Table of Contents
- Character Overview
- Summoner Spells Overview
- AP vs Magic penetration vs Cooldown Reduction
- The Build
- Last Word
LEAGUE OF LEGENDS CHARACTER GUIDE: ANNIE
- Game: League of Legends
- System: PC
- This guide explains strategy and builds to using the champion Annie in League of Legends.
- Current version: 1.00
- Date of this version: September 12th 2010
- Author: 'odd man' (Brian Wyllie)
-- Riot Games (www.leagueoflegends.com) For making a great game!
-- League of Legends Wiki (http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com) For having easy to access stats on champions, skills and other things.
-- CLGaming (www.clgaming.net) For guides and tips as well as a livestream showing higher level LoL play.
-- Solomid (www.solomid.net) For guides and tips as well as a livestream showing higher level LoL play.
-- GameFAQs(www.gamefaqs.com) For hosting this guide.
-- Neoseeker(www.neoseeker.com) For hosting this guide.
-- Brian Wyllie(odd.uno[at]gmail[dot]com) Author of this guide.
This FAQ was originally published on www.gamefaqs.com. If you wish to publish this guide elsewhere, please keep it in it's entirety and I highly recommend emailing me so I'm aware of where else it's published and to add your site to the credits. Obviously enough, do not claim this guide as your own or attempt to profit from it in any way. Enjoy the guide!
This guide assumes you know most of the basics of League of Legends in general (movement, hotkeys, last hit minions etc) but may touch of some basic things if theyre vital to playing the champion Annie. This guide will attempt to show the most effective builds for Annie and basically how to play her to maximize her effectiveness. I play on the US server under the username TheOddOne/frumS, you'll likely be able to see me play on either clgaming.net/index.php?page=livestream or solomid.net/livestream.php. This guide will assume your games are somewhat decided by how you play and aren't complete toss ups (say having a leaver or feeder) and that your allies are slightly competent at the very least. Also remember, some of the values for items/skills/stats may vary with time as patches come out that affect Annie. But for the most part, the guide will show effective Annie strategy and builds regardless of version unless her champion is drastically changed. Most importantly, this guide will apply to the 5v5 map Summoner's Rift. While Annie is usuable on Twisted Treeline, her effectiveness is reduced and the usability list of champions for that 3v3 map is very different from Summoner's Rift. Also in regards to rune/mastery builds, this is assuming you are level 30.
Some of the language in this guide may be unfamiliar to people who didn't play DOTA (defense of the ancients) or are fairly new to LoL (League of Legends)
Active Ability: A skill or ability that requires to be cast by the player itself to incur it's effect.
Cooldown: This is the downtime a spell has after it's been cast, meaning the champion cannot cast that spell again until the cooldown is over.
Creeps: Taken from Warcraft 3's melee, creeps is also the name given to the various monsters on the map (neutral camps) and depending on the player's definition, may include the units spawned at each team's nexus. Creep waves is talking about the Nexus minion 'waves' that spawn periodically.
DOTA: Defense of the Ancients, this was a map in the game Warcraft 3. While it is based off an older map in Starcraft, this map truly kick started the genre that League of Legends is in. Had many variants, any references I make to DOTA will be to it's Allstars variant.
Early/Mid/Late Game: Varies from game to game and person, this describes the phase that the game is in, early game often means the laning phase before lanes break (which means champions start roaming solo/inpacks), mid game is when teams start to organize pushes and late game is when the mid game pushes have failed and champions are extremely farmed as both sides were even or made numerous mistakes.
Farming: Usually means when a person is not ganking/roaming but mostly trying to kill minions with the intent of having lots of gold for an item advantage to use against the enemy team later in the game.
Feeding/Feeder: When a champion/player ends up dying far more than normal and ends up 'feeding' the enemy gold and exp. This can be accidental (by lack of skill) or intentional (by act of malice).
Ganking: I'm not sure where it originated from but it means to attempt to ambush a champion in hopes of killing them.
Jungling: When someone chooses not to lane but rather kill the neutral camps from the start of the game, this allows for lanes to have 2 solo lanes for more exp.
Kiting: In LoL, this is the ability to cast/attack while moving to constantly be doing something while an attack/cooldown is going. This will be explained further later and will be vital to this guide.
Laning: Early game when players are in the creep waves trying to gain exp/gold instead of roam.
LoL: For the purpose of this guide, it will be League of Legends rather than laugh out loud.
Minions: Similar to Creeps, this exclusively applies to the units spawning from the each team's nexus.
Neutrals/Neutral Camp: These are the monsters scattered on the map and marked with a skull on the minimap. They give exp/gold, and some give buffs or teamgold/exp.
Passive: A skill/ability whose effect is continuously on without player intervention. Almost everything (save a few) gotten from items is a passive effect.
Pushing/Shoving:This means to spam enemy creep waves with the intent to take out the tower/inhibitor on the way (or buy time to roam/shop), before say the enemy shows up or respawns.
Roam: When a player stops laning and mostly wanders outside of lane to find enemy champions to kill, games tend to devolve to this mid-late game.
Spamming: This means to cast a spell as soon as it's off cooldown, at the correct target (offense spells against enemy champions/units and support skills on allied units/champions).
SR: Summoner's Rift, this is the 5v5 map of LoL. It has a few variants, but they're the same gamewise aside from being annoying to read white text on the winter one.
Tank/Tanking: To take damage for something/someone. In most cases, it's usually vital for higher health/durable champions/units to tank damage for their lower durable allied champions for maximum team effectiveness. Almost always, minions tanking for champions is preferred as they tend to be expendable compared to champions.
