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Alright, so I picked up on Janna at the end of Season 3, when she was mostly overlooked. Ever since Worlds, she’s been picked more often than not. She has a fairly simple kit, but when it comes down to it, many people are wondering why do I feel like I’m not contributing as much as I do when I play Leona, Thresh, etc? Since I’m kind of a one trick pony, I’m going to give a run down on everything I have learned from my previous experiences. I am not going to explain what her abilities do. I am not going to explain what skills to max. I am not going to explain where to ward. I’m writing this under the assumption that you have the general concept of supporting in mind.

Why Should I Play Her?

Pros:

  • One of the best peels in game.
  • Her laning phase is relatively safe.
  • One of the most mobile champions. I usually have 500+ movespeed mid-game, making it extremely easy to place down a bunch of wards within a short amount of time.
  • The movespeed passive gets her and her adc to lane so much faster.

Cons:

  • Notorious for being a play-maker and play-breaker. One wrong Monsoon and you could lose an entire teamfight.
  • One of the “hardest” supports to play, despite having a simple skillset.
  • You need to pay attention to your positioning most of the time.
  • Very squishy, even with armor and health runes.

Runes?

Every Janna main that I know runs different types of runes. It is preferred that you use ones that fit your playstyle and ones that will give you an advantage in lane. But the question is what do I use and why?

Blind Pick: Whenever I play blinds with my friend, there’s no wonder who I could be going up against in bot lane. It could be the squishiest lane or a hard poke lane like Draven/Nami. Because I don’t know the situation, I use defensive runes just in case. Health seals are also a good alternative.

Type of Rune Name Stats
Mark 9x Armor 8.2 Armor
Seal 7x Health 56 Health
Seal 2x Armor 2 Armor
Glyph 9x MR 12 Magic Resist
Quint 1x Health 26 Health
Quint 2x Armor 8.52 Armor

Draft/Ranked: Now this is where situational rune pages are important. You don’t want to end up having 20 MR against a Taric/Caitlyn bot lane.

  • Against A Hard Engage Bot Lane (usually melee support)
Type of Rune Name Stats
Mark 8x AD 7.6 AD
Mark 1x CC 7.6 Crit Chance
Seal 9x Armor 9 Armor
Glyph 9x MR 12 Magic Resist
Quint 3x AP 15 AP

Why: This is what I use against Thresh/Leona lanes. Janna is amazing at disengaging, so this is a pretty standard page that probably doesn’t need explanation. The AD is for helping your ADC out to push lane faster so you can get level 2 first, and it’s pretty good when you want to poke them with shield on. You can exchange the armor seals with health seals if that’s your preference.

  • Against A Lane with Skillshots (Morg Q / Ezreal Q / etc)
Type of Rune Name Stats
Mark 9x MP 7.8 Magic Pen
Seal 9x Armor 9 Armor
Glyph 9x AP 11 AP
Quint 2x Health 52 Health
Quint 1x MS 1.5% MS

Why: You’re going to want to take movespeed quints so you can dodge easier. Even though Janna has amazing movespeed already, this grants her more mobility in lane. Once they miss their skillshots, it’s best take the offensive and that’s where AP and magic pen help you trade.

  • Against A Sustain Lane
Type of Rune Name Stats
Mark 9x Armor 8.2 Armor
Seal 9x Armor 9 Armor
Glyph 6x MR 8 Magic Resist
Glyph 3x MR/5 1 MR/5
Quint 3x AP 15 AP
  • Against A Sustain Lane (Optional)
Type of Rune Name Stats
Mark 9x Armor 8.2 Armor
Seal 9x Health 72 Health
Glyph 4x AP 5 AP
Glyph 5x MR/5 1.7 MR/5
Quint 3x AP 15 AP

Why: You don’t want to provide the sustain lane with the advantage if you go full-out defensive. You will most likely have to spam your shield a lot. Mana regen runes and AP will help keep you and your ADC in lane. The defensive runes should keep you from losing trades as often.

Why the Optional Page: Another way to play against a sustain lane is to outsustain them. I use this page against Sona if her ADC isn’t a huge threat early game.

What Do I Start?

  • Ancient Coin: I usually take this in lanes that I know I can’t trade against, like Sona or Soraka.
  • Spellthief’s Edge: Best to take against melee supports and short range ADCs like Vayne. Also good if you’re planning to go full ap mid-late game.

AP, Utility, Both?

Janna is very versatile and you can build her efficiently any way.

  • AP Janna?: The AD her E grants can be taken away if the shield is broken. Because of this, I prefer going AP, rushing Deathcap and Zhonya’s after I get my Sightstone. Also, the aoe heal on her ult is ridiculous if you go full AP.
  • Utility Janna?: This would be the Mikael’s Crucible/Ardent Censor/Zeke’s Herald/whatever else build. It makes her extremely vulnerable and squishy, but whenever I go this route, it is almost impossible to kill my ADC. With 40% CDR at level 11, it’s very trustworthy.
  • Tank Janna?: Rarely seen but still viable. I believe going Randuins/Visage etc. keeps her in team fights longer so she can contribute a bunch of cc. This is a very situational build, though. I don’t recommend using it unless the majority of your team is incredibly squishy.
  • AP/Utility Janna?: I prefer to focus on one type of build to get the most out of her, but if you choose to go Mikael’s/Zhonya’s Janna, that is your preference.

