LeBlanc Build Guide by Mrtacos4life
Hi everyone, I'm Mrtacos4life and here is my guide to playing LeBlanc the Deceiver. This is actually my first guide here on Mobafire and I appreciate any comments that you have for me. I've been playing LeBlanc for a while now and I play her slightly differently than most other LeBlanc players. My style is more passive-aggressive than all-out ofensive. I recognize this style is not for everyone, but it is none the less quite effective. Some people think that LeBlanc becomes less and less useful after the thirty minute mark, but my favorite time in games, with LeBlanc, is actually late game because carries will get cocky and that becomes the perfect time to knock them down a few pegs. Please read through my guide to pick up some tips and learn some more about LeBlanc. I hope this guide helps you to play LeBlanc more effectively. Please enjoy.
I will be continuing to expand and edit this guide, so I just want to let you know what will be incoming. With the pre-season starting I will be working on a complete overhaul of this guide.
- ITEM OVERHAUL INCOMING FOR THE NEW SEASON
- New section on Mid Lane Match-ups
- Expanded section on situational items
- A more detailed explanation of my decision to save Deathfire Grasp for second
- Further explanation of runes and viable alternatives
- More detailed section on LeBlanc's different combos
- New section on junglers (both preferred junglers for your team and dangerous junglers to be playing against)
- Tips on Countering The Deceiver
My Play Style
While LeBlanc is an assassin and an extremely effective assassin at that, she does not need to be extremely aggressive in lane in order to dominate. I tend to play LeBlanc very passive-aggressively. What I mean by this is I try to focus on farming at early levels and dodging my opponent's spells instead of being aggressive. Now if they get too close I smash them with my combo, but my main focus is on the farm. Until level 6 that is, or until I get Blue Buff. You should always ask your jungler when you can have Blue Buff and for permission before taking Blue Buff--don't just take it. Once you hit level 6, you should shift your focus to keeping the enemy zoned and to bullying your opponent out of lane. Any time they come in for a last hit make sure they pay for it.
I usually main support champions so this play style comes out of that mentality of not being extremely aggressive, but being an opportunist. Part of this passive-aggressive play style is knowing when to cut your losses and bail heck out, this becomes especially important if you have a Mejai's Soulstealer. That does not mean, however, that you should ditch your teammate and not try to help them with an escape just to save your own butt. (I'm really a support player at heart so not at least trying to help a teammate is against every fiber of my being.)
- Farm to the best of your abilities while staying safe.
- Know when to cut your losses. DON'T GET TOO GREEDY.
- Harass your opponent while staying safe.
- Once you hit level six burst them so they have to go back. If they don't go back kill 'em.
- If your lane is pushed go ganking.
- As always, no matter who you are you damn well better be buying wards if you have extra gold.
Pros / Cons
- Most importantly she is a ton of fun to play
- Crazy lane domination
- Insane mobility
- Fantastic ganker
- Huge burst damage (one of the highest in game)
- She inspires fear and who wants to be loved anyway
- Fast auto attack animation
- People (falsely) believe she drops off late game, so you wont be as much of a focus
- Dangerous, that girl is so dangerous!
- Super squishy
- HUGE TARGET in fights, especially early on
- Needs Blue Buff early on and through mid game
- Her skins leave a whole lot to be desired
LeBlanc benefits more from investments in the Offensive Tree than in the Utility Tree. She needs to invest in the Offensive Tree because it grants her the greatest ability to unleash massive burst damage. While the primary necessities in the Utility Tree are the increases in movement speed, mana, item cooldown reduction, and buff duration from Swiftness , Expanded Mind , Artificer , and Runic Affinity .
Here are the runes that I tend to use, but this is just my personal preference and as such it is only a suggestion.
Magic penetration marks are fairly standard on most AP Casters and I use them because it increases the damage output on all of LeBlanc's skills.
Mana regeneration seals will allow you to harass in lane and make sure that you wont be too mana starved without Blue Buff.
I tend to use these ability power per level as opposed to flat AP glyphs in order to ensure LeBlanc scales into late game and because you wont be going for the enemy's jugular until level 6. So missing out on the flat ability power in the earlier levels is not very problematic.
