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Alistar Build Guide by FatalNectar

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League of Legends Build Guide Author FatalNectar

Alistar In-Depth Situational AP CDR Build

FatalNectar Last updated on June 26, 2011
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Support Role
Ranked #5 in
Support Role
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Alistar, is one of the best disablers/initiators in the game. I'm very very sure there are people out there saying WTF noob plays ap and **** like that. Whatever it is, everyone is subjected to their own opinions and I hope you give mine a try. And trust me, It doesn't only look good in theory, it performs in action.

One mistake everyone do is consider Alistar as the main tank as the team. This is definitely possible but it will result in Alistar being a wasted sperm(what my friend loves to say) as he is much more capable than being a tank.

I consider Alistar more of an off-tank and you should have another main tank with you or at least another off-tank.

Even so, I've played many games where there's no other tank(coz my friends dislike tanking, just like the rest of the world) and I usually manage to get the job done.

There might be a similar build out there(I've not come across any) but even if there is, This guide is still useful as I'll give my own opinions about the build. PLEASE READ MY BUILD CLARIFICATION SECTION BEFORE YOU LOOK AWAY FROM THIS GUIDE.

Before I start, let me emphasize that ::

- This champion is not meant for people with no patience
- This champion is a team player, u are decent on your own, but you're godlike with your team.
- You are the deciding factor of the game if your team has no other initiators/disablers.
- You are often the unsung hero. You're like the staff at the backstage of a perfect play.
- Simple as it looks, this champion requires a lot of thinking when u play it. U must always be aware of the situation and who to use your combos on(will elaborate on this later on)
- Mastering the Headbutt -> Pulverize combo is crucial for this champion. Failing it results in many wasted opportunities and using it wrongly will result in defeat.


1) You want to be the killer of the team(you always want a lot of kills)
2) You want a very high K/D ratio
3) You are not a team player and you love spending quality time with the minions for 30 minutes of the game
4) You don't like being pressured
5) You don't like being patient u just want to go in at sight and not think much about it.


18/6/2011 - Tweaked the Masteries, removed 2 points from Intelligence, removed 1 point from Utility Mastery and added 3 points to Awareness. Hence now CDR is only at 41% just 1% more than the 40$ cap. Added another tip in "DURING TEAM FIGHTS" under Your ROLE section.

22/6/2011 - Added jungling guide and changed the item build slightly.

27/6/2011 - Made Mejais as an optional item instead of including it in the main item build. Shortened a few sections and added an extra jungling route.

Guide Top

Build Clarification

First and foremost, This build is tailored to make Alistar perform well throughout the entire game. This build will make you a great team player/ganker early game and a decent if not great counter carry late game.

In one sentence,

Full page victory.

If you were going WTF? when u saw Mejai's Soulstealer in my item build above, look at the average assists of all my games and you'll know why. I get average of 10 stacks per game.

Why not tanky build?

- 6 seconds of Alistar's Unbreakable Will is all you ever need during team fights.
- Most team fights don't last more than 6 seconds. After that duration everyone is scattered chasing or running away most of the time. Most likely the enemy wont aim you, if they do then most likely it's because all your team members are dead which gives you no reason to tank anymore.. Or your team members are useless and you're the only damage dealer..Which is FAIL.
- If you follow my build, you can still be considered as a decent tank thanks to the amount of HP + insane late game Triumphant Roar heals

Why AP?

- During late game(if you get my full item build), U will have 513 AP from the items + masteries. If you have full mejais stack, you will have an additional 160AP.
- Assuming you just have 513AP and maxed out all your skills,
Your Pulverize deals 240+308(60% AP) = 548 damage,
Your Headbutt deals 300+410(80% AP) = 710 damage,
Your Triumphant Roar Heals for 180+205(40% AP) = 385 HP heals.

Last but not least, Trample. Here's a summary
Each time Alistar casts a spell, he can move through units and deals (10/10.77/11.53/12.3/13.06/13.83/14.59/15.36/16.12/16.88/17.65/18.42/19.18/19.95/20.71/21.48/22.24/23) magic damage per second to nearby enemy units and buildings for 3 seconds. Deals double damage to minions and monsters.

Trample gets bonus from 10% of your ap hence, at level 18 you will be getting 23+51 = 74 Damage per second. Which means you are getting 2.1x Sunfire Cape damage.

So based on the calculations above, if you Headbutt + Pulverize into a hero, you will deal 1258 damage + 74 damage from your Trample.

