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Leona Build Guide by SolarSupport

Support A Medium ELO Leona Guide

By SolarSupport | Updated on November 6, 2020

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Runes:

Resolve
Aftershock
Font of Life
Second Wind
Overgrowth

Inspiration
Hextech Flashtraption
Biscuit Delivery
Bonus:

++8 ability haste
+6 Armor
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2
Ignite
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked #16 in
Support Role
Win 51%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
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Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

A Medium ELO Leona Guide

By SolarSupport
Introduction
Hello, my summoner name is NaughtyPhy and this is my Leona guide. My MMR is probably in about the dead center of ranked, and I have mastery 7 on Leona with about 110k mastery. A lot of strategies from the higher levels of play don't translate well to the majority of people's playstyles, so I wanted to make a guide more directly tailored to Silver IV-Gold I. While I play a wide variety of champions, Leona has long been my main and favorite champion, and I like to think I've learned a thing or two.
An Overview of the Champion Back to Top
Champion role

Leona is a hard engage tank support. What this means is that she is good at closing distance and layering heavy amounts of cc on a priority target while soaking up damage. Other popular champions similar to Leona are Thresh and Nautilus.

Positives of hard engage tank supports

-Prevents enemy champions from disengaging easily

-Good for cc locking enemies long enough to burst them down

-Forces engagements to go on longer, which may be better for your team

-Can tank non piercing skill shots like Lucian's The Culling

Negatives of hard engage tank supports

-Capable of peeling, but do a poor job at it

-Most abilities are short range, so they are vulnerable to poke if they cannot
force an all in

-Abysmal in 1v1 situations due to lack of damage output

Leona's positives versus other hard engage tank supports

-Significantly shorter cooldowns than Thresh or Nautilus, and is thus better during longer engagements

-Passively increases the damage of allies by a flat amount, which is better
when paired with low damage allies

-Her engage tool Zenith Blade passes through minion waves, leading to a
surprisingly different playstyle

- Eclipse has premitigation damage reduction, making Leona fantastic
against certain abilities such as Ashe's Ranger's Focus and
Lucian's The Culling.

- Eclipse scales with armor and MR, and so does Aftershock. This means
that armor and MR are significantly more gold efficient for her than champions
without a similarly scaling ability

-It is fairly easy to keep Leona's tanking ability ( Eclipse) active
permanently in combat

Leona's negatives versus other hard engage tank supports

-No hook or displacement

-Her ultimate is a targeted AOE with a 0.625 second cast time

-Her solo damage output is particularly terrible

-Her full combo has less raw cc than most similar supports
Summoner Spells Back to Top
Flash is vital for most champions, but is even more so for Leona due to the potency of her Flash Shield of Daybreak and Flash Zenith Blade combos.

Your secondary summoner spell should generally be Ignite. Apart from the damage that Ignite does, it also inflicts Grievous Wounds, which is an early game counter to Heal and a late game counter to champion specific heals such as lifesteal or Astral Infusion.

Another decent option is Exhaust. Taking Exhaust instead of Ignite will virtually guarantee that you win all-ins at levels 3-5, and can be useful against powerful all-in champions such as Tristana.
Runes Back to Top

Primary Tree - Resolve


Keystone

Because Leona builds plenty of armor and can very easily trigger Aftershock, which has 80% armor and MR scaling, Aftershock is basically required on Leona.

Secondary Runes

Because Leona cannot generate a shield, the first slot is a toss up between Demolish and Font of Life. There is no obvious pick here, but Demolish is better for building an early game advantage while Font of Life is good for team fights. Because it's much more important for Leona to perform reliably in team fights than to damage objectives, I recommend Font of Life.

All three runes in the secondary slot are good on Leona. Bone Plating is good for early all ins, Conditioning is good for mid to late game tankiness, and Second Wind is good against poke. Generally, if the enemy bot lane has pretty much any poke at all, such as a ranged support or even just a melee support and a Caitlyn, Second Wind can be a very noticeable and influential rune to take. If the enemy botlane doesn't have any sort of poke, it's generally more important to take control of the lane with Bone Plating than increase your stats later with Conditioning.

Because Leona isn't likely to send or receive any powerful heals, the third slot is a toss up between Unflinching and Overgrowth. What this really comes down to is enemy team comp. Does the enemy have powerful peel that can keep you from doing your job? For example, the enemy team might have a Morgana that can root you at point blank range before running away. If this is the case, it would be wise to take Unflinching.

Secondary Tree - Inspiration


The only tree with any terribly relevant runes is Inspiration, and there are several runes that can be effective on Leona.

Biscuit Delivery is almost required. Taking this rune makes it difficult to run out of mana, when before it was virtually guaranteed. The extra hp regen can be very helpful for winning trades or surviving ganks.

