Leona Build Guide by Weeznaz
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Standard Set up
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Threats to Leona with this build
|Bard||Bard just offers very little lane presence, and only has 2 laning phase abilities. Leona + ADC should be able to outduel an ADC + Bard|
|Vayne||Probably the weakest ADC laning phase in existence, you can get onto Vayne without takign much damage. Vayne has disengage with her Condemn and some mobility with Tumble, but Vayne is easy to brute force or push out of lane. You may not get the immediate kill, due to her Tumble mobility, but you will force her out of lane, making her weak.|
Hello Summoners, my name is Weeznaz and I am here to introduce you to how to play Leona with a deadly. To be clear, I do not claim that my guide and my advice is the only way to play Leona. This is just how I play her and advise others to play her.
Do you want to play a support who can dominate the lane at level 2? Do you want a support who at level 2 is, in Hearthstone's great phrase, "Ready for Action!". Then look no further than Leona. Leona has 2 stuns and a root in her kit. At level 2 you can get an enemy to hold still for about 2 seconds, while taking damage from you and your ADC. This might not sound like a lot, but believe me it is quite brutal. At level 6 you can hold people in place for basically 3 seconds, more than enough time for your teammates to kill someone. Leona is a naturally tanky champion who goes "all in" and can get the ball rolling for your team.
Just beware: if you fall behind with Leona, you are 99% USELESS (Will explain this further down the guide)
Sunlight is a unique passive in League because Leona on her own can't utilize this passive. This is the primary reason that Leona is extremely suboptimal in any other position or in any other lane. When Leona uses an ability on an opponent they have a debuff which is triggered by ANY form of ally damage and the debuff deals damage to the enemy. So, at level 3 Leona has if positioned properly 6 damage spells, Shield of Daybreak + Passive + Zenith Blade + Passive + Eclipse + Passive. If played properly, Leona can pack more damage into an enemy than any other support at early ranks. In a laning phase situations, its critical that you coordinate with your ADC to maximize damage. Sunlight doesn't "stack", meaning if you hit the enemy with Shield of Daybreak and then Zenith Blade the opponent doesn't have 2 stacks of Sunlight ready to proc, they only have 1. For optimal damage, you need your ADC to auto attack at correct times, you need to use your spells at the correct time for optimal damage.
Q: Shield of Daybreak
Shield of Daybreak is your hardest hitting form of pre 6 crowd control. This spell gives a 1.25 second stun, very important. In addition to this spell being a great form of CC it has one benefit that makes it worth taking a point at level 1: This spell counts as an auto attack reset. Similar to the effect of Tiamat you can auto + spell + auto in very quick succession, which is critical to put down damage in the early game. In addition, the combo auto + Q + auto acts fast enough that you can kill a ward before it becomes untargetable.
Eclipse is one of the best early game tank steroids in the game. On a fairly low cooldown, this spell not only makes you tanky but deals damage at the end of its duration. This spell is great because not only does it give Armor and Magic Resistance, but it scales on the Armor and Magic Resistance that you purchase. On paper it is a small scaling factor, you get 20% bonus armor and 20% magic resistance, this spell is great on its own and is doubly effective when purchasing tank items. It is important to note that this ability works with items that give health + a resistance, for example Randuin's Omen or Banshee's Veil, but gets no benefit from health only items. With that in mind, please never build Warmog's Armor, this item is simply a waste on Leona. While this is the spell you will be maxing first, it isn't critical to your level 2 all in, so we will be taking this spell at level 3.
