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Avalanche

Last Updated: Sep 15, 2015 05:24PM CDT

Avalanche

Avalanche is a crowd-control tank who can freeze enemies within melee range and dissuade aggressive enemy advances. Avalanche has high health and damage resistance in comparison to other champions, but his real strength comes from controlling enemies, not dealing damage. Here is a short list of strengths and weaknesses.

Avalanche Strengths:
  1. Great for defending – Because Avalanche has multiple ways of freezing enemy targets, he an exceptional champion for stopping enemies and defending towers.
  2. Great in a team fight – Because Avalanche can crowd-control, he’s a great teammate to have in a fight.
  3. Combos off of frozen enemies – Frozen enemies present Avalanche with bonus damage when using Ice Breaker and bonus healing when using Squall.
Avalanche Weaknesses:
  1. Weak damage – Besides Ice Breaker, and Squall, basic attacks are the only other damage Avalanche has.
  2. Weak against ranged enemies – Enemies such as Cinder and Modus can keep their distance while attacking Avalanche rendering his melee attacks ineffective.
  3. Weak against towers – Towers are immune to crowd control, so Avalanche cannot freeze a tower and use Ice Breaker for bonus damage. Likewise, using Hailstorm under a tower will not temporarily freeze that tower each time Avalanche basic attacks. Hypothermia can be used, but since towers are never frozen, the ability is only partially effective.
General Strategies
To properly utilize Avalanche, I find it best to take on a defensive strategy. That is, avoid fights with multiple enemies unless you are close to a teammate or friendly tower. Also, don’t attempt to take an enemy tower by yourself unless you are alone in that lane and can easily flee. This might seem like a no-brainer, but my main objective is to keep Avalanche alive as long as possible and away from friendly towers.
Some other general strategies:
  1. Power Up - Grab the power up near your lane when you are solo and the opportunity presents itself. Getting the power up first will give you a boost while preventing it from benefiting the enemy. Don’t worry about sharing power ups if you are alone in a lane.
  2. Get to the orb – Get to the orb to scout out enemy resistance. If you are solo and encounter more than one enemy, use a Ping to communicate the situation to teammates.
  3. Team Up – While Avalanche can be left solo in a lane and successfully defend, he can really shine when teamed up with a high damage teammate. For instance, Avalanche and Feng can be a deadly combination. When Avalanche freezes an enemy, either Avalanche or Feng can combo off the same freeze and cause bonus damage.
  4. Bluff with Hailstorm – Using Hailstorm in the path of approaching enemies can have an intimidating affect. Sometimes the confusion it will cause buys enough time for other Avalanche abilities to come off of cooldown.
Avalanche against towers
Avalanche’s high health and resistance make him the ideal champion for taking tower damage. Unfortunately, health and resistance alone are not enough to take on a tower at full health. Here are a few tips:
  1. First one in – Ideally you’ll be helping a teammate push an orb to an enemy tower. When at full health, Avalanche’s health pool allow him to absorb tower damage while the other teammate(s) focus fire on the tower with impunity.
  2. Hypothermia - Using Hypothermia right before entering tower range will reflect about 30% of incoming tower damage back onto the tower. This is a very useful tactic when attempting to push the orb into the tower.
  3. Attacking the Tower – The orb is to the tower base, and your teammate is unloading abilities on the tower. What now? You’ll need to let the situation dictate what Avalanche abilities are used on the tower, if any are used at all. Since Avalanche abilities are best used against other players, you can choose to use abilities on the tower or save them for incoming enemies. Some examples:
    1. Delay the Defense – Avalanche is taking tower damage and enemies approach to push you and another teammate back. Start by dropping Hailstorm at the tower then basic attack the enemy of greatest threat when they are within melee range. Hailstorm not only freezes enemies you basic attack, it increases your damage resistances which increases your survivability. If you can prevent an enemy from defending their tower your teammate can either concentrate fire on that tower or focus on the enemy you have crowd-controlled.
