Alistar Build Guide by Yururu
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This Cow ain't Going Down (Top
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.
This cow ain't for support, people.
As my first guide, I'd like to present the uses of the milk maker on top lane - mostly solo. With a kinda weak start on early game, a passive-farming method is required to do not be overwhelmed by your enemy.
As mid game starts, you'll move around more freely (take your enemy at top lane on without fear), with the Warmog finished, and might even want to gank mid - if there's something your enemies don't want, is both a jungler and a knock-upping, stunning freaking cow ganking at the same time. That's why there's so much guides about Alistar jungling, right?
With this one, you might be sad, as you won't be stealing enemy buffs or ganking that much, but it's a possible way of playing Alistar, and sometimes, there's more to it than people think.
I'd appreciate critics on the subject, but please refrain being destructive. It won't add up anything to my knowledge in my first guide, and I might - probably - tend to ignore it.
I filled up the notes of items, etc, so it wouldn't be needed to many chapters down the guide, so enjoy it.
Pros / Cons
Alistar top lane AP, as any champ, has it pos/cons.
. Gliphs don't focus Magic Res., so it might not be the best idea to jump on that Fiddlesticks without some back up at the ready.
. Weak on early game - might depend on the jungler's help at that phase.
. Difficulty farming at early - without AP, your passive ain't killing no minions.
. Mana Hungry as hell, and without Mana Regeneration items, you won't have a good time if you keep on spamming your abilities too often.
. Mid game nightmare. The bull has the advantage of being in lane farming, not either on the jungle or as a support, and being so, it has more levels and gold - which means, items build faster - when ganking.
. Surprise effect - people won't count on the damage you can do: at the end of the build, only your passive'll deal 46 AP damage/second during 3 seconds after you've cast a skill.
This mean 138 AP area damage dealt to enemy champions AND structures every time you've cast a skill during 3 seconds - double it against minions - plus your Sunfire(40 damage/second - always running). In the end, your passive'll deal:
> 138 damage through 3 seconds against structures nearby after casting a skill;
> 258 damage through 3 seconds against enemy champions nearby after casting a skill (and Sunfire's 40/second keeps on going);
> 396 damage through 3 seconds against minions nearby after casting a skill (and Sunfire's 40/second keeps on going)
Individually, it might not seem like much. But add to that the fact that your abilities don't have large CD (+ Ionian boots? What about it?), Sunfire will keep on dealing damage after your passive's up, your abilities themselves deal much bigger amounts of damage (+ Lichbane? What about it?) and they also knock-up/stun/throw the enemy.
> 345 damage every Q
> 422 damage every W
> 222 heal to yourself and 111 to nearby allies every E
(At the end of the build, being level 18)
. Late game TF starting machine - with your ult and area damage p/second, nobody'll hold'ya.
From the start, Ruby for survival at the beginning. (if needed, might be put it aside for Boot+3 pots). Boots and Sapphire for mobility and Mana. Wards are optional, only if you're having such a hard time, or can't control yourself while carrying the lane. Health pots are a must at early game. Then, you can finish either Ionian's or Mobility boots, as you see fit, and with the Sheen, you'll start dealing AP damage.
Giant's Belt for survival, followed by Lichbane to finally deal a good amount of AP damage. Knock your enemy up or drive him over a bit if you want: for random poking, or just for the fun that it is seeing your co*k-blocked enemy be thrown away through the lane. With the Warmog done, the risky phase is finally over: jump on'em all you want; Only be careful at going solo: your damage is still not high.
At this phase, you'll need to start building your Sunfire: it's an essential item to build up your passive's damage. You might follow this build, or do as I wrote in the item's purchase order's notes: sell up that Ruby and instead of making a Liandry's, try making a Rabadon. It's more expensive and won't grant you more HP, but a hell lot of AP will come from that sh*t; Building up all the damage shown at the "Pros/Cons" chapter.
Only ending the build. If your Sunfire ain't done by now, you haven't been listening me, huh. Homeguard or Captain the s**t outta your shoes and end it all up with Rylai's to slow'em up. Rylai's slow is great for Alistar, as it continues to slow cause of its passive's damage. You'll be just as annoying as a f**king Ashe with'em slows, and will even get half a Warmog's worth of HP from it! Yay!
Some of you might ask why the missing Flash. I'll tell you what: it doesn't help that much Alistar. Ok, it's great to go through walls, but Alistar can basically do that if he sees an enemy/minion(including Neutrals), only by using his W.
For the sake of headbutting, Ghost is much better (also, it's best to run when low health, specially after headbutting some annoying enemy away), as it has a significant slower CD time.
From mid game on, your TP will be great to gank both bot and mid (ask your teammates/jungler to buy some wards, so the memory of your random appearance from a bush - headbutting, of course - follows your enemy to the grave). Also important when split-pushing on late game.
On early game, it'll be obviously hard to farm, as there's almost none AD, and the AP items are only finished (or even made) at mid-late game. The best tip on the subject is to play it safe, beware of the enemie's jungler (some wards would do you good on the subject if the said jungler is constantly harassing you) and saying so, do not pushing the lane too far at early game.
If the enemy jumps at you, or is playing aggressively, let him know you won't fall for it: W and Q the s**t out of'em. If the aggression keeps on being constant, getting some health/mana potions before finishing Sheen's a nice idea.
In mid game and on, everything'll turn out to be better, as you'll have AP and your passive - which activates after you use any of your skills (plus Lichbane, how about it?). It is also better to leave the passive farming-only way of playing only at this time, as only after it you'll have consistent amounts of AP, HP and mana.
From lvl 9 and on, after a good lot of farming, you might go a bit aggressive on your enemy - farming normally, and then randomly W > Q him, or call for your jungler to end him for good (Q + W and let the jungler finish him off).
Try to benefit as much as possible from the advantage that most people only see Alistar as a support-tank kind of champion - you might even want to go aggressive on your enemy when mid game starts.