Alistar Build Guide by Chowdah
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.
TL;DR Final Build
Main Items To Grab
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.
Threats to Alistar with this build
|Zilean||Assuming anyone plays support Zilean, it's a very easy matchup for you. Headbutt away minions with his bomb on their heads and make engages count. As his known, his ult can revive an ally so keep that in mind. He isn't a very good champion (in my opinion) to use as a support so this should be an easy lane to win|
Whats up guys?! My name's Chowdah and I'm a Silver 4 support main on the NA servers. I've been playing League for more than a year now and am more of a casual player. I picked up maining support around level 25 or so. Some on my most played champions include Leona, Taric, and Annie.
Alistar is a favorite of mine just because it's so fun to throw your opponents around in lane and soak up tons of damage. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment as I'd love to hear your opinions! If you wanna friend me and chat on League, again, my name there is Chowdah. Now, let's MOOOve on, shall we?
NOTE: THIS GUIDE IS STILL A WIP SO EXPECT CHANGES IN THE FUTURE
Looking to Add:
-Videos and Images around Tactics
-Images for Items, Abilities, and Champions
-Input from the comments
Pros / Cons
-Can make plays as early as level 3
-Peels very well
-Melee (Ranged ranges supports tend to be annoying to him)
-Early cooldowns expose weakness
-Mana must be carefully monitored
-Takes practice to land the W -> Q Combo
The reworked 0-16-14 masteries (Special thanks to Emorian) are set up to limit damage, as well as get you gold and keep your precious mana bar full. On the defense set, you limit damage from enemy auto attacks (ADC and Support poke), Gain HP, MR, and Armor, along with gain a bit of resistance to impatiences (slows, stuns, ect).
The utility tree gives Alistar gold (needed for nearly every support), Mana regen (as his abilities still cost quite a bit of Mana per cast), and the ability to use summoner spells quicker as well as recall faster.
After re-working the rune setup with help from the comments (Thanks to Emoriam) there is a new rune page for the build. Armour Quints allow you to minimize damage from the enemy poking you. The one HP Regen Quint will also help you to heal up quicker, without the use of mana to cast your E. HP Seals allow you to start the game with a little more HP so you won't be poked down as easily. MR Glyphs are a smart investment as you won't have an item early on to provide much of it. Finally, Armor Marks again to reduce physical damage dealt by the opposing Bot lane.
For the most part, I run Exhaust and Flash. Flash is a no-brainer. With Alistar, it can also be used as an initiate (although should be avoided) when Headbutt is down. Exhaust is very underrated. It shreds armor, damage output, and slows a target. Usually, your ADC will pick Heal so having 2 of the ability doesn't help. Also, you have your own heal! Another option is Ignite. I only use Ignite against enemy supports like Taric, Sona, or Soraka who constantly keep the ADC healed.
Skill Sequence and Descriptions - WIP
The way people play support Alistar is somewhat opinionated. I'll explain my spell maxing here. I start with a point in Alistar's heal every game. The heal is very underrated in most cases and will negate the small amount of poke at level one. Next, I get Pulverize. Getting Headbutt won't hurt your lane much but it minimizes most threat of an early kill attempt. It also makes hurting minions a tad easier. Mostly, it's just preference. Next, grab Headbutt (or Pulverize if you get Headbutt first). Level 3 unlocks most of Ali's power. I'll Later explain how to combo and use Alistar in fights but for now, we can focus on each Ability.
What the passive does is that it damages nearby enemies which scales off of AP (10%) and Level (1 x Level). This damage hurts minions, monsters, and Turrets most importantly.
This ability knocks up enemies around Alistar and stuns them shortly after the knockup. Max this second because the cooldown is longer than that of Headbutt. You want your Q and W to have nearly the same cooldown as you need them at the same time.
Alistar charges at a single, targeted enemy and knocks them back. This is the most fun of all of Ali's kit. Use this to engage a fight, knock away a chasing enemy, or push an enemy over a wall! The last one will really piss em off! But I max this last because the cooldown is reasonable in comparison to that of Pulverize.
E: Triumphant Roar
The forgotten ability. Alistar heals minions and allies in a decent radius around him for up to 180 HP + 20% of his AP. The ability heals for 60 at first rank but once maxed, it becomes a very helpful asset. Also, the cooldown of your E is shortened by 2 seconds every time an enemy unit dies. In late, the 12 second cooldown is nearly nothing as minions explode around you helplessly. The ability requires little management in a lane duel because champions and minions perish shorten the cooldown and the ability costs little. Pay a bit more attention in jungle fights where death is limited to champions.