You can easily take out 2/3 or 4/5 of of the health of any squishy carries in their team.

Don't forget that you deal 548 Pulverize damage to your surrounding enemies as well.

And you are doing all this without any Mejais stack. In most games, my Mejais charge will average around 10 stacks which means 80 additional AP.

Most importantly, Triumphant Roar Heals for 385hp . It's an insane skill especially when you're around creeps. If an enemy Lux uses Finales Funkeln while your team is pushing, you will heal the damage lux does under 5 seconds.

Putting that aside, Triumphant Roar is way more useful in team fights especially late games. Keep spamming your E button no matter what. With CDR, If you're pushing and you're fighting around creeps, this skill heals 385HP EVERY 2 SECONDS AVERAGE




With all skill levels maxed without CDR ::
Pulverize has a 13s cooldown
Headbutt has a 12s cooldown
Triumphant Roar has a 12s cooldown
Unbreakable Will has a 80s cooldown

With CDR ::
Pulverize has a 8s cooldown
Headbutt has a 7s cooldown
Triumphant Roar has a 7s cooldown
Unbreakable Will has a 48s cooldown

Hence having CDR allows you to deal 1.3k damage and disable enemies every 8s vs 13s without CDR and

you get to be a super tank every 48s compared to 80s
without CDR and you get to spam heals waaaay faster with CDR.

By following my build, Ionian Boots of Lucidity + Morello's Evil Tome + Masteries will give you 41% CDR. a little overkill since CDR is capped at 40%

CDR may not look so important at the start but it is super important during late games. Often people lose team fights just because their skills take 1-2 more seconds to cooldown.

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Item Clarification & Situational Item Builds

Whenever I use Alistar, there is no definite item build for me. It is very very situational. Hence I'll put different item suggestions in "Situational items" section below.

Item clarification ::

Ionian Boots of Lucidity - 15% CDR FTW

Morello's Evil Tome - 20% CDR + AP + Mana regen . In my opinion, it is very very important to pair this up with Ionian's. If you do not get this, even with Ionian's, you'll need to depend heavily on blue buffs for CDR & mana regen.

Rabadon's Deathcap - AP BOOOST!!! Insane heals incoming!!!

Lich Bane - This item gives you insane damage when combined with the AP by the time you get this item + Unbreakable Will

Guardian Angel - Armor + MR + Second chance to live. Very very useful late game.

Typical Starting Items ::

Boots of Speed x1
Health Potion x2
Mana Potion x1

Alternate Starting Items ::

Sapphire Crystal x1
Health Potion x2
This is a good way to counter early game mana issues(If you're bad at managing your mana).
Once you've gotten enough money to get Catalyst the Protector, Return to base and get it immediately. It's a very very good early game item as you get 300health and 250mana regen upon leveling up.

Situational Items ::

Banshee's Veil can be switched with Rod of Ages and rushed early if you need the extra health/mana/ap early game.

Morello's Evil Tome can be switched with Frozen Heart if they have a really troublesome DPS. The bonus armor + reduced aspd is lovely.

Lich Bane can be switched with Rylai's Crystal Scepter If you need more HP.

Hexdrinker If they have a very strong AP team. very useful especially if you have to initiate.

Item sequences

Item sequences is very flexible for Alistar. It depends on your playstyle and what you need quickly.

- If your team has another tank and is lacking damage,then,
Sapphire Crystal x1 -> Health Potion x2 -> Ionian Boots of Lucidity -> Rabadon's Deathcap -> Lich Bane. I do this sometimes. But you will find yourself depending alot on blue buffs for CDR.

- If you need health and mana,rush Rod of Ages after Ionian Boots of Lucidity.


This is a very good item if your enemy team has many squishy champions and u are successfully ganking them early game. I got this item for almost all my games shown in the match history I posted.

Get this item after getting Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Sapphire Crystal.

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If you've played this game for quite awhile, you should know that runes are very debatable. It's all up to personal choice at the end as everyone has a different style of playing. I have a friend that plays LeBlanc using full HP runes when the norm would just usually go mpen all the way.

I'll just give a brief explanation for my choices.
Using my runes combination will give you ::
- 8.55 Magic Penetration
- 3.69 Mana regen per 5 secs
- 23.76 Ability power

In other words, you'll get a free Doran's Ring(Sort of) with Mpen. haha.

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - I just love magic penetration but for me AP is more important for Alistar. So I just use mark of insight + Archaic Knowledge mastery for decent amount of Mpen.

