Team Guide by ThePurpleBeast
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So Ive been looking at the builds and I cant find one that I like so thats why I decided to make this. Its kind of a weird build as im sure you can tell by the items but hear me out. If you have any opinions or suggestions just leave a comment
A lot of people recomend building him tanky, but its really kinda dumb. Once you get to higher levels people know not to focus tanky people in team fights. and when the whole point of a tank is to initiate and then take all the damage for the rest of your team, thats a problem. All you can do is CC people and then wait around for cool downs while the rest of your team is getting destroyed. if you dont put out any damage then they have no reason to attack you. One thing I noticed happend to me a lot was that when we got into team fights my whole team would get focused and die and then I was the last one standing, and then they could easily kill me.
So solution? well my stratagey is to build a hybrid and let alistar's natural tanking ability take care of most of the work. I build him for these purposes: Tanking, initiating, support, late game endurence, and actually a counter to certain people.(ill explain later)
Alistar is a natural tank and his ult is perfect for it. One reason for not building straight tank items is actually as a bait tactic. when I initiate a team fight its natural that you take a lot of damage. and when you dont have that much you can get knocked down to half health pertty quick. most people see this as a problem, but once you see this pop your ult and then walk slowly and calmly back to your team. Their carries are trained to notice when someone is low on health to focus them. This is exactly what you want because with you ult on their attacks are basically useless and if you can draw them out towards your team in their attempt to "just finish you off" the better.
So i start off with either boots, 2 health pots, and a mana pot. this is for improved mobility to land your cc and also some sustainability with health and mana. Or faerie charm with pots and wards. the charm is good if you like to spam your abilities, and it also builds into your philo stone.
I try to save up for when i can get either of the gold items. its key to try and get your two gold items as early as possible so that you can be making more gold. Philosopher's Stone is great because of the mana and health regen which provides some sustainability. If you arent getting any assists and dont have much gold you can also get a kage's lucky pick for more gold , and the AP is always nice.
next time i go back I go for my next gold item and then spend any leftover money on either finishing up your boots or working on Shurelya's Reverie. I love the boots for the tenacity. it is so useful. also shurelya's has saved my life and my teammates life on so many occasions from the active speed boost. its like having ghost that you can give it to everyone around you but you cant walk through other people. (but with your passive that doesnt really matter)
Next is sheen. is a great asset to alistar because his moves are on such a short cool down you can use an ability hit them and repeat. This is also alistar's main damage dealer. It lets you use your abilities and basically put out the same amount of damage if you were just auto attacking + your abilitie's damage. This is where the other team starts to really fear you. at first they are annoyed by your cc but now that you stun them and then they see their health sinking away they get really scared. this is exactly what you want.
after this try and remember everything is dependent on how im feeling in the game and what the other team is doing. dont get set in on certain items because "thats what the build says" when its obvious that something else would be better. for example if they have all AP magic champs get force of nature first. you have to be fluid with your build.
Now that they are nice and scared this is normally where I start building my tanking items. I normally look at the game stats and see who has the most kills on the other team and who is going to do the most damage to your team and then chose my item based on that. If their team has a lot of magic, go with force of nature. if they have a lot of auto attackers go with thorn mail (this really messes them up) or any of the other anti AD items on the list (see above), if you just want health a warmogs is a good idea. A great team item is aegis of the legion. it provides armor and MR to your whole team which is great for a support player.
CDR is really important also mana regen. alistar can have a mana problem which is why you see a lot of noob alistars get clarity. alistar doesnt have enough base mana to make it worth it. if you only get a couple hundred mana everytime you use it its not really worth it. also a lot of new people spam all their abilities as soon as they can without watching their mana so keep an eye on your mana. (if you do start to have a mana problem you ca work on upgrading your Pick item and that will give you more mana and also mana regen.
otherwise anything tanky, cooldown reduction, AP, or magic pen are pretty good choices. If you have any opinions or recommendations on this let me know.
Early game is kind of important to alistar. not for him but for your team. its your job to get your lane partner as many champ and minion kills as possible. since there are 2 gold items in my build you really dont need any kills so i let my lanning partner have them.
at level one I normally initiate if my partner is up for it. Its not uncommon for me to take a lot of damage in the first level or two and be at a constant half health. this is exactly what you want because with your heal you can keep yourself deceivingly low on health. this will make them try to focus "the weak one" while your carry can just worry about dealing damage and you can just heal back any damage given to you. If you or your partner ever get low on health i just spam my heal since it doesnt take that much mana and stay around minions so when they die it decreases the cool down.(for everyone enemy that dies around you your heal is decreased by 2 sec) the heal isnt really mana efficient if you are by yourself. its more of a trade of mana for health so it can be useful in some situations if you are by yourself, however if you are surrounded by your team the heals become a lot more effective.
one of the most important thing for alistar is for people to fear you. (its also a ton of fun this way) this will cause them to focus you early and also late game which is what you want. so i recommend initiating and headbutting. it makes things so much more fun and its actually good for your team. Also if you ever go against another alistar the one who uses his abilities first will win everytime.
