Leona Build Guide by Drike
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
Me as a Person
My name is Michael. My summoner name is Drike, and I'm always looking for new friends so feel free to add me. I live in South Carolina where I graduated college and currently work. Now I spend most of my free time playing and making games. I am currently single (hello ladies) and I am a cutie pie.
Me as a League Player
I began playing League of Legends in summer of 2013. S3 I got Silver 4, and S4 I got Plat 2. Season 5 and 6 I got diamond, and ever since then I've slowed down on how much I've been playing and been plat ever since. What season is it now ? I can't keep up.
I like to initiate fights, so usually I have to play tanky champions. I prefer top and support. My favorite champions are Mordekaiser, Darius, Renekton, Leona, and Sion.
Me as a Leona Player
I wrote this guide during Season 5 when Leona was one of my main champions, so I included my stats from that time period. Currently I don't play Leona as much, but one of my friends is trying to learn Leona so I figured I'd update my guide. Hopefully there is some information in this guide that can help you out.
I really do feel like I am skilled and knowledgeable with Leona, so hopefully you guys take what I say to heart and learn a couple things about how to play Leona more effectively.
- Leona has absurd burst damage, even without building damage
- Great supportive passive
- Stuns on stuns
- Amazing at snowballing on bot lane
- Great late game initiater
- Very tanky, especially when W is up (easy turret dives)
- Good carry potential as far as supports go
- If her lane is losing hard, she is useless in lane
- One of the worst supports at Lv. 1, she can get poked down
- No escapes, E doesn't even work on creeps
- No sustain
- Requires follow-up from team
- Very weak when her skills are on CD
- Pretty predictable
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-> -> ->
- Bulwark of the Mountain gives your team sight. Always build a gold income item on supports. Relic shield is the ideal gold income item for Leona The sooner you upgrade it by executing minions, the better.
- Boots of Mobility are my favorite boots for Leona. They let her run terrifyingly fast which means she can position for an engage much more easily, and they are great for catching people out. Just be careful with them because they can make escaping very difficult.
- Frozen Heart will give you a butt-ton of armor, but no HP. This is usually fine by me, since I get a ton of HP from the other items I'm building. Frozen Heart's passive is especially useful when the enemy team is attack speed reliant, and when no one on your team has built one already.
- Locket of the Iron Solari is an amazing MR item. I build this almost every game on tanky supports. It gives you an active that gives your entire team a small shield. Use the active at the start of team fights just when everyone on the team starts to take damage.
- Righteous Glory is a pretty neat item. It gives HP, mana, and sustain, but the real reason we build it is because of its active. The active gives you a speed boost (when running toward enemy champions). The thing a lot of people don't realize is if you shout "Righteous Glory!" when you activate it, it will also let out a shockwave that slows enemies. This is an amazing initiate item, and since Leona is the Queen of Initiation, I really like building it on her. Also I like shouting "Righteous Glory!"
- Randuin's Omen is a one of the most powerful tanky items in the game. Its armor, HP, passive, and active are all great. This is a great stand alone tanky item for anyone.
- Mikael's Crucible should be purchased if your carries are getting stunned and instakilled. It's active will free them from CC and give them a small heal.
- Mercury's Treads are great if the enemy team has a lot of scary CC that won't allow you to get your skills off before dying.
- Ninja Tabi are nice when the enemy team is auto attack heavy, since it reduces auto attack damage.
- Knights Vow is probably my favorite item in the game. It is an awesome support or tank item that allows you to tank damage for whoever you link to. In exchange, whenever your linked ally deals damage, you heal 12% of the damage they deal. This item is always viable, but it is especially useful when your carry is fed.
- Gargoyle Stoneplate is an interesting item. When 3 or more enemies are nearby, you gain increased armor and MR. The active makes you do less damage but gives you more HP, so it's great if you go a little too deep and you're waiting for your team to kill an assassin while you distract the rest of the team.
Shield of Daybreak causes her next AA to stun. This is your key move. You start with it, and if they ward the bush you are standing in, you AA, Q, AA to take out the ward. At level 1, if their support or ADC if foolish enough to come within melee range of you, you Q them. Q them right in the mouth.
Eclipse gives you flat armor, scaling armor, flat MR, and scaling MR. These bonuses are only applied while Eclipse is active. Once you press W, Leona will gain her tanky bonuses. Then, after 3 seconds, it explodes, dealing damage all around Leona. If the explosion hits an enemy, she keeps her tank steroids for another 3 seconds. Use Eclipse just before you go in, but not too early because it gives away your intentions.
Zenith Blade is an excellent gap-closer, because it is a skill shot that not only goes through minions, but it even goes through champions. That's right, if you E multiple targets, Leona will pull herself to the target furthest away from her. This is great, because you can E right through the tank/support and straight to the carry. When Leona uses Zenith Blade, she will automatically try to AA her target. If you do not want to stun the target that you hit with E, be sure to not use Shield of Daybreak until after Leona has pulled herself to a target.
