This is a tentative rework for Annie, the Dark Child. Despite being one of the first champions ever created in League of Legends, Annie's been relatively stable for a very long time, and only started seeing larger changes with the Mage Update. Historically, Annie's core problem has always been that she lacks deep interactions with her opponents: when she has enough damage to kill someone and you're a squishy champion, either you never get near her at all, in which case she'll remain mostly useless unless she decides to blow Flash for a kill, either you do approach her, in which case she'll kill you for sure. The other issue is that, despite having a flaming bear as a major asset, she mostly uses it for its initial nuke, and then quickly forgets about it. Her mini-rework somewhat touched upon these issues, lowering her front-loaded burst and making her pet more interesting, but ultimately failed to truly resolve her problems: Annie is still a champion who severely lacks counterplay, and her one-note kit makes her a relatively poor contributor in competitive play, where her opponents can render her useless by employing extremely effective, yet boring strategies to avoid dealing with her.
The overall goal of these changes is to move Annie more towards the fantasy of a bear mage: Annie is a burst mage first and foremost, but she also has a lot of battle mage qualities, since despite her squishiness, she has some degree of protection, plus a tanky pet, to assist her within her relatively close-ranged threat radius. Annie should have some fairly simple baseline inputs, but should be able to exploit all of the depth of her pet to assist her in pinning down and killing specific targets, and should also have interesting counterplay beyond just staying away from her at all times.
Annie gains a stack of Pyromania every time she hits at least one enemy champion or large monster with an ability or Tibbers, and once every 5 seconds while she is out of combat.
At 4 stacks, her next ability stuns all affected enemies for 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 seconds, consuming all stacks.
I'm not changing Pyromania much here, besides adding an auto-increment out of combat so that Annie doesn't have to spam abilities while roaming to her location. The issue with it on Annie's kit right now isn't so much the effect itself, but how it works on her abilities: Annie's Q and W are essentially guaranteed to hit their target, so the end result is that she can bully her opponent in lane just by holding her stun indefinitely. To remedy this, I changed Annie's abilities slightly so that her opponent could play much more around them, beyond just staying as far away from her as possible.
In addition to this, I changed Annie's base stats slightly, giving her less autoattack range (she'd be at the standard of 550 from 575), but better attack speed (she has 0.579 attack speed on live, the worst in the game, and I buffed it to 0.625, which is more standard) and movement speed (she'd have one of the fastest movement speeds for a ranged character at 340, up from 335). I feel these changes would be acceptable, as I'm making Annie a bit higher-risk, and I think she'd be able to have less terrible attack speed and great movement speed without being unhealthy.
COST: 13 / 11 / 9 / 7 / 5 Mana
Active:Annie hurls a fireball at the target enemy, dealing magic damage to the first enemy it hits.
Disintegrate is a simple, but mostly fine ability. My main issue with it, though, is that it can quickly turn into free, easy, high-damage harass in lane. I want to keep the ability as a point-and-click nuke, as I feel it would be fine later on, but decided to make it work a bit like Ace in the Hole in the sense that its projectile would stop the first enemy hit, and reduced its damage. In compensation, though, I added a bounce mechanic, which would allow Annie to power through low-health minions in lane and potentially harass her opponent behind them. I also added the bounce component to Tibbers, which should allow her to hit enemies from further away with proper positioning.
COST: 13 / 11 / 9 / 7 / 5 Mana
Active:Annie remains stationary for a delay, then lets out a devastating sneeze that scorches all enemies in a cone in front of her, dealing them magic damage.
I added a delay and reduced Incinerate's damage, but I also increased the ability's width, so Annie would be able to cover a wider range. Incinerate would be fine with a delay, as it would prevent Annie from laying down her burst too quickly, which would also allow it to have a lower earlier cooldown.
COST: 13 / 11 / 9 / 7 / 5 Mana
COOLDOWN: 26 / 22 / 18 / 14 / 10
Active:Annie blocks the next enemy ability or championbasic attack used on her within the next 1.5 seconds, dealing magic damage to her attacker upon a successful block.
I'm not a fan of Molten Shield: as a squishy mage, Annie does not need bonus resistances, nor does she need a pseudo-Thornmail. Additionally, the current damage on her shield is really spread out, which isn't a good fit for her. Overall, Molten Shield is still being used all too often as a Pyromania stack button, rather than an interesting ability on its own.
The intent behind this change is to compress Annie's defenses and damage into something much more compact: with a spell shield, Annie would be a bit less oppressive in lane, since she wouldn't hurt her target over a longer duration, but would survive better at close ranges later on, and would make herself more resistant to burst.
Active:Annie summons Tibbers to the target location after a delay, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies. He then remains on the field as a controllable pet until he dies or returns to her.
Magic Damage: 200 / 300 / 400 (+ 60% AP)
While Tibbers is active, Tibbers! can be used to move him to the target location. If neither Annie nor Tibbers are in combat, summoning him directly to her brings him back to his inactive stuffed bear form, allowing him to be summoned again immediately.
Tibbers is an iconic pet, yet the ult is most valued often for its AoE stun. I think it's worth keeping the nuke effect, especially since I still want Annie to be bursty, but I also think Tibbers himself should be more valuable thereafter, which is why I buffed his damage (I removed his aura, too, but mostly because it's generally not impactful). I gave the ability a delay, as I think Annie shouldn't be able to instantly nuke anyone she runs into, but significantly increased its range, and changed its cooldown in such a way that Annie would always have Tibbers at the ready when entering combat. Annie should have less trouble initiating combat from distances, but would always have much more dodgeable damage.
If Tibbers dies, he returns to Annie in stuffed bear form after 60 / 40 / 20 seconds.
Tibbers enrages for 3 seconds when Pyromaniastuns an enemy champion, or when Annie dies. During this time, Tibbers becomes ghosted and gains 275% bonus attack speed and 100% bonus movement speed, the latter of which decays over the duration.
If Annie dies while Tibbers is active, he instantly heals himself for 50% missing health and targets Annie's killer or, if they are too far away from him, the nearest lowest-health enemy champion.
What do you think of these ideas? Would they work on Annie? Would she be healthier as a result? Is this the kind of fantasy you'd expect of her?