Leona Build Guide by Chaude

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Chaude

Leona - Experimental Tank/Fighter

Chaude Last updated on August 8, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Hello everybody, this experimental build suggests a tank/fighter build for Leona, with runes, mastery, and items that makes her tankish, but fighter-like that enhances her abilities. Using less animations as possible with higher damaging hits, utilizing Mag. penetrations from runes, masteries and items, and ensuring enough survivability to put pressure in group battles.

If someone wishes to make an improvement recommendation, I'll happily test it out and if indeed so, will added it in with credit.

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Greater Mark of Insight: x9 (Mag. penetration)
Greater Seal of Resilience: x4 (Increase armor)
Greater Seal of Warding: x5 (Increase Mag. resist)
Greater Glyph of Potency: x9 (Increase AP)
Greater Quintessence of Warding: x3 (Further increase Mag. resist)

The Rune setup is to help with building Leona as a tank, with the 12 runes dedicated to defenses. On the other hand, the Mag. penetration and the AP increase goes towards the fighter part, giving better hits through chars with low Mag resist and better chances with chars with higher Mag. resist, but also greater DPS for her abilities, as all of her abilities increase with higher AP.

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This build utilizes both the Defense and Offense tech trees, maxing 21 pts. on Def. and 9 on Off. Getting Hp regen and other Def.-related in the def. tree, Ardor for added AP and bonus attack speed. Offensively, use AP boosts-like Archmage's Savvy, and Cripple to add more bite to the Exhaust spell. But more importantly for a sub-tech tree, the added mana regen and 15% mag. penetration makes Leona hit harder and stay a bit longer in the battle.

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The Build Order (BO) is still under development, but I'll accept any improvements someone has in mind, with credit too.

The current BO is: Eleisa's Miracle, Sorcerer's Shoes, Sunfire Cape, Abyssal Scepter, Guardian Angel, and Nashor's Tooth.

Eleisa's Mircale for early game recovery for prolonged battles and has 25+ tenacity against stuns/slows/etc. Sorcerer's Shoes for the added Mag. penetration to hammer home the damage with less animation needed to make near equivalent damage to high attack speed attackers. It also helps with Leona's Zenith Blade when hunting down low HP opponents. Sunfire Cape for added HP and armor when Eclipse is and isn't active, while helping out with the fighter role with the 35 DPS against all enemies right next to her.

Abyssal Scepter to increase the mag. resist (in case of OP-skilled Mage characters) and further increase your AP for more, precise ability damage. By the time you get to Guardian Angel, group battles started at least 10 minutes or so, roughly speaking. It's added surety to make that leap into the enemy group and take what hits come your way and not feed them as quickly while making coordinated attacks to take them out. Finally, Nashor's Tooth. SomeGuyNamedI reminded me of this item's 50% Atk. spd, 55+ AP, and 25% CDR. Definitely adds more burst damage by late game and feels a good standard for this build. Though if money is tight, Malady is a cheaper substitute, or Madred's Bloodrazor if you happen to have plenty of money to spend for a 6th item.

The BO was also considered by the amount of gold needed to purchase each item.

The first two items are 1,300G and 1,100G, making it easy to get items early in the game, along with a few kills under your belt. Really though, if you skip Dorain's Shield and get Regrowth Pendant, you're about 1/3 of the way to Eleisa's Mircale at the start of the match. The Suncape, Abyssal Scepter, Guardian Shield, and Nashor's Tooth are all around 2,400-2,600G a piece.

To help get your items out a bit faster, start the match with a Regrowth Pendant. It'll be much better than a Dorian's Shield once you upgrade it into a Philosopher's Stone (added 5G per 10 Secs) then to Eleisa's Mircale. Besides, Eclipe can out do the def. aspect of Dorian's Shield easy. From there, just grab the subparts, then work up to the main items.

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Skill Sequence

Start off with Shield of Daybreak. Nice stun for that initial push against your lane opponents. Depending on your lane partner, this could work wonders, or not get you anywhere, depending on whether you're going against ranged combos primarily, and how skilled all four players are with their characters. Get Eclipe for the prolonged early game pressure, then Zenith Blade at lvl 3, for any early chance for a kill. Up Shield of Daybreak lvl 4 & 5 for added damage and faster cooldown, making her stuns more effective, and your Solar Flare at lvl 6 naturally.

By lvl 7 up Eclipe to keep your armor and mag resist to the growing DPS your opponents are amassing, with Zenith Blade at lvl 8 for better kill percentages when able to chase with Ghost and Socerer's Shoes.

Lvl 9 goes to Shield of Daybreak for added damage and better cooldown, while Eclipe again for lvl 10 to keep up or exceed the average DPS your opponents can throw at you by the mid game. Upgrade Solar Flare at lvl 11, and finish off Shield of Daybreak at ability lvl 5.

