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Alistar Build Guide by yummybluewaffle

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League of Legends Build Guide Author yummybluewaffle

Support, Top, Mid - The Encyclopedia of Cow [S6]

yummybluewaffle Last updated on January 15, 2016
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
3
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R

Masteries

Fury
 
 
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
Double Edged Sword
Feast
 
 
 
 
 
Vampirism
 
 
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
Bounty Hunter
Oppressor
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Ferocity: 0

5/
Wanderer
 
 
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Merciless
 
 
5/
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Bandit
Dangerous Game
 
 
 
 
 
Precision
 
 
5/
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Cunning: 18

Recovery
 
 
5/
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Explorer
Tough Skin
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Runic Armor
 
 
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Insight
Perseverance
 
 
 
 
 
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Resolve: 12



Threats to Alistar with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
1
Leona Practically everything in Leona's kit gets easily countered by Alistar. Leona is pretty much an all-in support and not much more, and Alistar can easily just Headbutt her or the enemy ADC away when Leona dives in with Zenith Blade. Furthermore, if you're close to your tower and she jumps in with Zenith Blade, you can just hit her into your tower and force her to burn flash or die. And if she casts her ult, Solar Flare, you have an ultimate of your own that can cleanse the stun/slow, allowing you to either peel and disengage, or counter-engage with a combo onto the enemy team.
1
Taric No one in the game really has a tough time laning against Taric. Taric's generally play passively and don't really do anything in lane besides heal and babysit. If a Taric tries to be aggressive, it means pretty much just walking in to use Dazzle to stun, so just hit away his ADC if he does anything like that. Other than that, pretty much ignore him and jump on the rest of his team.
Guide Top

Introduction

***To see the cheat sheets for AP and AD builds, click on one of the other 4 Alistar icons at the top of this page!***

Hello friends, welcome to my guide on my favorite champion in the game: Alistar, one of the oldest champions in the game, as well as one of the hardest to play. His difficult mechanics, CC that can win or lose a game, and dark hidden secret combos all shied me away from him and towards "easier" CC-focused supports like Thresh and Leona, until I learned of his true potential from a friend who played countless games as him, not only as a support, but as an Assassin mid and a Bruiser top (long long long before the hype last season).

After watching and playing many, many, many games of Alistar, I am confident enough in my knowledge and abilities to be able to come out and write this guide on Alistar, not only as a support (though I would consider myself a support main), but also as many other roles, including an AP Mage/Assassin/Bruiser and AD/Crit Fighter/Bruiser! (Unfortunately for you guys, adding jungle into this guide would take up way too much time for me, so for now I'm leaving it out until I decide to do it)

This guide will be LONG and contain a lot of assorted info. However, I will keep everything that is "role-related" organized and sectioned, that way when scrolling through you can easily identify if something is "Support" or "AP Mage" related or whatever, while also being able to easily skip all other things you do not wish to read.

Keep in mind, just because this guide contains every role doesn't mean I won't skimp out on the details for each role. This guide will literally be 4 complete guides in one, and soon to be more (like adding in Jungle) if I decide I have the time to do so. If anything in this guide is unclear/lacks clarity, please let me know in the comments! Don't just downvote and leave!

Lastly, you can watch some of my Alistar play at http://www.twitch.tv/yummybluewaffle. I don't really have a schedule, but when I do stream, I'll pretty much be playing exclusively Alistar, so feel free to follow.


Guide Top

Notes

Season 6 is here friends, and here's the update for it. It's still early and I might be changing up some things due to the meta likely changing a whole bunch before it relatively settles down, but this guide will serve well since I honestly do know a ton of things about Alistar anyways.

I might not be streaming too often since school is consuming most of my time and I've lost motivation to climb after hitting diamond. If anything, I'll be streaming on my Gold smurf. Content-wise on stream, I'll also be teaching some cool tips that aren't mentioned in this guide, since there's a lot of weird intricate things that are too hard to explain or much easier to show by example.



UPDATED:
-Added a more fighter-mage type of itemization on AP Assassin Alistar, since Lich Bane now gives CDR and Spellthief's Edge is the meta.
-Added in season 6 masteries for all positions.
-Changed runes for the new season.
-Tweaked AD Alistar, after they removed crit from Youmuu's Ghostblade. Added in Essence Reaver, Rapid Firecannon, and moved around some items.
-Added matchups against Illaoi.


ALSO PLANNING TO ADD:
-Jungle Alistar, soon (TM).
-General lane tip: Headbutt away an opposing laner so you can farm a creep or two and then sink back behind the minion wave with Trample. I don't know where to put this and it applies to all solo lanes for Alistar. Might stick it into "Abilities"
-COMBO: W > walk > Q- Flash combo (W to send a champion flying backwards, and then Q-Flashing on them to knock them up, OR W at a minion to reposition yourself, and then Q-Flashing for far away targets)
-COMBO: W > early Q, where you Q early enough to let them fly away instead of getting knocked up, making it a free super mega burst of damage that still sends them flying off with no chance to retaliate. It's really only good for AP builds though.
-General laning matchups for AP and AD in the cheat sheet to match the support matchups.
-General tips section, with the most important parts being How To Lane, Mid-Game/Roaming, and Late-Game with Engaging, Assassinating, Peeling, etc.
-Videos for each combo.


Guide Top

How To Use This Guide

The fact that I'm including Support, AP, and AD makes this guide naturally EXTREMELY long.

To access the cheat sheets for the AP and AD builds, just click on the 4 Alistar faces at the top left of the pages.

To help YOU, the reader, find all the things you need in this guide, this will be the way I organize things:

1. Chapter Headings: Looking at the chapter headings in the "Table of Contents" will help you find the general type of content you need. If you are looking for Item Building or Runes/Masteries, simply click on the chapter in the "Table of Contents" and your browser will take you to the chapter.

2. Subchapters for each Role/Position: Within each chapter, it will contain subchapters specifically focused on the role you are trying to learn about, like Support, AP, etc. so as not to overcrowd the "Table of Contents" These subchapters and roles will contain a large Header/Title and will be color coded to make it easier to find when scrolling.


The order and corresponding color will be as so:
-Yellow: Support
-Blue: AP Mage / Assassin
-Purple: AP Tanky Bruiser
-Red: AD Bruiser / Crit

Here's an example header:


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░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ SUPPORT ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░
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(FYI this is the prettiest it's gonna look until someone sends me some nice, easily identifiable headers that are highly contrasting with the other headers, for all of you artsy and giving people out there hehe)

3. Role-Specific Mini-Texts: In sections where it's pointless or excessive or too complicated to use large subsections, I will instead resort to mini little texts for any role-specific things I would like to mention. I will simply make a color coded little mention, and then include the corresponding info immediately after.
AP Mage / Assassin: like so.

You'll likely get the gist of how this guide works by simply looking at it too!



Also, for those of you wondering what exactly I mean by "Support", "AP Tanky Bruiser", etc., I will list their descriptions here:

Support: The most typical role for Alistar. Your #1 role is to help your ADC carry you. This means protect and peel (peel is a fancy word for protect; for example, you are "peeling" off the assassin that is currently on top of your ADC, as if the assassin were an orange peel), set up the best environment and lane you can to allow your ADC to farm (healing, warding, zoning/lane presence), and setting up good opportunities for not only your ADC, but your team as well (warding for dragon, engaging in fights/ganks, etc.). You will typically build Tank and Utility. It's important to know that when playing Alistar, particularly during late game, you'll either be engaging or peeling. You can't really do both since your abilities have such long cooldowns, even with 40% CDR.

AP Mage/Assassin: Generally, you will be solo laning in the Mid lane. There are a lot of CDR items to choose from now, making someone like Alistar more ideal in the DPS category, rather than the assassin style he was before. This doesn't mean playing as an assassin is bad! As a mage, you will try to deal DPS and CC to everyone on their team, but ideally their carries. Itemwise, you will typically build high CDR and AP. As an assassin, you'll only target important, squishy targets in fights and try to explode them, normally either their Solo-Lane Carry/ies or their ADC. Itemwise, you only value AP and penetration. For both roles, you get a huge power spike when you buy Sheen, making it so you will almost always win trades when you engage, so don't be afraid to go balls-deep early.

AP Tanky Bruiser: Think Singed but with more teamfight presence. As the name infers, you are a tank, or at least you are tankier than most others, while at the same time you do quite a bit of magic damage. You will solo lane, either mid or top (generally top), and perhaps even jungle (but like I said, that's for this guide's next update). However, mid lane is also a good place to put bruiser Alistar, and at this position you will likely opt for more damage than tankiness (like 18/12 masteries instead, skipping items like Sunfire Cape and Spirit Visage, etc). Your role is to engage or peel, set up a good environment for your team to fight in due to your survivability and crowd control, and hopefully pinning down their carries and preventing them from doing damage to your team.

AD Bruiser / Crit: This is quite broad, since I'm including Bruiser and Crit together. While it's important to know the differences, I don't think it's a good idea to keep them separate, since the core to both builds are so similar. Nevertheless, this role for Alistar is to deal high amounts of burst and sustained physical damage, whether it be in fights or taking objectives. You can be considered an Assassin or a Tanky Bruiser, but his playstyle is quite unique so it's hard to say what exactly you are. Before your first recall, your kill potential is low, but you can survive through it incredibly easily. As soon as you buy Sheen, you can trade extremely well against practically everyone. Your mid-game is absolutely huge with Trinity Force and Teleport presence, combined with your Unbreakable Will ult that makes tower dives incredibly easy. You also will be able to split push incredibly well, since no one can really kill you by themselves and you can push hard and knock down towers quickly.

Jungle when I have the time to update this some more, will be included eventually!


Guide Top

Pros / Cons of Playing Alistar

As with every champion, Alistar has his pros and cons.

Pros:

-Extremely high CC
-Great base damage and a strong late game in all roles
-Good sustain in lane with his heal
-Can heal minions too to help with pushing, sieging, and denying CS
-Not many people know of his strengths, so you can surprise a lot of people and kill them to carry the game
-Full tank Alistar is unkillable; literally THE tankiest champion in the game
-Easily counters some of the most popular played supports, like Braum, Thresh, Leona, and Blitzcrank
-Great potential to secure kills in ganks, as well as outplaying
-His WQ combo is similar to a Malphite ult, and thus can be used to initiate
-Has incredible versatility, allowing him to fulfill any role, including a tanky initiator, AP assassin or bruiser, AD bruiser, and even go hybrid.

Cons:
-He is super slow
-Long cooldowns on his abilities
-Low base mana and mana regen, usually meaning "pick one" between healing and engaging/harassing. A mana-less Alistar is a useless sack of beef.
-His ult is the main source of his tankiness, and it doesn't last forever, has somewhat long CD, and the fact that his other abilities use up so much mana means that he might not have the mana to use his ult
-When building Tank, he is heavily reliant on teammates, as with most tanks
-Prone to harass
-Not only is his learning curve so high since his abilities are really difficult to perform correctly, incorrectly selecting targets or failing to pull off combos often results in disaster and flaming
-You can't milk those :(


Guide Top

Runes

As with most rune builds, rune choice is pretty lenient with user preference. Just keep in mind all of Alistar's weaknesses and strengths, as listed before. With that in mind, I'll list all the good choices of runes you can have for him.

I'll make use of the col[/color]or coded role-specific subchapter headers here, using the same order as it goes.




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░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ SUPPORT ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░
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Quints



Best Choices:
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Health Regeneration
Alternatives:
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
.

Quintessences have overall a relatively low amount of options. Since Alistar is a tank, Armor quints are great on him. Health Regeneration is also a great rune against super poke lanes. Alistar is also incredibly slow, while his CC is incredibly devastating, making movement speed quints on Alistar are particularly good since they allow him to close gaps on slow ADC's and supports and enemy teams. The downside of running non-Armor Quints is that we'll be forced to run Armor seals and/or marks, so it's not that stat efficient. There are also other options like AD or AP, and it's really up to you if you want to try weird things like AP Assassin support Alistar (it works sometimes, it's really funny).


Seals


Best Choices:
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Greater Seal of Armor
Alternatives:
Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
Greater Seal of Percent Health
.

Seals are one of the trickier runes to pick for Alistar. Out of all the runes, Seals grant the highest "stats per rune" when it comes to both health and armor, which is why it's tough to decide. I'd opt for Armor over Health only if you're facing a lane which abuses Blade of the Ruined King, though that only means like Kalista and maybe Kog'Maw or Vayne. For health, deciding on Flat, Scaling, or Percentage is heavily dependent on your playstyle and itemization. Flat Health best for early game, Scaling Health evens with Flat Health at Level 6 and gives the most late game, and Percent health generally gives the most health mid game but not late game unless you can get over 4.8k health, runes excluded (not hard since Alistar gains one of the most health per level), which usually means you won't have as much mitigation (armor/MR) as a tradeoff. Flat Armor is good all around but at a certain point, you need health too, since you're probably running Armor Quints, and Armor Seals aren't super efficient compared to Health. Scaling Armor is also okay if you think you don't need much tankiness in lane.


Marks


Best choices:
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Alternatives:
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Marks, as runes, typically have the highest stats in physical damage as well as penetration, be it physical or magic or hybrid. Alistar support doesn't particularly need these stats unless he's going for an aggressive lane, which is typically why I opt for Armor marks. However, many people take flat AD on aggressive supports to boost the 1 or 2 autos you can dish out when you engage in lane. Flat AS is also incredibly useful since it really helps you use the AD boost on Unbreakable Will (running an AS support page is actually good on quite a lot of people like Braum and Tahm Kench). Hybrid penetration or Magic penetration are pretty good against tanky bottom lanes ( Graves and/or Taric) when flat AD or AS won't cut it. I generally opt for hybrid pen over magic pen since Alistar also possesses relatively high base AD, especially with his ult.


Glyphs


Best choices:
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Alternatives:
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction

Scaling Magic Resist is good for strong AP mids that you'll be forced to face later in the game, but if you're facing a lane with a lot of magic damage ( Corki/ Kog'Maw and/or a Karma/ Sona/ Zyra/etc.), or if the enemy AP jungler or AP mid can pressure your lane, you might want to op for Flat MR instead. Lastly, you can throw in some CDR Glyphs if you don't think you'll be getting many CDR items later in the game, like a core build of Righteous Glory + Randuin's Omen + Banshee's Veil or something.




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░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ AP MAGE / ASSASSIN ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░
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Quints


Best Choices:
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
Alternatives:
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction

Flat AP Quints = Scaling AP Glyphs at level 10. Scaling CDR = Flat CDR at level 9 for both Quints and Glyphs. Use these facts to help you decide how you want your rune page to look like if you want CDR or AP, now or later. If going Mage, we plan on getting Morellonomicon or Athene's Unholy Grail, so we'll have max CDR in combination with Lich Bane and Frost Queen's Claim. Thus, we opt for Flat AP Quints. However, if we are going for Assassin, we could pick CDR here since we won't have much from Lich Bane and maybe Ionian Boots of Lucidity, though Flat AP can still be good if we are just trying to one-shot someone. Movement speed is also good since Alistar is melee and has super slow base movement speeds, making it actually impossible to dodge some skillshots in lane.


Seals


Best Choices:
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Alternatives:
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration

Seals give the most health per rune, making Flat and Scaling Health very viable since you always want some tankiness in lane. I typically opt for flat health since Alistar's health increases relatively much higher than most champions anyways, but the meta likes Scaling Health right now. Armor is another great option against AD mids. Mana regeneration seals are also incredibly useful for mid laners, since they give the highest mana regen per rune than any other type of rune, but you'll want some tankiness since you are melee.


Marks


Best Choices:
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
Alternatives:
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

There are many reasons to choose hybrid penetration over magic penetration on Alistar. You only sacrifice a meager 2.15 magic penetration when you choose hybrid, but you also gain 8.1 armor penetration. Since Alistar's base AD is quite high, his ult gives him lots of AD when diving, and Sheen is such an important item that deals physical damage when the passive is used, having hybrid penetration in effect will allow you to deal quite a lot more damage than magic penetration alone will, particularly early and mid game. Hybrid penetration also allows you to farm a lot easier! Honestly, it's the only Mark you should consider getting. However, I put magic penetration in simply because it does in fact give you 2.15 more magic penetration, meaning you do a slight bit more damage when you get your Lich Bane.


Glyphs


Best Choices:
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Alternatives:
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction

Scaling AP Glyphs = Flat AP Quints at level 10. Scaling CDR = Flat CDR at level 9 for both Quints and Glyphs. We don't really need CDR runes as a mage since our items will give us max CDR, so we run Scaling AP Glyphs. MR is another great option if you're against pokey champions like Syndra. You can choose to run CDR Glyphs if you believe you can get a kill before level 10, which means you'll probably be sticking Flat AP Quints in your page.




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░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ AP TANKY BRUISER ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░
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Quints


Best Choices:
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Health Regeneration
Alternatives:
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction

With AP Bruiser Alistar, we either want to be tanky or focus on damage and utility. Typically we opt for tanky, but we do this with other runes since it's more efficient. Thus, we like to just pick up some Flat AP Quints for some more base damage and heals. CDR is also fantastic to let us be incredibly annoying with our nonstop CC. Running Scaling CDR is more useful than Flat CDR since you don't really benefit from CDR early game; you just oom. Health Generation is also ideal against people who trade well or poke hard. Some alternatives are flat armor, great if we want to be really tanky, and movement speed, since it allows you to move quicker in fights and follow your targets around to continue to cripple them.


Seals


Best Choices:
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Alternatives:
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Seal of Percent Health
.

Seals give a lot of really good tanky stats. We typically opt for either Armor or Health. Since we won't have any armor from any other runes, it's ideal just to use Armor Seals. Take Flat Armor if you're against someone who can trade well early ( Renekton, Riven, etc). Take Scaling Armor if you're facing someone who won't be trading much with you or won't deal much physical damage. If you plan on getting more damage mitigation items (Armor/MR) rather than health ( Iceborn Gauntlet, Thornmail, Frozen Heart, etc), or if you run Armor Quints, then you should pick Health Seals. Scaling Health equals Flat Health at level 6. Percent health gives us a lot of health mid game, more than Flat or Scaling do mid-game. It also gives us more than Scaling Health if we get passed 4.8k health, so keep that in mind too.


Marks


Best Choices:
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
Alternatives:
Greater Mark of Armor
.

Magic penetration in this case is more valued over hybrid penetration, unlike for AP mage or Assassin, since we want to boost the damage we do over time as much as possible, which is basically all magic damage and almost no physical damage. Magic penetration marks are too good to pass up, even if trying to be tanky, and obviously, when trying to go damage instead, it's pretty self-explanatory why you want these runes. However, hybrid penetration is still very good in cases where we build Sheen or if we want to farm easier with the added autoattack damage. Armor marks are also a good option if we really want to be extremely tanky or simply don't have enough armor from other runes, but these aren't as efficient as magic or hybrid penetration.


