Leona Build Guide by endoran
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Hybrid Utility/Tank Leona
Against AD heavy comb final build
Against ap heavy comb final build
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Threats to Leona with this build
|Hello everybody and welcome to my Leona guide! I am a Gold EUW support player who has mained this champion for the last two years or so. This is the first guide I've ever written so needless to say that I accept and welcome any kind of criticism, as long as it is respectful and constructive.
My intention with this guide is to share with you guys/gals the build, playstyle and overall support decision making that I consider I've been successful with. I do not intend to lay down any "absolute truths" and I am the first to admit that there are many valid ways of playing this champion; however, this is the one I am most comfortable with.
Without further ado, let's get into bussiness!
|+ Extremely tanky
+ Great engage potential
+ Lane bully
+ Awesome CC
+ Probably the best support to punish unskilled players in lane
|Laning against a skilled agressive Leona who is somewhat coordinated with her adc can be incredibly annoying against most bottom lanes. Her cc and passive allow her adc to 100-50% hp the enemy in levels 2-5 with just a simple engage, and she can also lane against hard engage supports (Thresh, Nautilus) and counter their engages by E-Qing the enemy adc and negating most of their damage. She has also a huge ability to intitiate teamfights in the mid/late game.|
|- Can't provide much peel for adc in teamfights
- Engaging at the wrong time can mean acing your own team
- Doesn't bring much utility to the team
- Has to play agressive in order to be useful
|The biggest weakness Leona has is the fact that she needs to be agressive in lane, as her kit doesn't provide the lane with any passive resources. All she can do is engage and zone the enemy botlane, and this is the reason why some consider Thresh to be her hardest counter.|
- Greater Mark of Armor x9: Absolutely necessary. Laning in the botlane means laning against an adc who will constantly try to get aa on you so you need flat armor, not scaling. Besides, armor is a very useful defensive stat which increases the effect of your W's shield.
- Greater Seal of Armorx9: There is a lot of debate around the seals to use on defensive supports. For jungle/top tanks, health seals seem to be more effective. However, given that the damage you will be tanking in lane will mostly be physical, I feel it is better to go for flat armor. You may be lose a bit of tankiness in late game teamfights but, honestly, climbing the soloQ ladder is all about know how to get a lane advantage over your opponent.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resistx4+ Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resistx5: Same as with armor, but it is good to have some scaling as you don't usually take much magic damage in the early game.
- Greater Quintessence of Armor+ Greater Quintessence of Health+ Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: Armor+HP is the ideal combination for early game fights, and a small movement speed boost, combined with your early boots, will allow you to get that max range E that gives your adc first blood, and it will also help you roam a bit faster than the enemy support.
Ok so here lays a very controversial topic. Ignite is definitely a better option for laning, but is basically useless late game. If you trust your adc to outplay his opponent and getting those two or three extra kills in lane will be worth not being able to exhaust that fed Zed in the late game, go for ignite. However, you must understand that if you do pick ignite, you have to get an advantage in lane, otherwise a support with exhaust will be much more useful for his team than you in the late game.
That said, here's what I do and think you should do: decide depending on the enemy team comb. If the enemy team has a champion with a huge bursting potential such as Zed, Leblanc, Graves, Syndra, Katarina, Orianna... or a huge snowballing that may destroy your lane such as Darius or Draven, I do believe exhaust is better to deny their burst in mid/late game teamfights. However, if their team has more uniform sources of damage (like a, say, Lulu mid-Jinx adc comb) I really think taking ignite and being able to counter the heal from the enemy adc is definitely worth it. Ignite can also be an option if you have more champions that can play a supportive role and peel for your adc, such as Nunu, Lulu or Orianna.
Whatever you pick, the most important thing is that you play accordingly. The attitude you should have as a lvl 2 Leona in lane with exhaust varies completely from the one you should keep as an ignite Leona. If you dont have exhaust you should spend more gold in wards, as a well executed gank will most likely end with your adc dying. However, you should be looking to trade more, as an ignite lane should win an exhaust lane in every all-in trade.
