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Annie Build Guide by Gabby Feeds

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Gabby Feeds

[S.5] Tibbers the Terrible: AP Carry Mid

Gabby Feeds Last updated on April 28, 2015
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Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
8
Ability Key Q
2
9
10
12
13
Ability Key W
3
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


Guide Top

About the Author



Hello, my summoner's name is Smellslikeamumu. At the end of Season 4 I had solo-queued it up to Gold V.
This is my interpretation of how to play Annie mid.


If you want to investigate a little:

OPGG Profile

Ranked Match History


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INTRODUCTION


Annie, The Dark Child, is an ability power spell caster with both single target and AOE attacks. Her CC capabilities make her viable in both bot lane (as a support) or mid (as an AP Carry). This guide is intended to expand knowledge on how to play Annie as a mid champion with an active role both in early and late game. To be honest, Annie is a beast in Bronze - Gold ELO. She is rarely banned and super versatile in lane. She doesn't fall of at any point during the match. And, if played properly, has the potential not only to burst down opponents but also help CC them and set up teamfights to your advantage.

The last thing I wanted was for this to be yet ANOTHER MobaFire Guide about which Runes and Masteries to use with each champion (let's be honest, you can take all the right equipment and still not know how to play the game effectively). This guide takes every counter and every disadvantage you will encounter into careful consideration, presenting you with solutions that will keep you ahead throughout the game.
Feel free to comment and upvote. If you have any ideas of how to improve the guide, I'm always open to suggestions. Enjoy!

**Not intended for Summoners who are new to mid lane tactics and team cooperation**


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PROS AND CONS


This is the section that explains WHY you should choose to play Annie. It is meant to create a realistic approach to what you have to work with. In other words, you want to know right out of the gate if you're playing a champion with little potential. Annie, the terrible little troublemaker, has been around since Season 1, making her one of Riot's first champions on Summoner's Rift. Although sometimes this is considered a fault (*cough cough Urgot cough*), Annie uses this to her full advantage. She is rarely messed with, in terms of nerfing and buffing. Actually, she remained pretty much untouched through Seasons 3 and 4, only to be BUFFED in Season 5. So does Annie have potential? Let's find out.


PROS +:

    Farming is simple
    Doesn't require overly expensive items
    Not too squishy
    Can be built versatile
    Not very mana dependent
    Can engage during team fights with AOE stun

CONS - :
    No escape
    Her stun requires 3 abilities to be casted
    Can be taken out of the game early
    Out-scaled by a few newer AP Carries


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EXPECTATIONS


When playing Annie mid, don't expect to take the opponent down to half health w/one (Q) (Ain't gonna happen). It is more effective to poke the opponent down using her passive stun, continued by farming and finally repeating her combo once all abilities are off cooldown.
Due to her lack of scaling attack damage, Annie relies highly on her teammates to help push down towers. However, she is highly effective in teamfight engages and chasing down enemies (thanks to the new Patch updates that allows Molten Shield (E) to circle around Tibbers, granting him additional movement speed when the ability is cast).
While playing Annie, there is always that possibility that you will lose lane when facing an opponent that you are not accustomed to. Unfortunately, if Annie is shut down early game (by jungle ganks, lack of farm or repeated deaths) she will have little impact until late game. Due to this fact, there are many times when freezing lanes and farming becomes of dire importance to Annie's role as an AP Carry.
Annie is not meant to be "the most powerful AP champion". More so, she is meant to assist her team in securing objectives and isolating / shutting down AD Carries at an early stage in the game.
Her team fighting capabilities are what separate her from most mid champions who are only able to target one unit at a time. Annie can either be the front-runner to engage on the enemy team or stay behind the tank and guard the AD Carry. She is extremely versatile if you understand her mechanics and is very difficult to shut down late game, if built correctly.



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SPELL COMBOS


General Overview: Just to give you an idea of what her abilities are, in case you aren't too familiar with them. The more you've memorized this, the better you're going to be able to strategize in lane.