the best thing i can recomend is having a ranged carry in your lane which allows them to dish out damage while you are on the front lines. a great tactic is to hide in the bushes. when someone comes out just a bit to far headbut them into the wall directly opposite and then right when the stun wears off ans they try running back to their tower pulverize them and **** them up again. meanwhile your ranged carry is destroying them. this combo can drop someone at 3/4 health before they even have a chance to run.
so in team fights you have a couple different rolls. first is initiating. when your team is ready run/flash into the other team, knock everyone up and then walk towards their bas to set up your headbut. pick the squishiest and the biggest damage dealer on their team and headbut them back to your team to take care of. some people like the flash headbut then pulverize combo because it will stop that squishy carry from running back. but ive found that if you knock up their whole team its a lot easier to pick your target while they are stunned and also the rest of you team should have some sort of stun to hold your victim of choice in place while they quickly take care of him.
after the initiation its your job to watch everyone's health. if you start taking a ton of damage pop your ult but make sure you get out of their before it runs out. if one of your teammates is low heal them and if someone is focusing them you can either headbut or pulverize them to give them a break. Team heals have saved my team on several occasions. its not that much heal but it can be especially helpful for a prolonged push to keep everyone at top health. whenever i play a game against/with a Soraka i can normally either keep up with her heals or beat them. i dont think people realize how much alistar can heal since its not very much at a time. but the cool down is so short that you can spam it very easily.
Once your team is destroying them they will inevitably start to retreat. this is where your cc comes in to play. its your job as The Good Shepard of the game to make sure no one escapes. i normally start to head to the back of their group before they start to retreat so im already in position (as long as i have the health for it)
However if you start losing its your job to make sure everyone gets out alive. fist one in last one out. this includes stuns and heals and also using your Shurelya's Reverie to give everyone a speed boost.
They way i build alistar he is one of the best escape artists in the game which is weird because he isnt super fast. ive been chased by an entire team from the edge of their base to the edge of mine before. all of your abilities and spells and actives can be used to escape in the right situations. let me explain. pulverize is good for multiple melee champs. headbut is good for one. you ult and your speed boost active should be obvious. flash is good to get the extra distance or to flash over walls. ive even used teleport. its a lot of fun to pop your ult and then teleport to safety while everyone is attacking you because you just stop walking so they think easy kill but then they see the tele and they try and finish you but they cant quickly enough. this requires that you have a decent amount of health to begin with so its not very often you will need this but it can be useful to know about. ive even used my passive before. (disclaimer: anecdote) i was being chased by two others who were faster than me and i wasnt going to make it to my tower. now normally a heal in the middle of a chase isnt the best because you have to stop and since the heal isnt that much the attacks they get to pull of while your healing normally isnt effective to ho much you heal. however this time i healed which allowed them to take more damage from me but it also activated my passive of being able to walk through people. so I was able to walk diagonaly through a bunch of minions. the other two were on a one track mind and thoguht if he can make it through then i can too but they couldnt. if they had thought ahead they could have just gone around the minion wave and beaten me out the other side but they didnt and it gave me just enough time to get back to the tower.
so skill sequence like my items really depends on how the game is going. this is kinda my normal way. if you find yourself and your partner taking a lot of damage then up your heal a little faster. I recommend keeping heal and pulverize about the same. If you find you like givin more damage to one person then up your headbut faster since the damage on headbutt is greater than pulverize. However I recommend Pulverize over headbutt since you can hit multiple targets.
awesome combo. if you have sheen its not the most effective way to deal damage especially since you wont use your passive. But it can make up for it by the shear usefulness of it. If you use headbut and pulverize in quick succession it will bring you to your opponent and then knock them up in the air so they dont fly away like headbut normally does. Its basically a malphite ult on a 10sec cool down. (OP? I think so) this is great for chases so you dont hit them farther away and also initiating fights. it also does some nice burst damage.
As awesome as it is its also kinda hard to do. Here is a trick. You should already be in range of headbut so that you can immediately hit pulverize instead of trying to guess when you will be in range of headbutt. (this might seem obvious to some but not to others)
most people dont realize it but alistar can actually be picked as a counter to certain champs. and those champs are the ones that a lot of people have problems with, like a fed yi for instance. I was playing a game with a crazy fed yi and i wasnt fed but once i got my sheen i destroyed him and caused him to run back to his base. anyone that relies on life steal to stay in the fight is screwed when it comes to alistar. when i met that yi i headbutted him into a wall, auto attacked (with sheen), pulverized, another auto attack (with sheen again) and then healed followed by another auto attack (with sheen) this combo droped him to about half health while i still had full. even though everything was on cool down he was forced to run. his CC can destroy fed life stealers who get cocky, run into a team fight and expect to steal back any health they lose. if you see this happen stun and headbut them while your team focuses them and they will be dead in seconds since they are normally quite squishy
just be aware of when you use your headbut because if you are chasing someone and headbut them and dont kill them your team can get upset at you.
I recommend Heal and Flash. Heal is good for you squishy lane partner and great for baiting people into thinking they can take you when they cant. Also the double heal from your ability and your summoner spell makes for a nice double heal.
And Flash is good for obvious reasons. Its an awesome spell