Alistar Build Guide by Herkkuparila
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What to get afterwards
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.
Hello, Herkkuparila coming at you with a new guide for my main support champion, Alistar! Alistar is the damn CC king of bot lane who also has insane tankiness with Unbreakable Will and some nice sustain with Triumphant Roar.
It would seem to be a theme in my guides but I find Alistar to be under appreciated and under played, but I have come here to show you why playing Alistar is awesome and to prove wrong all those doubts about him.
The preseason for season 4 defines supports as secondary mages or secondary tanks, but I say screw that we will play Alistar as a team benefitting aura support by items but still being that secondary tank with our ultimate and some of the optional items.
+ Strong CC from early levels and strong peeling
+ Unbreakable Will gives potent damage reduction and is a CC breaker
+ Triumphant Roar makes a good sustain skill when laning
+ Incredible utility for the team
- Mana hungry and long cooldowns
- Limited escapes even with Unbreakable Will
- Requires a lot of skill in order to become useful
- Has awesome passive of unbeliveable uselessness
- Easily kited to death
To further expand your reign over the rift you must show the enemy team your grasp of magic, if you like being merciful to your carriables then I suggest you pick Flash and Exhaust. If you are going to ask why should you pick Flash then I suggest you save your breath. We pick Flash due to it's overall utility, like repositioning, escaping, juking or using it as a manner flash, it's your call but Flash is the best summoner spell in the entire game and you should not leave it out if you play all star Alistar.
Now what comes to Exhaust you can pick some other spell like Heal (I don't advise this, but you can pick it if you feel like it.) or perhaps even Ignite, which I personally never pick for a support although it brings kill potential to the lane it also brings potential to accidentally take a kill from your adc which you are supposed to get fed. These are just something people choose themselves, but here are some spells that you should avoid or that are just not as good as Flash + Exhaust
|||||Ghost is viable as a summoner spell but I don't use it since Flash allows you to quickly just appear next to the enemy and Pulverize them to oblivion while with Ghost you need to run next to them. Ghost wins Flash in the ground you can cover with it, and it also has a lower cooldown, but I suggest you pick Flash instead of Ghost.|
|||||There was a time when every support had Clairvoyance but it is not like that anymore since it doesn't do pretty much anything in a fight on a lane, unlike Exhaust or Ignite and it also can't do anything in order to protect your adc in teamfights.|
|||||Clarity has some uses on Alistar since he is kind of mana hungry, but if you play dependant on Clarity your mana control is probably rather rough, I suggest you grow out of using this spell.|
|||||You are not the jungler of your team (hopefully) so you have no use for this spell.|
|||||Revive is pretty useless and mostly used by people who troll games, and to use this skill they would need to kill you... Somehow...|
|||||I don't suggest that you pick up this spell as a support, although you can use it to get near your team but it doesn't do much in the terms of helping your adc in a teamfight.|
|||||Heal was nerfed when season 3 started and hasn't been altered ever since, so it is not very good on anyone but it can save a life.|
|||||If the enemy team is stupid enough to focus you ( which you can't know when you are picking your spells ) then you don't need any summoner spells to win the game they are just wasting their time focusing you and using Barrier will only hinder them for a second or two.|
|||||Cleanse is immensly useless on Alistar since your Unbreakable Will works as a stronger Cleanse with shorter cooldown and other benefits, making Cleanse a waste of a summoner spell.|
Alistar needs some runes to become the king of the rift. So what you need is some Greater Quintessence of Movement Speeds to catch up to the petty champions who think that they have the right to lane on bot.
Greater Seal of Armor is probably one of the best seals in the entire game, and allows you to laugh at the face of the enemy adc while he/she tries to poke you.
Greater Mark of Health is required since your team expects you to be a tank, and since your Unbreakable Will gives damage reduction, all you need is more health (armor and magic resist is just for the times when Unbreakable Will is on cooldown).
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist these are something you want to pick up to reduce the damage you take when laning from enemies whose skills deal magic damage.
If you don't have/like these runes you can try to replace them with something that you currently have, but a real All star Alistar uses these exact runes.
Even though Alistar is an incredible badass he must take some masteries to keep his reign in order. Picking a 0/21/9 mastery page is not bad if you really like tanking everything, but the new mastery page makes 0/9/21 page immensly useful on supports, and the movement speed boosts from the utility tree has great synergy with Alistar. Also the defense tree has been boosted, although the Block and Unyielding might seem like small boosts but if combined with Doran's Shield it will lower the damage taken from basic attacks very nicely.
In most cases bot lane is carried by the support (you) and this is why you should know what to do in order to carry that lane. If only possible try to communicate with your adc and use your own judgement on how aggressive/passive you should play. If your team's adc is something like Vayne or Twitch who can't play very aggressive early on, then you shouldn't play as aggressive as you would play when supporting an aggressive adc like Draven or Caitlyn. So you need to know how aggressive you can be just so that you won't ruin the chances of victory by being too aggressive.
Alistar can chain his CC with some ad carries making some nice lane comps. Vayne can use her Condemn to either stun a target to a wall or push the target further to the turret after Alistar uses his own CC. Alistar's Headbutt works pretty much like Vayne's Condemn, if the target hits a wall with Headbutt he will be stunned, this chain of CC will almost certainly lead to a kill or summoner spell loss on the enemy team.
Tristana's Buster Shot doesn't stun even if the target hits a wall but it sends the enemies further away than Vayne's Condemn so shooting enemies to a wall with Buster Shot is kind of a waste but you can move an enemy very close to the allied turret due to the longer knock-back.
