Roaming/Low MR path
Big numbers path
Notes on patch 6.9
12/9 - 2016:
Abyssal Scepter is now mostly a defensive first item in tough matchups. Morellonomicon is a great item for Leblanc in its current state, and the best counter to an opposing Abyssal Scepter is now a Void Staff instead of an Abyssal Scepter of your own.
A few matchups are missing. Those are:
* Tahm Kench
Introduction / Rules of deception
I go by the Summoner Name "Baekstra" on EUW, and have been playing League of Legends for more than three years.
Back when I started playing LoL in season 2, I quickly found LB to be my main champion due to her fun playstyle, mobility and damage. During that season I learned the game and managed to get a silver ranking before the season ended.
During season 3 I evolved as a ranked player, and mastered LeBlanc in-depth. She was by far my most played champion during season 3 and 4, and I climbed to the top of Diamond mainly because of her.
In my opinion, Leblanc is a strong champion who excels at catching the enemy off-guard and make seemingly impossible plays due to her massive mobility and damage. Her playstyle is definitely high risk-high reward.
In this guide, I will share my experiences as LeBlanc with you, dear reader.
I will first go through her setup and general playstyle, and then go into specific matchups and when to pick her.
I will not go into most general concepts such as smartcasting, ward placement, baron traps, ect. There are plenty of guides out there explaining that already, links to those things will be included in the bottom of this guide.
Before this guide takes off for real, I have two things to say:
By extension, it is also crucial to master smartcasting if you wish to become good with LB, and your Ping should be low.
2. The contents of this guide applies both to toplane, midlane and support LeBlanc, as all lanes are viable for her. The deception of your enemies start already here.
Rules of deception
Pros / Cons
+ Blows things up.
+ Massive mobility & utility.
+ Uses mobility for defense.
+ Enemy ADC fed? Make him disappear.
+ Good AA animation.
+ Can do magic tricks.
+ Win games @20 by making the enemy team flame and/or AFK if you stomp mid and roam to stomp side lanes as well. Even happens in diamond.
- Is squishy as hell.
- CC or chain CC = dead.
- Lacks some AoE or sustained damage for teamfights before super-late game.
- Enemy tanky bruiser fed? Good luck taking that one down.
- If you fail in lane, you will fall harder than most other champions in the game.
- You failed and got stomped in lane with LeBlanc? You may lose game @ 20 because your team flames and surrenders, since you "Lost lane with an Early game Champ." Even happens in diamond.
LeBlanc wants damage from her masteries, and after the introduction of Season 6 masteries, you'd definitely want to go for
12/18/0 Tons of damage
In midlane, defensive masteries are neither taken nor recommended, since the early defensive tree in season 6 is weak for non-tanks, and the damage options in the other trees are way too good to pass.
If you play toplane Leblanc, you have the option of going for 18/0/12 instead for burning down tanks and splitpushing - refer to the cheat sheet for toplane Leblanc for this.
Over and over again, I have been tweaking my rune setup on LeBlanc to maximize her potential. Because her main strength lies in her damage, it is crucial to have the best possible setup to boost her damage so she can be truly terrifying. By now, I have come to the general conclusion that Magic Penetration is superior to Ability power in terms of killing potential for the most part, with the exception of Quintessences, where the breakpoint between the two is around level 8.
Boom Boom Baby LeBlanc
Choice of runes
9 Greater Mark of Magic Penetration.
TL;DR: No alternatives to Magic Pen. It is simply too strong.
Nostalgia alert: R.I.P. Hybrid Pen runes patch 4.20. You were much loved.
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Seals are made to be defensive, and although some extra damage from AP or scaling AP seals might be tempting, it is simply not gold efficient enough compared to the extra HP you can get. Best choice of seals if you fight AP or hybrid enemies. Also, the scaling Health will make you more tanky against burst damage lategame than any other seals, including flat or scaling armor.
Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
Armor runes can be good against heavy AD teams and AD lanes, which you might face if you play LB top or into the likes of Zed or Talon mid. However, after the nerfs to flat armor seals, there isn't really a good option for early game power against AD lanes anymore.
Usually, scaling armor seals only make you more durable against burst damage when compared to scaling health when the enemy team has more than ~80% Physical damage, so they should only be taken for the added sustain in lane, NOT because you wish to be less squishy lategame.
Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration
Probably the most controversial choice in my rune page, Penetration glyphs actually outclass scaling AP at ALL stages of the game except for waveclearing. More math incoming at the end of this chapter.
Not really anyone, you usually lose out on too much damage if you don't take penetration glyphs. On the other hand, maybe that's just my agressive playstyle talking.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist could be useful in some lanes where damage is abundant or undodgeable, such as against Annie or Lissandra, but that should not happen often. Look at the matchups section to see where they might be viable.
If you don't have Magic Pen Glyphs, get them ASAP. Period.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power OR Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
As I stated earlier, the choice of quints is all about early/late tradeoff. Magic penetration generally beats Ability Power if you want to deal damage, and the same goes for the Quints, but with one exception. Flat AP Quints gives you more damage levels 1-7 and about the same damage levels 8-9 compared to Magic Pen Quints.
Magic penetration "scales" with both your AP and level (ability base damage), so it will end up adding ~75 damage to your combo late game, while you lose out on 8 damage with your average level 2 combo and 6.5 damage with your average level 3 combo. Also, your level 6 all in will deal about 16 damage less if you opt for Magic pen quints instead of AP quints. The reason you lose so much damage level 6 is because of the low base damage and ridiculous AP scaling on your ult, which makes AP even better early on.
Since you probably combo the enemy a lot early on, all of this damage adds up in lane, and the prospect of landing a killing blow where you might otherwise fail leads me to recommend Flat AP quints because of the importance of early game.
If you instead prefer going for late game dominance, you can opt for Magic Pen Quints because of the ridiculously strong scaling they have later on in the game, which gets really noticeable starting at level 11.
Since early kill pressure in lanes got reduced in the 4.20 patch that buffed everyone's health, Magic Pen Quints are looking more tempting than ever for a more "late" focus. Go with whatever you please, just remember the breakpoint is around level 8.
More detailed explanation in the lovely math section at the end of this chapter.
I personally use the following rune page for LeBlanc:
Boom Boom baby LB: (Yes, check it up on op.gg. That's the page name.)
9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9x Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9x Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration
2x Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
1x Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
Math spoiler section below
Most champions often have to build accordingly to the game and matchup, but LeBlanc only has to do so to a lesser extent. Her main build usually only has few variations, mostly regarding considerations about Zhonya's Hourglass, Abyssal Scepter or the roaming potential of certain items. I will soon add some more maths at the end of this chapter.
So without further ado, let's get to the items and why the heck I say they're the best purchases available. I show the items in order of purchase, and there is a TL;DR at the end if you can't be bothered to read it all:
Starting items, and natural 1st backs:
Doran's ring provides great stat efficiency and a massive amount of mana for the money. The 50% mana regen increase combined with the mana restore on kill makes this little ring give you around 6 mp5 early, thus outclassing the 100 bonus mana from The Dark Seal after only 90 seconds of laning. On your first back you can choose to go for another ring along with potions, or spend 500 g for the The Dark Seal + Refillable Potion combo now, since it is still very cost efficient and you will no longer be likely to run out of mana.
Alternative start: The Dark Seal + Refillable Potion
If you feel manly and much better than your opponent, the combination of The Dark Seal with Refillable Potion gives you an insane amount of gold efficiency along with the potential of a fast snowball. Bear in mind, however, that you will VERY quickly run out of mana in lane, and you will quickly be outsustained and forced back with a weak buy if you do not manage to kill your opponent early. After your first back it is a good idea to buy a Doran's Ring to grant you mana regen before going for the Morellonomicon.
Alternative against massive AD toplane: Cloth Armor + Refillable Potion OR Corrupting Potion
You have the option to go for cloth armor + refillable potion against heavy AD lanes. Sometimes you can choose quite freely between Doran’s ring and cloth armor (Against the likes of Lee Sin and Renekton depending on how aggressive and confident you are that you can dodge them), at other times cloth + 5 is a MUST (Against the likes of Wukong and Pantheon). If you start cloth + 5, you should go for Corrupting Potion along with The Dark Seal on your first back because they stack so nicely together, and the burn passive will help you a lot in sustained trades. Then you should aim for Seeker's Armguard as your first item afterwards before you start going for the standard build.