Passive: Pyromania : Used to stun opponents

• (Q): Disintegrate: Used for farming, engaging, poking

• (W): Incinerate: Primarily used for engages (extremely effective w/Quick Cast)

• (E): Molten Shield: Mainly used to charge stun, help execute stray minions

• (R): Summon: Tibbers: Used for teamfights or focusing heavy carries




Actual Spell Combinations: I've mentioned them so much throughout this guide that it's super redundant at this point but here goes everything I've ever had ever.



• Passive Poking (in lane): Pretty simple. Use your to farm minions, charging up your stun in the process. When you're at 3 stacks get within range of your opponent, pop your and stun them with your , immediately following up with , then casually walk away, stutter stepping them in the process (basic attack, walk away, basic attack, etc.)

• Crushing your opponent at lvl 6 (in lane): You don't have to play aggressive in lane but once you've hit 6 and want to engage, this is how you do it: you literally have to delete them off the map (and it's surprisingly easy). Engage w/ [stun up], then pop your , , and ignite as quickly as humanly possible. Be prepared to Flash / again if required. If they haven't died then you're building her incorrectly and probably chose a bad time to engage.

• Clearing Skuttle Bug (river wards): Why is this important? Because the new Summoners Rift is still new enough that junglers fail to realize the importance of clearing it and getting vision on future Dragon / Baron. If your jungler can't tell left from right, clear it yourself (if you have time). The additional gold doesn't hurt and since you're primarily located in the center of the map it gives you additional vision on your surroundings. (Ps, don't run out of lane at level 4 to clear it. That's not what I'm implying here. I'm referring to later in the game, toward the end of laning phase)
You pretty much just hit the thing as much as possible, zoning him toward whatever area you want him to be in (instead of chasing him across the entire river, just stand in from of him and "guide" him where you want him to go. He's programmed to just avoid you so work with it).

• Effectively Escaping Ganks: Every ability you cast on an enemy will slow them, that's the beauty of Rylai's. So you're being chased across the map. Begin by casting onto as many opponents as you can. If one of them gets too close, use on him, charging your stun in the process. Pop your as often as you can and repeat. When your life hangs in the balance you better have a freaking Rylai's.
*Only effective w/Rylais Crystal Sceptor


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COUNTER PICKS


Counter Picks (MID)
The only champions that truly counter Annie as a mid lane champion are ones that either have a ridiculously long counter stun or high sustain rate in lane. Although it is possible to build against these counters, it will come down to choosing the right time to go in and side-stepping your opponent's abilities.
*These are not the only counter picks that exist, I'm just listing a select few.

* Start with: Boots, 4 Health Potions

* Main Combo: Poking opponents down w/her (Q) Dark Sphere, around half health stunning them w/(E) Scatter the Weak, optionally slowing the target w/(W) Force of Will and finishing them w/(R) Unleashed Power.

* Counter-Building: N/A (Build Full AP Damage)

* When to Engage: After her stun has been used / when flash is down

* Primarily Avoid: Her stun (E)


Link to LOL Champion Database




* Start with: Dorans Ring, 2 Health Potions

* Main Combo: Uses his (E) Malefic Visions to farm (if infected minion dies near opponent, will be transferred). (Passive) Voidling automatically targets infected units. Silences players using (Q) Call of the Void, usually engaging with this ability, followed by (R) Nether Grasp.

* Counter-Building: Rush Quick Silver Sash (QSS) to remove his ult, followed by a strong AP item

* When to Engage: Prior to lvl 6 or when QSS has been purchased

* Primarily Avoid: His silence (Q)


Link to LOL Champion Database



* Start with: Boots, 4 Health Potions

* Main Combo: Poke down opponents using (Q) Arcanopulse. When he has lowered enough health, engages with stun (E) Shocking Orb, followed by (W) Eye of Destruction and finishing them off w/(R) Rite of the Arcane which is extremely long-range.

* Counter-Building: Rush Zhonya's Hourglass to trade in damage output and avoid his ult

* When to Engage: When stun has been used

* Primarily Avoid: His stun (E), moving in a predictable manner while his ult is being cast


Link to LOL Champion Database

* Start with: Dorans Ring, 2 Health Potions

* Main Combo: Veigar farms with his (Q) Baleful Strike which increases his AP permanently for every unit killed. A common tactic is engaging with (E) Event Horizon, followed by (W) Dark Matter, finishing his opponent with (R) Primordial Burst.

