Annie Build Guide

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Making People Smell Like Burning

written by CyanideDEI

Annie Build



Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Pyromania
    The reason Annie is so good. Every five spell will energize you. You will know you are energized when you have little swirls around your character but so will everyone else. The next spell will be a stun and start a new count on pyromania.


    Disintegrate
    Every fire mage needs a fireball type spell so this is Annie's. Using it to score a last hit on minions will refund all of the mana used to cast it. Proper use of that knowledge means that Annie does not have to manage her mana as much as other casters do to farm.


    Incinerate
    A cone burst of fire that does not require a character lock to cast. Can be used to blow up many creeps at once after you get it dealing enough damage. Also if you are going for a quick first blood take this as your first spell and cast it several times at your fountain before you head out to enter the lane with a stun ready.


    Molten Shield
    Don't underestimate this spell. Take one level of it early to build stuns faster and always keep it up in fights. The extra armor and magic resist is no joke and you would be surprised how often the extra damage can scare of people from hitting you.


    Summon: Tibbers
    This is the reason you likely wanted to learn Annie. Dropping Tibbers on people to be eaten alive by a giant flaming bear just rules. Remember that casting him is a burst spell and will damage people. So don't just drop him anywhere make sure to drop him on and enemy. Also he works with your passive so try to use him as the initial spell when you go to kill someone that way he stuns them. This will allow ample time for Tibbers to hit them as well as for you to cast the rest of your spells.


  • Contents

    1.Intro
    2.Masteries+Runes
    3.Items
    4.Skill Order
    5.Summoner Spells
    6.Laning
    7.Useful Tips

  • Introduction

    I want to start off with my admission that I am no pro. I feel that guides do not best service pros. Guides best serve novices and so that is who this is aimed for. I make mistakes to and do not want the impression coming across to people who seem to think that just because someone has advice to give other players then that player can't ever screw up. I screw up. I have bad games. I solo queue and get bad teams that I can't carry all of the time too. However, I do feel I understand Annie well and want to offer my advice. Also since most people just skim for the good parts then jump straight to the build I will try to be brief and blunt.

  • Masteries + Runes

    I try to get the most out of my runes and I feel this works best.

    Greater Mark of Insight

    Magic Penetration is really the only option here.

    Greater Seal of Clarity

    These will allow you to have a much more active early game. They allow you to stay in lane longer, harass and farm more.

    Greater Glyph of Force

    I used to think that CDR was best here but I have since found I don't like them much. The main reason is there is use is between negligible and worthless depending on the stage of the game. With masteries, blue buff and a blue elixir you get max CDR making you runes not necessary. 5.85% isn't anything too special early game too. So instead of using unneeded runes we would instead use ones that never become useless but rather get more powerful. So I recommend the AP per lvl runes as the are never worthless at any point in the game.

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

    Flat Ap ones will work but I prefer survivability. The extra hundred health will give you a lot more staying power in your lane keeping you there for a lot longer to farm minions.

    Your masteries should be a 9/0/21 build. Feel free to mix things up but the most important things are the cool-down reduction and the magic penetration. It would also serve you to spec into the improved summoner spells with the exception of Ignite. That mastery is a waste.

  • Items

    Start:
    Sapphire Crystal& Health Potionx2 / Doran's Ring& Health Potion / Ruby Crystal / Doran's Shield& Health Potion

    The big difference between all Annie builds is what to start with. All of these will work but I suggest looking at what your lane situation might be like before you choose. I personally would suggest NOT getting the Sapphire Crystal once you hit level 30 and have a full rune page set up. The reason is to maintain survivability. There is no survivability in having extra mana at start. If you wish to rush ROA faster than take the Ruby Crystal and do your best to avoid being harassed. Mana regen seals and free Disintegrates will more than make up for the lack of extra mana. Doran's ring is solid too if you wish to have a health potion at start. Also I'm actually not kidding when I suggest there is a place for Doran's Shield. If you mid against a Vladamir or other strong harasser then take the shield for HP regen. It has been my favorite choice for a solo lane so far while the ring is better if you are in a duo lane and wont be leveling a quickly.

