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Annie Build Guide by king boo311

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League of Legends Build Guide Author king boo311

[S5] It'll Be Fun, Watching You Cry Because of My Stun! 5.18

king boo311 Last updated on September 26, 2015
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Classic / Modern / Expert



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Middle Lane
Ranked #58 in
Middle Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 0


Utility: 9

Threats to Annie with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Yasuo Bully a badass samurai with a little girl. Your long ranged basic attacks are PERFECT for breaking his pesky shield from his passive. He can't trade with you effectively due to your instantaneous stun through W early on. His dash may prove troublesome, account for its distance when he does dash. Avoid his tornado. At level 6 you can delete him since Tibbers isn't blocked by his Windwall. You may consider flashing over the wall to continue the combo so your Q will hit. Cloth armor + 5 hp pots is a good start if you're uncertain of this lane. Zhonya's Hourglass rush is decent for this lane - armor + AP + invulnerable ability? Yes, please.
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Hey, guys! I finally released a new guide. It's on Miss Fortune! Check it out here!

Enjoy the guide!

About the Author

Hello fellow summoners! I'm King Boo311 and I'm going to be teaching you how to play Annie, the Dark Child! I am currently in Silver II and trying to adjust to these season changes and what not. Annie was the first champion I ever felt comfortable playing in normals and she quickly became my favorite champion. Ahri is quickly stealing that position, however, Annie will always hold a special place in my heart <3. Hopefully I can pass down my knowledge of this terrifying little girl to you all :)

Who is Annie?

Annie is a short ranged burst mage who excels at dominating her lane and bursting down everyone. She is armed with a strong CC in the form of Pyromania which can be transformed into an AoE stun with Summon: Tibbers or Incinerate making her a dominate factor in teamfights. I personally think she's one of the most fun mid laners to play because it's just so satisfying watching your opponent's health bar burn away or rather explode.


This guide is intended for the newer Annie players. If you're good with her you're probably only looking at this guide for the cheatsheet and lane matchups which I'm currently working on. Thanks in advance for reading :).

4.1 Annie Changes - Good or Bad?

As most of us know, Annie was changed in 4.1. Her stun duration reduced at lower levels but at its original duration when at its max potential. Summon: Tibbers was given a cooldown reduction.
The stun duration reduction is pretty major to her escape potential but in terms of lessening her damage it doesn't do much. Why? Well Annie has quick cast times on her abilities, so that .5 second decrease really doesn't matter. Also at level 6 when you need to unleash a combo, your stun will last 1.5 seconds - only .25 seconds off from the original duration. This means you won't be losing out on much with the stun duration decreased at lower levels - but if you smart/quick cast your abilities it makes it much easier.
Summon: Tibbers getting cooldown reduction is an obvious buff which imo outweighs Pyromania's nerf in terms of importance. Late game you'll be able to use Summon: Tibbers much more frequently which means you'll be a more constant threat in fights.

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Pros / Cons

+ Passive stun
+ Amazing teamfighter!
+ Powerful at all game stages
Annie is an all around strong champion. She provides solid CC with her passive stun, Pyromania. It grants her an AoE stun if used in conjunction with Incinerate or Summon: Tibbers which makes her a very strong teamfighter! She has a very strong laning phase in which she'll terrorize most opponents with her damage output, stun, and long ranged basic attack. She is strong at all stages of the game due to her stun and high burst damage making her an all around solid champion.

- Short range on spells
- Prone to ganks without Pyromania charged
- Squishy!
Annie has a relatively short range on her spells which makes it easy for many foes to abuse her while staying out of her wrath's range. If she doesn't have her stun up she is very vulnerable to ganks. As a little girl ap carry, Annie is squishy! I mend this problem a bit with my item build.

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Champion Abilities

Annie's skillset revolves around her passive, which allows her to have an extremely powerful on demand stun. Her abilities have very high damage, when she isn't deleting people with her insane burst, she's dishing out huge poke damage. Her Molten Shield makes her surprisingly tanky once it gains some levels. This allows her to make a few risky plays and make it out alive. Overall, her kit is relatively simple, but very strong when used correctly. If you don't know what her abilities do OR you're unsure of anything specific about her abilities, mouse over the ability icons for in-depth information!

Pyromania (Passive): Pyromania is Annie's passive. Whenever Annie casts an ability she will gain a stack of Pyromania. Once at 4 stacks there will be a swirling white/gray wind around her, indicating that her next offensive ability will stun it's target for a few seconds. This passive is what makes Annie strong and viable.
Tips and Tricks

Disintegrate (Q): Disintegrate is Annie's main farming tool and harass. It refunds mana if it deals a killing blow making it an efficient farm / mana sustain. Due to recent Annie buffs, it now has a cooldown reduction mechanic if it scores a killing blow (in addition to it previously refuding its mana cost).
Tips and Tricks
  • When you have Pyromania up use Disintegrate + Incinerate to deal a good chunk to the enemy mid.
  • Disintegrate makes last hitting extremely easy.
  • You can push out surprisingly fast early on due to the half cooldown mechanic it possesses.

