Annie Build Guide by Nyoike
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PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
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.
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 build does not work too well in Co-op Versus AI matches. The bots do not have the most required element in an enemy player to succeed as Annie, FEAR.
Would you charge at a full health, recently turned level 6 Annie?
Bots do. They burst you down before you can burst them. Most normal players will not come after you with your stun up.
If you don't know who I am, you probably haven't been in the sig forums very much, I occasionally do stuff that is not in there, but most of the time I am in there. I have been making sigs for about 9 months now and finally decided to make a fully in-depth guide. Any helpful comments are welcome and encouraged. Any questions can be asked via comments or via a PM to me. If it is a good question I will even add it to the guide.
Before asking a question though, check the F.A.Q.s to see if someone has asked it before.
A Brief Introduction to The Dark Child
Annie is one of the easiest to play AP carries, but she is difficult to master.
Innate - Pyromania : After casting 4 spells, Annie's next offensive spell will stun its target for 1.75 seconds.
Q - Disintegrate : Annie flings a mana infused fireball dealing 85/125/165/205/245 (+70% of ability power) magic damage. Disintegrate's mana cost is refunded if it deals a killing blow.
Cost : 60/70/80/90/100
Range : 625
W - Incinerate : Annie casts a cone of fire dealing 80/130/180/230/280 (+75% of ability power) magic damage to all enemy targets in the area.
Cost : 70/80/90/100/110
Range : 625
E - Molten Shield : Places a shield around Annie for 8 seconds, increasing her armor and magic resistance by 20/30/40/50/60. Additionally, enemies will be dealt 20/30/40/50/60 (+20% of ability power) magic damage whenever they use autoattacks on her while the shield is active.
Cost : 20
Range : N/A
R - Summon: Tibbers : Annie releases her bear Tibbers from his toy prison, dealing 200/325/450 (+70%of ability power) magic damage to enemy units in the summon area. For a limited time of 45 seconds, Tibbers can move and attack at Annie's will, while continually dealing 35 (+20% of ability power) magic damage to surrounding enemies.
Tibbers has 1200/1600/2000 health, 30/50/70 armor, 25/45/65 magic resist and 80/105/130 attack damage.
Cost : 125/175/225
Range : 600
Pros and Cons
+ Large AoE stun
+ 1+ Sunfire Cape effects
+ Minor mana use
+ Best joke and taunt in the game
- Focused quickly
- Minimal sustained damage
- Worthless if shutdown early on
- Countered easily by Magic Resist/Health
When building Annie, many people max out her Disintegrate first, they feel it is the best to max. It can be good to have that maxed, but I prefer to max out Incinerate first. It has a higher base damage and is an AoE spell. This provides for maximum burst output. The only problem with taking Incinerate first, is the slightly higher mana cost that comes with the damage output.
Minimal Mana cost with large burst damage after a stun.
Use whenever your stun is up and the enemy champions are getting a tad too close.
Hit them with another Disintegrate if they are still lingering nearby.
Single Target Termination
Fairly high mana cost, but extreme damage output.
It blows all of your cool downs, so use sparingly. Best used to take out an important enemy, like Soraka, Tryndamere, Ashe, etc. Also it is best used early game in ganks, or counter ganks when the enemies will have almost no MR.
Multiple Target Termination
High mana cost, large AoE stun and extreme damage output with probable mana regain from killing with Disintegrate.
Blows all your cool downs, used Disintegrate last so it is not off cool down at the end of your combo, and is easily dodged by movement. Best used when you have someone with you to support you by CC'ing them first and after, or when you have someone that can cause enough extra damage to kill them. As labeled, use when there are multiple targets.
Minor mana cost, average damage output, but prevents being focused instantly.
Only blows your ult's cooldown, provides significant AoE damage, but is hard to keep up.
For more info on team fights, see the Team Fight section.
Summoner's Wrath : an extra 5AP and 5AD when Ignite is on cool down
Mental Force : +4 AP
Butcher an extra 4 damage on your auto attacks dealt to minions
Sorcery : +4% CDR
Arcane Knowledge : +10% Magic Pen
Blast : +1 AP per level
Archmage : Increases you AP by 5%
Executioner : Increases damage dealt by 6% to targets below 40% health
Summoner's Insight : Reduced CD on Flash
Good Hands : reduced time spent dead by 10%
Swiftness : +2% movement speed
Runic Affinity : Increases the duration of neutral buffs by 20%
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Gold
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Experience
Runes are fairly basic for Annie:
One of the easiest ways to counter Annie is with magic resist, these help a lot, esp. early game with your Sorcerer's Shoes.