R: Unbreakable Will
The most powerful ability in the kit. When you activate this ability, you turn from a beefy cow, into Godzilla. Activating it while stunned, slowed, or rooted will eliminate that effect. But the best part of the ability is that is reduces all damage taken by 70%. The ADC chunking everyone for 300 damage each attack will do 90 to you. Turret diving with your ADC and jungler at 6 is a free double kill.
Usually, I max my Ult,then E, then Q, then W. The reason behind this is because since the cooldown for your heal is shortened due to deaths around you, heals for 180 maxed, and costs little mana. Another route more people take is maxing Pulverize first. I really don't see much of a problem doing this so feel free to apply it if you feel more comfortable with it.
Alistar can be build in several ways: AP, Utility, or Tank. AP Alistar mid is very underestimated but does nothing bot lane (Although, try it if you haven't. It's really fun!). Utility Alistar is ok but gets melted right away, even with his ult. Tank Alistar is probably the best in the bot lane right now. But, his raw, built-in tankiness doesn't make him invincible. Lets analyze what does: Items.
I usually run Boots of Mobility on most supports. Alistar is a play maker and if he isn't in a fight to move people around, he won't make an impact. If you feel like you can be everywhere at the right time, take another pair of boots. Mercs are lovely against a team with Pantheon, Leona, and an Elise but Ninja Tabi outshine it if the enemy ADC is a Caitlyn with constant poke from her Auto Attacks.
You start the game with either a Relic Shield or Ancient Coin along with a ward and a potion or two. On your first back, your goal is to purchase your Sightstone. Most people often sit at the normal Sightstone for the entire game, but I recommend upgrading to a Ruby one. You get 4 wards and 150 HP with a normal stone. Respectable. But 400 HP and an extra ward is much better. After your stone, upgrade your support item. These items will A) Help you get even more gold and B) add an active ability to your team. The shield or speed buff can win you a fight
After this item was introduced into the game, Alistar became even better. This item's passive gives an attack speed boost of 25% to ALL allies for 6 seconds. Since Alistar can heal ANYONE in range of the ability, the item helps your entire team when you get into a fight. Even your ADC in lane can benefit from the boost in small skirmishes.
Face of the Mountain and Ruby Sightstone give you a great chunk of health but now you need some armor. Usually, I turn to Randuin's Omen and Spirit Visage in most games. Randuin's gives you armor and health (both lovely) and Visage increases MR and the amount of HP you get per heal. The other items I listed above are all viable but I tend to stick with these in most cases.
Personally, I don't like playing utility Alistar too much. Sometimes, though, it can be really fun. The reasoning behind building Alistar with some utility is because he gets SO tanky without items and Unbreakable Will is insane. I won't go into an insane amount of detail with this build but I want to have the option available. I would keep runes and masteries the same (the tankiness is always helpful). Level your abilities the same.
Your items will make you very, very utility based and a beast in team fights. Your amulet coin start safely lets you get to 6 and then builds into Talisman which will give your team the ability to disengage well. Ardent Censer is one of the best items to get on Alistar as EVERY ally healed by your W will get an attack speed boost. Building further, Ruby Sightstone is a must, Iceborn Gauntlet gives you the Sheen passive along with much needed mana and armour, and Locket of the Iron Solari will provide your team with more stats.
Other options are Ohmwrecker (I love this item but it gets SO much hate Q.Q but Alistar pushes towers really well so this item makes him push 2x) or Banner of Command (Which gives you a LOT more AP then you should have but it's such a fun item :3).
When playing utility Alistar, the main thing you need to pay attention to is that you're going to lack tankiness given by the beefy build. Make sure to be present in fights, peel for carries, and give your item bonuses to the team. If you want to try it out, be my guest! but NOTE: This guide is meant for the beefy build so don't be throwing yourself into fights assuming you're invincible
If you're familiar with the support role, I would recommend skipping over this section. Here I intend to discuss Supporting Basics, Warding, and Fights As A Support.
In League Of Legends, the support is often the least sought after role to play as. You main Top Darius. You get into a lobby, send up last pick in draft, and watch miserably as the roles slowly become taken. You groan at the fact you need to play the dumb slave you think the support role is and lock in Sona. But the support role has much more depth to it than the healing slave some think supports are (unless you play Soraka. Then yeah, you're mostly there to heal).
