Alistar Build Guide by Wavering Reflection
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
We recommend you take a look at this author's other builds.
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.
Offensive AP Mid Alistar
Full Item Build
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 everybody and welcome to my AP Mid Alistar guide, Bull In a China Shop. Even though Alistar is out of flavor at the moment, he is one of my favorites and while I also play support Alistar(support is my main role) I find AP Alistar to be much more interesting than just sitting in a bush healing your carry. In this guide you will learn the positive and negative things about AP Alistar, what items/runes/masteries are best, what your skills do/how to use them, combos with your skills, what Summoner Spells to use, and what do do during early/mid/late game. Keep in mind that this is my 1st guide I've ever created and it is a work in progress so don't expect it to be that great yet. I'm still getting used to all the coding. Comment below to leave some tips or give some feedback. Enjoy my AP Alistar guide!
Edit: I made a support Alistar guide as well. You can find that here!
Why AP Alistar?
Why pick AP Alistar over support or tank Alistar? Well, AP Alistar has a very unique playstyle compared to other AP champs that is pretty fun in my opinion. True its pretty unconventional and you might get yelled at or questioned, but once you start 1 shotting the enemy carry, you might get some respect and a victory. Maybe even a duo partner. :)
Pros / Cons
+ Surprising burst
+ Demolishes towers
+ Great waveclear
+ Good AOE damage with Pulverize and Trample
+ Can peel well with Headbutt
+ AOE heal
+ Naturally tanky
I run the standard AP runes. Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, Greater Seal of Armor, Greater Glyph of Ability Power and Greater Quintessence of Ability Power. This gives you some good damage early on while also allowing you to do some damage later on( Greater Mark of Magic Penetration) and giving you some early armor when you're getting harassed by auto attacks. You can run Greater Mark of Magic Resist if they have multiple AP champs or you can run Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration since Alistar is quite mana starved throughout the game. Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed are also a viable option since Alistar is so slow but it ruins some of your early game damage.
|Masteries||Pretty standard for AP champs. In the Offense tree I get 4 points in
for that delicious 5% CDR which can mean the difference between saving your whole team from getting penta kill'd or not with a clutch Triumphant Roar. 2nd, get a point in
for more damage and a point in
for more damage from your team. Next is 3 points in
which is an extra 16 AP at level 18 which is an appreciated boost and it gives you access to the point in Arcane Mastery for a bit of AP early on. After that I put 3 points in
which gives you a noticeable damage increase to enemy champions below 50% health. Following that, get the 3 points in
for a mini Rabadon's Deathcap passive which will be fabulous late game. After, I get
which synergizes very nicely with Lich Bane's passive and then 3 points in
for much needed magic pen and not needed armor pen. To finish off the Offensive tree, get
to further increase your damage.
In the Utility tree I get 1 point in Fleet of Foot for an amazing stat that Alistar absolutely needs; movement speed. I also get 3 points in Meditation since every bit of mana regen helps greatly. After that, get 3 points in Mastermind . It gives you 10% Summoner Spell CDR if you invest all 3 points into it(like you should). Finally I put the last 2 points into Biscuiteer and Culinary Master to finish off the Defensive tree. Runic Affinity is also a for a substitute to Culinary Master if you prefer it for longer buff duration.
|Alternative Masteries||This is more of a defensive alternative. You need to conserve your mana more and be more careful since you don't get mana regen, movement speed, or the lower CD on you Flash. You can use this mastery page if you feel like the harass is going to be to strong or you're against someone that can 1 shot you(ex: Syndra). Put in a point in Feast for some more sustain when farming.|
Flash: Flash is very good on Alistar(like most champs) because it gives him an escape that he sorely needs and a way to initiate with the Flash Pulverize combo. Flash can also be used to chase someone down for a kill or just to go through a wall when you have 10 health left. Flash's potential is limitless.
Ignite: Ignite is the standard non-mobility Summoner Spell on most AP champs. It gives you that little bit of burst needed to finish off an enemy. If you're against a heavy healer(Ex: Swain) its mandatory as it allows you to kill him thanks to Grievous Wounds(healing reduction).
Teleport: This is for people who don't like Ignite or you're against an opponent that you have very low kill potential against. The ganking potential with Teleport is pretty nice, especially during laning phase. This also serves a purpose late game to splitpush since AP Alistar is one of the best structure killers in the entire game.
