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Alistar Build Guide by bive

Support Alistar by S4 Low Challenger

Support Alistar by S4 Low Challenger

Updated on July 13, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author bive Build Guide By bive 55 8 552,919 Views 10 Comments
55 8 552,919 Views 10 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author bive Alistar Build Guide By bive Updated on July 13, 2022
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Runes:

Inspiration
Glacial Augment
Hextech Flashtraption
Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight

Resolve
Overgrowth
Second Wind
Bonus:

+8 Ability Haste
+6 Armor
+6 Armor

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Introduction

I am low challenger of season 4 in NA and I fill during rank. I do not have an impressive win rate with this champ but he is my most played in season 6. I am making these guides for myself and friends mainly so sorry if you're looking for visuals. I am top 1000 Alistar on lolskill.net for 2016, but I do not know how good that website is compared to 2014.
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Changelog

Published 4/20/16
updated items and mid game chapter 4/21/16
Updated skill usage, team fighting, when to pick alistar chapters and morgana matchup 4/25/16
updated thresh matchup 4/27/16
Updated braum, elise, and trundle matchup 4/29/16
added ezreal matchup 5/1/16
Updated soraka matchup 5/3/16
updated when to pick alistar and items chapter 5/6/16
Added aurelion sol and maokai match ups 5/7/16
updated when to pick alistar and early game chapter 5/9/16
Updated dragon chapter 5/20/16
updated when to pick alistar chapter 5/25/16
Added katarina matchup, items, when to pick alistar and items chapter 8/12/16
updated tahm kench matchup, alistar runes and runes chapter 8/29/16
Updated leona matchup, masteries, and masteries chapter 9/6/16
updated mid game chapter and vel'koz matchup 9/10/16
Updated when to pick alistar chapter 9/22/16
updated when to pick alistar chapter and added kennen matchup 10/8/16
Updated jhin matchup and when to pick ali, masteries, and items chapter 10/15/16
updated leashing, early game, and baron chapters 10/17/16
Updated when to pick alistar and masteries chapter, lulu matchup, and masteries 11/28/16
updated items and skill order; updated items, the level one before minions spawn, leashing, early game, mid game, late game, and dragon chapters 11/29/16
Updated runes; when to pick alistar chapter 12/9/16
updated when to pick alistar and conclusion chapters 2/18/17
Updated matchups and skill usage to replace old E 3/9/17
updated masteries and skill order; masteries chapter 4/26/17
Updated yasuo and elise matchup; added anivia matchup 4/28/17
updated runes; when to pick alistar and runes chapters, removed masteries chapter 12/13/17
Updated runes and items; when to pick alistar, runes, items, timers, the level one before minions spawn, and leashing chapters; updated morgana matchup; added gragas and pyke matchups 10/19/18
updated team fighting chapter 10/20/18
Updated almost eveything 12/22/21
updated when to pick alistar chapter 7/2/22
Updated when to pick alistar chapter 7/13/22
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When to pick alistar

As of patch 12.13, Alistar is a C tier support in the game. Generally do not pick him. The only time you can pick him is against poke bot lane, but Sejuani with Electrocute, Pyke, Rakan, Bard and Zac are better engage supports. He can be a counter pick to Rell though but Thresh and Janna is better. If you do pick this champion, this guide will help you minimize your chance of losing. He is good at ganking mid with jungler, but your mid needs to be a viable champion to succeed. Alistar is primarily a roamer since your solo kill potential is low unless your laners burn cooldowns(use skills and miss or use on minions) for example going for a trade when Janna shield is down or going on the other that isn't shielded.

Right now Yuumi is the best support and can handle her counters despite her recent nerfs.
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Summoner Spells

Flash is mandatory for all. When I think about Exhaust and Ignite, I think about when we 5v5 is there someone on the front line that I need to exhaust? For ex. Yasuo, Riven, Fizz, Annie, Rengar, Vi, Zed, and more would need exhaust. If there is no one in the front to exhaust, you take Ignite since it would be very hard to exh their adc. An exception would be that if your team has no answer to Twitch you would have to use all your skills then flash forward and exhaust him and sacrifice urself. You can take Heal if your adc uses Cleanse. You can also take Ignite if you have a strong early game adc. Get Ignite with Kalista against caster adc and Exhaust against auto adc, can lvl 2 gib all in vs support with no Exhaust with Kalista w/ Ignite.
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Runes

Against range supports, take the runes from this guide. If against melee supports or Thresh, take Aftershock Font of Life Bone Plating Overgrowth Presence of Mind and Legend: Tenacity.
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Items

Buy boots as your first core item for warding the enemy jungle with jungler or warding defensively around mid lane after backing. Your bot partner will play back when you're gone or else you have to tell him to wait at tower. Come back to your bot partner when the minions are gonna hit your tower.

