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Leona Build Guide by Maartmann

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Maartmann

Leona - In and out

Maartmann Last updated on February 21, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Helloooooo :D

Hey, this is my very first guide and I hope you like it. I have looked around on the guides on Leona and I have tested some out. But the thing is that I have never managed to get the build done in time. And you just didn't get tough enough early game. So this is my guide as an alternative to the other guide out there.

Yellow = Could be useful
Red = Great to know

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The way I like to play Leona is to do fast initiates and fast escapes. That means that I value movement speed, health reg and cooldown reduction higher than the other stats.

Leona is a tank but she only has one good tanking spell. Her shield. And this shield only works a set period of time. Which means that she is a great tank a set period of time.

I think you should play Leona as a initiator/tank. As you dash on the other teams carry/squishy you will get a hailstorm of attacks on you. This is where the shield is useful. But this is where the actual tanking stops. They wont target you after this because there it better champs to be targeted.

This is where Leona's second role comes in. To CC their auto attacker. Leona is great against a number of auto attackers. For example Tryndamere, Master Yi, Xin Zhao, Ashe etc. All of these champs have 1-2 skills that they cast. The rest is auto attack related. If you target one of these champs they will be totally shut down. This is the only two things that I think Leona should be doing.

Down below I will tell how I play Leona early-,mid- and late game. But first I will explain Leona's skills and how to use them. Veteran Leona players may skip this chapter, but it might include some goodies that you do not know.

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The biggest drawback on Leona is her lack of good farming early, might have a hard time keeping up with the leveling. In Dominion that drawback is completely gone. Which makes her ideal for dominion. If you have Garrison you can do a lot. I was able to hold of Blitz, Ashe and Master Yi with half hp. They didn't have full hp either but thats not the point. With Garrison and all you stuns/snare you will hold them in place for at least 3 tower shots. The thing you need to think about is to buy hp, and armor. So you are able to tank garrisons and withstand a great deal of auto attacks. Since they get 15% armor pen but only 5% magic pen doesn't mean that you should stack less armor just more to get to the level needed to be able to withstand almost anything.
The item build will have to wait until we get all dominion items here on mobafire but here is some tips on good items.

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Leona's Skills

A small guide on Leonas skills

Shield of Daybreak

Leona uses her shield to perform her next auto attack, dealing bonus magic damage and stunning the target.
Leona's next auto attack deals an additional 40/70/100/130/160 (+0.3) magic damage and stuns the target for 1.25/1.25/1.25/1.25/1.25 seconds.

Cost 45/50/55/60/65 Mana
Cooldown 11/10/9/8/7
Range 100

In one guide I read and this skill was portrayed as a "great last hitting" skill. It is.... after level 11! Do NOT use this skill for farming early game. You just don't have sufficient mana to be able to spam it on creeps. You shouldn't have trouble last hitting if you want to, and all you should do early game is harass, and to gain gold of assists.


Leona raises her shield to gain Armor and Magic Resistance. When the duration first ends, if there are nearby enemies she will deal magic damage to them and prolong the duration of the effect.
Leona raises her shield to gain 30/40/50/60/70 bonus Armor and Magic Resistance for 3/3/3/3/3 seconds. When the effect ends, she deals 60/110/160/210/260 (+0.4) magic damage to nearby enemies and prolongs the effect for a bonus 3/3/3/3/3 seconds if any enemies are struck.

Cost 60/60/60/60/60 Mana
Cooldown 14
Range 200
Your tank and farming skill, just remember that you always hit something with it so it stays on longer.

Zenith Blade

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.
Leona projects a solar image of her sword, which deals 60/100/140/180/220 (+0.4) 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.

Cost 60/65/70/75/80 Mana
Cooldown 13/12/11/10/9
Range 25000

Great skill, some of you may have played Amumu. And you might think that this ain't so different from Bandage Toss. If you thinks so, then you are GREATLY mistaken. This is not at all like Bandage Toss and shouldn't be use as a Bandage Toss. There are two major differences 1) Zenith Blade has a longer animation than Bandage Toss, which means when the target is running away from you. And you think you can hit with a Zenith Blade because the champ is just in range. You will miss, the animation will make it fail and the target wont be in range when the animation is done.

