Alistar Build Guide by CloudyWater
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
This is the noob's guide to learning Alistar, and how to play the terror cow. It starts with an introduction to the skillset, how to chain combos together, and how to get the most utility out of your build. This is not a pure tank guide, it's more of a surviveable tanky ap guide.
- Great Ganks
- Tanky when played as a caster
- ultimate means you don't die
- easy skill spacing
- fun to play and easy to learn
- Slow as hell
- can die quickly without ultimate on
- vulnerable to cc as spells require close combat
Pros and cons aren't about Alistar in general, just about him as built with this guide. If you're playing a tank Alistar, I'd expect this to be different.
Surviveability mostly. This is not a guide to tanking as Alistar, it's a guide to playing a supporting role in your team as a champion with huge utility. However, runes that are geared towards keeping you alive work very well in conjunction with this build. Thus, i take Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist to help in early level fights, as well as Greater Quintessence of Health for that useful health boost. Combined with your dorans ring early game, this will help you dominate your lane.
I usually end up taking flash and something else. I can't find a summoner that is as useful as flash on alistar, just because you can use it both to get away and to set up your Pulverize into Headbutt combo. Viable second summoners are:
Teleport: Great for starting a gank. Especially if your team is good at popping wards in bushes. Also useful to defend that tower a bit later when things get hairy.
Clairvoyance: useful early game and if they have a jungler. If you're focusing more on the support aspect of alistar, this spell may come in handy pretty often. Use it to scope out baron and dragon, the enemy jungle, or bushes if your team doesn't like buying wards.
Ghost: Good for chasing and getting away, but once you get your [Shurelya's Reverie], you have a ghost that you can use every 90 seconds anyways, and that boosts your team too.
The real meat of the build. Everybody wants to know what items to buy and why. I start with a Doran's Ring, both for the health increase and the ap and regen. It's a solid item overall, and comes in handy for alistar when you start running low on mana early game. Once you have about 1150 gold, port back to base and buy your boots and that Philosopher's Stone. This will boost your movement speed, helping set up your combo, and increase your surviveability in lane with some mana and hp regen, as well as giving you a good amount of gold by the time you build it into a Shurelya's Reverie. Once you hit the mid game, you should have your sheen bought. This is when you start really doing some damage, you'll notice you start hitting a bit harder now. Then comes the meat of the build, Rabadon's Deathcap and Lich Bane. Once you get these, you'll be doing a surprising amount of damage. Then it's time to finish out with some tanky items. Get your Shurelya's Reverie first for the movespeed buff and hp. I would then recommend from the following:
Randuin's Omen: Generally good item for shutting down AD carries. Gives health, armor, and a slow. Combine the slow with [Shurelya's Reverie]'s speed boost for devestating results.
Force of Nature: Great choice if they're AP heavy. Makes you into a more tanky character especially with your ulti, regens health almost as fast as they can take it.
Guardian's Angel: You get a revive and solid amounts of resistances. What's not to like? Jump right on in on their team and go crazy.
Skill Sequence and Combos
The important part of actually learning alistar is learning how to skill him. I take pulverize first, just to completely dominate in the early game. If you have a lane partner who is competent, go facecheck level one and pop them right up. It's an AOE stun with good damage, wins level one fights all the time. Taking headbutt level two is optional, if you're getting pushed around in lane grab your heal first and start spamming that. Once you get your headbutt, start trying to zone out your opponents by standing between them and the minions. If they come close, headbutt them away. Really annoying to lane against for non-AD ranged players. Otherwise, try to set up a flash into pulverize, then use the stun from pulverize to set up a headbutt back towards your tower into your lane partner. This puts them into a 2v1 momentarily with both you and your partner unleashing damage on them and their teammate unable to join the fight. Once you get your sheen, your skill usage should go something like this:
Q> hit with sheen > W > hit with sheen > E > Hit with sheen > If low, R > Hit with sheen
W > quick Q to pop up > hit with sheen > wait a second for E > hit with sheen
the main idea is to get them away from their partner, in the air, and hit with as many procs of sheen as possible. Later on, the skill sequence is the same, but using the same idea to get procs from Lich Bane. It's really easy as Alistar to space your skills out far enough to keep getting the passives from lich bane and sheen, and playing to do this will drastically increase your damage output both in low and high level fights. Popping your ult is a good way to save your skin and get one last sheen hit in, so don't ever forget about it.
Basically, the idea here is to keep your opponent away from where they want to go, be that their tower, their teammate, or your teammate. Alistar is an amazing zoning champion, and this can be used to it's fullest advantage with sheen and Lich Bane procs, as well as your Shuryla's Reverie active to stay caught up to the enemy.
Alistar is a great champion to choose when your team needs a bit more surviveability, and his heal, although small, is able to be spammed quickly, increasing alistar's usefulness in a support role for your team. Play agressively with your Ultimate and the health and surviveability that this build gives, and you'll find success. Good Luck.
This guide is still a work in progress, so any and all feedback is appreciated. Thanks.