Leona Build Guide by Armani_model
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I wanted to publish a decent build for AD Leona, since I could not find one on Mobafire. Most dismiss AD Leona as a troll build, but I want to show that she is actually viable as an AD carry assassin/bruiser. I will add more thoughts after I play some ranked games with her.
Although she doesn't have any AD scaling skills, I build Leona AD because her AP scalingn is awful. She does decent attack damage this way, and after including the base AP burst damage from her skills, the overall result is good, sustained damage. Leona is incredibly fun to play as an AD bruiser/carry.
Short and Sweet: This build gives her damage and also some tankiness, which, combined with her shield and stuns, makes her the sexiest AD carry shutdown champion.
Why should you pick AD Leona?
Her laning phase is not bad. As long as you have your shield and stun, it's easy to harass, and back off before your shield is gone. Focus on last hitting in top, because Leona does not have much damage after level 6 - she has surprising burst from her abilities at this point - until she gets Blade of the Ruined King. In the jungle, gank as much as possible, because her ganks are much stronger than her clears. This build maxes CDR to optimize stun time. Play to Leona's strengths - her ability to pull off a gank is insane due to her stuns and passive. When playing top, vision ward the bushes and tell your jungler to gank often.
She's also useful in team-fights because her Eclipse can afflict a lot of enemy champions with Sunlight, she can soak up a lot of damage, her stun interrupts channeling champions (like Master Yi), and she can keep the enemy carry locked down with stuns and slows.
Her damage isn't amazing, but it doesn't matter as much because of the low defences of her ideal prey: carries. In duels with other bruisers, she makes up for her damage with superior bulk and a stun every 4-5 seconds. AD Leona is worth the top lane farm because she can destroy the enemy AD carry after getting a little fed. She does not have a reliable escape, but there are two options: Flash and Zenith Blade is an escape depending on the situation, ie. when you are being sandwiched, or run the other way and juke back with Zenith Blade followed by Shield of Daybreak.
AD Leona brings her own unique set of benefits to a team, just like any other AD bruiser. She's tanky, but she can't be ignored because of the damage she can deal to carries. Her stuns, slow, immobilizing gap-closer, and Sunlight set her apart from the others.
TL;DR This build is too fun, so go try it.
Pros / Cons
+ // Can kill AD carries good
+ // Good in late-game duels
+ // Gap closer with Zenith Blade
+ // Good defensive stats and survivability for a bruiser
+ // Great team fight utility
- // No AD scaling abilities
- // 100% melee, so relatively easy to counter or kite
- // Hard to master skill-shots
- // Needs farm to fulfill her role well
- // No reliable escape
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Mark of Attack Damage/ Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Attack Damage is necessary for Leona to last hit minions.
Armor Penetration helps Leona clear jungle faster and deal more damage during ganks
Greater Seal of Armor
Great for early game tankiness. This will allow you to absorb more blows from the enemy laner and jungle creeps.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
This makes Leona even tankier against AP champions late game.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Leona has below average movement speed, so these address that problem.
These runes are just my suggestions for a balanced rune set. You can go with runes that suit your play style, such as getting more AD with Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage if you need more help with last hitting or trading. Gold generation from Greater Seal of Gold and Greater Quintessence of Gold is another decent option combined with Greed , although it hurts your early game in exchange for late game benefits.
21-9 is pretty standard for a melee damage-dealing champion for a good reason. With these masteries, Leona will do the most damage and gain some extra tankiness.
You can also get mana regen support masteries instead of armour, since Leona runs out of mana often during her early game, especially during ganks, when she needs it most.
See Recommended Masteries for Top Lane
This is a bruiser with mana mastery set that gives some damage, good defensive bonuses, and mana regen. I prefer this set over the little extra damage provided by the first set because it benefits Leona both early and late game with mana regen for the laning phase, and extra health and cc resistance for fights.
See Recommended Masteries for Jungle
4-5-21 is the preferred set when jungling Leona. CDR and gold.
Flash is a great escape tool for Leona, since she does not have one in her skill set. Flash can also be used to dodge or chase - it's just a great spell in general. I take it over ghost, since you can go over walls.
When you're fighting an enemy AD champion, exhaust will allow you to completely demolish them even more. The slow from exhaust is also useful to prevent enemy ADC's from escaping.
