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[title]Who is Annie?[/title] Annie is the offspring of a warlock and his witch wife from Noxus. Conceived in the Vodoo Lands, she possesses unearthly power that she wields on the Fields of Justice. Seemingly controlling the element of fire, evident through both her basic attack and spells, she is a very potent caster indeed. Her most powerful spell however is an enchanted shadow bear, lovingly named Tibbers, who she can summon to battle as her ultimate attack. As a champion in the League of Legends game though she is a feared burst-AP caster, generally played in a solo mid role, using short cooldowns spells and her passive ability to stun targets to defeat her enemies. Before playing Annie you have to ask yourself if you want to play a sort of "glass cannon" role for you team and understand that you will be focused in fights, but also that you have a very high damage output in exchange for this, possessing one of the most easily landed and powerful 100-0 spell rotations. [title]So why play Annie over anyone else?[/title] So you can troll people as a little girl with a teddy bear obviously. Also having an extremely high DPS and having a stun built into every one of your spells! Annie is perfect for the player who wants to destroy the competition without even letting them even counterattack, let alone cry out for help, but who is also very conservative and good at biding their time for the right time to lash out with a full combo. So, if these things appeal to you, then Annie is a very good fit indeed. [title]Pros and Cons[/title] Pros [.]very high burst potential [.]nice harass early game [.]potential to stun with any spell in her arsenal [.]post-level 6 she is very strong [.]self-controlled minion to tank towers for a push [.]single target OR AoE stun ability [.]625 basic attack range, one of the longest ranges in the game [.]super easy last hitting through the use of [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] Cons [.]on the squishy side, you will die to focus fire [.]stun only up once every 5 spell casts [.]generally unable to kill opponent pre-level 6, though still possible [.]no natural escape, Flash is pretty much mandatory [.]when ultimate is down ability to 100-0 is generally lost [.]very gank prone if lane isn't properly warded Rather balanced if I do say so myself. Annie is a very good character and should not be overlooked in the slightest, but also keep in mind her weaknesses and plan accordingly.

[imgext=http://i.imgur.com/Duh7i.png] Here is the mastery setup I've had success with and the one I suggest you use when playing as Annie. This mastery set will provide very good offensive power in terms of raw damage and flat AP, and a bit in magic pen, while also granting you increased mana, mana regen and buff duration for utility. [imgext=http://i.imgur.com/0pyrd.png] While full offense on Annie is viable pretty much all the time you may choose to use a more Utility based mastery setup should you already be comfortable with it. This set will give 10% CDR at level 1, nice mana and mana regen, as well as increased EXP and buff duration. Those are the most viable setups in terms of masteries for Annie, but you can delve into the Defense tree instead of Utility should you need the extra MR and Armor early on, but really Utility is where you want the 9 points most of the time.

[title]So what are my Runes accomplishing?[/title] [imgext=http://i.imgur.com/Ffh7u.png] I consider this to be the strongest setup for Annie and I highly advise that you try it out a few times before changing it around. The aim is to give you early game power as well as scaling late game strength, which I believe it does quite well. [.]9x Greater Mark of Insight. Flat 8.5 magic pen right from the start, this means that with masteries the standard flat 30 starting MR will be reduced to 19, increasing your damage yield early. These runes will also carry quite well into late game by keeping your damage higher. [.]9x Greater Seal of Force. The point of these is to scale into late game with more AP, increasing damage yield while also giving you slightly more AP over the coarse of the game. [.]9x Greater Glyph of Force. Same idea as your Seals and as they scale better per level you will get more power from them over time and by level 18. [.]3x Greater Quintessence of Potency. These will enhance your early game power and permit you to last hit quite easily using [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png], as well as harass for greater damage early on. Combined with Masteries these runes will give you: [.]8.5 magic pen, +10% MR reduction [.]~23 AP at level 1, scaling higher with levels [title]Lemme guess, these are the only viable runes on Annie?[/title] No, far from. While my build aims for greater late game power there are more viable runes for Annie to use should you lack the runes I suggest or don't want to use them: Marks: Generally M.Pen is the best you can get for a caster on Marks there are a couple other ones you can take. [.]9x Greater Mark of Force. More scaling AP. [.]9x Greater Mark of Resilience. Early game armor. [.]9x Greater Mark of Warding. Early game MR. Seals: I prefer scaling AP, but you can use these if you want. [.]9x Greater Seal of Replenishment. In case you have mana problems. [.]9x Greater Seal of Resilience. Early game armor. Glyphs: Again, I prefer scaling AP, but here are some alternatives. [.]9x Greater Glyph of Potency. Early game power and last hitting potential. [.]9x Greater Glyph of Warding. Early game MR, decent for laning phase. [.]9x Greater Glyph of Focus. Increasing CDR for early game. Quints: Alternatives that work for Annie, worth it if you want them. [.]2-3x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude. Great for early on against tough opponents. [.]3x Greater Quintessence of Force. An odd choice, but if you prefer scaling AP. [.]3x Greater Quintessence of Swiftness. Great for early mobility, and throughout the game.

