Basic Guide to Janna - by Banduan

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What Janna Is:
- Versatile, can be semi-support + semi-DPS / semi-tank / semi-pusher
- Good movement speed
- Strong early game
- Good 'baby-sitter' for carries
- Good escape skills
- Easy to learn, despite her difficulty rating

What Janna Isn't:
- A DPS carry, a main tank, a spike-nuker or pusher
- A pure support champ
- A great late game champ
- Tough
- Easy to master


Passive – TAILWIND
A nice enough passive that gives your whole team a slight move speed bonus. Helps just that little bit but the effect is rarely noticed..

Her signature skill with that signature howling sound. Her least powerful yet most useful skill, and certainly the most fun. Many players that use Janna complain how this spell is “too easy to dodge” if charged up, yet “doesn’t do enough damage if quick-launched”.

Yes, it is easy to dodge if you aim it from max range, especially when charged. You don’t use it to nuke players as if it’s a spammable nuke. It isn't efficient enough for that. To use this spell well, you must exploit or take into account its main traits:

- You can launch to a distance without going to the location you’re aiming for- a skillshot rocket
- It does not show where you aimed while you’re charging it
- It does not follow you when it’s charging
- It hits multiple targets
- It goes through walls/barriers
- It starts cooling down only when the Gale launches
- It can be launched early (by casting again- ‘quick-launching’)

So be creative and unpredictable when you use it!

For example:

Solo laning against solo melee
Charge up a gale, aim it over minions, run forward to a spot it will travel over. You get shots at the melee champ. If he closes on you, trigger the gale or wait for it to be released by itself. Your opponent is thrown, you get more free shots. If they decide against charging at you, they will back off. Simply last-hit minions at your leisure. This trick can be done against ranged too but you will need to adjust where you aim.

Laning against 2 champs
So it’s easy to dodge eh? Who were you aiming at? Aim for where they’re likely to stand if they attack you, Eye up on yourself, move forwards and harass. Likely you’ll hit one champ but not the other. Take a couple of shots at the champ you hit.

Aim the Gale across where the victim is likely to retreat to, when he’s about to cross that line, trigger Gale. Remember that Gale moves through walls and barriers! You can also quick-launch to try and stop runners.

Retreating to counter
Aim your Gale behind you and fall back, when your opponent closes in onto the path of your Gale, release it. Two free shots and then Eye up and Zephyr.

Running away
If opponents chasing your *** are far enough away, quick-launch Gale into their path. If they’re close, Gale forwards and trigger when they run onto its path.

Attacking tower
Aim Gale over their minions and where the opponent is likely to sit defending the tower, Eye up and attack tower. Your opponent will be caught in two minds whether to dodge the Gale or defend the tower. Extremely useful in group tower pushes as this disrupts opposing defense.

Defending tower while harassing
Stay a bit behind the tower, Eye it up and charge up Gale to where they’re standing. Attack your opponents. If they counter attack, the tower will hit them and then they’ll be galed. If they dodge, they’ve wasted a chance to hit your tower. Time your gales to hit their creep waves at full charge.

Team fights
Very straightforward! Quick-launch Gale and spam it! If you have any AP items this is the most efficient way to damage with Gale, and it’s also better to disrupt the opponents as often as possible
The active skill is a nuke snare or slow. It hits fairly hard with good AP scaling and is fairly cheap. It’s not as cheap or as hard-hitting as some mainstays of other established nukers, and it has poor range. However, the main point is that it’s pretty good in combination with your other two skills, and it has a very nice move-speed bonus passive (a fantastic 16% at level 5) that also lets you walk through minions. This is by far her most powerful spell, being far cheaper than the other two and quicker cooling down. Use it to run away, use it to chase and kill, use it to nuke when you have mana to spare. Just use it.

This gives you a shield for up to 300hp damage and a damage buff (unfortunately for only as long as the shield lasts). AP improves the shield’s absorption strength but not by much (1HP for 1AP). At level 2, this shields 150hp and buffs damage by 30- i.e. a lot. If your team mates don't understand the worth of this shield, you explain this: at lvl 5, Eye gives +48 dmg, the near equivalent of a 1,850g item. It provides temporary HP equivalent to a much smaller value item. You will be using this to buff DPS most of the time rather than your melee tanks.