2) Bandage Toss is awful to use in a sideway direction. The possibility to miss is to high, but Zenith Blade is a lot better in the sideway direction because the target can run into you Zenith Blade. This is a little hard to explain but I hope that you will understand. Explanation: If you "shot" your Zenith Blade in front of the target (technically missing) the target can run into the "tip" of Zenith Blade while it's still in progress. So it doesn't matter if the target gets hit by the "tip" or runs into it from "behind". It will have the same affect.

Another tip, don't ever use this in close combat. It's to high of a risk to miss, wait for them to run before you use it

P.S. Don't use this as a farming tool. But if you still do then use it carefully, to many times have I accidentally hit someone in the jungle or in the lane, dashing a whole team by myself, not recommended

Solar Flare

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.
After a brief delay, Leona calls down a beam of solar energy to deal 150/250/350 (+0.8) magic damage and slow enemies by 80/80/80% for 1.5/1.5/1.5 seconds. Enemies in the center of the effect are stunned instead of slowed.

Cost 100/150/200 Mana
Range 1200

Great initiator spell in ganks. If you doesn't reach with you Zenith Blade from the bush you are hiding in. Then blast their faces with this skill then jump them with Zenith Blade.
In team fights be cool and wait for them to group up on someone then use it

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Early game

If you're going to use this guide it's vital that you choose a lane with a good early game auto attacker. For example Ashe, Master Yi, Pantheon, Tryndamere, Twisted Fate etc. I specially like to lane with Twisted Fate, Ashe and Pantheon Because of the extra stun. The only AP champ that I would want to lane with is a good Veigar. Because his stun and meteor. If your team work is good, then he will be able land that meteor every time. And this with Leona's passive will do a insane amount of damage early game.

When you have chosen a lane, this is what you will do at level 2. Harass, harass, harass, harass and more harass. This will be easier to do if they have melee fighters that will require last hits. Just wait for them to approach, then you just dash them with Zenith Blade, auto attack, stun them with Shield of Daybreak and back out. If your team work is good enough with the other player in your lane. Then he should have been able to set of your passive on both your skills. Depending on the armor and if your team mate threw any spells then you probably did about (Shield 40+58dmg, teammates auto attacks 60x3dmg, your auto attack 58dmg, teammates spell 80dmg, Zenith Blade 60dmg, passive 20+20dmg = 400dmg-armor= 300dmg) 300dmg which is a little less than half on most squishies. And this is at level 2! Do this over and over again until you either have exp blocked them or feeded your carry.

Summary: Early game you will have money problems if you don't get assist. So it's vital that you have a mate that can kill people not just half kill them. If you doesn't have at least 3-4 assists and maybe a kill after your early game. Then most of this guide will fail. Just go farm and participate in team fights.

Tip: When you have gone back from your lane don't be afraid to swing by middle lane and try to gank. You're a great ganker if there is someone on the lane that you are ganking.

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Mid Game

When you are entering mid game you should have Mercury's Treads, Glacial Shroud and Force of Nature or be close to finish these items. If not then you wont be tough enough and fast enough to pull this of.

Your role now is to either farm with W or tower dive, assisting on gank in lanes, be a initiator in team fights etc. When you tower dive or initiate, just use everything you got on one target, then try to run. This might seem weird as you are the tank but trust me, even if you have Force of Nature and Mercury's Threads you will be nuked to the bone because of you low hp. (Then why not build Warmog's Armor first instead of Glacial Shroud and Force of Nature when you have your shield that gives you MR and Armor? Skip to the Item chapter if you want this answer.) After you have escaped the fire (sometimes you don't, some will think they can kill you when you have low hp. Stun them fast, your cooldowns should be finished at this time and trust your teammates to do the rest) then charge back in targeting their auto attackers.

