Leona Build Guide by SawyerNelson
Leona Guide - Lane Dominate Tank SupportBy SawyerNelson | Updated on May 3, 2019
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+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
Threats & Synergies
You can spend abilities on Alistar pre level 6, killing him in lane is possible so long that you punish him when he is to far forward. If you engage onto him with E than Alistar has the advantage. Level 6 he can cleanse Leona's CC immediately with ULT. So spending abilities on his ADC becomes more valuable.
Thresh can Flay Leona's E negating catch. So immediate engage on Q + ULT + E is best if you actually want to kill Thresh. Thresh offers a challenging dynamic since he's ranged he can have a lot of control over leona but it takes a good player to actually pull everything off which you likely won't run into in solo queue.
Lucian has high damage and can dash away from E, ULT. Leona commits herself on top of the enemy, and once on top of lucian he can deal a ton of damage to you very quickly.
Miss fortune has a very weak laning phase and no gap closer. So for about the first 13 minutes of the match you have total control over miss fortune. Later in the match you can easily cancel her ULT with your ULT.
Sivir spell shield can make things tricky for leona, but if you get an unexpect engage such as Flash + Q + ULT + E then you can CC her before she has time to respond. In the lane let her push into you don't challenge the minion wave.
Blitzcrank loses if he pulls leona since you can get onto his ADC. So block hooks onto your ADC , get pulled into their ADC and E + Q + ULT them.
Pyke is strong into Leona if you give him opportunities to land hooks. Which you never, ever have to. Leona is strong into Pyke because of the mixed damage you deal when engaging onto him, and the CC combo is just long enough to lock him down and kill him before he E's away. You can also counter his aggressive movements with a quick Q auto attack stun.
Leona has a good matchup into all enchanter supports. They can't contest her strength in the laning phase and are easily caught out, CC'd, and killed. Avoid poke levels 1 - 3 and win the game.
Lucian is very strong early game and can easily follow up on Leona's engage to burst down targets.
Camille is a strong early jungler, and Leona's CC will set her up for easy ganks to snowball the game.
Although Kai'Sa is slow scaling she can ULT to targets Leona CC and it also applies plasma giving her more damage.
Draven snowballs hard on kills and can hard punish early mistakes.
Champion Build Guide
- Leona can start engaging on most lanes around level 2 -4.
- Taking fights at numbers advantages AKA setting your jungler up for an easy gank is the best way to gain a lead.
- Ganks are easily avoided by not standing far up the lane for no reason.
- Stay in lane early game, getting levels is important and you can start to roam once you complete Boots of Mobility
- Be near the lane your ADC is farming in, get wards near that area to protect your ADC & Team.
- When you can move with your jungler to gank a lane or start a fight in the Jungle.
Avoid moving alone or starting fights without allies nearby.
- Carry multiple Control Wards to deny vision from the enemy to easily catch them out.
- Late Game Leona can start fights, but if you have other engage on your team such as Malphite, Rammus, etc. You can let them start fights and then disrupt them with your cc .
- Carry multiple Control Wards to deny the enemy vision on baron or around it.
- Don't get caught out, and be in the correct places around the map depending on the game state.
This guide was written by Sawyer Nelson on October/10th/2018 for free, with the purpose of educating those interested. If you want to show your appreciation you can do so by Donating via [PayPal] or following Sawyer's Social Media:
Leona functions as a Tank that enables her allies to deal damage to targets that she easily locks down with her cc . Compared to other Tank Supports, Leona's cooldowns are short enough for her to cast them multiple times during a fight so long that she survives long enough. Leona can dominate lane and quickly snowball against lesser opponents.
+ Great Engage
+ Low Cooldowns on CC
+ 3 CC abilities
+ Strong Early - Mid Game
- Low Mobility
- No Escape
- Needs follow up on CC
- Bad when team is losing
IGNITEIgnite gives you true damage on a short cooldown, enabling you to burst the targets you engage on even harder.
FLASHFlash is standard on most champions, Leona is no exception. Flash is you immediate play making tool. Flash + Shield of Daybreak sets you up to land a full combo, and can immediately catch out the enemy.
