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Leona Build Guide by LimTheDestructor

Support [S12] Guide by Rank 1 Leona World

Support [S12] Guide by Rank 1 Leona World

Updated on May 11, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author LimTheDestructor Build Guide By LimTheDestructor 480 24 1,137,235 Views 31 Comments
480 24 1,137,235 Views 31 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author LimTheDestructor Leona Build Guide By LimTheDestructor Updated on May 11, 2022
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Runes: Recommended runes

1 2 3
Resolve
Aftershock
Font of Life
Second Wind
Unflinching

Precision
Triumph
Legend: Tenacity
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor
+8 Magic Resist

Spells:

Support Leona
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None
Summoner Spells
Flash is necessary for support Leona.
Enemies in defense often flash out with low hp remaining so you have to follow with your flash and kill them. In some situations you can use "flash in E" combo (flashing to target direction during start of casting E -> instant E from new location; however this mechanic is hard with normal cast on E and should be practiced in Practice tool).
Also, Leona lanes are usually camped by enemy junglers so you sometimes can use flash defensively (however, some 2v3 fights are winnable).
Ignite is currently the most powerful Leona support spell.
Leona has to create lead in the early game - enemy supports usually scale better and as you know, in soloQ enemy teams are often outclassing your teammates so you have to make something to improve your win potential.
Remember that especially against enchanting supports (Nami, Janna, Karma etc.) you should use your Ignite only when you are sure that enemy can't escape. Trading Ignite for enemy Flash without killing him is often not worth it because in next 3 minutes you don't have kill potential.
Remember that if you play Leona + Yasuo botlane, Yasuo should have Ignite, you should have Exhaust or Heal.
Runes - primary tree

Aftershock

Leona as a champion wants to engage, give some kills to her carries and then - if possible - survive and get out. Aftershock can provide her some tankiness (reliably) and bonus damage.
Glacial Augment is also a viable option, though its efficiency is less predictable; especially if enemies dash or flash from the slow zone, the rune doesn't have enough impact on the fight - which makes Glacial Augment more likely a situational choice pickable specifically against dashless botlanes.
Damage from Electrocute, Predator, Dark Harvest or Press the Attack is currently too low to be viable for Leona. It only makes her squishy and grants extra damage in maximum equal to 1 Leona's autoattack. However, with Aftershock, she can survive enough to use 2-3 autoattacks more than without it. Grasp of the Undying doesn't pay off too - it would require Leona being in a lane full of trading, but Leona doesn't have enough mana for permanent trades, so she just wants to all in once or twice, get kills and go base. Guardian is useless because Leona goes in whereas her ADC stands back and deals damage from backline, so Guardian doesn't pop off.


















Resolve tree

Take Font of Life instead of Demolish. Font of Life helps you winning 2v2 fights and getting lead, whereas Demolish requires having lead and pressure to be used and its impact is often pretty low. Additionally, you often let your ADC take full plate gold and only in some cases you push the turret too. Remember that Shield Bash doesn't work on Leona W.

Take Second Wind to heal back after being in combat. Leona is a melee champion - she often takes some poke. And when she all ins, she needs to regenerate her health in combat. Heal from Font of Life is in almost all games 200-300 % of amount of damage shielded by Bone Plating.
Bone Plating can be good only against Blitzcrank (and somehow might be viable against Nautilus and Thresh) because in this matchup there is guaranteed that all stacks of Bone Plating will be used in fights.
Conditioning is not as powerful as the Second Wind because Conditioning rune is more late game focused which doesn't help Leona much. Leona has to win laning phases.

Use situationally Overgrowth or Unflinching.
Against heavy CC enemy teamcomps containing for example Morgana take Unflinching.
When enemies don't have enough CC to make Leona useless, take Overgrowth for HP to improve her tankiness which is useful in midgame and lategame fights.
Runes - secondary tree, shards
Precision tree runes are most likely the strongest on Leona in current meta, but the Inspiration tree ones are another, early game focused option.
Some enemy teamcomps still contain the champions from older high elo metas (Ryze, Kaisa, Alistar, ...). In games against these short range, often pokeless champions, the mobility and snowball-focused Domination tree runes may be still viable.



