Soraka is an easy match-up for you because she doesn't have any hard CC and her disengage, thus, is almost non-existant. Her heals are very powerful but she can't heal herself as efficiently, so just focus on her rather than her ADC.
Bard has some nice poke if he can hit his Q and is allowed to AA you, but overall his poke isn't amazing and he's extremely squishy. Pre-6 he doesn't have reliable disengage.
She's got exceptionally long AA range so you need to be careful not to walk into her range too much. Her burst won't affect you much but you need to pick your fights wisely so she can't counter-engage and kill your ADC. Her weakness is that she's extremely squishy, and usually if you hit your E you can just kill her.
Blitz isn't a difficult match-up to you because you don't have issues dealing with burst, and since he's melee he can't poke you well at all.
Sona has extremely potent poke but she's very squishy. If you can, try to kill her in the earlier levels, when her poke is weakest.
Extremely squishy but with potent poke. Her disengage is somewhat unreliable, as it's a slow skillshot snare, if you dodge it she hasn't got any other way of protecting herself. Focus on her instead of her ADC, and you'll be able to shut her down before she gets good items and starts dealing serious damage.
Another very squishy enemy support which you should try to kill before lvl 6. She's got decent poke but her biggest strength is her powerful disengage.
As a melee champion he can't poke you at all, but he's very tanky and thus your burst damage is pretty useless on him, and the disengage gives you a hard time locking down his ADC.
Tahm himself is somewhat weak against you. You can burst him down before he gets a chance to activate his shield. However, he can save his ally from your ult, potentially, so careful with that!
She's got decent disengage with her snare and slow, and her shield somewhat counters your burst. She has good poke but it's a skillshot that isn't too hard to dodge, so try to dodge it every time.
Braum is a melee support but he has a way to poke you with his Q, so try to dodge those. His disengage is quite effective after 6 and because he's tanky you can't kill him easily. His E will intercept yours so locking down his ADC won't be as easy as you'd like.
Lulu is on one hand very squishy and has mana issues, on the other she has amazing disengage and poke, you'll need to dodge her Qs and stay out of her AA range to keep your health up. Before 6 she's not hard to lock down so focus on her instead of her ADC.
This match-up can go either way but Thresh probably has the upper-hand because he's ranged and you're melee. If he focuses on poke (maxes E and has AD in runes) you'll be in trouble but most Thresh players don't do that anymore so you won't usually have to worry about poke. His weakness is that he's quite squishy before he gets some items, and you can punish him in early levels because of it.
Very tank and has great peel, will be difficult to burst him down or get to hit ADC. Try to kill him before he gets ahead/while he's still squishy. An advantage you have is that he can't burst you down either.
Janna is a difficult match-up for you because she has really good disengage. Her poke isn't extremely potent but you should try to minimize the amount of AAs you take.
She's extremely difficult to lock down because of her Black Shield, so you need to bait it out before you can engage. Her Q makes for good poke and you'll need to dodge those in order to win the lane, but her Q also acts as a good disengage tool, as does her ultimate.
Hey all, I am MissMaw and this is my Season 7 guide to Leona. I'll start the guide off by briefly introducing myself. I started playing league in 2011. Now it's 2016 and I still actively play on my EUW account, N7 Legion. In season 5 I achieved Diamond on that account, and in Season 6 I was platinum. I picked up Leona in season 2 and she remains to this day one of my favourites.
Support is my main role and I play it almost exclusively. I have two other support guides (Braum, Janna)!
Onto Leona herself - although not the most popular support champion at the moment, I believe Leona to be a very strong pick to this day. She possesses a huge amount of crowd control, which she utilises in protecting her allies and helping them secure kills. She's also incredibly tanky both due to both her high base defensive stats and her W ability, Eclipse, which gives her bonus armour and magic resistance. Due to this, Leona is tanky even without buying (m)any defensive items.
Leona is a very tanky champion as she has both really good base tank stats (health, MR, armour) and she has an ability (Eclipse) which increases her armour and magic resistance for a period of time. This along with the items, runes and masteries I recommend make Leona an exceptional tank and a good addition to any team needing one!
One of her biggest weaknesses is her lack of mobility. She does have a gap closer, and it's good when engaging fights, but as a form of escape it's very unrelaibe. Her movement speed is very low and sometimes you can't afford to prioritise boots, so often you'll find yourself being much slower than your enemies. .
Lots of CC
Vulnerable to Poke
Nearly all of Leona's ability have some form of crown control. Her Q is a stun, her E is a short duration root and her ultimate is an long ranged AoE stun and slow. Her CC is invaluable, it both protects her allies, by providing peel or by disengaging, and secures them kills. . .
Melee champions are always prone to being poked down, and Leona is, sadly, no exception. Although you are tanky and although your W can decrease the amount of damage you take from poke, you still need to be extremely cautious in lane so as not to drop too low on HP. If you're below half HP, it's extremely risky to engage fights.