Remember that Pink Wards are extremely useful when placed strategically, and those 75g can potentially save your life. Even better, it might also net you a kill you wouldn’t have spotted otherwise. An in-depth explanation of this can be found in the next section, "Vision, Wards, Warding & their jungler".
After your basic starting items, you should be going for Morellonomicon or Abyssal Scepter depending on your lane and playstyle.
A comparison of the two items can be found in the maths spoiler in the end of this section.
Option 1: utility/roaming optimized
Morellonomicon outclasses any other item in terms of mobility and mana, and you only miss 10 % damage per combo compared to damage alternatives such as Luden's Echo or Void Staff. This little extra damage boost is in no way comparable to the benefits of 100 % mana regen bonus and 20 % CDR, not to forget the Grievous Wounds.
Morellonomicon has a cheap build path, and enables you to roam more effectively with the low cooldown on Distortion, making it a prime choice if you wish to waveclear fast with W while applying pressure in the jungle and side lanes.
If you are against a naturally tanky enemy in toplane, you should still go for Morellonomicon instead of Void Staff as your first item because even @ 88 MR, your burst damage will only be 20 % lower by going for Morellonomicon.
Option 2: Damage/Survival/Trade optimized
Abyssal Scepter brings a massive amount of stats packed into one single criminally cheap item, and anyone who buys this might as well just be stealing gold in the shop.
This item gives comparable AP to Morellonomicon, but the Magic Resistance Reduction aura makes your potential damage output with just one item go through the roof! Against a 43 MR opponent you will deal 17 % more damage compared to Morellonomicon, and against an 88 MR opponent (thinking Annie or Ahri who will also build Abyssal), it will still translate into a 10% damage increase.
Because it reduces the MR of minions as well, it will quickly make your W oneshot minions so you can safely waveclear early in tough lanes.
You will benefit from the aura in most lanes where you use Q-W combos and the like. Just keep in mind that in cases where you stay at range or do very quick Q-R assassinations of high-value targets and then pop out of range, your damage will actually be slightly lower than with Morellonomicon.
You should not just pick this item for the damage output though, seeing as the 10-17 % damage increase alone is not better than the utility of the Morellonomicon.
Instead, this item is extremely useful in lanes where you simply can’t be guaranteed to survive the burst of your opponent – as is the case with Annie, Ahri and Lissandra, to name a few. The 45 MR from this item is absolutely massive and helps you survive against hard AP lanes or even throughout the game against AP team comps.
If you chose to buy Abyssal Scepter first, you now have the choice of going directly for Rabadon's Deathcap for massive damage, or Morellonomicon to catch up on your missing utility. Boots are not worth it after abyssal, since you will not be able to benefit from a total of 56 magic penetration at this stage of the game, especially considering you’d buy boots to roam botlane or jungle, where the opponents almost always have 43 MR or less.
Luden's Echo after Abyssal is a suboptimal choice compared to Morellonomicon since the damage is only increased by 5%, and that, combined with the 10% MS boost, is not worth as much as the 20% CDR, mana regen, and cheaper build path of Morellonomicon.
If you instead chose to buy Morellonomicon as your first item, you should now choose between Rabadon's Deathcap for maximum damage and waveclearing, or buy Sorcerer's Shoes to go all in on the roaming playstyle and hit that sweet 36.5 magic pen, pretty much enough to deal true damage against the enemy botlane at this point of the game. Although boots won’t give you extra AP to help waveclearing, they will actually provide just as much bonus damage against low MR targets as you would get from just building extra AP. Add in the extra 45 MS gained, and you got a strong threat against all enemies on the map.
Rabadon's Deathcap is a super strong item, and always will be. Massive AP boost gives massive damage, and that is the best logic ever in this game. If the enemy team neglects MR and stacks HP to counter you instead, this is also the way to go. The combined AP from Raba + <Your choice of first item> will also allow you to farm easier with a W that instantly kills caster minions, speeding up your gold income.
Also, because the AP from Rabadon's scales with your other AP purchases, the damage from this particular item scales better than magic penetration when combined with 1-2 other major AP purchase.
Sorcerer's Shoes help you roam a lot, and is a great and cheap pickup if you seek to find and eliminate squishy targets around the map, instead of betting all your chips on dominating your lane. By extension, it is also more attractive to buy boots early if you end up in a bad matchup, such as against Kassadin.
If you choose to go for boots first, you should immediately go for Rabadon’s Deathcap after to get that sweet, sweet AP.
At this point, your build is now likely to look like
Doran's Ring- The Dark Seal- Refillable Potion- Morellonomicon- Sorcerer's Shoes- Rabadon's Deathcap
Doran's Ring- The Dark Seal- Refillable Potion- Abyssal Scepter- Morellonomicon- Rabadon's Deathcap
After purchasing a very healthy amount of AP (not so healthy for your opponents), you obviously need a ton of magic penetration to scale with it. Void staff gives you a great amount of %-based magic penetration, perfect for scaling coming into the early late game.
At this point, the first 58 MR of your opponents will effectively be reduced to zero, and who doesn’t like true damage?
Bear in mind that if you started your build with Abyssal Scepter, you will only benefit fully from Void Staff against 78 MR+ targets. This should not be a problem, however, since most of the cases where you build Abyssal Scepter will be in response to the enemy laner also building it, guaranteeing they will have 80-something MR.
By now, your greatest goal is to maximise your Magic Penetration to boost your damage significantly, since Penetration is even more effective the closer the enemy MR gets to 0. Haunting guise is a super cheap and cost efficient item for this that also grants you some more survivability. This in conjunction with the rest of your setup will make the first 82 enemy MR give 0 effective protection against your spells, and being able to keep dealing true damage at this late stage of the game is a huge deal.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE:
Since you cannot penetrate MR past 0, you won't get the full advantage of Haunting Guise if the target enemy champion has less than 82 MR, and you should not buy this item at all if the enemy team in general has below 70 MR. In that case, just skip this item and go to the next item in line.
The possibility of over-penetrating is a real thing, and it is bad. Just as it would be in real life. Imagine that? Yeah, that's a nasty picture. Over-penetrating in LoL is just like that. Real bad. Try to avoid it, yeah?
Your build is now likely looking like The Dark Seal- Morellonomicon- Sorcerer's Shoes- Rabadon's Deathcap- Void Staff- Haunting Guise
The Dark Seal- Abyssal Scepter- Morellonomicon- Rabadon's Deathcap- Sorcerer's Shoes- Void Staff
RIP Deathfire Grasp 5.2, 2009-2015
You were loved by many. You were hated by your targets. You will be missed by everyone. Or not. Once I would have purchased you at this point of the game. Now I can't anymore.
Aw, who am I kidding with this speech? I never really liked this item much anyways. I know it was popular and many people used it early on LB, but Riot definitely made the right call to remove it for the sake of game balance.
Your last item (or next-to-last if they have so low MR that Haunting Guise isn't needed), should top your build off with a ton of AP combined with whatever goodies we can get. That was once DFG. Now, we must turn our eyes towards multiple strong options, depending on your playstyle preference for the late game. Let us take a look at the four contenders!
Zhonya's Hourglass grants you a decent increase in damage, but the only important selling point of this item must be the extra armor and a big fat PANIC BUTTON against teams where you just feel like surviving 2.5 seconds faster and don’t feel confident that you can juke the enemy damage ( Zed.
This item allows for some better survivability to carry prolonged late teamfights and strong damage. It comes at a high cost, but money shouldn't matter much at this point of the game.
A notable use for the aggressive use Zhonya in the late game is to engage on the enemy team by jumping in with Distortion -> Mimic, then immediately using Zhonya's. The enemy team will take a lot of AoE damage (talking 1,75k AoE damage with full build vs. 82 MR).
IF the enemy team should survive and choose to stay around for your Zhonya to wear off, you might still be able to blink instantly back to the original Distortion before they can hit you.
