Leona Build Guide by Age Awkward
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Welcome to my guide on Leona The Radiant Dawn! Leona is a champion much like Alistar, Nautilus, Blitzcrank and Sejuani. She has a great deal lacking in the damage department but makes up for it with her utility.
Leona probably has the most disables in the game. She has a total of 3 stuns and how/when you use them can make or break a succesful lane composition.
Here are the pros and cons to playing Leona.
+ Lot's of CC
+ Decent mana pool and low mana costs
+ Rarely focused
+ Low damage
+ Long cooldowns
+ Doesn't get many kills
+ Often has to rely on teammates to be good
So get yourself a drink, sit back and read on...
Updates & Changes
09/06/2012 - Added this section.
09/06/2012 - Complete overhaul of item section.
09/06/2012 - Updated items on cheat sheet.
09/06/2012 - Revised Corki and Varus's positions on the lane partners tier list. Also updated explanations.
20/06/2012 - Revised almost all champions position on tier list and added Draven.
20/06/2012 - Completely rewrote all champions explanations on tier list except Tristana, Kog'Maw and Twitch.
20/06/2012 - Added a section for situational summoner spells.
06/08/2012 - Added Jayce to lane partners list.
07/08/2012 - Guide rework including updated quick guide to better reflect current meta.
Sunlight This makes Leona a great support beacuse it adds amazing burst damage to your AD carry. You should cooardinate with your AD carry so that they break the Sunlight debuff every time it is added. Try not to use all of your skills at once, use a skill, let your carry break the passive then use your next skill.
Shield of Daybreak I normally start with this to allow us to kill golems if we spawn on the blue side. It also helps in level 1 ganks and invades. It resets your auto attack timer so to maximise damage, use an auto attack then press Q.
Eclipse This is like Galio's bullwark. It doesn't actuelly block any damage, it just increases your armour and magic resist so you will take slightly reduced damage. In an escaping situation; put this up and run into some minions. This will maximise the duration of the buff. Always max this out first because the defence values scale with levels whereas the disable durations on your other skills does not scale.
Zenith Blade This takes a lot of practice to hit. The hit radius is very small and you must be very presise. Bare in mind, you will always land on the opposite side of the target from where you fired Zenith Blade from. This can be very usefull in blocking an enemies path or blocking skillshots.
Solar Flare An amazing AoE crowd control. With good aiming you can stun multiple enemies and another great thing about this skill is it means you can apply Sunlight to the entire enemy team, if each Sunlight does around 100 damage that is a potential 500 extra damage for your tean.
For most supports, runes aren't a big deal. Champions like Sona and Soraka do not suffer much when they have non support runes on. However, because Leona is a tank and support, runes are a big deal. Here is my most optimal setup.
This setup provides you with the following: +21 armour, +24 magic resist at level 18, +3 gold per 10 seconds.
These are great because you will be fighting an AD carry who will be doing physical damage most of the time. If you must subsistute these out then try Greater Mark of Health or Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. (I don't recommend the latter).
Same as the marks, there is really nothing else to substitute these for and every level 30 should own these. They are used in almost any setup apart from on AP champions.
Because you wont be fighting any magic damage early game there is no reason to take flat MR runes. These will make you tanky and able to survive in at the front of the battle where you should be.
There are a few options for quints but these are my favourite. It means that you don't nesesarily need to get a philosopher's stone so early (even though you should still pick one up) and it means you can upgrade to a shurelya's reverie early and not worry about the loss of gold per 10. Other options include Greater Quintessence of Health, Greater Quintessence of Armor or Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed.
- Summoner's Wrath
- Veteran's Scars
- Summoner's Insight
- Expanded Mind
These are the stats that this setup will give you: +2 Magic Resist, +6 Armour, +108 Health at level 18, +3 Health regen, +2 Damage reduction, +30 Health, +3% Movement speed when about 70% health, +8.1% Cooldown redcution at level 18, +3% Health, +10% Tenacity, +216 Mana at level 18, +2% Movement speed.
Generally this is the best setup. Exhaust can shut down the AD carry in lane for a couple seconds so make sure to never use on support.
