Build Guide by Yarick
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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.
Introduction (Know Your Role)
Annie is a AP Nuke and she is one of the best currently in the game.
Below is a guide on how i play Annie in 5v5 games which i find to be rather effective.
As always check that your team requires a AP nuke if they already have one then pick another champion there is no point in having several nukes as you will drop a couple of people in team fights and then get aced.
Know Your Role
The AP nuke has 1 main role in a team fight and that is to nuke the opposite AD carry. If you fail to do this and you loose the team fight then its most likely your fault. The more hits the AD carry gets the faster your team will drop and you have the ability to drop them in under a second, so do it.
Pros / Cons
1) one of the best nuke champs in the game
2) can do True damage to AD carrys (see Ability Power vs Magic Penetration)
3) large damage area stun with tibbers can change a team fight
4) strong enough to take several hits from a AD carry
5) punches like a glass cannon but wont shatter like one
1) if you get behind you will need assistance to kill
2) quite slow with average escape mechanism so be map aware and don't go to far solo
Ability Power vs Magic Penetration
My build does not have as much Ability Power as some builds but with the high Magic Pen it will give better nuke results
At level 18, magic resistance ranges from Twitch and Nunu's 30 MR (23% damage reduction), to the 51 MR of Warwick, Evelynn, and several others (34% damage reduction).
Our Runes give us a total of 14.22 Magic Pen
Ashe a typical AD carry has 30 MR as standard
Magic penetration and magic resistance reduction are applied in the following order:
1)Percentage Magic Resistance Reduction
2)Flat Magic Resistance Reduction
3)Flat Magic Penetration
4)Percentage Magic Penetration
so lets do the maths
1) no change
2) no change
3) 14.22 MP (30 - 14.22 = 15.78 MR)
4) 15% from Mastery Archaic Knowledge (85% of 15.78 = 13.413 MR)
giving them 11.82% damage reduction instead of the 23% at level 1
you can reduce this further by leading with Exhaust+Cripple for an additional 10 MP leaving them with 3.413 MR which is 3.3% damage reduction so almost True damage from the start.
The build ends with a total of 54.22 MP and 20 Magic Reduction totalling 74.22 Penetration
and a AD carry is only likely to purchase upto 1 MR item which is likely to be Banshee's Veil to try and counter your stun.
so lets do some end game maths on Ashe with Banshee's Veil (30+50 = 80 MR)
1) no change
2) 20 from Abyssal Scepter (80 - 20 = 60 MR)
3) 54.22 from runes, boots and Haunting Guise (60 - 54.22 = 5.78 MR)
4) 15% from Mastery Archaic Knowledge (85% of 5.78 = 4.913 MR)
giving them 4.68% damage reduction instead of the 23%
if once again you lead with Exhaust+Cripple for an additional 10 MP and you do True Damage.
You ability's AP ratio are 60% and tibbers at 70% so to make up for the 18.32% damage you would need more than 18.32% additional Ability power (approximately 25% more AP would be needed to pack a similar punch)
As i will go through in later sections i go with the MP build as it enables you to pack a punch early on as well as build survivability and all quite cheaply whilst a pure AP build tends to leave you very glass cannon like and forces your tank to make tough decisions on if to save you or not (when they should be keeping your AD carry alive).
Flash is a life saver and a very good spell on almost any champion, with Annie it works well as it can enable you to flash towards a fleeing enemy to land a spell or as your 2nd choice in escape mechanisms (your stun should be first).
Exhaust same as flash this has offence and defence potential, it can be used as a 3rd choice escape mechanisms (stun flash exhaust) and should get you out of most situations. It also is handy during a nuke when you know you need additional spells after to get the kill a well timed exhaust will keep the enemy in range whilst your spells come off cool down, additionally if you lead your nuke with Exhaust it will reduce there MR by 10.
Marks and Quints of Insight as this is a good way to get a flat boost early on for MP
Seal of Clarity for mana as whilst you should not be using to much mana especially near the start you will still be using some and this should keep you topped up
Glyph of Celerity for cooldown as you need tibbers back as soon as possible after a nuke and during a nuke on tough opponents you may need a 2nd round of disintegrate/incinerate.
