Janna Build Guide by The Whyte Fox
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Mid to Late to Endgame
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
First off, let me just level with all y'all and say that support is one of the most under-appreciated roles in the game, and on top of that, Janna is one of the most underrated supports (at least among low Elo players). Okay, well I guess she used to be. When I started playing her, only a few people liked her and a lot of people called her trash. Nevertheless, Janna has a massive amount of utility packed into her kit. I'll explain each ability in detail later.
I run a "five-active" build (when I'm rolling in dough), which is actually really stupid good. It's really expensive, though, and if you're doing your job right, the game should be over long before you're rich enough to acquire the full build.
That said, Janna has pretty much one job and one job only: save lives.
Pros and Cons
In theory, there is no champion that has all pros or all cons, so let's cover Janna's here.
- Incredible utility and versatile support.
- Press R for reset button.
- Insanely good chasing and kiting potential.
- Able to troll and bait the enemy team because of 474 natural movespeed.
- Really, really squishy until you get a bunch of items--which will never happen.
- Relatively long cooldowns that prevent spammy supporting.
- Poor engagement power (but that should be your tank/bruiser's job anyway--more on this later).
Janna is a very, very good support that assists greatly in locking down the enemy team and empowering your own team. She isn't very aggressive in laning phase, but she can provide quite a lot of help once your jungler swings by for a kill or your ADC gets itchy and wants to jump into a fight. Janna's CC is a bit more reliable than things like Nami's Aqua Prison, but less concrete than things like Taric's Dazzle.
Pick Janna when your team needs a solid disengage, but don't pick her if your team is lacking engagement power. If that's the case and you're in the support role, someone like Nami, Taric, Blitzcrank, Thresh or Malphite would be a better choice.
On Janna, I bring more or less standard support fare: movespeed quints, flat armour reds, flat armour yellows, and scaling CDR blues.
The armour reds and yellows help you survive in lane against possible pokes from the enemy ADC--but be careful. This leaves your MR pretty low, so you're susceptible to getting bursted by a possible AP mid.
Flat mana regen blues will help you stay in lane longer and might give you that crucial last few drops of mana for a much-needed Monsoon. An alternative to these are flat CDR blues.
quint of movement speed
Finally, I bring movespeed quints for a nice 4.5% boost to overall movement speed, which combined with Janna's Zephyr passive makes her stupidly fast--474 movespeed with tier 2 boots. This speed is necessary for Janna. You'll be using it to stay in a good position relative to your ADC, as well as to amplify Janna's chasing and kiting potential.
Ability Details and Usage
This is probably one of your best abilities, besides maybe your ultimate. You'll very rarely need to have it on full charge. Use this as a reaction skill to engages from either team, or use it to chase someone down. Never just idly waste it, such as when taking baron nashor .
Incredible ability passive and a good chasing tool. You usually won't want to use this when running from more than one person, since you'll only slow one person and lose the passive on yourself. Throw this out every now and then as needed to prevent people from running away. Can be used for a lulzy kill secure if your ADC died in a duel.
Eye of the Storm
Arguably one of the best shields in the game, since it provides a chunky 50 AD at max rank and shields for a respectable base of 240. The AD goes away if the shield pops. Prime targets to shield are your ADC or your AD top as he or she dives in. You can press Alt + E on your keyboard to quickly shield yourself if you're in a jam, but try to be as selfless as possible with your shield.
One of the best disengages in the entire game. As much as possible, try to channel out the full heal. Doing so can save your carries from that last Ignite tick more often than you think. However, beware that you'll become a high priority target when you're stuck channelling. Channel with caution and very sparingly. More often than not, you're popping Monsoon for a quick reset/disengage, but just be aware that a full channel is possible. You can Flash into the middle of the enemy team and then use Monsoon to split them up and leave them disoriented; this can wombo-combo with Orianna's Command: Shockwave for maximum disorientation. You can also use Monsoon to get hunters off of your carries when getting chased. If Monsoon pushes someone against a wall too thick to go through, they get pinned there instead, which is basically a stun. Remember this.
