+ Flexible, multi-role hero
+ Incredibly strong tanking ability
+ Can instantly remove debuffs from allies
+ Powerful buff placer in Curse of Avernus
+ Good base movement speed
+ Can heal and protect team mates
- Lacks any hard disable
- Can struggle for damage output
- Needs some equipment to be effective
- Skill scaling isn't brilliant
- Ultimate can be minimised by good play or big burst damage
Mist Coil is a combined nuke/heal depending on whether you target a friendly or enemy unit. It has an extremely short cooldown (5 seconds at all levels) and a good range.
On paper Mist Coil is somewhat lacklustre. It barely manages to come out "cost efficient" at any level, and is extremely poor early in the game. By the time you taken into account the self-damage and mana cost, the heal/nuke is almost always a negative trade off unless you can secure or deny a kill.
The real saving grace of Mist Coil is how it combines with your other skills, and the control it gives you over your own health pool.] Self-damage can positively be a good thing on Abaddon:
1) You can deny yourself with it if your health is low enough.
2) If you have an active Aphotic Shield, it will take the damage for you, potentially bursting it.
3) Using it while under the effects of Borrowed Time will actually HEAL you.
As a support Abaddon, items like Tranquil Boots and Urn of Shadows allow us to balance the bad effects of Mist Coil more easily.
Aphotic Shield is an extremely powerful and useful skill. It essentially gives the carrier a bunch of extra hit points, but the benefits don't just stop there. The shield will burst after either a time limit, or when it takes sufficient damage. This burst will hit all nearby enemies.
This obviously makes it useful for pushing, harassing and tower diving. It's pretty unpleasant for enemies to deal with early on because they either have to back off while you attack them, or fight back and take the damage from the shield before they can actually hurt you.
The real magic of Aphotic Shield though is that it removes most debuffs and stuns from the target. Your Morphling just caught a 5 second Sacred Arrow? No problem, he's straight out of it. Bane's Fiend's Grip got your Invoker in trouble? Not anymore.
Once maxed, it has a very short cooldown, and can make it incredibly irritating for an enemy team who are dependent on single target lockdown skills. Obviously it can save allies who are on very low health and/or under the effects of Damage Over Time spells.
Finding the mana to keep using this can be an issue early game, so it's quite important that we at least get some levels and basic equipment to help us out with this.
Aphotic Shield does drop off quite hard after the early game due to it's very limited scaling, but the ability to remove debuffs will always be useful.
Curse of Avernus is your passive skill, and procs whenever you attack an enemy or neutral unit. It slows the enemy unit, while also giving a series of buffs to anyone who attacks them for a short duration.
The slow maxes out at 20%, which isn't bad for a "free" skill, and can be increased further by grabbing an Orb of Venom. Combined with the 15% movement speed buff it gives you, it's incredibly easy to chase down enemies who can't use mobility spells. It can also be handy for escaping - give a quick smack to a nearby enemy creep and you have 4.5 seconds of movement boost.
The buff also solves one of Abaddon's issues - his agility gain isn't brilliant, so having the attack speed buff from Curse of Avernus compensates pretty nicely to make him a viable right-clicker.
Generally I like to get an early point in this for the harass/buff value, and then max it last as your other skills need to be maxed early game to make them useful. It still gives you good benefits at level 1.
Borrowed Time is your ultimate, and what a nightmare it can be for the opposition. Activated manually, or automatically when you drop below 400hp, it will remove most negative buffs immediately, and for the duration any damage you take will heal you instead.
Obviously this is a really big deal - it can get you out of a lot of trouble, heal you to full health from almost zero and make you a real handful for the opposition.
The three builds I've listed above are pretty standard, and you'll want to pick one based on your main role in the game, and the situation.
I've generally left Curse of Avernus until last because it's your best scaling skill, and the benefits of higher levels in it only really come through later in the game. However, there may be situations where you want to max it sooner - such as if the extra slow will almost definitely lead to kills, or you have an unexpectedly large amount of farm.
