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Alistar Build Guide by yummybluewaffle

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League of Legends Build Guide Author yummybluewaffle

The Encyclopedia of Cow (Support, AP, AD) [Season 5]

yummybluewaffle Last updated on Yesterday

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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 4

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tenacious
 
 

Defense: 7

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
3/
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 19



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).

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 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)

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 Assassin" 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 S5 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

After 5 days of work, I'm finally done with updating this guide! Well, at least for the most part. I have yet to include Jungle in this, which I'm still playing around with.

To hint at what you'd generally want to do with Alistar jungle, I can basically just tell you that you really want to be on Blue team so you can smite the double golems with bot lane when you first start. It makes your clear a lot easier than starting Red team and smiting the Gromp. You'll want attack speed runes and 5/22/3 masteries. Get Stalker's Blade, rush Boots of Mobility, and don't do anything else but gank. If you can gather enough gold from ganking, you can consider buying early armor so you can gank from behind the enemy's towers and headbutt them away. Otherwise, you can opt for buying AP bruiser or AD bruiser items and building him correspondingly.

UPDATED:
-Almost every part of this guide has been updated. The next time I do a big update, this here will list the specific things I update. But for now, it's too much to list, since I literally updated everything.

ALSO PLANNING TO ADD:
-Jungle Alistar
-COMBO: W > pause > 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 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: I'm just using LOLReplay when I'm playing in game, and whenever I happen to use Alistar and make a perfect example of a combo, I'll upload it to YouTube and update this guide with it. I'm kinda picky with what I want to be shown in the videos, so it's not gonna be a short process.


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 Assassin, AP Tanky Bruiser, 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 Assassin
-Purple: AP Tanky Bruiser
-Red: AD Bruiser / Crit

Here's an example header:


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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 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 babysit your ADC. 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.

AP Assassin: Generally, you will be solo laning in the Mid lane. You will Assassinate important, squishy targets in fights, normally either their Solo-Lane Carry/ies or their ADC. You will typically build high AP and penetration and do almost solely magic damage.

AP Tanky Bruiser: Think Singed. 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 21/9 masteries instead, picking an Iceborn Gauntlet, etc. Think Gragas). Your role is to set up a good environment for your team to fight in due to your survivability and crowd control, while also pinning down their carries and preventing them from doing damage to your team.

AD Bruiser / Crit: This is quite broad, since I'm including AD 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.

Jungle and maybe hybrid (it really works, trust me) are for another day, when I have the time to update this some more!


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 (which I might include how to do later, it's the most fun build imo!

Cons:
-He is super slow
-Long cooldowns on his abilities
-Low base mana and mana regen. Just because his mana costs got lowered doesn't mean he can't run out of mana anymore, especially if you are spamming heal. And 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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Quints



Best Choices:
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Alternatives:
Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Health

Alistar is a tank, so naturally armor quints are great on him. You'll likely be picking health seals, so I generally opt for damage mitigation (armor) over health for quints. Alistar is also incredibly slow. Movement speed quints on Alistar are particularly good since they allow him to close gaps on slow ADC's and supports and lock them in with his CC, so movement speed quints are quite good too. Though AP or AD can be considered, I don't list them. 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 Mana Regeneration
Alternatives:
Greater Seal of Percent Health
Greater Seal of Armor
.

Seals are one of the trickier runes to pick for Alistar. There are a lot of good options. Alistar likes being tanky. But if Alistar wants to spam his heal, mana regeneration is very good too. Out of all the runes, Seals grant the highest "stats per seal" when it comes to health, armor, and mana regen, which is why it's tough to decide. 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 Percent health generally gives the most health mid game but not late game unless you can get over 4.8k health via items, which usually means you won't have as much mitigation (armor/MR) as a tradeoff. Armor seals are good all around but at a certain point, you need health too. Mana regen is only good if you plan on spamming a bunch of heals in lane, but you'll want to compensate with other tanky runes.


Marks


Best choices:
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
Alternatives:
Greater Mark of Mana Regeneration
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 doesn't particularly need these stats unless he's going for an aggressive lane, which is typically why I opt for Armor marks. However, hybrid and magic penetration are pretty good with Alistar to help give him the damage he needs to secure kills, especially when facing those tanky supports. I generally opt for hybrid pen over magic pen for any champion that deals mixed damage. Make sure you pick out tanky runes for the rest so you don't get squished like a bug. Mana regen is also good if you want it, but marks don't give as much of it as other runes.


Glyphs


Best choices:
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Alternatives:
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
.

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/ Tristana and/or a Karma/ Sona/ Zyra/etc.) you might want to op for Flat MR instead. Mana regen glyphs should be taken if you didn't take Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration, reason being that I value mana regen in order to allow you to use your heal in lane without running out of mana. Lastly, if you want to build AP to help increase the damage on your combos, as well as increase the amount you heal, it's not too bad of an option either, but make sure you compensate with tanky runes elsewhere.




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░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ AP ASSASSIN ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░
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Quints


Best Choices:
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Alternatives:
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration

As standard with many melee AP champions, you will want to get some early AP. Movement speed is also very good for mid laners who are melee, since it helps with dodging early skillshots that can often bully you out of lane. Picking armor quints as melee midlaner is viable too since a lot of people have trouble against autoattack harass when playing melee mids. They're also great against AD mids. Magic penetration is also a decent option, since Alistar's ratios aren't the highest.


Seals


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

Seals give the most health per rune, making Flat and Scaling health very viable since you always want some tankiness in lane. 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, and Alistar needs the mana regen to allow him to spam his harass and heals. Armor is particularly good too if you're laning against an AD mid or are worried about autoattack harass and didn't take armor quints.


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 Sheen is such an important item, and it stays with you for a relatively long time before you upgrade it to Lich Bane, and since Sheen procs deal physical damage, having hybrid penetration in effect will allow you to deal quite a lot more damage than magic penetration alone will. 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 late game when you get your Lich Bane.


Glyphs


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

AP glyphs are quite typical, and so is Flat magic resist since Alistar is a melee champion. Scaling AP is a great option since Alistar's early kill potential is so low, and it evens out with Flat AP at level 7, but I pick Flat AP since I use Flat MR too to make laning easier, and more AP early means bigger heals from E. CDR isn't too bad of an option either if you want to be extremely aggressive. Also, many AP melee champions pick Scaling MR, but Alistar actually doesn't need too much late game tanky stats since his ult helps him with that, so Flat MR is good enough.




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Quints


Best Choices:
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Alternatives:
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
.

With AP Bruiser Alistar, we either want to be tanky or focus on damage. Typically we opt for tanky, so armor and MR are our favorite quints for tanky. AP or magic penetration are our favorites for damage. Lastly, movement speed is another decent item, 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 Scaling Health
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Seal of Armor
Alternatives:
Greater Seal of Percent Health
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration

Seals give a lot of really good stats. Out of all the runes, they give the highest stats per rune" of health, armor, and mana regen, and all of these stats are what we want. Flat health gives nice early tankiness, while Scaling health eventually evens with Flat health at level 6. Percent health gives us a lot of health mid game, more than any of Flat or Scaling, making them actually pretty good since we are getting a lot of health items. In fact, when we get passed 4.8k health, Percent health gives more health than Scaling at level 18. Lastly, mana regen is good if we want to harass or heal more often, but make sure you compensate with other tanky runes elsewhere.


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 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 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 Ability Power
Alternatives:
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
.

MR is important for when we are aiming to be tanky. If we face an opponent with a lot of magic damage early, then Flat MR is generally good. 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. AP is also good for more damage if that's your goal. 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.




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Quints


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

Armor is pretty typical for bruiser top laners. Attack speed is also very good, since Alistar really likes attack speed to dish out more damage when he uses his ult. Attack damage is all around good as well, but with the "W-autoattack" nerf, there's less of a need for pure AD. 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 Health
Greater Seal of Health
Alternatives:
Greater Seal of Percent Health
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
.

As stated before, Seals provide the highest amount per seal for health, armor, and mana regen. We will take Armor Seals if we didn't take any Armor Quints. Otherwise, picking health is a better option. Flat health is good for early, 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. Lastly, mana regen is a very good option, since it will allow you to harass and heal a ton and be incredibly annoying.


Marks


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

Hybrid penetration is a great option if you went all attack speed for Quints. Your passive and all of your abilities to a lot of magic damage, while late game you'll be slapping people around with your Ult-empowered autoattacks. 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. 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. Armor is not a bad option if you don't already have armor from other runes, but you honestly should be using other runes to boost armor.


