The flames of victory stand behind the guise of a small child, filled with menace holding an adorable teddy bear in one hand. In such a small vessel, who knew such power exists in the world of Runeterra? While the League of Legends scramble to find out the mystery behind the powers of the prodigy of the dark child they know one thing is for certain – she will bring forth a force to the summoner’s rift. In this Annie Guide, we will be discovering how to unlock this champion’s true potential.
Mysteries of the Dark Child
As the tyrant emperor of Noxus threatened the lands with greed for power and immortality, a powerful couple overflowing with magical power fled to the forests building a family for themselves. But with such great power, they gave birth to a child who hid great potential but kills her mother in the process. With the death of her mother, and eventual step-family, the child was left alone only with her teddy bear, Tibbers, roaming the dark forest.
Annie is one of the original champions included in the release of League of Legends back in October 17, 2009. 11 years later, she has received a lot of visual reworks to keep her updated in the evolving scene of League of Legends. However, with the amount of time passed, she still retains the same core that made her one of the most favorite champions to play in the mid lane. In this Annie guide, we’ll aim to discover the secrets behind Annie’s kit.
Annie’s General Playstyle
Annie, the Dark Child may have basically been the very first champion in League of Legends to introduce the burst-mage style. Her general aim during the lane phase is to harass the enemy until they are low enough to combo. For the later parts of the game, catching enemies with a stun on her Pyromania ability will almost always guarantee an instant kill with her high burst damage combined with the threat of crowd control.
Annie Guide: Skills and Rotation
Annie has a very simple skill rotation, playing her will require basic champion knowledge and is an easy learning curve to handle. However, having in-depth knowledge about her abilities will give you a better perspective on when to time these abilities correctly. Knowing which skills are best used to stack Pyromania and eventually combo the stun with skills like Summon: Tibbers, Disintegrate, or Incinerate will prove to be explained in this Annie guide.
Innate: Casting abilities will give Annie a stack of Pyromania. On the fourth stack of Pyromania, Annie becomes Energized. She loses all Pyromania stack upon death.
Energized: When Annie becomes Energized, her next ability that hits an enemy will consume all Pyromania stacks, stunning her target for a brief period of time.
Taking how many stacks of Pyromania in mind will be something you’ll always need to be aware of since your combos will heavily rely on landing a crucial stun on the enemy targets at the right time. Whenever you’re on your fourth stack, try to play aggressively on the enemy laner to get a reset. Holding on too long on your Pyromania stacks causes you to CS inefficiently as you could use your skills to last hit minions instead.
Active: Annie hurls a mana-infused fireball at a target enemy dealing magic damage to the enemy. If this ability kills the target, Annie refunds the mana spent and half of the cooldown is instantly refreshed.
Disintegrate is a great ability for last CSing as it refreshes the mana spent when it kills the target. This ability is also a great way to land your final stack of Pyromania for single target enemies since it only requires you to point and click. This ability is also useful in harassing enemies at a safe distance since it’s the same range as your basic attacks. Make sure to use this ability on minions to keep your Pyromania stacks up all the time.
Active: Annie ignites the area in front of her in a cone shape dealing magic damage to every unit hit in the area.
Incinerate is a great ability to use in clearing large waves or multiple targets at the same time but costs a lot of mana. Since this ability hits in a cone shape, being Energized will allow you to stun up to two enemies hit. However, due to it’s short range, it’s not a great wow to initiate a fight unless you’re willing to flash in. You can also use this ability combo’d with Pyromania to disengage from an enemy gank or attack with its AoE stun.
E: Molten Shield
Active: Annie surrounds herself in fiery wall reducing damage taken for 3 seconds and gaining bonus movement speed that decays over 1.5 seconds. While the shield is active, enemies who attack Annie are dealt magic damage.
If Annie used Summon: Tibbers, both she and Tibbers will gain the bonuses and effects of Molten Shield.
The bonus movement speed and damage reduction makes this spell Annie’s best tool for engaging against an enemy champion. Closing the distance against the enemy to catch them in a stun will prove to be really important when you’re trying to go in for the kill. Additionally, this ability is great for building up stacks as it does not require too much mana to cast nor does it require you to hit anything to activate.
R: Summon: Tibbers
Active: Annie’s teddy bear is infused with magical energy and comes to life, creating an explosion of fire where it lands. Tibbers will become a controllable pet for the next 45 seconds, burning everyone near it with magic damage. Re-activating this ability will allow Annie to control Tibbers.
