Annie Build Guide by shadownumber
Not Updated For Current Season
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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.
This is a guide to being the mid carry as my beloved Annie. I have done this hundreds of times and 98% of the time I get 1-3 kills by lvl 6, plus an excellent creep score to go along with it. Annie's early-mid game job is to be a hard nuker, racking up early kills on the opposing squishies, followed by building a hybrid of AP and HP items to mix damage with survivability. Please read through and try it out before you judge and have fun :D.
Core Items are items that are a necessity to build. I build these every time I play Annie without fail (unless we have already forced a surrender)
Doran's Ring - Dorans ring is a fantastic starting item, providing you with three important things. First, a good early AP punch to give you a farming and offensive edge. Second, mana regen to sustain you if you cast your spells to harrass your opponent. Third, it provides HP to give you more early sustainability in lane.
Sorcerer's Shoes - Pretty self explanatory, good magic penetration. Ionian Boots of Lucididty is also not a bad choice, but the cooldown bonus is not very important to Anie who (at least early game) focuses on single nukes, and does not rely on cooldown. Sorcerers boots are the best option.
Rabadon's Deathcap- I have seen other guides suggesting you build it later, but Rabadons is essential to netting early kills. The huge AP bonus is the difference between nuking an ashe with one big combo and her running away laughing with 100hp. Building Rod of Ages first may allow you to play a little more aggressively with the extra health, but the nuking difference would roughly be 200 less damage in one combo. Thats a lot. Rabadons is key to getting fed early with Annie, survivability can come later.
Rod of Ages - One of the best items for most AP casters, good health, mana, and AP. Your burst becomes more formidable, plus you can no longer be brought down so easily.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - Another key item, much like Rod of Ages. More important AP and HP, while providing a neat little passive that slows enemies when you hit them with a spell. This can be critical when chasing down a bulkier character after a team fight.
These items are good with Annie, but are not necessarily a must have. You build them almost always after your done construction your core items.
AP/Offensive Items (Nuke)
Deathfire Grasp - Offers good AP, mana regen, and CD, and its active can be useful in some situations. Generally I don't consider it worth it to build, but in some situations, it can be key to success.
Morello's Evil Tome - Offers similar stats as Deathfire Grasp, slightly better in AP and Mana Regen but equal in CDs. Doesn't have an active like Deathfire does. It is slightly cheaper, so depending on your current gold amount, you may want to buy this instead of deathfire.
Void Staff - A good offensive item, but it can leave Annie a bit squishy. It is a good option if the opposing team is MR or tanky heavy, and has built items like banshees veil against you.
Abyssal Scepter - A good offensive item as well, and it can be good to grab this if the other team has heavy Magic resist. Also gives you some decent magic resist, so can be good against AP heavy teams.
Zhonya's Hourglass - More fun AP and armor, good against teams with lots of AD characters. Also fun active which can protect you from the other team, making you invulnerable for 2 seconds, but you also can't attack. If used right, it can be a lifesaver and a gamechanger in some situations.
Guardian Angel - Probably one of my favorites after the core items, it gives u more good tankiness with armor and magic resist. But the best part is after you blast 3 of your enemies with tibbers, they run after you focusing you down as your teammates tear them up, and once you die, you just get back up and q w them one more time for the kill. It can be situational though, and you should judge whether or not it would work in your curret game.
Banshee's Veil - Another really fun one, it give you more HP and MR, and blocks one spell every 45 seconds. This is a good one to have when going up against another tough AP caster like Brand, Fiddlesticks, Veigar, etc. Protects you from their spell, then you nuke them off the map.
Thornmail - Not one of my preferred favorites, but is very good against AD heavy teams. Gives you armor and sends 30% of damage inflicted upon you by normal attacks as magic damage.
Mejai's Soulstealer - A lot of people say you should grab Mejaiis early on Annie. However, if you do, you slow down your more important items, like the extra burst of Rabadons and the survivability of Rod of Ages. Mejaiis is too dependent on the other team being bad enough to give you the stacks that make it worth it. I would not get Mejaiis unless you are a supremely confident Annie, and you are also confident enough in the opposing teams lack of ability.
Not too much to say here. Just a few other possible runes include:
Greater Quintessence of Health - Used to get a little extra HP, not a bad choice. A good alternative if you don't feel like you need AP Quints.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction - Another debateable topic here. I do not feel that cooldown runes are necessary when Annie's cooldowns are already quite short, and she usually just uses one big nuke and doesn't need to follow up with more spells anyways. Is a somewhat viable choice for Annie
Opposing Mid Champions
This chapter is to discuss the difficulty of going mid against certain champions, and how to combat their unique abilities with your playing style.
Strategies midding against any common champ mid.
AP caster mids
Anivia - Anivia is a very easy champion for a good Annie to handle. All you have to do is make sure she doesn't land her Flash Frost on you. Combo her with your stun and Disintegrate Incinerate her. If she stays out of range, just zone her from getting xp and minions.