E: Zenith Blade
Zenith Blade is a very unique skill shot gap closer in League. While many supports have a manner to grab or gap close to the enemy, this gap closer has a unique property that makes it easier to use: It can't be blocked by minions. Unlike say Rocket Grab or Death Sentence as long as you are within range and hit the enemy champion, you will lock them down. This spell has a fairly long range and can be hit during the laning phase with relative ease. However, this spell is also a tad bit suicidal: You will travel to where the enemy is. If you ADC is not preparred for you to go all in, you may end up giving over a kill to them. Also, if you are being pinched in from enemies from all sides, this spell can be used as a form of escape, just pick the least threatening enemy and travel to their location. This spell will be picked up at level 2 for your level 2 all in. However because this spell gives a root and not a stun, and because an auto attack + spell combo using Shield of Daybreak can do more quick damage, we max this spell last after Shield of Daybreak
R: Solar Flare
Solar Flare: This is one of the best engage spells in the game. It has a stun radius within a slowfield. The range of this spell is just shorter than the range of your screen, which means you can be a long ways away and start a fight, or better yet stop an enemy team who is fleeing away. While this spell does have a delay before impact, the radius of the spell is fairly large, meaning this spell is not easy to "wiff". As long as you aim the squishy for the center of the beam, you are almost guaranteed to stop him by the slow field even if they move out of the stun range. Use this spell to start teamfights and level up this spell at levels 6,11, and 16.
However, Solar Flare isn't a perfect primary initiation spell. There are still champions mobile enough to completely escape during this spell's slight delay time and so there are certain people you shouldn't consider this spell as a primary engage method on.
1: Kassadin: Even with the nerfs to Riftwalk, Kassadin will still blink away and you will have wasted your ult. If he is as level 6 and Riftwalks, you basically have 5 seconds to use this spell, so pick your timing well. At level 11 and onward: the cooldown is ridiculously short. At this point no self respecting Kassadin should be caught by your Solar Flare
2: LeBlanc: Take everything I said about Kassadin, except apply this to level 1! This champion has extreme amounts of mobility, one of the most mobile champions at all stages of the game! Only use Solar Flare on her if you are sure she has not only used her Distortion but also her Mimic. Only then will you catch her.
3: Ezreal: Archane Shift can blink Ezreal to safety so quickly that your Solar Flare will not land on him at all. Wait out his Archane Shift and you can grab him.
4: Ahri: You need to keep track of her Spirit Rush. If it is up, she will dodge this spell too easily. Also with Orb of Deception's buff recently, she now has a speed up with can get her out of the blast radius. An extremely annoying champions for Leona to deal with.
5: Corki: Valkyrie: This spell can be used fast enough to escape the blast radius, and then send him far enough away to play safely.
6: Katarina: Kat can Shunpo to almost anything on the map in the blink of an eye, can easily escape this spell.
How to play Leona
Leona is a rock solid initiator who loves to lockdown the enemy squishies. Unlike other engage supports who like to build a Talisman of Ascension so they can get in close range in order to initiate, such as Annie or Blitzcrank your spells are already pretty long ranged and are not blocked by minions which means that Mobi moots and possibly Flash are really the only initiation forms you need.
Also, unlike most engage supports, you will most likely traveling to the middle of the enemy team and staying there. Once you are there you need to get down the rest of your combo and auto attack like crazy to optimize damage. To do this safely, Leona not only needs to build tanky, but she needs "cream of the crop" tank items, which are expensive.
You must commit to this playstyle not just in tanky items, but in tanky runes and masteries.
The bot lane arrangement goes something like this: Leona brings the lockdown and the ADC brings the damage. To handle early level scirmishes I run Armor quints and armor marks in order to mitigate the enemy ADC damage. I take flat health seals as they help me deal with all forms of damage, and I take scaling magic resistant glyphs as on tank supports magic resist glyphs are the only real way to go. I simply prefer scaling magic resistance to help deal with high damage mages. You can use flat magic resistance instead, but I prefer scaling glyphs. If you are versing a double AD composition, you can swap out magic resistance for flat CDR glyphs.
On Leona I prefer to take a 0-14-16 page. In the defense tree I prefer to take the standard 9 points, in addition I prefer to take 3 points in
to mitigate the enemy ADC's damage. I take 1 point in
just to deal with magic damage. Since Leona likes to get in the middle of the enemy team, I want to survive as long as possible, so I take
so that the enemy crit damage is mitigated.
In the utility tree I take Cullinary Master in order to get increased benefit from health potions. I prefer to take 3 points in Summoner's Insight so that I can flash initiate as often as possible. In order to be able to afford the expensive tank items I take points in Greed and Scavenger . I take a point in Wealth in order to afford one extra health potion, very important in the early game. I take one point in Expanded Mind just to avoid any mana issues. Leona doesn't have a huge mana problem, but I like taking one point in Expanded Mind . I take 1 point in Inspiration just so I level up faster. I don't put points into Bandit and Intelligence as these mastery slots are not optimal on a tank support.
