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Leona Build Guide by DHyaku

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League of Legends Build Guide Author DHyaku

Leona - On being Disruptive (Tank/CDR)

DHyaku Last updated on July 17, 2011
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Team 1

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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First of all, a few things about me, so I don't get misunderstood.
1. My english is ok, but I may get confused sometimes;
2. This is my very first guide;
3. I'm not a professional player;
4. This is how I have been playing Leona so far.

Then finally:

I'm DHyaku and I've been specializing (not to be confused with 'a specialist') in playing tanks. This means I (can't play any other type of character well) love playing them, and think I have become a decent player with them.
Unuseful data: I cleared my piggy-bank as soon as Leona came out to buy such a beautiful champion - come on, you all love the art...

I do not intend to make this 'the ultimate guide on playing Leona'.
This is just my playstyle, and I figured some other people's too, so I hope this can be of some help.

No more nonsense and on to the guide.

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Why Leona? - Pros / Cons

Leona is a great champion. Not that OP, I think, and very very useful.

- Downright diehard tank;
- Very disruptive in a team fight;
- Fantastic initiator and ganks pretty hard if you want her to;
- Good mobility (not speed).

- Low damage output;
- Can be squishy;
- Mana starved early game;
- E can get you into a bad spot.

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Quintessence of Health - +HP helps you stay in lane to farm early game, raises survivability and minimizes the chance of you dying after jumping at a champ with E to get first blood.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Leona's skills deal magic damage, and I figure it doesn't pay to get any other reds since they're mostly damage oriented;
Greater Seal of Evasion OR Greater Seal of Armor - I think the dodge seals pay off when you get the Nimbleness mastery
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction - With Leona's 3 stuns, less cooldown makes her a very disruptive character to face. I also get this runes because it gives me less need to make CDR items, letting me focus on the tank side. The items provide more armor than 9 Glyphs.

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I go 0/9/21.
21 in utility raises her mana, reduces cooldowns, exp gain, move speed and let's you use your summoner spells to their full potential.

9 in def raises survivability a little bit, while helping you escape that bloody Shaco that got you in the jungle when you we're switching lanes.

[Maybe thats the noob inside me, but I think the editor isn't counting the 6% CDR from the Masteries]

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Summoner Spells

This is a very personal choice, but here's my reasons:
- Helps me keep farming with Eclipse early game without taking away my chance to initiate with Zenith Blade + Shield of Daybreak.
- Teleport makes you be at the right place at the right time, and I think it is essential with tanks, especially since they're usually slow and can't get anywhere on foot.

If you're an economic player and don't need it, you might consider getting Ghost or Flash instead of Clarity.
Or even Ignite though I do not reccomend it at all - don't get me wrong, I like getting kills even as a Tank, but Leona's low damage output doesn't have much synergy with it.

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- Leona's passive is annoying as hell. With Eclipse you'll be marking all enemy team every few seconds and giving your team that little extra damage that helps killing slippery characters before they can get away. It will also build a lot of aggro on you, which is actually what you want, being a tank.

- Great skill, fair cooldown. If you get CDR you'll be keeping a champ out of the fight with this skill. It will be 4x5 everytime the teams meet.

- Besides the great survivability, this skill is your main farming tool. If you are on a team fight, keep an eye on it. When the cooldown ends, just press W without thinking twice. You'll be happy.

- I do not max this skill early on. Damage isn't Leona's strength, and the cooldown does not get lower with each level. This is a good skill mainly for the relocation. It will put you in place for that stun with your Q.

- I love it. Hitting R during a team fight and seeing half the enemy team 1. run away! 2. freeze is just great. This skill has a good range, which also makes it good for chasing. Try aiming it where the enemy WILL BE, not where he IS and you're guaranteed to get the kill for your team.
If you follow this build, your cooldown will be under 40 seconds and you'll be going all out Bulbassaur on your opponents.

I level Shield of Daybreak and Eclipse alternately because the cooldown for Q gets lower each level giving you more stuns, and W raises the bonus armor and m.res - and you're a tank, duh.

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Items (and how I use them)

i. Starters:

- Helps you stay in lane longer, and since you can shield yourself pretty well, you'll be regenerating just enough to stay a long time in lane. If it gets tight, use pot and stay back.

ii. First Buys:

- Gives you enough cooldown to be an early threat. You can stun more, giving you more chances to engage and kill opponents in your lane.
- Essential tank item IMO. Together with Eclipse, you'll be farming pretty well. So goes the simple equation: More Minions Killed = More Gold = Faster item building = Better Odds

iii. Then you stop to think:

Tank builds are tricky. I think it is important to be a diehard, but you need to give the enemy team just enough reason for them to try and get you before they go for your team. That is why I make items in this order, but you have to assess the situation, always.
Try to get tank items that also give you CDR.

- Despite what items I'm going for first, I always get Kindlegem at this stage. First, because it is a cheap item. Second, because I build it into Shurelya's Reverie later.

