Janna Build Guide by 8thful
Not Updated For Current Season
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Without Zeke's & Bulwark
Not Updated For Current Season
Hello everyone, 8thful here and this is my guide to play Janna as one of the top Supports.
Warning: This is a guide intended for experienced LoL players so if you are fairly new to the game, you may have a hard time understanding some things, however you can always ask in the comments.
Why Play Janna? (A Look at the Pros and Cons)
Janna is a heavily under-rated champion because she has no consistent heal whereas Soraka, Sona, Taric and Alistar and Nami all have consistent heals. This makes Janna's early game the hardest, especially if the AD carry she is supporting is being countered by the enemy AD carry, FE: Ashe vs Caitlyn, with Janna supporting Ashe in this example.
Despite Janna's obvious disadvantage, in the right moments, she can offer things that most supports can: 2 multiple target CC's and , both with very impressive ranges, an AoE heal and an AD shield that not only shields an allied champion from damage but buffs their AD.
Because of the way she has been designed, she is a perfect choice for high-skill summoners who like to have the power of their team's fate in their hands. People may think you're the weakest player of the team but the truth is, you're the strongest and one of the most influential roles (in this case) in deciding who wins the game. Play your role correctly as Janna and you'll win your team games, despite how much they are failing.
All jokes aside, take a look at some of her obvious and subtle Pros and Cons.
* Movement Speed to Allies
* Generally, Long Range Abilities
* High Passive Movement Speed to Self, Mobile
* Damage Shield that also boosts AD of target it is on
* 2 Multiple-Target CC's, both with Instant-Casts
* Ultimate has decent base heal amount
* Can push well when necessary
* Is not dependent on AP to support, can support great with or without it
* Flexible Build Options and Versatile
* Difficult to pin down because of Abilities
* No Consistent, Low CD heal
* Ultimate, when being channeled, can be interrupted
* Must be standing still to channel Ultimate
* Howling Gale requires charging to reach maximum damage/range
* Howling Gale is a skill shot and can miss
* Ultimate can push enemies away when it is desired for them to sit still, takes proper placement to utilize correctly
* Generally, weak early unless picked/built appropriately (counter).
Now that a few things have been covered, time to relate it to the current Metagame
To Play or Not to Play Janna? (In the current Metagame)
Currently, the meta wants the support to be bottom with the AD carry and preferably have heals, unless they can make up for it with other useful abilities. The standard goal of the bottom lane is to get the AD carry fed however necessary as well as push the lane and win the turret at the appropriate time to put pressure on other lanes and have better control of the map and therefore buffs and Dragon.
So now that the basic concept has been explained for those who didn't know, now would be a good time to share what I feel is the situations Janna benefits most from:
- You are supporting and your team needs more CC's
- You are supporting and you and/or your team needs mobility ( Janna's passive)
- You are supporting and your team may need someone to roam to keep up with an unpredictable enemy team such as a ganking, roaming Evelynn, etc.
- You are supporting an AD carry that is good at surviving and/or sustaining themselves and can benefit from a huge burst of AD (Janna's shield). Examples: Graves, Kog'Maw, Vayne, Ashe
- You need to be a support that can easily disrupt an enemy ulti like Galio, Kennen, etc
- Your team is highly dependent on wards, and is relying on you to place them everywhere as early as possible without too much cover (I find Janna to be the best at warding as a support).
What are some situations where I consider someone else like Soraka, Sona, Taric, Leona Alistar, Lulu, Nunu, Blitzcrank, Lux, Zyra or Nami a better choice than Janna?
- Your team can highly benefit from a global heal ( Soraka)
- Your team needs someone that can get in the chaos quick, stay, fight & survive Alistar, Taric, Leona
- Your team needs consistent heals badly ( Alistar, Taric, Soraka, Sona), Nami
- Your team can highly benefit from a constant movement speed buff ( Sona, Nami)
- Your team wants an ult that pins people down, not spreads them out Sona, Leona, Nami, Nunu, Lulu
- Your team needs armor buffs badly ( Taric, Sona, Soraka)
- Your AD carry can heavily benefit from unlimited Mana ( Soraka)
- Your team desires someone that can do an insane amount of damage and support ( Lux, Nami, Sona, Lulu, Leona, Taric, Zyra, Blitzcrank).
