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Leona Build Guide by ivebeenit

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ivebeenit

Man Mode Leona

ivebeenit Last updated on June 22, 2013
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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: 1

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 20

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I first started playing Leona after my friend had been telling me for weeks that Nautilus was worthless as a support and that she is much better at supporting. I fought with him over it for a while but decided to give Leona a try. I'll admit I didn't like her at first. She is an easy champ to play, but a hard champ to play well. I now agree with my friend that Leona is one of the best supports.

Leona is now my favorite champ to play. There are so many plays she can pull off that can completely turn a game around

Credits to jhoijhoi for the template for this guide, which you can find here.

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A Note on Supporting in General

Most people reading this guide have probably supported before and know all this, but for those who haven't, this is good to know.

Support is the most under-appreciated role in League of Legends. There are 2 main ways this is shown.

1) When your carry is fed, the carry did it all on his own. People will say things like "Draven you're huge." and "Good kill MF." What people tend to not realize, is that the support, especially Leona, tends to start most fights in bot lane.

2) When bot lane loses, it is both the adc and support's fault. Leona especially needs a competent carry, so when you don't have one, you can't do a whole lot. People will want to "Report bot lane for feeding." They have no idea that your carry has been facechecking bushes with Taric in them.

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Pros and Cons

Pros / Cons


+ Tanky
+ Good Initiator
+ CC
+ More CC

- No range
- Needs a competent carry
- No poke
- No sustain

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You can fiddle with the masteries a bit, but these are what I find to be the most effective. The most important ones that you must have are Summoner's Wrath , Durability , Tough Skin Greed , and Wealth

Summoner's Wrath is a must on any support. The magic resist and armor reduction it gives when you use exhaust is too strong to not use it.
Durability just gives you a bunch of health.
Tough Skin doesn't seem like it would be that great since it's just a 2 damage reduction, but it really adds up. Most of your engages in lane involve jumping into waves of minions to get the carry. If you dive into 10 minions and they each attack a couple times, you reduced almost 100 damage.
Greed is pretty self explanatory. Since you don't get kills, you need the passive gold.
Wealth lets you come to lane with that extra ward

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Greater Mark of Armor

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Gold

These are the runes I use in every Leona game.

I prefer flat armor and MR runes since they are better for early game. Flat runes give more armor/MR up until level 9.

Leona's only ranged attack brings her to the enemy. the bonus armor from these runes makes you take much less damage on each engage.

Often the enemy support will be doing magic damage to poke, so the glyphs of magic resist reduce that damage.

Since Leona doesn't kill minions, you need all the passive gold you can get from your Quints.

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Summoner's Spells

Summoner Spells

Exhaust: A given for any support. Use this on the main damage dealer in fights
Flash: Really good for repositioning when everything in on cooldown. Once you get low on health in a teamfight, flash out. Once you have your abilities back up, jump back in, if you can secure a kill. The armor and magic resist from Eclipse should keep you safe and your extra stuns in the fight can easily turn the fight in your favor. This is also a great gap closer to get in range of your Zenith Blade
Heal: Use this in place of flash if you want. This can be good in lane since you have no shield or heal to protect the carry, but i've found it not as effective as Flash

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Again, most people already know this, but for those who don't, USE SMARTCASTING. Smartcasting is essentially a faster way to use your abilities. Instead of having to click where you want to use an ability, just pressing the key uses it. If you are new to Leona, don't switch over to smartcasting immediately. You want to learn the exact ranges of Zenith Blade and Solar Flare first. Figure out which parts of Solar Flare stun and which parts only slow the enemies. The split second you save when using these abilities will help you land them much more often.

