Leona Build Guide by marisbroodti
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Runes: Aftershock / Bone Plating
+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+8 Magic Resist
+8 Magic Resist
Threats & Synergies
Believe it or not, fire man, despite its low mobility, is our biggest threat as his passive is absurd. A good Brand will keep you on your toes and set Ablaze for a disgusting high uptime meaning that lane will be decided by how you dodge and how quickly can you engage to shut him down.
Soraka is that annoying support that will spam you to death believing that the silence lasts forever. The key to this lane is properly dodging her Qs to deny her from the health regen and engaging her as soon as you have a favorable window. Two or three kills and she will be set for a clear loss.
The only threatening thing about Lulu is Polymorph and her ultimate, Hugify!. These abilities are huge disengages with short cooldowns (I'm looking at you, Polymorph) that have to be baited to stomp the lane. The premise is simple, walk forward and fake an engage to bait the Polymorph, then back off for a couple seconds and E back in, guaranteed summoners or kills.
A good Janna will effectively cancel every one of your Es and make your life pretty boring during lane. This problem is solved post-6 as you can drop your ultimate on her and she won't have an answer unless she positions well, and in most cases, the burst damage will give her no chance to react.
Thresh is a very even champion to lane against, will Flay your Es and lantern their jungler from behind the turret into sudden ganks. This is a skill match up, where both you and your ADC have to be on the same page to get ahead and win lane. I'd say this is the most "even" lane.
Bird man is probably the second biggest offender in our threat list, Nevermove and his high early damage are definitely nothing to toy with, and even with Bone Plating and MR runes, he will shred you like paper if you don't respect his range.
Only threatening if paired with a decent Lucian, most Braums will take every trade and get blown up, plus, if they shield our E, they will die instead.
Only even because he can Pulverize and Headbutt you under their tower, the stun is not that threatening and will die really fast pre-6.
This lane is decided by how good you can dodge and bait, the key here is to keep enough pressure on the lane to avoid Bard from roaming and being quick enough to dodge his stun. Most of the time, when Bard roams, you can safely dive the enemy ADC, which translates into a win 9/10 times.
Nami is classified as even as the fish lady will often empower the ADC and make trades unbearable due the slow and bubbles. If you lay your hands on her first, she blows up pretty fast, and transitions into more and more kills.
Nowadays, Xayah doesn't stand as much of a threat as her early is pretty mediocre, will die before level 6 in almost every possible scenario, and even if she does, Featherstorm doesn't save her from dying as our ultimate will catch her as soon as she becomes targetable.
Draven is one of our big physical counters just by his spinning axes. He will chunk you down the first three levels and from there on, if you can't recover your health and all-in into a kill, he will only snowball ahead just from being a stat check. Ignite is absolutely a must in this lane, as soon as the E connects, do a quick aa-Q-aa combo into ignite, or better, ignite as soon as you can.
Heavy poke and slows, our favorite arrow girl will make our life a tad miserable with Lethal Tempo. A lane all about getting an early kill to set her back.
Meaningless poke, only useful for his E. Will die if he can't respect your range.
Not much to say for Jhin, careful of his 4th and snares, early engage him as soon as you get 3, going in without W vs him at level 2, unless you hit 2 first, will often put you in a disadvantage.
Our biggest ADC threat. This guy right here is either an absolute monster or dead weight, a lane decided by how you can read his skills and weapon transitions. Engage on long-range every time for a guaranteed kill and if the wave allows it.
The usual "don't get pulled". Mind your wave, your positioning and watch his patterns. A slightly-in-his-favor lane, but easily winnable.
Despite having Black Shield, Morgana poses little to no danger to us, as we can safely bait it out with an E and walk away just to re-engage after while its on cooldown. You can also engage her to make her Black Shield herself and swap to the ADC for an easy kill.
No mobility, only minor because rocket launcher splash can get annoying. Easy kill despite what support she can have.
Our most even lane at the time of writing the guide. A back and forth dancing match up that will ultimately depend on who makes the first mistake. He has no escapes other than wall pull. Just like you, you have to respect Nautilus' range, underestimating him will most likely result in death.
Our Noxus guy is probably our best ADC partner. High damage, an explosive passive that will snowball lanes quickly, short stat-burts that will help guarantee kills. What's not to love about a champion that will turn whatever you land your stuns on into flying confetti?
Ashe is a good pairing but you have to understand that her early damage is lacking. If your Ashe can kite well and follow your engages, there should be no troubles in lane.
Don't pick Leona if you have an Ezreal, zero synergy.
His high burst damage makes our Lunari friend an ideal choice to play Leona with. Be mindful of his current weapon to avoid awkward situations and engages, if he manages to snare enemies, follow up.
Caitlyn is an OK ADC to play with. Not the Queen of high damage, Leona is an acceptable pick with her to protect and peel our favorite cop and let her to her job from afar. Most Caitlyns can help with an engage and follow up with a quick trap, and will have no troubles escaping with her .50 Caliber Net from unwanted company.
Our budget Ahri. Feather girl is a good choice to play Leona with as her root and quick damage with Q and W can make engages really fast and favorable. The only downside? Once her cooldowns hit, unless fed, will hit for little.
If you've ever played with or vs a Swain, then you might have realized that his insane burst damage is nothing but heaven to play with as Leona. A Nevermove is basically an invitation to kill, and should take it unless you're both dangerously low or have died before.
Ideal pick despite not having the greatest follow up. Jinx's fast AA damage and Chompers are great tools to maximize damage and on top of it all, help keep the enemies locked down. She can quickly turn around any engage on her by flashing away, using Chompers and letting us do the dirty work and keeping the offenders locked down into easy kills.
Our performer is a delight to play with, giving him space and range to play out his show is a fascinating sight to behold. You will naturally learn how to align your engages with his 4th and how to intimidate enemies with just his presence.
Champion Build Guide
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.
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 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.
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.
-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.
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!