No Lane Sustain
As mentioned her CC gives her the ability to disengage from fights and it also allows for powerful engagements. You have a number of ways to make something happen, and usually the most reliable way is to simply ult someone - promting your team to go in. .
Many supports have some form of sustain - some type of heal - but you are not one of these. This only makes avoiding getting poked more important, because if you allow yourself to drop low on HP, you'll simply have to recall in most cases, as you have nothing but Health Potions and Relic Shield to heal yourself up.
Unless you're extremely behind, your very presence is very influential during lane phase, because your enemies know just as well as you do that if they get within Zenith Blade or Solar Flare's range they'll probably die or have to waste spells. You'll easily be able to zone your opponents out of farm range or kill them if they don't respect your zone. .
Leona's play-style is very risky because you always have to dive deep into the enemy team during fights. Your Zenith Blade is a great gap-closer when you want to get up and personal with your enemy, but once you're there, you have no way to getting out without Flashing. If your all-in fails, your chances of getting out alive are significantly lower than with most other champions.
Marks: AD marks will increase your damage and thus your lane's kill potential.
Armour marks: Armour is a great stat for Leona as it both protects her versus the enemy marksman's damage and synergises well with her W ability. Hybrid penetration marks: These make your abilities and auto attacks deal more damage, as they ignore some of your enemy's magic resist and armour. Magic penetration marks: Although magic penetration and hybrid penetration are popular choices for many supports, I do not recommend going with either of these. The reason I don't recommend magic pen marks is that you simply don't do enough damage to efficiently utilise them. Sunlight, Leona's passive, does not scale with your own Magic pen, but your allies'. Although hybrid penetration is an option, it's not something I'd run over armour or AD.
Seals: Health is a great stat for any tank. You might be thinking that armour seals are more valuable in bot lane, but as you are taking armour in both marks and quintessences, it isn't necessary and you can afford to splurge on some other stats.
Armour: If you don't take armour elsewhere (AKA you have AD marks and quints), exchange your HP seals for armour seals.
Glyphs: For glyphs, flat magic resist. These aren't always necessary in bot lane but generally you'll be going up against some sort of magic damage in lane phase, and so, in order to protect yourself during lane phase, you get these glyphs.
MR/lvl Glyphs: If by any chance you aren't against a heavy AP damage dealing support you can choose to go with 9 scaling MR glyphs, or 6 scaling MR] glyphs and MR flat glyphs and in this way you'll have more MR as the game goes along.
Quints: Finally, as far as quints go, I recommend armour, for the exact same reason as with marks - armour protects you against the enemy marksman's damage and they scale with your W ability.
AD: If you like playing aggressively you can take one, two or three AD quints. However, as mentioned before, if you opt to go with both AD marks and AD quints, you'll need to take armour seals.
In the Resolve Tree there are many good boosts to your defences that you can take. Almost each of the masteries is pretty good so it's not that easy to choose. Still, we prioritise armour, MR and health, thus we are taking
Tough Skin and
Veteran Scars .
Insight is a very good mastery with which you will be able to use Ignite or Exhaust more often.
Legendary Guardian is a good bot laner mastery as you'll nearly always be against 2 champions. The keystone mastery that I suggest taking is
Courage of the Colossus , as it'll grant you a shield not only when you use your Q or R, but also even your E, which is super useful.
The cunning tree is more straightforward. As we have no use for masteries like
Runic Affinity , the choices we have to make are a lot easier. Although Dangerous Game isn't a bad mastery, but I think
Bandit is superior as it is encouraged that you harass with your auto-attacks, and now you'll be rewarded with 10 gold when you do.
I make sure to pick up Flash every game. It's a mandatory spell for just about every champion, as having Flash can make the difference between getting a kill or not, and escaping or dying. In addition to this, Flash is a great choice for Leona due to the fact that it can help with closing the gap between you and your target, and thus making it easier to hit your stuns or your E.
Exhaust is an essential spell in games where you find yourself going up against some sort of bursty assassin (the likes of Talon and Zed), an AS reliant champion ( Vayne or Tryndamere) or simply when you're against an unfavourable match-up in bot lane. You use this spell both offensively and defensively, the latter when you peel for your allies, and offensively for the damage and AS reduction which is useful during dives and 2v2 fights.
Ignite is a great summoner spell for aggressive supports. The idea is that Ignite will increase your kill potential in lane and you and your marksman will get super powerful and be able to do amazing things during mid game. However, if that doesn't work out, you'll be left with a useless spell in the place of Exhaust, which is far more important late game. Take Ignite when you're against squishy enemies, when you're laning with an aggressive Marksman and/or when you're against healers.
Passive: Each of your abilities apply sunlight on enemy champions. Sunlight sticks onto a target after it's been affected by one of your abilities for up to 3.5 seconds during which time the debuff can be popped by one of Leona's allies to deal 20 / 35 / 50 / 65 / 80 / 95 / 110 / 125 / 140 additional magic damage. The amount is increased every 2 levels.
