Leona Build Guide by Logarithm
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PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
Not Updated For Current Season
BUY THIS, A LOT
Not Updated For Current Season
- Restructuring majority of guide
- Cutting superfluous text
- Re-evaluating item build
Just before we begin here, I have to say this - this isn't meant to be a normal guide. This simply tries to give you the most optimal knowledge of how to properly build Leona. There will be no pros/cons list or too much general LoL knowledge, since I will assume you are a competent LoL player overall and have at least small knowledge on most champions in the game.
Although I include a few tips involved on how to play Leona in the most efficient way, I should remind you that I myself am not a pro at Leona, as she requires a lot of practice and knowledge of your enemy to play the best. Be sure to check out the other guides on Mobafire, as most of them (the top rated ones anyways) offer lots of insight on good Leona play (and are a lot more pretty looking).
Do you want to tell me whether my build guide helped you in any way? Comment.
Do you hate Doran's Shield with the power of a thousand suns? Comment.
Do you have a good (pfft) Leona/Diana fanfic that you want to share with the world?
Runes & Masteries
The reason we go with all these flat runes is due to the extreme usefulness of early game armor with Leona. In general, you are going to be playing very aggressive, zoning and smacking down the enemy AD Carry. You're no Taric or Blitzcrank, so these runes help you get up close and personal without much issue.
| Greater Quintessence of Gold: Nearly essential for most supports. If you think that you're really good and don't need any extra GP/10, it should be fine grabbing another rune.
Greater Mark of Armor/ Greater Seal of Armor: As said above, very effective early game, especially since many carries nowadays use runes of armor penetration or damage.
|Other runes that work nicely on Leona:
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Quintessence of Health
Greater Mark of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Mark of Health
These are just some suggestions if you dislike any of the runes above. I don't recommend replacing the Seals (and Glyphs below, for that matter).
The reason for my choosing these runes over flat magic resistance is quite simple. Firstly, the most damage you'll usually encounter bot lane is physical, and secondly,most AP champions don't get too powerful until mid-game, at which these runes will begin to outclass the flat magic resistance ones.
There really isn't much of an explanation I can give for our choice of masteries. Leona has both the roles of a full tank and a support, so her masteries should reflect that. The points put into defense are essentially self-explanatory.
Since the points in Juggernaut and Biscuiteer / Explorer are not entirely necessary, a few masteries you might want to invest a point into are:
Summoner's Wrath : If you feel like you'll be using Exhaust a lot, you should get this. The armor reduction benefits your carry a lot in securing those early kills, since every point of damage counts.
Sorcery : This is great for spamming your abilities early game, since a lot of your abilities have very high base cooldown. However, this falls off late game as you usually hit your CDR cap with the items you get.
Tenacious : If you know you'll be going up against lots of CC, getting this will help a ton, ESPECIALLY if that CC is in bottom lane. Trust me, there isn't anything more annoying than getting CC'ed when trying to use your Zenith Blade.
Defender / Legendary Armor / Reinforced Armor : Most of these are dependent on the enemy team comp, so if you think any of these are important, grab one. Reinforced Armor goes nicely against champs that just love poking with critical strikes, such as Ashe.
Good Hands : Hey, I die a lot, okay? Don't look at me like that.
Safeguard: I play hyper-aggressive, so I do occasionally tower dive. If you have a similar playstyle, you're going to love this. Yes, Leona is a very tanky support, but underestimating a tower is an utterly idiotic idea.
(Obviously this is the mastery, not the ability.)
Egad, missing title image!
Flash is fantastic summoner spell to get on almost any champion. Alongside being great for escaping sticky situations, Flash is also a fantastic initiator, and you can easily catch entire teams off guard with a quick Flash and Shield of Daybreak.
Exhaust is great addition to your summoner spells, as it gives you an even greater amount of CC alongside what you already have. Also, if you've chosen to put a point into Summoner's Wrath , the reduced Mres/Armor is great as your Sunlight deals magic damage and your carry (usually) specializes in attack damage.
Heal is another good choice since Leona doesn't have any innate sustain for her carry, alongside it being able to use to bait your laning opponent.
I honestly don't consider any of the other summoner spells that viable to take on Leona, considering her playstyle. Spells like Clairvoyance or Clarity are just too passive for you to consider, and spells like Ghost or Ignite just don't fit your role as an offensive/tanky support, even though some may be helpful in a few situations (uh...Mundo support?).
Our first point will be allocated into Shield of Daybreak for obvious reasons. Unless you are Level 31 and like to live on the edge, you wont be putting points into your Zenith Blade until Level 2.
Once you have your basic kit at Level 3, focus on allocating points into your Eclipse and one into your Zenith Blade, since you need that extra damage, defense and cooldown reduction. Be sure to always grab your ult when you can.
