Alistar Build Guide by Shinsoo
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.
This guide will turn your Alistar into a MonSTAR before you can finish drinking your glass of milk. Alistar is a very well made hero. He is used at all levels of play from the very lowest to the international professional matches. This bull knows no bounds . Nerfs on ap alistar has forced us to evolve. And evolve we did :).
This guide will have you rich ,tanky and active making you ultimately the best alistar you can be.
When the game starts you will be making 3g every 10 seconds(quints) 1g every 10 seconds(greed) and 5g every 10 seconds from philosphers stone and another 5 every 10 seconds from heart of gold. Thats 3+1+5+5= 14 extra gold every 10 seconds not including your usual gold per minute ,kill gold and creep gold.
Another big nerf was riot making it so you cannot stack 2 of the same passive gold making items. But we evolved once again ! I promise even if you are having an unlucky game you will have lots of items.
If you would like to be more aggressive feel free to squeeze in avarice and trinity force. Personally I dont recommend it but if your playstyle can utilize it when be my guest.
Guardian's angel is also choice as well.
Best part about this guide is not only will you feel and be a rich tank but you will look the part too. 3 items effects - sunfure,guardian angel and banshees will all have you looking like a pimped out tank.
Why do I want to look shiny? Well other than the fact you will look cool. You want your opponents to acknowledge your presence as a tank and think of you as a priority very quickly. These items offer great defense and perform this task. You want your opponents to go "look its alistar run, im scared ,i made a mistake." or " damn that guy is fed, focus him please." Either way you win.
The utility tree offers lots of great talents that support alistar. First of all Alistar is a very active hero. The summoner spell cooldown reduction makes sure that you can initiate and pwn with ease.
Important notes :
Expanded mind + Strength of spirit + sapphire makes laning feel very smooth.
Flash+Ghost - Utility tree empowers both these lovely summoner spells. You might be thinking why would you need both, are you that much of a coward? Actually its quite the reverse . We use these skills for Solid initiation and manuveuring around the fight! Or to run away when Unbreakable will goes down lol.
Greed adds to this already economically fit guide all too well.
For a while I was pretty into MS quints ali or even hp quints. However I have found that this hero is so well made that once leveled correctly all you need to do is keep his gold up and the hero works even better than needed.
Gold quints keep you rich which you roam,gank and tank your way to victory! Allowing you to leave most of the farm for your buddy yet you somehow stay richer than him. Its normally funny when I do this build in games and everyone is amazed how is alistar so PAID. We must of killed him at least 4 times already when he dived us for kills!
Defensive glyphs and seals are basically a must. Alistar's ult does prove great naturally tanking ability but between those intervals your just as squishy as the rest especially since this guide encourages you get your gold items early on. Once you have speced the suggested talents and runes early aggressive gameplay can be easily achieved as you mitigate much of their damage along with your stuns and heal to keep you alive through the rest.
Initial Item choice explanation.
Basically you start with sapphire for several reasons. 1st of course mana. Secondly this along with expanded mind(5%+ base mana talent) gives you more than mana control to start with. And thirdly your hero if speced as I have suggest wont need a doran's item for hp at the start giving the fact your alistar with lots of armor/magic resist for mitigation. A spamable heal which sapphire will give you lots of mana for and Strength of spirit which increases your champions health regen based on ur maximum mana which is pretty sweet to start because of this guide :).
And the hp pots are of course just for good measure.
Laning alistar with this build should be easy at any level of gameplay. Your mana/hp regen will be more than adequate along with your extra armor/magic resist from runes and talents.
So with this in mind especially against a double melee lane feel free to let go an early pulverize on your 2 opponents your the back caster creeps for gold just to say HELLO I AM LARGE AND IN CHARGE.
Alistar is also a hero known for his deadly cc combos I will discuss this in detail in the next chapter. Lets focus on laning for now.
Feel free heal push a bit if necessary.
Another fun trick I have found is using headbutt on a squishy/lonely/defenseless champion when they are next to the ranged creeps. You can then chain pulverize on the creeps or second champion to farm/ do damage. This looks pretty cool when done properly , using your opponent to slingshot you is always funny.