Incinerate (W): Incinerate is a deadly AoE cone shaped nuke. It has about the same range as Disintegrate allowing for easy comboing. It can be used to farm multiple minions at once as well.
Tips and Tricks

Molten Shield (E): Molten Shield is Annie's defensive ability. It gives her a boost in armor and magic resist and if attacked by an auto attack the attacker will be hit with magic damage. It's a shame not many Annie players use it to defend themselves, they only use it to charge stun. (HINT HINT)
Tips and Tricks
  • Molten Shield + Incinerate (or vise versa) at fountain if you have less then 3 Pyromania stacks to gain a stun (optional).
  • Use against ADCs and anyone who likes to auto attack a lot.
  • When at 3 Pyromania stacks, using this and then quickly following up with an offensive ability can catch an opponent off guard. For example, when at 3 Pyromania stacks, throw your Disintegrate at some fool. While it's traveling through the air, activate Molten Shield, that Disintegrate will now stun.
  • Use when getting ganked to take less damage. (no brainer :o)

Tibbers (R): Summon: Tibbers is your ult that basically demolishes if you have Pyromania up. Tibbers will basically appear dealing a heavy burst of magic damage in an area, have a burning aura, and slap foes for magic damage. His damage after being summoned is not to be underestimated.
Tips and Tricks

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Skill Sequence

Normal / Unexperienced Annie
Skill Priorities
#1 Summon: Tibbers #2 Disintegrate #3 Incinerate #4 Molten Shield
Levels: 6, 11, 16
Levels: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9
Levels: 2, 8, 10, 12, 13
Levels: 4, 14, 15, 17, 18

You'll want your #1 skill priority to be Summon: Tibbers as it is your ultimate. Its damage increases highly & its cooldown is reduced every time you level it. This means you can use your ultimate more often thus dealing higher damage more often.

Disintegrate will usually be your #2 skill priority. It allows you to last hit easier. It gains damage very quickly when leveled, and it's easier to land! This is important, due to so many champions having mobility thus being able to dodge Incinerate more likely.

Incinerate will usually be your #3 skill priority. It boosts your waveclear speed greatly. Your burst will start to hurt even more due to the high damage - both base and scaling on this skill.

Molten Shield should always be your #4 skill priority, at least, with the kind of Annie this guide focuses on. It simply doesn't aid your main selling point, annihilating opponents in the blink of an eye. Sure defense is great and all, but you should really be maxing your damage out first as Annie.

Waveclear + Higher Burst
Skill Priorities #2
#1 Summon: Tibbers #2 Incinerate #3 Disintegrate #4 Molten Shield
Levels: 6, 11, 16
Levels: 2, 5, 7, 8, 9
Levels: 1, 3, 10, 12, 13
Levels: 4, 14, 15, 17, 18

This skill sequence will probably seem strange at first glance, however it is quite efficient. Taking 2 points into Disintegrate early will provide enough damage to sufficiently last hit frequently with it. Maxing W first will give you higher burst than maxing Q due to its superior base damage and AP scaling.

A neat thing about this sequence, is that it can be tweaked a bit, you can just take one point in Disintegrate and max Incinerate like a normal level 9 maxing. Or, you can skip taking Molten Shield completely until both Disintegrate & Incinerate are maxed out, (though this is quite risky and stacking stun will be more difficult).

Another great thing about this sequence is its ability to waveclear better than the "Q 1st max Annie". Since Incinerate is AoE and has better damage overall, it helps a lot to counteract the stereotype that Annie can be shut down easily by getting pushed into tower.

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Using Tibbers

Alright, you know how to utilize Annie's basic spells, combos, and how to level them in a specific manner. Now you should learn some extra tips specifically for that ferocious bear you summon via your ultimate, Summon: Tibbers. He's a cuddly, flaming monster that can do more than just serve as AoE burst. Keep in mind, only do the following if you have already summoned him for his appearance / burst damage. Though self-explanatory, you shouldn't use him to do these things if you're only using him for them - make sure you try to murder someone using the activation portion of the ult 1st.

#1. Body Blocking
Tibbers is a fat bear simply put. Once in use, you may reactive your R key or alt + right click to maneuver him however you please. One way to abuse this command is by placing him in the way of your opponent's escape path. He will effectively cut them off and keep them there for both you and him to continue dealing damage. Bonus points if your opponent has no dash / blink ability to escape easily. One way to put this into use immediately is by placing him in front of your opponent's esape route when engaging with Summon: Tibbers, it will make it a lot harder for them to run.
To the right, there is a picture of an Annie and Tibbers body blocking a Nidalee, trapping her and leaving her with only one way to TRY to escape. This may be a bad example considering her Pounce, but luckily she just used it so she'll be trapped there for a while (not long considering her HP).

#2. Warding Bear
So, you just nuked a loser and made him regret playing the game as his screen turns grey within seconds of seeing you. You used Summon: Tibbers in that fight? Well lucky you. You have nothing better to do, so you push his tower down or decide to farm. Tibbers has your back if you let him, command him to hide in a bush or certain area that concerns you with ganks and evil people. Tibbers grants vision where he is after all; he can act like a ward!

#3. Wrecking Structures!
Tibbers is a great ally to have when taking objectives / structures. He can effectively tank and destroy a tower with help through usage of Molten Shield and his natural tanky stats. He also aids in taking out inhibitors. Also, unlike many other things, his attacks deal magic damage to structures.
This usage can pretty important for when you need to take a structure down quickly and leave, usually when a threatening enemy champion is about to / has respawned.