Generally, taking Eye Of The Storm first is a good idea. This is to protect your ADC from early poke attempts, and possibly to compound your ADC's barrier for a shield-bait First Blood. At level one, the shield is surprisingly strong and will negate a fair majority of pokes that will get thrown out, but do be careful with it. It has a fairly high mana cost at 70 mana and pretty long cooldown at 10 seconds.
However, like any good player on almost any champion, don't spend your first skill point immediately after buying your items. The very first thing you should be doing after item purchase is sprinting to guard your jungler's Elder Lizard if you're on Blue side or your jungler's Ancient Golem if you're on Purple side.
As such, don't take a skill point until you have a clear visual on the enemy bot laners and you know what they're trying to do. If they immediately jump on your ADC, quickly grab a point in your Howling Gale and mash it out, thereby saving your carry's life--something that your Eye Of The Storm probably couldn't have done as effectively.
In general, max your Eye Of The Storm first, your Zephyr second, and your Howling Gale last. Reasoning: 240 shield ASAP is good stuff, maxed Zephyr does decent damage if maxed early on and provides a nice slow plus a movespeed buff for yourself, and your tornado's only purpose is utility so max it last.
One of the favourites on the Field of Justice, Flash does it all--gets you into a fight, gets you out of jams, helps you chase, helps you run, helps you juke, bait, and land that last skillshot. It's a fairly good spell to take on Janna, mainly for her Flash- Monsoon combo. If done correctly, this will split the enemy team into pieces and leave the carries ripe for the picking. The combo can also be used to quickly disengage your team from a bad fight. In rare cases, you can Flash behind someone and ult them backwards, but the combo is best saved for better things.
Exhaust is your go-to middle finger to the enemy ADC or AD top laner. It's a powerful slow and provides a percentage damage reduction--more than enough to give your own ADC that extra boost to come out on top in a close trade. Make sure to use this early on in fight, but wait for enemies to waste their CC cleaners (like Lucian's Relentless Pursuit or Gangplank's Remove Scurvy) or their escape moves (like Tristana's Rocket Jump or Caitlyn's 90 Caliber Net) first.
I used to bring Clairvoyance almost all the time instead of Flash. Make no mistake, CV is an insanely good summoner spell that is often underestimated--much like Janna herself. Quick tips for using Clairvoyance: CV enemy well at 15 seconds to see starting items and who rushed out of well, then CV either enemy jungler's red buff or blue buff (depending on where you think they'll start) to help your own jungler predict the enemy's movements. These are the two most important CV's you'll need to land. After that, just use it every time it's off cooldown. Priorities for CV: possible enemy gank routes > possible enemy jungler locations > covering enemy escape routes (when your team is chasing) > objectives (ie baron nashor or the dragon) > safer alternative to face checking > enemy well (to see who's just sitting around browsing through the shop so you know whether you can force a fight).
A favourite of AP mids and other damage-oriented champs, Ignite can viably be played on support because of the extra but not excessive damage it provides as well as the all-important Grievous Wounds healing cut. If your ADC feels like taking Barrier (as most do these days), you can take an Ignite if your team isn't in dire need of an Exhaust. For example, if the enemy team has Tryndamere and your AP mid is already packing Ignite, opt for Exhaust.
Shopping and Items
Shopping opportunities are pretty few and far between, since Janna is a field-heavy support. Try to stick in the field with your carries until you're flat out of mana. Even if you're running low on health, make an effort to stick around.
When you do go back to shop, prioritise full items over wards, but wards over pieces of items. When buying wards, you'll generally want to buy a pack of 2 sight wards and 1 Vision Ward. Riot said they might revise the issue of supports' low incomes and ward expenses soon, but I wouldn't count on it.
Rush These ASAP
You're definitely going to need these. Movespeed is one of the things that makes Janna the champion she is. These are a much higher priority than Ionian Boots of Lucidity, though, so don't rush tier 2 boots as quickly. Some might argue that boots are unnecessary on Janna because maxing Zephyr puts her movespeed equal with others, but why be equal when you can be faster? I know boots have saved my life and my carries' lives enough times to value the things quite a bit.