Precision tree

Triumph + Legend: Tenacity are strong against heavy CC teamcomps, especially those containing many roots and stuns. Also these runes make you survive fights much better, escape from enemy catches etc



Inspiration tree

A combination of Biscuit Delivery + Time Warp Tonic can be very strong for early game snowball. It's important to buy Refillable Potion during laning phase and to hold this item as long as possible (until like 22-30 min). The extra movement speed can be used for engage, in-combat mobility or disengage. The extra mana granted by Biscuits is also nice. However, these runes are significantly weaker in later phases of game.



Domination tree

As secondary runes, use Cheap Shot + Relentless Hunter in Domination tree for games against shortrange ADC, melee support or for fullroaming. Cheap Shot's extra damage and Relentless Hunter's out of combat damage both improve Leona's engages, 2v2 and roaming potential.







Shards

Take 1 Adaptive Force rune + 2 situational defensive runes (usually 1 Armor rune + 1 Magic Resist rune).
Remember that Leona cancels auto attack animations in her AA + QAA + AA combo, so you don't need extra attack speed; your auto attacks are fast enough already thanks to this ability.
Leona has "medium" base HP, uses Overgrowth and buys some extra HP in items. That's why you don't need extra HP instead of Armor or Magic Resist in runes; this HP rune is good for squishy enchanting supports who have lower HP so percentage of these bonus HP in total HP of squishy supports is higher than defense possibly gained by Magic Resist and Armor runes.

Against enemy teamcomps that lack magic damage and contain Pantheon, Pyke or Sett support, use 1-2 Adaptive Force runes and 1-2 Armor runes. Against heavy magic damage teamcomps use 2 Magic Resist runes.
Items


Classic buy for a melee tanky support. Use only 0-1 Steel Shoulderguards stack for the first minion wave, save as much as possible for second minion wave to get level 2 faster than enemies (if it is possible - which is not for example against Thresh + Jinx).
In most games, Steel Shoulderguards is better than Relic Shield. In the early game, when you go in, you use auto attacks a lot and have only 3 abilities (no R). Only if you expect that the laning phase is unwinnable - or freewin anyway - you can go for Relic Shield and have better lategame, though this support damage boost is nothing compared to damage of other roles in that later phases of the game.







Buy boots and cheap items according to your situation, planned buildpath and available gold. Think about your gameplan - what you will do in next few minutes. Will enemy support all in you (often Thresh, Blitzcrank, Alistar)? You need HP to survive engages on you or blocking engages on your adc. Is enemy midlaner ungankable (Azir, Vladimir etc.)? You can't roam so you don't have to rush tier 2 boots that fast. Is enemy botlane easily killable (often Sona + Kaisa, Nami + Jhin etc.)? You need having movement speed (boots) for engaging them and killing them many times. You can't roam and can't all in? Focus on farm.
Boots of Swiftness are better than Boots of Mobility if you have lane-oriented gameplay, and want to be strong in teamfights. Boots of Mobility are good only for roaming and if you buy them during early game, you should sell them during midgame and buy different T2 boots. And - as written above - in many games you just can't roam so in that cases buying Mobis is a big mistake. Specifically against Morgana, consider buying Mercury Treads, against full AD teams, consider buying Plated Steelcaps. Remember that using Relentless Hunter (as Secondary Domination rune) gives you pretty much Movement Speed for initiation so in case of playing with this rune you don't even need Mobis that much.

Remember: Buy red trinket while shopping and having warding in support item available already.