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Ability Explanation

  • Sunlight: Every time you hit an enemy with an ability, they are marked for the next 3.5 seconds. Any damage dealt to that enemy by an ally will deal bonus magic damage. Note that you can not activate the bonus damage yourself
  • Shield of Daybreak (Q): Stuns the enemy for 1.25 seconds
  • Eclipse (W): Leona gains a "shield" for 3 seconds that blows up at the end dealing damage to all units around. This shield gives bonus armor and magic resist for the duration and the time is doubled if any enemies are damaged by the shield when it blows up.
  • Zenith Blade (E): Leona deals damage to all enemies in a line. Leona will dash to the final champion struck. This is the most important skill to land. This immobilizes all enemies hit for about half a second. It sets up your combo most of the time
  • Solar Flare (R): The most satisfying part of playing Leona. She sends a solarbeam down to a target location, stunning all enemies in the center, and slowing all other enemies hit by it by 1.5 seconds.

Ability Sequence Order

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> > >

Start with your Shield of Daybreak stun, then get your Zenith Blade. You shouldn't need to use these until you get level 3 and can get Eclipse unless your carry gets jumped on. (More in Combo Section)

You want to max you Solar Flare first since it's an extremely useful ultimate and each point in it reduces its cooldown by 15 seconds.
Max Eclipse next since it allows you to tank so much more damage. Jumping into the entire enemy team without your shield up is suicide, but jumping on them with a level 5 Eclipse should get you out alive
I max Shield of Daybreak next since each point in it reduces the cooldown by 1 second. In a teamfight you want to get off as many stuns as you can.
Max Zenith Blade last

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Ability Combos

Pre-level 6
You never want to engage until you are level 3 unless you can catch out an enemy who is by himself. The combo is pretty straightforward: Zenith Blade -> Eclipse -> Shield of Daybreak
As soon as your sword touches the enemy, you want to use your Eclipse and Shield of Daybreak. You can use Eclipse before Zenith Blade if you know you will land the skill shot. The whole point of this is to make sure the enemy is still next to you when your shield blows up. You almost always want to grab the carry, not the support. If you focus their support while they focus your carry, you will lose that trade. There are pretty much only 2 situations where you want to grab the support:

1) The support is extremely low and it will give you an easy kill with little resistance.
2) Grabbing the support will put you close enough to the carry so you can use Shield of Daybreak on the carry
Post-level 6
This is when the real fun happens. Your Solar Flare range is almost double that of Zenith Blade. This gives you two options for combos.
Combo 1: Zenith Blade -> Eclipse -> Shield of Daybreak -> Solar Flare. The first one is just your pre-level 6 combo with your ult tagged on the end. This is the easiest combo to use. It is almost impossible for the enemy you grab to not get hit by your ult unless they Cleanse Flash out of there. In teamfights, if the enemy doesn't immediately die and stays around to fight, typically you will have time for another combo.

Combo 2: Solar Flare -> Zenith Blade -> Eclipse -> Shield of Daybreak
Combo 2 opens up with your ultimate. This makes for a much cooler play, but it's much harder to pull off. The stun radius of your ult is relatively small. For this combo to work, you need to stun the enemy with your ult first. A lot of times this is the best combo to use, like when the enemy is out of range of your grab.

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2XSight Ward 2X

This should be your start every game. A lot of games, I sell off the potions since I don't have to use them, but they are good to have just in case.
Philosopher's StoneSight Ward

Wards are crucial You want to have at least 2 wards every time you go back unless you have a Sightstone. If you can't afford Philosopher's Stone and some Sight Ward, don't get the Philosopher's Stone. The enemy support will notice you have no wards and call for a gank and you and/or your carry will die. It just isn't worth it.
Get it next. It's that simple

This is where the build gets situational. You are going to want your Boots of Speed at around this time. You want to look at your jungler's build or communicate with him to see if he is getting a Runic Bulwark. While it isn't the worst thing to have two, there are better items to get.

If your jungler is not getting an Aegis of the Legion do this:
Emblem of Valor

There are other factors to still take into account before going this route. If the enemy team has an AD mid and AD top, they don't do much magic damage. Runic Bulwark is typically build to give the team extra Magic Resist. In this case, go for a Locket of the Iron Solari.

