Alistar Build Guide by Naroji
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.
Early Rise Alistar
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.
When working on this build, I was inspired by all the hate I got for not building Warmog's. Originally building Ali as a support mage, doing massive heals, I found that his tanking ability suffered greatly from it. In response, I made the Early Rise Alistar!~
This rune setup is reliant on the three major tenants of ERA: Mana, Speed, Health.
Each of these will work towards maximizing the time you have to deal damage to your victim, and how much pressure you can put on them over a duration. You are a less-viable threat if you have to keep leaving your lane without farming, and having more health will allow you to stay safe longer, having more mana will allow you to stay dangerous, and having more speed will allow you to deal with enemies quicker, which is useful for getting your Triumphant Roar cooldown to zero more quickly.
The item order for ERA makes sure that he can take a few hits before he has to retreat, which is incredibly useful for early-gaming against tough opponents. Using the Ruby Crystal, and a cooperative teammate, you have a high chance of getting first blood in bot.
Of course, you will undoubtedly run into the problem that, if you were just a little bit faster, you could have killed "Champion X". Well, in short, no you couldn't have. Because you can only choose the Ruby Crystal or the Boots, you would have found that you didn't have nearly enough health to sustain the damage you put out. In short, you would have been killed if you tried to do that much damage with only boots to back you.
Luckily, however, you are now going to get boots to help you finish off those pesky bastards.
Your main ally in this build isn't the damage you deal with your abilites, however, that isn't to say that damage shouldn't be a concern. In fact, you will want to do as much damage as possible as quickly as possible, while still remaining self-sufficient.
Again, this relies on getting your Triumphant Roar back as quickly as you can, in order to keep a healthy supply of minions under your belt with which you can assault turret or Champion.
Conveniently enough, farming minions is your best bet, which will allow you to quickly heal your allied minions for the next fight. The method I suggest trying is Triumphant Roar, followed by Pulverize, then Triumphant Roar again. This will allow you to quickly heal your allies, however it does not make full use of Trample.
Before you begin to scoff, I can tell you, I've toyed around with Flash before, and the results were not promising. Because of the much longer cooldown (two minutes more) and the short range of the ability, I found that Ghost worked much better for chasing a champion who may have otherwise gotten away.
However, this doesn't really help if you or your allied "target" who will be receiving the freshly-wrapped Headbutt package are out of mana, which is why Clarity makes for a very useful second summoner spell. It allows you and your ally to stay in your lane or on the hunt for much longer, allowing you both to gain levels at a quicker rate than the enemies that you are batting away.
This Alistar build focuses around getting Warmog's Armor ASAP. This will ensure that you will have a large pool of health, and as such, are able to more effectively corral and dispatch opposing Champions.
ERA, while not being invincible, should be able to effectively separate and focus one of two enemies, allowing for an ally to dispatch of the Champion easily. This is the core of ERA, as it allows early domination of the field, getting ally Champions fed enough to easily take over the opposing Champions in team fights.
Your job, from then on, is to continue this focus, eventually reaping the rewards of (sometimes) over two dozen assists as well as several kills from both your Passive and Active Skills.
Pros / Cons
- Major potential to push early, causing enemies to play (and build) defensively in order to counter your aggressive style
- Able to Gank relatively early, especially with an aggressive enemy Mid, which will find you a precious ally in the early-game
-Slow speed for the first stretch of gameplay makes ERA susceptible to ganks
-No mana regen makes you reliant on "Clarity" for any mana needs until you can get Tear of the Goddess
-Relies mainly on the element of surprise, making ERA ineffective against Summoners who build wards or start with a Champions reveal-based abilities (such as Maokai's shrubs)
The Ironside Arrives
With this build, it is beneficial to hug the top edge of the enemy's brush. This will cause a surprise when they enter, allowing you to stun them as they walk past you (and your ally), meaning they have to run past you to escape. Without a movement spell, such as Ghost or Flash, it is very unlikely they will be able to escape without taking substantial damage, making it difficult to stay in the action for long enough to gain their first level.
At this point, ERA and their ally will be able to round up any remaining minions relatively unopposed, as there will be at least one Champion left licking their wounds (more if your ally has an AoE damage spell or stun).
By this point, you will likely have gained your first level, putting ERA and your ally a step ahead of the competition... For now.
Workin' the Fields
While many Ali builds warn about farming minions with Pulverize, because of the aggressive nature of this build, Ali should have no problems with using his Q to dispatch any minions with relative ease, while still remaining well-covered against the remaining Champion, thanks to Headbutt.
If you have an ally who is more squishy, it is suggested to get between him and the opponent, as Summoners will normally target the closer Champion during early-game shenanigans, rather than going for the legitimate threats, thinking they can seal the deal with enough firepower. When you get uncomfortable, simply use Triumphant Roar and use your passive to run back through any minions in your way. If they give chase, use your Headbutt to shake them off.
Cry, Baby, Cry
Once you've acquired your Tear of the Goddess, you are gonna want to work on maxing it out. I have found that, due to the negligible amount of mana it costs to cast, Triumphant Roar is great for maxing out TotG. However, it's cooldown can be ridiculous at times.
When you find yourself retreating to base, make a habit of, as you leave base, first using TR, waiting three seconds, then using Pulverize, then using TR when it is ready. This will allow you to get three stacks of TotG's ability taken care of each time you re-enter the field of battle.
Because Triumphant Roar's cooldown reduces each time an enemy unit dies, even if it hasn't cooled down by the time you get to the final turret, it should be fine by the time you need it.
The Armor of Champions
It's at this point that you will find yourself with quite a bit of leftover cash from your laning adventures. Be it from a turret kill or two, a few assists or even a couple kills, you are likely well on your way to purchasing Warmog's Armor. It's recommended that you start off with the Giant's Belt, in order to maximize your tankiness, which will lead to even more kills and saves for your squishier teammates.
If you do things right, you should have enough to buy your other pieces in short order, leaving only the final upgrade to go. This will be the major turning point, as if you do not get Warmog's quickly or safely enough, it may not have enough of an impact on your later performance, especially if your opponents have become round on the meat of the Bull.
Optimize your Synergization!
It won't be long now before enemies will become frantic, watching tower after tower fall to you and your allies, and now is your time to truly shine.
Your job is to, when seeing a concentrated effort by your opponents in a lane, to circle behind them, remaining unseen. At this point, you must rush in, Headbutting a key player into the Turret Fire and then stun them in place. If all goes well, your ally defending turret will be ready and will devastate the heavy hitter, with help from the turret, getting a no-loss kill for your team.
This is a process that you will be repeating later on, once you are in team battles, to knock weakened or dangerous enemies away from their allies and utterly crush them with the full force of your team before moving on to the rest of the group. If you have gotten your cooldown reduction, this process can be repeated multiple times before you are in any serious danger of being killed.
The Great Escape
If you ever find yourself stuck in a situation where you cannot survive, do not fret. It is unlikely that Alistar can be pinned down. Normally, you have a window of time before the gank when you can see the enemy coming to aid a Champion who wasn't going to make it.
Use this opportunity to give him a quick headbutt, preferably at a diagonal angle from the lane you are in (that is, not directly in the path of where you need to go). If you do this, you can then run in the opposite direction, zig-zagging down the field like a rubber ball. If any enemy starts to catch up with you, hit your Q. It has a short delay, which is useful, as it will allow you to get the stun in before you are actually hit by an attack.
Then, barring any surprises, you should be home free, casting E whenever, and as often as, you feel is safe.