#4. Tanking Jungle Camps
Tibbers can be a very impactful asset to objectives after being summoned. This is implied above with him being a great damage boost to towers and inhibitors. Besides that, he can be a great tank against jungle monsters / camps to obtain things like Blue Buff, to defeat the Dragon, or even take down Baron Nashor.
When taking Dragon make sure its attack won't affect your allies with its AoE affect. This is shown to the right, Annie and Shaco are safe from the Dragon's wrath due to Tibbers being placed in such a way that the Dragon's explosive attack won't hit either of them.
Tibbers can also block skillshots while fighting Dragon / Baron to prevent steal attempts. Molten Shield affects Tibbers making him considerably beefy for such as well!

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Masteries, Runes & Summoner Spells

This is a fairly standard page for AP mage champions. and all increase your overall damage output. These masteries essentially give you a pretty significant boost in your ability to burst opponents down.
Butcher helps a tiny bit while last hitting with Disintegrate and your basic attacks. It also helps when taking neutral monsters like Dragon and Baron. Feast helps considering the nature of Disintegrate; its sustain racks up quickly. Arcane Blade allows Annie to abuse her long range with some added magic damage. Even if it's a rather small amount early on, the damage will stack up soon enough.
Keep in mind, masteries are to suit your preference. Want more damage? Double-Edged Sword will do that. Need to survive DoT after kills? Dangerous Game has you covered!

The utility tree, a mastery tree full of personal preferences. Phasewalker will allow you to make clutch recalls and just improve your pace - even though its extremely minor. Meditation helps you harass your opponent by recovering your mana to spend on more harass. Scout is a filler mastery, but it does have some uses. It can help ward over thick walls and make warding a bit safer. It also helps with the lens trinket by extending vision to maybe other wards just out of reach of normal lens.
Summoner's Insight is extremely powerful as a simple mastery. Its property that reduces summoner spell cooldowns is very good on Annie. It gives her a lot more Flash play potential. Runic Affinity will allow you to hold onto blue buffs given from your jungler and buffs you steal from the enemies. It's pretty useful when you're ahead, the extended buff will help maintain your lead.

9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration allow you to bypass magic resist giving you more damage, allowing you to wreck people a lot easier. Must I say more?
9x Greater Seal of Armor are pretty flexible. They protect you against the minority of AD mid laners such as Yasuo, Kha'Zix, and Talon. Also they protect you a bit against a lot of your other common enemies - top laners and junglers have quite of bit of AD champions, and the obvious marksmen that focus solely on AD damage. Overall, these seals are very useful.
Now, you have short range as Annie. And the majority of your competition in the mid lane deal magic damage. What does this mean? You'll be taking quite a bit of magic damage, so 9x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist will generally help you win engagements.
3x Greater Quintessence of Ability Power give Annie an even more deadly early game, allowing for better last hitting with Disintegrate and damage.


9x Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration synergizes with Meditation and Disintegrate's mana refund system. Also, if you miss a last hit with Disintegrate, this'll pick you back up.
9x Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration actually outscale the regular flat and scaling AP glyphs. Also, beneficially, they let you hurt tanks more when you're forced to attack them.
3x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed allow you chase down your prey to stun them quicker. They also aid in escaping obviously.
3x Greater Quintessence of Health allows you to sustain damage more easily and become a less likely first blood.

Flash is used commonly on all of the champions. Use it to get into Pyromania + Summon: Tibbers range and scare the -teddybearstuffing- out of your enemy, to repostion, to instantly leave a bad situation, to get over walls, to chase, etc.
Ignite is often used early game to secure kills, you'll be using this when you hit level 6 and they aren't dead yet. The heal reduction is very good in teamfights against healing supports like Soraka and helps against Dr. Mundo.


Teleport is great if you're new to mid or roaming / ganking, or if you just like Teleport, take this. It gets you back to lane very quickly, you can teleport to gank, teleport to stop a gank, etc.
If you feel that you don't need Flash or you haven't unlocked Flash yet, feel free to replace it with Ghost. It will help ganking incredibly fast, and escaping enemy mids with no CC.
Barrier is a great summoner spell against mid laners that can compete with your burst such as LeBlanc, Veigar, etc.

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This build focuses on having survivability on Annie while still being able to instakill opponents. Note how her survival items ( Rod of Ages, Rylai's Crystal Scepter & Zhonya's Hourglass) grant AP.

If you want a full nuker build please refer to the other build under "Modern" (second build) in the cheatsheet.

Starting Item Sets
Item(s) Explanation
This is the trinket you should always start with to accompany one of the following starting item sets. It provides precious vision which can protect you from many ganks when used properly. This can also allow you to play more aggressive as well - due to the protection of vision awareness.
This is a very common start for AP mids. It grants everything you need, AP, mana regeneration + more on last hits, and health. The health potions grant a lot of sustain to partner with all of the mana regeneration you'll have. Its passive works well with your Disintegrate ability's passive.
This is a very strong start for most of your match ups. It provides TONS of sustain to endure all the poke / harass you'll be receiving from most of your opponents (who have longer range than you.) It even provides an additional ward! It's a great start against early aggressive junglers as well (that don't have stealth,) like Lee Sin or Vi.
Buy this start against an AD mid laner like Zed or Yasuo. They hurt - a lot. You'll take a lot less damage with the additional armor along side your Molten Shield. x5 Health Potion will sustain you from their heavy damage and help you not get killed by repeated combo assaults.