* Counter-Building:
Option #1: Build Abyssal Scepter as first item to avoid being destroyed by his ult (scales w/80% of opponents AP)
Option #2: Build Banshees Veil first to skip his stun entirely

* When to Engage: When flash is up (to avoid stun), when stun has been used

* Primarily Avoid: His stun (E)


Link to LOL Champion Database


Guide Top

COMPATIBILITY


Compatibility [ALL LANES]

Now that we have somewhat discussed Ban preferences and mid lane counters, it's time to venture into the world of team comp. Annie's burst and versatility allows her to be a forward mid champion, one who can chose to engage on the enemy team if the opportunity arises (not saying you should run in there yelling LEROOOYYYYY. Don't be that guy). Her main engage, which we will go over soon, is her stun/ult that does massive AOE damage to opponents while stunning them temporarily. The next few champions I mention will help prep Annie to release Tibbers and secure objectives throughout the game.
*These are not the only LoL champions compatible with Annie. I'm only listing a select few.

* Why are they compatible? Amumu and Annie both have AOE as well as single target stuns, which makes ganking and team fighting more effective and harder to escape from.

* Spell Combinations:
Ganking Mid Lane: Amumu ganks through river (either side), engaging with (Q) Bandage Toss, immediately following up with E Tantrum and toggling (W) Despair. When Amumu's stun times out, Annie stuns the Target with Q Disintegrate, following with (W) Incinerate. Either teammates may ult if necessary saving flash in case the Target gets out of range.

Team Fighting: Amumu engages on the enemy team w/his (Q) Bandage Toss, immediately ulting Curse of the Sad Mummy and stunning multiple targets. Annie follows up (stun charged up) with her ult Summon: Tibbers, stunning multiple targets. This gives the rest of the team time to use their ultimates and focus certain champions. Using Annie's E Molten Shield, Tibbers becomes speed boosted and is sent out to Target the enemy ADC dealing damage with each basic attack done by Tibbers.


Link to LOL Champion Database

* Why are they compatible? Vel Coz is both a viable mid laner and support. Recently the META has been somewhat oriented toward supporting due to his CC abilities and massive AP damage. Vel Coz's ultimate (R) Life Form Disintegration Ray can target multiple units. If stunned, units have no escape from Vel Coz's ult.

* Spell Combinations: It's pretty simple. After Annie has ulted (R) Summon: Tibbers, Vel Coz ults and PROFIT.


Link to LOL Champion Database

* Why are they compatible? Leona's ult sets up the perfect chance for Annie to ult/stun various opponents without being the engage.

* Spell Combinations: Leona a notorious tank and also great at engaging during late-game teamfights. Not only does her (E) Zenith Blade give her the perfect engage but her (W) Eclipse allows her to withstand the damage taken while trying to shorten the distance between herself and opponents. Leona's ultimate (R) Solar Flare is used for teamfights, stunning opponents in it's center and slowing those on the outside of it's wake. This gives Annie an opportunity to use her ult (R) Summon: Tibbers to stun the already CC'd group of enemies.


Link to LOL Champion Database


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GANK CITY


Junglers that Shut Annie Down FAST

As a Mid Lane champion, surrounded by rivers, bushes and jungle on both sides, your opposing mid laner is not your only threat. Mid is one of the most impactive lanes in regards to securing objectives and also the easiest lane to gank. There are a few junglers out there that are absolutely terrifying. This short explanation should show you what to look out for when these are your enemy junglers and how to avoid situations that are a huge pain in the butt.
*These are not the only junglers that can shut Annie down. I'm only listing a select few.

* Disadvantages to Vi Jungle:
• Her (Q) Vault Breaker allows her to go through walls to close gaps / engage (and, imagine, you're surrounded by walls)
• Her (W) Denting Blows works with (E) Excessive Force, repeated attacks on a single target cause massive damage at an alarmingly fast rate
• Between her (Q) Vault Breaker and her (R) Assault and Battery, you can't run away
• She's also undeniably tanky

* Avoiding Ganks (pre-initiate): Ward unpredictably, in places that Vi would be likely to gank (behind walls, bushes, etc.)

