Leona Build Guide by Keeven
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PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated.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
Not Updated For Current Season
This is a guide, not a build. Please do not take the above item build as a set in stone build that you can not alter.
Also, if you're going to vote, please comment and make sure don't downvote just because you don't like X or Y item, or X rune. I try to explain my choices in my guide and give alternatives. If you don't like something, comment and I will consider changing it.
Why and who?
~Leona has high burst when combined with an ADC's basics due to her passive.
~Leona is tanky/a tank champ.
~Leona when used correctly, has 3 stuns and a slows.
Who am I?
I've played Leona as my main support since she was released. The more and more I play her, the better I get at her. After alot of time playing her, I think I'm at-least somewhat qualified to make a guide.
In short: I pretty much know the champion in and out. And even if I'm not high ELO/Challenger/Pro, I still know what I'm talking about (mostly).
Before we start. Here are some terms that may need to be spelled out.
AoE/AE=Area of Effect
CS/Last Hits=Creep Score/Minion kills
ADC=Attack Damage Carry, the ranged Attack damage carry on your team.
CC=Crowd Control, things like stuns and slows.
If you see any other terms in this guide that you do not understand, please comment and ask what they mean so I can add them to the list and explain them.
Pros / Cons
* Leona has a high amount of CC with 2 single target stuns, and 1 guaranteed slow, and 1 AoE Stun/Slow.
* Has a gap-closer.
* "Leona has high burst when combined with an ADC's basics due to her passive." WHAT DOES THIS EVEN...? I'll explain in the Skill section, calm down.
* Low-ish mobility
* No real output of damage solo.
* No sustain
* No escape besides Flash
* Dependent on early game to become better late game.
Think about it.
Unless your ADC isn't close to you/the wave :).
Or... If you can set it up to look like your ADC went back and your farming while they're back in order to set an ambush.
Or... The minions that are attacking a turret/inhibitor is being ignored by your teammates.
Leona's Passive, Sunlight, is simply amazing.
What it does: Applies a mark to an enemy that when hit by an allied champion will go off for extra damage. APPLIED BY ALL SKILLS.
When you start playing Leona at first, you'll probably barley notice it, and chain your skills too quick for it to take effect. But when you start really paying attetion... You'll notice during the laning phase if you chain your moves slow enough for your ADC to catch up and start autoing, that 3 of his basics will do noticeably more.
This little skill can also come into play when there's a large amount of minions and a nearby allied champion with an AoE ability. Simply use your W or E and mark most, if not all, of the minions. The resulting damage is awesome. Especially late game, when wave clearing can make or break a game.
Shield of Daybreak
Shield of Daybreak is your single target stun. With over a 1 second stun duration, this gives you plenty of time to set up your ult if you need to secure the kill.
Max this OR Zenith 2nd. I prefer this because it has more kill potential.
Eclipse is a shield that grants Leona extra armor and magic resist. And at rank 5, gives a whopping 50 of both. In addition to the fact that if it hits an enemy it will slow them for a duration. This is generaly what you want to use right before using your Zenith Blade to initiate, so when you land on the enemy, you apply Sunlight to them after your 1st and 2nd Sunlights fade. And ontop of all that. It does decent damage at the lower levels.
Max this first. The extra armor and MR isn't what you want. It's what you need.
Zenith blade is Leona's gap-closer and initiate skill (generally). What this does is shoot out a skillshot (that you can easily miss) that will drag you to the LAST ENEMY CHAMPION hit and stun THAT champion for a very brief duration.
As I said, I prefer Shield of Daybreak over Zenith Blade. But your choice.
The general use of this during laning phase has Leona in a brush/zoning and the enemy steps abit into Leona's range. Zenith Blade goes out, hits, and the pulls Leona to them. All the while while Leona is charging her Eclipse and getting ready to use her Shield of Daybreak.
A ranged AoE stun (at the direct impact of spell) and slow (still in ult but not being directly hit by flare). Either way you land this, it can devastate an enemy team, or their ADC, or whoever gets caught by it.
Take a point in this whenever possible.
Solar Flare can be used in two main ways: Engaging, and disengaging.
~You're team's Skirmishing mid with the other team 3v4, you and ADC were bot and are now heading mid. You go through the river brush into mid lane and land Solar Flare on their enemy ADC/on a clump of them, then use the Standard Engage combo (Combos listed bellow). The enemy team partially retreats, and partially engages. Allowing your team to easily clean up and take a good lead.
Ex:Disengaging, aka TACTICAL RETREAT;
~You've just failed a baron attempt and it was stolen by the enemy. Your team starts to retreat through blue path and as you're retreating you notice the enemy is mostly clumped into a tight group. You use your Solar Flare and keep running. Only turning to engage and sacrifice yourself to ensure the survival of the APC/ADC/Fed Team Member. Or if you think you can flash through a wall/get away right after stunning them/trying to distract them.
Standard Engage Combo:
Eclipse right before you Zenith Blade, then after a second use Shield of Daybreak
I don't care about Sunlight.