Rush / Early Game Options
Item Explanation
Rod of Ages is a great item to rush on Annie. It gives you a lot of sustain to stay in lane and farm or harass longer. It gives you the tankiness this build focuses on. The AP boost is not to be underestimated either. A pretty strong item that I recommend buying 1st if you're going to buy it at all in order for it to have time to properly stack.
Abyssal Mask is a decent rush item if you find you're falling behind or taking too much damage. Cassiopeia and Ahri are good examples of champions that can ruin your day if you don't have MR. Abyssal Mask mitigates poke damage and burst damage from those AP mids. Meanwhile it also boosts your damage significantly with its AP boost and MR decreasing passive. Also, it's pretty effective VS melee orientated AP mids as well ( Katarina, Akali, Kassadin, Diana, etc.)
Annie benefits from literally everything on it, the AP, the bursty passive, and the movement speed. This makes her AoE nuking potential even stronger, making her even more of a threat. It is pretty situational and falls off late game in my opinion, but when you do buy it, it's highly beneficial. It's a rush or don't buy / 2nd item kind of item in my opinion.
It gives you a HUGE power spike with its AP and CDR; your burst will kill almost anyone, you just need to land your combo correctly. The grievous wound will keep those dirty Heal Xerath players down along with anyone who revolves around lifesteal, spellvamp, or health regeneration. Any ADC, Vladimir, and Dr. Mundo are examples respectively. The CDR allows you to spam more spells for more DPS and more play dates for Tibbers!
This is simply an amazing item. It grants a huge boost of AP - the one shot combo continues. The armor boost is great due to you interacting with more common enemies who generally deal physical damage such as marksmen and bruisers. The active must be used wisely - it can bait out a bunch of CC, moves, and other valuable stuff to the enemy like Solar Flare. Of course you can use it to block out damage from things like Ace in the Hole, Requiem, and Chum the Waters. Its active can even net you kills! Such as waiting on important spell cooldowns / planning ahead / baiting your opponents right into your team, etc. An all around stupidly good item, as if you weren't hard enough to kill.

NOTE: Rushing Seeker's Armguard / Zhonya's Hourglass is often a smart choice against AD mids such as Zed or Talon, especially Zed, it shuts down his combo pretty well.

Can I buy one of these later on?

Don't buy Rod of Ages after early game; there simply won't be enough time for it to stack and the sustain portion will be irrelevant. However, Morellonomicon, Abyssal Mask, Luden's Echo, and Zhonya's Hourglass are fine purchases mid and late game as well. Feel free to rush whatever suits your playstyle.

Boot Options
Item Explanation
This will probably be the upgraded boots you'll get the most. The magic penetration it provides is just way too strong at all stages of the game, allowing your burst to pierce through a lot of resistances.
You'll generally want to buy these boots when you plan on roaming. Against a champion who roams a lot you may opt to buy these boots to counter roam / gank. Additionally, your chase / running potential increases a little bit if it's a most "isolated" situation (minions aren't going ham on you / an entire team isn't trying to murder you.)
Buy these boots if the enemy team has a lot of CC that you can't deal with easily or if you're facing an enemy in lane who relies on their cc to combo you (like Ahri or Morgana). The extra magic resist is pretty nice too.
If you're fighting an AD mid and feel unconfident against them, go ahead and buy these boots. You should also buy them when the enemy team is composed of 3/4+ AD champions. It will hinder their evil AD stacking a bit.

Later Buys
Item Explanation
Rabadon's Deathcap should ideally be purchased after you finish one strong AP item. It basically grants pure damage in the form of +120 AP and a passive that boosts your AP even more. You'll be an absolute menace once this item is complete.
This is a very powerful item to go along your build. It grants a huge amount of magic penetration to shred tanks. Assuming you'll be facing a tank or more, Void Staff is a must have - unless you want to be dealing pitiful damage to those pesky tanks. The AP boost helps against both squishy and tanky targets as well.
Contrary to some peoples' beliefs, this is a great item on Annie. Your Disintegrate shouldn't have a lower CD than 3 seconds anyway (unless you score a killing blow with it, but that's okay.) Summon: Tibbers will have a Wild Growth+ Sunfire Cape aura around him pretty much, making cleaning up / escaping fights extremely easy. You can kite enemies extremely well and you gain more damage and survivability from the items stats. You'll be pretty hard to kill.

