If a small child with a teddy bear is coming towards you on the Rift, run away.
When champions or items are hotfix nerfed in League of Legends, they normally fall quickly out of the meta due to Riot Games finding their power to be a bit too oppressive. Yet a recent hotfix to one of the games first-released champions has done little to remove her meta influence, as she continues to shine in multiple areas on Summoners Rift.
Annie, the Dark Child, remains one of the most powerful champions in the current state of League, even after Riot stepped in with subtle nerfs earlier this week. According to stats websites OP.GG and U.GG, Annie sports a win rate of nearly 55 percent across almost every rank in not just the mid lane, but as a support as well.
Alongside Patch 13.3, Annie received a plethora of buffs to nearly her entire kit, as Riot hoped to make her a more enticing pick for players rather than an obscure situational choice. Among these buffs were changes to her E to reflect damage from abilities, more health to Tibbers scaling with her ability power, and fully charging her passive when the game starts and when she respawns.
These immediately made Annie a menace in the mid lane where not only did it seem that she would no longer take much damage, but the second she reached level six, she could summon a newly-empowered Tibbers to act as another champion for enemies to deal with. She retains this powerful presence even after her hotfix nerfs, as they did not target her abilities, but rather her base stats and stat growth.
The changes to her E also increased her prevalence as a support greatly, where she was once a niche option in a more mage-centric playstyle. Since these buffs, players have been turning Annie into a powerful enchanter that also deals large amounts of burst damage, building items like Shurelyas Battlesong and Staff of Flowing Water that have made her much more effective than traditional supports like Karma and Janna.
Its currently unclear if Riot will further address Annies power with nerfs specifically targeting her abilities in the near future, as based on the Patch 13.4 preview released last night, she is not listed for any scheduled changes.