    Core:
    Sorcerer's Shoes / Mercury's Treads
    Catalyst the Protector
    [item=Zhonya's Ring]
    Elixir of Brilliance
    Sight Ward Vision Ward[item=Oracle's Elixir]

    I find finishing Sorcerer's shoes on the first trip back to be the best way to go. Early on the damage will make Annie a really dangerous champ mainly because her AP ratios are not the best so a small amount of magic pen goes a lot further than a small amount of AP. Having the early move speed advantage over other people makes her a very potent ganker. Remember though if the game starts going badly the pick up Mercury's Tread instead for the survivability.

    I used to feel rushing ROA was the best way to go. I have since found that I don't always like it. There isn't anything wrong with the item however I feel if you don't get as good of a start then getting ROA is just slowing you down. I however have always liked having the Catalyst for great early staying power. So what I have been doing is getting the catalyst and boots like normal and then deciding if I want to rush ROA or not based on how the game goes. If not then I still have a catalyst for a Banshee's Veil later.

    Zhonya's is the Infinite Edge of AP champs. It is absolutely the best AP item all around. However I don't see people wanting to build it until the have a ton of AP already and this just confuses me. You don't wait until you have a bunch of crit already to build Infinite Edge do you? Never mind the fact that the ring already has the most AP on a single item in the game. Coupled with a great survivability trick the item is just too good not to get early.

    If the game isn't quite over yet after you get Zhonya's start buying Elixirs. Cheap lots of Ap and with Golem buff you will cap you cool-down which is the main reason I don't recommend buying things to give CDR as it isn't needed after these. Feel free to get these at any point when they can benefit just don't let them get in the way of other item buys.

    I mention wards and oracles in core as they should never be situational. Learn to use wards every game for map control and always shut down stealth characters with oracles.


    Upgrading Catalyst:

    Rod of Ages or Banshee's Veil

    If the early game has gone well the yes go ahead and pick up ROA and feel good knowing that it is the best general buff item for casters. If the early game has not gone so well then I prefer to just sit on the catalyst for a while and get other items that give more in one dose. The reason being is that a fully charged ROA is great but it takes time to charge. So getting is really late in the game is just putting you further behind. Annie needs to be doing as much work as she can early on. You cannot be waiting till later to try and catch up. So if you are behind in the beginning then buy items that will have a more immediate impact on the game and make something good happen other wise you are going to lose. I usually wait until after I get Zhonya's and buy a situational item for countering the other team before I upgrade catalyst to a Banshee's (although remember that sometimes Banshee's will be the counter item you want in which case get it right after Zhonya's).

    Situational:

    These are items you should get as needed. Get them at a point in the game when they could do they most so if it means putting of a piece of you core then do so.

    Mejai's Soulstealer

    Mejai's is very effective on Annie as she can kill quickly then get out making it easy to keep stacks. As with any snowball item though it is not necessary and should never be bought if you are doing bad or if the enemy team has a lot of high hp champs. I personally have a great disdain for snowball items as I would rather spend my gold on other stuff.

    Void Staff

    I get this item when they are stacking magic resist. This will put an end to that BS.

    Deathfire Grasp

    I see a lot of people who think this is a must have. I disagree. I only get this one if the enemy team has more than two meaty champions or when my team is filled with a bunch of people playing low damage output champs and I need to make up for it.

    [item=Rylai's Scepter]

    Annie doesn't really get a lot of benefit out of this compared to others. However it does have a lot of nice things and could be good after you get your core. An Annie with 3k hp is hilarious.

    Haunting Guise

    A small price for a bunch of nice things. Mostly bought for the extra magic pen as the change to percent and flat pen order made flat pen more valuable. Can be nice if you want more damage but if they don't buy magic resist it might count for next to nothing.

    Guardian Angel

    Zhonya's will often do this items job well enough however if you bought a soulstealer, have lots of stacks and drew lots of attention this will help you keep stacks. As of the latest patch I am having a hard time recommending this item for anyone. I'm sure it's is still useful for some champs but Zhonya's just does the job better.

    Quicksilver Sash

    Since the cleanse nerf this is almost better than cleanse. If they have someone who will get shut down by you having this (Amumu, Warwick, Galio, Malz, Mord) then get it.

    Abyssal Scepter

    Since reduction applies before flat or percent magic pen this item could actually hurt more than help. Especially if you bought Void Staff too. So.....don't do that. It could still be useful against a Galio though.

    Frozen Heart

    If the enemy team has an abundance of physical DPS then grab one of these. It really does a lot for casters and has gone under my radar for a little while as I just wrote it off as a bad tank item. However it's great on a caster who doesn't want the enemy Ashe to rip them apart. Often times just Glacial Shroud will be enough but feel free to upgrade it later once you are set on damage.