[img=summoners/flash.png][img=summoners/ignite.png] [title]Why these spells?[/title] The reason I take these spells specifically is because they are the most aggressive of the summoner spells and work very well with Annie's kit to help her secure kills throughout the game and escape the clutches of death in various situations. [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png] It goes without saying that Flash is still a very powerful summoner spell choice and can help out in a lot of situations that can vary from aggressive to defensive uses, and is almost a compulsory choice on a hero with no natural escape like Annie. This choice also goes very well with your ability to burst someone from full to dead when you reach level 6, as you can Flash into range when they think they are otherwise very safe and kill them instantly. Flash is great for escapes too, whether it be early or late in the game you can always just blink away from an enemy or over a wall to escape death. [.]great offensive tool to jump into range and burst someone [.]great defensive tool to blink away or over a wall [.]smaller utility use to steal things like Baron or Dragon if you absolutely have to [imgsmall=summoners/ignite.png] Pretty much the standard pick for any burst caster to extend damage past the initial burst and debuff all heals/regen on the opposing character. If you don't think you can land the kill with just your spell rotation then throw this on the opponent as well so that even if they walk away with 50HP they will still die. As a spell meant for offense and not defense you should use this to secure kills and stop heals from saving people when an ally tries to burst an opponent down. [.]amazing at extending combo damage by that little bit you need [.]debuff to heals on the target so they can't be saved as easily [.]if you enhance it you gain 5 AP when it's on cooldown [title]Any other viable spells?[/title] [imgsmall=summoners/cleanse.png] While definitely not the strongest pick it can be taken in the place of Ignite if you expect that the opposing team will have copious amounts of CC to lock you down. I will say now that I discourage its use in any form of Blind Pick environment in general and thus most normal queue players should stay away from this spell. [imgsmall=summoners/exhaust.png] Another alternative to Ignite that will work better with a jungler than Ignite will. Applying a slow and a damage debuff can also be used defensively so as to save Flash for later if you know you can live with just using Exhaust. If you take this you have to enhance it in your masteries for the 10 Arm/MR debuff to help get you kills. [imgsmall=summoners/ghost.png] If you're not comfortable using Flash or you don't have it you can use this instead as it's still rather viable, especially for extended escapes/chases. While inferior for surprise tactics and completely useless for blinking over walls, it's better for sustained chases/escapes and should be used as such and not a clutch escape tool because it will not put instant distance between you and the opponent. Additionally, I don't really advise enhancing this, but if you like to then do it.

[title][img=skills/annie/p.png] Passive: Pyromania[/title] [number]After casting 5 spells, Annie's next spell will stun the target for 1.75 seconds.[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This passive alone makes Annie the powerhouse she is as a stun on any subsequent spell is nothing to scoff at. In lane you will want to build up to this by last hitting minions with your [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] then proceed to stun your opponent when needed, whether in cooperation with your jungler or for a nice bit of solid harass. A great thing about this spell is that it also stuns every target in the AoE of any spell you cast, thus making [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] and [imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png] stun multiple targets at once! This passive is also visually displayed on Annie in game by a cloud swirling around her and can be used for mindgames and to zone the opponent out of creep range in the early stages. [title][img=skills/annie/q.png] Q: Disintegrate[/title] [number]Annie flings a mana infused fireball dealing 85/125/165/205/245 (+70% of ability power) magic damage. Disintegrate's mana cost is refunded if it deals a killing blow. Cooldown 4 seconds Cost 60/70/80/90/100 mana Range 625 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] WOW! This spell is very nice and should be mastered as soon as possible. By mastered I mean that you should become proficient at last hitting minions with this spell so as to make it easy for you to last hit for gold and build up [imgsmall=skills/annie/p.png] fast during the laning phase while also saving you mana in the process. This spell is the main reason Annie doesn't need Mana regen in general while laning as you will always be last hitting with this or harassing/killing the opponent when your stun is up. [title][img=skills/annie/w.png] W: Incinerate[/title] [number]Annie casts a cone of fire dealing 80/130/180/230/280 (+75% of ability power) magic damage to all enemy targets in the area. Cooldown 8 seconds Cost 80/95/110/125/140 mana Range 625 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Great AoE spell in Annie's kit that can be used to clear minion waves with ease after you get your [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png], or just the caster minions with a couple of [imgsmall=items/dorans-ring.png] and a [imgsmall=items/needlessly-large-rod.png]. In combination with [imgsmall=skills/annie/p.png] you have a very potent AoE stun as well which is great when a team fight breaks out later game. Keep in mind this spells hefty mana cost and short range before you cast it and you should be fine. [title][img=skills/annie/e.png] E: Molten Shield[/title] [number]Places a shield around Annie for 15 seconds, increasing her armor and magic resistance by 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50. Deals 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 (+20% of ability power) magic damage to enemies who attack Annie with melee attacks. Cooldown 30seconds Cost 25mana[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Probably the least used of all Annie's abilities. Why? Because it doesn't directly deal damage. While it should be active whenever you enter a fight, for the bonus Arm/MR, it shouldn't be prioritized over your other spells if you're short on mana or you plan on spamming you other abilities. This spell is also very useful to open up a combo opportunity on the opponent because it gives a stack to [imgsmall=skills/annie/p.png], so keep that in mind when you need your stun up right away and you have 4 stacks. [title][img=skills/annie/r.png] R: Summon: Tibbers[/title] [number]Deals 200 / 325 / 450 (+70% of ability power) magic damage to units in the target area and summons Annie's bear, Tibbers, to destroy her enemies. Tibbers has 1200/1600/2000 health and 80 / 105 / 130 attack damage, and continually deals 35 (+20% of ability power) magic damage to surrounding enemies. In addition, Tibbers gains 30/50/70 additional Armor, and 25/45/65 additional Magic Resist for each rank. Cooldown 120 seconds Cost 125/175/225 mana Range 600 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Annie's signature spell and for a good reason, it's broken. Not only does Tibbers deal damage upon being summoned to the target location he also attacks and deals magic damage to all nearby enemies. This spell alone makes Annie's ability to be a burst caster possible, as opening a combo up with this will deal ridiculous amounts of damage and seal the opponents fate quite convincingly, and you should be aiming for a kill every time this spell is up and your stun stacks are at 5. After Tibbers has been called to the field he can be used to help take down turrets or a buff for you, but will attract all turret aggro. Tibbers is controlled by holding Alt on your keyboard and right clicking where you want him to go/what you want him to attack.