Shurelya's Reverie - Gives you health mana and health regeneration, CDR, and has an active ability that boosts movespeed. It can help your team get out of a tight spot and help it chase a runner.
When a squishy in my team is getting chased down by one or more characters I frequently jump with Zenith Blade+ Shield of Daybreak on the melee and activate Shurelya's Reverie to help him escape while I stun the chasers and run myself if it is needed.

- Good armor, cooldown reduction and a chance to slow whoever attacks you. Plus, an active ability that slows the entire enemy team. I don't see what's not to like about this item.
Activate it after you initiate and get to the middle of the enemy team for maximum performance.

- Armor, mana +CDR for you, -ASPD for the enemy team. Obvious choice IMO.

- Late game item. Stay in the enemy base longer and support your team.

iv. Others:

Here are some items that I've seen people build and that I myself build with other tank characters. My thoughts on them and how they work on Leona.

- Great item against a heavy AP team and gives you good bonus movement.
I've seen people make this item and not get boots. To me this is not an option in any tank.

- I like this item, but I favor FoN for the higher MRes Health Regen and Move Speed. It depends on the enemy team.

- Yi, stop poking me or you'll hurt yourself.

- Seen a bunch of people make it. I don't like it. It helps chasing, but I think all the stuns already help enough.

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My thoughts on Leona

In my opinion Leona is a battle tank.
She isn't optimal to push lanes as Mordekaiser or holding towers like Rammus and Maokai.
She is built to battle.

You'll have a pretty hard time holding a solo lane with a jungler on your team. Leona can creep ok, but only if there is someone to keep the other champions away, since her best farming skill - Eclipse - has a short range.
And all you can do is shield with Eclipse and run away when that Jax jumps in your face from the bushes after Sion stuns you. You'll live, but no champion is immortal.

She is a battle tank. She is built to stun the squishy and let the carry guys do the dirty work.

Try to lane with a champ that has a high damage output. My reccomendations:

These are champs I've had a nice time with so far.

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i. Laning Phase -

Last hit a lot. Do not engage unless your laning partner has a decent amount of health and damage.
Use Eclipse to creep and to harass a little if you're feeling confident.

ii. First Kill

That is the reason for my skill setup. I start up with Shield of Daybreak to stun any overconfident players that try to get an early kill.
Then I get Zenith Blade and start going into the bushes. Use the brush to your advantage to position yourself. Then, if any enemy champion advances too much use Zenith Blade > Shield of Daybreak to stun. You might want to use Eclipse before jumping to get the half-time explosion to hit and deal extra damage or save it for after you jump to get away if there is a change in the status quo - use your good sense.
Also, remember to signal to your partner when you do it, so he gets ahead.

iii. Farming

It gets easier once you have Sunfire Cape, but early on it is better to play safe until you can land a blade+shield combo.

iv. When to Take a Stroll

You're a tank. That means you should be helping people.
If you're having a hard time in your lane, stay and defend the turret. Let the carry do the dirty work. If you're having a good time you can help mid get a gank - if you think you should. Go in and E+Q.

Remember to keep an eye on the minimap. You can locate tight spots for your team. Don't hesitate to use your Teleport spell to help save a teammate or to get a good gank, but remember that your priority is defense, not offense.

v. Teamfights

This is where you'll be a shining light.
Step 0. Assess the situation: Do not be stupid. If you rush to initiate a teamfight you will most likely die before you can scream for your mother.
This is where you look for the closest squishy and wait for him to get close enough for Step 1:.
The order of priority is:
1. Squishies;
2. Damage dealers;
3. Annoying Supporters;
4. Tanks, just for relocation purposes.

Step 1. Engage: Initiate with blade+shield combo. REMEMBER THAT YOU WILL JUMP TO THE LAST ENEMY HIT WITH E. Please remember.
That is why I always wait until I see who I jumped towards before I press Q.
Stun the target and let your team beat the **** out of him.
And don't forget to use Eclipse.

If you have Randuin's Omen up, use it.

Step 2. Ultimate: You'll be in the skirmishing fight, and your ult has a great range. Do not rush. Look around and identify the biggest threat. Aim and use Solar Flare.
Even if you don't hit him straight for the stun, you'll force him to relocate, giving your team a little time.

Step 3. Stunfest: Jump around giving free samples of your EQ combo stunning the greatest threats.
If you are successful, the enemy team will focus you. You're the tank.
If they don't, they'll regret it, because they'll always be one champion short in battle, since you'll be stunning around.

Step 4. Chicken Chasing: Your fight is over. There is only that fooking Alistair running away.
Chase him with your team. When you're all close together, or when you think you can land a EQ with a few more steps, activate Shurelya's Reverie and EQ him. Finish the job.

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And I guess that is that.
I appreciate any good criticism and intend to further develop and change the guide. If you think anything is missing, please let me know.
Also, suggestions are welcome.

No need to be angry at me. I play for fun, not for professionalism.

Thank you for taking your time and reading my guide!