Glyphs


Best Choices:
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Alternatives:
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
.

MR is important for when we are aiming to be tanky. Scaling MR evens out with Flat MR at level 8, and if you don't need the MR until then, then Scaling is a better option. However, if you face an opponent with a lot of magic damage early, then Flat MR is generally good. AP is also good for more damage if that's your goal, though with Glyphs we typically take Scaling AP over Flat AP. CDR is also a very good option if you want it, since we don't have too much CDR with this build unless we build a Glacial Shroud item or a Fiendish Codex item or Ionian Boots of Lucidity.




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░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ AD BRUISER / CRIT ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░
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Quints


Best Choices:
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction
Alternatives:
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal

Attack speed is perhaps the best quint you can possibly consider for AD Alistar top lane, since when Alistar uses his ult, he gains 60-90 AD (basically 2 ± 0.5 B. F. Swords) but only for a few seconds, so you'll want as much attack speed to dish out tons of empowered autos. CDR is also nice if you want to be a CC monster in fights too and don't plan on or want any of the CDR items. I prefer Scaling CDR over Flat CDR since you don't benefit from CDR early on without going oom, but it also allows more harass in lane too. Armor is ideal only if you want Health Seals. Attack damage is all around good as well, but I really don't see it being better than attack speed since Alistar's ult gives him a ton of AD anyways. Life steal is also an option if you want to help increase your sustain in the top lane, but I don't usually run it on bruiser tops with innate heals.


Seals


Best Choices:
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
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Alternatives:
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Seal of Percent Health

We generally run Armor Seals, since we don't have any other source of armor in runes. Take Flat Armor against someone with strong poke or trades early, and take Scaling Armor otherwise. Don't forget to grab some health items some time during the game. If you went Armor Quints, then you should get Health Seals instead. Flat health is good for early game, Scaling Health evens out with Flat Health at level 6, which is good if you are facing an opponent who has a weak early game, and Percent health generally gives you more health mid game if you decide to build some health items.


Marks


Best Choices:
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Alternatives:
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Hybrid penetration is a great option overall. Your passive and all of your abilities do a lot of magic damage, while at the same time your sustained damage consists of Trinity-powered slaps, so you benefit from the hybrid penetration. Attack Speed Marks are also an incredibly good option on Alistar. When he ults, he gains a huge AD boost that doesn't last that long, and the only real way to utilize this AD boost is through attack speed, rather than mere attack damage. But pure attack damage is great too if you're trying to do short trades. Armor penetration is also good too if you think you'll be doing more damage with your auto's than abilities, such as playing against a lane where harassing with Headbutt is useless.


Glyphs


Best Choices:
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Alternatives:
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Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction

As stated before, we love attack speed on Alistar. He's someone who can seriously benefit from using the cheesy Attack Speed Glyphs, which don't really give much per rune but can make a dramatic difference in fights. However, MR is a more normal choice. I like to take a nice balance of Attack Speed and Scaling MR Glyphs since it's inevitable to have to face the enemy AP Mid eventually. Flat MR is also good against annoying AP top laners. Mana regen is also an option too if you want to harass more, and CDR overall isn't a bad option either, as it allows you to harass and heal and ult more often too.


Guide Top

Masteries

This chapter will use color coded role headers like before. I will first describe notable masteries which I believe are must-haves, then alternative viable options, and lastly masteries that are deceivingly bad choices.




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This is what I run on Alistar now. I'll explain some of the most important ones and why I chose them. I'll skip over the obvious ones which are Bandit and Secret Stash :

- Windspeaker's Blessing : This keystone is incredibly good for someone like Alistar who has a spammable AoE heal. This means he can buff his entire team, granting them all bonus armor and MR, along with a nice chunky heal. As a support, buffing your team is basically what your main job is, so this mastery is pretty much the best choice for support.

- Meditation : Why choose this mastery over Merciless ? The reason is because Alistar is an initiator typically. This means he probably will be comboing people who are above 40% health and thus doesn't benefit from the bonus damage. Meditiation is incredibly useful on someone like Alistar who can run oom very quickly from spamming heals.

- Wanderer and Explorer : Your job as a support isn't to only carry your ADC. You also have to carry the rest of your team too! Thus, roaming mid and warding around river is just as important of a job for supports, making these mastery incredibly useful and efficient for the job.

- Intelligence : This mastery goes great with support items, since you can easily stack tons of CDR. Alistar benefits from the larger CDR cap so he can turn wherever he stands into a bounce house.

- Runic Armor : People without innate heals prefer Veteran's Scars for the bonus health, but people with heals prefer Runic Armor , as it grants more health by improving your heal.

- Unyielding : As a tank, you will be buying tons of armor and MR, which this mastery requires in order to be useful. Recovery isn't as useful since you already have a healing ability, and your base HP is so high that this flat amount of regeneration will only tickle.

- Insight : Alistar loves Flash, and this mastery basically means more cheese with Pulverize- Flash combos. This is absolutely required.

Some masteries are good on Alistar but aren't listed above because I personally don't prefer them. Some require an 0/12/18 mastery page. Some are decievingly bad and shouldn't be chosen. I'll first list the good alternatives:

- Bond of Stone : This mastery is great for tanky supports in lane, allowing the ADC to be a bit tankier at your own health's expense. You also become tankier as well. I value Windspeaker's Blessing over this keystone simply because they both basically do the same thing while grouped up as a team, except Windspeaker's Blessing can apply to everyone, which is unique to only champions like Alistar and maybe Sona and Karma. Only one person on your team can really have Bond of Stone set as their keystone since it doesn't stack, making it useless if say your top laner has it. But, if you think you like this keystone more, go ahead and grab it!

- Merciless : As stated earlier, Alistar doesn't benefit greatly from this mastery if he is mostly used as an initiator. Initiators jump on people who are healthy and have their health bars above 40%. However, if you believe you will play extremely aggressive in lane and believe you will benefit from the damage, there's no reason not to take this mastery!

- Tough Skin : This mastery is good if you don't feel like you want to roam around in the river and will benefit from a bit more tankiness in lane. It also helps you tank Dragon a bit better early on, though it's not that significant.

- Legendary Guardian or Swiftness : These masteries require you to have a 0/12/18 page layout. Both of these masteries are honestly very good, and which one you choose is your preference. One grants pure tankiness, and one grants mobility in teamfights. You can choose which one you prefer, or even do a mix between them if you want!

Some masteries just aren't worth taking on Alistar. Aside from the obvious, here's a few deceiving masteries that I would try and cross off the list:

- Veteran's Scars : This mastery is really bad on Alistar since he has an innate heal. It's better to just abuse your heal and get more health from Runic Armor than to try and have more health outright.

- Recovery : This mastery is only useful in lane, and on someone like Alistar who has a ton of health, this just tickles him. Unyielding will grant a pretty large boost in your tankiness late game, and the tradeoff of taking Unyielding over Recovery isn't even comparable.




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This page is geared more towards playing Alistar as a mage, as it increases his CDR cap. However, as an assassin, an 18/12 page might be more useful. I'll first explain the choices for Mage, and then include a later note for Assassins. I'll also skip some of the obvious ones like Natural Talent and Dangerous Game :

- Thunderlord's Decree : This is probably the best keystone we can take in the Cunning tree. This keystone increases your AP ratio on your initial engage by 10% AP plus 10 damage in an area around you. Pure damage is ideal for mages, and the other keystones don't grant this.

- Double-Edged Sword : As a melee champion, Alistar benefits much more from this large damage boost. This will improve his damage output significantly for just one measly mastery point. It's generally better than Feast since Alistar already has an innate heal.

- Intelligence : This is important when playing Alistar as a mage, as he can constantly spam abilities and tower dive with it. He can easily keep the enemy team flying in the air, allowing the rest of your team to apply all their damage for free, while at the same time allowing you yourself to bring tons of uncounterable pain.

- Oppressor : Since, as Alistar, it will be relatively difficult to kill 3 different people on their team to get the Bounty Hunter bonus damage, taking Oppressor will probably be more useful to you. Keep in mind, the enemies must first be CC'd before you combo them in order to get the bonus damage. If you combo without first applying CC (such as a teammate applying it or you use Frost Queen's Claim), you won't get the bonus damage on the Headbutt, which is your main source of damage. However, the CC will still let Trample do bonus damage!

Alternatively, you can go with an 18/12 page to do more damage outright, at the expense of your CDR cap being only 40%. This is more of an Assassin type of playstyle:


- Deathfire Touch : This keystone will be much more useful on Alistar than Thunderlord's Decree for outright damage, since it adds 20% AP of damage, rather than Thunderlord's 10%. This is only on Alistar's Headbutt though, which is fine because that's his main source of harass. With Deathfire Touch , Alistar's Headbutt suddenly jumps to 90% AP, making lane harass incredibly painful. His Trample also gets a nice bonus bit of DPS. This keystone is ideal for AP Assassin Alistar rather than Thunderlord's Decree , though you would think it's the other way around.

There are several great alternatives to the masteries already listed in both of these pages that weren't taken simply because of preference. Here's a few alternatives that you can consider taking if you would like:

- Stormraider's Surge : This mastery is hilarious because you'll be able to WQ-auto your enemy in lane and walk away quickly, making them unable to trade back damage with you. The cooldown on this is also lower than that of Thunderlord's Decree , meaning you can have a higher frequency in harass against your laning opponent with pretty much zero counterplay.

- Bounty Hunter : If you think you can kill 3+ people on the enemy team to get higher damage amplification than what Oppressor can grant you, then there's no reason not to grab this mastery instead.

- Secret Stash : This is a good mastery if you think you won't be able to survive in lane. Keep in mind, it's a bit more cost efficient to grab Health Potions over Corrupting Potion since you get the bonus health and mana boost from the biscuits.

- Runic Affinity : If you think you aren't going to get any mana regeneration or CDR, blue buff might be extremely important for you. This mastery will help you keep that buff longer.

Some masteries are deceivingly bad on AP Alistar. Don't take these, even if you think they're good:

- Precision : Keep in mind, the only reason we go 12/18 is for the CDR boost with Intelligence . If we don't like this boost, it's 100% better to just go 18/12 and take Deathfire Touch with Piercing Thoughts , since we will do more damage this way.

- Meditation : Honestly, you seriously will want the bonus damage dealt to champions below 40% with Merciless . That's literally a 5% damage boost, which is huge, and since Alistar doesn't really have that large of a mana pool, the regeneration from this Meditation isn't as efficient. Alistar doesn't have amazing AP scaling, so boosts in damage should be taken when you can get them, rather than on mana regeneration that doesn't do much.




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To be tankier, 18 points in Resolve is typical, and the other 12 points are up to you. You can also try running other masteries, such as 18/12 if you want more damage. I won't really make any other additional pages, like I did for AP Mage / Assassin, but I'll include some good alternative masteries in keystones later like usual. I'll first talk about the ideal masteries and also skip some of the obvious ones:

- Bond of Stone : As an initiating tank, this mastery will grant you the highest amount of tankiness possible. You'll be fighting with your team, which will grant you 6% damage reduction, while also tanking some damage for people on your team. Make sure no one else on your team grabs this mastery, since it doesn't stack.

- Swiftness : This mastery is fantastic for AP Bruiser Alistar, since he wants to remain up and close with the enemy team. Resisting their CC and slows means you won't be kited as easily, allowing you to apply your AoE DoT to the enemy team as long as possible.

- Oppressor : With Rylai's Crystal Scepter being so core to this build, we end up causing mass area of effect slows with our abilities and passive. This means with Oppressor , we can get 2.5% bonus damage on practically the entire enemy team!

- Runic Armor : This mastery is overall very good on champions who have innate heals. You will naturally fall low on health, as with the nature of the game, and this mastery will increase the amount you heal yourself with Triumphant Roar!

- Unyielding : As a tank, you will be buying tons of armor and MR, which this mastery requires in order to be useful. Recovery isn't as useful since you already have a healing ability, and your base HP is so high that this flat amount of regeneration will only tickle.

- Insight : You'll still want to be able to make cool plays with Flash, as well as be able to Teleport into your team while splitpushing. This mastery means your cooldowns on these two important summoner spells are much lower, letting you impact the game much more often.

I did not list some particularly good masteries, either through personal preference or because they are in other trees. However, it doesn't mean they are bad masteries! I'll list the ones that didn't make the cut but are still particularly good in my book, or some masteries to try if you're running things like 0/18/12:

- Grasp of the Undying : Since you will be stacking tons of health items ( Rylai's Crystal Scepter + perhaps Dead Man's Plate and Righteous Glory?), you will be able to steal quite a nice chunk of health from your autoattacks. Coupled with a possible Iceborn Gauntlet, you'll be able to chunk quite a bit of damage from just a single autoattack.

- Windspeaker's Blessing : This is a great mastery to take if you're running 0/18/12 masteries. This would likely mean you are also trying to grab Intelligence for more CDR and thus more CC. This grants you a nice chunk of healing for your team with Triumphant Roar, and the large boost to your team's defenses is almost exclusive only to someone like Alistar who has a spammable AoE heal.

- Stormraider's Surge : You can easily chunk quite a bit of health from people on the enemy team with your combo. This mastery will grant you a massive speed boost as a result, allowing you to remain extremely sticky to the enemy team's carries and practically removing them from the fight with your slows and damage.

- Intelligence : This mastery is ideal if you value CDR over tenacity and slow resist from Swiftness .

Lastly, aside from the obvious, a few masteries just should not be taken, though they may seem good:

- Recovery : Alistar has a built in heal so there's no need for this mastery, especially since his base health is incredibly high. He won't even notice this mastery in games.

- Veteran's Scars : With the nerfing of this mastery to make it only flat health, you don't get much benefit out of this. You'll definitely want to take Runic Armor instead, since you have a built in heal.




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This is almost identical to a Tryndamere mastery page, and that's because this particular page is centered around a crit-oriented build, where Trinity Force and Statikk Shiv or Rapid Firecannon are core. I will only include this page because, if you plan on trying other AD builds for Alistar, like running a tanky initiate or more AoE minded, there will be too many pages I'll need to include for all the different possible ways you can run AD Alistar. With that in mind, I'll explain all the key masteries for this version of Alistar, excluding the obvious:

- Warlord's Bloodlust : With Trinity Force and Rapid Firecannon or Statikk Shiv, you will have 50% crit. This means you will be able to take advantage of this incredibly useful mastery and be able to recover nice amounts of health when you crit people you jump on.

- Vampirism : You'll be surprisingly autoattack reliant, whether it be laning or splitpushing. Getting some lifesteal will be useful for you, allowing you to rely a bit less on Triumphant Roar and thus save mana for other abilities.

- Runic Armor : Not only will this mastery help your heal from Triumphant Roar, it will also help with the heals from Warlord's Bloodlust and Vampirism , which help your dueling and splitpushing potential.

- Fury : The reason you prefer attack speed over ability damage is because crit actually scales with attack speed too. The more attack speed you have, the more opportunities to attack you'll have, and the more opportunities to crit you'll therefore have. This also helps you farm under tower and splitpush harder.

- Insight : We can always make cool plays with Flash, no matter which version of Alistar is run. This mastery helps lower the cooldown on it, as well as Teleport, allowing you to make more plays more often.

Here are some particularly neat masteries I recommend trying, especially if you plan on running other versions of AD Alistar. I'll skip some obviously viable ones and just talk about some that are more notable:

- Stormraider's Surge : Alistar has huge trouble trying to keep up with his enemies after initiating on them. This helps you remain sticky to your targets, which is particularly useful if you want to be assassin-like. You can also take advantage of this mastery by using all of your abilities on an opponent, do tons of damage while they are CC'd, and run away from them for a completely free harass.

- Sorcery / Piercing Thoughts : If you plan on relying on your abilities to do more significant of a chunk of damage to your enemy, such as if you're laning against someone who has high base armor or will itemize with armor.

- Intelligence : This mastery is great if you want to be a CC machine, with items like Frozen Heart, Spirit Visage, and maybe Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Your ult will also be able to be on quite a low cooldown, which makes you incredibly devastating to be near.

- Assassin / Natural Talent : If you think you want more damage instead of sustain or tankiness, consider these two masteries.

As for masteries to avoid, there actually aren't that many bad masteries on AD Alistar. The only ones that are bad are the ones that are obviously bad for AD Alistar, like Runic Affinity or Perseverance.


Guide Top

Summoner Spells

This chapter will use color coded role headers in order. I'll talk about the 2 summoner spells you should take for each role, as well as talk about the viability of some other spells.




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I take these two 95% of the time. There really is zero reason not to take Flash with Alistar, because one of the greatest things to do with Alistar is to Flash in with Pulverize, and then Headbutt a target into your team/turret (which I go over later).

This QW combo can be done with Exhaust on special occasions (mainly if the ADC or support has no escape or CC), but aside from that, Exhaust itself incredibly useful. It's one of the only abilities in the game that has pure damage reduction. It also has an auto-attack slow which is very useful against Jax and Master Yi that love to sit on top of carries.

Alternatives:

Ignite is a great mastery for much more aggression, but bear in mind that the amount of peel you have late game will be reduced since you won't have Exhaust. The spell also helps give sight of enemies when they run into bushes, making it great for chasing to land the finishing blow. It's also very effective against champions with heals, like Soraka and Dr. Mundo and even summoner spell Heal, since it halves the heals. Make sure you ignite them before they get the chance to heal!

Heal is also a good spell, but it's typically reserved for ADC's, and the second heal amount gets halved when you both use your summoner heal together. If the ADC chooses Barrier, you can opt to take Heal since those two spells don't stack, and it gives them another escape too.




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Quite typical two spells for an AP melee champion. Flash is pretty self-explanatory, especially to help cheese lane opponents and hit them into your tower with Headbutt.

Ignite is great to help finish off a low health opponent who would normally walk away alive from a fight. It also scales very well, and reduces the amount of healing your target can do, making it very useful against ADC's trying to lifesteal their health back when you go in for the kill.

Alternatives:

Exhaust is honestly quite underrated for mages and assassins. It helps keep your targets locked in so you can keep hurting them, and it helps reduce the damage that your strongest targets likely can deliver to you in extreme amounts, like an ADC. It also reduces your target's armor and MR, allowing your damage output to be increased. It's also particularly good to help peel off enemy assassins or dramatically reduce the damage output of a mage's burst in a fight.

Teleport is another good option for mid laners, specifically ones that can gank extremely well, as well as push extremely well. Alistar is both of these. He provides such an immense presence, and can apply strong map pressure with the high amount of damage he can do to towers by healing minions with Triumphant Roar, using Lich Bane, and passively lowering tower and inhib health with his passive Trample. However, the cooldown on this is extremely high, so you won't really use it that often in game.




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Again, Flash should be self explanatory. Teleport on the other hand, as opposed to choosing other summoner spells, is quite preferential. I think taking Teleport is particularly good for AP Bruiser Alistar since he can provide a lot of map pressure with his amazing ganks and awesome teamfighting ability, as well as his strong splitpushing ability. It's hard to get kills on Alistar without choosing aggressive runes and masteries for Alistar's early game and investing in damage, so aggressive summoner spells aren't useful. And since we are a tank and are more team oriented, Teleport just fits our role much better.