Extra Survivability Items
Item Explanation
Buy this if you're getting rekt by ap champions / facing melee ap champions like Akali, Katarina, and Kassadin. The damage and aura is good enough to keep you relevant. Obviously, don't buy this if you already have it from rushing it / buying it early game.
Fighting annoying poke / wombo combo comps? Np, this item will negate a lot of poke and stop stuff like Solar Flare and Curse of the Sad Mummy from catching you off-guard. The magic resist stat is pretty strong; the health regeneration passive is very strong against DoTs like Toxic Shot, Noxious Blast, etc.
Surprisingly, this item is pretty underrated on Annie. The armor portion makes you an extremely hard to kill character with this build as Rod of Ages will provide you with sufficient health, etc. The CDR will max out your CDR when paired with Morellonomicon. (Cool fact: Summon: Tibbers will be on a 3 second cooldown if he stays summoned for the whole 45 seconds with 40% CDR!) Also the attack speed slow has a great effect on enemies who rely on said attack speed, namely marksmen.
A very strong item if you don't waste its potential. If you're being focused way too much / need to stay alive longer, this is the purchase to make besides Zhonya's Hourglass. It provides a definite revive, so even if you get CC shoved up you, you'll still revive.
Fighting extremely strong CC comps? This is a great purchase to counter such comps. I recommend it if you're facing Warwick, Malzahar, or Skarner (anyone with a suppression), so you can escape their grasps.
If you're going to build this, buy Tear of the Goddess on your first back and upgrade to Archangel's Staff after whatever item you rushed. Replace Rod of Ages if you're going to build this. It makes you a massive threat mid / late game but decreases your early game potential. Spamming spells is nice, but you're a burst champion - which the heavy AP boost allows you to be. The shield active is life saving and is very strong. Buy this if you want to be a late game powerhouse. It also fits into the durable but dangerous theme I have in this build.

Item Explanation
You'll most likely be buying elixirs if you get to finish your build. But an early Elixir of Sorcery can be pretty good as a small, timed, and temporary power spike. The true damage attachment is very strong as well since it makes you hurt champions harder and you take towers quicker!

Trinkets + Upgrades
Trinket Explanation
Buy this item if nothing of major differentiation is in play (like needing to clear wards or fighting stealth champions). Not much else to say, it's a great trinket, it just loses uses later on compared to others.
Buy this if you need vision + want to clear enemy wards (limited) and or fighting a stealth champion. These trinkets don't last long if the enemy pays attention.
If you desperately need to clear enemy wards buy these. Oracle's Lens is very good against stealth champions.

Enchantment Explanation
Considering how reliant Annie is on Flash, this very nice enchantment to have on Annie. This means you'll get to make a lot more Flash plays, like >>. With Teleport (if you have it,) enhanced you can push out / defend lanes easier / sooner.
Personally, this is an enchantment I buy a lot. It allows you to recall and get out of base way faster (faster fountain regeneration + movement speed burst). One of its obvious uses are guarding your home (base) easily. It can be used to get out of base quicker to push / group faster. It just makes the game flow a lot smoother in my opinion (MORE ACTION >:D)
A decent enchantment all in all. The flat movement speed buff is deceptively helpful, making Boots of Mobility less trash in actual combat.

Just Ward
Item Explanation
Yes, you probably actually want to use more wards aside from your trinket. Buy wards often, they basically serve as another warding trinket, but longer for most of the game. Buy a Vision Ward every now and then to deny enemy vision and get your jungler to gank. Make sure you actually place them, don't just collect them. Also, make sure you actually watch the minimap / where you placed the ward, that way you can actually make use of the vision such as - "Oh, he's going top, I can rek this mid nao." or "Yo, bot, I'mma ping the heck outta the danger ping 'till you leave, I don't want another 12/0 Lee Sin on the enemy team, k?" You get the idea, use the information to your advantage.

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At the start of the game you'll most likely have a jungler; help him/her get their starting buff; if they do start at a buff. (Blue Buff or Red Buff.) If they start at Gromp or Krugs, don't bother, you'll lose out on lots of XP. You should scout (stand in a bush; maybe patrol a bit) for your jungler so they don't get invaded by the enemy team, invasions mean trouble. When your jungler's buff spawns (at 1:55) throw Disintegrate and a few basic attacks at it before going to your lane.

When you get to lane, do not start attacking the minions recklessly. Last hit minions. If you just keep smacking the minions you will be pushing your lane, thus inviting the enemy jungler to destroy you.
Last hit minions with Disintegrate to charge up your stun and to farm. Use your basic attacks to farm as well (obviously). Harass your opponent with Disintegrate, basic attacks, and or Incinerate. When you have your stun use your Disintegrate + Incinerate combo. Then, if possible, throw some basic attacks before backing off.

Click me to enlarge!

Click me to enlarge!

At level 2, Annie possesses a strong threat in the form of her QW + basic attacks combo. It's a very strong tactic to try to reach level 2 before your lane opponent. This way, you can chunk a lot more of their health due to stat differences and they won't trade back as effectively.
In the pictures to the left, it shows me going aggressive level 2. I engage with a Pyromania charged Disintegrate and an Incinerate, followed by weaving in basic attacks while moving closer to him, finishing with a second Disintegrate. This cripples Malzahar for a while as he tries to recover from the massive damage.

At level 6 you have very high kill obviously due to Summon: Tibbers. Your opponent will most likely not try to mess with you while you have your stun, so keep your Pyromania stacks at 3. Smart opponents will keep track of your stun and know you're baiting them, so you may just need to Flash and stun to kill your opponent. Remember to move after using your skills. This will keep you in range for your other attacks making you more likely to score a kill.
In the pictures to the right, it shows how a fight between me ( Annie) and Malzahar went. I engaged with Summon: Tibbers and my QW + Ignite combo, dropping him extremely low. He casts his ult on me, but I have already commanded Tibbers to keep attacking him, killing him and freeing me from his ult.