Also, don't bother trying to get off Q or E during this combo. This move is about the big picture and landing some big AoE dommages on 2 or more priority targets, not some measly single target assassination. Also, time is of the essence during this move and you want to get into that Zhonya ASAP before you get CC'd and die.
If such a move doesn't win instantly or at least allow your team to initiate a winning fight, then you should just go blame your team.
That's a joke. Never blame anyone, even if they might be to blame. Blame never helps.
That being said, it is an extremely risky move. EXTREMELY. If you get CC'd during mid-flight Distortion or before you can fire your Zhonya, it is pretty much suicide, so only do this move if the enemy team has no hard CC, or you can come from an angle where they have no vision. If you try to do this move and get rekt, then you are the one at fault, even though no one should blame anyways. ;)
Buying a second Morellonomicon as your last item actually makes a huge difference in the game, as it is the most effective AP item to bring your total Cooldown Reduction up to the 40 % cap. This will allow you to be extremely useful and utilize Distortion to kite around a big, scattered or prolonged teamfight for ages while applying pressure and picking of opponents as their defence cracks against your extreme mobility.
If you are unsure what to buy and not certain to be getting Blue Buff in the late game, I’d recommend this as a safe, good all-round last purchase, and it is also the cheapest if the items by far, allowing you to reach full build just a few minutes earlier and strike while you have the advantage.
Athene's Unholy Grail is a viable alternative instead, granting you a bit of MR if needed and much more mana in case you need to juke around for minutes at a time, although coming at a higher cost and with 20 less AP.
Lich Bane is an extremely strong and versatile item for lategame LeBlanc, providing the highest damage potential possible through the Spellblade passive while also granting you 10 % CDR, allowing you to hit the 40 % CDR cap with the help of a blue buff. Combine that with a greater mana pool to stay in the field longer and 7 % Movement Speed boost for a massive splitpush threat that can demolish towers in seconds and roam the map fast enough that you don’t even need teleport in order to be there in time if a teamfight breaks out.
The Spellblade passive will add roughly 400 extra magic damage to your autoattack, making your combo much more lethal compared to what 20 extra AP or 160 extra damage from a Luden’s proc can provide. The only drawback to this is that you need an extra 0.1 seconds during your combo to get an autoattack off, which might not be possible if you dive the carries in a teamfight.
I would recommend buying this Item in most situations, especially if you are feeling bold and wish to be a massive threat and/or you are likely to have the Blue Buff at key moments during late game since it grants you the overall most amount of power, although at a slightly greater risk.
After buying this item, you are able to actively seek opportunities to splitpush enemy towers against any enemy team comp, except maybe against Master Yi. The speed at which you take down towers will match the likes of Fiora and Rammus using Tremors, and you have the mobility and damage to outduel ANY enemy at this point of the game if you have the skill to back it up.
Also, remember to upgrade your boots with the Enchantment – Alacrity OR Enchantment – Distortion for maximum movement speed while splitting or more frequent Teleports.
Being a much more situational pick than either of the three other items, Luden's Echo is outclassed in terms of damage, sustain and mobility by Lich Bane. The only advantage provided by Luden’s is in teamfight scenarios where time is of the essence more than usual.
This will almost always be when you need to pick off a single, extremely high priority target that is being protected by supports and a huge, beefy CC frontline, as would be the case against a team like Kog'Maw protected by Gragas, Nautilus, Lulu and Braum.
The advantage of Luden’s is that you do not need to weave an autoattack into your W-Q-R-W combo to get the extra damage proc. This will save you a slight amount of time that might make the difference between life and death, both for you and Kog’maw. In addition, you will be able to do the combo from a little bit further away, since your Sigil of Malice has 700 range while your attack range is only 525, and this extra range might mean everything in the game.
Now you have your full build, it is time for the last item on the list. Also, whenever you get the gold for it after reaching full build, upgrade Haunting Guise to Liandry's Torment to top off you build with the last 55 AP.
This little fella tops off your damage with 50 AP and 25 True Damage, it adds 145 damage just to that simple W-R burst mentioned just above. It is really useful for nuking... stuff. It is always a good idea to get this lovely thing before anticipated teamfights, and it's only priced at 500! That's a bargain, if it can even give you the slightest extra chance to win a teamfight. The mana regen granted by this is also roughly equivalent to that of a blue buff, so it is great for managing mana during longer late game skirmishes. I usually start getting it at key moments after my 3rd or 4th item.
Final lategame build
Alternative build paths, mostly for toplane
After that you can opt into a Seeker's Armguard on your 2nd back if you’re against an AD opponent to gain the more tanky stats you will inevitably need, before returning to the normal build starting with Morellonomicon.
Against AD lanes I would recommend if you just get an early Seeker's Armguard and leave it at that for the cost efficient AP and armor. However, you may sometimes want to buy Zhonya's earlier in the game against some matchups or team comps. If, for example, Zed is fed, you may need an early Zhonya to survive. Other examples could include a ninja stealth Wukong who ults you out of nowhere, etc. In those cases you can go for Zhonya as early as you'd like, just remember that your damage will be much lower until you get your big damage items.
The most notable opponents where you would need some early armor are:
Items I don't get
I would not recommend any other items than the build I've listed above. However, I do understand the need to explain why I left out some items.
Athene's Unholy Grail - The direct contender to Morellonomicon, and it loses in my opinion. Athene's cost 200g more and gives 20 less AP, which are the main points for LB.
Will of the Ancients - Spell vamp? Not really. There are so many better options for you to get out there and DEAL DAMAGE instead.
Rod of Ages - Delayed stats? no.
This item deserves a heading for itself because it is so much fun. I would NEVER recommend it in high ranked games, not even if you're 10/0/10 or 20/0/0 or whatever. It is too risky to get, because you will become so much weaker IF you are caught (you still explode easily if you get CC'd).
However, it is the single most fun item to get in normals or ranked games below your real skill level because it makes you snowball harder than a Ryze with 10,000 mana and gives the enemy team more nightmares than Nocturne. Also, bear in mind, that a LeBlanc with Mejai's is THE most taunting thing in the game, beating Teemo's taunt by a wide margin. It literally yells "YOU ALL SUCK AND I WILL FEAST UPON YOUR SOULS AND I CAN 1V5 YOU ALL AND YOU ARE DAMN NOOBS L2P!" to the enemy team. Did it hurt your eyes? It should, because you cause soul-crushing damage to the enemy team times infinity if you stomp them with this item. Taunt them in all chat when you buy this item for maximum effect. Tell them you buy it and let the hunt commence, because you are going to get focused like a target dummy at a shooting range.
Feel free to upgrade The Dark Seal after reaching 10 stacks if you feel like being hunted is fun.
Y U NO LUDEN'S!?!?
Riot has managed to give Luden's Echo a clearly defined role in the game. It is an item designed for poking and kiting, preferably long range at that. While making it a strong item when used properly, it is a weak item when a champion cannot utilize it efficiently - specifically the AP of this item is low as to make room for strong usage of the passive proc.
The item is good for poking since the damage proc will be triggered on the first spell hit - making it very strong for long range and 1 spell champions, like Xerath.
On the other hand, Luden's is the least effective as LeBlanc when you rely on a fast 4 skill combo to kill enemies, since it still only triggers once (and thus the passive is only 25 % as effective relative to a single Xerath Arcanopulse.)
The movement speed is good for making otherwise low mobility champions good at kiting. Even though our dear deceiver likes the extra MS it provides, it is simply too cost inefficient to get. Also, LeBlanc’s kiting ability is tied to her use of Distortion as well - and thus your kiting ability, as well as damage, scales with CDR as well as extra movement speed.
To look at it damage-wise, Luden's gives 100 AP and a passive proc for 3k gold, while going for strong AP items will yield 150 AP for 3k gold (AP valued at 20g each).
Since Leblanc has a total AP scaling of 360%, these extra AP will equals 180 damage - and if we consider the Rabadon effect, this extra damage will be increased by 35% to 243.
To reach the same numbers with the proc, you would need to have 1430 AP on the side - quite unlikely. Additionally, the proc is not always available - the AP is.