Hextech Flashtraption is your default second pick. The power of sitting in a bush and flashing into your enemies' face is difficult to argue against. The only reason you wouldn't take this rune is if you have a very weak early game ADC such as Vayne or the enemy botlane is likely to farm comfortably close to their tower, far out of your range.

Magical Footwear is a common pick on supports because of the free gold, but Leona generally benefits far more from other inspiration runes.

Perfect Timing is a very tempting pick if you intend on building Gargoyle Stoneplate, but it only contributes 250 gold to the final item and takes up a slot of your inventory until you buy the item. If you have in your inventory common early game support items- Support item, boots, refillable potion, control ward; taking Perfect Timing only gives you one inventory slot to buy actual stats in. Still, if you can deny a kill with the stopwatch, it's 550 extra gold difference in favor of your team, making this item a close second to Hextech Flashtraption.

Cosmic Insight is rarely useful on Leona, as she benefits a lot less from CDR than many supports and doesn't build active items very often.

Extra Stats


Because Leona's damage scaling is pretty abysmal, CDR is the obvious pick for the first slot

Because of Eclipse and Aftershock, Leona will benefit much more from armor and MR than HP. As for which is better, double armor tends to work best, as sort of a discount Ninja Tabi. Because you're in longer engagements, you're likely to take more physical damage than magic. Something to keep in mind, however, is that armor scales up much faster from level ups than MR, so 16 bonus MR will certainly scale better into the late game.
Items Back to Top
When you develop a build on Leona you're generally going to make 2 major decisions: which support item to take, and whether to build Zeke's Convergence and Knight's Vow or Gargoyle Stoneplate.

Support Item


The difference in which support item to take is a small one, but will influence every single one of your games.

Steel Shoulderguards
Steel Shoulderguards almost always leads to more damage output than relic shield before level 6. The difference after that generally isn't large enough to justify running Relic Shield.

Relic Shield
Relic Shield provides more damage than Steel Shoulderguards from a full combo + ultimate. However, you're more likely going to be stuck sitting there auto attacking and waiting for your cooldowns to come up. You should generally only take Relic Shield if your team is hurting for magic damage.

Gargoyle or Zeke's+Knight's Vow?


The difference between pure tank and support items largely comes down to personal preference.


Gargoyle Stoneplate
Gargoyle Stoneplate is the meta pick for Leona, as she generally enjoys diving into an entire enemy team with no regard for her own safety. The downsides of taking this item are that it gives no cooldown reduction, is poor in engagements against 2 or fewer champions, and (obviously) does nothing to directly support your ADC. It's generally good to take chainmail before null magic mantle because the enemy ADC (presumably) does a greater share of the dps than the enemy support.

Zeke's+Knight's Vow
Taking Glacial Shroud followed by Zeke's Convergence over Gargoyle Stoneplate trades a great deal of tank for a variety of advantages. Glacial Shroud provides mana and cooldown reduction that carries over to Zeke's Convergence, and while the passive on Zeke's doesn't have much synergy with Leona's ultimate, tanks appreciate extra slows in general.

It's generally a bad idea to take Knight's Vow before Zeke's Convergence because of Leona's armor and MR scaling. For a similar price, Zeke's offers 30 more resistances than Knight's Vow. Not only that, but because Leona builds so little hp, if you have to engage on a magic damage dealer with no MR whatsoever, you will die very quickly.

These support items can be valuable when disrupting the enemy team is more important than soaking damage. but are primarily reserved for supporting a very fed ADC.

On a side note, because Knight's Vow damages you, it deactivates Mobility Boots. Don't take both items at the same time.

Later Game and Situational Picks
Most games will end before you have need of these extra items, but it's good to be prepared.

Sunfire Aegis is a solid tank item with good hp and armor, and the passive will greatly increase your damage output. Notably, this item gives no cooldown reduction.

Frozen Heart gives a whopping 110 armor and 20% CDR, the highest values for those stats in the game. Its passive is very short range and usually only useful against high attack speed melee champions such as Master Yi. You can generally take Frozen heart as a very gold efficient option against an AD heavy team.

Randuin's Omen is a fantastic late game item against crit spamming champions, and is a must have against any team with a conventional ADC in addition to a Yasuo or Yone.

Thornmail gives a great deal of armor, but a large portion of its gold goes into its 3 passives. The damage inflicted by the thorns will rarely be relevant, but the attack speed debuff it offers has no maximum range and is thus very effective against ADCs. More importantly, Thornmail is one of only 3 items in the game to provide Grevious Wounds. If there's any champion on the enemy team that's gaining too much hp from lifesteal. Thornmail can be a game winning pick.

Locket of the Iron Solari is honestly not a very good item. Its gold efficiency is bad and so is its scaling. Fortunately, Leona can make good use of the resistances offered by this item, making it an effective niche pick. This item is good when you need more MR and your team has a lot of diving champions to make good use of the active.

