Annie Build Guide by Fsbg
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Many people walk into TT thinking that the best teams run a full team of 'bruisers' on TT. These same people also wonder how the heck Annie could be so high on my tier list. This guide hopefully will make you understand how to play a Annie on TT which I believe will be useful at all tiers including the very top.
At early levels, no other build in the game will give more power to a Annie than this. The extra 19 mpen at level 1 will significantly weaken the opposing champion's defenses as each point of MR for them is technically 1% effective HP against spells. So basically for Annie's burst combo, they've lost a sizeable amount of effective HP early game. Do note that flat Mpen is actually weaker later in regards to their CURRENT effective HP as people stack up MR. For example, a champion with 1000 HP and 30 MR has 1300 effective HP vs spells. Taking off 19 MR from the 30 makes it 1110 effective HP. But for a champion with 1000 HP and 100 MR, they go from 2000 effective HP to 1810. While the amount of taken off hasn't changed, proportionally in the 2nd case, far less was taken out and this is why flat Mpen is significantly weaker against high MR targets. That said, this runeset attempts to garner a huge advantage early game to the point where that isn't an issue. The flat armor pens are extra defense against people diving Annie or running large amounts of armor pen, they aren't scaling ones due to the fact it's highly likely the game will be decided by the first 11 levels.
Because the enemy is prone to be melee or champions that are fast, I run ghost/flash. These spells allow me to either initiate on fast squishies at the back instantly, or simply outrun people diving me. Flash can also be used to get over walls to escape a gank (very useful if you're top lane) and to help your jungler in case he needs help.
While ignite may be useful, it's often not needed as Singed/Mundo shouldn't be in the game anyway.
After casting 5 spells, Annie's next spell will stun the target for 1.75 seconds.
This skill is the core of Annie, without it, she'd make Veigar look good (who isn't at all good) as this is her true power rather than just her burst. The timing of the 2nd area of effect(AOE) stun is varying from a few seconds to around 12 if spells are constantly spammed, making it by far the lowest AOE stun in the game. In TT, this is a even bigger deal as often melee will be stuck grouped up to attack the same target (ranged won't have this problem) and often will be forced into constant AOE stuns because of the cramped map and melee nature of their champions.
Annie flings a mana infused fireball dealing 90/130/170/215/260 (+0.6) magic damage. Disintegrate's mana cost is refunded if it deals a killing blow.
Cost 60/75/90/105/120 Mana
For the first few levels while laning (1v1 hopefully), this'll often be the harass spell while gaining farm between stuns by lasthitting minions. When a stun is up in the lane phase, I often like to throw this at the enemy champion while throwing a few more physical attacks in from Annie's absurd range. But as the game progresses, this is more supplemental damage and stun building as we want to use Annie's stun with AOE spells unless the target is alone. Spamming this spell when it's up in teamfights is critical as it'll help Annie achieve the shortest aoe stun in the game which is very deadly to TT champions.
Annie casts a cone of fire dealing 85/145/205/265/325 (+0.6) magic damage to all enemy targets in the area.
Cost 80/100/120/140/160 Mana
After level 3, this spell will often be the harass/kill tool for the lane phase because of it's significant damage. A simple combo of this/Q/physical attacks during a stun is often 300+ damage early game which is often a large chunk of the opponent's health. Using this to instantly stun when the opponent has just completed a physical attack on Annie will also add in creep damage as he is stunned while still drawing creep aggro which will just add to the damage he's taking. Past lane phase, this will often be the spell of choice to use with stuns, always carefully line up chasers to be able to stun more of them rather then simply stunning one and hoping you outrun the others you didn't get. Remember to note that this spell is exactly two times the cooldown of Disintegrate, so plan your Incinerates carefully when you're closing in on the stun charge.
E: Molten Shield
Places a shield around Annie for 15 seconds, increasing her armor and magic resistance by 10/20/30/40/50. Deals 20/30/40/50/60 (+0.2) magic damage to enemies who attack Annie with normal attacks.
Cost 25/25/25/25/25 Mana
While many Annie's like getting this first, I honestly don't bother unless I'm in a fight and I level and I have the choice between leveling Q or this which will make me live the fight. Aside from a situation like that, I don't really level this before Q as often my opponents will be hitting someone else and I'm freely Q bombing them. For example, say I have a stun ready and all my spells are up. I tibbers, this uses the stun and puts my charges at 1, I Q and W which puts my charges at 3. Between the time W is up, I can Q twice and have the stun ready for W. Using molten shield here is irrelevant as I don't want to waste my stun on Q, so I'd do less damage as I hold on to my Q before lining up a stun. That said, it's a nice skill to have late game when opponents aren't dropping from burst instantly as it gives a nice armor/MR boost to buy time for more stunning.
R: Summon: Tibbers
Deals 200/325/450 (+0.7) magic damage to units in the target area and summons Annie's bear, Tibbers, to destroy her enemies.
