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Leona Build Guide by GN_Duck LoL

Support GN Duck's Grandmaster Leona Guide - Everything You Need To Know

Support GN Duck's Grandmaster Leona Guide - Everything You Need To Know

Updated on June 13, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author GN_Duck LoL Build Guide By GN_Duck LoL 82 4 113,668 Views 11 Comments
82 4 113,668 Views 11 Comments
League of Legends Build Guide Author GN_Duck LoL Leona Build Guide By GN_Duck LoL Updated on June 13, 2022
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GN_Duck LoL's Featured Video
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Runes: Aftershock

1 2
Resolve
Aftershock
Font of Life
Bone Plating
Unflinching

Inspiration
Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+6 Armor
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2
Flash Ignite
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

GN Duck's Grandmaster Leona Guide - Everything You Need To Know

By GN_Duck LoL
Introduction
Hello My Name Is GN Duck


I am a Grandmaster

support main.


I am an educational high elo support main who can be found live streaming on Twitch . I play every support with a emphasis on engage-style champions. My OPGG of all my accounts is below. I stream educational content - you’ll often see me doing live VOD Reviews, coaching sessions, or playing solo Q while narrating my thought process and answering questions. I have coached collegiate and amatuer and love the educational side of League of Legends. I want this guide to be constantly growing, so please ask questions or challenge me on some of my points. Everything on this guide is from my own experience and is subject to scrutiny - in fact I encourage it! You learn the most when your ideas are put to the test and you're asked to explain yourself and your thought process.



If you find this guide at all helpful, please like it using the green thumbs up at the top! If there is anything additionally you'd like to see in the guide, have questions, or disagree with anything here - let me know in the comments! This guide will be updated weekly.
Leona Abilities


Passive
Damaging spells afflict enemies with Sunlight for 1.5 seconds. When allied Champions deal damage to those targets, they consume the Sunlight to deal additional magic damage.
Tip: This even works on minions. If your lane partner wants to push the wave, use your Zenith Blade on the minions to help!






Q

Leona uses her shield to perform her next basic attack, dealing bonus magic damage and stunning the target.
Tip: This ability works as an "auto attack cancel," meaning that if you use it immedaitely after you auto attack, it reduces the amount of time before your next auto attack.
Extra Tip: You can use this to clear fresh wards without a sweeper.




W

Leona raises her shield to gain Damage Reduction, Armor, and Magic Resist. When the duration first ends, if there are nearby enemies, she will deal magic damage to them and prolong the duration of the effect.
Tip: Use this before you engage or before an enemy is going to hit you - it drastically reduces the damage taken.




E

Leona projects a solar image of her sword, dealing magic damage to all enemies in a line. When the image fades, the last enemy champion struck will be briefly immobilized and Leona will dash to them.
Tip: Though this is the go to tool for Leona's engage, it's still a skill shot and can miss. Consider waiting for the enemy to be stunned or rooted before using it to secure the hit.




R

Leona calls down a beam of solar energy, dealing damage to enemies in an area. Enemies in the center of the area are stunned, while enemies on the outside are slowed.
Tip: This is a deceptively hard ability to hit if the target isn't already stunned or stopped in place. Consider holding it until they are stunned by your Shield of Daybreak or Zenith Blade.
Leona Combos

There are quite a few fun ways to go about comboing with Leona. Here are the main ones.



Basic Engage

The basic engage starts with a longer range engage using your Zenith Blade. Once connected, you will be pulled to the enemy that you hit. Once there, using your Shield of Daybreak to further the stun. Don't forget to use your Eclipse to mitigate damage!


Basic Engage #2

The second kind of basic engage begins with Shield of Daybreak and ends with Zenith Blade. The enemies can't dodge auto attacks, which means that the stun from Shield of Daybreak also can't be dodged. By doing this first, you guarentee that your Zenith Blade won't miss.



All in Engage

Your all in engage takes either of the 2 basic engages adds Solar Flare. You typically want to use your Shield of Daybreak first to apply the stun, thus making it impossible to miss your Solar Flare.



The Fade In

Here's a more advanced combo to try. A lot of people don't realize that you can cast Solar Flare while your Zenith Blade is going. The brief moment of immobilization from Zenith Blade is enough to guarentee a landed Solar Flare. After the crowd control wears off, you are right next to your target ready with a Shield of Daybreak.



The Fade In - But Harder

This is the same concept as the above only you use Solar Flare and instantly Flash Zenith Blade to lock in your opponent as the Solar Flare hits.



Twice as Stunning

This is a fun one. When performed well, both targets get stunned at the same time. It's a good way to open up the fight for your team.
First step is to use Zenith Blade on your primary target.
Immediately, cast Solar Flare on the secondary target.
From there, you get to choose which target to further crowd control with Shield of Daybreak, either by autoing the primary target or flashing to the second.





If you are learning Leona or simply want to master her mechanics, I HIGHLY recommend getting into the Practice Tool. Put up a bunch of target dummies and get used to the combinations and how her abilities interact, time, and buffer with one another.
Abilities - Standard Level Up
Standard Level Up Order
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18


First Ability
Q You typically always start Shield of Daybreak on Leona. Level one, it has a massively short cooldown and can do damage. It's scary enough that no ranged champions will come near you, and any melee champion will be out traded by you.

Second Ability
E After the first level, you go Zenith Blade. Once you have these two abilities you now have immense kill pressure in lane. It allows you to engage and disengage with ease, or to run away and keep your distance if needed. If you are level two before the other enemies - it doesn't matter the matchup - you'll win the 2v2.

Third Ability
W Go ahead and level up your Eclipse here. It's great to keep you healthy in lane, plus the damage isn't too terrible for all in situations. Be aware that it can take all of your mana, so use it sparingly. Save it for times where you are about to take a lot of auto attacks, abiltiies, when you engage, or when someone engages onto you.