Annie - A good opposing Annie can give you nightmares, but usually they don't use her intelligently enough. I have never lost to an opposing Annie mid. When going against another Annie, you want to get your Pyromania stun up, and when the opposite Annie's stun is down, move in and combo her with Disintegrate Incinerate. If they stay out of range, just zone her.
Brand - Brand is one of the more challenging champs to mid against as Annie. He also has a huge burst, and has more range then you do. He usually leads with his Pillar of Flame because of its range, then tries to follow up with a Sear, which if landed in sequence, will stun you. Try to avoid all of his abilities, but if he hits you with one, try to get away from him or behind minions so his passive, Blaze, doesn't combo you. If he lands multiple abilities in a row, blaze gives him more damage or stuns from successive spells. If you avoid the first spell, you won't have to worry about this to begin with. Besides this, just use your normal Disintegrate Incinerate when you are in range.
Fiddlesticks - Fiddlesticks is not a very dangerous character to Annie, just hard to kill. This is because of his Dark Wind, which has a longer range then your Disintegrate, and will silence you if you try to move in to combo him, and also his Drain, which he can use to heal himself after being damaged. When he is using Drain, move in fast to combo him with Disintegrate and Incinerate, to deal some damage while he is locked in draining a minion. He will either move out of your range, ending his drain, or take a big hit.
Heimerdinger - The only thing that should give you trouble is his H-28G Evolution Turret, just make sure to avoid heavy damage from those. The same stun Disintegrate Incinerate combo applies.
Karthus - He shouldnt give you much trouble mid. The one thing you have to watch out for is his Lay Waste which has a very long range and can really start to chip away at your health, and his Defile, which is only a threat if you are dumb enough to go too close to him.
Kassadin - Another annoying champ to deal with as Annie. This is because of his Null Sphere, which silences and has a longer range then your Disintegrate, and his ult, Riftwalk which allows him to flash onto you whenever he chooses. Make sure you have a lot of hp once he hits level 6, so he can't burst you down.
Kennen - Relatively easy to handle. Avoid his Thundering Shuriken by staying behind your minions, and make sure he cant stack his Mark of the Storm with succesive abilities landed. This just requires staying out of range if he lands the first ability.
LeBlanc - She can give you serious problems when used properly. Her huge burst consisting of her Distortion to get in range, followed by her Sigil of Silence and her Mimic (after she hits level 6), can be deadly. Make sure you have a lot of hp when she hits level 6.
Lux - Lux can be annoying to deal with due to the long range of her Lucent Singularity, which is thrown then detonated to do damage. You usually will have enough time to get away from it, and as long as you don't go near it, the detonation will not damage you. If you manage to avoid getting heavily damaged from this, Lux should be easy to deal with.
Malzahar - This champion is relatively easy to handle. You just have to watch for his Malefic Visions, which can do a lot of damage, but usually is cast on a minion. Once he casts it on a minion, it can bounce to the next nearest target after that minion dies, so make sure you aren't standing right next to that minion when it dies. After he casts it ona minion, move in and attack with your Disintegrate and your Incinerate, while his abilities are on cooldown. Once he hits level 6, his Nether Grasp also becomes an issue, but you should be able to kill him by using Flash, Pyromania, Summon: Tibbers, Disintegrate, Incinerate, Ignite before he has a chance to use Nether Grasp on you.
Orianna - Another pretty challenging champ to deal with, due to the range of her Command: Attack, and her follow up abilities ( Command: Dissonance and Command: Shockwave ) that go with it. All of her attacks cascade from her Command: Attack and as long as you dodge that, and stay out of the circle surrounding her ball, you should be able to handle her fine.
Veigar - Veigar is easy to handle, and is one of the few champions you want to be aggressive against early. He gains One ability power point through his Baleful Strike every time he last hits a minion, so you want to zone him out preventing his farm. You should be able to gain an early edge on him, and as long as you are able to dodge his Dark Matter after he uses Event Horizon, you should be able to handle him with ease.
Vladimir - He is an annoying champ to mid against due to his Transfusion, which he uses to heal himself in lane. The best strategy is that whenever he moves forward to a friendly minion to use Transfusion, you move up to your minions and use Disintegrate and Incinerate on him, which should prevent him from constantly healing against you.
Ashe - Ashe is another easy champion to beat mid. Hide behind your minions to avoid her Volley, then get your stun up and Disintegrate Incinerate her. The same zoning tactic applies that is used with Anivia.
Caitlyn - Caitlyn is one of the hardest champs for Annie to deal with. You will have to avoid her Yordle Snap Trap that she will probably place strategically all over the mid. She also has a long range ability, her Piltover Peacemaker, that you will need to constantly be watching for. Hiding behind minions will shield you from some of the damage, as it loses power as it goes through multiple targets. If you avoid these two, you should be able to handle Caitlyn successfully.
