This item is crucial on Anubis. It offers lots of raw stats, including substantial amount of HP which is a thing Anubis definitely lacks, as well as a good chunk of magical power.
On purchase it provides 300 HP, 400 mana and 50 magical power, but also starts the progression of earning stacks. 1 stack is gained every minion or jungle monster kill, and delivering final blow to the enemy player grants 5 stacks, with every stack giving additional 3 points of HP and 0.6 points of magical power.
Stacks cap at 100, at which point Warlock's Sash is providing 600 HP, 400 mana and 110 magical power.
I would strongly recommend getting used to this item on every mode that isn't extremely fast paced like Arena or Assault, as the advantages it gives are well worth their price. Also, Sash is at best bought quite early into the game, in order to start stacking it as soon as possible.
Book of Thoth
It is a stacking item like Warlock's Sash with the same way of gaining stacks, but instead of being a Jack-of-all-Trades, it simply increases magical power and mana. However, the increase is a drastic one, and can serve as a part of glass-cannon one-shot builds. Upon purchasing, it gives 100 magical power and 125 mana, with + 10 mana every stack, stacking up to 75. Oh, and it also gives a passive which grants additional magical power equal to 3% of maximum mana.
On lvl 20 with maximum stacks Anubis will have 2315 mana (can be more of course if one decides to buy more mana increasing items) which will mean an additional 69 power from the Book's passive, giving 169 magical power from a single item.
There's an option of combining this item with Warlock's Sash, called double-stacking which is an extremely late-game oriented tactic providing a great deal of power upon completing all stacks.
Its downside on the other hand is the fact of these items being very expensive, and buying them will put you in a disadvantage as the opponent will most likely have finished 1 or even 2 more items already. Only attempt it if you feel confident at efficient farming and know for sure that you won't lose your lane.
Its stats are beneficial for Anubis; it offers raw 100 Magical Power and 12% magical lifesteal, + a situational passive. The way the passive works is that it increases owner's magical power by 1 point per every 0.75% of health missing (giving additional 100 power when being at or below 25% HP).
Sounds good doesn't it?
The only problem is that for the passive to become relevant Anubis must have lost a lot of his HP, at which point he is an easy prey for the enemy jungler. But there's always a possibility of it being extremely useful, for example when ganked, with most of the HP gone- the only option for Anubis is to stand his ground, which might result in killing the attacker due to increased power.
However, Bancroft's is quite cheap and thus can, depending on the situation (like for example when starting with Talon Trinket
) provide an early power spike granting the possibility of starting overwhelming the opponent. I wouldn't recommend this tactic for beginners though.
On the other hand, Bancroft's Talon
has proven extraordinary helpful on Arena (Great guide to which mode has been provided by Branmuffin17)
- due to its layout Anubis has even less chances to escape than normally, which forces him to put up almost every fight. Because of that he'll often find himself lacking HP, which increases the Bancroft's passive value.
This item is most of the time a better option than Bancroft's Talon
(even more with its buffs- now it is even as cheap as Bancroft's) simply because of its reliability and utility. It offers 60 magical power, 15% magical lifesteal and 10% cooldown reduction.
At this point it would already be totally worth buying, but it also applies an aura giving additional 30 magical power and 15% magical lifesteal. Aura is definitely a subtle help to every magical based ally nearby, but it applies to the wielder as well. Remember Anubis' passive, Sorrow
which increases magical lifesteal from items?
It means that this single trinket will effectively give Anubis 60% of magical lifesteal, since its buff to lifesteal in 3.16 patch, giving him a lot of sustain and incomparably greater 1v1 potential. It is worth mentioning that the quite popular tactic of buying double-lifesteal items is probably no longer worth it, as 65% is the cap for ths stat.
Gem of Isolation
This item is best bought on modes like Arena and Assault as a substitute for the Warlock's Sash, as it provides 250 HP, 250 mana and 90 magical power, but doesn't require any stacking.