I prefer utilizing flat ability power Quintessences for LeBlanc because her ultimate scales off of percentage of ability power. So that marginal increase in flat ability power is more important of LeBlanc than even other AP casters.
This is hands down my favorite summoner spell because it has an infinite amount of uses. I mean who doesn't want to be able to escape a gank or ensure that last hit for a kill. I always take Flash on LeBlanc, but if you feel that it is redundant given her insane mobility I would recommend Ghost.
I love Ignite especially on LeBlanc. It helps to ensure an easy first blood once you've hit level 6. While LeBlanc often doesn't really need Ignite to get early kills, it helps. So I would recommend grabbing it so that you don't miss out on a first blood.
This is completely a personal preference, but I love constantly being in lane farming and bullying so I sometimes take Teleport. Also teleporting to wards in other lanes for ganks is hilarious! Most of the time people will be so stunned that they have no chance, but one way or another, it makes sure they are scared as hell of you.
Honestly you need one of these on the team and if nobody else is taking it you can. Exhaust will allow you to shut down the enemy carry, slow a pursuer, or slow your next victim.
This is a great spell and I would say a must if you decide against running Flash. Ghost will allow you to slip to bottom or top lane for a quick gank and be back before your lane gets pushed back to your turret.
I mean who doesn't love map control and taking clairvoyance can be a great asset, but not on LeBlanc. Clairvoyance really does not synergize well with her because she is going to be jumping in and out of lanes bursting her targets. You are the one people need to watch out for and flee from, hopefully it wont be the other way around.
You are LeBlanc, not someone who stays in the middle of fights. You do not want to be in a situation where you are getting focused and if you are Cleanse probably will not save you. That being said cleanse is a great spell and can help sometimes, but it really is not a spell for LeBlanc.
Honestly, this will help you in the very beginning if you are being turret dove, getting ganked, or being bullied, and that is all. Later on, if you are caught out of position or face check the wrong bush you're a goner and similar to Cleanse, taking Heal wont change that.
You shouldn't be dying, you're LeBlanc you should be killing (Karthus has nothing on you). But seriously you shouldn't plan on dying, so don't take Revive.
You are not a jungler, enough said.
Barrier is a defensive spell and the goal of this build is to be an assassin. While Barrier may have its uses in aram games there is no need to take it in summoner's rift.
So... LeBlanc's passive isn't phenomenal, unless you actually use it for deceptive purposes i.e. get creative and be sneaky. What most people do when their passive comes up is continue to run like hell, not that that is a bad call. However, this renders your clone useless because it is really obvious which one is you. What I like to in a lot of cases is keep running adn at the same time hold ALT to control my clone and have her run in a different direction or just behind me to take any spells that are shot at me. A lot of times people will waste an exhaust or an ignite on my clone. Obviously every fight is different and this wont always work, but it can be a lot of fun and get people to rage. LeBlanc's clone can block incoming spells and ultimates like Caitlynn's. Here is a fantastic example of a sneaky LeBlanc.
One of the most important factors to consider with this is that while laning and especially in team fights Mirror Image adds a bit of chaos, which can sometimes be the difference between you Distorting away and dying.
Well, your Sigil of Silence is your most basic skill. You will use it to harass in lane, to farm, and on basically in any situation that you need to inflict damage upon an enemy. Once you hit someone with your Sigil it leaves a mark which will be detonated for extra damage and for a silence, with any other skills. MAKE SURE TO DETONATE THIS MARK! Detonating this mark will be the main source of your damage, especially early game and in lane, because of this it is the skill you need to max out first. I try not to use this too much in lane because it can leave you short on mana, but this is your main harassing tool so you need to find that balance between spamming it to keep the your opponent feeling the heat and not running out of mana. If you can find this balance and can combo this with your other spells you'll be able to bully anyone out of lane.
