Developer's Blog

Remember me ?             Register

Abaddon, Lord of Avernus


This is my first guide so any feedback will be appreciated. Also English is not my native language so I ask you to excuse my grammar mistakes through out the guide, if any. Lets begin!

This guide is made for organized games only (IHs, CWs, etc.) and it is not recommended that you use the strategies shown in this guide in Pub games.

Table of Contents

(You can navigate to each section by clicking name of chapter and back by clicking link you will find at the end of each section.)

1. Introduction
2. Pros & Cons
3. Hero Overview
4. Abilities
5. Skill Build
6. Item Build
7. How to Play
8. Friends & Foes
9. Conclusion
10. Replays
11. FAQ
12. Credits
13. Changelog

1. Introduction

Abaddon is one of the best support heroes even though he is a Strength hero. His main spells for supporting are Aphotic Shield and Death Coil. He also can be played as a semi-carry tank hero because it is nearly impossible to kill him with his ultimate, Borrowed Time and his shield. But in my opinion he is the most successful in his support role. Abaddon is a hero that you will see in a ban/pick lists pretty often and with the help of this guide you might fall in love with him just as I did.

2. Pros & Cons

[+] Hard to kill
[+] Good base INT for Strength hero
[+] Not item dependent to be useful
[+] Can support his allies
[+] Has a slow skill

[-] Self centered ultimate
[-] If enemies don't target you, your ultimate is useless
[-] Melee

3. Hero Overview

Background Story

A former paladin of great renown, Abaddon fell into darkness during the invasion of the Burning Legion, becoming possessed by many demons, corrupting both his soul and his powers. Now a Death Knight set high in the Lich King's hierarchy of generals, he rides into battle against impossible odds, never stopping until he reaches the World Tree itself. Whether enhancing his own fortitude with a shield of dark energy, or using his life force to aid in combat, the Lord of Avernus leads the armies of the Scourge ever onward, forever locked in combat with the forces of good, and his enemies who were once his greatest comrades.


Strength - 23 + 2.7
Agility - 17 + 1.5
Intelligence - 21 + 2

* Affiliation: Scourge
* Attack Animation: 0.56 / 0.41
* Damage: 55 - 65
* Casting Animation: 0.452 / 1.008
* Armor: 4.4
* Base Attack Time: 1.7
* Movespeed: 300
* Missile Speed: Instant
* Attack Range: 100 (melee)
* Sight Range: 1800 / 800

4. Abilities

Death Coil(Active) Abaddon releases a coil of death that can damage an enemy unit or heal a friendly unit at the cost of some of Abaddon's health.

Level   Mana Cost   Cooldown   Casting Range   Area of Effect   Duration   Allowed Targets   Effects
1   75   6 seconds   800   N/A   N/A   Allied or Enemy Units   Heals or Damages for 100 HP. Deals 50 HP to himself.
2   75   6 seconds   800   N/A   N/A   Allied or Enemy Units   Heals or Damages for 150 HP. Deals 75 HP to himself.
3   75   6 seconds   800   N/A   N/A   Allied or Enemy Units   Heals or Damages for 200 HP. Deals 100 HP to himself.
4   75   6 seconds   800   N/A   N/A   Allied or Enemy Units   Heals or Damages for 250 HP. Deals 125 HP to himself.
Damage type: magic (on the target) / pure (on Abaddon)
Abaddon will not receive Death Coil's damage if he has magic immunity when he casts it.
Self-damage from Death Coil can burst Aphotic Shield just as any other kind of damage.
Abaddon can deny himself with this skill.

My comments

This skill is a very unique skill because it can not only heal your allies but it can also damage your enemy with it. Also because when you use this skill, you get damaged, you can deny yourself when necessary. This is one of the two nukes that Abaddon has and because it has a very large casting range, it helps you to net the kills on the retreating enemies. This skill has a very low cooldown and a low mana cost so you should always abuse it when you have a good amount of health.

1. I am in trouble and I see that Sven is about to kill me.
2. I deny myself and even though I die, I don't give the kill to Sven or lose gold.



