Leona Build Guide by Malkere
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.
What's the point?
We all know Leona has a hundred and one tank builds, because that's what she's best at, support and crowd control by the book. However! Let us not forget that often a good game goes quite the way you would like it. Get and early couple of assists? Land a killing blowing from that running Akali? Well get ready to get a whole lot stronger in ways you may have never thought possible.
Things to watch out for!
Leona's abilities do not take as much awesomeness from her items as a lot of AP users will. And I'm sorry but Leona is an AP user, yes she swings her sword as her basic attack, but all of her abilities (main damage dealers) are ability based, unless you're trying to build pure melee, which would be ludicrous.
Having said that, your main role to start out with always has to be tank! Which at low levels is really just support because you probably aren't going to be able to tank much. If the game is going sour for your team and they really need you to be soaking up as much damage as possible this build may not be the way to go! But if you've got the smarts to get in and get out, this build turns Leona into the shining beacon she's supposed to be!
Runes and Masteries
These are not the cookie cut Runes, mainly the quintessences which really she can work with just about any of them other than melee, nor do I go to the end of the tank tree or any of the trees for masteries! It drives people insane! I know, I know... but that's they whole point of the build, diversity, cooldown reduction, a decent amount of damage with a little spell vamp to keep you going. You shouldn't be in a fight you can't win, and if it's up in the air your massive array of CC should seal the deal.
I play with the masteries as I've shown them, but the Runes are really up to the user, I wouldn't recommend focusing on AP though as the runes are more important for getting your early kills in, taking that early lead and keeping the ball rolling. Because of that the quitessences can very logically be swapped for armor or MR as you should be on the bottom lane soaking up abilities for your ranged AD.
You are on the bottom lane in the bushes! Your AD carry or whoever is down there with you gets the last hits!
This build is all about getting early kills to dominate the entire game. You start with a pot and a regrowth pendant, so poke your head out if they are pushing too offensively and take some hits for your teammate as they'll spam an ability or two as soon as they see you, using up their mana. You should be able to regen a few hits here and there, but stay out of trouble until you get to three.
Level 3+ is where you start. You've got all your basic abilities, and they can all come out at once! Get your eclipse charging, zenith blade out onto the enemy (preferably the heals, or whoever is the squishiest) and bash em with your shield; eclipse goes off, and walk away. Back to your bushes. You're ranged teammate if they're paying attention should be auto attacking the same target that whole time meaning your sunlight probably went off three times as well. At this point, depending on the champion and your teammates abilities/the enemies CC capabilities, you can exhaust them for a kill. Maybe not that awesome yet, but you should have done a fair amount of damage, and then gone back into hiding.
Your main objective again is an early kill! You want to get back and get that philosopher's stone ASAP! I usually wait until I have enough to get the basic boots to go with it though.
After you get to 6+ you start brutalizing. Leona's solar flare has way more range than anyone is ever able to remember. It's not easy to get a direct hit, but even a slow should allow you to get your zenith blade onto them and score a shield bash.
It's really that simple. Get a ward when you can, but don't spend all your money on them, stay up near the middle if your teammate is pushing too far in leaving you open to ganks. With flash, bash, and eclipse you should be able to get away from most fights unless you let them all get right on top of you.
Items / Strategy
Here's where the build really differs from most. philo stone sure, mercury treads, ya ok..
Frozen Heart! Must have! Excellent tank AP item with 20% CDR! you can blast flare off once a minute with just this little rock in your backpack, and a Leona fight is no fight without her flare raining havoc from afar. Or better yet, right on top her.
After that people go ?_? admittedly kage's luck is not a bad pick here either, but with sheen you zenith and then whack for double damage, eclipse and then whack for double damage, shield bash and then whack for double damage, solar flare and then whack for double damage. People don't really expect to take a lot of damage from Leona and this is just the beginning.
If you have the lead you can go straight for phlange, and keep em under your toes, or even frost mallet which is a great support item. But it kind of just naturally builds into Trin force, and then you've got a lot more room in your inventory and still have your sheen and phlange bonuses.
Get shurelya's and you get even more CDR, making you just that more hard to get away from!
Now here's another crossroad... In the end I tend to go for zeke's herald, though I've listed will of the ancients here. Both items are great for enhancing your team fights, and you should choose depending on whose doing your killing/what the team make-up is like. After one of these in your belt you've got three auras going and a team activatable movement buff.
The enemy now hates you.
With so much cool down reduction you can piss of just about anyone, blade/eclipse/bash/phlange/sheen and just turn around, they'll want to retaliate because most people get angry and in another 5 seconds you'll just do the whole combo again, lay down a flare, smack smack, exhaust as they flash away, maybe you use you shureyla's and combo them again, it's a fair amount of damage, and a lot of CC.
Note that you are not going to have the big damage to take down a tank, but your shield bash is a much needed interrupt for kat's ult, taunt pulls and all kinds of stuff, so be ready to leap to the other side of the fight if you have to.
And again, this build assumes you are awesome! If the game is not going your way stop going damage! You should have a whole team of damage already! Get a heart of gold, get a thornmail, build smart!
Pick off the wolves in the jungle once in while on your way back to bot, when your jungler is helping top or the jungle is full, your bottom laner should want and get most of the kills down there, but you need gold too, neva forget!
And lastly I will admit despite the rotten fruit that gets thrown at me constantly! I take 3 quintessences of avarice with Leona sometimes! getting that philo early and the constantly steady increase in gold, sometimes even a kage's or heart of gold depending on the game team! You don't need any minion kills with all your assists and passive greed!
The dawn has arrived!