Leona Build Guide by Ssyrak
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.
Hey there. I'm happy you just found my guide about Leona. She is a pretty new champion but this doesn't mean Leona is just new. She is very similar to Jarvan. As I'm a confident Jarvan player I just tried to play Leona as I do with Jarvan. And I found myself to be quite successful with that. So let's talk about her. I want to give you an introduction to Leona, the Radiant Dawn. In best case this guide will help you to understand who is Leona and how to play her. Anyway, this guilde will not promise you to become a good Leona player. This guide can help you to get that, but that all depends on you.
Best of 30 Days
Thank you all. You made this possible. Thank you for your amazing support and feedback. This guide won't be that in depth as it actually is without your help. I updated my guide a lot since I released it due to helpful criticism and ideas of this community. Keep on doing such an amazing job!
Who is Leona? - Offtank, Tank, CDR
Again: Before playing any champion you should answer this final question. Otherwise you will most likely fail.
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Leona is a tank, who can be played as fulltank or offtank. Why should you play Leona and not any other champion that fits that role? Well, Leona got a great amount of CC and can resist a lot of damage. She is actually a mixture of Jarvan, Sion and Amumu. Her abilities are assisting her team greatly. Leona is good for taking out single enemies as well as annoying the whole enemy team. And: She is hot!
Is there something Leona does not have? Yes. She is missing a taunt. So there is no way to force the enemy to attack you. That makes Leona a champion that requires some skill to protect allies.
There are actually four ways of building Leona:
- diffculty -> medium to hard
- very tank
- even more CC
Fulltank: The Way of the Unstoppable Tank
- difficulty -> easy
- almost immortal
- no serious damage
- a lot CC
Offtank/Tank: The way of the Tanky Threat
- difficulty -> medium
- pretty tanky
- deals serious damage
- a lot CC
Offtank/CDR: The Way of the Stunning Threat
- difficulty -> medium to hard
- still tanky
- deals serious damage
- even more CC
What about AP Leona? I don't feel like it's a viable build for Leona. Others might not agree with me but I think there are tanky champions that are more viable with AP (Amumu, Alistair,...). Anyway there is a way to build Leona an AP tank. I have written something about my ideas below.
I want to show ways for all four paths. On the left corner there are the more tanky builds with the Path of the Unstoppable Tank and the Path of the Stunning Tank In the right corner you'll see more offensive ways, the Path of the tanky Threat and the Path of the Stunning Threat..
To sum that up: Leona is a great tank with a lot of CC and a decent amount of damage.
Runes cost IP. So don't worry if you don't have exactly these Runes. I just chose these because they fit great for any Leona build.
As dodge gets removed the armor boost of these seals will give you an early game advantage against AD based enemies.
Magic resistance is needed on Leona as it does not get improved within your level. Get these items to delete this disadvantage.
greater mark of vitality
As I will tell you later on life is important on Leona. This will boost your life pool for a decent amount.
On Offtank Leona you could go for armor penetration or magic penetration. Armor penetration is great for any Offtank build, magic penetration could be viable for CDR Offtank.
When going for CDR Leona you might want to go for CDR glyphs instead to reach the 40% cap as soon as possible.
This will give you a great early game advantage as it is boosting your survivability a lot.
But to some it up: You really can get any Runes that fits Leona's role as an Offtank or Tank. So Runes boosting her defensive stats are never wrong.
For Masteries I chose 1-21-8 for my more tankish builds as it fits into her role as tank. Especially on early game this will help you to stay in lane pretty long. I don't see any reason to go for other masteries.
If you plan on playing Leona as Offtank you might want to use 21-9-0. Especially in early game it will provide you the extra damage you'll need to dominate your lane.
I just want to go a bit more in depth here. This list should help you to build masteries on your own.
If you get corresponding Summoner Spells for it.
YOU NEED CDR!
Champions on top lane are usually pretty bulky.
This will help you to stay in lane longer.
Already told you...
Let's catch them all.
... if you got a Summoner Spell for it.
Some sustainability for your early game.
I'll tell you later why life is important for Leona.
It's a decent choice instead of Durability.
A pretty decent protection mastery.
Leona is kinda slow.
The more CDR you got the better it is.
If you get a Summoner Spell for it.
10% less death. Wow!
There are more good masteries in the utility tree. I just prefer the defensive tree over utility.
Some kind of viable...:
They are all very viable.
Up to personal preference.
- Teleport: This will help you to get back in lane, help on other lanes, help to gank (tp to wards). There are many things to do with that cute spell. When solo laning I always get that.
- Flash: Flash is a great defensive spell as well as it can be used to play aggressive.
- Ghost: Giving you some movement speed is never bad. After the Flash nerf I prefer this.
- Exhaust: Get down their carry, help to escape, prevent enemies to escape. Pretty good.
Some kind of viable...:
- Clairvoyance: Maybe better on your support, but come on. Why not?
- Heal: Really not my favourite spell. But especially for new players this can be good.
- Cleanse: This might be great against a lot of CC. I don't think it's the best choice for Leona but in certain situations and against certain enemies this can save your life more than once.
Handling Leona's skills isn't easy and you probably need some time to practice. How good you use her abilities will result in how good you are with Leona. So I want to share some thoughts about that with you.