This passive is one of the things that make Leona such a potent burster. Whenever she uses an ability on an enemy champion, a stack is applied and allies may pop the stack to deal extra damage. It's like Lux's passive, but instead of you popping it, your allies do. In lane, to utilise it most efficiently, give your AD a chance to pop a sunlight stack before you reset it with another ability. This way, at level 4, the target will take an extra 70 damage, rather than just 35.
Once activated your next auto-attack will deal an additional 40 / 70 / 100 / 130 / 160 (+30% of ability power) magic damage and stun your target for 1.25 seconds.
Your strongest ability, which when activated stuns the next target you auto-attack. This includes not only enemy champions, but also neutral monsters, enemy towers, minions and wards. The fact that you can use your Q on wards, especially, is something to note. You see, using your Q will reset your auto-attack, and, if you react quickly enough, you can instantly remove a ward that has been placed with a combo - AA (auto-attack) > Q > AA.
The AA > Q > AA combo is good for other things as well. Taking down turrets, for example. The auto-attack reset makes it much faster, but do remember that this only works on turrets, and not on inhibitors. Additionally this combo is very effective to poke with during the first few levels. Although it might seem like a surprise to you, AA > Q > AA will actually chunk most supports.
When activated Leona receives a shield which lasts for 3 seconds. While shielded Leona gets an extra 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 armour and magic resistance. After the 3 seconds the shield pops and deals 60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260 (+ 40% AP) magic damage to all enemies within 275 range.
Eclipse is a shield that grants you bonus resistances for 3 seconds before it pops and deals magic damage to any enemies in the area. If it does indeed do damage to any enemies once it pops, the bonus armour and MR remain for an additional 3 seconds. This shield makes you extremely tanky, even at lower levels, and enables you to make risky plays even when behind or low on HP.
When to use it? Naturally, whenever you're fighting. Whenever you are taking damage. Whenever you engage. Eclipse has an extremely low mana cost, just 60 mana at all ranks, and thus you can afford to use it all the time.
How to use it? When you're trying to avoid taking a lot of damage, press the W button. But when you're engaging, you have to remember to use it either when they don't see you or while you're using your E. If you activate it and then try to engage, it looks too obvious and the enemy will back away or be able to dodge your Zenith Blade/ Solar Flare. A lot of people make the mistake of using it too early and potentially lose kill(s) because of it.
Zenith Blade is a multiple target pass-through linear skill-shot that projects a sword of light in the targeted direction, dealing 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+0.4 per ability power) magic damage to all enemies hit. If Zenith Blade strikes an enemy champion the target will be immobilized for 0.5 seconds, and Leona will dash behind them.
As Leona is a scary melee support, rarely will someone walk up into your auto-attack range and give you a chance to stun them with your Q. Luckily for you, Zenith Blade will close the gap between you and said someone and you'll be able to stun him whether he wants you to or not. In short, E is used to get up close and personal with your target, so that you're able to stun and kill them.
As mentioned, Zenith Blade doesn't just hit one unit, but instead it hits everything in its way, damaging and applying sunlight to all of the units (minions for example) but only triggering the gapcloser when it hits a champion. If it hits more than one champion, Leona will dash to the champion who's the furthest away. The enemy champion hit will be rooted for 0.5 seconds, giving you enough time to stun them.
There are a couple of other things to note:
Using E as a pushing tool: Zenith blade hits mulitple units and applies sunlight to all of them. This means that if you have an ADC like Graves or Corki you can near instantly clear a wave with your E and their Qs.
People can intercept your E: Some champions and some abilities can intercept your E. Examples of these are: Thresh's Flay, which cancels your dash and knocks you back, Janna's Howling Gale, which knocks you up mid-air. A special case is Braum's Unbreakable. Hitting his shield will make you dash onto Braum even if you were aiming for someone else.
Dashes can be dangerous: If the targeted champion uses a dash during the dash animation, Leona will dash to the target's new location. If your E connects onto Tristana just as she uses Rocket Jump and jumps over next to her tower, you'll dash next to her tower as well.
Solar Flare is an AoE ability that marks a target location which after a 1 second delay deals 150 / 250 / 350 (+0.8 per ability power) magic damage, and slows/stuns all enemies in the targeted area. Enemies at the center of the area are stunned (diameter of which is 100), and enemies around the area are slowed (diameter of which is 700)
Leona's ultimate ability, a long ranged AoE slow and stun. With a low cooldown. An absolutely amazing ultimate, that can save teammates, kill enemies and win teamfights.
This ultimate is incredibly long ranged, and you can thus, unexpectedly, engage from far away. This can come in handy when you're getting a gank or when you yourself gank another lane.