TT: Twisted Treeline, this is the 3v3 map of LoL, it is vastly different from the 5v5 map and the strategies deployed here are significantly different.
Annie is a caster champion meaning she is heavily reliant on her skills to do damage as likely very little damage will come from her physical attacks after early game ends. (credit to leagueoflegends.wikia.com for stats, descriptions)
Why should I play Annie?
The reason why I like to play Annie mostly stems from her aggressive early gamestyle which most of the champions lack (or get nerfed such as pantheon/ezreal) and allows games to end quicker or move faster. Not to mention, Annie still holds up throughout the game and is a very strong champion in virtually every situation. For most people reading this guide, they'll mostly solo queue (ranked or normal) and she is easily one of the best picks there. Because Annie can control the game early on, she can stem the bleeding if your team does poorly and can disrupt the opposing team's rhythm which will cause their players to do poorly. Because of this advantage, it is significantly easier to climb the ranked solo queue ladder with Annie than most champions because most champions lack the power to take control of the game at level 6. Annie however, is still very strong in any premade as when combined with the summoner skill Flash, she can always be a threat against the enemy carry or provide stun support for her team's carry.
As of May 04 2010, Annies stats are as follows:
|Attribute||Base Value (per Level Up)|
|Hit Points||348 (+76)|
|Magic Resist||30 (+0)|
Important to note: Annie has one of the slowest projectile motions in the game for her physical attack. This will be apparent when lasthitting minions with it.
These stats are independent of runes and masteries which I'll mention later in the guide. Compared to some casters (zilean, anivia), she is more durable but less so compared to Ryze and Morganna, placing Annie in the middle.
The core of Annie's success lies in her skillset, explanations of when to level a skill up will follow in the builds sections.
The innate passive is the skill that all champions start with but is different for every champion. There is no need to level it up as depending on the champion, it's effect may be increased at certain champion levels. However for Annie, it's effect remains the same throughout the game.
Pyromania (Innate): After every 5 spell casts, Annie's next spell will stun it's target for 1.75 seconds.
Everytime a spell is cast, pyromania will add a charge to pyromania's icon on Annie's status bar (this won't appear at 0 charges), so this means the enemy has access to this information. At 5 charges, the next offensive (not molten shield) spell will stun, as well as make Annie giggle and have a 'twister' animation appear around Annie.
Also, after casting the stunning skill, the charge count will be set to 1 rather than 0. The only time the charge count will be 0 is after Annie respawns after a death or at the start of the game. Active abilities from items such as Deathfire's Grasp will NOT affect the charges on Pyromania which only apply to Annie's 4 skills.
An important note: There is a very slight lag time when a stun hits and when the character is actually stunned completely (the user has less than a split second to cast spells but cannot move), this is fairly noticeable when a champion uses an escape skill like flash or ezreal's jump as they'll be stunned at their destination even if it was cast late. This lag time can be beneficial to Annie as she can stun Pantheon/Warwick before their stun/disable activate to cancel enemy channeling!
Normal skills are the ones not included in the innate passive above and not her ultimate (described after this section). A reminder, these skills can only be leveled every other champion level, thus getting level 5 of a skill requires the champion to hit level 9. The first value for damage is it's base value while the one in parenthesis is how much damage it gains for every point of AP. The cooldown value on the left is the base value while the one in parenthesis is the value with maximum cooldown reduction (Capped at 40%) in runes/items/masteries. Magic damage is reduced by magic resistance while physical damage (in this guide, only Annie's innate attack is physical) is reduced by armor.
Disintegrate (Active): Annie flings a mana infused fireball dealing magic damage. Disintegrate's mana cost is refunded if it deals a killing blow.
- Cooldown: 4 seconds (2.4 seconds)
- Range: 625
- Cost: 60 / 75 / 90 / 105 / 120 Mana
- Magic Damage: 90 / 130 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+0.6 per ability power)
- Single Target, Projectile
For my preferred two builds, this will be one of her two primary damage dealers. This should be spammed often to be able to proc Pyromania more often, however it is usually more important to use the stunning cast with Tibbers or Incinerate rather than this as this is single target. This is a very important skill to farm with as it also gives back it's mana in cost when it lands a killing blow.
Important Note: This skill will not increase/use Pyromania's count until it HITS. This means that if you cast this at Pyromania count 4 and use Incinerate before Disintegrate hits, Disintegrate will be the one that stuns. This also means that if Disintegrate is dodged via the summoner skill Flash, Pyromania will KEEP it's count (even at 5) despite the Disintegrate cooldown going off. However if a target dies before the Disintegrate hits, it will still register the stun/pyro count to change. Flashing/Escapes like shaco's ult/Vladimir's pool make the projectile hit nothing and don't change it's Pyro Count.
Incinerate (Active): Annie casts a cone of fire dealing magic damage to all enemy targets in the area.
- Cooldown: 8 seconds (4.8 seconds)
- Range: 625
- Cost: 80 / 100 / 120 / 140 / 160 Mana
- Magic Damage: 85 / 145 / 205 / 265 / 325 (+0.6 per ability power)
- Multiple Target, Instant
This is the skill you should use for the stun unless it's against a single target then by all means use Disintegrate for it. This spell in conjunction with Tibbers, will do high damage in a area of effect, able to hundreds of HP from numerous champions in a single combo. The cooldown is longer than Disintegrate but it's far shorter than Tibbers and should be spammed during team fights for maximum damage. It can be cast into brush and will affect what is in the brush. It will also affect invisible champions (not wards/mushrooms).