Disintegrate is your starting spell it will enable you to farm at the start and quickly prep Pyromania with no mana cost if you kill a minion with each shot. It is also the easiest spell to land a stun with as its a guaranteed hit and so it is usually the chosen stun spell to lead a nuke.
Incinerate at level 2 does more damage then Disintegrate so whilst both need to be levelled up quickly you should lead with Incinerate to maximise damage output, unless you are finding you need to do a 2nd disintegrate in the combo then you should lead with that to max damage output.
Molten Shield i get at level 5 as its good for preping your stun and is a handy little deterant for melee champions, after level 5 i leave this skill to last though.
Summon: Tibbers as with most Ults get this when ever possible and use it wisely
Masteries (9 0 21)
The main reason i have gone 9 0 21 is for the additional cool downs on spells and ability's
Cripple will stop people running away or assist you in running away and in the Ability Power vs Magic Penetration section above it would cause you to do true damage to the AD carry if you lead with it.
Archmage's savvy as the additional AP is always nice
Sorcery as the cooldown is helpful
Archaic Knowledge as the penetrate 15% resist is nothing to be sniffed at especially when attacking targets other than the AD carry
After this point the Offence tree does little benifit for Annie and so ive focused on the Utility tree
Perseverance will help out with mana issues and supply a little health
Good Hands as there's nothing else of use
Awareness as being ahead of the carry on levels makes your job much easier
Meditation to help out with mana regen
Greed often branded with being pointless but this little mastery makes it so you can afford to buy a few wards and still keep up with your equipment
Utility Mastery if your really against greed take 2 in this but i find a few wards per game much more useful than 15% more buff as the blue/red buff are often much more useful on other champions
Quickness for survivability
Blink of an eye as its a summoner spell
Intelligence for even more cooldowns
Presence of the master as your summoner spells greatly increase your killing/surviving ability
Sapphire Crystal and 2 Health Potions
With this you should be able to sit in lane at the start for a fair while
First 1-2 trips back
1350-1420 is a fair amount for your first trip back so unless i get a kill or 2 i often take 2 trips
until i finish rod of ages i try to keep 3 health pots on me and i always try keep a mana pot
the Mana potion is hugely important as usually once during a game you will find your self in a spot where you desperately need it so don't be cheep and spend that 40 gold
Speed and Magic pen is just what Annie is asking for so get this early and you wont regret it
This is what makes Annie hard to kill whilst still packing a punch, I get Catalyst early to help me stay in lane and then boots to help with positioning before finishing off rod of ages which takes 10 mins to be of full use so you need it quite early on.
Haunting Guise adds to everything you really need AP Health and MP and its cheep so get this as the 3rd of the core items.
Take the following items in any order checking to see which will best assist you
Your not dieing buy your not doing enough punch? then this is the item for you.
Having trouble with other mages? or your team is magic heavy? then get this item.
Having trouble with Physical champs? or they have karthus? then get this item.
Other Possible Items
It should be taken as a given that all Annie's items should by AP based as your job is to kill with your nuke not tickle them and AP items listed above give some survivability so i will quickly go through the rest of the AP items with my opinions on them for Annie.