Unfortunately, the mana costs at higher levels are not sustainable. By the time the spell runs out, you can recast. Yet you can’t afford to just spam it if the costs are too high. The advantages of having yourself or your lane mate shielded as and when needed are too good though. This is why you don’t upgrade beyond level 3 until later, and don’t spam needlessly. Thus again, it’s good to be creative with this spell just like Gale. For example:

Laning solo vs solo
Use this to help you harass your opponent. Shield yourself (‘Eye up’) and move forwards around their minions and hit them. If they waste mana on a nuke to get rid of your shield… great… just Zephyr and retreat. If they retreat… Zephyr and hit their ***. If they attack, attack back for 1-2 hits, Zephyr and retreat.

Laning vs two
Use this defensively to help you last hit minions. Find opportunities to harass if necessary. Don’t cast it if you don’t need to.

Two in a lane vs two
If your partner has a better attack speed and a good harasser, use Eye on him. This is best if he’s range or melee with a blink/charge attack, or has skills that scale with attack damage. Also use to bail him out if he’s under fire.

Damage over Time spells / debuffs can kill you even if you’ve run away from danger. Same on allies. Fortunately, Eye can help absorb that damage. Great for Mushroom accidents..

Team Fights
Always use Eye on the champ least likely to be hit but with good attack speed. This allows Eye to contribute the most damage before the champ it’s on is damaged enough to remove the shield. Typically the best targets are Ranged DPS, followed by high attack speed speed Melee, followed by ranged (you, quite likely). You should shield your runners if necessary though, and judging whether to buff your carry again or just shield the runners is part of the learning curve for Janna.
This is her weakest spell. Regardless, it is still useful. It instantly knocks back an area around upon casting you and can be channeled for heal over time in that area over 5 seconds. Unfortunately, you often won’t have time to channel and the mana costs at levels 2 and 3 are exorbitant. Again, it’s best used creatively. Monsoon is not a skill to save for a rainy day; it’s too low impact for that. It’s a skill to use the moment you see a good purpose for it. What constitutes a good purpose is a judgment call you have to make that gets easier the more you play Janna.
For example:

Hurt team-mates need to retreat to heal
Don’t save your ulti. Heal up and channel for the full amount in a safe location so that they don’t need to go back to base. OTOH, don't heal up if all you're doing is helping one guy heal for a bit.

If you want to kill a champ or two, go in their retreat path while your pals come up towards them, cast Monsoon to knock them back and follow up with Zephyr. If you want to kill one but don’t necessarily need the rest down, step (or Flash!) between them and Monsoon, splitting them up.

Tower Defense / Trap
Use Monsoon to throw back attacking champions and minions to delay their push. Alternatively, if you have Flash, jump behind them and throw them against the tower, Eye up and Zephyr and attack them.

Team Fights
The most difficult use for Monsoon. Using it right in the middle of a fight can often disrupt your own team skills, especially AoE’s. If things are going awry, use this to buy your team some time. If things are doing ok, use this at the edge of the team fight instead so that hurt team-mates can run into the healing area. Stop channeling the moment you see an urgent need to cast Gale, Eye or Zephyr. It’s not worth keeping up to not cast those spells

Escape / Saves
Run in between a runner and their chasing pack and press R. Simple.

Great as a double to Zephyr, especially in the early game. Far better utility than most other summoner spells, this has uses in a team fight or while laning, offensively or defensively. I would use Exhaust for Janna's summoner spell 1st pick 99% of the time.

The old standby, just plain useful early on for shopping trips, and later on for joining pushes / ganks from the other side of the map.

Another useful all-purpose spell, this has very short range, requires quick thinking and is not recommended for newbs. Ultimately though, Teleport may still outshine it in utility regardless of how good a Flash user you are.Your choice.

