Alistar Build Guide by Arioc

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Arioc

AP Alistar, Bullying with the bull

Arioc Last updated on July 9, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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This guide will focus on how to lane with Ability Power Alistar. I will be going through basically everything you need to know to get started, and a little bit more. This is my first time doing something like this, so any Constructive Criticism on how I can improve my build will be greatly appreciated.

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Right now, these are the runes I'm using and what I'd recomend.

Optional runes, which might suit your playstyle better:

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Item Sequence

Doran's Ring - Great stats and definitely the best starting item for Alistar.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity - I pick this up before the Needlessly Large Rod just because the Cooldown Reduction is so great for Alistar. You can do it the other way around, but I prefer it as stated.

If you haven't been doing very well during early game, then this is what I suggest:
Having mana problems without mana regeneration runes? Get a...
Catalyst the Protector - If your planing to build a Banshee's Veil
Tear of the Goddess - If your planing to build a Archangel's Staff
Chalice of Harmony - If you want a cheap and solid mana regeneration item which you can sell later on in the game.

Having mana problems with mana regeneration runes? Get a...
Blue buff, this is what I usually do and its really great on Alistar, trust me young grasshopper.
If there is someone in your team who has a bigger need for the blue buff, I usually just grab a Sapphire Crystal which is often enough.

Farming not going very well? Get a...
Kage's Lucky Pick - you will build it into a Deathfire Grasp later anyway, if you decide to get it, try to do it as soon as possible (preferably before 10min).

Needlessly Large Rod - If everything is going good, then you'll want this now. I don't take the Blasting Wand first just because it gives less AP for the money.

Rabadon's Deathcap - This is your precious, an overall great caster item which can't be overlooked.

Mejai's Soulstealer - I'd say that this is an item you want on Alistar almost every game. He is a great character for getting stacks because of his area of effect damage and survivability, often times, when I've skipped this item, I regret it at the end of the game. Getting the Soulstealer doesnt have the same danger on Alistar as it has on any other mage. Why you ask? Well when someone gets a high amount of stacks then he/she is usually the person you want to try to bring down first in a teamfight, if you try that on Alistar you will most likely lose it.

Lich Bane - Since Alistar is a melee mage I cant see why you wouldn't pick this up, this item gives him insane burst.

Deathfire Grasp - Gives the last bit of cooldown reduction and adds even more burst to Alistar's combo. By the time you have this item, you will be able to bring down almost every mage/carry with your combo + Deathfire's active ability.

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The Item Debate

I've seen a few AP Alistar players and guides that all pick up these items in a different order.
Kage's Lucky Pick

There definitely isnt a answer to which order is the best one, there are good arguments for why you would take each item first. This guide only shows you how I build my AP Alistar, and it doesn't mean it will work for you. Adjust these items as you like and shape them towards your playstyle. Play around with them and develop your own item sequence.

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The 6th item

These are basically all your options for that 6th item (they are not arranged in any specific order of superiority or vice versa).

Banshee's Veil - Probably the best defensive item in the game, if you feel like you need magic resistance, get this.

Void Staff - Want to negate some of the enemies magic resistance? Get this. In some cases you might want to grab this before the

Will of the Ancients - Nice aura for both you and the team, gives a decent amount of AP for quite a cheap item. Chances are pretty big that someone in your team has already gotten this item so make sure no one has it before you actually get it. I wouldnt consider getting this if I have less than 3 AP champions on my team.

Abyssal Scepter - Something I would grab if I wanted something in between a and a .

Zhonya's Hourglass - If you feel like you're getting picked off a lot after your ulti is over, then this is what you want. Good amount of AP and a use which protects you while you wait for those cooldowns to reset.

Archangel's Staff - Very solid item if you picked up early game. The Tear will have allowed you to use your abilities much more frequently and finishing of your build with this item will give a nice AP boost.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter - Expensive item which isn't all that great on Alistar. I dont feel the need for the slow, or the Hitpoints. Its a very expensive item if you only want the 80 AP. You will only get a 1,5 second slow from your and passive.

