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League of Legends: Annie, The Dark Child

by: Ryan C. ; edited by: Bill Fulks ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

In this overview, we will show you how to play Annie, one of the best and most reliable mages in League of Legends.

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    Annie The Dark Child

    frostfire annie skin Annie is a great starter champion to learn in League of Legends. She's a great choice for someone looking to get started playing a traditional mage who can really dish out the damage. With her abilities you'll be able to stun and burst your opponents down into the ground. She may look like a cute little girl, but her giant bear Tibbers is a force to be reckoned with! As your insight into Annie grows, you will find that she has a place in higher ELO (skill) play as her stun can be a great tool for initiating teamfights and setting up kills in lane.

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    Playing as Annie

    league of legends annie 1 Annie follows your traditional fireball-wielding cloth caster found in many RPG's and MMORPG's - You don't want to be taking damage, but you'll be dishing it out in big bursts. You'll want to focus on building ability power items, such as the Archangel's Staff, Sorcerer's Shoes, Rod of Ages, and Zhonya's Ring. A great choice for your first item is Philosopher's Stone, as it will give you plenty of HP and Mana regeneration to get you going and a healthy gold trickle, then move up to Sorcerer's Shoes for some move speed and ability power, then move up to the higher ticket items. You're going to want to take advantage of Annie's passive skill, Pyromania, which will make every fifth spell cast have a nasty stun attached to it, leaving your opponent helpless for your massive burst damage. Let's take a look at Annie's skills one by one. Since Annie's buff, she has only gotten stronger and more popular to play.

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    "Do You Want to Play Too?"

    reverse annie skin Passive: Pyromania

    After Annie casts 5 spells, her next ability will stun the enemy target(s) for 1.75 seconds.

    Annie's passive ability is the reason that she is so good. Her consistently reliable stun is amazing for initiating on single and multiple targets. Everyone fears the Annie with the swirling cloud around her because they just know they are going to get stunned. Use your Q to farm and then stun the nearest enemy and follow up with the rest of your skills to harrass and burst down opponents when you have your ultimate (Tibbers).

    Disintegrate (Q)

    Annie flings a fireball at a single target dealing 90-250 magic damage (+ 0.75 per ability power, AP). If it kills the target, Disintigrate's mana cost is refunded.

    This is the skill you will use most to farm up last hits without using mana. Early in the game, don't use this to harass as you will soon run out mana.

    Incinerate (W)annie incinerate 

    Annie casts a cone of fire in front of her, dealing magic damage to all enemies in the area.

    This is the skill that you will want to level up first as it deals more damage than your Q. The AOE is also good for stunning multiple enemies if they group up. Again, early on, don't use this ability to farm as it will just drain your mana and you won't be able to get a kill at level 6.

    Molten Shield (E)

    Places a shield around Annie for 15 seconds that increases her armor and magic resistance. Additionally, enemies will be dealt magic damage whenever they attack her while the shield is active.

    Annie is so squishy that this shield rarely mitigates any damage. It does provide a decent armor and magic resistance buff, but It's only good at returning a portion auto attacks. Use it to cycle your stun faster after opening up with your R, Q, E combination.

    Ultimate: Summon:Tibbers (R)

    Annie releases her bear Tibbers, dealing magic damage (200-450 magic damage +0.75 AP) to enemy units in the summoned area. For 45 seconds, Tibbers can move and attack at Annie's will, while continually dealing magic damage to surrounding enemies.

    Tibbers is great at opening with your stun as it has a decently large area of effect (AOE) to stun enemies at a distance. You can then follow up with the rest of your skills (see below for combo). Besides the damage, you can use Tibbers to zone your enemies in lane, deal AOE damage in a team fight, or push down towers. Use Alt + click to control Tibbers.

    Skill Order:

    Put one point into Q and level up your W, taking your R at levels 6, 11, and 16. Level up E last to maximize your damage out put with W and then Q, respectively.

    Combination: R, Q, W, Ignite, E. Repeat if necessary.

    Once you have a stun ready, open with Tibbers (R), then follow up with all your damaging spells. Since the target is stunned, you should have plenty of time and be in range to land them all. Follow up with ignite to secure the kill. This should get most champions really low at levels 6-7, if not kill them outright. You can also use flash to get into range and surprise them with your stun.

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    Summoner Spells, Runes, and Masteries

    Summoner Spells - Flash and Ignite

    Nothing on Annie is better than flash and ignite for a combination of securing kills and being able to chase or get away in a pinch.


    Marks (reds): Magic Penetration

    Seals (yellows): Armor and/or scaling mana regeneration per level

    Glyphs (blues): Magic Resistance, flat/scaling cooldown reduction, or flat AP

    Quintessences: Health or flat AP

    These runes maximize early damage output and provide some survivability and utility (mana regeneration). They allow you to nuke down opponents with ease early in the game.


    9/0/21 - There is no better option for a caster than taking 9 points in offense to secure the extra 15% magic penetration for your spells and 21 in the utility tree to make buffs last longer, move around the map faster, and cast your abilities more often.

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    Items to Purchase

    annie build Annie is a typical mage/caster built with primarily five offensive items and maybe one defensive item (Banshee's Veil or Quicksilver Sash) for some survivability to avoid getting ganked first.

    Start: Boots and 3 HP Potions

    Core items: Sorcerer's Shoes, Rod of Ages, and Rabadon's Deathcap

    Optional Builds: Zhonya's Hourglass, Void Staff, Abyssal Scepter, Guardian Angel, Banshee's Veil, Quicksilver Sash

    An optional build to Annie is to stack 4-5 Dorans Rings if you cannot farm enough to get a Needlessly Large Rod. This will give you plenty of AP for damage, health for survivability, and mana regeneration to keep the spells going.

    These items allow a huge burst of annie that will likely kill your target in one combination (R, Q, W, Ignite) before they can run away.

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    Pulling it All Together

    league of legends annie 2 Now that you know what her skills do, how to build her with runes, masteries, summoner spells, and items, you must learn how to play her effectively. Use caution when a teamfight arises. Let your tank initiate first and follow up with your combo on a high-priority target your team needs to focus. Stay near the back, near your supports to avoid getting busted down yourself, as you are very squishy. The enemy will likely be trying to focus you down!

    Annie is the type of caster almost everyone in League of Legends needs to be careful around - with the ability to stun, deal incredibly high burst damage, and bust out her signature bear when the occasion arises. She is a great character for anyone aspiring to learn the ropes of playing a ability-reliant nuker in League of Legends. So get out there and get ready for a bear-y good time as Annie, The Dark Child!


  • Source: Author's own experience playing League of Legends
  • Images: Images and screenshots belong to their respective copyright owners (Riot Games/League of Legends)