(NOTE these opinions are for the items on Annie not on the items in general)
As you don't have mana issues and you don't spam your ability's this item is not the best for you
Can incorporate into your nuke well if you lead with it but then your not leading with the stun which you really need to be or the AD carry will flee. This item can work well but i prefer to use others
No as you cannot keep the stacks up and the attack damage is a waste
attack damage is a waste again and so is the life steal, the spell vamp with have little effect but the active could be handy. all in all not worth the money for annie
mana is a waste and so is the passive, the speed AP and MR could be nice but not really worth buying it for half an item
this is for magic spammers not you
To Mejai or not to Mejai well that is the question, personally i find Mejai on Annie a little unstable and prefer them on champions further back in the fight. The problem with Annie is to kill the AD carry you need to be quite near the front of the fight which leaves you open for attack and whilst your tough enough to get your nuke off surviving it isn't always possible
Morello's Evil Tome
not a bad little item the mana regen is a little waste but still worth it
no we don't need attack speed
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
good item to bulk you up and still give AP but the passive is a bit of a waste as most of the time you will be stunning for 1.75 secs which will negate the slow
the AP and speed would be nice but the rest is pointless and the cost to great
we should already be doing true damage any way making this item not worth it
Will of the Ancients
whilst not a bad item and very handy to have on your team its better suited to a champion that can make use of the spell vamp, if you have fallen behind try get some on to buy this item as the 30 AP will be quite handy for you
The 3 kinds of stun
Annie has 3 ways to stun and all have slightly different uses
Is very good at a single target stun and so is often used when you do your nuke as this will make it so the AD carry cannot flee and so that you can land the rest of your spells.
an area stun that can be harder to pull off due to the close proximity but has the benefits of hitting multiple targets which can be priceless when fleeing from multiple enemies.
the Tibbers stun should be used when you need to nuke the AD carry and other people are standing nearby if placed well this can be a real battle winner as multiple targets will take your nuke (still focus AD carry with Disintegrate)
Remember to prepare your stun as much as possible, you can have stun prepared in 2 ways
1) have Stun as your next spell you will have a swirl around you telling your opponent stay away or your stunned
2) walk around with 4 stacks on and shield ready (this is my fav) people will now never be sure if you have stun or not and you just add shield at the start of your combo to give you move survivability
You really should not be walking around without stun prepared as your just asking to die so keep it preped.
Personally i think Annie is a bottom lane champion and here is why
Why not to Solo Top or Mid
1) lack of regen will cause you to be drinking to many pots
2) no quick ways to get back to lane will loose your team XP
3) hard to get a kill unless they turret dive you
4) whilst you can harass some champs you are not a natural harasser
5) if you are out ranged then your in deep trouble especially if there a natural harasser
Why to Lane with a partner
1) the additional damage they provide will make getting kills much easier
2) assuming you take turns to refresh no XP will be lost
3) you do not need to have your stun up as much depending on your partner
4) last hitting will be easier as your partner can harass whilst you farm
Whilst i believe Annie is best in bottom lane against certain opponents she can do very well in mid its just there's not that many, as a simple rule look at there potential mid chars and think am i out ranged? if the answer is yes try avoid mid.
Bottom lane partners
so your in the bottom lane so who is good to lane with?
well at the bottom lane you will generally be put with a AP support or a tank/offtank and here is why
there are 3 spots that will get champions ahead either via gold and/or XP and these need to be taken by certain champions.
Top and Mid will get the most XP/gold so the AD carry should take one of these, its the junglers job to to try and keep up with with them on XP/gold and will generally be slightly behind depending who there jungling on, the bottom will share XP and so be the lowest but your lane partner should allow you to last hit every minion which will get you as much gold as mid. As Annie inst as level dependant as AD carrys your team will get the most benefit with her at the bottom last hitting all the minions.
Very generally speaking the ranged AD carry normally takes mid as they should be able to easily last hit all minions.
Top lane is usually taken by some one with a bit of regen and toughness as they maybe facing 1 or 2 opponents the additional gold/XP will help with this
you really should have a jungler and these champs tend to be AD and reasonably tough often building into a tank or off tank.
so this leaves you normally with a support or a tank or a off tank, below are the ones i play along side with often and i rate, there are many more combos that would work well basically you need some one who can do a bit of damage and any CC is always handy.
Remember your lane partner will be the worst off on the team as far as gold is concerned and joint worst on levels so it is important you call in the jungler to gank when possible, it is also important to ward dragon between you and assist with killing it if needed. (most jungle routes end at dragon between the 6-7 min mark)
The majority of the champions listed below can also push waves easily which will allow them to catch up on gold once the team fights start.