Fourth Ability Onward
After you have a point in each skill, you go for a W Eclipse max - this drastically reduces the cooldown which is very important to Leona's kit. The more time it's off cooldown, the more time she can engage. After that, you make Zenith Blade to shorten its cooldown. [/indent]


Note: Leona doesn't max Q Shield of Daybreak first because it doesn't reduce the cooldown of the ability. That is the deciding factor over what to max second - Zenith Blade has its cooldown reduced with leveling.
Summoner Spell Selection


Summoner Spell Explanations for Leona

For Leona, the go to is Flash and Ignite. Flash is a requirment for Leona (as with most all other supports). Leona is so strong at engaging that a simple flash forward to connect abilties can win you fights instantly. Don't hesitate to use it on her. As far as secondary summoners go, your go to is Ignite. Leona is all about securing kills and starting fights, which is why Ignite is necessary.

In very few situations should you go Exhaust. Only consider going Exhaust if the enemy team has a comp that all want to dive your back line ( Hecarim, jarvenIV]], Katarina, etc.) or are full of assasin ( Talon, Qiyana, Kha'Zix, etc.). For the most part, it's never worth it.



Runes - Standard

Here are your standard rune choices. In the section below you will have a breakdown analysis of every rune, its function, what it's good/bad for, and when to go it. If you're in a rush, you can't go wrong with any of these premades.




Runes - Detailed and Broken Down
Click either of the 2 below runes to jump to their section




VS.



Aftershock


Tankier - Lot of Resistences
Early Game Power
Better Front Line Tank
Full Resolve Tree

The Resistences mean less late game
Doesn't help Allies
Doesn't Empower Allies
VS.

Glacial Augment


Prolonged/Additional Crowd Control
Better Team Fight
Better Late Game Tank
Empower/Protects Your Allies

More Quishy - Less Resistences
Rough Early Game Until Level 3
Can't be the Only Front Line



Aftershock - 70% of the Time


Aftershock will never NOT be valuable and applicable in your situation - it will always be the safe rune to go. Aftershock provides you an immense amount of resistences for 2.5s after immoblizing an enemy. This works with Shield of Daybreak, Zenith Blade, and Solar Flare (if they get hit by the middle section). This rune does not provide you with extra crowd control like Glacial Augment does. Going this rune allows for you to take over the early game when enemy damage is low - before items have been built. It scales with bonus armor and magic resist, meaning it gains power as the game goes on, though not by a lot.


Second Row Options

Font of Life - all around best option. Consistently gives small healing to allies when you crowd control them.


Demolish - Best when you know you will be pushed up in lane - best against weak laner opponent, or when you have AD carries that will push, such as Caitlyn and Jinx.

Shield Bash - This rune does not work with Leona at all. Her Eclipse gives resistences when used, but not an actualy shield, meaning you gain no value from it.


Third Row Options
Conditioning - Not worth it. Won't amount to much, and the other two in this row are invaluable.


Second Wind - Great for double ranged matchups that will be poking you down. Think "Am I fighting, or am I being hit from afar." Good against champions like Sona, Soraka, Karma, etc.

Bone Plating - Best for laning against a melee support - Nautilus, Pyke, Blitzcrank, etc. Short bursts are preferred vs. long trades when you go Bone Plating, whereas Second Wind prefers poke.


Fourth Row Options
Overgrowth - Never worth it. As a support, you (out of all laners) are in lane the least. Won't ever amount to much.


Unflinching -Typically go if against high Crowd Control teams. For Leona, you always go. The other runes don't help Leona much, and the tenacity from Unflinching helps a lot.

Revitalize Does not work with Leona at all. She doesn't heal nor shield (before you say it, I know Font of Life heals - it's not worth it).


Secondary Tree: Inspiration

Biscuit Delivery will be your go to rune. Not only is the healing and mana regeneration good to help you stay substained in lane, but paired with Time Warp Tonic is amazingly strong. The extra 5% movement speed can easily secure you kills in the early game.

Time Warp Tonic will be your other go to rune. If you don't plan on going Biscuit Delivery, then your better off going one of the below runes instead.

Hextech Flashtraptionis a great rune for Leona, though it's not her go to. It's great if you want the ability to use your Flash on cooldown without worry. Go this rune when you can obtain bush control in lane or when you play on roaming mid a lot.

Future's Market is also a great go to rune, one of my personal favorites. If you are in a lane against double ranged where you need the mobility to dodge skill shots OR you plan on roaming alot, this rune allows for an early tier 2 boot power spike.

Cosmic Insight is an average, fine rune to go. It provides nice haste which allows your summoner spells and actives items ( Locket of the Iron Solari) to be up quicker. Pairs well with Hextech Flashtraption.

Stat Runes
The last 3 runes are up to your discretion. Attack Speed, Armor, and Armor are best. If the enemy is one damage (both AD or both AP), go ahead and go both runes of that resistance. The attack speed rune feels very nice on Leona, specifically in the early game where every auto matters the most.








Glacial Augment - 30% of the Time

WHHEEWWW - For once Leona Support has options as to what key stone to go. Instead going Aftershock you now have the option of going Glacial Augment. Glacial Augment is invaluable when it comes to furthering Crowd Control and peeling Assasins off of your carries. When considering Glacial Augment, you want to look at your laning phase as well as your role on your team. If you have a lane where you have a better 2v2 and have kill pressure, consider going Glacial Augment since you don't need the extra resistences. It provides more crowd control and the damage reduction to the enemy carry is invaluable. When looking at the other team, consider assasins and backline divers. Glacial Augment is better for peeling or locking down a specific target. Ask yourself what your role is. Are you the only front line, responsible for tanking the enemy team? If so, Aftershock will be better. But if you have other front liners, say Zac or Sejuani, you can get away with sacrificing some resistences for crowd control/debuff. You will be squishier and more likely to die, but it doesn't matter since your team can thelp ank the damage. The slow for Glacial is invaluable in the middle of a team fight.