Ezreal - This is one champ you may need to call in a gank for. The best Ezreals can have you dead by level 2 or 3, before Annie hits the best part of her game. Due to his Arcane Shift, he can get a free flash in and start dealing heavy damage as early as level 1 to Annie. At level 2, he can combo this with Mystic Shot, giving him huge early burst when Annie is at her weakest. Most Ezreals aren't good enough to utilize him this effectively though, and once you hit level 3 and 4 and can get your Pyromania stun up, you should be able to control him.
Gangplank - This champion is not hard to deal with, but requires faster reflexes then most champions. This is because of his Remove Scurvy, which he can use to cleanse yourself of his stun. This means you will have to use your Disintegrate and Incinerate faster then he can cleanse himself and run away.
Sivir - The main ability you have to watch for is her Boomerang Blade, which deals huge damage early on. If you stay behind your minions the damage will be reduced, as each subsequent target hit deals less damage. Try to avoid the bounceback, as Boomerang Blade can hit you both going away from Sivir and when it comes back at her.
Twisted Fate - He should be easy to deal with, as his only real threat is his Wild Cards, which is hard to land. Make sure you keep your distance from him, so you have more time and space to dodge this ability.
Vayne - Vayne can give you some trouble early, as she can move in quickly at you with her Night Hunter and Tumble. Play conservatively for the first few levels, and have your Pyromania up as much as you can to damage her back and prevent her from landing her Silver Bolts, which do extra damage if she hits you with her crossbow 3 times in a row.
Katarina - She plays like an AP caster, as most of her damage comes from her abilities. The only thing necessary to stop Katarina in any situation is good crowd control. You only have to watch her for her Death Lotus, and have your stun ready for when she pops it.
Kog'Maw - He can be played as either AP or AD or a hybrid of the two. He is only challenging once he hits level 6, due to the insane range of his Living Artillery. However, once your level 6, you should be able to kill him using Flash, Pyromania, Summon: Tibbers, Disintegrate, Incinerate, Ignite anyways.
Sion - Ask for a lane switch
If you think I forgot any important champs, let me know in comments below!
Early game strategy (1-6)
This guide is designed for Annie mid, so that is what we will talk about, although Annie can lane with the same items and runes and masteries quite well too. Just start in the mid farming with your Disintegrate, which convieniently refunds mana on a last hit, until you hit level 2. Once you hit level 2, get your Pyromania stun up and try to land a Disintegrate on the opposing champ, and when you do, follow it up with your Incinerate while he is stunned. This is good for roughly 200 damage at level 2, and you can easily whittle down your opponents health with just a couple combos. In between attacks at the enemy champion, just keep farming with your Disintegrate, which allows your mana to regenerate and provides you with important gold. You should be able to have excellent farming numbers and also have your opponent consistently on the defensive with less health then you. If he is low enough that one burst can kill him, flash near him and use your combo again, finishing with Ignite to seal the kill.
Continue this until level 6. At level 6, your opponent should have less then 700 health due to your combos. Once you get your ultimate, Summon: Tibbers get your Pyromania stun up. Get within range or Flash onto him, and attack him with your Summon: Tibbers first, following up with Disintegrate Incinerate and Ignite if necessary. This should be more then enough to kill him. Through harassment and the burst with ultimate, you should always have at least one kill after level 6. Always remember if you get too low, to recall when necessary.
Mid game strategy (7-12)
After you have vanquished your mid opponent, you may want to recall if you are low on health or mana, as a gank may be soon headed your way. Purchase items along the build, and do one of two things. Either you return to the mid and continue farming and harassing the other champion, looking for another kill oppurtunity, or you can go gank one of the lanes. Annie is an excellent ganker thanks to her stun and high early damage output, and you can net a kill or two and a couple assists for your team with a well exectued gank. Continue farming or ganking as the situation calls for, and you should be able to complete Rabadon's Deathcap by roughly level 10 or 11. This is when you are at your most dangerous in terms of damage. You can hide in a bush along the lanes and Flash out at an opposing squishier champ and one combo them to their immediate death. Champs like Ashe, Sivir, Lux, Tristana, Teemo, and Veigar are some of the easier champs to quickly burst down from almost full health. You should be able to rack up at least 4 kills before level 13, with a good minion kill score to go along with it, and you should have your Catalyst the Protector completed.
Late game (13-18)
This is when Annie becomes more tanky and lest bursty. You can continue nuking the opposing squishies for a while, but often they will have taken steps to counter it with items by then. You will be focused more often, and you should stay behind your tank until an oppurtunity to kill presents itself. Your role becomes waiting for the opposing squishies to stick out and nuking them hard down, or waiting for your tank to initiate and then following up by hitting the other team's carry.
I have used this build so many times and dominate so many games. Please read through and try it out before you judge. Thanks for reading and have fun carrying :D!