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Leona Build Guide by Ayakashi

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Ayakashi

Ayakashi's take on Leona, The CC Tank

Ayakashi Last updated on September 4, 2012
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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.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Heller Heller mah not-people... So this is my first guide to be made (yay) and its focused around my favorite support/tank. (Next to Amumu) Leona can be one of the best tank/supports in the game b/c of her unique skillset that allows her to peel off enemies, initiate a fight or turn the tide in a teamfight with a well-timed ult. Build 1 is situated around a more offensive playstyle while build 2 is centered around a more tanky/support playstyle that utilizes auras and her passive to be a prominent player in teamfights. Build 3 is a bit more AP oriented but still very tanky with a RoA, Aegis and a Randuin's.

If you haven't noticed as well, Randuin's Omen is the core item to build around.

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Ability explanation:

Sunlight- Sunlight is Leona's passive. It grants bonus magical damage to the next allied champion AA or Ability. It CANNOT be set off by yourself.
Shield of Daybreak- Shield of Daybreak is your main offensive ability. It deals attack damage+ bonus magical damage along with stunning the enemy. This applies Sunlight.
Eclipse- Eclipes is your first AoE ability learned. It deals damage in a small area around Leona and marks enemies with Sunlight. It has a 3 second delay before dealing damage. In those 3 seconds you gain a set amount of Armor and Magic resist. If you hit at least 1(one) enemy, the bonus armor/magic resist linger for another 3 seconds.
Zenith Blade- Zenith Blade is your secondary damage spell. It is a short-range skillshot that allows you to dash to the last enemy champion hit. It can be your greatest weapon or the worst way to a quick death. It marks all enemies hit with Sunlight. You can dash to stealthed enemies with this.
Solar Flare- Solar Flare is your ultimate. It has a nice range and can either stun or slow and enemy. It has a very short cooldown so if you miss, no worries. It marks enemies in targeted area with Sunlight. This is one of your most useful abilites. Use it as much as its needed.

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Defensive Plays:

Method 1:
Stand in b/w your carry and the enemy champion(s) attempting to rape him/her. If they are closing in on you fast b/c of Ghost or some kind of blink, ie. Distortion, Flash, Decieve, etc, STUN THAT BEOTCH when they get into melee range. Don't risk turning around and probably wasting a few precious seconds that YOU need to escape alive as well (They can have another blink like a double distortion/ Shunpo)... Wait the longest time possible for them to close in so they basically lose a bit more ground than they would prefer. Pretty basic?

Method 2:
Post-6, its easier to peel off enemies from your allies with a quick Zenith Blade+ Shield of Daybreak or a well-timed Solar Flare. Basically, be prepared for a quick E-Q combo or Sexy Beam dem bisches with your ult. REMEMBER!!! Zenith Blade causes you to dash to the *LAST ENEMY CHAMPION HIT*

There will be more defensive tactics to be added... The most important tactic though, is... WARDING, WARDING and one more, WARDING!

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Early Game: 0:00-15:00

If you are following build 1, go to Section A. If you are following build 2, go to Section B

Section A
If you have a jungler that has strong ganks, feel free to top lane. Build 1 is more solo lane oriented. You should be playing passively pre-6 b/c you will only have 1 stun that has a rather long cooldown at earlier levels. Post-6, considering things are going well for you, begin to push your lane a bit more than you feel comfortable with. Below is a visual of top lane that shows 4 zones. Comfortable would be Dark Green to halfway into Light Green. Moderate danger zone, Orange is right past the river brush making you liable to be ganked easily and without too much problem if you don't ward. Red is what I consider to be a dead zone. Linger there too long and you WILL be ganked by the jungler. The brush that overlaps b/w Moderate and Dead zones is neither safe nor dangerous. It is neutral b/c it can go both ways. It can be safe if your closer to a safe zone or it can be dangerous if you are caught closer to a dead zone.

Now, onto the Laning phase.

During this phase, as we previously said, you should play defensively getting as many last hits possible while not being overextended. I would rush a Phage/ Sheen and Ionian Boots of Lucidity and take a Heart of Gold until I have enough to get that Tri-Force. At Some point b/w Heart of Gold and Trinity Force, I recommend buying a Leviathan so that you can begin your role as your team's Tanky DPS.

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Mid Game: 15:00-30:00

If you are successful in your top lane excursion, you should already be at a TriForce and Ionian Boots. Your Shield of Daybreak adds the damage from the TriForce making you a significant source of damage on the battlefield. The laning phase should long be over around the 20" mark (which is around the time I have my Triforce) and if your team is having success as well, begin pushing mid lane. It is also around this time that you are going to have a nicely stacked leviathan and a Randuin's Omen on the way. It would also be at this point when you should decide what Doran's shield replacement you want to take. This should also be the time when you are warding the **** out of dragon and Baron Nashor .

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Late Game: 35:00+

You shouldn't have the WHOLE build ready at this point but you should have the better chunk of it which is, TriForce, Ionian Booties, Leviathan and Randuin's. You are a very big threat if you have your Leviathan stacked up near the 15 mark. In a teamfight, your purpose is to shrug off damage from the other enemies while cc'ing the enemy carry to holy hell. With them shut down via your stuns and Randuin's Omen's active, your team can pick them off no prob. Your only enemies are tanky Shens, Nautilus, and Cleanse. They are your weaknesses b/c they have the skill set to shut you down. Squishies are your best friends. Focus on that.

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Why take Trinity Force on a tank?
1- Great mobility
2- HP & Mana
3- Makes you a bigger threat
Take a Warmog's Armor instead of Leviathan!
I would, but. I personally highly disapprove of Warmog's Armor. As much health as it gives, it just doesn't seem to have as much as an effect as Leviathan. Leviathan is somewhat cost-effective and its effect is perfect for tanks. If you get it to 20 stacks, gj.
What if they are building Armor Penetration or Magic Pentration?
Well now. Its called Thornmail in the place of the dorans shield. I mean i doubt your going to keep it all game long. The Force of Nature is more for the movement speed & Health Reg. than for the MR. Consider adding more Magic resist if your Force of Nature is not enough.

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Summoner Spells

I'd prefer exhaust/ignite b/c it provides burst damage when mixed with your q+e+r combo. It also gives you a way to escape from those pesky Melee champs (ie. tryndanoob, Fiora, Sion the snowball)

There are 3 other summoner spells that i would use on Leona:
Clairvoyance- To prevent ganks/prevent your team from walking into traps/Map awareness
Flash- It helps you escape/Close a gap when chasing down an enemy or rapidly ganking another lane from a bush without allowing the enemy champ time to react from your rapid appearance. If they anticipate you and flash away themselves, you can just follow up with a Zenith Blade+ Shield of Daybreak combo.
Cleanse- If you have the reaction speed to use this, I cant find a reason to NOT take it.

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In Depth Offense/Defense:

On The Offensive-
]While in the Laning phase, you should avoid getting last hits unless your carry can afford to let you take some of their farm to fund your build. If so, when going on the offensive, activate your Eclipse and then use your Zenith Blade+ Shield of Daybreak combo to maximize damage while adding sunlight to your targeted enemy champion. If you have a laning partner like Lux, Varus or Fizz, the sunlight will allow them to burst the champion down and effectively force them to Recall or, if they are low enough, allow your carry to kill them.
After the Laning phase, you will possibly be near your carry/squishies most/all of the time. When initiating in a skirmish or large team-fight, try to open up with Solar Flare, activate Eclipse, then follow up with your Zenith Blade+ Shield of Daybreak combo on the cc champions or if you can afford to, on the enemy carry/squishies.
On The Defensive-
If you need to hold a lane b/c say your carry had to Recall or you are soloing, don't try to initiate as much and risk losing your lanel As good a tank Leona is, she cant solo very well unless you bring in a good farm and get as tanky as possible early game. Even one death before the 15' mark can jepordize your whole lane. If the enemy is giving you a hard time, try to ward the brush and stay some distance away from your enemy. Don't turret hug but don't charge out like a Tryndanoob. Your are not a meathead with a big knife. Whittle down your enemy with your Eclipse+ Shield of Daybreak+ Zenith Blade+ Auto-Attacks combo and then GTFO!!! Spam this combo if you can then come in for the kill with a Eclipse+ Solar Flare+ Zenith Blade (plus the optional Shield of Daybreak added in if the enemy doesnt die from the previously said combo)

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Pros/Cons About this Build:

Pros :D
-Plenty of mobility
-Nice Damage output for a tank
-Plenty of survivability in small skirmishes.
-Is squishier than most tanks
-Magic resist could be higher
-Can be burst down easily by High AP Champs ie. Ahri, Veigar, Vladmir etc.
-Does not do well in extended teamfights.

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Leona is a very good teammate to have due to her passive, Sunlight. It is set off by both Auto-Attacks and Abilities. On short notice your enemy can go from 100% to 80% to 30% very easily when you are in sync with your team. An ideal team including Leona is Vladmir, Sona, Morgana, Caitlyn and Katarina (Or Ashe if you feel your team is becoming too AP heavy).
This team has ultimates and abilities that hit several enemies at once resulting in
- more last hits
- burst damage
- a clear advantage in overall damage output.
An example of Great teamwork in a team-fight would be Hemoplague--> Solar Flare--> Soul Shackles--> Crescendo--> Death Lotus ( Enchanted Crystal Arrow) followed up with a Zenith Blade+ Tides of Blood+ Eclipse will kill one or more of the enemy team due to the amount of cc being dealt. Morgana and Caitlyn can finish off leftovers from the team fight if need via Ace in the Hole and/or Dark Binding+ Tormented Soil.
This will result in a team fight ending in your teams favor and you racking up 1-5 assists and 1-2 possible kill(s)
Teamwork In lane
In lane do the obvious. Allow your carry to last hit as much as possible and overwhelm your enemy champion with your combo followed by a good beatdown/snipe from your carry for the kill.

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Build 2:

Leona's second build is less offensive and more defensive. Sure she might not be as tanky as enemy Ali but at least she leaves a sexy little mark on enemies that you consume to add a bit more OOMPH to your onslaught. The items here focus on you being in the middle of the fray disrupting the enemies rhythm with the Frozen Heart's aura and Randuin's Omen's active. If you take into consideration that the 20% + the 35% attack speed slow can shut down enemy ad carries that rely on Auto-Attacks.

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Doran's Shield Replacement

Doran's Shield doesn't scale very well into late game with the 10 bonus armor becoming obsolete next to the 99 bonus armor from your Frozen Heart. I've experimented around with which items to switch it out with and I've come up with the following items that function best with Leona:

shurelya's reverie Shurelya's Reveries: +330 Health +30 Health Regen per 5 seconds +15 Mana Regen per 5 seconds UNIQUE Passive: +15% Cooldown Reduction UNIQUE Active: Nearby allied champions gain 40% Movement Speed for 3 seconds (60 second cooldown). I would take Shuryela's almost every time to compensate for the lack of CDR and HP. It makes for a useful escape/chase mechanism and 8/10 times if used correctly will save a life or secure a kill.

Aegis of the Legion: +270 Health +18 Armor +24 Magic Resist UNIQUE Aura: Nearby allied champions gain 12 Armor, 15 Magic Resist, and 8 Attack Damage. The Aegis is a staple on some Tanky dps and some supports. Though the 8 bonus AD isn't much it might make the difference on that kog'maw barely surviving with 23hp after killing half your team. We've all been there... an enemy barely surviving with a double or a triple or possibly even a quadra/penta. The Armor and MR give your no-survivability carry a slightly higher chance at living through being focused in a teamfight.

zeke's herald Zeke's Herald: +250 Health UNIQUE Passive: +15% Cooldown Reduction UNIQUE Aura: Grants nearby allied champions 12% Life Steal and 20% Attack Speed. I would take Zeke's every other time I don't take Shuryela's for several reasons over Aegis. One, it gives great stats if your babysitting your carry and two, it gives nice CDR for more Shield of Daybreaks in b/w attacks.

Banshee's Veil: +375 Health +375 Mana +50 Magic Resist UNIQUE Passive: Gain a spell shield that blocks the next incoming enemy ability (45 second cooldown). An overall great item for those pesky burst mages who rely on chaining together 2 or more abilities to do insane damage, ie. LeBlanc, Xerath. It gives more health than the previously mentioned items and adds a nice chunk of MR. I would take this when you have one of the said champions on the enemy team to avoid being nuked even though your carries should be the ones getting nuked.

Spirit Visage: +30 Magic Resist +250 Health UNIQUE Passive: +10% Cooldown Reduction UNIQUE Passive: Increases your healing and regeneration effects on yourself by 15%. Although you don't have the HP regen to make this as useful as can be, it does work well with your Force of Nature to increase your HP regen.

Wit's End: +40% Attack Speed +30 Magic Resist UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks deal 42 bonus magic damage. UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks increase your Magic Resist by 5 for 5 seconds (effect stacks up to 4 times). Wit's end seems like an odd choice, no? I know it is but I put it here b/c of the situational need. You have some crit chance so lets make use of it ^_^. It adds a bit more damage to your basic attacks making you an even bigger threat on the battlefield.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter: +500 Health +80 Ability Power UNIQUE Passive: Dealing spell damage slows the target's Movement Speed by 35% for 1.5 seconds (15% for multi-target and damage-over-time spells). Mmmm... Though the slow isn't very much on your Eclipse and Zenith Blade. Your Solar Flare is already a very hard slow with that 80% PLUS 15% from Rylai's. If you feel like you need to be a bit more tankier and your enemies seem to be popping that Ghost and escaping you while you watch them and cry -.-. Rylai's isn't unviable its just not THAT viable either if you know you need the aura of another item. Take rylai's when your enemy team has a composition that guarantees that they will try and maybe succeed in outrunning you.

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End Notes

This be my first guide to be published. If it is gewd tell me so. I spent 3 days thinking about how I will explain this and that and revise this to make it say that and whatnot. To tell the truth, I stick extremely close to the same build every game as Leona and I end up with plenty of kills and win most of the time. I purposefully put a trinity force above priority b/c of its great potential to make you a deadly opponent and an even better teammate.

In build 2 I changed the items to not focus on attacking and focus more on tanking and disrupting. No matter what your teammates tell you like, "Noob Leona", for being the one to stand in the way of the enemies' path to make them stop and kill you letting your team get away. At least you can say you didn't let them kill you so easily. If your doing your job of protecting your carrys your probably the best player on your team.

Thank you!
- Ayakashi

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Change Log:

- Edited Item purchases
- Revised "Items" chapter
- Added 2nd build on Leona