Eclipse right before you Zenith Blade, then instantly use Shield of Daybreak as you hit the target, ensuring the stun.
Standard Ult Engage Engage aka THE TARGET IS NOT MOVING, SIR!
Eclipse right before you Zenith Blade, then after a second use Shield of Daybreak, then as you think the Shield of Daybreak stun is fading-use Solar Flare
Solar Flare Initiation Combo:
Solar Flare then start Eclipse as you Zenith Blade to your hit target(s). After you get to your target(s), use your Shield of Daybreak on the one you want to stun. Remember to actually click your main target right before you've activated Shield of Daybreak, so you don't mistakenly stun a minion/tank.
Flash-> Solar Flare-> Eclipse+ Zenith Blade-> Shield of Daybreak
Be SURE you can hit atleast one person before flashing. I recommend not doing this combo until you've played atleast 10-15 games as Leona and have a solid grasp of the range of her skills.
I really want that ADC at the back of their lines stunned/dead combo:
Flash toward front line,activate Eclipse then Zenith Blade to farthest target, Solar Flare ADC/Target then precede to walk over, Shield of Daybreak.Then Exhaust if the ADC/Target does not retreat from fight.
Flash-> Eclipse+ Zenith-> Solar Flare-> Shield of Daybreak-> Exhaust
*Note, this last combo has limited use. And if you use it while behind/know you can be bursted down relatively easily, you probably die in half a second and have wasted all of your skills and perhaps gotten one or several team mates killed.
~First rows: Summoners Wrath for the -armor/MR on Exhaust. Sorcery for CDR of Shield of Daybreak and Zenith Blade. Only 1 in Tough Skin because it's useful, but not more useful then the rest of the tree.
~2nd Row: Hardiness You're laning against and AD. Resistance helps mitigate early game AP damage from ganks/heavy early AP poke from Sona/Lula/etc.
~3rd Row: Unyielding Less damage= better. Relentless The faster you can get to the target, the better. Veteran's Scars 30 Extra HP early game can be the difference between first blood and a double kill. Did NOT take Safeguard because I do not dive/tank turret enough to justify.
~Row 4: Block Less damage= better. Tenacious The faster you can get to the target, the better. Juggernaut The extra % health late game is pretty good, which is why I take it.
~Row 5: Reinforced Armor Critical strikes=Killers, reduced Critical Strike damage=Really Good. Did not take Good Hands because it barley makes a difference. Legendary Armor ends up giving such a low amount of Armor/MR that it's not even worth a point. Defender is useless unless you play ARAM, and even then it's not that good.
~Row 6: Honor Guard Reduced damage from all sources? HELL YES!
All in all I can see why you would just go 0/21/9 or 9/21/0 or something like that instead of my mastery set-up. But this is what I've had success with, and have grown to like.
Greater Mark of Armor
I take Greater Mark of Armors instead of Greater Mark of Magic Penetrations or any other rune because I want to be able to mitigate as much damage from the enemy ADC as I can.
Greater Seal of Armor
The reason for these is as above. These are also standard on most champions in general (top, jungle, adc, most supts to my knowledge).
Greater Glyph of scaling Magic Resist
I use these runes because if you get to late game these help to mitigate the enemies' AP('s) damage.
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Now, here's where I start to run into some heavier disagreement when I discuss my runes. I only use 2 Greater Quintessence of Armors instead of 3. The reason for this is because my 3rd Quint allows me greater mobility until I get boots. And the reason for Armor Quints is to help mitigate the ADC's damage early game.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
As I said above, this rune causes abit of trouble for me. But I find it useful and wouldn't trade it out. I think the initial reason I started using it was because I didn't have a 3rd armor quint, but even with one, I still prefer using this rune over it.
If you missed my rational for using the Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed:
"...allows me greater mobility until I get boots. And the reason for Armor Quints is to help mitigate the ADC's damage early game.""
Let's start off with the boots. Mercury's Treads and the Ninja Tabi, specifically. THESE ARE THE ONLY BOOTS YOU SHOULD BE GETTING.
When to get (Merc): High CC/AP team comp/decent or ALOT of CC
When to get (Tabi): High AD team comp with little to no CC.
What enchant? Enchantment: Homeguard. Always. I don't care what you say, but whatever else it is really isn't as useful as this. This gets you into lane quickly, this gets you FULL HEALTH/MANA as soon as you recall, allowing you to get into lane even quicker due to not having to wait for hp/mana.
All in all, the others can't really compare to homeguard in any noticeable way on a support.
Unless someone else (jungler or top laner) says they're going to get this, or they rush it before you. You get it. The aura: Legion is just amazing and the unique aura that applies to you and minions isn't bad by any standards either. Pretty much a must for each game.
A must buy. After so long you've payed for this item easily. But remember...Buying this doesn't mean you stop buying wards. Continue buying them, not as many as you would have to normally. But still get them.
