Leona Build Guide by Surrwin
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.
Build: Main Build
Build: AD Heavy
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.
(15/8/2015) - Updated my stream link as I am now streaming at www.hitbox.tv/Surrwin
(30/06/15) Updated the guide with links to abilities and summoners. Updated build purchase order to make it easier to understand.
(24/03/15) Updated item build path to show baby steps, not just completed items.
(23/03/15) Update summoner spells to Flash/Ignite. Change Mark runes to attack damage. Updated summoner spells explanation to talk about Flash/Ignite.
Leona, the character that blinds you with sun while her shield slams into your face, OUCH! Even the names of her skills are awesome (Shield of Daybreak? Eclipse? Solar Flare? Zenith Blade? Who doesn't want to cause a SOLAR FLARE on your enemy?).
Leona is a tank support who is great at initiating or protecting a carry. Because she has 3 different CC (Crowd Control) effects, she makes it very difficult for anyone looking to dive or channel an ability. She's very tanky when built correctly and she has some decent AP damage when you land a combo on a target (at least early/mid game).
Leona is a pretty straight forward champion and because of this, higher skilled players will know what to expect. This means, you need to play this game like a poker match, don't give away any "signs" or "tells" as to what your planning until it is to late. We'll talk about this more later as you read the guide.
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Summoner Spells (Why Ignite and Flash?)
Why do I have Ignite and Flash on Leona?
The thing we need to understand about bot lane is this: It's not about getting your ADC ahead but about getting the enemy ADC behind.
With aggressive supports like Leona, taking Ignite is a sure way to do that. It gives you much more kill potential in lane and even if you don't get a kill, you'll probably force the enemy bot lane to go back or lose CS because you've hurt them so bad.
There are still times to take Exhaust, like when the enemy team has a Zed, Riven or Fiora. But otherwise, stick with Ignite for early and mid game kill potential.
This is one of the easiest ways to carry a solo Q game, take Ignite and make plays. Even if you're the one getting the kills, the enemy ADC is missing out on CS and experience.
(Passive - Sunlight) is a great ability when grouped with someone else. It allows any of your abilities to add a debuff onto the enemy which will proc the damage from Sunlight when hit by an ally champion. There is a lot of high level play that can focus around your passive if you time your abilities correctly with your allies. You can ensure they get 3-4 procs of sunlight on the enemy target for extra damage. This means though, that someone on your team needs to auto attack that target in between each one of your abilities. In a large scale fight, this probably won't be very possible as there will be to many targets but while laning bot lane with your ADC, it is possible to do this. Keep in mind though that while trying to do this, you won't be locking down the target totally during this time so it is not always advisable. The best times to do this is when you know the other ADC has used their flash or escape, so they are not likely to be able to run away. If you are worried about their burst, just go for the safe play and lock them down.
Note: Early game, your passive will add a lot of damage when fighting in lane with your ADC. It is good to note that you can't pop the extra damage from your passive yourself, so keep that in mind when trying to "clean up a kill" solo.
(Q - Shield of Daybreak) is your bread and butter stun. This ability bashes your shield into your target, breaking their face and stunning them. This is a melee range ability and when used stays active on your character for around 3-4 seconds or until you melee something. You generally don't want to "activate" the ability unless you are in range to use it on your target. Because of how the ability works, if you auto attack your target, hit Shield of Daybreak then auto again quickly you will triple hit that target plus stun them. You can kill stealth wards if you are close by before they go invisible (See Combo section for details).
Note: Your Shield of Daybreak can shield bash and damage towers, so if your looking to get a little extra damage on a tower, don't be afraid to use it.
(W - Eclipse) is your personal armor and magic resist buff. For 3 seconds you gain bonus armor and magic resist. At the end of those 3 seconds, an explosion radiates outward from you in a small area. If any enemy champions or minions are hit, they take damage and also increase the length of your shield by 3 seconds. This ability actually does a fair amount of damage so when diving in with you Zenith Blade, try to have already activated your Eclipse shield.
Note: Later in the game you'll be able to keep this shield up most of the time (mana permitting) with only a 3 second gap. Remember that this shield is not only useful for fighting champions but also for taking tower hits.
(E - Zenith Blade) allows you to "hook" onto an enemy champion (briefly rooting them) and pull yourself to them. It goes through all creeps, minions, dragon and baron. It will even go through an enemy champion if it hits another enemy champion behind the one you aimed at (can be a good or bad thing depending on what you wanted to do). For the most part, you will not level this skill up because your Eclipse and Shield of Daybreak are much more useful. This ability is just for getting onto a target or in some cases, escaping.
Escaping: A classic example of escaping with your E is when a jungler comes to gank you from behind. As the enemy bot lanes tries to pinch you, move toward the enemy jungler and Zenith Blade onto them, pulling yourself away from the enemy bot lane who was just trying to kill you. Shield of Daybreak the enemy jungler for good measure if you have it up then walk away. You can also use this trick when someone tries to tower dive you, simply Zenith Blade onto them after they take aggro and unleash you Shield of Daybreak combo. They will think twice about that next time.