Spirit Visage is the most reliable way to build MR. Even without a good source of healing, Spirit Visage usually outperforms Adaptive Helm and Abyssal Mask and is a more gold efficient alternative to Locket of the Iron Solari. It can also be a good pick when you have not built any hp yet.

Abyssal Mask is a nice stat boost, though it is a little pricey. The only reason to take this item over Spirit Visage is for the passive. Abyssal Mask can be a good pick if you have a magic heavy team or a late game ap carry like Kayle.

Ninja Tabi and Mercury's Treads actually have pretty bad gold efficiency and are generally only considered for their passives. Ninja Tabi can be a good idea against AA spamming teams, while Mercury's Treads are a very niche pick against super cc heavy teams. These picks are rarely worth it, but can be good at countering horribly unbalanced team comps.
Abilities Back to Top
Leona's abilities focus on CC and short cooldowns, while her tanking ability is a powerful armor and MR steroid

[P] Sunlight


Enemies hit by Leona's abilities take an extra burst of magic damage when hit by a damaging attack or ability from an ally. This passive makes up a decent chunk of Leona's level 3 damage and only increases as she builds tank. Because she can inflict this debuff once per ability, for optimal damage Leona and and ally would alternate attacks. While in practice this is nearly impossible to play around, it does mean that Sunlight becomes more effective the more allies and enemies are around Leona.

[Q] Shield of Daybreak


With a 5 second cooldown at all levels and universally terrible damage, this should be your last ability to max. Shield of Daybreak is Leona's only non-ultimate stun . However, the short cooldown means that Shield of Daybreak can keep a single target stunned 20%-35% of the time depending on cooldown reduction. Possible to cancel but guaranteed to hit, this short range stun is very reliable and highly disruptive.

[W] Eclipse


Leona's tanking ability is a very powerful armor and MR steroid with premitigation damage reduction on top of it. Combined with Aftershock, a rank 5 Eclipse provides 75+100% bonus resists armor and MR in short bursts. While armor and MR work equally well against all damage types, the premitigation damage reduction works particularly well against multihit attacks such as from Renekton, Ashe or Lucian, or from damage over time effects. While the cooldown reduction from levelling Leona's E is valuable, the defensive stats you get from levelling Eclipse first make it the obvious choice.

[E] Zenith Blade


This is Leona's primary engage tool and is tied with her W for dealing the most damage. It's important to remember that Zenith Blade dashes you behind the last champion hit. This can put you under tower or allow your opponent open access to your backline, but it also means that a fleeing enemy has to walk around/past you to escape. While Eclipse is better to level first, the CDR and damage from levelling Zenith Blade make it clearly superior to Shield of Daybreak. On a side note, using Zenith Blade at point blank range can be a good way to prevent movement abilities with its root.

[R] Solar Flare


Leona's ultimate is a powerful, if somewhat difficult to use long range AOE stun . It does significantly more damage than any other part of her kit, particularly when scaling off of AP. While stunning enemies with the center blast is ideal, the 80% slow on the outer edge is still incredibly crippling for many champions. Don't be afraid to start an engagement with Solar Flare. It has far more range than Zenith Blade and can freeze champions in place when they overextend. An unfortunate downside of Solar Flare's range is that while Leona can easily follow up by casting Zenith Blade on a stationary target, melee champions and slower ADCs such as Jinx may not get to the fight until you've already full comboed. If you can easily engage with Zenith Blade, it may be preferable to cast Solar Flare while an enemy champion is stunned by Shield of Daybreak, as the 0.625 second cast time of Solar Flare makes it relatively easy to dodge with Flash and other movement abilities.
Combos Back to Top

Ability Combos


Leona's most fundamental combo is E+Q+W which provides a 0.5 second root, a 1 second stun, and a 6 second timer in which Leona takes greatly reduced damage.

Against opponents that cannot run away easily, a higher damage combo that involves 2 more auto attacks is usually better: E+AA+Q+AA+W. The reason this combo allows for additional auto attacks is that Shield of Daybreak not only resets Leona's auto attack timer when you cast it, but when you land the empowered AA as well. The downside of this combo is that between Zenith Blade's root ending and Shield of Daybreak's stun your target will have about 0.3-0.5 seconds to move and act free of any crowd control.

If you're engaging into an enemy that can easily stun you, it's vital that you use Eclipse before you engage. You can cast Zenith Blade to fish for an engage, then after observing that it connects but before your dash ends, you can cast Eclipse. The combo then becomes E+W+AA+Q+AA. The downside of this combo is that you will have 1-2 seconds less active time on your W.

