90% of videos and articles you see will give you the same generic advice for gaining elo in League of Legends. And one prominent analyst has always said the same bit of advice. This analyst, called LS, always says in interviews and on his streams that if you want to improve as fast as possible, play Annie. Annie is a simple champion that can be used as a tool to train your fundamental game knowledge. In a way, Annie is like a pair of training wheels. Here I will tell you why Annie is considered a good champion for improving and how to play her.
Why Play Annie?
There are many simple champions in the game of League of Legends. So you may be wondering why so many analysts and pro players suggest starting with Annie. Well, Annie has a kit that is forgiving when it comes to CS'ing, has very standard trading patterns, and her lack of escapes makes you learn how to position. Along with that Annie has carry potential. Even if Annie doesn't one shot an enemy her CC proves invaluable in team fight situations, and the simple point and click abilities make it so that you can focus completely on your positioning and kiting rather than on your mechanics.
Your Creep Score:
Annie has an incredibly smooth auto attack which makes CS'ing very easy with this champion. In addition to that her Q ability is great for last hitting. If you kill a target, you get your mana refunded, and the cooldown gets cut in half. This Q ability has a decently long range, which allows you to CS from a distance.
Annie is great for teaching new players how to trade with their enemy laner. Since CS'ing is put on easy mode, the player can focus on harassing their enemy as much as possible. With the 8.17 patch Annie also has increased auto range. This makes her ability to harass even greater than before. When ever you get the opportunity use your Q and auto attacks to get damage off on your laner.
Lack of Escapes:
You may think a lack of escapes is a negative. But if you are trying to learn the game you need to understand when you are overextending or when you are getting too close to the enemy. Since the other aspects of playing as Annie are so simple you can focus completely on your positioning. Your positioning as Annie is crucial. It will determine if you win your lane, if you can get a good ult off and whether or not you'll get caught out and cost your team the game.
A Decrease In Possibilities:
The reason so many low elo Yasuo and Zed players are bad is because they do not know what is the right choice. There champions have such flexibility which leads to an increase in options. With all the possibilities available to you it is hard to determine what is the correct one. With simple champions like Annie the possibilities are very limited. As a result the right choice is much easier to see and it is easy to execute. When you start realizing the right choices without having to put too much thought into it you become a better player.
Pyromania is a simple passive. Whenever Annie casts a spell she gains a stack. At 4 stacks she will stun enemies with her next damage ability.
Annie players should always be paying attention to how many stacks they have. If you walk up to a team and ult them without your passive stacked up the effectiveness of it is cut immensely. Annie gains value out of her CC as well as her damage.
Disintegrate is Annie's Q. I mentioned it earlier. If you kill your target with this ability the mana cost is refunded and the cool-down is cut in half. This ability greatly helps in assisting with CS and harassing your lane opponent.
This creates a cone of fire that deals damage. If you stack up your passive this can be used as an AOE stun. The W is a great close range damage tool and it should be used with your Q as a trading tool in lane.
E: Molten Shield
Molten Shield reduces damage dealt to you for the next three seconds. If someone autos you or your bear Tibbers during this they take damage. If you are about to take damage from your opponent use this ability. It will help you survive and deal a little extra damage to them.
Ultimate: Summon Tibbers
When you use this ability Tibbers appears in the area you select. He deals damage where he is summoned in an AOE circle and then attacks enemies. This is your ultimate weapon. If you see your enemy out of place, or a clump of enemies use this ability in conjunction with your stun and you will change the course of the game. This ability gives Annie huge game impact which makes her a great choice.
How To Build Annie:
For beginning players it is best to stick with a basic damage build. No Predator, no Shurelya's Reverie, no Spell Binders, no Twin Shadows. If you find yourself playing more and you see the need for such an item then go ahead and build it. There are many builds that would be more optimal than the standard AP build but beginner players will likely not be able to recognize the idea build.
To begin with keep it simple.
1. Pick Up Sorcerer's Shoes When You Can
2. For your first item pick up a Luden's Echo or a Rod of Ages
Luden's Echo provides mana and burst Rod of Ages provides a bigger hp/mana pool
If you want to be more aggressive get Luden's If there's a higher assassination threat build ROA
3. Then go for a Morellonomicon
4. After Either go for a Void Staff or a Rabadon's Death Cap
If the enemy is stacking Magic Resistance go Void If they are squishy or your priority targets don't have MR get Rabadons
5. If you built Void get Rabadon's Death Cap. If you built Rabadon's look to see if the enemy build MR if they did get Void if they didn't pick up another AP item like Spell Binder, Rylai's, or whatever fills your fancy.
6. Whatever Item you want, if you are getting popped, grab a zhonya's, if you want more MR get a banshee's. If you want to kite out the fights better, get a Rylai's. It's really up to you.
You want AP and CDR on Annie. In certain situations you want a bigger health pool as well.
This isn't the optimal build every game, but having something to start off with can be useful.
As you gain experience as a player you will recognize the correct itemization with a little bit of thought.
Some players take predator on Annie. But if you are just getting started take electrocute. It gives greater laning power and burst damage. Magical Footwear is nice but the main reason to go secondary into the Inspiration Tree is for Cosmic Insight.
This gives you 5% CDR 5% Max CDR 5% Item CDR and 5% Summoner Spell CDR.
These are things Annie loves to have so try to go into the Inspiration Tree secondary for this rune.
In general you
Max Q 1st
Max W 2nd
Only put points into E when you have to
Put points into your ultimate whenever you can.
The E is useful however the extra levels in your Q and W are worth much more. Lots of Annie players don't bother leveling her E until you cannot put a point into anything else.
What to Look for with Annie:
We already discussed laning power now lets look at team fights.
The most well known thing to look for as Annie is the big 5 man Tibbers stun. You can delete a few carries if you land a good Tibbers stun. Look with your flash for an opportunity to engage a fight with this.
At times it is better to just send you spells into the nearest target and keep Tibbers until you think you can kill someone.
Annie should be looking to :
CC priority targets
CC threats to your important members
Delete enemy carries.
That's it, there really isn't much too Annie that you can learn by reading. If you want to get better just start playing or watching streams. Annie-bot is a popular Annie one trick and LS has multiple videos coaching low elo and high elo Annie players.