This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page
Leona Build Guide by ChefoSLR
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Choose Champion Build:
Greetings, fans of Leona!
In this guide I hope to shed a little light on the latest addition to the League of Legends.
A special thanks to Searz for the guide format, also to Piksel4o for showing it to me and last, but not least, to jhoijhoi, for taking her time to review my former guide and provide me with constructive critizm which I used to update and repost.
Explanation on Abbreviations, in case you don't understand any shortened text in my guide.
Before we move on, I promise thorough explanation of everything I do, but if something bothers you, leave a comment below!
Items and skills have links attached to them for extra information, courtesy of the League of Legends Wiki. Enjoy!
9x Greater Mark of Desolation Greater Mark of Desolation;
9x Greater Seal of Resilience
9x Greater Glyph of Warding
3x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude;
Standard 9/0/21 or 9/21/0, with the former focusing on increased move speed and mana regen and the latter focusing on dodge.
Flash and Exhaust. Ignite for a stronger early game, Fortify for more team utility.
> > > . Level shield over stun if you take mid.
- Large casting range on ultimate ;
- Stun resets your auto- attack timer;
- Dash has a built- in 0.5 second snare, space out your abilities to maximize your CC on a single- target;
- The duration of the resistances the shield gives you is increased only if the explosion hits an enemy target.
Focus on tank items depending on the enemy team. Get an early Sheen, finish Trinity Force last.
- A durable fighter, adds a lot to her role of a tank;
- A powerful combo- initiator. -> -> -> makes you feel ninja.
- With a cooldown reduction build build, excellent disabler and gap - closer;
- Does reasonably well on all lanes, although her strength is the duo- lane;
- A great Utility hero, her passive encourages players to build her as a viable team member, not just a 1v1 facestomper.
- Overall good farmer with two AoE spells;
- A viable champion in every stage of the game;
- Very strong chaser, her abilities chain together for a relentless pursuit;
- a perfect candidate for a Commando Skin, let's see what Riot thinks about it.
With all that said, here are some key points to remember. Leona is not:
- A potent damage dealer;
- Solo hero, depends strongly on her team;
- A viable jungler;
- Useful in any way if not played properly.
Why would you go Utility on a tank hero? First let's look at both trees.
+ Increased Armor, Magic Resistance and Dodge;
+ Increased early game HP;
+ Minor damage reduction.
+ Reduced death timers;
+ Increased movement speed and mana regen;
+ Increased experience gain;
+ Decreased cooldowns on abilities;
+ Major cooldown reduce on all summoner spells.
To summarize, the Defense Tree offers very little to support its role for tanks. Ardor is practically useless on Leona, and Veteran's Scars loses its effects very early on.
Meanwhile, Utility offers noticable stat increases, the most major of which is your ability to use way more often.
The only reason I would favor Defense is because Nimbleness has great synergy with the optional Dodge Seals. Of course, you can always go 0/9/21, sacrificing some magic penetration and cooldown reduction for the extra dodge and movement speed, while still getting all the necessary masteries in Utility. This is further enhanced by purchasing Ninja Tabi.
These Masteries give you solid 9% CDR to begin with. Add a Frozen Heart and you'll be near cap value.
Note: The change to Masteries is only noticable once you've played Leona 10 - 15 games. For people who are just now starting to learn her, I suggest playing the standard 9/21/0 or 0/21/9 build until you feel comfortable with the switch.
Greater Mark of Desolation
Greater Mark of Desolation
Armor penetration has great synergy with Sheen. These will significantly increase the damage you deal to low- armor targets.
Greater Seal of Resilience
Early game armor is invaluable. Saves you from minion aggro and auto attack harassment. If you're not going the defensive path, they are the superiour choice to dodge.
Greater Glyph of Warding
Again, magic resistance to counter early game agression. You may go with magic resist per level, also viable. It really boils down to personal choice and the enemy's choice of AP carries.
