Leona Build Guide by Riftborne
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.
BEHOLD, MY FAVORITE SUPPORT!
Leona: The Radiant Dawn
Yeah. Eat it, Ryze.
DAT LEO THO...
Why choose "Dat Leona?"
Sonny, now you listen here. You may be thinking you want to choose some other support, but I'm Wacky Riftborne from Wacky Riftborne's Sunny***** emporium and I'm here to tell you that for the low low price of 4800 IP you can own yours today. She slices, she dices, she blocks poke shots from questionably gay explorers, she bruises, she cruises, she pimp slaps blade spinning assassins.
You never had a support like this one, nosiree. Got a scarecrow moving towards your team with ravens swirling around him in a vortex of certain demise? Well no problem sir, just drop all the joyous flavors of the sun on his brainless head and he'll think twice about moving anywhere. Is some Blade wannabe shooting a barrage of bullets down the lane at your poor carries? Firmly apply a daybreak shield to his forehead and he's GUARANTEED to forget what he was doing.
Are you tired of throwing bananas? Do you want something a little less fabulous? Sick of listening to some musical brat with the reverb turned up way too high on her voiceover? Not really feeling the "crank" today? Brighten up your team with a lovely dose of sunshine today - Get your Leona on, and carry your team into the sunset, my friend.
(This ad brought to you by Wacky Riftborne's Leona Emporium)
Amazing tankiness even at Level 1
Game changing ultimate
Great against teams AND single target
Excellent at catching people out
Drops dragon/baron/red/blue faster
"You'll farm when I say you can"
Gank denial for days
Can carry even a failing team
Can't do much alone until late game
Long downtimes without CDR
Fails without an aggressive carry
BORING if your carry is passive
No heal/sustain for carry
Not exactly unpopular
you may not get her locked
You will die if your carry is passive and you aren't
Champion reliant gap closer
Runes (and alternates)
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Gold
Greater Seal of Armor - See above. More armor is better. When I run my runes and masteries the way I have them set, I start the game with 64 armor and that's WITHOUT my Eclipse up. I laugh off Varus's arrows.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - Fact: Most of the damage you're going to see in lane is going to be AD, not AP. So magic resist isn't very important earlier in the game. Later in the game though, AP is a much larger threat. So by then you'd want MORE. This is why I recommend SCALING glyphs and not flat ones.
Greater Quintessence of GP10 - GP10 makes or breaks a support in my opinion. You already have plenty of armor and magic resist from the rest of your runes and masteries, and you don't really NEED any other statistic on Leona, but you DO need GOLD.
Other possible rune selections
These will work well if you expect your carry to play passively and think you could possibly have a hard time staying against a wave, for instance- if they run a really good kill lane and you think you may find yourself under your tower. I'd swap out ONE of your gold quints for an XP quint.
A lot of people like to run these instead of armor, and that's cool. It's not really my style and I'd never do it, but I absolutely understand why people do it. Eclipse with Mpen is just scary. My counter-argument, however, is that a support isn't there to apply damage. Supports are there to help the carry. Your CC and sunlight is plenty, trust me. I find it a better option to be able to stay in lane longer, rather than do more damage. It's simply not your concern.
These are cool and everything, a Leona with lower cooldowns is way scarier than a Leona who doesn't have the same advantage... nobody can argue that. But the fact is that we already have max CDR built into our gear typically on Leona. So this, to me, would be a waste.
Comments? Concerns? Suggestions? I'm ALWAYS looking to learn more about my LEO!
Masteries (and alternates)
Summoner's Wrath - Excellent steroid for exhaust, which you should be using.
Perseverance - Helps, along with your other regen, to recover from fights.
Durability - Free extra 100+ health at level 18
Hardiness - You need armor to face an ADC, pretty straightforward.
Resistance - Helps cushion pesky Starcall bolts and stray Lucent Singularity blasts
Unyielding - Every little bit helps
Relentless - No, I will not stop chasing you sir.
Veteran's Scars - Free 30 health OP
Block - When you factor in late game attack speed, 3 off of every shot adds up quick.