Greater Seal of Replenishment - If you've used Alistar a few times, you'll realize that he has serious mana issues early game. Hence I've used these runes (3.7 mana regen per 5 secs) + Meditate mastery to give me a 6.7 mana regen per second right at the start of the game.

Greater Glyph of Ability Power - Boost in AP to allow my skills to do more damage + heal

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - Boost in AP to allow my skills to do more damage + heal

I'd suggest going full AP runes as well but use my Sapphire crystal starting item build to overcome early mana issues.

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Masteries is another debatable thing. Whatever it is, I find that going 9/0/21 fits nicely with this build.
- 9 on offense for the CDR & MPEN
- 21 on utility to get spell CDR for flash and teleport is so bloody useful.
- Greed will help with getting gold as you don't farm much(you're not supposed to) with Alistar
- Meditation and Expanded Mind will help you out with early game mana issues.

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Skill Sequence + Explanation

My skill sequence levels all the skills steadily. I don't use Triumphant Roar at all at the start since I usually start off with 2 hp pots and 1 mana pot as u see in the item build.

Hence that's why I just level Triumphant Roar once at level 5 and later on at level 9 as it'll be much more useful later on when u get more AP and mana.

Now for a brief guide on the skills. Hover your mouse over the skill icon for a description.


- This skill makes Alistar a very important team player as the stun is AOE stun and you can do it every 8 seconds at max level with 40% CDR
- Eventhough it is an AOE skill, the area is quite small. So when initiating fights, aim for the most important enemy to disable to ensure that u manage to disable that enemy at the very least.


This skill allows you to effectively push away enemies that you want to deal with last or push in enemies you wanna eliminate first.

Apart from that it can also be used to initiate fights or closing the distance between you and a running enemy(W->Q combo).

- Headbutt without thinking. You may waste a lot of opportunities buy randomly pushing enemies away or even pushing enemies towards dying team mates.

- Headbutt a running enemy without pulverize. Try not to do this because you will be pushing the enemy away and ruin all possibilities of chasing him. If you want to headbutt while chasing an enemy. W->Q Combo is a must. Check below for tips on using the combos


Ive explained a lot about this skill in the build clarification so I won't talk much about it here. A short summary :
- Insane heals late game when you have loads of AP
- can be the deciding factor of late game battles if used wisely


This skill makes Alistar a Super Tank(with 90 additional damage at max level) for 6 seconds every 90 seconds(with 40% CDR).
Very very useful when enemies target you.
It'll make them regret targeting you as by your team mates will take them out before they can take you out.
Apart from that, it is also very useful when running away from enemies that try to gank you.

Skill combos ::

1. Pulverize -> Headbutt Combo
- I see a lot of people headbutting without thinking just so they can do damage. This will result in people calling you a noob and may even be a deciding factor late game.
- Pulverize first, then walk behind the enemy and headbutt them back. if you can't reach their back in time, at least go to their southeast or southwest. If you can't go behind them for some reason, then don't headbutt. you can headbutt the other enemy that you are not targeting at the moment.
- This combo can be used for alistar to tower dive. Flash in the tower, Pulverize -> Unbreakable Will -> Headbutt the enemy out of the tower to your team mates and then walk towards their inner tower and wait in the bush in between. If your team mates don't manage to kill him then you can go back in for the kill.

2. Headbutt -> Pulverize Combo
- Pressing Pulverize a second later will result in your headbutt pushing the enemy away. If executed properly, the enemies wont be pushed away and will be disabled.

- This combo is very very useful to close gaps and disable the enemies to let your team mates reach them. I use this combo way more than the Pulverize -> Headbutt Combo.

- Can also be used to quickly reach team mates that require help.

Skill tips ::

- Always use Triumphant Roar whenever it finishes cooling down. If your eyes aren't quick enough to always check then just spam the E button.

- Unbreakable Will can be abused to tower dive and headbutt enemies that are sissies out or you can tower dive to tank the tower while your team mates kill the enemy. The tower will never change target until it's current target dies or goes out of range. never forget that.

- When you initiate a fight, do not immediately use Unbreakable Will. Use it when enemies start hitting you. During late game you need to notice this fast or you will die really fast.

IMPORTANT TIP :: Be very careful with the positioning of your combos when you have team mates like Veigar, Fiddles, Kat or Lux. Discuss with your team mates who is going to do what first.

- The usage of Headbutt and Pulverize is very situational. There's a lot of factors such as positioning and priorities(who to kill/who to help).

