Annie and Support Card Reviews and Theorycraft Guide
The much awaited Annie, which many saw coming from the new Path of Champions screenshots, finally joins Legends of Runeterra! She is bringing a few followers with her and is looking like a match made in heaven for Jhin and his demanding level up condition. She will be playable with the Worldwalker set on May 25th, 2022.
Let’s take a look at all the recent cards that were revealed alongside Annie – I’ll rate each one of them and explain my thoughts and expectations!
Here’s our rating scale:
- 5.0: Meta-defining card, should prove itself as a staple in multiple top-tier archetypes.
- 4.0: Archetype staple, or auto-include in multiple archetypes.
- 3.0: A solid playable, could serve as a staple for some archetypes.
- 2.0: Could be used for specific synergies, or to counter some decks.
- 1.0: Unlikely to find its place in the meta.
Annie – 4.5
Annie is the last champion we will get in the upcoming expansion, but it very well might be the most impactful of the Worldwalker set when it is all set and done. At the very least, she should be a star in the early days of the expansion, as aggressive strategies tend to be dominant early in a metagame.
First, Annie is a 1 mana champion, a type of card that has routinely been amongst the most impactful champions in the game (Zoe, Teemo, Kennen, and Fizz all shined at some point), for the simple reason they get played early and immediately force the opponent to be in a responsive role. If one thing is sure, it is that Annie will put any opponent on the defensive when she hit the board on turn 1.
Now let’s look at her other upsides. At 2 heath, she is quite resilient for a 1 drop, and considering her skill, her 0 attack should only be a problem if she is forced into blocking, which hopefully shouldn’t happen too often.
Her level up is looking demanding, but it is looking on par with the likes of Fizz or Kennen and we have seen how fast these 2 can level in a deck dedicated to help in that regard. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Annie level up on turn 4 or 5 quite routinely if she was played on turn 1.
Once leveled, Annie does not slow down in terms of being an aggressive threat, but also provides quite a bit of value thanks to creating Tibbers in hand. While a 6 mana 5/5 isn’t something we would imagine playing in our starting 40 cards deck, the enraged Teddy Bear should force the opponent into removing even more threats before being able to stabilize.
Lastly, the champion’s spell, Disintegrate, while being quite situational, is a great tool alongside the champion as it would guarantee any eventual blocker would be removed by Annie’s skill. As such, the card could be used as to punish once the opponent has committed a blocker on Annie, or as a way to discourage an eventual block ahead of attacking.
Overall, Annie is looking like one of the best 1 drop in the game already, and should be responsible for creating very oppressive situations early on in a game, ones that aggressive decks love to use in order to start their damage snowball.
To be honest, I believe Jhin will be one of the biggest challenge in the history of the game when it comes to finding the perfect 40 cards deck to fit the champion in. But when it comes to complementing Annie in burning the opponent’s nexus, the pairing only feels natural.
The deck would rely on a very simple concept, which is to find most of the damage inducing followers in the game and have all of them together for a big party. The one and single goal of that reunion is to ask our opponent: “Can you sustain the flow of damage we can produce?”. It isn’t rocket science, but it honestly could be one of the decks to beat early on in the Worldwalker metagame simply because of how simple it looks to build and play.
It feels obvious that Jhin pushes for a skill heavy deck rather than a spell heavy one, simply because the champion opens up the deckbuilding to any skill based follower but not to every spell in the game. As such, even if after some time, there might a region with enough good spells to complete Jhin’s level up without filling our deck with followers, a burn concept will likely be the start of most player’s journey with the champion. With Annie activating a skill upon attacking and her followers looking to abuse the mechanic as well, it is only fair to give this simple and effective kind of deck a try.
The talking point in the deck is whether we want to go all in on the damage or if the Stun mechanic is one we want to work around. Personally, I really like the stun units, especially the Solari Sunhawk and Arachnoid Sentry because they already provide decent attackers when played. It also could help contain the many attacking champions that will join the battlefield in the upcoming expansion, as all 4 champions added to the game have an effect upon attacking.
Disintegrate – 3.5
A very good punishment for an opponent looking to value trade one of your cheap units, Disintegrate can also be used alongside Swain in damage based decks, or could be imagined alongside Caitlyn Flashbomb Traps.
Currently, Noxus already has some great cards in the same idea, Ravenous Flock and Scorched Earth being the top 2 that comes to mind. With 2 cards that good in the region, one could wonder if there is a need for more and immediately label Disintegrate as an aggro deck only card alongside Annie.
