[Guide] Annie - A Conditional guide to playing the Dark Child

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mospeed

Senior Member

12-23-2009

Firstly, this is a conditional guide meaning it will only help you if you make the right decisions when choosing items. I will give suggestions on which runes and masteries to get but by no means am I telling you that this is the only way to play Annie. There are multiple ways to play every champion so never let anyone tell you that you're playing yours wrong.

Abilities

  • Pyromania - This is Annie's passive ability. When charged five times from spell usage you will be able to stun an enemy for 1.75 seconds with your next ability hit on them. I can go on and on and explain how this is Annie's bread and butter but I will refrain. I've seen many different Annie players sit on their stun until they're ready to attempt a gank and I've gone as far as to try the strategy and I actually think it's a bit rubbish. There are times in which you should sit on it though, for instance when in dangerous territory, when enemy champions are missing in action (MIA) or when paranoid that you're about to be ganked in general. When laning early in game try not to sit on your stun unless you feel threatened in some way. I say this because you should be trying to get killing blows on enemy minions around you and the best way of doing it is with Disintegrate and I'll explain why in this next section.
  • Disintegrate - This is your bread and butter spell. It should be the ability you start the game with unless you are anticipating a group fight at the start of the game. When you get a killing blow on a minion with this spell you are refunded 100% of the mana used. This is why you should be using this spell on nearly dead minions rather than sitting on your stun at lower levels. This is also the initial spell you should use when attempting a single gank as it wont miss if fired and if used with your stun you sill be able to get closer to accurately unleash the rest of your arsenal.
  • Incinerate - Wont get too much into this spell, it's a powerful AOE spell that burns everything in front of you though it's cooldown is significant enough that you'll only be able to use it once or twice in a given gank attempt or fight.
  • Molten Shield - Very useful defensive spell that negates some of the damage dealt to you and returns damage to enemies in return. You should get this starting at level 4 and always have it up when running into minions, bushes or enemy champions.
  • Summon: Tibbers - This is your ult. This spell is best used for its initial damage, meaning when you summon Tibbers on top of an enemy it will deal a good amount of damage. This is why you should stun your enemies first before unleashing Tibbers because if you just try to run up to an enemy and unleash him chances are the enemy will flash or run away. I also unleash Tibbers when solo attacking towers though only if I know that I'm safe.

Ability Priority
  1. Summon: Tibbers
  2. Disintegrate
  3. Incinerate
  4. Molten Shield - At level 4 get Molten Shield

Runes
For Annie I strongly suggest you get a good amount of Focus runes (CD reduction). Anything over 5% is great as you can easily get another 9% from masteries and 10% from an item in-game. Having a good amount of CD reduction is something that you'll really benefit from late in the game as you'll seemingly always have your Summon: Tibbers ability up and you'll be able to dish out significant damage with your Disintegrate and Incinerate spells in group and solo fights. The reason I say you'll benefit from it more later in games rather than sooner is because you'll have a much larger mana pool later in the game to sustain multiple Disintegrate shots whereas you'll go out of mana pretty fast early in game. (Keep in mind that 40% is cap in this game for cooldown reductions)

AP runes will also do just fine as you have multiple items in game that will help you achieve 25 plus percent on your cooldown reduction.

Summoner Masteries + Summoner Abilities
Archaic Knowledge is a must, everything else is conditional depending on which summoner abilities you use. I personally prefer to always have flash when using Annie as it gives me a method of defending myself by flashing away from enemies when low on health and flashing towards an enemy to get a quick Disintegrate on them. When energized flash can be combined with a Disintegrate to stun your enemy and you may be able to finish them off by summoning Tibbers on them and using Incinerate (followed by another Disintegrate yay CD reduction). Along with Flash the other abilities I suggest are Clairvoyance, Teleport and Ignite. I'm currently using Ignite along with the mastery point for the 10 AP that accompanies it though I've used all of the other things in the past. The only ability I frown upon is Heal mainly because it's a spell people only use right before they die and you should never put yourself in a position in which you're about to die. If you have low health run far back, preferably to a turret and hearth to base (there you go, you're healed and you didn't need to waste a summoner ability on Heal).

Here is what I'm currently using:
Attachment 11029

In-Game Items
The thing I like most about this game is the fact that you can do something different every time you play and I encourage everyone to change up their strategy every now and then to keep the game fresh. For this section I'll just give a list of the items that I use as I discourage you guys from doing the same thing game after game. The items you use generally should change depending on the opponents you're playing, who you're laning with, what their items are and if you're soloing.

When I'm soloing the middle lane I go with a Rejuvenation Bead, Faerie Charm and a health pot. And later after getting boots I'll build a Haunting Guise with those items. If laning with a partner I'll usually just get an Amplifying Tome and a health pot as I usually have little need for mana regen if I'm just using Disintegrate on low minions for gold. With that I usually build a Flendish Codex after boots and you'll notice that both the Haunting Guise and the Flendish Codex give me 10% cooldown reduction, a bit of mana regen and a little bit of extra firepower and this is the only firepower from items I'll have for some time.
So in recent games my builds look like this: (***Items with three asterisks indicate the buying order of these items is interchanged from game to game)

Soloing: Rejuvenation Bead, Faerie Charm, Health Pot
Partner: Amplifying Tome, Health Pot
Boots of Speed
Sorcerer's Shoes
*** Ruby Crystal
*** Soloing: Amplifying Tome
*** Partner: Flendish Codex
*** Soloing: Haunting Guise
Sapphire Crystal
Catalyst the Protector
Negatron Cloak
Blasting Wand
Rod of Ages
Blasting Wand
Abyssal Scepter
*From here its strictly conditional*

I tend to hearth back to base a good amount of times during the course of the game granted the tower in my lane will be safe for the time I'm gone. When I'm soloing this is usually not the case. Whenever I'm in base I make sure I have at least two health potions and I use them rather liberally. If you're planning on fighting an enemy champion solo or grouped make sure you use a health pot as it continually replenishes your health for 20 seconds and at 35g it's pretty cheap. If you find yourself with two or three kills in the first 10-15 minutes and you have 90g to spare after buying an item be sure to pick up a Sight Ward or two and place it at the dragon in the middle of the map next time you're near it.

Strategy
You strategy of course will depend on your play style and may change depending on many different variables (who you're teamed with, who you're playing ect.) If I were to put my play style into a sentence it would be like this: I don't chase enemies that get away, I don't like it when enemies attack my towers and I'm constantly paranoid that me or a teammate is about to be ganked. If you're like me you'll run around freely when your lane is empty and help your teammates get ganks by stunning and bursting squishy enemies. Because I've posted enough strategy talk in the rest of this guide I don't have much else to put here. If you have any questions at all feel free to ask it here. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope it's able to help some of you out.