Build Guide by Bylobog
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.
Alistar is a Tank â�� with a strong support role. He features:
- Trample,his passive, allows him to move through units dealing damage. It's duration is very short, but it helps a lot in allowing Alistar to get his Pulverize - Headbutt combo off. It also helps a little with farming.
- Pulverize (Knock-up AoE Stun) that is useful for initiation in team fights, ganking and basically feeding kills to a lane partner.
- Headbutt - a knockback skill that disrupts enemies in team fights and can also be used to feed your carry. Headbutt can also be used as a pseudo flash. By targeting an enemy minion (or champion) you Alistar will charge to that location and headbutt them. This can be useful if Flash is on CD and you are under a tower.
- Triumphant Roar â�� heals surrounding units. This can be used to sustain Alistar and teammates in a lane, or to sustain a minion wave to push a tower. It can also deny enemies CS.
- His ULTimate, reduces incoming physical damage, makes him immune to new CC and increases his damage output. This is very useful in team fights and in â��tankingâ�� a tower.
This guide is an all-round Alistar build, but I use this build to play Alistar as a roamer or support tank in a lane. If you are looking to jungle Alistar, you probably want a different setup. This build targets survivability, cool down reduction and mobility, but includes some Ability Power so that Alistars' ability have some punch.
My choice of summoner's spells on Alistar varies.
- Flash â�� Is for positioning of his combo, ganks and tower diving is just about essential on Alistar.
- Ghost â�� Alistar is slow, and Ghost helps him position for his combo. In addition to positioning, ghost allows Alistar to chase and to move from lane to lane very quickly.
- Teleport â�� useful to extend Alistarâ��s map presence, particularly if he is roaming.
- Exhaust - even more CC makes Alistar even more disruptive.
- Ignite - if you really want the early game kills or to ensure the kill on a gank.
Alistar is a very flexible champion. He can jungle (but I think prefer a roaming Alistar), he can gank (particularly if he is near a tower or teammates), when paired with a good lane partner he can feed kills to a DPS or Mage, he can push (using his Triumphant Roar â�� Heal and Unbreakable Will â�� ULT) and he is extremely difficult to tower dive against (stun, knockback, heal) unless he is low on mana or all abilities are on CD. His weaknesses are that he is extremely mana dependent, doesnâ��t have much offense, is very slow and is a very poor farmer. Alistar is therefore a very poor choice for a solo lane. He is not going to be g-g-god like (Alistar can be built as an AP burst champion, but this doesnâ��t really play to his strengths).
Based on these strengths and weaknesses, it makes the most sense to me to build and play Alistar as a support tank and/or roamer. It is Alistarâ��s role to feed and protect the carry(s). In different phases of the game, this requires certain tactics.
I. Laning Phase â�� Sustain the Carry and Push.
If your team has a strong (late game) carry such as Ashe, Master Yi, Shaco, Tryndamere, Jax, etc., you win by feeding the carry. Most carries are weak in the early game but if able to build top tier offensive items such as Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, Blood Thirster and Black Cleaver, with a skilled summoner, can wreck whole teams late in the game. Alistar feeds the carry by using his knock up and knock back to stun and position enemy champions for the carry to kill.
The other early game strategy that Alistar can support very well is pushing towers. Alistar does this by sustaining (healing) a wave of minions and then overwhelming the tower and defenses. A ranged lane partner helps to clear the enemy minions, but Trample also works (but it doesnâ��t last long enough IMO).
II. Mid-Game â�� Disrupt the enemy and Sustain the team fight
Once the outer towers start to fall, the lane phase is officially over. There are various mid-game strategies, and Alistar can support them all.
In an all-mid push, Alistar is a traditional tank. He soaks up the enemy CC and initiate damage, disrupts the enemy positioning with his Pulverize and Headbutt and allows the (well fed) carry(s), Mages and DPS crew to unleash damage on the (now) disorganized enemy team. Defensively, he can shut down enemies who have to channel an ULT (Fiddle, Nunu). He also sustains the push with his heal and can continue to feed kills to teammates. Once he gets some armor, he can also tank a tower. As a push can be sustained over multiple waves, it doesnâ��t hurt if Alistar dies saving the carry(s) or squishy casters. Donâ��t disengage until the enemy runs or your teammates are either safe or beyond hope.
