Annie Build Guide by Taeradun
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.
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.
Greeting, summoner(s), and thank you for stopping here.
Well, this is my first "guide" so don't be harsh :)
Annie is the first champion I unlocked and she was my favorite from the moment I started playing with her. Fire is my favorite element to wield, and Annie knows how to use it. To have an easier start I looked up for a guide, and I found one good here (don't remember it's name), but over time (around 15 levels :P) I developed my own play style and build which I want to share.
Please keep in mind that this build is just for start; flow of game may force you to switch some item order or items around etc. For instance, if you're getting really fed you would like to rush Rabadons instantly as 2nd or 3rd item, and if you're being focused always you'll get it 5th or 6th.
Changelog + PTD
+ Added some results
+ Partially rewritten some parts with better explanations
+ Various text fixes
+ Changed item order a bit
Plan to do:
- Add more images and further format it for better visual appeal
- record games with Annie and use them where possible
- Add Using Tibbers chapter
- Proofread several times
- Write some advanced stuff ... after I learn more about game
Pros / Cons
(Innate): After every 5 spell casts, Annie's next offensive spell will stun its target for 1.75 seconds.
This is what makes Annie special and different from other champions. Unlike other champions, Annie is based around this ability and it all depends on how do you manage your spells to get maximum. It's a nightmare of most players when facing skilled Annie player.
(Active): Annie shoots a mana infused fireball, dealing magic damage to her target. The mana cost is refunded if it kills the target.
Bread and butter ability. One of the few abilities that reward lasthitting and has great farming potential, and it's low cooldown enables spamming it. If you can lasthit well, you don't need stuff like Clarity and mana regeneration items.
(Active): Annie casts a cone of fire in front of her, dealing magic damage to all enemies in the area.
A no-brainer spell and one of Annie's spells that can perform an AoE stun. Since it can be casted on the ground, it can be used to charge Pyromania fast and can be used for blindshotting enemy champions over the walls (did it once, scored a kill) or to hit stealthed champions.
(Active): Places a shield around Annie for 15 seconds that increases her armor and magic resistance. Additionally, enemies will be dealt magic damage whenever they use autoattacks on her while the shield is active.
Defensive spell which makes Annie somewhat tanky by giving 50 AR and MR on level 5. Usage - protection when attacked.
(Active): Annie releases her bear Tibbers from his toy prison, dealing magic damage to enemy units in the summon area. For a limited time of 45 seconds, Tibbers can move and attack at Annie's will, while continually dealing magic damage to surrounding enemies.
Annie's signature ability, and another ability that can stun in AoE. While burst damage it deals is fearsome, Tibbers alone can be force that needs to be dealt with, what most players forget. Used as an combo starter attack due to its circular AoE.
Tibbers can be controlled by using alt when issuing orders.
Pretty self-explanatory. From the Offense tree we aim for Archaic Knowledge for additional MR penetration, taking all ability based masteries. From the Utility tree we aim for Presence of the Master .
If you are using Ghost instead of Flash, it's better to remove point from Perseverence and assign it to Haste . You can also remove point from Greed and/or Blink of an Eye and assign it (them) to Expanded Mind .
Why Expanded Mind level 1 instead of Perseverence level 2 or Utility Mastery level 1? To be honest, 1% increase in mana and HP regeneration isn't much, and you need great mana and HP regeneration to even feel Perseverence level 1. Even then, that increased regeneration is laughtable.
For Utility Mastery , you won't take buffs that much - maybe once or twice on your own, and sometimes via kills - so you don't need it. Expanded Mind level 1 will get you a bit of mana regeneration, which is ok since mostly only other source of mana regen will be your Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration and Meditation level 3 mastery.
Another option is to take Burning Embers mastery while you're not level 30 for more AP while your Ignite is on cooldown.
Havoc is too far down on the Offense tree, and Ardor is in the Defense tree that will not be used.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Health
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration will be one of your only sources of mana regeneration. And they're cheap. You can also try with Greater Seal of Armor or Greater Seal of Health if you have them.
