Situational offensive items
Threats to Leona with this build
|Teemo||Build MR and destroy him. Not a threat, unless he's able to Q before your own Q.|
Your runes will be oriented for a tanky play: armor on quints and scaling health on seals, to grow tankier with time.
Your marks however are here for trades: attack speed to put more damages, and a single crit chance mark, just to have 1% crit chance. I can assure you, it can make you win a trade, having this chance of criting.
Some key elements in your masteries need explanations!
- Fresh Blood : First auto-attack deals more damages. It's basically a super great mastery to use with your Q spell!
- Fearless : More tankyness when getting hit by ennemies... Broken.
- Courage of the Colossus : If you hard CC an ennemy (you have 2 hard CCs: the Q and the R), you get a shield. And a huge one. For example, with the "Full build example", you will a 1490 points shield if you hit a hard CC with 5 ennemies nearby. If you hit on only one champ, you will still get a 450 points shield. Broken? Broken.
The first spell you'll take is your Shield of Daybreak. You can also start with the W if you are worried of your opponent who could kill you in the first levels. Max the W first. It is your main spell to deal damages in AoE and to get tankier (more armor and magic resist). Maxing the W will help you stay alive on your lane, and be more resistant if you want to go super offensive and build a Trinity Force. Always max the E, Zenith Blade last. Take the ultimate, Solar Flare at level 6, 11 and 16, as usual.
Buy the Sheen and the Bami's Cinder as soon as possible. They will be your main sources of damages, as you'll get bonus damages on your auto-attacks by using your spells, and passive damages in AoE.
The items of the core build will guarantee you a great tankyness and good damages. You'll also be able to secure kills by slowing down ennemies with the Iceborn Gauntlet, while the Sunfire Cape will grant you the ability to farm passively and to deal quite a lot of damages every seconds. Always have it.
First thing to do: build an Iceborn Gauntlet. This can be bought when you lose your trades on lane AND when you dominate your lane but the enemy champion escapes and survives every gank your jungler gives you, as its passive ability slows the enemy champion when you hit him after using a spell.
The "Stop running away from me" build is the most useful build you can do on you if you want to play a tanky support-like toplaner, who will be able to take kills in 1v1, but with difficulty. Your damages will be quite ok, but your controls will be the principal problem of the ennemy team. If the enemy team is full AD, or has a Janna or Soraka or any AP support who deals low damages, forget the Banshee's Veil and the Spirit Visage and buy the Righteous Glory. With all the passives and actives of your items and the controls of your spells, if you start chasing someone with the help of a teammate, you're sure that this someone will die.
If you play offensive, the Blade of the Ruined King is a very nice item. It can be very useful if you fight against a tanky toplaner thanks to its passive, or if you want to slow an enemy down with it while slowing him down again with your Iceborn Gauntlet. Also, taking a Spirit Visage can be here more useful than the Banshee's Veil, as its passive has a good synergy with the BotRK's life steal, and as you'll get more CDR and health regen.
Also, another good combo is to buy a Frozen Mallet and a Randuin's Omen: your prey won't be able to escape the slows, and you'll get a hell load of health.
But if you are playing a defensive Leona, and even if you are a tanky toplaner, your role isn't the same as the role of a Garen. You will be more like a Poppy: you'll have to help your team. That's why a Thornmail can be great on you, if you force the focus of a Master Yi, a Tryndamere or any "auto-attacks champion". Also, a Randuin's Omen will slow enemies down, to help your teammates get the kill, and will grant you a little help to resist the critical strikes of any ADC. The Locket of the Iron Solari can also be a good option as its active gives you and nearby allies a shield that can absorb up to 345 damages at level 18 (which can save a life, and a game). In fact, you will have to play a Leona that is very similar to the support Leona, but with a lot more damages.
During the lane phase, you will first have to farm the more you can, to go buy a Sheen and Bami's Cinder very quickly. As soon as you have those, you can start the trades. In most cases, you'll have to do at least 2 trades to get a kill (if your opponent isn't careful enough). If you are against a melee toplaner, just farm and wait for him to come close enough to hit him with your Zenith Blade. When you'll be behind him, hit him with an auto-attack, and then activate your Shield of Daybreak: the damages will be very good. Then activate your Eclipse and hit your opponent two or three times with auto-attacks, wait for the wave of solar energy of your Eclipse to activate itself and deal some more damages to the enemy champion, and then go back behind your minions. In most cases, you'll be able to put your enemy mid-life with this combo, while he'll only be able to get a quarter of your health down. Try again, and kill him.
In teamfights, you'll have to engage and put your controls on the carries of the enemy team. In fact, your role is the same as if you were playing support, but here, you'll deal a bit more damages. Also, out of teamfight, during the lane phase, your Teleport will be very useful to teleport on a ward and gank on botlane, to get one or even two kills, and then maybe take the Dragon with the help of your jungler and your botlane.