Tenacious - Since I don't typically build any tenacity on her
Juggernaut - We're gonna build a lot of health, so percentage bonuses are gonna be worth a lot.
Legendary Armor - We build a lot of mitigation, so this is a great amp.
Honor Guard - 3% overall damage reduction is hard to argue with.
Obviously you'll have to play with the points in the defensive tree, but:
Meditation - Is useful if you want to be MORE aggressive than usual... for instance, if you know your ADC personally and have Skype or something.
Wanderer - Is great for wandering... go figure. I'd take this if I'm against a team full of known roamers and I REALLY needed to get wards out as efficiently as possible.
WHY don't we take:
Sorcery - We already get max CDR from our items later. While this is useful early game, it will become obsolete later.
Blast , Arcane Knowledge - We're not trying to do the damage, we're trying to be alive and available to help our CARRY do damage. Tankiness is better than offensive specs.
Where to play Leona
And nowhere else.
No really, being a theorycrafter and a lover of unorthodox champions in unorthodox roles, I can safely say that Leona is the only champion who carries an opinion from me of "She supports. Period."
And that's a hard confinement to get out of a guy like me. I play Renekton support sometimes... for funzies.
And that'd be the reasoning right there.
"Leona is unable to activate the additional damage herself".
Ladies and gentlemen, what we have here is the ONLY CHAMPION IN THE GAME who loses a huge part of her potential by being completely alone. It's not the she CAN'T jungle, it's not that she CAN'T go top lane... hell, I've seen her played mid lane. The fact is that she probably SHOULDN'T go to those places because she's just so much better with someone by her side.
For this reason, I won't be covering jungle or bruiser builds on her. I'll leave that to others.
Shield of Daybreak - Your stun. Also, your channel stopper. Anything that's channeled is stopped by this and it's QUICK. You can have it amped up and ready to go on your next auto before you even get into a fight.
Eclipse - Your mitigation aid/Nuke. Charges for 3 seconds, splodes, lingers for 3 seconds. The explosion does massive damage and applies Sunlight oppa AOE style. you retain the armor/MR steroid for the full 6 seconds. It can't be broken like Titan's Wrath or whatever Sion's shield is called.
Zenith Blade - Your gap closer/carry finder. It will pierce all targets, but you will only leap to the last person it hit... which is incredibly useful when a carry is behind a line of tanks. If you jump through a line of tanks and lock down a carry, you pretty much immediately draw the entire team's aggro, which is your JOB. This is what makes Leona what she is.
Solar Flare - Your sexy, sexy, sexy ultimate. A relatively large AOE beam from the sky. It has a very slight delay on it but it's definitely not the hardest one in the game to time right. Anything dead center of the blast gets stunned, everything else gets cripplingly slowed. Anything it hits is marked with Sunlight.
"Wait... You take W first?"
Yeah. I do. Here's my thinking and I know people are going to argue with me because it's a huge community filled with people who are of the mindset of "If this is how everyone does it, it must be right."
Frankly, I don't even know what other people take first. I know it's either Shield of Daybreak or Zenith Blade, all I know for sure is that everyone believes I'm wrong.
Shield of Daybreak - You get a stun. After that stun wears off, now what? It aint no 6 seconds, I promise.
Zenith Blade - Of all the spells I WOULDN'T take first, this would be it. You're now balls deep in enemy territory with nothing else to cast. Seems like a perfect plan.
Eclipse - 6 seconds of mitigation, the most possible level 1 damage of your three options, incredible intimidation factor, and nobody is going to run past you to get at your carry knowing that if they do, they're going to take an exploded shield of light to the face AND probably get Sunlight popped on them. That's not a great way to start a trade.
You can front line as aggressively as you want to due to the INSANE mitigation, zone off the enemy champions by chasing them down, exhausting them, beating them with a parasol or whatever you feel is appropriate, and run to a bush as it starts to wear off. Wait for CD, do it again. Wait for CD, do it again. It usually only takes 3 of these to jam a lane down an enemy's throat and have them zoned completely under their tower.
This allows your carry to farm un-harassed until you get the REST of your combo.
