Leona Build Guide by BackdoorPrincess
Not Updated For Current Season
Praise the Sun
Heavy AD Team
Full Build (AD)
Full Build (AP)
Not Updated For Current Season
Pros / Cons
CC out the wazzoo
Can go even if not win against almost every champion, early or late
Is all shiny and stuff
KD may not be pretty, KDA is usually phenomenal though
Teammates are skeptical at best in champ select
Chapter 1: How to not lose top
Now I know what you are thinking, "But sir, leona is a support, she can't even proc her own passive!" And I would tell you to be quiet, because even though she can't proc it, she honestly doesn't need it. Anyone that has played Leona knows the pain of going balls deep on an ADC, only to realize in horror that the Vayne/Lucian/AnyOtherMarksmanEver they thought they were laning with was actually a goldfish flopping on the keyboard and therefore lose that fight harder than Frodo going against Mike Tyson. Anyone who has played Leona will also notice her obscene damage for not building any, and also how obnoxiously tanky she can get (see level 6 tower diving).
But this is not a guide for supports. This is a guide for manly men who want to valiantly hide behind a shield wearing an iron skirt and beat people with it, so if you are here to support Leona then you can walk out that door right there because this is not for you. Now, you may be wondering why cloth 5 even against AP. Many reasons, first off being it builds into so many items that work very well on you you'll probably end up buying it anyways. Also, it gives you some stats that Leona likes, and sustain just in case you are going against someone who likes to be particularly bursty or sustainy.
The laning phase is where most people think "But Leona will get stomped by a Yasuo or a Fiora or ____!" And that is where you are wrong. A lot of people do indeed think this, and will try to be aggressive at level 1, which is when you use your super surprise bursty AA->Q->AA combo to half health just about anyone.If they keep fighting you can usually ignite and kill, and if you think you're going to lose then take the stun opportunity to gtfo and laugh as you sip on one of your 5 red sodas.
I will go ahead and take this opportunity to address the builds you will be facing. The majority of tops you see will take 3 build paths, and they are A) Doran's shield and hp pot, B) Doran's blade and hp pot, and C) That stupid koolaid mix potion with 3 more health pots. The majority of dumbass blade users will be hyper aggressive because "hur hur leona top", the doran's shield users are about 50/50 on aggressiveness because they are usually more into covering their sphincters for the first 10 minutes then getting aggressive, and the fort pot users are just focused on sitting in lane and farming until defeat pops up.
Now as you can see I take q at level 1, first off because cc is awesome and it makes your shield glow, but also because it has 40 bonus damage on an AA to give you that smooth burst you're looking for. If you are using the rune and mastery page I have set up, then you will around half health whoever you're going against with just that first little combo, setting you up to either burn their summoner or die if they want to stand and take it. Now here some people would take e for the extra cc/engage potential, and if you have a garen-teed level 2 gank from a jungler, then by all means go ahead and take it for fb, but otherwise I pick w, 1 for the outrageous damage and defense steroid, but also because level 2 is when a lot of tops gain their combo and will try to all in you, and this just might save you from becoming all dead. (Sidenote I always max w first because it is 10x funnier to watch them do no damage as you farm than to have a stun up 2 seconds quicker)
I shouldn't have to mention it, but farm is a lot of what you will be doing, of course zone when you can or kill when you can, but Leona doesn't have a disengage other than Q stunning someone and tailing it out of there with her W up, so make sure you have a ward or two up if you want to put on your aggressive pants. Playing passive does work well, because no one ever dives a Leona (successfully at least), and if they do then you should thank them for donating to the Leona fund.
Level 1 - AA>Q>AA
Level 2 - W+AA>Q>AA>W explodes
Level 3 and on - W>E>Q>AA+W explosion, walk away and farm as they cry to their jungler about your burst.