Molten Shield (Active): Places a shield around Annie for 15 seconds, increasing her armor and magic resistance. Deals magic damage to enemies who attack Annie with physical attacks.
- Cooldown: 30 seconds (18 seconds)
- Range: N/A
- Cost: 25 Mana at all levels
- Magic Resistance/Armor Increase: 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50
- Magic Damage to enemies: 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 (+0.2 per ability power)
- Self Target, Instant
This spell isn't truly offensive like the above two, but it's real purpose is to increase the Pyromania count and increase Annie's durability beyond the other champions. Every armor and magic resist point increases Annie's effective hit points (damage to kill her) by 1%. Thus this skill can make Annie more durable than Ryze when it's active. The damage is a bonus but shouldn't ever decide a fight as most champions deal heavy damage physically or by abilities. The shield can be useful to take out neutral camps faster. When this spell is cast at 5 Pyromania charges, it will not affect the charge count nor will it go towards the next stun.
Most champions will have an ultimate, these tend to be skills that are greatly stronger than normal skills but only have 3 levels. And their respective levelings occur at level 6/11/16.
Summon: Tibbers (Active): Annie releases her bear Tibbers from his toy prison, dealing damage to enemy units in that area. For a limited time, Tibbers can attack and is also continually dealing magic damage to surrounding enemies.
- Cooldown: 120 seconds (72 seconds)
- Range: 600
- Cost: 150 / 200 / 250 Mana
- Magic Damage: 200 / 325 / 450 (+0.7 per ability power)
- Tibber's Health: 1,200 / 1,600 / 2,000 health (armor: 25 , magic resist: 30)
- Tibber's Damage: 80 / 80 / 80 (.625 Attack Speed) **NOTE, AS OF SEPT 12TH 2010, The tool tip is incorrect in the values for tibber's physical damage
- Tibbers has a aura which does 40/60/80 magic damage to units around him. Affected by Annie's magic penetration/rylais.
- Tibbers will follow the player until death or his 60 second timer is up and he will die :(
- Multiple Target, Instant
Don't be fooled by it's seemingly low damage upon cast, this spell is highly destructive in an area. In combination with her other skills, Tibbers will do massive damage in the area where he is dropped and will still continue to do damage as it creates a summon which does hefty physical damage as well as a magic damage aura. It is vital to order tibbers to attack (or just have Annie right click a target and tibbers will attack it if he wasn't given any orders) upon spawn to ensure a kill. Also because of his high hit points, he is able to tank towers for your team/minions.
To control tibbers, the preferred way is to hold alt and right click where or what you want him to attack. Releasing alt will allow your commands to affect your champion again. The BAD way to control tibbers is to left click him and every right click until the moment you deselect him will issue orders to him. This is bad because you have no control over your own champion until you deselect tibbers.
Be warned however, Tibbers will act like an extension of Annie herself. That is if Tibbers attacks an enemy champion near their own tower, if Annie is in range of that tower, the tower will attack HER rather than tibbers himself as it recognizes her as the source. This applies to neutrals, however if tibbers commences an attack with Annie herself outside their range of influence, the neutrals will attack tibbers rather than run out to chase Annie. This is useful for getting the golem buff on the map without having Annie take the damage.
Summoner Spells Overview
Here I'll give a quick rundown of all the summoner skills but for the ones that aren't remotely viable, I'll give a quick explanation to why Annie shouldn't care about using up one of her two slots for it.
What one should do when judging a summoner spell/mastery/ability
This little section explains why and what to look out for when thinking about a summoner spell for any champion. These three questions apply to virtually any spell/item/champion. Whenever you make a choice at any time during a game (for summoner spells, before the game starts), you must look at these three questions to see what will maximize the advantage your choice will give.
- How many situations is this summoner spell/item/skill useful?
- How important are these situations to my champion?
- How often will these situations come up?
That is my line of thinking for virtually any choice I make, for instance while I think banshee's is a great item, I'd never get it if I knew it wouldn't be very useful in many situations if the team composition I was facing would remove it easily or had no deadly skills to block it with.
The summoner skills are ordered by summoner level (the level in order to be able to use them). The first cooldown value is it's base cooldown (and its reduced cooldown from mastery if applicable) while the other one is the 15% improved cooldown via the presence of the master mastery. (credit to leagueoflegends.wikia.com for stats, descriptions)
Values and effects are as of SEPT 21ST 2010
Exhaust:Blinds the target (100% miss chance) and slows its Movement Speed by 40% for 3 seconds.
- Cooldown: 210 seconds (178.5 seconds)
- Summoner Level Requirement:1
- Extra Effect from mastery: Improves your Exhaust spell to also reduce the target's armor and magic resistance by 10 for the duration, and increases its duration by 0.5 seconds.
While the idea of making physical dpsers pay by making them miss, usually the ones that get close enough for this spell to be used are the ones with cleanse. It's likely better for a melee champion to get this as they'll be certainly close enough to hit the best target with it, and really if Annie gets jumped by a physical dpser, she has Tibbers stun to fall back on. If you do run this, a point in the level 1 mastery as adding 0.5 seconds to a 3 second duration is about a 17% increase in effectiveness with ONE level 1 point. These are usually run against comps with Olaf/Master Yi due to their extreme reliance on melee physical damage.
Ghost:Your Champion ignores unit collision and moves 27% faster for 14 seconds.