Distortion has virtually limitless uses. This skill will allow you to jump to your target location and deal aoe damage and then you can reactivate Distortion again within 3 seconds to jump back to your last location. However, if you Mimic your Distortion then you can reactivate either one to jump to either location. I tend to max this out second because I like to have a lower cooldown on my primary initiation and escape tool, but hey that's just me. One of the best uses for this is will be to set up your basic combo, so rush at your opponent, hit them with your Sigil of Silence and then either Mimic or Ethereal Chains in order to activate the extra damage on your Sigil, and then reactivate Distortion to make sure they can't retaliate. Basically this will allow you to harass with zero risk, essentially making you a god in lane. Outside of laning, when you need to escape run into a bush then Distort out of it. After that run for a second or two and then just jump back to that bush and contune runing on your marry way. Distortion also makes for a good way to intercept spells that would otherwise kill your teammates--Distorting can be an especially effective way to stop a Caitlyn or Ashe ult. Also, Distortion in combination with flash and your ultimate can make for some hilariously unfair escapes. Here are a few awesome examples of some crazy smart LeBlancs (other than the face checking).
Ethereal Chains is fantastic for chasing and for team fights. I max this last because while it has better damage output than her other skills, it can be difficult to keep people on her chain for the full two seconds and the cooldown doesn't decrease with higher ranks, but maxing out Ethereal Chains second is certainly a valid option. The slow from your chain can be a great way to harass before a team fight or to deter one from occurring by slowing the enemy team's initiation. One of the most important things to know about Ethereal Chains is that it hits for damage twice at both the beginning and end of the chains and both of the beginning and end will trigger the Mark from the Sigil. After you break the 500 AP mark using Ethereal Chains, Mimic, and then Sigil will actually do more damage than your Sigil of Silence and Mimic combo. Please do not use this as your primary damage dealing combo just because it does more damage. It is just important to know that this can be an effective way to kite enemies who are chasing and it will still deal damage. Ethereal Chains is also a fantastic escape mechanism because of it's snare and low cooldown. Here is a great clip of a LeBlanc combining her chains and Distortion for an epic escape.
Mimic is absolutely phenomenal! You can burst people from full health with your Sigil and ult combo. The Distortion into Mimic combo is awesome for escaping, but also for clearing minion waves in the blink of an eye. Ethereal Chains into Mimic is a combo I like to use if I am being pursued by only one melee champion, like Tryndamere or Udyr. This will allow you to slow them and snare them TWICE and if they get too close just Distort away as a backup. You can also Mimic Ethereal Chains in order to snare two pursuers. Your ult has a very short cooldown so I would recommend using it to ensure you get a kill or even to deal extra damage just in case.
The Goal Build
This is the build that I strive for when I play LeBlanc. Most of the time the game is finished before I can complete this build, sometimes long beforehand, but this is the GOAL and generally the order in which I purchase my items. Also throughout the entire game if you have an open item slot and spare gold buy a Sight Ward and/or Health Potion. Wards win games.
When considering starting items I like Doran's Ring because it gives you the health boost and early mana regen, but honestly Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions are better for the sustain in lane. Especially when laning against a champion with great zoning and harassing capabilities like Karthus or Cassiopeia. Doran's Ring can work out well because because when you are getting zoned you can hang back and farm until you are ready to jump in and burst for some damage. The health boost and mana regeneration from the Doran's Ring also really help you stay in lane and maintain your control. However, I've come to prefer the sustain and mobility of Boots of Speed and Health Potions. I would not, however, start with an Amplifying Tome because the extra 5 ability power is not worth more than the benefits of a Doran's Ring.
I try to wait and only go back once I have enough money for a kage's luck pick which costs 765 gold. If you went with the Doran's Ring then you should wait for 1,115 gold for Boots of Speed and kage's luck pick. The Boots of Speed are a must because LeBlanc because she needs the mobility in order to be able to burst. I choose Kage's Lucky Pick because it gives a nice ability power boost and the gold per 10 will help throughout the game because you will be roaming and ganking which, if unsuccessful, can leave you behind in gold (and it is Lucky so that's a nice benefit.)
I try to go back the second time for a Needlessly Large Rod and to upgrade to my Sorcerer's Shoes. This will give you a big jump not only in your damage but also in your movement speed. So have fun roaming and ganking, but make sure not to ignore mid it needs your attention too.
With this sucker you'll be nuking very well. Upgrade the needlessly into your SHINY Rabadon's Deathcap. The Deathcap will give you a massive jump in damage and a 30% increase on your total ability power! Time to NUKE!
You'll need your Void Staff because this is the point where people will decide that they want to be selfish and try to survive. So they start to stack some magic resistance. Your Void Staff will help you to break through their magic resistance and continue to demolish them. All in all, you have to get it at some point because this item is a must for your build, otherwise you wont be able to target tanks (seriously though don't target tanks.)
