Leona Build Guide by Mugulord
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.
This is my guide to Leona as a tank pairing with Corki, for the bottom lane. A great option for ranked doubles. I haven't got the deepest breadth of experience with League of Legends yet, only about 250 wins, and a handful of ranked games. I learned a lot about how to play Leona well from Ssyrak's guide. Awesome in depth guide, if you are new to Leona go there first and live that guide for a few weeks before you experiment with your build. Make sure you don't skip the items section, don't just build the list that's at the top without reading that section. I made that mistake for a while, back when he had a Trinity Force in the top build. Turns out that's a pretty situational item.
I am currently waiting to really put this build through it's paces but I thought it hit some nice points so I'm posting it up here, to maybe expand on how much input I can get. The skill order is from Ssyrak's guide, so no credit there, it's a great build order.
The focus of this guide is to provide your Corki with the things he needs to do his job best. The primary reason Leona and Corki work so well together is that Leona has 3 CC attacks, and Corki has none, they really compliment each other. Also, Leona's E and Corki's bombing run allow for really close matched dives. If you are in tune with your laning partner this will happen so close to simultaneously that your opponent will often panic just from the sudden change of pace.
Runes and Masteries.
The runes I go with provide a maximum of defense: 13 armor and 22 magic resistance, and 78 health.
I used to run health quints, cooldown glyphs, mana seals and defence marks, but I find this build allows tower diving and successful zoning much earlier in the game. As far as cooldown goes, you get 30 CDR from items, and 8.1% from masteries by level 18, so those aren't needed, and now that I'm running clarity for Corki (because he tends to have mana issues throughout the game) I no longer have to worry about mana either.
I went with magic resist marks because it is your lowest defence stat late game, even with these choices. You begin with 30, but it doesn't scale with your levels like your armor does.
I'm considering getting Greater Mark of Health for my marks, to give me a bit more health early game. Need to save up the IP before I can try it out. Anyone with some experience on the subject is welcome to give me some pointers.
My masteries provide a maximum of defense while boosting the primary functions of playing an initiator tank. The gold provided by Mercenary is quite impressive, I often have 10 assists by the end of the laning phase if Corki and I are doing well, which works out to an extra 240 gold just from the mastery. Between that and the gold/5 items I have enough money to make my build and buy a constant stream of sight wards, while leaving all last hits for my carry.
I think the rest of my mastery choices are self explanatory. The minion damage reduction from Tough Skin is nice, but movement, money, and CDR are all much more helpful late game than 2 less damage from minions, especially with the reduced minion damage from the Volibear patch.
The Corki I lane with has mana issues, so I am going with Clarity to take pressure off of him.
His complaint was that he tended to be tapped out after a team fight and even if we won, if anything happened after he wouldn't be able to do more than auto attack. This is only a fraction of Corki's damage potential, so if I can hand him some mana after a tough fight we are that much more ready to kick some *** again after.
Flash is a no-brainer, the mobility it gives you is the best in the game. It may not have the sustained speed of ghost, but flashing over a wall is the equivalent of walking around the entire wall instantly. Ghost can't match that kind of movement speed.
The Opener is pretty standard tank business, Regrowth Pendant > Philosopher's stone > Boots of Speed > Heart of Gold > Mercury's Treads.
Always building merc treads is likely the best way to go with this build. It's the only tenacity in the build, and provides some much needed magic resist. If you are against a team with 3 AD carries then ok, get some Ninja Tabi, unless they have a lot of CC, in which case still get the merc treads.
From there I build Aegis of the Legion to give Corki some damage and defense, then Soul Shroud to give him some CDR and mana regen, both things that he has a hard time building in.
I'm still on the fence of which item to build first, between the Aegis and Soul Shroud, but I am going with Aegis for now because of the better defensive stats. Soul Shroud's mana/5 and cooldown aura are amazing, but the ability to absorb damage combined with increased damage output for both me and Corki is awesome, and using Clarity takes a lot of pressure off getting Corki mana early.
After this is standard tank items. Guardian Angel provides some of the best mixed defenses in the game and you already get a fair bit of bonus health from the rest of your build. Randuin's Omen and Shurelya's Reverie are both great support and tank items, and I build them in that order to make the most use of your gold/5 items. I build Randuin's first so I have the benefit of 2 gold/5 items on the expensive item, and then finishing off Shurelya's with just one gold/5 item.
This allows the highest likelyhood of finishing your build as early as possible with a minimum of farming.
This is the most important section of the entire guide. League of Legends is a team game, and when your team looses, look first to your own faults, and never EVER trash talk. Seriously. There is no reason why League of Legends can't have a more positive atmosphere. If you trash talk, you are the reason someone is having less fun playing the game.
What is your goal, when you enter a game of League of Legends?
How do you achieve that goal?
You can only control your own actions, and offer advice to your team mates if you think they are making an error. If you ridicule your team mates, you will be ignored, and that makes your goal that much harder to achieve. So be civil, and you may be surprised how your team mates respond.
As a tank, your part in achieving victory is to grab and hold your enemies attention, to be feared, and to prevent their strategy from being effective.
I will go over how this works by level, because the laning phase changes rapidly as players approach and exceed level 6.