- Cooldown: 210 seconds (178.5 seconds)
- Summoner Level Requirement:1
- Extra Effect from mastery:Increases the movement speed of your Ghost spell by 6% and its duration by 1.5 seconds.
Because of the numerous nerfs (weakening) of Flash, this spell has been increasingly far more useful thanks to it's cooldown and duration of effect. On a unslowed champion, it's roughly 1 second for the time a ghosted champion to make up the distance that a person flashed (unless it was over a wall/cliff), meaning in most areas of combat, ghost would be significantly superior. A very strong spell because of the fact that it can be used offensively and defensively. For the passive player, this is probably a huge asset when combined with flash as it'll stop ganks/deaths for a long time. Though personally I prefer agressive style of play so I run Flash only and Ignite. While the mastery upgrade isn't vital, I'd consider it because of it's easy accessibility in the tree at level 1.
Heal:Restores 140 + 20 x level Health to your Champion and and 50% of that to nearby allies.
- Cooldown: 270/240 seconds (229.5/204 seconds)
- Summoner Level Requirement:1
- Extra Effect from mastery: Reduces cooldown by 30 seconds.
A spell that is highly dependent on your own team comp, would be solid if more teams played agressive rather than passive/farmwars. While many of the normal uses are obvious such as healing a entire team when they're hit with an aoe (the possibility of healing 4 people for 240+ is huge), it has more subtle uses such as baiting someone into trying to kill you not thinking about the fact that Heal is a hidden 140-500 hp for the user. While it seems strange at first, because of molten shield and my item build, it will make Annie one of the most durable champions on the team if not the most durable. I'm not really partial in putting a point into the mastery because it's in the mastery tree that I often ignore and putting a point there means I'll lose out on a tier 3 mastery in offense.
Revive:Instantly revives your Champion at your Spawning Pool, 9 minute cooldown.
- Cooldown: 510/490 seconds (433.5/416.5 seconds) **obviously enough, the tooltip hasn't been updated in a while.
- Summoner Level Requirement:1
- Extra Effect from mastery:Increases your health by 400 for 120 seconds after casting your Revive spell, and reduces its cooldown by 20 seconds. Also increases move speed for a short duration upon revival.
Simply put, this spell is horrible as it has so few useful situations and so many deadweight situations against it that it's simply not useful enough. Not to mention, its effect doesn't occur UNTIL you die, a spell like ghost or heal could've prevented that death altogether. Not to mention, revive has a significant cooldown attached to it and is completely useless for a huge length of time (often a third to a 4th of the game). I wouldn't recommend this skill but it is best comboed with teleport/skill that teleports to get back in the fight after revival.
Smite:Deals 420, plus 35 times your level, damage to target enemy minion or pet.
- Cooldown: 75/70 seconds (63.75/59.5 seconds)
- Summoner Level Requirement:1
- Extra Effect from mastery:Improves your Smite spell to reward a bonus 5 gold when used, and reduces its cooldown by 5 seconds.
This spell has uses, mainly to jungle or a must have in TT to stop constant liz/dragon kills. For Annie, this shouldn't ever be gotten as she has far more valuable things to use. Remember though, it is very likely someone is jungling if they pull out this summoner skill which gives some pre game intel for the opposing team. If there are smites around, Disintegrate and Incinerate should be ready to cast when neuting/baroning/dragoning in order to minimize the chance the enemy will smite steal it.
Teleport:After 4 seconds, teleports your champion to target friendly minion or turret.
- Cooldown: 240/235 seconds (204/199.75 seconds)
- Summoner Level Requirement:1
- Extra Effect from mastery:Reduces the delay on your Teleport spell by 0.5 seconds, and decreases its cooldown by 5 seconds.
This is a team oriented skill, your team really has to be on the same page for this spell to maximize it's effect as it can be used to backdoor or prevent backdoors but both require teamwork to pull off perfectly. Because there are no town portal scrolls from dota in this, this is the only real way of stopping a backdoor as recalling takes too long and puts you at the spawn. Not to mention, this isn't interrupted by damage (but it is channeling). Don't bother with this on Annie unless you are premaking as Annie can't backdoor as efficiently as a physical damage champion.
Cleanse:Removes all debuffs from your champion and reduces the duration of subsequent stuns, slows, taunts, fears, snares, sleeps, blinds, silences and immobilizes by 50% for the next 3 seconds.
- Cooldown: 120/100 seconds (102/85 seconds)
- Summoner Level Requirement:2
- Extra Effect from mastery: Reduces the recharge time of your Cleanse spell by 20 seconds.
Once again, dont bother with this on Annie, this is really for champions that stand still a lot or flash/leap type champions that like hit and runs. Always remember which opponents have this spell as they will cast it to instantly remove Annie's stun.
Fortify:Grants invulnerability to all Allied Turrets and causes them to attack 100% faster for 7 seconds. While Fortify is ready to cast, you deal 9 bonus damage to minions.
- Cooldown: 300 seconds (255 seconds)
- Summoner Level Requirement:4
- Extra Effect from mastery: Towers gain a 50% splash for the duration of fortify.
Turtling teams will make use of this very effectively, and requires extreme team coordination to maximize it's effect. Otherwise don't be surprised to never ever see this spell due to the fact it needs a cooperating team and it's defensive. Don't bother with this on Annie.
Clarity:Restores 100+25x level mana to your champion and 50% of that to nearby allies.