* Avoiding Ganks (post-initiate): When things start smelling , save your stun and turtle under your tower. If engaged until Turret, stun Vi and deal as much damage as possible before dying (if you're lucky the tower will finish her off). Never die alone!


Link to LOL Champion Database

* Disadvantages to Maokai Jungle:
• He is one tanky
• His Passive Sap Magic heals him on occasion
• His (W) Twisted Advance roots you in place, while his (Q) Arcane Smash slows you and his (E) Sapling Toss ALSO slows you (in other words you aren't going ANYWHERE). Plus his (R) Vengeful Maelstrom was buffed in S.4 to now move WITH Maokai, meaning not only can he tank 2 simultaneous turrets but he can also kick your butt with AP Damage.

* Avoiding Ganks (pre-initiate): Keep an eye on where Maokai is on the map. Where was the last place he was seen? Ward the area you think he would engage through.

* Avoiding Ganks (post-initiate): HAHA! You're funny... Oh. You're serious? I don't know - Flash the wall behind you or something. Good luck


Link to LOL Champion Database




Warding! It's a big deal, believe it or not. These aren't the only places you should be warding but since you will be limited to 3 wards, this is a good start. Feel free to be creative if you believe warding elsewhere will help you avoid unnecessary ganks and roaming lanes throughout the game.


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FARMING


It's called "Q Farming" w/Annie. The reason that entering lane at first w/a Dorans Ring and 2 pots is so effective is because every time Annie uses her (Q) to execute a minion, the mana used for that ability is completely refunded. So instead of using mana to poke down opponnets and replenishing it by basic attacking minions like most champions (IE: Xerath, Veigar), you'll basically be executing minions using your (Q), basic attacking others that are a bit out of reach. This also naturally generates your stun and gives you a time frame of when to engage on enemy champions.
If you are losing lane and cannot come near your opponent w/out getting face wrecked (new term I came up with, just roll with it), you can also use your (E) Molten Shield to zone minions away from your towers. It's commonly used when minions begin attacking you, followed by (W) to poke them down and basic attacks to clean up the rest that haven't died yet. Again, you don't want to necessarily waste your mana so unless you're pushed to your turret, don't worry about it.


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GAMEPLAY


Early Game / Laning Phase:

• Super Ultra Passive: Farm as much as possible + purchase Needlessly Large Rod on first buy = HUGE advantage

• Passive Enough: Farm while charging up stun to poke enemy down w/full combo. Engage w/ganks from jungler (ensuring your jungle also gains experience through assists), push lane and buy.

• Aggressive: Avoid being poked by opponent, engage lvl 6 w/ Summon: Tibbers (killing opponent) and go back to buy.

• So Much Aggression It's Hard to Handle: Begin poking down opponent lvl 3 w/full combo, at 25% health do final engage with combo, Flash / Ignite. Go back and buy.



Mid Game / Roaming:

• Ganking Bot Lane: IF you're not getting anywhere with your lane or your opponent keeps roaming down to bot-ville, you can gank bot lane. Ganking during the laning phase is high risk / high reward. You're missing out on XP and Farm by leaving so you better get it right and get at least an assist to make it worth your while. It's usually more effective when Summon: Tibbers is off cooldown and river has been swept to avoid giving them vision on you too early. Going straight down through river is risky, but if you're purple team, it's also extremely risky to just go over into the enemy jungle. Very situational.

• Securing Dragon: Assuming your team has already prepped for Drag, use basic attacks to lower it's health, keeping your stun up for emergencies. If any opponents try flashing in to steal it, stun them immediately using Incinerate.

• Ganking Top: Also situational. If your enemy mid is stuck to top like white on rice, it may be time to skip yourself up to top as well. If Summon: Tibbers is not off cooldown, don't bother. You'll be most likely engaging on a tanky bruiser w/the possibility of their jungler being nearby. You need all the damage you can get. If that lane is already fed past the point of you impacting anything by going up there, just stay in lane and farm up, pushing the tower as much as possible - thus punishing your mid opponent by making them lose farm, XP and Tower Health from leaving.


