Hey all, thought I'd hop in for a chat about where Anivia's ended up after the changes.
Overall, we're pretty happy with where Anivia has landed after the changes in 6.23.
To refresh, we first undertook these changes for several reasons:
_**Reward vs Counterplay**_
Reward for ER was very high for pretty low counterplay. If we continue to support ER being powerful (where the only meaningful play is to stay out of range), it means we have less power budget to make the rest of her kit cool and powerful.
In the context of the changes, we wanted to play up the combo aspects of Anivia.
- Wall -> R, then Q the side when they try to get out -> empowered E should feel powerful and worth the mana cost.
- Putting down a storm on them when they go for a minion -> walling/Q'ing them into it -> empowered E should also feel worth and powerful.
- Even R -> E should be OK, but you shouldn't expect to outtrade people as well as previously. It's tuned so that unless the opponent is greedy and stands in it for half a second too long, you won't be able to get an empowered E off without using at least one other ability.
Obviously this can cost a lot of mana in lane, but we like that Anivia builds mana and can support these costs. (She also has high base mana and mana regen and can take some points in meditation if you want to go for a lot of trades) As the game goes on, mana costs become less relevant, as your mana costs are a smaller and smaller proportion of your mana pool. If she needed buffs, I would say that we would look to improve the reward she gets for landing her combo, so that she is more incentivised to contest minions with big trades.
I also expect that at higher MMR's, the ability to throw down R and be a "waveclear bot" without getting pressured off the wave becomes harder, so I'm not too worried about her turning into that (it's not a winning playstyle) and I fully believe that an aggressive Anivia's laning is both effective and necessary in a lot of matchups (unless you want to give up a lot of CS). Her trades still hit very hard in laning phase, there's no question about that.
_**Playing up the Controller/Disruptor**_
By our [class definitions](http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/gameplay/dev-blog-classes-subclasses), Anivia has the kit pieces to be the quintessential disruptor.
We want disruptors to have good sustained lockdown, sustained damage and good counter engage and pick potential (think Zyra root and ult, Orianna ult, Anivia wall and storm).
With the old storm at 3 seconds to ramp up, it was generally too unreliable to access and the reward was pretty low for how difficult it was to get empowered storm to actually hit people (in most cases).
Wall is one of the most unique and powerful spells in the game and was on an overly restrictive cooldown at 25 seconds (without a cooldown rankup), so reducing this made a lot of sense. The cooldown is also in the range where you can opt to go for two different builds (CDR predominant build with wall at 10-12 seconds CD for lots of walls/stuns or the 0 cdr mana/burst build).
By loading more power into the storm (making empowered storm happen earlier) and wall, we can play up the controller aspects a lot more. This power has to come from somewhere, so we took it from the ER, which as I mentioned earlier had game health problems and was an inhibitor to making the rest of her kit more functional and powerful.
Our internal metrics have been showing Anivia performing well after aggregating for all regions and for our [target audience](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/xwOObpq2-live-gameplay-qa-issue-1-feat-feralpony-smashgizmo). Our changes targeted her laning strength being down (she will be more vulnerable in some matchups) and her late game strength being improved.
She now exhibits this behaviour with more of a scaling curve (increases over game time), rather than a snowball curve (spikes very hard early and drops sharply).
Anivia is still a very difficult champion to play (she is in the top 10 for mastery curves) and as such, we still expect her to continue to improve slightly (but not hugely) over time (new builds will emerge and her playstyle has been pretty heavily shaken up). As such, we have decided not to buff her for 7.1 and generally think she's in a pretty good spot (she is in the top 30% for overall winrates and experienced players are finding a lot of success on her.)
However, keep in mind that she is a champion that is mained heavily with a steep mastery curve, so this will skew winrates upwardly (experienced plays are a larger proportion of her total plays [compared to Syndra] and she improves much more by game [compared to Shyvana]). All things considered, I think it would be a mistake to rush into a buff and we would almost certainly regret it later.
_**Anivia for 7.1**_
- We will be adding a "flash forming" effect for both her base and blackfrost storms.
- Fixing a bug where Empowered Storm usually takes 1.75 seconds to form instead of 1.5 seconds (this is technically a small buff).
So just wanted to give my thoughts on where we're at; always open to having a good discussion.