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Lord of Avernus

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1. Aphotic Shield5. Aphotic Shield9. Death Coil13. Frostmourne
2. Death Coil6. Borrowed Time10. Frostmourne14. Frostmourne
3. Aphotic Shield7. Aphotic Shield11. Borrowed Time15. Stats
4. Death Coil8. Death Coil12. Frostmourne16. Borrowed Time

Starting items of choice

Core items of choice

Extension items of choice

Luxury items of choice

After his Death Coil/Aphotic Shield tweak, Abaddon fits into the current metagame more then ever before. Being able to endure great amounts of pain while protecting his teammates and dishing out considerable damage if not taken care of in time, he is a logical choice and a solid pick in public and league games alike.

This guide is pretty much aimed at organized gaming, but I'll itemize a few things for casual players as well, though to a lesser extent.

Note: Whenever you encounter an icon (hero, skill or item) just click on it to open its original subpage.

Table of contents
  1. Basic hero informations
  2. Pros & cons
  3. Skill overview and spell combos
  4. Skill builds
  5. Item builds
  6. Foes & allies
  7. Replays

1. Basic hero informations

Abaddon, Lord of Avernus

STR 23 + 2.7
AGI 17 + 1.5
INT 21 + 2

Affiliation: Scourge
Damage: 55 - 65
Armor: 4.38
Movespeed: 300
Attack Range: 128 (melee)
Attack Animation: 0.56 / 0.41
Casting Animation: 0.452 / 1.008
Base Attack Time: 1.7
Missile Speed: Instant
Sight Range: 1800 / 800

2. Pros & cons

[+]Multi-lateral skills
[+]Can aid teammates (heal+damage block)
[+]Slows enemies, additionally hastens allies
[+]Stats gain fits his role
[+]Fairly effective even without items
[+]Nice starting damage and armor, comfortable animation for lasthitting

[-]Useless ultimate unless Abaddon is being targeted
[-]Somewhat low AGI+AGI gain

3. Skill overview and spell combos

Death Coil

Now with increased range, Abaddon is capable of killing escaping heroes with low HP and healing his allies from greater distance. Note that this skill at lv4 heals 250 HP, while Aphotic Shield absorbs only 200.
I think it was a nice trade-off to increase DC's range while decreasing AS's when it comes to saving your teammates, even if it damages you half the amount you healed, since it has a much lower - and constant - mana cost.
Also be aware, if you use this skill as a nuke, the damage will be reduced by magic resistance, but you'll recieve the full, pure damage. You can deny yourself with this spell.

Range of 800 units

Aphotic Shield

Really annoying spell, especially early game. Tho' the casting range had been reduced, this is still a nice tool to use. Can cast it on yourself, an allied hero, or creeps. As Death Coil, this spell can be used for both defensive and offensive purposes, since the amount of damage it absorbs will be released in an area of 700 units (damages units almost as far as Death Coil can, so when on the run chasing a hero, but out of mana, unable to cast DC to finish him; keep running if it's safe to do so - maybe a tower attacks you and the absorbed damage may eventually kill your opponent upon its release). Also, casting it on a creep can be really effective, as it prevents your enemy to lasthit safely, and since the damage has such a great area of effect, your opponents either back off or take damage.
Rule of thumb: cast it on your allies, not yourself. Shield removes debuffs, so you may want to cast it again even if it's still up an unhurt.

Range of 300 units


Great skill, but not that good early game. Still, it can be worthy to level it once, as it slows and helps you and your allies to outrun your opponents. Frostmourne not only slows your targeted enemy, but also makes your allies who are attacking the same target as you, recieve bonus attack and movement speed.
Combined with disables, this can lead to a fast end for the pinned down opponent. Note that this skill if a buff placer, and the buff if applied before Abaddon attacks, thus, upon the first hit, the effect is already active.
Buff placers don't stack.

Borrowed Time

Heals you the amount of damage you would take.
Another good and annoying spell, optionally it can be upgraded by Aghanim's Scepter (+2 seconds at all levels). This spell has a decent cooldown for an ultimate - one minute -, which mostly ensures that you can have it on in every major clash.
A bit of mechanics: can dodge projectiles upon casting, casting removes negative buffs, but Axe's Culling blade kills you instantly if you have 300 HP or less, no matter what.
Can be activated manually, but if you reach below 400 HP and it's not on cooldown, it's going to activate itself automatically.
Make sure your enemies attack you, otherwise this is a pretty useless ultimate.
Don't forget that this skill can't save you from getting instagibbed by a Mortred who crits over 9000, so don't be overconfident if the enemy heroes are all beefed up hardcarries after 90 minutes of farming and their worst item is something like Divine Raper Rapier.
Anyway, you are unlikely to get killed by neutrals.