Even better is the fact that if the enemy is ballsy as hell and this tactic doesn't work because they're willing to trade hyper-aggressive damage, you're still not going to as much damage as they do because of Sunlight and the armor/MR from Eclipse and your runes and masteries. You are going to win trades typically. That's about 90% of what Leona brings to the table is what I call "trade stacking". She stacks the deck in trades. She cheats. You wont win trades against a carry with a Leona if she's doing her job- sometimes even with enemy heals factored in you'll STILL come out ahead.
I think people take Q or E first because they want those early lockdowns/first blood. I've found that I can bully-zone enemies under their tower EARLIER and secure farm for my carry and be successful at it a lot more frequently than I'd be successful with an early lockdown. You tend to take a lot of damage in an early Q/E lockdown if you don't have your shield up. You barely take any if you just exercise some patience and get your lockdown combo AFTER your shield. If you take all that damage there's a chance that you and your carry could instead get zoned off yourselves, or even give up a death.
What's scarier, a glowy shield that can stun for a second or a massive ball of high-damage solar rage walking towards you which you KNOW you aren't going to hurt for the next 6 seconds? Not exactly rocket science.
Taking Zenith Blade at level 1 earns you a darwin award. Derp.
Things to know about Leona's abilities:
Until level 16, Eclipse is your highest potential source of damage.
celipse costs the same as Zenith Blade, Zenith has a lower cooldown, Eclipse has higher damage.
Learning to time Eclipse is the difference between an assist and a kill steal off your carry. Don't be that guy.
The difference between a good Leona and a bad one is whether or not she knows how to chain Sunlight pops on an enemy champion. Many people press W and wait for it to be ABOUT to pop, use Zenith to close the gap, stun the enemy champion, pop, and walk away - leaving Sunlight to get popped typically only one time throughout the combo since most of the damage hits nearly at the same time. If you use eclipse RIGHT before you use [[zenith blade and you wait for the enemy carry to pop eclipse before you stun the enemy, Sunlight will pop TWICE rather than once. If you carry is fast enough and your communication is good enough, they can even pop the sunlight off of Zenith Blade before Eclipse pops.
So that's a difference, potentially, of 140 additional damage versus 420 additional damage.
When they run away from all that for dear life, ult them with Solar Flare. 560 bonus damage total, now, if your carry pops Sunlight efficiently... And that's not even counting the damage your spells already do.
When they're running from that (if they're still running), exhaust them and chase until your cooldowns are ready. Repeat as needed for victory.
Sightstone versus wards
Which one do I buy?
It's a tough call. They both do the same thing, one refreshes and one doesn't... but one has a limit to how many you can place and one doesn't. There's also the fact that I am a HUGE propenent of " Sightstone is superior, PERIOD."
No kidding. I swear to god the math is elementary to figure out that the Sightstone is blatantly superior to the sight ward, but since I suck at math horribly I can't really provide you with any calculations because I'm not quite sure how to calculate them. But some deep part of me feels a huge urge to be convinced that the Sightstone is way better...
EXCEPT ON LEONA.
Why? Because Leona has the longest range pure lockdown of any support in the game. Leona is also a massive element in teamfights, as well as a force to be reckoned with even on her own. This differs from a support such as, say, Nami - who can easily be killed without her team. If Leona gets caught out, usually she just baits the enemy back into her team, turns and surprise stuns them, and leaves for her team to clean up behind her... alive.
Because a Leona doesn't have the same recall requirements that many other supports have. She can stay on the map FOREVER. She doesn't have high item requirements, in fact I finish most games before I even get a 4th item. She can survive JUST FINE with a philosopher's stone, Boots of Mobility, Aegis of the Legion, and a Kindlegem. This leaves a LOT of your gold available for wards.
Eclipse's massive mitigation boost is what makes this possible.
That being said, with the lockdown potential of her kit, you want to have AS MANY WARDS AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE on the map, and the ability to get to a caught out enemy as fast as possible and set them up to serve to one of your carries. This is why I firmly believe that Leona's core items are nothing more than philosopher's stone, sight wards, and Boots of Mobility.
