Annie Build Guide by DotaCloneMuch
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.
Welcome to my Annie guide which will provide readers with an understanding of how to play Annie in lane as well as in team fights. In my opinion Annie is one of the strongest mid champions who also provides her team with significant CC and burst damage in 5v5 situations. She was once a common mid in ranked/tournament play but she seems to have fallen out a favor recently. Mids with more mobility like Kassadin, Ahri, and Twisted Fate are now seen as very strong mids, but this guide should convince readers that Annie is still a serious contender in both lane and team fights.
Massive AOE CC
Low sustained damage
As you can see from my list of Masteries I focus heavily upon buffing my AP burst damage. In lane Annie relies upon her Q to farm, and her R > Q > W combination to quickly burst down lane opponents. Both of these things are improved greatly from increasing her AP as much as possible. Additionally Annie's primary role in team fights is to stun multiple targets, but also to dish out heavy AOE damage to enemies. This again requires high AP which is what almost all of my Masteries focused on. I also pick up points in
which provide a small increase in mana and mana regen that enables you to harass more often in lane.
Runes follow a similar theory as my Masteries, maximizing AP/Spell pen, but also granting you a bit of mana regen to help you harass in lane.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration provides you with early game damage and compliments the high base damage of your spells
Greater Seal of Replenishment gives additional mana which helps to harass in lane
Greater Glyph of Ability Power increases the damage of your spells enabling easier last hitting with Q and increased burst damage
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power increased damage all around
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Flash - This is simply a must have spell in middle lane, it enables you to quickly engage your opponent if your going for a kill, It also can be used to escape a gank. Some people prefer Ghost to escape from ganks but due to how short middle lane is (the distance between the towers) Ghost seems less viable than flash.
Ignite - This helps greatly on Annie because you will often find that your burst is just shy of being able to kill your opponent. Although ignite does not do a massive amount of damage it often does enough to secure a kill that you otherwise would not have been able to get. Additionally this summoner spell becomes essential if you are up against an opponent like Vladimir or Swain who has a large amount of life steal. Ignite will reduce the health they are gaining back giving you an advantage when trying to duel them.
STARTING BUILD: starting build Boots of Speed and Health Potion X 3 is almost always the strongest setup. Boots are essential in the middle lane because the faster person has the ability to choose when they want to engage or harass. If they can outrun you and you choose to go into range to harass them, all they need to do is simply move backwards. Due to this you need boots to be able to engage them or escape their engagements. Additionally it helps to avoid early ganks by letting you get to safety quicker.
FIRST RECALL: you want to consider if your going to rush your Rod of Ages or your Rabadon's Deathcap. Rod of Ages will give you better lane sustain but less burst damage, and therefore it is a superior option if you are on equal or worse CS/kills to your lane opponent. It will allow you to survive if they choose to fight you, and its unique passive will heal you. Alternatively if you've gotten an early kill or two and more CS than your opponent you can rush your Rabadon's Deathcap which will give you more damage. The rational behind this is that if you are ahead of them in your build and levels you don't need to worry about sustain or having them kill you, and therefore you should focus on maximizing your damage which is after-all your main goal as a carry.
MID - LATE GAME ITEMS The order of items shown in the item list is more of a suggestion than a firm rule, you need to target your late game item order at how the enemy team is building. This section will outline what items you should focus on based upon the enemy team composition/build.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - provides you with a good chunk of health which is useful if your being focused down in teamfights. Additionally if the enemy team's bruisers are focusing on you the slow from Rylai's will enable you to kite them.
Lich Bane - This greatly increases your burst damage against a single target and is best to get when you have a large amount of AP to convert into damage from Lich Bane's unique passive. The 7% movement speed doesnt hurt either for getting away from tanks or bruisers that may chase you.
Zhonya's Hourglass - This item gives a massive amount of AP but also provides an interesting way for you to protect yourself in teamfights. Beyond the armor increase the hourglass can make you invulnerable for a short time, enabling you to burst the enemy team, and then activate it when they turn to focus you. This is especially useful if you flash close to the enemy team to use your AOE stun, after the stun you often are targeted by the whole enemy team. Becoming invulnerable for a couple seconds can buy you the time you need to have your team protect you. Buy this quickly if you find yourself initiating fights with your Pyromania.
Will of the Ancients - This can give you the ability to regenerate your health over the course of a fight, but because Annie relies upon using all her burst at the start of the fight (when she is full health) it is not an ideal item for her. It can be useful if you have another AP carry (like Vladimir or Swain in top lane). It provides them with the aura and additional AP so it can be a valuable item for the group.
Early Game (1-8)
Annie benefits from a strong laning phase due to her exceptional harass and minion farming. For the early game you want to focus on last hitting minions with your Disintegrate until you've reached a complete stack of Pyromania. It takes 4 spells to charge it, and the 5th spell cast will stun the target. This is great for harassing because you can stun them with Q and move in closer to hit W. After this you can move backwards and start last hitting again. This enables you to have quick trades with your opponent with very little risk. Additionally if your last hitting minions with your Q you wont be using any mana to farm, freeing up mana for harassment.
Usually you will start with your Disintegrate at level one to farm, but if your team is going to invade the enemy jungle (or if you suspect the enemy team will invade your jungle) you can start with Incinerate. You can use it a couple times at your base to get two stacks of Pyromania and then use it whenever its up until you get a complete stack of your passive. This will enable you to have an AOE stun at level 1, which is exceptionally powerful if you get into a team fight in the jungle. Once you've charged it up be aggressive about casting it. Many Annie players are passive because she is squishy, but at level 1 if you are able to flash into a group of their champions (who are likely guarding blue buff) and stun all of them you can get your team multiple early game kills.
Mid Game (9-14)
At this point you will likely have completed either you Rod of Ages or your Rabadon's Deathcap. This is when you want to be pushing your lane and warding to avoid ganks. Once you have pushed minions into the enemy tower you have the opportunity to either roam to top or bottum in hopes of getting some kills. With her ult Annie is an extremely scary ganker. She can stun multiple people with Pyromania and Summon: Tibbers. Her burst is also large enough that many squishy characters will die within the duration of your stun if you land R > Q > W.
You want to balance this ganking with lane pushing in order to keep your farm up. If you get a few kills but fall massively behind on your lane opponent you often will not end up with more gold than them. Balancing ganking and farming in lane is key to maximizing your gold production in the mid game.
Late Game (15-18)
Annie's role late game is complicated because she is capable of being an effective source of damage in team fights, but she is also extremely strong as an initiator. Late game the goal is to abuse the effectiveness of Pyromania in combination with your AOE abilities. When you use Summon: Tibbers and Pyromania is up, you will stun all targets which tibers hits upon being summoned. This enables you to stun a huge number of people as well as dish out massive AOE damage. When your team is grouped and ready to fight wait for the enemy team to be close together, then Flash at them and hit as many possible with Summon: Tibbers. The stun's duration will likely be long enough for your team to engage with you. Annie works well with other AOE champions because her stun can give them the time they need to land their abilities as well. Notably Galio and Amumu have great synergy with Annie. After landing your stun you can follow it with your W for more AOE damage, and Q one of the squishier enemy champions. This combination can turn the tide of games by starting an effective team fight and dish out massive AOE damage.
Annie may have been a forgotten AP mid, but she remains extremely viable in all stages of the game. She provides strong CC for your team along with massive burst damage. She farms well, ganks well, and team fights well, what more could you ask of a mage?
Please leave comments, questions, or criticisms on this guide if you have any feedback. I read all of the comments on my guides and strive to improve them if something is missing. Thanks for taking the time to read it and have fun with this build AOEing down teams!