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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.
Besides being an upset moo cow, Alistar is a great asset to any team, and if played correctly, your teammates will love you for:
a) feeding them delicious kills
b) healing their boo boos
c) popping your ulti doing whatever the hell you want
In order for your team to love you however, you will have to play with those goals in mind. It is indeed possible for your team to hate you for doing several things as well:
a) headbutting an enemy to safety in an ill-fated kill steal attempt
b) wussing it up on the sidelines of team fights, i.e. being a timid tank
c) focusing on scoring kills instead of playing your role
Alistar can and should get a few kills, but mostly he should be setting things up for a teammate better suited for the task. With tons of health, a great aoe heal, and a damage tanking ulti, Alistar can dominate a lane, set up successful team fights, and most importantly, ensure a team's vicotry.
Runes and Masteries:
For runes, go with health quints, and magic resist. Both will ensure that you're well suited to taking lots of damage, which is the goal of any tank really.
I usually have 21 points in defense and 9 in utility.
There are lots of suggestions for different item builds on the moo cow, but remember, Alistar's farm is terrible, so you probably won't have the chance to build that Archangel's Staff or Guardian Angel you always wanted. I start with a meki pendant (none of that building the tear of the goddess nonsense), then boots, then either a sunfire cape or a banshee's veil.
Early game, your main goal is to stay alive (obviously), and set up a kill for your partner. Use your pulverize and headbutt sparingly, and spam heals as necessary. If you can flash-pulverize/headbutt an aggressive enemy back to your tower, that should be your goal. It takes practice to get good with it, but you can score an easy kill if your partner is half awake, and even if not, show them your a force to be reckoned with. Once you have your ultimate, use it to survive any gank attempts and to push their tower.
Mid game, as the first team fights begin to occur, make sure you stick with your team. Choose a carry to follow around like an obedient puppy if you must, and feed them kills whenever you can. A good tank must be able to initiate fights and draw enemy fire, so don't be afraid to pop your ulti and run into an enemy team, and upon doing so, pop up the squishiest enemy you can reach, or headbutt him back to your hungry teammates. Good awareness is key, as you don't want to go charging in without backup nearby, and what good is setting up a kill if there's nobody around to finish the job. If your team is hovering just out of enemy tower range, pop your ulti and run in to score some tower hits. This generally forces an enemy team to react, and can initiate fights on your own terms. Once your ult runs out, and you're backing off, lead any chasers right back to your team, and turn around pulverize them.
As the game approaches it's close, stay with your team, and always focus on catching an enemy carry off guard. If your team is with you and you can knock an enemy into the air, often times they're dead before they hit the ground. Play aggressive and use unbreakable will to survive anything, drawing aggro and tanking damage. Smart teams will try to ignore you, so don't let them! Charge a tower, headbutt that uppity carry, and pop those bastards into the sky.
I've had a lot of success with Alistar, usually at least breaking even with kills to deaths, and oh the assists. I've got more assists than i can count on my hands and feet put together. An average game looks something like 3/2/20 or something, and a smart kid like you could surely improve on my methods.
Thank you, and good night