Janna Build Guide by YuanFen
Hey everybody! Yuanfen here, bringing you an unconventional guide to Janna as an AP carry. Two sentences on who I am:
1) I am a platinum ranked player in League of Legends.
2) I main Janna, Leblanc, Lee Sin, and Soraka, and play all of them (and more) competitively.
What's that? Janna's a support champion you say?
Sure, she can fulfill the conventional support role. And she's damn good at it. But we're not here to be conventional. Janna can be an amazing AP mid, and I'm here to show you how to be successful at it.
She's one of the most fun champions I've ever played in League (Ties Leblanc), and when built properly she has solid burst, can support her allies like no other, and can turn teamfights around almost singlehandedly. Give the build a shot; you won't be disappointed!
Pros / Cons
- You're playing the best looking champion in League.
- Extremely fun to play.
- Can push her lane very well with Howling Gale, leaving her time to easily roam and gank, which she excels at.
- Can get by fine without blue buff (though it definitely helps!)
- Tons of crowd control - A knockup, a knockback, and a massive slow.
- Extremely hard to gank if played intelligently.
- MASSIVE endgame shields when built AP.
- Positioning is a breeze (hehe) because her entire kit is centered around keeping herself alive through tricky situations.
- Is vulnerable to crowd control, as she is very squishy if she gets caught.
- Does not fare well mid against assassins with gap closers. (Read: Kha'Zix)
- Brings less raw damage to a team than most other mids.
- Your teammates tend to think you're trolling a lot.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Fairly standard AP caster rune setup.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Magic Penetration marks are pretty much obligatory on any AP champion.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power - We take AP per level glyphs over flat AP glyphs because scaling glyphs give more AP as early as level 6. We don't plan on much action pre-6, so the choice here is obvious.
Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power - There are other things you can run here (MP5, Armor (If against Talon, Kha'Zix, Lee Sin), Health/level) but these are what I personally use. Janna has great AP ratios and benefits tremendously from the extra AP all game.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - Even more AP. As you'll normally see on Quints, we take flat stats here, rather than scaling.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - Great runes on any champion. Put these on Janna and you'll outspeed most anybody. Most useful on junglers, can be used on mids who intend to roam frequently who lack in-combat gap closers. (Twisted Fate, Ryze, etc)
Greater Seal of Replenishment - These are probably the best alternative to scaling AP seals. Give them a shot if you find yourself really strapped for mana early.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - The safer glyph choice. Use these in lanes where you intend to brawl with your opponent, or where you will definitely need the MR.
Nothing fishy here. 21/0/9, same as most AP mid champions.
Summoner's Insight because we're running both teleport and flash in this build. If you elect to use ignite, make sure to take a point in Summoner's Wrath
Unlike some mid champions (Karthus, Syndra, Veigar) we intend to auto attack frequently. As a result, we take spellsword and some additional flat AD in the offense tree. Really helps with last hitting, too. Believe me, last hitting with Janna levels 1-5 is awful.
Alternatively, you can plan to use MP/5 seals, and run 21/9/0 grabbing magic resist and up to veterans scars in the defense tree. If you're against an AD mid and choose to use MP/5 seals rather than armor, take 21/9/0 running flat armor and health up to veterans scars in the defense tree.
Flash - Use flash. This spell has ten thousand uses. Most of them are generic and apply to every champion. Janna can put it to particularly good use, because flash + Monsoon is a truly beautiful combination.
You can do a lot with flash / ultimate on Janna to interrupt the opposing team's placement.
The second summoner spell is more debatable, and there are a couple of viable options we can run here. I personally used to use Teleport, and find that it works wonders. Some of the many things you can do with teleport:
- Use your CC-centric kit to secure kills on overextended lanes by teleporting to pushed minions / wards.
- Use your disengage-centric kit to save teammates by teleporting to lanes in trouble, shielding whoever is in danger, and dropping Monsoon to keep people alive as needed.
