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Annie Build Guide by FatKookie

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League of Legends Build Guide Author FatKookie

How to Carry with Annie: A Guide to Mid Annie - Updated 5.21

FatKookie Last updated on June 1, 2015
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Ability Sequence

1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
4
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 9



Threats to Annie with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
1
Teemo Annie is pretty much a direct counter to Teemo. If you can lane against him, always do so. You will out-trade him at every stage of the game, and he is a squishy champion. His roam threat level is also much lower than yours since he has no CC.
Guide Top

Introduction

NEW!! - Updated for patch 5.9!

Hello everyone, I'm FatKookie, a Gold level NA player that enjoys playing Annie, and I want to help you improve or get you started with this champion mid lane. Let me get a few things straight from the start.

Why are you writing yet another Annie guide?

Answer: Click to View


What is mid Annie's role in a team?
Annie is a short range high damage burst mage. When played mid, her role in the team is to provide loads of Crowd Control (CC) with AoE stuns from her passive Pyromania and burst enemies down (preferably the carries of the enemy team).

Let's take a quick look at her pros/cons to get a better idea of how she should be played.
Pros
+ AoE CC with passive.
+ Not mana hungry.
+ High burst damage.
+ Good AP scaling.
Annie's passive Pyromania is great; you can stun single or multiple targets. You have the potential to burst down individual targets or do a lot of AoE damage in team fights. Annie is not mana hungry and has an easy time farming in lane with her Q.
Cons
- Short range abilities.
- No gap closer.
- No escape ability.
As you can see from the listed disadvantages, her biggest issue is mobility. She has no gap closer, and no escape ability. This is why you should not use your Flash gratuitously, as it is very important for initiations/escape.

These facts are important to keep in the back of your mind, because your role, together with your advantages/disadvantages and the enemy team composition will dictate what masteries/runes/items you should get and your in-game playstyle.

Style of play with Annie
The most important thing Annie provides to a team (regardless of the position she plays) is hard engage. This is why you see her picked so often as a support in the 2015 LCS season - her AoE stun. If played mid, she provides that hard engage and loads of damage on top of that.

Because of these particular advantages, she has good synergy with either pick oriented champs (such as Vi, Irelia, Leona), or AoE engage champs ( Malphite, Jarvan IV, Wukong). She doesn't do as well (or at least it's definitely harder to play and coordinate) in a team based more on peel and disengage.


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Summoner Spells

You only have two options here: Ignite / Flash or Teleport / Flash.

  • Flash is non-negotiable with Annie since she has relatively short spell casting range, no gap closer, and no escape ability.
  • For the second summoner spell, I prefer Ignite over Teleport since it gives you more kill potential at all stages of the game. Teleport is a viable alternative for a more passive play, and it is easier to help the other two lanes.


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Skill Sequence and Masteries

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Notes: Click to View


Masteries
4/1
1/1
3/5
1/5
3/5
3/1
1/
3/
1/
1/
3/5
1/1
3/1
1/5
1/1

In almost every single game I go for 21/0/9 masteries. These are the best masteries for mid Annie because:
  • 21 points in the Offense Tree provides you with the highest damage output from your burst (your main role is to burst carries down, do a lot of damage and provide CC).
  • The 9 points in the Utility Tree are mainly there for decreasing the Flash cooldown (3 points in Summoner's Insight ) and providing 1.5% extra movement speed (3 points in Fleet of Foot). These are the best choices because, as stated previously, Annie's biggest weakness is her lack of mobility. The remaining 3 skills in the utility tree can be assigned differently. However, I do not recommend putting more than one point in Meditation , and you should get Runic Affinity if your jungler will give you the blue buff.
Alternative Masteries: Click to View


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Runes

I will first provide a list of what runes you should NOT get. I place this list first because I have seen these runes advertised or recommended in other Annie guides and they are BAD choices.

Do NOT get these Runes


Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration is bad for Annie when compared to Greater Quintessence of Ability Power because she has high AP scaling.

Never get this mark under any circumstance with Annie. Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is always a better choice.

You should not have mana problems if you play the lane right. If you are struggling with mana issues early in lane, you could put 3 points in Meditation rather than get these seals.

These seals provide very little AP when compared to Greater Glyph of Ability Power. It's almost always a better idea to get health or armor seals since the AP increase you get with Greater Seal of Ability Power is just not worth it.


Quintessences

Movement Speed
3x
OR

Ability Power
3x
I run either 3x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, 3x Greater Quintessence of Ability Power or a combination of these. Movement speed is important for Annie because you have no escape ability and it improves your roam/chase.