There are two types of supports in my opinion: Passive and Active. Active supports (Like this guide for Alistar) thrive in soaking up damage and starting fights. As an active support, the mentality you have to have should look to make plays, but also eliminate plays that aren't within reason. You should be looking for your ADC's Health and Mana, Escapability, and Kill Potential.
An example of a safe time to make a play is the first time you see enemies in your lane. Everyone has full HP and Mana. You can move towards the enemies, Pulverize them as your ADC Auto Attacks, and walk away without taking much damage.
A poor time to go in would be if your ADC is lacking mana or HP. If your ADC is a Vayne with shorter range, a low HP engage is very risky for her. If you go in alone with no mana yourself, you are left with little escape other than walking away.
Finally, you should be looking at Kill Potential. Is it worth using Unbreakable Will with 300 HP? Can your ADC gain anything from this engage? Whenever you go in as an Active Support, you need to make sure your team can benefit from it. If you dive 2 enemies under tower without any help, you've failed your lane by giving a kill to the other team. But, if you dive the tower, use your ult, and die as your ADC picks up a Double Kill, that is going to be a huge boost to their gold and EXP, benefiting your lane overall.
As for the Passive Support, the idea is to follow the same set of rules but approach differently. As a support Sona, you should keep your ADC well healed, poke down enemies with your Q or Auto Attacks, and help disengage when needed. Your ult, Crescendo, should be used wisely with proper backup. Most Passive Support lack armor, HP, and MR until they get several items in them. They rely on their kit of heals and buffs to allow their team to succeed. The Passive Support cannot do anything by themselves and rely on their allies. Sona can't heal, boost damage, or speed up anyone but herself alone. He Auto Attacks are pebbles in comparison to the boosted bullets of her ADC. Using Crescendo while alone will help you run, but using it in a team fight will leave the enemies defenseless to your bloodthirsty allies.
Supporting Cont. - WIP
Xpecial, debatable one of the best pro support players in the LCS stated this in one of his own support guides. In response, the most important thing one can do to assist your ADC is purchase wards. Knowledge is power. Knowing where the enemy is is a huge asset to your team. When they take dragons, when they gank, and when they recall is all important to know. As your support, you are the main source of vision for your team and this job must not be taken lightly.
Almost every support should own a Sightstone of some kind, a red trinket, and Vision Wards. Sightstones place Stealth Wards in places, red trinkets remove enemy wards, and a Vision Wards does both of these things in one. On Blue Side's bot lane, places to keep warded are the river entrance to your lane (to avoid unexpected ganks), the enemy's bottom bush (to avoid unseen poke), and either your or the enemy's tri-bush (again for ganks). This is simply for the Laning Phase Only. Later in the game, places to ward are Dragon, enemy buffs, allied buffs, and Baron along with general wards in both sides' jungle bushes. IMAGES TO BE PUT IN LATER
Fights As A Support
There are two different fighting styles based on either the Active or Passive type of champion you are.
Active Supports are to start fights, lock down enemy carries (such as Mid and ADC), keep enemies off of your own squishy allies, and soak up damage. How do you do all of this at once? It's very difficult. Let's take Leona for example though. You start a fight with Solar Flare (starting fights) on the enemy Caitlyn (locking down the enemy carries) and dive in on the enemy Ziggs. The fight progresses, people die, others scatter, and the pesky enemy Rengar jumps on your allied Jinx. Your battered self is to lock down and stun Rengar while your ADC either escapes or secures the kill on the helpless kitten.
Passive Supports are back-line fighters. You should go into fights with a healed up team and a solid engage by a jungler or top laner. As a Sona, speed up your team as they charge in, use your Crescendo on as many people as you can, and heal/buff whoever you can. As a squishy, Passive Support, staying on the front line would kill you (giving gold to the enemies) and rob your team of your precious buffs. Your personal damage may be weak but your buffs to your allies greatly increase their survivability and damage output.