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My top 2 picks are ::

Works wonders. Super awesome for escaping and chasing as well.
Possible uses besides the normal way people use flash ::
Flash -> Pulverize -> Headbutt combo.
- When enemies are hitting the tower or slightly further, do the combo above and headbutt them into the tower.
- When initiating, do the combo and headbutt any of the enemies into your team to take 1 enemy down easily.

Teleport is crucial especially for Alistar. This will allow the tides of losing battles across the map to change easily. I L.O.V.E Teleport. teleport allows you to gank enemies easily. Even if they give their team mates warning, they'd never expect you to reach so fast most of the time.
The advantages of using teleport are :
- You can teleport to any lane that needs help even from the very beginning of the game.
- When enemies overextend themselves and chase champions pass the creeps, you can teleport onto the creeps and rape them from the back. Early game you can easily do a W Headbutt -> Q Pulverize combo enemies to the tower if they over extend pass the creeps and near the tower.
- You can farm on your own and join the battles on other lanes without worrying of getting there in time
- If your team has wards across the map you can surprise enemies from unexpected places as you can teleport onto wards/mushrooms/jack in the box.

Tips on teleporting to assist other lanes ::

If you're going to other lanes to kill and not help them while they're halfway fighting or something, Make sure you teleport without the enemy from your lane and the destination lane noticing you.
To do this, walk back a safe distance out of your enemy's sight before teleporting.
If enemies on the destination lane are close to the tower,

- wait for a new creep wave and teleport onto the creep before it reaches the tower and walk through the jungle and ambush them from river.

If they're far from tower, teleport into tower and wait in the bush.

- A little more advanced teleporting tip, if any of your team members has wards or lanterns, ask them to plant the ward in the bush closest to the enemy tower so you can teleport there and catch them offguard.

- You can also teleport to wards planted at the rivers(if there is any)

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Alistar is a decent jungler if u want to jungle.
Use the same runes & Masteries. If you want to change the masteries, make sure you keep 4 points in Awareness(Increased exp gain).

Jungle route 1(Requires help to leash/pull blue buff at start)

Starting item ::
Doran's Ring

1. Head to blue buff and ask mid to help pull/leash the blue buff by attacking it.Smite right after that and get another neighbouring ally to help you damage the blue buff as well. Make sure your allies leave you before u kill the blue buff or u won't level up.

2. Head over to the wolves. Pulverize the big wolf and whack it to death. You should be level 2 now(if you have 4 points in awareness). Level up your heal and heal yourself while fighting the wolves. As soon as pulverize is done cooling down, use it.

3. Head over to the wraiths and just use Pulverize + heal to get rid of them. By now you should be level 3 and you can go gank lanes if u see any potential. If not head over to step 3.

4. Head over to the golems. By the time u reach the golems your smite will be ready. Smite any of the golems and use pulverize + heal until they die.
OPTIONAL :: You can also head over to the enemy's golems to deny their jungler(if they have any). If not you can just take their golem and gank that lane after.

4. After this, you can either go help the lane closest to the golem if you see any potential in killing the enemy. If not, return to base and get boots.

5. Go back to jungling, Start with wraiths(smite the big wraith) -> wolves -> golems(smite one of them).

Jungle route 2(Solo)

Starting items ::
Cloth Armor x1
Health Potion x5

1. Smite the Big wraith next to the middle tower and pulverize the rest and kill them. Use a health potion when you're about to be done with them.

2. Head over to the wolves. Pulverize the big wolf and whack it to death. You should be level 2 now(if you have 4 points in awareness). Level up your heal and heal yourself while fighting the wolves. As soon as pulverize is done cooling down, use it.

3. Head over to the golems. By the time u reach the golems your smite will be ready. Smite any of the golems and use pulverize + heal until they die.
OPTIONAL :: You can also head over to the enemy's golems to deny their jungler(if they have any). If not you can just take their golem and gank that lane after.

4. After this, you can either go help the lane closest to the golem if you see any potential in killing the enemy. If not, return to base and get boots.

5. repeat route 1-3. After that, return to base and get Ionians. Now you can handle the blue buff with smite. Get 1 health potion if u used up the other 5(most likely u wont). Use 1 health potion while fighting the golem.

The rest of the game phases & item builds are similar to everything I've mentioned in the guide.

Jungling tips ::
1. Leave a 3 seconds interval between using pulverize and heal. This is because your trample lasts 3 seconds after using a skill. So do what I said to use it effectively.