Yes. That's what i'm saying, except in very rare cases as 6th item because you cannot make use of the alternatives.
Vision, Wards, Warding & their jungler.
So, in the last section I mentioned that I don't really buy wards that often. That is because I am dumb, and wards are quintessential for top-notch, highly skilled competitive plays, so do not make the same mistake as me.
You should use your trinket wards defensively and close to lane, or save them for deep warding primarily in the enemy jungle when you are roaming. The defensive wards will obviously be to protect you from jungler ganks, while the deep warding can also potentially protect you by giving info on the enemy jungler movements, but more importantly, they have a chance of setting up easy kills in the enemy jungle, and you got the mobility and damage to do it.
You would be surprised how many games the opposing jungler will be at 30 % health while doing their gromp, and that could be 300g in your pockets!
Being able to buy a pink ward with potentially unlimited lifespan for only 75 gold is a bargain, and clever use of pinks can grant you great zone control of the map. Pinks should be used in one of the following ways:
The most normal use of pink wards is to place them in bushes relatively close to your lane so you can move out and defend them in case someone tries to take it down. In those places, they will give you info if your lane is about to be ganked, and deny the vision of your opponent at the same time.
Another use is to go to deep, sneaky places in the enemy jungle and place the pink ward in a bush that is unlikely to be checked by the opposing jungler, as you can also see them do in LCS. This can give you vital information on when to roam and when to play safe.
Funny gameplay video time
This game is from my Diamond 2 to Diamond 1 promo in season 3.
I think I said all there is to say on my voice-over on this vid. I baited Lee nicely just as described, but it's also a good example that you shouldn't get too reckless with LB, and you will get punished by any decent opponent if you fail. Also, it sucks to miss Ethereal Chains and know that those chains might have been what made the game.
We ended up losing the game because that kill made Xerath snowball against me, while AD Thresh toplane somehow completely destroyed our Zac and Wukong top. The game might have been won if I landed those chains and got that kill as well, who knows?
Late game vision
By now, the choice of warding trinket between Warding Totem and Oracle Alteration is a toss-up. It basically boils down to a choice between making sure that the enemy can’t see you, or making sure that you can see your enemy, assuming you cannot rely on your team as well to obtain full vision control. Seeing your opponent is crucial since it is rarely possible for you to kill an unseen enemy, but not being seen yourself can also make the difference between outplaying and ambushing your opponents, or getting instantly caught by CC and killed.
Recommended Summoner Spells:
Flash is a good spell, has always been and always will be. It has insane synergy with your W and R and makes you blink all over the place, gives you massive assassination range, clutch escapes, ect. The same as any other LB guide would tell you.
Ignite is also a ridiculously strong no-brainer for extreme lane dominance and kill securing throughout the game. Don't be overly afraid of using your ignite if you are unsure whether they will die. As a rule of thumb, just throw it at them whenever you go all in and would like a kill.
The only real other option on LeBlanc is to replace either flash or ignite with Teleport, because it allows you to do some sick ganks bot, mid and top, both which can easily win the game if you make them snowball.
TP will mostly be useful in toplane matchups because of the longer distance to lane and the more sustain-trade oriented focus in the lane as opposed to the flashier instant-kill plays in midlane where the 200 damage from Ignite makes all the difference in the world. Furthermore, the increase in map pressure gained by bringing teleport to toplane is greater than if you do it in midlane. In addition, Teleport synergizes well if you mainly play roam-heavy LB, or wish to splitpush like a god during late game. TP + Lichbane = Splitpushing nerdgasm.
Just keep in mind that you have to sacrifice some of your insane damage to get this.
Champion Abilities / Skill Sequence
At level 1, you should level up Distortion, almost no matter what.
If a level 1 fight/ambush/FB opportunity breaks out and you are part of it, you should always go for Distortion. It gives you mobility to flee OR stay in range of your target even if they Flash and quick damage. If nothing interesting happens in jungle, the skill choice depends on your opponent.
Distortion gives you more mobility, wave pushing power and burst @ level 1 than Sigil of Malice, so you should go for it because it enables you to control the fight and do things as fast as possible or stay in range to AA your opponent to death.
If you are in a strong matchup, Distortion can be used as a higher risk/reward spell if you use it offensively at level 1. This will put you in close range of your opponent to dish out as many AA as possible if you are stronger than they are, but you will take minion aggro and most likely more damage as well. You can punish weak laners early this way and perhaps get the coveted First Blood at level 2.
After that, let's get the usual level 2-5 skill sequence clear on LB:
Sigil of Malice-> Distortion-> Ethereal Chains-> Distortion
This skill sequence is usually best on LB. I would never recommend Chains lv 1 even if you're invading jungle, because it is delayed CC that they can flash out of, and the mobility and damage from distortion is still very strong for invades. The early 2nd rank in Distortion will help you push the wave faster and keep the lane even against aggressive pushers like Corki or Ahri
You will sometimes want to get Ethereal Chains at level 3 in order to give a higher potential all-in damage and root. It is useful if you have the advantage in lane and potential to kill them, or your jungler is coming for a gank.
After level 5, maxing priorities are Mimic> Distortion> Sigil of Malice> Ethereal Chains
Now, let's taker a closer look at the skills of the Deceiver:
| Mirror Image is perhaps the most deceptive passive in the game after they changed it so that it starts walking automatically when it triggers. I am not even aware of my passive most of the time, but it can be really strong now and is a life-saver in many clutch situations. All the way back since the 3.9 patch, people have often begun to ignite, CC, and even chase my clone. Just remember that any DoTs on you give you away from your clone, so don't try to juke the enemy midlane after being marked in any way. ;)
Important: The clone will start running a set distance towards where you are facing when your passive triggers, so you can use this to your advantage if you are prepared by making your clone run back to turret and run another way to safety yourself. The LeBlanc who runs directly back to turret is usually the most believable in the eyes of your opponent.
Some enemies with AoE damage do not give a f*ck, though. As in the video where I failed against Xerath, he just nukes me AND my clone with his massive AoE damage. While laughing in his chair, I bet. Cheeky wanka.
Clone movement pattern when Mirror Image triggers.
A thing to remember with your passive is that you are invisible for a short time, so if you can manage to flash over a wall during that time, it will look like you simply vanished to the enemy team. Also, if you're getting caught by the enemy team and your Mirror Image pops, use Flash BEFORE W-R to escape, because you REALLY need to blink out of stuff like that as soon as possible. Those 0.2 seconds can make the difference between life and death.
|Sigil of Malice is your main damage source entering the later stages of the game. There is not much to say about this skill, except that after a few ranks in it, you REALLY want to proc the 2nd half of the damage whenever you cast it. Unless it is too dangerous of course. It is a superb nuking skill, and can be chained with a slow Mimic for some Q-R-Q procs for even more damage.|
| Distortion is my personal favorite skill on LeBlanc. The mobility and endless juking potential it offers is unparalleled by any other skill in the game, and it has been repeatedly buffed to be at a ridiculously low CD at max level now. Obviously you can use this skill to jump on top of an enemy for great damage, but the many different uses of this skill is best learned through playing loads of games as LB.
I'll name some here:
- Coming back to lane 1 second faster after going back by using it when you leave the fountain. Your mana will regenerate by the time you hit lane.
- Freezing an oncoming minion wave by aggroing the minions and the Distorting over the minions. Then run as far as you can away from your turret before reactivating the return part of the skill. Especially useful in toplane, where freezing lane is most useful.
- Juking enemies by jumping walls and return back when they flash/jump after you. Use in conjunction with Mimic over the exact same wall if the enemy got more dashes to make them rage. Hard.
- Escape ganks with W or W-R, it creates a massive gap between you and your enemies.
- Catch low HP enemies who *think* they are safe with W-possibly Flash-R-Q-E-W(return). It is a good idea when chasing to land on them with R (W) if you can because it deals decent damage, and makes Q-E easy to land. If you used R to mimic Q instead, you will not be able to land your chains, and the enemy is then more likely to escape.
