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Leona Build Guide by ZephyrWestWind

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ZephyrWestWind

AD Bruiser Leona Top: Why and How

ZephyrWestWind Last updated on January 30, 2015
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Why are you trolling?

You'll get this a lot when you try to play Leona top, especially with this build. Luckily, if you're good enough, then you can shut them up with a smug grin on your face. Just don't harass them about it. That's not cool.

I will cover more of Leona's strengths in the next chapter.

My summoner name is Amaroq if you ever want to look me up.

EDIT: I have transferred to LAN. My summoner name is WolfODonnell


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Pros / Cons

Pros:

- Destroys almost any melee champion in lane
- Enemies cannot trade with you at level 1
- Tons of early damage from minions with Shield of Daybreak
- Ability to follow up any favorable trade with Zenith Blade
- Tons of free tankiness from Runes/Masteries and Eclipse
- Assists jungle ganks very well
- Can shut down enemy laners quite hard
- Amazing late game damage, CC, and peel
- Can be built a variety of different ways
- Can fill a large variety of team niches
- Carries games against squishy teams like nobody's business
- Enemies don't expect it

Cons:

- No defensive mobility
- Hard to last hit under tower
- No reliable waveclear
- Can't proc Sunlight (although you usually dont need to)
- Needs items to be effective
- Gets shut down by ranged laners
- Mana issues if you are forced to use abilities often
- Can accidentally engage when securing last hits with Zenith Blade (You'd be surprised at
how often this happens)
- If you lose, you will probably get blamed regardless of how you did


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Summoner Spells



My favorite two summoner spells for Leona are Ghost and Ignite, simply because they help you chase down enemies after they flash and win those close duels in the early game (trust me, they will be close).



Flash is another great option, and the choice between it and Ghost is mere preference. It all depends on if you are trying to win short duels early and be an engager late, or if you want to be able to beat up on an enemy and chase them halfway down the lane. It may be more beneficial to take Flash against heavy displacement champions like Alistar or Janna, but I personally prefer Ghost in most situations.



This spell has its uses, but doesn't help you much in lane unless you have to go back every few minutes. I would take it if you are already confident in you ability to hold your lane and would like to try to snowball bot lane. You might have trouble, so if you take Teleport, I recommend you couple it with Flash to help those ganks net your team kills.

With the relatively recent changes to this spell reducing the cooldown if cast on a turret, this spell has become a much more useful option against tough lane opponents. I'd take it any time you think you won't be able to all-in your opponent.

I honestly don't see any reason to pick a spell that isn't one of these four on Leona.


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Ability Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Shield of Daybreak(Q)
This is one of the reasons people hate playing against Leona, but it's also her bread-and-butter damage ability in the top lane. The thing is, Leona does most of her damage with autoattacks, hence the Blade of the Ruined King rush. That's what makes this ability so useful. It resets her autoattack timer and also counts as one. This lets her proc Blade of the Ruined King 3 times and Sheen once whenever the ability is off cooldown (AA-> Shield of Daybreak->AA). I take it at level 1 to punish melees for harassing, but I usually max it second because I usually get a Sheen around this time, so it all works out.

Eclipse (W)
Oh god, Eclipse. It makes Leona so irritating to lane against no matter where she goes, because as soon as it's up, you know ****'s about to go down. It gives Leona a ton of armor and magic resist, allowing her to tank through a ton of damage. It is especially useful in early trades to minimize minion damage and to deal decent burst. Don't forget that if the light bubble pops on any enemy, then you get to keep the resistances a little longer. I max this ability first for damage and safety.

Zenith Blade (E)
This ability is what gives Leona her identity. It lets her engage, peel, and dash around (with enough CDR). The downside to it is that missing it usually leaves you somewhat useless until it's back up. You can try taking Flash to get around this every 5 minutes, but I prefer Ghost to help stick to targets (See Summoner Spells). I max it last simply because I like to prioritize damage output over a minor increase in utility uptime. It isn't uncommon to be able to kill a target without using Zenith Blade more than once, especially in teamfights.

Solar Flare (R)
There isn't much to say about this ability. It stuns in the center and slows all around. You can use it to engage, or to lock down opponents after you jump on them with Zenith Blade. You can also peel for your carry from a distance while you fight off someone else if that's the role you are filling in that fight.