You can't place nearly enough wards with a Sightstone alone, or even the ruby version.
Whereas with a support like Soraka or Nami, you pretty much just stay with your team and ward around your current position... with Leona you're warding EVERYWHERE.
"So why not buy a Ruby Sightstone AND wards?"
Because that's a HUGE waste of an item slot. You now have two item slots both dedicated to accomplishing exactly the same thing. Yes, Ruby Sightstone grants you health and a stack of wards doesn't- but how about we put a more effective item in that slot that grants us health?
You should literally be buying 2-5 wards on EVERY SINGLE RECALL OF THE GAME.
If you're playing Leona and you're not spam-warding, you're playing her entirely wrong. I'm pretty sure there's actually another guide her on mobafire that says EXACTLY the same thing. props to that guy for knowing what's up.
She's going to make it hard for you to leave once you go all-in. Try not to engage until Lucent Singularity is down, or you won't have a fun time walking away from a lockdown. She can also kill your carry while your carry is behind you like they ought to be. Make sure you're telling your carry to recall at low health.
I don't worry about her snare too much, because I never tower dive and Eclipse is going to explode even if I'm locked.
Not really a huge issue since he can't zone worth a damn and all his spells have chunky cooldowns. The only **** part about playing against a Taric is that he can heal his carry. IMHO, Leona support counters any defensive carry.
Your carry may not get many kills off this lane, but there isn't much Taric can do to help his carry break loose from being zoned. Careful for ganks.
Same as any other defensive carry. She can't do much to stop zoning. You won't get many kills for your carry out of this lane. You will, however, force her and her carry to turtle up and farm under their tower. Careful for ganks.
Apparently she's the #1 most feared support in the game. Not entirely sure why, I've never had an issue with her. Don't lose bush control, make sure your carry knows how to juke her vines (watch for cast animation, move to the right or left of her line of sight. It travels slow), and tank her plants if she makes any. Maybe bring some extra potions. If she uses her ultimate, Zenith Blade to her carry if it will get you out of it, followed by stunning their carry so YOUR carry has a chance to break free without getting mowed down.
Zyra isn't typically the problem. Zyra working your carry down slowly and then locking them down for HER CARRY is the problem. I see supports focus Zyra in the lane and that's how she wins, IMHO. She pisses people off so much that they target her. It's her carry that will kill yours, not Zyra. She's a setup artist, not a killer.
I hate facing [nami]]. Nothing she has is on a really substantial cooldown, her bubble is a pretty long stun, she makes her carry's attacks slow and do more damage, she can poke you and heal at the same time and it's magic damage, not AD. Once she gets her ult she's going to make it very hard for your team to follow up your engages. Some people say Janna counters Leona, and I think Nami counters her worse.
A good Nami is going to ruin the hell out of your day. A bad Nami is just another Soraka.
You play differently against these three champions than against ANY other supports. DO NOT plow the lane against these guys, make them come out. Make them be the aggressors. Here's why... If blitz pulls your carry in and knocks them up, it doesn't do much damage. All the damage is coming from the carry pretty much. They're just enjoying the free damage while your carry is incapacitated. But if you then zenith the carry, stun them, eclipse them, then your carry is going to win that trade... because all blitz did was pull your carry into attacking range of theirs. If you can lock down their carry at the same time, blitz will have no way to do anything about it and he'll have to watch in embarassment as he just set HIS carry up to lose a trade. To me, blitz is just a shiny new gap closer for your carry who doesn't have one.
Thresh is even worse. Make sure your carry knows to stay buried in minions to avoid hooks completely. However, if he does land one, he will probably pull himself to your carry immediately to try and knock them into his carry. If you see that thresh has a tendency to pull himself to your carry rather than drag them (most good thresh players do this), then anticipate his arrival and zenith him as he shows up, lock him down, and enjoy the free kill for your carry. If he tends to drag instead, then just watch for his carry to reposition to capitalize and lock THEM down so they can't do anything with thresh's successful hook.