- Make your enemies batsh*t confused in general.
| Ethereal Chains is a good skill that allows you to kite/damage/control your enemies and save fleeing allies. It can be hard to land, especially when there are minions in lane, but can be useful if it hits. Some uses of Chains are:
- If possible, landing Chains on your enemy in lane before using any other skills gives you a huge advantage. You got the ball (his balls, metaphorically), and can decide if you wish to burst/harras/disengage if ganked, etc. By hitting the chain, you are in range to walk up to your opponent and smack a Q-R-W in his face, leaving him dead, rooted and crying on the inside. If you are about to get ganked, you could just walk up on the enemy and do a Q-W on him, use the return part on W and then save R(W) to escape their jungler, thus dominating your lane AND stalling their jungler.
- E-(1 sec wait)-R-Q can be used against fleeing enemies you want to lock down for your team to kill, or enemy mobile melee champions who are chasing you to keep them continuously rooted while you work your magic at their life bar. (I'm looking at you, Lee Sin, Renekton, Jarvan IV, Riven, ect.)
- Remember that it is not possible to use a dash when Rooted, so a procced E-R combo can prevent gap closers and escapes like Resonating Strike, or Lissandra's Glacial Path, even after the 1st part of the skill is activated.
Lastly, learn to hit those damn chains consistently. LeBlanc is nothing if she cannot land those.
| Mimic is truly a lovely skill. It adds loads of depth and damage to LeBlanc, while being on a low cooldown. Many of the uses for R is already described along with the other skills, and the rest is really a matter of trying it out for yourself. Just try playing around with it at first and get the flow of your combos when using R. Of course, the standard Q-R-W-E combo works for killing people, but there is much more to it.
Skill combo videos
I will soon add (more) videos to this chapter. For now, you can look at SIV HD being fancy.
In this chapter I will show some video examples LeBlanc's generic skill combos and when they're most useful. The return part of Distortion is not shown in the combos except the brushie brushie, since it varies from situation to situation whether it is good to use or not.
The W-Q-R mana inefficient lane harass combo
This combo is super safe to do and deals a good amount of damage. However, you spend quite a bit of mana for nothing when you use Distortion purely to get in range, and you don't get to proc your mimicked Sigil of Malice damage. This combo is great for guaranteed opening harass when you return to lane with full mana, or when you get blue buff.
You might ask why I don't include Ethereal Chains in this combo in order to proc the Sigil.
This is because your Chains are mana intensive early, deals little damage, and are probably hard to land. Feel free to use your chains if you are confident that you will land them and got a clear shot, but otherwise they will often miss and waste valuable mana.
This is explained deeper in the following spoiler.
The Q-(R)-W-E quick lane/gank kill combo
The Q-E-R-Q-W lockdown kill combo
The E-Q-(R)-W initiative combo
The W-R-W Brushie Brushie
Before going into the gameplay of specific lanes, I would like to tell about my way of contributing to the team as LeBlanc. Leblanc is extremely useful at roaming and creating pressure around the map, but can also focus on shutting down her lane opponent completely. This is also why I believe LB toplane is much better than most people think.
When deciding to shut down the enemy laner, you pretty much force the opposing jungler to come to your lane. Otherwise, you can keep raping your lane opponent under turret until you finally destroy the turret, and with it, his morale, CS and level.
If you succeed in this, congratulations! The game is now 5v4 for a long time, and you should be able to win.
However, more often than not, I now end up roaming a lot during the game. The Meta has shifted to a much faster game pace, and you will need to help your team make an impact early in the game in order to push your lead.
It is prudent to gank botlane rather early if the enemy botlane are super aggressive/getting fed or if your mid is impossible to kill. (Although you should not have picked LB into that Morgana anyways).
It is important to note that shoving lane with W in order to roam with LB is a very strong tactic and you should do so as much as possible without losing significant farm on it.
In both midlane and toplane, you want to use your Autoattacks as much as possible to harass your opponent early on. The lower level you are, the more your AA counts. Keep in mind that whenever you autoattack an enemy champion, you will draw nearby minion aggro. This makes it extremely dangerous to perform extended AA trades with your opponent, so keep trades to one or two autos at a time and then back off to reset minion targeting.
Careful mana management is important especially in the early laning phase. You will want to harass your opponent and shove lane as much as possible with the mana you use, and should mostly aim for hitting full minion waves with W. In strong matchups, you can target your lane opponent with all abilities and go for the kill pressure instead.
Remember, farming is important for every champion, and LeBlanc is no exception. Her AA has an excellent animation for faming, and you need that gold to kill your enemies late on. Unless you are ridiculously fed on kills, of course. Playing 12/0/3 LeBlanc is so much fun.
Some other general tips for laning are to monitor the mana levels of your opponent to see how much they can do in a fight. For example, an enemy Ryze with around 100 mana can only use 1-2 spells on you, so you can safely engage him even if he's at full hp and you're at 50%.
Another important thing is to know the Summoner Spells of your opponent, Tab is your friend. If the enemy Orianna has barrier instead of Ignite, you may wish to reconsider when you can and can't burst her.
Lastly, it can also be important to monitor the cooldowns of your opponent. Enemy Fizz used Playful / Trickster 5 seconds ago? You still have some time to harass him before it is back up.
Ahri used Spirit Rush to escape last time you used your ulti, around 40 secs ago? You still have almost a full minute to abuse her in lane.
If you do not know the cooldowns of your opponent, look the enemy champion up on
during the loading screen. You might as well use the waiting time to become better at the game.
Gameplay - Toplane
First of all, if you happen to fight a standard AP mid in toplane like Ryze, Orianna or AP Nidalee, read the midlane chapter as well.
So, you're interested as to how LeBlanc could possibly work toplane when she is super squishy and got no sustain? The question is understandable, and the reason is the same as why LB is strong mid: her massive damage and mobility.
Let us take a closer look at the balance of power between LeBlanc toplane and generic bruiser opponents:
+Decent single-target CC.
-Weak at pushing.
-Squishy as f*ck.
-The safety of turret can be so far away.
Enemy Generic Bruiser
+Somewhat tanky naturally.
+Usually has 1 gap closer or some other mobility.
+May have CC.
+May have shield/sustain.
+Can usually push easily.
-May push inadvertently.
-Needs to get in melee range.
-Easy to gank if in melee range.
-Immobile, and usually can't stick on to a target with escapes.
These lists can be summarized in the following sentences: If LeBlanc can stay at a range and destroy her opponents, she wins. If the enemy bruiser can get on top of LB and she doesn't escape, they win. In short, abuse your range to harass and win lane, starting at level 1.
Get as many free autoattacks in as you can, and use your Distortion to harass them level 1 unless they ranked a gapcloser level 1. You can do this because you can retreat behind minions using the second part of W, and the enemy cannot survive to be on top of you with minion aggro on him at levels 1-2.
After that, the lane is generally about whittling down the lifebar of your enemy and then going all in for the kill at the right time. It is CRUCIAL that you can kill your enemy instantly or in 1 extra AA if you go all in, because they can pop you from 100-0 in a few seconds if you stay on top of them.
When going all in, it is extremely important to be aware of your enemy's shielding opportunities.
Are you fighting a Riven, who has 10 hp after your burst, then goes on to pop a shield, a CC, and then chunks your whole lifebar away in 3 attacks and ult? That's not luck. That is you being unaware of how much damage your burst deals and the opponent's shielding options.
On the same note, Maw of Malmortius is the item I hate the most when playing LB top. The shield and stats it offers are extremely cost efficient and can bait you into going all in at the wrong moment, causing you to DIE!
Try to get your opponent down to ~30% hp if they got Hexdrinker or Maw, and then pop a lone Sigil of Malice on them to activate the shield and wait until it dissipates.
And of course, if the enemy got a shielding Valor ability Golden Aegis+ Hexdrinker+ Barrier, you have to be really aware of their CD, shield amount, ect. If you're fast, you may be able to go for the kill before they can activate their shields.
You will roam much less from toplane than you will from midlane, and the transition from laning to roaming/teamfighting will be much clearer than when playing mid.
Gameplay - Midlane
First, if you happen to fight a standard toplane bruiser in midlane like Riven, Jarvan or even Rumble, read the toplane chapter as well.
