Annie Build Guide by Contradictions
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.
AP Mid Annie
First Back (Kicking butt, taking names)
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.
Hello Mobafire :D My IGN is Contradictions, and I've been all over the Elo world. I didn't begin playing ranked until Season 3, where I placed Bronze 5 and spent most all of my time that season in Bronze, eventually ending Silver 2. I've been consistently Gold+ since then, and haven't played much ranked recently. My goal with this guide is to introduce those players who are struggling at lower elos much like I did to a champion that saved me from said lower elo: Annie. She'll get the job done :3.
Recent Changes: Why Annie Mid can help you
With recent changes to the jungle and changes to Annie's kit, Annie mid is shining more so now than ever! Unfortunately, with the recent loss of Deathfire Grasp, Annie doesn't have as much single target burst as she did before. On the bright side, she received much more that makes her better. The changes to her Q allow her very accurate and consistent farming that can also be used to build quick stacks on her passive. The changes to the jungle generally prevent extremely early ganks, especially at lower elo. Thus, one of her most glaring weaknesses is virtually gone :D
Pros / Cons
Annie is a mage who struggles primarily with mobility.
Very High burst damage at all points of the game
Amazing AOE stun that gets stronger as the game progresses
Armor/MR buff that helps her survive and trade
All of her abilities can stun (except for her shield), allowing great versatility with your CC
Tibbers can tank objectives, allowing easy dragons and towers
Great mana sustain with the Q mana regen
Very easy to pick up and learn... ANNIEbody can play her! HUEHUE
Low mobility can cause her to be harassed by champions with skill shots
Susceptible to ganks, particularly those in early game
Weaker roam compared to other highly mobile Mid laners
Relies on Flash for the best engages
Blowing your stun without thinking will probably get you killed
Blowing your spells constantly will also blow all of your mana, so watch carefully
The higher your elo gets, the more predictable you get :(
Annie's Awesome abilities
Pyromania: The passive that makes Annie so awesome. Pyromania allows you to stun your opponents with your spells every 4 spell casts. The amount of time that your opponent is stunned scales with your level. What makes this passive so amazing is that it applies to all of your abilities, meaning you can stun with your Disintegrate, Incinerate, or Summon: Tibbers. Understanding which to use in which scenario can be crucial to your damage and cc output in Mid lane and in team fights. If you juggle usage of your abilities correctly, you should be able to get in at least 2 stuns in a single team fight.
Disintegrate: Annie's Q is her main farming tool, and your safest tool to land your stun since it's a targeted ability. Killing a minion with Disintegrate refunds the mana cost entirely. Combine this with Doran's Ring and blue buff to sustain your mana in lane. It's also important as your primary tool to land your stun when bullying in lane. The cooldown is actually so low that when you have Cooldown masteries and land the killing blow on minions, you can farm safely and accurately even under turret!
Incinerate: Annie's W provides a great amount of AOE damage, as well as an AOE alternative to Summon: Tibbers for your stun. Other than Summon: Tibbers, this is your highest damage move, and most costly Mana wise. Be sure to aim carefully in team fights, as this move combined with Summon: Tibbers is generally enough to burst down most ADCs and AP mids who haven't built MR once you reach late game.
Molten Shield: Annie's E provides Armor and Magic Resistance, alongside a free magical thornmail! Using this ability during trades and teamfights minimizes the damage Annie receives from her opponents. It can also be used for a stack on your passive if you feel safe in lane or are on your way back to lane. The mana cost is minimal, so don't be afraid to use it if you don't feel you'll need it.
Summon: Tibbers: Ohhh mannn.... the skill that makes Annie the god that she is. Tibbers is a monster in teamfights, boasting an additional auto attack and a natural Sunfire Cape that scales off of your AP. Summon: Tibbers is generally the primary initiation tool for Annie, especially in teamfights. Tibbers finds even more use outside of teamfights, where he can be used to tank objectives for the team, such as Dragon or Towers. The cooldown may seem high, but if Tibbers sticks around for the full duration of his lifespan, then you'll notice a dramatic reduction.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Seal of Armor
Full on burst:
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Seal of Health
Auto attack heavy:
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Precision
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Seal of Armor
Other optional runes: If you have trouble keeping up with your Mana, you can run mana regen runes as well. Movement speed runes are also entirely viable to help with laning, roaming, and running for your life. Cooldown reduction runes are also viable. All in all, your runes generally will fit to your playstyle, so experiment and find what you like!