You'll be needing the regen boosts and GP5 that this item provides. It also builds into shurelya's reverie later.
This helps immensely in covering your ward expenses, but buy wards even when you have this item, especially Vision Wards. As with your boots, the next tier of this item isn't as high priority as the first.
Aegis of the Legion
The bread and butter of the support role. If your jungler, tank, or bruiser aren't getting this, then rush it immediately after your Sightstone. If someone else IS getting it, though, then opt for Randuin's Omen or Frozen Heart (if you need armour), or Twin Shadows (if you need MR). Unlike your boots and sightstone, the next tier of Aegis is actually pretty important, so be sure to get that right after the Aegis if you can.
Rounding Out the Build
Your great love as a support and as Janna. You'll want to build this fairly early on, but not right away so that you can make the most use of the GP5 on philosopher's stone. Use this for chasing, escaping, and anytime that you feel like your team could use a free quasi- Ghost. If your jungler or tank is building Aegis of the Legion, feel free to build this first if you don't need armour or MR.
One of the items in your build that will make Janna significantly more durable. It also comes with a nice slowing field active effect for those times when Zephyr just isn't enough. Best used after Monsoon when the enemy team is scrambling to re-engage.
A very good item for any support. In addition to the ghosts, it also gives a small amount of AP, and building out of a GP5 like kage's lucky pick is definitely a plus. Use it immediately following a disengage, to chase, or to make sure that your team has a safe Baron.
A little-bought item that is actually pretty good. Buy this mostly for the active. If your ADC is getting caught out and hasn't bothered to buy a Quicksilver Sash or Mercurial Scimitar, Mikael's Crucible is a good choice.
Standard replacement for Aegis or Randuin's.
Banner of Command
Not really the greatest item out there, but it can help your team in certain cases. If you have a push to win kind of team featuring champions such as Singed and Lux, you may want to build this. Low priority item.
Another low priority, okay-ish item. It's severely underestimated, though. Buy this if you have a push to win team or a dive heavy team featuring champs like Garen, Udyr, Jarvan IV, Vi, etc.
Not too shabby of a choice on Janna. If you're close enough to be throwing Zephyrs and Eye Of The Storm, you're probably close enough for the aura from the Scepter to kick in. A little extra MR is nice too.
Athene's Unholy Grail
You will probably never, ever buy this as Janna. Only buy it if you're super crazy stupid far ahead.
This phase honestly isn't covered enough, but it's just as important as all the other stages of the game. A lot of times, First Blood will be given here. Jungle invasions also may or may not make or break either jungler in this time. It's extremely situational, though. Ignore this section if you don't need it, and be sure to adapt to whatever circumstances are at hand.
As the support, your job in pre-laning is to stick close to your ADC as he or she gets to lane and make sure nothing jumps on him or her. Once you get close enough to lane, split up (but don't stray too far) to protect your jungler's buffs. Ideally, you should be clear of your inhibitor turrets by 25 seconds into the game.
Stand in the bush right next to the elder lizard if you're on Blue side; your ADC should be standing in your own tri brush. When the clock hits 1min55sec, throw down your Explorer's Ward right on the inner corner of the red buff bush. This will give vision of the buff itself and that bush, which most junglers try to pull the buff into when stealing it.
If you're on Purple side, rush to the mouth of the river that leads into the ancient golem and stand around. If an enemy champion shows up and scouts you out, just laugh or dance. Chances are, your jungler will be blue starting, which means you should take your Eye Of The Storm first and shield the jungler while leashing. If your jungler is red starting, drop your Explorer's Ward in the blue buff bush at 1min55sec to prevent invasion attempts.