However, there are some situational picks depending on your AD carry or the enemy team comp.
A good pick against Soraka in lane or if the enemy team has a combination of healers such as Dr. Mundo, Vladimir, Swain or Fiddlesticks.
Is an option if your ad carry doesn't take it. For example on aggressive champions like Ezreal.
Can be used to keep track of the enemy jungler but since the nerfs has not been such a popular pick.
You don't always need flash since Leona already has a catchup ability in the form of Zenith Blade so Exhaust + Ignite can make for a dangerous lane.
When building Leona the main areas you should focus on are: Durability, Cooldown reduction, Support.
When picking your start item you should firstly work out how your lane will be playing. Aggressive or Passive? Aggressive compositions would normally include Ezreal, Draven, Corki and more passive laners tend to be Ashe, Tristana, Kog'Maw.
- This allows good early aggression since it will aid you in getting close enough to use Shield of Daybreak. This also means it is a great start if your team chooses to invade the enemy jungle.
Passive: AND sight ward X3 AND
- This should be taken if you expect a slow lane where sustain and increased vision is more preferable than the movement speed needed for a fast paced aggressive composition.
My standard pick. Allows you to speed around the map to place wards and check for enemy wards with Oracle's Elixir. Great for initiating and chasing.
Vs a heavy crowd control team or heavy magic damage team.
Vs a heavy physical damage team or a team without crowd control.
Late game items:
shurelya's reverie One of the first items you should pick up after Aegis of the Legion. The combination of cooldown reduction and durability lends well to Leona's playstyle and the powerful active helps you initiate or disengage.
zeke's herald This should always be picked up as long as you have at least 2 auto attackers on your team or a very strong/fed carry such as Vayne. It also gives Leona some dueling power and again the combination of cooldown reduction and health.
While it does increase your burst a little and tankiness it is mainly taken for it's AoE debuff. If you have a lot of magic damage on your team, at least one person should take this. Goes well with Dread and counters consecration.
I have always found this to be a much better choice to upgrade from Heart of Gold than a Locket of the Iron Solari since the health regen aura is only that of a Regrowth Pendant and the shield is pretty negligible. Randuin's Omen is great against physical damage teams as long as you make sure to catch them in the active.
Cooldown reduction and durability again. The mana is helpful but not really necessary since Leona isn't too mana dependant. Counters most common top lane picks and all ad carries.
Full game builds:
Standard: shurelya's reverie zeke's herald sight ward
Against heavy magic damage: shurelya's reverie sight ward
Against heavy physical damage: shurelya's reverie sight ward
You should only pick Leona to be played as a support tank and should always be laning with an AD carry, preferable ranged. Here is a quick tier list of ranged champions ordered by how effective they are with Leona.
God Tier: Corki > Draven > Ezreal
Tier 1: Miss Fortune > Vayne > Ashe > Jayce > Urgot > Varus
Tier 2: Sivir > Graves > Tristana > Caitlyn > Kog'Maw
Twitch Tier: Twitch
And here is a full list with explanations for each champions.
Corki Effectivness 5/5
This champion just seems to get better and better every time I lane with him. He is such an agressive carry and is a strong pick for the same reason as Ezreal but I believe better. Gatling Gun is a constant fire spell which means it can constantly proc Sunlight and Valkyrie allows for agressive play and the ability to keep up with Leona's Zenith Blade. He also has so much poke and all of his abilities are AoE and so he can easily proc the Sunlight debuff.
Draven Effectivness 5/5
With the very few opportunies I have had to lane with this guy, every time I have been able to, it was such a huge success that Draven ended with 15+ kills by the end everytime. He has good, constant damage with his Spinning Axe and when he gets two going at once; the damage with Sunlight is incredible. Draven is to be played agressivly with Blood Rush and so compliments Leona well. There are some nifty ganks that can be pulled off with the crowd control from Leona and Stand Aside and constant stun locks allow for easy hitting of Whirling Death.
Ezreal Effectivness 5/5
Ezreal is my personal AD carry of choice and the one I play best, I love to see Leona in my lane when I play him because of the agressive playstyle. Arcane Shift can keep up Zenith Blade and the crowd control in the lane makes laning my skillshots a breeze. Ezreal has a huge amount of damage at level one with Mystic Shot if built correctly and coupled with Sunlight can overwhelm most opponents.