Second Row Options
Perfect Timing is a fine rune to take. It offers the option to dive and force early fights around objectives which can catapult your early game.

Hextech Flashtraption is the best choice rune. Having Hexflash allows for you to more readily use your Flash in lane to secure kills or pressure. With Hextech Flashtraption, you can trade your flash off cooldown to take away the oponent ADC's flash. Addiitonally, the play making potential on Hextech Flashtraption is defintely there.

Magical Footwear is never worth it. You want your Tier 2 Boots ASAP - this delays it immensely. Tier 2 boots on Leona is a huge power spike.


Third Row Options

Future's Market is a powerful early game rune, though everything in this row has value. With Future's Market you get an earlier power spike (rushing Tier 2 Boots) which allows Leona to make an impact on the early game.

Minion Dematerializer (MD) is a swell rune to take, though has different application than the others in the row. MD allows you to maintain prio in lane by securing those pesky canon minions - really good in lane where you don't want to step up and take a lot of poke damage.

Biscuit Delivery is the best rune when paired with Time Warp Tonic. As with all melee support, you are susceptible to poke and damage from ranged matchups. Using Eclipse can drain your mana. Biscuit Delivery gurantees you will always have the mana for a full combo and the HP to survive.
Fourth Row Options

Cosmic Insight is a valuable rune, though the other 2 still can be just as valuable. Reducing the cooldown of your Flash and Ignite is very nice to stay ahead of the enemies, plus gives Item Haste, meaning if you go Locket of the Iron Solari that active cooldowns get reduced.

Approach Velocity only really has a place if you have an Ashe or Jhin ADCs or someone who provides Slows and Crowd Controls. The extra moement speed to catchup is very nice.

Time Warp Tonic is FANTASTIC when paired with Biscuit Delivery. Can still be worth going if not. It provides wonderful substain, allowing you to use your Eclipse without worry of depleting mana and to keep your HP at a reasonable level for engages. Most importantly, the 5% bonus movement speed can really make or break fights and catches.


Secondary Tree: Resolve

or
Font of Life - Go if they have a double ranged botlane - heavy poke lanes ( Lulu, Karma, Soraka. Keeps you healthy.
Bone Plating go if they have a melee/hard engage team comp ( Leona, Blitzcrank, Rell)


or

Unflinching if they have crowd control heavy support ( Leona, Galio, Nautilus)
Font of Life if you do not need Unflinching - it's a great rune that synergizes well with Leona kit.


Stat Runes
The last 3 runes are up to your discretion. Attack Speed, Armor, and Armor are best. If the enemy is one damage (both AD or both AP), go ahead and go both runes of that resistance. The attack speed rune feels very nice on Leona, specifically in the early game where every auto matters the most.








Item Selection



Table of Contents







Starting Items



When it comes to starting support item, you only have one option - Steel Shoulderguards. This and Relic Shield are your standard items for melee supports. The only difference between the two is Steel Shoulderguards gives Attack Damage while Relic Shield gives Ability Damage. In the early game, auto attacks are very important for all champions. Since items haven't been purchased yet, most every champions auto attacks have similar impact. With that in mind, the extra Attack Damage helps with her early damage tremendously. You may be thinking that Ability Power helps all of her abilities, which is does, but it's not enough to be worth it seeing as you will auto attack way more times than you will Zenith Blade.



First Back


Sapphire Crystal or Tear of the Goddess: A rather unknown trick that I operate with is on my first base buying one of these items. They provide a mana pool that is invaluable for Leona early game, plus they are decently cheap. It's not required for Leona, but it's a neat trick. Sapphire Crystal builds into Zeke's Convergence which is a common item for Leona. If they have a beefy front line (lot of HP or resistences) and you have an attack speed based carry ( Jinx, Twitch, even Ezreal), odds are you will be going this item. If you aren't planning on going Zeke's Convergence, go Tear of the Goddess. This item provides a wonderful mana pool, plus is builds into Fimbulwinter - another situational item on Leona.

Tip: Buy one of these items even if you aren't going to build them into anything. They have great resell value (meaning you won't lose too much gold for selling), and provide an enormous advantage in the early game.




Boot Selection

Leona gets a wide variety of boots to choose from with almost no wrong answer. It is best to rush tier 2 boots, regardless of which ones you pick. Early game stats are unequivocal, and the movement helps tremendously in your laning endeavors. Tier 1 boots are always a first buy must have.

If the majority of the damage on the enemy team is AD, go plated.
Define Majority Take a look at at their team. Count how many of them do damage - ignore the support if they are enchanter. Ignore Jungle and top if they are purely tank. Then count how many do AD, how many do AP. If it's a tie, go Plated Steelcaps if they don't have Crowd Control, and go Mercury's Treads if they do.


Against champions like Thresh, these boots come in clutch. If there are 3 or more serious CCs on the other team, go Mercury's Treads. Even if they are heavy AP, but have no crowd control, Plated Steelcaps may still be the move. Don't go Mercury's Treads for the Magic Resist.


Swifties are a popular go to on Leona. Consider going if you have multiple front liners on your team - meaning you will not be the only one taking damage. Boots of Swiftness are great for gap closer, but don't provide you with any life saving resistences. If you aren't too comfortable on Leona yet, best to hold off on these boots.




These are good boots, though are super important for Leona. These are best if you are running Hextech Flashtraption as a rune and Cosmic Insight to stack summoner spell cooldown. If they don't have a team that is full of 1 damage type, it's not always worth to go Plated Steelcaps or Mercury's Treads. These are the times where you can choose between swifties or ionian boots. Just keep in mind, these will make you decently squishy.


No.




