Alistar Build Guide by T0X1CSPIKES
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.
Hello, this is my first guide on Mobafire. I recently have been playing a lot of Alistar and looked to this site for guides but unfortunately I didn't find any builds that really fit the current meta to my liking so I decided to write my own guide. This build is heavily influenced by Xpecial of Team SoloMid so credit goes to him for anything that may have influenced this guide.
Pros / Cons
- Lots of CC
- Decent heal
- Can tank lots of damage without necessarily building any "tank" items
- Headbutt+Pulverize is essentially a free Malphite ult when used properly
- His heal becomes less useful as the game wears on, can't create a pure sustain lane with it either like
- His headbutt is so very hard to master, and if you mess it up you could end up pushing enemies away from your team
- Very tanky for the duration of his ult, but when it wears off he is susceptible to damage
- You have to pay attention to his passive, you could accidentally steal creeps with it or pull turret aggro
- If you heal your minions enough you could unintentionally push a wave to your enemies tower hurting your carry's ability to farm
Here is where I feel my guide will differ very greatly from many other Alistar builds, the runes.
A lot of people will tell you to run flat magic penetration marks, don't. When supporting bot lane one of your biggest jobs is to babysit your ad carry and if you keep having to go back because you can't take any hits, you may as well not be there at all. With flat armor reds and yellows you will have 23 additional armor from level one, this enables you to take anything from auto attacks from the enemy support, carry, or from creeps. While magic penetration will give you more damage on your pulverize and headbutt skills, this is rather trivial. You don't need to worry about damage as a support, these skills should be used for cc and cc only and late game the magic pen won't be a huge help anyways unless you decide to build a lot of AP items for some odd reason.
For seals I take flat armor which is pretty normal for a support, some people like mana regen per five seconds per level but with the mana regen from meditation and items such as Faerie Charm, mana shouldn't be a problem, just know when to use your abilities and you won't find yourself short on mana. The cost to use triumphant roar is very small and headbutt/pulverize should only be used when trying to set up a kill or to punish enemy champions out of position by harassing them.
These runes are for the most part interchangeable. I prefer flat magic resist to endure hits from things like Janna's tornado or Soraka's star call early game. If you find this isn't a problem magic resist per level will scale better into late game. If you like to go full on rambo and spamming headbutt/pulverize is that important to you mana per 5 seconds per level is more viable here then it is in the seals section (although still not a great choice)
I take gold per 10 quintessences because as a support you should not, by any means, be taking creeps from your ad carry. Once you build your Heart of Gold and philosopher's stone this won't be a problem but before you get these items these quints will generate more gold income. It doesn't just help early game though, late game when you upgrade your Heart of Gold and philosopher's stone you will still retain your additional 3 gold per ten seconds from these quints. Remember, the current meta calls for a 0 cs support, it doesn't mean you shouldn't take any creeps, but if it is possible for you to give someone else free farm, give it to them, better yet, help them farm by setting it up for them with a pulverize.
Unlike my previous section, I won't go too in-depth here because I don't want to bore you to death. I go 0-23-7. This maximizes your ability to tank early and late game, and will help fix any mana issues you should have early game. Also, for those worried about movement speed initiator will help you with that.
This section will explain to you why I build the items listed and not the same ones that most everyone else does, I will also cover the importance of wards.
To Start Off:
So typically you want to start out the game with a Faerie Charm, 3 sight ward's, and 2 Health Potion's. This gives you decent ward coverage, survivability until you take a point in Triumphant Roar, and mana sustain for the early game. I'll go over ward placement later, but for now just remember that wards are your best friend and the most important thing that you can buy as a support.
First trip back:
This is very dependent on how your lane is going. If everything is going fine and this trip back is at your own leisure, you'll probably want to make sure you have enough to gold to upgrade your Faerie Charm to a philosopher's stone and to buy Boots of Speed along with 3 or 4 wards. Remember, prioritize wards above everything else, if you have just enough gold to buy boots don't, spend that money on wards instead. Now onto the, "OH **** THEY ARE WRECKING US I GOTTA B" trip back. This is the trip we have to take very often in solo que when our jungler can't gank because he's too busy dying to blue, the opponent is premade and they counter picked your lane, and your ad carry thinks that only kills matter so they go balls to the wall for first blood by tower diving but then realize they aren't invincible and get royally messed up by the turret. On this trip back you probably won't have enough for your philosopher's stone so just get the Regrowth Pendant and you can finish the full item later. You definitely won't have enough for Boots of Speed and can probably only afford 1 or 2 sight ward's. If this happens try to encourage your lane to be more defensive (although this will often generate a fairly nasty response) and keep on helping your ad carry get farmed up for late game.