Solar Flare! Leona's ultimate is pretty strong. It has a huge range, and the center of Solar Flare is an AOE stun, while the outer edges are strong slows. The downside to this awesome spell is that it has a bit of a delay, making it very hard to hit. On the bright side (get it? bright!) Leona's Q is a stun, so if you want to guarantee that you hit your ult(assuming they don't have any instant-repositioning skills, such as a Flash) then you can just Solar Flare immediately after stunning them with Shield of Daybreak.
The "Heartbreaker": AA->Q->AA
They call this combo the "Heartbreaker" because of its innate ability to make the enemy support sad by destroying their freshly placed ward. It is also the best way to deal the most damage at Lv. 1. This combo is one of the most important combos Leona has, because it can be performed in any of the other combos! Whenever you see a combo with Shield of Daybreak, you can use an auto attack before and after the Q.
The Old "EQ" Technique: E->Q
Use this combo if you want to go in at Lv. 2, or you are very low on mana and do not have enough to include W in your combo.
The "Bread and Butter" combo: W->E->Q
This is Leona's bread and butthair combo. It is your typical, "go in" combo.
"Going in Deep!": W->E->Q->R
-> -> ->
Save this combo until it is likely to result in a kill or an objective. The most important part of this combo that a lot of Leona players do not realize is that it deals 25% more damage if you yell "Going in Deep!" as you perform the combo.
"I Got Him, Coach!": R->W->E->Q
-> -> ->
This combo is really great when your prey is out of reach of Zenith Blade. Often times, even if you don't hit the stun from Solar Flare, the slow will be enough to catch up to the target and your team can follow up for the kill. Typically, do not lead with R, since it can easily be whiffed, but if you catch someone out (or their whole team is bunched up) this combo is a great way to eliminate them.
Early game, it is Leona's responsibility to feed her ADC. If you miss your E, don't take it lightly (:D). She's not too mana-hungry, but if you miss skills, she can quickly run out, especially if you waste mana on both E and W. Lv. 1, just don't get poked down too much, and use your "Heartbreaker" combo when they try to ward the bush you are standing in. Around Lvs 2~4, you should be going in, using your "Bread and Butter" unless they have the clear advantage.
If your ADC is reasonably fed, your "Going Deep!" combo should kill the enemy ADC before they even have a chance to run. If you get bottom tower, you can roam mid (preferably with your ADC), especially if the enemy bot lane has left lane already.
Team fights are Leona's time to shine (I am hilarious). At the start of a team fight, use the active on your Locket of the Iron Solari. Save your Face of the Mountain active for someone on the team who is critically low on HP (don't forget you can use it on yourself).
Sometimes, if your team already has strong initiation but no one to peel for your carries, then you will have to peel for them. Peeling is when you protect your carries essentially. If Kha'Zix, or any other assassin jumps on your ADC, then you throw everything you have at him while your ADC kills him or runs, depending upon the situation.
However, as Leona, most situations will call for you to be the initiater. This means that your job is to go in on a high priority target, and lock them down for your team to follow-up and kill.
"How do I know which target is high priority??"
There are two main factors that go into this.
- The first factor is damage. How much damage will they output in a team fight if they are not focused? The more havoc they will wreak, the more likely it is that you should focus them. However, you should not always focus the enemy doing the most damage.
- The second factor is survivability. How difficult will it be to kill them, or stop them from outputting damage? This factor is comprised of other factors. How tanky are they? Have they built tenacity? Do they have any escapes? You do not want to focus someone who will take 5 minutes for your team to kill, because their team will have annihilated you in that time.
Examples: The enemy team has a 10/0 Tryndamere who has built all damage and is already at 10% HP. Even though his damage output is going to be terrifying, it might not be a good idea to focus him since he will likely pop his ult and live for 5 seconds while his team tears you apart.
Ok new example. The enemy team has a 0/7 Teemo. Sure, he will be easy to kill, but he does not pose much of a threat. Try to take both factors into account when deciding whom to initiate upon.
The core concept of Annie counters the core concept of Leona. I think that's really all there is to it. Leona is a great support champion, because she plays in a 2v2 lane. She initiates upon, neutralizes, then eliminates the threat(the enemy ADC) while their support(who does not do much damage) watches helplessly. Annie is an exception. A terrifyingly powerful exception.
As Leona, you have to play against Annie knowing a few things:
- Annie can do damage. A lot of damage.
- Annie can stun. Her passive, Pyromania is what allows her to stun.
- Annie is ranged, meaning that she can do both of the above while staying relatively safe.
