Janna Build Guide

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AP Janna

written by Warrior Osprey

Janna Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    An AP Janna is the queen of making an enemy's life miserable. At early levels, her skills do absurd amounts of damage, and can easily lead to first blood at lower Elos if your lane mate is competent. In the late game, she manipulates the enemy team with long distance nukes that throw them in the air, a significant slow, a damage shield that improves attack power, and an ult that can knock back all foes in the radius, while giving a significant heal to all allies.

    In short, she's a total, reprehensible, manipulator. You can play her however you want. A more tanky Janna can give more staying ability in a team fight, and thus get closer to the front line. A Janna with physical damage can manipulate as well, and hurt a decent amount with her attacks. The AP Janna guide I've written up is for the expressed purpose of both manipulating and doing a tremendous amount of damage or healing with that manipulation. There isn't necessarily a wrong way to play her, but AP is my personal favorite.

    In my mind, Janna is one of the most gank-proof heroes that isn't a tank, and intelligent use of her abilities can turn a bad team fight into something that a significant amount of your allies survive. Janna can also make it so that a winning team fight ends with a significant amount of the opposing team dead.

    This sounds good, right? Well, if you don't like getting kills, Janna isn't for you. On a decent game, I'll average 2-3 kills, 0-3 deaths, and a ton of assists. Yes, she can do plenty of damage, but Janna has no burst or sustained DPS in comparison to basically every other member of the League of Legends. Her strengths are in manipulation and survival by intelligent use of her abilities, and you should keep that in mind. The most important role Janna can play is in a premade. In a premade, what seems like a subpar hero will shine. An AP Janna will find herself capable of turning team fights around with Monsoon's crazy AoE heal, her shield, and interrupting channels with Howling Gale. A good Janna sticks with her team, pushes like a demon, and doesn't expect many kills, but she's humble knowing that her efforts will win the game, as much as an uberfed Tristana.

    If you were wondering why this is called AP Janna, I'll tell you. When I wrote this guide initially, the other Janna guide stressed a pile of armor and MR items over anything else, and the third Janna guide espoused AD Janna. My guide sucked just as hard, but at least I was closer to the eye of the storm than them at the time. About a month later, Janna got every buff she ever needed, and everyone played her.

    ...then she was nerfed like crazy, but she's still better than she was when I wrote the guide. And pretty much no one plays her now, so I suggest that you take it upon yourself to learn the lost art of the CC queen!

  • Abilities

    This ability is pretty fancy, makes Janna absurdly fast off the bat. It also helps your entire team with the same slight movement buff. It isn't extremely noticeable until people start running away from each other, and even then, it's only a slight boon. Overall, it's a decent passive, and helps anyone with a 300 base move speed immensely.

    Howling Gale
    This ability is ridiculous. The AP scaling is decent, and it does low damage base. It however gets much stronger if you let the ability charge a full two seconds, at a grand total of 300 damage at rank 5. So, still not spectacular. It is important to note that you can stop the channeling and let the spell fly prematurely for less damage by hitting the Q key again. If you go for a pure AP build, it'll deal significant damage without a full charge, so keep that in mind, as the channeled bonus damage is not enhanced by AP. The range is, however. Most importantly, it knocks foes into the air for a good amount of time, more than enough for a zippy Janna to escape.

    Most importantly, this ability is a skill shot like no other. The range is absurd when fully charged, well past a hero's vision, it can go through walls, and it can be cast while you move, and channeled without your presence. Yes, you heard that right, you can run by a lane and pop a Howling Gale into the creeps, or a hero. This ability is tremendously flexible, and can easily be used to harass enemies until they ragequit, as you can easily harass people hugging a tower. The cooldown is also fast, but it is a mana hog.

    This ability is also significant. It has a tiny range and deals pretty good damage, but not anything worth writing home about. Most importantly, it has an absurd passive and an excellent slowing effect. Passively, this skill buffs your move speed significantly, and allows you to "fly" over creeps. Actively, it slows enemies significantly. Put those two together, and Janna is nearly gank proof if you keep on your toes.

    Eye Of The Storm
    Eye of the Storm can and should be used frequently. I personally don't level it up frequently unless I need to, but it is excellent. The shielding on the ability is improved by AP stacking, but the attack damage boon is not. This ability should be used wisely, and I generally use it on my laning mate, or whoever is initiating a team fight if the enemy team brought heavy physical DPS. Alternatively, it's of a great help on carries with high attack speed, as they'll get the absolute most out of the bonus damage.

    Oh, and you can cast it on towers. Seriously.