Masteries Alternative Set Up
If you are ok with giving up a point or two in Inspiration and want to be tankier this alternative set up can more to your liking. The primary difference between this set up and the standard set up is the increase flat magic resistance, useful in lane against certain supports, and you have far less mana regen.
There are only two summoner spell combos that work on Leona
Combo 1: Flash + Ignite. If you want to exert level 2 dominance and get your ADC a kill, look no further than this set up. Leona NEEDS to snowball the lane, this combo simply does that the best.
Combo 2: Flash + Exhaust: While exhaust isn't as good for level 2 kills, this is a better summoner spell during teamfights and can help shutdown a powerful enemy threat. This is the "safer pick", but I personally prefer Ignite.
First Purchase: Relic Shield + Warding Trinket + 4 Health Potions. This helps you get lane presence, gives you small sustain against damage taken, and heal up after trades.
Next core Purchases: Sightstone + Sweeping Lens + Mobi Boots: Sightstone + S. Lens= Vision control and vision denial, very important for every point in the game. Mobi boots help you traverse the map, and make plays.
Righteous Glory: In order to snowball hard you want the ability to engage onto the enemies whenever you want. This item gives you a big ball of health and the speed boost in order to run people down. Since this item was released, I rush this item instead of Face of the Mountain. This item just gives too much engage power to ignore. I recommend building it after your sightstone.
Boots: There are 3 types of boots that work with Leona: Boots of Mobility, Ninja Tabi, and Mercury's Treads. My favorite of these is Mobility Boots for early roaming, ward placing, and engaging onto the enemy team. These boots + flash also serve as Leona's bread and butter getting into range tools. Ninja Tabi and Mercury's Treads are excellent tank boots and can be bought up depending on the situation.
Sightstone: Vision control= win games. This item should be the first item you purchase after going back. While Ruby Sightstone is a natural progression in your build path, this should be saved for later in the build as the 800 gold used to make this item can be utilized in better ways early game.
Randuin's Omen: This item makes Leona rock solid and gives her extra CC in her initiation. I almost always rush this item after my Face of the Mountain.
Banshee's Veil: Since I play Leona with the intention of going "behind enemy lines" I need to become rock solid. In my opinion Locket of the Iron Solari isn't strong enough in health or magic resistance to do this. B. Veil on the other hand is one of the strongest tank items in the game.
Thornmail My personal favorite item to top off Leona's tankiness when facing AD damage threats.
Frozen Heart: Leona doesn't have mana problems, unless you are unnecessarily spamming her spells. This item is a great method of dealing with a double AD composition.
Sunfire Cape: I don't recommend this item under any circumstance. It's not as rock solid as Randuin's Omen and there are better armor items in the game.
Locket of the Iron Solari: I normally don't pick up this item vs a standard team composition, however against a double AP teams I will pick up this item just so I can give my team some extra survivability.
Optimal Damage: This is primarily a laning phase technique. The idea behind this is to maximize the damage from your passive: Leona Spell + auto attack + ADC auto attack + Leona spell + auto attack + ADC auto attack + Leona spell + auto attack + ADC auto attack. It's important that your ADC attack before you use your next spell otherwise you are loosing the opportunity for a damage proc. In a teamfight situation, there may not be enough time to get off optimal damage, so focus more on hitting the enemies with your CC lockdown.
Level 2 All in! Starting at level 2 you have a form of initiation that is extremely easy to pull off and is very deadly. Zenith Blade + Leona auto attack + ADC auto attack + Zenith Blade + Leona auto attack + ADC auto attack + ignite. This combo will either chunk out the enemy ADC or kill him. If played properly, you will establish lane dominance
Level 3 and beyond combos: Now you have Eclipse which can be used as a damage source and tank steroid for your engage. One thing I see in solo que too often is Leonas standing out in the open activate Eclipse before attempting to engage on me. This usually gives me ample time to reposition to mitigate or back off so to completely stop the combo. Please, if you are standing out in the open don't activate Eclipse until you arrive at the enemy using Zenith Blade. You won't take much damage, but more importantly you won't give up the element of surprise.
