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Alistar Build Guide by Oyooy

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Oyooy

Alistar(tanky/support) - You must follow (this guide)

Oyooy Last updated on February 14, 2015
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Alistar is my favourite and most played support. He is a strong support early game and extremely tanky late game with his ult. This allows for him to choose what sort of role he needs to be part way through the game. He can resist a lot of poke with his Triumphant Roar and set up easy kills with his well known and quite scary Pulverize Headbutt combo. This build is just how I prefer to build him because it works well for me.

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+Fairly resistant to poke
+ Headbutt Pulverize very good for setting up kills
+ Unbreakable Will makes him almost invincible at high levels
+Awesome tower diver

-Heavily reliant on Headbutt Pulverize
- Triumphant Roar isn't the strongest heal
-Can accidentally over push a lane with Triumphant Roar
-Is very little use on his own
-Low damage
-No buffs for allies

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Alistar's first ability is his q, Pulverize. It does some AoE damage and knocks people in the air for a short time. It is good for catching people off guard and giving you time to line up a Headbutt. This is quite difficult to get into range of before you get your Boots of Mobility. If/when you land a pulverize you should usually follow up with a Headbutt.
Alistar's w is his Headbutt. It deals damage and knocks a target back the same distance as its range. It is usually used for sending someone into your team but can also be used to stop a single person from following or for travelling a large distance quickly. If someone is avoiding your Pulverize range well you could Headbutt a minion near and quickly Pulverize after.
Alistar's e is Triumphant Roar which is an average heal for him and half of that for all nearby allies. While it isn't very strong its cooldown is short and every nearby minion that dies speeds it up by 2 seconds. This means that you can spam them out and heal them over time rather than in one burst. Triumphant Roar scales really badly with ability power (20% of ability power).

Alistar's ultimate is Unbreakable Will. This is one of the strongest defensive ultimate's in the game. If activated near the start of a team fight you will quite often survive the whole thing as it grants 70% reduced damage (apart from true damage)at level 16. It is also an extremely useful tool for tanking towers or tower diving. It can be hard to predict when a good time to use it will come up so do not waste it at stupid times.
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
I level up Pulverize and Headbutt first so you can start setting up kills and damaging opponents straight away. I then level up his Triumphant Roar as quickly as possible to give out the strongest heals I can and I am not really looking to be dealing the damage. Obviously I take his Unbreakable Will at levels 6, 11 and 16 because it is so strong. I max Headbutt last as it doesn't give out AoE damage like his Pulverize does.

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Greater Mark of Armor

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Gold
These are just some pretty simply tanky support runes. You get your armour from marks and seals, magic resist from glyphs and gold from you quintessences which allow you to pay for extra wards and give you extra money as you have little income of your own.

An alternative to the seals of armour would be seals of gold but I don't think the amount if gold you get from them makes up for the defensive stats you miss out on straight away. The extra armour may give your adc an early kill which they wouldn't have gotten otherwise which would earn more from just that than the seals of gold would give in 20 mins.

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The masteries are 0/15/15 masteries allowing me to get the useful gold generation masteries from one and still get lots of defensive stats from the other.

In defensive I mostly wanted hp, armour and magic resist. I find these to be more important than health regen and other defensive stats.

In utility I went for gold generation, move speed and mana. Gold generation helps Alistar progress though his build faster and become the unkillable cow late game. Movespeed is very important on Alistar (which is why I get boots of mobility) as it means you can get in range to pulverize and do the more effective pulverize-headbutt. Mana regen is just generally useful for lane sustain.

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This build divides into two branches, the offensive and the supportier (I know that is not a real word) paths. There are certain rules and tests to see which your team needs. You should use the offensive path if:

  • Early teamfights are breaking out
  • Your ADC is doing well or beating the other ADC
  • You aren't really much use in those teamfights and/or
  • Your team is quite squishy

Otherwise you should just use the supportive build.

The offensive items allow you to be in the centre of the enemy team knocking them up and pushing them around. The more supportive build allows for you to get some more wards and give out some AoE buffs. The Sunfire Cape may seem like an odd early/mid game item for a support. Normally you would buy yourself some twin shadows or a ruby sightstone. On Alistar I love the Sunfire Cape as it goes with your Trample to make you a big ball of AoE damage as well as making you so much more tanky. On both builds I buy him some Boots of Mobility early on. This gives him the ability to do a bit of roaming as well as make it so much easier to get into Pulverize. Both builds also feature Warmog's Armor. I buy warmogs for the amazing health and health regen that you get from staking health. It is a must on almost all tanky builds. I used to buy runic bulwark before it was removed from the game. Now I get locket of the iron solari instead but not as much of a high priority.

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As Alistar I take Exhaust and Flash. Exhaust is a very useful spell to put at the end of a combo to secure a kill, or to slow someone down who is a danger to your carry. It is one of the most common support spells. I also take flash for the extra mobility. It allows you to make an entrance or an exit for yourself as well as using it to close the gap.

These spells could be swapped for:

  • Heal: heals is a useful supportive spell that allows for extra sustain in lane or the ability to quickly provide your carry with a large amount of health that they need to win a fight. I usually don't take heal because the amount isn't that much.
  • Teleport: teleport can be used to quickly appear in a different lane or if you have homeguard, to do the ultimate tower dive. I don't take teleport because the support getting back to lane quickly isn't as important as anyone else.
  • Clarity: clarity can be used when laning with someone who uses their abilities a lot or relies on abilities for a lot of their early game damage (like Caitlyn or Ezreal).
  • Clairvoyance: clairvoyance is not particularly useful as it is just a weaker version of the farsight trinket which also takes up a summoner spell.
  • Ignite is a spell used in very aggressive lanes. It is most useful when your adc has a defensive spell like barrier or cleanse instead of ignite as ignites don't stack.