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Runes/Masteries

You can read these above. I don't see much of a reason to go over them in detail. They just provide a good balance of tankiness and early damage.

IF ANYONE ACTUALLY CARES ENOUGH TO WANT ME TO ELABORATE, I WILL


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Items and Build Paths

SOMETHING TO NOTE ABOUT THE BUILD PATHS AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE
Yes, I know they are very similar, but you buy the items at different intervals. I may need to do some revising to the paths. I will see.


Ravenous Hydra A lot of the time people will ask me "Where is your Hydra?" when I play Bruiser Leona. The reason for this is that I spend a lot of time roaming around assisting my allies with ganks or assassinating targets in their own jungle. If I spent more time split pushing, I would buy this item more often, as it helps with Leona's waveclear. The thing is, it's not a huge improvement because maxed Eclipse plus Sunfire Cape already gives enough AOE to burst waves down. I usually buy it just for fun in games where I'm already really far ahead and the enemies are too on tilt not to cluster.

Blade of the Ruined King This item is the heart of Bruiser Leona. More autos = more damage. You can also use it to peel for your carry or chase someone down. When building towards this, you usually get Bilgewater Cutlass around level 6 and can force an all-in with very unexpected burst damage.

Trinity Force Oh Phreak, as tired as I am of hearing people talk about you building Trinity Forces and doing Tons of Damage, that's exactly what this item does. It gives Leona everything she needs to kill, survive, and peel. She benefits from both damage types, the speed helps her stick to fleeing enemies, and the Spellblade passive helps a lot in the damage department. When building toward this item, get Sheen first to boost your mid-game damage, as the laning phase will likely be concluding around this time. AA -> Shield of Daybreak -> AA does a lot of burst damage with this item. Then, get Phage to help you stick to targets. You should already have enough attack speed from Blade of the Ruined King to do without the Zeal for a few minutes.

Randuin's Omen This item helps Leona's survivability and peeling potential immensely. The massive boost to both armor and health helps her stay in a fight much longer, especially when coupled with Cold Steel. Using the item's active is also a great way to keep enemies from killing your carries...
...or getting away from you! It is definitely worth getting as a 3rd or 4th major item.

Sunfire Cape This should be a no-brainer. Leona's CC allows her to stay in melee range of enemies for a long time, allowing her to take advantage of this item's passive, while the armor provided boosts the power of Eclipse. This item gives Leona way too much to pass up. I would build it 3rd or 4th depending on the situation.

Thornmail What can I even say about this item? 100 armor becomes 120 armor with Eclipse, and you get an amazing passive ability that makes the enemy carries slowly kill themselves. If you have ever played as a carry against a champion with 400 armor and a Thornmail, you have experienced at least the 6th circle of Hell.

BOOTS
I would never take any type of boots besides Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads

This is usually the type of boots i would take, since you want to be diving onto the backline and most teams build heavy AD nowadays.

Unfortunately, Ninja Tabi isn't always a realistic purchase. Sometimes you really need the MR and tenacity from Mercury's Treads. This is usually what you'll be forced to build against a heavy magic damage lane opponent. It's not ideal, but the tenacity and MR can really help against many team compositions.


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Randuin's Omen or Sunfire Cape?

¿por qué no los dos?

The real question is which to get first. Let's look at the benefits of each item:

Randuin's Omen
+500 health
+70 armor
UNIQUE PASSIVE – COLD STEEL: When hit by basic attacks, reduces the attacker's attack speed by 15% and movement speed by 10% for 1 second.
UNIQUE ACTIVE: Slows the movement speed of nearby enemy units by 35% for 2 (+ 0.5% armor) (+ 0.5% magic resistance) seconds. 60 second cooldown (500 Range).

This item gives Leona SOOOOOO much more power for Eclipse. The additional armor scales up
quite nicely, and in turn, scales up the active effect of the item. Try to activate Eclipse before using Randuin's Omen for maximum effectiveness. If you think you can remember to pull this off, and you have enough gold income to afford to buy this expensive item 3rd, then go ahead.

Sunfire Cape
+450 health
+45 armor
UNIQUE PASSIVE: Deals 25 + (1 x level) magic damage per second to nearby enemies (400 range).

This item basically gives the same stats as Randuin's Omen, just with lower numbers for a slightly more affordable price. It is also able to build out of a Chain Vest, which may be worth picking up at certain points in the game when large items aren't realistic. This is usually what you'll build when you are behind and had to buy a Chain Vest for survivability.