In midlane, you must find a balance between smacking their face continually, and counter-pushing the lane enough that you don’t find yourself stuck under turret with no chance to farm.
Use your Autoattack -> Distortion on enemy and/or minions -> AA (maybe x2) -> return to chunk away at their health early, possibly setting your opponent up for FB at level 2. Although I advise to use Ignite often, you will usually want to save it until level 2 or 3, since it gains 20 true damage per level which is massive from levels 1-3.
Other than that, it is important that you play aggressively, while being mindful of the enemy jungler explained in the previous sections. The jungler is especially likely to gank when it is time for that lethal lv 3 gank. The level 3 gank may also happen within a few seconds after you have the opportunity to all in your opponent at level 2, so be aware of the map, and get the heck back to your turret after you try to get FB level 2.
Try to keep their jungler around your lane, help out on dragon calls, and gank if you see an opportunity without losing too many minions in mid.
If your botlane is getting crushed by an enemy Draven (such a lane bully), it may be worthwhile setting up an ambush down there and pop in and remove that mean ADC when the enemy engages the next time. Keep in mind, that no matter how fed their ADC are, they are still just as squishy as any 0/0/0 ADC, since they only build damage early with the extra gold.
Do not fear the fed ADC, regard him as a trophy.
Remember, League of Legends is a team game, and communication is the key to success.
Ping or write if you are going to make plays, and an "OMW" ping into botlane makes a huge difference when compared to just walking down there, because your teammates are suddenly aware of the play about to happen and should be able to react on it. I say should, because they don't always react. The lower rank you are, the less likely it is.
Lack of communication is the #1 problem people face in lower ranks, and I believe most silver players could rise noticeably in the tiers if they (and the teams they get) would communicate clearly and consistently.
Slightly unrelated comparison: Communicating well >>> Warding well
Also, your attitude and the morale of the team is an extremely important factor in deciding the outcome of a game. Try to stay positive in team chat, and if people flame, it is often more effective to mute them rather than trying to convince them not to be negative. Don't play ranked while in a bad mood. Take a break if you get in a bad mood after losing a game or a few games in a row.
A link to an article about teamwork and its importance in LoL is included in the end of this guide, as well as a guide on emotions and their importance.
Gameplay - Late game & team fights
Parts of this chapter is taken from Albableat's LeBlanc guide back in season 2-3, which was the first and best guide I ever read on LB when I started playing her. It is a sad thing that his guide is now outdated and archived. Used with permission, thank you, Albableat. :D
So, let's get to those lovely teamfights, shall we?
This usually happens if both teams contest the dragon, or the roaming game starts early for some reason.
If your opponents are really stupid enough to start team-fights at this point, it works only to your advantage. At this point:
A. You don't care whom to kill. Their tanks are not truly tanks yet and their carries are not that fed to really carry yet.
B. Turrets are still a huge damage-factor. You may be well assured that there is not going to be a lot of tower diving. And this gives you so much more safety. If you failed to kill someone, just run to safety, no one will follow you.
And if they do tower-dive you, you have a really nice kit to fight under turrets. Remember, you have a double dash and snare in your arsenal to duel them.
C. You will be able to hold and waveclear a 2v1 lane with Distortion, maybe even a 3v1 lane if you're ahead and can instagib whomever is camping in front of your turret. Use the safety of your turret and unleash your fury on the sieging enemies whenever you get the chance.
Meanwhile your team will probably wreck their bot and top.
30'ish minute teamfights
Here, you have to be more careful with picking your target.
Usually, the best idea would be to kill the carry or an off-tank that deals a lot of damage to your team or a support that literally sustains his team ( Soraka). Your burst should be high enough to kill them (carry or support) within a single spell rotation. If you cannot grab an instakill on an opponent, you shouldn't just wait around until you can't.
Instead you must use your spells to grant your team some control of the battle while dealing some damage. An example would be to lock down their approaching off-tank with your Q-E to deal significant damage while allowing your team to pummel him.
It is risky to jump in with Distortion to proc your Sigil at this point, so analyze the situation before you decide to do it. CC can be extremely dangerous to you at this point if you don't get back in time, and you will blow your escape mechanism by doing this. That also means that you suddenly won't be able to jump away when Jarvan IV chooses to drop his mansack Cataclysm on you. That stuff really hurts a lot.
Post 40 minute teamfights
So, now is the time where LB requires the most skill to stay effective, but your damage will also be absolutely disgusting by now. If the game has gone on for this long, your lane opponent in early game will probably be back in the game even if you were dominating early game.
I have already gone through some of the late game teamfight tactics in the items section after Zhonya's, but here it goes again:
In the perfect world, you still want to kill the enemy ADC or APC quickly right before or in the beginning of the fight.
However, you must value your life dearly now. You are a huge damage factor, and your team is crippled without you. So, if you can't go in and get someone safely (that is, they got strong CC and are prepared for you, etc.), you must stay back a bit and unload your damage on easier-to-reach targets whom are harder to burst (eg. their initiators). You can usually take down one enemy frontliner with a full combo including Ignite together with your ADC, thus relieving some of pressure on your team.
This is turn, will make it safer when you go for the enemy backline. Remember, your combo is on a short 6 second CD now except for your ult, which ticks back in after 14.4 seconds. This means you will be able to root and damage the enemy squishies pretty fast and hard after your initial takedown.
Obviously, you also have the more risky option to linger on the edge of the battle until an opportune moment shows itself. Then, as said earlier, if you can land a 3-5 man Distortion-> Mimic onto the enemy team without getting CC’d, you can pretty much instantly win the teamfight for your team. Just bear in mind the massive risk associated against enemy teams with strong CC.
Another approach to the late game as LeBlanc is splitpushing, especially as toplaner - this will be covered in the following chapter.
Gameplay - Splitpushing as LeBlanc
This chapter has been edited after being shamelessly stolen from Albableat's guide on Leblanc, with permission.
Split pushing during late game may very well be one of the most efficient strategies to employ as LeBlanc, assuming you have a team composition capable of disengaging any potential 4v5. Although it might seem awkward at first, it's actually very effective if you put a little thought in it.
Below, I will explain why I think so, how to properly split push as LeBlanc and when to choose to split push.
•When do you split push?
It's a very important question. Even in lategame, LeBlanc's prime role is assassination/massive damage and creation of threat for opponents. If they can see you on the map, they are not scared of you killing them. Generally, that is bad. However, there are cases where they wouldn't be all that scared anyways. Prime example: a tower push. While LeBlanc is decent at picking off enemies during tower sieges or baron dances, she really excels at splitpushing. Therefore if you can't see the opening to pick anyone off, you should splitpush the closest lane.
•What if they get engaged on and lose a 4v5 a fight?
Ideally, that should not be happening. Every team should have some sort of disengage and you absolutely have to make sure that they can disengage if you leave them 4v5.
If the fight starts, evaluate the situation and either go there and pick a couple of people off (your mobility and damage at that point is great, so you can be there relatively quickly) or just continue pushing and take the objectives/their whole base. ;)
•Now the good part, why is LeBlanc so damn good at split pushing?
If your team is any good at sieging, the enemies will eventually have to send someone to defend against your push. But wait... Who the hell would go 1v1 vs. a LeBlanc with Lich Bane and all her spells up??
This is the crucial point. They simply cannot send a single person to defend against your split push. Even if it's a tank, you are able to take him down in 2 rotations.
If they send 2 people, then they will surely lose the siege, because now it's 4v3 and eventually your team will take down the tower.
Also, you can't really kill the LeBlanc unless you catch her off guard completely, due to her Movement speed and massive mobility and utility. So the chances of you dying to 1 or 2 people are almost non-existent. And if it's more then 2, their team is definitely losing inhibitor/baron/nexus/whatever the objective is.
•Why would I even push as LeBlanc? She has no DPS.
Remember Lich Bane, dear friend? You absolutely love this item for pushing/skirmishing/juking.
By the time you have it, you will have at least 500 AP, which will do some heavy DPS to towers and inhibitors.
Your damage to turret also scales off your AP passively, so turrets actually fall very fast against you.