If you think you'll be towerdiving, or the enemy carry has a good early game ( Draven, for example), you might want to level Zenith Blade later instead.
Your Q is maxed last, since it deals the least damage and already has low early cooldown. Your skill CDR is not required due to the items you gain along the way.
Leona's passive is what makes her an offensive support champion rather than a plain ol' toplaner. Whenever you use an abilities on a enemy champion or minion, they are marked with Sunlight. When your laning partner decides to attack that enemy champion or minion you just marked, it consumes it and deals extra damage, depending on your level. This synergizes with Leona's kit and playstyle very nicely and helps a lot in giving your carry an edge.
If you're trying to focus on outputting the most damage possible, you'll want to delay your abilities so your carry can easily proc Sunlight. When casting your combo, instead of instantly stunning the enemy carry with your Shield of Daybreak, wait for your carry to attack him first. If you are coordinated enough, you'll be able to get three procs off in quick succession (four if you use your ult).
This paired with your Zenith Blade is what makes Leona such a great support. The stun lasts for a good amount of time, and although the damage is around average, if you use your Zenith Blade, Eclipse and Sunlight in tandem with this, you will usually deal enough pain to help secure the kill for your AD carry.
Instead of maxing your Zenith Blade, you might want to max this first. You'll be less effective in teamfights but will easily focus down any enemy, and since this ability has the shortest cooldown in your kit, you'll be able to get Sunlight up a lot quicker.
This ability is a lot more useful then it seems. The additional Armor/MRes and powerful damage that comes with it is really helpful when engaging with your combo, and can be used to push as well.
Whenever you are about to pull towards an enemy with your Zenith Blade, always remember to pop this first and do at least one autoattack before your stun, as it shaves a second off the explosion timer and gives you 3 more seconds of Armor/MRes, as well as marking the enemy with your passive.
Your Eclipse also has a sort of psychological effect, since an Eclipse is usually followed up with a Zenith Blade and Shield of Daybreak. If you play your cards right and establish dominance early on, just activating your Eclipse will easily deny the enemy AD carry farm as they attempt to run out of Zenith Blade range. However, this might accidentally push the lane, so don't try it too much.
This is Leona's signature skill. Hard to pull off, but usually very rewarding if you do, your Zenith Blade deals both good damage and a short stun, and is arguably most useful skill in your kit. This ability will be both your ally and enemy, since it takes a considerable amount of skill to successfully land every Zenith Blade you throw out in a match.
Your Zenith Blade is a little bit finicky. Some times, you will have aimed correctly, but you'll be pulled to an enemy behind your target ( Zenith Blade pulls you to the last hit champion). Other times, you'll have been short or miscalculated and get pulled right into that nice, cuddly Darius. However, most of the time, you'll just hit your target and successfully pull off your combo, nourishing you with your victims tears. Timing and positioning is key.
Since your Zenith Blade has the ability to pass through multiple people, maxing this before Shield of Daybreak grants you better teamfight ability, although your stun will be on a longer cooldown which makes taking down single targets slightly more difficult.
Your ultimate is quite a nice final addition to your kit. It basically wraps up your Shield of Daybreak into an AOE package without the need to get up close and personal. This is REALLY helpful for securing your laning phase, and truly shines in teamfights, whether it is used as an initiate or not. It also does great damage and scales nicely with AP, making the few AP items you get ( Iceborn Gauntlet, for example) a little more useful.
Pretty standard start for Leona. The Rejuvenation Bead and Health Potions help keep you in lane (as well as building into a Philosopher's Stone), and the Sight Wards give you good enough map awareness before your next back.
If you know that your laning opponent will poke you down to hell, consider getting Cloth Armor instead. Also, if you wish to play even more aggressive at the start, you can actually replace it for Boots of Speed. This will make it easier to land your Shield of Daybreak at Level 1, but is generally a very risky strategy.
I don't really need a description for this. They're Boots that give you Speed. What's not to like?
In my opinions, you don't REQUIRE these as early as I positioned them. Depending on how you play Leona, you could go through the entire laning phase without even buying a single Boots of Speed (hiding in bushes, Zenith Bladeing around). However, since they are cheap and generally very useful in all situations, I would get these in the early game whenever I can.
I usually don't build many GP/10 items on my aggressive supports, simply because of the fact that the amount of assists I'll be getting (if I play well) doesn't require that I get that many GP/10 items. However, you'll still be requiring some other source of gold than just assists, and since Philosopher's Stone gives the most and builds into items like Shurelya's Reverie, there isn't really a reason not to get it.
Gives cooldown reduction and some much-needed health, plus it builds into a Shurelya's Reverie. There isn't much to go wrong with here. There are a few alternative items you could build here, but a Kindlegem is a pretty solid choice.