Teleport, Ghost, and Ignite can be very useful too. Teleport helps you defend towers, push, and join team fights. Ghost gives you movement speed to chase and pull off another stun or two. Ignite may help secure a few kills you normally would not have gotten; ignite the AD carry so he doesn't heal as much from auto-attacks.
Leona's skills are pretty easy to learn how to use, but you need to practice in order to get the timings and aiming right for her skill-shots. Although they all do Ability Power damage, they don't scale well, so their crowd control effects are what makes them shine for AD Leona. Also, the base AP damage is nothing to laugh at, even without any AP items.
Sunlight is what makes Leona a great ganker and receiver of ganks. It's useful in team fights if she can hit a few champions when her shield breaks, and for teammates to follow up when she focuses the enemy carry.
Shield of Daybreak is amazing for AD Leona. A stunned champion will give Leona a few extra hits, and they will be prevented from getting into position in teamfights. In top lane, you can harass by running up, using Shield of Daybreak, activating Eclipse, and auto-attacking. If they don't back off, they'll lose the exchange. This makes her extremely dangerous in a one on one situation, and allows her to survive tower dives well. During ganks, Shield of Daybreak as your jungler comes in. If the enemy flashes or uses an escape, chase with [Zenith Blade], and activate Eclipse, which can save you if you decide to turret dive. When ganking, use it to follow up on Zenith Blade, or initiate with it if you can get close enough, since you can't miss. Channeling champions such as Nunu can also be disabled with Shield of Daybreak.
Eclipse is why Leona is tougher than your final exams after skipping every class. 6 seconds is a lot of time for a lot of extra armor and magic resist. Use this to be aggressive early game and deny your opponent of their creep kills. Activating it as a feint can also make your opponent back off. Another use for Eclipse if farming minions; it takes out around half the health of a melee creep when maxed, and does about your auto-attack's damage at level 1. Don't spam skills during this early game phase though, because you can run out of mana quickly. During team fights, time Eclipse to soak up magic damage, because this build does not give her magic resist until late-game.
Zenith Blade is the bread and butter for AD Leona. It enables her to chase, immobilize, and initiate. It's a relatively slow skill-shot, and the hit-box is small, so it takes practice to master it. The immobilization also helps your allies to finish off the target without taking anymore damage. Remember: aim slight ahead of where your target is headed, or try to predict which direction they will go, and you can go over walls with a well-aimed Zenith Blade.
Solar Flare is very nice for catching people out and locking down carries. It is a little hard to aim though, so practice. You can also use it during a 1v1 or 1v2 to help you win or escape. When it's maxed, the cool down is low enough for you to spam it like Lux's Final Spark if can manage to catch anyone out. The range is ridiculous, so you can catch enemies out if they even get slightly close to you. Try to predict when an enemy will come closer to poke, etc.
Eclipse scales better in usefulness, since the strength of the shield is boosted each level. The other two skills only have their cooldowns decreased. You can max q or e first, depending on whether you want to duel better or gank better.
Both builds give balanced damage and defensive stats, which helps Leona carry out her role of locking down the enemy carries.
Top build order
Start with Doran's Blade or Doran's Shield for the last hitting or sustain. When you back, get Boots of Speed, Health Potions, and a Vision Ward or two. Try to keep a few potions in your inventories at any given time during early game.
Jungle build order
Start with Hunter's Machete and 5 Health Potions for jungle clearing and sustain. When you back, get Spirit Stone and Boots of Speed if you can, spending the rest of your gold on Health Potions. Get some Sight Wards instead of boots if the enemy jungler is counter-jungling a lot.
Start with wolves, then blue. Then Wraiths, wolves again, and red. Now that you have all three abilities, gank without fear of counter ganks, because you can tank them pretty well. If you plan on counter-jungling in the beginning of the game, start with Shield of Daybreak instead of Eclipse. Get Zenith Blade at level 2 and go for a level 2 gank. If you get counter-jungled, use Eclipse and Shield of Daybreak to stall until your teammates get there or to escape. Don't hang around the jungle with low health when you don't know where the enemy jungler is. Keep can eye on the minimap at all times.
Too lazy to write this section. Might do it later though. Just use your common sense - Leona is bad against peelers who can keep her off the carry and out of melee range, like Alistar. She is also bad against kiters like Ashe, although a good Zenith Blade can fix that problem. It is also difficult to play against champions that have dodges/escapes or silences, like Vayne and Kassadin. At the worst though, you'll be able to keep the carry focused on you and not the teamfight.