    Items I don't Care For:

    Lich Bane

    Annie's auto attacks are slow so why would you bother. This item would only be good on Annie if you had a ridiculous amount of AP and at that point you should just win the game and if not then you deserve to lose.

    Archangel's Staff

    I really really really hate this item. You can always tell when someone is new to the game or doesn't play casters much because they rush this thinking it is the ultimate caster item. Try running the math on it compared to ROA. It doesn't give you a whole lot more AP than ROA even when it's capped unless you spend the rest of the game mana stacking. It doesn't give you any additional survivability. You have to work to charge it up while ROA just does it on its own. In order to even come close to maxing it you have to rush it which means you put off clearly more useful items like Zhonya's, ROA or a proper counter/defensive item. Stop building it on Annie. She doesn't need it. She doesn't have mana problems to even want this. Anivia might like it but just because something works on one champ doesn't make it universal. Stop building it.

  • Skilling Order

    Start with either Q or W first. If you start with W then stay in your fountain and charge a stun. You will most likely be doing this if you are going for early fist blood with you team or are fearful of early ganks. If neither of those then get Q and start farming.

    Take a level in E early say around 4 then don't again till you have to.

    Take R every time you can. If this doesn't make sense to you then just uninstall.

    Max W first. I know it may seem like you should level Q first but think of it this way. Q is doing its job of refunding mana when you last hit a level one. So at that point you are only comparing damage between the two spells to choose from. W has the greater damage so it wins. Plus when you hit level nine and get rank 5 W you can use it to farm caster minions easily.

  • Summoner Abilities

    Run any two of:

    Ignite
    Flash
    Ghost
    Exhaust

    Ignite is going to be a likely favorite as it adds to your burst an stops heals which would have in turn stopped you otherwise. After that you want a mobility spell. Flash or Ghost is what you are looking for. Annie probably gains more from flash than anyone else as everyone knows not to get near you when you have swirls up. Flash gives them a nice surprise. Ghost however is an all around more powerful spell and if you can work with out the need for Flash then it might be better. Exhaust can be nice if the enemy team is DPS happy and your team needs more ways of countering it. With a lot of DPS champs that can work around this it may not always be the best choice but shutting down the carry in a team fight is a good thing.


    Others:

    Teleport

    I don't think Annie gains enough from any tricks you could pull with this. Choosing between the aforementioned will do you much better.

    Cleanse

    As Annie, you can avoid most situations that would make you want to have this all the time. As for those certain champs that this is good against you could just buy Quicksilver Sash.

    Heal

    There is really no room for this spell if you are even half-way competent at this game and not just with Annie.

    [spell=Fortify] Clairvoyance

    Let the someone else take these. Having at least one person on a team with them is great in organized team play but Annie is not the one to do it.

    Clarity

    Clarity will be fine till you hit level 30 and have a full rune page. After that if you still need this then you need to practice last hitting more.

    Smite

    You are not Warwick. You do not jungle. You do not take Smite.

    [spell=Rally] Revive

    No. Just no.

  • Laning

    Solo Mid:

    Annie is a great mid but is not the best. You are going to want to let any ranged carries you get on you team go mid as the benefit the most from getting level advantage. However if you find yourself on any team with no ranged carries then you take it.

    The way to play Annie mid is to sit back and farm making sure to last hit creeps with Q. If the enemy mid comes in range hit them to make sure they understand you didn't forget they were there. Your auto attack range is long so use it to hit the enemy when you can. Don't spend all of your time auto attacking though(the creeps or the enemy mid). Once you have a stun wait for a good opportunity to hit them with Disintegrate then throw an Incinerate and an auto attack at them. Retreat back behind a minion line and start farming again.

    When you hit level 6 get a stun ready. If you have them pushed, let the creep waves push each other towards the center a bit. This is so they have less room to run when you engage. Flash near them if you took it or just work your way over the hard way when they give you the opportunity and drop Tibbers. Follow it up with Disintegrate and Incinerate and finally hit them with ignite. If done fast enough you might be able to get an auto attack in there. If they don't die then make sure they at least have to return to their fountain. At this stage of the game it wastes as much time as if they had actually died.