When you are ganking other lanes, ulting them from far away while being undetected will easily net a kill or at least blow a summoner spell or two. When you are recieving a gank, ulting from far away or from brush may come as a surprise to the enemy, and they'll in turn not react to it well. The stun will give you time to E Q them and it'll give your jungler time to catch up.
Leona's levels 1-3 are one of the best in the game. Most often you start the game with a point in Q but you can also start with E (recommended if you're going to invade and your team doesn't have any sort of hook or grab). The reason for this is because enemies (generally the enemy support) will sometimes walk into your melee range and that'll give you the chance to stun them and do some free damage. Your Q + 1 or 2 of your auto-attacks will actually chunk most supports (especially with AD marks/quints). This is especially great as they tend not to see it coming and they often walk too close into your range thinking they're safe. If your marksman can squeeze in an auto-attack - all the better, especially if they get the chance to pop your passive.
Lvl 1-3 E
Depending on which AD you have (for example you'd have to wait longer with Vayne or any other ADC that is weak in lane phase) you want to start engaging right at level 2. That's why you get Zenith Blade at level 2 - so you can close the gap between you and the enemy AD (or support - especially if they are squishier than the AD ( Zyra) or out of position) and stun them. After you get your first point in Eclipse engaging will be less of a gamble and you can pretty much start diving after a few ranks in it.
You max W first for relatively obvious reasons. You're going to be engaging (and you have no escapes for when/if you change your mind) so you'll need high defensive stats. Q next for the shorter CD stun and E for the lower CD (so you can engage more often). You can max either of those second - whatever you prefer. You rank up your ult whenever you can.
Relic Shield is the starter item I recommend. Relic and its upgrades give you health, a very valuable stat for tanks, and you get passive gold generation. There's also a unique passive, Spoils of War. Whenever you kill a minion, you and your nearest ally gain 40 HP and you both share the gold gained from the minion. So in addition to the gold, you also get a bit of sustain from this item.
Ancient Coin is another starter items for supports. It gives you mana regen and you get gold when you're nearby a minion who dies. The gold you get is quite a lot, however the stats on Ancient Coin, and later Nomad Medallion, do not compliment Leona at all. Only go with this build path if you're really intent on getting Talisman of Ascension.
Health potions are necessary because as a melee support, you'll be in danger of getting poked down. If you're too low on health to engage, then you are basically useless. If you took the Secret Stash mastery in the Cunning Tree, your HP pots are replaced by biscuits, which replenish a small amount of mana as well as health.
Sightstone is a core item for every support. It gives you health and it stores green wards for you. Without sightstone, the only wards that you can carry are the ones from your trinket. It costs 800 gold, so it's ideal for you to have at least this much gold on your first recall, because you should aim to buy Sightstone as early as possible in order to avoid getting ganked unexpectedly.
Targon's Brace is Relic Shield's first upgrade. It will grant you another 100 Health, as well as health regen. You'll also now heal for an extra amount from Spoils of War, and you'll get more stacks of that passive, meaning more gold and more sustain.
Boots of Mobility are my favourite boots for Leona. You get tons of movement speed which will allow you to maneuver across the map. The movement speed helps out in many ways - you'll get to lane faster, you'll be able to roam faster and ward/clear wards with more ease.
One alternative to Boots of Mobility are Ninja Tabi, boots which grant armour. You get these boots if you are against a bot lane that deals a lot physical damage, or against a team consisting of full physical damage dealing champions. Another alternative are Mercury's Treads, which grant you MR and tenacity. You get these against heavy magic dealing teams or against teams with a lot of crowd control.
Warding Totem is your "starting" totem, you get this with Relic Shield at the very start of the game. It stocks 2 wards and you use these to either ward the enterances to bot lane or to ward the lane brush in order to keep an eye on the enemy support.
Once you've obtained Sightstone, you'll have another source of wards, and you won't need Totem anymore. The best thing to do is to get Sweeping Lens and use it to clear enemy wards. Generally you'll want to clear wards when you are looking to have your junger gank. In this way you'll ensure that the enemy doesn't see your jungler coming!
After you hit level 9, you'll have access to Sweeping Lens' free upgrade. Instead of sweeping a selected area, you'll detect all wards that are around you and be able to clear them as long as the Lens last (which is 6 seconds!).
What's next? Let us first take a look at what stats benefit Leona the most.
H E A L T H
Health is a stat which increases the amount of damage your champion can take before dying. Health is important for Leona because she gets armour and magic resistance from her W, and so getting just health will make her extremely tanky. You build health every game and especially when you're against assassins and bursty champions.
A R M O U R
Armour is a stat which decreases the amount of damage you take from auto-attacks and abilities which deal physical damage. Getting armour will also increase the amount of armour you gain from your W ability. You get armour every game, and you get a lot of armour when you're against teams that deal a lot of physical damage.