Alternatives:

Ignite is good if you want to be aggressive and do a lot more damage, like if you're mid. This likely means you're opting for 18/12 or 12/18 masteries and building damage (and possibly going mid, which is okay!). Ignite helps a lot to kill lane opponents who would normally walk out alive, making it good for aggressive laners and people who want more damage overall. It's also ideal against healers like Dr. Mundo and Illaoi.

Exhaust is my personal favorite for most roles, since it practically removes an enemy from a teamfight temporarily. Its high damage reduction means you can jump on their whole team, ult yourself with Unbreakable Will for dramatic damage reduction, and when it runs out you can Exhaust their carries for even more dramatic damage reduction!

Ghost is another great spell, which you would take in conjunction with Flash. It gives you a great deal of movement speed, allowing you to initiate with no chance of being stopped, as well as run around in teamfights with your Rylai's Crystal Scepter and slowing the heck out of everyone. It also allows you to chase down far, fleeing targets and lock them in to kill them. You can even use it to roam and get to a teamfight quickly, sort of like an alternative to Teleport. Take it alongside of flash, because there are still many key and core things you can do with Flash.




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Again, Flash is still extremely key to playing Alistar to his full potential and shouldn't be skipped. Teleport is also very meta for top laners nowadays, and for good reason. It allows you to base and return to lane extremely quickly, as well to join your team for important objectives and teamfights to provide them with your large CC. Alistar can split push extremely well too, as with most Trinity Force reliant AD bruisers, making Teleport even more useful to let him splitpush and also instantly join a teamfight on the other side of the map.

Alternatives:

Ghost is another great spell, and in this case you'll want to take it along with Flash, rather than replace it since you don't necessarily demand map presence (you can splitpush very well), and because there are so many things you can do with Flash as Alistar. It's hilarious because if you want to engage onto their team, you'll cast Ghost and Youmuu's Ghostblade; you literally cannot be stopped. Your objective in fights is to terrorize the squishies (think the playstyle of Jax or Irelia) by getting up in their face, or to engage and frontline for your team (like Malphite or Hecarim). Ghost can really help you with all of these things.

Ignite is another great alternative for people who choose to be very aggressive. Early level cheesing and headbutting them into your tower might not be enough to kill an enemy, and ignite can really help finish the job.

Exhaust is one of my personal favorite summoner spells. It dramatically reduces the damage output of an enemy champion, making it great for baiting out tower dives or surviving a Riven's all-in. The spell also keeps your target slowed for a significant amount of time, so it's great if you want to focus a carry in a fight.


Guide Top

Abilities

Trying to juggle including descriptions for 4 roles with the descriptions of each ability as well as role specific leveling order would be a total mess with color coded role headers. Not to mention, the leveling orders for AP Mage / Assassin, AP Bruiser, and AD Bruiser are generally all the same.

To make things less complicated, this section will use color coded mini texts at the end of each ability. I will first list an ability, and then put in the color coded role mentions and talk about the ability in relation to the specific role, including when/why/why not max it.

But before I get into that, I must emphasize to you, when it comes to playing Support, unlike the other 3 roles, there is no ability that you must always level up first! Though I list Q, Pulverize, as the first to be maxed for Support, there are cases where you instead will rather max W, Headbutt, or your heal E, Triumphant Roar. This will be included in the Support mini explanations for each ability! First I'll start with his passive:



Trample (Passive)


Every time Alistar casts an ability, he starts doing this angry dance that passively causes magic damage over time to enemies nearby for 3 seconds. He even does damage to structures! The damage is doubled against minions ONLY. Trample refreshes on new ability casts too. In other words, it doesn't stack, meaning if you cast your multiple abilities in a short time, you will simply refresh the 3 seconds on his passive. Thus, if you are trying to jungle him or clear creep waves, you'll want to cast abilities at time intervals (like Lee Sin).

Alistar also gains the ability to pass through units for the 3 second duration. Approaching units will still attempt to walk around you, which is awesome because if you are peeling someone away with your abilities, they still have to walk around you (great with Elixir of Iron). However, you really shouldn't be trying to use this passive as an escape tool to walk through minions if you are being chased, because most of his abilities take up a significant amount of time to cast. I find this part of Trample only good when I Headbutt an enemy to harass and then quickly sinking behind the minion wave to farm or disengage so they can't retaliate without going around the wave.

Stats:
Damage to Champions and Structures: 6 + (1 × level) (+ 10% AP) magic damage per second
Damage to Minions: 12 + (2 × level) (+ 20% AP) magic damage per second

Support: Alistar's passive is good to help push lanes and knock down towers, but be wary! It means if you stand near a minion wave while your passive is on (for instance, if you just used your heal), you could accidentally steal CS or push a lane that your ADC wants frozen, especially since it does double damage to minions. You can also draw turret aggro with your passive.

AP Mage / Assassin: Alistar's passive is surprisingly actually a significant source of damage dealt when playing Mage or Assassin and stacking tons of AP! 10% AP each second means you can deal an immense amount of damage to your target since they get CC'd by your knockups for so long and then have to deal with you slapping them. However, this doesn't mean you need to wait out the passive's full 3 seconds before using your Triumphant Roar for your next Lich Bane proc; as an assassin you care more about burst damage than sustained, so as soon as Lich Bane's cooldown is off, use your heal for the final judgment slap! Other than that, since you naturally are building a ton of AP, it also helps push towers and minion waves like crazy as well.

AP Tanky Bruiser: Unlike AP Mage or Assassin Alistar, in this case you want to drag out your passive to it's fullest extent to allow your Rylai's Crystal Scepter to slow the enemy team as long as possible, which is why it's such a core item! The key is to spread out the times you cast each of your abilities, since the passive doesn't stack. By initiating, ulting, and healing mid-fight at the correct intervals, you should be able to get off around 7-8 seconds of AoE slows on their team by not stacking the passive. Add your passive in with the AoE damage from Liandry's and Sunfire, plus the MR reduction Abyssal Scepter, and you are doing a bunch of crippling damage over time. Plus, with the tankiness from your items and ult, it's a perfect environment for your team to fight in!

AD Bruiser / Crit: Alistar's passive isn't as useful for AD Alistar, but it doesn't mean it doesn't come in handy! It has significant base damage that deals quite a large amount of sustained damage to waves and towers when trying to push, and the fact that killing minions lowers the CD of your heal, you can have your passive up constantly as you push waves and simultaneously deal a ton of damage to the enemy laner/tower with the repetitive Trinity Force procs.



Pulverize (Q)


Alistar causes all enemies in a 182.5 radius around him to be knocked up into the air for 1 second and then are stunned for 0.5 seconds when they land. Though a channel bar appears, it's really just an animation. The animation takes about 0.25-0.5 seconds, meaning he can do some funny things with Flash while it animates (check out the "Combos" section and see!). As with all knock ups, tenacity does not effect the air time, which is awesome; however, the stun time when landing is affected. We like to max this when we Support and Jungle, but never when solo laning. Just read Headbutt's descriptions as to why!

Stats:
Damage: 60 / 105 / 150 / 195 / 240 (+50% AP) magic damage
Cost: 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 mana
Cooldown: 17 / 16 / 15 / 14 / 13

Support: Comparing Pulverize's cooldown with that of Headbutt (W), you'll notice Pulverize has a much longer cooldown. However, after putting points in Q, Pulverize will lower its cooldown pretty significantly to the point where it will match W's cooldown at 4-points. You generally would choose to max Q first if you like to pull off more ability combos in a short span of time, since Q's cooldown is the bottleneck when it comes to the CD of your combos. I also like to put the starting ability point in Pulverize. A 1-point Pulverize does a bit more damage than a 1-point Headbutt, not to mention the fact that it is AoE and the stun is longer, making it great for leashing (better than Headbutting the buff and risk sending it over a wall), in level 1 jungle invades, counter-invades, and level 1 ganks/counterganks.

However, you must keep in mind that the lowered mana costs from Patch 4.12's buffs doesn't mean you can't easily run out of mana when spamming combos. Alistar's real weakness is his low base mana and mana regen. If you look at his stats and do a bit of math, you'll see exactly what I mean. Two WQ combos when he's level 6 cost a little less than 300 mana. Add in his ult, Unbreakable Will, and that's nearly 400 mana for an entire set of combos. At level 6, Alistar has around 440 mana. Not to mention, since his natural mana regeneration is so low, it means you either don't ult, don't heal often in lane, use a Mana Potion at some point, or run a decent amount of mana regen runes. Consider this before making your choice on maxing Q first!

AP Mage / Assassin: Pulverize for this role serves a few purposes. It's actually much more CC/utility focused than damage, since it doesn't really have a good ratio. You will max W, Headbutt, first, and not Q, and if you need a detailed explanation, just read below on my description for Headbutt. A 1-point Q costs a lot of mana and really doesn't do any damage, making it extremely inefficient with mana. Plus, keeping your enemy up close puts you at risk of harass and getting outtraded. Thus, instead of WQ'ing in lane, you'll more likely just W them away for free harass and then return to farming. This is the reason to always max Q second.

However, a 1-point Q is still useful for the CC in many cases. For example, when facing any gap closing lane opponents or enemy junglers, you can use Pulverize to CC them, and then Headbutt them in the direction you wish. You stun an enemy Fizz immediately when he uses Urchin Strike, let him take a ton of minion aggro while he's stunned, and then Headbutt him away. Or if a ganking Amumu uses Bandage Toss on you, you can Pulverize him, walk behind him, and Headbutt him into your turret! Though this ability isn't your source of damage, it is still a very useful, CC-focused skill.

AP Tanky Bruiser: Pulverize, as with AP Mage and Assassin, is mostly there for the CC and utility, rather than the harass. Q keeps the enemy up close and personal with you, which you might not always want because they could harass you as you walk away. Since you aren't leveling it, it really doesn't become mana efficient either in lane. This ability typically reserved for when you want to get up and close with your enemy, be it a lane opponent you are trying to trade with, or an entire enemy team you are trying to initiate on. Since we don't rely much on Q in lane, we won't max it until second.

AD Bruiser / Crit: As stated before, Q is mainly there for CC rather than harass like W is. With AD Alistar, however, you naturally do a lot more sustained autoattack damage. Unlike before when you didn't want your opponent up close and personal with you, in this case it's actually not a bad thing since you are AD and do a lot of autoattack damage. Thus, you don't need to be as afraid to pull off a full WQ combo nice and early out of aggression for a kill. Late game, this ability is also great for CC'ing your target(s), waveclearing, and adding Sheen/ Trinity Force procs and keeping your Trample on when trying to push down towers. As before, we max this second.



Headbutt (W)


Alistar dashes to an enemy within a 650 radius of him, dealing magic damage and knocking them back 650 from the point of impact over the span of 1 second. The enemy is rooted around 0.25 seconds when they land as well. Alistar can knock enemies over walls, and if the wall is too big to be knocked over, the enemy will simply land in front of the wall. If this happens, the 1 second travel time and 0.25 root time are still applied, making it practically a stun. It's one of the funniest and most unique abilities in the game, as well as one of the hardest to master. Few champions have an ability like this, making it quite signature on Alistar, as well as quite hard to master. Knocking away an enemy at the wrong time typically means your team just lost a potential kill.

Alistar can also travel through walls when dashing, allowing you to escape through walls and into jungle camps if you have vision of them. He dashes extremely fast, and if you manage to hit Pulverize immediately after hitting your target, they'll be knocked up instead of knocked back (the famous WQ combo that I will go into detail later). Alistar can be CC'd while dashing, canceling the effects, similar to a Leona getting Flayed during her Zenith Blade.

Lastly, where you click to dash is where you will usually end up at the end of the dash, meaning no Maokai/ Lee Sin/ Vi effect USUALLY. However, Alistar's Headbutt is actually very very buggy, and a lot of weird things happen when you try headbutting people as they are dashing/blinking. It's actually quite hilarious. Sometimes the game waits for them to complete the target's full dash/blink before they receive the Headbutt effects. Sometimes they get knocked back and dash/blink at the same time. Sometimes it just doesn't register at all. Sometimes Alistar somehow follows the target while they dash through a wall and ends up pulling a Maokai. It can be a bit weird.

We max this first when solo laning, and it's also a good choice sometimes when Supporting, but avoid maxing this first for Jungle!

Stats:
Damage: 55 / 110 / 165 / 220 / 275 (+70% AP) magic damage
Cost: 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 mana
Cooldown: 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10

Support: Maxing his W first gives it a whopping 275 base damage. Maxing it will allow you to take off about a quarter to a third of an ADC's health when you combine your Pulverize and a few autoattacks with it. While maxing Pulverize is more for the aggressive playstyle and pretty much better in general since AoE damage matters a lot, maxing Headbutt is more fitting for a passive but opportunistic playstyle, since it ends up giving your combo a decent bit more single-target damage. It's great if you have a jungler who can gank really well and can provide some extra CC and good damage, since you aren't maxing Q and thus can't provide another combo for an extremely long time. However, W has the lowest cooldown of the rest of your abilities when maxed, meaning you can disengage better when facing a lot of enemy gap closing potential early, or, with some proper positioning or a Flash, you can hit an enemy back into your team twice in a mid-game fight. Consider this when deciding what to max first!

Also, on a side note, it's not a bad idea to put your starting point in Headbutt in some cases. For example, if you're facing a Leona and you think they are going to hit level-2 first and go in for an all-in, Headbutt would be better in this scenario to send the Leona away when she dives your carry with Zenith Blade. However, this can be done with Pulverize too, and to multiple people!

AP Mage / Assassin: Headbutt is your bread and butter ability in lane. It scales the hardest and has a decently low cooldown, and overall is decently spammable. Maxing this first means more spamming, more harass damage, and since it has the lowest cooldown, you can even use twice in a duel, first as a WQ initiate, and then W again as an execute. In short, max this first always.

AP Tanky Bruiser: Even though you are tanky, it doesn't mean you can't cause harass damage. Since Headbutt has quite a large amount of base damage, using it for harass is still quite painful even without rushing lots of AP. Not only that, since Tanky Alistar's laning isn't as big and aggressive, maxing W means he can disengage more against threatening all-ins, since Headbutt's cooldown gets lowered with more points.

AD Bruiser / Crit: This ability generally always gets maxed first, for the same reason as listed in AP Tanky Bruiser. Even without owning any AP, Headbutt's high base damage means it's still a good harass tool, as well as a great spammable disengage tool.



Triumphant Roar (E):


Alistar channels for about 0.25 seconds and lets out a signature roar that heals himself, as well as all allies (including minions) within a 287.5 radius of him for half of his self-heal amount. The cooldown is long, the mana cost is somewhat high, and the heal amount is barely noticeable, but for every enemy death nearby (including jungle creeps) the cooldown gets reduced by 2 seconds. And, you heal your minions too, which can mess with the enemy's farm if you time it well.

Stats:
Self-Heal: 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+20% AP)
Ally-Heal: 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 (+10% AP)
Cost: 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 mana
Cooldown: 12

Support: This section is long for support, because many people get confused on whether Alistar is an aggressive support or healing support, which I will help discern to you. There's a tl;dr below too.

When it comes to deciding whether to max E first or not, "Healer" is not exactly what Alistar is made to be, and a lot of other supports like Nami and Soraka are much better at that type of role. However, Alistar can still fulfill this role decently. The few scenarios where I would choose to max Triumphant Roar when playing as support would be if the lane matchup were against an extremely poke heavy lane with strong disengage, like versus Caitlyn/ Zyra. But even then I usually won't put more than 2 points in E. The biggest reason for me to avoid maxing E is simply because the increased mana cost doesn't feel worth the amount healed, especially since it's reduced by half for allies. I feel like the amount healed with a 1-point Triumphant Roar is perfectly enough to get through laning, since most ADC players are good enough to not rely on a healer. Also, Alistar is more of an engage/disengage support, and 1-point W and Q have extremely long cooldowns and just don't do any damage at all. All of these factors are generally why I like to max E the last, since it really doesn't add to his utility and team usefulness.

But if you really need to fulfill the role as a healer, there is nothing wrong with putting 2-3 points or even maxing E! You could even put your first starting point in E if your ADC really needs it (hopefully they won't...). If you do choose to max E, you will need to keep an eye on your mana bar to make sure you still have enough mana at all times in order to be able to disengage with your two other abilities (add 100 more mana if you plan on ulting as well). Also, keep in mind that you can heal minions, which may be a good or bad thing: healing allied minions and Trample-ing enemy minions mean you will naturally push waves harder if you stand on top of the minions. It's good for pushing down towers, but bad if you want to freeze the lane and deny CS, so position yourself wisely when you heal. You can also deny CS to your opponents by healing minions just as the ADC is last hitting them. Even a 1-point Triumphant Roar can make the difference between hitting or missing a wagon minion!

Finally, to address when and how often you should be spamming Triumphant Roar, it honestly comes down to instinct and mana management. Don't be a fool and heal your ADC when he's/she's at 80-90% health. It's a waste of mana and they can just life steal. If you are both around 20% health, keep smashing that E button repeatedly! It's really your own judgment when it comes to these scenarios, and I can't set a guideline for you, but I can say just manage your mana wisely and try not to dip so low that you can't cast any other abilities.

tl;dr maxing E isn't the most mana efficent. Heal increases minimally, mana cost increases significantly, and the heal amount to allies increases only half of what it is to you. 1-point Triumphant Roar is hopefully enough because many ADC players nowadays are used to not relying on healers, since most of the popular supports don't heal. But 2-3 points in Triumphant Roar isn't bad if you need it. Just be smart.

AP Mage / Assassin: Despite Triumphant Roar being only a healing ability, it still has many uses when it comes to playing AP Mage or Assassin. Having a healing ability is actually quite useful in lane, since Alistar is melee and is extremely prone to harass from ranged AP Casters. Not only that, it will activate Sheen/ Lich Bane/spellbade, as well as reset your trample. This is extremely important when going in for a fight to increase your DPS. And, if playing assassin, you probably won't be able to instantly kill someone with a W > Q > [[lich bane combo. Once Lich Bane]= comes off of cooldown from being proc'd with WQ, you can press E and slap them one more time for another Lich proc! Lastly, it's great to use when clearing waves and camps and towers, since it keeps your [[trample passive up, the CD gets lowered by kills, and overall means faster waveclear with more Lich Bane procs and easier farming. However, it should be self-explanatory as to why you would max this last.

AP Tanky Bruiser: AP bruiser Alistar relies a lot on his damage over time applied with his item synergy with Trample. It is this idea that makes Triumphant Roar quite useful, since casting his heal allows Alistar to keep his passive up to continually deal slows and damage over time with his items. Not only that, dying enemy champions and minions also allow him to lower his heal cooldown and continue slowing his opponents. Also, this ability helps give him a bit more sustain in lane, which of course is helpful. However, it still costs a decent amount of mana. With Alistar's low base mana and mana regen, it isn't advisable to rely on Triumphant Roar and spam it constantly in lane, nor would it be advisable to max it (though two points in E isn't half bad either).

