Leona Build Guide by Witsey

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Witsey

(jungle) Leona - Defender of the Jungle

Witsey Last updated on August 30, 2012
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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.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hello summoners, this is my first mobafire build and have done it on one of my favourite junglers, Leona the Radiant Dawn. Leona is a tank champion that packs a large amount of crowd control with exceptional ganks and always a great help to the team. This guide is aimed at helping those not custom to Leona jungle and help them hone their skills. She is similar to playing a jungler such as Alistar or Maokai, with average jungle speed but awsome ganks.Leona is not the most common jungler and you may be frowned upon when choosing her, but we will show them. Jungle Leona is very underplayed and barely see it. I recommend playing her if your team lacks in cc or you just want to have loads of fun. Mobafire seemed to be lacking in good jungle Leona build so I have made this to compensate.


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Pros / Cons

Leona is a solid champion but like all she has got her downfalls

Pros :

  • one of the best cc champions in the game (2 stuns, 1 root)
  • exceptional ganks
  • passive helps out the team :)
  • takes low damage in jungle
  • good armor and magic resist boost with w
  • many cool skins
  • good gap closer
Cons :
  • very slow jungle clear time
  • no good escape mechanism
  • low damage output without items
  • high cooldowns at lower level
  • no in built jungle sustain
  • can fall behind without ganks

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My rune setup for Leona is similar to most tank junglers but I will explain anyway

9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
The reason I take magic penetration marks is because all of Leona abilities do magic damage and just gives that extra punch to the jungle creeps when using your abilities, which is the way Leona clears camps.

9x Greater Seal of Armor
Armor seals are always great on all junglers and assist in taking less damage from the monsters, pretty simple. This is by far the best choice for seals.

9x greater glyph of sheilding
I find these runes to work well because magic resist lacks in my build a bit so it helps to balance this out and saves your money for more important purchases instead of having to by magic resist.

3x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
These are the best quints in my opinion on gank heavy junglers such as leona because they simply help her to move through the jungle quicker and make her ganks that bit more potent.

Other choices :
- Greater Mark of Attack Speed these are also useful on many junglers but Leona has got low base attack damage so I feel the magic penetration is more beneficial.
- Greater Glyph of Ability Power if you feel like you want to do a bit more damage with your abilites and become a more of a kill threat early game these are a viable choice.

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I think that the classic 0/21/9 works well on jungle Leona, the 21 in defense just helps to make Leona more tanky in the early game when she may be lacking in items. Honor Guard and Swiftness are great spells because movement speed is always great on junglers to give a faster jungle route and stronger ganks. Most of the defense masteries allow for early game jungle sustain and just help to keep you alive at early stages of your camp clearing which is the slowest. The mastery spells are fairly self explanatory and are just the best choice for jungle Leona's to pick.

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Starting Items :

Regrowth Pendant and Health Potion are always my go to items when starting with Leona jungle. I feel she has enough defensive stats with this build that she does not need many pots or extra armor. It also allows you to afford the philosopher's stone almost every time when you do your first b.

Cloth Armor, Boots of Speed, and Health Potion is always a viable choice to start with as well if you feel you take to much damage in the jungle or if you want to be faster in your early ganks or dont have the Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed.

First items :

philosopher's stone + Boots of Speed + Heart of Gold

The ideal situation is that you have got a few assists or even a kill by the time you have to recall first, or you have been farming well and have some money. Try and go back when you have at least 1500 so you can afford all 3 items but is not necessary. However the earlier you get Heart of Gold and philosopher's stone the more total value you will receive from the additional gold per 10 seconds. Always try and pick up some sight ward and Vision Ward to help out your team.

Next purchases :

Glacial Shroud, shurelya's reverie. These items are fairly cheap and give good stats and utility and Frozen Heart will cost less later in the game.

Big items :

Randuin's Omen, Abyssal Scepter, Frozen Heart and Sunfire Cape are what will give you good defensive stats and great utility to add to Leona's already awesome kit.

Item Description and Situational item choices

- philosopher's stone and Heart of Gold are the best choice for Leona jungle as they just help to build the gold that you may be lacking in because of low farm or low score. These items are best to get as early as possible to maximize the gold earning and I try to hold on to these until the mid game as they both really do help to add a large amount of gold.