Level 1 to 5
At level 1 you have your stun, and far more defense than most characters in the game. As you approach the middle with your line of minions, your first order of business is to get the enemy out of your bushes.
You do this by a facecheck, but you will need help. Wait until your minions are lined up all along the bush but not engaged with the enemy line, then facecheck with your Shield of Daybreak activated if you have a strong suspicion the enemy is in the bush. The shield is intimidating, and often people will begin walking away from you already.
If they aren't fast enough you will stun one and with Corki's help they will be brought low enough that they can't risk engaging for a long time. If they decide to engage, you stay in until Corki is either out and safe, or getting kills. This takes practice but use your flash judiciously. My Corki currently takes his machine gun early, and his damage output at level one for those initial few seconds is solid.
If things have gone well, then you have a kill already or have the opportunity to solidly zone your enemy. If things have gone poorly you have made sure that Corki has not taken any damage and you are healing from your potion, and the standard early laning begins.
If you have not gained the bushes keep working at it while Corki farms. Do not let them gain control of the bushes or your Corki will not be able to farm. If you are at least challenging their ownership then Corki can continue farming in peace while you are a thorn in their sides.
At level 2 you have gained your Zenith Blade and can now lance out of the bushes suddenly, with your Q already activated. Often Corki will have his bombing run and be able to suddenly be there with you focusing down that champion. At level 3 to 5, you now have your primary combo. You activate Eclipse, then dive in with your E, hit Q, and the enemy should be close to dead from the combined combo and Corki's damage output.
Level 6 and on
You now have Solar Flare. Now you are dangerous. Now the amount of warning your enemy has goes from half a second to a quarter second. You aim it just slightly behind your enemy, from the bushes. They have just enough time to either flash out, or say oh **** and take it. Aim for characters that can't flash out if you can. If the ult lands, then you have them. You were already cooking your Eclipse, and when you Zenith Blade out of the bushes right as the stun wears off, to stun them again with your Q, creating the maximum amount of time standing still for Corki, your enemy realizes you have played the game before.
Repeat this until the laning phase is over.
How to tower dive as Leona and Corki
There are no minions around. The enemy is at low health under their tower. The checklist:
Do you have your ult?
Is your Corki ready?
If the answer is yes to both you can safely tower dive. Ult them from the dark side of the moon. The range on your ult is it's greatest tool. No other character in the game can reach out and stun someone from so far away with only one ability. You are already running into range of your E while the ult animation is going on. You catch them, stun them, and your W that was cooking the whole time goes off right as you land. You are a hand grenade. You throw yourself at the enemy and they are maimed. Corki gets the kill. You then casually walk away from the tower.
The enemy is alone under his tower at any amount of health, his ally has B'ed home, and your minion wave is coming in to kill themselves on the tower. The checklist:
Is Corki ready?
You don't even need your ult for this.
You walk up with the minion wave and start whacking at their tower. Corki is at the mage line, also shooting the tower. The lone enemy starts to attack you. You let him. after 2 hits, you activate your W. That is your signal to Corki that you are about to serve up a nice fresh kill.
Time it so when you E into your enemy, the W goes off right as you land, then you stun the enemy. Corky was waiting, he bombs in, turns on his gattling gun and starts unloading rockets point blank. As you are riding your sword into the enemies face he knows he is getting your entire combo, plus Corki's machine gun, missiles and phosphorus bomb, and he will take the whole combo, because Leona is a chef, and Leona loves feeding Corki. The business is swift and messy.
You are casually walking away from the tower, dropping your ult on the enemy if they survived the initial assault to keep them stunned and slowed for those last seconds Corki needs to finish his work. You do not break the tower's aggro until the enemy is dead or Corki is out of the tower.
Pros / Cons
Pros: Feels awesome to serve up kill after kill to a character that can make use of them.
Cons: Need to practice with your Corki for days getting the timing and teamwork of the laning phase down to an art. But it is worth it. It is magical when everything slots into place and you just get kill after kill, assist after assist.
There are plenty of guides on how to ward effectively. I will only repeat what has been said in other better guides:
Buy wards, and use them. Ward the bush above your lane. Ward the dragon. Ward everywhere mid and late game. If a team mate dies because a bush wasn't warded mid and late game, it was your fault. You F'ed up. Learn from your mistakes.
Scouting is OP. Wards are OP. Knowledge is power. Use it or get used to the defeat screen.
A huge part of the power of this combo is how sudden it can be. Corki and Leona working well together can strike like lightning. One second Corki is on the far side of the minions and Leona is in the bushes. Then suddenly Leona is riding her sword into your face, Corki has Bombed past everything to bring himself into his deadly range, and you are sitting there, stunned, wondering what just happened.
If you execute these attacks well, timing them for when the enemy is least expecting them, there is no defense. There is nothing the enemy can do but watch his health bar fall and hope there are some tatters left when the stun wears off to make a mad dash for the false safety of the tower.
This Guide is open for critique. It is not an in depth guide, but a guide on one aspect of a champion I love to play, and how she complements one other champion to create a very special combination. Your thoughts and opinions are welcome. If it seemed like I was writing this guide like a story it's because I have experienced these things. This is the experience of how I play Leona, when I'm with Corki.