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9 Votes

He's not a carry guys

January 22, 2015 by Terathiel
Comments: 16    |    Views: 35481    |   

Build 1
Build 2

#4 Support Abaddon

DotA2 Hero: Abaddon

Hero Skills

Font of Avernus (Innate)

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


This is a guide to Abaddon, a powerful laning support who transitions into possibly the best lategame aura carrier. Abaddon is characterised by being incredibly tanky, making his allies incredibly tanking, and his soul-crushing passive that enables a team to chase down foes with impunity.

Oftentimes in low level pubs, you'll see people playing Abaddon as a carry - please do not. There are numerous reasons why Abaddon is not a carry:

1. To keep effective during a fight, you have to keep casting your Q and W, and Abaddon's cast animation is rather long. This leads to consistent interrupts to damage-dealing which is NOT something a carry wants.

2. Abaddon's damage steroid, Curse of Avernus, works just as effectively on other Heroes as on him. He has no ability to benefit from the IAS like a Spectre or a Faceless Void.

3. Even with the Curse, Abaddon's damage output is low compared to other carries. A Lifestealer with equal farm will out-dps an Abaddon with ease.

4. Abaddon is easily kiteable, even more so than Lifestealer is famed for. He has NO gap-closing ability and his cast animation ensures a lot of kills will slip away from you.

At its core, Abaddon's toolkit tailors to him as a support effective at all stages of the game. Abaddon is the lord of the laning phase, falls off a bit midgame, but with a couple of utility items resurfaces as a powerful asset lategame.

Gifts of Avernus: Abaddon's Abilities

This is Abaddon's Q, and it is a nuke/heal that can be used to save an ally or get a kill on a fleeing enemy. Note that it damages Abaddon - you can deny yourself with this ability! Overall, it is fairly weak outside of laning but it has a low cooldown and mana cost so you can spam it pretty hard. It is maxed second because Aphotic Shield is just too good an ability to leave for later.
This spell can be considered Abaddon's bread-and-butter ability. It is INCREDIBLY powerful - it is a 200 damage shield which turns into a 150 damage AoE nuke after resistances. On a 6-second cooldown. It also dispels most debuffs from the target, making Abaddon incredibly effective at keeping his carry active in fights. No more shall a 5-second Sacred Arrow threaten Anti-Mage's dreams of a Battlefury!
Abaddon has one passive ability, which will see limited use as your job is to be casting, not attacking. For this reason, and the reason that it scales into lategame unlike his Q and W, it is maxed last. I often put a point in at level 2 or 4 for added chasing ability, and it does indeed net multiple kills.
Abaddon's ultimate can be considered his signature skill and the reason he can be so frustrating to play against. While the skill is active, all damage you take instead heals you. Aghanim's Sceptre makes it a ridiculously good teamfight ability to take some heat off of your allies. It also means you will almost always be taken down last, allowing you to use your spells and items. I joke that Abaddon is the only Hero that can use a Scythe of Vyse two times in a single fight and I'm not entirely wrong. Take this when you can, it swings 1v1s, skirmishes, ganks and teamfights.

When to pick Abaddon?

When should you pick Abaddon? It's a very good question.

    When your team lacks durability and needs to offset this.
    When your carry doesn't need a babysitter constantly in lane.
    When the other team has a lot of single-target disables.
    When you think the game will go for a long time.

Likewise, there are times when you shouldn't pick Abaddon.
    When your team is lacking in lockdown and needs a disabler.
    When your team needs a carry. No seriously, if you play carry Abaddon you deserve to lose.
    When your carry needs a lane support 100% of the time. Abaddon will get very little farm like this and as a result will suffer greatly come midgame.
    When you need to zone out an offlaner. Abaddon's harrassing potential is virtually zero.

Laning Phase

Before the game, as you are the #4 support, it is your responsibility to buy the courier. Generally, you won't buy wards as that is the #5's job, but if they have no gold, or your team has no other support (pubs, amirite?) then you will have to. This is disadvantageous as Abaddon scales horribly without some semblence of farm.