I've condensed this section because I honestly feel my guide is too long and explains far too many things that often don't need to be explained.
I prefer 5/3/22 because the 5 in offensive gives me the CDR I need as well as the buff on Exhaust. The 3 in Defense for the additional health regen (no heal on Janna) and 22 in utility for the below reason:
- Lower CD Summoners Janna depends on Flash when used offensively
- More mana regen (with low cooldowns Janna burns through mana - often mid/late game).
- More gold per 10 and more starting gold (Needed)
- A tasty biscuit, works great early against ignites
- A ****py ward, works great early to control a bush momentarily until you can decide which lane bush you want to ward (depends on where you want to freeze/push lane).
- A very helpful way to gain gold
- Even more CDR
- More movement sped to help since I rarely upgrade boots
As a final note, these masteries are most definitely flexible.
If Janna has tons of early CDR, she can effectively counter her own weakness (weak early). The lower the cooldowns you have, the more you can spam them and the more mana you spend. Therefore, to alleviate the stress on Janna with low CDR, you need more Mana regen (typically mid/late) so mana regen per level seals go a long way.
Since my Janna always dominates, I have no need for gold from runes, I instead stock up on more armor to deal with burst from AD carries.
Exhaust - Probably the most recommended over CV and Heal, this Summoner Ability compliments the current meta-game the most, save it for the critical moment.
Flash is an amazing offensive ability for Janna, why? Because it allows her to get in perfect positions to ulti and separate an enemy team. Defensively, it's also incredible as you can use it to get away from very dangerous situations, or get to a key position in time to save a teammate with an ulti or shield, etc. I've never once played a game without flash as Janna and I'm not sure I ever will. Because of Flash, my Janna always seems to be in the right place at the right time in a team fight, all it takes is a Flash, most games, to get in the perfect position to survive and support.
Even with the nerf to the cooldown, this Summoner Ability is still super handy in games where you are pretty much the sole warder/map-awareness guy (fail teammates).
NOTED: At this current time I see almost no reason to run ANY of the other Summoner Abilities over the mentioned as Janna.
Item Build Order
Things to Consider:
- Spam Sight Wards, you should always have the bottom half of the map covered, except initially, that will be hard but still possible). By Mid-Game, you should be warding nearly all the map (min: 3 wards), constantly. Keep in mind that you do not want to follow this to the tee, improvise and build accordingly, this is an outline, a guide, a suggestion, not the real deal.
- Boots? You can actually get by find as Janna without boots or with standard. It's extremely beneficial to delay them long enough to finish your core build and by then most games are over. Some games however, you will have to build Merc treads or Ninja Tabi to stay alive. I see no reason to build CD boots as my Janna because you will be beyond 40% CDR late.
- I wouldn't recommend Randuin's Omen on Janna, if you are in range to use on a group of enemies, you are probably doing something wrong. If you are in a dangerous position, it's because you are ulting to separate enemy team, after ulting, you run like hell not sit around and Randiun's, you can but it's risky as hell, I rather be back and protecting the AD Carry.
- Zhonya's Hourglass is a pointless item on Janna, you shouldn't be sitting still that long anyway (especially with amazing movement speed), plus, she is a protector, you aren't protecting much if you are sitting still for that long. You shouldn't need the invulnerability anyway if you've done the build correctly and utilized your speed.
Explanation: - Ruby Sightstone is a MUST-HAVE for supports right now. With my playstyle, Boots of Speed is generally all you will need for boots. Runic Bulwark is a core-item unless someone else on the team is building it, same goes for Zeke's Herald. As for which to build first, it depends on your team composition, AD heavy teams can greatly benefit from Zeke's Herald but if your team is AP focused, you generally want to go straight for Aegis of the Legion and later Runic Bulwark.