Extra gold, in a 20 minute game these give enough extra gold for 3.6 free wards, and combined with the extra gold from Kage's Lucky Pick, you will have a stockpile of gold designated to wards.
AP, it is the only thing Annie needs. More of it, and fast. Not much else to say here, an extra 27 AP at level 18 without bonuses from Rabadon's Deathcap and Archmage .
Extra experience, the reason most AP carries go mid is because they need levels, this increases the rate at which you get those levels, and in the definite case of Annie, gets you your much needed ultimate sooner. They also give some more room to wander mid game and gank.
Ignite - True damage and heal reduction, works awesome in a combo setup for quickly killing that support champ.
Flash - SAVIOR OF THE UNIVERSE!
Teleport - Maximized lane time as well as late game back dooring.
Other possible choices
Exhaust - Shut down enemy AD carries and possible AP carries.
Promote - Faster pushing, gives time to go back and heal/buy/etc.
Why not the others?
Clarity - Don't need mana.
Cleanse - Shouldn't be needed and will be wasted so much.
Ghost - Flash is better for quick escapes.
Heal - Shouldn't be needed.
Revive - Shouldn't die often, and it's a waste of a summoner spell slot most of the game.
Smite - Not jungling.
Surge - Don't need attack speed, minimal AP at lower levels.
*This sequence is for a best possible scenario, it should never be followed 100% of the time as all games will differ.*
Quick link to the chart!
This is another possible start setup if you know who you are going against. If you are going against a Karthus, Ezreal, or anyone else that you can easily dodge attacks against, this start will help a lot, but will have less harass potential.
Early Game Items
Boots are a necessity to all champions in the game, the main problem is, figuring out which one is right for the champ. Sorcerer's Shoes are the best choice for Annie, one of the easiest ways to counter Annie, aside from focusing her, is with Magic Resistance. All enemies start with some base MR, and these boots, along with your Marks, reduces most champions base MR to near zero, equaling near true damage.
Kage's Lucky Pick It's a straight AP item that also gives 5 gold/10 seconds. It also builds into Deathfire Grasp later in the game. This will provide you with a decent amount of AP, and quite a few free wards. The sooner you get this, the more money you get back from it.
Mid Game Items
This is the most potent AP item available, and on a character where all you need is AP, this is one of the best items possible. You technically want this as soon as you can get it, but you are probably not going to be able to get it until at least half-way through the game.
Quite a bit of extra AP, some delicious CDR, and a powerful, AP increasing, nuke active ability. Plus it builds from your Kage's Lucky Pick. All together this is one of the best items on an AP Nuker.
Late Game Items
As I mentioned earlier, one of the easiest ways to counter Annie, is with Magic Resistance. Late game, enemy champions can have a lot of excess MR, all of which really messes you up. This item reduces that amount by a good flat percent, and also goes with Archaic Knowledge , reducing enemy MR by 50%.
Late game, esp. after you need to buy a Void Staff, you are going to be able to get rid of your Sorcerer's Shoes for something of a different flavor. CDR and Tenacity are the best choices: CDR means more Disintegrates in team fights and a more often Summon: Tibbers and Molten Shield, whereas Tenacity means you can get rid of Moonflair Spellblade.
When in doubt, get more AP. If you already have gotten a Void Staff, and you have decided to go with Mercury's Treads, then you will have opened up another free spot for another one of these bad boys.
Every once in a while you just have a bad game; sometimes you need to grab some different, less ideal items.
If you are being nuked all the way down from the enemy AP Carry before you can even do anything, this might be a good item to get. You get a good amount of AP and a lot of MR from it. This is not an ideal item because the passive is wasted a good amount of the time you have it.
If you are able to get decent farm, you can probably get this before it's too late in the game, the passive on Catalyst the Protector will help your lane phase out a lot, and it gets better just from holding onto it. This is not ideal for a few reasons. 1. No instant AP, which is what Annie will need. 2. Takes 10 minutes to reach full potential, half of the shortest probable game you will play. 3. Expensive, just under 600 gold less than a Rabadon's Deathcap.
If you are being focused before you can do much of anything in team fights, this will probably help. It might make you a less desirable target, or if that doesn't work, then when they kill you once, you will probably revive in the middle of them. Get as much AoE Nuke off as you can, focusing the enemies that will damage you most with your Disintegrates. This is not ideal, as you will still die, and it doesn't provide much help, plus a five minute cooldown.