M A G I C_R E S I S T
Magic Resistance is a stat which decreases the amount of damage you take from magical damage dealing abilities. Getting MR will also increase the amount of MR you gain from your W ability. You get magic resistance when you're against high magic damage dealing teams or teams with bursty mages.
Ruby Sightstone is one of the Sightstone upgrades. It'll increase the amount of wards you can carry by 1, you'll gain a big amount of health and all your item actives will have their cooldowns reduced by 10%. It's not that pricey for the amount of stats you gain so overall it's a great item.
Face of the Mountain is Relic Shield's second upgrade. Yet again you get an increase in health, health regend and the passive improves. Additionally you get 10% CDR from FoTM and you get a new active - Deadly Phalanx. The active is a shield which lasts for 4 seconds before detonating.
Alternatively, you can sacrifice some stats and the FoTM shield and buy Eye of the Equinox.
Eye of the Equinox is a new item. It combines your Targon's Brace and your Sightstone into one item. The good? You'll have an extra slot for an item of your choice. The bad? It's a weaker Sightstone upgrade and it's a weaker Targon's Brace upgrade. You can make the stats up by buying another item though, so overall you're not at a big loss.
Partner up with your ADC for numerous boosts! When you're near your partner, the damage he deals to enemies will heal you and the damage they take will be redirected towards the attacker and deal true damage. Aside from this, the item itself is great as all the stats compliment Leona greatly.
Dead Man's Plate is built from Giant's Belt and Chain Vest, so it grants a big amount of armour and health. It additionally grants a passive called Dreadnought, which stacks while you're moving. As you move you gradually gain up to 60 movement speed and your next auto deals extra damage. Useful stats and a useful passive = great item.
Randuin's Omen is also build from Giant's Belt, and from another armour item. The stats are the same but Randuin's gives you 10 more armour and 150 less health. You get plenty of other things from this item though. If attacked by an auto-attack, the attacker loses 15% AS for a second and you also take less damage from crits. Lastly, you gain an active which slows nearby enemies' movement speed. This is very useful in teamfights when you're trying to peel enemies off your ADC.
Frozen Heart and Randuin's have one component in common - Warden's Mail. In addition to this, Frozen Heart is built from another armour item, thus FH gives you a lot of armour. In addition to the 90 armour you get, you will also get 20% CDR (useful because your ultimate will come up sooner), mana and a passive which reduces the AS of nearby enemies. The only fault of this item is the mana, which really doesn't benefit Leona. It's best bought when you're against teams with enemies that rely on their attack speed - Jax, Vayne and Tryndamere for example.
Unlike previous items, Zeke's doesn't have many stats that compliment Leona, as it gives you both mana and ability power, and you only get 30 armour and 10% CDR. The passive makes up for the stats, though. What you do is place a so called conduit on an ally (usually your ADC). When you and your ally are within 1000 units of eachother, you build stacks of Chargers. At 100, you and your ally gain ability power and more importantly, crit chance.
Solari is your go-to item when you need Magic Resistance. Aside from the very useful stats like armour and magic resist of course, you gain an incredibly strong active. The active will shield every one of your team members for 2 seconds, which is very useful in teamfights especially versus AoE enemy team comps.
Banshee's Veil is a more selfish choice of items. You gain a LOT more magic resistnace and you gain more health, as well as spell shield passive that blocks an incoming enemy ability. Although the stats are amazing and the passive can be very useful, it's generally better to get Solari as it will benefit the whole team, and not just you.
Banner of Command's stats aren't nearly as useful, but it's a good item nonetheless. You get an active called Promote, which upgrades a chosen minion by improving its stats and giving it immunity to magic damage. It's a good item which will slow push a lane of choice.
A new and incredibly powerful support item. It unfortunately doesn't really mesh well with Leona, although the health and the CDR is quite good for you. The active is an AoE heal that's long ranged and can be used after your death. It also deals damage to enemies caught in the area, so popping this in the middle of a teamfight will rarely prove to be a mistake. Still, it's better used well timed so that you can save your teammates, or even last hit unsuspecting low enemies.
Mikael's Crucible is a core item on many supports. The active is simply really useful in most games - it's like a QSS + heal for your ADC. What's off-putting to Leona, though, is the stats you gain from this item as well as the components. Aside from the MR and the CDR, the stats are focused on mana and mana regen, something Leona doesn't need at all and those stats will go completely to waste.
This is the upgrade to Nomad's Medallion. The item provides a very useful active, one that gives your entire team a big speed boost (useful when engaging or disengaging fights). Downside are the stats, as it gives you a lot of mana regen which you simply don't need.
Similarly to Eye of the Equinox, this item is an alternative to getting Ruby Sightstone + Talisman of Ascension. Unlike Equinox this item doesn't give you nearly as much health, which is why I'd recommend you do not buy it.
An item which is kind of similar to Talisman of Ascension, as both items have a similar active. In terms of stats, it gives you a good amount of health but unfortunately it also gives you a lot of mana which isn't useful on Leona at all.