These Runes provide Leona with more safety when engaging, and more tankiness overall. They work pretty much automatically. Keeping track of the cooldowns of your Aftershock and Bone Plating will help you take better engages during the laning phase.
Aftershock gives Leona more safety & a small amount of damage when engaging, when you
a target you will temporarily gain bonus Armor & Magic Resist. Track the 35 seconds Cooldown on Aftershock especially during the laning phase so that you can make the best engage / trade decisions.
Aftershock will be proc'd automatically when you land cc so most likely when you land a Zenith Blade, you will have bonus resistances when you go in for 2.5 seconds. After the bonus resistances from Aftershock are gone you can use Leona's W Eclipse for more bonus resistances for 6 seconds. Giving you a ton of time with bonus Armor and Magic Resist, helping you last longer in fights.
|Bone Plating simply blocks damage for free, it's one of the simplest and best runes in the game. Bone Plating helps at all stages of the game, negages poke during the laning phase, helps you survive in fights, and lets you soak more damage in a late game team fight, and it happens automatically super good rune.|
|+50HP Level 1, is the entire purpose of this rune. Basically every single Solo queue match will be determined off an early fight and having this extra HP can make all the difference, to live off on a couple of HP can prevent a reset, a good gold trade, or a Triumph proc. Leona makes ok use of the bonus Attack Damage gained once it's completed but the AD isn't that impactful.|
|Unflinching helps during all in's, giving Leona temporary Tenacity and Slow resist helps her stick onto targets better, enabling her to get her Q Shield of Daybreak off. It continues to help when your summoner spells are down but to a lesser degree.|
|Magical Footwear Gives you boots at 10 minutes for free. Leona doesn't need boots any earlier than this, and saving 300 gold accelerates your build path.|
Cosmic Insight 5% CDR for everything is generally useful. Leona gets a good amount of value from the 5% CDR on abilities and Summoner spells allowing her to do more faster.
If you are against literally 4-5 AP Champions you could swap Cosmic Insight for Biscuit Delivery
[Q] Shield of Daybreak
Leona empowers her next auto attack dealing bonus magic damage, and stunning the first target hit.
This ability is on a fairly short cooldown, but you have to be in range to get it off twice during a fight. So be mindful of it's cooldown after your initial engage.
This ability is impossible to miss especially with Flash, and will stun the target and set you up for a full combo.
Leona gains bonus Armor & Magic Resist for the duration, after a brief delay she will deal damage in an AOE around her, if she damages an enemy champion with this ability she will gain the bonus Armor & Magic Resist for 3 more seconds.
Leona launches her sword forward in a targeted location dealing magic damage and briefly immobilizing the first enemy champion hit. Leona then travels to that target placing her behind the affected target. Leona will also have an auto attack channeled automatically while traveling to the affected target, you can cast Q Shield of Daybreak while traveling to the target for an immediate stun when you land.
To land this ability is fairly similar to a hook since the cast location will change depending on what side of the map you are on. When on Blue side ( Bottom looking up) Zenith Blade will launch from Leona's right side. When on Red side (Top looking down) Zenith Blade will launch from the left side. Be mindful of this when casting it, especially during the laning phase.
This ability also works as a projectile, it is very, very slow moving but has a large range. You can make use of this when casting from the fog of war, if you ever move right up to the enemy they will simple walk away but when casting Zenith Blade from a brush you can get full value out of it's long range.
Leona channels Solar Flare in a target location, after a brief delay targets in the center of that location are stunned and damage, all enemies around it also take damage and are slowed.
This is Leona all in tool allowing her to deal massive damage and continue to lock down targets that she has already cc 'd or to catch out enemies from long range. Solar Flare's cooldown is very short making it very easy to fish for engages with during the laning phase or to dominate and keep dominate your lane with.
Q Shield of Daybreak > E Zenith Blade > R Solar Flare > W Eclipse
This combo will initially stun the target you want to engage on, setting you up for an unmissable E Zenith Blade into R Solar Flare. If done properly the enemy will have no time to react as they will be cc 'd for the entire duration.
