Build Guide by MTaur
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This build/guide is in alpha stage. I might just archive it if anyone ever gets around to writing a better one. All jungle veterans are encouraged to give the new Alistar a few tries.
I'm pretty sure other people can do this 5x as well. I just haven't seen a guide yet, and I'd like to see some discussion and pick up a few tips in the comments.
Honestly, I wouldn't have opened it up for voting if there had been a way to just open it up for comments. But I can handle being downvoted if that's how it goes. No guarantees are made here.
This is l33t pr0, yo.
I've tried to jungle before, and... it's really tricky. I think I might just wait until 30 to start practicing regularly. I'm summoner level 17 now, if you're curious.
It's my opinion that new players shouldn't really be reading and applying ANY jungling guide until they can do their share with a few ordinary laning character builds in vs. Intermediate AI games first. Reading wouldn't hurt, but practicing it before then might just bog them down in failure.
Know that they're out there, and maybe on Easy mode you can occasionally try to slay nearby neutral monsters on the side when there's nothing more urgent to do. Learn what the buffs do and where they are. You can do all that without actually being a jungler. Ordinary players often pick up one or both buffs as appropriate to circumstance later on in games, and good players will recognize when someone's mana-hungry and weaken a golem for you sometimes. (e.g., tank Alistar can use a little help)
Easy Mode is often a great place to practice jungling. 3-4 good/average players can beat Easy AI, so if you know the team's going well, go ahead and take on a golem or lizard or the dragon when you're not sure how it will turn out.
Total noobs might have more immediate things to worry about, though. If you're dying 15-25 times a game, it's not worth picking up a buff you'll have for 30 seconds before handing it over to Annie Bot. Only after you know how to stay alive generally will it be all that useful to amplify yourself with a buff. A noob who jumps on a turret with two buffs dies much the same way as a noob without.
Another reason not to jungle as a noob: Sometimes, you need just enough from your runes and masteries to make those early levels go just right. For example, without Awareness , you'll be just short of Level 1 if you start by killing the two golems. You probably won't have enough muscle to do it unless you get a lot of Tier 3 flat runes for damage/armor/AP, anyway, even if you know what you're doing. Eventually any character can jungle, but a real jungler is someone who can jungle at 1.
Even for decent players, though, there really isn't any excuse for practicing your jungling in a PVP game before you can do it efficiently vs AI. The end.
The patch gives Alistar some jungling power. Unfortunately, I don't have the runes and mastery points to try all this out yet. I felt like he had potential, but that I didn't have the hang of it just yet, and I felt like without proper runes, I couldn't hit the ground running at level 1.
Alistar is tempting as a roamer/jungler because if you let him approach you from behind in a lane, it's a nasty and often fatal surprise, depending on how nasty and fatal your lane opponents are and how close you are to the turret; best case scenario, you act quick and lose a Flash. Another reason that he's tempting as a jungler is that other people need the gold and EXP a little bit more that he does, generally.
If your runes aren't quite right, then you can still spend some time in the weak lane to get started. Level 3 in particular is when Alistar just starts to gain momentum, since at that point, he can Trample continuously by keeping his three skills on a cycle. When his horns stop glowing, press Q, W, or E. With the blue buff, you can afford to spam a little more beyond the minimum to keep Trample going and still have one of the three cooldown in time again for more use, e.g., when fighting the lizard or the dragon. I have been able to solo Dragon at 9 with both buffs and Smite, but it was a close call. :-/
(I didn't need Madred's Razor to do that, by the way, and you don't want AD on Alistar anyway.)
5/1/11:It looks like the two golems are enough to get to Level 2 if you have an exp bonus in there somewhere. You can solo the two golems at level 1 with Smite, but it's not easy. Took Doran's Ring and used Burning Embers to simulate having better runes; Ignite may be an acceptable spell choice for this build in any case.
I'm finding that MP5 is just too important. Taking Archangel's Staff early from now on. Triumphant Roar just has to be used continuously, period. Also, the red buff does some of the work in place of Rylai's Crystal Scepter's passive, anyway, if you want to gank around level 5 or 6. Glacial Shroud seems like a good choice all around after Archangel's Staff. If you have Archangel's Staff, two buffs, and your summoner spells, you can probably solo dragon. Archangel's Staff and Glacial Shroud together make it not even hard (at full health/mana with, say, at least one buff).