You can probably forego this for an Emblem of Valor if you wish to grab an early Aegis of the Legion and you're doing well enough, or you could grab a Sightstone before this if you require it (I usually only build a Sightstone mid-game or when the enemy jungler is screwing me over).
These are basically the main items that you will have in most of your builds against a balanced team. There are only three items listed here (boots excluded), since there is rarely a team late-game that can be considered "perfectly balanced", and you're going to have to be building your items according to your enemy teams stats at some point.
I don't consider Sightstone or it's upgrade a must-have item during the laning phase, but its effectiveness just skyrockets once you transition to the mid game. Unless you have a super-nice team, it is guaranteed that you will be buying a LOT of wards, and you should. Having map awareness is absolutely essential in nearly all phases of the game, and since Ruby Sightstone gets cost-effective after placing 8 wards, you will not regret buying this.
This will usually be one of the first major items you'll be grabbing in the mid game, and boy is it good timing. Alongside being great for escaping, the active ability on Shurelya's Reverie is a fantastic initiator, and pairs very nicely with your Solar Flare.
If you have team that is squisher than most, you might want to get Aegis of the Legion first instead of this, since going all in with a squishy team isn't exactly the smartest idea if you aren't premade.
This item is a must-have. Not only does it make you tanky, it makes your entire team tanky. This is really effective in teamfights and grabbing that Emblem of Valor early on can give your carry an edge in laning as it gets more hectic during transition. Just make sure nobody else is building this, two Aegis of the Legion's is a big no-no.
Both Ninja Tabi and Mercury's Treads are useful items to choose. However, when in doubt, it is usually the safer option to pick Mercury's Treads. I usually only grab Ninja Tabi if the enemy team is nearly devoid of CC. Either way, you'll definitely be getting one of these.
I would also consider rushing Ninja Tabi if you are going up against a high-poke lane matchup. Getting poked down is not fun as Leona, not at all.
In general, any carry that has a form of closer can be effective with Leona. Obviously, some work more effectively ( Ezreal and Corki come to mind) and some less effectively ( Caitlyn) due to her kit), but you should be pretty safe with these champions.
Tristana and Corki get a special mention here, Tristana due to her Explosive Shot being able to proc Sunlight perfectly, and Corki due to his Gatling Gun being able to proc Sunlight in quick succession.
(Can someone tell me if Draven's Wicked Blades also proc Sunlight?)
AD Carries with great burst are Leona's best friend, since she is all about burst. Also, if you've noticed, many of these champions have closers as well. Can you guess which of these champions synergize with Leona well?
( Ezreal is in this category, but he is better if built AP.)
Any burst-carry can technically play "Aggressive", but the one champion that really sticks out when I say this is Draven. Running double Spinning Axes and good ult timing can completely put lanes into oblivion.
Besides, lets face it, having both Leona and Draven in the same lane is like buying a luxury car, and then buying a luxury jetliner to fly around that luxury car.
While Varus doesn't have much that the other carries above do (gap closer, Fu Manchu), there is one thing that makes him synergize with Leona pretty well - his Hail of Arrows and Chain of Corruption. While the former is simply a helpful addition to their combined kits, the latter makes the lane pair a very tough opponent.
This lane is just packed to the brim with burst. I've been able to take on ganks from both the Jungler AND the Mid at the same time. My Kha'Zix would be building a few unconventional items to fit our lane, and it would be trampoline time without even taking damage.
This might actually be detrimental - our laning opponents were scared to even go an inch near the bushes. In one game, I had to sit for a couple minutes before we could even get the jump on them.
There's another problem as well. You usually require early kills in order for this to be effective. If your Kha'Zix does not get enough early game kills, there is a good chance that you'll just lose every engagement in lane. Also, since Kha'Zix is melee, you cannot leave him alone for a bit, and farming is difficult if the enemy carry is alive.
Just play smart and be patient, and you should dominate the laning phase.
Alright, I know that Quinn was just released, but I have a good feeling that they will work together nicely. Harrier and Sunlight seem great together, and she has both a formidable amount of burst and a gap closer with her Vault and Blinding Assault. I already know that Quinn has a great early game, so I have a good feeling that these two (these three, I guess I should say) will be a fantastic pair.
Leona was born to burst. Lulu is anti-burst central. Whimsy makes you useless when trying to combo, Help, Pix! makes you rethink trying to combo, and Wild Growth actually makes it scary trying to combo.
You being rendered useless, she'll then just shred away at your laning partner until you either try to switch lanes with Top in a futile attempt to recover, outright surrender, or farm under tower and hope to make it to the end of the laning stage.
Good thing everyone is playing Taric instead.
Janna players are usually either one of two things: really good, or really bad. Either way, Janna was made for disrupting Leona. If you try to use your Zenith Blade, she can just shove you away with Howling Gale. If you land it (which will be difficult due to Tailwind and Zephyr), she can shield with her Eye Of The Storm. If you happen to get past all of this, she'll just reset everything with Monsoon.