Philosopher's Stone If you are taking quite a bit of harass in the laning phase and your enemy is someone that can take a lot more harass than you can give, you might want this. You will heal up quite a bit of the harass you take. The extra mana regen will let you spam your spells more. The extra 5 gold/10 seconds is going to probably pay for the item after a while, if you get it fairly early on. This is not ideal as it gives no AP, ergo no extra damage, ergo no extra kills, ergo no extra gold.
If the enemy team has even one suppression, Malzahar, Warwick, Urgot, and they use it on you all the time, you will want this. It will let you get out of any CC, and even better, will remove any debuffs from you. This can save you so many times in tough games. This is not ideal as it takes up an important item slot and has a fairly long cool down of 90 seconds.
If you never have time to get off you combos before you are focused, then you may want to go "Support" Annie instead of pure nuke. This will allow you to provide constant slows on the entire enemy team, and it also provides a good chunk of health for some extra survival team fights. This is not ideal because of the fact that you have a fairly low range on your spells, and will need to get very close to fights just to "support" someone else.
If you are being killed constantly by an AD character, like Tryndamere, or if the enemy has three or more hard AD carries, then you will want this. Not only does it give you some survival against them, but it also causes a lot of damage back to them. This is not ideal, as you should try and avoid them unless you can nuke them to death anyway, and you will probably die anyway.
(If you are going to be in top or bottom you should probably go AP Support instead of AP Nuke.)
If you have a jungler starting at blue you may want to leash for him, it is not necessary but it is a big help in the long run. Once the minions arrive to lane, dodge any and all harass from the enemy champion by continuously moving. Keep an eye on all of the enemy minions health bars and last hit them with your Disintegrate, this will refund your mana, give you the gold from the minion, and build up the charges on you stun.
Once you have hit 5 minions, giving you the stun, do not use Disintegrate to last hit the minions, this will waste your stun on a minion that is about to die anyway. Instead, you should probably have hit level 2, or be about to hit it. As soon as you hit level 2, put a point into Incinerate, make sure that your stun up, wait for the enemy champion to get in range and then do your harass combo. Once that is done, flee to behind your minion line again. If done correctly, you should have taken a big chunk of the enemy champion's health and taken barely any, if any at all, damage.
After your first harass combo, the enemy will probably try and play safer, take this to your advantage and zone them. If they get too close to the minions, walk up and hit them with a Disintegrate, esp. if your stun is up. Zoning with Annie is extremely easy and efficient. If the enemies do not leave you some space, you will continue to damage them with constant Disintegrates, and if they do leave you space, you get free farm and they are zoned out of experience and gold. Even if they give you your space, you can still harass extremely well. Disintegrate may not have the largest range on all harass spells, but it is about the same as most casters.
Continue to do this process, last hitting as many minions as you can, and harassing whenever possible.
After a while, the laning phase is going to end and you are going to need to change your gameplay. Instead of being a bully like in early game, you are going to need to try and keep your distance in any and all ganks, team fights, etc.
Your role is still going to be nuke, but instead of focusing on farming, you are going to want to focus on kills and shutting down enemy champions. You are going to want to wander around some, but still not too much, or you will have lost too much experience and farm. A good idea is whenever Summon: Tibbers is off cool down, look for an opportunity to gank. If there is a good one, head there ASAP. Push your lane, go back, and head there through the jungle. Use one of your Termination combos depending on what is needed, and then go back to farming for a while.
The hardest part of mid game Annie is to find the balance between farming and ganking. Once you find the balance you will dominate all of mid-game.
Late game for Annie doesn't differ too incredibly much from mid game. You have to fear all enemy champions whenever you have anything on cool down. Almost all of late game is team fights, grabbing buffs, jungle ganking, and Baron. Ganking, grabbing buffs, and Baron are all going to be cake; it's the constant team fights that are going to be a problem for Annie.
Continue to follow your team mates around the jungle, grab blue buff with some help, and keep as much warded as possible. This is about all there is to late game. Just get an ace and push for the win.
Team fights are the weakest part of Annie's gameplay. Yes, she has a large AoE stun, but you have to be really close to make it work. Starting with Molten Shield gives you more survival, and another spell to activate your Pyromania.