    Monsoon is an extremely good ultimate, provided it is used intelligently. On casting, all enemies will be forced out of the radius, for no damage. As long as you keep on channeling, all allies within the radius will be healed. This healing will win you teamfights if the enemy team isn't focusing anyone. A few hundred health a second is nothing to scoff at. It is thus very important to make sure that your team knows that when you pop Monsoon, they get into the radius and fight the enemy off. If the enemy commits against a team in the middle of an AoE heal and 40% slow, they will very likely lose unless they have AoE of their own. And if an enemy team does have AoE, Monsoon can be used to shift their positions and counteract their AoE, provided they don't have several AoE ults going off.

    This is very important, so pay close attention. After the initial effect, it will not knock enemies back, but it will deal a 40% slow, buying you maybe an extra second. Nor will this ability save anyone who is being taught how much Yi hates their face. It is imperative that you stay very aware of whether channeling the full heal or firing and running is for the best if you have to use it alone, but I'd recommend this skill for teamfights or for healing a team on the move. Do not play a suicidal Janna that pops her ult then gets beaten to death for being a flying, scantily clad squishy.

    Here's some more facts about Monsoon:

    It can blow people over thin walls.

    It can split an enemy team if you rush in and ult immediately, leading to an almost certain loss for the enemy.

    It has a decent AP ratio if your team stays in the bubble for the whole time, and why not?

    It makes Amumu cry more. This spell can counteract his ult, healing everyone stuck inside and forcing the enemy team to crawl in, rather than charge in.

    It makes Amumu cry more. If you aren't paying attention, you can blow an entire enemy team out of his ult. This is bad.

  • Masteries and Runes

    21 Mastery points of your choice in Utility if you are running Clairvoyance, and 9 in either Offense or Defense. If you are doing Defense, max ranks in Strength of Spirit is amazing early game.

    21 Master points in defense if you are not running Clairvoyance, and then 9 in Utility, since Utility is where your summoner ability buffs are!

    Rune page is 3x flat HP quints, 9x Marks of Insight(For more damage), 9x Seals of Vitality, 9x Glyphs of Clarity. Clarity glyphs should be all you need to fix your mana regen problem with smart play. If you substitute in the superior Seals of Clarity, I'd recommend Glyphs of Shielding. The Seals of Vitality are strongly recommended for 175 bonus HP at level 18, however.

    This section is incredibly short because I deleted it by mistake, and I don't feel like a complex discussion is all that necessary. Trust me, you'll figure out what you like most when it comes to Masteries.

    (hint: Clarity = MP/5, Insight = MPen, Vitality = HP/level, Shielding = MR/level)

  • Summoner Spells

    Clarity is great if you are learning Janna(I'm going to emphasize the learning bit), or lack MP/5 per level blues or yellows.

    Clairvoyance is not a terrible pick, as Janna has the room for it. A well timed and well placed Clairvoyance, such as on Baron, can save the game. At 21 ranks in the Utility Tree, Clairvoyance's cooldown will drop to an epic 55 seconds with an 8 second uptime, making it amazingly spammable. Clairvoyance can also see into brush. It cannot see stealthed characters, promptly correct anyone who thinks it can, or else they'll suffer.

    Cleanse can be used to get Janna out of nasty situations that would have normally killed her, even with Mercury's Treads.

    Ghost is up here because since the advent of characters that are capable of catching Janna getting played frequently(Akali) this has become more necessary.

    Not Recommended Spells

    Heal I realized I was an idiot for having this higher, but it isn't extremely terrible.

    FlashCooldown nerf makes it less viable. Janna has plenty of survivability from fleeing as it is!

    Exhaust is otherwise known as Zephyr.

    Ignite deals good damage at level 18, and ruins healing. So nearly positive, but this spell doesn't have much synergy with Janna overall, the best use would be to grab a kill off a fleeing enemy, but Janna is already fast, has a slow and has a wall-penetrating skillshot. You also lack the DPS to make this worthwhile.

    Smite can potentially be used to help your team get dragon, or something. Not really useful.

    Teleport is redundant, as Janna is extremely fast already.

    Revive doesn't help your team, nor Janna. Janna shouldn't die that often, and chances are that Janna returning immediately is not going to save your nexus/tower/team.

    [spell=Fortify] can save a tower, provided your enemy is too impatient to simply step back and wait for it to become vulnerable again.

    [spell=Rally] Used to be recommended because of the AoE heal.

  • Core Janna

    If you want to have a more beginner friendly Janna build, I put it below.

    1. Doran's Shield + Health Potion
    Not as much mana regen, but good play will allow you to handle this, especially with blue MP/5s.