[title]Skill Order[/title] [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png] [title]Skill Priority[/title] [imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png][imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png] So here's your level up spell order. It's really simple and should not easily be forgotten, maxing [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] first for its damage, targeted stun and ability to last hit easily, followed by [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] for more damage and an AoE stun. Always take your ultimate whenever you can, obviously, as it's your most powerful and important spell. You may be wondering why you take a rank in [imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png] at level 4 instead of taking another rank in [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] for damage, right? The reason is that it will contribute a cheap stack to your [imgsmall=skills/annie/p.png] so you can go for a stun more quickly when you need it. [title]So what's my spell rotation for a combo?[/title] Start with: [imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png] OR [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] OR [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] These are the spells that will start of any of your basic combo paths for maximum burst damage, and should be started in the order shown, and really only if you have your stun. So, if [imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png] is up, then start with that, if he's up in a second or two then try to start with [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png], and if you're out of range for that then hit the opponent with [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png]. From there it's a pretty simple burst, depending on what you started with: Start: [imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png] [imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] This is a pretty basic spell rotation and you should add basic attacks where you need them for your cooldowns to come up. Use this in basically any situation where you just want to kill your target the fastest you possibly can, as it's the most efficient for a 1v1 scenario. [imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] Slightly more complicated rotation used more when you have the full 40% cooldown so that [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] will be up more than once per combo. This can be used to greater effect versus multiple targets, especially in a teamfight, as you'll be casting more AoE based damage from [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png]. Again, add basic attacks where needed for cooldowns. Start: [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] Great for a teamfight skirmish when you [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png] into range. An AoE stun coupled with Tibbers aura damage and you have a very powerful burst on a large group. Keep in mind that your second [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] should stun again! So try to hit as many people as you can with it. Start: [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] The least crowd based combo, but no less effective. Use this if you need to lock an opponent down from longer range and you need a targeted ability instead of trying to drop [imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png] on them and risk missing. Should still be able to 100-0 with great efficiency. [title]What if I don't have full stacks on [imgsmall=skills/annie/p.png]?[/title] 4 Stacks: [imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] Starting a rotation with [imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png] can give you that final stack you need for a stun on the opponent, and can catch a great many unprepared people off guard when you don't have your stun up and start approaching them. Keep in mind that [imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png] adds a stack at all times and that leading with it will also give you some resilience to damage if your opponent manages a counterattack. 3 Stacks: [imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] Doing a combo from three stacks is possible, but you'll lose out on some burst should your first [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] miss its mark, so beware when starting a rotation like this. In a scenario like this you should almost always have [imgsmall=summoners/ignite.png] up to add that extra bit of damage for the kill otherwise you can risk the opponent retreating and living. [title]What about Tibbers-less combos?[/title] These combos are much harder and will almost always need [imgsmall=summoners/ignite.png], unless you have a massive lead on the opponent. While not advisable while the opponent is at full health you can attempt a combo like this if the opponent is less than healthy, and if they're overstaying their welcome in lane then you can make them pay for it. One last note, this is easier to land if you have [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png] as well. Combo 1: [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] OR [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] OR [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png]>[imgsmall=summoners/ignite.png] Keep in mind that basic attacks will also help this combo out for extra damage and you don't have to activate [imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png] if you don't have the mana or it's not needed. You can also throw out another [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] if the cooldown comes up fast enough. Combo 2: [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] OR [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png]>[imgsmall=summoners/ignite.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] OR [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png]>[imgsmall=skills/annie/e.png] This is the alternative to the first combo if you know the opponent is packing [imgsmall=summoners/heal.png] or some form of instant recovery, or even [imgsmall=items/health-potion.png]. It will yield the same damage, but in a different order, and as [imgsmall=summoners/ignite.png] will run out earlier it won't be killing the opponent should they manage to get away.