Explanation: - You should usually get Philosopher's Stone first so it's Faerie Charm vs Regrowth Pendant, Faerie is cheaper, better choice so you can get more wards. Why 4 wards? 2 reasons, you can use 2 off the start (~3 mins, earlier if you know a gank is coming early), one to cover river, other to control bushes. After those wards expire, you have two more to hang in there till you go back. If the burst in the lane is rough, I advise grabbing Sightstone before Philosopher's Stone. 1 pot + biscuit to hang in the lane against early damage. Note: Vision wards early may be necessary if enemy team is getting them but you can usually last without, especially since you have 4 wards.[/color]
Support Your AD
Debuff Enemy Team
Explanation: - This item can be beneficial to grab if you have another teammate grabbing Zeke's Herald and Aegis of the Legion (often a support jungler). In that case, you may want to grab this item to further help your team although rushing straight to Shurelya's Reverie or Locket of the Iron Solari is a wiser choice 99% of the time.
Explanation: - Soul Shroud is an solid item when you have a mana-dependent or ability-dependent champion with you.
Runic Bulwark is a beast item in my opinion. Is it better than Zeke's Herald? In most cases, yes but if your team is AD heavy, I'd take Zeke's Herald first. When my team however has a Zeke's Herald already, I often go straight to Runic Bulwark, especially when I'm facing a Taric, Sona, Amumu, Nasus, Jarvan IV, Fiddlesticks or Soraka as they already possess the ability to boost their team's defensive stats or lower my team's defensive stats and having Runic Bulwark can balance out that potential imbalance.
Shard of True Ice is a decent choice when you need more gold than normal. This can be because you are not getting enough assists or being forced to spam vision wards. It also helps your allies with mana regeneration. The additional AP will boost the effectiveness of Janna's abilities so it definitely doesn't hurt. This item is highly dependent though on an allied champion jumping right at enemies and staying on them. If that isn't happening, then I wouldn't get this item on Janna.
Locket of the Iron Solari is a great choice and probably the best item to get after Runic Bulwark or Zeke's Herald. If enemies have high aoe burst damage and someone on your team is already building Runic Bulwark then I would advise you to get this before Zeke's Herald even if your team is AD-heavy because this item can seriously help against aoe burst damage.
Mikael's Crucible is a pretty useful item to build but I rarely build it because of all the better options. If none of the other options are valid at this point though because your teammates are covering it or you don't have heavy AD, then this item is a viable choice.
Conclusion to Items
Don't take the item recommendations to heart, always test out your own stuff. These are the item builds that have made me a very successful Janna, I don't know how many games I've saved because of the actions I've done for my team to assure a win in a team-fight but there are always new things to experiment with and my build has changed so many times to get where it is at now, and if I learn new things, I will update the guide. The game is ever-changing, we must adapt to stay at the top.
Get the items that do the most for the team, not you! Weigh options, if you get your whirlwind and shield 2 seconds earlier from cooldowns, does it beat giving your team some armor, magic resist and damage? It just may, play it out in your head and play around with it. Memorize how effective certain items are in certain situations and always prepare for the worst.
How/When to Use Your Abilities
NOTE: I've decided only to give video examples of her Ultimate Monsoon because of its complications. Her other moves are pretty self explanatory. If you would still like to see them in action.
Ability Breakdown: I kind of use Zephyr for its passive more than anything. It however does really nice damage, quickly for how cheap it costs, thus the reason why I max it out 2nd. It is pretty much a simple ability, use when your team needs a slow, utilize the range (use it after the enemy champion flashes if you are already right next to them unless you are far away, slow them and get up close and stay close.