Doran's Ring isn't quite working out yet. Maybe with better AP runes, it would, but at the moment, I'm leaning toward Amplifying Tome and a Health Potion. Since I want to rush the Tear of the Goddess, Meki Pendant and two Health Potions is sort of an option, but the DPS is just too low without some starter AP. Elixir of Brilliance is an option, too. I think the elixir, a mana potion, and 2-3 health potions might be enough to stay out long enough to farm up a Tear of the Goddess. Getting to Level 3 ASAP is a priority.
Let me know if any of the non-potion options work with better runes. I find myself having to heal for 30 seconds after the golems no matter what before taking on the wraiths. :-/
OMG, rush this. It synergizes perfectly with the continuous Trample strategy - use a skill at least once every 3 seconds to keep Trample going, but not much over once every 2 seconds to proc Sheen. The only thing that takes a little getting used to is fitting in a right-click between Q and E when ganking, but there seems to be just enough time to do that.
The description is a bit ambiguous, but I hear that Sheen is based on BASE AD, meaning AD items have NO EFFECT. Meaning Sheen does NOT synergize with AD/AS items, meaning it is not a waste here, and the mana is welcome. Alistar has at least somewhat adequate base AD, so Sheen is brilliant. I was looking for a way to take Amplifying Tome and Health Potion as starter items, and this is it. No need to upgrade it; either sell it at near the end, or upgrade to Lich Bane at the end for move speed and a better damage bonus, if it goes that far.
Golems, wolves, then wraiths. Then a gank or two, if you can pull it off. That'll get you Sheen.
Since Sheen gives mana and no MP5, I like the idea of just stacking raw mana. That can keep you out fairly long, hopefully with the blue buff to string it out a bit longer at times. Rod of Ages seems like a solid choice, and Glacial Shroud. Both of these should be taken early, as you never know when you'll have to start tanking or turret diving a little.
Negatron Cloak for Abyssal Scepter probably can't be postponed for too long. MRes is sort of important. Rylai's Crystal Scepter seems like a good candidate to postpone for a long time, or maybe removed altogether. The special effect is nice, but I don't know if it's worth it anymore.
Play back using: http://www.leaguereplays.com
(I'm trying to find a suitable way to convert to a YouTube format, but for the time being, this will do if you want it badly enough. Also allows you to view so much more info... unfortunately, the LeagueReplays program has some technical challenges which make implementing a rewind feature difficult, and they don't seem to be planning on doing it soon.)
This is just a hypothesis... don't have the runes to check it yet:
Old hypothesis, not used in first LeagueReplays test run:
Start with wraiths. Initiate with Triumphant Roar. Kill the weaker wraiths first for the free 2-sec cooldown on Triumphant Roar. You should have enough base CDR, AP, and MPen for this to work. It's up to playtesters to decide whether Doran's Ring can be skipped for the purposes of killing early monsters, but considering that things don't always go as planned vs humans, maybe an MP5 safety net is a good idea in any case.
Sub-optimal approach, used in LeagueReplays footage, but there's a better way:
Take Amplifying Tome and a Health Potion. Start with the two golems. Initiate with Smite and then Triumphant Roar after taking one hit. Finish the first golem. Take the Health Potion and Triumphant Roar again when available. You might have to take Ignite in place of Flash and use it on the second golem. With better flat runes, though, maybe not. After golems, you should be level 2. Take Headbutt, and heal with Triumphant Roar as you make your way over to the wolves. Headbutt the strong wolf from behind to initiate. Use Triumphant Roar when trample runs out or right before the first wolf dies.
After this, take Pulverize and take on the wraiths. Smite the strong one, Trample a little, and then Pulverize. If they're not dead yet, Triumphant Roar for more Trample.
You don't have enough gold for Sheen yet. If you can, this is a good time to try to score a gank; would be nice to have Flash. You can farm a little bit if you have to.
You can probably get the blue buff with Sheen, and once you have the blue buff, it's probably possible to get the red buff. If you don't have Flash, you'll be much better at ganking if you have Boots of Mobility and the red buff, so wait for the boots even if you can get it sooner.