    2. Rod of Ages / Mercury's Treads / Boots of Swiftness

    RoA is your core item. It'll help you a ton. Mercury's Treads are important if the enemy team has CC or large amounts of AP damage, Boots of Swiftness are for all other situations. RoA will seriously turn you into a straight up beast.

  • For the Beginning Janna

    Janna is an odd champion. She's built like the other female mages, with two damage spells, a shield, and a pretty good area of effect ultimate. Her spells also cost a ton of mana on relatively quick cooldowns, but they do low damage, meaning power comes from quantity of hits over a single, gigantic nuke. This means for someone who is playing Janna for the first time, it is probably most important for them to get the hang of her very important Howling Gale and other abilities by spamming them. This build is also a little squishier than my other build, but I think that there is a lot to be said about the importance of coming to grips with a character before playing them seriously.

    Your first item could be [item=Meki Pendant], and whichever potions you want. The Meki Pendant will build into your first item, the Chalice of Harmony. This item will vastly increase your lane staying ability in the early, middle, and late game, as a good Janna should try her best to avoid being hit.

    It is very, very important to note that if you deviate from the core item build, the Chalice of Harmony will not be nearly as useful as it should be. It's mana regen is quite poor alone, and the reason why you took it in the first place is for the increased mana regeneration, so you absolutely need another method to gain a large amount of mana regen for this item to perform near it's peak.

    The next item should be your choice of boots! These are all situational, so I'll just list them out.

    Sorcerer's Shoes will give you a good amount of magic penetration, for bonus damage at any point of the game. Lots of magic penetration = lots of damage against everyone, including MR stacking tanks. With magic penetration runes and Sorcerer's Shoes, you'll go clean through basic magic resist, making all of your spells hit for full damage. This makes these boots important for every phase of the game.

    Mercury's Treads is excellent for early game. It gives Janna more survivability against magic damage, and allows her to escape from ganks that much quicker, especially if a stun is involved. This is for early game. Late game, Janna's relatively low amount of health will mean if she gets ganked and is stunned, she's likely dead.

    Boots of Swiftness or Boots of Mobility will give you a stupid amount of zip. Boots of Swiftness are better if you are getting hit often, and can't stay out of combat, but Boots of Mobility will make Janna into an fighter jet. It is very amusing watching Janna zip across the map, but you'd be better off with the above boots in my opinion.

    So, my core item set is...
    1. [item_icon=Meki Pendant] + Potions of your choice, depending on how you play Janna, or not at all.

    This core item build is ridiculously cheap, with high mana regen for learning how to place her skillshots, and quite a bit of early game MR, which will keep you alive.

  • Items

    This is the non-core set of items that Janna can get and can excel with. Think before you go out and rush a Zhonya's, there are plenty of items that have more situational usage.

    I'll start with AP items you should consider getting.

    Will of the Ancients is tentatively approved as a priority item on any given team. Every character in the game could use some small amount of ability power, and spell vamp can help everyone! This item is seriously overlooked, and a WotA will help absolutely everyone.

    Abyssal Scepter turns you into an AoE MR debuff. You aren't getting this for the AP, but more for the MR(which is awesome) and the -20 to enemy MR(which will help your entire team immensely)

    Oh, wait, only two AP items? What about Rylai's? Rylai's will turn Zephyr into a beast, but it will not help Howling Gale, as Howling Gale's damage procs before the enemy comes back down, and they are spending about a second in the air anyways, leaving you with 3k gold missing and a measly 15% slow for a split second.

    On the other hand, here are all the non-AP items:

    [item=Aegis of Legion] is something every Janna should carry. Tell your tank not to get if they are moving for it, Janna can't do damage and she's probably near the front lines anyways.

    [item=Soul Shroud] gives some aura-based mana regen and cooldown reduction, plus all important HP. Don't know what to get? This is a good choice.

    A Frozen Heart is bonus mana, a considerable amount of armor, a considerable attack speed debuff, and an excellent cooldown reduction. Look here first if you are sick of being squishy to physical DPS, and don't be afraid to, the effects are dramatic if you have a [item_text=Rod of the Ages].

    The [item=Force of Nature] will give you a huge amount of magic resist, bonus health regen, and some move speed. It's good for survivability overall as Janna.

    The overlooked Quicksilver Sash will improve your magic resist and give you Cleanse-like ability on a 120 second cooldown. This item is extremely good if CCs have been a problem for you, and it is very inexpensive.

    Banshee's Veil will increase health, mana, magic resist, and an all-important immunity to the one spell that catches you every thirty seconds.