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Summoner Spells

I will bring this up before the solo lane section because it's the only time I'd switch my summoners.

Top lane with Teleport is really good, switch it out with Ignite.

I also take Teleport in duo lanes if I know my partner has Ignite.

Flash Teleport Ignite are to me the three superior summoner spells when playing AP Alistar, others will work but its just not as good.

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How to Mid/Solo Lane

I think mid is definitely the place you want to be in when your playing Alistar. Your primary focus will be on farming, try to get used to last hitting with the passive. Avoid unnecessary damage and try to harras with Headbutt as much as you can. Triumphant Roar will make you outlast most champions and one of the things that makes Alistar a very good solo.

Utilize corners, if you can land your Headbutt in such a manner that your enemy flies into the wall you can walk up to them, Pulverize and land quite a few auto attacks. There is also another way of landing your Pulverize, it is easier when you know how to do it.

So this is the trick, you pick a target for your Headbutt and then instantly press your Pulverize, this will cause the enemy to get instantly knocked up where he stands. Abuse this when you have blue buff. This combo gets considerably harder to do when your smartcasting, I usually smartcast all my skills but you might want to avoid doing that with this combo.

The cooldown of your Triumphant Roar is reduced by 2 seconds every time a nearby enemy unit dies, use this to you advantage.

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How to Sidelane

I hope you read the How to mid before this one since there are things in that section I wont talk about here.

Harrasing in a sidelane is just like mid but you have to be a lot more carefull about when and how you do it. How you will play in a sidelane will depend a lot on your partner, you will have to adjust accordingly. For Example: If your laning partner is very passive it might be a bad idea to harras a lot, you might just want to focus on farming instead (this doesnt apply to Supports).

Use the bushes to your advantage, they are great if you want to get closer for a Headbutt. Use your enemies misstakes to your advantage. If an enemy overextends and you can land a Pulverize and then Headbutt them back, its usually a kill or a burnt flash.

Dont forget to farm, this is where it becomes important to use your passive for last hitting, dont overabuse it since you will most probably push your lane.

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How to Gank

So there are three simple ways of using your combo when ganking.

1. Headbutt into a wall then Pulverize
2. Headbutt instant Pulverize combo (look for it in the "How to mid" section)
3. Pulverize Headbutt into your team members.

Personally I prefer nr 3 if you can pull it of, sometimes you might need to burn a flash to make this combo work.

Combo 2 and 3 are good if your team members in the lane have some kind of skillshot CC like Enchanced Crystal Arrow.

Use combo nr 1 wisely, you dont want to headbutt them into a brush.

There are a few things you need to consider when ganking!

    Where are the other members of the opposite team, will it be safe to tower dive or push the tower after the gank?
    Do the people you're ganking have any escape mechanisms?
    What combo will work the best with the lane composition you have?
    Are the enemies overextended?
    Does the enemy have any wards, if so where are they placed? (do they know you're coming?)

If you have Teleport tell your bottom and/or top lane to place wards in the bushes if they want a gank, then just teleport to the ward.

Tower Diving

Unbreakable Will makes Alistar a great tower diver. I like to come in from behind the turret while my team members are in front of it and just do the standard Headbutt Pulverize combo. Coming in from the sides work just as well, the only problem with doing this is that they know you will dive them.

A few things to consider when you tower dive!
Where are all the enemies on the map?
What escape route will you take?
Is your ulti off cooldown?
Does the enemy have any escape mechanisms?
Will he be able to kill you at the tower?

Your ulti will negate most of the tower damage, but make sure you do not overextend your opportunity, and move out before your ulti goes off.

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How to Teamfight

There are two ways for you to enter a teamfight, either you engage with the tank or you come from the side. When in a teamfight, it's very important to use your skills the right way, punish your enemies carries if they overextend in any way.

Offensive [[headbutt]
Let me give you a scenario. The enemy Malzahar is standing in front with their tank harrasing your team. You come in from behind and Headbutt him into your team, and now he is in a lot of trouble. From here on you can either Pulverize Malzahar to keep him from escaping, or hit his allies as as they try to save their mage carry.