Glyphs


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

Glyphs are typically reserved solely for MR on many bruisers. Whether or not you need it early should be what determines whether you pick Flat or Scaling. 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. I've seen some people take attack speed glyphs on bruisers because they believe they don't need any MR at all, which isn't a bad option either, especially if you're going to focus on splitpushing. It's not particularly cost effective with your IP, but if they have no AP damage, then MR is really useless anyways.


Guide Top

Masteries

This chapter will use color coded role headers like before, and 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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Masteries
4/4
2/2
2/2
1/1
2/3
3/3
3/3
3/3
1/1
3/3
1/1
1/1
1/1
3/3

This is what I run on Alistar now. The utility tree now has some pretty cool masteries for supports. Especially when playing Alistar, utility has a big emphasis, with some masteries practically being completely required for him. These masteries should highly, highly, highly be considered for Alistar (if not required for him), which I'll explain in detail:

- Summoner's Insight : One of the funniest and greatest ways to secure a kill with Alistar is, if an enemy is happens to get too close to your turret, you Flash into them while channeling Pulverize (Q) to knock them up, and then Headbutt (W) them into the turret to give them turret aggro (more on this combo and multiple other ones later). This combo can be done with Exhaust too! All in all, having your summoner spells on cooldown more often will greatly benefit Alistar (much like if you were playing Sona or Annie support).

- Intelligence : This mastery goes great with Talisman of Ascension, Face of the Mountain, Mikael's Crucible, Locket of the Iron Solari, Warding Totem, etc. In general, supports love this mastery because of the ridiculous amounts of active items they have to manage. It will allow you to initiate with Talisman and protect with Mikael's and Locket more often, and the fact that you can ward more often with it effectively makes it a GP-10 mastery too!

- Fleet of Foot: Alistar is incredibly slow. The movespeed really helps him catch his prey and lock them in with his combo, especially since enemy ADC's are usually extremely slow as well.

- Alchemist and Culinary Master : Such a good pair of masteries for a wide variety of champions and playstyles, it helps you trade, bait, and simply sustain. They effectively are GP10 masteries, making potions more effective so it's more bang for your buck. The 10 instant mana itself is good enough to warrant the use of these masteries.

- Greed , Scavenger , and Wealth : Money is good, and supports need as many ways to generate money since they don't farm. Greed and scavenger are pretty much standard for supports, while wealth helps give you one more pot or an extra ward to help you stay in lane longer.

- Meditation : Alistar's ability mana costs are incredibly high, and he has relatively low base mana and mana regeneration, so this mastery will help out.

Some masteries are good on Alistar, but they aren't listed on the cheat sheet either because I personally don't prefer them or there simply weren't enough points. You can tweak the masteries to fit your own preference, and here's some good masteries I like but didn't list:

- Juggernaut : Arguably one of the best tanky masteries, Alistar's main strength when it comes to tankiness is the fact that he has like a million health. 3% more of his health makes him just crazy tankier. If I didn't have the 4 points in the Offense tree, I would have put points into the Defense tree to get this mastery.

- Perseverance and Second Wind : If I didn't prioritize utility over tankiness on Alistar, I would definitely try to put points to get these two. Anyone with a large health pool greatly benefits from the percent health regen, and anyone with a self-heal ability would greatly benefit from the healing boost when low health, and Alistar fits both categories.

- Expose Weakness and Double-Edged Sword are both great if you are trying to do more damage during laning phase. You'll obviously be sacrificing some defensive stats, especially with Double-Edged Sword , but the ever so slight boosts in damage can honestly make the difference between whether someone dies or walks away with 10 hp.

- Bandit : This mastery is quite risky to take, mainly for melee champions. As support, you'll be getting a lot of assists of course. Say you have an average of 15 assists a game. With 33 minute games being the "official" average, this mastery is on average a 1.14 GP10 mastery. It's great only if you can do great, but it almost pushes you to be aggressive, which could be a bad thing in some cases. It's go big or go home, so you decide.

- Enchanted Armor : I know a lot of people really don't like this mastery, especially on support, because it literally gives you nothing for the early game. But, if you're going to evolve into a full-on tank, which you normally would if you play Alistar correctly, it could make you noticeably tankier.

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:

- Strength of Spirit : This mastery is really bad because Alistar's base mana is incredibly low, and it increases at a relatively low rate too. Picking masteries is all about putting points in the most efficient places, and while having some health regeneration is good, it's just not worth the mastery point.

- Expanded Mind : Same reasoning for Strength of Spirit . You know how "Twice nothing is still nothing?" Same logic. 5% bonus of the mana you have will literally give you like, 10-30 mana in the early levels where mana is an issue, which is useless.




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Masteries
1/1
4/4
3/3
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
3/3
1/1
1/1
2/2
2/2
1/1
3/3
1/1

As with most assassin melee champs, 21/9 is generally chosen over 21/0/9, since lane harass will absolutely always be an issue. There really aren't many necessary explanations for most of these choices like Havoc and Unyielding , as they are about as vanilla and typical as they can get. However, some are particularly important enough that deserve an explanation:

- Arcane Blade : One of the strongest masteries for AP champions who rely on autoattacks and Lich Bane. This mastery grants an enormous damage boost, especially late game when you have 600+ AP, giving you 30 extra damage on your autoattacks to make your "W and a Free Autoattack" combo incredibly strong. I'll explain the combo in the section labeled "Combos"!

- Double-Edged Sword : Looking at the masteries on the offense side, there are about 19 masteries that seem incredibly obvious ones to choose. For the last two points to assign, the choices just seem odd and difficult to choose. If you are a bit lost, I'll state right here, the two weird masteries I choose are Double-Edged Sword and Dangerous Game , meaning all the other masteries are ones that should be taken with no exception. Dangerous Game is a quite a bit more dependent on user preference, which is why I don't say it's a necessity, but I personally think Double-Edged Sword is a good mastery, more so than the other odd masteries to choose from. Alistar is melee, so he gets the large boost in damage, and since he is an assassin, the more damage he can do, the better.

However, the final two points for the mastery tree can be distributed in any way you please, depending on what you value and what your playstyle is:

- Spell Weaving / Blade Weaving : This combo of masteries is quite good for champions who do a lot of spell and autoattack damage together. Alistar fits into this category slightly, though not as firmly as champions like Fizz and Kayle. However, this does help boost your overall sustained damage a lot more than other masteries, so if you think you need it, I would say take these masteries.

- Butcher / Feast: I'm personally a fan of these two pairs of masteries. They give a deceivingly good amount of sustain, as well as help make farming a bit easier. If you think you need to aid in farming and sustain, these masteries are very good.

Lastly, there are a few masteries that are deceivingly bad. I will explain which and why:

- Expose Weakness : This mastery is typically reserved for initiators of fights, and as an assassin, you shouldn't be the one initiating a fight because you want to focus all of your abilities on killing a single target, alone. This stat doesn't grant anything to boost your own damage, only damage for your team.

- Enchanted Armor : Deceivingly useless, your ult only gives you damage reduction, not armor or MR. This mastery also depends on bonus armor and MR, and since you are an assassin and aren't going to build any of these, this mastery goes to waste.




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Masteries
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To be tankier, 9/21 is typically preferred, but if you are trying to get more damage, then 21/9 is also not a bad option either. If you are going 21/9 for more damage, I would run the same page as listed for "AP Assassin" with all the same reasoning, but for 9/21, there are many masteries in the Defense tree that I believe are incredibly good. Aside from the obvious like Juggernaut and Unyielding , here are a few that I think should be individually noted and always taken:

- Oppression : 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 Oppression , we can get 3% reduced damage from practically the entire enemy team, which is incredibly good!

- Second Wind : This mastery is overall very good on champions who have an easy way to heal themselves for decent portions of their health. 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!

- Legendary Guardian : Your main role in fights is to initiate on their entire team. Legendary Guardian is incredibly good in these scenarios because you will be spending a lot of your time in the middle of the enemy team. We really like Second Wind too, which means we can't get that fourth point in Legendary Guardian without taking away points away from the offense tree, but 3 points is good enough!

- Hardiness / Resistance : These two masteries definitely are worth taking, even if it only means putting one or two points in them. If you look at the way the stats are given, they both give +2 when you have one point in, but then only increase by +1.5 for the second and third point, making these extra points a little less efficient. I think the first point is the most useful, and then the rest of the points can go into Legendary Guardian since that will give you more overall armor and MR per mastery point when you start teamfighting.

