Alistar Build Guide by TomAquinas
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.
A Bull of many roles... Tank Ali, Jungle Ali, dare I say even AP Ali... I've tried them all and seen them all, but you just can't beat a roaming bull that could appear at any time to rock your world.
Not all roamers are alike, but this is the strategy that has worked for me EVERY single time. I've played around with it and made corrections as is always necessary, and this is what I've come up with: A roaming, well-balanced Alistar whose strength lies in his skills. Yes, unlike an AP who spams heal or a tank that stacks health, this guide will help you build a wicked-fast bull that uses his skills as they were meant to be used.... skillfully.
I take strength marks for the simple purpose of damage output. I believe these are crucial, as Alistar does not possess significant burst damage or DPS. He is designed to be a strong CC champion, and strength marks let hi actually do damage while the enemy is stopped. These can be mixed and matched with armor penetration.
Greater Seal of Replenishment
Especially early-on, you'll find yourself staring at an empty mana bar if you don't get some regen. Mana regen seals allow you to pulverize and headbut often, eventually to your heart's content. Other types of mana seals are also viable, but these have worked the best for me.
Survivability. Though Ali is already quite tough, these glyphs and a doran's shield at game's start will allow you to stay in the fight longer.
What's the only thing scarier than a charging bull with huge horns?
...A charging bull with huge horns that runs reeeeally reeeeeally fast. Quite simple. More speed allows you to get in there and start the beatdown, and then chase until your enemy is satisfactorily horn-gored. Go with flat health or AD if you want... but I opt for speed.
Again, it's all about the abilities. Though my given masteries can be tweaked here and there situationally, Blink of an Eye Blink of an Eye is crucial as you will be using flash as often as you can.
This Roamin' Alistar is quite flexible when it comes to items... probably because I'm so indecisive. The core sequence is rock solid, though... as you progress into late game, it should be evident in what areas you need to compensate.
Doran's Shield/Boots of Mobility
Taking a shield first thing just works... health and armor, the perfect starting stats. It keeps you in the fight while you're still a young bull. As for Boots of Mobility... You're roaming, and you need these kicks. Simple as that.
Chalice of Harmony/Glacial Shroud
Pretty straightforward, these items give you the mana regen, mana, and armor you need to start the game off right.
A small, relatively inexpensive item that does everything you need offensively. The CDR lets you pound and charge more often, while the damage and armor pen. provide the hurt.
Frozen Heart should be a priority mid to late game, giving you sustainability and even more mana. Phage and then Mallet make that damage even greater, Reverie will give you a nice movement boost and some extra health, and Guardian's is nice if you're having to initiate fights late-game.
Pros / Cons
- Well balanced champion whose abilities are ALWAYS useful.
- Can be altered to fit the situation, whether you require extra damage, health, or CDR.
- Ability to roam around and relatively survive on his own.
- Ultimate is essentially a third Cleanse summoner spell.
- Good at playing mind games, providing frequent CC, and positioning enemies for teamates.
- Not a significant amount of damage, in many cases needs a teammate to provide it.
- Eats away mana early game.
- Heal is not as powerful, but still useful.
First Skill: Headbutt
I see a lot of people take pulverize as their first skill. It's my philosophy that your first skill is your first blood skill. You're not going to get in to a massive teamfight at level one, so your first skill better be to help you and your lane partner get first blood. That being said, pulverize is nice given the damage and CC, but headbutt - if used the right way - does ton's more. I'll explain later on in this guide exactly what to do in order to try for first blood.
I take a point in all three of Alistar's skills as they are all instantly useful. However I max pulverize first, then headbutt, followed by triumphant roar. Take a point in Unbreakable Will at the usual levels.
True, this spell is the most popular, useful, and desirable summoner spell in League of Legends. For Alistar, it unlocks all sorts of potential, to be explained in detail later.
This second summoner spell can be replaced with a number of other spells, Ignite just happens to be a favorite of mine. There's nothing more satisfying than setting an enemy on fire just when they thought they were home free.