Ability Breakdown: Eye Of The Storm is Janna's most useful ability to an AD carry. I don't know how many lives I've saved or how many times my AD Carry has been like wow, thanks for the damage! It can be used in critical moments on a tower on that final shot that normally wouldn't kill them but does not and best of all, it's instant-cast with a nice range. Max this out ASAP and spam it on your AD carry whenever they go to harass or when they are about to take damage. This ability goes hand-in-hand with Howling Gale
Ability Breakdown: Such an amazing ability, Monsoon will save your team in dangerous situations when they get out of position, used with Eye Of The Storm you can prevent/restore much of the damage done to your team in a team fight. When Monsoon is down, let your body become the prevent-er taking damage for your team instead of letting them take it, especially your Nukes since they often don't have health sustain options mid-game. Because the knock-back is instant, in combination with Flash you can do some incredible things. Use this to separate an enemy team at a crucial moment or put an enemy through a wall into your team, or even just to Flash somewhere quick to save a teammate, it can be worth it. Lastly, try to not neglect the channeled heal when you know your team needs it. Hunker down behind them, position as best as you can, lay down a Howling Gale to defend yourself from melee CC's and let the whole thing channel out for your team. The hardest part about this ability, is knowing when to use it for defense and when for offense, takes practice and good awareness[/color], good luck!
(The ways to use it are explained in this order:)
- Defensively as a Knockback
- Defensively as an AoE channeled Heal
- Offensively as Knockback
- Offensively to Separate Enemy Team
- Offensive and Defensively combined
Support Strategy from Early to Late
The Early Game
Early game is all about getting your AD carry FED and staying alive in the process. Get them farms, do this by keeping control of the bushes or one-bush in your lane with wards and yourself. Make sure you and your carry can't get ganked easily with well-placed wards in or near the river. Build accordingly, If your carry has the potential to dominate your lane in farms, harass, and push effectively and they only need more Mana Regen to do this, alter your build, get the Mana Manipulator or steal the enemy blue buff, get what needs to be done as fast as possible.
Your second priority early is to protect and support your jungler as they jungle and counter-jungle, give them the best possible wards you can to make his or her life much easier, this also applies to your Nuke and even your top in some cases. If I can get a key early-game ward to the enemy blue when they aren't going for it, I do it. Keep your Clairvoyance's for your team as often as you can - this means when they need it at a dire moment or when you must use it to re-gain control of your bushes/river. A perfect Clairvoyance for your team can give them kills and you a secret assist. Having] Clairvoyance up for your jungler is also huge as they may be able to pinpoint where the enemy jungler is and act accordingly[/color]. If you pay close attention to enemy junglers, over-time, you will know exactly where to Clairvoyance and catch them, and therefore know when you have to ward the river and when not to. Don't place useless wards. In regards to Exhaust, save it for the crucial moment when their AD tries to burst you or your AD carry, Exhaust them and win the battle. Can also be used defensively.
Early game those are your only priorities unless your team needs you somewhere else for a very important reason, the AD carry is huge though, never neglect them, get them farms, get them kills, protect them and let yourself ONLY GET ASSISTS, NO KILLS!!!
Intentionally (if you are good enough to handle it) underlevel yourself by giving your AD Carry as much solo XP as they can handle, stay near them, just intentionally get out of range of XP so they get more. Giving them more XP can mean they hit 6 at a critical moment before the opponents and pick-up a kill because of it (Example: Ashe. Under-leveling yourself for your Carry can be critical in the mid to late game.
The Transitioning Early to Mid
This is when priorities start to shift, at this point you may end up roaming more, bouncing back and forth from bottom to mid to support the jungler and more effectively ward your side of the map. Dragon becomes a huge ***set at this point and controlling the area with wards is critical, you MUST do it. This is why it's so important to have Sighstone and a gold item at this point. If there is one enemy in the bottom lane, and you can't kill them, leave it and let your carry get the solo XP they need to keep up with or pull ahead of the enemy carry. Do not wander too far though, unless you KNOW they can handle themselves and give them a minimum of a 2 ward perimeter to prevent sneaky ganks on them.
Ward, Ward, Ward in all key positions, entrances and exits to enemy jungle if you control the lanes that well, if you are pushes back in lanes, ward your own jungle, etc.
Usually, your deaths will happen around this time, they are almost inevitable, most will not be your fault if you play very well, you will however die for your teammates if you must, that is your job as support. If you can save your fed nuke or AD carry, do it, the enemy will often get less gold.
Always remember that a trade isn't a trade just because 1 person per team died, the assists counts as well. If your nuke is fighting someone and you can get the assist for the kill, GET IT, but don't steal the kill. If you someone has to die on your team, let it be you AFTER getting off your key abilities if you can.
