Leona Build Guide by PKNess
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Generally speaking Leona is a fun, simple, bursty support (not as bursty as a LeBlanc support, but still good burst for a support). The learning curve is pretty moderate, if you are not good at landing skill shots then just keep practicing or put Zenith Blade (E) on smart cast. Overall she is probably the easiest to snowball with in terms of support and her combo is the easiest out of the hard initiate supports.
V. Skill Sequence
My name is PKNess and I enjoy playing Leona support, in fact she's probably my favorite support of all the supports simply because of the extreme utility, hard CC, and initiation potential she brings to any team. I am not currently rated very high (Bronze III), so I might not know all of the ins and outs of this champion. However, I do play her often enough to know some general tips for lower level players or players wanting to get a new champion that excels in applying both lane pressure and team fight presence to any team composition.
Leona is a tank, just plain and simple. Her AP ratios aren't the greatest (Generally ranging between 0.3 to 0.4), with the only exception to this being her ultimate (0.8 AP ratio) Leona Wiki. This champion is a huge lane bully at level 2 (E-->Q) and at level 3 (Pop W, E-->Q, move up the lane to proc the passive up to three times), and her biggest contributions to any team come in the form of hard CC and her passive.
She technically has 3 means of CC, while her Zenith Blade (E) doesn't really count as CC it does apply a very short root (lasts the duration from when it lands until leona gets to that location). If you've never played her before practice landing Zenith Blades on bots then on real opponents in normal games (It's a much different mechanic than a tresh or blitz hook). Typically I will initiate with Zenith Blade or Flash and then Shield of Daybreak (Q). I alternate between these two forms of initiation to make sure the enemy is caught off guard. A MAJOR NOTE WITH LEONA: LEONA IS AN ALL IN TYPE OF SUPPORT, so don't try to play her like an assassin or like a Healer Taric or like a backline healer (i.e. Sona, Soraka). Her kit does not suit a composition based on disengage and kiting(however her overall tankiness provides a nice meat wall to maintain poking).
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Pros / Cons
So here are the pros/cons that I have discovered while playing with Leona in various situations and I will end up explaining most of them later on in more detail
I. Hard initiate
II. Great CC/Easy to chain CC
III. High utility
IV. Great in lane and in team fights
V. Passive helps Jungler clear time
VI. Natural tankiness = great meat shield
VII. Combo is highly intuitive
VIII. Increases damage output of everyone
IX. All in support
X. Can steal objectives and kills with ult
XI. Relatively low ult cooldown
I. All in support
II. No escapes in kit
III. No heals available for the team (aside from summoner heal)
IV. No auras
V. No globals
VI. AOE is very limited (About the size of a Jarvan Cataclysm)
VII. Provides almost no damage output to the team
VIII. Extremely slow --> can easily get caught out or fail flash engage
IX. Skill shot as a main way of engaging during laning phase
X. Stuns have a long cooldown
Typically if I am in a Solo Queue game I run very tanky runes.
I take 9 flat Armor Reds and 9 flat Armor Yellows to give me a total of 20.88 armor in addition to base stats of 18 armor at level 1. I choose to take flat armor versus scaling armor because I want upfront tankiness to provide me with much higher ability to effect the early-laning phase with hard initiations and hopefully kills to snowball the lane faster.
I take 6 flat MR and 3 scaling MR blues, this is to minimize the window of vulnerability from mid ganks that typically occur between levels 4-6 for duo laners that occurs with 9 Scaling MR blues (9 Flat = 9 Scaling at level 13), while maximizing MR for later game uses (usually breaks even around 9). I prefer to not run 4 or 5 scaling MR blues for the purpose of roaming mids, however these are definitely viable options however it makes your mid-laning phase riskier due to higher vulnerability from AP champions.
I take 2 GP 10 quints to give me some upfront income, however these could definitely be swapped out for something else considering Leona turns most bot lanes into kill lanes.
I take 1 HP quint to provide me more buffer room for narrow escapes and surviving lots of poke to prevent the ADC from being harassed. Also gives additional laning presence in the form of increased sustain.