This decision really all depends on the enemy team because both items will increase your ability to survive and to dish out some more nasty damage. If they are focusing you hardcore and you keep getting caught or your team can't really help keep you safe, I would grab Zhonya's Hourglass. The reason that I would grab this is because not only does it give you more ability power for more damage, but the active of Zhonya's Hourglass is unparalleled. Being able to become untargetable for 2 seconds can save your skin all of the time.
If your enemy team is heavily AD or they have a fed AD carry, I would grab Zhonya's Hourglass yet again because the armor it gives you should help to mitigate some of the damage form AD champs and the active is still phenomenal.
When the enemy team has a scary AP carry or is stacking a ton of magic resistance I would snag an Abyssal Scepter. When you are getting smashed with magic damage the magic resistance from Abyssal Scepter is a no brainer. The extra magic resistance reduction it applies to your enemies with too much magic resistance is a nice bonus to have and it gives you some magic resistance for greater survivability.
Whichever you purchase first, I would then sell your Doran's Ring and grab the other.
For your last item this is completely a personal choice. If you want to have more survivability, then a Rod of Ages is a great choice for the health and extra ability power. However, I, on the extremely rare occasion that my games last this long, tend to opt for a Deathfire Grasp. I recognize that a fair amount of LeBlanc guides will advise grabbing one of these significantly earlier. I opt against this and save it until later because with all of the early game ability power from Rabadon's Deathcap and magic penetration from your Void Staff you shouldn't have any problems massacring champs earlier on. The extra burst form the Deathfire Grasp will really only be necessary later on when tanks have not only stronger resistances, but also have also been stacking health. This is where the Deathfire Grasp active will be a godsend. The active will allow you to completely melt through most anyone, including tanks and those tasty carries.
If, for some reason, the game has gone on long enough for you to complete your build, just grab some elixirs and keep on bursting.
A side note about Elixir of Brilliance is that if you have an extra 250 gold it is ALWAYS a good idea to buy one whether at mid game or late game.
I don't generally pick this item up for two main reasons. I mainly don't run Haunting Guise because it does not scale into late game and I will just end up selling it later on and because LeBlanc's ultimate scales from increased percentage of ability power and this item gives increased magic penetration. However, with that being said this is not a bad item to pick up if you are having a rough early game and are in need of some more bulk and damage output, but I mean we always need more damage output.
This can be a fun item to grab because you can use one of you abilities and then auto attack for a kill against squishy champs. The main reason I usually decide against this is because it is expensive and I dont really want to be in range to auto attack that often so it has minimal uses for the way I play LeBlanc, but you can take out a tower like it's nothing.
Morello's Evil Tome isn't an item I use often because I usually have blue buff so the cooldown reduction isn't worth it to me, but with it's new active ability to apply a grievous wound it could be a good replacement for Ignite.
Rod of Ages provides good ability power, health, and a larger mana pool. All in all this is a fantastic item to snag if you need to get a bit bulkier. I don't incorporate it into my normal build because with LeBlanc's mobility I focus on a hit-and-run high burst damage assault rather than survivability.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter gives great ability power and health. I tend to grab this if I need a bit more crowd control because the extra slow can be very helpful.
I don't get the spellblade specifically because if you are caught out of place and hit with a stun or some other form of hard CC most of the time you are probably done for and that extra 35% reduction isn't going to mean a whole lot.
This item will mean the end of your mana problems for good. I don't grab it because it takes too long for LeBlanc to get the mana stacked up and I try to grab blue whenever it is up so the extra mana regeneration isn't that helpful.
I wouldn't get this item because spell vamp is more useful for bulky AP casters than assassins. You really won't be able to regenerate enough health in order to survive an assault if you are focused so I would leave this item to someone a bit more bulky like Vladimir or Kennen. That being said if you have a teammate who has Will of the Ancients and asks you to get one as well that might be a time to consider building one, but most of the time I would avoid this.
Laning and Ganking
I like to take LeBlanc mid because it is where the other AP casters will be and they tend to be very squishy. If you want to play her as a solo top I will make a special section for that in the future. LeBlanc has a fast auto attack animation so last hitting shouldn't be a problem. LeBlanc herself is not a godly farmer like Anivia or Karthus, but she certainly can farm well with some practice. The trick will be last hitting while watching when your opponent is last hitting in order to harass and/ or zone them.
