Leona Build Guide by crankdawg47
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.
First off, this will be my first guide ever so I apologize in advance if its hard to follow. I've been playing Leona for a while now and I've come to notice a few trends in the guides I've seen. They all seem to lack focus. They want to turn a tanky character into a melee dps character. When I play Leona I'm not focused on getting kills (K/D spread people can get off the ride now) but I want to stay in the fight as long as possible so that I can facilitate kills. This allows my team to stay on the offensive and, as a group, rack up a large number of kills. This guide is intended to show how Leona can be use as a support/tank character and if things go according to plan will allow you to walk up to an enemy base and tank towers at around level 14-16. By level 18 only strong casters and insane AD chars will be able to do any significant damage to you. This makes Leona a strong threat in a team fight situation. This also means that you sacrifice a lot on damage output which requires to you rely heavily on your team to put out the DPS. Please read through the guide and feel free to leave comments and suggestions. If I feel the advice is useful I will add it to later versions of the guide.
The runes I use for Leona are fairly standard "Tank Runes". The whole purpose is to maximize durability while giving the standard melee attacks some bite with armor pen marks. These can be customized to you play style and the enemy team you're facing. I went for Magic Resist Quints to compensate for a lack of magic resist items in the build. This allows for Leona to not get completely mauled by casters in the early game when you are trying to build your initial items.
My masteries are also fairly standard. These are meant for maximum durability. The 9 points in utility are also fairly standard for my builds where I have extra points to throw around. This is intended to help keep you on pace with all the champions on the field and allow you to access your abilities as quickly as possible.
This is where the major deviations in my build start. You'll notice that there are no offensive items in this build. I tend to focus on armor and health regen to start things off but if the enemy team has a lot of casters/ AP damage chars I would modify the build to match the situation. Most games play out in this manner:
I first start building my Philosopher's Stone by buying a Regrowth Pendant. This affords me a significant amount of health regen at the start. If you feel inclined to do so, you can also pick up a Health Pot. However, imo that tends to be a bit superfluous since the Regrowth Pendant gives you a significant amount of regen so you could simply stay away from the combat for a couple minutes to get the health back. Either way works however.
On the first B I finish the Philosopher's Stone and pick up a Boots of Speed and head back out.
The next trip back will be to buy your Mercury Treads. These can be swapped for Ionian Boots of Lucidity if the opposing team is short on crowd control. I've found that the CD Reduction helps when you get into early team fights. You will need to make the decision based on the situation.
From that point the build order will depend on the situation (how well you're farming, team comp, etc.) I usually start by building a Thornmail or Sunfire Cape. However, the game may dictate the need for more early Magic resist. In this case I would start with a Force of Nature or Banshee's Veil. In the end the build order should look something like this:
Philosopher's Stone >> Boots >> Sunfire Cape >> Thornmail >> Frozen Heart >> Force of Nature
Or if lots of enemy AP
Philosopher's Stone >> Boots >> Banshee's Veil >> Force of Nature >> Sunfire Cape >> Frozen Heart
I cannot stress this enough. Teamwork is key when using Leona. Make sure you and your team are able to communicate the primary target of each fight. Your abilities will ensure that that target and usually several of his friends die by the end of the fight. It is also important to use your stuns to interrupt channeled abilities at every opportunity. Any time you can make an enemy waste an ult is a good thing.
Generally speaking, this is not a build that should be left solo. Ideally you want to be in a lane with a high DPS Char like Nocturne, Wukong, Caitlyn, etc. The reason for this is simple: you don't bring the pain (at least not in the traditional since).
I've found recently that Wukong and Leona have a very strong synergy. Whatever the case, your job is to setup kills for your teammates. In a lot of cases you can force an early first blood by stunning an enemy while your partner wails on them for terrible terrible damage. This is the reason for my skill order which is as follows:
1 point in Shield of Daybreak for the previously mentioned combo.
1 point in Eclipse
1 point in Zenith Blade
Max out Eclipse
Max Shield of Daybreak
Max Zenith Blade
Take points in Solar Flare when they become available.
When playing Leona in lane you want to be near the front. You want the enemy team to be looking at you as much as possible. This will give you the opportunity to setup some nice ganks. When the enemy closes to far your combo will be as follows:
Activate Eclipse >> Activate Shield of Daybreak >> Use Zenith Blade to warp to the target >> Stun >> Eclipse Explodes >> Teammates come in to pickup the pieces
In a team fight you can use your abilities should come off CD fast enough to squeeze off 2-3 Shield of Daybreaks and Eclipses. Just make sure that you shield connects with a champion and not a mob.