The Mejai’s Purchase

Don’t buy Mejai’s if your lane is losing. Don’t buy Mejai’s if the other lanes are losing. I have seen so many Jannas simply buying Mejai’s for no reason whatsoever than the fact that it is a “good” item on her. I hate seeing them go 1/5/7 with Mejai’s in their inventory. They are wasting gold and a perfectly good spot for another item that will actually benefit the team by buying it.

Matchups

In my opinion, Janna “counters” aren’t really counters. There are few champions that do, in fact, render her moves next-to-useless; especially when it comes to high-sustain lanes. But if played correctly, it shouldn’t affect you as much.

Good Even Bad
Leona Karma Soraka
Thresh Lulu Sona
Zilean Taric Morgana
Fiddlesticks Nami Braum

But why?

  • The “Good” matchups: Janna is amazing at disengaging all-in champions such as Leona and Thresh. Her shield negates most of Zilean’s early game bombs and she can disrupt two of Fiddle’s moves. It should be a very smooth lane for Janna as long as you know what you’re doing.
  • The “Even” matchups: These champions have great lane sustain and engage, but against Janna, it will be somewhat hard to get a kill on her or her adc. At the same time, however, it’ll take some flashy plays or a gank to get a kill on the enemy bot lane.
  • The “Bad” matchups: Though Janna and her adc can still win a lane against these champions, Sona and Soraka’s heals make it very hard for Janna to do much. Braum can shield your tornado if not careful and Morgana can spell shield Janna’s engages, forcing her into a very passive and defensive laning phase. Ganks will most likely be needed if you want the advantage.
  • Where is Blitzcrank?: I didn’t add Blitz to the list because of the fact that the matchup depends on how well you can dodge his hooks. Overall, I’d say it’s pretty even.

Lane Synergy

Great Good Bad
Caitlyn Kog’Maw Kalista
Draven Jinx Kalista
Vayne Ashe Kalista
Tristana Ezreal Kalista
Lucian Miss Fortune Kalista
Sivir Quinn Kalista
Graves Corki Kalista
Twitch Urgot Kalista

Positioning

  • Early Game: You want to position yourself safely. Keep in mind she’s very squishy, but you need to have presence. Don’t simply stay behind your ADC the entire time. Auto attack a couple of times with your shield on you. Don’t go in for useless trades where they land the attack first. Punish them if they ever get near your attack range. Make sure you stay in range to shield your ADC whenever possible.
  • Mid Game: I would recommend to stay with your ADC or with the one who is carrying the team at this point. Janna excels at keeping people alive, but she also does wonders at chasing down kills. Make sure you take some time to place some deep wards around the map in between lane rotations.
  • Late Game: This is where Janna shines. Her late game impact in team fights can either assure a certain victory or a humiliating defeat. You want to stay with your team at all times. If you want to engage, make sure you separate their front and back lines with a good flash-monsoon.

Disengaging and Interruption ft. Specific Champions

Reaction time on Janna is very important. It takes a while to master when exactly to Q or ult. Of course you can use your Q to knock them up while they’re chasing you so you can get away, but her Q is also amazing at animation cancelling.

  • Aatrox: While he’s mid-air during jump.
  • Akali: Mid ult.
  • Alistar: Before his headbutt lands.
  • Amumu: Mid bandage toss.
  • Braum: Ult away after he ults.
  • Diana: Before her ult lands.
  • Draven: While he’s catching his axes.
  • Fiddlesticks: During his drain or ult windup.
  • Fiora: Mid dash.
  • Fizz: It’s safer to just ult him away honestly.
  • Galio: If he ever gets close to your team, ult him away. If he manages to ult people, interrupt him with a knockup.
  • Gnar: Mid jump.
  • Gragas: Mid body-slam.
  • Irelia: Mid-dash.
  • Jarvan: Mid E-Q. You can ult him out of his ult with yours.
  • Jax: Mid jump.
  • Jayce: Mid Q.
  • Katarina: Q while she’s ulting. If you are with two or more other people, it’s safer to just ult her away.
  • Kha’Zix: Mid jump.
  • Lee Sin: Wait for him to reactivate his Q. It won’t land or deal damage if you knock him up during the 2nd cast.
  • Leona: As soon as you see her zenith blade land, send out a Q.
  • Nidalee: Mid jump.
  • Nocturne: Before he lands his ult.
  • Pantheon: Mid jump.
  • Quinn: During her vault.
  • Rammus: Before he lands his powerball.
  • Rengar: Mid jump.
  • Riven: Mid jump.
  • Sejuani: Mid jump.
  • Shyvana: Mid ult.
  • Thresh: As soon as his hook lands, start a Q but wait for him to reactivate his hook before you reactive yours.
  • Tristana: Mid rocket-jump.
  • Vel’Koz: During his ult.
  • Vi: Tornado her while she’s still channeling her Q. Ult as soon as her ult lands.
  • Warwick: During his ult.
  • Wukong: Mid dash.
  • Xin Zhao: Mid dash.
  • Yasuo: Mid dash.
  • Zac: Mid jump.

Every Janna player I’ve seen plays her in their own unique way. If you have anything to add, please let me know!

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