- Swiftness : Alistar can get kited extremely easily, since his gap closing ability has quite a short range. Thus, Swiftness will help keep Alistar moving around in teamfights by more easily resisting peel and staying on top of their carries to keep them crippled.

- Expose Weakness : Another very good mastery for initators in fights. This mastery allows your entire team to deal 1% more damage to the enemy team. Some people think 1% is incredibly significant, but you must realize that this is only ONE mastery point, and it works for all FOUR of your teammates!

I did not list some particularly good masteries, likely because I couldn't fit them and when it came down to it, I decided on the other masteries because they seemed more useful to me. However, it doesn't mean they are bad masteries! Here I'll list the ones that didn't make the cut but are still good in my book:

- Recovery : Few champions end up taking Enchanted Armor over Recovery , but when it comes to building Alistar as a tank and buying tank items, Enchanted Armor ends up giving more stats. However, if you prefer the early sustain of taking Recovery for instance if you're facing a harass heavy lane, then you can opt for this mastery instead, or even replace some other mastery in the tree!

- Reinforced Armor : This mastery is incredibly useful for matchups against Yasuo, Tryndamere, or the rare Gangplank. This mastery is also good for champs like bruiser Alistar who particularly like to sit on top of ADC's, since ADC's are usually the only champions in the game who will critically strike. 10% damage reduction from the bonus damage dealt via crit with only ONE mastery point is actually quite significant!

- Evasive : Another extremely good mastery, considering how you are getting 4% damage reduction with only one mastery point! If only it didn't require 3 points in Resistance , I would choose this mastery all the time. This is incredibly good because most magic damage is area of effect damage anyways!

- Double-Edged Sword : This mastery is not half bad, but I think Expose Weakness is a better mastery. You yourself may do 2% more damage, but if your team's mage or ADC or fighter can do twice as much damage as you can or even more (which is quite likely), then boosting all of their damage with Expose Weakness is way more useful than boosting your own damage!

Lastly, a few masteries just should not be taken. Aside from the obvious, I see this next mastery taken occasionally, and it just baffles me why:

- Runic Blessing : This mastery is just a whack mastery. Even I'm not sure where it's viable, but I know for a fact it's not viable on tanky Alistar. I think it's a good mastery maybe for the jungle, if you really need to survive that one extra autoattack from the big golem, but other than that, it's just bad. Even if your lane opponent doesn't harass the shield away, minion damage will, since you are melee and will draw accidental minion aggro at some point or another.




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Masteries
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9/21 is the absolute standard for someone like Alistar who is so prone to taking harass and usually ends up on the shorter end of the stick when trading early (especially after the "W-autoattack" nerf). However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't go 21/9, or 0/21/9, or something weird like 6/13/11. Of course, a lot of the deeper Offensive tree masteries are incredibly good, and so are a lot in the Utility tree ( Summoner's Insight is incredibly good for tower cheesing with Flash and using Teleport often), but I will leave it mostly to you to try these out. In the meantime, I'll elaborate on why 9/21 is so standard and good, starting with the most notable mastery options that I believe should always be taken:

- Second Wind : This mastery is incredibly useful on champions like Alistar with a spammable self-heal like Triumphant Roar. It can help you survive when you're low in lane, and is particularly useful when you have ulted already, because every point of health you have is 70% more useful since you have damage reduction!

- Swiftness : Alistar is extremely prone to getting kited hard, since his gap closing ability has such a low range and since he's so slow. Enemy teams are always chock full of slows and peels to keep you away from terrorizing their squishies. To help resist some of the peel and kite, Swiftness itself is an incredibly useful mastery.

- Butcher / Feast: This pair of masteries is very useful to help you farm and sustain in top lane. To utilize this, you really need to farm well! It seems minimal how much health you get back per wave (3 * 6 = 18 health, 1 * 6 = 6 mana per wave), but every little bit helps, especially for top lane where sustain is a large factor.

Some masteries I left out simply because I did not value them as much as the other masteries. With only 30 points to distribute, only my personal favorites are the ones that are chosen, but how you decide is up to you! Some of the ones I like but did not give points to are:

- Legendary Guardian : I don't pick this mastery because I believe Hardiness / Resistance together is more useful when it comes to solo laning, rather than teamfighting. Teamfighting isn't Alistar's strongest suit. Though he's very good at it, he's much better at solo fighting/dueling. However, if you're more teamfight oriented, then Legendary Guardian is definitely for you! Just keep in mind, you'll have to sacrifice points somewhere if you want that fourth point in Legendary Guardian , since Second Wind takes up the fourth point. That is, unless you don't want Second Wind, but I urge you to take it!

- Expose Weakness : Another more teamfight oriented mastery, if you plan on initiating fights, then this mastery is incredibly good. But this will likely mean you will take away the Feast mastery, which I'm a fan of. It's up to you!

- Double-Edged Sword : I personally like sustain in the top lane more than trying to kill, so I opt for the two points required to take Feast. Also, I value attack speed highly, so I put as many points in Fury as I can before I run out of points for the rest of the tree. If you're willing to sacrifice one of these in exchange for a bit more damage, then take it!

There are a few masteries which you may be tempted to take, but in reality just aren't good at all. The few deceivingly good masteries are:

- Oppression : This mastery is normally only good for champions with slows and taunts, rather than hard CC like stuns and knockups. The reason is that champions that are hard CC'd can't attack you unless they have some form of damage over time, which usually isn't that significant. Thus, since Alistar is all about the stuns and knockups and hard CC, he doesn't utilize this soft CC mastery at all.

- Enchanted Armor : This mastery is only good for champions who build a lot of armor/MR or possess a lot of it naturally with passives. Alistar's tankiness comes from his high amount of health and his ult's percent damage reduction, rather than armor or MR, making this mastery useless since you really aren't building any armor or MR for AD Alistar.

- Runic Blessing : Honestly, this mastery is just useless for laners. It's incredibly easy to poke down the shield, and even accidental minion aggro can destroy the shield, which naturally happens since you are melee. The only place this mastery is viable is weak junglers who can be level 1 invaded easily and killed. Maybe ultra passive supports too. Other than that, this mastery is useless and there is no reason to take it.


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:

I don't take any of these, but they can be viable.

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 Nami and Sona 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 Assassin. 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 assassins. It helps keep your target locked in so you can keep hurting them, and it helps reduce the damage that your target 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.

Heal is also a really cheesy spell, reserved mainly for baits, which Alistar does all the time in order to hit careless people into his tower. The spell also grants a movement speed bonus, making it good for gap closing too.




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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. But 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 21/9 masteries and building damage, 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.

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 carry for even more dramatic damage reduction!

Ghost is another great spell, though you will actually take this along with Flash, rather than replacing it. It gives you a great deal of movement speed, allowing you to initiate with no chance of being stopped. It also allows you to chase down far, fleeing targets and lock them in to kill them. Try to take it alongside of flash, because there are still many key and core things you can do with Flash (just look in the "Combos" section to convince yourself!).




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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:

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.

Ghost is another great spell, and in this case you'll want to take it along with Flash, rather than replace it, because there are so many things you can do with Flash as Alistar. With Ghost, you have another form of escape, and it helps you close the gap into their backline and avoid being kited. Your objective in fights is to terrorize the squishies (think the playstyle of Jax or Irelia) by getting up in their face, and Ghost can really help you get nice and close to them along with Youmuu's Ghostblade.


Guide Top

Abilities

Trying to juggle including desriptions 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 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. 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 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.

AP Assassin: Alistar's passive is surprisingly actually a significant source of damage dealt when going in for an assassination! 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. 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 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 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 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 kill, 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, 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.

AP 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 Sona 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 2-3 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 healers nowadays aren't meta and 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 Assassin: Despite Triumphant Roar being only a healing ability, it still has many uses when it comes to playing AP 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. This is extremely important when going in for an assassination because more than likely, you won't be able to instantly kill someone with a W > Q > Lich Bane combo. Once Lich Bane comes off of cooldown, you can press E and slap them one more time for a final Lich proc and kill them! 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 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 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 Assassin: When it comes to playing an AP Assassin, Alistar's ult is still incredibly useful. First, to address the bonus AD, yes it can indeed help you kill whoever you are trying to assassinate, 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 when playing as an AP Assassin unless the enemy is, say, under their tower and literally about to die. Instead, focus on the CC Cleanse aspect. 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. No successful assassin lets themselves die easily during or after killing their target. Assassins always have a way of exiting a fight after killing their target, and Unbreakable Will is Assassin Alistar's way out. 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 475 (515 with Wealth ) gold on, and then include items that are key to rush.