Tested, works, but I don't have LeagueReplays footage yet:
Start with Triumphant Roar. Go to wraiths. Draw aggro with E and start the cooldown timer, and immediately Smite the boss wraith for an easy 2 sec off the cooldown timer. Finish the others, roar for health as needed. Then take on the wolves. Then take on the small golems. You might have and need Smite again by now. You should be level 3. Help score a gank if you can. If it fails, get wraiths/wolves again or something for enough money for Sheen.
You can Headbutt neutral monsters now. You can throw them through thin walls, but I find the first Headbutt pinning them to the wall, and the second pushing them that extra bit more through. If you take a step back and let them chase you, then you can headbutt again without losing them. It can be annoying and time-wasting for them to fly over, often healing some if you don't get aggro again soon enough.
There *might* be some utility to getting rid of an unwanted monster in this way, but I sort of doubt it. The serious threats don't come in groups.
This build assumes that Alistar takes the blue buff kind of early. How early, I'm not exactly sure, but hopefully we'll get some word on that soonish.
Ideally, we should have Boots of Mobility, Rod of Ages (or Rylai's Crystal Scepter), and both buffs ASAP. If you pull that off early, then a well-chosen Flash + Headbutt should be enough for a gank.
philosopher's stone is an option, but the buff feels like it should be the faster way to go. If the enemy jungler is too good at denying you, then you need some MP5 pretty badly. Or you can take this if an ally wants the blue buff.
Fastest rush to the red buff?
I don't know, you tell me what the item/neutral monster sequence should be.
I have some rough ideas what kinds of things should help and included it in the build, but I don't have the runes and masteries to test it yet. A YouTube video would be great.
Probably better to take the red buff after you get Boots of Mobility, anyway.
Smite is sort of handy. You might be able to get by without it, but I get the feeling that a fine-tuned build would be designed such that you get the blue buff a couple levels early by using Smite at just the right time. Getting philosopher's stone would set you back 800 gold.
Ignite was taken in my 5/2/11 test run together with Smite to do the golems at 1. Perhaps with better runes/masteries, it's not necessary. Ignite is good for ganks, but Flash is better. Bots don't try to avoid anything, so I didn't really miss Flash in the test run. But still, would be nice not to need Ignite.
Boots of Mobility let you avoid Teleport. I like Teleport, but Smite is already taking up one of the spell slots at the moment. If I figure out how to do a smiteless jungle Alistar at 30, I'll update the guide. Teleport is nice for those team fights in mid if it's balanced or you're winning and they let a minion slip far behind them.
Flat AP to kick-start jungling effectiveness ASAP.
MPen because it's a primary rune and also because the build is an AP build generally.
Armor because you're a jungler
presense of the master and
Blink of an Eye
for Flash, and some nice flat CDR from
seem like they'd probably be indispensable for a jungle Alistar... 9% CDR at level 1.
Awareness vs Expanded Mind may depend on play testing.
Early jungling items - AP is prioritized first.
Later on, replace Boots of Mobility with something else, probably. When depends on how "teamfighty" the game gets and how soon. If you're the only tank on the team, definitely do NOT get Sorcerer's Shoes, and don't hold on to Boots of Mobility for the whole game.
If your team is extra-beefy, Sorcerer's Shoes or even Boots of Mobility might be an option if you want to hang back and dive for occasional gank targets, and possibly even Rabadon's Deathcap. But don't be surprised if your team is expecting you to tank unless you've talked first. That's why tank items are taken at the end in the main build.
Berserker's Greaves is not an option at all. Trample is your DPS.
I don't know if I'm liking it. I'm convinced that he *can* jungle, but getting enough DPS out of him to do it compromises his tankiness somewhat, and I'm just not sure if it's worth it. Maybe if played with enough skill and a bulky enough team, it can work, but I'm just not sure about it on a team level. If jungle Alistar is viable, then there's no question that it's still one of the harder ways to play him.
Another thing I've noticed is that, sure, he can solo Dragon with this build, but... others can do it faster. If you want to fast-solo dragon, take Jax and get to level 11 and grab a rageblade. You don't even need Smite for that.
Alistar is a pretty scary roamer, though, so what he lacks in fast-buff power, he might make up elsewhere. Seasoned junglers might be able to make it work.