- Sunlight: Actually her passive reminds me of Lux. Not very much you need to think about in here. This ability will boost the damage of you team mates. So just make sure - when possible - to focus the enemies your team is attacking.
- Shield of Daybreak: This is an amazing stun combined with a good amount of damage. Anyway this skill requires melee range. But who cares? Leona got a jump skill to solve that problem. But this also means: If you don't hit with your jump-in your stun becomes pretty useless as long you are not IN the fight.
Try to stun the most dangerous enemy. This could be Nunu or Malzahar casting their ult, the enemy carry or even the enemy support (Soraka, Sona,...) to prevent them supporting their team.
Notice that you can use this skill to destroy towers even faster!
- Eclipse: This shield really reminds me of Sion. The only difference is that this is not a real shield but buffing your resistance. This shield actually is the reason why I don't stuck that much armor and magic resistance and prefer to go for Warmog's. I will tell you later how to use this in a right way.
- Zenith Blade: This skill actually is pretty similar to Jarvan's jump. Anyway, this skill is more harder to handle. You have to HIT the enemy you want to get to. This means you need to predict what he is doing. Also you should never forget about the fact you will jump to an enemy champion of you hit one. This sounds pretty stupid but I just saw some Leona players who use that spell to last hit creeps that are not in melee range. They hit an enemy champion by mistake and jump into tower range or into the whole enemy team what while cause a pretty useless death. You CAN last hit creeps with that if you feel like it would be to dangerous to attack them. But always look for the enemy champions.
- Solar Flare: This skill is pretty similar to Amumu's ult, isn't it? In my opinion it's just harder to place right. The stun range is smaller and the effect is delayed. So again you need to predict what your enemies are doing. Don't waste it for killing single enemies as long as you are sure it will be back soon enough. This ult can turn a team fight into victory or help to escape from a gank. Always try to get as many enemies as possible with that.
Always remember that playing Leona is not about dealing an amazing amount of damage to get Pentakills the whole day through. Playing Leona is about annoying the enemy as much as possible. So there are actually three different skilling orders that I seem to be viable on her. Each skilling order begins with Q - E - W so you don't have to decide before the match what skilling order you want to choose. I think this order of spending my first three skill points let me play pretty save by having an early stun and giving me the opportunity to harass early on with my E + Q.
You CAN level E before Q as it can provide even more early harass. Anyway, I think going for Q first is more saver as it also can help an ally before he gets killed. This is totally up to you.
This skilling order is based on maximazing your W first. This will give you a better farming ability, more resistance and more spike damage. As your Q will be maximized last this will occure you can't use your stun that often as with the other skilling orders.
This skilling order is based on maximazing your Q first. This will reduce your stun cooldown pretty early. Anyway your farming ability is not that decend as the first path.
This is a combination of both paths. You are still maximazing your W first but with maximzing Q and E together after that you will not lack anything.
Items | 4 Ways to build Leona
I just gave four item builds in here. Actually they are pretty similar so I want to tell you a few things about that. The first build is the one I'm going for in most cases. It's giving me some great offensive stats but still make me as tanky as I need to be.
The second one is combining offensive stats with CDR. It's a great choice if you already got a tank. The third build is a real tank. You should build that if you feel like you need to be bulky the whole game through. The fourth build is based on CDR. 40% CDR can actually help you to get great use out of your stun. This build should be used if you need to support your team against very annoying enemies.
Always remember: Especially the order of getting my defensive items is very situational. It really depends on the actual match. Sometimes I feel like getting armor and/or resistance is more important. Sometimes I think I need some HP. Always buy the items in an order that seem to be useful in your current match. Never just buy items in the same order every single match because you are too lazy to think about that!
The advantage is that you start with the same items in all cases. So you don't need to decide for one path before the game actually starts. In addition to that you can almost switch any time to another path.
Path 1: The way of the Stunning Tank
This is my favourite build. Leona is profiting a lot out of CDR. The order of buying this items is pretty according to your match. In addition to that you might skip some items and buy others instead.
I usually start with a Regrowth Pendant and a Health pot. It's giving me some early regeneration and building directly into my core build. If you are new to Leona you can also go for a Doran's Shield. But always remember that this will slow your build.
When I recall the first time I usually buy a philosopher's stone and lvl 1 boots. After that I'm going for Heart of Gold and Mercury's Treads (more about boots later). Anyway, after that I'm going for Glacial Shroud followed by some Magic Resistance and Life. After that I'm buying shurelya's reverie and Frozen Heart. This will boost my CDR a lot and give me the survivability I need in mid game. Especially Frozen Heart will annoying enemies a lot due to her jump ability. Force of Nature or Banshee's Veil and Warmog's Armor are finishing my build giving me the tanky stats I will need in late game. If you find yourself facing a AP heavy team you just might leave shurelya's reverie for Spirit Visage. In that case you should either skip Force of Nature or get Banshee's Veil instead. After that feel free to buy any items according to the current match. Grab one of the items from the other 2 paths or from the alternative, viable items I'm listing below.
Try to use your stuns as much as possible here. You only can dominate by using your CCs in a right way. That's why this build will require the most skill.