When against an enemy team consisting of champions who only deal physical damage, you may opt to buy Thornmail, an item which gives 100 armour as well as a passive that deflects damage you take and attacks the attacker.
Leona is a champion who greatly benefits for having a level advantage over her opponent. At level 2, the advantage can be the difference between getting a kill and, well, not getting a kill. Once you have Zenith Blade and Shield of Daybreak, you can immediately engage a fight. If you're laning with a bursty ADC, you may score a kill or you may blow a flash/heal/exh from the enemy. Having Ignite ups your chances of getting a kill here. If you're level 6 before your enemy laners, that's a very big advantage as well, as you'll be able to stun lock them for a long time and potentially gain a kill.
In order to ensure you get level 2 first you need to assist your ADC with the first wave. If you don't help him out, he'll kill the minions slower than with your help. You should auto-attack minions a little bit in the first wave. If you overdo it, your ADC might miss a last hit and lose out on gold. Don't try to push the wave, either, because then you'll be in a less favourable position for when you engage.
Leona's combos are overall pretty straight-forward. There are a few ways of initiating that you should keep in mind, however, the most common engagement combo is E + Q. Should the enemy walk into your melee range, you can do it vise-versa - Q first, then wait a little for your AD to pop a passive stack if they can, then E them before they get out of your E range.
After level 6, once you've gotten your ult, you can either continue engaging in that fashion and simply add the ult after the Q (do note that they might flash, so you should wait a little for a potential flash before you can cast your R) or you can opt to ult them from a distance and then E them while they're stunned.
In your early levels your passive has huge impact on the 2v2 fights. Try to give your AD a chance to pop each stack before applying a new one. A lot of people feel the need to rush, but you can almost always wait a second before activating a new ability, especially if you've just stunned your target.
Since you're a melee support, you're at risk of being poked down by the enemy support (if they have ranged auto-attacks or abilities). If the enemy support is melee, you still have their ADC to look out for. This means you'll stay at range, or hide around in brush to avoid being wittled down to low HP, thus rendered useless.
If you are fast enough, you can quickly remove a placed ward with the combo auto-attack > Q > auto-attack. Q resets your auto-attack and then you can immediately attack the ward once again. This is also a useful combo during fights and when you're taking down objectives, such as towers.
When you buy sweeper remember to frequently remove wards from the bush you are sitting in, so that the enemy cannot poke you and so that they can't see you coming if you decide to engage on them.
While on the topic of being poked down, let's talk about... being poked down. It's not good. Don't let it happen. A lot of people tend to become useless as Leona (at least in the first few levels) because they drop to too low health to be able to engage, as a result of high harassment.
So aside from hiding in brush, a few things to do in order to deal with poke are:
1) Retaliate. If you're ahead or at least even-ish, you can just get in their face if they try anything. Q chunks a lot at early levels, especially if it's followed by an AA from your ADC, because of Sunlight bonus damage.
2) Health pots. Always make sure to have at least a couple when you go into lane, more if you're against a high poke bot lane like Caitlyn and Sona.
3) Eclipse. Use your W if there's a high damage dealing ability going your way, like Glitterlance, Dark Binding or Piercing Light.
After finishing a combo or attempting an engage, retreat to the brush so as to not get poked down on your way "out".
Roaming is great and Leona is an extremely potent roamer. All her CC helps tons and usually you can land your teammate a kill if you gank their lane.
There's good times and bad times to roam. Good times are the following:
1) You're against a really passive lane. I'm talking Janna and Ashe or something. They don't want to fight, they won't let you engage, so just take your business elsewhere. Mid lane perhaps.
2) You've just recalled. Before heading bottom lane you have a chance to gank mid or top. They won't see it coming and so long as your ADC doesn't die, it's a swell idea.
As for the bad:
1) Bot lane is pushed down to your tower. If you leave your ADC alone at this tower, there's a big chance that the enemy will decide to dive him. At the very least, the tower is in danger.
2) Your ADC has just arrived to lane after having recalled. This means he's lost out on some gold and XP and needs you to babysit him so he doesn't get zoned and lose out on more.
Okay we're done with all that boring CS stuff and onto warding. Warding is one of the most importnat functions a support serves. No other member on your team (usually, anyway) is going to have a Sightstone and as such they will all be limited to carrying just a trinket ward if that at all. This means that the burden of warding falls upon your shoulders.
I guess the first thing I'm going to get into is the very purpose of warding. The purpose of warding is to grant your team vision. Vision equals opportunity and vision equals safety. If you've warded Dragon, you'll be able to see the enemy jungler or mid laner in an attempt to gank bot lane and you'll be able to retreat to safety.
If you see the enemy jungler at his red buff, you'll know it's safe for you to engage bot lane or even attempt to take the Dragon or the tower. And if you see the enemy jungler creeping into your jungle, you'll have an opportunity to catch him by surprise and kill him.