AD Bruiser / Crit: Triumphant Roar for AD Alistar is similar in uses to the way used for AP Mage or Assassin. It's mainly there as another way to activate a Trinity Force proc and boost damage output that way. It also helps keep his Trample passive up, which often will stay up continuously when clearing waves due to the fact that its CD gets reduced per kill and you slaughter minions with spellblade procs every time you cast heal. It helps sustain in lane a bit too, which is useful as a top laner, but try not to spam it, since you need all the mana you can to harass with Headbutt and eventually wear down your opponent low enough to kill them or force a back.



Unbreakable Will (Ult):


Alistar's ult, when cast, removes all crowd control effects currently on him, and grants him huge damage reduction and bonus attack damage. When cast, he lets out this incredibly scary but inspiring roar and becomes extremely ridiculously tanky, but not immune to true damage, so beware if there's someone like an enemy Vayne or Darius or Cho'Gath. You also have to keep an eye on your mana bar. Since your base mana is extremely low, often times early in the game you might not have enough mana to save yourself with ult! It also only lasts 7 seconds, so you don't have all the time in the world.

In my opinion, Unbreakable Will is one of the most balanced ults in the game, perfect for any Alistar build you are running. Tanky Alistar build? His ult makes him the hardest living shield in the game. AP Mage Alistar build? Live through their damage and keep CC'ing them up in the air. AP Assassin Alistar build? Remove those pesky peeler's CC and damage while you are assassinating your target. AD Bruiser Alistar? The 90 bonus AD is literally like pulling out two B. F. Sword's along with the most ridiculously OP armor ever created, turning you into an absolutely terrifying monster.

In all honesty though, using his ult properly is much more difficult than it seems. Anyone can pull out a fancy combo. Anyone can do a Pulverize > Flash or a WQ. What truly sets apart the good Alistar's from the great are the ones who know exactly when to pull the trigger on Unbreakable Will. And this means for any and all positions. Finding that perfect time to ult is incredibly hard to judge, since it doesn't last forever and you can still get CC'd after you ult. Cast it too late, you die. Cast it too early, you lose your main source of tankiness for a fight and then you die. Cast it before you get CC'd, it goes to waste. Cast it after you get CC'd but take too damage in the meantime, you die. Wait too long to cast it after getting CC'd, the enemy gets away. Cast it too early before you get CC'd, the cleanse becomes useless and the enemy gets away.

No single person can tell you when and when not to ult, and that's the true source of difficulty when it comes to playing Alistar, not just his fancy combos and mechanics. Balancing the three parts of his ult with the goals of your specific role is truly how you master Alistar.

Stats:
Damage Reduction: 70%
Bonus Attack Damage: 60 / 75 / 90
Cost: 100 mana
Cooldown: 120 / 100 / 80

Support: I won't need to explain when to max it. 6/11/16 as with most ults. When it comes to when to cast ult, there are many generic scenarios specific to Support. As a tank or utility focused support, your job is either to peel or initiate with your abilities, and you can think of Unbreakable Will as a tool to help you complete this job. If you need to initiate, your ult will be there to help you absorb a lot of the damage that will result. This can be either with early tower diving and absorbing tower shots or initiating a 5v5 teamfight by diving in with a WQ combo. Or, if you need to peel and a Leona has you and your allies pinned with a Solar Flare, you can ult to remove the stun and then Headbutt her away when she tries to dive on your team with Zenith Blade, followed by a Pulverize counter-initiate on the enemy team.

As for the bonus AD, it helps a little bit, but not all that much as a support, considering how you will have basically no attack speed and you'll be mostly focused dishing out CC and tanking damage and tower hits, rather than trying to throw in autoattacks. This doesn't mean don't autoattack!. It just means your main focus should be recognizing what the scenario calls for and permits/wants you to do, and Unbreakable Will is there to help you with that. 7 seconds don't last forever, so if you're focused on autoattacking the enemy ADC under their tower, chances are by the time they die, you're ult will have run out and you will die too.

AP Mage / Assassin: When it comes to playing an AP Mage or Assassin, Alistar's ult is still incredibly useful. First, to address the bonus AD, yes it can indeed help you kill whoever your target is, but it shouldn't be relied upon considering how you have absolutely no attack speed for it to be utilized with, and nothing scales with AD. Try not to think about the AD bonus and autoattacking unless the enemy is, say, under their tower and literally about to die. Instead, focus on the CC-Cleanse. Alistar is unique as an assassin in that he can cleanse CC. And when enemy supports and tanks are so focused on peeling for their carries with their stuns and slows, using Unbreakable Will means you can ditch their efforts and keep going after the kill. However, you must analyze the amount of peel you think their team can provide for your target. There's no use cleansing a stun if another one is immediately going to follow up. But there's no use in waiting if you're just going to instadie unless you cast it. Use your instincts to find the perfect time to ult and then continue chasing after your target.

The Damage Reduction aspect is also equally as important. You'll be nice up and close with the enemy team, meaning you have to be able to live through their damage. And no successful assassin lets themselves die easily during or after killing their target. Even if you cast it early to shed CC, it still lasts for 7 seconds, meaning you should be able to still walk out of a fight if everyone is doing their job. It's also great for early tower dives and outplays against lane opponent's bursts and executes. As soon as you see Zed Death Mark you in lane, or Fizz throw Chum the Waters at you, or Yasuo goes in for the Last Breath, or Ahri lands a Charm on you and you think she's going to go in for the kill, immediately cast Unbreakable Will and get ready to fight back!

AP Tanky Bruiser: In this role, your main role is an initiator, meaning your number one focus should be on drawing in as much damage from their team as you can. Thus, the most important aspect to focus on when using your ult is to absorb damage with the Damage Reduction. You shouldn't be too worried about getting cleansing CC since you can shake off any resulting damage, so you should only really be cleansing CC if that's what is holding you back from doing your job. For example, if their team engages with a Curse of the Sad Mummy or Solar Flare, you can use your ult to cleanse the CC and then jump on their entire team for an amazing counter-engage. But generally, you will be ulting after you have already engaged, and then waiting right before they start sending all of their damage at you before you ult. Many Alistar's engage and then immediately ult, which is quite a waste since for a few seconds, the enemy team is CC'd and thus can't do anything to you. Also as stated before, the AD bonus isn't generally relevant to you, since you have no attack speed and will be focused mostly on positioning and CC.

AD Bruiser / Crit: Now is when choosing when to ult gets really quite tricky. Why? Because all three parts of the ult are incredibly important for you, unlike for the other positions. It's almost like a Jax/ Nasus ult + an Olaf/ Master Yi ult + Vayne/ Twitch ult, and balancing all three aspects is incredibly difficult. Unbreakable Will is practically like a 7th item for AD Alistar, like pulling out a Mercurial Scimitar with 20 Randuin's Omens and 30 Banshee's Veils. I can't exactly explain how hard it truly is to decide when to ult when it comes to AD Alistar because the scenarios are endless. To list a few, going in for a kill in lane with a WQR+auto combo (AD Boost), teamfighting and cleansing the peel and mitigating damage while trying to smash the enemy ADC's face in (CC Cleanse + Tankiness), or when getting ganked and 2v1'ing them and getting a double kill because they tower dove you and underestimated your power (EVERYTHING). The scenarios are endless, and it simply comes down to knowledge and instinct.


Guide Top

Early Items and Core Rush Items

This chapter will use color coded subchapter headers for each role. I'll talk about the different items to spend the first 500 gold on, and then include items that are key to rush.




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░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ SUPPORT ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░
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Early game for supports in general is relatively trickier than other positions, considering how there are so many starting items to choose from. Beyond that, your build order is also highly adaptive to many things, like what you will face in lane, what you'll face later on in the game, what your team comp is, and how good of players you are playing with and against. With that being said, I'll list the main starting item builds for Alistar (I don't include Ruby Crystal-start because it's terrible), and then after, I'll talk about great items to choose from as the early game progresses.



Starting Items




RELIC SHIELD START




Relic Shield start is a great option if you really need to be tankier early, like if you're trying to be aggressive. It also provides you with another way to heal your ADC, though that is less important on Alistar since he has Triumphant Roar (if you were playing Leona or Braum, then this item's heal would be much more valuable to you).

If you want to rush a non-tanky item immediately next, like a utility item (maybe Ardent Censer), then getting the Relic Shield is good, because if you only had Talisman of Ascension + Ardent Censer, you would be so squishy you'd instantly die. Lastly, the active of Face of the Mountain (the final tier item of the Relic Shield line) scales incredibly well on Alistar because he has naturally an insane amount of health late game, so the shield he provides is very large.

While Ancient Coin is nice since it becomes Talisman of Ascension, which grants a super godlike item active, don't let this be the reason you don't buy Relic Shield first. Don't forget, there's also Righteous Glory which has a similar item active. This means you can reap the benefits of more tankiness in lane with Relic Shield and not be forced to sacrifice the godlike team movement speed boost and initiating power of an item like Talisman of Ascension later on.


ANCIENT COIN START




Ancient Coin doesn't grant any tanky stats, making it less ideal than Relic Shield when looking to be aggressive in lane. Your ability to go all-in early on, or to defend against all-ins, is hindered with less tankiness.

However, Ancient Coin's advantage is that it grants much more health generation than Relic Shield, making it absolutely ideal when playing against extremely heavy poke (like a Caitlyn and Nami). It also grants a nice boost in mana regeneration, something we don't have anymore with the deletion of mana potions. This is handy because we can spam Triumphant Roar more often in lane to help your ADC sustain as well. You'll be able to maintain decent levels of mana, and even be able to take a second level in Triumphant Roar for more heals without worrying about mana problems.

Of course, the item also builds into the amazing Talisman of Ascension. However, it's worth noting as I said before that Righteous Glory grants nearly the same item active, so you're not required to start Ancient Coin if you want an item to boost your team's movement speed. It's really up to you how early you want this active. If you want it early, rush Talisman of Ascension. If not, just wait for Righteous Glory.



Core Items





Aside from the fact that you can choose only one between Talisman of Ascension and Face of the Mountain, more likely than not you will be buying everything listed here at least once per game.

- Sightstone: Pretty much synonymous with the role of Support. Not much to say that isn't obvious. It saves you money in the long run, makes you tankier, and gives you lots of vision. Just overall the best item for supports in the game. One conundrum you will likely face is when you get back to base for the first time with 800-1200 gold and deciding whether to buy your second-tier support item ( Nomad's Medallion/ Targon's Brace) or a Sightstone. It's up to you. Just, PLEASE don't upgrade to Ruby Sightstone yet. Your money is much better spent elsewhere. You don't have any item actives yet. Wait until you have like Mikael's Crucible or something like that with a long cooldown before you upgrade.

- Sweeping Lens: There's no reason not to pick up a Sweeping Lens when you buy your Sightstone, since you'll be getting free wards from the Sightstone anyways. Denying vision is an incredibly vital and underrated part of the game. Not to mention, clearing wards gives you more gold! Keep in mind, Sweeping Lens does not give true sight, which means you can't use it to de-stealth an enemy Akali in her Twilight Shroud or anything like that.

- Talisman of Ascension/ Face of the Mountain: Try to finish building your support item as soon as possible, because these two items provide an incredible amount of usefulness overall. I recommend getting these immediately after getting Sightstone, with buying tier-2 boots before as the only exception. With Talisman, you can get really aggressive in lane by popping the active, sprinting up to your targets, and then using Pulverize, letting you use your Headbutt for something other than as a gap closer (like, hitting them into your tower/jungler/a wall to keep them stunned and out of position. Face of the Mountain is incredibly good since it gives your allies a HUGE shield, since Alistar's base health is so enormously immense.

- Glacial Shroud/ Kindlegem: Early, cheap CDR and tanky items are incredibly useful for CC focused supports like Alistar. I personally think Glacial Shroud is one of the best items for Alistar to rush. Every single stat that this item gives is just so useful and core to Alistar, and it's incredibly cheap to buy too. More mana means more opportunities to use your abilities without running out of mana. More CDR means faster spamming and more CC. More armor means you're even harder to kill. And it builds into several items that Alistar can utilize incredibly well ( Zeke's Harbinger, Iceborn Gauntlet, and Frozen Heart. Kindlegem is another alternative to cheap tanky CDR if you think you'd prefer health over armor/mana, and it builds into all sorts of useful items later that Alistar can use ( Face of the Mountain, Locket of the Iron Solari, Spirit Visage). Not to mention, it's cheaper than Glacial Shroud! If you're ever lost when it comes to what to build after Sightstone and Talisman of Ascension/ Face of the Mountain, you can't go wrong with either of these items.

- Vision Ward: These wards are incredibly essential to the support role. Well placed pinks can often go unnoticed, and pink wards are basically claims of territory on the map. The fact that they last until killed really makes them worth buying, though remember you can only have one live pink ward. Especially early game when no one has attack speed, killing Vision Wards is often a very difficult task, especially well placed wards in hot, contestable areas. Careless enemies can often be baited into trying to kill pink wards and end up paying with their lives. Pinks are also really cheap, so there's no excuse not to buy one or two. Don't be afraid to put drop them in front of dragon, by your buffs, in the tri/river bush, lane bushes, in the middle of your team if there's an enemy Twitch or Vayne.

- Oracle Alteration: This item is core if you plan on trying to clear out a large amount of wards. It's handy since it follows you, meaning you can scan more than one place at a time.




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As implied by the title, there is a Mage build path and an Assassin build path. They are highly similar, though the Mage path is more along the lines of a mage-fighter with lots of CDR so you can heavily CC the enemy team while doing tons of damage to them. The Assassin path is more focused on quick burst and one-shotting. However, the roles are so similar that there's no point separating the item choices, so I'll just list all of them.



Starting Items


Typical Start
Alternate Start
Unfavorable/Sustain Start

Alistar's starting item choices aren't much different than any other solo laning AP champion. Spellthief's Edge is great since it gives you a significant amount of gold generation for cheap, which is ideal since it takes quite a bit of time for AP champions to ramp up in damage. It also builds into Frost Queen's Claim, which has one of the best item actives in the game.

Doran's Ring is incredibly efficient in that it gives you quite a decently large amount of AP, a bit of health, and good amounts of mana regen. It's a great all-around starting item to pick up since it strengthens a lot of stats for an incredibly cheap price. It's ideal for if you think you can get a kill in lane early. You can even grab 2 of these if you want some more nice stats for cheap, particularly if you want more mana regen without buying a regen item.

If you yourself are not used to playing a melee champion versus a poke champ like Ziggs or Syndra who can poke you heavily throughout laning phase, or think you'd like some nice sustain and a good mana boost for more opportunities in lane for harass/kills, Corrupting Potion is another great and cost-efficient option. However, Corrupting Potion's usefulness falls off relatively quickly as you continue to level up, whereas the other two options remain useful throughout the game. Not only that, Triumphant Roar can also be used to help sustain against poke.



Rush Sheen!



Sheen is your best friend during laning phase. It makes laning quite a bit easier since you get a decent mana boost as well as better trade potential. Alistar also possesses really high base AD, which is the reason we aren't in a rush to build this into Lich Bane just yet. This item grants you a huge power spike so don't be afraid to fight early!



Frost Queen's Claim (only if you bought Spellthief's Edge first)



It should be obvious that there's no reason to buy this item unless you started Spellthief's Edge. Finish this item as soon as possible so you can pin far away targets down, making it easy to engage and CC them for big fights and big plays. You also will get a nice bit of CDR so you can spam abilities much more often, which is ideal for playing Alistar like a fighter mage.



CDR Items (Mage)





As I stated before, it's optional to grab some CDR if you're looking to be more mage-like so you can spam more abilities and do more DPS. It means your burst damage is a little hindered and your power spike is pushed back to later, but the nice thing is these items are pretty cheap and CDR means you can become a walking bounce house.

- Morellonomicon: The cheaper of the two CDR items, it also grants 20 more AP. You'll generally want to grab this over Athene's Unholy Grail unless you think you need the magic resist or more mana regen.

- Athene's Unholy Grail: The only time you'll ever choose this over Morellonomicon is if you think you need the 25 bonus magic resist. It's a bit more expensive and gives less AP, so overall you fall relatively behind in damage, but if you think it's worth, then grab it!



Luden's Echo (Assassin)





This is one of the most hilarious items to get on Alistar. It gives you a big burst of damage with your Headbutt, which is incredibly annoying for enemies because there is literally nothing that can be done against this harass. It also lets us move super fast, particularly in conjunction with Lich Bane, which is what we love. This item is great on champions who don't really have the best ratios, since it adds another "ability" which AP scales off of. It's also good on assassins mid game, which is when you should be ganking.



Lich Bane (Always get)



Lich Bane gives you a huge power spike. Now, you can pretty much fight any mid-laner at this point, since your upfront burst is insanely high. We can move insanely fast too! Don't forget its 2 second cooldown, which means you'll have to wait on casting Triumphant Roar or Unbreakable Will for the second proc when you engage.




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Alistar in general has a bit of a tough time with solo laning at the earliest levels, making defensive/sustain-minded starts highly preferable. Also, early items choices generally fluctuate quite a bit more for tanks than for other types of champions. However, for Alistar, you are generally going to focus on early mana/mana regen, since mana is so dire to Alistar's power and lane presence/sustain. I'll list here the many options you'd generally try to get early on, as well as which scenarios you'll opt for one item over another.



Starting Items


Typical Start
Unfavorable/Sustain Start #1
Unfavorable/Sustain Start #2

As an AP champion, you will typically be running Doran's Ring at the beginning. If your matchup is someone who will heavily harass you (someone like Quinn), you can consider grabbing a Doran's Shield. And lastly, if you believe you will need some extra mana during laning phase to help disengage any heavy trades (such as versus a Fiora or Renekton), you can consider grabbing a Corrupting Potion.

Doran's Ring is extremely useful for most matchups, since it grants you basically everything you need. There's a nice AP boost, some decent mana regeneration, and a good chunk of health. All of these stats remain useful for you throughout the game, making this item extremely efficient!

Doran's Shield is helpful when facing a lot of autoattack damage, since it negates a significant amount of the damage, as well as grants you a large amount of early health and regeneration. With this item, you can be a lot less afraid of going in to farm, since you can tank and sustain through most of the harass.

Lastly, Corrupting Potion is quite a good starting item, but you only really want to use it if you think you need mana in lane. This item grants a significant amount of mana, making it useful if you believe you will need to use your Headbutt or Pulverize often in lane. This would be in cases where the enemy will try to frequently trade with you and you'll need some spammable disengage. This is different than harass, which is basically unavoidable damage. This is also useful if you think you will want to engage on the enemy for trades frequently, since you will be able to use your potion for more mana.