E Zenith Blade + R Solar Flare (Cast while you are traveling on Zenith Blade + Q Shield of Daybreak.
When you catch an enemy out with E Zenith Blade most likely during the laning phase, you can cast R Solar Flare while traveling on Zenith Blade. You should practice it before attempting it in a real match. When you land Zenith Blade and buffer Solar Flare the enemy won't have time to respond with Flash if done properly / fast enough.
Highest Damage Combo
It's rarely optimal for Leona to take time out of her cc to deal damage herself, but when it is this is the combo you should look to attempt.
Auto Attack > Q Shield of Daybreak > Auto Attack > W Eclipse > E Zenith Blade > R Solar Flare > Auto Attack > Q Shield of Daybreak > Auto Attack > Auto Attack
This will most likely give the enemy an opportunity to Flash away since they won't be perma cc 'd, but if the target you are going for doesn't have Flash or any other escape tools you can get away with dealing extra damage with Auto Attacks.
Flash + Q Shield of Daybreak + R Solar Flare + Zenith Blade towards where they would flash too / on top of the already stunned target.
This combo requires to to be fairly close to the target you want to engage on, but will leave them very little options to get away. Make sure to ping a lot when attempting a play like this. It will happen quickly and the more you communicate the faster your allies can follow up on your cc .
Be mindful when spending abilities on a target with
Starting items for Leona never changes, you will play out the early levels 1-4 every single game with Relic Shield, 2 Health Potions, and a Warding Totem.
Relic shield gives Leona and his bot lane duo a good amount of sustain in lane, always use the Relic Shield on Cannon or Melee Minions since they will give you the most gold. Relic Shield's execute on minions lets you control the minion wave somewhat.
> targon's brace >
If you are winning and don't have boots from Magical Footwear yet you can purchase Remnant of the Aspect early for it's bonus health and Cooldown reduction.
If you are playing for Bot Lane and your ADC than targon's brace, Refillable Potion, and Control Wards are the best purchases. This is especially true for Leona since you can purchase boots early because of Magical Footwear.
Magical Footwear you can purchase Boots of Mobility allowing you to have better movement around the map, these boots aren't for abandoning your ADC Bot Lane for the rest of the match. Boots of Mobility allow Leona to move around the map at a speed in which she can effectively create situations with her team or respond to fights started by the enemy team.
A majority of Mid Game play on ANY Support champion is going to involve a lot of non action, warding, and resetting to different parts of the map. Boots of Mobility speed up and help all of these task.
|If you recalled around level 4-5, and have enough gold for targon's brace + Refillable Potion, than you should consider the purchase. Refillable Potion gives you a lot of sustain in lane, and throughout the Early to Mid game, and can be sold later in the game.|
Remnant of the Aspect is going to be your first completed item on Leona every game. It offer lots of early Health which combos very effectively with Aftershock + W Eclipse + Cooldown Reduction, and an extra ward. Everything Leona wants coming into the Mid Game.
|Gives lots of Armor and Magic resist, and adds extra damage to your binded ally (most likely your ADC) when you engage, and a small slow to all enemies around you after you ULT. Zeke's Convergencehas a good amount of utility, and is very cheap. Best 2nd item for almost every Tank Support.|
|Best 3rd item, during the Mid-Late game is the time you will likely be able to purchase Knight's Vow is the time in which the extra Armor it offers you and your binded ally will be most important, the healing / damage absorption it offers is whatever, it's mostly a good purchase for Leona because it's cheap and gives Armor + Cooldown Reduction during the Mid - Late Game. The Armor offered by Knight's Vow is so important to aid Leona in tanking more physical damage, Baron, and tower shots.|
Gives lot of Magic Resist and some armor, and active gives team a shield based on the casters bonus health & allies level. You want to purchase Locket of the Iron Solari later in the game because it gains more value later in the game. Leona doesn't benefit from early Magic Resist as much as he does early Armor in most matchups, and the shield from Locket is more impactful and bigger late game.