As with almost every champion, Flash is an essential summoner spell for escapes and can also synergize very well with Leona's kit, with combos such as R-Flash-E-Q or Flash-Q when your E cooldown is down.
Sunlight: Althought it is not as useful as some other supports' passives (Braum's or Kennen's), it is still a very useful one that you should take into account.
When you use an ability, you place a debuff on the damaged enemie(s) and the next time an ally attacks him/her, he/she will take some extra damage. This amount increases every two levels and starts at 20. Althought it may not sound as much, you must realize that if you time your abilities correctly, in a lvl 3 trade you can let your adc get roughly +105 extra damage on the enemy adc, which can mean a huge difference in early lane 2v2 fights.
Shield of Daybreak This ability resets your autoattack and makes your next autoattack stun the target for a fixed amount of time.
Usually, you want to max this ability after your W. You should alternate between Q and E so that the cooldowns are similar (getting your Q 2 seconds earlier isn't worth it if you won't be able to engage with your E until 4 seconds later).
- In lane, remember to use Q right after an autoattack, not before unless you are trying to chain cc and avoid a flash or disengage spell from the enemy.
- As Leona, you are an engage support, not a peel-focused support. However, if your adc is extremely fed, you should stay with him and use your Shield of Daybreak on approaching enemies to keep him safe. Same can be applied to avoid ganks
- Many times your enemies will make sure to play far from your E range. However, if your jungler is waiting to gank, you can use your E and miss on purpose, making your enemies feel safer and get closer to the wave. Then, you can Flash-Q on them and wait for your jungler's CC to secure a kill.
Eclipse: This is your shield and main deffensive ability, which makes you the huge tank that you want to be as Leona. It grants you an insane amount of armor and magic resist, and its duration can be doubled if there are any enemies close. Also, it deals damage after 3 seconds!
You're going to want to max out [Eclipse] first, as you need the extra tankiness for mid-game fights and even for lane trades, so you can stick to the enemy adc without fearing getting bursted down by him.
- If enemies see you activate your W, they will see that you mean to engage on them, so they will play safer. Try to activate it inside a bush or when you have already engaged.
- The amount of armor and MR obtanied via this ability scale with your own bonus deffensive stats, so remember: the tankier you are, the tankier Eclipse makes you!
- Careful with stealing kills with this ability. The fact that it explodes after 3 seconds can be forgotten by some inexperienced Leona players and cause them to get the kill even when there is no way the enemy can escape.
- The damage from this ability is many times overlooked by your lane opponents, and many times you can secure a kill against a very low hp enemy by flashing near him right when the shield is about to explode.
Zenith Blade: This ability is a mid-length skillshot that passes throught minions and monsters and dels a small amount of damage, dragging you to your opponent's position and rooting them for a short period of time.
You should be maxing this ability after your W, alternating with your Q so both have a similiar cd.
- This is your main engaging ability. You should practice to hit the skillshot, as it is not a very hard one to land and missing it can give your opponents an opportunity to go agressive without fearing the consquences (also, a Leona missing her E is one of the saddest moments to witness in League of Legends. No pressure, tho).
- The dragging effect of this ability is consider as an effect on the Leona herself (pretty much like the second activation of Thresh's Q) and, as such, it canNOT be countered by any spell shield (this is the reason why Leona is said to counter Sivir pretty hard), although it will consume them! This way, if you plan on engaging on a Nocturne/Sivir, you can wait for them to use their shield and then Eing to them to consume it, allowing you to use your Q without any trouble.
- If you E an enemy that is using/casting/right about to cast a gap closer of some kind, you will be dragged with them, which can be pretty useful for chasing champions such as Ezreal, Lucian, Braum, Graves, etc. Picking the right timing is hard to master, but it can many times mean the difference between blowing a summoner and getting a kill in a gank.
- In late game teamfights, you want to use this ability on their carries, given that if you land it, they are basically dead due to all the CC that you can provide on them. This is why you shouldn't be using it on their tanks (unless you are peeling and want the root effect) and should hold using it until one of their carries is close enough.
- If your ult is down many people will disregard your engage potential and stay safe at a distance far from your E range. Keep in mind that if you combo Flash-E you can reach pretty much the same range you could with your Solar Flare.