I recommend against going these, though they do have their place. These boots allow you to dominate the map, especially in the early game. Consider going if you have a Jungler on your team who is dominant and wants to invade ( Graves, Kindred, etc.). Also consider if you have a mid laner who can get kills off of your roams. If you think you are going to lose lane, these aren't the worst pair of boots to go. .



HAHAHA
No.






Into an All Attack Damage Comp

Leona is great as a support because she can fill so many different roles depending on the game. Tank, Peel, Engage, CC, buffing, and debuffing As support, she synergizes amazingly with many defensive items.

When you are against an all AD team comp, itemization gets very straight forward - ARMOR ARMOR ARMOR.
Bramble Vest will be your first, most efficient purchase. Regardless if the other team has insane healing or not, getting this piece first is powerful. The stats are great for a 800g piece, for starters. Not only that, but Thornmail scales off of bonus Armor, meaning every purchase going forward is multiplied.

After buying this (and plated Plated Steelcaps) ask yourself - is my ADC (or APC) in danger of getting one shot? Are there assasins'? If so, start building your Locket of the Iron Solari (start with Kindlegem, HP is better at the start of game, plus CDR is nice). If the answer is no, there's no burst damage or assasins' to worry about, go Evenshroud.

After your mythic, finishing Thornmail is not a priority UNLESS they have big healing ( Soraka, Sona, Yuumi, etc.).

For your last items, ask yourself what your job is


Am I the only front line?
Am I the one who starts the fight, or has to stand in front of my whole team in a team fight? (i.e. there are no other tanks or front liners on your team, or just 1?

If Yes, build Zeke's Convergence or Randuin's Omen or Anathema's Chains.
Am I on peel duty?
Are there multiple assassins' or divers that will be fixated on focusing my carry?
If yes, build Anathema's Chains or Zeke's Convergence.
Am I looking to make picks?
If yes, Dead Man's Plate or Anathema's Chains.
Anathema's Chains - This is great when there is an assasin on the enemy team OR if there is one dedicated carry (such as a Vayne or Jinx) on the enemy team. Attach it to the biggest threat.
Zeke's Convergence - This item is great when pair with an ally who is attack speed based or spams abilities (such as Ziggs, Ezreal, Jinx, etc. there alot). It's great for burning through tanking front liners or helping to burst down an assasin in the back line.
Thornmail/ Bramble Vest - Is invaluable against all AD comps. Can't go wrong with going it first.
Dead Man's Plate - Always a great call when into full AD. The pick potential is great!
Vigilant Wardstone - When level 13 hits, get the Vigilant Wardstone. It's unmatched in utility, and the stats aren't half bad. Don't get it before, though. Not worth the money. Only get if you have no high priority items to purchase.
Randuin's Omen - This is great against champions that build Critical Chance ( Jhin, Yasuo, Yone, etc.). If they are all AD but don't have crit (lethality or bruisers), consider going Frozen Heart.
Frozen Heart - This is great against attack speed based champions. If they have multiple marksmen ( Vayne, Kindred, Graves, Quinn, etc.) definitely go this item. The dubffs on the enemies will be wonderful.




Into an All Ability Power Damage Comp


First Buy: Mercury's Treads. Follow this up with a Negatron Cloak. Stacking early MR will make you an unkillable.

Your inventory should look like this - Mercury's Treads, Negatron Cloak, Pot/Refillable, Control Ward and optional: Tear of the Goddess.

Finish your Force of Nature here for your first tiem, even before your mythic - it's that powerful. Once stacked, you get 20% reduced Magic Damage plus movement speed that in VITAL in kiting and keeping up with the enemies.

Once you have this down, it's time to look at the game as a whole. Similar to the ALL AD team comp, ask yourself, is your carry dying fast? Multiple assassins' or divers or a Syndra who wants to outplay your carry? If so, go Locket of the Iron Solari. Keeping them alive is ideal. AP dealers typically rely on burst ( Evelynn Syndra Orianna Veigar, etc.). Building a Locket of the Iron Solari will help a lot.

Is your carry fine? If they aren't in danger of being one shot, go Evenshroud.
Evenshroud - Go if they have a beefy front line, such as Zac, Ornn, or Galio.
Third or Fourth Item Options

Oblivion Orb - If they have healing on their team, this is a must. Since they are all AP, Thornmail get's little to no value, so your best going Oblivion Orb. Don't finish the full item, though.
Fimbulwinter - Odds are with my guide you started with a Tear of the Goddess for early mana. At this stage in the game, you get to choose to keep the Tear and make it into a Fimbulwinter or to sell it for inventory space. Fimbulwinter is great if you are the only front line or the only one engaging. The health pool and shield passive it applies feels very nice. If you have other people soaking up damage, though, it may be best to sell the Tear of the Goddess and move to a different item.
Abyssal Mask - Consider this if you have 1 or more high AP damage dealers on your team. It's a WONDERFUL item that not only makes you more tanky (steals MR from enemies), but increases magic damage dealt against them.
Mikael's Blessing - This is a great item as it gives magic resist, amplifies healing/shielding, and gives the cleasning effect. Go this if they have crowd control on their team - it's a must.





Into 1 AD or 1 AP - Rest of Team is the Opposite

Say you are against a team that is all AP... and then they have a Jinx. Now what? Do you build an armor item? OF COURSE YOU DON'T!

Anathema's Chains - This lovely item will solve all your worries. Simply go this item after your mythic (stacking early game HP is very nice), attach it to the 1 AD or 1 AP damage dealer, then itemize according to the above ALL AP or ALL AD comp.




Against Mixed Damage Dealers

Unfortunately, not every game can be against all of 1 type of damage. When this is the case, Evenshroud and Locket of the Iron Solari] each become viable.