Path 2: The way of the Unstoppable Tank
I don't want to go more in depth here. Most items are similar to Path 1. An early Aegis of the Legion is really helpful for your whole team. The last item slot is free. So just choose one from your own choice.
Path 3: The way of the Tanky Threat
This is a pretty expensive build. I can only recommend this if you are doing great.
This build is also starting with the usual items. Now I start with going for Trinity Force. It's a great item for Leona as it gives you enough offensive stats to not be ignored but also helping to fit into your role as tank. The Sheen is fitting great with your "spike combo" (telling you something about that later). The critical chance is working good with your Atma's. And what's wrong about Phage?
Now it's time to go for some real defensive items. I'm used to begin each item and finish them later on as it will give me a bonus on every view and I don't need to lack anything. Please notice that the order of items is up to your current match!
Chain Vest is a great mid game item against annoying AD enemies.
Negatron Cloak is helping against any caster. If the enemy team got some very annoying spells such like Malzahar's ultimate or Blitzcrank's grab you might want to build that into Banshee's Veil. Otherwise I usually go for Force of Nature as it is providing more magic resist and boosting my movement speed what's really helpful for a melee.
In combination with your W your armor and magic resistance are already high enough. There is no reason to buff them anymore as it won't be that helpful anymore. That's why I like to go for Giant's Belt and later on for a Warmog's Armor.
I'm finishing my build with a Atma's Impaler after I sold my Philosopher's Stone. This will greatly increase my damage as well as boosting my armor a bit.
Path 4: The way of the Stunning Threat
This way is actually less tanky and a more vulnerable Offtank. Anyway this build got both, decent damage and great CDR so you can use your CCs very often. This makes that path very dangerous but requires much more skill.
The beginning actually is the same. Anyway you need to sell philosopher's stone and Heart of Gold. If you prefer you can just kick Heart of Gold out of your build. Trinity Force is followed by Giant's Belt and Spirit Visage giving your some defense and maxing your CDR to 40%. In some cases you might want to build Giant's Belt and/or Spirit Visage before Phage/ Trinity Force. If you want to reach the 40% cap without buying an elixier you should go for the according Glyphs. Sunfire Cape and Hextech Gunblade are finishing your build granting enough surviability and damage for your late game. If you need some armor early on feel free to get a Chain Vest
By folliwing this path it's your main aim to get down the most dangerous enemy with using your CC right and dealing a good amount of damage. Always remember that this way is not as tanky as the other ones.
Hextech Gunblade may seem pretty strange. But it is a really awesome item. It provides a decent damage buff with adding a lot vamp granting you great sustainability in combination with Spirit Visage. The additional slow is awesome making you a real threat.
You will most likely need a real tank in your team when going for this path!
As I said I want to tell you something about boots as well. In most cases I'm going for Mercury's Treads as it will help against CC what's really helpful for a melee champion. You just should notice that Boots are something that's up to the player and the current match.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity might not be the worst choice. Anyway I don't really like them on Leona.
Boots of Swiftness This MIGHT be a choice when you feel like you are running in slow motion. In most cases you won't need that.
Other viable items:
I don't like that on tanks as you want to get focused. And who would do that if you got that item? Anyway, if you feel like you need that, feel free to get it. This item might be a good choice for my more offensive builds on the left. If you need any surviability for that this item might be your best choice.
I'm not really a fan of snowball items but if you feel like doing really great, why not?
A really helpful items against a AD heavy team. Can be taken for Warmog's.
Instead of getting Trinity Force you might want to get this little item instead. It's giving some AD and HP and a constant slow for your attacks. So this item will cause a more defensive playstyle as you are able to annoy the enemy's melees even more. Can be taken for Warmog's as well.
- shurelya's reverie might be a good item if you want to support your team a bit. The CDR can be very helpful.
might be seem on junglers in most cases. But who cares? It's giving some good defensive stats and wards are something you will always need.
This is a great item against annoying AD champions as it is also boosting your CDR.
I already mentioned that item in Path 3. Get it when facing a AP heavy team.
A very decent item when you got some AP heavy champions in your own team. This item will help to support their and your own damage as well as providing some magic resistance.
- This item is great against against champions with very annoying spells and/or a lot of CC (Malazahar's ult, Warwick's ult,...).
Do it yourself - How to build your own Leona
These have been the four ways I am playing Leona according to the current match. But what's about you? The main reason of this guide is to help you to build Leona in a way so YOU feel comfortable with her. And you will never be that with just following some builds of other users. To love Leona you need to build a build for her yourself. There are so many guides in here which just try to show you how to build a special Leona build. That's wrong! A guide should not just show you how you could play Leona but show you how you build Leona yourself. And this section is about that topic.
Almost each build got a core build. A core build consists of items you will always get in every single match without any exception. With Leona this items are:
Anyway Heart of Gold can be skipped. But I would not recommend that. This little core build is providing everything you need in an usual early game: Movement Speed, Life, Life Regeneration and Mana Regeneration AND a lot of Gold. This will help you to stay in lane pretty long and earn a lot of money.
This core build can be expanded with the following item suggestions. I will explain what kind of items you need for a successful Leona. This is YOUR chance to build her the way you like it.
The following items don't include an order. Some items could also be listed twice because they fit into different roles. This does not mean you have to buy them more than once.