Click me to enlarge!

Click me to enlarge!

Click me to enlarge!
Be careful of the enemy jungler! Early ganks can and will shut you down if you aren't careful. Use your Warding Totem and buy one or two extra Stealth Wards to give you a lot of protection against ganks. Use the picture I have provided to the left for a general idea of safety zones.

Green: You're pretty safe here early on, but be careful of enemies who towerdive.

Yellow: Play generally safe in this zone as the enemy jungler can gank from the side bushes or from behind easily.

Red: Be very careful in this zone! Enemies could be lurking anywhere, this zone is generally safe if both the enemy jungler and mid laner are dead and you have minions; just make sure top and bot lane's residents are still in their respective lanes too so you don't get ganked.

You may also roam (go to other lanes and assist) if you're able to without major consequences. Dragon is a very good option early on if you can kill the enemy bot lane. The gold bonus is very impactful, especially early game.

In Short...
  • Help your jungler obtain their buff.
  • Focus on last hitting.
  • Poke/harass your lane opponent when appropriate.
  • Go for kills if you can and if you feel confident enough.
  • Be careful of the enemy jungler!

Mid game usually starts when the first turret/tower is destroyed (having one destroyed allows said laner(s) to roam to other lanes.) If a turret/tower has not been destroyed then you should roam to the side lanes and help them get kills and or tower(s). Annie has great roaming potential due to her high burst damage and very good kill setup with her stun, so roam if you can. Don't roam if you have to defend your own tower, push your lane to the enemy tower before roaming so you don't have to be back in your lane immediately.

You and your team are most likely going to need map vision which will lead to map control which dominates both mid and late game. Wards are essential so if you keep one or two in your inventory when you can for use, it will help out a ton. You can kill foes in their own jungle with enough vision or defend yourselves by granting vision in your own jungle. Use Vision Wards/ Oracle's Lens to clear wards if necessary. Use the picture I've provided to the right for common ward spots.

Green: Multipurpose ward spots common for both teams

Yellow Star: Can ward with all types of wards - common spots due to these areas containing potential game changing monsters.

Pink: Vision Ward spots

Blue: Siege ward spots

Mid game encourages getting other objectives like Dragon and other towers. Annie can take Dragon pretty fast with her allies because of her low cooldowns. She can also siege towers fairly well due to her stun's presence applying huge pressure to the enemy team (if they step out of position, hopefully your team can follow up on your stun.) Just don't get caught out of position!

Teamfights will break out more often than not at this stage of the game, but not as much as late game most of the time. You should be attacking the highest priority target you can reach or the one that's attacking high priority teammates on your side (this includes you.) You can use your CC to peel or immobilize your target. You should be able to kill most champions, not instantly mostly, fairly easily as resistances aren't too high most of the time at this stage of the game. This means if a squishy high priority target is in range of your skills, of course, destroy them with your burst.

In Short...
  • Roam to other lanes and help them.
  • Take objectives like Dragon or towers.
  • Ward places more often (near Dragon, at Baron, in lanes, etc.)
  • In teamfights, use your CC to peel for teammates or immobilize prey, burst down high priority targets, don't be afraid to blow your abilities on one target.

Late game is where most of the juicy/rage quit worthy/dumb/awesome/weird teamfights break out. Teamfights in the late game aren't much different from teamfights in the mid game. Don't step out of position as usual and kill those (preferably high priority) in your range. Try to land a good Summon: Tibbers stun on the enemy team and burst them all down whenever you can!
Obviously taking towers and inhibitors after killing your foe should be your realistic objective(s). Eventually you'll get to their Nexus, destroy it, and win! (Or they'll surrender before any of this...)

Click me to enlarge!
On the left is a flowchart for when you should/could attempt to kill Baron Nashor. That thing is what causes many game losses due to bad awareness and or overall calling of the time of when to take it. #thethrows I hate when my team decides to do Baron without Smite (or doesn't Smite it at all) and lets the enemy team steal the buff and proceed to win the game due to us being lower hp than them because of Baron, allowing the enemy team to kill us easier.

In Short...
  • Same teamfight rules from mid game apply here.
  • Try to get massive AoE stuns off or just really good stuns in general.
  • Go for the enemies' towers and inhibitors and destroy them! (eventually their Nexus too hopefully!)
  • Know when and when not to go for Baron.

Guide Top

Lane Matchups

Annie is usually a complete jerk to fight in lane, but her short range can easily be exploited. Harassing her after she uses her stun (if she does) can be efficient. Silences will obviously hurt. Annie's common enemies are those who outrange her and those who can abuse their cc while maintaining a distance. However, you can overcome these people with skill (and maybe some of your jungler's help.)

Basic Information for Laning!

  • Always buy a Stealth Ward or two with spare gold to prevent ganks. AND I MEAN ALWAYS >:C DON'T BE THE GUY THAT SAYS IT'S THE SUPPORT'S JOB TO WARD (well it is, but it's everyone's job.)
  • Focus on last hitting while incorporating the strategies in the matchups to lane.
  • Buy early magic resist ( Negatron Cloak) or armor ( Seeker's Armguard) if you're having trouble against the enemie's damage. ( LeBlanc & Talon are examples respectively.)
  • Against champions with long ranged ultimate abilities, warn your allies when they reach level 6. They may be in danger of your opponent! Some of these champions include Lux, Twisted Fate, and Ziggs.
  • Call your MIAs! If your opponent is roaming, and you know it, try to push your lane out and counter roam! Annie has very deadly clean up potential due to her massive burst and AoE damage, in addition to her Disintegrate's cooldown reduction mechanic.

old matchups - not even finished lol :(

Other Mid Laners

  • Most of these mid laners have superior range and poke. Generally you won't be poking these mids and you'll go for kills at level 6.