Ghost: Ghost is a good alternative to Flash since combined with the slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter it is almost impossible for an enemy to escape you. It also allows for maximum damage of your passive, Trample.
- Trample (P): Trample is a pretty awesome passive for AP Alistar. Its what makes him work. It gives him insane tower killing capabilities. With a full build and Baron buff, you can deal up to 307 magic damage over 3 seconds at level 18. Without Baron buff, you can deal up to 253 magic damage over 3 seconds at level 18. That is incredible. Another great think about this is that it also procs Rylai's Crystal Scepter's slow and also does double damage to minions and monsters. Sneaking Baron Nashor has never been so easy or fun! Note: When using spells under turret to activate Trample, be careful not to hit an enemy champion with this as it will cause turret aggro. NOTE: As of patch 4.12, Trample no longer does double damage to minions and monsters.
- Pulverize (Q): This is the 2nd part of his burst combo Headbutt Pulverize. It also helps lock multiple people down in teamfights. Pulverize is also AP Alistar's sole waveclear ability aside from his passive so I recommend maxing this out 1st.
- Headbutt (W): This is such a cool spell. Its used to harass, start your combo, peel, etc. It can even be used to stun someone against a wall. Once you get your Sheen or Lich Bane, a Headbutt into an auto attack will deal a ton a damage. Mid-late game, that combo can take away half of a squishie's health. Max this out 2nd unless you want more burst for less mana and less wave clear and get 2 points in this early as this is used for your harass. Note: You can push enemies through walls if close enough so be careful not to save an enemy!
- Triumphant Roar (E): An AOE heal. Doesn't heal for much but it still helps. Not much to say about this except that you can push your wave by healing your minions and that you can deny the enemy creeps by timing your heal to heal one at low health. Use this before Pulverizeing a wave to get the CD back to 0 if you need the health. Max this 3rd.
- Unbreakable Will (R): This transitions Alistar into an offtank. He can break free of any cc(at the time it is cast) and will gain 60/75/90 AD and will also take 50/60/70% reduced damage for 7 seconds. Max this whenever you can.
As Alistar, AP or not, there are combos you should learn in order to be effective.
To start things off the 1st combo you should learn is Headbutt into an auto attack. This is your basic harass combo in all stages of the game(bit more dangerous late game though). After you hit your Headbutt, right click or press A on them and it will give you a guaranteed auto attack. With Sheen's or Lich Bane's passive, this does a crazy amount of damage.
The next combo is Alistar's famous Headbutt Pulverize combo. To do it, you need to press Pulverize around the moment Headbutt hits. Doing this correctly will result in Alistar charging in and then knocking them up. Add an auto for more free damage.
Next is a situational combo that is easiest to set up when ganking the side lanes. Note: W! stands for the enemy hitting a wall. Headbutt W!, Auto attack, Pulverize, Auto attack. This will do heaps of damage since Trample will be doing damage all throughout the combo.
The final combo I'm going to share is probably his most damaging and will do tons of damage even to tanks. This also is highly situational and should only be used when going for a kill. Deathfire Grasp, Headbutt W!, Auto attack, Pulverize, Unbreakable Will, Auto attack, Ignite. Also like the previous combo, Trample and the Lich Bane will be adding godly amounts of damage.