Nautilus is a bit of a problem over the two others. Why? Because he hurts, he stuns, and he's tanky. He also has an AOE slow and a shield. It's not exactly easy to capitalize when he lands an anchor. Make sure your carry is never in front of his minions, you keep bush control, and you keep all focus off of nautilus. Take advantage of the fact that he provides NOTHING for his carry in the way of heals or shields or silences. His purpose is to lock down your carry just like your purpose is to lock down his. The difference is that he doesn't have Sunlight and his ultimate gives a carry more of a chance to distance themselves from followup damage before they're struck. It's almost a skill matchup, but you do have a slight advantage.
Sona is just another defensive support, with the exception of the almighty Crescendo. She can lock you AND your carry down at the same time, which prevents you from keeping free damage off of your carry. Advise your carry to stay out of tower range and NEVER dive for ANY reason and this lane shouldn't go south. You both may have to buy some potions to keep up with the sustain, but the trade-off is that she has the lowest base health in the entire game.
I'd almost recommend focusing Sona for first blood, but take the ADC into account and figure that out for yourself.
Another problem for Leona, though people never play him. He out-sustains you, he can do just about everything you can do in terms of lockdowns, he has better poke than you do, and he'll punish you for any damage you do to him and his carry post-level 6. He can use saplings as wards, he can even drag you under the tower by using his gap closer (which is longer range than yours) on a minion after zenith blade hits him, and then you find yourself stuck under a tower and slowed even though he wasn't under the tower when the fight started. He can even smack you out of a zenith blade. This dude is bad news for Leo.
If possible, do not pick Leona against a Maokai support. Little known fact.
Despite the fact that you can't zone a Yorick, he's not really that much to worry about. It's gonna be a boring game but just stay under your tower and keep them off your carry and watch him farm. Going aggressive on a Yorick support lane is just a good way to give up kills. Yorick is built for early game zoning, that's his entire gimmick. So just let him zone you, because once you're under a tower he's useless and he's gonna fall off later anyway. No worries. The enemy team decided 4v5 late game was a good idea, that's their own mistake.
Yorick falls off late game even when he DOES farm... imagine how useful he is when he doesn't.
The original cheese support. All the way back to pre-season 1. Deal with her the same way you deal with anybody else, just back off when she has her stun up. If you can zone her hard, she's just as useless as anyone else is when they're jammed under a tower. She won't get much damage built due to lack of farm so she won't be very formidable. If she looks like she's going to score a stun on your carry, just keep in mind that she's a burster and bursters need high AP, which she isn't going to get. Lock down the carry to prevent followup damage. Punish her for being on cooldown whenever possible.
Run him down the lane, he can run for 4 seconds. Your eclipse takes 3 seconds to pop. When you see him run, run away from him and activate eclipse. When he gets close, stun him. You won't get thrown and he'll take the damage off of your Q and W. Do not FOCUS HIM for any reason, but make him pay every time he tries to throw you guys and deny the actual toss. If he does throw your ally, he's one of the few champions you'd want to stun instead of the ADC if he has his frenzy up. That bite does more damage than an ADC auto attack or two ANY day. If he doesn't have frenzy up, lock down the carry. Another strategy would be (since he'll probably slow your ADC enough to get frenzy up and his bite off) to zone the carry off with eclipse and still stun volibear.
This lane is all target management. Never let voli and his carry be within range of your carry at the same time if possible. Voli will usually disengage from his carry to run at yours, leaving distance between them. Sometimes stunning him will break him off your carry long enough for your carry to distance themselves from the enemy carry before voli gets a chance to set anything up. From levels 1-4 you and your carry may benefit from burning his passive so he's susceptible to ganks for a while. Choosing who to target in this lane can be difficult at times. Keeping bush control is critical.
They nerfed her so badly that people don't even play her support anymore. She's only really reliable as a damage dealer and when she builds that way she needs way too much gold to support. The cooldown on her heal is astronomical and her Q no longer shreds armor. She's just not a viable support anymore. If you see her lock support, just slap her around some and make fun of her for locking kayle support.
