Want to skip the boring part? Example builds and TL;DR are at the bottom.
This post is aimed at League of Legends players that want to improve their support Janna play, and is not intended for completely new players or people who never played the game. This guide is for beginning and higher ranked support players that want to improve their build choices on Janna.
Updated for patch 6.12.
Hello and welcome to my Janna build guide. My name is Think Talented, a support/Janna main, currently ranked diamond 5. In this guide I focus on in-depth information, trying to help you better understand Janna, what to build and when. I hope the cater this guide both to new and experienced Janna players, giving in depth information and my personal opinion on Janna.
Before we start I want say that this is based on my experience playing Janna, while others players might have a different play style, this guide describes how I play Janna, my decisions and how I got to diamond playing Janna. This might not be the best way to play or build Janna but it worked for me and I hope it can help you too.
Spellthief's Edge: +25% base mana regen, +5 AP, +2 gold/ 10 sec
Your standard buy, you will usually start with spellthief's edge. Spellthief's Edge is used for poking in lane, mana regen and gold income. In lane use your auto attacks in combination with your shield for safe and strong poke. You should start with this unless one of the conditions listed under Ancient Coin apply.
Ancient Coin: +25% base mana regen, 4 gold and 5 hp for every nearby enemy minion destroyed
The ancient coin limits your lane pressure and lowers your AP compared to the spellthief's edge. So why would you ever buy Ancient Coin? The most common reason is that you are getting out traded in lane. Certain supports do simply more damage than Janna(with a shield) that you will take too much damage for every AA you go for. Champions like Sona, Karma, Nami, Zyra, these will either out damage you up close or severely out range you. You won't be getting the gold for AA, and can use the HP regen against all these champions, therefore it will increase your gold efficiency.
So you started out with one of the before mentioned starting items and now it is time to go back and shop. Obviously the amount of gold on your first back varies from game to game, so lets take a look what you could buy with different gold amounts.
< 300 gold If you have to go back with less than 300 gold something went wrong, you either lost the first engagement, your adc got caught or you died. In this scenario you want to play the lane safe as you already are behind. Buy health potions to be able to sustain and vision wards to ensure safety during the laning phase.
~ 300 - 500 With this amount of you can't do much, not enough for a sightstone or upgrading your starting item. You want to either build a ruby crystal to get to a sightstone faster or boots. Again, do not forget to buy health potions and if you have enough gold left, a vision ward.
~ 500 - 700 Now you actually have a nice amount of gold to buy items. Since you are just short for a sightstone upgrading your starting item is best, either Frostfang or Nomad's Medallion. With the remaining gold you buy health potions and a vision ward.
> 800 Seems like you are winning the lane, prepare for some ganks and help your team with wards. Buy a sightstone to stay safe in lane and get map control. With your leftover gold you can buy health potions and a vision ward or two.
If you have an even lane and think you can win trades, you can also upgrade Frostfang, instead of buying Sightstone. Add a bunch of potions and vision wards with that and you should be able to win the lane, but you are more vulnerable to ganks.
Sightstone = Safety in wards and HP
Frostfang + health potions = More damage and sustain than opponents
Ruby Sightstone vs. Eye of the ...
After you complete your first items, sightstone and frostfang, you have to decide between buying a ruby sightstone or upgrading both items into one item. Both options have their pros and cons.
When opting to buy a ruby sightstone you want more AP early in lane and sacrifice your ability to ward as much. Overall a ruby sighstone is more expensive and takes one more item slot, but you do get the active ability on your starting item in return. If you find trading in lane more important than warding and helping your team, ruby sighstone is a good item to buy as it boosts your damage.
Eye of the ...
With the eye of the (watchers) you get more wards, earlier in the game enabling you to help other lanes and deep ward better. On the downside you do not get as much AP and the active ability, however you get to merge your sighstone and starting item into one item slot giving you the possibility to buy an extra item. With the eye of the (watchers) you get to impact the other lanes as well, giving valuable information on the enemy jungler and midlaner.