If, while you're guarding buffs or as you're on your merry way to lane, the enemy decides to jump on your teammates, it's your job as Janna to disengage the enemy team (unless you're killing them, of course). This is why you shouldn't take a skill point immediately at game start. If your teammates are getting hammered in a pre-lane fight, take your Howling Gale since it's your best disengage at level 1. If your teammates are killing the enemy, Howling Gale still isn't a bad choice, but consider taking Eye Of The Storm instead to ensure your allies come out on top in a close trade. You shouldn't need Zephyr at level 1 since you have Exhaust.
Bot Lane Blues: Laning Phase
Congratulations on finally making it to lane! The game time should be around two minutes now. A few things apply to all portions of the laning phase for Janna:
- DO NOT EVER point your Howling Gale down lane, let it charge, and send a random tornado roaring through the place. This is a huge waste of mana, and it leaves you and your ADC horribly open to a gank or other engagement by the enemy team. It also screws up last hitting for your ADC. NEVER EVER do this. It's a mark of a bad Janna.
- Eye Of The Storm can help out with last hitting if you have nothing better to do with your shield. Save the shield in a poke lane, of course.
- If you're extremely confident, go ahead and max Zephyr first instead of your shield. The poke is actually rather meaty and the slow is strong. Not a recommended course of action, though.
- Janna is not an aggressive support like Thresh or Blitzcrank. Don't try to engage for your ADC in laning phase, and don't try to poke the enemy (unless you're doing the Zephyr maxing thing mentioned above). Just sit in the bush, be calm, and shield your ADC as necessary.
- Ward your river bush and tribush regularly. If you have wards to spare, ward river bush, tribush, the mouth of dragon, and the mini bush between dragon and mid. This will give you complete visual control of the river.
I've coded Entering Lane red because it's one of the most dangerous parts of the laning phase. When coming into lane, beware of the lane bushes. If you haven't donated your Explorer's Ward yet, drop it cautiously into the closest lane bush to make sure nobody is waiting to slaughter your ADC. If you're already given your Explorer's away, you can always just use a regular ward. If your enemy bot laners are nice and decide to just use the front door of the lane, then there's no need to ward the lane bushes right away.
The Early Years
This is a largely neutral phase (hence the grey colour code) and generally lasts between levels 1 through 5. Once you hit level 2, branch off and go ward the river bush in case the jungler wants your ADC's butt. Only do this if you're not pushed up against your tower. If your ADC is getting poked and harassed a lot, use your Eye Of The Storm as needed. If the enemy support is a pesky bush-camper like Blitzcrank or Taric, be sure to ward the lane bushes to let your ADC last hit with peace of mind. If your jungler decides to come gank during this time, shield your ADC, tornado whoever is closest, and slow whoever your team is trying to kill. If necessary, use Exhaust on the target as well, but this shouldn't be necessary until later on in the gank.
Similarly, if the enemy jungler ganks, position yourself between your ADC and your enemies, throw a tornado their way, and run for your life. Don't bother using Zephyr if you have it, and shield people as necessary. If your ADC is safe and sound, don't be afraid to shield yourself. At this point, you're worth 300-400 gold too.
This is roughly the middle of the laning phase, and generally starts at level 6. It can last all the way up to level 12 or 13. I've colour coded it orange because this is when there's a constant tension between the laners and people start trying to kill each other. Junglers will also gank often in this phase. The drill for responded to ganks from either jungler doesn't change very much from early laning phase. The only difference is that you now possess a reset button in the form of Monsoon. Don't be afraid to use this if your ADC is getting low, but also don't throw a possible kill out of reach. At this point, shielding your jungler in a gank is also acceptable.
If your ADC is killed or pushed out of lane, just tower hug. Janna is good at repelling dives, and you can even shield the tower so that it'll deal even meatier damage to anyone who feels like killing you under your own tower. If you're killed or pushed out of lane, get back ASAP. Your carry needs you.
If you've killed or pushed both enemy bot laners out and you have wards on the river, go ahead and push with your ADC. Eye Of The Storm provides a really nice AD boost, which will help destroy the tower if you so wish.