Level 6 Combo:
Use Solar Flare as needed, when doing this put a squishy carry in the center of the beam. Then use your quick CC spells and with teammate's damage you should be able to kill them. Also in teamfight situations its not as important to micromanage optimal damage, just use your spells in quick succession and lock them down.
Best and Worst ADC to work with
Leona is an extremely aggressive early game champion. She can't wait around for late game powerspikes, she needs ADCs with mid game power spikes and great burst follow up to your engage.
1. Jinx: This may seem to contradict my opening statement, but Jinx has a great laning phase, has CC and a small amount of burst to follow up your engages. This is also the only hyper carry that works with Leona, one of my personal favorite ADC's to work with as Leona.
2. Graves: The original ADC burst king, he is still strong and has the damage and spells to backup your engages.
3. Lucian( Graves 2.0), pretty much identical to Graves in terms of burst although Lucian has a stronger mid game powerspike with arguable a weaker late game than Graves.
4. Corki: One of the strongest mid game power spikes in the game, while he is more level 6 reliant than the previous candidates, he still packs a good punch in the pre 5 initiations.
Worst ADC to work with
1. Caitlyn: There is little to NO synergy between these two. Caitlyn hates going "all in" she wants to poke people down little by little. Leona simply forces an engage that Caitlyn isn't best equipped to handle.
2. Kog Maw: This late game god is extremely immobile and not strong enough in the early game to work with your kit.
3. Vayne: Just no, you need an ADC with early strength. Vayne takes too long to power up and Vayne has a terrible laning phase.
Middle of the Pack:
1. Twitch: I personally don't like Twitch + Leona, as Twitch has a weak pre 6, but Twitch does have good level 6 burst.
2. Ezreal: Not a terrible lane, but he isn't optimal with Leona's damage when you compare him to the best ADC. This is even worse if the Ezreal is building Blue Build, than this truly is a waste.
3. Varus: Similar to Caitlyn, however Varus does have level 6 engage and a nice powerspike.
4. Tristana: Nothing terrible about this lane, just not as strong as Best ADC. Definately the strongest ADC on this Middle of the Pack list to use with Leona
Your Team is behind
This is simply put the worst situation to be in with Leona. Leona's entire kit is designed around the idea of dominating the early game, and snowballing this lead with constant engage. The moment your team loses the advantage, your kit becomes severely less useful. Engage is not good if your team can't back your up. Being in a situation where you have to play defensively as Leona is stressful, but you can still contribute to your team and not be dead weight. Here is how you have to play Leona when you are behind.
1: VISION CONTROL: You have to place defensive wards and deny the enemy team as much vision as possible. You have 3 wards plus a sweeper. Be the front line and start a defensive warding mission by using your wards on one side of the jungle and your team's on the other side. Upgrade your sweeper so you can deny as much enemy vision as possible.
2: NO WILLIE NILLIE ZENITH BLADE: If you use Zenith Blade into the enemy team and you don't have damage to back up your initiation: you just gave the enemy team free gold and set your game further behind. Only use Zenith Blade in a calculated fashion.
3: Use Shield of Daybreak and Solar Flare as kiting tools. This is a sad day if you have to do this, but this may be the best thing you can do to keep your carry alive. Save your Shield of Daybreak for the most threatening target to your ADC. Use Solar Flare for defensive purposes if you are in a really bad position and need to get away, as in if you absolutely can't survive a 5 v 5 then use this and run like hell.
4: Hug your carry: At this point, your carry is the only one who can save you. Stay close to him at all times and use your spells for peel and disengage.
5: Mikael's Crucible: I usually don't build this item as I am usually winning and want hard tank stats to survive: If you are backed against the wall, and enemy CC will kill your carry, you need to keep him alive with this item. Be sparring and smart with this item, it only has one charge so use it wisely, but this is a last resort if you want any chance at getting back in the game.