Janna Build Guide by Vacantx
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.
Sample VS Mixed Damage
Sample VS Heavy AD
Sample VS Heavy AP
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.
Threats to Janna with this build
|Bard||Bard is not a support designed for the laning phase by any means. He's designed for roaming, much like how Janna is. Difference is that Janna offers strength throughout the game and offers far more lane pressure than bard. His slow is annoying but oftentimes his ultimate will benefit you more than it will benefit him.|
|Taric||Taric is a weak, immobile champion. Janna is a strong, mobile champion. His stun doesn't mean much. He has no engage. His auras aren't strong enough to have a large impact on his ADC.|
Hey there. I've only been playing League since early Season 4, but Janna is the first champion I "mained" and I have played her throughout the duration of my time in the game. I've tried good builds, bad builds, stupid builds, off-meta builds, and #attemptednewmeta builds. I understand the mechanics of her play very well despite being an unranked player.
Janna is an extremely rewarding champion that has the capacity to alter games dramatically. She bears a kit designed for true supporting gameplay. What makes her powerful is her utility: disengage, damage, shields, and heals are all tucked into one lady-like package. The goal of this guide is to share Janna's potential as an aggressive support rather than a passive one, as it creates opportunities to capitalize on her kit's strengths and the enemy's weaknesses.
Pros / Cons
Extremely mobile -- Allows for good map presence.
Powerful utility-based kit -- Offers a lot to almost any team comp.
Versatility -- Not bad for any ADC.
Aggressive potential -- Which is why I'm writing this guide.
Insanely good scaling -- Her abilities get incredible as you build AP.
High skill-cap -- Very rewarding at high-efficiency play.
Squishy -- She dies when caught out.
Skill-shot reliant -- Her Q is her primary low-cooldown disengage.
Low base AP -- Really have to focus on building AP on her to be aggressive.
Inherently passive -- This build's biggest downfall.
No engage potential -- Speaks for itself.
You get two slots for Summoner Spells. Flash in non-negotiable and goes on nearly every single champion without fail.
-- Objectively decent choices, but you don't need them in laning phase, which is where your summoners are most important. These are simply unnecessary supplements.
-- Wrong map.
-- Doesn't exist.
The bread and butter of Support Summoner Spells. I usually look weird at supports if they don't have it. I practically beg them to no matter who it is. It's the most viable option.
Situational depending on the enemy team and if someone else on your team took Exhaust. I've seen people take Ignite/Exhaust top (Tryndamere is pretty good with this). If nobody else has Ignite either, it's not bad to have at least one on the team to nerf the effects of the Heal summoner spell.
Let's talk about Itemizing. Janna's itemization is very straight-forward as you have one goal: offer your team utility, you sad sack. A lot of the time this means rushing your Sighstone then [Insert Support Item of Choice Here]. That's not wrong with my build either. There's really only one difference between this and the average Janna build.
I was extremely skeptical about this item when I read its stats in the 5.5 Patch Notes. It seemed weird. What AP champions need more movement speed than they get off of Tier 2 boots that they can't get off of their kit? Most immobile mages don't need it. I can't imagining Katarina or Akali needing it, either. They get enough out of what they already have. That leaves us with Mobile, Non-Assassin Mages. It will have to be on champions that can benefit greatly from the procs that can proc its passive often.
The 100 stacks it carries can be gained through spell-spamming or moving. Now Janna can benefit from her ability to efficiently dance around the map. Not only can she provide herself with a speed boost, but she will get a little extra power from it too.
The +120 AP makes all of your skills better, but I've found this item to be extremely powerful when combined with and between having the additional AP and the passive procs on the item. The additional damage is sweet and creates more influence in picks and fights. The pumps to your and are intense too. God. I just really love this item on Janna. A lot.
TLDR: The inclusion of Luden's Echo in this build is on the grounds that the +AP, +MovSpeed, and Passive Ability of the item are all ideal in conjunction with Janna's capabilities. It gives her passive nature an aggressive edge.