- Recall and then immediately teleport back to your lane for a quick heal / shopping trip without your tower taking damage.
- Splitpush. Your Howling Gale destroys minion waves in one shot once you've built AP, and with a Lich Bane and Eye Of The Storm you can push down towers quickly.
Other viable spells:
- Ignite - I'm 50/50 between ignite and teleport nowadays. Take this if you want more damage and stronger early kill potential in your lane. Personal choice.
- Heal - If you're bad, take this so you don't die.
Ah, now for the fun part. Janna's abilities. You all should have a fairly good idea of what Janna's skills do, but if you don't, here's a brief summary:
Tailwind - Awesome passive, gives the entire team a movement speed boost whenever Janna is alive. Doesn't really have any impact on your gameplay, but it's a nice passive to have.
Howling Gale - Howling Gale is a very versatile skill that adds a lot to Janna's repertoire. It's great if you want to push a lane, because once you have a decent amount of AP you can 1-shot entire creep mobs with this. It also brings good damage to the table, is a knockup, can interrupt enemy ultimates ( Warwick's, Katarina's, Malzahar's, etc.), and scales well with AP. Charging the spell for longer increases its damage, the amount of knockup it has, as well as its range, so play around with it for a bit until you understand how that mechanic works. If we are invading, we take this at level 1. Else, we take a point in this at level 2 for the knockup and damage, and we max it second.
Zephyr - This is probably my favorite of Janna's abilities. It passively increases our movement speed and allows us to pass through units, and actively does a very good amount of damage and has a potent slow. (Not as good after nerfs) In lane, we will use this to harass our opponent at every opportunity, and for the rest of the game we use it to add damage to targets, and to chase fleeing enemies down. Endgame it will hit for close to 1000 damage (before MR) and is a big part of our nuke. If we are invading, we can this at 2, but in normal games we take it at level 1 and max it first.
Eye Of The Storm - This is what makes Janna such a great support champion. It's a shield that absorbs damage and adds attack damage to whoever you use it on. Unfortunately, if we were to build Janna straight support, the shield would only absorb a partly 300 or so damage endgame. We take note of the fact that the damage absorbed by this spell scales with AP at a fantastic .9 ratio, so by building Janna as an AP carry, by endgame we will be shielding our AD carry (or whoever needs it - TRY SHIELDING TOWERS AND NOBODY WILL EVER PUSH ON YOU) for close to 1,000 health. At the beginning of the game, we use this to to win trades in lane, and to help us escape ganks. If we anticipate significant action in lane at level 3, take it at level 3. Else, we take a point in this at level 4, and we max it last.
Monsoon - Janna's gamechanging ultimate. It's a knockback and a giant AoE heal all in one. A well placed ultimate as AP Janna will win our team teamfights that would otherwise have resulted in us getting aced. It can also enable us to save teammates from dangerous situations. If our teammate is getting chased down, we simply shield them, and then pop our ultimate for a second to shake off the pursuers. We'll escape almost every time. Early game, this, along with Flash and ours other three abilities, should prevent us from ever getting ganked. Ever.
One thing I have noticed from experience with regards to this ultimate on support Jannas, is that it is much more useful for the knockback than it is for the heal. On support Janna, the heal is nice, but we rarely channel the full ultimate to get the full effects of the heal. It's much more frequently used to disrupt our opponents' positioning and to allow us and our teammates to escape dangerous situations. This is not true on AP Janna. This heal is amazing and will WIN FIGHTS for us. In a teamfight, after using your other abilities, use the full effect of the heal on as much of your team as you can. With good amounts of AP, the heal will be off the charts. We take this at level 6, as with all ultimates, and we max it when we can. Leveling this skill up does not change its knockback characteristic, but increases the strength of the heal and reduces the cooldown substantially.
Item builds are always situational and always subject to change from game to game. The build I recommend is what we should use in an average game, and is by no means set in stone.