If your jungler is getting an Aegis of the Legion do this: Go for a Locket of the Iron Solari next. It gives yourself some armor and CDR, which is really helpful on Leona. The big perk of this item is its active. It shields all allies around you for a good amount depending on your level.
Regardless of which path you took above, I like to finish my boots and upgrade to a Ruby Sightstone after i finish either Aegis of the Legion or Locket of the Iron Solari. Choose whatever boots you feel will help you the most in this game. I tend to go Mercury's Treads most games, but it is completely situational. If they do mostly magic damage or have a lot of CC, go Mercury's Treads. Otherwise go Ninja Tabi.
Shurelya's Reverie Zeke's Herald

Your last 2 items are completely situational. Pick whichever 2 will help your team the most. You may also want to leave your last slot open for Vison Ward.

Options for the 5th and 6th slots:
  • Shurelya's ReverieShurelya's Reverie: You already have the Philosopher's Stone, and this is a good option to build it into. The active is great for catching out enemies or safely retreating. Shurelya's Reverie is a counter to a poke comp team. Instead of letting them poke you down, pop the active and jump on them.
  • Mikael's Crucible: Another good option to build your Philosopher's Stone into. The mana regen is a bit of a waste since Leona rarely runs out of mana, but the active is extremely good for helping protect your carry. It will remove any CC on him and heal for a good amount too.
  • Twin Shadows: This gives your abilities a little more kick and the active is great for cleaning up after someone gets away after a teamfight.
  • Zeke's HeraldZeke's Herald: If you have a heavy AD team, the extra AD and lifesteal you give them increases their sustainability a ton.
  • Randuin's Omen: Lots of bonus heath and armor. It's always good for someone on the team to have this when the enemy ADC is fed. The active is also great for stopping enemy disengages
  • Warmog's Armor: This will make you much tankier, but you don't need more tank for yourself. The enemy should never be focusing you anyway. You want an item with more utility for the team
  • Thornmail: Like Warmog's. This isn't that great because the enemy ADC shouldn't be focusing you.
  • Sunfire Cape: Since you will be using Zenith Blade to jump on the ADC and AP carry, you will often be surrounded by the enemy. The damage from Sunfire really adds up.

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Laning Partners

Leona works extremely well with all in/high damage carries. She absolutely needs a competent carry. Having good communication with the carry wins lanes. You can jump on the enemy carry all you want, but if no one is there to follow you up, you just killed yourself. Here are what I think are the 3 best carries to lane with Leona:

  • Miss Fortune: Pre-level 6, this lane is passive. A good MF will poke down the carry with Double Up. Once you hit level 6 is where this lane shines. A full MF Bullet Time is devastating. Most of the time, enemies don't stay in the full duration of it though. Leona can hold the enemy carry in it the whole time. Initiate with a Zenith Blade toShield of Daybreak. As soon as Zenith Blade hits the enemy, use your Eclipse. This is where most Leona's go wrong. Most Leona's will immediately exhaust and ult the enemy at that moment. You want to wait a split second to use your Solar Flare. It is extremely important to space out your stuns so they stay in the full MF ult. the MF should ult the second she sees you land your Zenith Blade. You also usually don't need to use Exhaust since this combo should instantly kill the other carry. Save it for another fight.
  • Draven: He just does tons of damage. Between his Spinning Axes and his Blood Rush steroid, he is one of the most high damage carries right now. If you haven't been poked down too much, you want to engage as soon as you can once you and Draven hit level 3. Stand Aside has a much longer range than Zenith Blade so it is a great initiator. Between it's knock aside and it's slow, it is a perfect set up for your own combo. At level 3 it only should take a couple Spinning Axes to kill the enemy carry.
  • Ezreal: His kit synchronizes very well with Leona's. When you use your Zenith Blade he can Arcane Shift in to get in range. If Ezreal uses his abilities in between his auto attacks, he can dish out some serious damage in a small amount of time. His Mystic Shot is also great at poking the enemy down before you engage. Trueshot Barrage can also snipe the enemy if they flash out of an engage or get away.

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As far as I've seen, there aren't a whole lot of hard counters to Leona.