My typical Masteries for Annie:Annie. Expose Weakness is great for your teamfighting, while Arcane Blade works wonders since you're auto attack heavy. The rest of the Offensive side is for your AP Burstiness. Recovery will help you to stay in lane just a bit longer, while Enchanted Armor scales not only off of Zhonya's Hourglass and other MR items you might've built, but it also scales off of Molten Shield. It's not that much, but with minimal armor stats already, it plays a small part. Fleet of Foot helps with your terrible movement speed, while Meditation helps sustain your mana. All in all, this is the safest set of masteries that I've used.
A bit more Utility Summoner's Insight decreases the cooldown on Flash and Ignite, allowing you to do your Flash into Summon: Tibbers more often.
Survival of the Anniest
You're pretty much always going to want these spells with you as mid Annie. Ignite is too useful for securing kills, while Flash is literally a necessity for Annie.
: if you're THAT intent on not taking Ignite, then atleast run something that Annie will find useful. Heal helps with escapes from ganks or from a mid laner who's about to kill you. It's not a horrible alternative, just nowhere near as useful.
: Again, not a horrible spell to take, just far undermined by the use of Ignite. Since Annie has poor movement, Teleport can be used for quick ganks or quick returns to lane. You'll just be losing out on a lot of kill potential.
: If you constantly find yourself having trouble with champions like Zed, Riven, or Yasuo, this isn't a bad alternative. If someone jumps on you, you can Exhaust to reduce their damage, attack speed, and movement, allowing you to work around them. It's also useful to use against other damage dealers, like fed junglers who come to lane wanting to cut you to pieces, or fed ADCs who are terrifying.
Skill sequenceAnnie, particularly if I'm winning trades and are coming out on top. Smart use of your Disintegrate will allow you to poke your opponent every time your stun comes up (which is basically every 4 minions). Giving it a quick second level will allow you to come out strongly in trades.
If you find yourself mostly going even, falling behind, or against a jungler who is more likely to gank you almost instantly, instead use this sequence:
Picks and Bans: Is there something special I should do for Annie?
Generally, you don't have to be afraid of being counter picked as Annie, even if you're first pick. A lot of times, it'll be assumed that you're support, unless another more likely support shows up. Even then, If there's any champions that truly bothers you, be sure to let the person who's banning know so they can help you out.
Annie Combination Attack
So I'm assuming you already understand Annie's abilities enough at this point to see how to combo with her. Your stun ability starts your combo, followed by your other damage abilities. Your basic poke combo is Disintegrate when your stun is ready, followed by a quick Incinerate, then you back off. You'll want to start your kill combo with Summon: Tibbers(especially in teamfights), followed by an Incinerate, then Disintegrate. IF your opponent is highly mobile, or able to quickly go into stealth, it's generally better to start with your target ability, Disintegrate, as the stun, then go into your other abilities from there. Summon: Tibbers and Incinerate can still hit stealth. It's generally best to use Molten Shield AFTER your stun ability so it applies a stack to another round of your passive, Pyromania.
A good trick to use with Annie, which I'll codename "3rd Strike" because that sounds really cool, is to use your Disintegrate when you're at 3 stacks of Pyromania, then use your Molten Shield before Disintegrate makes contact. You'll reach 4 stacks, still causing the stun, even though it appeared you had no stun ready. Some experienced players will know to watch Annie even when she has 3 stacks, so it's more useful situationally.
General Gameplay tips
1. When I say use auto attacks frequently, that doesn't mean auto in their minions - If you use the auto attacks to close to their minions, you'll take minion aggro, which will hurt far more than your pesky little fireball. Be very careful.
2. Don't be afraid to 2v1 if you get ganked at level 6 or higher - Annie has a very strong 2v1, so if the jungler comes in at level 4 and you're level 6, you'll actually stand a good chance of taking out both the mid laner and jungler, so long as you don't let yourself get chain CCed. Molten Shield helps you tank and you can land a stun on both. gg ez.