Ghost is really great to help chase down runners. It might not always help running away since you tend to get stunned to death anyway, but it's much more helpful in a fight than Teleport and far easier to use than Flash. If you really need to, it can help you get back to your lane faster after taking a blue pill, and last long enough to help you harass for a few seconds too.

Nice in a lot of situations, but long CD and not always optimal.

Other Spells
All other spells can be considered and have their uses, but they're just not as useful as the above-mentioned. However, your team may have certain requirements (e.g. Fortify, Clairvoyance, Smite strat) that you may consider.


Being a versatile champ, you have to ensure that your runes enable you to be as adaptive as possible. One thing that always helps is CD Reduction. Unfortunately that's only optimal for Glyphs and Quints. However, masteries also provide a sizable amount of CDR. If you go Tier 3 Glyphs and Quints for CDR, you can get over 20% CDR from the start, which is basically have your CDR cap of 40%. You can also ignore CDR for Quints and go for Move Speed Quints instead, which amplifies your already significant move speed bonuses at the cost of a bit of CDR. Move Speed is often underestimated so the choice is not as easy as you think.

Invest in Utility masteries until you get Presence of the Master (15% CD Reduction for Summoner spells). Along the way, pick up applicable Summoner Skill masteries and the bonus movement speed. The rest of the mastery points would have to be invested in Offense to max the other CD Reduction mastery. I have 9/0/21 as my current mastery spec.

For Marks and Seals, since you're going for adaptiveness, you simply use the most optimal mastery for each category. For Marks you have a choice of Crit or Armour Penetration (which is what I prefer). For Seals, you can go Dodge (my prefered), Armour or Magic Resist.


level 1
items: Dorans ring, health pot
skills: Zephyr
 / Eye
you can call doran's items a waste all you want, the fact is doran's ring provides a good package of survivability and mana regen in one go. A health pot lets you stay in the lane a bit longer.

Choose any lane your team needs you at. You can hold a lane solo or you can assist a carry, it's up to your team. What you can't do is farm a lane and be a carry yourself.This means a solo lane is plain un-optimal, even though you can handle it. Your choice of initial skill helps in pre-spawn fights: Zephyr means you might kill or assist for one, Eye means you're less likely to be killed instead. Exhaust is extremely good at this stage.
level 2-3
item: Dorans ring, health pot
skills: 2 Zephyr + 1 Eye

Start agressively harassing. Eyeing up lets you tank some minion hits while hitting your opponent for extra damage. Don't assume that extra damage makes you pwnage. It merely makes up for your lack of basic damage early on. The main point of eye at this stage in the game is its ability to protect.

OTOH, if you have a ranged lane mate with faster attack speed, or a harassing skill that scales with damage, casting eye on him allows him to play a lot more aggressively. With zephyr this can make for lethal lane combinations, especially if your own lanemate has his own snaring skill. With the eye on your pal though, you yourself are vulnerable, especially to stealth or blink combos.

Don't forget to use exhaust both for scoring kills and defensively.
level 4-8
items: Dorans ring, Boots of Speed, Null-Magic Mantle, Ruby Crystal, Sapphire Crystal
skills: 1 Gale + 4 Zephyr + 2 Eye
 + Monsoon
Continue the previous agressive play. At this point things can get hairy so you get that first level monsoon (the best level of monsoon) the moment it's available. Monsoon is your panic button and your fountain. Use it as and when you need it, don't save it up, but don't waste it on healing up hp when you can just regen by avoiding damage with the assistance of Eye. If you haven't needed to go back to base ('blue pill'), do so at level 8.

You may have a chance to push the first tower at this stage. If your lane mate has higher attack speed, Eye him up if you get the opportunity to freely attack the tower. Otherwise you should have the Eye.

The items you get from 4-8 form the basis of your build for the rest of the game. What you buy afterwards depends on some decision-making you have to do. Ask yourself:
-Is your team doing enough damage, DPS wise?
-Is your team pushing well or being pushed?
-Is your team tank(s) functioning well?
-Does their team lack tanking ability?