Marks

Magic Penetration
9x
I run 9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. Only other real option you have is greater mark of hybrid penetration if you plan on harassing a lot with auto-attacks. For myself, more than 95% of the damage I deal to champions is magic damage (based on a 10 game average), so the Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is always the better choice for me. After patch 5.9 with the decrease to Annie's auto-attack range, I believe you should always get Greater Mark of Magic Penetration over greater mark of hybrid penetration.

Seals

Health
9x
OR

Scaling Health
9x
OR

Armor
9x
For seals I recommend 9x of one type displayed above. I usually run health and scaling health on my rune pages since health always increases your survivabilty (decreases the chance of enemies bursting you down). Seals of Armor are probably better against AD mid laners. Remember though that Ignite (most used summoner spell in mid lane after Flash) is true damage, so Health seals help with that as well, whereas armor doesn't. I would run Greater Seal of Health if against mid laners with a lot of all-in potential at early levels ( Pantheon, Talon, Brand) and Greater Seal of Scaling Health against most others.

Glyphs

AP
9x
OR

MR
9x
OR

CDR
9x
I run 9x Greater Glyph of Ability Power most of the time and 9x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist against mid mages with lots of poke or early all-in potential. I don't run Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction, but I believe they are a good alternative.

Note: Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power and Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist are good alternatives to the flat glyphs presented above, depending on whether you are more focused on the early game or not.


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Items

Spending your gold wisely is one of the most important decisions you will be making in any LoL game you play, and you should change your build depending on who you are playing against and how the game progresses. I will give details on what to buy in different situations, but I want to first start with what items you should NOT buy.

Do NOT get these items



I've seen the items listed below in other Annie guides, and you should not get these in most cases.


Staff I
You don't need mana regeneration or a large mana pool, there are better items to buy than this, do not get it under any circumstance.

The Will
Do not get this item, since you do not need the spell vamp, there are again better items to get. For example, Morellonomicon is 200 gold cheaper and gives you the same Ability Power (AP), and double the CoolDown Reduction (CDR).

The Grail
Don't buy this item on Annie, you don't need the high mana regeneration this item provides. Morellonomicon is a cheaper item that gives you 25% more AP, same CDR and Grievous Wounds. You are paying 400 extra gold for 25% less AP and 25 extra MR. If you NEED the MR, get Morellonomicon and buy a Null-Magic Mantle. You're still 20AP ahead and only 100 gold behind. Even with the increase in cost of Morellonomicon, it's still the better alternative.

The Bane
You are not an auto attacker. Don't get any Sheen based items. In a team fight, you will not be able to do a lot of auto-attacking since the enemy team SHOULD be focusing you if you come too close. You do your damage through your combo (R+W+Q). Lich Bane is a good item usually for high mobility mages such as Kassadin, Lulu, not "bursty" mages (you don't really see Lich Bane being built on Syndra, Xerath, Brand for a reason)

The Soulstealer
It will be hard to keep your stacks in a game you're not already winning hard because of your lack of escape ability. There are better items for Annie.

The Guise
You should never buy this early-mid game. There are always better items for you to purchase. Click below to see why it is a bad idea to get this item early.
Why Haunting Guise Early is bad: click to view

Essential Items

There's really only two items that you should have on a full build Annie.

The Deathcap
You should have it as part of your final build. Remember you want to deal as much damage as possible in team fights, the 30% AP bonus is huge for you since you have very good AP scaling on all your damage abilities.

The Hourglass
There will almost always be AD damage dealers on the enemy team, and the active is very important for late game. Would not build first if against an AP laner.

Good Early Items

Besides Rabadon's Deathcap and Zhonya's Hourglass, there are five other items that you should consider for your first buy.

The Rod
If you need survivability, this item is a good first option. The Catalyst of Aeons is good if you get it early against a lot of harass because it is basically a free Health Potion every time you level up. Rod of Ages also needs 10 min to get stacked so if you plan on getting it, get it first. Don't buy this late game.

Scepter I
It's a good alternative to the Rod of Ages, it gives you more AP, and a nice passive that slows opponents down, but you don't get the free healing or extra mana. You should consider buying this first if you need the extra health to stay in lane/alive.