Of course you need to upgrade your boots. I already told you something about them in the section above. So I won't go more in depth here.
- These boots are great on any melee. Tenacity is a must have and they are also giving some magic resistance.
- CDR is awesome on Leona. If you can't get any with other items feel free to buy these cute, little boots. As you will most likely need tenacity you need to by another item.
- This MIGHT be a choice when you feel like you are running in slow motion. In most cases you won't need that.
Amor and Magic Resistance:
You are getting a lot Armor and Resistance by using Eclipse and with using CDR you can keep that buff on you almost all the time. This is why you should only buy 1 item for amor and 1 item for magic resistance! Don't buy more when possible. You might ask why:
My graph may not be completely correct. But it is enough to understand. The white graph is showing the amount of damage reduction you get by buying armor or magic resistance. As you can see: The more resistance you already have the less damage reduction you get by buying more armor or magic resistance. The break through (the point where it isn't recommended to buy more armor or resistance) is at about 150 (the marked area on the picture). At this point it is much more useful to go for life points. Leona reaches the cap of 150 with just one defensive item + Eclipse.
To sum that up: Just buy one item for armor and magic resistance and stack life after that.
The only exception is . As this is a boost to your whole team it's okay to buy that in addition to your usual defensive item.
Enough talked, let's have a look at some items:
For armor you can get:
- As this is also boosting your CDR it's a great item on Leona.
- Giving life and armor, great. It's a good choice if your team is lacking some damage.
- It's building directly into your core build and got a great active effect as well was providing some CDR. A great item against annoying carries.
- This is a decent item when you don't need a lot armor as it is giving you a free ward any time and also adding some life steal what's not essential on Leona but pretty good.
- In most cases this is providing way too much armor. I would not recommend getting this. But if the enemy team is very, very, very AD heavy you might want this.
- Leona will have a decent amount of life points in late game. If the enemy team is not that AD heavy it is okay to skip another armor item and just go for that.
For magic resistance you can go for:
- This item is pretty strange on Leona because you don't got any Heal. But even without a support in your team Spirit Visage is supporting Leona great as it is giving (in most cases) enough magic resistance and also adding some essential CDR.
- If the enemy does not have a lot of annoying spells (Blitzcrank's grab, Malzahar's ult) you might want to get this as it is also adding some movement speed.
- Otherwise just get this cute, little item.
- I already told you to get this little item if you do pretty hard against some nasty ultimates or a great amount of CC.
- When you got a lot of AP heavy champions in your team this is the perfect item on Leona. It is giving some magic resistance (enough in most cases), adding some AP and (most important) reducing the magic resistance of (almost) the whole enemy team what will boost your damage a lot.
You might have noticed I have skipped . This item is viable on Offtank Leona when you get focused a lot. Don't play that on a tank. You want to get focused. And who would focused a tank with Guardian Angel?
As already mentioned it's essential to go for life when playing Leona. Leona can easily reach a life pool of 3000-4000 HP. This is enough! Usually 1 item for HP purpose is enough. This could be:
- This will make you a real tank. In combination with Atma's Impaler this is really dangerous.
- Against annoying melee champions this could be useful as it is also slowing them in a team fight. Don't get that if you just want to slow down escaping enemies. You won't need that.
- . ~ .
- Shurelya's Reverie This will most likely not be enough life but it could be in combination with...
- ... Both items together will add enough life points on a Offtank Leona with adding a lot CDR.
- Only buy that if you are experienced with Leona and sure you will a) get a lot of stacks and b) won't lose them.... so in most cases: no
You NEED tenacity on Leona as she is a melee champion and very weak to any kind of CC.
- are my first choice on almost each match as they also offer an decent amount of magic resistance and I don't see the need of buying another pair of boots than these.
- If you don't got these boots you might want to get this as it is building into your core build.
This is almost essential on Leona. Get as much CDR as possible with your build.
- Shurelya's Reverie ... support your team as well.
- not giving a lot CDR but better than nothing...
- This might be useful when you are laning with somebody who needs mana. It's a decent support item for your whole team as the CDR is boosting your team's offense and defense.
- I'm not a fan of that. But if you like that...
As Leona is getting her defensive with only a few items you might want to add some offensive items.
- Boosting your offense as well as your defense. Especially with CDR you get a lot of use off that Sheen, your Movement Speed gets boosted and you have a little Frozen Mallet.
- If your team is AD heavy this will boost your team's damage and will even give some defense.
- decent on Offtank Leona as it is boosting everyhting Leona needs, giving some life steal and spell vamp and providing a slow.
Okay, I talked a lot in here and I'm sure it was a bit complicated. So I'm giving a little checklist here (again without any order):
(again without any order)
- Get core build: philosopher's stone ( )
- Get 1 pair of boots:
- Get 1 item for armor:
- Get 1 item for magic resistance:
- Get 1 item for life: Shurelya's Reverie
- Get 1 item for tenacity:
- Get as much CDR as possible, max. 40%): Shurelya's Reverie
- Fill your build with offensive items:
- Situational items:
Please remember: I added this section because everyone got his own way of playing Leona. Some like TriForce, the others don't. Some like Warmog's, the others don't. This section will help you to build Leona like YOU want. Please notice that I tried to list items that are decent on Leona. It's complete up to YOU to build a useful build out of that. If you are not sure if a build works, feel free to ask me. I know that not everyone will like the items I just listed. Note that many are some "personal", so different people have different opinions about that.