Extremely situational, but it offers the mana regeneration and CDR that we look at for. This item is not something I'd buy in a normal game, even as "aggressive Janna". The passive isn't incredible on her. I'd only bring it in against comps that carry champions including: . I especially like it against Sona because she out-sustains Janna by miles.
TLDR: Not amazing on aggressive Janna. Doesn't aid our utility. Doesn't do what we need it to do. Extremely situational.
Iceborn Gauntlet & Lich Bane
A lot of people seem to like these on Janna for the . I actually don't. At all.
I'm more likely to pick up IBG because it gives Armor, +AP, and +CDR. And the sheen proc IS pretty cool for the AOE slow. But as Janna you don't really... use auto attacks. You're not Sona. You're not Blitzcrank. You want to hit your skills because they're the best thing about you.
I don't even understand the Lich Bane pick on Janna. I've tried it and don't like it at all. Again, the sheen proc is cool I guess but it's not what you need it to be to be successful on her in conjunction with everything else she does.
TLDR: Iceborn Gauntlet is an unlikely maybe. Lich Bane is a no.
Twin Shadows is a good item against stealthy teams. It gives AP, movement speed, CDR, and has a great activated ability that makes roaming in the jungle far safer for when your team is a bunch of idiots that don't want to place wards. Honestly, it's not bad on Janna since you do a lot of roaming on the map and have no intention of getting caught out by the enemy team. It makes your job a lot easier. Slows their movement speed when the ghosts hit, and since you're incredibly mobile your likelihood of escaping increases dramatically.
TLDR: Completely reasonable situational buy.
Banner of Command and Zz'rot Portal
Banner works because you're mobile. Aura is good, but for 900 you can upgrade to from Aegis of the Legion instead. Zz'rot Portal gives me mixed feelings. A lot of new Jannas seem to like the idea of it to put pressure in lanes where they cannot. I'm not a fan of the idea but will test it more.
TLDR: Split-pushing items.
Zhonya's Hourglass and Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Now, now dear. I know you want to make all the big Challenger-level plays, but Zhonya's interrupts your ult and Rylai's doesn't give you Armor/MR, which are both stupid good on you.
When to buy Zhonya's: Your team doesn't have a lot of AP and has at least one other champion that can fill a utility role. You want to focus on dealing damage and not dying. Max W first. Enjoy your extra armor.
When to buy Rylai's: Much like Zhonya's, you will consider this if you are the primary or sole AP champion on your team. The passive proc is incredible with Janna and fits very well into her mobility-based kit. The additional HP is sweet and it gives you 100AP. With Frost Queen's you'll be a happy, slow-inducing camper.
TLDR: Build either when you are the only AP champion on your team.
Zeke's Herald and Ardent Censer
I've never built Zeke's Herald and liked it on any support. It's so, so, SO situational that the situation never arises. I don't build it when ahead. I don't build it when behind. I just don't build it when I have a shield that grants bonus damage to my ADC which is already building Life Steal. Additionally, the aura isn't that great when your team will probably only have two AD champs (assuming 2AD, 1AP, 1SUPP, 1 TANK composition).
I was building Ardent Censor until Luden's Echo came out. It's not a bad item by any stretch, but it's very unimpactful. Better than Zeke's Herald but worse than . I was loving it for a time because it produced a similar effect as Zeke's: additional attack speed, more heals, the strength seemed real. But as it turned out I wasn't loving the -10CDR in my builds and wasn't loving the 40AP.
TLDR: Not likely to build either.
This is my greatest debate within the build I've constructed for an aggressively-played Janna. Does it need boots between a high base movement speed and a +% move from Luden's Echo. It can be argued that you really don't need boots in this build. I like them for maximum roaming potential, but honestly if you want to leave them out and go for another support item please by all means do it. That's another entirely reasonable way to handle the build.