    Don't worry if you don't always get the kill. The main point of this is to full utilize Tibbers. He is the main pushing method of Annie and all you need is for the enemy to not be there so you can have him push the tower some. It is also possible to get would have been lost kills by having Tibbers dive past the tower and tank hits for you to kill for low Hp enemies who think they are safe just because your main burst has already been used. I don't normally recommend this as hitting the tower is more important.

    Don't forget to call mia when the enemy has left and keep an eye out for enemy champs to disappear off the mini map in the other lanes. If you feel a gank coming on you then be sure the get a stun ready as it will likely be what saves you. Try not to leave to gank other lanes unless you have someone that can watch the lane for you or the enemy seems incapable of pushing enough to do any real damage to the tower before you come back. This is because Annie only really pushes with Tibbers and lost ground is annoying to make up. At this stage in the game you don't want to risk loosing your tower just to get a kill.

    Not Solo:

    If you can help it try to get into the lane closest to your sides golem buff (this of course is assuming you don't have a jungler because if you have one on your team then bottom lane is always the duo lane). You are eventually going to want to get it and it would be nice if your lane partner didn't have to wait extra long for you. If you get a good harasser or another person with good CC then try your best to own the lane early. If you lane against an opposing teams carry then coordinate with your partner to take them out repeatedly. Keeping the other team from having a carry to rely on late game is a big advantage.

    Solo vs Two:

    Annie is a fine choice for a solo side lane. Tower hug. Push hard when the creeps get to your tower to lower the time the enemy spends near it. Try to mind your stun when you push the lane back. You may need it to save yourself. Once you hit 6 you may have enough of an advantage to take one out. Try to do this near you tower to give you extra protection. If you can't then call for ganks or for someone to watch you lane while you shop.

  • Useful Tips

    1. Annie's strengths are in her ability to do work early game. Late game your job is to CC and nuke the enemy team and let the carries do their job. Early game though you should assists your other lanes. Try to gank their carry as much as possible. Use Tibbers to push and tank for your team. Late game you may feel like you don't do as much. However, if you did your job early then the carry should be doing their thing and you can relax knowing that you helped make that possible.

    2. Stuns can save too. Learn to use stuns to save teammates by hitting someone who is chasing them even if you can't kill them and have to turn and run yourself. If you are getting ganked then try your best to work up a stun. It could very well save you.

    3. There are more uses for Tibbers than just being a pretty side effect of stunning a whole team. Learn to control him by ALT+Right Click. He can chase people without risking your safety, tank towers, checks brush you might feel is unsafe and because of his immolation he can push waves like a champ.

    4.Get golem buff as often as you can. It means you can spam spell like crazy to push and farm plus the cool-down reduction off of it puts you really close to cap after runes and masteries.

    5. I feel this is true for any game where someone on the other team is playing the same character as you. If there is an Annie on the enemy team then it is your job to prove you are better. This does not however mean you should only kill her. It means you should not feed. Prove yourself better in team fights by stunning more people. Late game your team will appreciate you enough to ensure that the enemy Annie will eventually get caught and die a bunch of times thus at the end of the game you are the better Annie. Do not at that point throw it in there face or even go so far as to offer advice(many people feel this is a passive insult towards their play skill and I would tend to agree). Simply post your GGs and if the enemy Annie wants to ask you questions, answer politely and that person will forever regard you as a pro. This is the true sign of besting someone.

    6.Know your job in a team fight. Look for a moment once the tank has initiated to drop a stun Tibbers on as many people in one shot as you can. Make sure though to catch valuable targets and not just tanks. Then spam Q and W to try and throw out as much damage in that area as possible. Annie has spent her use once she has used up her cool-downs so you need to make the most of them. If you can avoid only hitting one person with you ult then try to but don't be afraid to use it if you can kill a valuable target.

    7.Understand your kill potential. With Annie's incredible and virtually unmatched early game burst damage it is easy to forget that this dies off a bit late game. I've seen too many Annie players who get one or two kills on their own early game come charging at an off-tank late game alone and expect to kill them. You don't win games by trying to be a hero. Stick with you team because late game you don't have to ability to explode and kill like you did early game. Even when fed heavily you are not likely to get pentakills late game.

    8. Remember that casting Incinerate or Tibbers does not require you to have a target. If you know someone is in a brush chuck and incinerate in there to hit them. If you did this with a stun it will allow you to check the brush in safety.



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