Miss Fortune Effectivness 4/5
This champion recieved a massive jump on the list due to something pointed out in the comments that made me realise she could be a strong pick. Leona can provide the crowd control that Miss Fortune lacks. This may not help in the lane as much but I wasn't thinking about mid/late game. In teamfights a Solar Flare, Bullet Time combo is one of the strongest teamfight combos on this list. Also, in the lane there is a lot of damage potential with Double Up in the same way as Ezreal's Mystic Shot.
Vayne Effectivness 4/5
I feel that this is a champion that needs to be revised. I set her so high originally because of the stun lock power with Condemn but to be honest, Blitzcrank and Alistar are much better picks due to their ability to move opponents near walls or towers. Leona is still a good support for Vayne because she is quite an agressive laner but she will have a hard time procing Sunlight due to her lack of DoT or AoE. However I still place her this high because If you manage to get a stun combo off, the enemy lane will most likely be dead before they even know what hit them. Tumble and Sunlight create huge burst especially when Final Hour is active. Speaking of Final Hour, it can be used for a devastating ambush when combined with Solar Flare.
Ashe Effectivness 4/5
Again, its all about stun locks. Ashe's Enchanted Crystal Arrow simply works well with the amount of stuns Leona has. Most enemies (maybe with the exception of Tristana) cannot escape a full combo from Leona and Ashe. Even if the enemy does not die, there is still Frost Shot and Zenith Blade for the chase. However, this means that you need to play passively untill level 6, so you wont get as many kills early on as other carries would.
Jayce Effectivness 4/5
Jayce can be played as an AD carry and while he is not the best, if you wanted to play him, Leona is an ideal lane partner. Firstly, To The Skies! allows Jayce to keep up with Zenith Blade which can result in a great ambush coupled with the burst from Thundering Blow's health % damage. The ability to swap between melee and range means he can poke from a distance to proc Sunlight safely or can fight toe to toe with Leona at his side.
Urgot Effectivness 4/5
AoE, DoT, CC and amazing poke. Everything that works well with Leona. I still have only had this matchup a couple of times so I can't really write about it but I know it's good.
Varus Effectivness 4/5
I am not really sure about this champion. He seems to have lost a lot of his release power that people complained about but he is still a strong pick. Blighted Quiver has good synergy with Sunlight and Varus has good AoE to break the debuff on multiple targets. Also, he has a stun which is something that other carries can only wish for.
Sivir Effectivness 3/5
Not a bad pick for Leona. She can easily proc Sunlight with Boomerang Blade and Ricochet. She is agressive but not as much as other carries and doesn't have as much damage. Spell Shield can create an opening for counter attacks and allow Leona to lock down the enemy.
Graves Effectivness 3/5
He has AoE and an attack speed buff and so can proc Sunlight easilly. He is a strong, reliable pick that can work with any support. He has nice damage and durability but I prefer other carries that have higher mobility or the ability to crowd control oponents.
Tristana Effectivness 3/5
A good Tristana will see the opportunity to use Buster Shot during Leona's combo and this may lead some kills but unfortinatly it is unreliable and takes a great deal of skill. Also, Tristana has one of the best escape abilities in the game in the form of Rocket Jump and so doesn't really need protection. She is best suited with a champion that can provide sustain.
Caitlyn Effectivness 2/5
Apart from Piltover Peacemaker which can proc multiple Sunlights, she has no AoE or DoT and is mostly a single target champion. Also, she has no attack speed boosts so no matter what it will be hard for her to proc Sunlight.
Kog'Maw Effectivness 2/5
A champion who is very fragile and has no escapes. Kog'Maw needs protection and Leona can provide that, its just that Kog'Maw is much better suited to lane with champions like Soraka or Sona who can provide him the sustain he also needs.
Twitch Effectivness 1/5
Will further explain this soon but all I will say at the moment is that the new Twitch is even worse than the old one.
To be continued...
This guide is not yet finished but I think it is adequate and useful enough to publish as it.