These are examples of situationally viable core builds. Use the buildpath that fits best in your current game.
Evenshroud is generally ok, cheap, tanky item that supports your team's damage a little.
Locket of the Iron Solari is cheap, defensive, teammates-protecting item that can be pretty strong especially against AoE bursts (Karthus, Orianna, Lux etc.). Care - some champions can buy antishield item (Qiyana), some champions ignore or destroy shields (Pyke R, Blitzcrank R).
Sunfire Aegis is expensive item, viable especially when snowballing, very strong in long fights, but giving no protection for teammates.
Anathema's Chains is an item used (binded) against biggest threat of enemy team or - especially in early game - against enemy ADC so he is permaCCed, easy to kill and can't get kills. Often viable against Samira, Draven, Kog'Maw, Yasuo, Yone etc.

Knight's Vow is an item protecting your selected teammate (usually carry champion) from both burst and poke damage - viable as "second Locket".
Frozen Heart is strong against heavy autoattacking teamcomps containing 2 or more attack speed reliant champions (Yasuo, Kayle, Kindred, Azir, Jinx etc.).
Zeke's Convergence can help a little in offense, however, this extra damage is often hard to proc or irrelevant.
Thornmail is pretty expensive, armor and HP heavy, antihealing item. Usually it's better not to build it; your allies often have antiheal so for you it's better to have only Ignite or Bramble Vest + Ignite. The extra antiheal provided by Thornmail is often pretty inefficient since your team often has Ignites, other heavy antiheal items or just can kill someone in 1 permastun you grant.
Abyssal Mask and Force of Nature are situationally viable against heavy AP teamcomps; Force of Nature especially against poke. Though the current "strength" and selfish character of these items often makes them pretty bad option even in these conditions.

Occasionally, when enemy team has much healing and your team lacks antiheal, you can buy antiheal item (Oblivion Orb or Bramble Vest , later you can upgrade it).
Knight's Vow is often better to be built before Zeke's Convergence to protect your fed carries as much as possible in current assassin meta.
Never have Boots of Mobility and Knight's Vow at the same time - damage to your partner slows you.


Buying (or upgrading later on) the Wardstone is good and possible only in long games with high importance of vision and after your level 13. Going for this item is just an option when you have nothing else good to buy and the bonus vision synergizes with your team's playstyle.

If you have no gold for buying full 3rd "normal item" before the last, game winning fight, just consume Elixir of Iron . Sometimes, buying Spectre's Cowl also can work against heavy AP teams - or Winged Moonplate for supporting your engage potential.

Sheen or Phage are very situationally viable as early game heavy snowball items, can be combined with Oblivion Orb or Sunfire Aegis, also can be sold later (to not occupy the item slot), because Leona can't effectively build them into an item good for her. All these items can work only in very specific scenarios, where early botlane lead is very big and its snowball is the team's main win condition.
Abilities
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Take Q level 1 in most cases. E should be better against ranged botlanes, but in real situations it mostly has no value. Squishy ranged enemy support or adc is sometimes stupid enough to come close into your autoattack range - and in this situation Q is much stronger than E. Also, if you hit E lvl1 on enemy ranged botlane, you most likely lose that trade. So having E on lvl1 only really very rarely can be useful.

Personally I recommend having all Leona spells onnormal cast. It is a little slower and makes "flash during E cast" combo harder to do, but it gives you exact knowledge of all ranges and sometimes also more time to think about what you want to do instead of instant casting spells without thinking.

Learn how to use combos (Practice tool can help you with it):
AA + QAA + AA (good for destroying wards or for maximalizing damage in combat)
E + AA + QAA + AA (classic all in combo, rooting and stunning enemy for a long time, often forces summoner spells or leads to a kill)
E + QAA + AA (all in against enemies with flash up who you want to die instantly without using flash)
E + flash during start of E cast (enemies can't react with flash on this combo - E is instant)
E + QAA + R in Q duration (for permastunning enemy - very strong initiation combo)
E + R in E duration (+ AA) + QAA + AA (pretty safe, unexpected for enemies)
R + E + QAA + AA (initiating with R should be used only if you are 100 % sure that you hit enemy champion correctly; you need enemy to move in 1 direction or be already stunned by someone else to know properly his position and stun him with R; wrong use of R initiation can cause many problems with escaping enemies or lack of CC in 5v5 fight opened by enemies reengaging on you)

Use W defensively - especially against damage over time (DoT) spells like Cassiopeia Q, Kaisa Q, while diving Heimerdinger and his turrets, while diving enemy in a minion wave etc. Do not overuse W for defensive purpose in lane - Leona is very mana hungry champion.
Use W offensively after being sure that E hits enemy champion. If you start combo with W and then try to use E, you make enemies know that you want to engage, so they go back instantly. Additionally, casting W without hitting E makes you lose W mana for free.

