Janna’s rise to the top


With her massive amounts of utility, Janna has become the new queen of the supports.

In the past few weeks, a new champion has emerged as the top support. Janna, the Storm’s Fury, has taken the Rift by force, boasting a 54.4% win rate and a 20.06% pick rate, making her the support with the highest win rate and the champion with the fourth-highest win rate overall. But Janna herself deals minimal damage and has one of the lowest health pools in the game, so what is making her so successful? Does she really make up for what she lacks in offensive stats?

First, lets look at what other champions fill in the top five for champion win rate: Shyvana, Nautilus, Udyr and Graves. All of these champions have to get on top of you to start dealing their primary damage, and with Graves as the exception, all of them have melee ranged basic attacks. These are the perfect types of champions for Janna to face. She thrives in peeling and disengaging any enemies trying to get onto her carries. And if the enemy does manage to get to her team, she can shield her allies and blow away any enemies near her.

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While Janna has minimal base damage to contribute during a fight, she reigns as the queen of utility and free stats. Knock ups, knock backs, slows, shields that give attack damage, and movement speed for you and your teammates is what Janna brings to the table.

Janna’s Howling Gale, her Eye of the Storm shield and her ultimate, Monsoon, are Janna’s core abilities during any team fight. Her Howling Gale’s knock up can interrupt jumps, dashes and any channeling abilities, while also providing a stopper for enemies trying to hunt down your low health teammates. In most cases, a well-timed tornado can dissuade most foes from furthering their chase against your allies. Howling Gale can also be very disruptive during a team fight, knocking up enemies so your team can deal damage while the enemy is airborne.

Paired with her Eye of the Storm shield, Janna’s Monsoon can win your team the entire fight. Use Monsoon to knock back the enemy team and separate a team fight, sectioning off members of the enemy team, all while healing your allies. This allows your team to pick off the isolated enemies, while you shield your allies that are being focused. Monsoon can also be used as a last resort for interrupting jumps and dashes. Unlike Howling Gale, it pushes your enemies away instead of just knocking them up. If the enemy Jax is about to jump on your carry to land the finishing blow, a well-timed Monsoon can both interrupt his jump and put a healthy amount of distance between him and your carry, guaranteeing your escape.

You can also use your shield on your team’s carries and assassins to give them free attack damage (AD). And it’s not just a small amount of AD either. At max rank, Eye of the Storm can give a teammate over 50 extra AD, that’s almost as much damage as a Black Cleaver. This helps not only in fights, but with taking down turrets or killing Dragon or Baron.

Team fights and disengage aren’t Janna’s only strengths. She also provides large amounts of movement speed for her and her team. Her W ability, Zephyr, grants her a passive 9-17% movement speed based on ability rank. At rank one, she gains an additional 30 movement speed, which is more than what basic boots provide.

…she is able disrupt team fights, disengage enemies and save her team with ease.

She also speeds up her team as well. Her passive, Tailwind, gives allied champions a bonus 8% move speed when walking towards her. This allows your team to make rotations and get to cross map objectives much faster than the enemy, allowing you to set up vision and take objectives easier.

With the addition of many items and their components that give cooldown reduction being easier to purchase, Janna is able to achieve max cooldown reduction much faster than previous seasons. With your knock up and shield being on such a short cooldown, she is able to disrupt team fights, disengage enemies and save her team with ease.

With all of these assets, she is a good match with practically any AD carry during laning phase. Remember to only try to be aggressive when your abilities are available, and if possible, always try to save your Howling Gale to interrupt an enemy’s jump, dash or channeling ability.

With her massive team utility, movement speed, free stats and shift in champion popularity, its easy to see why Janna is such a premier pick. She does however have trouble dealing with assassins who have the ability to jump in, do mass amounts of burst damage to her or her team, and jump back out again. These assassins typically like to hide in the fog of war and jump on you when you least expect it. As a squishy support that is vital to your teams survival, lack of vision is one of your biggest fears.

Ward up, deny enemy vision, stick with your team, and only fight when the time is right. As Janna, you have the ability to choose what fights your team does and does not take. Use this power wisely and you will dominate your games.