Annie Build Guide by Adovid
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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.
This is a sustain build for Annie so that she can mingle over objectives to some extend with use of Molten Shield. The strategy behind this build makes a balanced use of Molten Shield so make sure to follow the skill sequence.
This build is recommended for both crystal scar and summoners rift, same starting items but you can buy up to Ruby Crystal in dominion.
This build makes heavy use of Shurelya's Reverie for increasing Annie's mobility and for mitigating her reliance on Flash or Ghost. Shurelya's Reverie should not be considered a support item on Annie, her effectiveness in this build is best recognized as a balance of health, resistance against primary threat, mobility, cooldown reduction(for molten shield as well as nuking), ability power and magic penetration.
This build has various item paths for countering various teams but the idea behind them is to double up on armor or magic resistance(Rather than trying to counter both) for 2000 gold or less when you are having trouble farming or staying alive depending on the primary threat or the overall composition of the enemy team. Doubling up with the use of molten shield will make Annie a fairly effective soak against the primary threat so she can play a double roll as nuker and off soak which has proven effective for me in low elo play as many players at those levels can be easily surprise at the resistance of 2 sudden Negatron Cloaks or a Thornmail and Molten Shield.
Pros / Cons
-Strong and Durable with Molten Shield against champions like Jax, Yi, Akali if they aren't ridiculously ahead.
-Adaptability for surviving a strong AD team or a strong AP team depending on the item route.
-Very effective against all mage or all attack speed dps teams.
-Capable of leading a blitzing and retreating support role in addition to being an initiating nuker.
-Not as much damage as a pure AP Annie but more likely to get kills and lead team fights with more aggression.
-Not as survivable against AP when countering AD, or AD when countering AP.
-Strong disruption and variable forms of damage can be hard to deal with.
Greater Seal of Vitality
These runes are to give Annie a surplus of health to maximize the use of Molten Shield in combination with defending strategic points.
More ap and mrp so Annie isn't just a push over. Though she won't be able to drop most targets instantly she will have a better chance of dealing with several foes at once.
This is one of the main reasons we don't go deeper down the offense tree. 12% cooldown reduction is a lot of cooldown at level 18. Archmage vs Enlightenment is not a hard argument to make 5% increase of the roughly 300 ability power in this build is only something like 15 more ability power. 8% more cooldown reduction is way more valuable.
Evasion and Resistance
Most of the damage that gets flung around and can't be easily avoided is magic damage and area effect abilities. Having some resistance against both may mitigate the need to buy items to deal with them and also give Annie more of a chance in mid lane where most ap carries face off.
We can actually get down the tree without Summoner's Wrath but it gives us the ability power from ignite we don't have to level up for in a point that's cheaper than Blast .
1.5% increased damage after resistance is like reducing resistance. For Annie which can deal up to 3000 damage it's about 45 more damage compared to what would be something like 13 more damage from Blast not counting magic resistance.
Top first bottom second
Even though Annie has to get up to windmill without boots, she is one of the best candidates for taking and defending it initially from my experience as this build was designed around dealing with multiple opponents. Take over bottom if you die or have to go back since you won't have level 2 boots until after Rod of Ages.
If push comes to shove start bottom if no one else will.
Tenet of Dominion
It's more Important to defend when you are up on caps than it is to take additional caps.
Use Molten Shield frequently and wisely. Wait till melee heroes get in range to maximize the duration and sustained counter damage. Make sure that melee heroes with life steal or self healing have Ignite.
You can use Alt to control Tibbers to stop capping from a safe distance if you are trying to defend while being outnumbered.
Goad the enemy champion away from the defense of the tower by using the range advantage of capturing over the range of the tower.
Use Tibbers to zone a weakened opponent from their cap so you can maximize your potential to overturn the cap without being interrupted before other opponents arrive.
If a sufficiently large train develops make sure to take advantage of it's potential to reverse a point quickly. You can Push minion waves when you can't directly engage an enemy defender. Creeps will ignore the champion when sufficiently close to an enemy point.