Occasionally, when you have to shove minion waves, use W or E to help your adc kill minions faster. A good ADC with waveclear spell (Ashe W, Caitlyn Q, Jinx prolongued autoattacks etc.) will wait for your W or E and then kill minions with the applied Leona Passive.
Teamfights
Before the teamfight starts, think about what you want to do. Generally, try to focus enemy carries and defend your carries from enemy initiation. For example if enemy team has Sejuani, Rakan etc., stay in front of your carries to protect them from possible enemy engage.
Remember cooldowns of enemy flashes. Flashless enemy carry champions, caught out of position, are the easiest targets for you.

If you are the one who wants to engage and start fight, always remember that with Relentless Hunter you are faster than your teammates. Your teammates always have to be in position for following your engage.
Use engage with R mostly as a rare option - when many enemies are on 1 place and your team is ready to fight, you can R first. But usually starting teamfights with R is risky - R stun is the longest from Leona's CC kit, but pretty hard to hit on randomly moving enemies.
Waiting with R, defensive Flash or Flash + Q for the best time often pays off more than just using everything as soon as possible.

If enemy has mage with Damage over Time ultimate (Vel'koz, Fiddlesticks etc.), you should keep R or Q ready and use it to interrupt its casting. If enemy has Yasuo, you sometimes can CC him right when someone in your team is knocked up so he can't use R.

When your team starts Baron Nashor, Dragon or Rift Herald and enemy jungler is coming, try to zone him out or CC chain him to prevent the steal.
Extra tips
On level 1, watch out where enemy jungler started (usually one of his sidelanes helps him and comes to his lane later and with lower hp, mana or both). According to enemy jungler's start and champion you can predict when he ganks botlane. Especially when you are on red side, remember that enemy Jarvan or Elise can gank you on lvl1 if they started on red buff. If enemy jungler started botside and doesn't go for lvl1 gank, most likely he won't gank bot before 3:30. If enemy jungler started topside, he might gank bot around 2:45. Watch the minimap and place wards when you think that enemy jungler will gank bot soon. While warding river bushes, you can ping your adc to go with you and help you. In case of enemy jungler waiting in bush, he won't initiate on 2 people if enemy botlaners are far.

Don't permapush botlane. You can use ping to persuade your adc not to shove minion waves (or in some different situations to shove minion waves), because you can't engage onto enemies when they are too close to their turret. You also can't engage onto enemies when they are standing in a big minion wave. Remember that even a little minion wave can reduce damage output of your botlane by intercepting/absorbing spells like Ezreal Q, Kaisa W or some Q shots, Ashe W etc. if enemy ADC is behind them.

Use lane management for creating enough space for you to engage and get kills - if it's possible. In some situations you don't have to get kills or plates to get lead. Remember that CS difference can put you ahead too. If you freeze lane (enemies have more minions than you, minions push towards you, your minions are killed by enemy minions) and zone enemy adc from CS, your adc can get ahead too without fighting. Overall, Leona's positioning in lane is very important - can force enemies to take an unfavorable fight, can force flashes, Leona can stay in bush and surprise enemies coming from base, can deny enemy warding of important bushes by instant destruction of wards etc.

If botlane is warded by enemies and your jungler wants to gank, use pings to tell him where enemy wards are before he arrives at your lane.

Roam only when you go from base or when your ADC has a frozen lane so he can (or soon will be able to) farm safely under turret.
Author
League of Legends Build Guide Author LimTheDestructor
LimTheDestructor Leona Guide
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[S12] Guide by Rank 1 Leona World

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