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
Early game survivability is vital and 78 HP is not to be taken lightly. This makes you more capable of defending your jungler, surviving the guy who just flashed and threw everything on you, etc. 78 HP can always save you from the last ticks of Ignite.
Cooldown Reduction is vital on Leona. If you feel you can handle the enemy's casters, these runes will give you an early game edge in harassment and make securing kills a bit easier.
These have great synergy with Quickness. Mixed together they give a hefty 19 movement speed increase, raising your early level mobility to assassin levels. Take these only once you're experienced enough with Leona.
Flash is the most versatile spell in the game currently. It will save you more times than you can think of and it gets you those final last hits you need on your target. A must for any initiator.
Exhaust is the signature Anti-carry skill. It reduces physical damage greatly, as well as slowing the target and reducing its resistances. I take Exhaust if no one else does.
A very potent spell for your combo burst damage. It has great synergy with Archaic Knowledge. Ignite is usually solid on Leona and can net you some early game kills.
A very potent utility spell. Never underestimate the power of Fortify as it can easily save a teammate from a towerdive, or hold a push on a lane.
Mid Lane / Triple Bush
Blue Golem Buff / Wolf camp
Red Lizard Buff / Golem camp
Side Lane / Double Brush
Side Lane / Gank Brush
Dragon / Red Lizard buff
Baron Nashor buff
Notes: Clairvoyance reveals any brush area, which is what makes this spell so powerful. It also reveals a very large portion of the map, so always try to scout multiple locations of interest with a single Clairvoyance. This is also a nice spell to back you up when pushing a tower.
Leona's damaging spells affect the target with Sunlight for 3.5 seconds. When allied champions deal damage to those targets they consume the Sunlight debuff to deal 20 / 35 / 50 / 65 / 80 / 95 / 110 / 125 / 140 additional magic damage. Leona is unable to activate the additional damage herself.
A very solid passive. The damage increases with levels, reaching 140. Given the fact that all your spells do damage, this can add a lot of pain in teamfights. Note that each ally does this damage depending on their own magic penetration, not yours. You cannot activate your passive, so always have a teammate around to maximize your damage output.
Leona's next basic attack will deal additional magic damage and stun the target for 1.25 seconds.
This is your bread-and-butter skill. It resets your auto attack timer and has a nice stun built to it. It has a low mana cost, making it a viable last-hitting tool. The stun is extremely powerful early on but does not scale with leveling.
Leona raises her shield to gain bonus Armor and Magic Resistance for 3 seconds. When the effect ends she deals magic damage to nearby enemies and prolongs the effect for a bonus 3 seconds if any enemies are struck.
Your signature tank skill. This skill has a nice twist as it does decent damage after 3 seconds. Your combo should always be timed so Eclipse explodes when you dash to an enemy. This gives your foe less time to react with an escape ability. The bonus to resistances is extended only if you manage to hit an enemy with the explosion, so keep that in mind.
Leona projects a solar image of her sword, which deals magic damage to all enemies in a line. When the image fades, the last enemy champion struck will be immobilized for .5 seconds and Leona will dash to them.
A powerful dash. As mentioned earlier, you should take only one point it. Zenith Blade is a difficult skillshot, as the hitbox is really small. There are a couple of important things to note.
1) Zenith Blade warps you to the last enemy hit. The damage is largely ignorable, so always aim for the target you want to catch in your combo.
2) After warping, Zenith Blade immobilizes the target for a brief moment. This is a snare, not a stun, so abilities such as and will not be interrupted. It works on the same principle as Lux's snare . For maximum effect, activate your shield after you've dashed to your target. That extra half a second might just be what you needed to take your enemy down.
After a brief delay, Leona calls down a beam of solar energy dealing damage and slowing enemies by 80% for 1.5 seconds. Enemies in the center of the beam are stunned instead of slowed.
A very powerful ultimate. Some of its subtle uses are assisting ganks early on or as a last resort to escaping, but it truly shines in a team clash. Resist your temptation to cast it on a single enemy in a teamfight, unless you absolutely need to. Even if you don't stun, severely slowing 2- 3 enemies is often prefferable to CC-ing just one target. I strongly recommend you smart-cast this ability, as it makes the stun way easier to land. The stun zone will always be around your cursor.