1. Tauren Chieftane is frozen by my ally Ancient Apparation.
2. After Lion uses Finger of Death and Hexes him he is almost safe.
3. I use my Death Coil on him and it prevents him from getting away.


Aphotic Shield(Active) Summons dark energies around an ally unit, creating a shield that absorbs a set amount of damage before expiring. When the shield is destroyed it will deal damage equal to the amount it absorbed to an area around it. Removes certain types of negative buffs on cast.
Level   Mana Cost   Cooldown   Casting Range   Area of Effect   Duration   Allowed Targets   Effects
1   100   18 seconds   300   700   15 seconds   Allied Unit/Self   Absorbs and deals 110 damage
2   105   15 seconds   300   700   15 seconds   Allied Unit/Self   Absorbs and deals 140 damage
3   110   12 seconds   300   700   15 seconds   Allied Unit/Self   Absorbs and deals 170 damage
4   115   9 seconds   300   700   15 seconds   Allied Unit/Self   Absorbs and deals 200 damage
Damage type: magic
If Abaddon has Aphotic Shield on him, it will not burst if Abaddon is currently under the effect of Borrowed Time.
Will replace any Aphotic Shield currently active on the target, so two shields will never be active at the same time on the same unit.

My comments

I could argue that this is the best protective, non-ultimate skill it DotA. It not only absorbs an amount of damage, but after excessive damage is dealt it will blow up and deal damage to enemies in an AoE. This skill can cancel any type of damage from physical to magical but it has to be equal or below the damage that the shield could absorb at certain levels. This shield is also excellent for removing negative buffs from your allies and yourself (Mirana's arrow stun duration, Bane's sleep, and many, many more.)

1. Me and Lion are getting ready to gank Invoker.
2. I put on my Aphotic Shield and let the tower focus on me.
3. My shield bursts dealing significant damage to Invoker and Lion hexes and stuns him.
4. Invoker falls (ghuy and TR somehow kill each other...)


Frostmourne(Passive) Abaddon strikes an enemy with Frostmourne's chilling power on each attack, causing all units who attack the slowed enemy to gain 10% increased movement speed, along with faster attack speed, for a limited time
Level   Mana Cost   Cooldown   Casting Range   Area of Effect   Duration   Allowed Targets   Effects
1   N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A   2 seconds (Slow on enemy); 4.5 seconds (Increased movement and attack speed on allies)   Any Unit   Slows enemies for 5%, Gives +10% Attack speed to allies
2   N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A   2 seconds (Slow on enemy); 4.5 seconds (Increased movement and attack speed on allies)   Any Unit   Slows enemies for 10%, Gives +20% Attack speed to allies
3   N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A   2 seconds (Slow on enemy); 4.5 seconds (Increased movement and attack speed on allies)   Any Unit   Slows enemies for 15%, Gives +30% Attack speed to allies
4   N/A   N/A   N/A   N/A   2 seconds (Slow on enemy); 4.5 seconds (Increased movement and attack speed on allies)   Any Unit   Slows enemies for 20%, Gives +40% Attack speed to allies
Frostmourne is a Buff Placer.
The Frostmourne buff is placed before Abaddon attacks, so he gets the bonus on his first hit.

My comments

This is an excellent slow skill for Abaddon to have. Because he is already a support hero with this skill he can also give +40% AS on the last level on the enemy that Abaddon has hit with his slow. Also remember that this skill is a buff placer and buff placers don't stack.


Borrowed Time(Active) When activated, most negative buffs will be removed and any damage you take will heal you instead of damage you. If the ability is not in cooldown, it will passively activate when your hitpoints drop below 400 hp.

Level   Mana Cost   Cooldown   Casting Range   Area of Effect   Duration   Allowed Targets   Effects
1   0   60 seconds   N/A   N/A   3 (5*) seconds   None   Lasts 3 seconds
2   0   60 seconds   N/A   N/A   4 (6*) seconds   None   Lasts 4 seconds
3   0   60 seconds   N/A   N/A   5 (6*) seconds   None   Lasts 5 seconds
Can be improved by Aghanim's Scepter (* shows the improved values).
Borrowed Time will activate itself if you suffer damage while being with less than 400 hitpoints.
Upon casting Borrowed Time, Abaddon will effectively dodge any projectiles currently flying at him.
When activated it removes negative buffs from Abaddon.
Borrowed Time can be manually activated.