- Cooldown: 180 seconds (153 seconds)
- Summoner Level Requirement:6
- Extra Effect from mastery: Allies gain 100% rather than 50% of the mana when cast.
Some champions such as Zilean require quick bursts of mana gain because their builds (in Zilean's case AP/Magic Penetration) don't focus on mana or mana regeneration. However I wouldn't recommend this for Annie because all my builds run Rod of Ages and usually is sufficient in terms of mana. Though it is nice to have if an ally gets it but for Annie there are other things she requires.
Ignite: Ignite is a damage over time spell that targets a single champion dealing 50 damage plus 25 damage per level over 5 seconds. This damage is not lowered by armor or magic resistance. Also reduces the targets healing and regeneration by 50%.
- Cooldown: 120 seconds (102 seconds)
- Summoner Level Requirement:7
- Extra Effect from mastery: When this spell is on cooldown, the champion gains 10 AP.
Now this spell is a mixed bag, while yes it can deal very nice damage early and give some added damage mid-late game, it's problem lies in the fact that it's single target and doesn't scale very well. That said, I often use this as I try to end games early on Annie because of her huge advantage early game. The mastery is nice for a single point however because of it's location in the tree, it will require a 10th point in the tree (because 1 is in the 15% magic resist penetration) which means there won't be 21 points in utility to get the last mastery. No big loss however as Annie only gets a 60%-70% benefit from AP and 10 is hardly a huge loss.
Rally:Summons a beacon with 200 + 25 x level Health for 15 seconds which increases allied Attack Damage by 10-35.
- Cooldown: 270 seconds (229.5 seconds)
- Summoner Level Requirement:8
- Extra Effect from mastery:Improves your Rally spell to also increase base magical damage by 20% and increases its duration by 5 seconds.
Even before the crippling nerfs to this spell, I wouldn't get this on Annie due to the fact physical dpsers can make use of this and getting the mastery is basically mandatory but it's far into the offense mastery tree. And since the latter half of the offensive mastery tree deals more with physical damage champions, it would cripple Annie.
Clairvoyance:Reveals an area of the map for 6 seconds.
- Cooldown: 55/50 seconds (46.75/42.5 seconds)
- Summoner Level Requirement:10
- Extra Effect from mastery: Lowers cooldown by 5 seconds and reveals for a extra 4 seconds.
Even with a person warding (usually me), this is vital for most teams as it is easily spammable and has many hidden bonuses such as the ability to scare off ganks by simply casting it over a brush that a team is standing on. Simply knowing something or giving such info to the enemy (thus having them misjudge their position) can be crippling. However, this is best gotten on someone other than Annie whose slots are already filled. The mastery is a must on this skill or it's really junk because the mastery essentially boosts the effectiveness by 66%
Flash:Teleports your Champion to target nearby location.
- Cooldown: 240/225 seconds (204/191.25 seconds)
- Summoner Level Requirement:12
- Extra Effect from mastery: Reduces cooldown by 15 seconds.
The once dominant spell of the game has received constant nerfs and changes to the point flash isn't used by every single person like ghost is. The problem with flash now is after it's initial surprise/escape, the champion is usually better off with ghost if that 1 second advantage isn't capitalized on instantly because of it's horribly low range. This spell used to be run in 5s for all teams and it was more rare to see less than 8 flashes in a game than games with 9-10. I go this skill on Annie because of her surprise burst and the fact that the range on her spells is low. That one second of surprise to land a tibbers combo stun will cause many kills on unwary opponents. Unlike most people, Annie loves to use this offensively rather than to escape as a sudden 1000+ damage combo on anyone is a huge threat to the enemy carry line as Flash will allow her to reach them. Though if Annie gets caught, it's still very useful to just flash over a cliff/wall or to confuse the enemy. Though keep in mind that one of the primary selling points of this skill now is it's ability to dodge projectiles that are IN flight. They won't dodge spells that have been casted the instant you flash as those will follow you to where you flashed.
From this list, I personally only use 2 combinations currently which I'll recommend and explain in more detail later. They are: ghost/flash, ignite/flash.
AP vs Magic penetration vs Cooldown Reduction
One of the main objectives I wanted to accomplish with this guide was to clear some misconceptions in Annie builds. I constantly see people going AP builds on her but have no explanation or a faulty explanation that it does more damage.
Due to gold constraints, one of these three categories has to be somewhat 'sacrificed' for any build. Only in rare cases will a player be able to spend enough gold to have lots of AP, maximum penetration and maximum (40%) cooldown reduction. Therefore Annie players are often forced to skimp in a certain area (in my builds, usually AP or CDR) in order to maximize the effectiveness of another. Depending on how the game is turning out, there are some criteria that should be kept in mind when figuring out what to get. Therefore I've created a few graphs comparing the stats.
Cooldown Reduction on Annie
While some people may assume Cooldown Reduction has the same effect per point, a view I prefer (which contradicts that) is what each % has on CURRENT damage output. In this sense, the first % in CDR has a smaller effect on damage than the later points as each CDR % is reducing your BASE spell cooldown which becomes a bigger chunk of your CURRENT cooldown the more points you have. If cooldown reduction could go past the limit of 40%, it would be very easy to see the exponential curve as it hits 100% (where damage becomes infinite). That said, I mostly steer clear of CDR items aside from masteries and Deathfire Grasp (and frozen heart if there are several strong physical damage opponents) because it is very easy to hit the 40% limit by use of blue buff (the large golem neutral camp) and by brilliance potions which is another 10%.