She may be very reflex-dependent, but she is an effective counter to Leona. Still, good luck finding someone who'll play her, and play her well at that.
This lane is almost a joke. "Aww Blitz, thanks for grabbing me! I didn't even need to use my Zenith Blade to stun and kill your carry!" (Cue ensuing matronly giggle/evil laugh)
...okay, maybe it doesn't go that far, but you get the gist. Just don't underestimate him too much, a good Blitzcrank player will know when and when not to grab. Otherwise, you should be fine.
Although the majority of this matchup is dependent on how skilled the enemy Alistar is, you are generally guaranteed to have a difficult time in this lane. If you attempt your Zenith Blade out in the open, he'll just Headbutt you. If you successfully latch your Zenith Blade onto the enemy carry and your laning partner spends his/her gap closer, then all he has to do is Headbutt your laning partner back, and you get stuck inbetween him and the carry. We all know how good Leona's 2v1 skills are, so we can assume what comes up next.
Things don't really change at level 6, when you gain your Solar Flare. Although you have a higher chance of grabbing a kill or two with your second (technically third) stun, HIS ulti, Unbreakable Will, makes attacking him a suicide pact, and essentially negates your entire kit as he forces you to attack him. Oh, and his heal doesn't make things any better either.
That's it? Well, yes and no. There may have been a few supports that I have missed (this list is based on my person experiences and WILL be updated), but most of them are either just a challenge of skill or dependent on the carry. A general rule is that most squishy supports will be easily crushed ( Soraka), but most pokey supports will be some trouble against ( Morgana).
Oh, and you essentially counter all carries. Some carries might be more difficult to kill, but that is pretty much up to how good YOUR carry is.
- If you aren't playing premade, try to signal the enemy AD carry before you use your combo. It helps a lot more than you think.
- Try to mix your abilities with other tanky champs, like Blitzcrank and Amumu. A good Rocket Grab and Shield of Daybreak or well-timed Curse of the Sad Mummy and Solar Flare can easily take down your enemies.
- Don't be afraid to ask your AD carry if he/she can share a small amount of the ward burden with you (1 per every 3 or so). If he/she refuses, you should still ward as much as you can.
- Leona can be considered a "Snowball Support", so playing badly or getting counterpicked can ruin you, if not cost you the game. Practice really is perfect. Luckily, this has happened to me once before (Fiora partner, long story) and it is not irreparable if you hold out long enough.
- If you repeatedly use Ctrl-1 at a steady pace, it will seem as if you are humping the air. Abuse this for fun and profit after getting first blood, you get more League Points that way.
Oh, and this was the very first video I ever watched when I started playing Leona, which happened around level 21, so I hope you appreciate it as much as I do.
As a tank, you want to be laning with an AD carry, preferably ranged. You don't want to lane with a bruiser or another tank.
Changelog & Other
(v.1.0): Addition of Changelog marks first "official" version. Added chapter headers, need to smooth edges a bit, too lazy to.
(v.1.1): Slight formatting changes, item elaboration. Added Spirit Visage, moved Banshee's Veil to miscellaneous.
(v.1.2): Added a video and a super pro tip to the General Tips section. A little cleanup here and there.
(v.1.3): Added those nice, long lines. What are they called again, dividers? I'm too old for this.
(v.1.4): Added Ranked/Competitive Starting Items, edited lane synergies (added In Testing section).
(v.1.5): Did some math, realized how stupid the skill sequence was (Early Kindlegem negates need for cooldown reduction). Edited. I'm an idiot.
(v.1.6) Slightly edited Ranked/Competitive build, small formatting changes.
(v.1.7) Update in accordance with discussion. Changed build, edited a lot of item and ability information. Decided to add summoner spells section as well.
(v.1.8) Slightly edited masteries to reflect warding job as support. Also added some extra mastery considerations for different team comps. Also, forgot to close a bracket. Whoooops.
(v.1.9) More mastery updates, just a tiny adjustment and another mastery consideration.
# of comments against Doran's Shield: 3
Although I did not read the guide (until just now, at least), I really do recommend jhoijhoi's manual, Making a Guide, for new Mobafire users.
I also recommend Laggermeister's Ten Commandments of Writing a Guide, as it is equally as useful. Hell, even moreso.
Finally, I would like to give thanks to the many friends I have on LoL who taught me how to play Leona, and advised me on this build guide. I am probably the only person on LoL to autolock support because of this.
I could explain the 1/4/0 game, but it's a long story. Lets just say Fiora/Leona is not the best lane.
You know what, I'm starting to like this guide even more. I get to brag.
Anyways, thanks for reading my guide. Again, rate and comment, give me your hugs and slaps. I'm always open to criticism as long as it's constructive.