Solar Flare: This is an AoE skillshot shaped as a circle, that stuns ennemies standing in the middle and heavily slows the rest, apart from dealing damage to all.
- ENGAGE! I can't stress enough how much of a difference a right Solar Flare can make in the beginning of a teamfight. If you learn to master this ability and are able to land a huge-range stun on their midlaner or their adc, your team and you should be able to follow it up and get a safe kill before he can even Zhonyas.
- In lane, you should be looking for the moment when your adc has a build advantage over theirs and force a fight by using your Solar Flare on the enemy adc. Even if his/her reaction times are good and you only manage to get the slow, you should still be able to follow it up with E-Q and get a summoner or a kill.
- Although it is quite hard and not always advisable, you must take into account that it is a pretty instant ability and has usually around the same damage as a normal ability from an adc at levels 6-9. This is why you can always, if and ONLY IF you are sure that there is no upcoming teamfight, try and steal an objective with your Solar Flare. It won't work most of the times, but if you are able to master it you can get maybe one in every ten dragons you try to steal
Items and Playstyle (Game Stages)
Your lvl 1 is raelly weak, so you try and coordinate with your adc to reach lvl 2 faster than the enemy botlane. As soon as the last minions are falling (should be around the ninth minion), get in position for an engage, because if you manage to land your E and follow it up with a Q before your enemies get lvl 2, you will most likely burn a summoner or, at least, get them low enough to dominate the lane from then on.
In lane, it is very useful to stay inside the bushes, as you can land your combo on the enemies when they get close enough to ward it. Also, remember to keep your river warded all the time (this is possible to do if you talk to your adc, as the trinket wards last for 60s and have a 120s cd). Lastly, if your adc is engaged on, don't hesitate to counterengage on their adc, as you will stun him and at least deny their engage, if not turn it around.
Relic Shield is essential as a tanky support, as it is the only gold income item that gives any sort of tanky stats, apart for bringing a weak but noticeable sustain to the lane. What to do with the remaining 145 gold is pretty much your choice. You can go 4 health potions if you plan to tank a jungle camp for your adc, or if you are up against a poke-style lane and plan on taking lots of damage. Another option is to go 2 health potions and a stealth (green) ward, which is useful if the enemies have a strong early jungler such as Lee Sin and you plan on pushing the lane and want to avoid being vulnerable to ganks.
I usually pick 3 health potions and one mana potion. I've been told in the guide's discussion that this may sound quite odd to some, so I'd like to paste my answer to the original post: "[...] i have always liked a mana potion on Leona unless i am starting in a jungle camp with my adc. The reason is simple; I feel that river vision can be covered easily by coordinating trinket warding with your adc, and you shouldn't be getting as low as to need 4 health pots with Leona in lane. Although you make a very wise point, just like you said, you "SHOULD" be getting kills with just three engages, however, many times something goes wrong. You miss your E a few times, you get ganked and have to waste everythhing on the jungler, or their support has sustain and you can't get them killed so fast. That's why I feel that sometimes a mana potion is useful. I realize this is somewhat out of the ordinary, and I admit it is only significant in around half of the lanes, but I have tried all alternatives and eventually decided to take this one. "
If you are not convinced, however, you can go for any of the other mentioned item starts. It really depends on the matchup.
Ok so now you want to rush boots and sightstone, as you need both the vision to stay safe and prepare early dragons or counterjungle, just like you need the mobility to roam mid, help your jungler in the enemy jungle or getting closer to the enemies to engage in lane.
Which should you go for first? It depends on the situation. Given that you are the support and hence probably the least gold dependent role, you won't choose when to recall, but will be forced by the situation. Maybe you got ganked and are forced out of lane, maybe you died, maybe you got a double kill or maybe you just had a farm lane until your adc had enough gold for BF Sword and you recalled at the same time.
Although you will get used to making these decisions by playing support again and again, here are some guidelines about what I like to do in these situations.