Make sure to buy Vision Wards periodically to ward the dragon or other things. However, prioritise your items over pinks; your Sightstone should more or less hold you over as far as wards go.
Exiting Laning Phase/Roaming
I've colour-coded this green because this is generally the point at which you start to have fun as a support. Good people to stick to at this point are your ADC and your jungler, since these are the two who you can help the most in a fight. Never be alone as a support, since there's little you can do on your own. The only exception I can think of is when you're running out to ward something. Even then, it's ideal to have somebody escorting you.
If you ever find yourself with nothing to do, just run to the nearest lane that's getting farmed and sit for EXP. Chances are, you'll be under the average level at this point, so a little extra EXP would be good. Of course, as a support, you're not allowed to last hit unless no one else is around.
Teamfights and Taking Towers
Janna is a very good team player, and she has the potential to help lock down the entire enemy team with a five-man knockup in the form of Howling Gale. Janna should always stay on the fringes of the action, and she should very rarely get into the thick of things. The only times you'd find yourself right next to your initiating tank is when you want to use Monsoon to split the enemy team on when you want to use Randuin's Omen.
When a teamfight breaks out, stay in the back and on the edges of the fight. You'll usually want to shield your ADC ASAP, both to prevent damage and for a free B. F. Sword. As soon as the fight starts, get into a good spot throw a Howling Gale, and then throw one IMMEDIATELY. Don't wait for your tornado to charge; this loses precious seconds and give your enemies a chance to dodge it. After your tornado has knocked up hopefully at least three people, go ahead and use your Zephyr on a high priority target OR somebody rushing straight for your carries. Immediately afterwards, activate your Locket of the Iron Solari. If your team is winning the fight, activate Shurelya's Reverie and Twin Shadows to secure your enemies' death.
If things get really bad and it doesn't look like you'll be able to win the fight, make sure that you're between your carries and the enemy team, then hit Monsoon. It's okay to leave your tanks and bruisers still engaged in the enemy team. Hopefully, the edge of Monsoon's effect plus their own power should be enough to disengage them. However, disengaging your carries is your number one priority. If your Shurelya's Reverie is still up at this point, use it. Depending on how close the enemy gets, you may or may not have the chance to use Randuin's Omen.
Chasing and Kiting
A subset of teamfighting, chasing and kiting is an area in which Janna shines (much more so for kiting).
- Lead the target with an uncharged Howling Gale.
- Zephyr the target.
- Shield anyone who needs to face check a bush while chasing.
- Send an uncharged Howling Gale backwards as often as possible. Run through tight areas so that the tornado is impossible to dodge.
- Don't bother using Zephyr if there's more than one person chasing you.
- Always shield the the carry you're trying to protect as opposed to yourself. Sacrificing yourself in the escape is acceptable if the carry lives.
- If the enemy gets too close and Howling Gale is on cooldown, don't be afraid to use Monsoon. Just be careful not to push an enemy towards your carry. Again, run through tight areas to maximise the utility of Monsoon.
When pushing with your team, shield anyone that could make good use of an AD bonus, such as your ADC or bruiser. Alternatively, shield whoever is tanking tower. If the enemy team comes to stop you from taking the tower, throw a Howling Gale first as a deterrent. If they keep coming, run forward and use Monsoon to put some extra distance between the two teams. This should give you enough time to take the tower and then either engage or run. Be careful of engaging in a fight without your ultimate, though.
Stay in the back line, Howling Gale and Monsoon as needed. Use Eye Of The Storm on the tower or any ally trying to manually disengage the enemy from your tower.
You're now ready to play one of the few supports with the highest possible difficulty rating!
Don't worry, Janna's actually not as hard as that purple bar claims her to be--rather, it's just very easy to screw up when playing her. Just relax, stay on the ball, and always keep an eye on your ADC.
Apart from that, make sure to have fun--and remember: for just 2.95 a minute, she can leave you breathless.
13 Sept 2013
- Fixed a couple masteries and item orders
- Swapped scaling CDR blues for flat MP5 blues
- Revised Summoner spell list