Additional Trips Back:
This is what will separate the good Alistar players from the great Alistar players, knowing what to buy and when. As a rule of thumb you should always have an item slot open for wards and you should always buy at least 4 sight ward's every trip back. "but I have enough for..." No, it's not as important as sight ward's. For the gold you spent to rush an early shurelia's reverie you just gave the enemy a ton of gold because Teemo didn't see the enemy jungler coming from the river because you didn't ward. Prioritize your philosopher's stone first, then Boots of Speed and finally your Heart of Gold. Try to hold onto your gold per 10 items for as long as possible, because a shurelia's reverie at ten minutes into the game won't help you as much as the gold income will. For boots, upgrade your Boots of Speed into Ionian Boots of Lucidity when you can. Everyone and their kid brother will tell you to build Boots of Mobility, don't. Leave these to jungle Alistar. The extra cd reduction is so much more valuable to you then movement speed is because in the end having your cc and ultimate up as often as possible is more important then mobility for roaming. After building these items I like to buy Aegis of the Legion because it gives you some extra tankiness and greatly benefits your team in team fights and upgrade the philosopher's stone into a shurelia's reverie for the boost in movement speed for your team. It helps chase down fleeing opponents or get away from bad situations. Remember, these items would probably fall under "late game" items, anything after this is what I like to call "super late game". this would be your Randuin's Omen and Trinity Force. I almost never build Trinity Force and its the kind of item you build for the final fight of the game. Randuin's Omen might seem like a great item to rush if the enemy team has a Master Yi or Tryndamere that is wrecking your team, but I like to just get the Warden's Mail if this is the case and upgrade it later. Oh, and buying Oracle's Elixir or a Vision Ward can devastate the enemy team by enabling you to clear their vision on key objectives such as dragon and baron. You'll develop an idea of when to buy them as you play more and more Alistar.
Always take Pulverize first and then Headbutt second. This gives you so much early game cc that it's not even funny, especially when combined with additional cc from an Udyr, Lee Sin, or Shaco, who love to pull off level 2 ganks. After that prioritize your Triumphant Roar because early game that's when I find it helps the most. Like I said earlier, your Pulverize and Headbutt really aren't as important damage-wise as they are for cc. Always level your ultimate when you can too, because it essentially lets you become a super tank without building any pure tank items. It's also important to note that it acts as a free cleanse of sorts, so if you get stunned, slowed, etc. you can pop your ultimate to get free.
So here is your bread and butter, one of the most infamous bugs in League of Legends history. If you use Headbutt on an opponent you will begin to channel it for a second or so. This is when you begin to mash q as much as possible and if done correctly you will knock the enemy up into the air as soon as you make contact with them instead of pushing them away. PRACTICE THIS FIRST IN BOT GAMES. Don't go into ranked and try this because it is very hard to do at first and if done wrong you'll be public enemy number one on your team because you will knock the enemy away and then slam the ground accomplishing nothing (except maybe helping a fleeing opponent get away).
In a team fight you can fill out a few roles as Alistar depending on the situation. If your team is lacking any tanks you can go right into the middle of a fight with your headbutt/pulverize combo, draw as much of the enemies cc as possible, pop your ultimate, and let your team kill everyone. If you already have great tanks/initiators focus on two things:
- Keeping their carries out of a fight by pushing them away/ knocking them up
- Keeping their bruisers off of your own carry by pushing them away/knocking them up
If you rushed tri force because you didn't read my guide at all and just saw that it was the only damage item I would ever recommend building on Alistar I guess you would have to headbutt pulverize one of their carries that is close to death and hope it kills them, see why I don't build damage on him? He has two abilities that will do damage and nothing else really (maybe his passive). "But, but, AP Sion only has two damaging abilities and he is so stronk!" And how good is he past 20 minutes? Exactly.
Well that's it for now. I will update this guide as needed and as I learn more about Alistar because no one will ever know everything about the meta and how certain champions work in it because the meta is ever-changing. Please leave any constructive criticism below and I hope you enjoyed my guide on how to play my favorite support champion, Alistar. Additionally I will add in a guide to warding as soon as I figure out how to make the graphics for it.