Other than Solar Flare at lvl 16, continue to up Eclipe next when needed, or if need more damage for chases and less defense, go with Zenith Blade til maxed.

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Summoner Spells

Exhaust and Ghost. These two will help with kills, or in the case with Ghost, get your butt out of danger til Guardian Angel arrives. Exhaust to lower the enemy champion's movement rate by 40%, allowing more hits in when backing off. That's not all as with Cripple used to improve Exhaust, the enemy champion loses 10 armor and mag. resist, while increasing the exhaust spell by 0.5 sec. The 0.5 sec for added safety in getting that hit in, if you're not exactly right next to the opponent. And Ghost for catching up to use Exhaust/Shield of Daybreak/Zenith Blade, naturally.

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Experimental Tactics

Seeing how this Leona build operates, I can get to more of the gameplay. A bit hard to make the most out of her on random 5v5, but if you got a good range or support lane partner, you can use Leona's stuns and Eclipse to take in the early game damage and press the attack on them, forcing them to retreat and use Zenith Blade or Exhaust to add more damage, and hopefully get a kill in. Of course Stay close to the enemy champion to get Eclipse's burst damage to hit.

The best laning partner I found so far is Lux. During a random 5v5, an experienced Lux player was able to keep giving me the shield from Lux's Prismatic Barrier. That kept Leona unharmed for a little while longer, and with ranged support, was able to push a Taric and Cho'Goth back to their turret. Note that this was still in the early part of this particular match.

Leona isn't the best at ganking, but if the opportunity is there, Ghost and Zenith Blade to close in the gap and Shield of Daybreak to seal the deal on that kill, on average.

To sum it up:

- Tank and Push early game. Easier with ranged support.

- Start Close-quarter combat and use Day of Daybreak's stun, Solar Flare (if learned), Eclipe, and Zenith Blade, and repeat if able. Assuming that you have the support or the advantage to potentially win each close-quarter encounter.

- Group up by mid-game, and if needed, take lead and scout which enemy champion to kill first, and follow the kill order during group battles.

That's all I can come up with so far. If you have another idea for this build, I may add it in and naturally give credit.

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Community Feedback

Within hours of publishing my first version of this build I already received some interesting thoughts from SomeGuyNamedI. He expressed the importance of having Sheen and upgrading it to Trinity Force by late game, while advising to scrap HexTech Gunblade for Nashor's tooth or an equal equivalent, as the Gunblade doesn't have any other AD/Lifesteal support to make it viable in late game play for this build. My thanks goes out to you SomeGuyNamedI for the advice and thank you for the compliment.

Contemplating, I'm still seeing if it's viable to add in Sheen and give up on the 4th or 5th item on the BO. It almost seems like a 6th item since there's a delay til Trinity Force is purchased. The replacement of Gunblade was easier to decide on. I've looked at a couple other 6th items that would work better, along with Nashor's Tooth. Assuming that you get 10+ kills in before your 4th item, there's a chance to use Trinity Force by the time 6th item is upgraded from Sheen. This also assumes that your partner doesn't steal your kills from you =p. Having a Carry Kayle as a lane partner kills the idea of getting Trinity Force, lol.

Nashor's Tooth does help with Mana regen of 10 per 5 secs, along with needed attack speed boost of 50%, 55+ AP, and 25% CDR. That is a very viable option when grabbing 6th. It gets out Ability damage out faster and gets in more hits per second (HPS). Another 6th item option could be Malady.

Malady match's Nashor's Tooth's attack speed boost. While the AP is 30+ less, its passive allows Leona's physical attacks to shred Mag. resist on target by 6 with a stack of 4, equaling to a 24 Mag. resist drop. This works well with the Abbysal Septer's 20 Mag. resist drop when enemy champions are close to Leona, along with the Mag. pen. runes and Sorcerer's Shoes.

The last option I thought of was Madred's Razorblade. I didn't consider it at first due to its 3,800G price tag, but it offers 30+ AD, 30% Atk. spd., 25+ Armor, and its passive of magic damage worth 4% of the enemy Champion's total HP, per hit. A good anti-Champion item in the late game, but only viable if Leona was able to get a lot of kills in early and mid sections of the match.

Thinking about it now, Nashor's Tooth is the most viable, while Malady is more defensive if tight on money and need a quick boost, while Madred's Razorblade is for the rarer times of racking in lots of kills. This line of logic also created the idea of replacing Eleisa's Miracle with Force of Nature or Frozen Heart, depending on the composition of the opposing team.

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The concept for this build is to be able to dish in the damage taken, and dish a good portion of it back out. She's not amazing by herself, but if you get a Lux, Sona, Jax, or Kayle with her, you can expect better pushes on average.

Note: That depends on the skills of each player in the lane Leona's on.

Again, this build is still being developed, so if something's not going right, or there's a better way to improve this build, I'm more than happy to try the change(s) out, correct necessary points in the build, and give credit.

I hope you have fun with this build. :)