A Little Girl & Her Burning Bear

Standard

“Have you seen my bear Tibbers?”

Innocent sounding, but anyone who knows a thing or two about “League of Legends” will know this line instantly. It means PAIN for the receiving end. Burning, fluffy fur and bear claw slashes of PAIN. Simply put, Annie is a serious, competent threat despite her little girl demeanor.

I have long avoided playing Annie for a variety of reasons. Easily considered the most “basic” mage character in the game, Annie uses a straightforward kit that is not flashy when compared to LoL’s entire roster. However, straightforward is very good in this type of game.

When I finally overcame my stubbornness of being “unique,” I started to develop a liking for Annie’s style of play. She is certainly basic, but her strength lies in her raw efficiency for her role. Instead of trying 10x harder to work toward an ideal result, Annie just makes magic happen. So yeah, it is fun to beat people as a little girl.

The Skill Breakdown
What is there not to love about Annie’s moves? She was one of the first mage characters ever in LoL’s history, so a beginner-friendly vibe is always present with her skill-set.


A neat passive. Getting a stun after a few spell casts makes this a great innate to have.


Very simple nuke. The refund upon killing is cool, so it makes farming minions at the start very easy. It does good damage for a point-click move to boot.


Cone-shaped magic damage in a cone. Enough said.


The extra defenses are OK, though the thorn-like effect when getting attacked is just there. This is a move mostly used for charging up the passive.


See group. Drop burning bear on them. Win.

The Skill Build

-
 Incinerate is maxed first because it does the most damage out of the regular abilities, plus it does its damage in an AoE cone.
- Disintegrate is leveled second for its point-click reliability.
- Molten Shield is ranked up last for passive-charging purposes.
- Summon Tibbers is grabbed whenever possible for bear-summoning madness.

Summoner Spells

- Flash is the most versatile Summoner Spell in the game. It is always good to have.
- Ignite is common on mages for the finishing blow in duels.

Runes & Masteries

For Runes, I have an emphasis toward magic power and a touch of extra movement speed. The extra speed in particular allows me to maneuver around the lanes quicker. It makes juking, ganking and positioning a lot easier.


Masteries are pretty simple as well. I focus on magical prowess while dipping into the Utility tree for a boost in movement speed.

Starting Items

I need speed and potions for health regen.

Core Items

More damage and movement speed from boots. Raw health, raw ability power and raw mana regen. A good core to use for a mage.

Ideal Build Example

Nothing fancy by any means. Annie benefits from a cookie-cutter mage setup.

Analysis
The best part about Annie is how versatile she is for the mage role. She is ALWAYS “safe” for a team’s lineup. There is never a situation where Annie is a bad choice. She does everything you would want or need from the mage role. Her real strength lies in her consistency. She does not really rely on fancy tricks or gimmicks in this day and age of LoL, where mage champs now often have extra quirks and nuances to keep in mind.

In other words, Annie being simple makes her extremely powerful in many ways. Every time I pick Annie, I can rest assured that I will have all the necessary tools for victory. I will not need to worry about my character being a bit lacking in terms of viability. After all, Annie is the most basic mage you can play in the game. Beginners learn how to play the mage role with her. Pros can still dominate with her skill-set. Who can argue against this kind of universal efficiency?

At the end of the day, I love how I can just win with Annie because of her reliability. I once thought of her as too Plain Jane, but I was a fool to think so. Annie will crush you in more ways than one. She will burn you to a crisp. Her bear will maul you.

So, I guess it is time I ask again …

“Have you seen my bear Tibbers?”

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9 thoughts on “A Little Girl & Her Burning Bear

  1. Oh man, I avoided playing Annie for the same reason you did. Tried her once in a ‘sure why not’ game of ARAM and loved it.

    The one thing I’ve never quite ‘got’ about her is the shield. Like… it seems so out of place in her kit, y’know? I love the fact that her Q rewards you for playing well (last-hitting), though. Excellent starter champion.

    I’ve honestly never tried Movespeed Quints. Is the difference noticeable and flat-out good enough to warrant dropping X thousand IP on three of ‘em?

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    • The shield is definitely just there in a sense, but it still has its uses. Aside from charging up her passive, the extra defenses do help make Annie a bit tougher in situations. I can say I have escaped a few dicey scenarios because I had the shield up. However, the thorn effect is pretty much meh at best. Hardly noticeable.

      And yeah, the movement speed is very useful. I dropped my triple flat AP Quints for them, and I do not regret it. Being a step or two faster here and there is very powerful. For example, being able to dodge an Ahri Q at point-blank range is quite substantial, wouldn’t you say?

      And aside from juking purposes, you are more agile than some would think. You can gank other lanes a lot easier because you are reaching them in a timely manner. Most importantly, your positioning is a lot sharper because you can move that precious step or so back and forth where you really need it (for dropping Tibbers and whatnot). Combine this with a Janna passive, and Annie becomes a very speedy, little girl. :O

      So yes, the movement speed runes are arguably some of the best ones you can buy. No joke.

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  2. They are good on a variety of champs. For instance, a lot of junglers grab them because they do increase the efficiency of their jungle routes, and, of course, for easier and quicker ganks. The only lane where you probably wouldn’t see the runes would most likely be bot lane. It really just depends on the champ.

    Like

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