Be smart with Vision wards, I often save them for crucial moments like stealing an enemy buff, protecting your own, or securing a Dragon.
The Transitioning Mid to Late
Team fights, constant Dragons, back-dooring, Lane-Control and Barons now become the main focus of the game, 1 death at a crucial moment can lose your team the game. As a support, you make sure that doesn't happen, that is your first priority. MAKE SURE NOBODY DIES. You do this by giving them amazing awareness of the map, if you have placed less than 20 wards at this point, you aren't playing well enough imo. You should have at least 3 wards on the map at any given time covering key positions, you should have visions at baron, dragon, and any other place you know the enemy wants to control with a ward if the position needs to be safe.
Often you will not initiate as a Janna unless it's a whirlwind but there are rare occasions your team can capitalize off a well-placed ulti by you. I myself have had my team getting Baron and had enemy Graves trying to steal it on the other side of the wall, by Flashing behind him and ulting, I threw him right into my team who hard CC'd him and dropped him instantly. Because of the 4v5 with Baron, we won the game easily. Just one example of how to capitalize off a mistake by an enemy with an ult like Janna's. Always be on the lookout but know what you are doing before you get into it. Those are pro Janna moves, don't do them unless you know you can pull it off, I myself barely do them, too risky, support Janna is conservative in 99% of cases.
In the team fight itself, if you need to separate the enemy AD carry from the fight with a well-place ult, DO IT. If however, your team needs the heals from it more, position yourself behind them, cover yourself with a well-place whirlwind and keep your team at good hp by channeling your full ulti. DEFEND YOUR AD CARRY. Do not let anybody kill them. If they die, your team may lose the fight and even defend your nuke if they need it. Shield them initially, slow anybody trying to get to them, whirlwind anybody trying to damage them and constantly walk in front of them to take damage and block abilities. Shurelya's Reverie when needed to save your teammates or give them the boost they need to finish a kill.
REMEMBER: Your whirlwind and ulti can be used to stop powerful ult's like Galio's etc, always be prepared to use your abilities the best they can in situations. This takes time and practice.
This is my first guide so don't hate!
Thanks for reading! - And if you have any questions or concerns, ask away and I'll add it to this awesome Q & A section.
Thanks to everybody in the comments who has given advice on how to improve the guide! and jhoijhoi for making a guide that definitely helped me improve mine.
Q: Is she really viable still?
- A: Yes, really. Learn to survive and use your abilities appropriately and you'll pull 0-2-29's out of your *** in 20 minute games.
Q: Can I Solo Mid or Top as AP?
- A: Yes, but you are often wasting your awesome support abilities
Q: Are there any specific champions she counters?
- A: Anybody that has to get up close and personal to get **** done, Wukong Ult can be countered by Janna Ult , Kennen ult can be countered by Janna Ult , Galio ult can be interrupted by Janna "Q" from far away. Time your moves and you counter all kinds of champion abilities.
Q: Do you have to be a high ELO player to be good at Janna?
- A: NO, in fact, you may be an amazing Janna and have mediocre ELO, truth is supports get no love! They are hard to pull off in solo queue and single-handedly win your team games, duo however with a good bro and you two can tear it up.
Q: Can I build Tear of the Goddess?
- A: gtfo
Q: You seem to support the idea playing other supports, why not always Janna?
- A: I don't believe in any one champion carrying your team to victory, there are counters to keep in mind, there are games where Janna is a rough pick and games where she is a beautiful pick, keep those in mind. My main is actually Sona.
Q: What is your favorite champion or champions to pair up with Janna (across your whole team, not just bottom AD carry?)
- A: Kog Maw, Draven, Graves - I can keep them alive and they heavily benefit from my ad shield.
Q: Do you plan on making other Guides?
- A: I imagine so but I'm lazy.
Q: Do you ever do stuff not on your guide?
- A: Of course, I try all kinds of crazy stuff in games to up the fun or sometimes to try out new builds! If I ever figure out something new that benefits the Support role, I'll always update the guide.