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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 3 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




STARTING BUILD 1: ANCIENT COIN





The standard Ancient Coin start for supports is:
(without Wealth mastery)
- Ancient Coin
-Either a Stealth Ward and a Health Potion, or 2 Health Potions and 1 Mana Potion
- Warding Totem or Sweeping Lens
.
(with Wealth mastery)
- Ancient Coin
-One Stealth Ward
-Either 2 Health Potions, or a Health Potion and a Mana Potion
- Warding Totem or Sweeping Lens

In general, I'll always take the Wealth mastery. The extra potion honestly can make an incredibly dramatic difference during laning phase. With this extra gold, I will always pick up a Mana Potion instead of a Health Potion, simply because if you are planning on using Triumphant Roar a decent amount in lane, while at the same time are planning on being very aggressive in lane, you will need the extra mana to pull off that second WQ combo.

Also, I advertise Ancient Coin first because I believe it is better for Alistar than other items. Though it doesn't grant any tanky stats, it's not a big deal because you are naturally tanky anyways and have Triumphant Roar to cushion the laning phase. Ancient Coin also gives much needed mana regen, which translates to more sustain in lane by allowing Triumphant Roar to be spammed more often. Lastly, it builds into Talisman of Ascension, which is an incredibly good item on Alistar. It gives CDR, lots of regen, and also allows you to close gaps for awesome engages, speed up your entire team to follow you into battle, and helps you save allies with even stronger disengage than you already possess.

However, it's worth noting that now with the new item Righteous Glory, you're no longer required to start Ancient Coin if you want an item to boost your team's movement speed, since Righteous Glory's item active works similarly. This means you can pick up Relic Shield and benefit from the extra tankiness in lane, while still being able to pick up an item to move fast and close gaps for an engage, unlike before.

Thus, the main reasons you would now choose Ancient Coin over Relic Shield on Alistar would be for the mana regeneration, as well as the benefit of having the team movement speed boost earlier and cheaper than if you were going Relic Shield + Righteous Glory. It's also good against lane opponents who would likely harass you for a ton of damage or even kill you if you were trying to autoattack a minion for Relic Shield.

As for trinkets, I prefer to have vision early, rather than deny it, which is why I pick Warding Totem to start off. But, if you are the opposite (this is up to you), you can get the Sweeping Lens. It's a great option if you are trying to be extremely aggressive early and want control of the bushes. Keep in mind, when you end up picking up Sightstone later, you'll switch over to Sweeping Lens anyways.


STARTING BUILD 2: RELIC SHIELD





The standard Relic Shield start for supports is:
(without Wealth mastery)
- Relic Shield
-Either a Stealth Ward and a Health Potion, or 2 Health Potions and 1 Mana Potion
- Warding Totem or Sweeping Lens
.
(with Wealth mastery)
- Relic Shield
-One Stealth Ward
-Either 2 Health Potions, or a Health Potion and a Mana Potion
- Warding Totem or Sweeping Lens

As stated before, I always take Wealth for that bonus Mana Potion I can buy with it. You can also pick a second Health Potion instead if you think you need it more. But, especially when starting with Relic Shield, you don't have any mana regen, making mana much more valuable to you than with Ancient Coin. And when you run low on mana after a spam session, like an early engage or spamming a ton of Triumphant Roars, you'll need the extra mana to allow you to stay relevant in lane, because a mana-less Alistar is literally useless.

Relic Shield start is a great option if you really need to be tankier early. 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).

However, if I plan on getting utility-focused items or even damage items later in the game, rather than tanky items (a good example is Ardent Censer), then getting the Relic Shield line is good, because for instance if you only had Talisman of Ascension + Ardent Censer, you would 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.

It's worth noting as I did in the above Ancient Coin section that, with the new item Righteous Glory, there now is a second alternative option to Talisman of Ascension's godlike item active. This means you can reap the benefits of more tankiness in lane with Relic Shield and no longer be forced to sacrifice the godlike team movement speed boost of an item like Talisman of Ascension.


STARTING BUILD 3: DORAN'S SHIELD





The standard Doran's Shield start for supports is:
(without Wealth mastery)
- Doran's Shield
-A Health Potion
- Warding Totem
.
.
(with Wealth mastery)
- Doran's Shield
-Either a Stealth Ward or two potions (I like to do one Health Potion and one Mana Potion because mana problems)
- Warding Totem

As stated already, I always take Wealth for the extra Mana Potion I can buy, but you can opt for another Health Potion or even a Stealth Ward instead of potions if you think you need it. You just need to keep in mind to conserve your mana and avoid spamming Triumphant Roar if you're planning on being aggressive or need mana to disengage with other abilities.

This is a very preferential starting item build. It's great for early aggressive all-ins or defending against an early Leona level-2 all-in, since it allows you to take dramatically reduced damage early on, but it doesn't give you any mana regen and slows down your overall gold income. Keep in mind, if you're looking for a starting option to help you tank through early poke and harass, this might not be ideal. The other two options are much better because you can buy more potions, make more gold income, and give yourself more chances to heal yourself and teammate. But it's still a great option if you're looking to be aggressive or heavy on disengaging extremely early.

It's important to note that you still really should pick up either Ancient Coin or Relic Shield later, preferably on your first back to base. These items are so niche and required for supports to keep up with the gold income with the rest of the teem, you absolutely need them.



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) + Ruby Crystal + a few wards and pots, or to buy a Sightstone and keep your first-tier support item. It's up to you. Generally, I buy Sightstone before Nomad's Medallion, but I buy Targon's Brace before Sightstone. So for me, it depends on which of the two starting items I have. And if you went Doran's Shield to start, you should pick up a support item first. Also, PLEASE don't upgrade to Ruby Sightstone yet. Your money is much better spent elsewhere, and that one extra ward is really not that worth it unless you're playing in OGN. Wait until you have 6 items 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! Even if you don't pick up a Sightstone on your first back, you can still get a Sweeping Lens if you bought enough Stealth Wards to the point where you can last until your next recall. 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 until you upgrade it.

- 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 two items that Alistar can utilize incredibly well, 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. 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 as well as League's current meta. Well placed pinks can often go unnoticed, and pink wards are now 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 technically cheaper than green wards if you end up using it to clear an enemy sight ward (100 - 30 = 70g which is less than 75g of a green ward), so there's no excuse not to buy one at some point of the game. 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, etc.

- Oracle's Lens is a great item to get early on too, if you feel like you need to start clearing larger amounts of wards. It's also great against enemy Vayne's and Akali's to help de-stealth them, though it's important to know that it's not where you use the Sweeper that gives the true sight, it's actually a circle around you that gives the true sight.




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There's generally only one build path for AP Assassin Alistar, as with most AP Assassins in general. Thus, this section will be mainly devoted to early itemization to help you survive and (hopefully) thrive in the early and mid game. I'll start with starting item builds, and then talk about core items to pick up as the game progresses.


Starting Items


Typical Start
Unfavorable/Sustain Start

Alistar's starting item choices aren't much different than any other solo laning AP champion. Doran's Ring is incredibly efficient in that it gives you quite a decently large amount of AP, a bit of health, and most importantly, 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.

However, 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, Crystalline Flask is another great and cost-efficient option. However, Crystalline Flask's usefulness falls off relatively quickly as you continue to level up, whereas Doran's Ring continues to help you out throughout the game with all of its useful stats (in particular, mana regen). Not only that, Triumphant Roar can also be used to help sustain against poke. Overall, Crystalline Flask should only be for extremely unfavorable matchups that you are not comfortable with.


(Optional) Choose One: Mana/Mana Regen Item





The reason why I say it's optional to pick up a mana regen item is because you aren't a mage who needs to spam abilities in lane or in fights. Also, you'll notice later in this guide how Sheen is such a vital item to AP Assassin Alistar, and Sheen gives you mana. It gives plenty enough for the mid portion of the game if you budget your mana wisely. However, mana regen is still incredibly handy on Alistar, and budgeting mana is much easier said than done. Particularly for newer players who are still trying to get accustomed to him, and/or if you're having trouble balancing surviving in lane and are constantly spamming your heal, mana regen can really help out in making the game easier to play. Not only that, some of the finished mana regen items grant bonus stats like CDR or health or utility, making them still decently useful at the expense of some AP. I'll list the choices you have for mana regen and in bold words I'll explain why you'd choose each item over the others.