  • AGAINST Azir: Try to play safe around his soldiers, he does have a pretty significant range advantage over you. Fortunately, he's still another squishy mid laner; once you're level 6 you can easily burst him down. Be careful of his Arise! + Shifting Sands combo, it can get you in a tight spot if he gets the upper hand. However, if he does this, you are free to annihilate him due to him being so close up. His ultimate, Emperor's Divide shouldn't trouble you too much, but be aware of it's denial potential - it can easily save his life.
  • Some of these mid laners are burst champions similar to you, such as Brand, Lissandra, Syndra, and Veigar. Against these kinds of champions, if you want to kill them you'll want to be the first one to land your CC. If you don't feel like risking your life, buy resistances / defense such as Abyssal Mask and Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

  • Against champions who push a lot, like Malzahar & Morgana, you have several options. You can put 2 or 3 points into Disintegrate and then max Incinerate to counter push. You can simply allow them to push, you do have an easy time last hitting under tower anyway ( Disintegrate :D). You can also just spam calls for jungler ganks.

  • A lot of these mid laners don't have immediate mobility to escape your deadly combo. Some of these mids include Ryze, Twisted Fate, and Vel'Koz. You can abuse this rather easily. You just use your regular combo, they can't immediately escape, so you're free to obliterate them!

High Mobility Sux

AD Mid Laners

Level 6 Reliant Mid Laners

  • These champions rely heavily on reaching level 6 to do anything truly fancy. This means they reach a huge power spike at level 6 - when they obtain their ultimate, similar to most champions, but they rely on their ultimate to actually kill their opponents. It's pretty embarrassing if you die to these champions pre level 6, except maybe if you were ganked.

  • Make their lane living hell for them early on. Abuse your basic attack range and harass them a lot; don't deplete your mana too much though! Try to force them out of lane so you can level faster.

  • Attempt to reach level 6 before they do. You can then gain an advantage and kill them, snowballing against them. Also, as strong as these champions are at level 6, they still have to be in melee range to do anything to you. You can easily win fights against them if they ever engage on you. You just need to be ready for it.

  • Akali might attempt to burst you down then lay down a Twilight Shroud; buy a Vision Ward to counter it! Katarina might choose to jump on you when you don't have your stun available, bait her with 3 Pyromania stacks.

  • Diana and Kassadin are trickier to handle as they have a reliable form of defense with Pale Cascade and Null Sphere respectively. They can block your damage while harassing you back. At level six they can combo you and not take a lot of damage back due to their shields. Call for ganks if needed, these two also generally build tankier than Katarina and Akali.

Guide Top

Summary, Change Log, and Special Thanks

Annie is an amazing AP burst mage not often picked in higher play levels (as a mid laner anyway,) but I think she's still viable. Sure she has short range but she's amazing early game and can effectively shut down the enemy mid. She's also an amazing ganker in terms of Pyromania and a real terror in teamfights due to possessing an instantaneous AoE stun. There's a reason so many people complain about her :p

Annie is my favorite champion in the game and also the champion I'm best with! (Says a lot about my skill level at this game.) I hope this guide was informative to you and helped you improve your gameplay on Annie! :D

~ King Boo311


Some successful Annie games, please submit any if you have them! ^^

Mine :3

Submitted by Astronauteer

Submitted by Tomater

Submitted by Immortal Espeon

Submitted by Malfyy

Submitted by Sir Lunaris

Submitted by Yanrich

Change Log -

3/17/2013 - Birthdate of guide

3/18/2013 - Added a nuker build,switched Rod of Ages place with Rylai's for better charging time.

4/6/2013 - Added Seraph's Embrace to situational items , added a Rylai's Crystal Scepter vs Seraph's Embrace spoiler in Situational Items section, working on changing Lane Matchups format and added Anivia.

5/2/2013 - Changed lane matchups format and content.

5/3/2013 - Added Annie,Brand,and Cassiopeia to lane matchups.

5/4/2013 - Added Skill Sequence section and a note in introduction.

6/20/2013 - Minor changes in Items section for Patch 3.8's changes. Replaced banners to make the guide look good again. Different warding thingy in gameplay. Finally put Spellsword into masteries.
Coding changes. Spaces after commas 60% complete. Some spelling fixes. Minor text content changes.

6/26/2013 - Added Cho'Gath, Diana, Elise, and Evelynn to lane matchups. Added a Quick Match Find in lane matchups. Added basic laning information to lane matchups.
Coding change in Introduction.

6/27/2013 - Upcoming section in Introduction chapter added.

7/25/2013 - Added Fiddlesticks, Fizz, Galio, Gragas, and Heimerdinger to lane matchups. Added a space after the comma in title.

9/29/2013 - Gave reasoning for why Rabadon's Deathcap should be your first major damage item if all is going well. Added another screenshot.