So you went through champ select perfectly. Your team is full of cool guys and you end up playing with a Jinx. You're going into a Caitlyn Braum lane (respectable) and are pumped to push some guys around. You buy your items and head to lane. Now, you obviously want to either leash for your jungler (If they take the buff closest to your lane) or watch said buff. I place my yellow trinket in the bush by the buff if my jungler isn't taking it around 1:00. The trinket expires at 2:00 so you'll be able to leave the buff alone and see if the enemies have stolen it around the 1:55 mark. Head to lane now. Pre level 3, your job as Alistar is to stay alive and take little damage. I use both of my Runic stacks on the 1st 2 minions I see. By the time the cannon minion comes, you'll have another stack up to take that. If you make it to level 3 (I hope you do), you'll have your kit mostly unlocked. Around this time (4:00 ish) I like to ward the river bush in case of a gank early on. If you feel safe, feel free to go in with your combo and retreat after if you don't see a kill come out of it. Levels 3-6 should be a repetition of your combo in order for your ADC to lay down damage (In most cases). At 6, you have a lot of wiggle room. Lets say your jungler comes and wants to gank the low HP Cait and Braum. You can ult in, take turret agro, and watch the faces of your opponents as they fall to the ground at the hands of your teammates. Now you have gold and back. Try and get a Sightstone first, and a Targon's Brace, or normal boots. Next back, finish your support item, get a Ruby, and finish boots. Early game, you have 2 jobs: Supply your ADC with HP and poke opportunities along with protecting them from oncoming ganks. Oh, and soaking up damage while using your ult.
Mid Game and Fights
By mid game, you should have your support item, Ruby Sightstone, and Boots purchased and finished. Maybe your team will have some towers taken or a dragon slain and you can roam from lane to lane a bit. At this point, Alistar becomes a play-maker. Take your trusty ADC to mid lane and combo that petty excuse for a Ziggs to get more gold to your precious Mid laner. Is your team in a good spot for a dragon fight? If so, dive right into the fray and Pulverize the entire team, then ult to soak up the pebbles they throw at you. Make sure to use your Face of the Mountain on the team's squishes and throw yourself on the enemy back lines to render theirs helpless.
Almost the same as Mid Game. Start wise fights, Soak up damage, and repeat. You should have a hefty amount of HP and your Ardent Censer's passive to help you win most fights now. Look for those who dare to split push against your team and make them suffer the power of the bull.
Tactics (WIP - Images and Videos Soon)
Alistar is famous for his one combo that he should use to start EVERY fight. Once you target an enemy with Headbutt and make contact, you should use Pulverize before the enemy moves away so they they remain in the same place and become stunned/knocked up. This is a combo that even some pro players can mess up so it will take time to master.
Another tactic that Alistar players must use is the ability to move your enemies. Use Headbutt to push enemies over walls so that they have to run all the way around to touch your ADC's little head. In the same sense, if your little Jinx lays down and misses her set of Flame Chompers!, Headbutt them back into it, walk over (as they are stunned) and Pulverize them into breadcrumbs.
The final tip with Headbutt is to use it to jump over a wall. Being chased in the jungle? Ward over the Golem's wall and Headbutt one to escape your foolish enemies.
ADC Compatabilities - WIP
Jinx and Alistar is a very fun combo. The reason I love this combo is because it's very hard for a Jinx to land her Flame Chompers! and have them stun an enemy. All Jinx has to do here is use them when Alistar goes in with his W->Q combo. If that's no option and the chompers are already down, use your Headbutt to hit enemies into the line of chompers to stun them still. At 6, both champions have very strong stats. If rights break out and enemies escape, Jinx can easily clean up with her ult.
The Vayne Alistar team is very strong. When Ali combos in, Vayne has time to re-position, use Condemn to hit enemies into terrain. Again, Vayne is very strong at 6 so tower diving is a strong possibility. Finally, the lane has a ton of peel ability with Headbutt and Condemn being able to move people around. This also makes escaping easy combined with Tumble.
Tristana is a really cool laner with Alistar. I've found that Tristana can safely get an Alistar to level 3 as well and get a decent amount of damage off when he goes in with the Headbutt then Pulverize combo. After 6, when Alistar lands his combo, it's awesome when Tristana uses Rocket Jump to get to the other side of an enemy then follows with a Buster Shot to get an enemy into an allied turret. Also, the amount of disengage and movement provided by the lane is quite impressive.
Alistar is Strong. Alistar push people around. Alistar is BIG. Alistar like to throw helpless squishies to the ground.
I hope you enjoyed the guide everyone! I love Alistar as a champion so I'm hoping this will open more people's minds to try him out! Because if you have to support, have some fun with it. If you've gotten this far, you've earned my gratitude. Good luck fellow Summoners.
Special thanks to those of you in the comments who helped me refine this guide! You guys all helped out a ton with my first guide and I really appreciate it.
If you guys want me to include an AP Alistar build and mini-guide, lemme know in the comments or via private message. I've played him a little bit and he's SO fun to use.