Leona Build Guide by MTaur
Not Updated For Current Season
Sample build - DPS
Sample build - Tank
Not Updated For Current Season
Quick update - 6/08/82
Spirit of the Ancient Golem now builds out of Kindlegem instead of Giant's Belt and is therefore very easy to rush *and* it provides CDR, a great Leona stat. It should be gotten early, probably after Bilgewater Cutlass or Sunfire Cape, if not sooner.
I also demoted a few items from "strong choices" to the new "honorable mentions" category.
Quick update - 3/07/13 - Boots
I've been weirdly reluctant to give Boots of Mobility a try, and... they are amazing. CDR is a really strong stat on Leona generally, but Boots of Mobility are amazing, and you don't really need AS boots with Blade of the Ruined King self-synergizing enough as it is (and with AS marks helping too). Also, runes, masteries, and Spirit Visage can bring your CDR over 30% on their own, thanks to the Spirit Visage buffs a while back.
Overhaul - 3/05/13
I keep changing this build around. There is a real challenge to trying to build Jungleona effectively. If you try to do any damage, it becomes very difficult to build up any tank stats. Her clears are bad if you don't aggressively build damage, but with her Eclipse, she can sort of get away with such an aggressive build. If you don't farm a Giant's Belt before going into teamfights, though, expect to blow up.
The main reason for this overhaul is a new item rework: Blade of the Ruined King. It singlehandedly turns Leona into an almost-reasonable duelist. No other item in the game does this, so I would expect more nerfs in the future. But for now, it is actually a viable item to rush on Jungleona. Throw in a pair of Berserker's Greaves and you're doing real DPS, you can solo dragon, and you have a 15% health nuke. It's insanity really.
However, a more conventional hard tank approach can work very well if you're confident that your carries can carry for you. In this case, Sunfire Cape by itself clears out camps and minion waves about as fast as you need them to. The downside is that your DPS slumps while you wait for the item to finish building, making mid-game jungle clears very slow. :(
This build is pretty brief. The point is simply to advertise Bilgewater Cutlass (and sometimes Blade of the Ruined King) as a sufficient standalone item to make Leona's jungle clears tolerable with a good rune/mastery setup, while otherwise building strictly as a tank. Veteran Leona players will recognize that it is vital to build as tanky as possible, but that clearing the jungle can be a challenge without spending money on offensive stats.
One solution is Sunfire Cape, but it has to be completely finished before any DPS is gained. This is a very awkward solution which will lead to a mid-game income slump unless you get some lucky ganks in.
The newer, smoother fix is Blade of the Ruined King, which is all that Leona could ever really need to clear in a reasonable amount of time, while it also makes her DPS presence in fights noticeable, though a little behind that of most bruisers. Bilgewater Cutlass is pretty good for only getting partway there, and the active for CC might be all you truly need in many cases.
I've tested a bunch of setups in Custom, and these two seem to be the fastest. As of 06/08/13, BotRK is more effective for both clears and teamfight damage, but future nerfs could swing it back in favor of Sunfire Cape. In any case, the convenience of Bilgewater Cutlass as a partial item is great for Jungleona in any case.
* Strong ganks
* Tons of CC
* Blade of the Ruined King gives much more damage than you're probably used to from Leona
* Sunfire Cape option keeps clear speed reasonable without loss of tankiness
* Not gold-starved
* Much better duelist mid-to-late game than enemies may be expecting
* Slow first clears
* Blade of the Ruined King option is squishy, and overcoming that with a mid-game Giant's Belt is expensive, making it hard to ward much. It takes about three items to make the BotRK option work without blowing up instantly in teamfights.
* DPS in jungle slows down between the early game and when you finish Sunfire Cape, if you use Sunfire Cape as your clearing item
* Having to explain and convince to teammates that you're actually going to jungle Leona can be a pain
* Needs an ally or two in the lane to do much; often can't clean up after a lane wipe, making her a risky pick ( Blade of the Ruined King mitigates this issue a moderate amount)
* Generally team-dependent as always. If you get in a jungle fight, you need your team to chip in to get a win for the team. Don't get caught.
* Gold can get spread thin mid-to-late game if you have to pick up slack when your support doesn't ward. (Every jungler should buy a ward or two each recall anyway, but bad supports can force you to do even more)
When I first heard about the stronger jungle creeps in S3, I was worried that Jungleona would be no more. However, the items have made it possible for even her to keep on, with appropriate build options.
(Not an item, but relevant to itemization.)
First off, AS marks are just as essential to Jungleona as they have ever been. The strong synergy with Hunter's Machete makes Jungleona's first clear bearable, and they scale into the late game better than other options.
Sunfire Cape clears camps very quickly with the 20% bonus from Spirit Stone. However, Sunfire Cape takes a while to build and does not add any damage before completion. You will have to gank more in the mid-game to compensate for the damage lag if you rush Sunfire.
This is pretty mandatory. You can pick up the red buff at the end of your first clear, but scout around first. The best upgrade by far is Spirit of the Ancient Golem, mostly because it builds out of Giant's Belt and is gold-efficient stats-wise for the next 600 gold.
This item is the only item in the game which can singlehandedly make Leona into a somewhat decent duelist. It's OP and will probably get nerfed soon, but for now it's viable as a rushed item on Jungleona. Consider Bilgewater Cutlass + Spirit of the Ancient Golem mid-game to avoid getting too squishy, or rush the whole blade if you think you can get away with the squishiness. In either case, this is the ONLY non-tank item you need to build. ( Zeal as a sixth item for move speed is also reasonable)
These are incredible. If you just want to play bodyguard and spam peel stuns, then Ionian Boots of Lucidity are good, but a mid-game Spirit Visage and CDR glyphs can get your CDR over 30% on your own. With move5 boots, you can be a lot more aggressive, and 5 seconds isn't actually that long of a time to wait for the passive to kick in. They just aren't any good if you get caught flat-footed, so play smart and avoid skillshots.
- It also might be tempting to build Sightstone, but both Blade of the Ruined King and Sunfire Cape are difficult to rush if you take such a detour. I'd consider picking up an occasional ward instead.
- Other items are important too, but these are more typical Leona items rather than ones that specifically address how she is going to jungle. The rest of her build consists of big tank items experienced Leona players might build on her anyway, given enough farm. (Well, in longer games anyway; support Leona might end the game with Aegis, boots, and Sightstone half the time...)
AS marks for better clears. Scales with AD items you might get.
Flat armor seals for first jungle and general toughness.
CDR/lvl and MR/lvl glyphs to round out CDR and resist magic damage.
Move quints for better stickiness/escapes/initiation.
AS, CDR, health/resists, tenacity, move speed. These are all good things to focus on. The mandatory masteries are of course the jungle-specific ones in Offense and Defense. It's probably better to go something like 8/21/1, 5/24/1, 4/21/5 or something like that, as the only consistently useful tree at higher levels is Defense.
glhf, leave comments
Still trying to work this out with more playtesting. They'll probably nerf BotRK really hard and then it'll be back to the drawing board, so don't be shocked if Sunfire Cape goes back to being the most viable option.