You don't see this one much anymore either since he's so much better mid or top. Vorpal spikes are gonna make it hard to zone him off and his silence is a huge problem. Rupture secures kills for days, he does a ton of damage without many items, he's tanky without having to build much, and once he hits 6 the lane is going to snowball over you because of his stacks. This is a rough, rough, rough lane that I haven't really figured out how to counter yet. Good thing it pretty much never happens.
Theorizing, I'd say ignore him and dominate his carry and make sure you do it early. Cho isn't nearly as scary until after level 6. It's going to be all about the early game. Make sure your carry is recalling when they're low, make sure you guys get some MR, make sure you have vision WAY up the river because he can knock you up AND slow you, so unless you know a gank is coming from a mile away, they're going to make it to you successfully. Cho is also mana hungry, so make sure you use that against him.
Your stun breaks his drain. If he can't drain he can't sustain. Your ult can stop him as soon as he shows up with his ult running. He does nothing to help his carry besides fear, so getting a crucible is a smart move. His silence doesn't last very long, but be careful of helping it bounce off your carry. It won't damage YOU much, but it hurts your carry like hell.
You can use fiddlesticks to your advantage. When he fears your carry, the enemy carry will usually move within range to capitalize. Use zenith and eclipse on the carry, shield of daybreak on fids once he starts draining. With no drain coming out, your carry should win the trade. Make sure you activate your Q before you go into the engagement because once you get there, you're going to get silenced... it won't matter much since you already have eclipse up, you werent in range until you USED zenith to get there, and shield of daybreak is already up as well. Eclipse will probably hit both fids and his carry, so your carry is just going to have a field day.
Don't pick fiddlesticks support against Leona. It's a bad idea. She has an answer for everything he does.
Stay buried in minions. Same way you deal with a support nid as anyone else. She's a useless champion if she plays support, pretty much everyone knows this and yet people still try and play her support. I mean yeah, she's a great support- as long as her enemies are completely ******ed. And get this- if you zone the hell out of her like you're supposed to, she's never going to be hiding in bushes and you're usually going to be behind minions.
So... just chortle to yourself and proceed to win the lane. Make sure your carry knows to keep meat-shield minions in front of them.
Now... obviously there are other people who get played as supports. I've covered most of the main ones you see. Just use what you know about handling these champions and you should be able to formulate what to do against others.
Sublight OP. You each have damage amplification. Watch for him to stack blight, when it's fully stacked, apply sunight. Varus arrow = death.
He's one of the biggest bully adcs in the game. Leona is one of the biggest bully supports in the game. Collectively they take a lane and force it un-lubricated into the enemy rectum.
Leona does best with hyper-aggressive adc champions. Corki is about as all-in as they come.
Works well with Leona for the same reason Varus does- both Leona and Quinn have a damage amp and they stack.
Same thing as Varus and Quinn. Expunge still pops sunlight. Try and use your combo AFTER he has gotten a few auto attacks off. Have him toss a venom cask at the end to re-apply his poison after expunge. They wont be hard to hit with it when they're locked down.
Anybody with the potential for high aggression is a primo compliment to Leona. Tristana has her jump and he can knock the enemy off their tower if circumstances line up correctly. Leona can make sure they stay off their tower. Also, Tristana's minion splashing WILL proc sunlight, so pushing the lane is stupidly easy.
Graves has his own armor buff, which makes Leona's job easier. On top of that he can poke THROUGH minions, so he never really has to worry about being "in position" to pop your sunlight. He does insane damage and he does it without ever really having to position for it much. So basically, he can pick up a lockdown from anywhere in the lane if he's paying attention. This is why Graves is considered to be Leona's best lane partner.
Ah, the newcomer. Another champion who can pop sunlight from essentially anywhere. He can also use the move speed buff from his star shot to get into position if he isn't already. His poke rivals the range of even caitlyn, so it's unlikely that he'll lose a lane purely on range issues. He's a pretty safe pick with Leona watching his back.
Not so great allies
Ezreal's entire purpose is to kite, poke, and farm. He's not really an all-in champ. You can play it that way, but its a pretty noob way to play him. That being said, Leona does much better with champions who are DESIGNED to go all-in over and over and over again. Ezreal just doesn't fit the bill. Out of all of the "bad" lane partners though, I'd say Ezreal still has the most promise.