2. Always use a health potion when your life drops below two bars. If your life is consistently going down, just keep using potions as soon as they run out. I ask you to do this so when you feel like ganking any lanes, you won't be low on hp.

3. Do not use headbutt on golems/blue buff. This is because you might end up pushing them behind the jungle wall. If you insist on headbutting, you have to position yourself to the side of the wall. I personally use Headbutt -> Pulverize combos most of the time because I'm used to it. If you're comfortable, go ahead.

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Game Phases

Early Game(Approx 1st min - 10th min) ::

Getting the first blood
Alistar is a great hero to lane with if you're aiming for first blood. Wait for level 2 at least so u can do a Headbutt -> Pulverize Combo or Pulverize -> Headbutt combo.

For first blood, I suggest letting them push near the tower and do the Flash -> Pulverize -> Headbutt to your team member combo. This way, even if your opponent flashes out, your team mate can flash to your opponent(assuming your team mate has flash).

Another way to first blood is be very observant of the mini map, and check if any other lanes are fighting to death. Teleport there and get the first blood. Even if they notice u teleport and are running away, flash into them. If your flash cant reach them, flash as near as u can and do a Headbutt -> Pulverize combo.

get the blue buff(with team member's help) whenever possible as it will help you with your CDR before you have enough gold to get Morello's Evil Tome and it will also greatly increase your mana regen allowing you to spam combo's and heal hence greatly increasing your roaming & laning capabilities.

-Coming soon

- If you're having problems farming and getting harassed by the enemy, don't push and let them push to your tower. Then use the Flash -> Pulverize -> Headbutt combo.

- If you want to harass without getting damaged much, use Headbutt -> Pulverize and immediately walk backwards. You will get damaged but not as much as just standing there next to them.

- You can use Headbutt -> Pulverize to farm if you're really desperate as well.

- If you realize that you can't even do any of the combos to them without dying, then just learn 1 level of Headbutt and Pulverize and level up your Triumphant Roar 2 or 3 levels first and focus on surviving until backup arrives.

Mid Game(Approx 10th min - 30th min ::

By now everyone should be all over and no one stays at one lane. At this point of time you should be at any of the lanes where you think a team fight will break out. For example,such as the enemies are pushing your tower.

If there are any empty lanes, you can go ahead and farm there ONLY IF nobody requires your help and you have Teleport ready.

Apart from that, you should always be where most of your team members are or it defeats the entire purpose of using Alistar.

Late Game(30mins onwards) ::

For most games, if the game doesn't end by now, then either teams will be trying to push in the enemy base as respawn times take relatively long by now. Hence it is very important for you to be with your team members at all times and avoid farming unless majority of the enemies are dead. Alistar plays and even more important role during late games as most of the time you are likely to be the initiator hence going in without thinking will allow your team to lose.

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This will be the final part of this guide but the MOST IMPORTANT.


- Go anywhere where there is battle taking place
- Save your teleport to get into team fights not saving it for when u see loads of minions
- Make sure you have mana


- NEVER EVER Chase enemy heroes when there is still a team fight going on and your team mates are dying.
- NEVER EVER save your team mate if you know that you'll die doing so.
Alistar is extremely important for late game battles when both teams are very competitive.
- NEVER EVER headbutt without thinking. I've said it once and I'm saying it again
- NEVER EVER initiate when your team members are not around. Especially late game. Don't ever battle without your complete team and if you do initiate, make sure you are aware of all the enemy champion locations


- If all enemies are close to each other, do your best to initiate the fight by headbutting the enemy's weakest link.

If your Alistar is a threat to them, most probably the key champions of the enemy team will only appear afteryour first round of Headbutt -> Pulverize combo. Hence, save your next combo for any of them. Apart from that, if your team can handle themselves and only the carry is the problem, headbutt the carry out of the fight.

- KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES. You should be able to know to prioritize the safety of which team members first and which enemy to disable first. You are the bodyguard of your team's damage dealer and your enemy's carry's worst nightmare(if your team didn't overfeed the carry of course).

- If your team has another initiator(such as Amumu),then save your Headbutt -> Pulverize combo or at least 1 of the skills for any DPS/key champions that come out of hiding later on. Unless you know where are all your enemies location then you're free to use them as you want.

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I've typed a lot of stuff in the 9 sections before this so I don't think I'll have much to say here. Please do comment and give me feedback. I'll update this build from time to time as I'm sure I missed out something here and there. So do drop by again once in awhile :) . Last but not least, thanks for reading!