In fact, you Autoattacks will each deal around 400 damage to the turret late-game, and 800 whenever they are empowered by the Lich Bane Proc. If this is combined with the 2nd dragon buff and/or Elixir of Sorcery, you can take down a turret in about 5 seconds.
With a spammable Sigil of Malice and Ethereal Chains, you can keep getting the Lich Bane procs and take towers down at a pace comparable to Fiora or Tryndamere.
•Additionally, since you will be leaving lanes a lot when setting up or rotating during splitpushing, it will threaten your opponents because a fed LeBlanc that's constantly missing creates a lot of tension.
If you want to ensure this effect, make sure to ward up and clear the jungle of enemy vision, unless you can rely on someone else to clear the enemy wards, as also mentioned in the warding section.
•If you are carrying a summoner Teleport, it makes your job even easier. You can splitpush like an absolute
Alternatively, if two lanes are pushing hard, you can draw your opponents' attention towards one of them and then TP to the other one and free-push it.
If, by chance, you have a Shen on your team, you can also double split push. Abuse both Teleport and Stand United by creating possibilities for pushing all three lanes at the same time and then focusing attention on 1 or 2 of them for massive rage on the enemy team.
Ranked games - When to pick LB?
TL;DR: Pretty often if you like playing her.
Most, if not all other LeBlanc guides out there use a great deal of time in pointing out that LeBlanc is a COUNTERPICK, not a blind pick or regular AP carry.
While it is true that LeBlanc can't be an AP carry in the traditional AoE teamfight nuking sense, she is still a strong pick against many team comps and she can easily manage being the only source of AP damage on the team.
Contrary to many other guides, I believe that LeBlanc is a strong PICK who doesn't rely on countering specific champions in order to excel, and I often blind pick LeBlanc into an empty enemy mid and/or top. If the enemy should happen to pick a strong counter to LeBlanc (looking at you, Kassadin), then you must make sure to communicate with your team so that you can go toplane (or mid if you got countered top), and have your team counter-counter their lane.
That being said, LeBlanc does struggle against specific types of team comps. If she if faced with an enemy team consisting almost purely of bruisers who can build MR early in their normal build (like Nautilus, Volibear, Cho'Gath, Ezreal, Braum), it is almost impossible to get ahead early, and a hypercarry like Cassiopeia would be a much greater asset to your team during late-game. Add in that the enemy Ezreal got a blink to escape from you, and you’re screwed.
A team bringing multiple shields and support abilities with only 1 or 2 hypercarries can also screw you over, because they can suddenly become deceptively tanky on command. A Lulu mid (whom also counters you in lane), combined with Janna support for a Vayne building Maw of Malmortius will be able to shred your whole team, and it is almost impossible for an assassin like you to pick off the enemy carry before getting peeled away and killed.
In order to blind pick LeBlanc, you should preferably be very skilled both at mid and top, and know the matchup against whatever enemy you happen to be against. After the introduction of Dynamic Queue, you must communicate very clearly with your team if you intend to flex pick Leblanc, and make sure your other solo laner is ok with lane swapping, depending on the matchups.
If you are new to LB or still don't feel like you master her well, it is safer to avoid blind picking her and keep using her as a counterpick against lanes you know are easy or matches your current skill level.
After having said all that, it is still important to look at your Team Composition. In short, every team needs someone who can deal damage (minimum of 1 AP and AD, unless it’s a hypercarry with true damage). Other than that teams almost always need someone who can initiate, someone who can tank and someone who can help the others excel at their roles (support). Initiators can be swapped out if you have a good siege composition or assassins if you are likely to get good picks against the enemy team. Leblanc brings damage and assassination to the team, but she can't initiate, tank, or help her teammates much except with her Ethereal Chains.
Thus, it would be unwise to pick Leblanc into a team which already has loads of damage, but lacks CC and tanks. If that is the case, you are probably better off with someone who can initiate well (Kennen with ult, Orianna with ult, Galio with ult), or take some hits (Ryze, Diana, Mordekaiser).
There are, of course, exceptions to this standard setup, as a super-mobile poke team (example LeBlanc, Nidalee, Lee Sin, Caitlyn, Janna) can win against low-mobility, all-in teams (Amumu, Darius, Draven, Leona, Anivia), as it is possible to outmaneuver, split push and pick off the enemies one by one if played well. That, however, is a completely different topic, and for the most time, you will be better off with a balanced team. ;)
A reference is included in the end of this guide to another article which explains team compositions more in-depth.
Support chapter - Introduction and general gameplay
Support LeBlanc is a fun and rewarding position if you are good at her, but she can only generally fill a niche role in the botlane since its effectiveness especially depends a lot on the enemy picks.
LeBlanc is pretty weak early in the botlane if the enemy support is able to poke hard, sustain hard or engage reliably, since she only brings single-target damage and CC, with the damage being kinda lacking early. A support such as Annie has comparable burst, but it is AoE and combined with an AoE stun. However, Annie is limited by low mobility and range, which LeBlanc isn’t.
However, as the game progresses, support LeBlanc gets really strong, mostly marked by the purchase of Rabadon's Deathcap, since it enables her to instagib the enemy ADC and get away with it.
Try to prioritize harassing the enemy ADC whenever it is safe, but you should definitely put some damage and perhaps even burst down on the enemy support if (s)he is exposed and/or squishy.
Feeding off the enemy Sona will get you your DCap just as fast as feeding off the enemy ADC. Supports also don’t have Heal, and the enemy ADC might not have the reflexes to heal in time.
In the early levels (1-4), your damage is low and the enemy duo can ususally outdamage you if the trade lasts more than half a second. At this stage, it is important to play safe and only poke when you can do so with little retaliation. At the same time, you have to show your presence in lane so your ADC doesn’t feel all alone.
You should try to push with your ADC for level 2, since an early level 2 is decently effective on you. You will have a lot of damage if you reach level 2 first, but no hard CC to lock them down for the kill.
Even though you are weak early in lane, you have a great selling point since you can safely pick off the enemy ADC at 35% HP at a massive range with Distortion- Flash- Sigil of Malice- Ethereal Chains- Ignite- Distortion.
After level 6, you have some decent burst and should focus on bursting the enemies together with your ADC if ahead/able to, otherwise you should mainly focus on keeping your ult on cooldown (use it often) while staying healthy/juke if the enemy tries to tower dive. If you can manage to survive the lane until you get your Haunting Guise or even win the lane before that, then congratulations. The game is now pretty much yours (no guarantees, stated or implied, are given though).
After you purchase HG, you should build towards Rabadon's Deathcap and otherwise keep dominating the enemy ADC and deny him totally from the lane. Go mid if he tries to go mid to farm. Dunk him with no mercy. More explanation given in the items chapter.
As late game approaches, you will have a choice (also depending on how fed you are):
If you are not that strong/your team is strong, you can do an all in kamikaze and sacrifice yourself to assassinate the enemy ADC. 4v4 with ADC against support usually results in a victory to your team (unless it’s a fed Annie i guess...)
If you are pretty fed/your ADC is far behind/you care a lot about your KDA, your playstyle will resemble that of mid/top LeBlanc a lot: you will start to play as an APC (or second APC), should care for your life, nuke easy-to-reach targets and try to carry your team. You can also choose to have your other APC go aggressively on the enemy while you use your burst you peel for your own ADC.
Support - Masteries, Runes & items
Support skill sequence
As LeBlanc support, you should still start off with Distortion at level 1 for mobility and a chance for AoE harass. However, you are not required to waveclear well as support. Instead, you wish to focus all your power on damage and trading, which is why from level 2 onward, you should max Sigil of Malice to reach maximum burst for popping the enemy ADC. Grabbing Ethereal Chains at level 3 is useful only if you are winning early trades in lane and can actually survive staying in range of the opponent for long enough to proc the root.
12/18/0 Support Masteries
For support masteries, you should go standard 12/18/0 masteries for tons of damage. Grab Bandit instead of Dangerous Game because it provides you a massive gold income as support. Secret Stash is a good choice instead of Assassin since you will not be walking around solo for much of the game.
Runes are the same as for top/mid Leblanc, except you should choose between Greater Seal of Armor or Greater Seal of Scaling Health. The armor will obviously help you sustain better in lane, but won’t be effective against hybrid damage ADC’s. The health seals will be more gold efficient in time and help you survive burst later in the game.