You should also keep big objectives such as Dragon and Baron/Rift Herald warded all the time so that you can potentially contest their attempt at taking the objective.
The map below will show you key warding locations in bot lane.
Yellow dots represent Trinket wards. You place these there before you get Sightstone. You'll only have 2 at your disposal and you should place one of them at the river (so you can spot ganks) and the other in one of the lane brush - whichever one the enemy support is lurking on. This will help you dodge skillshots and trade AAs.
Red dots represent control wards. If you buy control wards, and it is encouraged, there are a few spots to place them. If you're on the blue team and ahead of the enemy bot lane, it's a smart idea to place it in Tri brush. If they try to clear it, you can engage a fight and win it if you're ahead or with your jungler. You can place a control ward at Dragon while you're doing Dragon, and you can place a control ward near the Dragon pit so as to see the enemy mid laner if he wanders off from his lane. Outside of botlane, you can place it whilst doing Baron.
Blue dots are Sightstone wards. They're placed a bit further from bot lane and will help you see the jungler if he's ever nearby bot lane. These wards will shut down all roams.
Leona has good synergy with the majority of marksmen, as well as with many other champions in the league. Champions she works especially well with are the ones that either have good burst, to take advantage of her stuns, some kind of gap closer, to be able to follow up on her long range engagements, or crowd control, as that will synergise with her own crowd control and you'll be able to lock down targets for a really long time. Examples of good marksmen for Leona are Graves, Corki and Twitch. Champions like Caitlyn and Ashe are lesser choices for bot lane.
Outside of bot lane, champions who work well with Leona are, once again, the ones with some sort of follow up ability, or gap closer and some sort of hard CC. Jarvan IV, Amumu and Orianna are some examples of champions that synergise well with Leona.
Bot lane champions who can undo Leona's initiations and poke well give her a hard time. Janna, Alistar and Lulu are extremely annoying when playing Leona and are considered to be her biggest counters.
Enemies who have good escape abilities and are thus hard to lock down are also considered to be counters. They do not make Leona's job impossible but they do give her a really hard time. Examples of such champions are Ahri, Lissandra and Zed. Additionally, spell shields are extremely annoying, and, thus, so are Morgana and Sivir.
This section specifically deals with certain hard-counters Leona may face. A more general and less detailed match-up section, with all the other supports, is in the cheat sheet!
Lulu has a big advantage over Leona in the early levels and, if she plays her cards right, she will be very difficult to deal with throughout the game. Not only is she a ranged support, with good auto-attack damage, due to Pix, but she also long range abilities to harass you with. She can and will effortlessly poke you down, and you won't be in the position to retaliate or defend yourself. If by chance you are able to engage, she can stop you in your tracks with Whimsy, an ability that turns you into a purple mutant squirrel and makes it so you can't use any abilities.
So to sum up, Lulu has good poke, good disengage and good counter-engage. Her drawbacks? Lulu is very mana dependant, and harassing you will cost her a lot of mana. If she misses her abilities, she loses a lot of mana and so you need to dodge those Qs as best you can. Additionally, Lulu is very squishy. If you're able to lock her down, she'll die almost instantly. Your best bet is to try to kill her early on in the game, when she has no good items.
tl;dr avoid her poke and try to kill her early; after a few levels/items it will be very difficult.
Janna's got a lot of ways to deny your engage. She can stop Zenith Blade with Howling gale, she has a lot of movement speed and gives a percentege to nearby allies and her ultimate Monsoon will completely undo your engage and misposition you because of the knockback. Her shield will also deny some of your burst damage.
What you have to do is bait her Howling Gale so she can't use it to stop your Zenith Blade. One, relatively popular, way of doing this is by activating your Q and just walking towards her, dodging the gale, and engage when it's off. Another thing you can do is wait for the shield to be on CD before going in. Janna, like Lulu, is squishy and if given the chance you can completely destroy her with your burst.
tl;dr avoid her Q and try to kill her early, focus whoever isn't shielded.
Alistar's similar to you in a lot of ways. He's tanky, melee and has CC. His ultimate gives him damage reduction and allows him to break free from any CC. This is obviously a problem for you as it'll negate burst damage and you won't be able to lock him down - as if the fact that he's tanky wasn't enough to put you off from engaging. Additionally whenever you do try to engage he can just Headbutt you away. Speaking of which, he has this thing where he knocks you up then Headbutts you into his tower. It's not very pleasant.
So due to the above you are not to engage on him or focus him in fights unless you must. Avoid using your ult on him if he's level 6 and if possible try to keep him low. Just like you; he can't engage if he's too low to fight. You obviously don't have a reliable way to do this; which is why laning against him is such a pain. Ask for ganks and instruct your AD to poke him, and you should be fine.
tl;dr avoid engaging on him, especially after 6, ask jungler for help; avoid getting headbutted into the tower, if possible.