If the team strategy is to bait/react and gank, Alistar can wreak havoc on unsuspecting enemies who over extend or cut through the wrong woods. He can isolate and disable individual champions for easy team kills, knock enemies over walls, or stun groups of champions for easy kills by the damage pipes. If Alistar dies in a gank, it is important that he takes casualties with him.
If the team is using a split push or backdoor strategy, Alistar can help lock up enemies in a 4v5 or 3v5 fight (particularly under a tower, where a leveled up Alistar is hard to dislodge). This allows the stealth pushers to backdoor the enemy towers. In this strategy, it is important for Alistar not to die. The idea is to distract / tie up the enemy team as long as possible.
III. Late-Game â�� Immoveable Object or Irresistible Force
By this point, you are fighting either on their base or yours. If you are fighting on your own base, your role is to protect the towers and inhibitors. Hopefully while youâ��re defending, another teammate or teammates are trying to turn the tide by taking down an enemy inhibitor or so, or by ganking and (hopefully) acing them. Regardless, Alistar is a solid defender (but you will struggle to kill super minions quick enough without a DPS partner). If you are fighting on their base, your role is to push/tank the towers and inhibitors and sustain the fight by keeping the pressure (wave of minions and champions) on the enemy team. Spam you heal to keep the minions under the Nexus towers.
This build is organized functionally. Alistar needs enhanced movement, additional health, defensive items to counter both physical and magic damage, some ability power to make his abilities hit harder, and cool down reduction and mana regeneration so that he can spam his pulverize, headbutt and triumphant roar.
Movement Speed:All champions need enhanced movement, but especially Alistar. Even after the recent remake (300 base speed increased to 305) he is still one of the slower champions. As far as the passive effect on the boots, there are really 3 options:
- Ionian Boots of Lucidity (1050 gold) +15% Cooldown Reduction. Unique Passive: Enhanced Movement 2.
- OPTION Boots of Swiftness (1000 gold) Unique Passive: Enhanced Movement 3
- OPTION Mercury Treads (1200 gold) Reduces the duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, snares, sleeps, and immobilizers by 35% Unique Passive: Enhanced Movement 2.
Defensive Items:Alistar is pretty beefy on his own, but to be a tank, he needs health, armour and magic resistance. The top tier items for Health, Armour and Magic Resistance are Warmogâ��s Armor, Thornmail or Frozen Heart and Bansheeâ��s Veil / Force of Nature respectively. The key here is to add cool down reduction and greater mana / mana regeneration along with the defensive stats.
- Shurelyaâ��s Reverie (2200 gold) +330 Health. +30 Health Regen per 5 sec. +15 Mana Regen per 5 sec UNIQUE Passive: Reduces ability cooldowns by 15%. UNIQUE Active: Nearby champions gain 40% movement speed for 3 seconds (60 second cooldown) [This is a good first complete item. Low cost and builds most important stats]
- Bansheeâ��s Veil (2715 gold) +375 Health. +375 Mana. +50 Magic Resist UNIQUE Passive: Blocks one negative spell every 45 seconds. [This items shuts down mages]
- Thornmail (2000 gold) +100 Armor Health UNIQUE Passive: On being hit by standard attacks, returns 30% of damage taken as magic damage. [This items shuts down physical DPS]
- OPTION Frozen Heart (3075 gold) +99 Armor, +500 Mana, Unique Passive: Reduces ability cooldowns by 20% and reduces the attack speed of nearby enemies by 20%. [Option to Thornmail. Higher cost, same armor, maxes cool down reduction, but lacks the returned damage passive of TM]
- OPTION Spirit Visage (2285 gold) +30 Magic Resistance. +250 Health UNIQUE Passive: Reduces ability cooldowns by 10% and increases your healing and regeneration effects on yourself by 15%. [Option or addition to Bansheeâ��s Veil]
Offensive Items:Alistar is not going to be an assassin or DPS hero regardless of how much offense you build, but I feel it is important that his abilities have some punch. All of his abilities scale by AP, including his Triumphant Roar (Heal). The key is to build only 1 AP item and to make sure that the additional stats synergize with the champions role and the rest of the build. There are a lot of AP items which provide useful â��Tankâ�� stats, but for me, the choice comes down to additional cool down reduction (Morelloâ��s), additional Health + a Slow (Rylaiâ��s Crystal Scepter) or additional Magic Resistance (Abyssal Scepter).