Other one is to further empower your spell attacks with usage of Greater Glyph of Ability Power which will give you 9 AP more, which is mostly useful early game. I didn't test it so this is just theorycrafting.
UPDATE: After some thinking and calculating, it's better to take Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power set (all 9 runes) instead of Greater Glyph of Ability Power set. Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power set gives you 1,53 AP per level. While this is ignorable at level 1, at level 6 it gives you 9,18 AP while Greater Glyph of Ability Power set gives you 8,91 AP. So they even out at most important level, level 6, and at level 7 and higher levels you gain better bonuses from Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power set. And they're same price - 410 IP per rune.
Ignite for additional nuke and to slow your opponent's HP regeneration (lifesteal, natural regen, potions etc.) Instead of Ignite, you can also take Exhaust.
Flash is essential in landing your burst combo and Annie's only escape mechanism. If you don't have Flash, take at least Ghost. In that case, instead of Perseverence level 1 mastery take Haste mastery.
Pretty useless on Annie, especially in team battles. It may save you life sometimes and may allow you stay in lane longer, but lacks benefits Ignite and Flash offer.
You. Don't. Need. It. Period. Each time I saw Annie with Clarity, that Annie was terrible. Use Disintegrate properly.
It may save your life sometimes, but if you're focused you'll die anyway. Banshee's Veil will do it's job good enough.
Max Disintegrate first for better farming early game (remember that Disintegrate refunds mana on kill). After that Incinerate for additional burst damage and tool to charge Pyromania. Pick Summon: Tibbers when you can. Molten Shield maxed last.
My advice is to take Molten Shield level 1 when you hit level 4. You'll be able to charge Pyromania faster and it will give you some early and mid game defense.
Another option - if you go side lane - is to take Incinerate on level 1 instead of Disintegrate and charge Pyromania at Spawning Pool, giving you early access to your stun.
Golden Rule: ALWAYS prepare stun before team battles. You can charge it fast by casting Incinerate on ground and activating Molten Shield.
Annie is godlike when it comes to team battles. Starting with powerful AoE (if charged) stun and great MR penetration, she can easily kill any squishy and burn more than half HP from tanks. CD reduction offers her to spam her spells more often and in combination with Molten Shield she can throw almost anyone to knees.
Veigar and for easier lasthit with Disintegrate, but gives you less active HP.
Rabadon's Deathcap, otherwise stay away from it. Especially if you have Clarity as summoner spell.
This build gives you about 250 AP, 60 MR penetration (20 MR reduction and 40 MR penetration to be precise) and enough HP to survive whatever they cast on you. Combined with your Runes, you get 68.55 MR penetration which is often enough to not just negate MR your opponents have but to even amplify your spells. You wouldn't believe how many idiots I've met on normal (I don't yet have access to Ranked since I'm not lvl30) that walk near me with only 40 MR when I have this core, even in the late game. Abyssal Scepter is the reason why you won't usually take Banshee's Veil here.
Also, item build order I listed above is not required order. If you are dominating your team of are feeling secure, you can take Boots of Speed, Kage's Lucky Pick, Catalyst the Protector and then rush for Rabadon's Deathcap. Catalyst the Protector is just for survivability and healing since it's most effective at early levels.
Why would you buy Kage's Lucky Pick? Reason is simple: more gold => faster items. From the League of Legends wiki:
- It is the second least expensive of all gold-generating items.
So, when you get it as your 2nd item, usually between 5:00-8:00, it will pay for itself near the end of the game, so from that point anything you gain, and when you sell it, is profit (minimum 250 gold). Of course, you also benefit from AP it gives.
Why did I left 6th item out? Reason is simple: it is situational item, and most of the time Kage's Lucky Pick will occupy it until you have money for 6th item. There are several options for it:
I'm not fan of it but I'll start using it.UPDATE: I changed my mind about it. It's great as your 6th item and sometimes it's good to get it before some of the core items. And it adds more tankish feeling for Annie, which at full set and activated Molten Shield has 50% reduction of both types.
