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Leona Build Guide by Leaguecitizen

Support Leona High-Level Guide - Includes Video Examples

By Leaguecitizen | Updated on December 23, 2019

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Runes: Very good rune setup to climb

Resolve
Aftershock
Font of Life
Conditioning
Overgrowth

Inspiration
Future's Market
Hextech Flashtraption
Bonus:

+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+8 Magic Resist
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2
Necessary summoners to carry
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked #16 in
Support Role
Win 51%
Get More Stats

Ability Order Order of Abilities to Effectively Climb

Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

Leona High-Level Guide - Includes Video Examples

By Leaguecitizen
Who Is Leaguecitizen? Why Should You Listen to What I Have to Say?
I've consistently reached Diamond since Season 7, without relying on duoing.

Throughout my journey, I've learned what builds and runes work best, and how to effectively carry games playing a tank support with virtually no damage.

My YouTube channel actually has several video series that feature my climb from Bronze to Diamond, in entertaining, informative 3-minute videos you might want to check out :)

In each video, I break down specific things you can do and improve upon to elevate your own gameplay, which I in part will go through in this guide.

If you want to master , I strongly recommend you check them out.

Here's a video in which I apply many of the principles featured in this guide:


What This Guide Will Cover Back to Top
I think there are enough guides that go over the basics - like how to do an E-Q combo, or E-Flash-Q, so what I want to focus on to help you improve instead, is understanding specifically what you can do in games to carry, supplemented with videos.

Another focus I have, is to explain why you should do certain things.

Understanding the reasoning will give you deeper insight into what it means to play League at a high level.
Why Pick Leona Over Other Supports Back to Top
is a champion with clearly defined strengths and weaknesses.

Unfortunately, her lack of tankiness, in addition to an increasing number of mobile champions to League, are two of the main reasons it's hard to make her work.

However, because she's so rarely played, she can be an effective pick by that merit alone.

If a champion isn't played, people won't know how to correctly react when faced with a kit they're unfamiliar with or not used to.

In many ways, in the current meta, this is Leona's greatest strength.

As a champion, she exceeds at pressuring opponents with the threat of her and , and chain CC follow up with .

If you manage to land any of these abilities, you can lock down a target for several seconds consecutively, or alternatively, CC different champions in a longer sequence.

Her biggest weakness, is her skillshot-based kit, making it hard to stick to your opponents if you don't hit your abilities.

It's easy to miss and without other threats in your team.

When you have pressure, it becomes easier to land skillshots because the enemies' movement is restricted. Regardless, you never want to be reliant on your team to carry a given game, nor do you want to pick champions that facilitate that type of playstyle.

Getting also takes time, and basing a champion on an item entirely, is not an effective way to approach any game.

If you can't consistently make plays, you can't carry

For this reason, I recommend Leona as a "global counterpick", only selected against an enemy team with low mobility.

This will naturally make it easier to land your abilities, making your impact more significant.

That's not to say she can't work against mobile team compositions, but it's definitely harder.

The more mobility the enemy team has, the harder it is to make work.

To reiterate: because Leona is played so rarely, most players will be unsure of how to correctly react and play around your cooldowns. In many ways, this is Leona's biggest strength in the current meta. Also, if you manage to land just one ability, be it your to punish bad positioning, or even a simple > , you can single-handedly turn a game around.
Order of Ability Maxing Back to Top
The decision between which ability to max early definitely lies between and .


So which is better, and how do you know which to max first?


Zenith Blade is good to max to make engages consistently. However, this order of ability maxing is reliant on either the confidence that you'll be able to hit your E consistently, or that the enemy team comp has low mobility.

If the enemy team comp consists of 3-4 immobile champions, E maxing is not a bad idea.


Eclipse is a safer ability to max than E. Unlike , W is by nature consistent. Whenever you go in, or you find yourself in a sticky situation, press W for increased tankiness and survivability.
The downside is that your playmaking ability is naturally lower, and you become more reliant on being off cooldown, or having your available.