Shield of DaybreakRange: Melee
Cooldown: 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7
Mana Cost: 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 / 65
Mana Cost: 60
Zenith BladeRange: 700
Cooldown: 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9
Mana Cost: 60
Solar FlareRange: 1200
Cooldown: 90 / 75 / 60
Mana Cost: 100 / 150 / 200
Your priority is maxing out your stun first . This will increase your overall team presence, give you a nice last - hitting tool and reduce the cooldown of this ability. Note that the stun duration does NOT change.
Your shield is necessary for effectively taking damage for your team. It's also a great farming tool.
Obviously, take your ultimate whenever available.
Your dash serves more of a utility purpose. Its cooldown and damage are not worth investing points into. Also, it is NOT certain damage, as is a line skillshot. One point at level 4 works lovely.
The extra mobility early game allows for easier harassment,
chasing and escaping, but your regeneration is limited to 3
health potions. A premade lane favours this item.
The ultimate anti - CC item. Since Leona is naturally tanky, enemies will favour stunning or slowing you instead of focusing you. Mercury's Treads work wonders against teams that are balanced around defending their fragile carries.
A dominant tank item. Solid HP and Magic Resistance boost, as well as a Spell shield every 45 seconds. The way you approach this item depends on your game so far. If you're having difficulty holding your lane, consider rushing the Catalyst Catalyst the Protector. Otherwise, grab first.
Aegis of the Legion
One of the most cost effective tank items in the game. The team aura is a near necessity. Because of how stacking armor and magic resistance works, most squishies benefit greatly from the small resistance boost from this item, making your team presence even more important.
The HP, Cooldown reduction and Armor boost make this a solid item choice on their own. But the true icing is the active. Always use it when initiating, it gives your team precious seconds to position without a lot of enemy retaliation. Remember to get the Heart of Gold first, as the gold per 10 quickly starts to add up.
Note: If you're like me, you often forget the active of items. The way I found works best for me is I place Randuin's in the first item slot and change the Hotkey to 'D'. Change your Summoner Spell hotkey to whatever you find suitable, but now you can easily remember to activate your active item.
A brilliant counter to every attack speed carry ( comes to mind ). The massive cooldown reduction and 99 armor fit Leona's role perfectly. Never underestimate the bonus mana, tanks suffer from a low mana pool and Frozen Heart changes that very effectively. Remember to pick up first if you're not rushing this item.
What's considered the ultimate off-tank item is also a great choice on Leona. The reason behind it is it gives you a lot of utility from Phage's slow, damage boost from Sheen and general boost to movement speed and attack speed from Zeal. This should be one of your last items, though, as it's very expensive and will diminish your ability to tank for your team early on.
This is a very solid item for Leona. Typically you want to get this as fast as you can, so start with a and rush this even before your t2 boots. Has great synergy with Perseverance when fully stacked.
This works to some extent. The slow is a great asset to your kit, and the extra bit of damage is helpful. Never rush this as it will diminish your tanking capabilities early on.
Force of Nature
One of my favourite anti- caster items. It's cheap, reliable and gives you a nice Movement speed boost. Again, start with a and focus on getting this fast if facing AP - heavy teams.
Even after the nerf, this is still a solid item choice. Not just because Leona looks awesome with it - Sunfire provides a stable amount of HP and Armor. The AoE damage makes you a bigger threat and eases your farming.
An extremely powerful utility item when used correctly and a fine mid-game upgrade to your Philosopher's Stone if you went for one, Shyrelya gives you a nice boost to your health and a powerful active, letting you initiate or escape that much quicker. Invaluable for a team of melee- focused champions.
Boots of Swiftness
A very underestimated item. If you feel the enemy team is lacking CC, grab these. The extra movement speed is often better than any amount of hit points or resistances, simply because it allows you to evade a lot of damage easily.
This item has great synergy with both the Seals of Evasion and Nimbleness. A perfect choice vs teams who are focused on physical damage. The only current counter to dodge is the Sword of the Divine.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Solid choice as well. Your standard build reaches 34% Cooldown Reduction. If you feel you need to cap it, these boots are a perfect opportunity to do so. Note that CDR caps at 40%, so you may want to change your runes to maximize the effect of this item.
Your saving grace. It really boils down to if you're being focused. I love this item not just because of the revive, but also because it increases both armor and magic resistance. A solid, well-rounded item choice. Always remember the Weakened Soul debuff.
A very solid choice for two reasons. First, it gives you a decent amount of magic resistance and even though Leona has pretty bad scalings, all of her abilities scale with AP, making this stat not feel wasted. Second and more important, Leona's playstyle demands her being in the middle of the fray, making the unique debuff aura very powerful on her.
Item paths vs AD or AP
The Casters Begone path: > > > > >
The Unbreakable path: > > > > >
These are my favourite item choices for Leona. Generally, you should stay away from any AP items, as Leona's scalings are very poor. I know for a fact that more damage-oriented items work nicely on her, although I don't think that's her role. If you find another item path that suits you better, please share it in the comments!
1) The second build focuses on the Defensive path, taking Nimbleness and Veteran's Scars, along with your core items and runes, gives you about 20% dodge chance late game and 643 hit points on level 1 without health items;
2) As you can see, I level up Eclipse over Shield of Daybreak. The reason behind it is Eclipse makes your farming easier and makes you tankier. What it doesn't do is give you consistent crowd control. You may think 4 seconds off Shield of Daybreak is a small feat, but it will often decide a kill in the early game. Again, the second build does not focus on aggression.
3) Because you no longer benefit from Meditation nor Awareness, your early game dominance is slightly diminished. Thus, you need to play safer and not be forced to recall. Rushing Philosopher's Stone Philosopher's Stone is extremely solid for this build.
4) A solid choice for this build are 3 Quintessences of Fortitude. However, my recommendation for experienced players are 3 Quintessences of Swiftness. Because of Leona's low base movement speed and her need to be up in people's faces in fights, these have great synergy with your kit.
5) Why Shurelya's Reverie? This is in my opinion the greatest counter to every "faceroll melee champion" in the game. The issue with their balance is they need to stay close to your allies, thus champions like and will do extreme amounts of damage really fast. Here comes your AoE speed buff, empowering your team with skyhigh movement speed. 3 seconds are just enough for a squishy target to escape an assassin. I recommend this item only in Build 2, because you're focused on dodge, thus your build hard- counters melee compositions. Once again, this is an extremely powerful choice for a utility hero, can be built straight up from Philosopher's Stone and works wonders even with the first build.
6) Because you cannot reach Intelligence in Utility, you need to adapt your item choices to complement the loss of 6% of CDR. Viable choices are: Soul Shroud, Ionian Boots of Lucidity and, of course, Shurelya's Reverie.
A great partner. Lux can easily follow your stun with and any combination of her ultimate Finales Funkeln and E . The thing that makes Lux perfect for you is she can activate both yours and her passive in one hit. Overall, Lux + Leona leads to a great early game.
Katarina's signature skill, , requires good positioning, which is hard to achieve. Lucky for you, you have a nice set of disables, so do your job and let that girl spin to win!
Speaking of spin to win moves, Garen's signature Judgment has great synergy with Leona's stun. Exploit the early game advantage of this combo to its fullest.
Regardless if he goes AP or AD (although AP is more powerful early game), Sion's is an excellent CC, allowing you to line up your combo with Zenith Blade. With the constant threat of this dual- nuke, you can zone out your opponents with relative ease.
With the recent changes, Kayle has become a really viable choice for laning. Catch some unawary opponent and stun him so she can get in range for , followed by . Kayle + Leona have one of the greates dual- nuke potentials at level 2.