3. Tibbers is a useful tool outside of damage - I've said it a thousand times, but Tibbers is great for tanking objectives. Just finished a fight contesting dragon? Have Tibbers tank that mofo. Just killed your mid laner and want to try and get some damage on the turret? Have Tibbers tank that mofo. Mid laner running away with a sliver of health? Pop that Molten Shield and watch Tibbers burn them to death. He's very useful outside of his initial explosion, so don't forget to control him!
4. Just because you're the burst mage doesn't mean you have to take all of the kills - take a hit for the team and use all of your stuff to engage if you have to. Setting up 5 kills for your ADC is far better than blowing everything for just one kill for yourself. Share the love!
5. Fear and respect the Enemy Jungler - Don't play carelessly. Annie is able to be easily ganked in her early game pre 6, especially by junglers who gank early like Jarvan IV or Rek'Sai. Keep vision control of the area around middle lane so your team can see as well. Knowing where their jungler is allows you to counter strike, and keeps you safe. A Sweeping Lens can help you keep control of enemy vision, letting your jungler help you easier. Wards don't cost THAT much, so buy them frequently :D
There's not much reason to start anything else. Doran's Ring helps you not only with health, but with mana regen and AP. The Health Potions keep you alive. Enough said.
Hilariously enough, this actually works. I don't suggest it, since you'll have to be prioritizing your auto attacks far more and it'll be harder to keep up your mana, but you can if you want.
These 5 items are the general core of my Annie build.
: This is your general go to set of boots. They provide a good movement speed boost, and give you flat Magic Penetration, which is great for any AP Mage. It's honestly quite useful to rush your Tier 2 boots, particularly against skill shot champions such as Brand, Ahri or Cassiopeia. A nice alternative is Boots of Mobility, since they'll allow you to roam easily to other lanes. I only suggest that alternative if you have a ridiculous lead.
: This is a fantastic item for almost any mid laner. It provides Mana Regen, CDR, a good chunk of AP, and grievous wounds for very cheap. A must have if you're against Dr. Mundo or Swain, but can be replaced by Rod of Ages or Athene's Unholy Grail if you would rather have more health or magic resistance over CDR respectfully if you're not.
: An amazing item for any AP burst mage, but even more so on Annie thanks to her insanely high AP ratios. There is literally no reason not to get this item.
: This is a fantastic item that makes your damage skyrocket. Combine this with Rabadon's Deathcap and you'll be able to burst down anyone mid game. Another absolute must have.
: A useful item with a useful active. If you're against an AD mid who you're having trouble with, I would actually build the Seeker's Armguard before anything else, then finish Zhonya's Hourglass later. If you're against no AD at all, this item can be replaced. The active is very useful after you've initiated, you get jumped on, and your abilities are on cooldown.
Your sixth item/Alternate Items
Most of these items are at least decent on Annie, but mostly situational in my honest opinion. Choosing your sixth item can be fairly tough, but any item is more useful than no item :P
: If I get down to my sixth item, I generally either go for this one for the extra Magic Pen, health, and burn effect, or Rylai's Crystal Scepter for the health and massive AP. Liandry's Torment is useful against champions with high HP such as Sion or Dr. Mundo, and the burn istacks alright with the natural Sunfire Cape of Summon: Tibbers, but it's definitely not a priority item.
: A decent alternative to Morellonomicon, and honestly not a bad standalone 6th item. However, if you intend to build it, it'll have to be your first item. It will help if you're having trouble surviving in your lane thanks to catalyst the protector, but I honestly feel as though it's overshadowed by other items once late game comes along.
: A decent item at best, and an alternative to Morellonomicon. The miniscule AP and MR are really not worth it for how expensive it is. A drastically nerfed item that's only useful if you're being absolutely dominated by an AP and need Mana Regen.
: A great item that finds minimal use in Annie. Most of the time, your abilities are used to stun your opponents, so the slow wouldn't even be noticed. Still, once late game comes around and you're spamming your abilities, you'll finally notice that slow XD A great boost to AP and health as well is very useful, making it a great 6th Item choice, or an alternative to Zhonya's Hourglass.
: Oh boy. This is a fun item, but it is virtually useless in ranked play. It's like putting a big sign on your face that says "Please kill me". If you're really feeling confident and have a huge lead, then by all means. Much more fun to use in Normals.
: A fun item to use against an all AD comp. Not only will this be dealing damage back on auto attacks, but so will Molten Shield. Finds literally zero use outside of those circumstances though.