My comments

This ultimate will not let you die as long as the enemies attack you. Here are some useful things that I have found out about this ultimate. Firstly at the beginning, just as it activates, it has a little mini-stun and if you are teleporting and your ultimate goes off, the teleport will cancel. Also it can be turned on manually by pressing the hotkey even if you aren't below 400 HP. The skill can also remove a great variety of negative buffs from yourself like Doom, Hex and many more.

5. Skill Build

Here I will introduce you to two skill builds, supportive and aggressive. Here they are:

Supportive Build

1. Aphotic Shield
2. Death Coil
3. Aphotic Shield
4. Frostmourne
5. Aphotic Shield
6. Borrowed Time
7. Aphotic Shield
8. Death Coil
9. Death Coil
10. Death Coil
11. Borrowed Time
12.-14. Frostmourne
15. Stats
16. Borrowed Time
17.-25. Stats

Skill Build Explanation

This build is taken if you are facing a lane with a strong harasser or a stunner. With Death Coil, you will be able to support your lane partner even if he is being harrassed too much. Also with Aphotic Shield you can support yourself and your lane mate if you are having a hard time on the lane.

Aggressive Build

1. Aphotic Shield
2. Frostmourne
3. Aphotic Shield
4. Death Coil
5. Aphotic Shield
6. Borrowed Time
7. Aphotic Shield
8. Frostmourne
9. Frostmourne
10. Frostmourne
11. Borrowed Time
12.-14. Death Coil
15. Stats
16. Borrowed Time
17.-25. Stats

Skill Build Explanation

I use this build when I see that my lane opponents are fairly weak or if they are playing passively. The point of this build is to put the Aphotic Shield on yourself and chase your enemies. You also need to hit them a couple of times with your Frostmourne ability so they back away and your lane mate will get some free-farm.

6. Item Build

Starting Items

OR |
Total Cost: 596g


- Every team should have a courier. Because you are the wardbitch, most likely, you should get a courier and don't forget to share it with your team! If someone has already purchased a courier, do not buy a second one because two couriers on one team is a waste of money.

- Wards give you everything that you need to know around the map and because you are item independent, you are the one to buy them. You should keep buying wards regularly through-out the game. Note: If you have purchased a courier do not buy a set of wards right away because it will leave you with no money. Here is a really nice guide about warding: Warding Guide

- This will provide you with some cheap heals and also it can help you in juking your enemies by eating trees.

- With this item you can heal a lot of your health so you should abuse it and harass your enemy because even if he will harass you back, you have this salve to yourself with.

- Buy 2 sets of these. They will give you enough mana so you can spam your shield in defensive purposes and harassing purposes.

- Buy 2 sets of these. This is the best cheap-stats item in the game so you should get it no matter what. Also after you get enough money, you should upgrade these branches into a magic wand which is a must have item for you and basically any other DotA hero.

Core Items

(500g) - After you have finished your Clarity Potions you should get this item because it will continue to supply you with mana to spam your Aphotic Shield

(509g) - This is a very nice item for keeping your health and mana in check. This item can store 15 charges and it gives you 15 mana & 15 health per charge that is used.

(500g) - This item gives you additional movement speed which every hero needs. You should not upgrade your boots until you buy a Mekansm because it should be your priority.

(200g) - As I stated above, this item is very useful for your team to have.

(875g) - This is a fairly new item in the game but it is already recognized by many players as a very useful item. Because you are going to see almost every battle that happens, you should carry this item around.

(2306g) - This should be your first rushed item because it will increase your supportive potential for your team therefore providing your team with a great AoE heal.

(135g) - Never leave your home without a teleport. Teleport is needed to move quickly around the map and also to escape ganks or any other trouble.

(200g) - This item should be used mainly for counter-warding (see details in the Warding Guide) but because you don't have enough space for a 7th item and you aren't range to kill the wards on the cliffs, you should buy this item and give it to your range ally.

