Leona Build Guide by TheAdonis
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.
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.
Lately I have seen lots of Jungle Leona builds. Well not lots, but a fair bit... And they are all ****py. They kinda make me angry, because everybody says how much she should be laning instead, and that they only made the jungle build to be funny. But I have jungled her since I first bought her (2 months or so ago). With that being the case, I see her as THE BEST Jungle-Tank (Even better than Rammus). As Leona, you will take advantage of her severe gankability. During a gank, you can nearly perma-stun your enemies, while the laner quickly takes out their health with aid of your passive. The speed of her jungling is a little bit slow compared to other junglers, but her ganks more than make up for it, I promise.
Skill SequenceThe First Ability
THE MOST ANNOYING THING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE'S BUILDS IS THIS. Most people are catering to her Shield of Daybreak because of the refresh it gives to her attack (plus a bonus). THAT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. Eclipse gives you a shield for 6 seconds (incredibly useful in jungle if you don't already know), and deals more damage than Shield of Daybreak! OH YEAH AND IT DOES AREA OF EFFECT. It is pretty much strictly better, especially since her attack damage is pretty low at the beginning of the game, causing that refresh to mean very little.
Now that that is over, the reason other jungle Leona players give for upgrading Shield of Daybreak does hold some ground, and that is why I get it second, and max it second. With the armour pen. runes, it helps a good bit, along with the stun on the larger creep.
I get Zenith Blade at level 3 because the people I usually play with allow for ganks to be really easy pretty much all the time, so the earlier the better :) If there are no open ganks when you get to level 3, instead level up [Eclipse] again, and then get Zenith Blade at level 4.
The Rest of it I think is self Explanatory (Cater most highly to Solar Flare, then to Eclipse, Shield of Daybreak, and care least about Zenith Blade). The Reason that I level up Eclipse over the others is that duration of immobilization, stun, and slow DOES NOT CHANGE by leveling up. all that changes is mana cost, cooldown, shielding amount, and damage. since Eclipse has an Area of Effect damage and and increase in shielding, I feel it just makes perfect sense to level it first.
Do I really need to say anything here?
If you are thinking Flash isn't as good as Ghost or Exhaust or something, think about this. You gank, they are running. Flash/E/Q/R. The Perma-Stun. They can't make it out. The Flash Closes that distance so much better than Ghost for those situations.
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Health
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Okay then. Armour Seals are to help with the jungle, and for the fact that you are a tank, even if it doesn't seem like it at the beginning of the game.
MR glyphs, again, you are a tank.
Armour Quint because you actually need it to be a good jungler with her sadly :/
Health Quints help you to still be able to have enough health to gank after you clear the first round of jungle.
Armour Pen. Marks because the only significant magic damage you deal is with Eclipse. You attack a lot more often than you use abilities, so these help you to clear the jungle much better than Magic Pen. would.
I build my Masteries more to accommodate the way my standard jungler works.
I bump up the Utility in excess to increase duration of buffs, Gold, Experience, reduce my cooldowns on abilities (Leona REALLY needs this), and reduce cooldown of smite so that I can use it on lane tank minions and the small golem camp if I want to. The Best Mastery in utility here is the increased EXP on champion kills/assists. This is easy to abuse with Leona because of her ganks. By the end of the early part of "lane phase" you should be a part of nearly ALL the kills with 1 or 2 kills and 4 or 5 assists. At the very least.
The defensive masteries included are to increase your overall tankiness against the jungle. They kinda just make sense. (Except for the one rank of Vigor. that can easily be placed elsewhere.)
And the two ranks of Butcher in offense surprisingly save MANY last hits on jungle creeps. They help you to not be wasting an ounce of your time that you don't need to.
The Fun Part!
So you begin with the Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion like most junglers. I turn the armour into Madred's Razors, and then Wriggle's Lantern after Boots of Speed and such... You know how this all goes.
The Crazy Part
But then you get Sheen. Yeah. Sheen. You will get to the point that you have no creeps in your jungle at all ALOT with this, even with the new jungle's ultra respawn. Also this gives you a real damage output in your ganks. Make sure when you gank to space your moves so that Sheen activates as often as possible.
I have been informed of a need to explain the use of Boots of Switfness rather than something like Mercury's Treads. The extra 20 movement speed (as well as more of a bonus when you get Zeal/ Trinity Force) that it gives will be that little bit that will consistently make your ganks just that much more surprising. As I have said through this whole guide, Jungle Leona is all about the gank. IF your enemy team is FULL of CC, then Merc Treads are viable as a replacement. I am also testing out Ionian Boots of Lucidity because of the fairly high cooldowns that Leona has. With Ionians, the Perma-Stun (see "Unique Skills") will likely always continue to its second part.