: A decent item with minimal use. You generally want more damage when playing as mid Annie, but if you feel like you have enough damage and want an easier time surviving, this item could do the trick. Makes for funny wake up stuns.
: An item that looks cool on paper, but isn't all it sounds it could be. Abyssal Scepter contradicts the effects of Void Staff, so the only reason you'd have for building it is against a squishy team with Heavy AP instead of Void Staff.
: another neat item on paper, but generally not worth it. You'd have to get an early Tear of the Goddess, and build it up, which isn't so hard. Unfortunately, Annie wouldn't build any other Mana items, so the mana regen is nice and all, but seraph's plume wouldn't scale as much as it would, unless you intended to build Rod of Ages.
: A funny 6th item, Lich Bane is honestly not your best choice, but can help with quick burst if your combo isn't doing enough. Also adds to mobility.
Early Game: What do I do against who?
To make things simpler, I'm going to order these in order of difficulty. Keep in mind, this isn't based entirely off of who actually counters Annie as much as it's based on my personal experience against these people.
Easiest... Like... Piece of cake... Level 1
: You have a better stun and more reliable poke. The only thing that can keep him in lane is his Crystalline Flask and Pick A Card, which will sustain his health and mana for a decent amount of time. Be sure to bully him often, as he'll try to poke back with his Wild Cards. Just dodge the skill shot and it's a guaranteed win. Be very wary of Jungle assistance though, as he can set up a gank fairly well with his Pick A Card. Once you've hit 6, he'll have literally no way to out burst you, and he'll be the easiest kill in the world. Once he's hit 6 though, be sure to keep wards on either side of the river and let your team know if he's gone MIA, so he won't get the jump with Destiny. If you play it right, you can chase him and cancel Destiny with your stun. It's hilarious XD
: You probably won't see this too often, but if you do, be ready to wreck his face. Ryze has fairly devastating poke with his Overload, but don't worry. If you use your Disintegrate and Incinerate combo wisely, he can do nothing but take the heat. Just don't let him constantly hit you while getting nothing in return. He's easy to trade pre 6, especially before he gets any items. If you've poked him down enough, he's a free kill level 6.
: Your fire is a thousand times more potent than this guy's. Brand packs quite a punch if you let him hit his abilities, but if you focus primarily on dodging his skills, you can punish him dramatically for his misses. Since he uses mostly skill shots, I'd rush Sorcerer's Shoes, or atleast Boots of Speed. Watch how the Brand you're against primarily utilizes his Pillar of Flame. If he throws it directly at you, focus on stepping out of the way. Don't worry if he lands a few pillars at early levels, since it won't be at it's full effectiveness. If he throws it behind you (which is the most likely alternative), just walk towards him and hit him with your 1,2, punch combo: Disintegrate into Incinerate. He's another easy kill once you hit 6, but don't underestimate his burst and just walk blindly at him, because he'll be able to land his full combo on you easily.
: Fairly similar to Brand in playstyle, except she trades some damage for an obnoxious shield. Watch her Lucent Singularity, which she'll use to harass you. Chances are, she'll throw it behind you, so if she does, walk towards her and punish her with your Disintegrate into Incinerate combo. Be sure to poke her down a bit before you go all in, because if you aren't careful, you'll blow everything on trying to kill her only to have her use Prismatic Barrier after the stun wears off. Her poke can be insanely painful if you aren't careful. Get early boots and dodge all of her skill shots. Let your team know if she leaves lane and where she's going, so she can't pick up kills on your team with Final Spark. EZ PZ LEMON SQUEEZY.
: A very easy matchup, as long as you get those early Boots of Speed. Watch her Grasping Roots, for if she lands that, you could be in for a world of hurt. Similar enough to Lux and Brand in playstyle. Dodge her stuff, punish her when she misses. Stay out of the range of her plants though. Your Disintegrate can finish them quick. Easy kill level 6.
: Another easy win, so long as you don't mess up your initiation. Vel'Koz is a kiting machine, so if you just walk straight at him, he'll pulverize you with his combination of Tectonic Disruption - Void Rift - Plasma Fission - Life Form Disintegration Ray, which will most likely be enough to end you. Watch when he goes for farm and use that moment to bully him. Use short trades to slowly get ahead. He'll use Plasma Fission a lot to try and poke you. It's fairly unpredictable, so it's most likely atleast a few will hit you. If he goes on the offensive, focus first on dodging his abilities, then he's a sitting duck. If you've played right, he's an easy kill at level 6.
