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Leona Build Guide by marisbroodti

Support Sun Lady, bringer of CC (and death)

By marisbroodti | Updated on February 2, 2020

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Runes: Aftershock / Bone Plating

1 2
Resolve
Aftershock
Font of Life
Bone Plating
Overgrowth

Inspiration
Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight
Bonus:

+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+6 Armor
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2
Flash Ignite
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked #16 in
Support Role
Win 51%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

Sun Lady, bringer of CC (and death)

By marisbroodti
Rundown of our abilities.
First and foremost: Leona is a champion that has two modes, and rarely a third. You either stomp the lane real hard, you fall slightly behind, or you roam on unfavorable match ups if your ADC is confident and get other lanes ahead if allowed.

I can't put enough emphasis on this: you have the STRONGEST early game at the moment of writing this guide (02.02.20), and in a meta where early game is king, and games last 25-30 mins max, you are the ruler of the bottom lane.

You decide the flow of the match, when a fight starts, when a fight ends. If you back off, your team will follow, if you go in, your team will back you up.

There is no guide that will help you pick your targets, this is general understanding of the game. Threat levels vary by games, sometimes you want to blow up their mid laner first, sometimes their support, so this is something you have to analyze on the go.

With that out of the way, lets analyze our abilities for a moment.

Shield of Daybreak (Q) - This is our starting ability. A flat 1s stun on a flat cooldown, perfect for invades, leashes, quick double-minion executing. Unless the situation requires it otherwise (for example, an invade where you are slightly behind and level up E first to root, passive and get to a CC'd target) we will always start this. (protip: you can use aa-Q-aa to instakill wards placed on your face.)

Eclipse (W) - The bread and butter of our champion. A slow-resolving ability that gives us a boost of resistances for the duration, doubled in duration if an enemy is hit. This will be the ability we max first, is also the ability that will eat up our mana the most. Use sparingly and when needed, spamming this will dry your mana pool real fast if you're not careful, and will force you to use Biscuits just for the mana to avoid recalling.

Zenith Blade (E)- This is our "why are you running?" ability. Maxed second, it has a low cooldown, a meaningful mana cost and a small .5s snare (only to the last champion hit) on top of pulling us to our final victim. Our only follow-up tool when we engage with ultimate, you have to be mentally adjusted to your CC duration to avoid any window of escape for your enemies.

Solar Flare (R) - Our Ultimate. This ability has a long range, a small radius in the center where enemies hit are stunned (if you hit them anywhere on their hitbox with it, it will stun) and on the outside area, will apply a heavy slow. This is great for chasing, sudden engages, catching people off your E range... It has so many utilities that its hard to list, over time you will learn how much of a flexible Ultimate this is and the short cooldown, paired with our scaling CDR and Cosmic Insight, will make this almost always available.

Sunlight (Passive) - Our abilities apply Sunlight to enemies they hit. Sunlight is akin to Lux's passive, a debuff that doesn't stack and detonates for damage. The main difference, however, is that our passive has a shorter duration, doesn't scale with ability or physical damage, and we can't trigger it ourselves. Realistically, there is a very low chance that you can apply Sunlight in an interval enough that your ADC/Laner can trigger each one of them at first, this will change, however, when you get the flow of the W detonation, E application and Q auto-attack reset, allowing for better application and to maximize damage.
Our basic combo Back to Top
Now that we know what our abilities do, lets give our combo a quick rundown.

For most situations, our basic engage is E followed by W mid or before, into an auto-attack and Q into another auto-attack. By the time we finish our Q AA reset, W should detonate, and luckily, we will have applied and detonated our three Sunlights.

The surprise chase combo is simple, wait until the enemy gets close enough, flash into them for a quick Q stun into an auto attack, press your W and if they flash or dash out, our E will be in range and we can follow tightly behind

Our teamfight engage combo should always start with Ultimate or E, depending on the situation, our E might not be in range of our preferred target, and this is where improvising and game knowledge plays a big factor. In teamfights, you have to decide, making sure your ADC can dish out damage, or going to the backline, stunlocking the enemy damage dealer into a follow-up with some luck.

Patience is something you should learn as Leona, despite our cooldowns being low and support items giving us a big influx of cooldown reduction (CDR) we have a small mana pool that punishes us hard before Zeke's Convergence if we aren't careful with it.

Sometimes our Ultimate will be the only thing that will prevent a second or two of damage from the enemy carries while you help keep the frontline in check from reaching your damage, some other times, you will have to sacrifice yourself to push the enemy carries away with ignite and a full combo, buying your team precious seconds to destroy whatever is in the middle and allow for an easy push.