Scepter II
Do not buy this item early if against an AD mid laner. The value of this item goes up if you have another magic damage dealer on your team. If you are against a mage in mid lane, and the enemy jungler or top is also a magic damage dealer, then the Abyssal Scepter can be a good alternative to Rylai's Crystal Scepter for example (also for Rod of Ages). Click below to find out why.
Abyssal Scepter or Rylai's: Click to View
I've done this comparison in December 2014 (about the fact that Abyssal Scepter is very cost effective) and I was of course right (numbers don't lie). As validation, in the new LCS season, the scepter is the first completed item in quite a lot of mid lane matchups.


The Tome
The 80 AP and 20% CDR is key here. In a fight with an opponent, you will be able to get 2 stuns out sometimes. Most importantly, you will be able to use Summon: Tibbers more often and he will spend more time on the battlefield. I usually build this as a second item. Its passive is really useful against enemy heroes with lots of healing ( Vladimir, Dr. Mundo, Fiddlesticks).

The Echo
Luden's Echo provides the most burst damage you can get from any completed first item and the 7% movement speed increase is also very useful as previously discussed. The only issue with completing Luden's Echo first is you will still need to get Rabadon's Deathcap later on since the 30%AP increase is very important for Annie. The same goes with Zhonya's Hourglass if you are getting focused in team fights. I would get this as first item if you can burst people down and snowball from there, definitely worth it.


Late game items

These items should be built as the last or second last items ONLY.

Staff II
Most Annie guides list this as must-get late game. However, the Abyssal Scepter is a better item in some situations for only an extra 150 gold. Click below to see the details of when you should, or should not, get a Void Staff late game. Don't get this item as your 2nd-3rd completed item.
To Staff or not to Staff: Click to View

The Torment
There are few occasions when you should build this item. Get it only if there are 2+ opponents with lots of health. This item works better if you have Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

The Veil
I only recommend this against a team with lots of CC and magic damage, otherwise there are better options.

The Heart
I recommend this against an AD-centric enemy team ONLY (the CDR is very useful and effectively doubling your health is nothing to sneeze at).

There's no other items you should consider.

Boots and enchantments

I usually go for either Sorcerer's Shoes or Boots of Mobility. The choice depends more on your play style and enemy composition.

Damage
More magic damage and speed, both good for Annie. Remember though that magic penetration is not that great on Annie early on (AP is better).

Speed
If you are planning to roam a lot and are against a champion that doesn't push you to turret every single wave. These are my personal favorites, I get them more often than Sorcerer's Shoes. Your ability to move between different lanes is insane.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Ninja Tabi are two other options that are worth considering. Ionian boots is viable if you don't have CDR items bought, ninja tabi is good vs a full AD comp.
Enchantments: Click to View


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The Battle Plan

One very important part of the game, which applies no matter what champion you play, is Knowing When to Pick Your Battles. And this starts in Champion Select. Being able to dodge a game a day with minimal consequences is an important tool at your disposal - USE IT.

I've made a short list of when to leave the game and when to stay.

DODGE
* Obvious trolls on team.
* Extremely toxic players.
* Very bad team comp with no agreement on roles.
Most important thing you can do to determine if you should dodge or not, is check the match history of the players on your team in champion select, to see if they have been trolling or playing really bad.
PLAY
+ Hard lane match-up.
+ Did not get requested role.
+ Off-meta champion picks.
Do not leave Champion Select just because you have a hard match-up. Also, sometimes you do not get what position you want - so learn how to play OTHER positions. Don't be that "MID or FEED" guy. Finally, people sometimes have weird picks for a given role, don't automatically assume he/she's trolling, check his/her record first!


Dodging the correct games is really helpful, even if you don't play ranked. It can be the difference between waiting 5 minutes or wasting 30. If you DO care about ranked, then dodging can help you move up in rank - -3 as opposed to a loss is a big difference.


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Game Progression

Early game



I have been favoring the Boots of Speed 4x Health Potion start over Doran's Ring at the start of season 5. I have a much easier time in lane avoiding poke with the extra movement speed, and I have twice the sustain I get with a Doran's Ring. It is also easier to escape from jungle ganks, and it is easier to follow up with damage if my jungler ganks. If I am expecting a few trades with the opponent I get a Mana Potion instead of one Health Potion, but I don't usually have mana problems in lane, even with no mana regen items, runes or masteries. The other advantage of Boots of Speed over Doran's Ring is that you will get upgraded boots in your build anyway.