Mist Coil may not seem that useful early on, but it can be the difference between a kill secured or a carry saved. It's also extremely useful to have more points in it when you're operating under Borrowed Time. All that self-damage is guaranteed heal, and you get a "free" nuke out of it.
Abaddon can play in a variety of roles from #1 to #4, although I think he works best when not the primary carry. He can play in much pretty any lane, although is usually favoured as a lane support, or a solo offlaner.
I wouldn't generally recommend Abaddon as a #5, he can do the job, but without extra equipment his potential does go to waste. Even as a support you want a reasonable amount of healing equipment and mana regeneration to ensure he's always available to help his team mates.
Abaddon's played in a farming role usually end up with some combination of tanking and DPS items. Sometimes there's a distinct overlap in these roles - you need some DPS to be threatening enough to be focused by the opposition and do your tanking job properly.
If played as a #1 or #2, Abaddon can be pretty scary for an unprepared opposition, but despite his fighting ability, he's not a hard carry and should generally be aggressive rather than AFK farming.
Abaddon is not a conventional support as he lacks anything approaching a strong stun or slow, and he's melee which makes it harder to harass and deny in some lanes. He's reasonably level dependent and doesn't want to be stuck babysitting in a lane for too long.
You can be quite aggressive with him in the laning phase by running in to harass with Curse of Avernus, you can combine this with Aphotic Shield to make yourself a real pain and generally force opponents backwards. However, you won't have the mana to keep doing this indefinitely, and have to be more restrained until you reach level 6 and Borrowed Time.
Personally, I think Abaddon works better in a dual lane than a trilane, unless it's a very aggressive trilane that doesn't mind diving to get kills and will generally be ballsy. Those early assists will help a lot.
For dual lanes, he does extremely well in those really tough situations that most heroes don't want to be in. Say you're against a Bane and Mirana looking to setup big arrows - you and your lane partner should be able to look after each other and ensure that those big stuns don't last.
You want lots of healing equipment so you can make use of Mist Coil to help allies, do some tanking where possible, but your most important job is to ensure your key heroes like carries and initiators have timely Aphotic Shields.
A fairly standard selection of starting consumables and stats. The Stout Shield is always a good pickup if you can possibly afford it, as you can harass and compete much more effectively - sometimes I'll even pick it up before boots as a support in the laning phase.
The Clarity potion is situational - you won't get the chance to use it in some lanes as you'll likely be getting hit, but it can be useful to have if your role is more passive.
Any space closing, tower-diving allies are good for you and vice versa. You can create a nice synergy where they can be ultra-aggressive and they provide the edge you need to get kills or assists.
More aggressive heroes, and these ones have the advantage of self-damage that can trigger Aphotic Shield for increased burst damage.
You and other members of the "you can't kill my friends" club can make life incredible irritating for the opposition with your constant removal of their spell effects and last second saves.
Useful utility assistance, Ion Shell makes you a lot more threatening in any given situation and forces you to be dealt with.
We have to be pretty careful around heroes who can do a lot of damage in a single hit - manual activation of Borrowed Time can be tricky.
The two of you have quite an antagonistic relationship - you can both counter each other pretty effectively. Aphotic Shield can really hinder his long disables, but his abilities can also cause you considerable problems - being Nightmare'd on the sidelines isn't much fun during a big fight.
More long disables and blocks can make it difficult to utilise your abilities and chasing effectively, as well as run down your Borrowed Time.
Although they might stuggle to actually kill you, denying you access to Aphotic Shield and Mist Coil can create problems trying to help your allies as a support.
These kinds of ultra-mobile heroes can cause you some issues as you really have no way of locking them down or forcing them to fight you.
Abaddon is great as a utility tank on most teams, and is a great go to pick if your team have very aggressive early heroes, or the enemy lanes look horrible to play against.
He's a very fun hero to play as you can get away with some frankly ridiculous plays that you wouldn't even consider with many heroes, let alone try. Easily one of the best tanks in the game, he's a great aura carrier, healer and debuff remover.
Remember to shout "Have at you!", "tis' but a scratch" and "I'll bite yer legs off!" as you charge bravely into mortal peril :)
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