Leona Build Guide by Ithumaer
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.
Welcome everyone! This is my first build, so I hope you all are able to enjoy it. Please be sure to test out the build thoroughly keeping in mind that play-style is most important before rating.
Now, before I begin, it's important to note that Leona truly gifted when it comes to laning with a partner. Her passive allows for easy kills as early as level 2, though your partner needs to really understand how to play off your attacks.
Let's get started, shall we?
As for my Runes, I believe it is important to max out Leona's defensive capabilities, as this build designs her to be a solid tank who can throw out crowd control to help the team win. These runes really help in early game when you're going for kills in the first 5 minutes. It'll make Leona tough enough that the Regrowth Pendant is easily all she needs to have some major staying power in the lane and allows her to take some hits while initiating early fights.
Also the Quintessence on Cooldown reduction Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction, although it is expensive, gives Leona juuust enough that she's able to rapid fire her abilities in late game and can use them quick enough to get kills in early game.
As for how I have my mastery spec chosen, it follows much the same idea as my runes, maxing out Leona's defensive abilities so you can focus on holding people down for the kill. The gold and experience, especially when doubled with your Philosopher's Stone, will ensure that you're able to sustain your build with a good flow of money even if your lane opponents are preventing you from getting any kills.
Okay, so the item list here may seem a little daunting at first, but trust me on that this sucker works if you play your cards right. The reason I start with a Regrowth Pendant is that between the Mastery points and Runes you really just need a little healing to keep Leona as a fierce early game character, whereas the items will ensure your late game performance is even more so.
The way to build the items, is usually by Level 2 I have already managed to score a kill and it's extremely cheap to upgrade your Regrowth Pendant to a Philosopher's Stone. Now this is important to do as soon as possible, due to the gold flow you'll receive and that mana regen never hurts to have. Normally, you should be able to afford the Boots of Speed as well as the upgrade to the Philosopher's Stone when you go back the first time.
Now, the reason I suggest building the Force of Nature next is that it's a fantastic item on Leona that's broken into rather cheap parts. The Negatron Cloak is a little expensive, but if you're managing to score the occasional kill then you can rush the Force of Nature in no time at all. Now, this is a great item for a few reasons. Firstly, the movement speed bonus on this item really allows Leona to keep up with other characters, which is good because honestly she's rather slow compared to most other Champions. The Health Regen on this item is amazing and will really allow you to start running in and out of fights quickly, and the magic resist never hurt anyone.
After Force of Nature, usually a tower or two should be down and team fights are beginning to form, which is why it's very important to immediately upgrade your boots Mercury's Treads for that tenacity, which you will definitely need to avoid the pesky slows and stuns that every character seems to have.
As for the Kindlegem, I like that it's a cheap item with good Cooldown reduction and gives some nice bonus health, it also makes building your Shurelya's Reverie very cheap.
After this, I HEAVILY suggest the Rod of Ages for multiple reasons. The first of which is that this item gives a really solid kick to your Health and Mana that will ensure you're not going to be struggling with either. Also the ability power isn't a ton, but it is a nice boost to have when you're chasing a lone Champion down and moving through your entire rotation.
After the Rod of Ages is complete, it's a cheap upgrade over to a Shurelya's Reverie and from there it really depends on how the fight's going. I normally like to build a Warmog's Armor because the massive amount of bonus health sits you very near to 3K health in mid-game and 4K in late, also the regen makes Leona very difficult to kill and if you're wounded in the early part of a large team fight, you can easily slip out and come back 15 seconds later with a nearly full health bar again.
After Warmog's Armor, I suggest looking at the enemy team. If they're running a fierce Tristana or Master Yi, Thornmail is a wise option. Or if it's a high health team, perhaps a Sunfire Cape to give some extra AOE damage. However, my personal favorite is to run a Spirit Visage, which on top of what you're already running makes your health regen unbelievably good and any AP character will quite honestly struggle to so much as tickle you.
One more note. If you're doing great in a fight and scoring plenty of early kills, rushing a Leviathan before getting Force of Nature ain't a bad idea.
Questions About Item Choice
Some of you may be wondering why I have a nearly pure health/health regeneration build. The answer is quite simple in that Leona's Eclipse honestly gives a massive amount of bonus armor and magic resist. More than enough that I consider it wise to push hard for that hefty regeneration and health so that Leona is extremely difficult to kill and can last in a long battle on the front lines. Although really you shouldn't have a huge issue since Leona has good natural armor and this build grants a whole lot of magic resist.
These two are a no brainer on Leona. Due to her being a naturally slow character and the movement items coming later in the build, you need Teleport to get around the map quickly and Flash so you can escape ganks and strike effective last hits. Really there's no other use for the other spells on her as these two, if used correctly, are invaluable throughout the entire game.
Leona's skill sequence is honestly quite simple, though depending on the situation is very customizable. Most of the time you'll want to initiate with your E Zenith Blade, then activate W Eclipse and wait for Leona to auto-attack and then Q Shield of Daybreak for the stun, then proceed to chase your opponent using Q Shield of Daybreak for stuns and E Zenith Blade when they try to Flash or Ghost away.
So, normally your rotation will be something like, EWQQEWQE. However, if you're chasing a lone opponent, I'd suggest using W Eclipse first, then using E Zenith Blade a good 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds before it explodes, allowing you to maximize damage in a short period of time and maintain your shield for if they attempt to counter attack.