• Stealing Enemy Blue: Please don't do this w/out your jungler or allies present (don't lose your advantage because you're excited). This is more viable when you're Blue Team for some reason ("Riot's Attempt to Balance the Map") but you basically run up to the other side of blue and ward over the wall in the bush, then you can either Disintegrate or Incinerate to steal it. Then you run as fast as your little legs can carry you and get the hell out of there.



(State of the Art 3D Graphics right here!)


Late Game / Tibbers the Terror:

• Securing Baron: If your Baron buff is actually a battle to the death, then prepare yourself by charging your stun with Summon: Tibbers. If it comes down to it, you can stun everyone around you and finish off Baron with your Disintegrate / Incinerate combo.

• Item Trading: Quite a controversial subject on the Rift. Not many people enjoy selling their items to account for changes that happen within the game but once your game is pushed past 40-50 minutes, you have no choice. Full build you should be replacing your early defensive items with full AP damaging ones such as Rabadon's Deathcap (which Annie should ALWAYS have late game). When you've made all the necessary modifications, buy Elixir of Sorcery, replacing it each time it wears off.


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TEAM FIGHTING


As we previously discussed, Annie is a very effective team fight champion. Why? Don't ask questions.

Positioning:


Front Lines: Let's say you don't have a tank (for some odd reason) or that your tank has the IQ of a tree squirrel and refuses to engage in ideal situations. This is the time for TANK ANNIE (Also known as "Tannie") to shine! Keep in mind that this is only viable when you've build Health, Armor and MR oriented items. You'll basically be a stunning meat shield, standing in the front of the fight hoping to catch someone out or stun/ult their entire team.

ADC Defense: If you've already built defensive and are getting your rear end handed to you on a plate in lane, chances are you're more of a support than anything else at this point. Staying behind, with your stun up, ready to defend your AD Carry at all costs (assuming they are even impacting the game) will help you secure victory during intense team fights w/opponents who are extremely focused.

Happy Bear Surprise: Some people call this a bush attack, I call it HAPPY BEAR SURPRISE (to each, his own). This is a tactical strategy used by some Annie players that involves basically staying away from your team (meaning they have to be able to handle themselves without you) and roaming around in their jungle - finding the ideal situation to go either AROUND the enemy team and assault them from behind and catch them out of position - OR go through the jungle and pop out of a bush (or ult over a wall) and surprise them there. I mean, don't get me wrong, this is an extremely dangerous tactic and avoided by many unskilled players. But if you're team is coordinated enough, this is a high risk / high reward system.

• The Majestical Flamingo: Also known as "flash / ult" (but that was just so boring). Welp. That's pretty much it, you flash forward from the middle of the group and ult / stun their entire team. *yawn*



Effective Engages:

Focusing the AD Carry: (R) [w/stun charged] enemy team, turn immediately on enemy ADC w/(Q), (E), (W), (Q) - stunning her momentarily.

Shutting down their fed top lane / jungle: (W) [w/stun charged] enemy top / jungle [if fed], quickly recharging stun w/ (Q), (E), (W) combo, repeating stun w/(R). Taking them out of the fight.

General Team Fight Engage (Passive): Wait until your team has been CC'd be enemy team, thus grouping them momentarily. Engage w/(R) [stun charged], (W), focus enemy champion doing most damage w/(Q).

General Team Fight Engage (Mega Rape Bear): Run up to the enemy team and (R) [w/stun charged], trying to engage as many targets as possible, followed up with (W), (Q), (E) focused on most fed champion.


Avoid:

• Getting CC'd before casting [Summon: Tibbers]
• Ulting champions that are irrelevant to the team fight (IE: tanks) w/out getting anyone else in your ultimate
•Being an idiot


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CREDITS



I don't own the rights to any of images used for this presentation. The unmodified versions can be found on the following links:

Annie Image 1 - UNEDITED
Champion Icons - UNEDITED
Reverse Annie - EDITED FOR TITLE ICONS
Summoners Rift Map - EDITED TO SHOW WARDING LOCATIONS / BLUE STEALING