Although Urgot is rare and kind of low as adc but his ultimate combined with Alistar's CC allows you to move enemies long distances with less complications when compared to Tristana.
Other ad carries don't have the same kind of synergy as Urgot, Vayne or Tristana but this doesn't mean that you shouldn't support them with [[alistar].
Yes I got a bit sidetracked there but now the question is, what should you do when you are on the lane? Well first things first, let the adc farm and try to pressure the enemy so that they can't prevent it. If there is a friendly gank coming don't hesitate to Flash next to the enemy and Pulverize him, losing Flash in exchange for a kill is a Flash well used. But this doesn't mean that you should Flash for every single gank.
Also consider not using your combo in every engagement but instead use Pulverize first and Headbutt afterwards so you can use the utility from both skills instead of just one ( I am referring that you kind of lose the utility from Headbutt if you use the Pulverize Headbutt combo.)
I will speak honestly now, your passive Trample will never help you with anything, if it will it will be an accident when you somehow benefit from the removed unit collision. That got me sidetracked a bit, but let me explain you something about the useful skills on Alistar. Although we max Triumphant Roar first, using your first 2 skill points in Pulverize and Headbutt give you good potential in trading and securing kills in ganks. Triumphant Roar should be maxed first for these reasons
1. Increased sustain for you and your adc
2. All the utility from Pulverize and Headbutt are already at your disposal.
3. Maxing Pulverize or Headbutt would result in serious mana problems.
Now I will tell you the thing that every good Alistar players knows how to do, and can be thought as a requirement to join the all star Alistar club. your Headbutt Pulverize combo, and why you should know how to do it.
1. It closes gaps for your team when chasing enemies.
2. Strong and fast initiate for fights.
3. If done right it equals a Malphite's Unstoppable Force.
The trick to do the combo is to activate Pulverize in the middle of Headbutt so they stop flying in the direction you pushed them and get knocked-up instead. This combo is pretty much all the "mechanics" that king Alistar has but it is hard to master and very useful throughout the game. Alistar's combo has a downside too, you kind of waste the use from Headbutt just to get close for the Pulverize. In the laning phase I prefer just walking next to the enemy, using Pulverize and then using Headbutt to push them away from their turret. This way you use the knock-back also, instead of using only the knock-up.
After you learn how to use Pulverize and Headbutt effectively in different situations, you must learn how to use Unbreakable Will. When you activate it, you break free from CC and you get a 50%/60%/70% damage reduction. This allows you to tank a lot of the damage the enemy team has to offer, but if you position yourself so that you tank the damage you will probably be far from your adc who you are supposed to protect. Remember to use Unbreakable Will early enough so you can reap as much benefit as possible.
Relic Shield was nerfed a while ago but it is still very good for Alistar since it gives tankiness, gold and a shield for your adc when you upgrade it to the Face of the Mountain. This is why it's almost mandatory but if you don't like the item then invest your gold in Ancient Coin and upgrade it to Talisman of Ascension.
Because the preseason limits wards to 3 per player this is why Ruby Sightstone is good for saving money instead of buying wards all the time. Don't forget to buy a Vision Ward which is limited to 1 but last until they are destroyed, if you want a Vision Ward to last place it inside a dragon pit or baron pit, or just someplace that is seldomly checked, this allows it to last longer.
Locket of the Iron Solari is a great item for a team and also synergises well with Face of the Mountain with the ability to shield an ally. Get this only if no one else is getting it on your team, double Locket of the Iron Solari is not useless but it's not worth spending the money and/or item slot.
zeke's herald is one of my favourite support items but it should be avoided if your team consists of mainly AP damage. zeke's herald also works well on Alistar due to the health and cdr it grants for you, the passive isn't much for you but it sure helps your adc.
If there is one thing I must emphasise, it's that Alistar likes movement speed, a lot. This is why Boots of Mobility are the best on him. Although you lose the bonus when in combat, you mostly need movement speed when closing in for a combo after that you can pretty easily stay in range for the next Pulverize or Headbutt.
Twin Shadows is a good item for initiating fights and checking baron in case the enemy is trying to ambush you, it also has some nice stats but they are not that great for Alistar (except movement speed, of course).
As a support you are supposed to protect your adc as much as possible and since Alistar has huge amounts of CC he can do peel very well for the adc. If the enemy has assassins like Akali Diana or Kha'Zix try to save Headbutt so you can get them away from the carry. However if you know that others in your team are looking after your adc, you can also initiate with Headbutt Pulverize combo which works like a Unstoppable Force if done right that means it's a good initiate but you can't protect your adc very well with CD on your skills. Remember to use your items with actives! For example Locket of the Iron Solari and Face of the Mountain grants shield that can save lives. If you initiate the fight, then use Unbreakable Will right away, but if you are protecting your carries, then wait until you get CC'd or focused. Also since you are tanky try to bodyblock skillshots aimed at your team or carry.
Tips and tricks
- Your Headbutt works as a gap closer, but when used on a minion etc. it can be used as an escape
- If you Headbutt an enemy into a wall it works as a stun, although it doesn't display as one.
- During Headbutt you can land one auto-attack while the enemy is in air
- Time Triumphant Roar well to prevent enemy last hits
Alistar is the awesome emperor of awesomeland and you should start playing him. Learning Alistar takes some commitment but you should be ready to do it, after all playing all star Alistar is so rewarding you would think that you won the olympics! Keep in mind that everything I say in this guide is based on my own experiences and are mostly my own opinions about things and stuff... Anyway tell me ideas for improvement if you got some.