Fairly easy... Level 2
: he would honestly be a lot scarier if he still had his silence. Talon is pretty likely to try and poke you with his Rake. It's not the easiest skill to dodge, so getting an early Seeker's Armguard will help you win your lane easily. Harass him from a safe distance with auto attacks. If he decides to jump in with his cutthroat- Noxian Diplomacy combo, use your Molten Shield as soon as possible and trade back. Try to save your stun specifically for when he decides to jump on you. That's the easiest way to take him out. If you let him get ahead of you, you'll explode pretty much constantly.
: as much as I hate this guy, he isn't so hard for Annie to handle. Using a combination of your long auto attack range and Disintegrate, you can shut down his use of H-28G Evolution Turrets. Consider them free farm, and continue to harass him when you can. Get early Boots of Speed so you can dodge his CH-1 Electron Storm Grenade. He's easy enough to burst down if you're consistent with your bullying. Dodging his stun is priority, however, unless you can get the jump on him with Flash.
: Viktor is a fairly easy lane opponent. His Death Ray won't start hurting until later in the game, so try your best to avoid it and bully him. If you see him trying to use Siphon Power, let the shield wear off, then trade back. If you can dodge his Gravity Field and Death Ray, he's not too hard. Let him get ahead, however, and he'll out burst you. Take an early Boots of Speed to help with dodging his abilities. If you burst him fast enough, he won't even get to use Chaos Storm.
: As obnoxious as he is, Kennen actually isn't all that scary. As long as you keep behind your minion line, he won't be able to hit you effectively with Thundering Shuriken, so his only real way to poke you is his combination of empowered auto attacks and Electrical Surge. Letting him land his Mark of the Storm spells trouble for you, so if you need to, back off when you have stacks on you. If you see him moving around his minion wave to hit you with Thundering Shuriken, move around with him so he can't hit you. Use of your stun and auto attacks to mess with him will keep you ahead. His auto attacks will hurt a bit more than others, since he generally will start with Doran's Blade, but that makes his spells weaker. If you hit 6 first, be sure to kill him as soon as possible, and it'll all be downhill from there. Try to stun him and trade outside of Lightning Rush, because that gives him an Armor/Magic Resistance buff.
: Despite him being terrifying to most mid laners, Annie surprisingly doesn't have too hard of a time. As with most AD mids, rush a Seeker's Armguard to minimize his poke. If you ever see him oom, that's your opportunity to lay into him, especially before he get's Tear of the Goddess. Try not to spam usage of your stun, for it's better to save it for when he tries to engage on you in melee range. Stay behind your minion line, but not too close, so you can avoid his Acceleration Gate - Shock Blast combo. Your auto attack range is actually higher than his, so auto attack frequently when he's trying to farm. If you see him activate Hyper Charge, back off, and let him use it on minions. If he engages with To The Skies!, that's your chance to land your stun and trade, especially if he's dumb enough to jump into your minions. If he does try to all-in you, make sure to use your Molten Shield so he hurts himself. Your level 6 is far stronger as well, so you should win easy if you'd been going at least even.
: A generally easy win. If you let her dash in on you with nothing to protect you, however, you'll probably die. Be EXTREMELY aggressive pre-6, as the best thing she can do is throw a Mark of the Assassin at you and try to auto off of it. She's one of the few where I'd suggest beginning your initiation with a Disintegrate stun, followed by the rest of your combo. Even in her veil, Tibbers can still eat her alive, so it's pretty much a free win once you've landed your combo. Even if she decides to jump on you, just pop Molten Shield and kite into Tibbers until your Disintegrate and Incinerate come back up and finish her off. ALWAYS call MIAs, as her roam can catch her up.
: A fairly easy lane matchup, since her primary form of CC is extremely slow. Be sure to bully Anivia VERY early, and try to atleast remove her Rebirth passive. Once she gets her catalyst the protector, it'll take a lot more to wear her down. As long as you can constantly keep her bullied out of lane, this is an easy win. Take and early Boots of Speed so you can dodge her Flash Frost, and apply constant pressure. She's EXTREMELY squishy and susceptible to ganks early. Use that time to shut her down so she's useless.