In botlane, you will usually want to start with Spellthief's Edge and 3 pots OR Refillable Potion so you can poke more and gain tons of gold.
Afterwards, you should definitely go for Frostfang because of the massive gold generation, AP and completely massive 100% mana regeneration. I do not upgrade it into Frost Queen's Claim because most of the cold cost goes into the Spooky Ghosts active. The ghosts are balanced in my opinion, but they are made to be good on dedicated supports rather than Champions like LeBlanc who scales immensely well with AP. Instead, you should leave it for now and upgrade it to Eye of the Watchers later in the game so you don’t have to dedicate two item slots for supporting items.
By now, it is time for you to become truly useful. You are truly useful if you can kill the enemy ADC fast. The enemy ADC won’t build MR before the 25 minute mark. (if he does, he will lose trades with your ADC unless he's far ahead. You didn't feed, did you?). Since you don’t need Void Staff against 37 MR and don’t need the MR from Abyssal Scepter, you should get Morellonomicon now.
That evil book is just as good for Leblanc support as it is for her midlane, and you are able to utilise all of the stats for both lane fighting and roaming into the bottom side jungle for skirmishes.
Afterwards you should get Sorcerer's Shoes in order to get that sweet mobility and Magic Penetration. The added penetration from this item will reduce the effective MR of squishy targets like the ADC to only 2! You remember me saying that magic pen is more effective the close their effective gets to 0, yes? This is very close indeed, and you damage will rise a lot.
Maths section about your burst damage against the enemy ADC when you have boots and Morellonomicon will follow at the end of this chapter.
Get Morellonomicon and boots, kill enemy ADC, get your ADC fed on farm or assists, profit, win game. Then you can do it again, until you can afford Rabadon's Deathcap, then kill enemies solo!
After getting DCap, you should pretty much follow the standard build for LeBlanc, except you should get a Sightstone and upgrade into Eye of the Watchers for vision at some point. You know, the usual support item stuff.
Thus, the final build order should be something along the lines of this:
In case vision is lacking for your team, you can get Eye of the Watchers before Rabadon's Deathcap
Support - Matchups & synergy
LeBlanc is very good at snowballing even as support, and she usually works best with aggressive, long-range, bursty or lane dominating AD carries.
|Examples of good carries:
Caitlyn. Her Piltover Peacemaker, long range and self-peel makes her a really strong pick with you. Especially with Ace in the Hole at level 6 - she doesn't even need to be near you)
Graves. His burst is massive, but he will be pretty weak if you fall behind due to his lack of range.
Lucian. He is a massive lane bully and all-round strong with damage, mobility and range.
|Some examples of bad pairings are:
Kog'Maw. He is a baby early who need tons of support. You cannot do that.
The enemy choice of ADC doesn’t matter too much for LeBlanc. Of course, some AD Carries will be stronger in lane than others, such as Lucian, but they don’t pose any champion-specific problems against LB.
The only thing to keep in mind is Graves with his True Grit and Ezreal with his Arcane Shift. Those two guys have the potential to mess with your combos, but the impact of those dashes is much lower than the choice of support you are facing.
LeBlanc performs best against some specific picks and it is especially dependent on the enemy support. Here is a list of favorable, skill matchup and unfavorable supports to come up against.
Note, that the common trait across those 4 champions is that they are slow and tanky, and that they can't engage on you like they need to in order to be useful.
Lane Matchups - Mid
The big three
The exception to this is Anivia, where you might win lane with your early damage and her being squishy, but it is a big gamble and it usually turns out bad because of her egg. Feel free to fight Anivia if you wish to play the game in hard-mode, but don't say I didn't warn you.
I will rate each opponent on a difficulty scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is easiest and 5 is certain defeat if your opponent is halfway decent. Personally I would fight any enemy who is rated 4 or lower. Remember, just because an enemy is rated low, they can still become a threat later in the game if you don't dunk them early. Conversely, an enemy rated 4 can easily be rendered useless for 40 minutes if you manage to get ahead and leave a little dump on them in lane. Also, if you're still not confident with LB, it might be a wise choice to only go for enemies rated 3 or possibly even lower.
If the difficulty of an enemy is given in a parenthesis (example, difficulty: (3/5)), it means that I rarely play that matchup and I am not quite sure if it is correct. It is still a qualified guess/distinct memory of the matchup, however.
Lane Matchups - Top
The big five
Doran's shield is a big problem for you in lane, since it negates TONS of damage from your autoattacks and provides strong hp/5 and hp at a low cost.
Any toplaner who is tanky and can benefit from Spirit Visage ( Malphite, Shen, Cho'Gath, Nautilus and so on) is very hard to beat as LeBlanc because of the massive stat combinations they can get from MR items. The Hp and MR these items give makes it much harder to burst through the enemy at all stages of the game. Additionally, the massive hp/5 it grants makes it almost impossible for you to outsustain tanks after 1st item.
Misc maths chapter
If you like numbers, you should definitely read this chapter. If you don’t, just skip it. In this chapter you will learn nothing new about playing LB, but there will be some more comparisons and crazy numbers.
Yes, this chapter does indeed prove that I am way too much into numbers <.<
LeBlanc has the most massive burst in the game, and late game she is capable of instagibbing most everyone, except big tanks. The question is, of course, how much damage is this?
"Baekstra! Now i've read the whole guide of yours, and I still got questions! Y u no answer?!?!
This section will be filled as new questions from season 6 are answered in the comments.
External resources to become a better player / rise in rank
A fun guide on most basic aspects of the game, read it to become a better player, although there is a lot of swearing involved. Also covers team compositions somewhat: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=71443
How to become a better player, looking inwards: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2170022
Funny team compositions, read for laughs. (They can still be viable even though they're gimmicks. A Vayne with 4 lives is just a pain.): http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:Andrew.heo1/Notable_Team_Compositions
Luck plays a huge role in SoloQ, but luck evens out. Here's a mathematical approach to climbing the ladder, definitely a good read: http://euw.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=859779
How emotions play a huge role in League of Legends, also covers some teamwork aspects. THIS IS A MUST READ, as it is a really important aspect in order to excel at this game. Also, it has cats. Lots of cats: http://nhanfiction.com/2012/04/04/emotions-the-driving-force-behind-player-performance-2/
I have one comment to the above article, however. While the article recommends playing while in a neutral or happy state of mind, I would warn against playing ranked games while being too happy. This is because the brain doesn't weigh risks and analyze situations properly if you are happy, and thus may end up taking reckless decisions.
An example: You are getting slightly ahead in lane and thinks "oh, I can 100-0 my opponent easily". You forget the fact that they have barrier, and only end up getting him down to 350 Health. You have blown all of your skills and taken a turret hit meanwhile, and now their jungler comes into your lane, because you sent a party invitation in all chat a minute earlier since you wanted to draw him away from your other lanes. He takes part in the party by killing you and then uses that advantage to snowball the enemy botlane as well, and you end up losing the game since your enemy in mid also got an extra Null-Magic Mantle purchased with the gold he got from aiding in killing you.
Of course the misjudgments can vary and be both smaller and greater than this example, but the general concept is that you can't make the best decisions if you're too happy, since you might become a bit reckless because of it.
Therefore, I recommend a neutral or "only" somewhat happy state of mind if you wish to play ranked games to the best of your ability.
That being said, it can be tons of fun to play normal games with your friends if you are all happy and start doing awesome (and awesomely bad) moves. Even feeding can be fun if your whole team is having a laugh at it together and do it while making SICK plays.
I highly recommend having such games with your friends every once in a while. It's hilarious.
I'd like to thank Albableat for his fantastic contribution to the making of this guide. His work on banners, formatting and general support and feedback is the reason I managed to get it done, and especially why the matchups section is so stylish.
And a thanks to JhoiJhoi for the lovely guide on making a guide, it gave me the tools to start making my guide.
21/9-2013: Published guide!
14/4-2016: Guide completely reworked for season 6. Items, matchups, playstyle and more has been changed significantly. Minor changes remain pending.