Holy cow, she does a lot of damage :D . I recently started laning with a friend of mine who's really good with Riven. I have to say that as long as you're good at landing your Zenith Blades, the results will be quite devastating.
Generally, any skillshot heroes or heroes who need to get close to do their damage are perfect lanemates for Leona.
Early on, your passive is not so noticable. However, the base damage on your abilities is really powerful. A standard strategy is charge your shield for a second in the bush, then dash in and stun with your shield . Zenith Blade has a very fast travelling particle, making it difficult to avoid if cast from a brush. If you don't overcommit in your attempts at harassment you should be able to establish lane control. Note that Leona is best suited for the bottom lane. She is not a good solo laner and due to her lack of ranged harassment she may be denied experience and gold.
If all goes well, you should recall when you have the money for Boots of Speed and a Heart of Gold. Early game agression is important on Leona and your lane mate should be aware of it. Your > > combo is both extremely powerful and relatively safe, due to Eclipse's resistance boost.
First of all, solar rays hurt like hell so stop dropping them on your head.
Second, your ultimate has amazing range, abuse it if you're good. Stick to a brush and aim it when the enemy comes closer to last hit. Following quickly with your standard combo not only results in a more surprising CC-chain, but also gives your ally more time to close the gap and help your burst down that adorable Ashe you caught with your blade.
Another thing you should consider is the amount of utility your ultimate can deliver in a gank or teamfight. If your spidey senses are tingling and you sense a dragon fight about to commence, hold on to your Solar Flare . The same goes for any gank attempts.
The combination of amazing CC + sniper range make Leona's ultimate an invaluable tank tool. Its cooldown isn't that big, so if some poor fool flashes away, don't think twice and call down the laz0r!
The typical Europe pattern involves your carry being babysat on bot, the AP carry happily farming mid, while your tank is either solo lane or jungling. This looks perfect and generally works well. However, there are a few heroes designed to hard counter this particular setup.
Basically the worst thing you can face on level 6. Her burst is exactly why you should never send an AP carry vs her. It doesn't even come down to lane control or skillful play. The fact is, Annie is designed to destroy squishy targets with around 30 MR with ease. Most Annies play very passively until level 6, because they understand the basic math behind the burst mage. With magic penetration marks, she will do almost true damage to anything that isn't a tank.
Again a burst-type hero. Veigar is more focused on destroying AP targets, but that only comes into factor mid and late game. Early on, he is deadly to any squishy target. Tanks can easily deny him last hits with .
More of a DoT mage than a burst assassin, Malzahar can still dish out tons of damage on level 6. Note that has a very short range so squishies do stand a chance against him, as long as they keep their distance. Although a tank would most likely not be able to deny an experienced Malzahar played any farm, his durability alone is enough to sustain the lane.
I know you've shed countless tears when facing LeBlanc mid. Her > Sigil of Silence is completely uncounterable by most heroes and sooner or later it will get you down low enough for her level 6 combo. Even if you do dodge , the damage from the two Sigils alone is enough to take care of most weak targets. Since most LeBlanc players know this, they focus on flat magic penetration, which is once again a solid reason to put a tank against her.
The infamous squishy- killed, Akali's damage output before level 6 is deceptively small. Once she acquires 3 stacks of , however, she can activate up to 3 Marks on you, either forcing weaker heroes to recall quite often or killing them out-right. This is Akali's focus. She has a really hard time bursting beefier targets, and an unfed Akali is a much lesser threat. If you're the tank that will counter her mid, get a really fast and force her to play defensively.
Following the general pattern of a passive play, followed by an agressive level 6 move are also Kassadin , Kennen , and others. Again, the rule is not to play defensively, but beating them at their own game with a tank- counter.
These are some of the examples of the typical mids. Because your playstyle has changed and your AP carry is no longer in position to farm mid, it's your job to make the most out of your better farm. Generally I rush Aegis of the Legion if I'm on mid as it gives my team an early advantage.