Evenshroud - This is a great item if you need to amplify your teams damage. If they have a tanky team with a lot of health and resistences, this mythic comes in clutch. Additionally, if your team has primarily one type of damage (all AD or AP), this item helps tremendously as the other team has an easier time negating damage.
Locket of the Iron Solari - think about your carry(s). If they are in danger of dying to assasin or a Syndra one shot, go Locket. If you deem that your mission is to solely keep your carry alive, this is the item to go.

Remember - Buying an early Tear of the Goddess or Sapphire Crystal is still very helpful to Leona in the early game, even if you don't plan on building Fimbulwinter or Zeke's Convergence.

Think through the next 10 minutes of the game - will you be stuck in lane the whole time, or do you see yourself running cross map or fighting in the jungle? What will your role be? Building Leona is very dependent on what role you are assuming. Deciding on your role will help you itemize from here. Use the below outline to decide what role you are filling and how to itemize accordingly.





Role Explanations


Front Line Tank

If you are the only tank or front line on the team, you must build a Evenshroud or Locket of the Iron Solari first item. If your carry is safe without you, go Evenshroud. If you need to help keep them alive, go Locket of the Iron Solari. Now ask yourself, do you need MR or Armor, who is/are their damage dealer(s)? Once you decide that, reference the above Item sets to determine what item to build. If you are the only front line, it's best to itemize tanky items with a Bramble Vest rush.


Peel

They have Assasin or a run-you-down comp or you have a hyper carry ( Aphelios, Vayne, Twitch, Jinx). Your job is to keep them alive. Go Locket of the Iron Solari.
Next, look into building an Anathema's Chains to prolong the CC you put onto those killing your carry.
Oblivion Orb is a great item if they have healing. Since you aren't the primary focus of the enemy, you may not be able to proc the healing debuff from Bramble Vest. Going Oblivion Orb guarentees Grevious Wounds onto the enemies trying to take out your carry.
Abyssal Mask is good if your carry is AP based, or if you have multiple AP damage dealers on your team.
Knight's Vow is an amazing item here. It helps protect your carry from burst, which is super important against assasins.


Pick/Play Maker

Here you go Evenshroud. This item is core to Leona and empowers him in the best way -extra damage for her allies.
Anathema's Chains
Dead Man's Plate
Boots of Swiftness
Zeke's Convergence




Item Breakdowns - When to Use and When Not


Abyssal Mask -
First build if you have an all AP team - the stats are great and the passive is unmatched. It empowers your whole team while giving you AMAZING stats and damage reduction.
Build it 2nd or 3rd if you have a 2 or 3 AP team members.
Not Worth if your team has 1 or less AP.


Anathema's Chains - Extends CC duration and reduces up to 30% damage from a designated target.
Never go wrong building this item.
Best into comps that have (1) damage dealer of AP or AD, while the rest of the team is the other.
Best into comps with 1 designated carry.
Best into (1) assassin comp - allows you to lockdown the assassin so that your carry can live and make distant.
Best when you assume the role of "Pick/Play Maker."


Ardent Censer -
Never go - makes you very squishy and the only way you can proc the extra attack speed is with Locket of the Iron Solari.


Banshee's Veil -
Only good into all AP comp - even then it's not great. Takes away a lot of power from your team and Leona doesn't do anything special with the extra damage.
Can be good if they have someone who can stop your engage with one ability ( Janna, Malzahar, Thresh).


Bramble Vest -
RUSH into all AD
RUSH into Soraka, Yuumi, Warwick, Sona, things of their nature IF you are taking on the front line/tank role. If you are peeling or are going in and out of fights, Oblivion Orb gets more value only if the enemy isn't going to be auto attacking you.


Chemtech Putrifier - Never Build
In most games, you will go Bramble Vest into Thornmail for healing reduction.
Oblivion Orb is built is special situations where you don't need armor OR the enemies won't be auto attacking you. Thornmail is great to apply the debuff through crowd control, but it's costly. This means if you sit on Bramble Vest you may not be able to apply the debuff to the enemies (because they aren't autoing you) until you finish the full Thornmail. Oblivion Orb works here because it's an early and secure way of getting healing cut. It unfortunately doesn't scale, though, as you don't build it into its full items.
Think of Oblivion Orb as "early power spike that doesn't scale" while Thornmail is 'weak early but scales really well" when deciding which to purchase.



Cosmic Drive -
Not worth going. You are better off going tanky items - plus the CDR isn't too impactful on Leona. If you want the movement speed, just go Dead Man's Plate or Force of Nature.


Dead Man's Plate - My personal favorite.
Don't build into AD light comps.
BEST into multiple AD comps.
BEST if you DONT have to peel carry
BEST if you are roaming/moving around the map a lot
BEST if you are looking to make picks
Don't build if you are on peel duty, meaning there are plenty of assasins or backline divers.


Everfrost -
No



Force of Nature -
First build if their team is all AP or all but 1 AP
Go 2nd or 3rd if they only have 2 or less AP
BEST when you are primary engage/frontline.
Don't build if 1 or less AP threat.


Frozen Heart -
BEST into all AD comp, or 3+ AD
BEST if they have multiple AD carries (ADC, Graves, Kindred, Quinn, etc.) Attack speed based champ will suffer.
Don't build if on peel duty.
Don't build if they have 1 or less AD threats.
You are choosing between this or Randuin's Omen.


Fimbulwinter -
Great if you bout an early Tear of the Goddess, which I highly recommend (that or Sapphire Crystal).
Great if you are on engage/tank duty.
Not ideal if you are peeling - when you are peeling and empowering your allies, they are typically the target of the damage. You're better off going items that help them. such as Anathema's Chains or Zeke's Convergence.
Tear start is still goodt on Leona even if you aren't planning on building this item. It has good resell value later into the game. Hold on to it until you need the inventory space.


Gargoyle Stoneplate -
Don't build. The shield given does not last long enough to make it worth while - though the stats are GREAT, the passives from other items and effects make it pale in comparison. You never get to stack enough bonus HP to make it worth.