Luxury Items

(2700g) - This item will make you a better farmer/pusher/fighter because of the 2 little minions that it summons. If you decide to get this, I recommend upgrading it to Level 3 so your minions will have true-sight (if needed) and they will be stronger. To upgrade it, you should just keep purchasing the recipe for the Necronomicron until you have it at Level 3.

(5675g) - This item will provide your team with an additional disable and there are not enough disables, EVER! This item is a good addition to a semi-support Abaddon.

(2050g) - This item will provide you with a good HP regen so you can keep spamming your Death Coils. This item will also give life steal to your nearby allies which could be helpful for them.

(4300g) - It gives you a longer ultimate which means that you are untouchable for a longer time.

(5550g) - Because you will always hit things, you should get more AS and also the aura of the Cuirass will give more AS to your allies as well.

(5500g) - Heart will provide you with a very fast HP regen out of combat so you don't have to go to base if your HP is low.

(2700g) - This would be your best choice of boots because they give you the most MS and it is also a teleport so you don't have to carry one with you. However if you can't afford it you can buy Treads instead.

(4700g) - This will provide an AoE slow for your allies and it will also make you more useful in fights.

Optional Items

(2200g) - A lot of people don't get get this item and prefer Blink Dagger instead by I think that this is a great item and that it can support your allies really well. Here is an example: Your ally is in trouble, solution 1: Push him/her away from danger, solution 2: Push the enemy away from your ally.

(2150g) - Get this item if your enemy's main damage is magical damage.

(3653g) - You can upgrade your hood to this item to give your team a nice AoE magical resistance.

7. How to Play

In this section I will show you what you should do in battles, lanes, pushes, etc. through-out the game.

Early Laning

This is a stage when the clock hits 0:00 and you arrive to your lane and battle with your opponents for position and last hits. Every time you chose a lane you should go with a carry/semi-carry who needs support early on and is preferably ranged (Morphing, Sniper). Your job in the lane is to see what kind of opponents you are facing and use one of the two strategies shown above (see Skill Build). Remember to always use your Aphotic Shield on a dying ally creeps so you can distrupt your opponent's last hits and harass them. Try giving your carry partner as many last hits as possible and you should also pull regularly to give your partner some solo experience.

1. Here I put an Aphotic Shield on my dieing creep.
2. Vengeful Spirit gets a fair amount of damage from my shield when it bursts and also she is unable to last-hit that creep.


You are not a farmer but you should stay in lane/jungle and kill a few creeps so you can get some additional money. If you are getting 2-3 creeps per minute early game and 4-5 late game then you are doing a good job. To farm effectively you should put an Aphotic Shield on an ally creep that is about to die and when the shield bursts it will usually earn you 1-2 creep kills. When foresting/jungling just put the shield on yourself and tank those neutrals!


Usually when a big push is coming in your lane you should be level 6. When 2-3 allies are pushing together their goal is usually to get the tower. To assist as much as you can in pushing you should put your shield on yourself and go tank the enemy creeps until your shield bursts, then back away. When you reach the tower you should once more put a shield on yourself and tank the tower as long as possible. When you get to low HP, don't worry because you have your ultimate and it will when the tower is hitting you and your ultimate is on, your HP should go up pretty fast. If you follow this advice your team will usually get the tower.

1. Here me and my team are ready to take the 2nd Scourge tower. I start tanking the tower with my Aphotic Shield on and Lich's Frost Armor.
2. The tower is still hitting me and it is already about half way down.
3. The tower is almost down and it is still hitting me.
4. The tower is down and I tanked all of the tower's damage. It took us 26 seconds to take it down.


When there is a fight you should never back out first and you should try to tank as much damage as possible with your shield on. Also you need to watch out for your allies that need help so you can either shield them or Death Coil them. If you already have a Mekansm you should wait until your allies are at about half HP each and then use it.

1. Here is a team clash and my ally Lion is in trouble. I put Aphotic Shield on him.
2. Lion is running away with very low HP and enemy Sven is still chasing him.
3. After I Death Coil Lion, his HP goes up a little bit. He stuns Sven and escapes. We kill Sven shortly after with Lion still being alive.