Caitlyn is a farmer/poker. Leona does well with champions who can see her lockdown and go QWER and land 4 abilities on them before they can react. Caitlyn can Q and MAYBE R. She just can't support Leona's passive the way others can, which renders Leona far less effective in lane.
Ashe is sort of the same as Caitlyn in the fact that she doesn't have the ability spam potential required for a massive lockdown capitalization. The good thing is that at level 6, Leona and Ashe can guarantee a kill if they stack their ults right... but for repeated and sustained harassment, Ashe doesn't shine the way others do who can deal damage with Q, E, E, and R.
....Because he's Urgot.
Kog is just too damn hard to protect. He needs a sustaining support like Sona or Soraka. It can be done, but it's fairly difficult. He just can't go all-in like other adcs can, he's meant to be a siege machine. Stay back and deal damage from a distance... which just isn't Leona's gig.
Ok I had to include this because it's effing hilarious. Critplank/Leona is just stupid. GP can auto attack farm just fine because Leo zones so well, and when an enemy gets locked down and GP Q's them, they explode immediately. It's effing hysterical when it works. It's also STANKY cheese. Like any other cheese, it's pretty easy to outplay.
But those unexplained "All chat: Where did Ashe go? Ashe AFK?" sudden ADC disappearances will bust your gut laughing.
Carrying (will fix styling soon)
Carrying does not mean you got the most kills
Carrying means you secured victory.
-Leona can spam ward and still be viable - vision wins games.
-Leona can push a lane in transit. Walk into the middle of minions, press W, pop it. The lower health minions will fall eventually and the lane will push out. Even though you didn't kill them, they have less health than allied minions do. It doesn't take much to throw off the balance of a lane. Keep your lanes pushing any time you pass through one. Takes about 4 seconds.
-Leona can lock down 2 targets in a fight. One with Shield of Daybreak and one with Solar Flare. Choose your locks wisely.
-Leona has the single best teamfight initiation in the game, in the opinion of many.
-Leona causes an entire allied team to do more damage to an entire enemy team. This HEAVILY tips team fights in your favor. KEEP SUNLIGHT ACTIVE/APPLIED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE and MAKE SURE IT IS GOING ON VALUABLE TARGETS.
-Leona can spoon feed carries because she can just about 1v1 people by herself. Doing all that damage and then leaving carries to clean it up is a sure fire way to get people fed. With enough wards and proper map awareness, you'll be catching kills for your team the entire game.
-Knowing which walls you can zenith blade through can make a difference between a winning and losing teamfight. Figure it out in a bot game and get an ambush on people whenever possible.
-Know that you can use your Zenith blade to pull you to the other side of a fight if you're out of position. Dive in and target the guy in the back. Zenith moves you to the LAST target you hit, so you can go RIGHT through their tanks if you have to.
-Know that you're one of the best peelers in the game and stay with your carries.
-SCREAM at your carries if you have to in order to get the point across that they DO NOT FRONT LINE. Your carries should always be behind you, and never further away than the range of Solar Flare. If they won't cooperate, its your job to stay ahead of them wherever they're going rather than relying on them to follow YOU. Don't be stubborn. Just because they won't follow you doesn't mean you leave them to die. What's more important, winning? Or your pride?
-Grab an oracles elixir if it seems like the enemy looks like they're a little too comfortable on your side of the map.
-Help your carries take objectives. Sunlight burns through dragons, reds, and blues like butter. Just keep re-applying it.
-Know where to ward and KEEP IT WARDED. If you don't know where to ward, look up a ward map. If you think you know where to ward, look up a ward map. If you know where to ward and you're an expert, look up a ward map.... Look up a ward map. Now. Press Ctrl+N and google "League of legends ward map".
-Stop being stubborn. Look up a ward map.
-Print the ward map. Keep it on your desk.
-Sleep with the ward map. Cook breakfast for the ward map. VISION WINS GAMES.
