This is my very first guide, so bear with me...hah, I said BEAR! Anyways, I'll be trying to build this the best way possible. Annie has been my main for a very....very....very long time now, since I started playing, and she's gotten me through many games. In writing this, my record is 299/291/3 and have only played in one ranked game, which I have one victory. She's a very viable champion and can really hurt with her spells. Be that as it may, however, she's squishy and easy to take down....if you know how.
This is mainly for those already fully leveled at 30, but even some of this information can be used in the lower levels of play.
Also, while reading this guide, to get the title of my guide to sound a little bit more....interesting, play the youtube below.
Annie's passive, which needs to be charged to use, however, once set, can stun just about anything. Be warned, this is normally countered by Banshee's Veil, Quicksilver Sash, lowered by any tenacity item, and removed with Cleanse
This is basically Annie's version of Thornmail, with the exception that it also provides a degree of magic resist, but not as much in armor and scales off AP for the magic damage it deals when she's hit with auto-attacks. I believe it can proc Banshee's Veil's nullifying effect, should an enemy champion hit you with the effect active.
The most useful ultimate, in my opinion. He deals a nice little burst upon dropping, burns up units around him gradually, can be controlled by alt+right-click, and can deal a decent amount of auto-attack damage. The latest update gives him scaling on health, armor, and magic resist, so he won't be taken down so easily, however, he grants champions who kill him 50 gold vs 15 gold and XP.
Pros / Cons
- great nuker
- hard-hitting spells
- hardly any mana troubles
- can initiate a fight if played properly
- can stun champions
- has a controllable pet with AoE and his own auto attack and can be used to stun with
- long range with her auto-attack (great vs Heimerdinger's H-28G Evolution Turret)
- Very squishy
- stuns can be nullified with items
- weak auto-attack damage (well....she is a mage after all....)
- most combos rely on stun
- need to use 5 fire spells to charge up stun, requiring use of mana (not really that much of a con, but still worthy of a mention)
- pet grants the enemy champ that kills him 50 gold
- her girlish voice may annoy you (really, it doesn't bother me, but can bother others...)
- be prepared for pedobear jokes left and right....
Masteries + Runes
With masteries, I tend to always favor the normal 9/0/21, which is pretty much standard for mages.
UPDATE: since the masteries have changed (possibly too game-breaking at times), I'm posting up the new set I go with, but the build is pretty much the same when it comes down to where to focus your points. http://leaguecraft.com/masteries/0040040001000000000000000000000000230030230040031 The newer ones allow for spell vamp, which is a no brainer for Annie. Start with the standard array for the first 4 points in utility (1 good hands, 3 expanded mind). You'll want that extra mana build, even if you know your items will give you more (more is always better). Rank out meditation for the extra 3/ 5 seconds mana regeneration. With Greater Seal of Replenishment, you'll have more mana regen to start with, and Annie isn't really in need of that much regen when her q refunds when killing anything. Get transmutation and 3 in greed to help gain gold just a little faster. Transmutation will give you that 3% spell vamp, not much, but something to fill the void anyways, and getting even a smidge of health back from magic attacks is better than nothing at all. I personally go with intelligence for the CDR, but the mana and health regen option also looks tempting. Nevertheless, bringing out Tibbers more often will compensate, and put the last point in mastermind to round out the list. For offensive tree, that hasn't changed all too much, but you'll put 4 pts into mental force and 4 into sorcery and the final point into archaic knowledge for that 10% spell penetration. My rune build is as follows:
9x Greater Mark of Insight
4x Greater Seal of Evasion
5x Greater Seal of Replenishment
9x Greater Glyph of Focus
3x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
The full mark set is pretty much standard for most to all offensive mages to deal with magic resist.
I like to use the evasion for help in dodging physical attacks, but, of course, the standard for most to all mages is mana regen here.UPDATE: Riot has recently announced the removal of dodge runes, so until they get removed, they're still viable in my build, but start thinking about just buying the replenishment seals instead.
CDR is extremely important, as you'll be able to spam disintegrate often and bring out Tibbers more fequently.
Fortitude gives Annie a little edge in survivability, since she's very squishy.
I know what most of you think: "But why don't you just use AP runes all around?"
This is very simple: you can BUILD AP!
There are very few items that offer magic penetration, and even fewer that help with health and either AP or mana/mana regen.
For anyone under level 30, I suggest building the lesser runes of the above. When you hit level 10, don't upgrade to regular runes, as they're a bit more expensive and don't really shine very well. After getting to 20, however, or even hitting 18-19, start getting the greater runes. They're going to be the most expensive, but have the most utility.
Great summoner spells to take with Annie: Ignite
A great DOT spell that can usually net you a gank if used properly.
Can be used offensively or defensively. I like to use this to get into position to drop Tibbers when I can, and can also be used to run from danger.