As you'll deal more damages than a support Leona, you'll have to attack the enemy carries, to kill them quickly or at least force the focus on you so that your teammates kill them.
- Zed will be one of your main counter. Even you kill him in the early levels, when he'll reach level 6, his ultimate Death Mark, will be a great way for him to kill you or at least to deal you strong damages and his shadows will be a way to escape your ultimate.
- Irelia is maybe the hardest matchup you can get. You have controls, but she has a nice passive that gives her a lot of tenacity, plus true damages on auto-attacks... Do not try trades on her, stay passive and farm under your tower while you wait for your jungler to help you.
- Garen will also be a problem, if he plays agressive. He'll engage most trades, and you'll be silenced by his Decisive Strike while he hurts you really bad with his Judgment. He'll outfarm you, and kill you at level 6 if he starts with AD items to deal more damages on his Q and E before using his ultimate Demacian Justice.
- Olaf is a quite hard champion too, but you can handle him more easily. He's got sustain and true damages thanks to his spells, and a ultimate (Ragnarok) which enables him to ignore controls, but by playing passive and waiting for him to all-in you with his ultimate, you'll be able to survive. When he uses his ultimate, just run, and wait for it to end before trying an engage. In late game, do not engage in 1v1, he'll kill you.
- Darius is also one of the champions that you won't be able to 1v1, because of the regen on his Q, and because of the true damages dealt by his R. Stay away from him.
- Teemo ? You can't dream a better matchup. Even if he poisons you, who cares? You build magic resist, a Sheen, and you all-in him at level 6. You'll deal so much damages with so much controls, that the kill is guaranteed.
- Akali will be easy to outplay. She got poke, but too few damages until she get her ultimate, and even there she'll face your tankyness, and your ultimate will be a great problem to her. You just can't lose.
- Master Yi is another easy matchup for you: he got good damages, but you have tankyness, and your stuns can stop the healing of his Meditate, and stop him while he uses his ultimate.
- Urgot is an easy matchup, even if he deals strong damages. It's easy to get him as he is very squishy, with no escape. Just wait for level 6, he'll use his ultimate on you, and there he is, a free kill who thought he could get you down and escape your stuns.
- Ryze will be very easy to kill too. As he has to build a Rod of Ages first, he'll have quite low damages until level 7/8 or even 9/10. However, if you want a kill, never use your E before he used his Rune Prison, he'll escape you if you can't get close to him.
- Shen will be hard to kill, but he won't be able to kill you, and you'll poke him more than he will. To counter his taunt, build first of all a Blade of the Ruined King, to deal extra damages based on his max health at every auto-attack.
- Kassadin is just like Ryze: he'll have to build mana at first, and his damages won't be really threatening in 1v1 until level 8/9.
As you'll be dependent of the ganks of your jungler, it might be useful to agree with the jungler of the champion he could take to secure kills on toplane. To me, there are 6 champions that can be very interesting in this context:
1. Vi is the best jungler you can have on your side. Combining your controls, her bump, her ultimate if needed, and her damages, you'll be able to kill the toplaner in no time if he dares pushing a bit too much.
2. Rengar is also very interesting. He'll bring enormous damages, and even tanky toplaners such as Dr. Mundo or Garen will fall and die. Try to only get assists, and let him the kills, so he can easily dive and oneshot the enemy carries after you engaged the teamfights.
3. Wukong: how to get a kill easily at level 6. The strategy here is easy: stay in your minions while he comes. He uses his Decoy to come without being seen on the lane. He'll jump on the enemy with his Nimbus strike, and use immediately his Q spell and then his ultimate to knock up the enemy champion. Take advantage of this knock up to use your E / Q combo to stun the enemy champion IN WUKONG'S ULTIMATE. If needed, use your ultimate, but it might be an overreaction, knowing the damages and controls you two can have.
4. Jax is nice too: he'll jump and stun the enemy champion, and you'll use your E / Q combo to stun him a second time while Jax deals a lot of damages in no time thanks to his attack speed.
5. Xin Zhao will be a true cancer too. You are a cancer champion, Xin is too. He'll dash on the enemy, and use his W / Q combo to knock up the enemy. You use your E / Q combo to stun him, and one of you take the kill.
6. Skarner and Leona: how to make someone ragequit. You have 2 stuns. He has 1 stun and an ultimate absolutely amazing if the enemy tries to escape. Moreover, the damages will be real, and you two will be very tanky, so you won't die, and he won't die, but your opponent will.
Pros / Cons
+ Very tanky champion, just like a Poppy (or even more)
+ Good damages
+ Low cooldowns thanks to your items
+ Nice farming ability
+ Great poke and few damages taken with the W / E / A combo
- Quite dependent of the ganks you'll get from your jungler
- Hard to get a kill in 1v1 if you don't have the Sheen
- Easily outfarmed by agressive "auto-attacks champions"