When engaging using your ultimate, simply cast Zenith Blade on a stationary (or nearly stationary) target. The combo then would be R+E+AA+Q+AA+W or R+E+W+AA+Q+AA. It's worth noting that if you cast Zenith Blade quickly enough, your target will not be able to move or act during your "free" auto attack due to the stun from your ultimate. Alternatively, if your purposely wait until near the end of the stun from Solar Flare, you can immediately root them for an extra 0.5 seconds of cc.

Finally, the ultimate high damage, extended cc duration combo to kill a high priority target is E+Q+R+AA+W. This provides a 0.5 second root followed by an uninterrupted 2 second stun .

Flash Combos


With or without Hextech Flashtraption, Flash Combos are important on Leona.

Because Zenith Blade is your primary engage tool, it can be tempting to Flash+E for a very long range engage. Unfortunately, Leona's E is generally too easy to dodge to justify investing a flash into it. Not only that, but Flash+E suffers from the same problem Solar Flare does; it can be hard for your teammates to cover ground in a timely manner. There are times when Flash+E can be useful, however. If many enemies are clustered in one place, landing Zenith Blade becomes significantly easier. In addition, if you're confident that CC locking a priority target lurking in the back of the enemy team will win you the fight, Flash E may be the only method your team has of approaching the fight.


The much more common use of Flash is Flash+Q. Sometimes the period from when you cast Zenith Blade to when you finally land your stun with Shield of Daybreak is too long to be useful. This is generally when you're trying to save a teammate from imminent death, but it can also be when you're trying to stop a channeled ability. Compared to an engage with Zenith Blade, Flash+Q is much faster, easier to aim, and less predictable. Channeled abilities that can be interrupted by Flash+Q include Requiem, Inferno Trigger, Death Lotus and Grand Starfall, all of which can spell doom for your team
The Flow of the Game Back to Top

Level 1 Jungle Teamfights


In early jungle ganks, each ability has its place. Against a single target such as a solo Graves, Zenith Blade can easily stop them from escaping if it is used to chase the enemy over the wall. If you're defending against a gank and are greatly outnumbered, use Eclipse to escape. If the numbers are more even, whether in offense or defense, use the 5 second cooldown from Shield of Daybreak to disrupt the battle.

Levels 1-2


How early you are able to force engages largely depends on the team comp of both botlanes. Unless you have a very powerful level 1 ADC such as Kalista, engaging at level 1 is almost never advisable. As a melee champion, level 1 engages require you to level E first, which does 50 damage and a mediocre 0.5 second root. If you aren't planning on initiating any level 1 engages, Q is generally the best bet for anti-dive and cs farming.

At level 2, you generally take Zenith Blade to allow you to engage properly, whether voluntarily or not. If you have a strong level 2 ADC and/or the enemy support has weak damage and cc at level 2, it's not out of the question to engage at level 2. Without Eclipse, you really can't run away from a level 2 engagement, so you have to win handily enough that your opponents are the ones scurrying back under turret. It's difficult to get a kill at level 2 as without Eclipse Leona can't take longer engagements, but a successful early trade is still possible. It probably goes without saying that you should basically always engage when you beat the enemy lane to level 2.

levels 3-5


At level 3, Leona is quite possibly the strongest support in the game. It's very difficult to out trade a Leona when she gets her full combo off, and she is fully capable of outright killing an opponent when paired with a capable ADC. Leona can even tower dive against a single opponent at level 3, provided her target isn't able to cc her under tower.

At levels 4 and 5, Leona begins falling off as the ratio of AD to HP on both sides of the lane decreases and higher level abilities begin to punch through her Eclipse. At no point in the game is Leona a weak champion, but she will likely perform a little worse than Nautilus or Thresh at level 5

Level 6 onward


Leona's level 6 is probably slightly better than the average support, and her ultimate can often be used to execute an ADC at 2/3 health with a E+Q+R+W combo, particularly when a friendly jungler is involved. With a relatively short cooldown, Solar Flare will be ready most of the time when you get to lane.

As the laning phase ends, you should be spending your time warding and initiating team fights, unless there is another champion with a better means to do so, such as Ornn's Call of the Forge God. If you feel confident that your team will back you up and win the team fight, don't be afraid to throw your life away for the good of the team. Leona's place, particularly if she builds Gargoyle Stoneplate, is in the middle of the enemy team, stunning backliners and challenging frontliners to peel her off. If you're surviving team fights easily, consider adding some CDR to your build. If you're dying easily, build against a specific threat on the enemy team and engage on a separate threat that your build is poor against. Your build will absorb the damage from one threat while your stuns mitigate the damage of the other.
Conclusion Back to Top
While this guide will be completely worthless when the new item rework comes out, I hope it helps a few people out. Let me know if there's any changes you would like to see in the guide.
League of Legends Build Guide Author SolarSupport
SolarSupport Leona Guide

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A Medium ELO Leona Guide
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