-A 2nd Doran's Ring: Picking up another Doran's Ring after your first recall is a great option if you find yourself needing just a tad bit more mana regen. It's cheap and gives you lots of good all around stats, and it stays quite relevant and useful throughout the game. If I ever find a need for more mana regen, 90% of the time, I'll just get a second Doran's Ring.

- Chalice of Harmony: This is another good item if you feel like you need more mana regen. This item grants unparalleled mana regen for the price, and also provides a decently large amount of Magic Resist to overall make it much harder for the opposing mages to harass you out of lane. It's a more MR and CDR minded mana regen item than the rest.

- Tear of the Goddess: A cheap item that gives a very large amount of mana and mana regen. It's good if you want some cheap but hefty mana regen, though it doesn't really give any concrete defensive stats. However, upgrading it to Archangel's Staff and then eventually to Seraph's Embrace will give you an incredibly large amount of late game AP at the expense of early and mid game damage. So, this is overall a great item if you want some cheap mana regen that also gives high amounts of AP late game only.

- Catalyst the Protector: This item is particularly good for champions who like some sustain and tankiness in lane and later in the game. Overall it's just a great item in general, but keep in mind it only grants mana and not mana regen, at least not until you level up. Also, many assassins don't take it because it doesn't give them the mid game power spike to help with their roams. So, only take it if you want tankiness and sustain with your mana/mana regen. If you want to turn this into a Rod of Ages later on, make sure you buy it nice and early! You can even get it before you get your Deathfire Grasp (which I'll talk about next section), but definitely make sure you have Sheen first.

- Forbidden Idol: A cheap mana regen item that also grants CDR and nothing else, but doesn't exactly build into any conventional assassin item except maybe Morellonomicon, which is actually quite good if you're facing an AD Mid laner. Pretty iffy-buy overall, but it's still decent if you want some immediate CDR and specific, special utility at the expense of immediate and late-game AP.


Core Items





Preferably, purchasing the items in this order is most optimal. Getting Lich Bane before Deathfire Grasp might help increase harass damage, but it doesn't do as much total damage burst-wise. You can try rushing either one first and seeing for yourself. One thing's for sure, always get Sheen first!

- Sheen: Sheen is your best friend during laning phase. It makes farming a whole lot easier, gives you some mana and AP for more lane presence, and it boosts your damage when going in for a poke or engage. Alistar also possesses really high base AD, making this item quite good on even AP Alistar.

- Deathfire Grasp: No AP Assassin is complete without this item. Optimizing it properly is quite difficult, since its active has a much lower range than your abilities. It takes a lot of practice to be able to pull off a DFG > W > Q combo quickly, but if you can do it, you usually will be able to 50% -> 0% a lane opponent easily, combined with Ignite. And, getting your opponents low enough to kill them is easy by spamming harass with Headbutt and Sheen.

- Lich Bane: This item gives you a huge power spike. Now, instead of 50-0'ing an enemy, you can 80-0 them, or even 100-0 them if it's a squishy ADC and you're decently ahead. The spellblade proc from this item works with the Deathfire Grasp debuff, since it's magic damage. Getting this pretty much means you will win any trade in lane.




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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

I like to compare AP Tanky Bruiser Alistar to Singed, except there are many key differences. Though they are both considered AP Bruisers and Tanks, Alistar's kit is obviously quite a bit different than that of Singed. In particular for this section, the fact that Alistar lacks the early waveclear and lane presence that Singed has means that Alistar won't always pick up Crystalline Flask like Singed does because Alistar doesn't benefit from the early mana boost. However, it's not a bad option if you are planning on being highly aggressive and want to spam your abilities early, like if you're facing someone squishy.

Aside from that, you will generally be picking up either Doran's Ring or Doran's Shield. Deciding on between these two items is completely dependent on one factor: whether or not the opponent can easily and freely harass you. When facing champions that can't free-harass you in lane, in particular "trading" reliant champions like Riven, Jax, Renekton, etc., I'd actually pick Doran's Ring over Doran's Shield. This is because many champions who rely on outtrading generally do all their damage in melee range. This is good because you can literally just Headbutt these people away when they are trying to trade with you, making the tanky-focused Doran's Shield not as useful for you.

Doran's Ring is also a great item to start if you're going mid against mages, as long as you know how to dodge all their skillshots. The mana regen boost and passive are incredibly useful on someone so mana dependent like Alistar, and this item remains relevant for much of the game. But if you don't know how to survive with a Doran's Ring on a melee mid-laner, you might want to consider the two other options.

Doran's Shield is an incredibly good item particularly against ranged champions who can freely harass you in lane. It overall gives you more early sustain than a Doran's Ring will, and its passive block of autoattack and single target spell damage makes it incredibly good against champions like Teemo and Jayce and Ryze.


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, which is what I will emphasize 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 damage is often not your biggest priority. You can often just skip this item entirely, unless lane presence, a boost in damage, and an Iceborn Gauntlet and all that comes with it later on 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, along with eventual AP if we decide to get Rod of Ages, which you should rush as soon as possible if you decide to get RoA. You can even 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).




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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 #2

As with most AD top laners who have a bit of a rough time at the earliest of levels, we will usually end up starting with Doran's Shield, 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.

Crystalline Flask start is another great start, but particularly only for certain situations. Typically, you will pick up a flask 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. Crystalline Flask 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, Crystalline Flask is still decently useful in the later levels, like level 6 and beyond, which means you can still freely spam Headbutt all the time and get a kill when your power really spikes. 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 five Health Potions is a decent start as well, but I don't list it because my build path doesn't incorporate any items that use Cloth Armor. Maybe if you knew you would get Ninja Tabi, then it'd be okay. Or if you wanted to get Frozen Heart relatively early, then fine, but then you don't get to capitalize on Alistar's massive mid-game power spike.

I don't advise getting Doran's Blade or Doran's Ring to start off. Blade is particularly good for aggressive, dominant early laners, which Alistar isn't, and he can't optimize any of its stats. 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 stupidly strong. Unless you are facing an absolutely stupidly tanky champion with incredible amounts of sustain (like Nasus or Dr. Mundo or even Irelia simply because her sustain). Sheen practically doubles, even triples, your overall damage output and harass. especially if your opponent accidentally walks by a wall for a perfect W-autoattack combo (with the 4.12 nerf, it now only works against enemies by walls), and it makes farming under your tower a piece of cake. 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 because either you're still learning or just some bad luck (then pick up a Cloth Armor or Null-Magic Mantle first). 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 Items #1: Your Bread and Butter





These two items are your absolute, no exception must-haves. You might think that in some cases, you might want to get Iceborn Gauntlet over Trinity Force, but on AD Alistar, there are just so many reasons why Trinity is better than Iceborn.

The tanky stats on Iceborn Gauntlet generally go to waste on AD Alistar because he has Unbreakable Will to let him tank through any damage and survive. And if you're really worried about taking physical damage, just take Ninja Tabi early. The damage that Trinity Force lets you do literally triple or even quadruples the amount of damage Iceborn Gauntlet lets you do because it severely boosts your harass in lane, gives you lots of attack speed for when you ult, gives you crit, and lets you move very very fast.

The rarest scenario I'd ever suggest you get Iceborn Gauntlet instead of Trinity Force would be if you went like 0/8 in lane against some AD top laner and just want to be at least somewhat useful to your team by being a tank and CC machine. But at this point, you aren't really even playing AD Alistar anymore. Just a tank.

As for Youmuu's Ghostblade, this item is just incredibly good in so many ways. The movement speed boost is actually so useful, I'd call it core to playing Alistar correctly and to his full potential. It lets you resist kite so you can barge in and kick ***. It gives CDR and armor penetration for more DPS, and the attack speed boost from the active means more painful slaps powered by Unbreakable Will. Lastly, the crit given is incredibly good, which gives you 25% overall when combined with Trinity Force. This item is another must-have with no exceptions. Don't even consider getting The Black Cleaver because Alistar literally does 0 physical damage other than autoattacks.


Core Items #2: Life Steal





Lifesteal is lastly one incredibly important step for any AD top lane bruiser. There are really only 3 options for you, and I want to make sure to emphasize when we'd choose one item over the others and why.