While obviously Cooldown Reduction has a significant impact on Annie's damage as she can use her spells more often then usual, it also has the effect of lowering the cooldown on her stun (pyromania). With this in mind, hitting 40% CDR is a huge advantage to a Annie player who spams her spells as she can proc her stun numerous times throughout a fight significantly faster as CDR affects every spell she has which all go towards Pyromania. After getting most of her Magic Penetration problems solved, I highly recommend taking the blue buff (unless someone else needs), having a cooldown reduction item and a brilliance pot to hit that 40% cap. While it may seem like AP does more damage, aside from the initial burst, CDR will become stronger if the fight goes past 8 or so seconds as Annie's AP ratios are mediocre and cooldown reduction is allowing more casts of a spell more often which translates to more damage.
AP vs Magic Penetration
Damage in LoL is reduced by either armor or magic resistance depending on the type. There are three ways to reduce the effect of armor or magic resistance and they're applied in this order:
- 1. Reduction that directly affects the target such as abyssal scepter's aura or in the case of armor, black cleaver. Anything that hits a target with reduction on will get the effect. This can reduce MR/Armor to the negatives but is very difficult to do so. Often I simply calculate this as flat penetration as the below 0 armor/MR is extremely rare against good players.
- 2. Flat penetration, this is virtually identical to Reduction except for the fact it is applied after and cannot reduce a target Armor/MR below 0. No other unit will benefit from a champion have flat penetration as it's only calculated when that champion hits a target with the correct type.
- 3. % penetration, this is reduction directly tied to the penetration user attacking the target. No other unit will benefit from someone else's penetration as it's only applied for the player using it. Note that it doesn't stack additively, thus having 15% penetration from the mastery and a void staff giving 40% would actually be 49% penetration.
So if a target had 100 MR and a spell cast with the user holding a void staff and Sorc Boots,the boots would take away 20 of the 100 MR then the 40% would be applied on the remaining 80, that 40% penetration would take away 32 MR for a final total of 48 MR. Note that penetration will not go below 0, meaning any penetration gotten after will be wasted. However unless your opponents (all the ones you'd like to target) don't bother to increase their MR beyond the base value of 30, it usually won't be the case that you have overflowing penetration.
The formula for calculating spell damage is : [1-((MR-Pen)/((MR-Pen)+100)]*(Damage of Spell)
While it is difficult to determine an exact gold number for each point of spell penetration, I approximate it to be roughly 50 AP (probably lower) per 20 penetration if we average the differing flat penetration/reduction items which are Sorc boots, haunting guise and Abyssal Scepter. However even with a overinflated value for AP, this graph shows how Magic pen is significantly better the closer it gets the opponent to 0 MR. Note that the curve becomes steeper as penetration hits towards the full MR (in this graph 70) because of the effective gain on current hp from each point of MR.
25 AP vs 10 Magic Penetration Graph
This also means that even if you stack voidstaff/the magic penetration mastery, it is almost always better to get penetration on Annie due to her poor AP ratios and the effect magic penetration has on targets below 170 MR.
Now for Void Staff, AP at equal cost currently (using values of SEPT 12TH 2010) is 105 AP. However since void itself gives 70 AP, we can reduce it to 35 AP against 40% pen.
35 AP vs Void Staff Magic Penetration Graph
Obviously, early on Void staff is weaker than the flat penetration on a low MR target but is significantly better as the MR gets higher and it's effect goes beyond 20 penetration. Without a doubt, if you ever want damage on Annie, penetration items should be gotten ahead of any AP items. However note that the gold value for AP is using the blastingwand/needlessly large values in which that unlike brilliance potions and Zhonyas(when over ~130 AP), tend to be inefficient.
For the most part if you've read this section, you can have a feel for which route you should go depending on how the game is going, though personally I end up going CDR/Magic Penetration for the build I'm about to explain because I'm often stuck tanking or being initiating on which helps my team as my Annie tends to be the most durable champion on the team after the tank (or in some cases, even more durable than him).
Pros for Magic Penetration:
- Strongest damagewise against champions that have remaining MR
Pros for AP:
- Initially stronger at the start of the battle
- If Annie dies early or is removed from the area of fighting, an AP build will have done more damage if this occurred early on
- More efficient for killing minions/neutrals as it takes less mana because your skills do more damage, Incinerate usually can one hit ranged minions with sufficient AP
Pros for CDR:
- Between 5-8 (4.8-8 to be exact)seconds and past 10 (9.6) seconds CDR outperforms AP in a team fight
- More able to gank because Tibbers is up more often
- Getting the subsequent stuns (after the initial) is significantly faster because it is directly affected by CDR
Summary: If your opponents (The ones you want to target, tanks can be taken out by physical carries in most cases) still have MR remaining, it is usually superior to get magic penetration. If your opponents are sitting at a MR value where you hit 0 from flat penetration, feel free to go zhonya (or deathfire grasp for CDR) to do maximal damage until they get more MR.
Now while I endorse players to be versatile, summoner spells/masteries/runes have to be made ahead of time before knowing much about the opponent aside from champion picks. Depending on how you think your team will play may have a factor in what summoner spells you'll use, for instance in one of my premade teams, it tends to be extremely aggressive with low damage so I run ignite on it to cover our weakness.
While this could change depending on if you're in a premade with a certain strategy, I highly recommend at least having Flash. That one second of advantage on any unwary opponent could be a easy kill as Annie has some of the highest (if not the highest) instant burst damage in the game. Simply adding the element of surprise to that damage will net you many kills that your opponent wasn't expecting. Many high rated players have fallen to this trap over and over simply thinking that since they had ghost/flash and 600 or so health, that they'd live through a level 6 Annie combo.