However, I feel the card is at its best to the game is when you consider obtaining it out of Conchologist or Trinket Trade, for example. These kinds of cards are at their best when the opponent doesn’t play around them, and it’s only fair because they did not expect it to be an option.
Ravenbloom Conservatory – 2.0
Although Tybaulk might sound like a good reward, it is really difficult to imagine Ravenbloom Conservatory in a deck that Annie and Jhin are looking to push together.
Most of the time, I would expect the deck to try and go off right out the gate, with a unit like Annie or Legion Saboteur for example, rather than this pretty slow option. In the same vein, the reward we get from completing the card’s countdown isn’t a bad one, but doesn’t seem like a necessity as the deck can already access Tibbers as a potential value tool for a potential refill.
For all these reasons, I expect the Ravenbloom Conservatory to be difficult to include in the obvious deck forming around the Skills synergy, and rather would see in a slower kind of gameplay, one which could routinely use the help of Tybaulk.
Manasoul Student – 2.0
A card looking to abuse the skill synergy without actually contributing towards it, Manasoul Student appears to be at the bottom of the list of cards to include in the deck.
While it isn’t a bad card per se, as it could deal 1 damage per turn to the enemy nexus, it feels impossible to consider this a stable but rather an abuse if you manage to build a great 37+ cards decks.
The thing is, though, it feels difficult not to find a better skill gifted unit to put in the deck when you consider Jhin allows you to pick one from any region in your collection. As such, I would expect Manasoul Student to be slotted in other decks for her ability to chip away at the opposing nexus, for example alongside a Ballistic Bot.
Spell Slinger – 3.0
It is honestly really difficult to pick the better card between Spell Slinger and Arachnoid Sentry, which should be a testimony of how good Spell Slinger could end up being in the long run. Just like the Sentry, a card like Ravenous Flock cannot have too many enablers.
The weak stat line could end up being the downfall of the card, but if the Annie – Jhin pairing lives up to its expectations, it is hard to imagine not find some copies of Spell Slinger into it.
The Stun mechanic is one of the best possible thing for a burn deck. It allows openings for better attacks, temporarily disabling a potential annoying blocker, or it can buy some time and disrupt the opponent’s attacking turn in order to have more room to focus on our upcoming damages.
The Prefect – 2.0
Just like the Manasoul Student, The Prefect is looking to be a card benefiting from a deck that is already solid and looking for some firepower, rather than a card which would contribute to the core of the strategy.
The problem with this kind of card is the timing when we can spend 3 mana that doesn’t immediately contribute to our game plan. As in theory, Annie and Jhin should already fill the role of the pay-off card for playing spells and skills.
Just like Manasoul Student, I would expect The Prefect to be played in a deck with Fast and Slow Spells and looking to grow a heavy hitter, in the vein of a Fizz Riven for example, rather than being a popular inclusion in a Jhin and Annie deck.
It is really easy to get hyped when looking at Annie for the first time. The champion is quite easy to visualize into a deck, as we immediately understand her role and what she brings to the table. With Annie, there shouldn’t be a lot of complications in order to play her well, of course. We can also think of some sneaky synergies, like with Disintegrate for example, but she feels miles away from what Jhin and Bard will require in terms of deckbuilding.
Another great thing to point out is that the starting point for Annie is quite easy to find, as her pairing with Jhin seems pretty obvious. Even if Jhin ends up finding a better ally to work with, Annie has already been associated with other Burn oriented champions like Miss Fortune or slotted as the second champion in a Spiders deck. So if you like the champion, rest assured, there should be a spot for Annie somewhere in the upcoming Metagame.
As for her followers, it might be a bit more difficult to find them a clear path to being played, as unfortunately, they do not possess the brute force Annie offers, and instead push for a synergistic approach around them. It might take a few days before the first builds around the Fast spell, Slow spell or Skill condition are refined, which looks to be a condition to be able to really evaluate how much can The Prefect or Manasoul Student can contribute to a deck.
Fortunately enough, we all shall be able to put those cards to the test very quickly as the expansion will be released less than 48 hours from time of writing! In the mean time, all is left for me is to wish you the best in your adventures in Legends of Runeterra. We should be in touch very soon as a “Decks to Try on Day 1” is also planned for Wednesday, where you’ll be able to find all the things I’m excited for with the expansion.
If you really miss me by then, you can find me on Twitter.
Good Game Everyone,