-You are a support. You don't farm. So you're in the best position to call shots IF YOU'RE ANY GOOD AT IT. Why? Because you can type and not miss any CS.
THIS DOES NOT MEAN TELL YOUR TEAM WHAT TO DO. This means keeping track of mias, keeping track of dragon timers, warning of bad engages, informing your team of pressure (3 top, 2 mid, push bottom.), things like that. Not "BUILD A RAVENOUS HYDRA YOU NOOB." or "DIE LESS, HUH?".... Be productive and respectful.
-Keep your team organized. If you get an early lead of 8 or more kills, teams tend to start wandering around feeling invincible, which is how you give up a lead. Tell them you're going to ward everything - group and push. Find a way to let them know not to become complacent. Leona shines her brightest in teamfight situations... not when she has to run around the map protecting a team split into 3 lanes. Find a way to make this known, and be patient and understanding. Not everyone is an expert on how Leona works. But I can tell you that a team that wants to split up all day shouldn't have a Leona support.
-Be part of engages... obviously this is easier if your team stays together. If not, that's another reason we have boots of mobility- because not EVERY game is going to go our way and SOMETIMES we're going to have to get Leona some cardio. Your team will get plowed without you way more than they would if you were present. You're the tank, you're probably the main source of CC on your team. You're also a massive source of damage amplification. You also might have the only exhaust on your team. Exhaust in invaluable in controlling snowballed enemy champions.
-Make sure your team knows when you aren't around. I always do a "careful" ping when I recall and type "Tank recalling. Care. No engages."
-Make sure your team knows when you're coming. The "on my way" ping is very useful in making sure a champion who WAS going to disengage stays just a little longer or baits towards you.
-Paint targets for engagement. Before each fight starts, ping your intention. Are you going for the Caitlyn in the back? Ping her. Otherwise your team might stop at the Ahri in the front, leaving you separated. Also, make sure you know that your team can't always get to the targets you can get to. If you go for that Caitlyn and nobody else on your team can get to her even if they wanted to, you probably just threw that fight hard. Be mindful of who your team can and cant reach.
-Peel for your carries. Once you initiate, you should be focusing your Q and E on peeling. Keep in mind your E will disable a target for half a second. If kayle is about to be in range for intervention but corki is about to die to renekton, that half a second might save corki's life. YOUR JOB IS NOT TO DO DAMAGE. YOUR JOB IS TO BE A TANK. Leona does her damage by BEING A TANK. That's what Sunlight is for- it rewards you for being a tank properly.
-Use the actives on your items. A leona ultimate on a carry followed by a shield of daybreak on another carry followed by an eclipse on the entire team followed by a Randuin's Omen active followed by a Twin Shadows active followed by a zenith blade back to the champion closest to your lowest health carry (to begin peeling for them) is what I'd call a FLAWLESS initiation.
-Know that an eclipse in front of a tower is usually enough to save it from minion siege. No need to linger.
Basically, HEAVY warding, enemy kill denial, ally kill assistance, and awareness of who your carries can and cant follow you to.
If you have less than 5 wards on the map at any time, you're failing and should play bots until you figure it out. Almost ALL OF YOUR GOLD should be going to wards. Leona is not very item dependent at all, so "I need to complete this item" should never be an excuse.
A word on variation/Word from the author.
I'm abandoning formatting for this section because this is just me, Riftborne, talking to you.
This is how I build and play Leona. Some of the critical concepts should never be altered and she obviously has items that fit her and items that don't, but she's such a versatile champion that you can change pretty much anything you want to on her. It's the feel of how she's played that should never change.
Leona is an aggressive support who can use her lack of item necessity to exercise blistering map control over the enemy team with wards and lockdowns, which ends up feeding her team. THAT'S how she carries. There's a reason she is loved by most, feared by all, and dogged on by very very few, if any. Leona is a blatant asset to a team, even when played improperly.
That being said, if you don't like something I built on her, build something else. If you don't like my skill order, use your way. The most important items in this guide I'd want you to take away are about HOW TO PLAY Leona, not how I built her or scaled her abilities.
I encourage creativity, always.