As for the second skill, it depends how you play and what you think you'll need. Since I tend to be agressive, I prefer ignite to get early kills and since most of my games end/decided early, the poor scaling of Ignite is less of an issue. However if you are expecting a long fight, ghost will go a long way towards keeping Annie alive and will easily improve her positioning should a fight start.
My suggestions: Ignite/Flash or Ghost/Flash.
Because of the variety and usefulness of some masteries, I'll only dive into the relevant masteries rather than the ones Annie does not need. My build for Annie tends to always lean towards 9/0/21 (9 in the offensive tree, 0 in the defensive tree and 21 in the utility tree). Specifically:
- 3 in Archmage's Savvy (0.6 AP per level)
- 1 in Deadliness (0.66% extra chance to crit)
- 4 in Sorcery (3% cooldown reduction)
- 1 in Archaic Knowledge(15% magic penetration!)
- 3 in Good Hands (10% less time to respawn)
- 1/0 in Haste (bonus to summoner spell ghost, only use if that spell is being used)
- 1/2 in Perseverance (2 or 3% extra regeneration, depends if the summoner spell ghost is being used)
- 4 in Awareness (5% bonus experience gain)
- 3 in Meditation (1 extra mana regeneration per second)
- 1 in Utility Mastery (15% extra duration for buffs)
- 1 in Blink of an Eye (15 second cooldown reduction on Flash)
- 3 in Quickness (3% extra movespeed)
- 3 in Intelligence (6% cooldown reduction!)
- 1 in Presence of the Master (15% cooldown reduction on Summoner spells!)
The notable skills that are usually a must on Annie are: Sorcery, Archaic Knowledge, Meditation, Intelligence and Presence of the Master. These skills are mostly vital because of either the gold value they give compared to other masteries or the extreme utility they give. For instance Presence of the Master basically allows more offensive/defensive play through use of the summoner spells because they're off cooldown more often.
Because of the amount of different runes and many of them being irrelevant, I'll mostly explain why I have certain runes in the build rather than the ones I don't use.
- Marks: 9 Greater Marks of Insight : 9*0.95 Mpen=8.55Mpen
- Seals: 9 Greater Seals of Clarity : 9*0.1-1.8 mana regen/5= 0.9-16.2 mana regen/5
- Nine Greater Glyphs of Insight = 9*0.57 Mpen = 5.13 MPen
- 9 Greater Glyphs of Focus = 9*0.65% cooldown reduction= 5.85% CDR
- Quintessences: Either:
- Three Greater Quintessences of Fortitude = 3 * 32.4 HP = 97.2HP
- Three Greater Quintessences of Insight = 3 * 1.89 Mpen= 5.67 Mpen
For Marks, the choice is obvious, by far the Insight Marks give the most damage for a caster such as Annie. For Seals, The clarity runes in terms of gold value far surpass anything else and is extremely useful early-mid game to have what basically is a superior Meki Pendant(390 gold) past level 8. This allows Annie to be agressive towards her lane opponent and still have mana in reserve (very handy against opponents who don't use/need as much mana). For Glyphs: It depends on if you want to buy Brilliance potions or have access to Golem buff constantly (if nobody else on team needs it more) as you can easily cap the 40% CDR value if you do have access to golem buff constantly. Otherwise, the best damage comes from more magic penetration. For Quintessences: It depends on if you are a passive player or a overly agressive one and how your team comp is. 100 HP early game is a huge boost (on base annie stats, a 25% increase of hp!) and could easily mean the life and death if a fight occurs. On the other hand, if you figure you won't be getting hit/hurt early game much, more Magic Penetration gives more power to Annie to deal out throughout the game and even in the lane phase.
Typical Order: 1 Doran's Shield, 1 Health Potion, Sapphire Crystal, Boots, Ruby Crystal, Catalyst, Blasting Wand (or Sorc boots, depends),Sorc Boots(Or blasting wand), Rod of Ages. If enemy isn't stacking beyond 30 MR: Kage Lucky Pick, Fiendish Codex, Deathfire's Grasp, Zhonyas, Rylais or Banshees or Frozen Heart depending on the opponents. If enemy is stacking MR up to ~80 : Haunting Guise, Kage's Lucky Pick, Abyssal Scepter, DeathFire's Grasp, Zhonyas, Rylais or Banshees or Frozen heart. If enemy is stacking MR beyond 100 : Void Staff, Deathfire's Grasp, Zhonyas, Rylais or Banshees or Frozen Heart. In theory throughout the game: Sight Wards constantly to see vital spots on the map, Vision wards if you believe the enemy to be warding baron/dragon. Also, when losing mid-late game and a fight is imminent, buying Elixirs (the red and blue one) will give you a few minutes of essentially having 2000+ gold in stats for just 600 gold. Elixirs could also be used when winning, if a game deciding push is imminent. While they are strong, I'd only suggest using them later in the game as 300-600 gold sets you back significantly later if you haven't bought a few core items.