Some alternative strategies I have tried are all Armor quints for increased tankiness, a mixture of HP and armor quints to balance out tankiness and sustain, and all HP quints to give you high sustain (although this last option isn't optimal).
Masteries I take 1 Offense /8 Defense /21 Utility
1 Offense: I recommend most supports to take the summoner's wrath mastery, its highly useful especially if you take exhaust. The passive on this is ridiculous and allows you to secure kills or at least pop flashes fast during laning phase.
8 Defense: I take 2 points in Perserverance, 3 points in Durability, and 3 points in Hardiness. These masteries allow for a combination of sustain in lane and tankiness. Mostly picking masteries that synergize with her kit as well as supplement h)er already tanky stats.
21 Utility: The revamped utility tree provides you with a great multitude of options to pick from. I typically shy away from the mana driven options simply because Leona isn't mana dependent at all. I don't think I've ever run out of mana to cast a spell unless its a really long, drawn out team fight. That being said I take 1 point in SUMMONERS INSIGHT (15 sec reduction in Flash CD), 3 points in WANDERER (Helps with initiation and escaping provided the enemy isn't targeting you), 1 point in either IMPROVED RECALL or MEDITATION (this is simply to get to the next tier of skills), 3 points in MASTERMIND (summoner CD reduced by 10%), 1 point in EXPANDED MIND or ARTIFICER (just to get to the next tier of skills however the reduced CD on items isn't really necessary with the typical build I use), 4 points in GREED (show me the money, helps getting lots of wards), 1 point in BISCUITEER (early game sustain), 2 points in WEALTH (early game wards = nice), 1 point in EXPLORER (early game wards = nice), 1 point in AWARENESS (helps to catch up due to deaths and blue pilling a lot), 1 point in PICKPOCKET (easy money after they are stunned just AA because your Q resets your AA), 1 point in INTELLIGENCE (CD reduction is nice), 1 point in NIMBLE (one word: INITIATION).
Either choice at level 1 works, however, if you are leashing for the jungler grab W instead of Q because it allows for multiple target procs of the passive --> faster clear times for the jungler.
(R >>> W >> E > Q)
I prefer to max W before anything else just due to Leona's all in type of kit as it increases the amount of tankiness of Leona for a short duration as well as delivers AOE damage and sunlight procs for your allies to use.
I next max E just because it allows you to have up-front damage as well as a moderate range gap closer/snipe to grab those fleeing champions.
I max Q last because the stun duration does not scale, however I put a point into it at level 1 or 2 to enable early engagements and kill securing. The E-->Q combo increases your zoning and harass potential as you can usually get off an E-->AA-->Q-->AA or E-->Q-->AA and escape with only minimal damage.
Level up R when ever you can as its an AOE stun/slow and increases your presence on the map for escaping ganks, initiating fights, and chain CC to secure kills. Placement of your R is important, however, to be a moderate to serviceable Leona player you only need to be semi-accurate (Although the chain CC opportunities it provides is nice).
Leona benefits from aggressive early game carries and carries that have escapes/dashes with high early game damage output. Some synergies include Tristana, Ezreal, and Draven. Carries to not pair with would be the really squishy ones that have long cool downs on abilities, short range, and virtually no way of getting out once they are in such as Corki and Vayne.
Leona works best in a lock up composition or a team that has good engage potential as this will increase your success of hard engaging on a team. Champions like Jarvan IV, Hecarim, Malphite, Oriana, Morgana, and Lux are good examples of possible team synergies.
If you want to try to counter a Leona you might want to go with a good poke composition bot lane such as Caitlyn and Nidalee, or be able to reveal her with Corki's phosphorus bomb or Lulu's glitterlance. If you do pick a blitzcrank into a Leona be very cautious to not grab Leona as she will stun the carry almost as soon as she is hooked. If you play thresh into her you'll be at a slight advantage due to the disengage potential of Flail coupled with your engage on hook and lantern.