Also notice that the number of items to buy from one type may change up to the current match.
WTF... AP Leona?
I'm trying some Leona builds based on AP. I actually said AP Leona is useless. So was that wrong?
No. A pure AP Leona is just useless as the AP ratio of Leona is very, very small. But a AP tank Leona could be very viable. Especially the decrease of her cooldowns that is planned with the next buff could make this playstyle more viable.
I'm starting with:
philosopher's stone kage's lucky pick
This is granting me a great amount of gold, and enough survialability I need in early game.
I'm finishing my core build in mid game:
philosopher's stone kage's lucky pick
At this point you are a fulltank. You got everyhting you need: Life, Armor, magic resistance... and a decent amount of AP allowing you to harass quite good in lane.
I'm finishing my build from now:
You might want to skip one of those items for Hextech Gunblade.
The great thing about this build is that you are as tanky as my CDR/Tank Leona is. You got about the same amount of armor and magic resistance and only a bit less life. But you got the active effect of Zhonya's Ring for this what will help. The core build I just chose let you buy AP items that are also boosting your tanky stats. So these are perfect for Leona. In the end you get a Tank that deals a decent amount of damage.
Still, AP Tank Leona is not a damage dealer. She is a tank. But she is a tank that deals some serious damage. You still can't kill people alone very fast (just like Akali) and you will never be able to. But you become a great threat for the enemy team.
The disadvantage about this build is that it needs more money. On the other hands AP Leona can farm better than any other Leona build.
To sum that up: This is not a AP Leona. This is a TANK. But I build in tank items that are boosting my AP as well. As soon as I finished my core build I don't need to buy more tanky items and can go for AP.
It's a compromise between Offtank Leona and Tank Leona as it is almost as tanky as my Fulltank leona but deals more damage than Offtank leona.
PS: I'm using 9-21-0 masteries for that.
I'm not sure about this build yet. It's very fun but I still wanna test it before I'll add this to the other builds. I just wanted to share some thoughts with you. And maybe you got some ideas for me.
How to play Leona
Leona is a great champion for your solo lane. She is actually like made for solo top. Try to harass as much as possible but don't overextend. Only push when you really feel save (especially when they got a jungler). Otherwise just last hit. Harassing with Leona is very nice: Use your W, then jump to the enemy via E and stun him with Q (your shield should explode by now). After that just run away. This will help to do some decent damage without getting a lot damage yourself. Anyway this requires to hit with your E. I told you that will need some practice. When your enemies health is low enough feel free to finish that combo with your ult in order to kill him. Anyway, I told you to save your ult for team fights. So you should think about doing that twice.
In a duo lane there is not much to change. You actually should to exactly the same. Just make sure your team mate is focusing the same target. You also should not forget you will most likely got two enemies. So you will get damage when using your combo. Anyway, if you can rely on your team mate it will be worth it.
Actually, in team fights you can follow the same tactics. When initiating fights you should be sure your team mates are following you. Activate your shield, jump into the enemies and use your ultimate. After that try to knock out - as already told - the most dangerous enemy.
Harassing your enemy:
I already talked a lot about this. Use Eclipse and jump to your enemy with Zenith Blade. After stunning your enemy with Shield of Daybreak your shield will explode and you can run away. Just look at the following image as example.
As you can see I don't aim Zenith Blade exactly at Katarina. When she notices I'm going to jump to her she will most likely run back and directly into my jump. But even if she doesn't I will still hit. Aiming like this needs some practice but is very efficient. You also should use your ultimate Solar Flare when you think enemies will fall back if you engage a team fight.
Kayle - who is actually on her way - will do some serious damage to Katarina while she is stunned what will force her to recall.
(It was a normal match and we had no jungler. In ranked with a solo lane you will need a bit longer but the tactics is actually the same.).
Leona can farm pretty good. Use Eclipse near a creep wave to damage them. After that aim Zenith Blade to hit your creeps. On lower levels you can one-hit them after that. In mid-late game your creeps will be dead immediately.
You can use this tactics if you want to push or if you are not laning anymore. Otherwise it is more saver to last hit as your jungler can gank easier and and you can fall back to your tower faster if you get ganked yourself.
Tanking with Leona
I decided to add an own section for this. Riot says Leona is a tank. But... what is a tank? And what does he do? I want to answer this questions to help people who are new with playing tanks.
When is a champion a tank?
A tank got more jobs than you actually might think. A tank...
- ... is tanky
- ... can engage
- ... can protect his team mates
- ... can disable enemies
- ... is not greedy
- ... buys wards
Let's have a closer look at that and Leona's gameplay to master these jobs.
... is tanky
I don't think I have to explain this. Of course a tank needs to draw damage without dieing.
... can engage
A Tank needs to be able to engage a team fight. This actually means you get into the fight at first and disable the enemy. So your team can join the fight without the risk of getting damaged too much.
Leona can use Zenith Blade and Shield of Daybreak to take out the most dangerous enemy, such as Veigar or Annie.