Mana/Mana Regen





Usually immediately, you will want to rush some form of mana/mana regen. The reason is that since we likely won't be rushing any of our power-spiking items like in the other solo-laning builds, we want some tankiness and/or sustain. Alistar's sustain largely stems from his mana pool or mana regen, since he needs mana to use Triumphant Roar as well as to disengage trades with Headbutt. The type of mana/mana regen item you pick up will heavily depend on what your matchup is and what your team needs. I will emphasize this in bold for each item. Particularly, you'll need to take into account what the item builds into and what niche they fill. There are also cases where we might want to take more than one or two of these, but please be smart about it.

- Sheen: Not too atypical from the other builds, Sheen is just a great item in general for Alistar. Overall, this item simply provides Alistar with much more lane presence and trading potential, while at the same time giving him a respectable amount of mana. However, this is not an absolute must-buy, unlike for other builds, because autoattack damage is often not your biggest priority. You can often just skip this item entirely, unless lane presence, trading and harass potential, and an Iceborn Gauntlet is what you desire.

- Glacial Shroud: This item is great if you or your team needs armor. The CDR is also very useful to let you spam things like Triumphant Roar or Headbutt more often. The amount of mana it gives is quite good overall. Really, there's nothing bad to say about this item, but you should only get it if you need armor and/or CDR.

- Chalice of Harmony: Though Chalice is mainly known for its mana regen, the main reason you will pick Chalice over other items would be because you need magic resist along with AP and CDR later on. This particularly would be ideal when facing champions like Ryze or Teemo in lane, or if you're mid and facing a mage, or if you just want an item later on that grants lots of CDR.

- Catalyst the Protector: This item is one of the best items in terms of sustain and tankiness to champions who also desire AP. Overall, this is the type of item you'd rush if you really want brute tankiness, health, and sustain. You'll also have the option of buying either Rod of Ages for more AP or Righteous Glory for more engage power. If you decide to get Rod of Ages,get it before Rylai's Crystal Scepter, your core item that I will talk about later.

- Tear of the Goddess: Tear doesn't provide any defensive stats at all, but it gives you an incredibly cost-efficient source of mana regen and mana. The main reason you will want to get this item though is because you just want pure late game AP, because it builds into Archangel's Staff and eventually into Seraph's Embrace, which shouldn't take too long since Alistar's abilities are actually surprisingly spammable. And with Seraph's, you get the highest amount of AP that any item in the game provides (aside from Deathcap but only after you stack a bunch of AP), making it a great buy if you just want to do tons of damage at the cost of some tankiness, at least up until you get Seraph's and can use the active, but that takes a long time.

- Forbidden Idol: This item is extremely situational. It practically gives nothing in terms of defense or offense, but the items it builds into are some of the most unique, utility-based items in the game. In fact, I would only advise getting this item if you're facing some unique situation that requires special utility, like if you need a Morellonomicon for an enemy Swain, or Ardent Censer for your ADC and Irelia/ Master Yi/other autoattack-reliant champion. You won't often get this item, but it doesn't mean it should be crossed off your list.



Core Item: Rylai's





This item is absolutely core on Alistar when making him into an AP Tanky Bruiser. This item works with Trample, meaning if you engage on the enemy team, you can literally slow their entire team. Pop Unbreakable Will for 3 more seconds of slow, then pop Triumphant Roar for ANOTHER 3 more seconds of slow. Not only that, the item grants you an incredibly large amount of health, and it also works incredibly well with Liandry's Torment (though I don't list this item as an absolute core because sometimes you'll simply value pure tankiness over tanky damage, since you already have Rylai's as your tanky damage item). Lastly, it makes your disengage with Headbutt incredibly strong since they'll be slowed after being hit away, meaning there's no way they can chase you.




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As a solo laner, Alistar is relatively weak and does not trade well particularly during the earliest of levels. This is the reason why we start with defensive items rather than offensive. However, once we get our items, we quickly become an incredibly strong laner with annoying harass and outtrading potential by using Headbutt freely and repeatedly. I'll list what we'll typically start with and what these core items are and why.


Starting Items


Typical Start #1


Typical Start #3
Typical Start #2


Typical Start #4

Doran's Shield is great for many top laners who have a bit of a rough time at the earliest of levels like Alistar, since it gives unrivaled early game tanky stats. Its passive block from autoattack AND single-target spell damage, high amounts of health and health regen, and cheap price are all extremely attractive and useful, making this a great option for general matchups that you think you really won't be winning at the earliest of levels.

Corrupting Potion start is another great start, but particularly only for certain situations. Typically, you will pick this item up mainly for the mana regen. Spamming Headbutt in lane is a lot of fun and is incredibly painful/annoying for your lane opponent, but it costs quite a decent amount of mana. Corrupting Potion will be there to help you harass more often and eventually engage since it gives you quite a decent source of mana, making the item a more aggressive-minded start. And even if you know that the earliest of levels usually won't spell out a kill, Corrupting Potion is still decently useful in the later levels, like when you need mana to dive with your ult. I like to take this against squishy caster top laners who build mainly damage, like Riven or Ryze, because I know I can usually kill them if I spam Headbutt enough.

Cloth Armor and four Health Potions is a decent start as well, but keep in mind you might not be building it into anything for a while, since Frozen Heart is probably either our 3rd or 4th item. However, this is great for when you need some armor against someone like Riven, as well as the ability to stay in lane for a while with the abundance of red potions.

Long Sword and three Health Potions is great for getting a nice start on building your Trinity Force. This allows you to farm easier too. Only go this route if you don't think you need early tankiness or sustain and think you will benefit from getting your first item sooner, such as if you know you will spike equally or harder than your opponent after your first item.

I don't advise getting Doran's Blade or Doran's Ring to start off. Doran's Blade is particularly good for aggressive, dominant early laners who also enjoy the life steal, which Alistar isn't, and he can't optimize any of its stats. Doran's Ring is also very cost inefficient for AD Alistar since he doesn't need the AP. The mana regen is useful, but not that useful on AD Alistar since he's not absolutely mana starving like Warwick-top since spamming Headbutt is incredibly inefficient with mana, and he has Teleport to help him get back to lane anyways.


RUSH SHEEN





Once you get Sheen, you instantly become much stronger, largely increasing your overall damage output and trading potential. If your opponent accidentally walks by a wall, they'll be in the perfect position for a W-autoattack combo, and it makes farming under your tower a piece of cake. You'll also be able to trade much easier by using your Pulverize when your opponent engages, allowing you to get a Sheen proc off with a couple of autos before using Headbutt to disengage. The mana this item gives you also means more chances to harass and more opportunities to kill.

There is literally no item you should be considering to get first other than this item. You don't need sustain because you have Triumphant Roar, and you generally don't need tanky items just yet unless you are just incredibly behind (then pick up a Cloth Armor or Null-Magic Mantle on your first back instead). The mana it provides and the damage it lets you deal for free in trades is literally what makes Alistar's laning phase not terrible.


Core Item: Trinity Force





This item is a no exception must-have. This item grants you tons of stats that are extremely useful. Alistar possesses high base AD, making this item extremely efficient on him. You'll be able to duel against people easily, CC'ing them while trading and getting several Trinity Force empowered procs off for tons of damage. You can also pull some fancy combos off which benefit from all the perks associated with this item. You'll want to rush this first.

I don't explicitly mention buying Iceborn Gauntlet since Trinity Force is much more useful on AD Alistar. If you need armor, just grab Ninja Tabi instead. I would only grab Iceborn Gauntlet on AD Alistar if I found myself quite far behind in lane.


Guide Top

Boots

Boots are incredibly flexible on Alistar. You will be purchasing your Tier 2 (aka upgraded boots) according to the goals of your build and your role on the team. This means you might not always be building the same boots every single time (unless you are AP Assassin, read on for more info). Here in this section, I will briefly re-emphasize each role's goals before I list the boots, overall to help you hopefully understand the reasoning behind the viability of the selection of boots I list.

This chapter will use color coded subchapter headers.




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When it comes to support Alistar, the two things we really like are Utility and Tankiness. I very much value utility more than tankiness in general because Unbreakable Will will often be enough in terms of tankiness. However, in many cases, pure tankiness is also incredibly useful, particularly if you are a bit behind.

- Boots of Mobility are almost synonymous with support and are one of my favorite boots on support Alistar. They let him move around the map quickly for warding, ward clearing, and ganking, and Alistar is one of the few supports with really awesome ganks. I love taking these boots with the masteries Explorer and Wanderer , because it means you can pretty much be everywhere on the map, globally supporting your entire team. However, you have to keep in mind that, in the middle of teamfights, you'll have significantly less movement speed than the other tier-2 boots.

- Boots of Swiftness are another one of my personal favorite boots on Alistar, even outside of support. Though Swiftness slightly detracts from your roaming potential when compared to Boots of Mobility, inside of teamfights these boots are incredibly good. They'll allow you to engage on the entire enemy team, and then allow you to immediately fall back to protect your squishy carries, especially since you have Trample and ignore unit collision. Though Alistar is great at roaming, he also really shines in teamfights, and Boots of Swiftness are nearly unbeatable in terms of movement and utility while inside of a teamfight. Best of all, these are extremely cheap, meaning you can start building other items sooner!

- Ionian Boots of Lucidity are great for the CDR so you can combo more often, though you should keep in mind that Talisman of Ascension/ Face of the Mountain and many other items that I push for give CDR too. Not to mention, you might be running some CDR in runes too. Overall, this means you might max out on CDR without even needing these boots. I would generally run these boots specifically for the summoner spell cooldown for more cool Flash plays. Or, if you're building a straight tank build like Righteous Glory, Randuin's Omen, Sunfire Cape, you won't have much CDR, making these boots useful so you can spam more CC in fights.

- Mercury's Treads / Ninja Tabi: These boots are good if you'd like to be tankier. Generally in the game of League of Legends, if you are winning, you try to build items to further snowball and cement your win (which is offensive), and so the other boot options might be ideal. If you're losing, you generally try to try to build sustain and tankiness so you don't keep feeding them (which is defensive), thus you would choose either Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi. They're also a great choice if you simply need to be tankier against a team with a ton of damage. Lastly, it's worth keeping in mind that Alistar's ult already does a ton of damage reduction, so boots for tankiness aren't always necessary. Also, his ult is also a cleanse, so tenacity isn't always as useful for Alistar as it is for other champions.

- Enchantment: Distortion: This isn't really a "boot," but it's still worth nothing. For Alistar support, it's surprising how times you'll actually be using Flash to surprise an enemy with a sudden Pulverize. The Distortion enchantment, combined with Insight and maybe Ionian Boots of Lucidity, puts your Flash on an extremely low cooldown. Getting this enchantment follows the same reasoning behind getting it with Annie or Sona support to allow you to surprise out-of-position enemies with sudden AoE CC.




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As with most AP mages, fighters, and assassins, there's only really two options for boots. The first, which is overall the most ideal, is Sorcerer's Shoes. Since Alistar doesn't really possess the highest ratios, penetration is thus a lot more ideal on him. Very few items in the game grant magic penetration, making Sorcerer's Shoes great for mages and assassins alike. I would recommend this for most cases, especially if you don't need the CDR from Ionian Boots of Lucidity since you'll already be grabbing Lich Bane, Morellonomicon or Athene's Unholy Grail, and/or CDR runes.

If you aren't grabbing much CDR from items but would like some CDR, then I would recommend grabbing Ionian Boots of Lucidity. These boots are also great for allowing your Flash to be off of cooldown more frequently, meaning more opportunities for big plays and picks with Flash combos.




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This list's order is quite different from Support, even though for both positions you'd like to be tanky. AP Tanky Bruiser Alistar's build is centered around items that grant high amounts of health as his main source of tankiness. With this being the fact, we generally are a bit lacking in the damage mitigation department, which is why we often take boots that help us with this. Not to mention, sometimes Unbreakable Will is on cooldown so we are vulnerable to dying, or the enemy team has a poke comp, or your enemy laner can outtrade very easily. However, despite lacking damage mitigation, there are still some situations where more damage or utility is more preferred, which is why I also list those corresponding boots as well.

- Mercury's Treads and Ninja Tabi: These are of course the best boots when you are looking for tankier stats. It's important to build according to your/their team comps. If the enemy team has lots of magic damage, get Mercury's Treads. If they have lots of physical damage, particularly from autoattacks, get Ninja Tabi. It's also important to build according to your own build. If you have Iceborn Gauntlet and Sunfire Cape, you already have quite a large bit of armor, so you might get Mercury's Treads instead, or even boots like Boots of Swiftness or Sorcerer's Shoes!

- Ionian Boots of Lucidity: These boots are a great option if you don't think you need the tankiness and are my preferred boots when damage mitigation is not needed. It's also worth noting that, as AP Bruiser, many of the items you build don't really give you much CDR. AP Tanky Bruiser Alistar is a utility/CC/AoE machine, and generally the only sources of CDR you'll be possessing are maybe from runes and masteries and maybe Frozen Heart, unless you are going super tank and decide to get a Spirit Visage or Locket of the Iron Solari too. Without CDR, Alistar just seems lacking a bit in his teamfight potential, especially since he's a tank in this case, so these boots will dramatically help him out to let him spam more abilities and continually be a nuisance for their team.

- Boots of Swiftness: Just like I stated in the Support section for Boots, Boots of Swiftness are unbeatable in terms of movement inside of fights. If you don't need mitigation, if getting kited is a big issue for you, and if you think you're going to have trouble staying on top of their backline during teamfights, then these boots are incredibly good to boost your mobility in teamfights. Not to mention, you'll also have Trample to allow you to move through units, which means with these boots you pretty much can go where you please.

- Sorcerer's Shoes: Despite your main goals as being a tank, these boots are surprisingly incredibly useful. The added penetration really dramatically boosts the amount of damage you can do to the enemy team. Though when I build primarily tank items for AP Bruiser Alistar I generally prefer getting mitigation boots, there are also times you can do offensive AP Bruiser Alistar (which I've been talking about throughout this guide, like going 18/12 masteries and going mid and whatnot, but I haven't really emphasized much since it's not exactly the most ideal competitively; it's still viable though in the right hands and comps!). In this case, or if you simply just want to boost your damage output since you're tanky enough, Sorcerer's Shoes are an incredibly good option!




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It's quite true that AD Alistar is generally built like a glass cannon for the entire early and mid portion of the game. However, this does NOT mean you completely skip out on tanky stats where you can get them! This is the reasoning behind possibly starting out with a Doran's Shield or Cloth Armor. For this reason, we value tanky boots first and above all other boots. If you completely skip out on getting defensive items, you will find yourself taking much more damage, losing lanes during the mid game much more often, and just dying more often.

- Mercury's Treads and Ninja Tabi: Following what I just stated, these are going to be generally the boots you will be taking for the majority of the time. You drastically need the tanky stats when building exclusively damage items, otherwise when you get ganked or face a strong mid-game champion or get into teamfights, you can die incredibly fast. Unbreakable Will might reduce the damage you take by 70%, but if you have no tanky stats at all, all it means is that you take just a tiny bit longer to die.

- Boots of Swiftness: There definitely are some cases where you might not even need tankiness, like if their team doesn't do much damage. In that case, picking up Boots of Swiftness can dramatically increase your teamfight presence. These boots are unbeatable in terms of teamfight mobility, and they seriously help you out when you are getting kited. You will seem much scarier since you WILL be moving faster than almost everyone, allowing you to zone harder and target enemies at your discretion.

- Berserker's Greaves: These boots are good if you need more attack speed, which stacks incredibly well with Unbreakable Will. I personally don't get these boots very often because they just seem a bit odd to get on Alistar, since you really want a bit of tankiness and you really want to resist getting kiting. Attack speed is great, but generally those other two stats are more important. But when they are unneeded, Berserker's Greaves are actually surprisingly very useful! It's also good if you're mainly trying to splitpush.

- Ionian Boots of Lucidity: If you're looking to harass harder in lane or CC more in fights, these boots can get the job done incredibly well. These are also a good choice for if you get Statikk Shiv or Rapid Firecannon instead of Youmuu's Ghostblade, or don't exactly want to buy a Frozen Heart and would rather go damage items that don't have CDR in them, since you'll be able to pop multiple combos when fighting or perform a second Headbutt as an execution.


Guide Top

Late Game Items

This chapter will use color coded subchapter headers for each role. It's going to be extremely long, and I'll try and talk about each item in detail, specifically pertaining to each item's relevant uses and how it relates to Alistar's kit, position, and goals. Get ready for some reading!




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As stated numerous times throughout this guide, playing Alistar as a support generally means you will be building around two important aspects: Utility and Tankiness. Though tankiness is generally self-explanatory, utility is a bit vague and shrouded. By building utility, our goal is to provide a large amount of teamfighting presence via CC, buffs/debuffs, heals/shields, and in general promoting a good teamfighting environment.

As a support, utility generally comes in the form of "Support" items, or items that most people never get unless they play support. Most of these items possess some sort of unique ability that you can activate (Item Actives) or simply apply an ability passively on its own (Item Passives). They give buffs, shields, heals, and some even give more CC! It's important to note that these items are extremely dynamic and your item choice per game will likely change, since each item has its own niche. So, please read each item's description carefully so you know which situations need which items.

As for tanky items, these are pretty self-explanatory. The tanky items you pick up are generally the same as with all other tanky items for other champions and roles, since the choices are pretty simple and aren't large. The hardest part of choosing tanky items is finding the balance between tanky items and utility items. If you're too tanky, your ability to do anything other than soak up damage becomes limited, while if you're too utility-based, you'll simply die incredibly quickly and easily.

It's also important to note that the balance between tanky and utility is also dynamic, meaning with some team comps, you might have to go pure tank, while with some other team comps, you can afford to build more unique utility items if dying quickly isn't a big concern. Without further ado, I'll list out the late game items you can choose from for support Alistar.


Utility/Support





- Locket of the Iron Solari: This item is one of the most staple items for a support to pick up. It provides a significant amount of magic resist to your teammates, as well as an amazing item active that can literally turn a bad fight into a good one. It also comes with some CDR, MR, and health for yourself too. Just don't forget to pop the active as soon as you start fighting, preferably in conjunction with your Unbreakable Will to maximize its efficiency on yourself. The passive AoE magic resist doesn't stack, so if your top laner or jungler already has this, or if someone has a Banner of Command, don't get it. Keep in mind, this item is specifically designed to help defend against strong AoE magic damage (like an enemy Karthus or Orianna, etc.), and if the enemy team doesn't have any AoE magic damage, then this is a wasted item.