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As a support in most situations you should not be getting farm and should be leaving it for your adc. This does not mean you are useless while farming. Alistar can set up kills best when he is in melee range so people try to stay away from you. You can use this to your advantage and constantly be putting on pressure and trying to zone them away from the farm with your lane presence. This helps shut down the enemy carry so their late game will be weaker, which quite often will lead to your team winning. As Alistar you usually shouldn't be hitting minions at all as this can throw off your adc's last hitting and will push the lane leaving you vulnerable to ganks.

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Lane partners

One of the reasons I like Alistar is because he is really good at setting up kills but he also has the ability to provide sustain to whoever he is laning with with his Triumphant Roar. As a support it is important to know who it is good to lane with. Alistar is good at setting up kills very early on so it is important that the person you are laning with has a strong early/mid game(Like Miss Fortune or Draven) to make the most of it. This allows for a lot more kills gotten early game. Alistar also provides sustain and so he is quite good against champions who do lots of poke damage (like Caitlyn).

1/5 2/5 3/5 4/5 5/5
Ashe 4/5

Caitlyn 3/5
  • Caitlyn is an ok lane match up with Alistar because has a good finisher and poke but lacks a bit on burst. If someone gets headbutted towards her she can't really do much and can put her in more danger than the person who was headbutted. She goes much better with a much higher sustain support.

Corki 3/5
Draven 5/5
  • Draven is a good lane with Alistar because he has high damage, mobility, a good ult for finishing kills AND has late game scaling ability with his passive. The main disadvantage is Alistar's Headbutt will send Draven's axes flying off in all sorts of directions requiring skill from Draven to catch them all.

Ezreal 4/5
  • Ezreal is an ok for Alistar. He is bursty with high mobility and an ultimate which is good for finishing kills, but he has too low damage and high mana costs early to make him a very strong lane.

Graves 5/5
  • Graves is what I would consider the best lane for Alistar. Graves is the ADC with the best burst in the game and so after one or two kills you will pretty much just be able to farm champions with the combination of strong burst and hard crowd control.

Jinx 5/5
Kog'Maw 3/5
  • Kog'Maw isn't bad with Alistar but is not helped a huge amount by him. Kog'Maw is a very late game focused champion so therefore needs a lot of farm and will not be getting many kills early on. The only reason why this isn't lower is because if you are playing the more supportive build and staying by your adc, Alistar is very good in protect the Kog'Maw comps.

Lucian 5/5
  • Lucian has very good lane synergy with Alistar. His high early damage allows him to chunk people well when you Pulverize and his high mobility and long ult range helps him to catch people and finish the kills.

Master Yi
Ha, I get it... (YI ISN'T A BOT LANE ADC!!!)

Miss Fortune 3/5
  • Miss Fortune is an average lane with Alistar because a Double Up and auto attack puts down quite a lot of damage but also can't be done too many times because of the mana costs. Alistar is also very good at keeping people inside miss fortunes ult to let it do its full damage but isn't very good at preventing the ult being cancelled.

Quinn 5/5
  • Quinn is good with Alistar because she can deal a lot of damage is someone is sent towards her, especially if they already have a mark on them. Her main flaw is she doesn't have any DoT, strong CC or long range abilities to finish people off so has to rely on speed and damage.

Sivir 4/5
  • Sivir is a good lane with Alistar. She hurts quite a lot and her ultimate goes very well with Alistar as movement speed is very important for him.

Tristana 4/5
  • While Tristana is a late game carry like Kog'Maw, she is also good at going hard earlier on with her rocket jump. Her abilities provide enough damage to follow up an Alistars headbutt-pulverize. In the late game she doesn't need protecting so I would recommend the aggressive build.

Twitch 3/5
  • Twitch is an OK lane for Alistar because while he is not hugely bursty and can't go super aggressive, his ult can make him do quite a bit of damage in a short space of time. If that is combined with Ambush he can do a lot of damage.

Varus 4/5
  • Varus is guite a good lane for Alistar because he can lock people up allowing for Alistar to headbutt them back with his Chain of Corruption. Varus' blight being popped can also do a lot of burst damage.

Vayne 5/5
  • Vayne is good lane for Alistar because, while she is a late game carry,she provides enough damage and cc early on to work well. Also, if she gets a few kills in the early game the game is pretty much won. If you are playing with a Vayne you need to make use of the Headbutt Condemn combo to knock someone into a wall then stun them there.

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Alistar is a very tanky support who is good at setting up kills but also provides sustain. He has quite variable play styles and you can use his abilities in many different combos to achieve different things.

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Stuff at the end

Please let me know if I made some mistakes or left something out. If you have any ideas for chapters let me know. If you have opinions on my item choices let me know in words that make sense please.

Thank you to everyone who were mean to me on my other builds so I stopped coming out with new ones because now I look back they are absolute rubbish. I hope you aren't mean to me now.

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21/02/2013: Changed title and added warding section
09/06/2013: Added adc's section
02/08/2013: Removed Runic Bulwark
06/08/2013: Added extra detail to runes section
16/12/2013 - 18/12/2013: General maintenance and update to season 4
26/03/2014: Updated ADCs section
14/02/2015: Item update for season 5 + removed warding because it didn't work