Early Game (1-6)
I have gotten first blood with Alistar more than any other champion, due largely in part to headbutt. If you execute it right, it is almost guaranteed that you'll get a kill, or at least a severely injured enemy champion.
Take the lane with your partner, preferably someone who can do some decent early damage... quite obviously, you won't be laning with any sort of support/tank ally. Approach the first set of bushes... if your enemy is not there, sit at the the edge of the first bush and wait. In the event that your enemy(ies) enter the bush, headbutt the closest one towards your teammate! Suddenly the enemy champion is behind enemy lines with no ally to assist. Use all the time you can to finish him off, popping ignite for that last bit of damage.
In the early laning phase, your main objective is to play mind games, while also looking for a chance to use another "reverse headbutt." Some effective strategies include headbutting enemies just before minion last-hits, headbutting one single enemy over and over again anytime they are in range (this one is fun but costly in mana), or hitting your Q any time someone dares approach you. Work the lane with your ally and use your CC to give some good early opportunities. If you manage to get a kill or a couple of assists along with some minion kills, you should have your chalice by level 4-5, and your boots around 6.
Mid Game (6-15)
Most people like to start roaming with Alistar as soon as he hits six. Granted, it is possible, and should be done if you've managed to take down your lane's tower already. If not, continue working the lane until the tower falls, and then start roamin around. This means, in my definition: Assist all lanes that enemies push past the midpoint, assist in teamfights, grab jungle buffs, and when you're not doing any of those, ward. You can read a whole slew of warding guides, but I usually stick to warding gank points, the river if it's a close game, and the enemy jungle if we're advancing.
Riding the Bull - Fighting Strategy
There are several techniques I use religiously when fighting with Alistar. The first is you MUST USE HEADBUTT AS A POSITIONING SKILL. Yes, it does damage, but the bulk of its usefulness lies in it's positioning ability. With it you can single out an enemy carry or support and put them in range of the rest of your allies. There are several ways to do this.
It works exactly how it sounds. This is useful for initiating a fight, as well as picking off a low-heath champ that's still hangin around the lane. It's a simple 3-step process: 1) Flash to (preferably behind) your enemy, 2) heatbutt them back, and run to them and 3) Pulverize.
Pulverize + Headbutt
I usually only do this if flash is on cd and I can't get behind the enemy champ. Pulverize is useful to put an enemy in osition for a headbutt, but I prefer to use pulverize after knocking them back. Why? Because most often, your teammates are behind you, and that extra CC could mean the difference between a kill and complete waste of time.
Triumphant Roar and Unbreakable Will
Myth: AP Alistar is the only build that can sustain a viable heal.
Not true, I say! Many a time I have saved an ally's rear with a quick heal or two. It's fast, it's cheap, and it saves lives, so why not use it! You dont have to hit "E" the entire game like an AP Ali... you just have to use it at the right time.
Unbreakable Will is by far an INCREDIBLE ultimate, one that I highly under-estimated at first. But think about what this gives you.
1.) It's like having a third Cleanse summoner spell
2.) You get a decent AD bonus
3.) Even at level 1, you can have a 50% damage reduction. Fully leveled, it's 70%.
Alistar's ultimate allows you to get in the fray, knock off any CC, and then do more damage as you take less damage. It's really simple and really useful.
At this point, what you do really depends on what's needed. Continue to ward and continue to roam and grab buffs, but your extension items really depend on the situation. Guardian's Angel is really the best all-around late game item, but grab some extra AP or Health if you feel it's needed.
In conclusion, your basic jobs as roaming Alistar are to:
- Play mind games by being a constant bully
- Use Headbutt as a positioning skill
- Provide continuous CC
- Keep the map warded and all lanes supported
- Separate Enemy caries from teamfights for focusing
I hope this guide is just that... a guide, and not a strict set of rules. This is what works consistantly for me and my playing style, feel free to mix it up as you see fit. Use this guide as a starting point, and you're on your way to perfecting Alistar as a big, mean, roaming bull.