Thankfully, since you are a jungler, you don't need to truly tank until lanephase is over. So once you have damage, run into your stuff starting with Sunfire Cape (even more creep killing. yay!), then Force of Nature so that you can leave after an initiation and still come back in a few seconds with most of your health.
When nearing endgame, Trinity Force will brighten up your damage package and keep you scary to the finish. The rest of the items on the list can be changed depending on what is going on in the game. But if you can't decide, I suggest either Guardian Angel or Wit's End next. If you deal enough damage right now, the opponent will realize that, and they may be stupid enough to target the tank to get rid of that damage. In this case, Guardian Angel will save you from death and give your teammates enough time to kill most of them before you come back. If you aren't scary enough for that yet, you can go for Wit's End in order to freak them out more as well as keep up with your Magic Resist.
Free Choice End Game
You can lastly sell the Wriggle's (if you either think you have enough damage without it or you feel you need more tankiness) to get the Guardian's if you got the Wit's End first. If you got Guardian's first, go for the Wit's End for increased damage, or get Banshee's Veil or Frozen Heart for tankiness depending on how your opponent's team is working. If you want to keep doing damage, just stick with the Wriggle's until you decide otherwise. Rainbow Out if you want (Sell Boots, Buy Elixirs and Drink them one at a time, Buy back boots).
(Note: It is also often necessary to end lanephase early. In cases like this, stop whatever you are building and go straight for the "Mid Game" items. Build your damage (Sheen/Trinity Force and Wits End) later in these cases. You are EXPECTED to be tanking.)
Creeping / Jungling
Start at Blue with a leash. It is very important that you do not activate Eclipse until the creeps begin to attack you, otherwise your health pots may not be enough to get you out of there. This may make Leona seem like a bad jungler, but after this, she catches up very quickly. After that, go through the standard rotation to the wolves, then Wraiths, Lizard, Golems. You may end up using all 5 health pots on your first run through the jungle, but after that, don't buy more than 1 at a time. Use your extra money on wards for the team.
"Wards Win Games Squidward".
The Gank Stuff
It is often necessary to skip over the red buff so that you can grab the small camps and get to level 3 so that you can gank as quick as possible. (Another option in cases like this is to skip the Wraiths and Golems and go for ONLY the red buff for the level up).
With Wriggle's, this job becomes a bit easier, but don't rely solely on that. You will want to ward up Dragon as often as it is alive. Other ward place include your opponent's Red and Blue Buffs, The Brush on either side of mid lane, the brush above bot lane, the brush below top lane, and any other obvious escape areas you can think of. BUY WARDS.
When I use this wording, I am talking about a perfect grouping of abilities by Leona. Generally this refers to using Zenith Blade to close the distance between you and the enemy, as well as immobilize them momentarily, then using Shield of Daybreak to stun them, and after the stun, letting them walk away for a very short amount of time to find their direction of movement, then using Solar Flare with them ending up in the center for an extended stun. often this can even be followed up with another Shield of Daybreak or Zenith Blade, or both. when doing this, you ALWAYS want to activate Eclipse before using the Zenith Blade, so that you can hit the enemy with the damage from Eclipse as well. When done correctly and with good timing, this can cause your opponent to be useless for up to 8 or 9 seconds, solely from your abilities. At close range it is much more useful, because using Shield of Daybreak first, and THEN Zenith Blade can add the time it takes them to run away from you to the time of uselessness that they have!! (Because then you just lock them back into stuns with Zenith Blade and Solar Flare)
Here is a good example: Leona Perma-Stun
Watch until time 16:31. This shows that even if you don't hit the stun on the ultimate, an 80% slow is the highest slow in the game, and will likely suffice.
The Team Juke
When you are in a teamfight, or even in a 1v2 or 1v3, It is incredibly easy to juke the whole team with the express use of Zenith Blade. Zenith Blade says that it deals damage to everyone in its path, but it causes you to dash to the LAST enemy champion hit by it. What you do, is make it look like you are trying to fight by shielding with Eclipse and attacking. Then half a second or so into it, stun somebody (preferably somebody with little or no CC) with Shield of Daybreak and run like you've never done before, but in the opposite direction of where you actually want to be. Almost right after the stunned champion is back to his normal self, Zenith Blade through the others to him. You will dash to him, and be far enough from the others that you shouldn't have a problem running away, especially with the use of Flash and any nearby bushes.
(Note: this is generally for use in Very early game or Late Game. If it is past 10 minutes, and the only armour you have is your Wriggle's, don't try this, the team will kill you before you get off the Zenith for the run.)
Other Skills soon to come!
Please Comment and Vote, but only say something if you have constructive criticism or praise! Thank You and stay posted with me for other great builds!
I plan on having a more indepth description of playstyle here soon, likely with real video of me doing it all!