Annie - Solo Mid - by Kcao

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Annie Guide – For the Solo Mid Lane (recommended for the aggressive)
By KCao

Introduction

This guide I hafta say utilizes full AP even though her skills do not fully go 1:1 ratio. In this guide I mainly focus on Annie being the solo mid; this is generally because in random PUBs, I tend to distrust my team being decent and take the initiative in pwning and ganking. I understand other guides go for cooldown in order to utilize her skill spamming but I really hafta avoid that kind of build in runes and items because with golem buff, it can already cover for the spamming portion and stacking damage is better. There would be quite a controversy with magic penetration vs AP builds but in terms of raw damage through burst, utilizing damage would be better to take them down faster than to try to do more damage through lowering the opponent in which can sometime be extremely bad; however this is in the end, just preference. I do expect much criticism to better this guide considering this is my first guide ever; so go easy on me when you do criticize haha! =]
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Rune Book:

Again, I already addressed this particular notice in the introduction but I will repeat myself again. This solo mid build is pure AP build meaning you will try to get a full rune book witht3 runes of potency. I know other builds want you to go for magic penetration, cool down, or even a hybrid of both, but there are reasons why this build does not do so. First off magic penetration although can help damage well, there is a preference in being able to max out damage of skills at level 1 through early stacks of AP from both the ignite skill tree point and the Doran’s ring from the beginning. Cool down has a limit at 40% CD making it easily covered for by golem buffs to a decent extent making CD in this particular build not necessary but rather for fast burst damage for early kills.

Masteries:

Somewhat straightforward for this build in that there are 2 possible tree builds. 9/0/21 is the first in which it applies for just the ignite skill and going for the skill cool down skill in the utility tree. The other is a 10/0/20 in which utilizes the magic penetration on top of the ignite skill but without the cool down skill.

Summoner Skills

For Summoner skills, I go for ignite and flash. Ignite allows for easy early kills when the opponent is low and flash allows for initiation and escape from tower dives. I have seen some annies going with heal and teleport and I have considered these; however I consider using heal as a non-aggressive beginner friendly summoner skill for the beginning Annies. Teleport is only useful for going back to the fountain and back, and possibly fast farming at different lanes. At most, it can be used alongside any of teemo’s mushroom or some ward for backside ganks. I’ve never really considered ghost as a good skill for Annie because she really does not need to speed up against people when she has a rylai’s staff which helps slow.

Some tips for using ignite and flash are that you should generally avoid using these two skills together early game. By conservatively using one before the other, one can generally drag out the damage and surprise the opponent. If you flash in, stun and ignite altogether at level 1-3, the damage is so low, that they might just escape alive. Sure they have to go back but you don’t get that beginning pwnage that helps earn you some of your items that you desperately need. Ignite should be a skill you should use as a finisher or as an initiating attack in order to up your spell damages for that combination. I tend to use ignite after to ensure a death rather than pulling off everything at once. By saving flash for later and not using it next to ignite, it first allows me an option of escaping a stunà damage or by enabling me a closer chance for stun and kill. Secondly, this allows for a more spread out cooldown of both summoner skills in order to possibly get a second or third kill in mid lane more easily.

Skills

<Skill List and Skill Stats>…do I really need to? If so I will fix it later.


For skill builds, I generally go for disintegrate first because that is the best farming tool to use for mid. Some people consider getting incinerate in order to stack for stun at level one in the fountain but that is only for possible first bloods on side lanes. This guide is meant for solo mids to enable coming out higher levels in ganks early to mid game. After disintegrate, the second skill should immediately be incinerate. After that, try to max disintegrate as soon as possible. If you can’t apply a point into disintegrate at levels 1-5, go for incinerate. At level 6 should be the ultimate Tibbers in which gets you your mejais stack kills. After that, continue maxing out disintegrate and incinerate and of course place points into Tibbers when it comes. By level 12 or 13, you should invest in the shield in order to build up your stuns. If you are, however, having difficulties early on, put a point in shield for initiating your stun as well as for protection.