Hextech Rocketbelt -
For fun only - don't bring this out in ranked unless you're looking to be flamed.



Knight's Vow -
GREAT when you have a hyper carry ( Vayne, Twitch, Jinx)
GREAT When you are on peel duty.
Bad when you are the only frontline - you will die so fast and it will not be worth it.
This item gets value when your carry is being targeted, not when YOU are being targeted.


Locket of the Iron Solari -
Great Item.
Best in peel situations.
Not as good as evenshround when you are the only front line.


Mikael's Blessing -
Great into crowd control champions ( Lissandra, Leona, Sejuani, etc.]].
Great into AP heavy comps - it gives a decent amount of magic resist.
Bad if they have no crowd control.
Bad if they are all AD dealers.
Bad if you are the only front liner - you need items with bonus health.


Randuin's Omen -
Only build if into an all AD team. Build this instead of frozen heart for the extra HP
Best against Crit based champs - Yasuo, Yone, Jhin
You are choosing between this or Frozen Heart.


Redemption -
Only can go if you aren't the front line - meaning you have 2 other tanks on the team.
Fine when on peeling duty.
Fine when the enemy has a team comp that wants to run at you ( Hecarim, Jarvan IV, Galio).
Horrible when you are the only front line. If you are taking all the damage, it would be better to go tank items.


Spirit Visage -
Never go. It's not worth it. LEona doesn't synergize with healing, making this item obtainable only for it's stats, which can be gain with abyssal mask and then some.


Staff of Flowing Water -
Nah - Never go - makes you very squishy and the only way you can proc the extra AP/Haste is with Locket of the Iron Solari.


Thornmail - Healing Reduction is required if they have healing. As a support, it's your job to get this item or Oblivion Orb.
Always go if they have 3+ AD damage dealers.
Always go if they have healers (soraka, yuumi, etc.)
Always go going if you are the front line - the stats or wonderful and stack well with bonus AD.
Consider Oblivion Orb if they are all or mostly an AP comp.
In most games, you will go this or Oblivion Orb. Ask yourself - Am I taking damage, or am I trying to stop damage from being done? If you are the tank, go Thornmail, if you are empowering and protecting your carry, go Oblivion Orb.


Vigilant Wardstone -
Great in every game and every situation.
Do not buy before level 13 - not worth. It doesn't give you the full stats and effects until you are level 13.
Great into stealth champions such as Evelynn and Twitch (for the extra pink wards).


Zeke's Convergence -
Best paired with attack speed based allies like Jinx and Twitch.
Best against tankier enemies with big health pools.
Poor against assasins and other squishy carries.
Poor into majority AP dealing enemies as it doesn't give you magic resist, just armor and health.



Matchups Breakdowns






Engage Support Enemies


Typically with engage supports, the first person to make the move (without adequate backup, like a jungler) will lose the trade. Leona get's to circumvent this rule a bit because of the amount of damage reduction she gets from her Eclipse and Aftershock (if you go that route). That being said, it is still smart to wait for the enemy to engage, whether it's Galio or Alistar, you should wait for their engage before you use your abiltiies. In general melee range engage matchups, the first one to pull the trigger typically loses the trade - Leona just thankfully doesn't get punished as hard for it. When looking for engages, it's very important to know where your lane mate (or jungler) are - if they can't follow up or are going to be Headbutt away, thus unable to provide backup, you will lose the trade. If the enemy ever goes in on your lane partner, you MUST look at their carry, not their support. Don't ever use that Zenith Blade on Alistar, but look to use it on their Jhin or Jinx to outtrade and apply more kill pressure, while taking pressure off of your lane mate.
Below are specifics on all matchups.


Alistar
Lane: Main thing is to make sure you are not standing on or next to your carry - if Alistar enagages on both of you, you aren't able to provide your crowd control.. If only you or your lane partner get targeted, you are able to turn onto the enemy carry with your full combo. Your cooldowns are much shorter than Alistar, and your crowd control effectively lasts longer. If Alistar engages first, you should win the trade.

Team Fights: If Alistar is looking for an engage, your goal is to ignore him. Your eyes need to be on their backline, carries, or assasins. In a team fight, your Shield of Daybreak should only ever be used on Alistar if it's to prevent his Trample stun from being in auto attack range. Main thing is to ignore him and focus on those who will kill your carry, or the enemy carries.




Blitzcrank
Lane: Leona is great in this matchup. Simply stand in front of your ally at all times. If Blitzcrank hooks, you take it and can simply turn onto the enemy carry. Be sure to pop your Eclipse before the hook hits you for maximum damage mitigation. Once Blitzcrank has full comboed you, he has nothing left to provide. Zenith Blade or Shield of Daybreak the enemy carry and win the fight.

Teamfight: Similar as laning. If you can take the hooks for your team, Blitzcrank becomes useless. Rocket Grab is used as a free dash for Leona - hijack the hook to be closer to their backline.

Tip: If he hooks, press W Eclipse immediately. It will mitigate most of his damage, leaving him useless.




Braum
Lane: Rather difficult lane in the sense that it's hard to do anything. Anytime you engage he will be able to block your carries attacks, thus leaving you alone. If his Unbreakable is every on cooldown, GOGOGOGOGOGO. Also - Always take the Winter's Bite for your ally. Pop Eclipse right before the last Concussive Blows hits you to mitigate much of the damage.

Team fight: When it comes to team fights, Braum is only relevant in the since that he can stall your team. If you dive into the backline, his abilities allow for him to slow down or even halt your allies from backing you up. Make sure they are close enough to follow you or that your confidenet enough that you can survive against the backline onslaught.



Galio
Laning: This is an easy lane if played right. Galio has insanely high cooldowns early game - if he ever uses his Shield of Durand or Justice Punch, look for the engage. Focus on the enemy carry - if the enemy carry is far away it is perfectly fine to go for Galio.
Note: Galio, like Braum, does really well at zoning off your ally from joing you in the fight Make sure your ally is close enough to join when a fight starts or you may find yourself alone with no Aftershock.