When Annie dies, Tibbers becomes enraged, attacking her killer with bonus attack speed and movement speed over 3 seconds.
Tibbers will land and deal AoE magic damage to an area so make sure that you try and target an area with a lot of enemies on it. Combining this with your Pyromania will allow you to stun up to 5 targets at the same time. Remember to always let Tibbers attack high-priorty targets or tank for you when needed. Don’t forget to cast Molten Shield when Tibbers is up so you’ll both get the benefit of movement speed and damage reduction.
Annie Guide: Items and Builds
In this Annie guide, we discussed how her kit is built towards her destructive burst capability. Increasing her ability power to power up her abilities will be the highest priority in the Annie guide for items. Items that increase her mobility and magic penetration are great secondary stats to have since it’ll help her set up for success even more. This Annie guide, will help introduce which burst items should be built first.
Doran’s Ring – Doran’s ring is the best starting items for casters who plan on building AP all throughout the game. This item helps you gain a bit of survivability in lane as well as a good amount of Ability Power to increase your damage against minions.
Hextech Protobelt-01 – Adding to Annie’s pyrotechnics, this items adds a bit to the burst by being able to damage enemies in a cone in front of her direction. This also helps Annie close down the distance between an enemy to land the stun with Pyromania. You can also use it to escape unfavorable fights or simply clear a minion wave.
Luden’s Echo – This is a great item for mages who wait for the proper time to use their abilities since the passive ability grants bonus magic damage after charging. It also gives an incredible amount of cooldown reduction which will prove useful as the game progresses.
Zhonya’s Hourglass – Adding an extra layer of survivability, this item is a must against team compositions that can burst you down or those that have high CC threat. Using this with Tibbers will give you a lot of time to finish off the opponent.
Rabadon’s Deathcap – Rabadon’s Deathcap increases your total Ability Power the more you build it. As a burst mage, you’ll need to build this as soon as you have a decent amount of initial ability power to spike up your damage instantly.
Void Staff – Another item for burst mages, this item grants a huge amount of magic penetration and a high amount of ability power. This is especially useful if there are a lot of champions in the enemy team who are building a lot of magic resist items.
Mejai’s Soulstealer – An item to be built if you’re in a comfortable lead and the enemy team has a low chance of killing you consistently. This items provides a huge amount of ability power if you’re able to consistently be a part of teamfights by getting kills or assists.
Morellonomicon – Build this item only if there are a lot of healing from the side of the enemy team. The grievous wounds from this item ensures that the enemy can’t outsustain your burst with a ridiculous amount of healing from a teammate or themselves.
Annie Guide: Runes
Keystone: Electrocute – as mentioned before in this Annie guide, she will be focusing on her burst capability so runes, items, and abilities that increase her burst damage should be prioritized. Electrocute add an extra amount of burst damage to secure the kill or deal more damage while harassing.
Cheap Shot – Great rune to combo with your Pyromania. Cheap shot deals additional damage to enemies whose movements have been impaired. Use this to your advantage whenever you’re trying to harass an opponent out of lane.
Eyeball Collection – This rune provides you with more ability power per stack whenever you kill an enemy champion or ward. Always make sure that you buy vision wards so that you can clear the wards surrounding your area and increase this rune’s stacks.
Ravenous Hunter – Ravenous hunter allows you to heal yourself for each Ravenous Hunter stack whenever you deal damage to an enemy champion. You gain additional stacks whenever you take down a unique enemy champion meaning you’ll only get a maximum of 5 stacks.
Magical Footwear – Magical footwear gives you free boots on the 10-minute mark which saves you 300 gold from buying one yourself. As a champion who would like to build all their core items immediately, this rune is effective in propelling your lead further.
Cosmic Insight – This rune gives you +5% cooldown reduction on everything which will help you a lot to make sure to you are able to cycle between skirmishes quicker. Additionally, it gives you a +5% limit to your cooldown reduction so your cooldowns will become lower than it should be.
Annie’s playstyle feels very simple but is also really deadly. She can be easily picked up by any level of players and just reading this Annie guide will make them play the champion 100% more efficiently. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran, playing Annie is sure to be worth your time especially if you’re not sure which midlaner you should choose in game. However, keep in mind that since this champion has existed for a long time, a lot of older players know how to counter her effectively.
Which matchup is Annie most effective against?
Annie is most effective against melee champions or those that have really short range. Champions who can create distance against her work very well in countering her aggressive playstyle. When fighting against champions with minimum range, make sure to harass them into a favorable amount of HP so that you can eventually burst them down and secure the kill in the lane.