: This guy is little more than a nuisance. You out trade him as long as you dodge his Essence Flux (or if he's AD, his Mystic Shot). Bully him constantly and he'll be an easy kill level 6. One of the easiest to burst down. He'll use his Arcane Shift too late every time, especially if you use Flash to set up your stun.
Getting a little harder... Basically skill matchups... Level 3
: despite being a melee champion, Katarina can actually kill you more easily than most other mids. It's best to save your stun for after her Shunpo - Death Lotus combo so you can cancel her ult and basically nullify her damage. Worst case scenario, you'll use Summon: Tibbers the EXACT moment she uses Shunpo, which guarantees her win. Not worth risking it. If you happen to not have a stun, at least have your Molten Shield for when she all-ins you. Harass her primarily with auto attacks, but be weary of her poke with Bouncing Blades. Use Disintegrate before your stun is up to not only poke her, but bait her into engaging onto you. If she jumps on you when you have your stun, you win, but if you blow it and don't kill her fast enough, she wins. Early aggression is your friend. She's also a far stronger roamer than you, so always watch where she leaves from and call your MIAs.
: Fairly similar to Katarina, Fizz can dodge your stun with his Playful / Trickster, then safely engage onto you. Harass him constantly with auto attacks. Funnily enough though, when you use Disintegrate and he uses Playful / Trickster, your ability will go on cooldown, but you won't lose your stun. Use this little exploitation to your advantage and always begin with Disintegrate. If he doesn't use Playful / Trickster, poke him with Incinerate, then immediately back off. If he does, bide your time for him to drop, then immediately use your stun on Incinerate or Summon: Tibbers before he can Chum the Waters or Urchin Strike. After your stun and damage hit him, he'll either A. continue trying to engage on you, or B. Run like a scared magikarp. Once you land your abilities, juke sideways to prevent his Chum the Waters from hitting you, and pressure him hard. Ping your MIAs, since his roam is strong.
: Here's one who can absolutely annihilate you if she knows what she's doing. Fortunately, most people in lower elo don't. Take early Sorcerer's Shoes so you can dodge her constant streams of Command: Attack - Command: Dissonance. If she sees you have your stun and you walk toward her, she'll likely use Command: Protect. Wait for the shield to wear off, and use that time to attack her. She's far squishier when she's on the offensive, so your best bet is to dodge her abilities and then poke her. You both have very strong level 6, so always play carefully. If you get an early lead, capitalize on it and murder her constantly. She's a fairly easy kill, especially if she goes for Tear of the Goddess over Chalice of Harmony.
: This one can be surprisingly annoying. Her Crescent Strike begins to hurt very quickly, and her use of Pale Cascade can prevent a good chunk of damage from your poke. Use the 3rd Strike to prevent her from using the Pale Cascade shield to block your stun damage. If she does happen to use her shield, just stay at 4 stacks and wait for another opportunity to use Disintegrate. Gr8 B8 M8. Her level 6 can be quite frightening, especially if she's been good at landing her Crescent Strike. Use early aggression with your auto attacks to try and come out on top, and always dodge her abilities to your fullest.
: While not as scary as she once was, Kayle generally performs well against particularly bursty champions, especially someone like Annie with a very predictable stun. Use auto attacks early on, especially when she doesn't have/can't use her Reckoning or Righteous Fury. This is where use of the 3rd Strike comes in handy. Once she hits 6, weaken her with your Disintegrate - Incinerate combo, then use the 3rd Strike to stun her by surprise and finish her off before she can use Intervention. Her poke is strong over time, so just back off if you know you can't trade with her. If she ults to block your damage, you won't be able to kayle her (HUEHUE), so play it smart.
: Seriously. This guy is just a small annoyance. Auto attack constantly when his Iron Man shield is down. Ask for a gank early and get an early lead. Even his Iron Man passive won't save him from your fiery wrath. Watch how much of a shield he has available, and trade when it's near empty to empty, while staying out of the range of his Siphon of Destruction. He's free kills for your jungler, so just pick on him by saving your stun for ganks.