Of the two starting builds, choose one based upon the item you intend to get first. If rushing a Crimson Guard start with a Stout Shield, otherwise go for the other starting build. I'll explain item choices later.

During the laning phase, it is your job to babysit your carry. If they get stunned, throw an Aphotic Shield on them. If you're going for a kill, there isn't a lot you can do - throw a shield on the person who will take the most damage and keep your finger on Q. Once you have Curse of Avernus you can actually chase without just getting in the way. If you don't think there's any chance you can go for a kill, don't skill Curse and level Mist Coil instead. You can also max Mist Coil before Aphotic Shield, but this means you won't be able to farm stacks at level 7 so you may lag behind.

If things are looking good - aka you have good ward placement, your carry is farming safely and their offlaner/s are zoned out, then DO NOT sit in the lane and sap experience. Head into the jungle and stack camps, or pull, or go and pick up a rune.

-Protect the carry and ensure they survive
-Keep offlaner/s zoned out
-Stack the jungle
-Contest runes

-Sap experience uselessly
-Take farm from the carry
-Take unnecessary damage
-Disrupt lane equilibrium
-Roam to gank - Abaddon is pretty useless at this. There are exceptions to this rule.

Finding Gold

I said earlier that Abaddon scales horribly without items, yet also said not to take farm from the carry. This isn't contradictory, there are ways to find farm as a support without lowering your carry's GPM.

Abaddon can farm jungle stacks at level 7 - at the medium camp easily, but the hard camp may give you problems. You do this with Aphotic Shield - shield up, hit creeps, shield pops, repeat. Spread the damage from your right-clicks so the shield damage isn't wasted. As with most Heroes, Mud Golems will make you cry so be wary of this.

Another way is through pulling the lane. If the lane equilibrium is shot to pieces, pull the easy camp into the path of your creeps as they run down the lane. Ideally the easy camp will be stacked first. This has numerous benefits - it allows you easy money in the jungle, pulls the lane to reduce the chance you're ganked, and possibly most importantly, DENIES EXPERIENCE TO THE OTHER TEAM. Pulling is critical to winning the lane, but ensure that the whole creep wave is killed or you'll bounce the wave like a yo-yo.

With the changes in 6.82 assist gold has been buffed. This benefits supports, especially greedy ones like Abaddon, as they get more money from giving their carry a kill. I'm sure you all know how to get kills, but Abaddon isn't very good at it early-game - he's fast, yes, but deals very little damage and has NO disable at all outside of Curse of Avernus's 5% slow. On the upside, he turns any Hero into a tower diver on the level of Night Stalker.

If the other support is a very powerful roamer like [{Earthshaker]] or Vengeful Spirit then the two of you can smoke gank another lane but the most you can do is throw a couple right-clicks and nuke with Mist Coil. Still, it may be the difference between a missed opportunity and a kill.

As the #4, it is your job to find farm where you can while ensuring that your carry and semicarries find the farm they need. NEVER be caught farming when a fight breaks out - you are needed in the front line, being an obnoxious jerk to the other team. Always carry a TP scroll.


I'm going to divide this section as I did in the guide overview up top - Support Choices, Disables, and Utility for the sake of clarity. Abaddon has a lot of options and I'll go over each individually to explain when and why you buy them.

Support Options

Blink Dagger: For when you want the element of surprise. Since you have no innate lockdown, this is best saved as a reactive item to exploit an enemy who thought you were too far away to stop their Fiend's Grip. Once you have a Sheepstick or a Rod of Atos, you can use it offensively. Definitely not an item to get every game.

Drum of Endurance: Well, it's an aura and as such is automatically good on Abaddon. A great item otherwise as well - he benefits from all the stats, and it's a very cost-effective item. However, don't get it if your team has a natural Drums builder like Phantom Lancer or Beastmaster.

Force Staff: You'd get this for much the same reasons as a Blink Dagger, but this is almost always an inferior choice. Still, it gives a bit more utility than a dagger and adds to your 'save-the-carry's-***' toolkit. Plus, the extra INT it gives is wonderful on Abaddon.