There's two main things to remember early game: maintaining a good Creep Score(CS) over harassing and staying safe. Here are some general guidelines:
  • Try to harass with auto-attacks from range when the enemy champions goes in for a CS (especially against melee champions). Don't over-extend with auto-attack harass, only do so if you don't draw much minion aggro. This is very important at early levels, since minion attacks really hurt and, more importantly, you might end up pushing your lane which is NOT something you ever want with Annie early game. Remember you have no escape mechanism so it is really easy to gank you if you overextend.
  • Let your opponent push the lane towards your tower, Annie can farm under tower very well, and you are safe from ganks. The other advantage is that with the lane pushed up, your jungler can come in and gank easily. His CC, coupled with your stun and Ignite can net you kills/assists.
  • Don't Flash offensively, unless you are guaranteed a kill. You have to be able to estimate the amount of damage you can do (I am particularly guilty of using Flash offensively when I do not get an important advantage, but I am trying to control this). The choice to use Flash offensively in lane is also dependent on what summoner spells your enemy laner is running (does he have Flash, Barrier, Heal) and on the amount of MR the opponent has.
  • If you do move up in the lane (although you shouldn't), you should have the stun from Pyromania ready just in case the enemy jungler shows up. Even then, a good gank can force you to burn your Flash, and you don't want to do that.
  • If you warded only one of the side bushes, try to stay on that side of the lane if you move up.

General Laning Tips: Click to View

Tibbers: Click to View

Ganks: Click to View


Mid game
  • CSing is still important, but in this part of the game you have to pay more attention to enemy movements and you should roam whenever possible. Mid game is defined by sporadic team fights and jungle/tower control. You should be able to complete 1-3 items + boots in this interval, depending on how well the game is going.
  • You should always buy wards in this part of the game and at least a Vision Ward. This is also the part of the game where I recommend switching from a Warding Totem to a Sweeping Lens. Upgrade that sweeping lens whenever you can - it provides REALLY good value for only 250 gold. Denying enemy vision is just as important as acquiring vision. Landing a full combo ( Summon: Tibbers+ Disintegrate+ Incinerate+ Ignite) from a bush you just swept, or one that has a Vision Ward in it, will most likely net you a kill on the unaware victim. This is the second reason why warding is very important for Annie (and all burst mages for that matter): you can get free kills because of proper warding/denying the enemy wards.

Tips on Roaming: Click to View

Warding: Click to View


Late Game
  • Team fighting and Inhibitors/Towers/ Baron / Dragon is the name of the game. Your objective in a team fight is to burst down their carries with your Summon: Tibbers and to stun as many people as possible.
  • Don't move to areas you have no vision by yourself - stick with the team. Chances are you will be a high priority target for the enemy in team fights, so getting a Zhonya's Hourglass is very important at this stage.
  • If you see an opportunity to land Summon: Tibbers on 2+ members of the enemy team and kill at least one, take it. Otherwise, stay towards the back and wait for the fight to start.
  • Don't be impatient and drop Summon: Tibbers on the enemy tank as soon as the fight breaks out, your purpose is to kill the enemy team's carries, provide cc, and do as much damage as possible. Bide your time until you see a good opportunity to get Summon: Tibbers and Incinerate on 2+ enemies.
  • Of course, don't wait too much, as the team fight may be lost by the time you decide to join in. This is the part that is most difficult to explain, since it changes for every single fight. Your team fighting ability will improve with experience; the main message I want to get out is "Don't be impatient, wait for a good opportunity". Once a fight breaks out, people have a tendency to group, which is not the case when people are vying for position and attempting to get a good initiation.
  • A good three man ultimate is a lot of the times a won team fight right then and there. With a rank 5 Incinerate and rank 3 Summon: Tibbers, you will be able to do 745 + 205% AP to two people, and 965 + 285% AP to the target you choose to use your Disintegrate on (the AD or AP carry if he/she is still alive). That is 2455 flat + 700% AP worth of magic damage before magic resist. If you have around 450 AP, that is 5600 Magic damage (before MR).
  • There are no other champions that can net that amount of magic damage in a team fight, and provide an AoE 1.75 seconds stun, all off one combo. The good part about Annie is that this situation is far from rare late game.


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Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed this guide to mid Annie. If you liked/disliked the guide and/or have any critique, please leave a comment.

Change Log


31/05/2015 - Updated information and wording for all sections
11/03/2015 - Updated information in several chapters and added a new chapter.
18/02/2015 - Made changes for patch 5.3.
12/03/2014 - Added champions and made changes to the VS. Champions Section.
12/08/2014 - Added extra information on items and expanded VS. Champion Selection pool.
12/11/2014 - Slight changes to runes, skill sequence and items.
12/15/2014 - Added a section on Summon: Tibbers in the Game Progression chapter.
01/10/2015 - Updated the rune selection chapter.