    [item=Stark's Fervor]. No, I am not kidding. If your team has three carries, and none of them are packing this, you should get it. Not because you plan to autoattack, but more because the aura is amazing for physical champs, and turns Janna into a flying debuff.

    The flying debuff thing I mentioned above is a pretty important concept of a support in my opinion. Having a pile of items that let you passively buff your team and nerf the enemy team is far more important than piles of AP, as Janna's ratios suck in comparison to everyone else's. These will also importantly hopefully draw the enemy team's aggro onto you, meaning they are expending valuable carry munching time on Janna, who becomes extraordinarily tough if built correctly, not to mention Monsoon, which might as well carry the same function ctrl+z does in text editors.

  • Skilling Order

    Someone is probably going to freak out and say shield is the best thing ever. It is! I level it as quickly as possible - by late game your shield will be maxed out, then we'll go with Zephyr. But before that, we've got Howling Gale. Why? Because rushing Howling Gale up has one gigantic advantage: You'll push like crazy. You will pin your lane opponents to their tower, and they will be severely gimped when it comes to gold and experience. You will out-level them, out-gold them, and take a tower down very quickly.

    The other big thing is that level five howling gale, fully charged, will instantly destroy the caster creeps if you are leveling at the proper pace. At this pace, getting your Rod of Ages by 15 minutes, and maybe even your boots, is very plausible. With that, you'll be able to begin annihilating entire creep waves in one shot. Then if you get another AP item, such as a Void Staff, you'll continue doing that for a good portion of the game, which will give you gold.

    Now you may be on the verge of wondering why I'm putting so much emphasis on this whole creep farming thing, and that is because assists are not worth gold. Seriously, I've had games with 38 assists, seven kills, and barely managed a proper item build. Minions will give you the gold you need, not assists. And before you say what about kills, keep in mind that you probably won't get many without kill steals. Kill steals, if I haven't emphasized this enough, redirect gold from your carries who need their five Infinity Edges and maybe a pair of boots.

  • Pros / Cons

    Pros of AP Janna

    1. Gets the most out of her abilities
    2. Long distance, high damage, knock'd into the airedness is at its max.
    3. Her manipulation can bring damage instead of simply being manipulation.
    4. Smart play makes her absurdly hard to tie down and kill.
    5. Excellent lane mate for a carry, her long-distance harassment, powerful slow, and mighty shield make her an excellent choice for keeping a carry well fed.


    1. Squishy. Don't bring her to the front lines, unless you can get the most out of Zephyr.
    2. Autoattack is flimsy.
    3. Spell damage still doesn't compare to shorter range casters.

  • Early Game, 1-6

    Janna performs best early game. Your first skill is entirely dependent on your laning partner. If your laning partner is a capable killer, go for Zephyr and harass the weaker enemy heavily, then try to tie them down and kill them. The weak hero is entirely subjective, but a great pick is someone like Evelynn who started with Hate Spike as opposed to her stealth.

    Most of the time, however, you'll be taking Howling Gale. It does excellent damage, and even used infrequently to preserve mana is enough to keep both the opponents at a dangerous level of health. If the enemy is not keeping their health up, it isn't a terrible idea to try for first blood at level two. Zephyr is an excellent slow spell, and your burst DPS at level two is over 160 health from your spells, which is quite significant, especially if the enemy is not keeping their health up. With the help of your lanemate, you should nab a kill.

    If the opposing champs are being difficult, simply keep the pressure high and don't go for a gank. However, it is massively important you stay wary of mid. If the mid hero has ganking ability, you will likely be their target. Yes, I have harped on Janna's gank proof-ness, but it hardly matters when mid appears out of nowhere and murders you with their ultimate, their CC, and CCs donated by the people you are laning against.

    Your ultimate is really also nothing to be celebrated until teamfights, so don't rush off to gank. Please.

    Solo lane AP Janna exists to farm in peace and stop the enemy middle from getting a single kill. Your other goal is to make it untenable for them to gank, as the moment they leave you can probably push mid to their tower in no time at all. Be very wary of ganks from top or bottom, especially if they are ganking characters.

    If you do get ganked, proper procedure is to knock them into the air, slow them, then bolt back to your tower. If they manage to keep with you, pop your ult and knock them back.

    As soon as the laning phase ends, be prepared to start following your teammates around keeping them alive, and securing kills. As such, Janna really doesn't have a midgame, or an endgame. She has an early game and a teamgame.