Mekansm: Abaddon's mana pool somewhat limits you for getting this item and it kind of forces you to build a +INT item next, which may not be great. However, in the lacking of a Razor or Viper you are more than qualified to carry this item since again it's an aura and Abaddon's INT gain is pretty good for a Strength hero. Get this if no-one else will be able to in any decent time, especially if you're looking to deathball.

Vladimir's Offering: One of my favourite items on Abaddon. Builds from the Basilius he almost always gets, adds lots of armour, and even buffs his right-clicks as well as his allies. Nice build-up, and an item you'll keep the entire game. However, if you have a ranged-heavy team you can pretty much ignore this unless the armour from the aura will make a big difference {it might very well, against a Death Prophet.

Pipe of Insight: Another aura! You all know when to buy a Pipe, against the likes of Sand King and Zeus. Abaddon's a good carrier of a Pipe for the same reason he's a good Mek carrier. Not much else to say here.

Crimson Guard: Delicious on Abaddon. Firstly, it's an aura with an active, so already good. Secondly, an early Vanguard on Abaddon will allow him to farm up the rest of the item very quickly, and from there farm even more items.


Orchid Malevolence: This item is really good on Abaddon, even for just the stats. The +25 INT and massive mana regeneration ensure you can keep using your spells constantly and the active really messes with squishy heroes with inbuilt escape mechanisms like Anti-Mage and Phantom Assassin. The damage and attack speed also give you a bit of a bite so you deal damage.

Rod of Atos: Awesome on this hero! It gives him a long-range disable his skillset lacks and allows you to close with the target. The massive Int bonus also lets be more liberal with your spells, and the bonus to Health is also a nice benefit, thought it's not the main focus of the item. A great item to pick up if you want to kite a melee carry with no innate gap-closer (Lifestealer, Sven, Ursa).

Scythe of Vyse: Of course this is on here. Huge bonus to Intelligence and mana regeneration, good stats, and the active which can easily swing fights. Getting this (or Orchid, for that matter) gives you basically infinite mana. The actual disable... well, it's a Hex. Bear in mind that this is a MUTE and as such disables all passives for its duration, which may allow you to burst down problematic Heroes like Faceless Void or Spectre.

Diffusal Blade: While this doesn't give much in the way of solving Abaddon's mana problems, it does give him a lot of Agility to make up for his measly 1.5 gain, and also grants access to a purge. Absolutely required against Omniknight and also great against Heroes with long disables like Night Stalker.

Basher: Synergises nicely with your bonus attack speed. It also makes you harder to ignore, because you're going to be doing a lot of stunning. Very attractice if you are also building anything else with attack speed (Diffusal, Assault Cuirass, Orchid). Probably something you'll always get lategame.

Eul's Scepter of Divinity: I recently picked this up in a game to disrupt enemy teamfight, and it did its job exceptionally well. Eul's is cheap, has a nice buildup, solves Abaddon's mana problems, and grants him increased mobility. The active allows him to purge, banish enemies for a short duration, and the relatively long range ensures that you can disrupt all forms of spells. It is a great pickup against Axe or other blink dagger initiators, especially when combined with a blink of your own. The nature of Abaddon ensures that this isn't as suicidal as it sounds.

Lategame Utility

Aghanim's Sceptre: In my opinion, Abaddon has one of the best Aghanim's upgrades in the game. The problem with his ult is that it will drop and then you'll get ignored and just killed when it wears off, but with Ags, a large chunk of the damage your allies take will be redirected to you. Not only does this pretty much ensure you get a full heal every 40 seconds, it also makes it very difficult to kill your team for the duration. This is an item you'll pick up in nearly every game that goes late, but is especially effective against area of effect damage such as Invoker and Venomancer, or to offset the squishy nature of allied carries like Terrorblade and Troll Warlord. Also gives neat all-round stats which help Abaddon in everything he does.

Assault Cuirass: Oftentimes, you'll have a physical carry who will build this, like Doom or Lone Druid but if not this can make your Medusa a lot scarier. Also adds pushing abilities, and offsets Abaddon's low armour.