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Laning

This is the most boring part of playing Leona. Her laning phase is pretty lackluster compared to most other top lane champions. The good news is that boring != bad.

GOAL
Your goal as a top lane Leona is mainly to farm. You scale very well into late game with the amount of CC and damage you will provide for your team.
HOWEVER: Leona has very good trading potential at level 1 due to her stun. This means that if any of those pesky melee laners autoattack you at level 1, you can slap them with Shield of Daybreak and watch as they lose half their health to minions. This usually gives you a great opportunity to all-in them at level 3 if they don't regain enough health by then.

Ganks
This is where it gets really interesting. Leona has the ability to assist junglers in ganks very easily due to the amount of CC she has and the bonus damage from Sunlight. The bonus damage from her passive is usually forgotten about by the enemy laner because Leona cannot activate it without another champion, so they get pretty surprised when they suddenly take way more damage than they were expecting. Just don't miss your Zenith Blade!


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Ability Usage/Tricks/Combos

Early Game:
Leona's levels 1-3 are incredibly strong against melee champions. If you can bait them into attacking you in your minion wave without hitting them in theirs, then you can use Shield of Daybreak for insane minion damage.

At level 2 and beyond, trades don't end until you say they end. If they make the same mistake that I mentioned above, then you can use Zenith Blade to follow up for a lot more damage thanks to the immobilization and your strong autoattacks. It is usually not that hard to get first blood at level 2 using this strategy + Ignite and Ghost. Just make sure the third wave of minions has not arrived yet (marked by a siege minion), otherwise you may find yourself getting killed by them.

At level 3, you have another power spike by leveling up Eclipse. This ability allows you to essentially win every trade as long as you have mana. It even lets you go in for some riskier trades in minion waves.

Level 6 is when you have access to Solar Flare for the first time. At this point, you should almost never be scared of a tower dive. It is really easy to outplay someone who thinks they can kill you because you are low, simply by stunlocking them as soon as they hit you under the tower.
At this point, you can also force all-ins whenever you see fit (especially since you will have Bilgewater Cutlass at this point). Use this to your advantage if you got ahead early. Once you've gained a lead as Leona, it's pretty hard to lose it.

Mid Game
I love playing mid game as Leona. At this point, you can roam with your team to pick up objectives, and as long as your team didn't pick the worst teamfighting champions, you can win those easily too. Leona's CC and damage give her great objective control, simply because nobody wants to come near her. If they do, however, make sure to remind them not to Stand so Close to [you] by using your Zenith Blade and then slapping them with everything you have. Just make sure you don't engage without your team around to follow up.

Late Game:
A full build Leona is REALLY scary, especially if you had the opportunity to use one of the armor-heavy build paths. She does a lot of damage, can't be run from, and is very hard to peel off a carry.


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Matchups

IF THERE IS A MATCHUP YOU WANT ME TO COVER, TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS AND I WILL DO IT

Difficulty: EASY This is one of the easiest lanes for Leona. Expect to come out of this lane with an advantage of a couple kills and about 20 CS at least. This doesn't apply if you get camped to death. Most players will try to fight you at levels 1 and 2, which is where Leona's trading potential outshines most other champions. just can't do **** to you unless something goes horribly wrong. Expect to win this game because his team will be too busy yelling at for losing to to not suck.


Difficulty: HARD This is the dumbest thing ever. You try to farm? You lose half your health. You try to follow up on a gank? You're already too low. You try to last hit under tower? He pokes and blinds you so you slowly die without getting anything. This lane is completely ridiculous. Your only hope is to all-in him before you lose to much health, but you'll probably lose because of Blinding Dart. To make it worse, you can't stun him in your minion wave unless he walks right up to you, which will never happen unless you are in Bronze V. Just buy a Hexdrinker and try not to feed.


Difficulty Impossible This matchup is worse than the one with Teemo. He can push you in and set up turrets, preventing you from engaging. He pokes you with autos and Hextech Micro-Rockets, and all you can do is dodge. That is still not very effective. I suggest starting off with a Null-Magic Mantle, but you're still going to have a hard time. If your jungler comes to gank and you **** anything up, Heimy gets a double. The best thing about this matchup is that it's pretty rare.