If opponent's team is full of tanks or they bought tons of MR, this is better option. Void Staff and Archaic Knowledge combined penetrate 49% of MR remained after flat MR penetration so this is better option against champions like Rammus and Galio. You can even later swap Haunting Guise with Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
Riot's reccomended items
Why focus on Magic Penetration?
OK, this will be a bit boring chapter. I need to justify this build :)
Through my games I found out that effect of getting AP is smaller the more MR my opponents have. Because of that, I started to use Magic Penetration and MR Reduction items, runes and masteries in order to maximize damage I have, rather than just pumping AP up like most players do.
To start with some facts:
Magic Penetration priority order
1) Percentage Magic Resistance Reduction
2) Flat Magic Resistance Reduction
3) Flat Magic Penetration
4) Percentage Magic Penetration
Magic damage which champion's abilities do is multiplied by "Damage Multiplier".
Formula for calculating damage multiplier:
Damage Multiplier = 100 / (100 + MR) for MR >= 0
Damage Multiplier = 1 − MR / 100 for MR < 0
First, I'll offer you 2 graphs to make it simple.
First graph is how AP affects damage of spells:On X Axis is AP, on Y Axis is damage of each respective spell.
Second graph is how MR affects damage of Disintegrate:On X Axis is MR, on Y Axis is damage of each respective power.
As you can see, damage of spells falls rapidly more MR your target has.
Now, let's take that our target has 100 MR. We want to increase that damage to be equal like the target has 25 MR.
There are 2 ways to do this. One is to further increase your AP to match damage. It will move that point vertically on graph. Let's calculate how much AP we need to get if we have 0 AP:
Damage of Disintegrate level 5 with 0 AP: 245
Damage multiplier for 100 MR: 100/(100+100) = 100/200 = 0,5 => 50% reduction
Damage of Disintegrate: 245 * 0,5 = 122,5 damage
Damage multiplier for 25 MR: 100/(100+25) = 100/125 = 0,8 => 20% reduction
Damage of Disintegrate: 245 * 0,8 = 196 damage
So, difference is 73,5 damage.
Now we need to use damage when reduced by 20% and calculate how much we need AP to deal same when damage reduction is 50%:
196 / 0,5 = 196 * 2 = 392 damage when unreduced.
392 - 245 = 147 damage gained from AP.
Disintegrate has 0,7 AP scaling: 147 / 0,7 = 210 AP
That's one Rabadon's Deathcap and 70 AP more if we don't count in Rabadon's Deathcap's passive.
You may think "Yeah, but geting that AP is cheaper than getting that MR penetration and reduction!" It may look like, but... problem here is that the more MR your target has, the smaller is damage difference between 2 AP levels.
Another is to penetrate/reduce MR of your target. Well, my core build gives us right about 75 MR penetration: 20 MR reduction from Abyssal Scepter, 20 MR penetration from Haunting Guise, 20 MR penetration from Sorcerer's Shoes, about 9 MR penetration from our Greater Mark of Magic Penetration and 15% remaining MR from Archaic Knowledge (about 5 MR penetration). Runes and masteries are out-of-game bonuses, so the cost for that is 5235 gold. Not to mention you get another bonuses from those items, not just MR penetration and MR reduction.
Another benefit of MR penetration and MR reduction is spell damage amplify when result MR is less than 0. Keep in mind that percentage baser MR penetration and MR reduction will activate too for negative values, increasing amplification effect.
I hope I explained everything well :)
Always, when possible, take middle lane. You need that gold and experience so you can buy your items and get Summon: Tibbers faster. Farm, but try to harass - Annie's normal attack has bigger range that her spells. Also, some champions you can zone with charged Pyromania since they'll be afraid of your stun.
If you get side lane, try to go with teammate who doesn't need much gold (tanks or supporters) so you can farm better. Play more careful and watch out for ganks. Always coordinate with your teammate which champions you will focus and try to chain disables.
Your role is to take out squishier champions while stunning as much as you can. If you can't get to them without greater risk target whoever you can (avoid Tanks if you able).