Blade Mail: May seem a bit redundant, but it can give you some more time to do your work in a fight. Nobody likes attacking a target with Blade Mail. Against Heroes with uncontrollable damage like Jakiro, this item allows you to laugh at them even further.

Necronomicon: More Int, more Strength, and summons deadly minions that can push or help in fights. Requires some micromanagement to be used effectively but is certainly a powerful item.

Shiva's Guard: Aura? Check. Armour? Check. Active? Check. Intelligence? Check. Amazing on Abaddon.

Friends, Foes and Food

Abaddon is a Hero who counters many Heroes and is countered by others.


His friends consist of Heroes who can benefit from increased attack speed and the higher durability granted by Mist Coil and Aphotic Shield. This usually means - carries!

I will list Terrorblade as a friend, because the Demon Marauder can generally hold his own on a lane while under Metamorphosis, which lasts long enough for you to stack, pull and do your thing. Abaddon's first two spells also go a long way to mitigate Terrorblade's fragility and the attack speed bonus makes the bonus damage of Metamorphosis go a long way.

Lone Druid is another ally. Both bear and druid get the IAS from Curse of Avernus, which means more Entangle procs.

Weaver is one of the best lane partners for Abaddon. Throw a shield on him and send him towards the nearest enemy. Dives for days.

For this same reason, Night Stalker and Phantom Assassin also work, however in the case of the former you won't have laned with him and in the case of the latter that results in a dual-melee lane, so you may want to trilane.

And of course, I can't forget the dreaded Axebaddon lane. This is a cruel lane to play against vulnerable melee carries in the early game and the combo allows you to bully the lane like nothing else.


Ancient Apparition completely nullifies the healing effects of your ultimate. Not a fun match-up, but if you catch him alone he's squishy and you can likely tickle him to death if you went Phase Boots.

Among Abaddon's foes are those who can take him down with huge hits before Borrowed Time activates - you can manually activate it, but be careful on the timing. Heroes such as Lina, Lion, Phantom Assassin and Daedalus Sven give you problems.

Heroes with -armour effects will also crush your survivability. Slardar, Vengeful Spirit and the like cause problems.

Doom Bringer is dangerous. If you're Doomed, Borrowed Time will not activate, however he did just Doom a support. Still, that's not a big consolation for you yourself.

Axe can ult you through your ult, and still insta-kill you. Beware!


Abaddon is a very effective counter to Heroes with long single-target disables. Prime examples are Mirana, Bane and Pudge. It's also worth noting that there is no way Pudge can kill you if your ultimate is ready. Just doesn't happen.

He can also ruin ultimates such as Reaper's Scythe and Duel.

Borrowed Time thrives on uncontrollable damage sources and damage-over-time effects, allowing Abaddon to counter those such as Jakiro, Venomancer and Leshrac.

Strategies that support Abaddon

There are three main strategies that Abaddon works with-

1. Deathball. Abaddon is a potent early-game Hero and the power he brings to early fights allows him to fit into this strategy.

2. Rat dota. This strategy gives Abaddon the space he needs to get items. If playing against rat dota, Abaddon is a large asset in clearing creep waves thanks to Aphotic Shield.

3. Four create space for one/4-protect-1. Early-game dominance allows you to take early fights you otherwise would not have been able to, and come the lategame you can still be a valued asset to your carry.


Abaddon - a fun Hero, extremely versatile, and has a high winrate percentage on Dotabuff. If you like supporting, but want to be relevant at all stages of the game and don't feel like buying wards for 40 minutes, then he's a Hero you'll almost certainly enjoy.

Abaddon is forgiving for new players, but has a high skill cap that belies the simplicity of his skillset. To properly succeed, you will need to balance farming, fighting and ganking. It's all practice, and a guide is just that - a guide. Do not take these words for gospel, adapt your skills, items and playstyle as befits the situation.

And most importantly, have fun.


v1.0: Published.

v1.1: Added Basher to the items build. Added an alternate skill build.

v1.2: Added Eul's to the items build. Added Axe as a Foe.

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