When fighting early game in a lane, I suggest for trying to land a Q Shield of Daybreak as your first attack. Often opponents will underestimate Leona's damage and will attempt to harass you or kill minions close to you. If a good distance away from their tower, say mid lane, try to get in a auto-attack immediately followed up by a Q Shield of Daybreak, then fire off your W Eclipse and wait to use E Zenith Blade until they try to run or Flash, followed again by Q Shield of Daybreak. If your partner is on the ball with you, this will guarantee a swift kill. So this is QWEQ normally or WQEQ.
As for Leona's ult Solar Flare, it really just depends. The range is long enough that you can easily cut off escape routes and finish off fleeing Champions that are almost dead, almost meaning no more than 250 health. This ultimate is GREAT at stunning wounded champions who try to Flash away. Using R Solar Flare quickly followed by an E Zenith Blade and Q Shield of Daybreak will ensure that your team will kill whoever is trying to run. Though a note about this ult, I very rarely use it to engage, for the true potential of this ultimate is realized when you engage with your E Zenith Blade, pop your W Eclipse to protect yourself, then aim your R Solar Flare for where their team gathers up in the chaos of the fight.
Leona's ult is a great way to catch that fast fleeing character, just be sure to aim where the edge of the outer circle is a hair in front of the fleeing champion, so that after the brief delay they'll run into the center and be stunned. Though another good tactic to catch a runner is Eclipse, followed by a Flash and Zenith Blade then Shield of Daybreak. Then AS SOON as you land your Q IMMEDIATELY drop Solar Flare on top of them while they're stunned. Trust me, it will hit.
Also a late comment. Zenith Blade is a good way to thwart a gank, especially early game when you're still in Boots of Speed. Usually someone will try to come up behind you, from say a jungle entrance or the river. In these cases, calmly use Eclipse, then Zenith Blade to the champion in the direction you want to run, and use Shield of Daybreak on whoever you teleported to so that you have 1.5 seconds to run the hell away. I almost always get away, as I can Zenith Blade away before I take major damage and Eclipse hits any close pursuers, giving me major damage reduction.
Alright, this is by far the most important part of the build. Here I'll explain how to play Leona so that you can be sure to dominate your lane and feed whomever your laning with, giving your team a fed carry and well-equipped tank usually.
The most important thing about Leona is her passive Sunlight. The bonus damage you cause with it is incredible, though sadly it doesn't count towards your overall damage output. Now, this passive is COMPLETELY useless if you don't have a good partner to lane with. I personally always lane with a friend who plays Shaco and very, very rarely does anyone escape us. The most important thing is I make absolutely sure he's aware that I'm about to engage, for the burst damage caused by his attacks and my passive melts through any defense.
For a lane partner, I suggest characters that are able to keep up with Leona when she uses her E Zenith Blade. Meaning champions like Shaco or Ezreal with their teleport who can immediately follow your initiation into the fight and get a kill, though a champion with Flash is just as good. Secondly, if they have a slow or stun then you know your opponent is done for, since these crowd control effects will usually allow Leona to have enough time to fit in another Q Shield of Daybreak or E Zenith Blade and stun the enemy long enough to finish them off. Remember not to be afraid to use your R Solar Flare to stop a champion from escaping! Leona's Ultimate is surprisingly low on cooldown as far as ultimates go, so don't be afraid to use it!
Be sure you protect your allies. Leona is perfect for using her E Zenith Blade, Q Shield of Daybreak, then W Eclipse to stop a chasing enemy and allow an ally to get away as you hold off dangerous opponents. Although a well placed Solar Flare never hurts.
Leona is an amazing tank to have for team fights. She can take quite a few hard blows and her passive becomes a rampant damage dealer when you're hitting multiple enemy champions with your Eclipse, Zenith Blade, and Solar Flare. Your Sunlight stacks will be applied to the entire team, helping to cause massive amounts of damage!
Remember it is your job as the tank to initiate team fights! I usually engage with Zenith Blade on an enemy that drifts a little too far out, though it's also good to use so you can get the jump on the enemy carry and stun them with Shield of Daybreak and Solar Flare long enough that your team has a chance to kill them or other targets!
Just a few short notes about Leona
Pros- Sunlight allows for easy early game kills in lane.
Leona is great for chasing champions thanks to her Zenith Blade and multiple stuns as needed.
Fantastic early, mid, and late game character.
Eclipse allows Leona to focus on stats other than Armor and Magic Resist which allows nice versatility.
Cons- Leona is a naturally very slow champion, especially early game. Because of this, it is very wise to exercise caution of ganks until you have boots.
Leona's passive is entirely dependent on allies, making her at a disadvantage if solo laning or if she's caught alone.
Between Zenith Blade, Solar Flare, and the end of Eclipse, you REALLY need to practice these skill shots. It's all about timing and predicting your opponents moves. Leona's abilities strike fairly quick, you just have to wait for the right moments, because a Leona unable to aim her attacks is pretty useless.
Leona has 3 really powerful abilities, so of course she has obnoxious cooldown timers. Be sure to plan your attacks so you don't lose a kill due to that cooldown timer on your Q!
This section will have information added as questions come up in the comments and possible patch updates.
Here's a picture showing my very regular success...
For the record, my only loss was in a custom game when I played 1v5 against computers. Needless to say, it was difficult!
Leona is a fantastic tank and initiating champion, you just have to make sure your team is ready to follow you into the fray. Be sure to target enemy carries with your stuns and use your Eclipse to ensure you're not dying easily. The best advice I can give is be sure to try and be the guiding target for your team. If you lead them and you focus their targets, your Sunlight will guarantee a swift kill.
All fear the chosen warrior of the almighty sun!!