Leona also can use her ultimate Solar Flare in order to stun as many enemies as possible
Please notice: Tell your team when you are going to engage and make sure your team is ready to follow you. Don't engage when your team is in a weaker situation or when the location is better for the enemy team (e.g. a narrow place when facing enemies with a lot of AoE damage).
... can protect his team mates
A did a bad job when he survived himself but his team mates are dead. It is important to make sure your team mates will survive. If necessary sacrifice yourself. So when you are running away with some allies and you know you can't survive all it's your job to die so your team can win some time.
Leona does not have a taunt like Rammus or Shen. So it's hard for you to draw attention to you. The easiest way to protect your team mates is stunning the most dangerous enemy. E.g. use Shield of Daybreak on Katarina when she is using her ultimate or help your AD carry when he is being chased by somebody.
... can disable enemies
A disabled enemy is a useless enemy. As Leona got stuns this is pretty easy for her. Buying items like Frozen Heart or Randuin's Omen can help too.
... is not greedy
A tank can't carry his team. But a fed AD or AP carry can kill almost the entire enemy team on their own. So don't steal kills and even if you desire a kill let one of your carries make the kill. Only kill yourself if there is no chance for your carries to finish the victim.
Always remember: A carry can make more use out of money than you.
... buys wards
Usually your support is doing this. But even if you got one it's great if you help your support. I'll explain this in another section.
To sum that up: Yes, Leona is a tank!
Supporting with Leona
Leona may not be a typical support but she is really strong in the right hands.
Before talking about Leona in special we should think about what a support does in general:
- ... babysits your AD carry at bot lane
- ... is able to sacrifice himself for his team
- ... isn't greedy
- ... buys wards
- ... does what his team tells him
Let's have a closer look at that and Leona's gameplay to master these jobs.
... babysits your AD carry at bot lane
In EU-W the ranged AD usually plays with a support at bot lane. The support needs to help your AD carry to stay alive and farm as much as possible while trying the annoy the enemy. It's your job to take care of your carry. As Leona got a lot CC she is able to do that pretty well. Anyway, she is an aggressive support. I'll explain this later.
... is able to sacrifice himself for his team
I already said that it's your job to support your team... to help that it stays alive. In many cases it's necessary that you draw the enemy's attention onto you so your team can survive. It doesn't matter if you die as long as your team won't. Let's say you are getting chased by the enemy team and you know that not all of you can escape. It's your job to face the enemies. They will kill you. But this takes enough time for your team to get away. As Leona is pretty tanky and got a lot CC the enemy will lose a lot time.
... isn't greedy
Never every kill creeps as long as another team mate could. You don't need them. Never ever kill enemy champions as long as you are the only one who could. You don't need that. As you are going for GP5 items (Philosopher's Stone and Heart of Gold) you are pretty gold independent. In contrast to that your team gets an advantage the more farmed your carries are. Make sure that they get as much gold as possbile. As their builds usually are pretty expensive they will need it. It's farm that could make the difference between victory and lose.
... buys wards
It's your job to buy wards. Why? Read the next section.
... does what his team tells him
This is self explanatory. If your team needs anything... DO IT!
What is the main difference between tank and support Leona?
As support Leona needs to buy wards and got no real farm she won't be able to build as fast as usual. For this reason she either needs to go for Path 1 or Path 2.
The standard masteries are Clairvoyance and Flash. The use of CV usually is the same like with warding. CVing the enemy jungle can give information about incoming ganks or possible counter jungling.
When should I take support Leona?
Leona does have any heal or shield for your AD carry. But she got massive CC and a passive that will increase the damage of your mates. So Leona is an aggressive carry. In champion selection you should discuss with your ranged AD about that. If you take Leona you need to harass the enemy. As you won't be able to hold long going fights at bot lane try to outzone and kill the enemy carry. Ward your river and destroy the tower as fast as possible. Not everyone likes to play that aggressive as it is pretty risky. Don't choose support Leona if you carry isn't confident with that.
The Importance of Warding
As I already mentioned warding is not the tank's main job. Anyway, helping your support with buying additional wards gives a huge advantage to your team. When playing support Leona you need to buy wards.
What kinds of wards do exist?
- sight wards (75g) should be bought usually.
- Vision Wards (125g) are more expensive but can be used against champions with stealth ( Evelynn Twitch Shaco,...) or to destroy enemies's wards or Teemo's mushrooms. As enemies can't see these wards (as long as they don't have one) it can surprise stealth champions more than a Oracle's Elixir could do.
Why is warding important?
Wards are giving you map awareness.
And what is map awareness good for?
If you can see what the enemy is doing you can counter his actions.
- If you know where your enemy is he can't gank.
- Wards allow to gank enemies when you recognize you are in a superior situation.
- Wards can defend buffs because you'll see when enemies are to kill the corresponding creep.
- To sum that up: Wards help to make game changing decisions.
Where should I place wards?
Wards should be placed to get as much information as possible. For this reason you should place wards at crossings to check more ways with only 1 ward.
Here is a good example for that. This wards gives vision to 4 paths and blue buff. At least one enemy will most likely pass through the ward's vision range.