  • Morgana: When I see the enemy support is a Leona, I pick Morgana to counterpick it. Leona is an all in champ. Morgana's Black Shield doesn't let Leona go all in. Note that Black Shield does not stop the dash from Zenith Blade. Dashing to an enemy with Black Shield will result in a ton of damage coming your way, or you dying. You just dash to two enemies with no way of locking any of them down. You have to be very careful in this match up. Make sure that Black Shield is on cooldown before you try to dash in. Act like you are about to use your Zenith Blade or even throw it out but miss on purpose to bait the shield. At level 1, Zenith Blade is on a 13 second cooldown, while Black Shield is on a 23 second cooldown. The support and carry usually stand pretty close together. If that is the case, you can use your Zenith Blade to dash in, then just stun whoever doesn't have the Black Shield on them.
  • Janna: She is a very different support than Leona. Janna has great disengage, while Leona is all about the engage. This makes a lane with a Janna support hard to kill. Her Howling Gale will stop a Zenith Blade dash. Her Eye Of The Storm shields her carry from a good chunk of damage. Her ultimate is the big counter to Leona though. As soon as Leona and whatever carry she is supporting jump in for the kill, Janna knocks you both away and heals her carry. If you get on the wrong side of Janna when you dash in, you could also be sent into their tower. While a lane with Janna should have trouble killing you(unless you get launched under tower), it should also be very hard for you to kill her and her carry too.
  • Sona: This is more of a skill matchup than a straight counter. You and your carry just have to be careful until you hit level 3. Sona has an incredible amount of burst damage early game, but she is also extremely squishy. If you and your carry still have a good amount of health at level 3, you can easily combo them. A good Sona will be poking you though.
  • Lulu: Similar concept to Sona. Lulu has good poke, but is also very squishy early game. Her Whimsy can also protect her carry from a Leona stun or from some damage from the ADC.

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Early Game

You want to get your items and get out of base as soon as you can. Leash for your jungler if he is on your side of the map. As soon as you see the enemy carry and support in lane you need to press tab and see what items they got. Keep track of how many (if any) wards the support bought. If the enemy support didn't start with wards, signal your jungler that there are free kills in the bottom lane. If you see the support run up river, press tab before and after to see if he warded the river and once again let the jungler know. If you know where the enemy ward was placed, use your Vision Ward on that area and clear it so your jungler can have more control.

Like I said earlier, you really don't want to engage until you hit level 3. The bonus resistance you get from Eclipse will save you a ton of health in engages. Throughout this time, you want to give your carry lane dominance. Stay in the lane bushes so the enemies don't know where you are. They will have to play more passive unless they want a sword to the face. Sometimes you may want to just run toward the carry to make them think you are going to jump to him so he backs off and misses some minions. If the enemy has lane dominance, and their support is in the lane bush, you need to ward it. You want to be able to see any kind of engage coming.

When you see an option to grab the enemy carry, signal your carry by pinging the enemy. You don't do much damage. You need to the follow up from your carry. Your whole purpose is to hold the enemy in place while your carry destroys them. Never jump on the enemy if your carry isn't close enough to follow up. This just makes you take unnecessary damage.

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Team Fights

Your job in team fights is to protect your carries(AD and AP). Depending on your team comp, you may also be the initiator for fights. You want to Zenith Blade to one of their high damage dealers and completely lock them down. Your team should also follow up on whoever you lock down. Use your Solar Flare on as many enemies as you can and Exhaust a high damage dealer. If you aren't the one engaging, stay with your ADC. Exhaust and stun anyone who comes near. Between your two stuns from Shield of Daybreak and Solar Flare and the brief immobilize from Zenith Blade, you have very good peel for whoever you are protecting. Also, Don't forget to use your actives. A Locket of the Iron Solari shield can shield your ADC enough to lifesteal back up and survive a fight. You may also want to use Shurelya's Reverie to catch the enemy team off-guard and catch them out.

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I don't pretend to be some kind of League pro or anything. I just play Leona a lot with my friends. I hope this guide has helped. Comment if you have any questions or anything and I'll answer as soon as I can.