|// Standard on any AP champ because of how amazing magic pen is vs magic resist.|
|// Absolutely a must on AP Alistar. It gives you so much extra burst. Plus, it helps vs towers.|
|// This will give you a crazy amount of AP that will then pretty much allow you to start 1 shotting.|
|// Mandatory since Alistar is such a mana starved champion. Plus it gives a nice amount of magic resist and AP.|
|// This is a godsend. Since your Trample is a good chunk of your damage, the slow will maximize the damage. The health allows you to get your burst off and survive since you will be in the middle of them.|
|// A pretty OP item late game vs any kind of magic resist. Needed unless they have literally no magic resistance.|
|// Banner of Command was a very underappreciated item until preseason patch where it got buffed. Now, its a lot better but its still not core. Only get this item if you are going to be splitpushing most of the game. If you aren't, you are wasting your money. Again, only get if splitpushing a lot. Note: The passive can help increase damage done by minions and pets so its nice if you have an Elise, Shaco, Heimerdinger, etc. on your team.|
|// This is pretty nice if they have a heavy AD team and you're getting focused a lot, just DO NOT FORGET THE ACTIVE! Everyone does this sometimes but please don't be the person crying cause you keep on dying when you have invincibility for 2.5 seconds. Overall, this item is a great defensive option that will also give you much more damage. Note: If you cast a spell and then use the active, Trample will still do damage so you can potentially kill someone while in stasis.|
|// Get this if they have an AP heavy(double/triple AP comp) team or a team that is stacking some magic resist. Not much more to say about this item since the amount of AP given isn't fantastic.|
|// One of my favorite items on Alistar AP or not. It gives Alistar almost everything he needs! The movement speed will help him since he is so darn slow! The active is just the right thing for getting in range for a Headbutt Pulverize or just to walk to them and Pulverize. It also gives a small AP boost(40 AP) which is nice to have on a utility item. Truly a great item. One I recommend getting.|
|// Always get this item if you against a heavy healer(Ex: Swain or Fiddlesticks) as it will greatly reduce their healing because of Morellonomicon's passive, Grievous Wounds. Additional to giving you the great passive, Morellonomicon will help you a bit with you mana problems while also giving you a fair amount of AP and CDR. Always a nice item to have.|
|// This item I personally am not a fan of. I don't know why to be honest. Probably because of the little AP it gives. Don't be fooled though. This is a viable item on AP Alistar as it gives you some health(to tank a bit a damage) and some magic pen. The burn passive, well, I'm not so sure what to think of it. It could work with your Trample and Headbutt so that's pretty nice sustained damage in teamfights.|
|// This item just says burst. This will allow you to get even more damage and CDR. A nice alternative to Rabadon's Deathcap. This item is especially good if you have multiple AP champs on your team.|
Farming with Alistar is a tad bit difficult. Since he is melee he is prone to harass when he goes in to last hit. Here, your Headbutt is your friend with last hitting minions not easily accessible or pushing away an enemy when going in to last hit. Your Pulverize and your Triumphant Roar will help push the lane greatly and Trample will help too so try not to overextend if you do push. Also note that farming under turret with Alistar will be quite difficult so try to keep the wave past your turret.
While in lane you want to focus on farming and harassing the enemy with a Headbutt into an auto attack. Always try to keep your lane warded and if you can the enemies blue buff. When your jungler(or another lane) comes to gank, be ready for a Flash Pulverize Headbutt or a Headbutt Pulverize to try and kill the opponent. If you are in top lane or bot lane(because of lane swaps) and you're getting harassed by a ranged champion, try and stay in the bushes as much as you can to minimize harass against you and only come out for ganks or to last hit. Also I can't stress how important it is to learn to last hit. You need to learn it plain and simple.
Mid game is where AP Alistar shines in my opinion. Once he has his Lich Bane and Rabadon's Deathcap his damage goes through the roof and people start crying since they didn't expect a cow to do so much damage. This is the part of the game where some of the outer towers have gone down and its also the part of the game where you should start splitpushing a bit. Tell your teammates to distract them with something like Dragon or Baron Nashor while you demolish a tower. In a teamfight it shouldn't be hard to get to the back line since your Headbutt can't be blocked by someone in front of the carry and your Unbreakable Will will make you tankier and will break the early cc thrown onto you.
This is where AP Alistar can just make everybody on their team cry. His burst is phenomenal with 6 items and his tower killing ability will be some of the best in the game. However, if you look at the Cons section, you will see how I put 'Not a very good late game'. This is very true. You are not going to be a full tank so you CAN DIE. And since you are melee and need to get into melee range to do something, you WILL DIE if you get focused. But then again that's what the rest of your team is for. :) They kill the people focused on killing you.
If you lack a decent initiator or you have the perfect opportunity, initiate the fight with your Headbutt Pulverize(Use Flash to start if needed) combo. You know you did it right if your team got an ace. :) If you think you're going to be taking to much damage, after your Headbutt Pulverize, use your Zhonya's Hourglass active(if you have it) or your Unbreakable Will to be safe. Use Flash only if necessary.
Thanks to jhoijhoi for her guide, Making a Guide. I don't know where this would be without it. I'd like to also say thanks to everyone taking the time to read this. Comment below with questions or feedback. Thanks again!
I've been thinking of adding ways to play Alistar in other roles too such as AD offtank top, support, etc. Thoughts? I personally think it would be an interesting idea.