Then decide what you wanna do.
1) Our team needs more DPS / Janna got a lot of kills > GO SEMI-DPS
2) Our team isn't pushing well enough (too few natural pushers) / being pushed badly > GO SEMI-PUSHER
3) Our team's tanks aren't tanky enough / we're generally dying too quickly > GO SEMI-TANK
4) Their team lacks tanks, lawl > THROW A PARTY! GO SEMI-DPS or SEMI-PUSHER
5) Play is generally balanced / I don't what the heck is going on anymore > GO UTILITY JANNA

items: Dorans ring, Mercury Treads, Sheen > Trinity force, Brutaliser, Emblem of Valour > Stark's Fervour or Executioner's Calling, (Elixir of Fortitude) 
skills: Max Zephyr, then Max Eye, the rest whichever way you want

You're basically capitalising on having the upper hand by forcing snowballing of power as much as possible. You can never quite be a full DPS unless your opponents really suck or your team just owns, hence why you go the hybrid triforce route. If their team has a good healer get executioner's yourself, since you're going semi-DPS, otherwise get Stark's. Brutaliser helps CD reduction and damage output and is fairly cheap. With maxed-out Eye, you're mostly using the spell on yourself to put a decent amount of damage while disrupting them with spells. This pattern continues into the late game.
You can buy Elixir of Fortitude to press on your advantage as much as possible, amplifying your early/mid-game strength. If something goes wrong and you lose momentum, sell some items and get Frozen Heart. It will be worth it.

items: Dorans ring, Sorcerer's Shoes, Catalyst of the Protector > Rod of Ages, Haunting Guise, Fiendish Codex > Deathfire Grasp, Chalice of Harmony 
skills: Max Gale, then Max Zephyr, the rest whichever way you want

The main point of this build is to clear creep waves as quickly as possible, and disrupt opponents with spell spam. Your CD reduction needs to be maxed ASAP and you add a risky, magic pen build (no mercs) as well. The game plan (spam/spam/spam) is simple but execution won't be, unless you're basically bullying some squishies. Most importantly, you need to stay out of danger as much as possible. Help push empty lanes or clear up creep swarms, and always be there to defend.You basically want your gale to do as much damage as possible and you're charging it up when you can and quick-launching it when you have to.

items: Dorans ring, Mercury Treads, Catalyst of the Protector > Banshee's Veil, Aegis of the Legion / (Heart of Gold), Glacial Shroud > Frozen Heart
skills: Max Zephyr, then Max Eye, then Max Monsoon as soon as possible, Max Gale last.

When your team lacks tanks or has low survivability you're basically in trouble, because Janna is fairly squishy. However, she can be a real pain to kill anyway because of her skills, so what you do is become the team Aura monger while acting as a deputy tank. This both adds a bit more survivability to the team roster and help your lame tanks perform better. It doesn't matter if your team-mates already have the same aura, although it might be a waste. Redundant auras are useful in case one carrier dies. Monsoon is your most critical spell and you basically run into the fight spamming gales and attracting attention and press R when the team is in trouble.

items: Dorans ring, Mercury Treads, Phage > Trinity Force, Glacial Shroud > Frozen Heart, Aegis of the Legion/Stark's Fervour (Elixir of Fortitude)
skills: Max Zephyr, then pick each skill as you need them- observe how the battle goes

This is the trickiest but most important build for tough, balanced fights. You get Phage first instead of Sheen because in tough matches you need that little ounce of survivability, but you eventually aim to go for triforce. Get the glacial shroud early if necessary, otherwise get triforce as soon as you can. Once you have Frozen Heart, you can get Aegis or Stark's. Elixirs are great to press your early game strength but remember they set you back for the late game. 

In these games, follow your team carry at all times, be their escort. Help them run away from danger, even if it kills you. Of course, if your carry is going around stealthed then you chaperoning them won't do much good. Instead, lurk a bit behind or follow a secondary carry. Stay with the team on defense, but split up and push a separate lane the moment enough of your opponents are dead. Help team mates get neutral buffs, you don't need them yourself unless you end up half-carrying.

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