Additional information, spell combinations

Just by using spells when needed, but still on their own, you can't even get close to what their combined utility offers.
A few examples of how to use them to their full potential:
As written previously, getting damaged while Aphotic Shield is on you, can kill nearby enemies with low HP. Now the same scenario - or even just hitting each other -; with casting Death Coil. As it counts as damage you recieve, in the same time you cast Coil the Shield absorbs that damage. As the Shield wears off, the enemy recieves both the Coil and the Shield damage.
If you buy Aghanim's Scepter, you can cast Death Coil twice (maxed Borrowed Time duarion with Scepter is 7 seconds while Death Coil's cooldown is 6 seconds all levels) if you reached lv16. This means you can nuke enemies for 500 damage (before reduction) and your HP goes up with 250.

Death Coil - Aphotic Shield casting range comparison

4. Skill builds

List of a few builds, but remember these are not carved in stone, and you should always adapt to the flow of the game.

I. Standard build

A classic approach, focusing on using both Aphotic Shield and Death Coil to nuke, heal, or force your enemies to stay back, robbing them from the needed farm.

1. Aphotic Shield
2. Death Coil
3. Aphotic Shield
4. Death Coil / Frostmourne
5. Aphotic Shield
6. Borrowed Time
7. Aphotic Shield
8. Death Coil
9. Death Coil
10. Frostmourne / Death Coil - if taken Frostmourne at lv4
11. Borrowed Time
12. Frostmourne
13. Frostmourne
14. Frostmourne
15. Stats
16. Borrowed Time
17-25. Stats

II. Direct DPS build

A more agressive build, skipping Aphotic Shield (getting only at the first level to save some asses from getting raped) to get Frostmourne and Stats instead as soon as possible.
Only effective if you have a superior lane, or the enemy team got totally outpicked. I still suggest getting Borrowed Time whenever possible, if not for tanking enemies, then tanking their towers for more early/early-mid game advantage.

1. Aphotic Shield
2. Death Coil
3. Death Coil
4. Frostmourne
5. Death Coil
6. Borrowed Time
7. Death Coil
8. Frostmourne
9. Frostmourne
10. Frostmourne
11. Borrowed Time
12. Stats
13. Stats
14. Stats
15. Stats
16. Borrowed Time
17. Stats
18. Stats
19. Stats
20. Stats
21. Stats
22. Stats
23-25. Aphotic Shield

III. No need to mourn

This build focuses on not engaging the enemy in melee combat, or so rarely it doesn't worth to level Frostmourne at all. If your team picks all ranged heroes with nukes and disables, they won't really need it. In this case, your role is nothing else but to protect them from any harm - by tanking and by keeping them alive with all you have. All you have to do is keep buying team survivability items to take care of everyone in your team. Anyway, this is quite an experimental build, as it heavily relies on your teammates' skills, and depends on enemy picks and of course, on their skill level.

1. Aphotic Shield
2. Death Coil
3. Aphotic Shield
4. Death Coil
5. Aphotic Shield
6. Borrowed Time
7. Aphotic Shield
8. Death Coil
9. Death Coil
11. Borrowed Time
12. Stats
13. Stats
14. Stats
15. Stats
16. Borrowed Time
17. Stats
18. Stats
19. Stats
20. Stats
21. Stats
22-25. Frostmourne

5. Item builds

Abaddon in competitive games is mostly played as a support tank. Here is an item build of my choice that fits this role.

Starting items

Based on my experiences it's rare that one hero buys both Observer Wards and Courier, because it can shut down its early game. If you only have one fellow supporter, buy either Obs. Wards or Courier (as I assume another support/semi-carry etc. buys the other one). If you have two teammates who can afford buying these things, you can go for Wards and an instant Crow.
Anyway, Abaddon is quite sturdy at the start of the game, so no worries about that 200 gold not spent on candies and coke.

Any combination of these, personally I prefer Branches and Tangos, as after Wards/Courier I have only 403 gold left to spare. That'd be 3 Branches and 2 set of Tangos, saving up for our first core item etc.

Core items

Magic Wand

I'd say it's an overrated item, buy it saved my ass far too many times to do so. A great item for only 509 gold. More bang for your buck then any other item can offer, fo sho'!

Boots of Speed

Best thing since sliced bread (and Magic Wand). A must, for 500 gold.

Scroll of Town Portal

Standard item, always keep one in your inventory or at a crow flying just to you. Not having one may cost you the game. /srs bsns

Observer Ward

Sentry Ward

Keep buying them. Keep using them. How? Use Lycan's [Warding]The Eye of The Wolf - DotA Guides.

Sobi Mask

A basic item, which in fact, doesn't offer much on its own. But three important items can be built from it with the addition of other low-tier stuff.

Based on the team, strategy and lane partner I would only get one of these.
I'm not saying you must pick one and can't have more, but your inventory is going to be full really quick, leaving less room for TP scrolls and Sentry/Obs. Wards. Personally I'd get Basilius, having both mana and health restoration for my team (as I usually go for Mekasm as my first extension) is solid.

Ring of Basilius

Get it if you're laning partner is a spammer of relies heavily on mana and could profit from the manareg early on due to his high INT (e.g. sidelane Pugna) or planning to build Vladmir's Offering.