When doing this or any of alistar's moves in lane/farming. Keep in mind sometimes it is better
not to cast spells too quickly after each other. Why? Because of trample. Alistar's passive activates every time he does an ability doing magic damage around him for about 2-3 seconds. If you time your spells on the creeps you can squeeze every extra bit of damage out every ability if you make sure to wait a couple seconds between each spells. This is subconscious knowledge for any great alistar player.
Other than the mentioned tips. Feel free to roam for ganks. Flash+ghost should make initation even easier.
If your lane is under control or your life/mana is very low feel free to head home ESPECIALLY if you have enough gold to finish once of the golden items such as philospher stone or shell. In the past I sometimes used kage blade or even avarice however i promise if you play this correct you make gold so fast that its actually a burden having the third slot filled as you quickly fill it up with an item from ur final build.
Some Alistar combos
Combo one - headbutt then pulverize( no chain )
Combo two - headbutt pulverize with chain (instant pulverize making sure he is not pushed away by headbutt keeping him cced in place)
Combo three - push into wall and pulverize
Combo four - Pulverize + headbutt towards team ( my personalfavorite, works well with flash. Make sure your facing to necessary direction towards your team mates to push your enemy to them.
Summoner spells and ganking
Your judgement will be required but I will let you know normally what my choices are and the factors within that choice.
If fast paced situation, need to assist in gank quickly - use flash.
Good chance situation is about to be very sticky - use ghost and save flash only for kill or get away.
Opponents easily gankable- use ghost
Middle ganks normally you will need to flash initiate against any decent mid solo. Or a well placed pulverize can allow you to save your summoner spells however I wouldn't leave it to chance.
Not only do both spells work well with your combos but ghost is great for allowing you to stay next to your opponent as your trample passive deals extra damage to them.
Item builds and preferences
First I want to discuss the type of boots. Feel free to go mercury however this build makes the extra resist a waste. Boots of mobility is also fun but with enhanced ghost/utilityms/presence of mind , flash , shurelyas and triforce(if u went offbuild) . Its not necessary. I normally use cooldown boots because I love headbutt and constantly using it to do my bidding.
Gold per 10 items. From early on you need to secure your philopher's and heart of gold. Like I said in the past I went over the top with kage's or avarice but i quickly found myself running out of space and going for bigger better items. Also some thing huge to note is there will be a small awkward period between the point when u your gold per 10 items and when your opponent has sheen or other burst items. You will quickly be up to scale again soon but its the same logic behind having a bit too much dorans . In this awkward 5 mins where you are mostly about to buy your belt. Summoner spells and your ultimate are your best friend.
Once you have sunfire the little farmings u may do becomes even easier. And the other items come faster.
Important - Unless you or your team desperately needs you to finish one of your gold/10 items DO NOT FINISH THEM UNTIL YOUR OTHER 3 SLOTS ARE FILLED OUT WITH FINAL BUILD ITEMS. You will slow down your self on several levels by breaking this rule. Let the items do the work for you and keep you rich as long as possible. This is a big mistake players make and thats upgrading their gold per 10 items too early.
The item build order is mentioned above and in summary
Late game items + gameplay
Many items in the build give you lots of cooldown reduction so your ability to constantly use your spells will be a huge asset.
Alistar does looks effectiveness as the game progresses regardless of how much money this guide makes you. Thats why its also a double plus that 2 of your items are activatable. Making sure late game fights swing in your favor.
Randuin's Omen : This item works great with your additional armor and resist from talents,runes,sunfire and guardian. Works great in ganks and group fights
"Slows movement speeds and attack speeds of surrounding units by 35% for 2 seconds + 0.5 seconds for each 100 Armor and Magic Resist. 60 second cooldown."
Shurelya's is also great for chases and get aways. Active: Nearby champions gain 40% movement speed for 3 seconds (60 second cooldown)
Many old alistars build frozen heart but I am not a fan. If you really feel its needed feel free to try it as well.
Summary aka TL;DR version
3 gold quints + defensive runes
Follow the talent tree it will make laning ,roaming,ganking and farming easy.
items: sapphire+hp pots,philospher stone,boots,heart of gold, belt -> sunfire, upgrade boots , banshees,guardians,omen shield then shurelyas or
Sapphire works well with said talents until it is turned into banshees veil after sunfire.
Omens provies epic late game defence and activable.
Shurelya's great for chases and get aways.
High cooldown,tank and utility make you a bull that cannot be ignored.
Gold per 10 will quickly snowball you whether your having a great or tough game.