You stand a much better chance of winning if you are the one to initiate. This is a matchup in which I you need exhaust, because here's the game plan: use your "Bread and Butter" combo to go in on Annie. Their ADC will likely focus your ADC. Exhaust their ADC once he begins attacking your ADC. Hopefully, your initial burst combined with your ADC's damage will take Annie out relatively quickly (and it should if you went in before she could use her Molten Shield or get off her stun from Pyromania). If your ADC is foolish enough to focus their ADC instead of focusing Annie with you (and thereby proccing your passive, Sunlight), then you probably just lost the engage. However, if he focused the same target as you, then you can either back out if your ADC is low, or just switch focus to their ADC once Annie is dead.
You could, but it would not be nearly effective. Here's why: Exhaust reduces damage, attack speed, and movement speed. The damage reduction works against Annie, sure. But, you can't stop her stun with Exhaust, whereas if you focus her there is a chance you can burst her before she can even get her stun off. Also, the attack speed does not do much against Annie, as she is a caster. Basically what I'm saying is Exhaust makes their ADC useless for 2.5 seconds, whereas Annie can still fight through an Exhaust.
If your Exhaust is down, then you will just have to make a judgement call on whom to focus if you decide to go in.
Morgana is a nightmare to lane against as Leona. She is quite literally the anti- Leona. Not only can she safely do damage to you with her Tormented Shadow when you go in on her ADC, but she can even snare you in place with her Dark Binding (not only has infinite range, but also lasts forever), and protect her ADC using her Black Shield, which protects its target from CC. Also, since Leona has no escapes, Morgana's Soul Shackles can really mess up a good initiate, or just kill you if you get caught.
The way to play this matchup is to play passively until both of the enemies are right next to each other. Then, use Zenith Blade to go in on whomever you do not want to focus, but do not press Q yet! Morgana will likely Black Shield whomever you hit with Zenith Blade, so then you are free to use Shield of Daybreak on the ADC, or Morgana, depending on who did not get the Black Shield. If she does not Black Shield anyone, then quickly Q the higher priority target without giving Morgana a chance to shield them.
Another option is to just wait until Morgana is out of range to Black Shield. For example, if she goes to ward, you could Eclipse, Flash, Zenith Blade, Shield of Daybreak, and if you have Solar Flare, you can also (and probably should, as this might be the only chance you get to stun their ADC) press R and hit 'em with a Solar Flare
Alistar just got buffed! He has always been a counterpick to Leona, and I have lost lane to a few Alistars, but I still don't think it is a hard counter. Leona has way better damage, tankiness before 6, and lock-down than Alistar. If he ever wastes his skills, goes to ward, your jungler comes, or you are already winning lane, go in on their ADC. If Alistar ults, ignore him. His ult now gives 70% damage reduction at all levels, making him practically unkillable. Try not to stand close to a wall, because his headbutt can knock you against the wall, CCing you for a good amount of time.
I know a lot of people like to counter-pick Leona with Karma. I don't really mind. What they are going to try to do, is poke you down Lvs 1 and 2. Then, by the time you hit 3, they hope you or your ADC will not be healthy enough to go in. So, to win the matchup, you must try not to get poked down at Lv. 1 and 2. Then, go in on their ADC and feed your ADC. If you do end up getting poked down before level 3, don't go in until you back. Make sure that by the time you go in, you and your ADC are healthy so that you can win the engage without any problems.
This matchup is very dependent upon just how good the Thresh is with his Flay. If you are against a mediocre Thresh, this matchup should be pretty easy. If you are against a superb Thresh, then he will stay very close to his ADC. As soon as you go in, he will Flay you out of your Zenith Blade. Then, their ADC will likely begin AAing you. At this point you should just back out, because, unless their ADC is terrible, you won't be able to get within melee range since Flay has a slow.
To beat a Thresh, you have to play passively until Lv. 2 or 3. Since Thresh is ranged, he can poke Leona down at early levels. Once you are ready to go in, wait until Thresh steps away from his ADC. This way, he cannot Flay you out of your Zenith Blade. When Thresh steps away from his ADC, throw all of your skills at their ADC. Thresh will likely save his ADC with Dark Passage, but at least you can pressure the lane and possibly even force their ADC to back. Also, remember to not focus Thresh if you can help it, as his passive, Damnation, makes him very hard to kill. Of course, try not to get pulled by his Death Sentence.
Not a tough matchup. The one thing you DO NOT want to do, is go in while pushed, becasue then Blitzcrank can run over to his turret and pull Leona into the turret using Rocket Grab, typically resulting in a kill. With that being said, there is one rule to this matchup: don't go in when you are pushed! It sounds simple, but the matchup is that easy. Play hyper-aggressively when they are pushed, and play incredibly carefully when you are pushed. Taking any turrets out of the equation, if you go in on a Blitzcrank and his ADC, all things being equal, you will win. You have more damage, more mobility, a skillshot that goes through minions, and you are tankier. Just keep in mind that while Blitzcrank is not as tanky as Leona, he is not squishy, especially with his passive, so focus the ADC every fight.