Item Build

For item builds, I have looked through the countless/ numerous guides that people have posted on the forums in which I compare my straight AP item build to their builds. First off I usually go for doran’s ring. This first item choice is because it gives 10 ap off the bat with a decent hp bonus and mana regen. This allows for stacks of early AP when you consider the ignite skill mastery bonus of 10 AP. Basically at lvl 30, supposing you have 30 straight AP in the book, you start off with 40 AP and then an additional 10 AP from the mastery bonus. After my first 2 kills, which I find quite easy considering you are stacking a lot of AP and you have ignited someone after pulling off your entire combo. My second item is usually preferred a Mejai’s stack because when you kill, you gain 2 stacks and an assist will give you 1 stack; each Mejai stack gives 10 AP with a maximum of 20 stacks. This item is the best item to start ganking with because you are in mid and are doing well or at least safe enough; you should naturally be higher level than the side lanes and can easily gank and completely dominate both enemy laners by yourself. If you are ever having trouble in mid against some annoying opponent, or you’re not just doing well enough mid, immediately gank side lanes to gain some mejai stacks to f*** up the mid opponent. 

After mejai’s I would go with some kind of boots. This is where analysis comes in. You have to look at who you are facing. If you are facing a troublesome team of DPS like a Teemo or something, get ninja tabi for survival. If you are facing a team of slows, snares, stuns, etc. go immediately for mercury boots. These should be the only boots you EVER consider since everything else sucks. One can consider sorcerer’s boots but that’s not the survival option since this item build is heavily dependant on surviving and keeping the Mejai’s stacks as high as possible.

This is where my guide begins to completely differ from other people. Other people consider using Deathfire grasp. I have considered this item and was originally using it but my preference will stick to being able to gank more and more; I prefer the Rylai’s staff because of its HP contribution and slow effect. People completely avoid this item but I hafta say this is the single most important item after Mejai’s for Annie because although she has stun, the opponent can still run away. Flash only solves problems of chasing for a moment but when facing a Rammus or Nidalee, it becomes difficult to chase. By casting any skill on them, you can slow them down for you and your team to gank. Also I hafta say, this item has saved my a** many times especially when I’m being chased by many people and I just cast my incinerate behind me to slow a large area of people. If you are truly having trouble with people killing you off through stun or snare, Cho’ gath’s feast or even the particularly annoying Veigar ulti primordial burst, consider getting banshee’s veil. If you are not having trouble and have built up a large Mejai stack that you completely dominate the opponent, go straight for Zhonya’s ring. I usually grab the mana ring in the zhonya build first so I can cast more damage but if you are lower in money at the time, you can buy the 40 AP staves first. At this point you can safely toss out doran’s ring in order to make room for the final items. At this point in the game, the other team should be completely dominated and should have already forfeited. If not finish zhonya’s ring for complete dominance and remember, this is late game, you are no longer a super powered burst unit anymore but a stun ganker that needs to stay behind other people in order to preserve your team’s win. There is one item I need to notify everyone about is the Frozen Heart. This item has cooldown for skill spamming and passively slows autoattacks. This item is only necessary when some DPS or high damage or just plain annoying auto attack characters are being fed and you are dying way too much from these carry heroes. This generally applies to Teemo, Yi, and Twitch because their autoattack is ridiculous fast at times. Only buy this item as a last resort, otherwise try out the anti strategies I provided.
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Characters to look out for: these heroes generally tend to be annoying in some way in that you can’t pull off your entire pre-game killing combinations or just completely tanks all the damage that allows them to survive your onslaught.

Sion- this guy has to be my number one bane for this build. If he ever mids, you have to call for a gank unless he is completely stupid. What’s annoying about this guy is that he is a f***ing tank. He has tons of Hp if he farms correctly and his stun hits hard and well…it’s a stun. Getting stunned ruins your complete skill sequence and allows him to hit you and maybe get off his shield explosion. Also, his shield is something to note cause the shield absorbs some of your damage and can also hurt early game. 

Kassadin – this guy is an anti-annie just because he has his annoying silence. People say that you have to harass this guy early game with your auto attack but that becomes quite difficult if he hits his silence quite hard making you ONLY an auto attacker. Kassadin in mid usually is a GOOD Kassadin so he knows when he can own you in the first few minutes of harassing. Also watch out for his rift walk, which allows him to tower dive and run away.

Twitch – do I really have to explain why he is annoying? Unless you go a tank build with Annie (lol I really have…haha) twitch with his poison stack and expunge hurts like a bich. To kill him, you should get Oracle potions on you and not just the tanks. This is because if he tries to cut you off, you can just pop Tibbers on him and spam skills till he dies. After the initial stun, unless he is completely ridiculously fed, you should be able to outdps him before he takes you and your frail hp down. This is one of few carry heroes who should be taken down early before getting big in later stages of the game.

Shaco - …I really have no way of stopping this guy sometimes. There are ways to find him and kill him but otherwise, he is a slippery SOB and can easily gank hard if he is fed in either AP or AD. For some ways to kill this slippery SOB, get Oracles to see where he does his flash stealth to. Another is to ping him before he does his Clone. When you do that, the ping remains pinging above the real Shaco’s head. Another way to identify between the two is to Aoe him. Generally, the clone will take more damage so immediately try to stun the other Shaco before he disappears. As for AP Shaco, watch for his stacked Jack in the boxes in which he places 4 or 5 of them in a bush. If you run in there blind and especially without expecting it much, you will wind up feared and hit till you die. His poison shiv also does lots of damage. To avoid getting hurt a lot, stack magic resistance or get a banshee’s veil. This is another character you have to shut down early no matter if hes doing well or not.

Gangplank – this guy happens to come into mid a lot when he is a free character but that doesn’t mean he sucks. Some of the noteworthy gankplanks I face really hurt when they use parley. His crit can knock off 1.5 of your hp bars easily early game so unless you can dance around him with your harassment, be extremely careful and try to farm with disintegrate faster than he can level. If he charges you, it means he plans on parleying you like a mofo. Also his ulti is annoying. If you are low HP, and are heading back to your tower to port back, move back to your second tower. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a gangplank thinks he’s got you by letting his Ulti go at the first turret.

Veigar - (I can't believe I forgot this annoying character- edited 10/11/10) This character I do have to say is another of your bane. Not only does he have an annoying stun, he can gank you harder than most other players if they are decent. His primordial burst is the one most deadly skill that hits hard when you are at full mana. When you have your stun up, your skills have short range so his stun cage (sunset) has a somewhat longer reach to stun you before you can do anything. All he has to do is hit you with Primordial Burst to possibly one hit you. If you are facing a smart Veigar that has ganked many different lanes already, consider building your Banshee's veil as soon as possible. Also try to avoid charging in when he is around or try to wait it out for him to activate his ulti on someone else before charging in. If he ganks you from out of a bush or completely out of nowhere, I have to say GG T.T.

Characters you should be jumping for joy: These heroes tend to be extremely squishie and have low hp or just don’t match well with a ranged burst unit. These units you should be extremely aggressive against even if you aren’t that good.
Master Yi – I have to say, this guy is the number one guy that any mid Annie should completely dominate. Only few Master Yi’s out there are good enough to run mid but even then, if you harass with Annie well enough, he wont be able to gather his HP from his lifesteal item early game. If you can keep him away while still hitting him with disintegrate you should get kills early easily. After every time you kill him, you should still be there to farm fast while he is dead so you can get your Tibbers for your next domination. If he comes back and doesn’t lane switch with someone else, then you basically have your 3rd easy kill and should already have Mejai’s by then for complete domination for the entire game.

Ashe – I do hafta say, there are good Ashe’s out there that can harass well but when you can stun them, you own them. You should be first to initialize a battle of harassment because if you don’t, Ashe will and she won’t let you off nicely considering you have to run away from her slowing autoattack. Start off with a first disintegrate; intimidate her into thinking you are not playing around. You immediately charge at her after it comes back and then you scare her even though you will be disintegrating a minion. By then she thinks that you won’t be attacking her, you go up and disintegrate her. By then, she should either be backing away when you charge or she heals and tries to intimidate back by volleying and autoattacking. Disintegrate and incinerate right on back. By then, this Ashe, if she has heal, has already used it so continue to hit her with everything you got. This is where ignite helps a lot; when she has about 1-2 bars left at around level 2-3, ignite her and autoattack her. Now she only has 2 options, back off and run or f*** it and try to take you down with her. Either way, you won the fight because if you are extremely low, you can flash away and watch her die, or if you know you have it, keep autoattacking or spamming your skills. At this point, you should have your first kill; now farm and farm till you have Tibbers by the time she gets back and levels one. That’s when you have your stun and Tibbers, you flash in and own her a second time. Doesn’t matter if the Ashe is good, they are done with Tibbers hitting her as well. Anytime Ashe gets her ulti, be extremely cautious of her ballistic arrow. The second kill can only depend on if you can kill her at around level 2-3 and farm fast enough to get to 5 or 6.

Teemo – this is another hero I have to say is so squishie it’s basically a free win. All Teemo can really do beginning game is really blind you and poison you. You can do the same to Teemo when you ignite him and then hit him harder by using your skills which aren’t dependant on being blinded or not. He should be the easiest mid character after Master Yi’s due to his unusually low beginning HP. Teemo will sometimes want to hide in the mid field and wait till you are in between him and his tower. By this time, you should be level 2 with a second damage skill to own him. Not much to say after this…blind will disappear while you’re skills are on cooldown so just own him…

Strategies

Some strategies to invest in would be to always be vigilant. I go mid generally because I get paired with stupid people that feed often. I don’t trust a lot of people to go mid so you have to call it when you get in champion select. At mid, you should be weary of first bloods (which team/side got it?) and watch for feeders. If one of your sides was fed, after dominating mid, go help gank that bottom or top to shut down the fed hero. There are also other strategies in which I should identify. If one lane is doing horrible but another is doing well, go help free up the lane that is doing well while telling the feeder to stay cautious by tower-hugging. By freeing a lane I mean completely ganking both enemy heroes in that lane and destroying their turret before mid or that lane’s enemy hero comes back. Remember to always watch your lane to avoid losing mid towers. After that, let the top do whatever they need like jungling or ganking whomever to build up. This is when the opponent that got fed should have either come close to destroying the lane turret or has done so already. Target and dominate this person before they get big. If he’s a carry you could be in trouble. If he’s a Shaco, things don’t look bright. If he’s a Twitch that is decent, things look bleaker than ever. These two are carries that are dangerous. If there was a fed Yi, you can handle them well enough. This supporting the entire team can only work if you yourself are doing well mid. You shouldn’t worry about other lanes other than yours unless your entire team is feeding and you aren’t getting kills. Then that game is over already…One thing to note down as Annie is the fact that some people are weary from seeing Annie with the swirly effects around her. Smart players would try to force Annie to waste her stun without actually stunning by using Banshee’s veil or Morgana’s shield. These can be avoided by hopefully having a teammate breaking that effect allowing you to stun; however this would be unlikely in a game where your team is heavily dependent on you being the initiator. By aiming your stun/Tibbers as an AoE on a group of people, you can at least stun someone and waste away another’s Banshee’s Veil. Also remember that by having that swirly effect, you scare off the lower players from approaching making it difficult for ganks due to tower-hugging so use shield when you are full and ready to charge in with a stun when initially at 4 stacks of passive stun.

Another strategy yet should be so obvious, it should be common sense is to grab the golem buff when possible. This buff is amazing in that it can give you extra experience, damage and cool down making it awesome for Annie whose skills are already close to cooldown. This build does not really need a golem buff and can dominate without it but with cooldown and the mana regen it provides, it just makes Annie all the more dangerous in that you can stay in team fights longer than having to port back for more mana. Another important notice is to remember to watch your mana. You obviously need to understand Annie in this build requires full utilization of all her skills. It is possible to gank with one or two spells only after you have rylai’s to slow enemies down for you and your team. Other than that, be weary because if the opponent is smart enough, he will attack you when you have no mana to resist. One last important technique to remember and know full well is to know when to run. You need to remember you have to survive. If you die, you lose Mejai stacks meaning you lose important damage. If you die after that, you will become completely useless except as a stun mule. When running, there is a huge probability you are being chased by an entire team, so remember, you can spam skills. With Rylai’s effect of slowing, by spamming skills on the enemy while running away, you not only slow them down, you can continue to kite damage them and possibly gank one or two of them. If you are ever close to dying, try taking one of them down with you.

Thank You for Reading this Guide and Happy Burning!!!


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