Team fight: Very straight forward - if you are engaging (starting the fight), make sure your team is somewhere near you to back you up. If they aren't, you will receive all of the backline damage solo. If Galio is starting the fight, simply ignore him and look at their carries/assasins and focus your crowd control onto them.
Tip: If Galio begins to channel his Shield of Durand, use your Shield of Daybreak on him. It will cancel his taunt immediately.


Shen
Lane: Same as Galio, just not as scary. You should whin this lane easy. Go in whenever, especially if his Shadow Dash is on cooldown. This is a lane where it is ok to focus the support, as he is very squishy early game.

Team fight: For the most part, just ignore him. He doesn't provide much to team fights.



Maokai
Lane: Maokai is a very squishy champion early game. As long as you aren't fighting in the middle of the minion wave, it's perfectly fine to engage on him. Make sure to take Stealth Ward to keep eyes on him in bushes, as you do not want to be in bushes in this lane. His Sapling Toss can chunk in the early game. If he ever goes onto your carry, make sure to impose yourself between him and the enemy carry. Pop Eclipse so mitigate the carries damage, and easily turn onto Maokai once his Aftershock dissipates.

Team fight: After his Nature's Grasp is done, you are free to do whatever. He does not provide much after that, it's kind of just a wating game. If you can bait him into using his cooldowns (like Twisted Advance) onto you, he becomes useless and your team can win the fight. Keep him off your carries.



Nautilus
Lane: This is a nice lane for you, very similar to Blitzcrank. Make sure you always take the hook with Eclipse active for your carry, and turn the fight from there. If you want to start the first, make sure you start it on the enemy carry. Should be an easy breasy lane as long as you are using your Eclipse.

Teamfight: You get the choice of stopping his engage or engaging yourself when it comes to team fights. If he ever uses Dredge Line on you, look to Solar Flare his back line, or use that moment to Zenith Blade to the nearest carry. Your job, often times, will be to slow down Nautilus's team while he uses his cooldowns - very similar to Braum's role sometimes.

Tip: Don't bring his Depth Charge into your team.




Poppy
Lane: Play reactive for the most part. Her Steadfast Presence blocks your Zenith Blade which can scuff your engage. If it's not on cooldown, don't use E. Play away from your carry - meaning if Poppy engages on your ADC, you'll have plenty of distance to Zenith Blade onto the enemy ADC to mitigate damage. Biggest thing here - don't use your Zenith Blade to engage, use your Shield of Daybreak. Simply walk at the enemy carry and auto attack - Poppy may prematurely use Steadfast Presence or even use Heroic Charge on you. If she does this, your carry is empowered and unimpeded to walk up to dish out the DPS.

Team Fight: Start with Shield of Daybreak if you are trying to get past her.. Run to her and auto her. If she hasn't used Steadfast Presence, this gives you a second to Zenith Blade while she is stunned. If she did use it, it gives you a second to get our of her range before dashing across the fight.

Tip: If your team has dashes such as Lucian, Camille, and Zac, go ahead and start a fight with your Zenith Blade to bait out that Steadfast Presence. Getting that out of the way leaves a lot of options for your allies.




Sett
Decently easy matchup. Wait for his engage, then turn. He's a sitting Duck and can't provide anything past his intial burst. If you engage first, he can simply pull you off the enemy carry, which allows for them to kite you. Let him make the first move. Don't Shield of Daybreak him if he engages - it won't stop him and it's a waste of a cooldown.





Enchanter Enemies



Leona has distinct advantages and disadvantages when it comes to enchanter supports. Enchanters lack when it comes to all ins or hard engages, which Leona is master of. Additionally, Leona has decent damage mitigation against enchanters that like to poke. Second Wind will be your go to rune with Aftershock. If you got Glacial Augment (which you can) be sure to go Future's Market to get those early tier 2 boots. This allows you to have more map agency than an enchanter out of lane, and helps with dodging skill shots/trading with enchanters in lane. Go Sweeping Lens to start and take control of the bushes in lane. By sweeping their wards, you are able to stay as close to them as possible without takes any poke or harrass from them. Additionally, your team fighting early is stronger, meaning you should be calling for ganks, fights in river, fights around objectives, and roams where you can. Anytime you can engage on them or the carry, go for it.
Laning: Typically you want to focus the carries in 2v2 lanes, but if the enemy Lulu steps up too far in lane, she is an easy burst.
Team fights: You offer more in terms of crowd control and team fight capabilities. Don't be shy to start fights.
Specific mathup details below.


Janna
Lane: This is a great game to roam. She provides little kill potential onto your ADC, but unfortunately her Howling Gale can block most of your engages, meaning theres not much to do in lane. Take this matchup to practice roaming and playing with your jungler. That being said if you can ever manage to crowd control her with her Howling Gale on cooldown, you can burst her into oblivion.
Team Fight: Just keep an eye on her and know where she is. Typically you can play around her knockups. You don't need to be too patient - her disengages are good, but their cooldowns are much longer than yours. If you fail once, keep running at her and try again. It's ok to focus her in team fights as she will die quickly.


Karma
One of the more brutal matchups. Her mobility keeps her ahead of your engages, while her short cooldowns and decent range keeps you off the wave and poked down. Play around her cooldowns - if she just used her Mantra Inner Flame, look to engage. You ideally want to engage onto the enemy carry, but using Zenith Blade on [[karma] isn't terrible. Just make sure your carry is there to back you up, otherwise you will get walked out as they put immense damage into your back.
It's a rought lane to roam in unless you ADC has good wave clear or mobility. Karma loves to push in the wave and if you aren't there when the minions crash, your ADC will suffer.