Summary: With the health reg from Force of Nature, you should be able to go in and out of fights all day long.

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Late Game

In the late game you should at least have Mercury's Treads, Frozen Heart, Warmog's Armor and Force of Nature. This, with your shield will make you an ├╗ber tank.

Now when you have completed all your tanking gear you can make some ballsy moves. If you see the slightest chance to save a companion after a failed team fight, do it! I have pulled of some crazy escapes with Zenith Blade. When a whole team is chasing me I just dash to the one last in the line of chasers. Often this is a squishy champ like Ashe. And squishy champs often have low hp after team fights. So sometimes you will be able to escaped a group of auto attackers thats impossible to escape for example Xin Zhao, Udyr and/or Tryndamere. And land a kill in the process. With the extra movement speed on Force of Nature you might just survive. Because when you have Warmog's Armor and Force of Nature you will reg a lot if you just get a breather. Other than that, play no different than you did in mid game. Initiate, then focus the auto attackers.

Tip: If you want to initiate but the only one close enough is the other teams tank and the squishies are cowering to far away. Then Zenith Blade the tank and flash+stun the squishies. Or Zenith Blade the tank and use your ultimate on the squishies then charge them. Trust me this will draw a lot of fire and you will do you job as a tank.

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Nothing weird here.

Greater Quintessence of Vitality and Greater Seal of Vitality for survivability.

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction for the ability to spam stuns.

Greater Mark of Desolation in absence of any good tanking Marks and for early game damage as well as late game.

Why not have Greater Mark of Magic Resist for more tanky rune build?
I don't think Leona gain that much survivability with 10 more MR. It will only be good early game and you will get you shield at level 3 that is twice as good as those runes.

Well why don't you choose Greater Mark of Magic Penetration if you are going for early game damage because all your spells are magic damage?
It's true that you will do more burst damage with Greater Mark of Magic Penetration instead of Greater Mark of Desolation. But seriously how many early game ganks do a Leona burst? You are the tank people wont focus as much. Which mean that you will have a lot of time auto attacking. And I think it's better to have 15 armor pen for the 1 million auto attacks that you will do instead of 9 magic pen on the 1000 spells you will cast. And if that isn't enough to convince you, then it will make her horrible farming early game better, it will be easier to last hit.

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Nothing weird here either.

In the offensive tree: 9 point, one point in exhaust is great because you're meant to shut down auto attackers. And the rest in Deadliness, Sorcery and Archaic Knowledge for more early game damage.

In the defensive tree: 21 points, you're at tank, enough said.

In the utility tree: An alternative to and offensive build is to spend the points you spent on the offensive tree here instead (except exhaust). Then you place them on Good Hands and Awareness that might be helpful if you ain't to good at escaping yet. But to put you points on Perseverance and Expanded Mind is just plain dumb. Some might think that more mana and health reg from Perseverance is a good thing. It's not, you get such small percentage. 4% of you maximum reg will be about 5-7 more health each 5 seconds. And that is at level 18 with full build. To have 5-9 less seconds on the death timer is, according to me much better. Expanded Mind: + 5% of your base mana? On Leona? BAD!

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Summoner Spells

Use what ever you want when playing Leona. But if you are going to play her as I suggest. Then there is no other summoner spells for you.

Flash - You need flash to escape, because trust me you will need to do it a few times after your crazy dashes under the tower or a group of 5 enemies and none follow you. It's good for chasing and when you need to get to a hero but misses you Zenith Blade. Flash is vital for this build

Exhaust - Your main role is to shut down auto attackers. There is no other spell for you!

Yes Cleanse, Teleport and Ghost are spells you can use as Leona and can be good on Leona but not when you play her like this. Use Flash and Exhaust no exception!

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Skill Sequence

Your most important spell is Eclipse, it's your tanking spell and your farming tool. This should be maxed after level 2.

Shield of Daybreak vs Zenith Blade

I choose Zenith Blade over Shield of Daybreak, why? The only thing that happens when you level Shield of Daybreak and Zenith Blade is that the damage gets higher and the cooldowns shorter. Therefore you should level Zenith Blade because it gets more damage per level and is a more vital skill. If you can't move around the battle field fast enough and can't close gaps fast enough and can't stop the auto attackers from attacking your squishies. Then your whole gameplay will fail. To shorten the cooldown on Zenith Blade is much more vital than to be able to spam your stun. But to be able to spam you stun is also vital therefore you should buy Glacial Shroud early and have Cooldown reduction runes. This will shorten both of your skills with approximately 2 seconds. Which is AWESOME!

After level 12 you can start to place points in Shield of Daybreak if you want to, because then you will have the same cooldown on both your skills.

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I think this is the most important chapter in this guide. Why build like this? If you want to you can customize this build. But Force of Nature and Frozen Heart can NEVER be replaced. The cooldown reduction, the mana and the unique passive on Frozen Heart is VITAL for this build and can NEVER EVER be replaced. The same for Force of Natures passive, the extra movement speed and health reg. This is VITAL for this build, do you understand? VITAL!

Good, you should start with a Regrowth Pendant and a Healing pot. This is to be able to sustain your harass in the early game.

After this you want level 1 boots (can be upgraded to level 2 depending on match up) and then Glacial Shroud and then Force of Nature (You can upgrade Glacial Shroud to Frozen heart before Force of Nature if they have a AD heavy team) Now to the question "Why not build Warmog's Armor first instead of Glacial Shroud and Force of Nature when you have your shield that gives you MR and Armor?"

This is why you should choose Glacial Shroud and Force of Nature over Warmog's Armor: First of, you need the mana and cooldown reduction to be able to sustain your spaming of stuns. And you need the health reg and movement speed to be able to run in and out of fights. Except your flash you have no way to escape, that's why you need the extra movement speed and in mid game you are a great chaser if you have the extra movement speed.
Warmog's will boost you survivability, but only a little more than Glacial Shroud and Force of Nature because your farming ability won't be good enough to fill Warmog's passive fast enough. Making Glacial Shroud and Force of Nature a better choice.

Sheen should only be bought in the beginning if you get a good start. If you don't get a good start then buy it after Atma's Impaler. Sheen is a very good item for Leona because she have so many spamable skills. Therefore you will be able to utilize Sheen's unique passive. (At full build, except trinity force your base damage will be approximately 110. If you utilize sheen you will do 900 pure damage in 6 seconds (Q 160 +180+110+ W 260+180+110+ E 220+180+110 - 40%). Yea Leona hurts to.

After you have Force of Nature, Frozen Heart and Warmog's Armor you can choose your own items. Depending on the situation. For example skipping Atma's Impaler and making a Thorn Mail because the other team have heavy AD.
If the other team doesn't have a heavy AD or AP team then I don't think you should go for anymore tanking items because your shield will have a cooldown on 10 seconds and the duration of it is on 6. So don't buy anymore MR or armor.
If you want to be more tanky then buy health. But I think its better to have the attack damage, slow and movement speed that Trinity Force and Atma's Impaler will give you. Because this will further give you and edge as a chaser and you will actually able do to some serious damage.

But there is one item I don't think should be bought on Leona. And that is Banshee's Veil. Why? Because as Leona you don't have a taunt, and if you have a Banshee's Veil people will hesitate to use their skills on you and they will save them to use on other targets. This is bad, your the tank you want them to spam your *** with abilities. Therefore Banshee's Veil shouldn't be bought on Leona. If you get irritated because of CC, then buy Mercury's Threads

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Thanks for reading

I hope you have learn some things on Leona that might be useful when you play her. Feel free to leave a comment below I love to hear your thoughts on my guide.

Out of ten matches with this build I won 7 and lost 3
My best score was 11-5-20
My worst score was 2-6-8
My average score was 5-4-12
And 5 of these games I had 16+ assists

The last game I played I got 2-2-20 and my team got 27 kills.