The next image is also a good location for wards. You can check the river and baron with it. I usually choose a Vision Ward for this because probably the enemies will have their own ward here. Vision Ward can uncover it so my team is able to destroy them. The same is for dragon. If your team plans to kill either dragon or baron it is important to know if the enemy can see what you are doing.
This image is showing some of the most common places for wards. Credits for it go to Panglot.
When wards are so important, can I do something against the enemy's wards?
Yes. Vision Wards and Oracle's Elixir can give you vision on enemy's wards. Even when the enemies don't have stealth champions Oracle's Elixir is very viable on Leona as she is a tank and won't lose it so easy. Check for common ward locations to destroy them.
If you want to learn more about wards I can highly recommend Panglot's
Warding helper - More than your eyes can see
Countering your Enemy
As I already mentioned it's most likely up to you to go for the solo lane. This guide should help you to play against certain champions. There are a few things you need to notice when playing solo lane and I'm trying to note all of them.
If you think I forgot an important champion feel free to tell me.
This Pirate of the Caribbean is a real pain till you reach lvl 3. Till you reach your full combo he can just outzone you as he deals some serious damage without you being able to do anything against that. But as soon as you got your combo and maybe Phil. Stone + Boots you can harass him very good. Gangplank is squishy so even as he got heal you can get his life pretty low. Just keep him on critical life and you will be able to farm without any major problems.
I really love to play against Jarvan as he is pretty similar to you. What does that mean? Well, the better player wins. You both got a great combo to deal some damage but Jarvan got less CC than you have. So your combo itself should be taken more serious. The pain about Jarvan is his higher attack damage. So don't mess with him in an open fight. You will lose that. Just get in, let your shield explode and get out. Between that you should just farm.
Even more annoying about Jarvan is that - due to his higher attack damage and his Standard - he is able to push towers much faster than you. So it's your job to keep Jarvan away from that.
Cho'gath on the one hand is a terrible enemy... and on the other hand he is pretty easy. What do I mean with that? He got an awesome sustainability and most likely you will be never able to kill him. Even with a great gank with your jungler you will do hard with that. But if you play well Cho'Gath will also not be able to deal any serious damage to you. The best thing you can do is to farm as much as possible and disturb him a lot. So use your little combo to stop him from last hitting creeps.
Garen is dangerous as he is getting more dangerous the lower your health are (due to his ult). It takes a bit experience how long you can stay in lane with low health before his ult can one-shot you. So the best thing about Garen is not to get on low health. So harass with care and keep away from him when he is spinning around.
Don't get hit by his cleavs. This is an easy rule but it is harder than it actually seems to be. Hide between your own creeps and only push forward either to harass or to last hit. Especially against this enemy the direct way is maybe not the best one to go as a good Mundo can predict when you are going to last hit a creep where you can't hide yourself. But the real pain about Mundo is the fact he can reduce the time of your stun with his W. So it's your job to be unpredictable. Either you activate Eclipse a bit earlier and jump to him right before it explodes. So you got the stun duration to run away after that (problem: Mundo will know what you are going to do and can get out of range). Or you activate your shield during jumping to him so he has no time to use his stance. Otherwise you risk to get some damage when using your combo as you won't get away as easily as usual. As soon as Mundo got some health item you maybe won't be able to kill him anymore on his own. The best way probably is letting Mundo push and getting him into a good gank.
I'm listing Irelia in here because you have the same problem as with Mundo but it's even worse in here because Irelia's CC reduction is based on her passive. Either you activate Eclipse a bit earlier and jump to him right before it explodes. So you got the stun duration to run away after that (problem: Irelia will know what you are going to do and can get out of range). Otherwise you risk to get some damage when using your combo as you won't get away as easily as usual.
A real problem is Irelia's massive amount of heal combined with the good amount of damage she is able to deal. So your harass will most likely be useless as she is able to heal that pretty soon. Unfortunately Leona can't deal a lot damage over time so you can't compensate Irelia's healings. The best thing you can do against Irelia is saving your skills to stop her harass and farm as much as possible. Using your combo to stop her from last hitting my also be a viable option. Anyway it doesn't matter how good you are. Irelia will be able to outfarm you. So the best thing to do is to hope for some good ganks.
PS: If you got more % of health Irelia can stun you.
Yorick maybe is the most dangerous enemy you could face. He can outfarm, outsustain and outzone you. So the best thing is to stay def and call your jungler to gank as soon as possible. Once you got a level advantage you should be able to do fine.
As Rumble deals a lot of damage based on low CD abilities that costs no mana he is a threat to most enemies. Remember when he has Equalizer ready. Only harass when he has just used it. Otherwise you risk way to much damage. Also last hitting will be a risk when he got this damn flame thrower ready.
The easiest way kicking him is waiting for your jungler.
Nasus isn't really dangerous to you. You can harass him pretty easy and this got first priority. Never ever let Nasus farm. Even if Nasus fails to you in laning he can absolutely dominate the game later on if he farmed well. So stop him from last hitting by drawing his attention to you. If you are successful with that he is almost useless.
In my opinion Renekton is more dangerous than his brother Nasus. Renekton does not need mana and got heal. So he can stay in lane pretty long. Also he is more mobile. As he can jump to you, stun and jump away (pretty similar to you). Don't face him in a plain fight as his DPS is higher than yours. Keep in mind that your jump got a much higher range. So use this advantage to harass him.