- Ravenous Hydra: This item is particularly good when you want waveclear, splitpushing power, tons of sustain, and AoE/teamfighting damage. Simply put, this item remains useful to you for the entirety of the game. 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. 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 damage means your autoattacks do a significant amount of damage, 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.

- The Bloodthirster: BT is a 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 include Essence Reaver because it's a very niche item, and Alistar really doesn't need it, unlike a few other champions. He does quite fine with his mana late game, and there are too many important items to get before getting this item early on. However, it does give a bit of CDR, making it still somewhat viable, but I find the other 3 items to be much more useful since mana doesn't exactly scale with anything in our build options.


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 even ganking, and Alistar is one of the few supports with really awesome ganks. I love taking these boots with the mastery Phasewalker and buying an early Enchantment: Homeguard, because it means you can pretty much be everywhere on the map, globally supporting your entire team. You can push bot lane with Triumphant Roar and Trample, quickly recall and gank top lane which would take about 30 seconds, and then recall and homeguard to midlane for another 30 seconds to gank, and then homeguard back to your ADC, leaving him alone for a total of only one minute. 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.

- Mercury's Treads and Ninja Tabi 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 first 2 options listed above would 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.

- 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 or Face of the Mountain grant 10% CDR, the masteries I have set grant another 10% CDR, and many other items that I push for give CDR too. Thus, I practically never get these boots. However, these boots still have a place for Alistar players with different builds and playstyles. For instance, if you'd rather opt for a different set of masteries that only give 5% CDR instead of 10%, these boots are great to fill in that missing %5. Or, if you're building a straight tank build like Randuin's Omen, Sunfire Cape, Banshee's Veil, you won't have much CDR. You'll likely want some source of CDR to allow you to CC more often in teamfights, and that's where these boots would come in place.

- 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 Summoner's Insight , puts your Flash on a 216 second cooldown, a.k.a. 3 and half minutes. 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 an AP Assassin, you are literally trying to absolutely destroy one person on their team. Thus, you pretty much need to be as offense-based as possible, meaning there's really only one build option.

Sorcerer's Shoes is really the only viable build for AP Assassin Alistar. It significantly boosts the damage you do on enemy champions, a lot more than I think most players believe it does. Alistar lacks the high AP scaling that many assassins possess, so penetration as a stat is actually valued much more relatively than other stats.

On a side note, some might say that Boots of Mobility are a good option if you are trying to roam and kill, but you must keep in mind that Alistar's waveclear is highly dependent on whether or not he can Trample with his abilities, which is difficult since he is melee and will probably face a lot of harass. If you can't clear your mid lane wave, then roaming means you will definitely lose your tower.

Lastly, ionin boots of lucidity is also somewhat viable on AP Assassin Alistar. While you should theoretically be one-shotting champions with one combo, sometimes you still need that final second Headbutt to really finish the job, so getting a bit extra CDR sometimes helps. However, keep in mind that if you are waiting in the middle of their team for Headbutt's cooldown to finish, you might just end up dying or getting peeled, even if you have Unbreakable Will on.




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This list's order is quite different from Support, even though for both positions you'd like to be tanky. It may seem surprising to you, but not when we examine AP Tanky Bruiser Alistar as a whole. His 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. Because don't forget, sometimes Unbreakable Will is on cooldown. Sometimes we're forced to lane against someone who can poke us or outtrade us hard. 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 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 they have lots of magic damage, get Mercury's Treads. If they have lots of physical damage via 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 are a great option if you don't think you need the tankiness. These boots are my preferred boots when damage mitigation is not needed. The reason these boots are rated higher for AP Bruiser is because many of the items you build as an AP Bruiser 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 from the 5% from masteries and maybe Iceborn Gauntlet. Without CDR, Alistar just seems lacking a bit in his teamfight presence, 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 are another good option. 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 are surprisingly also incredibly viable, despite your main goals as being a tank. 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 21/9 masteries 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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Now, 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 going 9/21 masteries and starting out with a Doran's Shield. This is also the reason why I 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 much more often, and just dying more often.

-Following what I just stated, Mercury's Treads and Ninja Tabi 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 are another incredibly good pair of boots for AD Alistar. 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 are good if you need more attack speed, which stacks incredibly well with Unbreakable Will. It's quite important to note that they are cheaper than most other tier-2 boots. 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 surprisingly are also quite viable for AD Alistar. If you're looking to harass harder in lane or CC more in fights, these boots can get the job done incredibly well. You may not think CC is all that useful on AD Alistar, but once you realize that you actually will spend a lot of time and effort chasing down low-health enemies and waiting for your cooldowns to reset, you'll see that these boots are surprisingly a good option.


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 overall, 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 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 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.

- Righteous Glory is a new S5 item that is a bit similar to Talisman of Ascension. 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. That being said, if you have Talisman of Ascension already, then you really don't need to bother buying this. 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, thus you might want to get some armor or MR before or after this item.

- Banner of Command has gotten a big rework for Season 5, making it viable again. It's a more aggressive version of Locket of the Iron Solari, granting the same MR/health regen 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.

- Ohmwrecker also received a rework for Season 5. It now grants a hefty amount of armor, a decent amount of health, a bit of CDR and health regen, and a great passive that allows you to move quickly around turrets, whether they are yours or the enemy team's. The passive is a bit weird to use properly, but overall it means you can move down lanes quickly as well as tower dive quickly. The item's active is another great tool to help you tower dive too. You can even use it to gank a lane, whether you're roaming to gank another lane or ganking your own lane, by walking in from behind the tower and using Headbutt to knock the enemies away from their tower and towards your allies.

- Ardent Censer is one of the funniest items on Alistar for many reasons. No other champion in the game has a spammable AoE heal that also heals minions, meaning no other champion in the game can utilize Ardent Censer's passive at the same level as Alistar. The item's 6 second attack speed buff becomes AoE and as spammable as Triumphant Roar when on Alistar, especially if you have 40% CDR. This item is great if you have an Irelia or Master Yi or even an Orianna or Azir, basically any other autoattack reliant champion along with your ADC, who can benefit from the attack speed bonus. It's also hilarious to use if you want to siege or splitpush because minions also receive the autoattack bonus. However, it's extremely important to note that this item grants absolutely zero tanky stats. All you get is some CDR, some movement speed, and useless AP. 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 something like a Frozen Heart or Randuin's Omen after your Talisman before you buy Ardent Censer.

- Zeke's Herald is another item that grants an AoE buff like Ardent Censer, which means that these two items are surprisingly similar on Alistar. It's something that is a little weird to think about, because a lot of people love Ardent Censer but hate Zeke's Herald. Ardent Censer provides a cool AoE buff but provides zero tanky stats. At the same time, Zeke's Herald also provides a cool AoE buff, but unlike Ardent Censer, it provides some health for tankiness, as well as more CDR. So honestly, the two items aren't that different on Alistar, and Zeke's even offers some tankiness. I'm not exactly saying that Zeke's is better and you should get it, because Ardent Censer is definitely better since its attack speed boost is much more useful and better in general, but it's just food for thought.

- Twin Shadows is a hilarious item, since it makes you move really fast, and its active does some pretty useful things, like scout, break stealth, add a bit more CC, or catch stragglers at the end of fights. Be wary though, as Twin Shadows is never really an item you practically need. It doesn't belong in any recommended or required niche for team itemization; rather, it's more of a luxury utility. Its stats are completely offensive, with no defensive stats given at all, but if you feel like your team has enough teamfighting capability and items, you can opt for more utility and damage with this item.

- Ruby Sightstone, as I mentioned before, isn't something I particularly rush early. The gold you 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 is our favorite choice of elixirs in terms of team support. 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





I also 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 is one of the best pure tank items on Alistar. 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.

- Sunfire Cape is another great item on Alistar, since he is usually in the middle of teamfights. With Unbreakable Will turned on, you can easily guarantee 10 ticks of Sunfire Cape's AoE burn on the enemy team, not to mention in conjunction with your Trample's AoE damage over time. This item is a bit more offense-based when compared to Randuin's Omen, which costs only a tiny bit more gold. So overall, you should only get it when you don't need the armor and health as badly and thus can afford to do some more damage. Otherwise, opt for Randuin's since it provides the most armor and health.

- Frozen Heart 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 and no more 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.

- Iceborn Gauntlet is surprisingly good on Alistar support, even though it's less useful now that they nerfed away his W-autoattack combo. Aside from that, the item gives him lots of great stats, like mana, armor, and 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.