That being said, I'll explain my thought process behind the item choices I have listed.
1. Doran's Ring. Most games I start off with a Doran's Ring because it really improves our level one game. 15 AP at the start of the game strengthens our harass, and the mana-regen and health offered by Doran's is definitely welcome.
A solid alternative to opening with a Doran's is the standard boots + 3 potions combination. I tend not to favor this unless I'm facing an opponent like Cassiopeia or Lux and need the speed to dodge skillshots. Janna is already fairly quick, especially because we take Zephyr at level one and run Swiftness , so while boots help, they're not really 100% required at level one. And because we have both Eye Of The Storm and Teleport to keep us actively in lane, sustain from potions isn't our biggest concern.
: The best boots on most AP mids. Feel free to substitute these for something Merc Treads if a particular game / opponent calls for it.
: I love this item. A long time ago it was the best item in the game, hands down. I remember seeing tournament Karthus players build this first. That's how good it was. Then it was nerfed to the point where nobody built it ever. Riot recently changed it up again, giving it more CDR and AP. This item is nowhere as strong as it once was, and it's no longer smart to rush this as a first major item earlygame (Though I still do so on Leblanc). It is great for rounding out your nuke as lategame approaches and we get towards a 6-item build, but I no longer take it as a first item.
: Every caster builds this, and we are no exception.
: This is the secret to AP Janna. I build this almost every game on Janna. Almost every game I benefit from this item with a dozen or more stacks, and it's not rare at all for me to reach 20 if I'm doing even decently well. Janna can get assists to fill this better than ANY OTHER CHAMPION. If we shield somebody before a teamfight, or if our ultimate heals somebody for even a little bit, then anything that they get an assist for we also get an assist for. Because of this, we will get an assist for almost every enemy who dies in any given fight. We can build up stacks with few real problems, and because our kit centers on escaping and surviving, we don't have awful problems holding onto the stacks. If you really don't like this item, skip it. I, however, find it core on my AP Janna mid, and benefit from its power tremendously. The problems people have with this item are that it is unreliable and that it offers nothing except raw AP. These claims are good reasons not to buy it on most champions. However, on a champion who rarely dies, because their kit has great escape mechanisms, the unreliability claim is less important. And on champions who need nothing except raw AP, the claim that it offers nothing but AP is unimportant. Janna rarely dies, and needs nothing except AP to do her job.
: Continuing the glass cannon nuker aspect of Janna. A good choice if you want to keep improving your nuke.
: My go-to defensive item, mostly for the active. This provides a good amount of armor and ability power, and can save your *** in a teamfight in the right circumstances.
: Used to get this, got nerfed hard, I no longer do.
: Useful for MR/AP heavy teams, and a good buy to counter them. The enemy will be in range of the debuff when we use our deathfire and our W, however they will not always be in range of the debuff when we use our max-range Q.
: Obligatory if you're trying to punch through enemies with ~100 or more MR. The reason this is not core is because Janna's AP scaling, unlike most mids, is about more than just damage. She scales much better with AP than with Mpen.
- Farm our lane.
- Push our lane from safety with Q, forcing our enemy to last-hit at tower while we roam and gank.
- Stack our soulstealer. (Using our shield on somebody who gets an assist for a kill gives us an assist for the kill. Use that knowledge to assist-***** for soulstealer stacks.)
If you need convincing that AP Janna is completely viable and strong.. I'll be fair, some of these are from a long long time ago and were played in low elo (1200 ish). I finished season 2 as a platinum player, and I have had success in high elo with Janna in season 3.:
If you're planning to take this build for a spin, GLHF. ^_^ And let me know how it goes; I'm always open to feedback and constructive criticism.
Oh and thanks to jhoijhoi for the line dividers/separators/teaching me how to make this guide look not awful.
Support Janna -- You'll be blown away
Cold Wind Blows - [S3] Ranked support Janna guide
Janna, still very much viable.
Unconventional AP Janna Wreckage