(R - Solar Flare) is your game changing ultimate. You call down a Solar Flare from the sun which lands on top of your enemies, burning and irradiating them. Those that are in the middle of your ult are stunned while the enemies who are on the sides are heavily slowed.
Note: Your Solar Flare has a longer cast range then most champions, allowing you to easily set up team fights. You can also use this to stop people who are chasing down yourself or one of your allies. Solar Flare has a shorter cool down timer, so don't be afraid to use it to get a single kill, it will be back shortly (especially with your cool down reduction).
Leona Skill Combos
Here is a list of skill combos that I normally use while playing Leona (mana costs in Blue):
Initiating Combo (Pre-level 6): Eclipse, Zenith Blade then Shield of Daybreak while in mid air OR Zenith Blade, then Shield of Daybreak and Eclipse while in mid air
(165 mana required)
The second combo is Sneakier as they have no "sign" that you are thinking to go in.
Note: If you didn't land your Zenith Blade, don't hit your Shield of Daybreak or Eclipse to follow it up since your not going anywhere. Better to save the mana and cool downs until your next opportunity to use Zenith Blade on an enemy.
Initiating Combo (level 6+ and ult ready):
Solar Flare, Eclipse, Zenith Blade, Shield of Daybreak OR Solar Flare, Zenith Blade, Eclipse, Shield of Daybreak
(265 - 285 mana required)
Note: Remember your ult has a fairly long range and can easily set you up for a kill if you land the middle of the ult on your target, stunning it.
Stealth Ward killing combo: Auto, Shield of Daybreak + Auto
(45 - 65 mana required)
Note: Keep in mind that after your first auto attack, you need to instantly hit Shield of Daybreak and then click on the ward again. If you do not, you will not triple attack the ward. Also, you need to be close by the ward when it is originally placed or you won't have enough time to kill it. A good use for this in bot lane is in the beginning while standing in the lane bush. Usually the other support will throw a ward into your bush to see you, when they do, use this combo and collect free gold.
Leona's role in team fighting can be a little different depending on your team make up. If you have other tanky champions, make sure to ask your team what role they would like you to fill. The usual roles are:
Your team is looking to you to make the first step for a team fight or engage, you should always be in the front. However you choose to engage is up to you but make sure your team is ready to follow you up when you go in. The best engages are done when everyone is in sync and the right target is chosen. Engaging on an Alistar is not smart but engaging on the mid lane Brand or bot lane Jinx is a beauty.
Your team is looking to you to ult/cc the enemies engages onto your allies. You should be using Solar Flare on top of the enemy champions that engaged onto your team and CCing as much as possible as your team mops them up.
Protect the Carry
Your team is looking for you to stick on your ADC and/or Mid laner like white on rice. You won't be engaging but will focus on CCing and making the enemies teams lives hell as they try to kill your carries.
Note: Your role may change at different times through the game, especially if your team finds that one strategy isn't working. At the same time, never feel stuck in a certain role and pass up good opportunities to catch an enemy champion out of position.
Things to watch out for
Here are some things you should watch out for when playing Leona:
1. When using your Zenith Blade to initiate on a target, you can get stunned, knocked back, charmed, feared, etc. A classic example of this is when your playing against a Thresh in bot lane, if you go in on him or his ADC, he can knock you away before you reach your target by using Flay. Once you get level 6, you should be able to ult him or your target first (stunning them) so it shouldn't be a problem later.
2. When using your Zenith Blade onto a target like Ezreal and he Arcane Shifts/flashes back to his tower. This generally means your going to die or take a lot of damage unless you have flash. I would suggest that you don't Zenith Blade onto a enemy champion that is next to their tower unless your ready to tower dive.
3. Morgana's Black Shield a target you just engaged on with your Zenith Blade. If this happens, you'll still fly to your target but you won't briefly root them. Make sure that when playing against Morgana that you don't hit Shield of Daybreak while the target is still shielded. The best option here is to wait for the shield to drop and then use it. Until the shield goes down, run next to the target, auto attacking and stepping in-between hits. Shield of Daybreak the target once the shield is down. It is possible for you to drop the shield with the damage from your Eclipse but remember you have a 3 second wait until it deals damage.
Leona is an amazing support that can feed your ADC kills early game in bot lane. As the game progresses her role changes to more of a CC machine/engager. Make sure to use all the active abilities on the items you bought such as Randuin's Omen and Face of the Mountain.
Stick with your team and carries as much as possible and always try to be the one getting focused instead of them.
As Leona would say "Next time, try to leave a dent!"
Written by Surrwin - Platinum Support in Solo Queue.
Streaming at www.hitbox.tv/Surrwin.