12/7/2013 - Visual update (banners, introduction format, pros & cons format, and skill sequence format change), masteries updated for pre-season 4. Merged item chapters + Merged summary, change log, and special thanks into one chapter.

12/8/2013 - Minor changes: Added some text in introduction, made pros & cons neater

12/14/2013 - Minor lane matchup changes: Gragas & Heimerdinger updated

1/18/2014 - 4.1: Title changed with prefix [S4], changed build group names, added Support Annie and Utility Annie builds, item section cleaned up with float commands, Rabadon's Deathcap reasoning changed + put in spoiler, Rylai's Crystal Scepter comparison with aoe slow changed to Wild Growth - R.I.P. Shard of True Ice, added an obvious use for Quicksilver Sash (CC), and added a 4.1 Annie Changes discussion in Introduction chapter.

1/20/2014 - Added enchantment options in cheatsheet, changed trinket section in cheatsheet, added trinket section and enchantment section in Items chapter, gameplay jump option added, major Gameplay section update!

2/25/2014 - Updated my **** runes, added Karthus to lane matchups, minor "team" build name changes, fixed Full On Nuker Annie build a bit, and retouched rune section in general.

A few notes in case you're reading this -
  • Yes I read the article about the Annie guide collab, and the comments - I changed my runes a bit as a result.
  • Matchup progress is probably the slowest evarrrrr, sorry, I'll try to get the more popular mids out on the weekend!
  • I'll be adding more alternatives, hopefully, soon.
  • Thanks for the feature on the collaboration! :)

3/15/2014 - Updated Full On Nuker / Modern Annie build and title, recoded and slightly reworded Runes section, recoded Summoner Spells section and added additional information.

3/16/2014 - Added a derp MS Paint drawing by me in the introduction section, lowered skin's size, moar space for the actual words in the introduction! >:D

5/2/2014 - Added an 'Expert Annie' build.

5/10/2014 - Removed item sequence pull outs from 'Items' chapter due to difficulty in fixing it.

6/16/2014 - Put the old & unfinished lane matchups in a spoiler & made a new, more general matchup sheet since you just do the usual against a lot of opponents. Added 2 additional general laning tips.

6/21/2014 - Updated items in cheat sheet (lol bye boots)(get dem enchantments in the full builds), visually upgraded Skill Sequence chapter with experimentation table <3 + updated information on that subject, fixed a few grammar errors (very few), Skillset chapter given a summary + additional tips and information.

7/26/2014 - Updated "My Classic Build" cheat sheet (whydidieverrushrabadon's;~;) - cleaned it up (made it more compact,) COMPLETELY redid the item chapter, adding in da new tables. More updates to come soon!

8/9/2014 - New additional skill sequence! Yay :D Item section: lol teemo's poison is actually not named poison dart it's toxic shot - fixed. Clarity on skill sequences - which is which. Added note: masteries section will be receiving a visual update + an information redo.

10/11/2014 - Softened colors (this to this. on gameplay section.) + added Azir matchup.

11/1/2014 - Reworked mastery chapter completely (formatted with tables and more concise information!)

11/14/2014 - Softened rune chapter's coloring and changed rune icons to coded words.

11/24/2014 - Shameless MF guide advertising.

1/18/2015 - Fixed up some wording in the abilities chapter. I'm prepping for DFG's removal. Goodnight sweet prince.

2/1/2015 - I WILL CLING, I WILL CLUTCH, AND HOLD ON TO YOU~. R.I.P. DFG; 1st / Classic build updated, cheatsheet only - items section to be updated soon. Updated title to S5 and added patch number.

2/2/2015 - UPDATED ITEM SECTION, made title fit - sorry 'bout that ^^', NEW BANNERS HYPE
* R.I.P. Monty Oum, you will be missed...

2/14/2015 - A LOT more fan screenshots added :D Thanks guys!~ Also put screenshots in spoilers for reasonz.

2/22/2015 - Patch 5.3 not 5.2 [title] lel.

3/19/2015 - Updated builds, added Luden's Echo to certain item builds, updated item chapter with Luden's Echo, updated title (patch 5.5)

3/20/2015 - New pictures + info in Gameplay: Early Game chapters!

3/28/2015 - Updated builds to a more ideal standard. Thanks to Embracing for said suggestions and constructive criticism! Changed guide title to 5.6

4/9/2015 - Updated builds (again), NEW CHAPTER: Using Tibbers (finally), updated Item chapter to accommodate said updated build(s). Removed 4Fun builds from cheatsheet :( (I don't think anyone cares about them tho lol.)
* Added a few common / meta mid lane picks / matchups for the built-in matchup system.

4/10/2015 - Updated title (patch 5.7 atm) + added more matchups to cheatsheet.

5/3/2015 - Added Support skill path in cheatsheet.

6/18/2015 - Updated Summary chapter text.

7/16/2015 - All builds in the cheatsheet have been updated in some way. Item chapter modified to accommodate said updates. Slight Matchup changes - Kat difficulty increased and Ekko has been added!

7/20/2015 - Lux, Orianna, and Lissandra matchups added!

9/26/2015 - Title update to 5.18, updated 2nd Annie build to fit, added Veigar matchup!~

Thank you Jhoihoi for the line dividers and some of the formattings! :3