Great if you're going to solo mid lane. Brings you back to the lane faster, and, once the lane phase is over, you can use it to teleport to wherever you're needed.
Okay spells to take with Annie: Clarity
Charges your mana back up 160 + 30xlevel. Good for tight spots, but when you level up and itemize, you really won't see much use of this spell. Great for early game abuse though.
Good for tight situations when you really need the health to escape from a gank. Useful in certain situations, but not all situations. This would be more of a waste, but it's not too bad to use.
Ghost It's usable, but not as effective. It'll allow Annie to escape and maybe run in and initiate and run right out, but not as useful. Still, it's not a bad spell, by far.
Everything else that doesn't benefit Annie.
Smite doesn't help at all, since Annie is NOT a jungler.
Revive If you're dying alot as Annie, play someone else.....geez
Surge Sure, it looks good, but with the lack of escape mechanics and ignite deals DoT damage and helps deny some healing, this isn't something you might want. The fact that it does pick up AP is nice, and the duration isn't too bad. Maybe an experiment is necessary to actually see its worth.
Promote After its absence, it's now back and still not as good as the other spells.
Cleanse .....really? A semi-crowd controller needing this spell? Maybe not so bad, but there are better spells.....BETTER SPELLS!
Clairvoyance OH LOOK! I can see UDYR in the tall grass near bottom turret! Oh...., I don't have a spell that can reach from here to there like Lux or Ashe.....LOL, this is useless with Annie, and wards provide longer-lasting and better map control.
Exhaust .......so you slowed your target....big deal. Your stun is ALL you need if you want to stop them. I'm not sure if this procs Banshee's, but it's still not worth taking if you're not doing fast and constant physical damage.
Maxing disintegrate first and starting with it is a MUST, as it's your bead-n-butter. Low mana cost, mana refund if it hits and kills, great farming ability, and a great harassing move make it very attractive.
Incinerate comes second, as it deals a cone of damage to units in the way and hits fairly hard. The mana cost doesn't make it an effective starting ability, however, even if it hits multiple targets. The mana cost and cool-down time alone doesn't warrant this spell to be your starter.
No Annie player can be complete without having Tibbers to help. His burst damage is excelent, has AoE, alt+right click controls, and can do his own auto-attack.
Molten shield isn't all that important until late game. Sure, it will help you build stun faster, but I feel it isn't necessary early game. Mid to late game, it can be a huge life-saver, and, if the enemy is unaware, can break'em down easy. The magic damage proc on auto-attacks can tear through any champion if they're not careful.
I once had a Master Yi attacking me after I initiated with all my spells, molten shield up. He kept auto-attacking with my minions chewing him up, Tibbers out and about, striking at him, me casting what came off cool-down, and my own auto-attack when my spells were on cool-down. Needless to say I took him down pretty fast, but he managed to leave me with less than half health.
Reflections of the latest patch (v184.108.40.206b)
The recent improvements/changes Riot recently made haven't changed her viability. The damage dealing spells seem a little weaker, but mainly by 10 pts of damage each (at least, when fully leveled).
The only one not touched was Molten Shield, which really doesn't need much improvement.
Tibbers was given a bit more of a boost, but doesn't stay out as long. He now gets health per rank as well as armor and magic resist per rank. All AP ratios were increased due to the damage nerfing, still making Annie dangerous in any game.
In addition, her mana costs also dropped on her three damage-dealing abilities. She's only slightly weaker in the early game, but very much stronger during the mid to late game, which is what Riot was aiming for. In my opinion, these have been welcome changes.
The new patch update v. 220.127.116.11
A bug was squashed with Annie, where Molten Shield wasn't triggered if the damage was shielded. update predating up and coming Patch 18.104.22.168]
Annie suffered a slight nerf, dropping her incinerate and disintegrate by 5 base damage and lowering her ratios by .05 each. Nothing really significant, so you can still deal quite a bit of damage.
Personally, I like to start out with Doran's Ring
It's great for early game AP and magic regen, as sometimes, you might miscalculate damage and end up burning through mana.
From there, it can be a toss-up. If they're not really stacking much magic resist (MR) initially, go ahead and try to rush Rabadon's Deathcap. If they're actually stacking MR, build Abyssal Scepter instead. Either way, those two items are great to have.
From here, you have a choice: either go after Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Zhonya's Hourglass
Rylai's will help slow down enemies and give you a boost in health and AP.
Zhonya's Hourglass will help you with physical champions and provide you with 100 AP and the activated ability of the former Zhonya's Ring (a 2 second shield that prevents all damage, but also prevents you from dealing damage).
(There has been a slight change in my line-up, as described in the update below).
I now have to experiment with this item, as I found that the percentage is apparently taken off BEFORE any magic penetration is done. So, effectively, you could have someone running around with 30 MR and we have sorcerer's shoes, the magic penetration marks, and the void staff, we do the following calculations:
30*.45 = 13.5 - 29 = -15.5. (runes and boots and the .45 comes from 55% off void staff and the archaic knowledge mastery), however, the percentages are usually best when someone has a really high resist value. If faced with someone who's stacking MR, then the void staff is incredibly useful.