: An annoying mobile AD Mid, Yasuo can be a real hassle. Harass him with auto attacks, especially when Way of the Wanderer's shield is full. If that shield is on cooldown and he has one or less stacks of Steel Tempest, feel free to use your stun to trade. Be very careful, as Wind Wall will block Disintegrate easily, so use of the 3rd Strike is suggested to catch him by surprise. Don't get too close, since he can dash in on you with Sweeping Blade and lay into you with auto attacks and Steel Tempest, then dash back out. It's fairly painful. Use your range to your advantage and try to shut him down early. You'll win easily once you hit 6 and can use Summon: Tibbers.
: This guy can be tricky. Early Seeker's Armguard is your friend. His Razor Shuriken moves fairly quick, so it can be difficult to dodge without at least Boots of Speed. Watch for use of his Living Shadow as well, for he'll combo that with Razor Shuriken and Shadow Slash to harass you. When his abilities are on cooldown, that's your opportunity to trade. Harass him with auto attacks when you can, but watch those Razor Shuriken. If he continues to use Living Shadow aggressively, call your jungler for an easy gank. His Death Mark can be used to avoid your stun, so you'll need to either use it after he ults, or catch him by surprise, or he'll burst you down.
: This guy is annoying, but that's about it. He'll be able to poke you from a safer distance with his Bouncing Bomb, so use the moments when he tries to farm to be aggressive yourself. He's more likely to throw his bombs where you're going, so constantly move side to side and be on alert so you can juke quickly. You'll be able to out burst him at level 6, so long as you haven't let him poke you down.
Getting harder... Level 4
: This foxy lady can outplay quite easily if you aren't careful. The number one thing you need to avoid is the Charm. If that hits you, you'll take heavy damage, or worse. Get tier 2 boots early so you can avoid her onslaught of Orb of Deceptions and Charms. Once her abilities are on cooldown, that's your chance to trade. Catch her by surprise with your stun when you hit level 6, so she can't Spirit Rush to safety.
: Man I hate her. If you try to poke her with your Disintegrate stun combo, she'll just use her Valor to dash away and soak the damage. Chances are she'll use Valor any time you use Disintegrate, so it'll be difficult to land a competent stun. Try your hardest to harass her with auto attacks before she hits a point where she has her Hexdrinker and can all-in you. If you can bait her Valor, that's your opportunity to truly bully her. NEVER stay and fight her when she has her Blade of the Exile active. Once she gets going, she'll annihilate you, so try your hardest to shut her down. Ask for ganks if need be.
: Oh boy, he can be one real doozy if you let him have his way. Harass him as much as you can as early as you can. If you let him harass you in return, though, you'll be in for a world of hurt. Once he has his catalyst the protector, don't expect to have an easy time killing him alone. Call for ganks early if you feel you need it, and shut him down so you have enough of a lead to massacre him. Otherwise it'll be a seriously crows call. HUEHUE
: She can be a real handful if not handled properly. Her Noxious Blast sets up her Twin Fang, so if you get hit and don't have a stun, expect a beating. She'll be constantly trying to harass you, so get early Boots of Speed so you can dodge her Noxious Blasts easier. If you happen to dodge it, that's your chance to throw an auto or two, or trade with your stun. Use your stun defensively if she hits you though. Both of you have devastating stuns level 6, so be very careful engaging onto her by making sure you have the advantage. She's a fairly easy gank target, so clear her wards and ask for help if needed. If you time your trades right and dodge her skill shot, you can win fairly easily, but that's easier said than done.
: His passive Void Stone is a natural counter to all AP mids. On top of that, his Null Sphere gives him a shield that blocks magic damage. Timing when to trade with your stun is very difficult, since he'll simply Null Sphere to take less damage. If he's playing aggressively, use your stun after he's Null Sphereed. Auto attacks are your best friend, so use them constantly. His level 6 will allow him to jump on you, and chances are, he'll win. Try to get an early lead so you can win fights. You'll be more useful in the long run.
: This guy can out stun you if you aren't cautious. If you walk straight at him in an attempt to stun him, he'll wreck you quickly with his combo of Event Horizon - Dark Matter - Primordial Burst - Baleful Strike. Use your auto attacks to harass him, since his priority will be farming up his Baleful Strike. Trade before he gets his ult. If he ever stuns you or his stun is on cooldown, don't hesitate to use your stun to trade. Once you hit 6, your best bet is to get the jump on him with Flash or when his Event Horizon is on cooldown.