However, its main asset is the passive: every time an enemy is damaged by Gem owner's ability, he suffers from a 25% movement speed slow for 2 seconds. Ouch. Just imagine how it works combined with the 25% slow from the Grasping Hands
- it means that your victim will move with approximately 56% of his unhindered movement speed (as the penalties are multiplicative, not additive).
Buy this if you want to cripple enemy's mobility, granting your team positioning advantage, need a mean of "escaping" or just feel like watching everyone trudge trough your abilities.
The 25% slow provided by the Gem of Isolation
can additionally have a great positive impact on confirming the damage from Death Gaze
and Plague of Locusts
, making it a lot harder for the enemies to escape their areas of influence- it'll be refreshed with every single ability tick.
( Gem of Isolation
is also a core item on Anubis jungle build- yes, it is a viable strategy, and a fun one also. It requires a good deal of practise with Mummify
Shoes of the Magi / Shoes of Focus
Even more with the cooldown reduction nerfs at the beginning of Season 3, and their Shoes of Focus
counterpart providing only 10% cooldown reduction, Shoes of the Magi
are in general the best choice for a pair of boots for Anubis, aspecially in the early to mid game phases.
They provide solid 45 points of magical power (5 more than Shoes of Focus
), but their main asset is the 10 points of magical penetration, which is quite a valuable stat, cooperating well with Sorrow
stealing enemy's protections.
Shoes of Focus
are still a solid choice though, what is even more true if Anubis' penetration item happens to be an Obsidian Shard
With the increase to magical power by 10 points in patch 3.17 though, Shoes of Focus
can ultimately replace Shoes of the Magi
in the late game build, as the utility provided by 10% of cooldown reduction will probably be more helpful than 10 flat points of penetration, considering percentage penetration is generally preferred after opponents reach high enough defence levels.
Spear of the Magus
With the Spear of the Magus
nerf in patch 3.2 (it no longer reduces target's protections by a percentage, but only by a flat amount) it is no longer the best penetration item for every single scenario, but thanks to the Anubis mechanics it still remains a preferable choice in many cases.
It gives 50 magical power and 15 magical penetration, and further reduces enemy magical protection by 10 points for 5 seconds every time they are hit with your ability, up to 3 times- what works well with all of Anubis abilities being tick-based, meaning that the 3 stacks of debuff on the enemy are going to be very easily achievable.
It is more of a late-game and anti-tank option for a penetration item, providing 60 magical power and 33% of magical penetration (it means that an enemy with 100 magical protection will take damage as if he had only 67, with 200 as if he had 134 and so on).
As a side note, Obsidian Shard
will provide noticeably more damage against structures (towers and phoenixes).
Considering its efficiency against players, take a look at a little theorycrafting paragraph at the bottom of the section.
Rod of Tahuti
Well, this item is a mage's best friend. It gives 125 magical power on its own, as well as passively increasing total magical power by 25% (and because of that its base magical power increase is actually 156), + regenerates 15 mana per 5 seconds.
There's absolutely no reason not to buy it, as after the purchase damage done by all abilities is going to be vastly improved, what is an even more desirable outcome on Anubis, who is all about the damage.
Its only downside is quite an exorbitant price, so it's best to wait until late game before buying it (as it will also provide the best effects from its passive then).
Gives 75 magical power, restores 25 mana per 5 seconds and lowers the cooldown on all abilities by 20% (take care, as more than 40% cooldown reduction cannot be achieved). Useful on hectic modes based mainly around constant fighting like Arena, Assault or Clash.
Breastplate of Valor
Gives 75 points of physical protection, 300 mana and reduces cooldown on all abilities by 20%. Extremely useful against physical damage-heavy teams, as suddenly Anubis has 135 physical protection taking thus considerably lower damage. (which is even more true since the initial levels of protection are giving the most percentage damage reduction, as visualised on this graph:
-defence is a subject to diminishing returns, meaning that the higher the current damage reduction, the more protection points will it take to further reduce damage taken by 1%)
With 135 protection (achieved purely by buying Breastplate of Valor
, which also offers some helpful utility stats) enemies with no penetration would deal only about 43% of their damage against Anubis, and a typical hunter with common Season 3 build with Titan's Bane
providing 33% of physical penetration would deal about 54% of his potential damage.