The eye of the (watchers) is currently the most bought item core item on Janna in plat+ games. It is used to get more wards earlier in the game and gain map control over the enemy support. The Frost Queen's Claim is the most boughst core item in all game on Janna, in lower elos less wards are being placed and you get more value out of the Frost Queen's Claim. However, if you are confident that your team act on the information your wards give, the eye of the (watchers) is a better item to get.
Mobi boots, boots of lucidity and boots of swiftness are currently the three most bought tier 3 boots on Janna in plat+ games according to leagueofgraphs. Combined they appear in 95% of all games that contain tier 3 boots. Each one has its own strengths, weaknesses and play styles.
Boots of Mobility 493 ms out of combat / 420 ms in combat
Boots of mobility, currently the most bought tier 2 boots on Janna. Mobi boots put Janna her movement speed through the roof. Giving her ridiculously high movement speed out of combat, while still maintaining a relatively high movement speed in combat. These boots give you no additional stats other than the bonus movement speed out of combat. This effect is disabled for 5 seconds when dealing damage, receiving damage or debuffing enemies. This also includes destroying wards. With Boots of Mobility Janna, at level 18, has a movement speed of 493 units per second out of combat and 420 units per second when in combat.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity 439 ms, +10% cdr, +10 summoner spell cdr
Ionian boots of lucidity, the second most bought tier 2 boots on Janna in patch 6.11. Not only does it give you 10% cdr for a cheap price, it also reduces your summoner spells by an additional 10%, giving you a possible 25% cdr on your summoner spells with the Insight mastery. It is great to buy early in game the and get early cdr, while later in the game the shorter cool down on your summoners than your enemies can decide fights. Level 18 Janna has a movement speed with Ionian Boots of Lucidity of 439 units per second.
Boots of Swiftness 448 ms, slow effects reduced by 25%
Boots of swiftness, the least commonly build tier 3 boots on Janna with a 24% pick rate, are the second most fastest boots in the game. These boots give Janna the highest base flat movement speed across all three boots. With boots of swiftness Janna, at level 18, will outrun any other champion that has no non-boot type movement speed increase and Janna has no movement speed impairment. Additionally it gives you a 25% slow resist and reduces the effectiveness of all incoming slows by 25%. Level 18 Janna has a movement speed with Boots of Swiftness of 448 units per second.
With the most recent movement speed nerf to boots of swiftness they have seen a huge drop in usage on Janna, almost a 10% drop. In its place mobi boots have risen to the top, making them the most bought tier 2 boots on Janna. With the boots of mobility, in combat, Janna can still outrun every champion in the game that does not have a non boots type bonus movement speed. While boots of mobility and lucidity boots are both valid options to buy in the state of the game, boots swiftness are not worth your gold since the most recent nerfs, the movement speed is not that high anymore and the added effects of lucidity boots make them better in all most every scenario.
Boots of mobility are the best buy for Janna if you are trying to ward and roam early in game. You can quickly get into the enemy jungle, get some wards in and get out. Lucidity boots are also still viable on Janna, but mostly when the lane is falling behind and you have no option to roam or get deep wards in.
Mobi boots = Deep wards and roaming
Lucidity boots = 2v2 lane and needing early cdr advantage for brawls
After you complete building your sightstone item it is time to make your first big choice in item build. The items below are frequently used items listed from most used to least used.
Locket of the Iron Solari
Locket, my most bought first item. You would want to buy this item first in most games, it is good if the enemy team has an AP support with high damage, a fed/roaming AP mid laner, 2 or 3 APCs or the enemy team has a lot of AoE damage. This is a defensive item, giving you more sustain and boosting your effectiveness in teamfights with another shield that applies Windspeaker's Blessing.
The locket of the iron solari is almost always better than the banner of command simply because the active shield the locket gives applies your keystone mastery Windspeaker's Blessing.
Before the nerfs to QSS I would often opt out to buying the crucible, because QSS was so much cheaper and often a better build path for your ADC. Now with the, in my opinion unnecessary nerfs, I think you should buy crucible and not let your ADC QSS for themself. You would buy a crucible if the enemy team has CC that your ADC cannot deal with and is a high threat for them. Buying this even after you got a locket is a legit option, you do not buy the crucible for the MR but only for the active it gives. The heal of crucible not only removes all CC but also applies Windspeaker's Blessing, your keystone mastery.
