Alistar Build Guide by serif
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.
Alistar a very slow and safe jungler that's considered usable because of his amazing ganks. He was made more viable with recent mastery rework, and his ganks are arguably the best of any jungler in the game. He's a ton of fun to play but also requires a large amount of mechanical skill, and if you don't have enough mechanical skill to use him properly you may as well not play him, as you'll probably end up hindering your team. He offers a massive amount of utility, pushing power and the ability to become an unkillable beast for 6 seconds or so.
Solomid version: http://solomid.net/guides.php?g=11744
(I pretty much copied this guide from my solomid version so it has basically the same format.
T1 util: Good hands > expanded mind, you won't be having mana issues especially later on when you have FH. Summoner's Insight is obvious if you're taking flash.
T2 util: The ward thing is stupid, and again mana is not a problem (or at least the movespeed benefits him a ton more).
T3 util: Spell vamp is useless, gp5 is by far the best option here. Runic Affinity is obvious since maintaining blue buff is really important.
T4 util: You don't really benefit from the extra starting gold since you open boots. You could potentially take one point out of Awareness and get Sage, though the bonus is so minuscule it's probably not even worth it.
T5 util: The regen is nice, but gets outdone by cdr. With the cdr mastery you can hit the cdr cap with just FH and shurelya's.
T6 util: hurrrrrr
T1 defense: Summoner's resolve is useless, and armor is obviously better than magic resist early on since you're jungling. Tough skin is mandatory since we're going for Bladed Armor.
T2 defense: I personally prefer the health regen, though you can go for scaling health or flat magic resist with those 3 points. Really just personal preference.
T3 defense: hurdurr
Arpen and Mpen reds both work, arpen for faster jungling and mpen for more damage on Q and W against champions. Really just preference.
Flat armor yellows are pretty obvious for any jungler. Dodge would probably be better overall if you already have dodge runes, but buying them for like 7k IP would be pretty dumb now since they've stated that dodge is being removed from the game.
Scaling magic resist blues or flat cdr blues are the only real options. I prefer scaling MR since with FH, shurelya's and masteries you're cdr capped and the remaining cdr is going to waste. Scaling MR is better than flat MR since scaling MR gives you more magic resist by the time you're taking any significant magic damage, and you'll end up eating a lot of magic damage late game.
You have a few options for quints, although my favorite is by far movement speed since it's so vital on a roaming jungler like alistar who's extremely positioning based. Flat health, gp5 and flat armor all work too.
Not taking smite on any jungler is stupid. There's no good reason for it, especially on a slow jungler like alistar. Don't do it
As for your second summoner I really prefer flash even with after nerf, since it's vital for his stun -> knockback combo. Ghost is fine too but flash is still better in my honest opinion.
Running offensive summoners (exhaust/ignite) works too but I wouldn't recommend it.
Whenever Alistar casts a spell, he gains Trample for 3 seconds ignoring unit collision and dealing 10-23 (+10% ability power) area damage per second (double damage to minions and monsters)
Helps clear the jungle faster and some extra damage during ganks, overall pretty good.
Alistar smashes the ground, dealing 60/105/150/195/240 (+50% of ability power) magic damage and tossing all nearby enemy units into the air and stunning them for 0.5 seconds.
Cooldown 17/16/15/14/13 seconds
Cost 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130 mana
Your bread and butter skill. One of the best AoE CC abilities in the game considering it's low cooldown and ease of use. Amazing for level 1 fights as well as early ganks.
Alistar charges at an enemy and rams them dealing 85/130/175/220/265 (+70% of ability power) magic damage and knocking them back (does not stun).
Cooldown 14/13/12/11/10 seconds
Cost 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120mana
One of my favorite abilities in the entire game and also one of the few I don't smart cast, since it's very helpful when pulling off your "chargestun" combo to be able to see the range of this.
Note: if you're good you'll mostly be using this to punt vulnerable squishies into your teammates, and you should rarely use it as an initiate.
E: Triumphant Roar
Instantly restore 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+20% of ability power) health to himself and half of that value to surrounding allied units. Cooldown ticks down by 2 seconds each time a nearby enemy unit dies.
Cooldown 12 seconds
Cost 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 mana
Decent AoE heal, great sustain in the jungle and always worth using in team fights. Also triggers his passive, so make sure to stagger this and your other abilities in the jungle to keep his passive up as much as possible.
R: Unbreakable Will
Alistar gains 60 / 75 / 90 physical damage, and takes 50/60/70% reduced physical and magic damage for 7 seconds.
Cooldown 120 / 100 / 80seconds
Cost 150 mana
The reason that Alistar is incredibly tanky without many items. Got nerfed pretty hard awhile ago but is still basically the same late game.
Q > W > E > R
You'll pretty much never use anything other than this in the jungle. Q and Q do a ton of damage, that and the cdr makes them priority to max over heal. Obviously maxing R is priority over everything since the benefit you gain from leveling it is simply massive.