You could call Thresh a bit of a mix between Alistar and Lulu. He's ranged and has high poke, both with auto and some of his abilities, he gets pretty tanky after a while and he's got great engage, counter-engage and disengage. It's not hard to see why he can counter you in lane.
What should you look out for? Virtually everything. This lane could go either way but the favor generally sways into his direction. Avoid getting poked by him, harass him early with AA>Q>AA and instruct your AD to do the same. If he's too low, like Leona, he can't engage - and in early levels he's got the same goal as you do, get level 2 and go in, but he's squishier and arguably his skilshot, Death Sentence, isn't as easy to hit as Zenith Blade. Like Janna, if timed well, he can use his Flay to stop your Zenith blade; which is another thing to look out for. Wait until he's used it before engaging; only engage when it's a sure kill and unless they're low or you're very ahead don't attempt to engage without your jungler - because Thresh has one of the best counter-engages in the game.
tl;dr don't mess with thresh, avoid poke and careful with his sick counter-engage.
As of Season 4 Morgana has become an extremely popular support champion. She's usually a pick or ban kind of support, and it's pretty easy to see why. She provides a lot of CC, a lot of peel and a lot of damage. Although she's relatively squishy, being an AP support, she's difficult to get to and even more difficult to lock down. Her spell shield nullifies your pathetic attempts at engaging and her Q stops you in your tracks. Her ult provides huge peel and is a high damage source.
So, what do? Well one thing you have to look out for her is her positioning. Her Q doesn't go through units like your Zenith blade so her attempts at engaging or poking are pretty obvious. If she's hanging around in the brush be sure to ward it so you can see which direction she's aiming her Q in, if she's hanging about the minion wave she's looking for a good angle to Q you. Her Q, with some ranks, does a lot of damage and coupled with a couple of autos and her W can chunk both you and your AD. Unless you want to get poked down learn to dodge her Q, and use your W after or before getting hit by it to negate some of the damage. Unless her shield is down engaging is virtually useless. Only trick is to bait her shield out and then engage on the person she didn't shield; be it her or her AD. Then all you have to do is not get hit by Q and not get exhausted. Easy.
tl;dr avoid Q, bait out E then engage on the person who doesn't have it, ask for help from jungler.
Karma's been picked up as of Season 4 as well. She's got a lot of poke and a lot of damage. Her speed up and snare will undo your engage and to top it all off her ult will make everything she does even more difficult to deal with. If her poke isn't enough you'll be happy to learn that her mana tank is virtually never empty. Her Q which does a thousand damage has a very low mana cost, low CD and when empowered by her ult it does two thousand damage. So basically Karma is a high poke support with 0 mana issues and a good disengage.
Unfortunately there's not a lot you can do against her, no secret strat. Avoid her Q as often as you can; its hitbox is very precise and it'll miss if the it's aimed a pixel too left or too right. You can see the mantra'd Q coming from a mile away as she likes to glow when she ults and she likes to say some words that make no sense when activating it. Dodge that Q no mater what. Locking her down will be near impossible. Even if you land the E or hit the Q or ult her speed up will take her over to safety. Luckily she can't kill you either, after a while; if you play safe. Bait out her E before engaging if it's possible. Also luckily she's pretty squishy without her shield, so you can pop her in early levels if you can get to her.
tl;dr avoid Q, bait out E and only then engage, try to have your AD poke the enemies, as you can not.
Braum is a high tier support capable of providing his ADC unbeatable peel and protection. His entire kit is made for peeling and protection, in fact. His Q is a slow, his W an armour and MR buff, his E blocks abilities and nullifies damage and his ult is a long range knock-up. As if that wasn't bad enough, his passive applies stuns. Basically, he's your worst nightmare, but melee.
What must you look out for most? His E. His E will block the first skillshot that hits him, and if you're aiming to use Zenith Blade on his ADC he may just bounce to him with his W and block Zenith Blade with his E. Hey, that's not so bad - at least he'll get chunked for it. Nope, E will nullify all your AD's attempts to deal damage, he will get out of there basically scot-free. If you choose to ult him instead, he can still block all incoming damage from your AD from both himself and his AD. Lucky for you that he's ranged, he can't poke you. His Q doesn't do a lot of damage unless he gets too ahead, but either way he's easy to dodge. His engages are fairly predictable, with the exception of him bouncing to a friendly minion to get in range of your AD.
tl;dr you'll have to pick him and his ad off early, otherwise they'll be virtually unkillable, ask for ganks if they overextend.
And that concludes my guide. I hope you found it helpful, thanks for reading and good luck on the Rift! Special thanks to my friend Gangplank 1 for helping me take the screenshots and to my other friend PsiGuard for helping me out with the build :) ♥
If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, please feel free to post in the comments or send me a private message. I will read everything and reply to all questions and criticism.
If you'd like to learn more about bot lane/supporting, here are some good reads:
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