  • Working in the team

    In a team, Janna stays back, throws a Howling Gale and generally gums up the works. If things start to turn in your favor, get a little closer and zephyr whoever starts running, and step back before anyone tries for a quick kill. If things are going poorly, very carefully position yourself and pop Monsoon, and knock their carry away, and try your hardest to get the full channel in before pulling back. Remember, you are manipulating, not killing. Janna only kills people when they are fleeing and she's got full health, or they are completely incompetent.

    In the turn and run phase of any engagement, you shine. You can catch them, slow them, throw them back, throw them up, all sorts of things. It even works both ways! If they are pursuing you, hang back and slow someone down, and make good use of Mercury's Treads to make sure you aren't caught and killed. Double-tap Howling Gale to deal some quick damage and slow them down. Monsoon can be casted and don't even bother channeling, just get out of there. If you are pursuing them, a double-tapped Howling Gale can potentially ruin someone's day, or net you a quick kill. Get close to the straggler, and Zephyr them to slow them up a little. Don't commit, though. If they turn on you, just run. Janna is an easy kill unless she has armor items.

    In the defending the base phase of the game, you can shine. Janna can send off her little howling gales to harass them without even being within their range. If they rush the tower, gale them away, and shield it with Eye Of The Storm, which will net it a good damage boost as well. If that is unlikely to work, you can net the tower a vital extra second and employ Monsoon to knock them back while you ready more spells. If it looks like the tower will go down, clear out and get ready to keep them off the inhibitor with more howling gusts. Janna ceases to shine when they are hitting your final two turrets. You can push them off, but at this point most of your team is dead or scared,

    If you are assaulting the enemy base, you can use howling gale to make their turrets an unsafe place. If they aren't hugging the turrets, they aren't going to be as effective defending them. Even move between lanes if the situation is well in hand and push down multiple lanes with the creep's help, as Janna's Howling Gale can injure an entire wave to near-death. If you can split them up, it'll be all the easier to knock over that one vital inhibitor for your team.

  • Jungling Janna

    Janna loves Golem Buff if she isn't getting a Deathfire's Grasp and a Frozen Heart to max out her cooldown reduction.

    She also adores the non-special creeps, as many of them can be killed by Howling Gale and a few autoattacks mid-to-late game, which is vital for Janna's gold, as she has issues getting last hits on minions if there's any sort of carry nearby when she's trying to farm a lane.

    There actually is a reason for this section, and it is ultra-super-vital, ultra-super-vital enough that it gets a little story.

    Blitzcrank is wandering through his jungle, in search of the enemy team. The great steam golem is failing miserably, and not a single one of his allies can see the enemy team! Blitzcrank sits down and contemplates this, his clockwork mind buzzing along. He suddenly finds himself thrown into the air, ruining his concentration. He comes to the realization that the enemy team is on the other side of this wall, and on the other side of this wall is Baron Nashor! He promptly pops his fist through the wall, grabs Janna, uppercuts her and kills her. He then whistles for the rest of his team, and they get together in a merry band, trap their sneaky foes in Baron and kill them, steal the buff, and go on to push their nexus and win.

    The End.

    The moral is of course that Howling Gale goes through walls. When your team is killing Baron, Dragon, or just creeps in the jungle, you should be very aware that Howling Gale is working against you, and your entire team. If your team wants Baron dead, your best bet is probably some late game laning, or grabbing Golem buff. Or if you don't feel comfortable laning while your entire team is elsewhere, you can use non-Howling Gale skills to help your team beat Baron.

  • Final Notes

    One last few things to remember. Janna lives vicariously through her team, she is but a humble champion who does not rush to killsteal, drops Howling Gales to stop pursuers, and makes absolutely sure that her team wins, even if she has to go 0/5/9001.

    Oh, and your greatest strength as Janna? She's an extremely underplayed hero, which lends itself to being able to do more than a few silly first bloods, and surprising people who haven't had the delight of being struck by Howling Gale a hundred times. The reason I didn't mention this prior is for one, it's obvious if you've played her, and for two, it really shouldn't change how you intend to play the game. Even some witless buffoon can use any given champ to prevent you from escaping and kill you in a split second.

    Hextech Janna nearly gave her clothes, she's probably significantly warmer. Russian Janna, perhaps? With a little Commissar coat and a warm hat??


    I pulled a few sections, since some are simply bad, and others need too much work, and I by mistake deleted the runes and masteries section, whoops.

    Osprey's Random Rambles Since 2010.

    Uh. Changes. Sometime. Right. Honestly, I haven't played Janna in an age, I'll need to play her for a bit and re-evaluate to see if I need to make changes.

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