Locket of the Iron Solari prioritized if they have aoe(area of effect) like Ziggs, Rumble, or Karthus.

Thornmail against enemies with healing.

Mikael's Blessing if they have critical cc.

Elixir of Iron when full build or when a dragon soul or elder dragon is happening soon.

Control Ward only for dragons. Better to save money for items.

Frozen Heart against a lot of attack speed champions.

Abyssal Mask against magic and with a magic teammate.

Anathema's Chains is good against melee carries like Yasuo and Sylas as your team's crowd control effects will last longer on them.
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Timers

You should always time the enemy summoners. Do this with ctrl a then ctrl c after typing the timers and later remind your team with ctrl v. You should always time the enemy summoners. Flash is 5 min, but Ionian Boots of Lucidity reduces flash by 30s, Cosmic Insight reduces flash by 46s, together reduces flash by 69s. Exhaust and Cleanse are 3 min 30s while Ignite and Ghost are 3 minutes. Teleport can be looked at by holding tab and divide their teleport cooldown by 60. Heal is 4 min. Buffs are 5 minutes if you dont have vision of their buffs to make use of riot's buff timers. Dragon and baron are timed by the game scoreboard. inhibitor is 4 min.
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APM

Actions per minute; you should try to never stand still. It will warm up your hands if you keep clicking left and right. Also do some wrist exercise so you don't develop anything bad.
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Skill usage

Alistar can Pulverize Flash, do not use Flash q since it is too slow. You can auto once if they have no spells to stop you and they have no flash after you q, unless its max range q flash. Pants are Dragon made a good video about regular q flash, but not max range q flash. https://youtu.be/XMAvVgOBnCk?t=134

You should save Headbutt Pulverize combo until enemies are grouped together.

You should use Headbutt Pulverize when your jungle gank is coming from the side or behind them. If jungler is lane ganking then you do q Flash then walk forward to w your target to your allies.

Unbreakable Will can be saved for removing cc, but for team fights should be used right when you take damage or after using Pulverize.

You can disrupt some dashes. You should keep an eye on channeling enemies to stop them with Headbutt or Pulverize Flash.

Never use Headbutt Pulverize on tanks when carries are nearby, save them for zoning carries.

Do not use Pulverize when about to hit lvl 2; do not use Headbutt without Q in lane when initiating trades.

Don't Headbutt a weaker carry from your stronger carry; W someone else with cc up or dmg.

Do not use skills on minions for the sake of farm. Enemies can be nearby and punish your team.

If Headbutt can displace enemy into wall, you can put one auto attack in usually then Pulverize. If he can't reach the wall then do W Q.

You can do Flash w q combo if your W isn't max range after you flash to give enemies less time to react. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2XtGiT2JNM&feature=youtu.be&t=2071

Use Headbutt on minions or someone in your escape path if you are trying to gain distance from an enemy.

Trample get stacks next to tanks then Flash auto attack a squishy.
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Jungle Tracking

Wards won't be enough as good jungle players know how to get around them. You need to keep track of junglers by their pathing. First know which side they started by a deep ward or on his teammates leashing. Be careful though, as people can fake leash. Ping on the map which camps the enemy jungler should be at and all laners should play accordingly. If you ping jungler is on opposite side of map while your jungler is on your side, you should trade with the enemy laners. If jungler is on your side, then play safe and do not push lane.
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Champion synergy

Yasuo can get more displacement abilities from you for his Last Breath.