A TL:DR of this section is:

*Lane combo: W>E>AA-Q-AA
*Facecheck combo: W>AA-Q-AA->E
*Teamfight combo 1: R>W>E>Q-AA
*Teamfight combo 2: E>Q>R>W

Different situations call for different combos, sometimes you can't afford the milliseconds for an AA reset or your prey will escape, so going for a fast Q is sometimes the best approach.
Level 2 and ganks Back to Top
Our strongest point is level 2, where we have E and Q available 99% of the times. I like to save my two relic charges for the second wave while dancing in the bush, going in and out to tempt the enemy into it and position favorably for me. As soon as the last two melee minions are nearing 50% HP, I go for two fast executes and E the enemy support or ADC, depending on who looks like an easier kill. 80% of the time you hit level 2 first, unless your ADC is staring at the flowers, will result in a kill in your favor. Dump EVERYTHING if you have to, summoner spells come back due cooldowns, but the first blood gold, XP and XP denial on your enemies does never come back.

Level 1 is our weakest, we will get poked to death as we make space for our ADC to work the wave. It takes us six melee minions and three caster minions deaths to get level 2 in the bottom lane, if for whatever reason you are alone (late connect or whatever) it takes us four melee minions and three casters to reach level 2.

Communicate with your ADC to let them know you want to hit level 2 fast, don't be afraid of getting poked and using a potion or even both to recover for level 2.

When it comes to ganks, we have to know how to dance the enemy to avoid giving out information. Going in and out of bushes during the early phases of the game can make our enemies get comfortable with the idea that we do it out of habit and help us get in range for a combo on a gank. As you hit your 400 gold support item mark, I recommend swapping to sweeper and going back to lane with two control wards to keep tri, lane bushes and river bush clear for a gank.
Warding and how to manage your relic charges Back to Top
If you've ever played the top lane before, or jungle... Or in general, the game, you know that there are certain ward spots that are critical to keep your lane safe.

With the addition of dragons changing the landscape of the map, you can sometimes play with the new environment to place wards in locations people don't check or where pinks are usually not placed at to keep vision of in-game events.

Water dragon brings lots of new bushes to play with, dragon-pit bush a new spot to put a control ward on and worry less about usual wards. The downside to this is that if they ward up inside the pink will be revealed. The Mountain Dragon elevations on terrain add a few walls where you can put a ward on and hide them from usual control ward locations, etc. These new toys we were given on preseason still haven't been figured out by a good chunk of your average players who have old habits ingrained, so exploiting these for max control is something you should focus a bit of your attention on if you haven't.

Always keep a control ward in your inventory, and if you find yourself recalling often, a refillable potion is not a bad purchase.

Sweeper is always, ALWAYS a must after you hit or are close to hitting your support item 500 gold threshold, I usually swap out at 400 gold as one cannon and one melee execute give me the last needed gold.

On the subject of relic charges... You want to execute melee and cannon minions, usually you start with two melees, then the 3rd charge goes to a cannon, then a melee, a cannon again, two melees, and so on... This is to maximize the gold income and to get our warding going ASAP. You should be hitting 500 gold by 8-10 minutes and 1000 gold by 18-20 minutes. Now that the support item doesn't heal anymore, there is no reason to rush out and execute a caster, stick to melees and cannons.
Advanced Tips (In a TL:DR fashion) Back to Top
-Your Q is an instant AA reset, use this to your advantage when trading or clearing out wards.
-Command attack when going for a tight stun in a teamfight or when a target is in Stasis is useful, although sometimes it might backfire if someone gets too close.
-Your E roots only the last enemy hit, it also pulls you to them. In unfavorable fights, you can save flash by using E to a priority target to quickly reposition.
-With around 30% CDR, your W will almost always be up. Although its tempting, unless you have blue buff for whatever reason, it will drain your mana way too fast.
-If you want to surprise engage, save your W activation for after using E or CCing your target, its a huge indicator to wanting to take punishment.
-Dragons are always important, please do not neglect putting river presence to avoid the enemy jungler from sneaking one of them.
-Use your yellow trinket wisely, sometimes warding the middle lane bush is not ideal. Its always a better idea to ward the bush closer to their turret.
-Lane wards (in the middle of the lane, where minions walk down on) are valuable to gather information about rotations and team intentions. When mid tower goes down, having a ward around the height of their raptors can spot a lot of movement.
-Securing kills is always good. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If you can give the kill to a carry, that is fine, but if you think the enemy can get away, go for the killing blow.
-When roaming, leave a ward in a concurred enemy jungle path to give your ADC vision, that way they can push without feeling threatened or know when to back out if the enemy jungler decides to visit bot while you're absent.
Wrapping up Back to Top
In essence, Leona is a support that went under the radar for too long as the meta used to favor Casters and other disengage supports. With the early-game meta that prevails this new season, change to some champions and nerfs to popular picks, Leona has seen a rise in play that puts her in the spotlight for her strong selling point: being an unkillable ball of pretty metal that brings death by CC.

Right now she is at the top of the support picks. A considerable pickrate with a fair banrate shows that people are starting to respect the potential a Leona can bring, and its not easy to play and counter a good Leona player, even if you pick Morgana.

Expect nerfs to her W and base damages in later patches, but for now, praise the sun!

I'm always reachable in-game or Discord if you have any questions! I hope the guide has been useful and of your liking, despite the lack of formatting (first guide, btw.)

May your elo raise fast and your games be favorable, summoner!