Start: Boots + 3 pots
As soon as possible: Philo stone and HoG
Core Items: Boots of mobility, philo stone, HoG, sheen and a bunch of wards
For more damage: Triforce
Vs heavy AD: FH, sunfire cape, randuin's
Vs heavy AP: FoN, BV, spirit visage
Mid-late get shurelya's and GA
Aegis: if you're team doesn't have one already
Soul shroud: if you have a lot of AP casters and your support isn't getting it
Merc treads or elaisa's miracle if they have a lot of CC
Note: if you're team is really squishy just skip sheen and get either merc treads or ninja tabi, then just build tank items.
It's pretty straight forward
Where to gank from:Run in from those places, W your target back towards your team and get Q off on them as soon as possible to make sure they don't have time to flash.
Early on your goal is to gank as much as possible while also using your smite to clear your jungle whenever it's up. If your smite is up and you want to gank a lane with champs who have built in mobility and their lane isn't really pushed don't try to force a gank, just jungle for a bit until you see a good opportunity. Rush those gp5 items and abuse your mobility. Be really map aware, it's incredibly important since your presence can easily make or break small fights. Counterjungle if you see the enemy jungler out of position. If you win a small fight and get a couple kills feel free to take an early drag. Keep timers on buffs and objectives, and enemy wards too if you're pro.
Buy wards. Lots of them. Like a ****ton of wards. Drop them everywhere and keep control of your jungle/dragon. Get an oracles if you're support doesn't have one for whatever reason. Here is where you need to respond to what your enemies are doing. If they have jungle fid and kassadin that are both 0/3 with barely any farm, and a vayne that's farmed as hell with a few kills you should be rushing that FH and praying you have it before a teamfight. Having at least one aegis is also really good for teamfights, so build that too if no one on your team already is. Shurelya's is also really good in teamfights if used properly.
Refer to Xpecial's support guides for good ward locations.
Stay with your team, control baron and keep your lanes pushed out whenever possible. If needed sell your mobility boots for merc treads or ninja tabi. Keep getting wards and try to know where the enemy team is as much as possible. Champs like alistar are amazing for catching people off guard, as they get locked in to his combo and will get focused by the rest of your team before they can flash. If your team already has a strong tank with the ability to initiate your main goal is usually to protect your AD carry from being picked off in fights so they can do as much damage as possible. If you're the only real tank you may have to initiate yourself. Try to avoid using W as an initiation and use it to make the enemy squishies more vulnerable to your own team. Get Q off on as many people as possible. If they have a champ like kat or kennen save your W for disrupting their ults. If your AD carry is positioned properly and you know they won't get jumped on you can pretty much dedicate yourself to disrupting the enemy team's damage output. Pop your ult when you're getting focused but don't be afraid to use it early (it's a lot better to use it early than to use it late, you want to get the full benefit out of it and mitigate as much damage as possible).
If you win a teamfight take an objective such as baron/towers. As a general rule, inhibs take priority over baron unless it's really convenient for you to take baron and you can take down an outer tower or two afterwards. If you try to go for an inhib and baron's still up, the enemy team will probably try to rush baron after they resurrect since you all backed due to low hp. Plan for this ahead of time.
Don't use shurelya's in the middle of the fight for no reason unless you know exactly how your team will benefit from it (i.e. you have kennen/fid/etc). If possible save it for cleaning up after the fight. If you have randuin's just try to hit their AD carry with it, if you could choose to hit vayne with it or their AP, tank and support with it then just vayne is the better choice.
Don't be a greedy **** and chase people around during fights unless you're 100% sure you can kill them in a very reasonable amount of time. If you chase them around for too long they've effective just ****ing killed you by removing you from the fight while your team mates are dying.
Start at your blue, get a good leash and gank a lane at level 2 when you have Q and W. It's pretty much that simple.
Keep your passive up while clearing your jungle, don't W random **** while jungling or it will fly through the wall and reset, and you will be sad.
If you spawned blue side and you know their bot lane's gonna be pushed (i.e. they have trist or karthus) you can start at your double golems instead and pick up level 2 from that, then get an easy fb. You'll be pretty far behind if you don't get a kill out of this so don't do this if you don't trust your bot lane not to push somehow vs a autopushing character. If you do fail this however just do your blue buff and gank something. You can kill it without smite, you just have to believe in yourself (and keep your passive up).
Practice your Q-W "chargestun" combo in customs against creeps until you're 100% positive you'll be able to do it every time, because a ****ing kitten dies every time you W them away from you then Q the ground after they're out of range.
If you followed this guide correctly then their whole team should be dead and yours should be alive. You may now proceed to right click the big glowy building in their base and gain elo.
of course if this fails you can always fall back on selling all your ****ing items and stacking phantom dancers, abandoning your team and backdooring all day. they'll probably be mad at you for trolling but hey who gives a **** you lost anyway, may as well become a cow on crack for the last few minutes of the game because it's pretty damn funny watching alistar run around at the speed of light punching those turrets so fast you can't even see his ****ing fists in the air.
ya ignore that last part