- Glacial Shroud/ Frozen Heart are great items on all tanks including Leona. The cool down reduction is very useful and helps her a lot and will give max cool down by the time the build is finished. It gives the second most amount of armor in the game and has better utility I feel than a Thornmail.

- shurelya's reverie is always a good item and Leona is technically a support so people may get angry at you if you dont have this item. The cool down helps a lot and the active is just great. If you already have a good support and are a bit fed you can switch out for a more tankier item such as Warmog's Armor or even Trinity Force if you are feeling confident.

- Randuin's Omen works well at slowing down the enemy ad carry and gives good utility and a number of defensive stats that are always great on tanks. I think this is a very important item because it helps you being in the front line of the fight which you will be a lot of the time.

- Abyssal Scepter I get this item because it gives good amount of magic resist and adds some extra bite to all of Leona's abilities. If the enemy team has got a large amount of ability power or the mid lane is just fed a Force of Nature is also a good choice.

- Sunfire Cape this item gives Leona good survivability in fights and has a great passive, the damage is to nearby enemies which is where you will be as Leona in most fights.


Boots of Mobility My favorite choice just because it helps Leona so much with her ganks and makes her that much more of a threat. It creates faster jungle and also good to charge in with shurelya's reverie at lightning speeds for a strong initiate.

Mercury's Treads If the enemy is heavy in cc then this is a viable choice, I personally dont think Leona is affected by cc very much as none of her abilities can be cancelled and you will not be the one focused down every time you are stunned.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity These boots are only required if you decide to change out some items and loose some cool down reduction, otherwise if you buy them they might as well be sold because the build gives max cool down reduction without the boots.

Core Items = Randuin's Omen, Frozen Heart

Good Choices = shurelya's reverie, Sunfire Cape, Abyssal Scepter

Situational Items = Force of Nature (high ap enemy team), Trinity Force (fed and feeling a bit dangerous), Warmog's Armor (rich and dont want to die), Guardian Angel (dying/getting focused to much)

The item build I choose is at using the extra gold from philosopher's stone and Heart of Gold to make regular, small purchases and trying to hold on to them until at least the mid game. These purchases are aimed at gradually getting tanky in all areas rather than making big single-focus purchases such a Warmog's Armor or Force of Nature.

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Summoner Spells

The summoner spells I use are pretty standard and dont really change for me. Here are mine and some other viable options :

Flash - A great spell to help you escape or get in range for a Shield of Daybreak and its many other uses, usually taken most games

Smite - You are jungling so try do it without it, if you can pull it off then you are highly skilled

Exhaust - My second priority, good for shutting down a fed ad carry and helps with ganks alot

Ghost - Also good for ganks and escaping

Heal - You wont be needing it really because you are to tanky, but if you really want

Teleport - If you feel like having more of a global presence and pull off some ward teleporting plays

Ignite - Good for stopping a Soraka or helping to secure ganks

Cleanse - Unless they have crazy cc but usually never take this

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Skills / Abilties

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

This is my personal choice for maxing skills and I feel it works best.


This passive is similar to Lux in that abilities create a mark that are detonated on hit, however Leona cannot detonate it herself which makes it useless in the jungle. It does okay damage but nothing amazing, not the worlds best passive.


A good stun that is activated on hit, be well chained for a prolonged stun in conjunction with your Zenith Blade and is easy to use to stop pesky Katarina or Nunu. This is the spell i max first because it helps to clear the jungle faster and also has a substantial cool down reduce on every rank. Because it resets auto attacks and has a fairly low cool down it makes Leona faster than other tank junglers at clearing camps suck as Alistar or Rammus


This spell gives a massive amount of bonus armor and magic resist and makes Leona take very little damage in the jungle and adds to her overall tankiness. The effect will last 6 seconds when it hits an enemy which will be every time and the cooldown starts when you first press it. With the cool down reduction in the build you only have a 2.4 second wait in between the bonuses.


This is a skillshot stun that also pulls you to the last enemy champion struck and roots them in place until you get to them. The stun is 0.5 seconds and can be well combo'd with your Shield of Daybreak to achieve prolonged stuns. This ability can take you through walls so wards are always advised around the map. This is a great gap closer and your main gank initiate as well.