This is the only Magic resist item Leonaneeds, building items such as Spirit Visage or Adaptive Helm are to expensive and don't help your allies.
|As a last item Gargoyle Stoneplate is practically the only option for Leona support. It is cheap enough to be completed before the end of a match. You can get TONS of value out of a 1 time use Stopwatch Late Game. Gargoyle Stoneplate also about doubles the shield from Locket of the Iron Solari when you get the bonus health from Gargoyle's active. This item also offers Armor & Magic Resist which is all Leona wants late game. Some matches you may switch this out for say Warmog's Armor.|
|The stats offered from Redemption don't help Leona practically at all. You would buy this item for the AOE heal during team fights against comps that both would play out teamfights neutrally without hard engages. It's a very high level and situational item for a Leona to pick up over Remnant of the Aspect or Zeke's Convergence.|
|QSS lets you instantly cleanse cc . It's not very often you need this item, but if the enemy has champions that their CC is eiter unavoidable or will be targeted towards just you when you are trying to engage you can pick this up as a 2nd item.|
|righteous||This item may seem like a go to for Leona to assist her in engaging on the enemy, but it's not. It's very expensive so it wouldn't be completed on average until around 22-28 minutes in the game. If you are ahead this can be an ok 2nd or 3rd item skipping Zeke's Convergence or Knight's Vow. So it takes away from you and your allies defensive stats for a temporary speed boost towards the enemy. If you have 4 ally champions with no gap closers that are very slow such as Swain, Illaoi, etc than this item can help you but more importantly your allies get onto the enemy team at the start of a fight.|
Once you complete the first 3 items Remnant of the Aspect, Zeke's Convergence, and Knight's Vow. You can look to sell Boots of Mobility for Mercury's Treads. When you enter the late game the speed gained from Boots of Mobility becomes less and less effective as the match goes on. The tenacity gained from Mercury's Treads can help you maneuver during teamfights, rather than be practically planted where you land on an initial engages since Boots of Mobility lose their bonus movement speed once in combat leaving you with very low mobility during a fight.
The Laning Phase is very black and white for Leona. 90% of the time you should effectively be doing nothing, then 10% of the time you should be engaging. The worst thing you can do on Leona is not being able to spot these shifts of playstyle. If you simple press all your buttons on the enemy laners every single time you return to lane it's eventually going to not work out. The same is true for being completely passive. Try and identify when it's best to go in, and when it's not.
Level 1 like most melee supports is mostly passive. Against ranged you want to concede the minion wave or you will likely take to much damage. You can aggressively start in in against some ranged matches for an early trade, but it has to be well executed.
A normal lane should play out in which you concede the first minion wave, let it push into you and your ADC, take 2 melee minions with Relic Shield on the second minion wave, poteitall take a good trade if you and your ADC hit level 2 before the enemy bot lane. If not continue to play passively until level 3-4.
The more levels you have the more damage your abilities do, and the tankier you are, so you really don't have to all in super early in the match, especially if you don't know the limits of Leona. It's fine to go from levels 1 - 6 without doing anything. Any time you engage on the enemy you also present them with an opportunity to turn the play on you or your ADC. So take great fights, not every single one that is presented to you.
Leona's kit accels at fighting early in the match minutes 0:00 - about 22:00. She spikes very hard in the early game and has fairly low cooldowns compared to other Tank Support Champions, allowing her to have more impact during fights by getting multiple stuns.
As you go in you will proc Aftershock temporarily making you very tanky, once that wears off you will start taking more damage simply because you don't have the bonus Armor and Magic resist it grants, so early game Aftershocks cooldown is very important you and should play around it with your engages.
As a cc support champion you effectiveness is intertwined with your allies ability to deal damage or follow up on your cc . Keep your eyes on the enemy to punish them, but also keep tabs on your allies. If your ADC is at 20% health during the laning phase and you all in the enemy bot lane who are both at 100% health, you lose. Avoiding doing obviously bad players like that.
The best version of this is you observing what camp your jungler is on, seeing that he is pathing bot side, then positioning yourself to cc the enemy right as your jungler is walking into your lane.