: This guy can be tricky if you don't play cautiously. His Call of the Void has a fairly long range, and will silence you long enough for him to set up the rest of his combo without you ever stunning him. Watch how his Malefic Visions moves around your minions to avoid it. If you're running at him, he'll use Call of the Void in front of you. If not, he'll use it behind you or in front of you based on if you're on the defensive or not. Once you dodge it, you'll have an easy time trading with him. Get the jump on him to win once you hit level 6, so he doesn't even get a chance to ult you.
: If she could still silence, I'd have her as top tier threat in a heartbeat. Her poke combining Sigil of Malice and Distortion can be pretty devastating, however don't let it trip you up. Harass her with your auto attacks and bully with your stun if you can. You should trade fairly evenly, so long as you trade back against her harass. Watch for when she jumps past your minion wave, for that's when she'll try to use her Ethereal Chains. When you're ready to kill her, start with Disintegrate into your Ignite, followed by Summon: Tibbers and Incinerate. You won't be able to hit her with Disintegrate or Ignite once her mirror image takes effect, and she'll be likely to escape alive with a double Distortion.
The true terrors... Level 5
: Annie's ultimate counter. Her Black Shield will always nullify your stun effect, and basically nullify the majority of damage you would've dealt as well. If you ever successfully bait her Black Shield, that's your chance to poke with your stun. Use auto attacks frequently. Hide behind your minion line to avoid her Dark Binding. Even if you're in your minion line, she might still try to poke with her Tormented Soil. Her level 6 also gives her a strong stun against you and in teamfights. Fortunately, Morgana mid isn't a common thing, so don't expect to go against it often. Even if you do, request ganks. She can be double teamed easily pre 6.
: She's a mean mofo. Her poke has longer range than yours, her stun has longer range than yours, she can kite you if you walk at her, and she can burst just as quickly as you. Rush Sorcerer's Shoes so you can dodge her Dark Spheres. If she blows her Force of Will and Scatter the Weak meaninglessly, that's an easy chance to bully her. Focus primarily on dodging her abilities, and poke her back when they're on cooldown or when she's oom. If you can get the jump on her level 6, you can burst her much faster than she can burst you. Similar to Annie though, she has a huge weakness in her mobility. Catch her out with help from your jungler if you need assistance.
If there's someone I'm missing or someone you're curious about... lemme know.
Mid Game: What do I do now?
So you've won your lane and you got your turret. What use is Annie now? Well, Annie happens to be one of the best team players in the game! Use your utility to snowball around the map and help your team grab towers. Her use extends beyond a strong laning phase. Make sure you have vision control in areas that are hotly contested, and always be ready to participate in contesting dragon. You hit your biggest spike around mid game, so roam around and spread the love. I promise your CC will be welcome in any struggling lane. Gank bottom lane with a Summon: Tibbers stun, and use Tibbers to push the lane. Boom, you can get like 2 turrets off of that. Summon: Tibbers can also be used for a fairly early baron.
What's that? You LOST mid lane?? As surprising as that is, it's not entirely impossible. Annie won't have as much burst, but she makes up for it in utility. Follow the enemy mid laner and set up stuns in other lanes when you can. Winning fights for others is a great way to catch up yourself.
Late Game: NOW WHAT??
This is the weirdest part of playing Annie mid. I don't normally get to this point, but your primary use is going to be the CC from your stun. Use it to either engage, counter engage, peel, or follow up on an engage from an ally. Use your Disintegrate on the highest priority target, either being the APC or ADC. Hopefully that'll be enough to kill them. Your strength will not only be in team fights, but in picks as well. Don't be afraid to use your stun on a Disintegrate to catch someone on the enemy team out of position. However, make sure you know where the rest of the enemy team is, so they don't follow up. Blowing your stun like that can cost you the game. Remember that Annie is also very strong not only securing objectives, but contesting objectives. Don't be afraid to use Summon: Tibbers only to tank turrets or baron if you don't need the stun any time soon.
This ended up way longer than I had intended... oops. I know I'm not the best player in the world, or even the foremost Annie mid expert out there, but I hope some insight as to how I play Annie and How I played her at my lower levels will give all of you who are struggling out there some new options to try in your ranked play. Her strong laning and even stronger team fights can help anyone out :D So give it a try! I don't think you'll be disappointed.