Alistar is very strong against immobile champions, such as Syndra and Jinx.
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The level one before minions spawn

Do not pick a skill yet until you see your lane opponents in lane, when top laner appears at top to show there is no lane swap, or there is no delay invade. You should defend a choke point safely. If defending raptor area do not stand in bush. If defending mid lane then have vision of both bushes and no need to have vision of their tower. You should use your trinket ward somewhere generally at 0:45, unless you see a group of invaders then you ward where you are escaping to. If you ward in front of them, they can kill it. A delay invade optimally happens at 1:25, so warding at 0:45 at a decent spot to see the invade coming will let your team respond accordingly. If an enemy sees you when you are about to ward, its better to back off and ward a spot that they cannot see even though it is not as deep.
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Leashing

If jungler starts on bottom buff, then it is really helpful for you and bottom player to help leash until 1:37. You then go to your lane. You should not worry too much about a cheese in the river as red team if you trinket warded well during the 0:45. Same with tri bush as blue team.
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Minion advantage

Generally for all lanes, if you have more minions you can go aggressive if your adc follows up and you know where everyone is in the map; but not past the minions if you need your minions to help fight the enemy champs. If there are 10 enemy minions and you have 3 minions just back up all the way to tower as you will get collapsed on by the enemy. Since you will not lose any cs(creep score), you might as well go back to tower anyways. It takes 9 minions as duo lane to get lvl 2 so you should count both minion waves to see if you get lvl 2 first, they get lvl 2 first, or both sides will get lvl 2 at the same time. If they are getting lvl 2 first then you're gonna have to back off far and ping back your partner. If the lane is even then you have to be cautious. Only do short trades when playing aggressive or else you take too much minion damage.
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Recognizing tower dives

You should watch your lane and your teammates to see if they have the factors of getting dived. The most obvious one is low health. Others are no flash, huge incoming minion wave, and champions missing. If you pay attention to other lanes or yourself, you can warn the possible dive and move your jungler, others can roam to help, or get in a spot for a safe teleport, all to turn around the dive. If none of the responses are available then the possible victim must leave. The duo lane should generally be together when the minion wave is at their tower, or else the enemy duo can 2v1 dive the lonely bottom player. Tell that bottom player to leave or call others to turn the dive around.
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Farming under tower

Towers will prioritize minions toward the bottom of the lane first. During early levels you can auto once on a full hp caster minion. The caster minions near the top of the lane will most likely get hit by your minions which means you need to auto those more than once or not at all.
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Recall scenarios

Generally you recall when your adc is recalling or dead. Best case scenario is you know where everyone is on the map and you can safely push to their tower if you have more minions or freeze when they have a bit more minions. You can recall before a siege minion wave(which spawns after 2 minion waves during early game), so that by the time you go back to lane you won't miss out on too much cs since siege takes a while to be killed by tower as well as enemies can't push that fast.

If you killed your enemy laners and you do not know where everyone is on the map then you should go to your tower and recall. Do not risk getting killed by their jungler or whoever. If you got a successful jungler to gank you then ask him to push with you unless you are all low enough for a triple kill. After recalling, buy while walking to edge of fountain always until 20 minute mark.
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Early game

Warding in the bottom river will help to avoid their bot duo cheese as well as lvl 2 jungle ganks.

Generally let them push level one as you can't do anything.

It takes 9 minion kills for duo lanes to level.

Never trade if you are not full health.

It is ok to take one kill because you want to get your mythic item by third dragon.

Ward mainly when you push to enemy tower and let your bot player know to back off; you can also fake ward by walking to a spot and pretending to ward.

If the mid is missing then you should expect a gank and should back off. Watch for teleports as well as you can't all in unless your jungler and your teleport(s) is ready to help. Get all 3 skills lvl 3 if you expect gank or all in.

After first back run in jungle near mid lane to ward the river bush near mid towards dragon or to deep ward the enemy jungle that isn't the buff bush. It is best to ward and roam with jungler. Try to ward the gromp area/ raptor area as that is the easiest after your lane is pushing(preferably under enemy tower), tell your bot player to play back or follow you as you deep ward so he doesn't get 2v1. For warding the raptor make sure you see the raptor camp to see their jungler. For warding the gromp you don't need to ward the blue buff bush, just ward over the wall that can see both blue buff and gromp. If you see their jungler and he can 1v1 you or is not scared then you should just back off and ward a spot where he can't see you place since he is preventing you from deep warding. Generally when your jungler comes, you let him show first before engaging since u don't want to die in a 2v2 before your jungler gets to do anything.