Your first goal when you get back is a chain vest, as it reduces aa damage, minion damage, tower damage, and it builds into 2 core items: Sunfire and Thornmail. What you decide to get first is entirely situational. Are you getting dove a lot by the laner or jungler? Are you getting ganked a lot? Is is an ad top and jungler or are one/both ap? It basically comes down to this: If you are winning lane, go for the thornmail if they are AD, as it basically discourages them from poking or fighting you, and gives you more zone potential without passively pushing the wave, but keep in mind it's against AD tops to build this first, it does no good against an akali. If you are losing lane, you can still build it as it will give you more damage based off of their damage (and it is calculated before any armor reduction, which means it is based off of their AD and not the damage you take), and against, say, a Quinn, it is a fantastic choice. However, if you are losing lane against someone not AA reliant, or someone that is heavy AP, I suggest sunfire, as it does damage to them if they get close, helps farm under tower, or helps counterpush. Either way, whichever I don't build first I generally build second, and that is for the next part here.
Around you buying your first major item you will reach the end of lane phase, and begin teamfighting or splitpushing or complaining, whichever is your preferred method. This is where the Leona top shines. Your job here is going to be the initiate usually, and very rarely anymore thanks to tanky junglers not doing as well as the blind monk, the peel for the carry. What I want you to do is as follows:
1. Locate the other team's ADC.
2. E onto said ADC if you can, if not then R into E
3. Start attacking them, do not q immediately unless it will garen-tee a kill
4. Wait for them to attack you or run away, then q and continue to follow them as if they have the last ice cream sandwich in all of the land.
Now, if you have followed the build so far, you should have at least a sunfire and thormail, and if not you should be close, meaning the ADC will not be hurting you much, but will be hurting themselves a lot by having chosen said role. You have now just taken them out of the fight, either by making them run away, or ignore you and fight in which case they are stunned into oblivion, or by killing them, and not only that, but they usually have a support quietly whispering in your ear to stop doing such things to them as it isn't nice.
You are the tank. Not a tank, The Tank. You go in first, you harass the ADC until they quit or the game ends, and let your team mop up the rest. Just you alone can cc someone to the point of uselessness, so once the ADC is out of the game, you focus on whoever on their team IS doing something, and repeat the steps on them. Leona has a lot of passive damage built into her, do not be afraid to take someone on, as long as they are not super fed, and even then you can hold them still while someone else kills them for you.
The last tip I can give is do not build damage on her. While it may seem funny and it may work some games, a ridiculously tanky Leona is a hell of a lot more annoying than a Leona with a triforce and Bork. End game with this and w you end up with around 500 armor and 300 mr, making you quite the tank to all but the best of armor shredders.
AND WARD. If you don't have enough gold to finish something, buy a ward or two to go out, as the extra vision will either A) help you or your team die less, or B) help someone on the other team die more. Vision is never a bad thing to have, and supports can only do 3 and a pink, so help the poor little fellers out.
***BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR W IN LANE*** I see a lot of people use it even when someone is in the middle of the minions, and while yes you can and it may net you a kill, be careful as it will shove your lane harder than a fat kid at a buffet.
I have found that jungler's are more than willing to gank your lane, mainly because you have two cc's under level 6, 3 after, which with some junglers can be a garen-teed kill. Never be afraid to ask for a gank, especially when ahead, even though you might not need a kill, diving a low health xin so that your lee sin can get a q kill early will always help, as long as you don't die. Try to predict your teammates cc if you haven't worked it out already, meaning if you have a thresh you can usually tell them to death sentence as you ult someone, so that his hook is a definite land, and then you both can dash to said champion for what is possibly the biggest cc nightmare of their existence. There is no point in stunning someone that is already stunned, so try to save it for when they get out of another if you can.
Last hitting is extremely important, and I wouldn't use abilities to farm unless your laner has backed or died, and you are shoving really quick before you back. While lots of higher elo players already know about it, not many lower ones do, so a quick mention goes towards if you kill the enemy laner, shove the wave to their tower. It nets you more farm and the tower will reset it for you, giving you an even bigger advantage. Just beware jungler presence and watch for any MIA's or cross map ults (looking at you Jinx). While it may not seem like a lot, ~16 farm is equivalent to the gold from a kill, so even 1 wave puts you that much further ahead.
As I mentioned previously, I have 2 rune page sets for this, with the only difference being the quints, either mr or armor. The reason is, you really don't need more AD than the reds, and while you can have all AD reds, a crit is always good to have, because it can be the difference between a renekton backing off at level 1 and nursing his potion while he q sustains, or killing him with a double damage AA. These are just an all around good choice on her, as the masteries increase your armor both % based and based on number of nearby enemy champs.