For information on the calculations, there's a thread on the LoL forums that explains the mechanics well.
As nice as this item is, I don't find it too incredibly useful. True, the 3% passive is a nice touch, but this takes up an item slot that can be used for more effective things, like Zhonya's Hourglass or [item=Will of the Ancient]. That doesn't mean it's a bad item, however. Like I said, three items are core to the build, but the rest are up to you. Rylai's Crystal Scepter isn't part of the core build, but it will provide you with slowing enemy champions and give you more health, which is also key for survivability. Still, I did say to experiment with the build.... Does anyone really read these things carefully enough? *sigh*
I've been toying around with Will of the Ancients as of late, and found the spell vamp to be very helpful to Annie. It also give an aura, helping others with spell vamp and a little AP.
Solo mid lane
If you choose Annie, be prepared to be told to take mid. Annie is one of the BEST mid champions in the game. As such, you'll also be required to be really good as well. You'll get the levels you need faster and the money from minions to rush what you need to. Following this guide, you'll start with Disintegrate and Doran's Ring or Boots of Speed and two Health Potions.
Focus on last hitting minions with your fireball and you'll never have mana issues.
Feel free to help with auto-attacking, as Annie's range on her auto-attack is one of the longest and best.
Once at level 6, the enemy will have something more to worry about. At this point, you can open up with Flash > Tibbers (with stun built) > alt+right click enemy champion > Ignite > Incinerate (try to also get minions inside the cone)> Disintegrate > auto-attack >????? > Profit.
This will usually burn down an opponent and either gank or make them run. You can shift between using incinerate, disintegrate, and ignite if you want, but it's always best to lead with Tibbers when you have him ready and with a stun stored. Another way you can do it is:
In this second combo set, you could actually swap out to use Disintegrate before using Ignite
One thing I've started doing is charging forward as the champion recovers from stun (after unloading all her spells). This helps you move into position to peg them with more spells as they run and possibly bring them down. If your flash is on CD, then try this tactic out and see what you get. Just be warned: try not to do it when you're at 1/4th health or below.
Also, if no one has been calling any MIAs, don't chase even at full health. You may just get surprised by early mid gankers.
From here, you're ready to go off to help the other two lanes whenever you can, preferably when you've already taken down the mid turret.
The same tactics apply here as in solo mid, but you'll have someone else near you for support against two other champions or, if they have a jungler, one.
If played properly, Annie can somewhat survive a 2v1, but it's not recommended. She's dangerous in 1v1 combat, but can be pretty well shaken up if she has to solo 2v1.
Same starting item(s) are recommended here as well, but coordinate your ganks with your partner. Ping your target and go in for a stun while communicating with your partner. I got the following phrase from another guide I read a while back, and found it to be useful to let people know you have your ultimate ready along with stun: "ustun"
(once I re-read the guide I got this line from, I will credit you for it, or if you're the one who coined the phrase, let me know.)
I usually add "ready" to the end of it, just in case, the other person says something along the lines of, "but I don't have a stun." Believe me, I was in a game when I said this once, and I got that response. I told them that I announced because I was ready with my ultimate and my pyromania was charged.
Sample of build
[builder=Annie/4390c8a8efddff5213cfda4fa474a3cb]I filled in the last item with what I thought might be effective against a CC play style, since tenacity will shorten any CC effects. If you're going up against champions that are stacking health, you might replace Moonflair Spellblade with Deathfire Grasp
Annie is, by far, the best mage out there, beating Veigar by a few feet. Her magic abilities can tear down champions in a flash, and her combo makes her very devastating to the enemy. Even still, she's not without some flaws. She can be cc'ed easily, hit constantly, and killed almost instantly if you don't watch yourself. Feedback is appreciated, but I'm sure, most of everyone will find this guide very similar to other guides. Feel free to also invite me to a game as well. My summoner name is Rishu.
A complaint most people seem to have:
I've noticed the so-called, double tapping Tibbers glitch. I'm not sure why it happens, but it does give her an unfair advantage. Nevertheless, I'm sure Riot is working to resolve this issue. I've never personally seen this in my own games, but I did see a video of it, as bad as it looked. Update
The latest patch has somewhat solved the issue from what I've seen.
This has been tested by Riot and asks that you use it at your own risk, but here's a good way of watching your own replays without using up tons of disk space on your HDD.
Download and install. Let it run when you go into game and it will not only capture the ENTIRE GAME, but even the load sequence.
I'm putting up a replay, using megaupload, to show you just how devastating Annie can be.
Note: I go off build and grab items not listed here.
Warning: there is some colorful language in-game, even by me. You have been warned...