After the rest of your team has initiated, go in, if possible from the side or via bushes, and hit as many of the important champions with your Tibbers stun. Immediately back off and toss in Disintegrates whenever you can, while saving Incinerate for a last resort defensive line.
You should be able to easily kill one or two of the squishy champions and then you will be able go in and take the rest head on using your Disintegrates and Incinerate.
A good team fight should go something like one of these:
This is a team game, it is very important that you actually work with your team.
It is extremely important that your team mates understand the main fact of Annie, she is super squishy. Aside from being in mid lane, you should never be left alone out on the fields. If you are going to get blue buff, make sure you have someone to keep an eye out for you, make sure they call MIA's and all that.
Work with your team to get as much vision on the map as possible. Your jungler will probably have Wriggle's Lantern, you will be able to get free wards from your Seals and Kage's Lucky Pick, and your other team mates should try and ward whenever they have a little bit of extra gold.
Here's a good example of team work:
The Power of Wards
Warding is such an easy thing to do, yet so many people under look it.
Warding is an essential part to most games. It provides so much extra vision and can save you many times. As you can see in the video above, it also can actually get you surprise kills.
Sight Ward - The basic ward, able to give normal vision to anything in its sight radius. Does not reveal stealthed units or other wards. 1100 Range and 3 minute duration. Costs 75 gold.
Vision Ward - Give Magical vision of everything in its sight radius, reveals stealthed units and other wards. 1000 range and 3 minute duration. Costs 125 gold.
Keep in mind that both kinds of wards do not reveal inside of bushes unless placed in a bush.
Which ward to use
This is a very good question and one that must be concidered throughout the game.
The best uses for Sight Wards are:
- Warding in the jungle
- Warding mid lane bushes
- Early game warding
The best uses for Vision Wards are:
When to use wards
Wards are fairly cheap, but they do come at a price. They are best used when there is a high possibility of ganks. For example the enemy team has a jungler and you are over extended.
Another good time to use them is when the enemy team has highly mobile characters or roamers.
This will allow you to see them when they are on their way to come and gank you.
Wards are going to be used less mid game due mostly to the fact that you are going to want to rush your items. They are, however, still extremely important. Some of the most important places to ward is neutral buff camps, Dragon, and lane bushes.
Wards are going to be even more useful late game then they are early game. They will allow you to find out what your enemies are doing for a minimal cost. Key spots to ward are Baron, highly used jungle paths (esp. ones by lanes), dragon, and just outside a base. Either your base if they are pushing hard, or their base if you are pushing hard.
This is where any and all good questions will be posted and answered.
To get stuff right off the bat:
Q: Why don't you have survival items?
Q: Why don't you get Will of the Ancients?
Q: Why don't you get Lich Bane?
Q: Why don't you get Rylai's Crystal Scepter?
Q: Why don't you get Archangel's Staff?
Q: Why don't you take Havoc ?
Your question could be here!
Wonder what the most recent patches did to Annie overall?
Here's where to find out!
V188.8.131.52 : Pulsefire Ezreal Patch (June 17, 2012)
Overall: No Change
V184.108.40.206 : Spectator Mode Patch (May 1, 2012)
Base Mana cost on Incinerate reduced by 10, per level increase reduced by 5
Molten Shield is shorter duration and shorter cooldown, more armor/MR given, mana cost decreased
V220.127.116.11 : Hecarim Patch (April 18, 2012)
Overall: No Change
A big thanks to the following:
SchizoFrancis - suffering through me asking for input for a month
neomagii - proof reading everything and giving input
Kurt Ottman - fixing masteries and some text and just being plain helpful
You could be here!
2011-12-07 - Guide started
2012-01-20 - Guide published
2012-01-20 - Minor typo fixes along with updates thanks to Kurt Ottman
2012-01-20 - Added Warding section
2012-01-25 - Added more videos and updated the ward section more
2012-01-28 - Added an item flow chart
2012-04-20 - Removed "asdf" from Warding section, updated for latest patch
2012-05-01 - Updated for latest patch, added "patch effects" section
2012-05-18 - Removed Fiendish Codex from items due to it no longer building into DFG; removed the mana regen notes on DFG
2012-05-25 - Added spoilers to some less important areas to reduce overall load time
2012-07-25 - Updated Achievements tab with guide rank, added the V18.104.22.168 patch to patch effects
2012-8-19 - Updated the masteries to remove Havoc , in preference of Butcher and Summoner's Wrath (check F.A.Q.s for why); updated rank
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#3 Annie Guide!