8. Friends & Foes




Basically anyone who has the ability to stun/hold the enemy for a period of time so Abaddon can hit the enemies a few more times.



Basically all the heroes that have a weak early game but a powerful mid-late game. Abaddon is always ready to take a weak carry under his wing.



Initiators love Abaddon because usually after they jump in in the battle and unleash their initiating spells, they are done. But with Abaddon's Aphotic Shield and Death Coil they can stay a bit longer then they expect.




If you silence a support hero he becomes completely useless. When Abaddon is silenced he can not longer support anyone and becomes pretty useless on the battlefield.

1 hit KO


If you see him picked you should not pick Abaddon. Axe's ultimate goes through Abaddon's ultimate so when you are at low HP and he has his ultimate there is no escape from him!

9. Conclusion

Finally this guide is coming to an end! I hope by reading this guide you have learned a few tricks and tips on how to play Abaddon as a support. This guide is finished but in later sections you can find a few replays, a FAQ section and credits.

10. Replays

Replay #1


Download Replay Here
Game Version: 1.24d (
Map Version: 6.66
Mode: RD

The Sentinel, PDGG

iser- (Top)
Moja27 (Mid)
Steel_Joker (Bot)
Ivanns (Bot)

The Scourge, PDGG

fodminah (Mid)
.FUSE (Top)
gm_kz69 (Top)
Acree (Bot)
JukeboxDragon (Bot)

Replay #2 vs MCiTY

Tournament Information
Game Version: 1.24d (
Map Version: 6.66
Match Format: BO3
Game Length: 43:26 mins

Bans (Sentinel first): | | | | | | |

Picks (Sentinel first): | | | | |

The Sentinel,

[B]Puppey!SGATE (Top)
[B]Ben!SGATE (Bot)
[B]KuroKy!SGATE (Mid) (Mid)
[B]Amar!SGATE (Top)

The Scourge, MCiTY

MCiTY^Shatan (Mid)
JohnnyUtah (Top)
MCiTY^Chawy (Bot)
MCiTY^Tonton (Roaming)
r1sk~ (Top)

11. FAQ

Q: Why not Frostmourne instead of Death Coil?

A: If you want to go for an aggressive skill build then you should take Frostmourne but if you are going for a supportive build then your choice should be Death Coil.

Q: Why in a supportive build do you max Death Coil early on? You don't have enough health to spam it.

A: To successfully support your ally you don't have to spam your Death Coil very often, 1 or 2 spells of Death Coil will do.

Q: Why do you play him as a supporter and not a carry?

A: I think he succeeds in his support role more because he has 2 support spells that can support your allies very nicely and if you would play him as a carry, in my opinion, you will lose the best role that he is made for.

12. Credits

Here is the list of people who contributed to my guide:

- AduhAwas_EvilG: He helped me to start my guide.
-Swiftkick: He made the table to 1st replay.
-Phoenix: Took his layout to the Blight.Int vs Mcity replay.
- Piejonk, Swiftkick, s.ops_Freak, @TR, ghuy_9391, AntiAntiAnti, zaphodbrx99, kawumm, and Cano : All of them participated in the game where I took screenshots.
-DerSteppenwolf: My guide's layout is from his guide to Tauren Chieftain.
-AlexLee86: Creator of the first picture.
-To everyone who reviewed my guide: Thanks guys, I really appreciate it!
-IceFrog and his crew: Because of them we are able to play DotA.
-To all the PDGG members: Thank You guys for playing with me, I really enjoy all the games!
-All of You!: For reading this guide.

13. Changelog

February 8, 2010: Started on the guide
February 10, 2010: Posted Draft Guide
February 11, 2010: Finished all the sections
February 12, 2010: Added all the images and extra credits
February 13, 2010: Finished the whole guide

Abaddon the Lord of Avernus
Author: Ivanns
Map Vers.: 6.66b

Let Me Shield You!

An organized guide to Abaddon

Date Posted: 02/10/10
Last Comment:29/03/2012
Total Votes: 42
Current Rating: 7.84
Views: 123183

Login to post a comment