- Mikael's Crucible: This item is generally is a great buy. It grants an incredibly huge amount of mana regen, some decent magic resist for yourself, and some CDR. However, the main importance of this item is its Item Active. While Locket of the Iron Solari is great against AoE damage, Mikael's Crucible is ideal to use against enemy assassins or catch comps. It works as a cleanse of some CC and grants a huge heal, which is great against assassins who will definitely be trying to explode one of your carries, or against enemy Morganas who will snare your ADC for 8 years. However, it's important remember when to use it and to quickly react with it, as well as to know the the active's limitations against some forms of CC. You won't be able to cleanse any suppressions (like Warwick's Infinite Duress), knockups, or Ignite's, and the heal will be halved if your ally has Grievous Wounds. It's pretty much only good for protecting your carries against getting assassinated or initiated on.

- Righteous Glory: This should only be bought if you don't have Talisman of Ascension, as the latter would be a waste of an item slot. It builds out of the amazing Catalyst the Protector and lets you move equally as fast as Talisman, but only when running towards enemies (which means you can't use it to run away), and after 3 seconds it applies an AoE slow like Randuin's Omen, which you can activate early by activating the item again. If you have Face of the Mountain instead, then this item is actually quite good since it makes your WQ engages surprising and incredibly strong. It's also worth noting that while this item grants a large amount of health and health regen, it doesn't give you anything in damage mitigation or CDR, thus you might want to get some armor or MR before or after this item or maybe consider Talisman of Ascension instead.

- Zeke's Harbinger: As cheap as it is, this item is incredibly strong, though the stats that it grants aren't necessarily completely useful for Alistar support. The bonus AP it grants doesn't help much except maybe making your heals a tiny bit stronger, but this shouldn't stop you from getting this item. This item is great for when supporting an ADC who rushes Infinity Edge first, or champions who have extremely strong mid games. Keep in mind, this item doesn't grant a significant amount of tanky stats, so when pursuing the Talisman of Ascension set of items, you might get blown up early on.

- Ardent Censer: This is one of the funniest items on Alistar for many reasons. Few other champion in the game has a spammable AoE heal (besides maybe Sona), meaning pretty much no other champion in the game can utilize Ardent Censer's passive at the same level as Alistar. His Triumphant Roar is so spammable, you basically can give your team the autoattack buff as long as you are alive. This item is great if you have an Irelia or Master Yi or even an Orianna or Azir, basically any other champion along with your ADC who can benefit from attack speed. However, it's extremely important to note that this item grants absolutely zero tanky stats. Thus, if you decide you want to get this item, I highly recommend starting the game with a Relic Shield, because if your first items are Talisman of Ascension and Ardent Censer, you will literally instadie. If anything, buy a tanky item after your Talisman before you buy Ardent Censer.

- Banner of Command: The second item that Aegis of the Legion builds out of, this item is surprisingly viable, especially if the enemy team has double AP (like Vladimir top, Viktor mid). You'll get to spawn a minion which they pretty much can't kill. It's also a more aggressive version of Locket of the Iron Solari, granting the same MR aura that does thus making it great against enemy teams with heavy poke or lots of AoE magic damage. Similarly, it also grants 20 MR and 10% CDR. However, it doesn't have Locket of the Iron Solari's shielding item active, and instead trades it for a minion-boosting item active. It also trades in 200 health for 60 AP, boosting your overall damage. It's better for split-pushing and sieging, but it's not the better option of the two if you mainly want tanky stats for your team.

- Ruby Sightstone: As I mentioned before, this isn't something I particularly rush early. There's no benefit of "Item Active CDR" if you don't have any items with actives! Early on, the gold you could spend on upgrading this from a Sightstone could be put to better use buying other items, and I'll only upgrade once I finish building the rest of my items. Once you get to that point, there's no excuse not to upgrade. I only included this item because I felt like it at least deserves a mention to help you guys remember it exists.

- Elixir of Iron: This is always the ideal choice for elixir in terms of team support. Aside, from the obvious health and tenacity benefits, the size increase makes Alistar seem a lot more annoying while he's in the middle of a teamfight, especially while using Unbreakable Will. The movement speed boost trail that he leaves behind while this elixir is active is also perfect to allow your team to follow up when you initiate with a combo.



Tank



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It's also good to default to build tanky items if my team has no roles really needed to be filled. It's necessary too, since you are probably initiating fights.

- Randuin's Omen: This item is one of the best pure tank items in the game. Aside from the ridiculous armor and health it grants, its item active works great in conjunction with your WQ combo. Simply WQ into the enemy team, position yourself into the middle of the team while they are still knocked up, and once they land from the knockup, activate Randuin's Omen to apply an AoE slow to the entire team and then Unbreakable Will to soak up damage for your team.

- Frozen Heart: This item provides a whole bunch of useful stats while remaining surprisingly cheap and incredibly easy to build, since you're spending about 200-450 gold on each step when building towards it. It gives us a ton of armor, lots of mana for spamming more abilities, and 20% CDR, all of which are incredibly important and useful stats for Alistar at a cheap price. You can get it even if their ADC is the only one affected by the attack speed reduction aura because the rest of the stats are just so useful. Just keep in mind that this item doesn't grant health, a stat that you also need if you want to truly be a pure tank. Double check with the rest of your team to make sure no one else is planning on getting this item.

- Spirit Visage: There's pretty much no other better option on Alistar when you find yourself needing to survive against high amounts of magic damage than Spirit Visage. It grants high amounts of health and MR, dramatically boosts the self-heal from your Triumphant Roar on yourself, and lets you spam your heal more with its CDR.

- Dead Man's Plate: This item is great for champions who like to engage, since it gives them a ton of movement speed and can catch up on slow carries. This is also nice for supports so they can roam around and ward. This item and Randuin's Omen are very similar, except that Randuin's active is for after engaging, not before. Randuin's has a handy attack speed slow too. Take these facts into consideration when deciding on what to buy for an armor item.

- Iceborn Gauntlet: This item is surprisingly good on Alistar support. It gives him lots of great stats, like mana, armor, and a lot of CDR. It dramatically boosts his damage output on his initiate, since his base autoattack damage is incredibly high, and provides some great utility and AoE slow, all with its spellblade passive. However, it's quite offense-minded, so if your team needs pure tankiness, I don't really recommend this item.

- Thornmail. This tank item is particularly good on Alistar because the damage is calculated before damage reduction. This means that even if you have Unbreakable Will turned on, the damage you reflect on attackers still remains the same, meaning that their Master Yi or ADC would simply die from autoattacking you. Keep in mind though, like Frozen Heart, this item doesn't grant you health, which is more useful than armor at a certain point.

- Sunfire Cape: This is a more offensive type of tank item. It still works great on Alistar, since he is usually in the middle of teamfights. With Unbreakable Will turned on, you can easily guarantee at least 10 ticks of Sunfire Cape's AoE burn on the enemy team (3 for the combo and stun, 7 for the ult duration), not to mention in conjunction with your Trample's AoE damage over time. This item costs only a tiny bit less gold than Randuin's Omen and Dead Man's Plate, though it gives slightly less tanky stats than both. So overall, you should only get it when you can afford to do some more damage. Otherwise, opt for the other two armor/health items.

- Banshee's Veil: This item is an alternative buy to Spirit Visage, though I'm honestly not sure why you wouldn't get Spirit Visage on Alistar. Usually, players debate on whether or not to choose Banshee's Veil over Spirit Visage for each and every individual champion, and Alistar in my opinion is definitely a Spirit Visage champion, since he has a heal and a cleanse and more than likely will not be engaged on, and he possesses a need for CDR. But if you think otherwise, then go for it. It's not a terrible item.




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After buying your core items, whether running a mage-fighter CDR build or a full AP Assassin build, you'll resort to the typical late game AP items. However, on someone like Alistar, you might occasionally want to run some situational items in some cases, such as a support-like item. I'll start listing the typical AP items, and then go into detail later on the situational items.



Typical AP Items





This list does not include Luden's Echo, Lich Bane, and Sorcerer's Shoes (and possibly a CDR item) because you should have gotten them already, and this is a "Late Game Items" section, not "Core Items" section. Since you have these 3 or 4 items already, these are the remaining items you'll typically choose between to buy.

- Rabadon's Deathcap: This item is pretty self-explanatory. You want lots of AP for more DPS, and pretty much no item grants you more AP than this. Keep in mind however, Alistar doesn't necessarily have the best AP scaling. There will be many situations where you'll rather opt for a Zhonya's Hourglass instead of Rabadon's Deathcap if you can't fit both in your build.

- Zhonya's Hourglass: This is another item synonymous with AP Mages and Assassins. Keep in mind, you might find yourself not needing the item active because Unbreakable Will itself provides already a ton of damage reduction. In fact, you really should never cast this while your ult is on unless you are about to die. However, remember that your ult doesn't last forever, which means this item is great for after your ult runs out. While in stasis, your Trample will still be active. Lastly, this item is handy since you can simply stasis while waiting for your cooldowns to come up, essentially making this item like a CDR item.

- Void Staff: This item is incredibly useful when facing teams with a lot of MR. This will boost your damage significantly if they have a lot of MR, so try and rush it if your enemies get early MR, or get it as your sixth item if you see your targets got like a Banshee's Veil as a last item or something.

- Abyssal Scepter: This is an alternative to Void Staff (you won't get both), and it is great as a sixth item if the enemies don't have any MR. When enemies don't build MR, flat MR reduction ( Abyssal Scepter) becomes much more useful than percent MR reduction ( Void Staff). If this concept confuses you, I recommend looking up on Google the difference between flat and percent reduction and how they are applied together.

- Elixir of Sorcery: This is a pretty self-explanatory elixir to buy. Keep in mind, you don't have to wait until you are full build to buy this item. If you already have a decent amount of items and randomly have 500 gold to spend, this item is a great option since it grants so much AP for a low price. It allows you to boost your harass by adding true damage to your Headbutts, and with the mana regen boost you can spam it more often. Lastly, the 25 bonus true damage to towers work with each of your Trample's tick on towers, meaning each time you cast an ability you'll apply 75 total damage to towers nearby!



Situational/Defensive Items



[ icon=ardent censer size=40]

Sometimes you might want to be a bit tankier, like if you fall behind or if your team doesn't have a tank. Or, you want more utility or want to become more of like an engage or support for your team. These items provide some tanky or utility stats while still giving us some AP to increase our damage output.

- Rylai's Crystal Scepter: This item works in conjunction with Trample, granting you tons of AoE slows along with a large amount of AP and a nice chunk of health. The AoE slow also synergizes well with Liandry's Torment. You can get these two items in conjunction and really do lots of AoE damage while being tanky, or you can get this item itself as a 6th item if the enemy team builds zero MR and you want to stack as much AP as possible and you already have Rabadon's Deathcap and Zhonya's Hourglass.


- Liandry's Torment: This item generally should only be bought after Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Together, the items will significantly increase your DPS, since they both work with your passive. You can get this if they are very tanky, since it does percent damage over time. You can also get this if you want to be a bit tankier but still want pure damage and penetration.

- Ardent Censer: This is the other item that can be built out of Forbidden Idol. It's sort of like a cheaper version of Morellonomicon, but its usefulness on Alistar is incredibly unique, since he is literally the only champion in the game with an easily spammable, AoE heal. Thus, even as a mid laner, if your team for example has an Irelia top or Jax jungle that would significantly benefit from the attack speed and autoattack damage boost, then this item could very likely boost your team's overall damage output more than if you bought a different item, especially if they are fed. This item still grants you some nice stats overall, like a small amount of AP, some CDR, lots of movement speed, and mana regen for a fairly modest price.




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Just to reemphasize the goals of playing AP Bruiser Alistar, we are trying to be a tank who sits in the middle of the enemy team, applying lots of CC and DPS with his abilities, Trample, and Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Thus, our item choice for the late game is pretty much made up of items that make us either tankier or give us more DPS, or both (usually both).

However, don't forget, early on in the game we also ended up buying some form of mana or mana regen. Regardless of which item you bought, we'll want to finish building that item. I will list these finished items in corresponding order to the list of items from earlier. Finally, I will list the choices you have on offensive versus defensive items.



Mana/Mana Regen



If You Bought Sheen and/or Glacial Shroud





These items grant lots of armor and CDR. One is more offensive, one is more defensive. It's up to you to decide which item you want more.

- Iceborn Gauntlet: As listed before, if you picked up a Sheen as your mana item, it was to help with your damage output as well as to build into an Iceborn Gauntlet. Gauntlet's stats are incredibly useful overall, granting you a drastically increased mana pool, lots of CDR, and a huge chunk of armor. It also grants a great passive that applies an AoE slow on autoattacks. This item is one of the more offensive items we'd pick up, but I didn't put it in the "Offensive Final Items" since it is still a mana/mana regen item.

- Frozen Heart: Of course with this item, I'm assuming you didn't buy Sheen. And while Iceborn Gauntlet is a more offensive armor item, Frozen Heart is the defensive counterpart. It grants us the same amount of CDR but significantly more armor, as well as another useful passive that slows down the attack speed of the enemy team. I don't recommend getting both Frozen Heart and Iceborn Gauntlet together because you'll only have lots of armor and no health or MR.

We don't really like Zeke's Harbinger on AP Bruiser Alistar since it really doesn't give us any significant amount of armor. This item should be left for supports.



If You Bought Chalice of Harmony, Catalyst the Protector, and/or Tear of the Goddess





These items are grouped together because they all of one thing in common: they grant significant AP when buying their finished items (with Righteous Glory as the lone exception). They will be bought for the intention of doing more damage with our abilities (or, increasing our engage potential in the case pf Righteous Glory). Each item in this section also has a defensive perk, another core reason why we ended up choosing one of the 3 early mana/mana regen items.

- Athene's Unholy Grail: This item should only be bought if you originally bought Chalice of Harmony. It's an incredibly useful item that grants us a wide range of helpful stats. We get significant amounts of AP, a nice chunk of MR, 20% CDR, and a buttload of mana regen. It's one of the few items that I have listed for AP Bruiser Alistar that actually grant us CDR, a great stat that means we can have our ridiculous CC off of cooldown and our passive Trample on more often. If you value CDR, I highly recommend getting this item, Iceborn Gauntlet, or Frozen Heart.

- Rod of Ages: This is one of two options to turn the Catalyst the Protector into. It's imperative that you buy this item early! As I stated before, you can and probably should get this before picking up your core item Rylai's Crystal Scepter so that you can start building it up as soon as possible. Few items can compete with the combination of ridiculous health, mana, and high AP that this item provides, as well as the sustain you get with it's level-up passive. Of this category of items, this item would be considered the tankiest of them all, while still being incredibly strong AP-wise.

- Righteous Glory: This is the second option to turn Catalyst the Protector into. This item provides your team with an incredibly useful utility, allowing you and your allies to rush into the enemy team with a movement speed boost and AoE slow. It allows your engages to be devastating and quick, and at the same time it provides you with a ton of health and health regen in lane along with the level-up sustain passive. It's a great option to take against poke comps for all these reasons, allowing you to explode their squishy pokers.

- Archangel's Staff ( Seraph's Embrace): This item should only be bought if you originally bought Tear of the Goddess. What this item lacks in tanky stats, it makes up for in what it eventually builds into: Seraph's Embrace. I wouldn't recommend getting this until your Tear of the Goddess is fully or nearly stacked, simply because you will lack tanky stats. Once it becomes Seraph's Embrace, it becomes dramatically more useful to you. It grants some of the highest AP in the game, dramatically boosting your damage, and it almost guarantees you that you won't run out of mana. Also, Seraph's active shield works amazingly well with Unbreakable Will, giving you a chunky shield that's boosted even more by your ult's damage reduction. It also works very well with Frozen Heart or Iceborn Gauntlet's mana boosts to grant you even more AP and an even larger shield.



Mana/Mana Regen: If You Bought Forbidden Idol





As weird of an item Forbidden Idol is, and as even weirder the finished items would seem on an AP Tanky Bruiser, these items are overall still extremely useful and viable and provide a unique utility to the game, all while still providing Alistar with a significant amount of mana regen.

- Ardent Censer: As stated before, Alistar is perhaps the only champion in the entire game who can utilize Ardent Censer's ally attack speed boost at such a useful, efficient, constant level. Triumphant Roar's spammability is insane and can cover pretty much everyone on the team, meaning you can give your entire team a persistent, extreme attack speed and damage boost. Not only that, the item itself grants some useful stats, like a bit of AP, CDR, mana regen, and a huge movement speed boost that means you can move around quickly in a fight.

- Morellonomicon: This item and Athene's Unholy Grail are two very similar items in that they grant high amounts of AP, mana regen, and 20% CDR. The few things that really set them apart are that Morellonomicon has no magic resist, more AP, and has a passive that applies Grievous Wounds to low health enemies, meaning that their healing becomes halved. Also, Morellonomicon is cheaper and easy to build. This item is great to take when facing an enemy Swain or Dr. Mundo or anyone else who relies heavily on healing so you can halve it.



Offensive Last Items





The last two item sections will be the final items to get after you complete your mana/mana regen final item(s), divided into items with an offensive goal in mind and defensive. It's worth noting that these offensive items still provide tanky stats along with them, but at the same time will increase your DPS, as most of these items will help your Trample do much more damage with either a cool passive or simply more AP or both.

- Abyssal Scepter: This item is one of the best items when looking to do more DPS while remaining in the middle of the enemy team during a teamfight. With it, you reduce the MR of everyone on the enemy team, which works especially well if you have someone else on your team that can do magic damage as well. At the same time, it grants a significant amount of AP as well as a huge amount of MR, two great things for an AP Tanky Bruiser.

- Liandry's Torment: Liandry's not only works with Rylai's Crystal Scepter to do double the percent health damage over time, it also works with your passive Trample, meaning if you stand in the middle of the enemy team while your passive is on, you'll be slowing them with Rylai's and also doing tons of percent health damage per second with Liandry's Torment. It also provides a decent amount of health, AP, and precious magic penetration, all of which are extremely useful for us.

- Sunfire Cape: Another great item that allows us to do DPS while sitting in the middle of the enemy team, Sunfire Cape also grants us large amounts of health and armor. It's definitely one of the more defensive items listed here, but it still lets us do a decently large amount of damage with its passive alone, though it doesn't really do anything for our Trample.

- Banner of Command: This item is surprisingly useful. It's a more aggressive version of Locket of the Iron Solari, exchanging some health and in return giving us lots of AP for more damages, all while still giving us some MR, health, CDR, and the protective MR aura that's perfect against poke comps with Ziggs or Xeraths. Just make sure you or someone else on your team doesn't already have Locket of the Iron Solari, or else the item's aura goes to waste since it doesn't stack. Also Banner of Command also boosts our already immense pushing power with its active. It gives us a nice strong minion which can take our place splitpushing when we Teleport and join the team in a teamfight, and is particularly useful when the enemy team has double AP, like a Rumble top with an Azir mid.

- Zz'Rot Portal: This item's active is fantastic for splitpushing without actually splitpushing. In particular, it takes down open inhibitors very quickly, since the little critters won't take damage from a tower. You'll need a decent amount of health to really make this item effective. It grants a decent amount of armor and MR, but no health. Aside from that, this is an incredibly niche and awkward item, sort of in the same category as Banner of Command. Only get it for the item active.