- Never go back to lane without any vision. Two green wards or at least a pink ward and a green ward are necessary if you can't get sightstone. This means that if you have 500 gold when you go back, you shouldn't be getting a Ruby Crystal in order to get your Sightstone faster, as returning to lane with just one green ward can make you vulnerable or cause you to recall again soon and make your adc lose farm. In this case, I'd go for Boots of Speed, 2 Green Wards and health potions if needed.
- I like (although opinions may vary) that Boots of Speed are a key item in your first back, even if you could afford straight up Sightstone. I have found it is better to get boots, Ruby Crystal and a few consumable wards than rushing sightstone and losing the mobility.
- If you are doing great in lane and your midlaner is suffering, I'd suggest getting mobility boots straight away and some wards so you can roam efficiently while your adc farms 1v2 for one or two waves
- Whatever you don't buy now, you must remember to come back for it as soon as possible. For when the first ult ganks start, you need to have sightstone and mobility boots for both the escaping/chasing ability and the necessary vision.
- Remember to swap your trinket to Sweeping Lens as soon as you get Sighstone, and use it on cooldown to set up ganks for your jungler.
First dragon fights/Small teamfights
Ok so by now your adc and your midlaner have probably finished their first items and junglers already have their machete enchantment. This is a pretty big power spike for the carries and tanks usually haven't been able to get the necessary stats to deal with their damage, let alone supports. However, you will need to get some items that will allow you to take some damage from them when you engage on them to try and land your annoying CCs.
This obviously depends on how you are doing in lane, but the ideal is getting Warden's Mail, a few Vision (pink) Wards and a Null-Magic Mantle (you probably haven't had enough gold to upgrade to an Aegis of the Legion yet. As always, you must take into account who are the huge damage threats in their team. Is their adc 4/0 and they have a more supportive midlaner? Then maybe you should go straight for Frozen Heart and forget about MR by now. Have you denied the enemy adc with your zoning, but they have a mid Syndra with 3 kills? In that case, maybe a Specter's Cowl would be better, or maybe you should wait to upgrade boots and try get the Aegis as soon as possible so you can provide some tankiness for your team. I honestly wouldn't recommend rushing health items, as they dont synergize with the scaling of your W shield.
As with before, you will learn to make this decisions by playing Leona and practicing. Support builds are not as fixed as adc builds might be, and the only way to know what to do in a situation is trying to reason what you feel will be better, although it helps to have experience on the champion and to have already been through similar moments in the game.
Mid game/Late game
Apart from the general game strategy and decision-making you need to have in this stage of the game, playing Leona mid/late game is all about warding and engaging. I'm planning on making a whole guide chapter on warding so I'll only focus on the latter by now.
Leona has probably the best late game engage mechanics of all supports. No matter how behind you are in the game, if you land a perfect ult on one of their carries, chances are he/she'll die before the CC ends and thhe fight becomes a 4v5 that you are inclined to winning. Generally speaking, once you have already engaged you have two choices. I recommend sticking to their adc and annoying him as much as possible, landing all your CC and negating most of his damage. However, another choice is going back to your team and peeling for your own carries, stunning and rooting those who threat them the most. I only recommend doing this if your adc is extremely fed, as Leona's kit provides much better engage and lockdown potential than peeling one.
Don't forget to use Face of the Mountain's active on your adc or your midlaner. It can really make a difference in a teamfight, especially if you have already built some health and the shield's hp is huge.
Here you should build completely according to the situation. Take into account that all you want is tankiness in this stage of the game, so you should build for it. Get Frozen Heart almost always, as its passive is OP against ad carries. Aegis of the Legion is also mandatory unless the enemy team is full AD. If their adc is fed or they have a bruiser ad jungler/toplaner, also get Randuin and Thornmail. Keep in mind, Thornmail returns 30% of damage taken BEFORE APPLYING damage reduction, so it synergizes very well with your W. If your team doesn't have a reliant form of engage besides you, Righteous Glory is a must. However, if I have an ally Vi/Maokai/Hecarim/pretty much any champ with hard engage, I like to go for other items, as it only grants you health and straight away HP is the worst denfesive stat for you on Leona.
Lastly, dont forget to upgrade your sightstone and get your Iron Elixir before completing your sixth item slot, as you will need it for Vision (Pink) wards.