Alistar Build Guide by Bonivore
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.
09/14 - Re-wrote the entire guide to clear up a few things and make it look a bit more serious.
Welcome to my first MOBAfire guide for Alistar.
I believe Alistar is one of the strongest support tanks in the game, for the shear fact that he can literally feed your carries kills. Between the amount of CC that he has to go with his bolstering stature, and his ability to pick off opposing champions in a team fight, you can't go wrong by having him fill out the role of tank, or even jungler for your team.
I'm going to go as in-depth as possible, explaining my build and play style that has brought me and my teammates numerous wins against even the most challenging team compositions in my ELO.
As i said above, this is my first MOBAfire build. I am new to the guide building tool and am sure that there are many things I will be able to improve on this guide. If anyone has any questions or suggestions on my guide, please comment. I am open to improving my build for myself and any others that would use this guide.
For quints, I go with flat HP runes to give myself a little bit of an advantage for low level laning. 78 health at level 1 can be the difference between getting a first blood for your lane partner or yourself, or being the first blood.
For marks, I take magic pen, as Alistar's abilities deal magic damage.
For seals, I take flat armor runes for more sustainability early game, because later in the game you get enough defensive stats to ward off even the most fed damage dealers.
For glyphs, I take flat magic resist, again for more sustainability.
I feel this is a pretty basic mastery setup for any AP tank, and between the extra HP, dodge, reduced damage, armor and magic resistance, you're a pretty formidable tank at level 1. With scaling ratios, by the time you get Warmog's, you'll be turning the tables on team fights if not for the only reason that they just can't bring you down.
Items - Make it Rain
This is where this build is different from most, and also why this guide has the name that it does.
Starting off with Regrowth Pendant keeps you in your lane longer, and give's you an early Philosopher's Stone to get the money coming in, because you'd rather be giving your carry the creep gold, and saving your abilities for harassing enemy champions, and knocking them into your lane partner to get them the kills. I usually tend to wait until I can finish off Philo for 375 and get Heart of Gold for 825 in the same trip.
After that, you'll lane up until the first team fight or gank attempt, which will be plenty of time to get enough gold for Kage's Lucky Pick and Boots of Speed once all is said and done. Once you have the Pick, you'll be making about 2.5 gold per second before taking into account creep kills, assists, kills, towers and so forth. I agree this route is a little bit slower starting out for a tank, but it's much more cost effective as you get closer to late game, as Alistar is one of the most naturally tanky champions I've seen thus far into the game.
In a matter of minutes you'll have enough to finish off your Boots of Swiftness (for landing that timely Pulverize, Headbutt combo) and build your first real defensive piece of armor. I generally start off with Force of Nature because AP champions are dominant in my ELO, and between the MR and added health regen, you won't need to recall again until you can either build Warmog's to start building up stacks, or if there's a pesky AD damage champion giving you problems, go ahead and get Sunfire Cape, because HP is useless if you can't live through the damage.
If the opposing team hasn't surrendered by the time you build your Warmog's, it's likely the game is going to last for a while, so be glad that you've had 3 different items feeding you gold long enough to get you into the latter part of your build quicker than should have been possible. You should have had to sell your Pick to make room for either Sunfire Cape or Warmog's, depending on what the situation was. Next you'll be selling your Heart of Gold for Banshee's Veil to ward off some of them pesky stuns that the opposing team is sure to have, as well as give you even more MR. And last but not least, an item that I feel is overlooked unfairly, Shurelya's Reverie. The health itself on this item is negligible at best, but the added health and mana regen are great. The real bonus is the active that increases nearby ally movement speed by 40%. This is great for those late game pushes after scoring an ace or even if there are 2 or 3 down. All in all, you become a pretty solid brick wall for them to try to break through during team fights, and it's my personal belief that the gold per 5 items help you out a tremendous amount early game, seeing as how you shouldn't have a high creep score. I have yet to be the lowest on gold earned at the end of the match.
I admit that my skill sequence seems a little patterned but there's a reason for that. Pulverize and Headbutt are equally as important, with the heal not so much. That Q, W combo with serve as your best tool throughout the match. If there's ever a point that a clutch heal at a rank higher would have saved you or your lane partner, then the other team should have done a better job at killing you. However getting that E at level 3 is kind of important because it does a small amount of AoE damage, which is great for when your lane partner recalls to get items or is killed and you're left in lane alone. Other than that, ranking up your R whenever available just like any other champion and you're golden.
Flash being an obvious choice for most champions now days shouldn't need much explaining. I don't often use it for escaping or chasing as Alistar though. I mainly use it for landing that wonderful 1,2 combo without flaw. It's better when they don't see it coming.
Clarity on the other hand doesn't seem so obvious. As a tank, you always want your spells at the ready, however without mana, you can't very well use a spell, can you? Because of the fact that he has such low base mana, and you do not get items to increase your mana, you need something other than consumables to make sure that you don't wiff on half a combo. Even at higher levels I find myself running out of mana in team fights from spamming CC's and using my E to keep damage on nearby enemies to score those much needed assists. Clarity keeps you in the lane longer early on, and lets you stay useful longer in team fights late game.
Alistar is a HUGE team player. His combo is nothing without a teammate and without this combo, he's just a meat shield. He has very little ability to get a solo kill without a turret aside from his ult, so do your best to keep your teammates alive. If you don't fulfill your duties as a tank in team fights, your teammates will die, and Alistar doesn't necessarily excel at 1v5 fighting, and besides, it IS a team based game.
Pros / Cons
-Faster late-game building
-Easier team fights and pushing capabilities
-Low movement speed early game
-Less tank capability pre-FoN
-Opposing teams will turtle while trying to find a way to get you out of the picture
All in all, Alistar is a tank with mass amounts of CC and sustainability. Work with your teammates to pick off the other team and push through to the nexus.
I will admit that originally I tried this build as a troll, and also built Averice Blade to go with the other gold per 5 items, but thanks to reppinFTC and more experience with this current build, I've turned it into an efficient grind build that still allows me to pulverize the competition.
Again, if ANYONE has any questions or suggestions, comment. Also if you like the build, vote for it. I'd like this build to see some action other than from me, because of how much fun it is to play Alistar as a moneymaker =)