- Elixir of Sorcery: For more damage, we will want the Elixir of Sorcery, since it will give us a nice hefty boost in AP for a cheap price. It's also worth noting that the passive 25 true damage works with Trample on towers, meaning all 3 ticks of the passive will apply 25 true damage each tick on the tower. Overall, it makes Alistar a ridiculous pushing and sieging machine.



Defensive Last Items





Our other options after finishing our mana/mana regen items is to pick up pure tank items to give us more survivability. While most of the other items listed previously do indeed provide some tankiness, these items here overall are simply only for tankiness and don't help us with our DPS, which is still a good thing if your team needs someone tankier.

- Spirit Visage: Champions who can self heal themselves can utilize Spirit Visage's passive heal boost extremely well, and Alistar is no exception. This item also grants huge amounts of MR and health, as well as a nice 10% CDR that can allow you to spam more abilities and heal yourself more often. When looking for an MR item, this item should be one of the first to come to mind.

- Dead Man's Plate: This item is basically a Boots of Mobility except it grants you Randuin's Omen-like amount of health and armor, plus an autoattack proc like Sheen. It's such a weird but incredibly strong item, and since it makes you move so fast, you won't have any problem walking up to the enemy team for a powerful engage.

- Randuin's Omen: Few items pale in comparison to Randuin's stats for tankiness. It grants a ridiculous amount of health and a ridiculous amount of armor, as well as a great item active that can be used immediately after you initiate with a WQ combo to apply a huge AoE slow. This item will make you incredibly tanky, give you an even more amazing initiate, and it also has a nice passive to help you absorb even more damage and autoattacks in a fight.

- Locket of the Iron Solari: When facing poke comps or an enemy mage with strong AoE damage, this item should be the first item that comes to mind. It provides your team with an amazing aura that provides some health regen to help survive against poke from enemy Ziggs, as well as some MR to protect your team when facing strong AoE damage from champs like Orianna. It also has an amazing item active that shields your team too. Just don't forget to pop it as soon as a fight breaks out! However, don't forget that Banner of Command has the same passive as this item, which is a good option for an offensive or splitpushing tactic.

- Banshee's Veil: I'm not a personal fan of Banshee's on Alistar. Usually, on each champ you'll typically choose between buying Banshee's Veil or Spirit Visage and not both. Alistar is definitely a Spirit Visage champion, not a Banshee's champion. He doesn't get engaged on, and even if he does, he has Unbreakable Will to shake off any damage. He also has a self-heal that he can spam, and Spirit Visage boosts this by increasing self-heal amount and providing CDR to spam more heals. The list goes on for why Visage is just better for Alistar, but some people think Banshee's is just the best item ever, so if you're one of them, I won't stop you or say that it's a bad item. Get it if you want!

- Thornmail: This item is only particularly good if the enemy has someone other than the ADC who is autoattack reliant. Thornmail is incredibly useful on Alistar because the reflected damage is calculated before damage reduction, meaning the full damage will be reflected even if you have Unbreakable Will on. This means you will more than likely end up doing more damage to the enemy ADC or Master Yi than they do to you if you have your ult on. The item is cheap and provides a ridiculously high amount of armor, but keep in mind you'll need health to maximize what it provides you, so you shouldn't stack it with like a Frozen Heart and nothing else. You'll also want to get some MR if they have magic damage too, since having this item literally equates to having nothing at all when facing magic damage.

- Elixir of Iron: The elixir of choice when we want to be defensive is Elixir of Iron. All of these stats are incredibly useful for someone who initiates and stays in the middle of the enemy team, since it comes with health, tenacity/slow reduction, and an aura that speeds up allies. Also, it makes Alistar a lot physically bigger, which will make people purposely target you more or even accidentally click on you too, which is what you want as a tank.




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When playing Alistar as an AD Bruiser, it's important to note as stated before that we actually don't necessarily need to rush tanky items that early on unless we find ourselves seriously struggling to survive against a lane. This is because Unbreakable Will gives us a huge amount of damage reduction that pretty much acts like 2 Randuin's Omens and 4 Banshee's Veils. It also grants us damage equal to pretty much 2 B. F. Swords.

With that being said, we currently have Trinity Force. For our final items, the options are almost endless. We have the option to increase our damage output to become "lots of damage", are we can start trying to achieve "very hard to kill", since Unbreakable Will has a cooldown, only lasts for 7 seconds, and your team likely wants some more tankiness anyways. And even within these goals, there's many different item categories we can pursue. I'll list them all and describe when we would want to get certain items.



Option 1: Youmuu's Ghostblade





Youmuu's Ghostblade deserves its own category, since it grants such a special set of great stats. The movement speed boost from the item active is so incredibly strong on someone as slow as Alistar, since it lets you charge in quick to get in range for an engage. It lets you resist kite, chasing down slow carries. You also can quickly run away when getting ganked with this item. The item active is so incredibly useful, it's equivalent to why Talisman of Ascension or Righteous Glory are so good on Alistar Support or AP Bruiser. However, this item's active is shorter than both of those by 15 seconds.

Youmuu's also gives CDR for more CC, and penetration for more damage against top lane tanks. The attack speed boost from that active means, if you also pop your Unbreakable Will, you can really bring the pain train with more empowered slaps. This is overall a great go-to item when you just want more nice overall stats.



Option 2: Crit





Alternatively, you can buy items to improve your chance of critting. You already have 20% crit from Trinity Force, meaning buying more crit becomes much more cost efficient and greatly increases your damage output. Crit is great for mowing down minions, assassinating carries, and outdueling enemy laners. Crit also scales incredibly well with Unbreakable Will, since it grants you a massive AD boost for even more massive crits. This is overall ideal if you are snowballed and want to explode people in teamfights.

- Rapid Firecannon: This item is particularly ideal for Alistar since his autoattack range is pretty low. The attack speed given is extremely useful when used with Unbreakable Will, granting you more attacks while your ult is on as well as more opportunities to crit. It also grants the largest movement speed boost out of all the crit items, which is especially useful on someone as slow as Alistar. It's more ideal when looking for a movement speed item for engages, and less optimal for splitpushing compared to Statikk Shiv's AoE damage. However, if you want pure movement speed, Youmuu's Ghostblade might be a better choice. This item is here mostly to improve your crit chance.

- Statikk Shiv: When looking to splitpush harder, look no further than Shiv. Shiv's stats are basically identical to Rapid Firecannon, except that it grants AoE magic damage for better waveclear and splitpushing. However, it doesn't grant as much movement speed, which is less ideal when looking to charge into the enemy team for an engage.

- Essence Reaver: You'll be able to max out on CDR if you buy this item, since you already own Trinity Force. That's 30% CDR from Essence Reaver plus 10% from Trinity Force. This item is great when you want to max out on CDR for massive amounts of CC and don't plan on buying a Frozen Heart or any other item mainly for CDR (like if getting Righteous Glory and Dead Man's Plate). You get some great mana regen when splitpushing, letting you spam abilities for waveclear and healing whenever necessary.

- Phantom Dancer: This isn't completely ideal on Alistar, since his Trample already grants him movement through units. However, this item comes with a neat little bit of damage reduction, which is nice when building Alistar as a glass cannon. If you plan on getting full AD items, like buying an Infinity Edge and maybe Ravenous Hydra and Mortal Reminder, then you'll probably want a little bit of damage mitigation, since your ult won't be able to take on all of the damage. This item only grants mitigation against one champion, meaning it's good for splitpushing or assassinating and being somewhat tankier at the same time.

- Infinity Edge: Mentioning crit means this item has to be mentioned too. This is definitely not the most ideal item to grab on Alistar. However, it massively increases your ability to assassinate a squishy target. The other two crit items grant attack speed, unlike Infinity Edge, and attack speed is what you need to get the most out of your Unbreakable Will. However, it does still help by increasing your damage when you crit with your ult on. Get this if you simply want more pure damage.



Option 3: Life Steal



icon=the bloodthirster size=40]

Lifesteal is incredibly useful for any AD top lane bruiser. Whichever one you choose should entirely depend on the situation, as they all perform completely different jobs.

- Ravenous Hydra: This item is particularly good when you want waveclear, splitpushing power, harass/burst, tons of sustain, and AoE/teamfighting damage. Simply put, this item is probably going to be your go to item. It drastically improves the speed at which you can splitpush, and during teamfights, when coupled with Unbreakable Will your autoattacks do terrifyingly painful splash damage, perfect for someone like Alistar who fights in the middle of the enemy team. The active's damage also gets increased by your ult. It's also worth noting that you can cast the active while you are using Headbutt (just like Pulverize), meaning in lane you can freely and painfully harass enemy laners with a W-Hydra combo constantly.

- Blade of the Ruined King: BOTRK is more for single-target/dueling/assassination type of item. It gives a plethora of incredibly good stats when fighting a 1v1 or assassinating. Its passive percent damage means your autoattacks do a significant amount of damage to even tanks, its active lets you really stick to your target when trying to take them out in a fight, and best of all it also gives you a huge amount of attack speed, which let you seriously turn on the pain when you use Unbreakable Will.

- Mercurial Scimitar: Despite possessing a cleanse from Unbreakable Will, there's no reason not to buy another form of cleanse, just in case they have some bonus CC for you, or if you would rather ult for the damage mitigation, not cleanse. This item also lets you move extremely fast for a brief second, great for chasing down runaway squishies. You should also grab this when you want some more MR. These are overall the only difference between this item and The Bloodthirster. If you want more life steal and don't care about the defensive aspects this item provides, then opt for BT instead.

- The Bloodthirster: BT is a another very good "Defensive"-minded lifesteal option, since it has the passive "overheal" which gives you an incredibly respectable shield. Don't forget that shields work with Unbreakable Will's damage reduction, so you might want to think about popping your ult while the shield is active to maximize its use.

I don't recommend Death's Dance, since you don't do any physical damage with your spells. The passive doesn't make you tankier either, so there's no point getting this item when there are so many better options.



Option 4: Bruiser Items





Despite making Alistar sound like a terrorizing crit machine in the above secions, there's many cases where you really don't need more damage. Typical AD and Bruiser items are perfectly good and useful on Alistar too. You can take these in conjunction with crit or lifesteal items.

- Sterak's Gage: This item boosts the user's base attack damage, and since Trinity Force's spellblade is dependent on the user's base attack damage and not their bonus damage, the Trinity Force procs become drastically more powerful. Taking enough damage to activate the item's passive isn't too risky since Alistar can ult at anytime to save himself. This is incredibly good because, after this item activates, it grants a decently sized shield. Popping Unbreakable Will at this time can make that shield incredibly powerful since he causes 70% of the damage to be mitigated, meaning the shield is 70% stronger. Another strange this about this item is that it grants a beefy amount of health, making it also a somewhat defensive item when paired with mitigation. Look no further than this item when trying to find a bruiser-y item.

- Titanic Hydra: This item is neat since you can swap it from Ravenous Hydra, meaning you can build damage for the mid game and then switch to tanky quickly for the late game. This item is actually very good on Alistar due to the fact that Alistar possesses the highest base health in the game. Stacking health items like Dead Man's Plate along with whatever damage items you already have, means you can deal a significant amount of damage while still remaining tanky. This is a more teamfight oriented item, good for when you want to be the team's initiator and tank.

- Maw of Malmortius: This item is great when you find yourself having a tough time against some strong AP. If you're more worried about the enemy's strong magic damage than their CC, I'd recommend Maw of Malmortius over Mercurial Scimitar, since it grants a bit more MR and an invaluable magic damage shield that can easily save your life. Not to mention, the huge stat boost at low health works great with our ult, since we are ridiculously hard to kill with it turned on.

- Mortal Reminder: This item is more for when going full AD, like a glass cannon. Even though all of Alistar's abilities only do magic damage, our autoattacks are actually a huge majority of our damage overall when playing AD Alistar. This item is ideal when the enemy team has a lot of armor and/or a lot of healing. It also works well paired with Youmuu's Ghostblade, meaning we can pretty much face any enemy champion no matter how tanky. It also works incredibly well with physical item actives like Ravenous Hydra.

- Frozen Mallet: This item is underrated but still surprisingly good, especially for someone like Alistar who can get kited so ridiculously easy. If you're looking for something tanky that will also help you resist against kiting, there are plenty of options out there like Dead Man's Plate and Randuin's Omen, which are listed next. Even Elixir of Iron helps. But if you find yourself still struggling with sticking to your enemies, then you can consider grabbing this item as well.

- Elixir of Wrath: Once you've finished all of your items, or if you've randomly got 500 gold laying around that you can't find an item to spend it on, then we can opt for Elixir of Wrath to help boost our AD and life steal for a nice cheap price. Of the elixirs, this would be a nice choice when we have offense on our mind.

I don't include The Black Cleaver since Alistar lacks physical damage overall. You can grab it if you would like however, since it does work with some cool items like Ravenous Hydra so you can stack the armor shred on the enemy team as you engage.



Option 5: Tanky



banshee's

Though I list it as the last option and haven't said much about it, tanky items are still a very important and integral part of AD Bruiser Alistar. Your job as a bruiser is to do as much damage as you can while still having survivability, and of course Unbreakable Will doesn't last forever and has a cooldown, so relying on it as your only source of tankiness is pretty foolish. You'll likely also find yourself in team comps where there are no other tanks on the team, and in this case it is definitely your job to provide the tankiness for your team. There are many choices in items to choose from, and I'll talk about each and why you might pick them over the others.

- Randuin's Omen: Few items grant as much tankiness as this item does. It gives a ridiculously high amount of both armor and health, provides a great passive attack speed slow against attackers so you can survive while blowing up ADC's, and it provides you with an active AoE slow that helps you prevent your enemies from running away. Not much else to say other than look no further than this item when you need armor.

- Frozen Heart: This item grants us tons of nice things we love. We get a buttload of mana to let us stay outside of base longer, a nice aura to help slow the enemy's autoattacks, 20% CDR so we can combo and heal and ult more often, and a huge 100 armor. It's important to note however that this item does not grant health or MR, meaning when facing magic damage, it literally does nothing for you except perhaps let you use your heal a bit more.

- Dead Man's Plate: This is a great item that's a mix of a high health, high armor item like Randuin's Omen or Sunfire Cape, yet grants a massive movement speed bonus like Boots of Mobility to allow us to return to lane extremely quickly or to roam or engage, and also gives us a nice boost in our first autoattack, which works greatly in conjunction with Trinity Force for a big burst of damage. This item is great for splitpushing as well as allowing yourself to run super fast to get close to an enemy team for an inescapable engage.

- Sunfire Cape: Sunfire is the somewhat smaller, more offensive counterpart to Randuin's Omen and Dead Man's Plate. It trades in some armor and an AoE slow for AoE damage over time, 50 health, and a lower price tag. It's a great option if you want to splitpush a bit harder or do a bit more damage in a teamfight while still maintaining a very tanky presence.

- Righteous Glory: This plus Youmuu's Ghostblade literally turns you into a bullet train. You can charge full on into their team and absolutely destroy them, while at the same time it grants lots of health and an AoE slow. This item is a fantastic teamfight initiate item.

- Spirit Visage: As with pretty much all champs who have an ability to self-heal, Spirit Visage works wonderfully on AD Alistar. It boosts your Triumphant Roar's heal on yourself, as well as the life steal you get from slapping people around. Turn on Unbreakable Will and you can very likely 1v1 just about anyone even at low health. This should be the item that comes to mind when you need MR and health, and its 10% CDR never hurts either.

- Locket of the Iron Solari: Locket is a great item to take against a team with AoE and/or poke magic damage, since it provides your team with MR and some health regen. Italso comes with some nice health and MR for yourself, as well as some CDR and a great item active to give your team a shield. Make sure you remember to pop the active as soon as you start fighting! Also, check to make sure no one else has this item or Banner of Command or are planning to get either, since the auras don't stack.

- Thornmail: This item works great with unbreakable will], since it still applies before damage reduction. This item is only useful against people who can autoattack, so only grab it if you face like a [[tryndamere top lane, or their ADC is very fed. Keep in mind, you get no health out of this item so you might want to get another tank item along with it.

- Banshee's Veil: Never will you buy Spirit Visage and Banshee's Veil together. Though I personally prefer Spirit Visage much more on Alistar for the reasons stated, Banshee's Veil is still a great item and a lot of people love it. It's a bit more viable on AD Alistar than other positions since you can indeed find yourself engaged upon since you're not that tanky.

- Warmog's Armor: Warmog's is one of the best items for splitpushers since it almost guarantees you that you will be full health while splitpushing (though this should pretty much already be the case since you have Triumphant Roar and possibly lifesteal). It's more of a health regen item than a pure tankiness item, especially since Season 5 changed this item up to make it similar to Garen's passive Perseverance. This item is also great if you find yourself facing an annoying poke comp but are pretty good at dodging skillshots, but if you're looking for pure tankiness, then there are better options out there.

- Elixir of Iron: This elixir grants us health, tenacity, slow resistance, and increases our size so people naturally and accidentally target us more. It means we can dramatically increase our resistance against getting kited, allowing us to pummel in the face of their carries. There's really no other option when deciding on elixirs if your goal is to be tanky.


Guide Top

Combos

Surprisingly, Alistar's two signature moves, his W and Q, can give him a ton of combos at his disposal. I've already talked about a lot of them, but here I will describe exactly how to do them.


The standard classic W > Q



This is the famous Alistar combo. It's not exactly ideal for harass, but it's incredibly good for all-ins and engages. It took me a bit of trial and error to find out the best way to pull this off. My first time experimenting with the combo was HotshotGG status:

To summarize how this combo works, basically you are Headbutting your target away, but before they get a chance to fly away, you use Pulverize to cancel the knockback with your knockup. It's important to point out the fact that Alistar can channel his Pulverize while he is dashing to his target when using Headbutt, which is what makes this combo possible.

To do this combo, I find that the best way to learn this combo is to not smartcast Headbutt when you're first learning. By turning smartcast off, you will be able to see the visible circle that indicates the range of your Headbutt. This lets you see which enemies you can and can't use Headbutt on, which makes it one less thing to worry about.

When your target is in range, use Headbutt. As Alistar begins to dash towards his target, you will cast Pulverize mid-dash. The enemy will first be hit by your Headbutt, but before they get the chance to be knocked back by it, your Pulverize will hit them and they will then be knocked up.

During your first few times trying out the combo, it will be very easy for you to cast Pulverize too late and the enemy will end up flying away from you. However it's very important to note that it's also very possible to cast Pulverize too early too. This means your Pulverize hits them before Headbutt does, and they get knocked back in the end instead of up, just like if you did it too late.

The last thing I would like to mention is that, since Headbutt is a targeted dash, enemies further away take longer to travel to than enemies closer to you. This makes timing your Pulverize a bit hard, since you'll have to cast Pulverize earlier if the enemy is close to you, and later if the enemy is further away from you. Otherwise, you can very easily send the enemy champ flying away by casting Pulverize too early or late.