Zeke's, used to boost your ADC, let him steal the show while you stay back. This item does not provide much for yourself and forces you to play more defensive as a result. Zeke's works especially good in conjunction with ADCs such a Lucian, or even Corki, as they can quickly stack the Zeke's and extend their powerspikes. Buy this when you( and your ADC) won the lane and want to transfer that lead to the teamfights.
Frozen Heart has become more of a situational pick recently. With the rise of more and stronger APs, frozen heart has become pretty useless against a team with only 1 or 2 ADs. The only reason I would still buy it is when they have multiple ADs (ADC, AD mid, Jungler) that rely on attack speed, or annoying ADs that are hitting the backline (and you) too hard. Yi, Jayce, Xin and Irelia can all be extremely annoying to deal with, so frozen heart would still be a good option to buy. Buy the frozen heart to counter AD champions that get close to you, the before mentioned champions all have a jump to get to you or your ADC. If you stand too far away the frozen heart passive might not apply, so buying it to stop an azir that is hitting your frontline is useless.
Ardent Censer is pretty much the opposite of the frozen heart. Ardent Censer is build when you have multiple ADs in your team that you can buff with your ult and shield. If you are looking to build more offensive Ardent Censer is most commonly the right way to go as you are able to buff up your entire team with your ult. Overall a great last/second item when having a high AD team comp.
Mejai's probably my least bought item out of the six. With Mejai's you put your whole gold lead on the line, it is great when you have stacks but when lose them it is one of the worst items to have. One thing to keep in my with Mejai's is that protecting your team is still you highest priority, and not protecting your stacks. Other than the risk/reward aspect Mejai's has it is one of the best, if not the best item, for snowballing. If your team is ahead buying a Mejai's makes sure you snowball nicely with your team. One option is to pick up an early The Dark Seal and try to get it stacked, if you keep losing your stacks you can sell it again or if you have 10 stacks you can upgrade it a Mejai's, but you could also spend that 350 gold for Dark Seal on wards instead.
In this game I bought lucidity boots to stop the enemy AD assassin (Kha'Zix) by having my exhaust up more often.
A Zeke's to help me extend our advantage and help out our ADC (Caitlyn) before she reached her power spike and make sure we could transfer our lead in lane to teamfights.
After that the locket was bought to deny some of the damage their double AP comp could do. Their APC's fell behind and were not a threat in the early game, that is why I decided to go Zeke's first.
Mikael's to finish the build, the enemy team has a lot of hard CC in this game (Ashe, Lissandra). If they were ever going to make a comeback it had to be through CC chaining one of our carries, the Mikael's stops this from happening.
Lastly, I had two pink wards in my inventory, one to ward and the other one in case Kha'Zix ulted.
Boots of Mobility and Eye of the Watchers helped me to roam mid and get deep wards in the enemy jungle. With a jungler that is strong early (Lee Sin) it is important to know where he is on the map, to relieve some pressure off the other lanes.
The next item is a Frozen Heart, the enemy team had multiple ADs that would jump on our backline (Yasuo and Lee), the Frozen Heart stops some of that damage and keep my ADC alive longer.
The Ardent Censer was particularly good in this game as we had three champions that could benefit from the buff (Draven, Jax, Diana) and the AP buffs your shield and heal.
Zeke's would be my last item, the enemy was fairly behind and did not have an immediate threat to my ADC, boosting him even more gives your ADC even more carry potential in the late fights.
Eye of the Watchers for an easy lane where you can poke the enemy support and ADC, Eye of the Oasis if you are against a poke/damage support.
Boots of mobility to allows for more wards and roaming, lucidity boots for summoner spell reduction and early cdr.
Locket is a core item as it applies Windspeaker's Blessing to your whole team.
Zeke's to transfer your lead in lane to the mid game teamfights, Ardent Censer a more offensive choice if you have multiple allies that utilize the passive attack speed and on hit magic damage.
Do you disagree with something or are you missing an item? Leave a comment below.