As we can see, E max is riskier, but potentially more rewarding because of its lowered CD when maxed, making it easier to punish bad positioning and reposition yourself in extended teamfights.

While W gives more tankiness when maxed first, which also makes it a very viable choice.

In the end, the decision between or max relies on your own confidence and ability with , as well as the extensiveness of your game knowledge.

The only way to know what works and doesn't, is to try things out :)
Starting Items and What Happens Before the Laning Phase Back to Top

Before the laning phase

Before the laning phase, always go .
The reason is simple: is contingent on consistently auto-attacking to make it worthwhile.

As , our main focus is to make use of our crowd-control (cc), not auto-attacking.

Defending against invades


After getting , and , move to defend against potential invades.
It's always important to defend against invades, every game.

How do you defend effectively?


On Red Side, stand in front of the entrance to your Blue, but not too far into the river.

Use your to ward river at 1:25 when on Red Side, unless one of your teammates does it.

Sometimes, they'll ward the river Pixel Brush, however this is done erratically, so don't count on it most games.

The reason you want to ward at 1:25 is threefold:

1. Warding at 1:25, still leaves you time to help your jungler leash.

2. If the enemy late invades, you'll catch them on the map.

3. Warding as late as possible will catch their jungler's rotation if he either tries to steal your Blue level 1, or goes his Red, then River for a surprise early gank, which is pretty typical pathing early game. If he doesn't invade to get your Blue or try to pull off an early gank, that still gives valuable information about his pathing.

As you can see, the importance of the Pixel Brush/River ward is extremely important.

What about Blue side?


Same principle, but this time you want to stand in the brush closest to your tower bot side (Blue side tribush).

Start walking towards river at 1:11 and ward in the middle of the river at 1:15, before returning to either leash for your jungler, or simply going to lane to wait for your wave to spawn.

I recommend staying in tribush after warding at 1:15 if you're not leashing, and only walk out of tribush when your wave is close to your turret.

Be careful about lazy pathing when your wave spawns - this applies to both Red and Blue side.

When on Red side, I recommend pathing through the tribush and not going into River.

When on Blue side, I recommend pathing from tribush downwards to your lane safely - not walking into River.

Lazy pathing can give the opposing team an easy First Blood, or both you and your ADC's flash; don't let this happen.

Here's a video series showing my climb out of Silver, while applying these principles:


How to Play the Laning Phase Back to Top
As a melee support, you'll often find yourself in matchups where you need to play defensively.

Unlike (with his ) or (with his ), you're not as tanky with your .

You also have no way of escaping except Flash, which is a summoner you don't want to waste unnecessarily.

You mainly want to use offensively to maximize your ability to carry.

Leona doesn't really have the luxury of using Flash defensively.

If you get caught out, you should still , but the idea is to never end up in those situations in the first place.

Understanding safe and effective positioning is therefore very important as , possibly more so than any support, even .

What is safe and effective positioning?


Simply, it's knowing the range and cooldowns of your opponents' abilities, and staying out of range or dodging their abilities, to make a counter-engange.

The easiest way to make Leona work, but in many ways also the hardest, is to counter-engage when the enemy overextends.

This is only made possible by mastering two main skills:

1. Being able to chain your own abilities creatively, with and without

2. Understanding the individual strengths and weaknesses of individual champions, and capitalizing without hesitation when you see an opportunity

There are 2 points of interest to gain this type of knowledge:

1. Use sites like https://www.mobafire.com or https://leagueoflegends.fandom.com to look at exact cooldowns of abilities as well as extended ability explanations

2. Play the champions yourself

By doing both, you will be able to better understand how your own playstyle and the champion you're playing fits in within any given teamcomp, as well as figuring out what approach works best on a case-by-case basis.

Playing the early game as Leona, is reliant on combining these skills.

Simply: the early game is about playing based on the matchup, which is typically defensive. As Leona, the most effective way to make a play work, is by punishing your opponent whenever they overextend. Try to put this principle into practise by being aware of your enemies' patterns in terms of playstyle.
If that Soraka is carelessly walking up to Q you, it's an opportune time to >

Here's an example of how I'll play the laning phase:


How to Play Mid Game Back to Top
At this stage in the game, you want to make use of your .