Again, tanks are the greatest counter to the typical level 6 burst on mid. My default runepage gives 52 Magic Resistance on level 1, further improved by Eclipse . Most tanks have either some skill that helps them soak a lot of damage, such as Galio - or Malphite - , or a way of quickly regenerating health, such as ChoGath's or Garen's , meaning they'll either tank the enemy's burst with little damage taken or will quickly regenerate it, making the role of the enemy nuker obsolete. Remember, assassins are generally extremely reliant on those early- game kills. If denied, they quickly lose their bursting potential.
As Leona on mid, you want to prioritize your shield over your stun , again taking one point in Zenith Blade at level 4. Remember to always activate Eclipse when you feel agressive play, it will significantly reduce damage taken and punish the enemy with proper counter- play. You should always factor the enemy's cooldowns - if a caster wastes a spell to last hit, this is your chance to act.
- This item takes time and effort to master its potential. What Sheen allows you to do is boost your next basic attack greatly every 2 seconds by activating a skill. This item requires fluidity in your playstyle. Always think about maximizing the damage output by spacing out your abilities. If you know your target won't get away, time your skills so they're about 2- 3 seconds apart. is a great way to initiate your combo as it has a Sheen-friendly 3 second timer.
Your job at this stage of the game is being where your team needs you- securing dragon, assisting a gank, helping an escape, etc. Leona has awesome utility and your teammates will often depend on it. You probably won't have enough of both resistances, so focus on stacking one first, taking note at both the enemy's farm as well as any potentially fed carry and react accordingly.
Rush first, tag as many people as you can with Eclipse's explosion for . Generally, you always want to be in the enemy's face, softening and disabling enemies for your allies.
-> -> -> -> are some of Leona's optimal combos. The dash gets you in range for the active slow of Randuin's and Exhaust makes it easier to land Solar Flare (but save it if your CC is enough already to take the target down). Soak as much damage as possible for your teammates, and make kills easier for them. Leona is one of the best tanks in the game, because with the proper team she can easily assure the enemy carry's death.
In the case the enemy's engaging, you want to play more defensively. Stick to your squishier allies, CC-ing any assassins that get too close, while keeping the enemy's carry at bay with Solar Flare .
Always remember to spread your damaging abilities, so your allies can take full advantage of Sunlight.
I hope it was as exciting and informative as you have hoped. If it wasn't, leave a comment below and let me know! I accept constructive criticizm. I apologuise for any possible grammar mistakes.
Leona is a very unique tank champion that demands a different approach to be maximally effective. She is a welcome addition to any premade team that understands her role.
So, put on your Sunfire cape, get out there and break their lines!
30/07 - Updated guide released, old one archived, added a Quick Guide section.
30/07 - Added the standard 9/21/0 build for Leona, which focuses on Cooldown Reduction and Dodge.
3/08 - Added brand new "Side note: Clairvoyance tips" and "Range of abilities" screenshots, fixed the spacing between columns, some grammar mistakes.
10/08 - New patch released. Tiny buffs to Leona's gameplay:
* Shield of Daybreak cooldown reduced to 11/10/9/8/7 seconds from 12/11/10/9/8 seconds;
* Zenith Blade: Mana cost reduce to 60 at all ranks from 60/65/70/75/80;
* Particle adjusted to more accurately reflect the area of effect (actual area of effect unchanged);
* Leona will now attempt to attack the target if she uses Zenith Blade to jump to a target;
* Solar Flare cooldown reduced to 90/75/60 seconds from 105/90/75 seconds;
* Fixed a bug where Eclipse would break enemy spell shields on activation.
10/08 - Added an "Immortal Leona (Build 2) section in my guide.
10/08 - Added an intro picture for my guide, hope you like it!
18/10 - Added a Riven section in my Early game chapter.
19/10 - Added a "Level 6! What now" chapter. This should help with the things I didn't explain thoroughly about Solar Flare.
I decided not to put a Wall of Fame for me. I think it goes without saying I've had very good games with her, but I want to see you succeeding with my guide, so share photos if you have any and I'll post them in a Hall of Fame section!