    2. Tower Kill – A tower kill is obviously very valuable to the team. In the event an enemy tower is low on health, throwing everything you have at the tower might be the best option—even if the enemy is nearby.
    3. Choose Life – Even the mighty Avalanche can’t take tower damage forever. Resist the urge to stay under the tower if it ultimately means you will die. If you need to exit tower attack range leave a ping for any teammates left behind so they know you are leaving the fight.
    4. Keep Moving – When under the tower you should mindful of any incoming damage from enemies rushing to defend. Modus using Launch to jump in the middle of the fight is a good example of an attack you can avoid by moving to an unexpected location.
Against Ranged Enemies
A ranged enemy can be a significant threat to Avalanche, but under the right circumstances you can dissuade and even defeat this type of enemy. For instance, when you see incoming ranged attacks from an enemy at distance, this is a great opportunity to turn the tables by using Hypothermia. A well placed Hypothermia will freeze the ranged enemy and reflect 30% of incoming damage. When frozen, use one of two combinations of attacks:
  1. Close distance to melee range and use Blizzard to freeze the enemy again and disallow them to flee. Immediately follow up with Ice Breaker for bonus damage. Continue to basic attack until the enemy flees. Break contact and allow your abilities to come off cooldown.
  2. Put Hailstorm down on the enemy, close distance to melee range and immediately basic attack the enemy to keep them frozen.
Against multiple enemies
When outnumbered, the best strategy is to stay close to your tower and wait for a teammate or an enemy mistake.
  1. Use Ping – Make sure your teammates know that you are up against multiple enemies.
  2. Keep Moving – Don’t fall prey to damage fields or skill shots. Move in an unpredictable manner even when close to a friendly tower.
  3. Tower Collision – Positioning yourself behind your tower is an effective way of blocking incoming enemy attacks and increasing your survivability.
  4. Blizzard – If an enemy steps into tower range, using Blizzard will lock that enemy down and they will continue to be attacked by the tower. If possible, follow up with Ice Breaker while the enemy is frozen for even more damage.
  5. Hypothermia – If the enemy steps into tower range while chasing you, using Hypothermia just before they land an attack is an effective way of dissuading or even eliminating an enemy.
  6. Hail Storm – One of my favorite uses of Hailstorm is to defend a friendly tower. Dropping Hailstorm and focusing basic attacks on the biggest enemy threat can keep your tower alive and send the enemy running.
Against an enemy ‘turtling’ under tower
Usually enemies hide under their tower when low on health or when they are successfully bullied. This is a good position for Avalanche to be in, but don’t get over confident. Stepping into enemy tower attacks when an enemy is defending, regardless of their health, can end badly for Avalanche. Resist the temptation.
A favorite counter to turtling is to push the orb just inside the tower area of influence allowing the orb to attack the tower. This will hopefully cause the enemy to do the following:
  1. The enemy will feel the need to push the orb back and protect their tower.
  2. The enemy will feel overly confident due to their proximity to their own tower.
Assuming the enemy does both, this is a great situation for gaining the upper hand. When the enemy attempts to move the orb away from their tower:
  1. Strike fast with Blizzard, freezing the enemy.
  2. Immediately close distance and use Ice Breaker for bonus damage before the freeze wears off.
  3. If within enemy tower range, break contact and get out of range.
If Ice Breaker was the killing blow and you have more than half your health, you can safely push the orb all the way to the base of the enemy tower and possibly land a few attacks before that enemy respawns. But make sure Avalanche doesn’t lose too much health. You need to be able to defend effectively against a counter attack.

Fleeing
Sometimes you see the gank coming and you need to avoid the quick death. Unfortunately, Avalanche isn’t the fastest champion in the match and the enemy can quickly close distance. When this happens do a quick 180 to attack with Blizzard. When the enemy is frozen, waste no time in running to the safety of the nearest friendly tower.
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