Defensive Headbutt
This is just as simple as it sounds, let me give you another senario. The enemy Renekton is focusing your Brand. So you Headbutt him away from Brand and Pulverize if necessary.

Summary of what you want to do!
CC as many people with Pulverize as you can.
Make the carries standing in the back stand at the front.
Keep your team mates safe, help them if they need it.
Use your heal, it makes a difference.

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I cant stress enough how important wards are, it is no longer only the supports job to buy wards. They are not just there to protect you while you're laning, but crucial when team fighting with Alistar. There are numerous times where I've been able to initiate on a few members on the opposite team in bushes when they think they have the advantage.

What I usually do is every time I base and have some spare money I buy wards. Trust me they will pay back in either kills or prevented deaths.

Link for those who aren't very familiar of good places to put wards

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Team Compositions

These are just a few suggestions of some premade/ranked setups you might wanna try out. Both teams are quite CC heavy and the synergy is great.

Team 1

Alistar - Top Lane
Malphite - Top Lane or Jungle
Taric - Bot Lane
Ashe / Vayne - Bot Lane
Brand - Mid Lane

Team 2

Alistar - Top Lane
Amumu - Jungle
Brand / Malzahar / Anivia - Mid Lane
Sona - Bot Lane
Ashe / Vayne / Corki - Bot Lane

There are a lot of good Mage/Attack Damage carrys you can have for these setups, personally I think Ashe works the best, Enchanced Crystal Arrow is such a good initiate. All Mages with some area of effect damage work really well.

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Patch Changes


(found the 8th of June 2011 at the LoL website)
So I'm blaming all these changes on Shushei for being too awesome.
    Headbutt ability power ratio reduced to .7 from .8
    Pulverize ability power ratio reduced to .5 from .6
    Triumphant Roar ability power ratio reduced to .2 from .4

So I wanted to see exactly how much damage I would lose with these changes, therefor I did some number crunching. Without any soulstealer stacks and a 6th item that gives 70 AP we will have around 500 when the build is complete.

1. = After Patch Changes
2. = Before Patch Changes

1. Pulverize - 240 Base damage + 50% of 500 = 490. CD 13 seconds - 38.1% CDR = 8 seconds
2. Pulverize - 240 Base damage + 60% of 500 = 540. CD 13 seconds - 38.1% CDR = 8 seconds

1. Headbutt - 300 Base damage + 70% of 500 = 650. CD 12 seconds - 38.1 CDR = 7.5 seconds
2. Headbutt - 300 Base damage + 80% of 500 = 700. CD 12 seconds - 38.1 CDR = 7.5 seconds

1. Triumphant Roar - 180 Base healing + 20% of 500 = 280 CD 12 seconds - 38.1 CDR = 7.5 seconds
2. Triumphant Roar - 180 Base healing + 40% of 500 = 480 CD 12 seconds - 38.1 CDR = 7.5 seconds

The biggest noticable change will be the nurf on Triumphant Roar, it will not matter early game as much as it does late game. I will post a comment on how the changes feel after the patch is actually up.

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Guide Changes

2nd to 9th of June 2011
Guide written, edited and completed.

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Not that this is just a average game, I wanted atleast some footage here so people could see how I play Alistar. You will not see perfect play from me, I will do mistakes, learn from them. I also think I slacked a bit with the wards since this is just a normal game. I will get some ranked games up soon.

If any of the links aren't working properly, just PM me and I will fix it ASAP.

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Honorable Mentions

First of all I wanna thank Sunhwo for helping with the guide editing (yes I have a personal english teacher to edit my guides).

Shushei is the person that inspired me to try Alistar his item choices has somewhat influenced my item section. Since I couldnt find a guide which told me exactly how to build a lane Alistar I turned to his stream and some Dreamhack videos.

Maxmo0 - Mm, thanks for the help.

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Final Notes

I hope you've learned something from reading this guide and I hope that the information has proved to be useful. If you have any questions or suggestions you can always reach me by PM, commenting below or talking to me in game (Summoner name: Ariooc, EU).