Remember, you have big burst damage and with MR penetration you will be able to deal full damage, taking out most of champions.
If your opponents have Banshee's Veil, it's good to charge Pyromania only on 4 and start your combo with Disintegrate (which will fully charge Pyromania and give you stun) instead of Summon: Tibbers, or ask your team to shut down their Banshee's Veils so you can attack. Problem with that approach is bigger time period in which they can react on your attack because of Disintegrate's projectile travel time, casting times and animation times.
If you are caught somewhere out of position or are being ganked, stun opponents with Summon: Tibbers (or Incinerate if you have), fire Disintegrate on weaker champion, activate Molten Shield and start kiting with spells. Due to low cooldowns on Incinerate and especially Disintegrate you'll be able to charge Pyromania again, turning the tide in your favor. If you run out of mana, you're screwed.
Too bad LoL doesn't have replays so I can't prove it, but once I tried to push top lane against Gangplank and got him to low HP. He escaped, my teammate called miss on mid and in the same moment opponent Alistar and Akali attacked me. I already had my core but without Rabadon's Deathcap. Result was double kill for me.
This will get it's own chapter later with pictures and everything, but for now I'll keep it short.
Most players use Summon: Tibbers just as a nuke and completely forget about Annie's pet Tibbers. Since he's completely controllable you can use him to do various tasks to achieve your goals more easily. Note of warning: don't summon him just because of that - remember that summoning has huge burst damage you'll need to use in battles.
1) Sentry/scout - after battle, you can send Tibbers in brushes or passages to serve as a ward, warning you in time when you're being ganked. He has low duration time but can be effective if your teammates just called miss. You can also use him to check some areas for enemies.
2) Creep tank - not only he is durable against creeps, he comes with nice immolation which scales (poorly) with AP. You can use him to clean bigger waves of minions or to use his immolation to kill minions when assaulting tower. Put Tibbers between opponent's tower and their minions and minions will attack Tibbers, keeping aggro of your minions on tower.
3) Annie's version of Singed's Poison Trail - if opponents are chasing you, run while Tibbers is following you. Most champions have similar movement speed to Tibbers' so they'll receive damage from him whole time. You can also use that in reversed situation: while enemy is running away control Tibbers to run alongside him and do something else with Annie. Do not attack anything with Tibbers or else he'll instantly teleport back to you.
There are 2 things you need in order to easily counter Annie.
1) You NEED additional Magic Resistance, don't run around with just 30-40 MR
2) You NEED Banshee's Veil, or at least Quicksilver Sash or Tenacity items like Mercury's Treads.
Magic resistance is essential since it reduces Annie's damage output. Banshee's Veil can stop Summon: Tibbers when Annie starts her combo, Quicksilver Sash can remove stun and Tenacity items will reduce duration of stun.
Why did I separated 1 and 2? Well, if Annie goes penetration build like this, she'll still be able to penetrate MR Banshee's Veil and Quicksilver Sash gives - it even penetrates Force of Nature almost completely - so you need more. 100 MR (included penetrations) will give you 50% damage reduction on her spells so you'll be able to kill her easily.
Some pictures of results
Well, I decided to put some results of using this build. If you want, upload your pictures and send me links to them and your comments about that game I'll add them here too :)
Nothing to say here. Me and Master Yi were main stars here.
Here was nice kill by blindshotting Incinerate over the wall :D
Game finished fast, I've outplayed Brand on mid, Corki left later :)
This. One. Was. Catastrophe. 4 AD carries, 2 of them instalock. I had luck Nocturne was mid so I managed to get some money... and to become carry of my team. Game was over when I was killed, but I made 11 kills before that XD
Well, it was long to write and format it but job is not over. There are still things to edit, stuff to be added and stuff to be learned in game, so this "guide" will change (almost) constantly. Hopefully I'll help someone with it.
Comment it, criticize, write suggestions etc. so I can further improve it.
Credit to JhoiJhoi for his awesome guide about making a guide, it helped me to improve it even more :D
Thanks for reading :)