I firmly believe Vlads is the way to go. I know some people like Mask of Madness but honestly I think it's a bad item in general. The attack speed bonus isn't worth the added squishiness, especially on Abaddon where one if his best features is being very tanky. As well, in the few cases Mask of Madness should be picked up in my opinion it's for a carry oriented hero, which Abaddon is not ideal as.


This is the part of the game where Abaddon starts to specialize a bit. You basically need to determine whether or not your team needs you to focus more on your support potential or your semi-carry/tanking potential. Make no mistake, all of these items are good for Abaddon. However every game is different, and will require you to consider which one(s) you pick up carefully. Does your team already have good pushing power? Pick up Drums and make it even better. Does your team need some more protection that your single target shield can't account entirely for? Get a pipe. Feel your team fight is lacking in stuns? Buy a Basher and give an added edge, as well as the potential to pick up an Abyssal Blade later on for a more reliable stun. Need to take a right click oriented carry out of the fight? Grab your Halberd and disarm that sucker. Finally while I don't think Abaddon should usually be the one to pick it up as he's already a healing power house, Mekansm should be bought if no one else on your team has it by this point.

In addition to the things stated above, Aghanim's Sceptor is a good item to pick up for extra stats, and it's now useful augmentation to Abaddon's Borrowed Time skill. You can read more about the benefits of Agh's in the skills overview.


At this point in the game I'm inclined to just let you trust your judgement. If you're getting enough gold to be able to afford luxuries all of these are good choices. Regardless, these are usually only picked up to finish a game.


Aside from the items I've listed above, these items should definitely be kept in mind throughout the entire game. It is important to remember that you are a very capable support hero and you're not very item dependent. If people aren't buying items that help the team, you need to be the one to do it. No one's buying sentries to deward? You buy the sentries to deward. No one's bought dust to counter an invis hero? You buy the dust to counter the invis hero. No one's actively replacing observers? You replace them.

On top of these things you should be trying to keep a teleport scroll with you at all times until you start to run out of slots.

Know Your Place? Good. Now Learn It.


Once you spawn, purchase your starting items and head for your lane. If you bought wards, place them down as you see fit, then wait at your respective rune spawn. If the rune appears on your side of the river, either pick it up or ping it for your mid lane. If it doesn't appear on your side, make sure the other side knows it's there.

Once the rune situation is taken care of head for your lane. Remember to block creeps unless your lane partner states otherwise, and deny every chance you get. Do not right click enemy creeps as it will simply throw off your partner's last hitting in most cases. All you need to do is make sure your partner farms and isn't harassed too hard. If your opposing lane's last hitter is a melee or short ranged hero, feel free to right click them a few times if they come close to your creeps. Be sure to watch your enemies in case they pop a salve or clarity so you can deny the regen with a quick Mist Coil. Speaking of Mist Coil, remember to use it on your ally if they run out of regen so they can stay in lane longer.

On that note as well you need to remember how important it is to keep your carry in lane. Give them salves, give them tangos, Coil them, Shield them, body block enemies trying to chase them, do what ever it takes to make sure your carry gets the exp and gold that they need. Remember, a happy carry is a happy team. (Also if your carry feeds they'll probably blame you and then your whole team will blame you and then you'll get sad and then you will cry.)


So, your team has a core jungler/doesn't want you in their super cool Tri-Lane? Don't worry, you got this covered. Ask your support to pass you at least one ward of either type, pick up your boots and your tangos and head to your designated offlane.

Assuming you're in a public match, you will very likely encounter a Dual Lane when you're offlaning. In this case, you will need to play very cautiously. You're a melee hero, and while you're tanky, your escape capability is fairly low, so if you're caught too far forward in lane, you're gonna have a problem. Before any creeps spawn, you must make a journey to the enemy's jungle. What you need to do is place the ward your support gave you somewhere in the vicinity of the enemy's pull camp. This will be the camp closest to the lane facing the end of the gap between the enemy's tier two and tier one towers. Doing this will prevent the enemy's pull camp from spawning, which means you won't have to worry about them pulling the creep wave towards their tower for awhile. In pub matches people often won't notice you doing this, but still be careful whilst doing so.

Once creeps spawn, block your lane as much as possible so the creeps meet closer to your tower. Doing this will make your life much easier for the first few waves as it will ensure you won't really need to worry too much. If you block well, this should keep the creep equilibrium tilted more towards your tower for awhile, and the enemy won't be able to do anything about it until they deward their pull camp. In low level pub play this can take awhile, especially if you place your blocking ward in a particularly sneaky position. Keep an eye on the minimap to see if the ward is destroyed. When it's gone, be prepared for the lane to be pulled back. Once this happens, cautious play is mandatory. Stay back from the creeps, but not too far so you still receive exp. Keep an eye on the tree line, and if your lane starts to threaten you back away quickly. This is especially important if the enemy lane has a stun, or god forbid two.

The bottom line is play safe, get exp, remind your mid to gank as often as possible, and for the love of all that is good, try not to feed.

Closing Remarks

As I said at the beginning, this is my very first guide for Dota 2, for DOTAFire, hell it might be my first guide for anything in general. I've tried to cover all I can to the best of my abilities and I hope people get some use out of the information I've provided.

Originally I stated I would be adding more builds and strategies for this guide but I've since decided it's best to stick to Abaddon's two most core jobs as a hero and encourage those. Kind of contradicts the title of my guide but I'd rather do that than see more carry Abaddons out there. I will still update this guide when balance changes have been made to Abaddon himself. As always, all constructive criticism is encouraged appreciated.

Thank you for reading through to this point, and have fun playing Abaddon.

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