League of Legends Champions: Beginner’s Guide to Annie
Welcome to Gamefront’s guide to League of Legends champions! First on our list is the child pyromancer Annie, whose magical strength sets the bar for all other mages in League. Unfamiliar with the basics of League of Legends? Take a look at our previous MOBA guides on the genre basics and mechanics specific to League of Legends to learn all about terminology and concepts!
Annie was one of the first champions released for League of Legends, and her design shows it. There is no mage more straightforwardly devastating than Annie. While this restricts her utility, it also makes her one of the easiest champions in the game. Master Annie and you’ll have a good understand of the basics of last-hitting, mana conservation, disabling enemy champions, and buying the right items. She’s a great start for any beginner looking to wreak magical havoc on their foes.
Annie is an ability power (AP) carry. This means that she relies on her skills to deal magical damage, as her base auto-attack damage is quite weak. Her skills and her passive are very, very strong to compensate, and their synergy makes her the beginner’s champion of choice. She can also play as a support, as her passive allows her to stun groups of enemies with ease while putting out a significant amount of damage.
She is either put in middle lane against the enemy AP carry, or sent bottom to either support the attack damage (AD) carry or be supported herself. Annie’s laning phase is quite strong, as her passive gives her a nice stun that can result in some early game kills. Catching an enemy off-guard from brush is often fatal thanks to her strong damage. Since your first ability gives you a good way to last hit minions, there is no reason for you to fall behind on your minion killing either. Get that damage out there!
Annie’s biggest concerns on the battlefield are assassins and ranged champions. As she has less health and utility than other champions, she is often burned down after only a brief round of fighting. Thus, she should be played carefully and conservatively. Don’t run out looking for a fight unless you are confident you can kill an enemy before they can react. Stick next to other champions that can help protect you from a gank. Stay near the rear of your team unless you are confident in your initiation abilities. In short, don’t be too risky.
In general, the items listed in Annie’s recommended items list at the shop are good. Items that are “must haves” are Rod of Ages, Sorcerer’s Boots, and Rabadon’s Deathcap. Annie can use any item that benefits casters (ability power, spell vamp, cooldown reduction, etc), so you have a pretty wide selection. When you are learning Annie, stick to the basics. Once you’ve mastered her, start tweaking your item build to better fit your play style.
Here’s the lowdown on Annie’s abilities, how you should level them, and how you should use them. Do not take this guide as gospel, though. Find the build that fits you, and go with it.
Pyromania (Passive): After four spell casts, the next offensive spell stuns the enemy. A spell enhanced by Pyromania does not count towards the four spell casts.
This passive is one of the strongest in the game, as it turns three of Annie’s spells into stuns. As two of Annie’s abilities are area of effect, this renders her able to stun entire enemy teams, setting them up for her teammates to finish off. It also makes her very dangerous during the laning phase, as getting close to her when she has a stun available means that you are going to take a lot of damage.
Disintegrate (Q): A single-target projectile that damages an enemy. If the enemy is killed, Disintegrate’s mana cost is refunded.
As one of the best last-hitting tools in the game, Disintegrate is perfect for new players looking to learn the nuances of getting last hits. As killing a minion with Disintegrate gives you your mana back, you will want to use it only on minions you are sure you can kill. It is also great for long-range harassment on enemy champions, as it deals quite a lot of damage at all levels. If you can score a stun with Disintegrate during the laning phase, it’s basically a guaranteed kill.
Max out Disintegrate first.
Incinerate (W): A spray of fire that damages all enemies within a cone in front of Annie.
Incinerate is simple: It’s a damage tool. It hits really hard in an area for a relatively low mana cost, which makes it perfect for clearing minion waves and engaging in team fights. When combined with the Pyromania passive, it’s a great way to initiate on an enemy team.That’s all there is to it.
Max out Incinerate second.
Molten Shield (E): Annie creates a shield around herself that deals magic damage to attackers and increases her resistances.
Molten Shield is, paradoxically, Annie’s worst and yet most essential ability. The damage it deals and the resistances it gives are so minor and short-lived that it’s not a particularly great defensive tool. However, it has a very short cooldown, very low mana cost, and contributes to the spell casts required for Pyromania. Thus, it is the best way to build up your stun without spending a lot of mana or time.
Put a skill point into Molten Shield by level 4, but max it last.
Summon Tibbers (R): Annie summons her bear Tibbers in a massive blast of fire, dealing damage to all enemies caught within the radius. Tibbers is a controllable unit that deals magic damage to all nearby enemies and has significant health, armor, and magic resistance.
Annie’s ult is a game-changer. After hitting level 6, Annie can use Summon Tibbers in combination with Pyromania to stun entire teams, deal incredible magical damage, and give herself a unit able to clear minion waves and chase after heroes. It is usually the opening move of a battle, as having Tibber present for the whole fight drastically increases Annie’s damage output. A common strategy to open with Summon Tibbers is to Flash towards the enemy team, pop Tibbers, use all your abilities, and then disengage while your team finishes off whoever is left.
Level up Summon Tibbers whenever possible.
In general, you want to use Summon Tibbers first, followed by Disintegrate and Incinerate (order doesn’t matter that much), and finish it off with Molten Shield to get closer to your next Pyromania cast. If Tibbers isn’t up, you can get away with leading the fight with Incinerate and alternating between Incinerate and Disintegrate. Annie has a lot of magic damage to unleash on her enemies, so don’t be afraid to really unleash on them.