As red team, many blue team players Control Ward their tri bush at bot. It is very risky to take them out without your jungler, so instead you can ward these spots to see an incoming gank from the jungle but not from river.
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Mid game

Mid game generally starts when a tower dies or when someone gets lvl 6 as they can tower dive. Always ask for help when warding, never ward by yourself unless you know where everyone is.

You should generally be mid with your bot partner. Just get experience and play safe to wait for next dragon fight. This is why late game counter picks are best.
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Late game

Always have a Control Ward slot. Only use Control Ward for dragons and barons.

Never get aced as just a siege wave is enough to end the game.

It is ok to lose inhibitor. Just focus on dragons and protecting nexus towers. Always take dragon over baron unless it's cloud. Always take dragon over towers and inhibitors as well. Do not take base towers if dragon or baron is coming up soon as the enemy will generally respawn in time.

Never get aced as just a siege wave is enough to end the game.

It is ok to lose inhibitor. Just focus on dragons and protecting nexus towers. Always take dragon over baron unless it's cloud. Always take dragon over towers and inhibitors as well. Do not take base towers if dragon or baron is coming up soon as the enemy will generally respawn in time.

If you have open nexus(no nexus towers) then sit in base until all inhibits respawn.
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Dragon

Only do dragon when 2 enemies are dead or at base & while your team isn't low, or it is a free dragon. A free dragon is when the enemy team is aced, their teleports are down, completely cleared their vision, they're taking top buff, or recalled to base.

If they have Fiddlesticks, Nunu & Willump, Master Yi, Udyr, Shaco, Elise, Karthus, Lee Sin, and possibly more(not to mention laners helping out), then you need to keep it warded from a specific lvl onward for a possible sneak.

If the enemy starts dragon, poke them until dragon is half hp, then fight. Poking them makes them disoriented to either finish, run, or fight. Dragon does aoe so if you start it, have one person in the pit to tank it away from team.

Always team fight for the third dragon as everyone would be closest in items. As scaling team, you can give the first two if not safe to contest.

Prioritize dragons over everything else.

If you have dragon soul, instead of starting elder dragon camp the enemy jungle and fight. If playing protection composition, backline hits dragon while frontline zones, then get off dragon if they go in.
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Baron

When securing baron for bait or to take, you want to deep ward and ward surrounding bushes to keep from getting stolen or to get a pick. Do not exclude the tri bush towards top lane.

As red team you want to pink outside the pit and sweep inside the pit.

As blue team you want to pink in the pit near the entrance so that the enemy doesn't kill it over the wall.

Do not stand behind the baron when taking it, since it will do damage to everyone behind it.

As for positioning when taking baron you need to stand outside the pit with your carries. As for ward kills in the pit, support should be the one since support's dmg against baron is least important. When the enemy is in the baron pit, hit the baron to make it hit your enemies. Never use your cc at baron when enemies are around. One person should zone the enemy team if they are coming to stop the baron attempt. Communicate with your team beforehand to finish, run, or turn to fight.

At 20min and onwards you must ward it against sneaks from high objective junglers such as Nunu & Willump, Udyr, Karthus, Fiddlesticks, Master Yi, and possibly more(not to mention laners helping out).

Always take baron over inhibitors.
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Team Fighting

Alistar should be flanking when Oracle Lens is up if team has no melee carries, except in their base. Can flank behind tower by using Unbreakable Will.

After using Headbutt in a flank, stay with enemy team and get ready to Pulverize when the w'd person comes back, ult.

Late game when flanking, headbutt adc or immobile channel mids like Vel'Koz.

Don't flank if other lanes are pushing and without Oracle Lens.

Can't flank when they have glass cannon melee. Be with team at all times and use your skills only on the glass cannon melee. Be next to your carries if more than one glass cannon melee. Tell team to focus them and not the backline. If only one, then headbutt him away from the fight, then zone with Pulverize and use it if he isn't zoned.

Do not use skills on tanks except when getting stacks for E.

At all stages of the game, whether 5v5 in river or 2v2 in lane, you must tank skill shots for your allies.
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Conclusion

Alistar is still one of the worst supports in the game. He is hard to play mainly by decision making. It is easy to mess up on your teammates and he is just weaker compared to other engage supports. All questions in the comments will be replied by private message. I stream on twitch.tv/bive and offer coaching lessons for all roles for $20/hr. https://www.youtube.com/user/sinc67/videos is my youtube.
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