Soul Ring

Get it if you want more active items and spam. Works well Death Coil spam. Yet be careful in order to stay alive and be safe from incoming ganks. Aphotic Shield on you with only 150 HP left means you are not likely to make it to your nearest tower if you get jumped on.
Note that Soul Ring uses 'HP removal' (like Huskar's Burning Spears), so it won't trigger Aphotic Shield, nor will it heal during Borrowed Time. [if someone knows otherwise, feel free to correct me and include mechcraft as well, please]

Urn of Shadows

This item can work wonders, especially if you manage to gather lots of kills/assists or just standing on the corner watching. You can heal your whole team when you move together (e.g. from one lane to another, pushing another tower etc. - given your team raked in enough kills, of course) before you get Mekasm. In fact, this item becomes less effective after you build Mekasm for healing purposes, so judge wisely if you want to build this instead of the other. On the other hand tho, you can still cast it on enemy heroes for the DoT, which is decent even in mid-game.

Extension items

Eul's Scepter of Divinity

Being somewhat a situational item, giving you a disable and a nice amount of mana regeneration. Also boosts your movement speed - if you decide to go all in early game, you may grab Treads and Eul's instead of BoT (and Sheepstick as a disable).


Definitely worths every penny, get it as soon as possible, since healing your party members can determine the outcome of a teamclash.

Vladmir's Offering

Everything in a neat package, you get lifesteal and it also supports your team with auras. Doesn't worth it if there is no melee DPS hero who could really make use of the lifesteal aura.

Khadgar's Pipe of Insight

Always liked Hood of Defiance? Never like it? Either way, you gotta love this item if you play Abaddon! Barrier blocks a chunk of magic damage, paired with Aphotic Shield this is a really awesome item to have, your team may even survive an AoE madness which otherwise would doom your whole party.

Power Treads

I think this item is viable on Abaddon. Albeit offers less mobility then Boots of Travel (another drawback is that you still have to carry a TP scroll, wasting a valuable slot in your inventory), for early/early-mid game action it is much better. Cheaper, better buildup, provides stats of choice and attack speed, which always comes handy.

Phase Boots

Since some line-ups rely heavily on mobility, Phase Boots might prove useful (especially if you're maxing Frostmourne in early-mid). I tend to use it more and more often compared to Power Tread in my 6.73 games.

(2700g/4050g/5400g - levels 1/2/3)

Maybe looks like an optional item, but since today's games are dominated by spells, the gold is well spent if you buy this. It's also worth it to upgrade, as the crescendo is beneficial, plus at lv3 you get True Sight, which always comes handy and you may spot wards you couldn't counterward.

Boots of Travel

No longer have to carry a TP scroll around! Adding 95 MS; throw in Frostmourne; noone runs away. You can always be where the fight is, and BoT has exactly the same cooldown as Borrowed Time and Khadgar's Pipe of Insight.

Janggo of Endurance

Really nice addition to the game, this item pops up in almost every "pro game" - that means something. It amplifies Frostmourne's effect to the point where I consider this new item to be an absolute must if you have one or two melee carry heroes in your team.
Luxury items


Really effective on Abaddon. Enemies either start hitting you or die fryin'.

Aghanim's Scepter

Mana and health, plus 2 seconds for your ultimate. Nice - but a bit expensive for the benefits.

Assault Curiass

The so needed attackspeed! +Armor for nearby teammates, -armor for nearby enemies. Note that the +armor aura won't stack with Vlads'.

Guinsoos Scythe of Vyse

THE disable. Although expensive and you won't farm this up easily, this is the best luxury item for your money, besides Radiance.

Heart of Tarrasque

Provides ridiculous amounts of HP and regeneration (if not fighting), plus you can spam Death Coil 24/7 if you have the mana.

Abaddon in pub games is usually seen as a carry hero. This is basically a list of items which fit him most of the times. Choose from them based on the needs of your team and enemy picks.

Early game items

Mid game items

Late game items

Abaddon can use a few epic builds as well, if all hell has broken loose.

73h 0wn4702


Vangod ( Baconnaise)

6. Foes & allies


Since Abaddon is a tank, getting focused by spells/disables is not the worst what can happen as long as you remain useful to your team in other ways too.

Early game there are bunch of heroes who can screw your entire mid-late game, and that can lead to failure when it comes to tanking and supporting.
Silencers, disablers and mana burners are the biggest threat early game as they can use their skills from afar.


Everyone who can make use of your slow, but especially disablers and stunners in general.
By the way, brosquading with these guys makes you really hard:


DIV League public all pick game. I managed to die/miss kills a few times in the beginning [playing ill ftw!], but I raked in quite some kills later and we eventually won.

PDGG all pick game. My supporting was pretty much limited to buying Mek and Vlads as this wasn't a head-to-head match, really.

*Corrected Soul Ring usage
*Updated to 6.73c
*Added Janggo of Endurance to Core items
*Added Phase Boots to Core items

Abaddon the Lord of Avernus
Author: Skyforger3.0
Map Vers.: 6.73c

How to: Abaddon

Operative word: SUPPORT

Date Posted: 03/03/12
Last Comment:14/08/2013
Total Votes: 42
Current Rating: 8.23
Views: 183155

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