Mid game is when multiple towers go down on the map, or champions start moving around the map. Leona is very strong at moving around the map. Leona offers immediate threat to anyone she runs into while moving around the map. Don't move into the enemies side of the map without your allies with you. Even if you catch someone out by yourself, you don't 100-0 kill them, you need an ally with you.
During the Mid Game GENERALLY you want to be near the lane that your ADC is farming, and put ward around that area. Keep eyes on the minimap to see where you allies are going to potentially assist them and to spot enemy movements. You want to take fights anywhere on the map so long that you have a numbers advantage. Leona has great fights diving towers or in the jungle.
When you are moving around the fog of war play mindfully, think about who can be where you are going, understand the risk, and don't take the risk when it is too high. Would you walk in the enemy jungle when you have no wards in the river, the entire enemy team is missing and your allies won't be behind you? Of course not.
Throughout the Mid - Late game there will be moments of no action in which it is optimal for you to drop 3 wards around an objective, then recall to refresh the ward count on your Remnant of the Aspect and return to your team.
It's important if you have a lead to keep the ball rolling on Leona you will start to fall off in the late game, so it's very important to continue to get good engages. Any fight that doesn't go your way will delay the game by a considerable amount which isn't good for Leona.
Late Game your job as Support stays the same, you need to deny the enemy vision with Control Wards and provide vision to your team on key areas relative to the game state.
Leona's job late game shifts depending on the game state as well, if your allies are strong you can be the ones to start fights, if the game is even or if you are behind it's probably best to stay on your ADC and wait for the enemy to start fights. Even though you spend the majority of the Early & Mid Game engage on Leona her abilities can be used to peel and provide safety for your allies as well.
To identify this game state press tab and take note of all champions both allies and enemies levels, amount of kills and deaths, and what items they currently have. This will give you an idea of what champions are strong and which ones are not giving you more insight to craft a better game plan before an engagement.
In the late game fights mean more because champions are more powerful and stay dead for longer. If one team ace's the other they have full reign of the map and are free to take minion waves, jungle camps, Dragon, Baron, Towers, everything. They can take everything that they can for the duration of the death timer. So winning team fights or not losing team fights becomes very important late game.
With that being said the game plan should be obvious when ahead don't miss abilities or misplay in general and lose a fight, and when behind don't take fights and fights that are forced onto your team do your best to counter and disengage.
Roaming on any support is pretty simple, it's when you take a timing window in which your ADC is safe to have an impact somewhere else on the map. Leona's roams are effective simply because he offers a lot of CC and damage that is hard to miss, but cost Leona's position.
So when should you roam is very, very easy don't over think it, and don't over do it.
- When the Bot Lane wave is pushed into the enemy tower
- When you have recalled and can move to any lane
- When your ADC is dead / recalling and you would be alone bot lane
- When the enemy laners are pushed up
These are all good times to roam, how effective that particular roam will be is affect by literally everything on the map, the minion wave positions in Bot lane & the lane you are ganking, the likelyhood of the gank, the HP, Mana, level values of your ally laner compared to the enemy laner. Moving with your Jungler also helps pull off a gank. Some ADC champions such as Ezreal have abilities to farm the minion wave from long range safely, others such as Kai'Sa will be zoned completely if you leave.
When you do get a roam off, look to either recall and reset bot, or to immediately walk back to the bot lane. Do NOT overstay, get back to your ADC.
When you leave lane you will also be missing Relic stacks so gold, and experience from the minion wave. Basically the longer you stay in Bot Lane the more levels and gold you will have.
Defensive warding is warding on your side of the map
Neutral Warding is in the river / lane bushes.
Offensive warding is warding into the enemies side of the map (past the river).
When you should or shouldn't ward depends on your allies location and the enemies location / potential location. Look at the map and think.
Control Ward, Control wards are to deny the enemy vision, not to give yourself extra vision. Especially on a champion such as Leona you can abuse the fog of war to surprise the enemies and engage on them unexpectedly.
This guide was written by Sawyer Nelson on October/10th/2018 for free, with the purpose of educating those interested. If you want to show your appreciation you can do so by Donating via [PayPal] or following Sawyer's Social Media: