Janna, the Storm’s Fury, recently rose to prominence as one of the best supports in the game. With a staggering 55.99% win percentage and a 14.19% pick rate, Janna already took over Solo Queue but her recent emergence in competitive play is even more impressive. And while many people believe the champion boils down to clicking on shield once in a while, there’s a lot more that goes into playing Janna to her fullest potential.
This guide will break down exactly what you need to know to take your Janna gameplay to the next level: from ability usage to builds and playstyles.
Whenever allied champions move towards Janna, she grants them 8% bonus movement speed.
How to use: It’s easy to forget about Janna’s passive, but Tailwind is a real game changer. The additional movement speed can be the difference between an ally succumbing to a gank or making a successful escape. As a Janna player, it’s your job to position yourself in a way to always grant the movement speed to the teammates that need it is the most. After all, even this can easily turn the tide in your favor.
Q: Howling Gale
Janna summons a tornado that charges up for 3 seconds. After the charge is complete (or upon reactivation), the tornado flies in the target direction, damaging and knocking up enemies in its way. The longer you wait before you launch the tornado, the more power it will have.
How to use: The most obvious way to use Howling Gale is to disengage. A knock-up that can affect multiple enemies is great for avoiding ganks and peeling for your carries. You can also launch Howling to lock down a target in 2v2s and skirmishes. And if you find yourself in a position where you need to start the fight, you can Flash + tornado for an immediate engage. Finally, you can leave Howling Gale to charge up in brushes or next to turrets to blindside your enemies with a huge AoE knock-up.
Janna launches an air elemental at her enemies, dealing damage and slowing them for 3 seconds. When the ability isn’t on cooldown, Janna gets bonus movement speed and ignores unit collision.
How to use: On the surface, Zephyr is fairly straightforward. You use the ability to slow down enemy advances or to catch out stragglers. But keep in mind that casting this spell will take away your bonus movement speed and ghost effect, making it all too easy to focus you down. Of course, it’s still better to use Zephyr in fights, but be extra mindful of your positioning.
E: Eye of the Storm
Passive: Janna casts a protective shield around an allied champion, herself, or a turret that lasts 5 seconds and grants a sizeable attack damage buff.
How to use: This is Janna’s bread and butter. Use this spell to protect dying allies or to boost the damage output of your carries. Eye of the Storm is especially potent when in combination with items like Ardent Censer, Redemption, or Athene’s Unholy Grail. Also, keep in mind that shielding a turret will give you kill credit for any kills champions it takes down.
Janna blows away nearby enemies with a powerful gust of wind, stunning them for 0.5 seconds. At the same time, Janna releases a soothing aura that heals her allies for 3 seconds. Moving while casting the ability instantly ends its effects.
How to use: The most obvious way to use Janna’s ultimate is to knock away divers and assassins. But you could get a bit more creative. A well-timed Flash + Monsoon combo can split apart the enemy team in a crucial teamfight or push an unsuspecting foe under your turret. And even though many Jannas throw out the ultimate for the knockback effect, the healing aura can easily make or break the game.
R > E > W > Q
You always want to start with a point in Eye of the Storm [E]. The shield will give you enough protection and trading power to come out on top of most level 1 trades, and its short cooldown will make you potent in longer skirmishes. Follow it up by leveling up Howling Gale [Q] to have some crowd control in your arsenal.
Invest another point into Eye of the Storm and get your Zephyr [W] at level 4. This way, you’ll get the best shield possible while having plenty of tools to control the pace of the game. Proceed to max Eye of the Storm (but don’t forget about your ultimate) and Zephyr. The reason why you level up the Howling Gale [Q] last is its huge mana cost and negligible scaling. In general, you want to avoid spamming tornadoes in the laning phase, unless you find yourself in an all-in scenario.
Runes, Masteries, and Summoner Spells
There are several Janna rune setups, and each will determine your playstyle in lane.
1.) You can go for 3x AP Quintessences, 9x Armor Marks, 9x Health Seals, and 9x AP Glyphs for a skirmish-heavy lane where you expect to fight a lot. This is a balanced option that will work well throughout the entirety of the game.
2.) You can also go for 1x AP Quintessence, 2x Armor Quintessences, 9x AD Marks, 9x Health Seals, and 9x AP Glyphs. This rune page gives you a ton of poke and trading power in the early game at the cost of your late game. Pick it only if you have a good matchup where you can bully your lane opponents.
3.) Finally, you can go for 3x Gold per 10 Quintessences, 9x Armor Marks, 9x Gold per 10 Seals, and 9x AP Glyphs. This setup revolves around your ability to play safe and wait for the Ardent Censer powerspike. Don’t go for this option if you’re not confident in your early game.
Keep in mind that these aren’t all available options. For example, you can mix in a few Health Seals to make your Gold generation rune page more durable or swap out AP Glyphs for CDR for better scaling. So don’t hesitate to experiment and look for a setup that suits your playstyle.
Janna masteries are fairly one-dimensional. You want a 0/18/12 page with the only choice being between Runic Armor (if you want to shield yourself and trade autos in lane) and Veteran’s Scars (if you want to shield other players). This page offers a great mix of mana regeneration, movement speed, CDR, and—most importantly—shield boosts.
Until recently, most Jannas only ran Exhaust and Ignite to complement their Flash. The options are self-explanatory. Exhaust acts as another defensive tool against assassins and burst-heavy mages while Ignite grants you more kill pressure in winning lane matchup. Still, I’d recommend going with the Exhaust since Janna isn’t exactly the best lane bully.
But a short while ago the summoner spell Heal emerged as another viable option. The logic behind It is that since you’re unlikely to overpower your lane opponents, you might as well invest into more survivability. Plus Heal is another way of proccing Ardent Censer on your carries. Take heal if you’re laning with a hypercarry and want to stall the game until he hits his powerspikes, but keep in mind that you your marksman to run Barrier in this case.
Ardent Censer > Eye of the Oasis > Redemption > Locket of the Iron Solari > Ionian Boots of Lucidity > Control Ward.
Because of the current state of the Ardent Censer, this item becomes a priority. Not only does the item offer all the stats you could ever need, but it also gives a massive boost to your carries. Start out with the Ancient Coin, upgrade it to Nomad’s Medallion, and rush the Ardent Censer. Of course, you’ll have to play around the lack of vision in the early game, but believe me, the powerspike is worth it.
Once you get your Censer, you want to follow it up with a Sightstone upgrade and Boots of Lucidity for a mix of CDR and utility. Finally, you want to invest into other defensive purchases like Redemption or Locket to make your team unkillable in 5v5s. Save one slot for Control Wards because vision is vital for avoiding flanks and traps. Oh, and don’t forget to buy a Refillable Potion in the early game to avoid spending a ton of gold on Biscuits.
As with any champion, you need to be flexible with your Janna builds. Different items account for different situations, and going for the same build every time can cripple your team.
For starters, you can swap Boots of Lucidity for Boots of Mobility if you’ll likely need to move around the map a lot. Then you can opt for Mikael’s Crucible to protect your carries from easy-to-land CC (think Ashe’s Crystal Arrow or Sejuani’s Glacial Prison).
If you’re planning on getting several active items, you can purchase Ruby Sightstone to reduce their cooldown. This, in turn, means that you’ll be upgrading your Ancient Coin into Talisman of Ascension for the powerful movement speed boost.
It’s worth noting that Janna is one of the few supports capable of taking advantage of Mejai’s Soulstealer since she has so many tools to get assists and avoid needless deaths. It’s definitely a risky buy, but it can work wonders if you manage to make it work.
As a Janna, it’s your job to ensure the survival of your teammates, so always consider what tools you need to accomplish that.
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When to pick?
The innate synergy with the Ardent Censer makes Janna a relatively safe blind pick. In fact, you’ll often see Solo Queue teams racing to secure Janna in the first rotation. Still, there are situations where Jannas thrive. For example, the champion works best when paired with a hypercarry. Keep in mind that these come in many forms, and your Janna will be just as useful to Kayle or Master Yi as it is to Kog’Maw or Tristana. Also, Janna acts as a counter to divers. So if you see the enemy team going for Zed, Talon, Kled, Fiora, or Renekton—Janna is a perfect answer.
Matchups and Counters
Unfortunately, Janna has a plethora of counters that can punish her laning phase. LoL Champions like Sona, Nami, or Soraka have a much better trading potential and—if your AD carry doesn’t play well with shields—can easily overpower you.
In a similar fashion, playmaking supports like Blitzcrank, Thresh, or Nautilus can pull your teammates to to a spot where defensive spells won’t reach them. Even mage supports (Zyra, Brand, Vel’Koz) can burst you down by landing a CC spell and following it up with their full rotation.
As you might’ve noticed, Janna doesn’t have many good matchups. But the ones she does are usually against tanks with telegraphed engages (Alistar, Leona, Braum) or inferior shielding supports (Karma, Lulu). In the end, everything comes down to the way you play. If you and your AD carry abuse the shield powerspike, Janna can be one of the most oppressive laners in the game. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can find yourself farming under a turret for the first 10 minutes of the game.
Laning Phase And Early Game
Your laning phase will come down to the matchup. If you’re playing against a melee support, look to shield yourself and harass the opposing marksman with auto attacks while your AD carry pushes out the wave. Move out of harm’s way when the enemy support has the opportunity to engage and stay behind your lane partner if you’re not confident in your ability to dodge CC. Your AD carry should be able to trade 1v2 as long as you peel for him in all-ins, but don’t leave him out to dry like that. Always look for opportunities to weave in a few autos because these can—and will—make a difference.
Against ranged supports, it gets a bit trickier. Avoid trading with the Namis and Sorakas of the world unless you have an AD carry that can take full advantage of your shield in the early game (Draven or Kog’Maw). Otherwise, you want to stay back, shield their poke, and scale into the late game. For mage supports, you have to keep track of their cooldowns. Shielding your AD carry when he’s about to get hit by poke is a no-brainer, but you can also go on the offensive if you’ve managed to dodge a few spells. Also, you can walk up and auto if they don’t have their CC available.
In general, Janna isn’t the best at forcing plays, so your goal should be reacting to enemy moves and doing everything in your power to protect your marksman. Shield incoming damage, save gold and wait for the Ardent Censer powerspike. Once you get the item, you can start going for aggressive trades and sieging the enemy turret.
But even a Janna is capable of making clutch plays. The Flash + Howling Gale [Q] into Zephyr [W] is great for setting up your jungler. And if your enemies push in too far, you can always Flash + Monsoon [R] them into your turret. Just make sure your AD carry is capable of following up.
Janna thrives in teamfights, so you stay close to your allies. Even if you’re warding or clearing vision, it’s great to have someone come with you because you won’t have much time to react if you get jumped from a brush. Assuming you’ve already gotten your Ardent Censer, you’ll bring a ton of firepower to the table by simply shielding your AD carry. It will be up to the enemy team to do something about that, so save your other spells for the moment they hit decide to hit the ‘go’ button.
Always position yourself behind your carries. This way, you’ll be able to use your entire kit to peel while your allies can take full advantage of the movement speed from your passive and the Ancient Coin quest. Remember, the longer you survive, the bigger your odds of winning the teamfight, so don’t be a hero unless you absolutely have to.
And keep in mind that you have several ways of proccing Ardent Censer (Eye of the Storm [E], Monsoon [R], Redemption, Locket, and—if you have it—Heal summoner spell). Cycle through these to keep the buff going for as long as you can.
If your team has a hypercarry, he should be getting strong enough to the point where you can become his personal shield bot. Keep him afloat, throw in a few shields, and he’ll win you the game. The enemy team will also realize that, so be ready to cast a Howling Gale [Q] or Monsoon [R] when they jump on you. And keep flank routes warded because getting blindsided by an assassin can be devastating.
If your AD carry finds himself behind or doesn’t have the greatest synergy with Ardent Censer (Jhin, Ezreal), things get a bit trickier. It’s still worth giving him shields for the extra damage, but your focus should go towards other teammates. Maybe you have a snowballing Tryndamere? Or, hell, maybe someone busted out a jungle Kindred? It’s not just an AD carry that can appreciate a well-timed Eye of the Storm [E], so make sure to shield the person that’s capable of doing the most in teamfights.
In case none of your allies are likely to tear through the enemy team, focus on keeping them alive. Janna is the queen of prolonged fights, and you’ll eventually overpower the enemy team if you don’t drop in the first couple of seconds. And don’t forget about the playmaking. A well-timed Flash + Monsoon [R] combo can split the enemy team apart and give your allies a huge of window of opportunity.
Also, remember that you can use Howling Gale [Q] or Monsoon [R] to deny the enemy jungle from stealing a neutral objective. In a similar fashion, consider using Monsoon [R] to heal your teammates up during a risky Baron call or a clutch siege attempt.
Janna is all about the timing. Most teammates won’t notice your in-game impact, but if you play your cards right, you can become the backbone of your team. So position yourself in the back, throw out your shields, time your cooldowns, and let your climb begin.
See you on the Rift!
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