Tibbers has 1200/1200/1200 health, 80/105/130 attack damage, and continually deals 40/60/80 magic damage to surrounding enemies.
Cost 150/200/250 Mana
First off, do NOT underestimate the damage of this skill. This skill is deceptive in the fact that when you land a stun, it drops tibbers who has a 40 damage per second aura and a 80 damage single target hit every 1.6 seconds or so. This pushes it's damage well beyond **** spells like Veigar's ult which can't even outdamage a AOE spell at early levels with no summon attached. Tibbers (the summon itself) can also tank towers as well as damage them as Annie herself isn't that strong physically. A team ignoring Tibbers during a fight will likely be hurt severely as unless Annie or Tibbers is taken care of, a good Annie player will have Tibbers tagging someone the entire fight for basically 140 damage every 1.6~ seconds in addition to her spells. Good usage of Tibbers will have him constantly fighting while Annie runs around trying to take minimal damage or simply running if she is dying.
As explained in the molten shield section, I prefer damage early on. I level incinerate before disintegrate as if Incinerate hits more than 1 person, it's already outdpsing Disintegrate. It also helps kill caster waves in one shot provided Annie has enough AP which is helpful as it allows her to do other things such as roam mid-late game rather than slowly whittling down waves for exp/gold when her team is dying.
often tell my team I'd rather lane top than bottom due to the fact Annie will unlikely get away from a good gank bottom unless she blows both summoners as flashing towards the lizard area is fairly useless when you're bottom. But at top, flashes both towards dragon and lizard are difficult to follow as the exits are on the extreme sides compared to bottom where the exits are both near the middle of the lane. Annie can also help the jungler fairly easy from top as she can use flash/ghost to stun/kill whoever attempts to chase her Jungler down.
That said, Annie can afford to push (though don't attack creeps unless it's for an lasthit) which will give her a wave advantage in levels which allows her to zone her opponent by placing herself between the opponent/minion wave whenever her stun is up. If they don't retreat from that, simply combo them and retreat back to build the stun up. Between stuns, a good strat is to use spare mana to fire Qs and launch physical attacks on the enemy to whittle their HP down before an attempt/kill in the lane occurs. Also using the fact Annie's range is one of the highest in the game allows her to get free hits on enemies while carefully hit/running (as her attack cooldown is high) to prevent the enemy from responding. Thanks to Doran's shield/runes/masteries, most champions will have a extremely hard time winning in farm or living when faced with this without a gank or a champion that has 'free' spells or some kind of healing/shield type spell (say Mundo/Morde/Gragas). Usually when Annie hits 6, it'll be in time for your team to either dragon or lizard and is easily the strongest spell to have in a level 6 fight which often means her team will get the dragon/lizard with little effort.
Do note that if top lane is a 1v2, I highly suggest just sitting back and farming rather than shoving and simply wait until level 5/6 to do some real damage.
In higher ranked games, often teams will be running at least 1 melee (sometimes 3 but they often get murdered) and in teamfights, that said melee(s) will be running on Annie. Often it'll require significant resources/spells to kill a Annie before her combo, say a WW ult and a Akali burst combo, often giving her team a huge advantage despite the 2v3 after. But often if a group of champions attempt to chase Annie, simply constantly reposition yourself so your AOE stun will hit at least 2 people. As Annie, I very often find myself never standing still, always repositioning myself for the next spell/living while the enemy melee wander around aimlessly as they realize every time they get close to get 1 hit in, they have to walk forward again as I'm out of range for the 2nd hit which allows Annie to vastly outdps them.
However, it is often very beneficial to start fights with Annie if say a stun on their squishy is possible or a stun on multiple people is possible with Tibbers as this is significant damage and most teams will often have lost 40% of their HP from a simple initiation combo on multiple people. However a rookie mistake most players make is trying to initiate with say ghost/flash when their allies don't have it up which means by the time Annie's stun wears off, her team is still playing catch up and won't make it in time.
For the most part, Annie will attempt to spam spells while keeping herself alive so she can make use of her lowest cd AOE stun in the game constantly
Despite being a very obvious section, in TT farming is a extremely vital part of the game as even a team thats behind 4-5 kills can still be ahead in gold if they've been power farming the camps/waves all game. Often mid-late game, Annie shouldn't be sitting at a wave slowly killing it with lasthits if there are still accessible neutral camps on the map. In these cases, Annie should attempt to kill the wave as fast as possible with incinerate and proceed to wipe the camp (unless it completely drains her mana) as often there isn't much to do between dragon/liz spawns aside from amass higher farm or prevent the enemy from doing the same. Roaming aimlessly is often another mistake lower ELO players do as it doesn't give them exp/farm or anything if their gank is poorly done. Roaming should be done if the wave is pushing towards them and camps are simply dead and there is nothing to do but ward around the map/look for ganks
Special thanks to TheOddOne And Solomid.net For This build