W into wall, slap, Q, slap



If you happen have an enemy standing by a big wall (for example, in the lane brush), you can Headbutt them into the wall. Since there is a 1 second travel time and a ~0.25 second root, Headbutting enemies into a wall is like Vayne's Condemn. They will experience the full 1.25 seconds of CC, even if they end up not moving anywhere at all since they were standing next to a wall. Also, since you dashed up close to them, you are in a great position to follow up with a slap or two. Once the Headbutt effect ends, simply hit your Pulverize and keep your target locked in for more slaps!

Here's a video of this combo in action:

This video shows how the walls aren't limited to the edges of the map, though discretion must be made so the enemy doesn't end up flying over a wall. Pay close attention to the angle of the headbutt in this video. If it were a little bit more to the right, the Jinx could have easily flew towards the tri-bush area to the left of the wall.



The Insec 2.0: Q > Flash > W



You're probably wondering... Q and then Flash how does that work? Well the thing is, the animation for Pulverize is actually somewhat long. If you Flash in and then Q, they could anticipate it and dodge it. However, luckily it's actually completely possible to Flash while channeling Pulverize. Press Q to begin the animation, and then immediately Flash into your target for an instant knockup. Then while the target is knocked up, you could easily use position yourself for a Headbutt into your turret or team Lee Sin style.

This combo works incredibly well during laning phase if they are pushed near your turret. Most importantly, the turret can't already be targeting minions when you pull this combo off, as your target needs to get the tower's aggro. Also, keep in mind of when your target has flash or not, because they can easily flash out of it. Here's a video example. It's during mid-late game, and we were losing really badly, but it shows all of the mechanics quite clearly:

You can also pull this combo off in any position and any lane. You can even use Exhaust/ Talisman of Ascension/ Righteous Glory/ Youmuu's Ghostblade/ Randuin's Omen/you-get-the-point instead of Flash. As long as you have some form of gap closing, be it Flash or a slow or a self movement speed boost or you're just faster, all it takes is a Pulverize and you can just about choose to Headbutt someone in any direction you choose.

Lastly, this combo is hilarious to use against champions with gap closing and targeted dashes, since you won't need to position yourself with the Flash to land your Pulverize. If you let them push close enough in your lane, you can easily hit them into your tower for several tower shots. For example, if you're supporting and an enemy Leona throws a Zenith Blade on you, Pulverize her when she dashes to you, walk behind her, and hit her into your tower. Junglers aren't spared. If a Lee Sin jumps on you with Resonating Strike or Amumu lands Bandage Toss and you're by the tower, free double buffs. Enemy Jax Leap Strike's you? Hit him into tower. Katarina Shunpo's you? Hit her into tower. Enemy Warwick ults you with Infinite Duress? Cleanse it with Unbreakable Will and hit him into your tower.



The Insec 3.0: Flash (optional) > W > Q



Sometimes, you won't even need to Pulverize the enemy first before you Headbutt them. This would be the best case scenario because you could then save your Pulverize knockup after you've already hit your target into your team/turret. For example, if you're laning against someone who's also melee and they happen to get extremely close to you, you could Flash past them and Headbutt them into your tower without burning your Pulverize. Then, since your Q hasn't been used yet, you could use it on the enemy to keep them locked in under the turret.

This combo also works great as support against an enemy Blitzcrank who accidentally pulls you past his ADC, cause then you wouldn't even need to use Flash to Headbutt the enemy ADC back!

You can also use this combo to gank other lanes. If you see that a lane is pushed into your team, you can walk in behind the enemy and Headbutt them into your ally or tower and then follow up with a Pulverize to keep the enemy CC-locked under tower.

And even if your teammate's lane is pushed towards the enemy's tower or not pushed at all, you can even come up from behind the enemy tower, use Unbreakable Will to absorb the incoming turret shots, and Headbutt the possibly turret-hugging enemy into your ally, followed by a Pulverize.

Lastly, some champions you face will find a way to dash past you. Champions like Talon with his Cutthroat or even enemy Kha'Zix's who accidentally jump too far can easily be Headbutted backwards into your tower without burning your Pulverize



AP Alistar's One-Shot Assassination Combo: W > Q > Lich Bane > R > E > Lich Bane



Keep in mind, you really need a fairly high amount of AP, as well as certain core-items and 100% be able to pull off a WQ combo, to be able to pull of a one-shot assassination. However, Alistar usually can't completely nuke a full-health squishy, so a little bit of help is always great too. As stated before, you can't be the one to initiate because you need to save your WQ combo for blowing someone up. Plus, you are really squishy too if you build full AP.

To properly pull off this combo, the order is somewhat simple. Start off with a typical WQ combo, followed by a Lich Bane empowered autoattack while the target is still in the air. This should chunk their HP to around a third or less. You'll actually want to save your Unbreakable Will until either after getting CC'd or before getting bursted down because the bonus AD is useless for you. A second note on that, since the bonus AD is completely useless to you, don't waste your time autoattacking in between Lich Bane procs. Instead, walk with your target, allowing all 3 ticks of Trample to go off on the target, and when Lich Bane comes off of cooldown, pop your Triumphant Roar for another proc and continue walking for more ticks. If your target hasn't died yet, either autoattack them to death, or stay in range so you can pull of one more Headbutt as the finisher.



AD Alistar's Ravenous Hydra Harass Combo: W > Tiamat/ Ravenous Hydra



Though Riot nerfed Alistar's old W > Autoattack Combo to where you can't do it anymore, there's still an alternative to it on AD Alistar specifically: using Tiamat/ Ravenous Hydra's item active in place of the autoattack. Though it won't nearly do as much damage as your Trinity Force empowered autoattack used to do, it will still hurt quite a bit.

It's worth noting that Tiamat// Ravenous Hydra's active can be cast while you are dashing to your enemy with Headbutt, meaning if you want to get the maximum damage off, you have to time the item to go off right when you are making contact with the enemy.



AD Alistar's Hydra Engage Combo: Youmuu's Ghostblade > W > Q > R > autoattack > Tiamat/ Ravenous Hydra



I wouldn't consider this much different than your regular WQ combo, other than the small detail I would like to emphasize. If you pick up Tiamat/ Ravenous Hydra, it should be noted that the items' actives scale off of your AD, and to utilize it the most effectively, you'll really want to wait on casting it until after you've casted your Unbreakable Will so you can apply the ult's bonus damage as well.

You'll also want to wait on using the item until you get your autoattack off for several reasons. Casting Tiamat/ Ravenous Hydra's active will cancel your autoattack that naturally will occur as soon as you finish casting your WQ combo. You'll really want to get that autoattack off first and as soon as possible so you can do as much damage as quick as you can. And most importantly, you'll also put your Trinity Force's proc on cooldown quicker so it comes up again as soon as possible.


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Support: ADC Synergies

Mobafire doesn't have a way to include synergies for supports and ADC's in the cheat sheet, so I've included it in this section here. The number of shows the level of synergy with an ADC, ranging from 1 to 10




Mordekaiser
While not technically an ADC, Mordekaiser's spot belongs in the bottom lane with a support. Alistar does an amazing job for Mordekaiser, as do a lot of melee supports who can run double Relic Shield's. Mordekaiser can throw a Harvesters of Sorrow onto Alistar to close the gap quickly for a WQ combo, allowing Mordekaiser to get tons of damage off with his Mace of Spades. Alistar can also heal up Mordekaiser, who usually has a bit of trouble playing against ranged champions and dealing with harass.




Tristana
This duo is one of the most popularly played duos (maybe because they were both free champions?). Early game, Tristana has a high amount of damage and burst. When Alistar throws up the alley-oop with his Pulverize, Tristana completes the dunk with a Rocket Jump. Not to mention, her Buster Shot with Alistar's Headbutt can lead to hysterical chain knockbacks that send their ADC flying way behind your turret for the jungler to clean up. Alistar also does a great job protecting her in mid-game, where she is weakest.




Kalista
The first thing that comes to mind when playing this duo is a Fate's Call wombo combo. And yes, it works great. That's pretty much the reason why these two are good together. However, it's worth noting that Kalista's burst damage output, when compared to a lot of other ADC's, is relatively weak. Her range is also a bit small, meaning she can get zoned in lane, something Alistar can't really do much about. But once the two get past level 6, you can start cheesing the enemy team with hilarious double knockup engages.




Twitch
Twitch is incredibly squishy and his escape, Ambush, isn't as reliable as many other ADC's escapes. Alistar can protect and peel for Twitch well, and with a WQ combo, Alistar can help Twitch lock-in enemies for a devastating Rat-Ta-Tat-Tat. However, since Twitch doesn't really have the largest range and can get outdamaged by a good amount of other ADC's early on, this lane can get zoned pretty hard. But what really prevents me from doing this duo that often is that Twitch can do better with many other supports. Alistar can still do well later on in the game once Twitch gets his damage, but laning can potentially be quite difficult since this duo can get zoned and poked hard.




Vayne
Again, Alistar can protect his ADC well, and Vayne is one of the ADC's that really needs protection. Alistar's engage is also great for Vayne, and one of the best and easiest combos to pull off is a Pulverize > Flash > Headbutt, followed by Vayne's Condemn to lock a target under a turret for an easy kill. Also, as I mentioned before, Alistar's Headbutt can be used similarly to Condemn when you hit the enemy into a big wall. If Vayne can land a Condemn on someone, you should follow up with a Headbutt after the stun wears off, then Pulverize after that wears off. This will keep an enemy locked in for around 4.5 seconds if they haven't died already. However, since Vayne is so squishy and has such a small range, this lane is highly prone to getting zoned by a high ranged or heavy bursting lane.




Corki
Corki has some significant burst in the early game, which works great with Alistar. Alistar's WQ combo can lock an enemy into Corki's Gatling Gun for lots of bursty damage. Corki's poke on his Missile Barrage also gives Alistar a lot of presence in the bushes, letting him play quite aggressively too, but pre-6, or even simply against a champion like Caitlyn who can seriously and easily outrange Corki, laning can be a bit difficult if a trade goes south.




Caitlyn
Not that great of a duo because Caitlyn is all about poking and zoning people out of lane, which Alistar really can't match. She has little burst, while Alistar has zero sustained damage and poke. In this case, Alistar's only real job is to protect Caitlyn and play passively, only WQ comboing when a kill can arise from it. However, you can attempt to pull off a Q- Flash W turret-feed into a well placed Yordle Snap Trap to lock an enemy under your tower, but it's actually extremely hard. It's also pretty funny to Headbutt people out of the away who are trying to block an Ace in the Hole from landing.




Jinx
This combo is overall pretty good, since Jinx is the definitive glass cannon. Alistar simply protects her with his hard CC, and there is some really good synergy between Headbutt and Flame Chompers!, allowing the combo to be used both offensively (as I mentioned before, by chaining it with your flash turret-feed combo under your turret) and defensively too. She can match your WQ combo by placing a Flame Chompers! directly under where the enemies land, allowing her to completely lock in a target and eat them up. And if a pesky enemy jungler is ganking, Alistar Headbutts them away and Jinx throws down her traps to completely disengage the gank. Jinx's increased range with her Switcheroo! also allows Alistar to play more aggressively.




Lucian
Lucian pairs well with supports who have strong CC to let him dish out all of his abilities and Lightslinger double shots. Together, Lucian and Alistar have a decently strong all-in and usually will come on top in trades. However, outside of all-ins, this duo can find it hard to lane since Lucian's range is quite low and there isn't much Alistar can do against poke and getting outranged.




Graves
Graves' early game is incredibly strong, allowing him to all-in very early in the game and easily come out on top. Both Alistar and Graves' possess some natural tankiness, and Alistar's WQ sets up an easy-to-aim Buckshot and Collateral Damage for Graves. The hard CC Alistar provides is also great since Graves doesn't have the biggest range.




Varus
Varus is a lane bully who has mean poke and both great sustained and burst damage. Since Varus basically has no escape besides his minimal slow on Hail of Arrows and Chain of Corruption (his ult), Alistar can protect him well. However, the nature of Alistar's WQ combo makes his targets move a bit, making it somewhat hard to land Varus' skillshots. This could mean a wasted ult from Varus, or a missed Piercing Arrow that ends up dramatically reducing Varus' damage output. However, with a good Varus player and some coordination, you could easily pull off a Flash turret feed combo with a Chain of Corruption under your turret for a kill.




Miss Fortune
Miss Fortune dominates her lane through bullying with her poke from Double Up. She does incredible poke and sustained damage, but doesn't burst as hard as many other ADC's. As a result, Alistar can't really do much for her in lane other than protect her from ganks. However, with some good positioning, a great WQ combo inside of a Bullet Time will spell devastation for the entire enemy team. Alistar's main job in lane though is to protect Miss Fortune because she has no escape besides her minimal slow on Make it Rain and has a low range outside of Double Up.




Kog'Maw
This is really not an ideal duo. While it still works, since Alistar can peel really well for Kog'Maw, Kog'Maw's early game is quite weak. This lane is quite vulnerable to getting zoned by poke or getting bursted down, since the only early game strength Kog'Maw has is a little bit of ranged and autoattack poke from his Bio-Arcane Barrage. Kog'Maw can't really poke back early in the game and has no escape from all-ins. Alistar can't do anything to fight off constant poke, so this lane can get shutdown really easily. However, if the duo can somehow make it to mid game, they can actually shine because Kog'Maw has some respectable burst with Trinity Force and can poke back with his Living Artillery. One successful WQ combo from Alistar can easily be followed up with a Void Ooze into multiple W-empowered, Trinity Force autoattacks from Kog'Maw. And late game, Alistar can peel really well for Kog'Maw, who needs protection above all else.




Ezreal
A respectable duo, since Ezreal has both good early poke, and his passive Rising Spell Force lets Ezreal duel well in longer fights. Ezreal's zoning ability gives Alistar a lot of presence in the lane bushes, allowing for some great initiates that can easily be followed up by Ezreal's burst. Not really much to be said, other than hope that your Ezreal can land his Mystic Shots. Just note that there are other ADC's with more early burst than Ezreal, which could force you to have to protect him rather than initiate for him.




Draven
There is so much beautiful win in this duo. Draven's early game is pretty much the strongest of any ADC's, and all Alistar has to do is initiate. Make sure that your Draven has two Spinning Axe's up, and go in hard with a combo of your choice. Once the target(s) get too far away, Draven can easily throw a Stand Aside to keep them kited (hopefully your Draven is good and waited to use it until this time, rather than stacking the CC like some do). Pretty much, farm champions.




Sivir
Sivir is mainly an ADC who excels at pushing hard and engaging with the team, but she also unfortunately possesses an extremely low autoattack range, thus making this lane susceptible to being harassed by poke, since Alistar can't counter poke. However, these two actually can have some decent synergy if played correctly. A well pulled-off WQ combo can guarantee Boomerang Blade hits twice for huge amounts of damage. Also, On The Hunt is one of the greatest ults for teammates who have an initiate (like Alistar's WQ), since it can surprise the enemy team and allows the rest of the team to catch up quickly.




Ashe
Ashe's strengths lie in her poke with Volley and sustained damage with Frost Shot/ Ranger's Focus, and with a relatively high autoattack range, laning phase for her is usually pretty easy. However, many champions can still outpoke and outduel her, meaning the majority of the time in lane you will likely be peeling and healing for her rather than engaging. Overall, early on try to babysit her. Late game with Ashe is great because she has Enchanted Crystal Arrow to initiate, meaning you can save your abilities to peel for her, or to immediately follow up for some chain CC.




Quinn
Not a bad lane, since Quinn actually has some respectable burst. Quinn's main strength is in her early and mid game, where she can duel quite well as long as she lands her Blinding Assault. The only bad thing is that she can get poked down pretty hard, since she doesn't have a strong and reliable poking mechanism. One strength Quinn has is her Vault which has a slightly higher range than Alistar's WQ, which means Quinn can initiate with it and Alistar can follow up easily with combo of his own.


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Hidden Combo: Headbutt-Autoattack

*This section is still under R&D*

Way back in Patch 4.15, Riot nerfed a mechanic on Alistar which allowed him to autoattack an enemy as they were flying away after getting Headbutted. The mechanic was extremely strong, since Headbutt's base damage is extremely high, scales fairly hard with AP (a huge benefit for AD Alistar with Sheen/ Trinity Force which comes with AP along with the hardhitting physical damage passive), the autoattack works with Sheen/ Trinity Force/ Lich Bane, and best of all, it was basically uncounterable. There was literally no counterplay or ability to trade against it, since the enemy would end up being too far out of range to do anything.

Here's an old video of the mechanic in action:
While Riot technically removed the mechanic, it still works in situations where you headbutt someone into a wall, since their knocked back distance decreases. This is shown in the "Headbutt-Slap Pulverize-Slap" Combo. In fact, as long as the target's travel distance is decreased ever so slightly, the mechanic activates. This means if a minion happens to lie at the end of the target's travel distance, their travel distance may be shortened by 5 or so units and the mechanic activates. This means if you headbutt someone into a minion wave, the mechanic might activate.



Secondly and more importantly, after playing many games of Alistar top despite the removal of the headbutt-autoattack mechanic, I've noticed that the mechanic actually will still activate on occasion, even if the target isn't hit into a wall. This is because I run a lot of Attack Speed runes on Alistar top.

What happens is, with enough attack speed, Alistar can actually break the nerf and complete a Headbutt-autoattack combo. This occurs around the 0.95+ attack speed range, and the bigger the target ( Cho'Gath instead of Teemo), as well as the more attack speed you possess, the more likely the mechanic occurs. I have yet to replicate it 100%, but can get around 75% replication.

I find that, in order to break the nerf, spamming right-click on your target as you Headbutt them works well. The idea is, if you right-click at just the right time, Alistar will aggro the target and begin an autoattack. If you right-click too early (mid-Headbutt animation), he will simply fail to aggro (likely part of Riot's coding). If you right-click too late, the target is too far out of range and Alistar won't begin his autoattack animation; he'll just chase the target instead.

However, if you right-click immediately when the Headbutt animation ends, there will be a brief couple of frames where the target will still be "in range" of your autoattacks before flying away. This means when Alistar obtains aggro on the target at this range, instead of chasing them, he will simply begin his autoattack animation.

The reason spamming right-click is a good option is because it's extremely hard to right click at the exact time in which the enemy is still in range for an autoattack (125 units). There's ping to account for, variation in character sizing ( Cho'Gath vs. Teemo), Headbutt animation speed varying with close and far away targets, and most of all, human error. Right-clicking like crazy makes it more likely you get that sweet spot.

You'll need a high amount of attack speed for him to complete the animation, otherwise the animation will simply cancel since the target flew out of range too quickly, meaning the autoattack will cancel. Possessing more and more attack speed makes it more likely to engage the Headbutt-autoattack mechanic, as the "sweet spot" duration increases since Alistar can complete his autoattack animation faster.

Video of this will be made soon!


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End Notes

Hopefully this guide helped give you a new perspective on