One thing is certain, if there's a Loki
on the enemy team, I would strongly recommend buying Breastplate of Valor
, in order for him not to be able to just one-shot Anubis with his ultimate combo.
I have to admit that defensive items on mages are quite a debatable topic as many people have the opinion that they're supposed to build pure damage, but I'll try to provide some reasonable explanation regading this item choice.
This life-saving cloak gives 40 points of physical and magical protections, as well as reducing duration of crowd control effects on the owner by 20% (which with Anubis' passive achieves the 40% cap of this stat), but also reduces the cooldown on all abilities by 10%.
Yet the main asset of Spirit Robe
is its passive: every 15 seconds, whenever you're hit by a hard crowd control effect (these are stuns, silences, fears and all displacement abilities- basically everything excluding slows, roots and cripples) your damage taken is reduced by 15% for the next 3 seconds.
This passive can easily mean the difference between life and death in current crowd control-heavy meta.
Let's imagine: Ares
hits you with No Escape
and is about to pull you to his team, but both your beads and ultimate are down so you're inevitably going to be displaced to an unfavorable spot. But you then gain the effect from Spirit Robe
's passive, and who knows, maybe are even given a Geb
's Stone Shield
. The considerable amount of HP in that moment paired with the fact of taking 15% less damage greatly increases chances for survival by raising the total effective health.
Another example: even though Serqet
's ultimate, Last Breath
, deals true damage thus ignoring target's protections, it still is a subject to damage reduction effects,
and because of also being a hard crowd control, you'll take 15% less damage during those 3 seconds.
All things considered, Spirit Robe
is my personal favorite choice for a defensive item against a balanced team, providing various utility stats and increasing survivability.
After all, you're not going to be dealing any damage while being dead, are you?
Mantle of Discord
An honorable mention; Mantle of Discord
can be considered as a late game defensive item, potentially as a replacement for Spirit Robe
due to its increased protections (60 physical and 60 magical) and cooldown reduction (15% as opposed to 10%).
Yet its passive isn't always a straightforward upgrade over Spirit Robe
, I'd consider it more of a sidegrade- instead of providing damage mitigation when hit by hard CC effects, this cloak grants CC immunity for a short while and unleashes a small radius AoE stun when its owner's health goes below 30%. Cooldown on this passive is pretty high though, activating only every 90 seconds- but it can prove really helpful during that last late game teamfight; allowing to survive an otherwise fatal situation.
Situational lifesteal item, bought when countering a healer like Aphrodite
, Guan Yu
is necessary, and no one in the team built healing reduction items like Pestilence
or Brawler's Beat Stick
It gives 65 magical power, 15% magical lifesteal and 150 mana, but the only reason why you should ever consider buying it is its passive: whenever you damage an enemy with one of your abilities, it reduces all healing and regeneration effects on them by 40% for 8 seconds (this includes lifesteal effects).
Purchasing it can also be considered when enemy team has many characters with self heals like Hercules
as it will cripple their sustain. It used to be a very inefficient item regarding pure stats until its buff in 3.16, but now with 15 additional power it probably won't give the feeling of having an almost empty item slot in a finished build. Nevertheless, the issue of healing reduction should still be first handled by supports buying Pestilence
and/or warriors with Brawler's Beat Stick
as these items are well itemised, providing the valuable passive at the same time.
Spear of the Magus VS Obsidian Shard
All in all
To Spear or not to Spear
, Spear of the Magus
is still the first choice for a penetration item for Anubis, unless the enemy frontline builds more than one magical protection item and contains the majority of the enemy team, or happens to be a greater threat that must be dealt with with a higher priority than the typical damage dealers like hunters and mages. However, in case of a prolonged game where every enemy built defence items Obsidian Shard
will provide better overall damage thanks to its percentage scaling, and increased power over the Spear.
Therefore, my recommendation would be to replace Spear of the Magus
with Obsidian Shard
as one of the last item purchases late into the game.