- Spirit Visage is pretty much the best option when you find yourself needing to survive against high amounts of magic damage. 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.

- Banshee's Veil is an alternative buy to Spirit Visage, though I'm honestly not sure why you'd pick Banshee's over Visage. 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.

- Thornmail is actually really quite 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 Fiora 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.

- Elixir of Ruin is our choice in elixirs when we simply want to be tankier. We are pretty much only buying this for the bonus health. However, the bonus turret and allied minion damage buff is decently useful, particularly if you are splitpushing or trying to siege, and it works great in conjunction with Trample's turret damage and Triumphant Roar's minion heal.




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Alistar's late game item choice as an AP Assassin is overall quite simple and doesn't differ much from any other AP Assassin. There are a few occasions where you might want to opt for non-typical items, and I'll list the items and when/where/why you'd get them, but a large majority of the time, you'll pretty much be getting your expected typical AP Assassin items: lots of AP, lots of magic penetration.



Typical AP Assassin Items





This list does not include Deathfire Grasp, Lich Bane, and Sorcerer's Shoes because you should have gotten them already, and this is a "Late Game Items" section, not "Core Items" section. Since you have these 3 items already, these are the other 3 items you'll get. You'll need to pick between either Void Staff or Abyssal Scepter, depending on if your target(s) have an MR item (pick Void in this case) or not (pick Abyssal in this case).

- Rabadon's Deathcap is pretty self-explanatory. You want lots of AP to explode your targets for assassination, and pretty much no item grants you more AP than this. You can rush it before Zhonya's Hourglass if you find that you don't need armor, or get it after, but this item pretty much needs to find itself into your item slots.

- Zhonya's Hourglass is another item synonymous with AP Assassins and lots of magic damage. 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, despite that being said, this still grants a ton of AP and a high amount of armor, both of which are incredibly useful. You'll pretty much always try to get this item.

- Void Staff is incredibly useful when facing targets that you want to kill but can't because they have magic resist. This will boost your damage significantly if they have 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 is an alternative to Void Staff, 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 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 400 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





Though this list is long, the situations where you'd pick up any of these as an AP Assassin is few. That being said, I will still list these situations, though very shortly since detail isn't exactly necessary or needed.

- should literally only be bought if you bought Chalice of Harmony, where the original reason why you bought it was because you wanted mana regen with MR and CDR.

- Archangel's Staff should only be bought if you bought Tear of the Goddess, where the original reason why you bought it was because you wanted cheap mana regen and eventual, late game high amounts of AP with Seraph's Embrace.

- Rod of Ages should only be bought if you bought Catalyst the Protector, where the original reason why you bought it was because you wanted tankiness and sustain in lane and late game. Catalyst builds into two potential items, Rod of Ages and Righteous Glory, so pick Rod if you want more AP and late game stats rather than utility.

- Righteous Glory should only be bought if you bought Catalyst the Protector. It's the second potential item that can be built from Catalyst, and you will only pick it over Rod of Ages if you value the movement speed boost and utility over AP. The speed boost is actually quite useful to surprise your enemies and explode them before they have time to react or run.

- Morellonomicon should only be bought if you bought Forbidden Idol, where the original reason you bought it was for the immediate and cheap CDR and perhaps some specific utility with the final items. Morellonomicon grants a large amount of AP as well as a huge 20% CDR for the low, low price of 2200 gold. It's one of the best mana regen and CDR items when facing an AD Mid since it gives you a nice spike in power quite quickly due to its low price and also halves the amount they can lifesteal with from its Grievous Wounds passive. It's one of two viable items that can be built out of Forbidden Idol (on a side note, Talisman of Ascension is not one of them because if you want the movement speed, you should have bought Catalyst the Protector instead and to build it into Righteous Glory).

- Ardent Censer is the other item that can be built out of Forbidden Idol. Its usefulness on Alistar is incredibly unique, since he is literally the only champion in the game with an easily spammable, AoE heal, not to mention it works on minions. Thus, even if you are an Assassin, if your team has for example a Fiora top or Xin Zhao jungle that would significantly benefit from the attack speed 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. Plus, this item still grants you some nice stats overall, like a small amount of AP, some CDR, lots of movement speed, and more splitpushing/pushing/sieging potential.

- Liandry's Torment is a great magic penetration item for Alistar, but it doesn't grant as much AP and immediate burst damage like Void Staff or Abyssal Scepter do. Nevertheless, it is still quite good since it works well with Trample, provides you with a decent amount of health, and benefits from the AoE "movement impairing" knockup from Pulverize. Only get it if you want to do more AoE damage instead of single target damage, which would be a case if their team is just too tanky and has too much peel to explode anyone.

- Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a great item since it provides both a large amount of AP and a nice chunk of health. It also works with Trample, granting you an AoE slow around you and synergizing 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 the three 120 AP items (DFG, Rabadon's, Zhonya's).

- Sunfire Cape is a weird but viable buy on AP Assassin Alistar for the same reason it works on Katarina or Diana or Akali. You spend pretty much the entire teamfight in the middle of their team, meaning you can apply lots of ticks of Sunfire Cape's AoE damage over time, especially since Unbreakable Will will make you incredibly hard to kill. Only get this item if you find that you need more armor and items like Rylai's or Liandry's don't provide enough tankiness.




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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).

Don't forget, early on in the game we also ended up buying some form of mana or mana regen. We'll want to finish building that item, and these final items are what I will list first corresponding to which choice in mana/mana regen item we bought earlier on. Finally, I will list the choices you have on offensive, DPS based items versus defensive items where tankiness is a higher priority.



Mana/Mana Regen: If You Bought Sheen and/or Glacial Shroud





- Iceborn Gauntlet: As listed before, you picked up a Sheen as your mana item to help with your damage output, as well as wanting an Iceborn Gauntlet later on. Gauntlet's stats are incredibly useful overall, granting you a drastically increased mana pool, some decent CDR and AP, and a huge chunk of armor, not to mention 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 significantly more armor and CDR, 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.



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





I grouped these 3 mana/mana regen items' late game choices 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), one of the main reasons we ended up picking up one of these in the first place. 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 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 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 permanent, extreme attack speed boost that also applies to minions as well. Not only that, the item itself grants some useful stats, like a bit of AP and CDR 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 Athene's grants magic resist at the expense of some AP, and Morellonomicon has a passive that applies Grievous Wounds to low health enemies, meaning that their healing becomes halved. Also, Morellonomicon is super cheap and easy to build and, for the price, grants a ridiculously high amount of AP. 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 has gotten a rework for season 5, making it finally 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.

- Elixir of Sorcery: I basically have to include elixirs in the mix, since season 5 introduced a necessity to choose between elixirs. We will want the Elixir of Sorcery if we have offense in mind, since it will give us a nice heft 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.

- 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!

- 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 tenacity and 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 really need to rush tanky items that early on unless we find ourselves seriously struggling to survive against a lane. We didn't really rush or need tanky items early and mid game 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, but we also only have 7 seconds to dish out tons of damage to their team, so we invest in items that help us resist kite ( Trinity Force/ Youmuu's Ghostblade and maybe a Mercury's Treads and Blade of the Ruined King for the active) and boost our attack speed in particular (the previous items apply too) since we have enough AD to back it up.

With that being said, by now we should have all the items we need to be able to play Alistar the way we want to: fast with lots of damage but still hard to kill. For our final items, we still further want to add to the "lots of damage" part, but we also start valuing the "hard to kill" part because late game champions become a lot stronger, Unbreakable Will has a cooldown and only lasts for 7 seconds, and your team likely wants some more tankiness anyways. That being in mind, we pretty much have 3 options in items to choose from, which we can mix up and interchange: Crit, regular AD/Bruiser items, and tanky items.



Option 1: Crit





Why is Critical Strike effective on someone like Alistar? It's for the same reason it is good on champions like Tryndamere: Alistar has an ability that grants him a HUGE AD boost. The reason Crit is so good on these champions is because getting a critical strike while your AD boost is active means you do double the damage of your normal AD plus the boosted AD. That 90 bonus AD from Unbreakable Will suddenly dishes out 180 damage, and with your already high amounts of attack speed, the amount of damage you can dish out becomes insane. Also, we already have 25% crit from Trinity Force and Youmuu's Ghostblade, which means more crit items = a ton more crits.