Shurelya's Reverie Shurelya's Reverie
The reason this is an OPTION and not core is because Philosopher Stone can now also be turned into the Ohmwrecker. Generally I go with Shurelya's Reverie because the speed burst is soo useful during a chase/initiation/disengage But it's your call.
Decent item, can't highly recommend it over Shurelya's Reverie though because it's really only useful early game for diving, and I don't even turn Philosopher's Stone into Shurelya's Reverie until around late-mid-game.
Locket of the Iron Solari
I don't really care for the item, and as such never build it. But I've heard good things about it, and it looks like it would be a good item because of the armor, hp/mana regen, and active AoE shield. But note the thing that keeps me from it is that the shield is notably low.
I never build this, but I can see how it'd be useful if you face a ridiculously CC heavy team.
Shard of True Ice Shard of True Ice
A solid item that I've built before, but due to the lack of tankiness I can't recommend this.
Can't really recommend it highly, but seeing as it has move speed and MR... I'd say give it ago if you really want another activate item against an AP/balanced team.
I actually recommend this if you're facing an AD heavy team.
A good item for it's active, and a good item vs AD/balanced teams.
I recommend this highly. I can't stress how great of an item this is. Especially when the enemy team is more AD then AP. The stats on it are good, and the fiery aura it has is great.
Good, cheap item that you can get against an AP heavy team. Recommended.
As most know, this is such a great item vs heavy AD teams it's ridiculous.
I can't really recommend this unless you're ahead or the enemy is bursting you down through your defensive items. Swap something for this then, though not Runic Bulwark or Sightstone. (or Boots)
Great item against balanced teams. But if you're not confident you can escape/re-engage with team after reviving. Getting this is a waste.
Where to ward:
Warding 101, click for more info.
I'd do my own version of it, but it wouldn't be anywhere near as good.
What I use
Yes. Always take this. This is your only escape and can be vital in catching someone out, saving a team mate, or getting away. ALWAYS TAKE THIS.
Here's where you can vary your summoner spell. I personaly ALWAYS take Exhaust because of how useful this is against the enemy ADC and possibly jungler/top laner. This is another ability that can save a fight/team mate/yourself.
Not really a good summoner since the cooldown was increased, but is still viable.
I disagree with using this entirely. While you can use it to bait them to engage, or save yourself/a team mate. It's just not worth it, in my opinion.
This is viable, but isn't really worth trading for Exhaust.
Zoning the Enemy
Really can only be done after you establish lane dominance through a kill or heavy trade in your favor.
What you want to do:
* Force the enemy out of exp range if possible.
* Force the enemy ADC to lose CS.
* Allow your ADC pressure-free farming.
What you do NOT want to do:
* Do not allow the enemy ADC to poke you down until you have to back/you could easily die/do die.
* Do not go too far forward and risk an unspotted gank from the enemy jungler catching you so out of position you couldn't possibly escape.
How to: (I recommend looking at another guide or video to learn how to do this, but I'll try.)
After establishing lane dominance, stand behind enemy minions (so you're closer to the enemy tower), and kind of just patrol around there. If the enemy ADC/Supt comes forward and you see an easy kill-go for it, your ADC isn't that far behind you.
What ADC do I lane with?
Leona CAN work well with ALL ADCs. Surprisingly enough, Ashe+ Leona works pretty well if your Ashe is aggressive and willing to go into a fight you start.
Here's the real thing you'll have to remember: Leona is an aggressive support. If you can't go aggressive and have to play passive, you're going to suffer late game for it.
My top 5 ADCs to lane with
1) Miss Fortune OR Draven Both of these work wonderfully because of the damage these two can dish out on a whim. And Draven at low levels in comoboniation with Leona's Sunlight his Spinning Axe can do a-ton of damage
2) Graves or Vayne Some may be suprised that I put Vayne at 2. But remember, Leona isn't Alistar You can't force them into the wall for 5 seconds.
3) Tristana Because of her jump and the low level damage she can dish out, she's a great match with Leona. Or Varus
3) Ezreal Can Arcane Shift in when you engage and his ult ( Trueshot Barrage) is just great after you Solar Flare half their team.
4) Caitlyn or Twitch
5) Ashe While you can get a liking for Ashe+ Leona, I can't really recommend it over any of the above.
Here's the thing for Match-Ups. The thing you have to remember is that these depend so much on who you play well against and who you don't play well against, and who your partner is and who they are...That I don't think I could make anything that could encompass the possible match-ups or tell you which match ups you need to watch for.
I MAY add onto this and add a few enemy champions you'll have to watch for, but for now, the above is all I'll say on the subject.
Thanks for reading and the plans for this guide
I plan to add:
~Winning Pictures/Example videos of Leona Gameplay in a new section
I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and hope you've learned something about Leona and how to play her as a support.
I plan to update this and add videos/more sections as I think of them/they are asked for. If You think I've done anything wrong/think this guide can be improved, leave a comment/message me and I'll look into making this better.