- Early Game: 1 Doran's Shield, 1 Health Potion
I always start off with a doran's shield as that is the sole defense that Annie has against an aggressive physical damage lane. Not only does it give valuable hp (between 15%-25% bonus to current Hp early game), it gives HP regen in case anything does hit Annie. The armor is valuable for the fact most runepages on physical attackers range in the 30 area, which means they're doing full damage for the first few levels but having a Doran's shield will remove 2 levels of 0 armor (as Annie gains 4 per level) advantage for the opponent which allows Annie to take far less damage. The HP pot is there to make use of the gold and have extra regen to gain an advantage or make up for taking too much damage. However if you are for some reason in a DUO lane (an ally is laning with you), it might be more beneficial to get a Doran's Ring just to spam spells in the hopes your lane partner can take the damage or put out his own damage to stop the enemy from fighting back.
- Later in Lane Phase/Roaming Phase: Catalyst to Rod of Ages, Sorc Boots
Rod of ages offers very nice benefits to Annie as she can use the extra mana, health and AP that Rod gives for a nice premium (once 15 minutes go by). Catalyst is a great item to hold on to while waiting for Rod as it heals the user whenever they level meaning one can play aggressive and take damage and heal it back when a level up occurs. Sorc boots give nice added movespeed to roam (vital for roaming as without boots, it's mostly a waste of time) and gives nice penetration to help.
- Once those items are complete: Various items according to the MR criteria above
Once those mostly core items are completed, items should be chosen according to the enemy MR or how the game is going. In an extreme case, should the game be going horribly (say you're mostly feeding), it might just be necessary to get a health/defense item like Banshee's Veil to prolong your life in hopes you can be more useful if you live slightly longer. If that isn't the case, simply follow one of the three criteria above and follow that route. In all honestly however, most of my games end swiftly around aquiring Deathfire's Grasp as I often stock up Elixirs (red and blue) at that point for a game winning push or defense.
|1||Disintegrate (Q:Level 1)|
|2||Incinerate (W:Level 1)|
|3||Incinerate (W:Level 2)|
|4||Disintegrate (Q:Level 2)|
|5||Incinerate (W:Level 3)|
|6||Tibbers (R:Level 1)|
|7||Incinerate (W:Level 4)|
|8||Disintegrate (Q:Level 3)|
|9||Incinerate (W:Level 5)|
|10||Disintegrate (Q:Level 4)|
|11||Tibbers (R:Level 2)|
|12||Disintegrate (Q:Level 5)|
|13||Molten Shield(E:Level 1)|
|14||Molten Shield(E:Level 2)|
|15||Molten Shield(E:Level 3)|
|16||Tibbers (R:Level 3)|
|17||Molten Shield(E:Level 4)|
|18||Incinerate (E:Level 5)|
My reasoning for leveling W over Q is because for early game flash burst combos (using summoner spell flash followed up with all of Annie's spells on a target), it is very likely you won't get that next Disintegrate off as they'll likely have their own flash or ghost to get away. Also because Incinerate has higher damage, it can one shot kill the ranged creep waves if it is gotten early enough or Annie has enough AP, making pushing/wiping a wave much faster. I don't like getting Molten Shield early at all because simply increasing your pyromania by 1 every 15+ seconds won't be that useful early because of Annie's mana problems and the fact that there might not be time for that second stun before the fight ends. And even then, it only makes your stun available faster by how long Q's cooldown is (2.4-4 seconds).
Because Annie wants games to be short (because physical carries and tanks start to dominate late game), laning is extremely vital to Annie. What will follow here is the relative strengths of lanes against Annie IF the opposing player is competent or similarly skilled. One can judge how good an opponent is by seeing how they respond to a level 1 disintegrate/physical attack harass, if their champion is a champion that is listed as strong against Annie and they don't seize that chance, it is likely they're not very good.
Laners Strong Against Annie
|Miss Fortune||Completely absurd attack animation (none basically) from range, with a nuke. Can easily do her attacks and move up before Annie is even finished doing her physical attack animation. High movespeed to chase, armor pen advantage.|
|Ezreal||Once Ezreal hits 2, can easily abuse his armor pen advantage as well as his Q/E combo, one sided lane until level 6 when Annie can start fighting back.|
|Gangplank||The best counter to someone constantly denying is someone who can kill the turret quickly, Annie however is terrible at this.|
|Kassadin||While this solo may seem weak, his passive makes harassing useless after level 4 when he can fight back. Once he gets a catalyst or gets level 6, Annie simply cannot stray far from the tower as his passive will absorb nukes and turn it into attack speed when he jumps on Annie.|
|Katarina||Simply having more health (if she goes a doran item) and a free harass which uses armor pen, makes her harasses more deadly than Annies. It is highly likely that Katarina will have enough hp to stave off the level 6 Annie combo while constantly throwing glaives.|
|Nidalee, Kayle||These lanes simply counter what Annie is about, simply by having full HP for the entire time until level 6 will stop any Annie Combo from killing them. Also since their skills aren't bad, they can easily go on the attack and simply heal it off after each time.|
|Dr Mundo, Garen, Gragas, Sion||All possess the similar reason, they're simply too beefy or have a shield/heal constantly up to take enough damage to stay in the lane or attack back, best bet is to simply farm against these|
The reason for these champions being strong against Annie is the fact that Annie is likely on the defensively constantly against these champions. If these champions are smart, they'll be able to zone Annie away from the waves so only they'll get creep kills because of their superior strength/durability/damage early. Note that most of these champions have the armor pen advantage in the fact that since armor pen runes are so strong, they'll basically negate Annie's armor for 6 or so levels while Annie can only reduce the 30 base MR to between 20-11. Unless the opponent is less skillful, the best result against these champions is to simply farm and keep the creep wave on Annie's side of the map in hopes that your Jungler will provide gank support or to stem the advantage the opposing champion has.