Rupture and Feral Scream is very handy at saving you/setting up a kill and a well timed Feast will work well with your nuke. Additionally a well timed Feral Scream in team fights will give you more time to nuke and its nice to get into practice doing this during the lane phase.
shield, slow, awesome harasser, loads of damage and a ult to finish the ones that run away, Perfect
a slow, can harass, quite tough and the double nuke should take out most opponents.
damage a massive shield and crowd control to keep the other opponent at bay
traps should help protect from ganks and heals to stay in lane longer and huge harass damage from Javelin Toss
a stable tank that normally packs a punch, Vorpal Blade can help with health regen and he is quite good at keeping you alive
Tibbers is your highly useful pet that you can control by pressing Alt telling him to attack or move, below is a list of things tibbers should be doing for you if you have him out do not waste tibbers casting him for no reason.
1) check bushes
2) tank turrets whilst waiting for minion wave
3) tank turret so you/allies can pass unharmed
4) turret dive
5) initiate the 2nd wave of an attack
6) harass whilst you escape or kill another enemy
7) watch your back when moving (tibbers follows you giving you more time to spot some one attacking from behind)
If tibbers get over a screen away he will teleport back to you so in some cases it may be best to tell tibbers to walk the opposite direction to you so you get him quicker
Annie can quickly push waves of creeps with Incinerate but early game you want to avoid doing this as much as possible instead focus on last hitting and preping your stun with Disintegrate
Last hitting can take a little getting used to as you auto attack has quite a delay on it but with a little practice you should be last hitting every minion
Tips and Tricks
Annie is quite a simple champion really but there are a few small tips and tricks
1) always keep your stun ready
2) when at the shop cycle your stun as it will regen your mana
3) keep a mana pot handy as usually once per game i need it
4) cast Incinerate and Molten Shield on way back to lane to cycle your stun
5) do not go bush diving, if Tibbers is out then send him in
6) when recalling use Tibbers (assuming hes out) to scout nearby places people maybe jumping you from
7) on the loading screen look at the other champions and prioritise your targets for team fights
8) take it easy at the start harass a little if possible and wait for Tibbers ensuring to get the max possible amount of minion kills
9) Molten Shield will cycle your stun but unlike your other spells it doesn't use it up so keep casting it when you have stun ready to give your self more protection during team fights
The Nuke Cycle
For the standard nuke you will start with 4 stacks and this is the state you will be mostly walking around in
4-5) Molten Shield
as Incinerate has a longer cooldown than Disintegrate i tend to fight with the above combo initially leading with a single target stun on the AD carry and then finishing with a area or single target stun into the team fight as required.
do not be afraid to break from this combo if you get a chance to Tibbers stun more than just the AD carry then do so as this can put your team at a huge advantage.
Totalling up the items i believe you get 595.8 AP with this build which is all True damage against a AD carry
Disintegrate 260 + 60% AP = 617.48
Incinerate 325 + 60% AP = 682.48
Molten Shield 60 + 20% AP = 179.16 per basic attack on Annie
Summon: Tibbers 450 + 70% AP = 867.06
Tibbers also has 130 attack damage and 80 continual damage
so the standard 3 spell nuke should do 2167.02 True Damage and that's before Tibbers additional 130 and 80
I have mentioned it many many times in the guide but its worth mentioning it again
Your job is to kill the AD carry
once this is done then try save your self and assist in the team fight
Annie's job is quite hard or at least to do it and survive as you need to kill the AD carry near the start of the fight so most people will be alive and the tank will be standing in your way trying to protect the AD carry, and this is why its the Nukes job as they can get in nuke them quick and hopefully get out.
the build i believe gives enough nuke ability whilst providing enough survivability to do this task.
Rod of Ages and Haunting Guise will bulk you up so you can take a few hits
Abyssal Scepter provides MR
Zhonya's Hourglass provides armour and a 2 sec invulnerability giving your team time to roll over
Flash should provide you with a method to hop back into the protection of your team
and Molten Shield will help to keep you kicking that little bit longer
Patch and Updates
Patch (Date d-m-y) - Comment
1.34.12 (29-04-2011) - First Published
1.34.21 (13-05-2011) - Added Tip 9
1.34.21 (15-05-2011) - text change due to Rod of Ages update