- Morelloâ��s Evil Tomb: (2610 gold) +60 Ability Power, +10 Mana Regen / 5 Seconds. Unique Passive: Reduces Ability Cooldowns by 15%. Unique Active: Deals magic damage to target champion equal to 30% of their current Health (+3.5% per 100 Ability Power) with a minimum of 200 damage. 1 minute cooldown.
- Total Build Cost: 10,315 gold
- Total Health @ Level 18: 3147
- Armor: 177.5
- Magic Resistance: 80
- Cool Down Reduction: 40%
- Mana: 1274
- Mana Regen / 5 Seconds: 74.95
- Health Regen / 5 Seconds: 105.1
- Ability Power: 75
- Nivenebt Speed: 375
- Passive: Thornmail returns 30% of damage taken as magic damage.
- Passive: Bansheeâ��s Veil blocks 1 enemy spell every 45 seconds
- Active: Shurelyaâ��s boost nearby allies movement speed by 40% for 3 seconds.
If the game is going poorly and you need more magic resistance, or if the opponent is ALL mage, Quick Silver Sash or Spirit Visage are additonal options that are cheap. However Bansheeâ��s is the most efficient Anti-Mage item.
If the opponent is ALL physical damage or if you are getting destroyed by a Master Yi / Shaco, Sunfires or Wardenâ��s Mail are options/additions, that are cheap. However Thornmail is the most efficient Anti-DPS item.
For movement speed, Boots of Swiftness provide excellent map presence without having to carry the Teleport summonerâ��s spell. But Alistar benefits so much from CDR, that it might be better to go with Ghost and Flash and stay with the Boots of Lucidity.
Sunfires, when combined with Alistarâ��s passive â��Trampleâ�� can greatly increase his farming.
If you really want to pack on the CC, Rylaiâ��s, Randuinâ��s or Frozen Mallet are available, but these are expensive and (IMO) donâ��t synergize well with this build.
To stay in the lane early game you need mana and some health, a Sapphire Crystal will provide enough mana keep the minion wave healed (denying the enemy CS) and to pulverize and headbutt as needed. Health Potions will help you survive enemy (or friendly) attempts at first blood. After that, you will want to build basic boots and Shurelyaâ��s. This is your core build. It addresses all of your most needed stats. Health,Health and Mana Regeneration, Cool Down Reduction and Mobility.
Start of game: (total=460 gold)
- Meki Pendant + 2 health potions 460 gold
1st return to base: (total=1200 gold)
- Boots of Speed = 350 gold
- Ruby crystal = 475 gold
- Kindlegem = 375 gold
2nd Return to Base: (total=2050 gold)
- Philosopherâ��s Stone = 800 gold
- Shurelyaâ��s Reverie = 550 gold
- Boots of Lucidity = 700 gold
Your core items are now complete. The remaining items depend on yourâ��s and the enemyâ��s team composition. If you are facing a heavy physical DPS team (or more importantly, early game if you are laning against one) you probably want to rush Thornmail ahead of Bansheeâ��s Veil. If you are facing a mage / nuke heavy team or one with a lot of CC spells, Bansheesâ�� is essential. The guide however assumes you are facing a balanced team, so incrementally builds the remaining items, focusing on the most important component items first.
3rd Return to Base: (total=2300 gold)
- Negatron Cloak = 740 gold
- Chain Vest = 700 gold
- Blasting Wand = 860 gold
4th Return to Base: (total=$1650)
- Catalyst the Protector = 450 gold
- Bansheeâ��s Veil = 650 gold
5th Return to Base: (total=1300 gold)
- Cloth Armor = 300 gold
- Thornmail = 1000 gold
6th Return to Base (total=$2245)
- Fiendish Codex = 1245 gold
- Morelloâ��s Evil Tomb = 1000 gold
Build Total Cost = 10,315 gold