On Janna, boots aren't a tool for speed. They're a tool for tenacity and other defense mechanisms that she does not intuitively have. Boots are definitely MVPs, but if you're facing an enemy team with no CC and you already have your Luden's Echo, you might not need them.
Pros to Not Using:
Additional item slot -- The spot where boots usually go can turn into an additional Support item.
No direct impacts on gameplay -- Boots improve gameplay, but not having them isn't going to destroy you on Janna.
Cons to Not Using:
Max movspeed loss -- is one of my favorite items on Janna.
Loss of Tier 3 boots -- is so good for teamfights.
Decreased diversity -- Few of the Tier 2 boots are bad on Janna.
TLDR: Up to you entirely. I like using boots. You might not need them depending on the enemy team. It can turn into another support item. Play them the majority of the time.
You will offer the most value to ADCs that heavily rely on peel, since peel is what Janna does. A strong snowballer will also benefit, as you will most likely be playing the role of the initiator in lane and want them to be able to handle themselves alongside your aggressive play.
These two ladies and one freak of nature benefit greatly from peel. All of them are hyper-carries that will synergize well with a peel-based support. Kog'Maw is a little bit slower in lane, but his late game is as degenerate as a fed Vayne or Tristana.
These fine lads deal very high damage in the laning phase and have incredible AD scaling. Janna is an excellent pick for them because of the absurd amount of AD that her offers. They have strong laning phases, offer extreme damage to team fights, but fall off a little bit late game. Since your goal is to play aggressively in lane they do just fine for you.
Caitlyn is an interesting ADC to support as Janna. She forces the lane to go fairly passively in the beginning, but the range on her abilities is far enough where between the poke of an aggressive support and aggressive ADC the enemy bottom lane will have a very hard time. Janna peels extraordinarily well inherently, can play the passive or aggressive game, and can boost her ADC's damage dramatically. Caitlyn's a healthy, balanced ADC that will reward a well-played Janna.
Varus is a combination of the Draven/Graves category and the Caitlyn category. He offers very high damage, CC, and is rewarded greatly by peels. He is not a hyper-carry, but late game he utilizes his kit in a dramatic, powerful manner where as Caitlyn's falls flat. Decent throughout the game, but not surprisingly excellent at any point.
You and Your Team
You might hate the person carrying you, but you need them as much as they need you.
Whether or not you should take an aggressive route of play is entirely dependent on the ADC's play-style; if he is going to play passively, you should play passively too. The most important part of the laning phase, more than taking towers or creep scoring, is having the same objectives in mind as your ADC and capitalizing on the synergistic nature of your behaviors. Having that will create an opportunistic lane.
The basic concept is something all supports and ADCs should learn: learn to capitalize on your strengths and others' weaknesses. You should be communicative in both pings and chat. Don't be rude to each other. The support/ADC relationship is sacred and absolutely necessary to a successful Rift game.
In an aggressive bottom lane partnership you will want to create as many opportunities for the enemy team to falter as possible whether that be through attempting a on your ADC and knocking his dash with or using your to allow your ADC additional damage on the enemy ADC.
Creating Plays in Lane
Take advantage of your at every opportunity. Drop wards throughout the river. Use a in the river bush north of Dragon. Use lots of Vision Wards in general. They're good items and one of my pet peeves is seeing people not using them. Use your to remove enemy wards. Save your Sweeper for when you see an enemy drop a ward. It's better to leave an enemy ward be than to waste the Lens and put it on the excruciating cooldown that can cost team-fights in which your team has less vision.
is a great engage/disengage item for Janna because she doesn't have engage of her own. With warded bushes and an ADC willing to follow up, using your active 80% slow will put the enemy on an extreme disadvantage where you and your ADC can poke them. As FCC's slow duration wears off, use to knock the enemy ADC/support up and interrupt their casting. This also gives your ADC more time to deal damage. As the enemy pair backs off, on a target enemy, use to negate any potential incoming damage to your ADC and give them that boost of damage they need to secure the kill.