A very good ultimate, a location stun that can stun the whole enemy team for up to 1.5 seconds or create a nasty 80% slow. This ability is a great initiate and also a great defence system. The radius of the stun and slow is fairly big and has a long cast range.

Leona's abilities all have a relatively long cool down and average mana costs so spamming in the jungle is not advisable unless you have blue. Choose your stuns carefully and do not waste them in a team fight, try your best to stop the enemy ad carry from doing anything or stop any channeled abilities.

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Because Leona is not the best champion at clearing jungle camps, ganking is her main way to earn gold and help the team out. Leona in my opinion is one of the best gankers with multiple strong cc should not be bursted down either with your Eclipse on. When ganking it is best to wait for the enemy to be pushed up at least halfway past the lane because it makes it a lot easier. Call out for your team that you are ganking so they can prepare themselves. Be aware of any enemy ward placements and try to avoid them. It is best when ganking to go for the highest priority target such as the ad carry to try and put them behind of your team's, but any kill and assist will award money. A gank is also successful even if there is no kill, if you are able to burn the Flash or Ghost then ganking in the next few minutes will be much easier in that lane, also if you are able just to damage them enough to send them back can be considered a victory because they miss out on valuable gold and experience.

I always try to gank when I have red buff because the slow helps immensely in securing kills and dealing extra damage. If possible try and run in and hit your Shield of Daybreak first to stun the target, if not in reach using Zenith Blade also works. I prefer to save Zenith Blade for after the have been hit by my q and tagged with red buff so if they try and flash so escape you still have a gap closer available. Going in with your Eclipse will just stop the enemy from trying to burst you down because you should be to tanky unless they are super fed. Your Solar Flare makes ganks almost a guarantee unless it is an Ahri with Flash, Spirit Rush and Ghost. Your ultimate spans about half the width of the lane and about the distance of a flash so can be very hard to avoid. Be sure when ganking to use your abilities wisely as you may ony be able to get of one of each so dont Zenith Blade to them if it means you give them an easier escape because they are safe to flash.

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So thats Blue -> Wolves -> Wraiths -> Red -> Gank -> Gank -> Gank some more!

This is an image I found for an Amumu jungle guide but the route is the exact same to that I take with Leona. Start of at blue and get a leash from your mid or top lane. With other junglers it is effective to start at wolves but i feel that it takes up to long and can leave you w on cooldown for blue and also can be done much quicker with level 2. Be sure to activate your Eclipse only when the big golem actually begins to attack you rather than as soon as the leash begins in order to maximize its effectiveness. Straight away you will see the little damage taken by this camp because of the bonus armor on your w. Get your Shield of Daybreak next and head for wolves. Be sure to hit q immediately after an auto attack to get a reset on it, as if getting 2 attacks for the price of one. Make your way to wraiths and do them, using your w for all camps. Your smite should be nearly up at red (within 15 sec) so begin red buff and by the time it is on halfish health your smite should be ready. When playing Leona I dont believe that golems are worth it as she is to slow doing it and does not give enough reward. Now with level 3 and all abilities look for ganks and try and make first blood happen. Always be looking for ganks when jungling and try to get as many happen as possible. Because Leona is a fairly slow jungler gaining money from jungle creeps is not your main source of income, ganking is.

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Team Fights / Late Game

When all the ganks have gone and the game has moved out of the laning phase Leona is also a great addition to any team. When in a team fight your job is to be the initiator and also protector of the carries. Make sure you always aim your ultimate to hit as many people as possible. Try and use your Zenith Blade onto the enemy ad carry followed by a Shield of Daybreak and an ultimate to the face if he/she has not been bursted down yet by your team. Your ultimate works very well in conjunction with other champions such as Katarina, Nunu, Morgana, Miss Fortune and Malphite to name a few.

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Thank you for reading my Leona jungle guide, I thoroughly enjoy playing her as a jungle and I hope you will to. Please vote up my guide if you liked it and get f**ked if you didnt ;). I hope to be releasing more guides soon and appreciate your feedback.