A great way to farm is to use Distortion on the caster minions when they are at half health to kill them and use your combo on your opponent. Later on one Distortion will kill a whole wave if they are bunched up. Just make sure to last hit and try to avoid pushing your lane unless you plan on ganking another lane or getting Blue Buff. This shouldn't be too difficult as most other AP casters will be able to push a lane faster than you will.
Just remember that after you win your lane, lose your lane, or push your lane to the turret you will need to shift your focus to ganking champions rather than farming for a while. LeBlanc will not be able to outfarm some other mids, like Morgana for instance, but she can and should be getting a lot more kills than her opponent. These kills wont necessarily come from killing your opponent in mid because it is ridiculously easy to gank top or bottom with LeBlanc. The goal is that whenever you can slip away to gank another lane, make sure to do it because helping out your top or bottom lane win their lane can be more important than staying in lane to farm. This ganking is especially important if your jungler is having a hard time in his jungle or is needing to babysit one aprticular lane for a long time.
Positioning is key for any carry and especially LeBlanc. You will be squishy and a huge focus when people see you, but you are also DEADLY. Make sure to stay on the fringes of any fight ethereal chaining anyone who is too mobile in order to help pin them down, Ahri and Vayne are two great examples. Obviously you need to be using your burst combo on the other AP or AD carry in order to silence them and, hopefully, kill them. Jumping towards a fight with distort in order to send out your combo and then jump back is a very effective way to stay out of the fight and to help your team. The main thing about LeBlanc is that she has to be sneaky and very hard to pin down in order to be effective. Make sure you are a slippery son of a gun.
- Help your teammates with escapes (Please, please, please don't ditch your teammates. You can help people escape so easily with your Ethereal Chains.)
- Try to snare your opponents if they are out of position.
- Don't be afraid to distort toward an enemy, unleash your combo, and then reactivate Distortion to jump back. Sometimes this will be enough to force their team to back off or let your team initiate a fight if they decide to recall.
- You Are a Squishy Burster. DO NOT Bite Off More Than You Can Chew. Meaning Please Do Not Try To 1v3.
Mejai's Soulstealer: Do You Stand A Snowball's Chance?
Mejai's Soulstealer... I'm not sure where to begin considering how conflicted I am about this item because it can be such a gamble and I'm not really a gamblin' man. Buying a Mejai's early game is extremely risky if you do not get kills because it sets you back in your AP severely, but if you get kills with Mejai's it will let you steamroll the other team.
I personally think that Mejai's is best utilized on support characters because you can get a lot of assists without too much risk of loosing stacks. For LeBlanc I usually do not get Mejai's Soulstealer unless I already have at least a Needlessly Large Rod and am dominating. When I say dominating I mean that I am getting kills without dying. This seems like an obvious statement, but if you get kills only to die t really is not worth buying a Mejai's because you will benefit more from the ability power that a Rabadon's Deathcap gives you. I also never like to buy Mejai's until mid-game because LeBlanc excels in the smaller skirmishes that breakout mid game rather than the all out team fights later on.
All in all, LeBlanc can be a snowball champion and Mejai's does accentuate this aspect of her, but I only buy Mejai's when I am absolutely dominating. More often than not I don't need Mejai's to dominate. With this guide hopefully the same will hold true for you.
I really appreciate you taking the time to read through all of this (I know it is kind of long.) If this has helped you out with your LeBlanc game please feel free to give it a like and I would really appreciate comments, especially any that will help me improve the guide. I promise I will try to answer them in a timely manner.
I want to make sure that I give a special thanks to jhoijhoi for her fantastic guide to making a guide and to NinjaGinge for helping me with my guide. If you are looking to make a guide or to learn how to play Twitch look no further because here are links to their awesome guides.
Making A Guide by Jhoijhoi
The Rat Reevaluated (Extensive PvP Guide) by NinjaGinge
Leblanc - Patience, summoner.
A New Glance at LeBlanc
[S3] Ranked Leblanc, a Deadly way out of ELO Hell
Leblanc The Deceiver - Looks can be deceiving.