is your game-changing ultimate. The aggressive Janna will learn to use it as a knock-back in addition to its base heal purpose. The very dangerous, hard-to-master trick of using your ult to split an ADC from their support is timeless. You will hide in the bottom lane bushes after poking down the ADC (or support). With off of cooldown, you can quickly move between the enemy ADC and support, taking a tiny bit of damage in the process. Activate your ultimate to knock the nearest (ideally lowest) enemy toward your ADC. Don't hold the Monsoon up. Instead, use to knock the target into the air. your ADC for extra damage. Proceed to kill. Please note this is a very mechanics-intensive play. Don't go for it if you don't know what you can do, and more importantly what your ADC can do.
The champion in mid-lane is susceptible to enemy ganks. If your lane is ahead and you see your mid-laner being pushed under tower, set behind, or threatened, don't be afraid to aid them. Drop wards near their bushes and use your magic movement speed to reach them, then keep them alive until your jungler can assist more effectively or the situation devolves into a teamfight. Between your tornadoes and shields you can protect both the Mid and their tower during a dangerous time. Conversely, mid lane champions can roam during laning to secure objectives for either top lane or your lane. Make their job assisting you easy by warding the river and offering them the kill or assist if the case presents.
The top lane is very much out of your scope during laning phase. You can't do much for him from the position of protecting your ADC. But he can -- and should if it's necessary -- scratch your back early so you can scratch his late. Your smart top laner has , meaning that he can sneak down to your warded bushes and offer strong ganks and objective-clearing potential. He can also use Teleport to protect you from enemy ganks. It's good to be on the friendly side with everybody on your team, but your top laner is as valuable for ganks as any other teammate on the Rift.
Ah yes. The enigmatic, irreplaceable jungler: the man made for roaming, ganking, securing objectives, initiating and disengaging teamfights, and crying themselves to sleep every night when they realize how relentless the other four players on a team can be. Don't be a jerk to the jungler. You're playing aggressively and want him on your side. He can initiate those big plays that you're too fragile to start. He can peel for your ADC just as you can. And finally, you really want him to be around if you're getting ganked or being pushed behind in lane. Remember: if you're not willing to play from behind, don't play League.
Post-laning you want to focus on poke and disengage. Enjoy the extra damage that you get off of , move unrelentingly around during team fights, and aid your team from all angles. Peeling is a strong trait of yours, so do it. With all your damage you can actually contribute offensively and defensively at the same time. That's some cray stuff.
During the Game
Q: Who should place wards on my team?
EVERYBODY SHOULD PLACE WARDS ALL THE TIME. Everyone starts with a free trinket that lets them ward on a cooldown. Your jungler should place wards in your jungle, the river, and the enemy jungle. You should place wards in lane, as should your ADC. The top-laner should place wards in locations that will protect him from ganks, as should the mid-laner. There is no excuse to not place wards. Everybody should do it. Additionally, demand that your team upgrade their yellow trinket to . It's 250 gold for an additional ward. You and your jungler will likely end up with and between four people dropping wards and two removing them, your vision will be exceptional. The necessity of vision simply cannot be underestimated.
Q: My ADC and I are behind. Should I still be playing aggressively?
Play to match the tempo of the game. This guide is for starting and building aggressively. If you're losing, do what it takes to win. League allows opportunities for everyone to make comebacks. As I discussed when talking about your relationship with the ADC: be opportunistic. Create a foundation for the game, then capitalize.
Q: How do I itemize vs [insert composition here]?
I'll discuss more about that in the itemization section further down in this guide. The proper method of itemization is to look at the enemy composition, acknowledge their strengths, then build to protect yourself from their strengths and enhance upon your own. Just don't be dumb and build like AD Janna or something going into a ranked game. That seems silly.
This guide is a work in progress as I continue to improve on my Janna play. I will happily update it it regularly depending on what comes to my fair lady in future patches. :)