- Infinity Edge: As expensive as this item is, the passive crit damage boost it gives you, along with the 25% crit and huge 80 AD, means your damage goes off the charts. It's practically a glass cannon item when added to your already glass cannon-y item arsenal, so I don't always recommend it unless your team already has someone tanky. I also recommend pairing this item with a tanky item so you can at least survive when Unbreakable Will is on cooldown, but I can't say I've never paired it a Last Whisper. 90 AD from your ult suddenly does 225 damage per crit, on top of the 200 this item provides, you do the math. Tons of damage.

- Statikk Shiv: Unfortunately, Riot took out Alistar's W-Autoattack combo (if you don't know what it is, that's okay cause you can't do it anymore anyways), which overall nerfed Statikk Shiv pretty hard on Alistar. It doesn't mean it's bad on him now. With Shiv, we can move significantly faster faster, punches turn into Thunder Punches, and the passive works well with our Headbutt's dash mechanic to generate more procs. This item is more of a mid-game item though with its flat 100 damage, so getting late might not be as effective as getting other items, though the crit and attack speed boost are still really nice. You can choose to get it earlier if you want, like before Youmuu's Ghostblade if you feel like you want the power spike early or mid game.

Also, I don't include Phantom Dancer here because we don't need the unit collision ignorance since Trample does that for us. It might give us a bit more crit and a bit more attack speed than Statikk Shiv, but Shiv also gives us more movement speed and Thunder Punches that synergize well with our dash, 2 stats that we find a tiny bit more useful. It's also cheaper than PD.



Option 2: Regular Damage





Despite making Alistar sound like a crit machine in the above section, the 25% from Trinity Force and Youmuu's Ghostblade honestly is enough. Typical AD and Bruiser items are perfectly good and useful on Alistar too.

- Last Whisper: Unfortunately, all of Alistar's abilities only do magic damage, but it's okay because our autoattacks are actually a huge majority of our damage overall. This item and Youmuu's Ghostblade mean we can pretty much face any enemy champion, no matter how tanky. It also works incredibly well with Ravenous Hydra, because there will be many times that you will be fighting in the middle of an entire enemy team. The armor penetration applies to your splash damage, making your punches do devastating physical damage in a pretty large AoE, especially with Unbreakable Will on. I usually take this item as my final damage item before or after buying my tank item, but you can pair it with an Infinity Edge if you're really daring.

- Zephyr: As stated in Alistar's "Pros and Cons", a huge downside of Alistar is his ability to get kited easily. His Headbutt range isn't the highest, which is his only source of gap closing. To help with this, we love items that give us tons of movement speed ( Trinity Force, Youmuu's Ghostblade, and maybe even a Blade of the Ruined King for the active). No item gives us a movement multiplier like Zephyr does, allowing us to blaze around in teamfights and punch out any target we want. It comes with some nice tenacity to help you resist CC, so you might want to get boots other than Mercury's Treads (I'd recommend Boots of Swiftness so you can have even more stupid speed and CC resistance) and a huge amount of attack speed so you can dish out even more punches. It also gives a nice bit of attack damage, and 10% CDR is always good to put our gap closing and combos on lower cooldowns.

- Mercurial Scimitar: Why would we get an item that gives us a cleanse when we already have Unbreakable Will? Well, there's a very high likelihood you can find yourself CC'd after you've already casted your ult. Each and every second of your ult is precious, precious time that cannot be wasted, so if the enemy team just has tons and tons of CC, you'll now have two options to choose from to cleanse it. Hopefully, you have the discretion to choose which one to use at which time, and don't forget that Mercurial Scimitar grants you a huge but short movement speed boost. If you cleanse first with Unbreakable Will, you can lose a few seconds of precious skull-bashing, but you can make up for it with Mercurial's movement speed boost. If you cleanse first with Mercurial Scimitar, it's possible you can die easily without your ult's damage reduction, but at least you can save your ult for a potentially better time.

- 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. There's no need to rush turning Hexdrinker into a Maw of Malmortius until later because the money can be spent elsewhere better, but once it gets into late-game, there's no reason not to upgrade.

- Wit's End: It's odd to include this in the "Late Game Items" section because this item is more of a mid-game item with its flat 42 magic damage. However, as stated before, attack speed works incredibly well on Alistar since his ult provides us a ton of AD and we're already building a large amount of attack speed anyways, and Wit's End is one of the cheapest attack speed boosts available. It's another great pick if you're facing an enemy AP champion in lane, it helps us farm easier, and even late game it's still good because you get such a huge attack speed boost from it to let you dish out tons of damage. However, if you're simply looking for an item to only help you against AP harass in lane, get a Hexdrinker instead, because we overall want Wit's End as an MR item for its attack speed, not its tankiness.

- Elixir of Wrath: Once you've finished all of your items, or if you've randomly got 400 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.



Option 3: 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.

- Sunfire Cape: Sunfire is somewhat Randuin's Omen's smaller, more offensive counterpart. It trades in some armor and health and an AoE slow for AoE damage over time 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.

- 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.

- 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 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 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.

- Frozen Mallet: This item is underrated but still surprisingly good, especially for someone like Alistar who can get kited so ridiculously easy. It's another one of the more offensive items in this category, but if you're looking for something tanky that will also help you resist against kiting, then think of Randuin's Omen, and then think of Elixir of Iron, and then if you still need more then you can think of this item.

- Elixir of Iron: One of two great defensive elixir choices, it doesn't really give us any pure defensive stats, but it grants us tenacity, slow resistance, and increases our size so people naturally and accidentally target us more. It's considered more offensive than our second elixir choice here in this category, but with it, we can dramatically increase our resistance against getting kited.

- Elixir of Ruin: The second, more defensive elixir choice in this category, it grants us a huge chunk of health for the price. When looking for an elixir purely for tankiness, this should be your first choice. It's also fantastic for splitpushing since it dramatically boosts the damage you do to turrets, as well as boosts minion damage, perfect for someone like Alistar who can heal minions.


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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.



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 channeled 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: Deathfire Grasp > 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 after you pop Deathfire Grasp. Plus, you are really squishy too if you build full AP.

To properly pull off this combo, the order is somewhat simple. Pop your Talisman of Ascension to quickly close the gap between you and your target. Use your Deathfire Grasp active on them, and then instantly pull off a WQ combo on them. Autoattack for Lich Bane magic damage. You'll actually want to save your Unbreakable Will until after getting CC'd or before getting bursted down because the bonus AD is useless for you. If the target hasn't already died, wait for Lich Bane's cooldown to come back and use your Triumphant Roar to proc it again for a final slap before the Deathfire Grasp debuff ends. Your Unbreakable Will makes you tanky enough to be able to survive and ignore the peel, as well as walk out of the fight when you killed your target.

How much damage can AP Alistar actually do??




AD Alistar's 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




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 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.




Tristana
This duo is one of the most popularly played duos (maybe because they are both free?). 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.




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 Flash > Pulverize > 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 Flash QW turret-feed into a 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. 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 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 the right items 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 burst with Rising Spell Force. 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
This lane pretty much suffers the same problems as with Kog'Maw. Ashe's early game really isn't that great, though she can at least somewhat zone well with Volley and her range. However, since Ashe has zero burst and a weak early game, there's not much Alistar can do besides peel and heal. However, one good combo that can be pulled off in this duo is an Enchanted Crystal Arrow followed up by a Headbutt into your tower and a Pulverize. Ashe's Frost Shot also allows Alistar to follow up with a WQ combo that sets up ganks well too.




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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End Notes

Hopefully this guide helped give you a new perspective on Alistar. Simply reading this guide won't make you a better Alistar player, especially since playing him correctly requires not only practice with his mechanics, but you also need a good knowledge of the game to know who to hit and when to initiate and when to ult and what to build and which combo suits the situation best.

Feel free to leave comments and criticisms, as I am a bit of a perfectionist and get really picky with what I do. I'll leave you guys with a little bit of background info on me:

I started playing League of Legends in the summer of 2012, only casually playing. I got more into it as more of my friends got into it, and I really enjoyed playing weird champions that weren't played often, like Cassiopeia and Kog'Maw. I eventually settled with playing support as my main role, since it fit my lazy, reliant personality more.

Along with Alistar, I play a lot of Thresh and Draven. I picked up ADC after watching and supporting lots of ADC's, both good and god awful.

Anyways, this guide is pretty dynamic. I am quite theoretical about my playstyle and I love to take advice from anyone and any source, so this guide gets updated quite frequently to keep up with the meta. Check back in and read what I have on the "Recently Updated" portion in the "Notes" Chapter to see stuff that's been added!