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 changes relatively recently. The first major batch started during the Preseason 4 support overhaul, which allowed many mages, including Annie herself, to become viable supports. The changes were mostly early game nerfs, compensated for by improved late-game scalings, due to her tremendous burst potential even with little to no AP. Even now, though, Annie has some of the most front-loaded burst in the game, and while that in itself isn't bad, it's not really the best thing to have on Annie for a number of reasons: as a champion with a pretty simplistic kit, Annie doesn't really have that much difficulty in landing her burst, which means there's not that much deep counterplay to her abilities, particularly if you factor in her passive, which gives her hard crowd control which can be landed instantly with her ultimate. Additionally, despite being known above all for her burst, Annie's niche shouldn't be that of a burst mage: not only is Veigar a much better fit as League's premium burst mage, Annie herself also has an asset nobody else has, in the form of her controllable bear. Riot recently tried to shift more power onto Tibbers, but in the end she's still a burst mage who makes far too little use of her unique pet in combat, often summoning him just for the initial nuke, which is arguably the least interesting use for her ult.
The overall goal of these changes is to move Annie more towards the fantasy of a bear mage, as Riot intends her to become. She'd still have a lot of potential burst, but it would be a lot more situational, and would require far better Tibbers micromanagement to pull off.
Annie gains Pyromania for 10 seconds every time she uses an ability, stacking up to 4 times.
At 4 stacks, Annie's next ability stuns all enemies it damages for 1 + (0.25 × Tibbers!'s rank) seconds. If Tibbers is active, his mirrored ability also stuns all affected targets for the same duration.
While Pyromania has the potential to be applied in interesting ways, its lack of decay makes Annie seriously oppressive in lane, as she can just crank up her passive to maximum stacks and automatically zone out her opponent simply by being around with her stun up. Implementing stack decay, and perhaps a slightly shorter earlier stun, would force Annie to cycle through Pyromania.
In addition to this, I changed Annie's base stats slightly, giving her less autoattack range (she'd be at the standard of 550, down 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.
RANGE:600 / 300
COST: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 mana
Active:Annie hurls a fireball at the target enemy, dealing magic damage to the first enemy it hits.
If Hot Potato kills its target, it bounces back an additional distance and deals the same magic damage to the first enemy it hits, repeating indefinitely. Additionally, if it kills at least one target, it refunds its mana cost and half of its cooldown.
Tibbers!:Tibbers unleashes a torrent of flame in front of him, dealing Hot Potato's magic damage to all enemies it hits and traveling an additional distance upon killing an enemy.
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.
All Fall Down
RANGE:600 / 90° / 300
COST: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 mana
Active: After a 0.5-second delay, Annie 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. I also think the nerf here is justified, since Tibbers can double the ability's damage with his own eruption. Incinerate would be fine with a delay, as it would prevent Annie from laying down her stun too quickly. Overall, the intent with this new kit is to make Pyromania interesting on more than one ability. All Fall Down, for example, could stun the most enemies, but is also the most unreliable ability, whereas Hot Potato would stun at least one target for sure.
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. On top of this, Annie really suffers from an inability to reposition, to the point where she's far too dependent on Flash to get kills, and will occasionally build Boots of Mobility just so she can within range. The goal of this particular ability change would be to give Annie an opportunity to initiate, as well as harass with autoatttacks. Tibbers gets a movement speed boost, too, but I didn't mention it as he already scales with her movement speed (so boosting her own movement speed boosts Tibbers' as well).
First Cast:Annie summons Tibbers to the target location after a 1-second delay. He then remains on the field as a controllable pet until he dies or returns to Annie.
Second Cast: 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 mirrors Annie's ability casts, and only puts Tibbers! on cooldown upon dying.
Tibbers is a really cool ability when Annie gets to micromanage her bear and succeed as a result. However, most of the time Annie just ults for the initial nuke, and leaves Tibbers to die. My approach here would be the complete opposite, and would force Annie to take care of Tibbers and put him to full use in fights. I also removed his aura, as I don't feel it's the best reward for positioning him right. In compensation, I made his stats significantly better, and made his basic attack damage scale with Annie's AP. Additionally, I added a new mirror mechanic which would allow Tibbers to mimic Annie's spells, again reinforcing the idea of micromanagement. If both Annie and Tibbers damage the same enemy with the same spell, the damage is compounded, though not the stun (Tibbers can stun a different enemy than Annie's target, though). Because Tibbers would be more of a permanent pet, I removed his limited duration and deployment mana cost, though he'd still have some downtime when dead. This is also part of the reason why I want Annie to be more risky: with a super-tough bear who also deals tons of damage, Annie would have to stay relatively close to combat in order to not just get completely sidelined by her own pet, or hang back while Tibbers does all the work.
I feel Tibbers deserves to have better stats here, as he'd be a lot more important to Annie's power. While I don't intend for Annie to build a lot of attack speed, I feel it would be better to give them the same attack rate for purposes of E timing. It's weird how most older pet champions make very little real use of their pets, and Annie on live is also guilty of this. Focusing a ton more power onto Tibbers, and away from her front-loaded burst, would force Annie to micromanage him to put her kit to full use.
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?