Creating a train of minions to overwhelm an enemy cap can be accomplished by destroying the caster minions as fast as possible with Incinerate so they do not deal any damage but leave the melee minions with full health to stall for more waves to arrive.
I think this is stronger than starting catalyst the protector, not only because the regen is unconditional(Mana more than Health) but because there is the element of gold over time(about 450 gold in 15 min), the healing potions are a great bonus.
Getting the health buffs with the regen from these starting items is also a great way to stretch your effectiveness on the map. Especially to turn the tide of a fight.
Obviously Rod of Ages is the first main item to get as it's benefits are gained over 10 minutes(dominion matches only last 20 minutes). Sorcerer's Shoes should be gotten as soon as possible otherwise for the mobility and magic penetration. Shurelya's Reverie allows Annie to increase the mobility of her team, distribute more damage with cooldown reduction and have the health and mana regen to remain active on the map.
These paths provide fast reliable defense within the 2k gold range while putting Annie on the road to magic penetration. Should she have to skip Rabadon's Deathcap for defense to hold points she will still be dealing enough damage to hold her own.
The idea is to double up resistance against either magic or attack damage using the health from Rod of Ages and Shurelya's Reverie. And to choose your fights according to what you counter.
Trying to counter both magic and attack damage(or to get something like a Warmog's Armor) would be too much out of the way and Annie needs to get magic penetration as soon as possible to maximize her effectiveness.
First Path MR Route
2 Negatron Cloaks as soon as you have 1400 gold you can get 96 magic resistance that with the extra 50 or so from molten shield makes you more than most spell casters can deal with. Upgrade one to an Abyssal Mask for magic penetration and the other to an Odyn's Veil for more magic resistance, health, and a nice source of counter damage.
Magic resistance is usually more beneficial as most spike damage is magic, Shurelya's Reverie or Flash can help to escape being dpsed in many situations.
Second Path AD Route
and try to get
One of the best counters to physical damage for Annie, it's an additional Molten Shield that provides more armor than most champions can handle for 2k gold. Void Staff is a good alternative to Rabadon's Deathcap as a 5th( Thornmail also benefits from the penetration). With all the melee heroes dominating this game mode it is definitely viable.
Other Items and Paths
A solid start at the expense of getting Shurelya's Reverie. Also getting a Rod of Ages will take slightly longer.
Viable in place of Rabadon's Deathcap but not as viable as an alternative to Thornmail. It's too expensive and not as reliable in a defensive path(when you are using defense to counter your opponent) though it's a perfectly good defensive item in an offensive path(when using ability power to dominate an opponent). Not recommended to sit on a chainmail when you are behind-- haven't had any luck with that.
instead of .
It work's but not as conventional. Thornmail benefits from magic penetration.
after the first
Perfectly viable if you have the extra item slot for not having a Rabadon's Deathcap. You can then finish a Rabadon's Deathcap before Odyn's Veil if the game goes that far.
If you know the game is going to be short and the opposing team has lots of crowd control. Otherwise I think Odyn's Veil would be better.
Incinerate over Disintegrate
I decided to go back to Incinerate over Disintegrate because even though Disintegrate has a faster cooldown for more damage over time to a single hero Incinerate proves itself more often against multiple champions while also being useful for pushing creeps to enemy points.
It seems there is more ganking and ambushing than expected in dominion and it would be pointless to try to hold a point with such a low level of Incinerate against more than 2 champions trying to take a point.
Healing isn't so great
Due to the reduction of the effectiveness of healing I guess I shouldn't boast as much about this build's starting effectiveness as philosopher's stone Health Potion(although still viable) isn't as good as it was in Summoner's Rift.
Tibbers and Shurelya's Reverie
It was a good idea but Shurelya's Reverie only effects champions and does not make Tibbers run faster :(.
Odyn's Veil instead of second Abyssal Scepter
I didn't really think Dominion games could get to a 6th item but I've seen my fair share of them so since this is only a little more expensive than a second Abyssal Mask and is probably way better despite not proving any ability power I added it.
Item list update
The first path was added to the displayed purchase list in order to make the build more interesting and since the first path is usually the best choice for soaking up and dealing damage.