Annie Build Guide by 1000Lava
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Hello, and welcome to my first guide. In this guide I will help you get a better understanding of Annie and help point you in the right direction. Please note that this is to help point you the right way, and once you become familiar with the character and how she works you will want to build her according to the situation. The beginner section is aimed for players who have absolutely no idea what they are doing. If you are more familiar with AP items but are still new to Annie, I would recommend simply looking at the advanced guide for items while the beginner guide for other stuff. Please remember that games are situational and this guide should in no way be treated as "The right way". I will try to keep this guide short, simple, and to the point so read on.
Thought I should put a quick note in here about it seeing as this is also a beginner guide. You can find it under key bindings in your menu while in game. What it does is allows you to cast your spells wherever your mouse is hovering which saves time and is invaluable for almost all champions. For example if you bound your Disintegrate to the new smartcast spell 1 then whenever you are hovering your mouse over the opponent and hit Disintegrate it will automatically cast a fireball at him when your character is in range. If you character is out of range then like normal it will move in range to cast the spell. Something important to note with this skill on Annie however is when you use your Incinerate wherever your mouse was hovering will be the END of the cone effect. So you should position your mouse past the opponent so they don't hit just the tip of the cone or even get away from it. This smartcasting is what makes Annie able to nuke someone in less then a second at once with all her spells.
Runes and Masteries
This is basically the same for both setups. It's my personal recommendation and can be changed as you see fit. Something you will likely take note however is my preference of flat AP runes over scaling ones. While scaling runes will give you the same AP by level 7, by then you will be stacking a good bit of AP anyway and the extra AP gained after doesn't make much of a difference. Because of that since Annie is strong during her early laning phase I find it more useful to start levels 1-7 with some extra firepower that really matters.
As said before I will try to keep this short and simple. For starters I will explain to you how to start playing Annie. Annie is a nuker, meaning she will quickly burst down a single target. You should not expect her to go all cleaning up and getting a pentakill like Katarina.
Get your Disintegrate first and start last hitting minions with it. It's easy to last hit using it and it restores your mana when you kill the unit with it. I would also throw a couple of snowballs at the enemy when you get the proper chance. If you can use your stun on them then it's nice but the most common mistake I see is people clinging onto their stuns. When you cling onto your stun you must be used to last hitting with basic attacks which is harder then doing it with your Disintegrate. The enemy will also notice you clinging to your stun and will use it to their advantage by staying at a decent distance and make it difficult for you to farm or wait until you burn it off to start harassing. Chances are you will start to go a bit mana hungry. Why is this? Well it means you are likely ether missing your last hits, harassing to much, or using your Incinerate after you hit them with a stunned Disintegrate. It's fine to use your Incinerate after a stunned Disintegrate but if it's draining your mana to much you should consider just stunning them with Disintegrate then a basic attack or two. Once you hit 6 it's simple. Just make sure you hit them a couple times with your snowballs and that they lost around 1/3 of their health. Then when they get close enough just flash to them with your stun ready and Summon: Tibbers stun them then nuke them into oblivion. If they are still alive pop your Ignite right after and they should be as good as dead. If they got away then you didn't do enough initial damage and should poke them a bit more before Flashing in with Summon: Tibberstibbers. If you think the enemy is avoiding you when you have a stun on then just charge up to 3 charges and use your Molten Shield right before you Flash giving you your 4th charge and stun. This may also cause them trauma by running whenever they see you using your Molten Shield. If this happens use it to your advantage to push them back as needed.
The Doran's Rings are a good item to get early then sell off later. You should also get them if you are ever falling behind as they are powerful cheap items. I would only ever recommend having 2 or 3 at a time though as stacking any more even if behind wouldn't be very useful. Items are really situational depending on many things such as your farm and time in game. You will start to develop item awareness as you get better though so you will figure out what works best when later. I tried to keep the starting items simple if you are new, but as said before if you know the items well feel free to look to the advanced guide for a better setup.
First thing you will likely notice is that you start with Incinerate. The reason is so you can get a stun at level 1 by casting it in front of you at the start while on the fountain to charge it up and get your mana back. This time is more wisely used instead leaving instantly then standing around dancing while guarding jungle for the next 40seconds. This early stun is useful in case your jungle is getting invaded and the AoE spells helps on top. If they don't invade, then you get to surprise the enemy mid with a level 1 stun. I also set it up so you avoid getting the Molten Shield early. Instead you put the point into Incinerate giving you an even stronger early game when harassing. If you are starting to get harassed a bit though you may want to get the shield as you see fit. As usual when level 6 hits use your Flash/ Summon: Tibbers to nuke them down. later in the game when teamfights are happening you should decided whether it's better to Summon: Tibbers stun those 3 in front of you or if you should just Flash and nuke that overfed adc.
By this point you should be a bit more familar with how items work and what you need. Normally just get a Doran's Ring at the start. If the champion is someone like Brand who you know will give you trouble, then go with boots and pots. Depending on how your farm goes your first trip back will ether be another Doran's Ring, a Blasting Wand, or even a Needlessly Large Rod. If your farm is going great I usually get a second Needlessly Large Rod instead of going strait into Rabadon's Deathcap since they are expensive and not often built. You will end up building it into a Zhonya's Hourglass later anyway. If the enemy is building MR then you should look into upgrading your boots as well as getting a Void Staff. Although you don't need me to tell you but be sure to keybind things like your Zhonya's Hourglass so you can use it at a moments notice. Get the items you think you will need and things should go good. I would try and avoid items I haven't listed as they might not be so great on Annie. An example would be a Rylai's Crystal Scepter which a slow might sound useful but just doesn't reach it's potential with a nuker like Annie.
This guide is still under construction. Right now it doesn't look so pretty so that will be changed soon.
Frostfire Annie skin has a black stun instead of a white one. If enemies aren't focusing enough they might not realize you have a stun up.
Annie can play other roles such as tank, jungler, or even adc however these builds are considered trolling and would require advanced setting up in order to pull off. Once I have more experience with these builds I might post them in the guide later. I wouldn't recommend trying these unless you practiced and know absolutely for sure what you are doing.
More notes to be added later.