Apply constant pressure by roaming to every lane.

Throwing out your is a good idea, even if it might not land, in case it does.

This because of the ability's naturally low CD (90>75>60 seconds).

Throwing out your even when the likelihood of hitting it isn't great, is also a good idea because it has a psychological effect on your enemies.

If they know you're not afraid to use your ultimate to catch someone out, they'll become more hesitant to engage and rotate whenever you're present.

Use this psychological loophole to control the pace of the game.

Always look for opportunities, constantly.

Never let up your pressure.
How to Play Late Game Back to Top
Late game is played much like the middle game as .

Though Leona's scaling isn't great, and she's considered an early-mid game champion, she's arguably better lategame.

There's one simple reason for this: your catch potential with .

Late game, when teams are finishing 3 or more items, and everyone's on edge, as Leona, you have the ability to start a fight with 100 % safety.

This safety is invaluable, especially coupled with a low CD after leveling it up, as well as itemizing correctly.

Don't be afraid of throwing out R after R late game - the type of pressure you can put out with absolute safety is amazing, and will net you many wins :)

Here's an example of how to play the entirety of the Early Game, all the way to Late Game:


The Importance of Certain Items Back to Top
Early game, is extremely important to get early wards.
Try to secure hits on melee minions and cannons whenever possible to maximize the effectiveness of this item, as well as proccing its active as early as possible.

Two Health Pots help with survivability, and is very good to ward river early, as well as securing deep vision in their jungle when roaming.
Itemization - General Thoughts Back to Top
In the early-mid game, you want to prioritize first, always. You also want to prioritize upgrading as fast as possible.

Always go , every game, regardless of team composition.

is both a defensive and an aggressive item.

In lane, it allows you to make plays because of your increased movement speed, and it also allows you to roam quickly and unexpectedly.

Whenever you find yourself in a bad situation, the increased movement speed is often a lifesaver.
Itemization After Your First Back Back to Top
After your first back, you want to get as well a or two.
Itemization After Your Second Back Back to Top
Second back, you want to upgrade to above anything else. If you can afford it, stack up on 2 as well as upgrading your to through its passive.

This is a prime time to roam even more, though you should also look to roam and make plays early game.
Itemization After the Third Back and Beyond Back to Top
Start working towards , always; in every game.

Never go anything else besides > > > , early-mid game.

This combination is insanely good to carry and consistently make plays, with or without .

As Leona, is particularly amazing. Even if you don't get to use the second active of Righteous when walking up to an enemy (the slow), it makes it easier to set up your by getting in range.

This is a very important point to keep in mind to carry and capitalize fully on your itemization.

After , it's a decision between , and .

Let's keep things simple:

when the opponent has immobile to semi-mobile champs that want to get to your backline and wreak havoc (think , or ). If you manage to catch someone out with your , this item will make it easier to stick to them as well.

when either or both sides have team compositions that lead to frequent teamfights. Also good to buy when the opposing team has a lot of mobility or gap closers, that make much less effective.

upgraded to if the enemy team has heavy AOE magic damage (think or ).
Closing Thoughts Back to Top
Ultimately, you want to try out different build paths to figure out what's best for you, and your own playstyle.

There's not one specific way to play League, both from a total perspective, as well as an individual perspective based on a respective champion.

You can play completely differently than me, and focus much more on lane domination than roaming, if you can make it work.

There's also nothing wrong with opting for instead of , if that's what you prefer.

Figure out which way you like to play, and play to that playstyle's strengths.

To figure out what your playstyle is, try things out; make mistakes and learn from them :)

To learn how to combine all the principles you've read about in action, I recommend checking out the video below, where I break down my decision-making throughout a full game in Diamond:



If you liked this guide, consider following me on either YouTube or Twitter :)


YouTube: A focus on informative, entertaining and educational content that are all aimed at improving you as a player.

Twitter: Keep up-to-date with random stuff, both related and unrelated to League :D