[center][title]On the matter of Boots[/title][/center] So you want to upgrade your boots, but which ones do you take? It's all situational, and for the most part you'll want to go for [imgsmall=items/sorcerers-shoes.png], as they will grant extra damage in the form of magic pen, but other boots are very viable for Annie, so let's cover that. [center][img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png][/center] Your basic buy for Boots/2, the added magic pen will help with your damage throughout the game and they grant the standard move speed(2) bonus. While not the cheapest upgraded boots they are the best for Annie in terms of damage output and should always be considered over any others in most situations. [center][img=items/mercurys-treads.png][/center] Probably the most powerful boots in all of League of Legends as the Tenacity will save you more times than you may realize. But when do you grab these over [imgsmall=items/sorcerers-shoes.png]? As a player you should be able to determine when these boots are a necessary purchase and when you want to go for damage, but that comes more with experience than anything. Basic guidelines are based on the amount of CC(crowd control) the opponent has, and if you're suffering from it, then you pick these up. [center][img=items/boots-of-mobility.png][/center] Here's an odd choice in boots for most characters, but it can be solid if you plan on roaming the field of battle a lot, which some would argue you should as a solo mid. So how do you know to take these? Exactly that. If you're gonna be roaming then these may be worth their weight in gold. [center][img=items/boots-of-swiftness.png][/center] If any of you have ever played against a basic Annie bot you will notice that she's programmed to always take these as her upgraded boots, and with no natural escapes they could save your life. While not your first or even second choice they can make the difference in certain situations where you need to chase or escape from someone using movement alone. Use at your own discretion. [center][title]Well that's that covered, but what about my main items?[/title][/center] Good question! Items on Annie are very simplistic as you're going to be focusing primarily on damage output and very rarely on defense, if at all. As such the items you take will generally want to have very high AP yield while also sporting mana/regen, cooldowns or magic pen. With this in mind let's analyze these items. [center][img=items/dorans-ring.png][/center] Ah yes, Doran's items. While I don't advise that you take one as a starting item for the majority of your games, as mobility will generally win out over damage in a lot of cases, it's still good to keep in mind that it is available should you feel uncomfortable with your lane matchup. However, as a layover item before going for a [imgsmall=items/needlessly-large-rod.png], a Ring or even three can be a very good buy and will give you very good bang for your buck. A lot of games I will farm to 950G, push the lane and 'B', picking up two of these when I'm back to give me advantage in lane. It's actually nuts how much you can do just sitting on 2-3 [imgsmall=items/dorans-ring.png]'s and pestering your opponent. Another thing to remember is that buying one of these is pretty much always viable throughout the game if you need the extra umph. [.]decent starting item if you feel like you need the extra everything [.]very good in multiples early on, can add up in damage [.]grants you stats that you will appreciate for a cheap price [.]viable for a lot of the game if you have 475G and nothing you're directly working for [center][img=items/needlessly-large-rod.png][/center] This should be your first "big" buy, and while it's not a "full item", it still gives a massive AP boost that will significantly affect your damage output! As you will almost always be rushing a [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] this is a pretty obvious buy and can also be picked up late game should you need the extra AP. One can grab this in lieu of any [imgsmall=items/dorans-ring.png]'s should you grab first blood or a kill or two, and get enough farm, but you will be quite weak until you do, so I wouldn't really advise it in general. [.]great AP boost that can be bought as an extra item all game [.]builds into [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] after 2000G more [.]can be taken over [imgsmall=items/dorans-ring.png]'s early if you get lucky [center][img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png][/center] If you thought [imgsmall=items/needlessly-large-rod.png] gave you good damage, wait till you finally grab this puppy! Bursting an opponent was never so easy, assuming of course they don't have MR items. This is your main item and should be obtained ASAP in pretty much every game for the great increase in damage output and the 30% boost to your AP through its passive. [.]massive 140AP boost [.]will increase your damage by a lot, especially against unshielded opponents [.]the passive will help you snowball really well into late game [.]go for [imgsmall=items/needlessly-large-rod.png]>[imgsmall=items/blasting-wand.png]>[imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png], as its buy stages [center][img=items/void-staff.png][/center] Your secondary item that you will usually want as your second big buy, after [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png], for the sole purpose of increasing your damage, yet again. The additional magic pen and AP are extremely welcome on Annie and help immensely with her 100-0 combo on more resilient foes, and while rather cheap compared to the Deathcap, it can still be bought in stages. *Note*In the 'Item Build' section near the top it says that your mid game core is: [imgsmall=items/sorcerers-shoes.png][imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png][imgsmall=items/blasting-wand.png], this is assuming you did not make enough to buy [imgsmall=items/void-staff.png], but if you did then obviously include it in your mid game build. [.]adds more AP and magic pen to your arsenal [.]great for stripping MR off of tanky-er foes [.]helps greatly in your 100-0 combos [center][img=items/morellos-evil-tome.png][/center] While not generally taken on a lot of casters I see, I find it extremely viable on most of them, as it solves mana issues a bit, cooldowns and gives AP as well. For these reasons I highly recommend this item on Annie as opposed to grabbing a [imgsmall=items/rod-of-ages.png] or [imgsmall=items/archangels-staff.png] like others would have you do, and because you don't have to rush either of those your damage gets higher much earlier, by letting you rush your [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] first. Coupled with Blue buff, which your jungler should be supplying after he gets it once(max twice), this gives you 40% CDR. [.]gives much desired stats, relatively cheap [.]built from [imgsmall=items/fiendish-codex.png], which is a very cheap/good layover item [.]full CDR when paired with Blue buff [center][img=items/abyssal-scepter.png][/center] Here's an odd one, while not a tanky character, Annie would not be buying this for the MR. If you pick this up for your Boots/2+3 full items build over [imgsmall=items/morellos-evil-tome.png] then you're buying it for the MR reducing aura it provides. [.]aura that drops surrounding enemy MR by 20 [.]decent AP yield, also provides MR [center][img=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png][/center] I'm not gonna lie, this item is really only purchased for two reasons: it has the second greatest AP yield in the game, and the stasis, to wait for cooldowns/save your life. While yes, it is expensive, its root item is also [imgsmall=items/needlessly-large-rod.png], a great item alone and it gives you a stasis field that can save you or let you start another combo when the enemies are softened up. [.]nice AP yield, at 100AP it's only outdone by [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] [.]slight armor boost is always nice [.]stasis field to save you/get cooldowns up [center][img=items/rylais-crystal-scepter.png][/center] Definitely not my first choice for an item on Annie, but it can help you land another combo rotation on a fleeing enemy. Granting you 80AP and 500HP, as well as a slow, this item is no laughing matter, and with full cooldowns you can potentially use just [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] to kill somebody. [.]nice stats provided, good slow passive [.]can build up through either [imgsmall=items/blasting-wand.png] or [imgsmall=items/giants-belt.png] [center][title]Any other viable items?[/title][/center] Well obviously, it all depends on your playstyle and what your comfortable, and while I can suggest what I consider to be strong choices for Annie, it's ultimately up to you as a player to decide what you take in your build. Below will be the items I feel to be fitting substitutes for items in your final builds. [center][img=items/archangels-staff.png][/center] For those of you who just need to have that extra mana in your early game you can grab this, or rather [imgsmall=items/tear-of-the-goddess.png], which will then build into this. If you choose to build this then you're rushing it before even [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] so you can make the most of its passive to build up mana, which will then be converted into AP when you finish the staff. As a warning, I tried this out and you definitely do lose out on a lot of early game power due to not having [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] early, or even a [imgsmall=items/needlessly-large-rod.png], so be warned that you will be aiming for late game strength when building this. *Note*Your build will change slightly, you will want to rush [imgsmall=items/tear-of-the-goddess.png] before anything, then into [imgsmall=items/archangels-staff.png] and finally [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png]. [.]can be useful to have [imgsmall=items/tear-of-the-goddess.png] early game [.]gives three very useful stats on Annie [.]keep in mind that at level 18, with max stacks on this you will have a total of 91AP coming from this item, this includes the base 45 that it gives [center][img=items/rod-of-ages.png][/center] Here is an item that a lot of people may tell you to rush, and if that's your thing, then go for it. Bonuses to rushing this are having a [imgsmall=items/catalyst-the-protector.png] early on, thus benefiting from its passive, and finally [imgsmall=items/rod-of-ages.png] will grant you three very vital stats that increase over time. However, this item will again prevent you from rushing a [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png], and you will feel the damage loss from not having it early on. *Note*Same applies here as to rushing [imgsmall=items/archangels-staff.png], go for [imgsmall=items/catalyst-the-protector.png]>[imgsmall=items/rod-of-ages.png]>[imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png]. [.]gives 80AP, 630HP and 725 mana with full stacks, which is very good [.]requires that you get it ASAP so as to build to the 10min time limit ASAP [.]builds up from [imgsmall=items/catalyst-the-protector.png], which is 'free' sustain early on [.]requires that you postpone [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] [center][img=items/lich-bane.png][/center] This item is a very expensive buy, and at almost the same cost as your [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png], you have to weigh whether or not it'll be worth it a lot more than any other item here. Keep in mind though, that for its cost you gain very good stats in most of the right places, and extra damage in your combos by adding basic attacks. Generally I would not advise this item, but if you've had success with it, then have at 'er. [.]gives AP and movement speed, which is epic [.]the passive adds to your burst [.]on the expensive side, so be careful when investing in this [center][img=items/deathfire-grasp.png][/center] This item is actually rather good on Annie, giving her AP, CDR and mana regen, not to mention a passive that will aid in bursting down more health driven characters. Another bonus is it's built up from both [imgsmall=items/kages-lucky-pick.png] and [imgsmall=items/fiendish-codex.png], which are both nice items to have, for the gold/10 and the AP/CDR respectively. If you find yourself in need of extra damage then give this item a whirl, you may be pleasantly surprised. [.]additional burst damage from its active [.]gives nice stats and is built from nice items [.]you will have 39% CDR with this, [imgsmall=items/morellos-evil-tome.png] and masteries [center][img=items/will-of-the-ancients.png][/center] I very much like this item, but as Annie isn't based off of staying power, it loses a lot of its potency. That's not to say that it's bad, but you have to pick your battles. However, if you do buy this it will also give an aura worth 30AP and 25% spell vamp to all surrounding allies, and while they may not directly thank you, it may help turn the tide in certain situations. [.]gives goods stats for the cost and provides an aura that may benefit your team [.]builds up from [imgsmall=items/hextech-revolver.png], which is a good item in and of itself [.]provides staying power, and is more useful if you rushed [imgsmall=items/rod-of-ages.png] [center][title]What about defensive options?[/title][/center] Ok, here's the thing, Annie is a burst caster and she performs her job really well, but when you start compromising and buying defensive, you lose damage. It's that simple. But! If you find that you absolutely MUST have a defensive item there are a couple I would advise in particular. [center][img=items/frozen-heart.png][/center] My favorite item in the entire game, tied with [imgsmall=items/frozen-mallet.png] and [imgsmall=items/force-of-nature.png], my holy trinity of tankiness, but that's not what we're here for is it? This provides a very stalwart 99 armor, but also 500 mana and 20% cooldowns! Not to mention it'll slow the attack rate of surrounding enemies by 20% as well. If you need to try to stop an AD in their tracks pick this up in combination with [imgsmall=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png] for almost 150 armor and a stasis to boot. [.]great stats given from this item [.]built from [imgsmall=items/glacial-shroud.png], a good item on its own [center][img=items/banshees-veil.png][/center] So here's the other side of the spectrum covered, and it does it quite well at that. While not the strongest MR boost in the game, it should be quite sufficient when used alongside [imgsmall=items/abyssal-scepter.png], and with the 45 cooldown spell shield, you should be pretty good. This also gives health and mana, and is built up from [imgsmall=items/catalyst-the-protector.png], so it's both an easy and a good buy if you really need it. [.]builds from [imgsmall=items/catalyst-the-protector.png], great layover item when needed [.]gives MR, health and mana, as well as a spell shield [.]great in combination with [imgsmall=items/abyssal-scepter.png] [center][img=items/quicksilver-sash.png][/center] While not quite as strong in the MR department as [imgsmall=items/banshees-veil.png], it's also roughly 1/2 the cost and allows you to choose when to bust out of something. Keep in mind that since it's an active you'll actually have to be paying attention to what's going on at all times so as not to get f'd hard by forgetting that you have this. [.]cheap MR build, can easily be sold when it's no longer needed, or for [imgsmall=items/banshees-veil.png] [.]active is both a blessing and a curse, don't forget you have it [center][title]And what about them consumables?[/title][/center] Sure, sure, why not right? Why not indeed. This section will be in point form only, as it's rather easy to comprehend, so "Try to keep up" ;) [center][img=items/health-potion.png][/center] [.]great for early game sustain [.]can be picked up in multiples for "cheap" [.]try to keep 1-2 on you during the laning phase as they can keep you in lane/save your life [.]try not to buy a ton of them, don't waste money [.]their power drops off late game, keep this in mind [center][img=items/mana-potion.png][/center] [.]great if you're having mana problems, which you generally shouldn't [.]helps keep you in lane/setup another combo when your enemy thinks they're safe [.]don't buy a lot of these, and only if you NEED them [center][img=items/sight-ward.png][/center] [.]great for map awareness [.]there are certain places you should always have warded, the bushes next to mid are a good start [.]try to buy 1-2 whenever you can, as they will save your life a lot of the time [.]if no one else is you should try to ward key spots like dragon and Baron [.]don't spend all your money on wards, you are the AP carry [center][img=items/elixir-of-brilliance.png][/center] [.]keep one of these burning at all times late game [.]great for additional CDR and mana regen when needed [.]remember that it will auto-activate if your inventory is full and you try to buy one

[title]So this early game thing is pretty easy right?[/title] Pretty much. Depending on your matchup in lane it can be easier or harder to deal with and there are simple guidelines to follow to be more successful in lane. [title]Your job in lane, in order of importance:[/title] [.]Don't die, especially not first blood! This is a big one, not dying will deny your opponent 300G and more if you were to die more than once, and will keep you alive to farm. If you have to 'B' to avoid dying, do it, ask for a cover on you lane if you need to, just don't die and don't do stupid things(turret diving is classed as a stupid thing). [.]Farm. Not joking. You've probably heard of the infamous "win lane, win game" quote before, and while this isn't infallible, it does help and simple farming goes a long way towards that. Now by farming I don't mean just auto attack your way to victory, but rather get good with last hitting using both Annie's basic attacks and her [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png], as it will keep the lane from getting pushed and be far more reliable than auto attacking to farm gold. [.]Kill your lane opponent. In general if you can go for a kill safely then do it, but keep in mind when going for this where ALL of the opponents are, your likelihood of success and your chances of dying. If these don't add up to be favorable there's a simple solution; don't go for the kill. Simply go back to farming and wait for a good opportunity. [.]Harass. When you're just starting out, especially on a caster, harass isn't that appealing, which is why it's last. If you can get an auto attack or two in without losing CS(creep score), go for it, but otherwise just ignore them and keep farming 'cause you'll need all the gold you can get. However, if you have your [imgsmall=skills/annie/p.png] stun up as well as [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] and [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png], go in and hit them with one, a basic attack, then the other for some solid harass to keep them on their toes. This is pretty much your early game in a nutshell and should be played as such. Aside from not dying, which is really just an extension of good play, your main focus should be farming minions at all times, but obviously don't be stupid about it. If your team happens to have a jungler and he wants to gank your lane, make sure you coordinate with him and get your stun up, or keep it up for when he arrives. Also a general template to tell if you're doing well in CS: 5 min = ~40-50 10 min = ~95-110 20 min = ~170-210 While not always the full IDEAL amount, these are some pretty solid standards for these times and you should strive to get as close as you can to them. A couple more things to keep in mind is that roughly 12 minion last hits is equal to a kill and that you shouldn't stop farming just because laning is over. Whenever there's a "dead" time, go to a lane/jungle and farm up, grab some buffs/dragon and get some more money as every little bit counts.

[title]What's this "mid game" mess?![/title] Mid game I find is that fuzzy area of the game where people apparently decide they've "grown a pair" and try to start ganking other lanes, and as a solo mid you have the privilege and sometimes the obligation to do just that. It's also the time of game where peoples final builds are becoming more apparent and you should have a clear idea of what they're building towards if they haven't already. Lastly, small skirmishes and team fights may start to break out over towers, buffs and dragon and people may start to travel around freely or in groups. In an unorganized game expect multiple people in your lane and be on your guard as you could be in for a turret dive because you're squishy. [title]Ganking other lanes/being ganked by other laners:[/title] [.]during this stage you can start to push your wave to turret and move out to the other lanes, stun in hand ready to kill unsuspecting victims [.]keep looking at the mini map for pushed lanes and vulnerable/isolated opponents or even low towers to take down and go help, as mid you have access to both top and bottom more easily than they have access to each other, so this should be far easier for you to do [.]this is when your vigilant warding will pay off a lot more and wards are definitely a good idea at this stage, especially in the river leading into your lane, the earlier waring you get, the higher chance you have of escaping. [.]the other laners, especially those who are more fed than the others, will begin looking for blood as well, keep this at the forefront of your thoughts as you are squishy and are extremely "dive-able" [.]when ganking other lanes always remember that bushes may be warded, or even the river, so try to take a roundabout route to the opponents and ping before you go in [title]Final builds:[/title] While your final build or those of your allies and enemies will definitely not be finished at this stage they will be forming up quite rapidly as you begin to snowball into late game. By this point you should have your [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] and [imgsmall=items/sorcerers-shoes.png], and either have or be close to having [imgsmall=items/void-staff.png], maybe even started work on [imgsmall=items/fiendish-codex.png] if you got REALLY lucky. Remember that your opponents will likely have upgraded boots and at least one full item, if not more, so you will have to beware and use TAB to check what they have more often so you can anticipate what they're trying to do. [title]Skirmishes/Team Fights:[/title] As players begin to group up in lanes and form small roaming bands looking for kills small skirmishes or even a full on team fight may break out as a result, especially if a tower gets pressured, so if you're with your team or a player or two keep in the middle where it will be safest and wait for the right time to initiate. Skirmishes between 4-6 or more people can happen at random and will usually favor one side due to either getting lucky or superior positioning, you'll want to avoid facechecking bushes and walking an un-warded river without escort and when a fight does open up you will want to focus the squishiest character, using [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png] to get into range if need be. [title]Here are a couple nice rules in general for this stage in the game:[/title] [.]Never die for a turret that's doomed anyway. If it's low and there's no way to save it don't give them extra gold for their trouble. It is a common misconception amongst newer players that if you don't defend a tower to the death then you must be bad. Wrong. Think of it this way: if I die trying to save a turret, it nets them 300G, double what a turret is worth and worst case scenario is they get the turret as well netting them an additional 150G. Very bad! [.]Don't focus the tank! While it may seem like common sense to not try and take down the person that is hardest to kill first you'd be surprised at how many times I've seen a team try to focus a Rammus or Amumu first, all the while the other players pick off the dumb team one by one. Instead focus on the squishy AD and AP carries, as not only do they do the most damage, but because of they're items, they will be easier to kill. [.]Take buffs and dragon. Buffs change fights, simple as that. Red buff on an AD carry will help them net kills or assists and Blue buff(which will be yours in this case) will allow you to spam spells more readily and not suffer for it. Dragon on the other hand requires a little more, but it worth more gold than a turret, so it should be taken every time it's up, when it's safe. This also goes for stealing buffs, if you can do it, then do it. [.]Ward EVERYTHING! While this isn't your job alone, picking up 1-2 wards at this stage to ward common ambush areas is a very good idea as it can turn a bad fight into a good fight, or help you initiate on an enemy that thought they had the advantage. Encourage your team to buy wards and hope they listen. [.]Take towers. Really, taking towers can win games and it's rarely bad to to take one, especially for free. While you don't excel at taking towers like [imgsmall=champ/sivir.png] does, you can still push one down or get it to low health so that it will fall to a minion wave shortly after. Remember when doing this to not get caught, and if a sizable chunk of the opposing team is unaccounted for, back off. [title]Laning may becoming more obsolete, but that doesn't mean you stop farming.[/title] A lot of players farming tapers off around this stage in the game as they figure kills will get them the money they need, those players are generally very wrong. Remember what I said before, ~12 minions = 1 kill, well it's true and killing twelve minions is far easier than trying to take down a player who can potentially get away or worse, kill you first. Moral of the story; keep farming, don't stop.

[title]Late game huh? Seriously, go win already.[/title] You will want to start prioritizing towers over kills to accomplish this and backdooring lone inhibitors will become a common strategy for both sides. While not particularly honorable it will win you the game in a lot of cases, but that's a job for someone with better attack speed than you. Your job isn't so much pushing as bursting down targets in any fight that breaks out and clearing entire creep waves in a spell or two, so as to push a lane up. Communication is also very vital here, and as a squishy you will generally want to listen to pings and retreat orders, it will save your life if they know something you don't. However, don't be timid at this point, and encourage your team to push and push more, force fights in positions that are favorable to you and your team(which becomes really easy if you have [imgsmall=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png], as you can bait like a boss). The general rules and advice from mid game will also apply very similarly, if not exactly, here too, so keep using it. [title]Push towers and Inhibitors, backdoor if you need to.[/title] This can't be stressed enough sometimes, and I can't believe how many times I've lost games because my team is concerned with killing their low health [imgsmall=champ/caitlyn.png] and insist on chasing her half way across the map just to do so. While you shouldn't be foolish and reckless about taking towers, you should still take them, as every tower taken gets you that much closer to a win. The same can be said about inhibitors, which is another issue all its own. Remember that if there is no tower at the inhibitor and you see most of the opposing team then there's no danger in just running up by yourself to take the inhib..well maybe not you, more a job for you AD carry or someone with better attack speed/damage than you. Don't wait for a minion wave, and if you have your team with you, then push that stupid inhib and don't screw around with minions if there's no tower! This leads right to backdooring, the "dishonorable" way to win, or so people would have you believe. Remember, that if you are beating the opponent using a certain strategy, and it keeps working, then do it. People may call it cheap, gay or even straight up cheating, but it's completely legit and WILL win games a lot, and if your team is strong enough to fight a 4v5 then send someone with decent attack damage/speed up to an inhib to knock it out. [title]The game isn't over yet, keep farming![/title] Yes, I'm pushing this again, it's very important. Obviously don't be out of position just to farm, but if you are passing by a creep wave or a camp, just throw out a [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] and a couple basic attacks to clear it out. Not only will this push a lane if it happens to be a creep wave you hit, but it will also give you some extra gold! If it's a camp, especially a buff camp, then you get gold(and maybe a buff) out of it, so don't fret spending a few extra seconds on the path to your destination.

[title]Ok..what's my job here?[/title] [.]Poking. Before a teamfight breaks out there is very often a poking war between the two teams, trying to catch players out or do damage in general. Annie is pretty good at this. While she lacks the range of some characters, she makes up for this in sheer strength and her ability to stun either a single target or a group of enemies. During this little 'poke war' you can and should use [imgsmall=skills/annie/q.png] quite liberally, it will do a ton of damage to squishies and a nice chunk to the tanks on the other team, but remember to keep up your mana for when the fight finally does break out. [.]Stun everything! When [imgsmall=skills/annie/p.png] stacks are at full you should be looking for anybody on the opposing team that's out of position, or even a couple of them, to cast either [imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png] or [imgsmall=skills/annie/w.png] onto. Once this happens you should either burst them down or the person that comes to help them while your team works on the person you stunned. [.]Don't die. Pretty simple right? Wrong. Since you're building for damage a majority of the time you won't have the resistance that others have to damage and should not get out of position. Ever. This means being a coward and staying behind your tank, wait for them to initiate(in general), and don't die. Your damage is very strong and [imgsmall=skills/annie/r.png] will die when you die, so if you summon him you want him alive for as long as possible to keep up the damage. [.]Burst the most important target. This means either their AD or AP carry, as they will dish out the most damage to your team and taking them out of the fight in 2 seconds flat will not only put the fight in your favor, but also allow your team to attack with impunity against the other carry should they be stunned. Never focus a tank, it will get you killed.

Ok, while a lot of people may think you know about this stuff I find that the majority of the player base, especially in normal queue, doesn't know much, if anything, about wards or warding in general and find them to be a waste of money. Recently I've been watching a lot of streams and vids about LoL to try and improve my game and found that wards seemed to help them out quite a great deal and helped the team not get caught out and ambushed. So I started experimenting while playing in normal and found that when I started warding I died even less than I did before, and opponents who thought they were being sneaky were really just wasting their time. Now this isn't to say you're invulnerable with wards up, far from, you have to look at your minimap to realize that someone's coming and you should make it a habit to look down at it from time to time. The following picture will show various ward spots that I've seen in the games I've watched, and while these aren't all your job, they are very good places for wards should you need to place them and can make an excellent reference for any character. Also, I have not included ALL the possible ward spots, as that would be just a map full of dots, as wards can pretty much be anywhere, but I have provided the ones that will concern you playing Annie in a solo mid role. [title]LEGEND[/title] Blue Dots: useful ward placement for blue team(bottom left start) solo mid Purple Dots: useful ward placement for purple team(top right start) solo mid Red Dots: useful ward points in general White Dots: common ward placements, reference for ganking other lanes [imgext=http://i.imgur.com/nUv5b.jpg] Keep in mind that the red dots and the blue/purple dots on the Red/Blue buffs are not your job they are very nice places to have wards should the need be apparent, keep this in mind while playing and if needed then put wards there.

[title]Did this really need its own chapter?[/title] In a word; yes. This is something that plagues normal queue as people don't know when to do Baron, and if they do go for it, it's generally not warded or scouted properly, if at all. Another thing to consider is if you really need Baron, while this comes more with experience than anything else you will get an idea if you need it or not, but as a general rule I'd say you don't NEED it if you have the advantage, so push. Don't get me wrong, Baron has the power to win games, but not if you're foolish about it, so be smart and consider all the variables before you suggest it or you follow your team into a death trap. Consider if you need Baron. Do you have the advantage? Did you Ace? Will you lose without it? Will trying to take it cause you to lose, or put you behind? Is Baron area warded so that you don't get ambushed? Did the opponent ward Baron? These are all different things you need to consider before you even attempt Baron. [.]So you have the advantage? In this case I would say either push up to an inhib and generally pressure the enemy team, OR if your team is capable, force a fight at Baron on your terms. This is much easier if they have it warded and you play ignorant, but will also require sufficient forewarning, so ward their jungle and the area around Baron before you try this. [.]So you aced? Again, in this case I would say push down an inhib or two, as this feat has far more impact than a single Baron will on the outcome and will pressure the opponents into a defensive stance. At this point you can control where the fights happen or even take Baron for free while they deal with Super Minions. So if you Ace; push. [.]Will you lose without it? At this point, when the opponents have the advantage and control all the engagements, it might be worth trying to take Baron. Take all the necessary precautions and when it's safe to do so the try your luck. I can say that I've won games from doing this before, when all looked grim and we thought we would lose, I suggested Baron and pulled out a win. Sloppy, but it can work. [.]Will trying to take it cause you to lose, or put you behind? This is major. If when taking Baron your opponents take out a tower or two, or heaven forbid, massacre your team and steal Baron, it wasn't worth it. This is something that HAS to be considered when trying to take Baron, and if it doesn't look good, then don't do it. [.]Is Baron area warded so that you don't get ambushed? Did the opponent ward Baron? Another important one, as getting caught out at Baron is awful and it can lose you a team fight you might otherwise have won. Before going for Baron make sure to have someone pick up an [imgsmall=items/oracles-elixir.png] or [imgsmall=items/vision-ward.png] to clear out potential opposing ward coverage in the area and place your own [imgsmall=items/sight-ward.png]'s in the area to have ample warning of if/when the other team will make a run at you.

Whether you are learning Annie from scratch or you just came for a simple skill/item build order I'd like to thank you for reading my guide to Solo Mid Annie, I hope you enjoyed it and gleaned what you needed to from what I've written. If you have constructive criticism or questions feel free to put them in the comments section and I will reply as rapidly as I can.

Comments coming soon!
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