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Leona Top IS Viable

Last updated on December 3, 2012
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Hi, I've played Leona for a long time, and people seem to think she isn't a viable top laner.
I consistently use this build in top lane, and it is a very strong, balanced build that allows Leona to be the primary tank, while having both enough burst and sustained damage to be a constant threat.

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Standard Bruiser Runes provide Leona with good starting AD and Armor, as well as scaling MR.

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Defensive Masteries grant you the tankiness you'll need, and 9 in utility will put give you the extra movement and reduced downtime that are important in the role of tank.

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Boots and pots will be your standard start, however if facing a difficult lane that has a lot of harass (Vladimir, Teemo), consider taking Armor/Pots or MR/pots to start. The first thing we take is heart of gold to give us tankiness and work that gp5 as soon as possible. Follow it with Mercury's Treads, or in the case they are very ad heavy, Ninja Tabi. Move into Sunfire as it will grant you further tankiness, and a fantastic sustained damage aura. Aegis will come around mid game, granting you're entire team balanced mixture of stats, and Leona is a tank that requires balanced stats to perform well. Wits End will give you a good amount of MR, and further sustained DPS. If you want more burst, consider Abyssal Scepter. Randuins will shut down their AA champions ridiculously and is almost necessary on every tank. If you can, finish your build with a Triforce, providing Leona with more burst, sustain, and a little tankiness for end game.

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Skill Sequence

Start with your stun so you can hide in bushes and win any level 1 trades, however I recommend you avoid any skirmishes until at least level 4. Grab Zenith at 2 & 3 for early burst and utility for ganks. Than proceed to get Eclipse and max it first, as it is both your main damaging skill and defensive skill. Level Zenith twice for extra damage, and finish with your stun for the reduced cooldown.

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Summoner Spells

Leona's only weakness as a tank, that she shares with most other tanks, is the requirement to be right in the middle of the fight to perform well. The other team will likely attempt to use CC to keep you away from them and their carries. To counter this, Cleanse paired with Mercury's Treads will make you an unstoppable initiating machine.

Flash can not only work as an initiation, but also it is the best escape in the game.

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Team Work

As Leona, Always start the fight. Leona is unique in that her Zenith Blade allows her to reach the champions in the back, AKA the carries, allowing her to CC them into oblivion. However, you must remember you are not an assassin and your first objective in a teamfight is to use your CC to protect the carries. With proper positioning, you should be able to control the enemy team while protecting your own.