Lulu - A very nice matchup. She has longer range than you which is annoying, but makes he vulnerable to an engage. If you ever miss an engage, you may regret it, as she has decent damage and slows that will walk you out of lane.. That being said, if you land any stuns or roots onto her or the enemy carry, you win the fight for the most part. Be aware as to where the wave is - fighting in the wave can be rough. If the enemy carry has cleanse, you should always focsu the support (unless it's on cooldown). Cleanse is only good for the person who has it, meaning there is not a Heal to help out the support.



Morgana - Nightmare lane - her Black Shield nullifies your engage, and her binding roots you for atleast 2 seconds.. Play the map by roaming and following the jungler. Highly recommend going Mercury's Treads. If her Black Shield is on cooldown, look for that engage. Her shield has a 20 second+ cooldown in the early game, meaning you have a big window to engage if it's down.




Nami - If she E's her ally, back off. If her ally is attacking your carry with buffed auto attacks, consider Zenith Blade towards the enemy to alleviate some of the damage going onto them. If any of her cooldowns are down, looks for a fights. She's very squishy. It's ok to focus her over the ADC because of how quickly she dies.



Sona - You win lane hard. Be agressive - if you stun her, she dies. She scales and becomes very powerful late - if you ever see a chance to crowd control her, go for it. Killing her will win you the fight. Focus her in lane as well as team fights. Early Bramble Vest is great.



Soraka - Boring lane - she out pokes you and out heals any trade you do if you don't kill. Go an early Bramble Vest and look for engages on her. In this lane, it's more important to focus teh Soraka as opposed to the enemy carry. Maintain bush control.







Special Matchups



Bard is an annoying matchup to Leona. He out roams, out ranges, and has decent mobilty. Best thing to do here is to keep your waves pushing in as much as possible to keep bard in lane. If he ever gets in range, go for the engage. If he roams, push your lane and dive their ADC. Leona does great at diving, which will punish Bard's roams. You can't match his roams as well, so don't try. Win botlane.



Pantheon - He is not a great support, but he can snowball a game if you aren't careful. He will either look to roam all game or fight non stop. If he roams you HAVE to call out each roam for your team. You do not need to follow - simply kill the ADC left behind. If he stays and fights, you HAVE to save your cooldowns until AFTER he jumps on you or your AD. You outscale and he falls off if he can't get kills early.


Pyke - This is a fun matchup because Leona can counter Pyke hard. Take every Bone Skewer for your carry, then turn onto the enemy carry. If the enemy carry isn't in range, simply stun the Pyke and watch his HP disappear. Go double armor runes in this matchup.



Senna - one of the most annoying matchups. Don't trade or walk up - letting her farm souls off you will cost you the game. If you miss your Zenith Blade, she gets to walk you out of lane with auto attacks that deal a lot of damage and gather her souls. Be confident with your engages, or chill in a bush. Get level 6 as quickly as you can and try not to let her farm souls off of you. That being said, if you do manage to land a Zenith Blade, you typically will win the fight. It's just a matter of getting to her.



Shaco - Start Sweeping Lens and you win. Shaco supports don't typically go Flash, so it's alright to focus him in fights.



Taric - At the moment, the champ is awful. Just ignore him and focus the enemy carry and you'll when every fight.



Thresh - Never engage first on Thresh. His Flay makes that impossible. It's very important that you focus the enemy carry whenever Thresh uses his Death Sentence. If Thresh hooks your ally, you need to make sure you are using your abilities on the enemy carry, or atleast zoning them away from your ally.






Mage Enemies


If any of the above champions ever uses part of his combo and misses, look for the engage. It's the best way to counter mage supports. Make sure you are playing on a paralell line or in triangle with your ADC so they aren't stuck taking all of the skill shots (explanation on what this means below). Mage support are very easy to deal with if you capitalize on their cooldowns. If they miss a skill shot, you pressure and play up and look for a engage. If you are able to land a stun on them, they will typically melt.

Laning: take bush control. Looking for opening when they miss their abiltiies. Past that, go Second Wind if you went Aftershock, or Future's Market if you went Glacial Augment (for the early tier 2 boots) and chill. In these lanes, you typically get poked down and can't do much unless the enemy miss plays. Counter this by playing the map, roaming, following your jungler around, securing objectives, and ganking mid.

Tips on specific Champs:


Brand- If he misses any part of his combo, go in.




Lux - If her Light Binding is down, go in. Honestly, just go in on her whenever she steps up. Don't force it or she can kite you back and chunk you with her abilities.



Swain - if his Nevermove is down, go in. Honestly, even if it's up, go in anyways. He's very weak in lane.




Vel'Koz - Rough lane. If he misses his abilties, go in. With their short cooldown, it may be best to roam and play for the jungle.



Xerath - If he ever gets close enough to engage on, go. He melts. Otherwise look to roam and make plays on the map with the jungler. Ganking mid is fun.




Zilean - His Time Warp is an annoying counter to you. Past that, getting on him will secure a kill, or atleast cooldowns.




Zyra - If her Grasping Roots are ever off cooldown, GOGOGOGOGOGO. Free kill. Otherwise just chill and scale. Her Grasping Roots will root you, causing you to get chunked for a decent amount of damage. Be sure to pop your Eclipse if one of those plants are going to hit you.


Playing in parallel and triangle formation: These refer to playing on the same the same line of scrimmage as your ally. If they are pushing further than you, then they have to take poke and skill shots from both support and ADC. If you are pushed further than they are, then YOU are the one who takes both. Playing on the same parallel line as ADC means you split the damage, and if one of you trys to trade, then both of you can easily. This is the best way to counter Mage support.

A friend of mine "twitch.tv/iskyi" made a wonderful and short video explaining this whole concept, linked below. If you found the content helpful, consider dropping him a Subscription and like the video.

Questions and Answers
Q & As

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide