Annie has broken into LoL pro play, but not in mid lane

Riot Games

Following a big set of buffs to Annie in patch 13.3, she’s started popping up in pro play in multiple regions. But she hasn’t been played as a mid laner.

Other than a few fringe cases, Annie has had an extremely low pro play presence for years. Annie has long existed as a mechanically simple champion that felt like she was designed almost exclusively for newer players.

However, a massive set of buffs to her passive, E, and ultimate have put Annie in a great spot on patch 13.3. She’s been gaining a great deal of popularity as a mid laner in solo queue games since the patch, enough so that she’s been hotfix nerfed.

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She’s transitioned to pro play following the changes, but not in her intended role. With pro play hitting patch 13.3, she’s been drafted as a support champion by a few different pro players.

Annie sees LoL pro play for the first time in years

Why is Annie getting played in LoL pro play? And why is she a support champion rather than a mid laner?

The key reason is her E changes, a set of changes that have put her shield on a much lower cooldown. At max rank, her shield is on an 8 second cooldown without factoring in ability haste. Considering that shield also provides movement speed and damages anyone who attacks it, the ability has given her a new lease on life in the support role.

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Maxing E on Annie certainly feels strange, but the go-to build path has been to rush Shurelia’s for even more bonus movement speed and to play fully into her E. This is a big departure from Annie’s typical playstyle as a burst mage when maxing her Q and W, but it’s been shown to be effective.

At the time of writing, it’s been played 3 times in pro play. The first one to pick her was BeryL in the LCK, and he wasn’t very successful. However, both times Annie got picked in the LCS she had a game-defining role in her team’s victory.

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Pros are already starting to figure out pairings for her. Annie is either picked alongside aggressive ADCs like Draven or Kalista, or with Zeri. Zeri’s passive gives her bonuses for having a shield on her, and, considering Annie’s shield ends up being on an extremely low cooldown in the later stages of the game, Zeri gets almost 100% shield uptime.

Glacial Augment is also popular on Annie and grants her stun a ton of bonus utility to make up for her only one source of CC at a time.

It remains to be seen whether or not Annie becomes a first pick/ban champion, but she’s had some strong showings in support so far.

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