Before level 6 you can harass him pretty well. After that he is able to regenerate with his ultimate. Reduce his life and get him down together with your jungler is the easiest path.
Don't even think of harassing him when his shield is up. Use the times when it's down to deal as much damage as possible. Also thanks to the fact his attacks cost life you should be able to force him to recall. Killing him could be much harder. Don't risk too much in this lane. Why? If he gets a Leona ghost he is able to push your tower very hard.
Swain is easy before level 6. After that you won't be able to kill him alone. So try to avoid his stun, farm as much as possible and stop him from doing that as well. If you are able to clear his mana pool (because he needs his ultimate to heal up) you should be able to force him to recall by harassing him hard or even to kill him.
Morgana won't be able to kill you if you play save. That's a good message, right? The bad one is that Morgana is very annoying for you. Her shield (that is preventing damage and CC) and her passive (that is giving her spellvamp) makes it almost impossible for you to harass her. Activate your shield during jumping to him so she has no time to use her shield in time. As long as you avoid her stun you should be able to do fine.
Actually Alistar is a pretty easy oppenent if you take care. Harass him without risking to get pushed into his tower. If you force him to use his mana for heal a) he won't be able to harass you and b) you can harass him even more. But please don't attack him when he just uses his ultimate. This is wasted mana.
Maokai is a strong enemy. But at least he got no mad tricks. Harass him as usual and farm as much as possible. Then you should do fine. His seedlings are annoying. So try to lure them to your creeps forcing him to explode without hitting you.
That's it. As you should have noticed I wasn't telling you Leona can dominate each champion. As her overall damage is nice but not awesome she got trouble against champions with a good amount of heal. Against these you need a jungler or a lot of luck to get a kill. But Leona is a solo laner that is loved by junglers due to her amount of CCs what is making ganks pretty easy. In addition to that her CCs allow to escape from ganks easily.
Dominion with Leona
Leona is a decent champion for Dominion. Especially Path 3, Path 4 and AP Offtank are decent choices. Her sustainability combined with decent damage are great for decending capture points or capturing/diving enemy points.
You should not face enemies in an open 1 vs 1 fight. Make use out of your sustainability means mostly defending towers being captured. You easily can hold against 2 or 3 enemies for some time. That's enough for your team to come and help you.
On the other hand she is great for team fights.
I won't go more in depth in here as most tactics will be the same.
Hall of Fame
If this guide helped you to rule with Leona feel free to send me any screenshots. I would be happy to add them in my little "Hall of Fame". I am always glad when I saw my guide helped someone. This will also show others that my build works and most likely they will decide to follow my build suggestions. So let's help together to help others. ;)
zenz3n: First time using this build, that was awsome! I just changed boot.
IndigoHolocaust: Your Leona guide is amazing, it was very effective to use for my first time playing Leona.
xBubbliciousPT: Hiii, i love youre guide on Leona ^^
Xhaphan: Still an awesome guide. Keep it up.
Meji: Thanks for the guide! It has helped me out tremendously...!! Keep up the awesome work!
DemonRoxas: nice guide :D helped me a lot ingame
Shandys: Thanks to your build,my first game went well with Leona.
darthelegy: this is a great guide, depending on team make up i usually go either full tank or CDR/tank
rada660: dam straight, i love your guide! even got a flawless game for me! was a dam fun game
Gorlogorius: Thank you very much 4 ur guide. It's damn so useful! In your guide I prefer offtank or fulltank Leona and it's working! Today I played a long game (almost ~80min) and I was fulltank Leona. She can be damn fightchanger with her ulti and accurate CC. Besides, I was just unbeatable in lategame. Again thanks alot 4 your gude.
iAzzid: This build is super successful. +1
carter0327: Great guide played 5 games 3 wins and a wonderful time
PRG: My first tank game at all :)
thanks a lot!
Thaeraon: Just finished a game after following your guide. I was in the process of building Atma's and I had the gold to finish it. But we won before it was even necessary. :)
doubleoh7: hey man, i was using your build as a basis to get started on mine. She's working out great for me now. Just a quick SS of my build.
Artimano: Season 2 started! It's about time for Leona to shine in ranked games!
Played her at bot-lane /w AD-Carry (/w CV). Our enemy got Morde + Malz + Vlad -> quicksilver + banshee send their dots to hell! I was about to rush thornmail in the end, cause their vayne become fed well.
End stats was about 4,5k hp; 230 Armor, 180 Mres
Love randuins on her, its amazing! It changes teamfights with her abilites
Hakusaki: I've never even played Leona before but thanks to your guide, she might just become my new favorite char =)
Thanks a lot for reading my guide! Please feel free to comment, share your thoughts with me and vote! I don't care if you like or dislike my guide. Just tell me so I can improve it. Respect the work authors took into their guides. When you read it, please comment. It doesn't matter how short your comment will be.
I try to answer every comment. So feel free to ask any questions. Especially if you don't like my guide please don't just downvote it but tell me what you don't like. It's the only way for me improving the things people disagree with me. I want to make this guide as comfortable and solid for everyone as possible.