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Alistar Build Guide by Vapora Dark

Support Vapora Dark In-Depth Support Alistar Guide Season 11

Support Vapora Dark In-Depth Support Alistar Guide Season 11

Updated on September 22, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Vapora Dark Build Guide By Vapora Dark 696 30 2,868,173 Views 46 Comments
696 30 2,868,173 Views 46 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Vapora Dark Alistar Build Guide By Vapora Dark Updated on September 22, 2021
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Runes:

Resolve
Aftershock
Demolish
Bone Plating
Unflinching

Inspiration
Hextech Flashtraption
Cosmic Insight
Bonus:

+8 ability haste
+6 Armor
+6 Armor

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

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Support Role
Ranked #29 in
Support Role
Win 49%
Get More Stats
Support Role Ranked #29 in
Support Role
Win 49%
More Alistar Runes
>

-Table of Contents-

Hi, I'm Vapora Dark, a veteran player that's been playing since season 1. During that time I've hit Master tier as a mid lane main in season 5, as an ADC main in season 7, again as a jungle main in season 8, and once more in season 9 playing a mix of all those roles. I can play every role to a very high level and have a very good understanding of the general aspects of the game on top of that.


I've been writing guides on MOBAFire since 2011, among which my achievements include winning the MOBAFire guide contest multiple times, achieving the highest score on the site multiple times with multiple guides, achieving the most comments on a single guide of all time by a very large amount which hasn't come even close to being surpassed in the 3 years that it's been archived, and having the most collective guide views on the site by a very hefty amount. I've also written some champion guides for Riot Games on the Lolesports site.

Alistar is a beefy engage support that has a very powerful ranged aoe initiate and a ton of cc, which allow him to always be a relevant threat in setting up picks or teamfights for his team. In lane, he provides great all-in potential but suffers greatly when dealing with ranged supports that outrange him as they can simply neutralize Alistar's engage. Outside of lane is where Alistar excels best - Alistar is most effective when the player is being active across the map.

I hope you enjoy reading the guide as much as I enjoyed writing it, and that by the end you feel my guide was worth the privilege of your time.

Resolve & Inspiration



Aftershock
Aftershock: Best fit for Alistar as a tanky champion with a plethora of CC that also needs to enter melee range to be effective. In lane, the extra damage you get from doing your combo is nothing to ignore either and can land you kills you wouldn't get otherwise.

Demolish
Demolish: Extremely powerful on high HP melee champions. This helps you deal quite a bit of damage to towers whenever available.

Bone Plating
Bone Plating: Helps Alistar mitigate damage in lane whether from trades or from all-ins.

Overgrowth
Overgrowth: Endlessly stacking more health is great for any tank champion. The fact you just need to be near minions that die and don't need to kill them also makes this rune great for supports like Alistar.


Inspiration


Cosmic Insight


Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight: More CDR is always great, especially on Alistar where you have long CDs already. The lowered cooldown on item actives and summoner spells helps even more with setting up plays.

Biscuit Delivery: Two of Alistar's biggest weaknesses is his low mana pool and susceptibility to consistent poke. The Total Biscuit of Everlasting Will you gain from this rune directly helps with both of these issues.


Offense:
1-10% CDR
Flex:
6 Armor
Defense:
15-90 Health
Flash
Flash: Flash has been the standard summoner spell to take on almost every single champion since forever. It's always been indisputably the best summoner spell in the game, so there's nothing you can replace it with. It's especially crucial on Alistar for the ability to setup his W-Q Combo for long range engage and his Q-Flash combo (which will be discussed in a later section).
Ignite
Ignite: Alistar is a high kill potential support in lane, so Ignite synergises greatly with this playstyle by dealing damage as well as reducing the amount of healing the enemy bot lane will get from Heal, reducing their odds of survival if you should catch one of them out in lane. Just make sure to Ignite before they use Heal.
Exhaust
Exhaust: Exhaust is an alternative to Ignite in matchups where you don't expect to be picking up kills or think you'll find yourself on the defensive. It can also be a reaction to an enemy picking an assassin such as Zed or Akali to help your ADC survive teamfights better, even if Exhaust may still be worse than Ignite in lane.
-Skill Order-

> >
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Q W E Q Q R Q W Q W R W W E E R E E
Passive: Triumphant Roar

Triumphant Roar: Gives your (rough) lane a bit more sustain through healing every 7 minion deaths or champion death. Helps mitigate your sustain-less lane but do note that the heal is a very mediocre amount. It's just there to help alleviate some damage off of your ADC.
Q: Pulverize

Pulverize: AoE melee-range knock-up that can potentially knock up the entire enemy team if grouped. Used in conjunction with Headbutt for a long range engage. Do note that this ability does have a wind-up animation so enemies are able to Flash away before your W lands mid-animation. This is best for surprising enemies in brush camps or with other gapcloses like your Flash or the other combos. Generally speaking, the more people you hit with Pulverize, the better.
W: Headbutt

Headbutt: Ranged targeted knock-back ability that pushes an enemy away. Most often used for the W-Q engage but is also great for disengaging and peeling when need be. Definitely be cautious when using this ability in a fight or skirmish as the last thing you want is for an easy target to get knocked away into safety.
E: Trample

Trample: Slight AOE damage around you for a few seconds and builds stacks if this spell damages an enemy. At 5 stacks this makes your next auto a short stun. This is generally used with your Q and W as when the enemies are knocked into the air you only have to stick to the target for 1.5s longer to get the stun-auto proc off.
R: Unbreakable Will

Unbreakable Will: Breaks CC and grants a huge damage reduction for a few seconds. Perfect for tanking after you engage or from running away when need be. You can use this to tank big spells like an Ashe Enchanted Crystal Arrow by using your R to break the CC, or you could use it right before burst damage like Veigar's Primordial Burst to mitigate incoming damage.

Fundamentals:

Combo


W: Headbutt
+


Q: Pulverize
The most useful and practical combo - what you essentially do is cancel the knockback from your W spell with your Q's aoe knockup by using your W on a target, then the moment your W animation comes out, use your Q. This essentially just applies your Q damage and range to all enemies around the target you W. Perfect for engaging and setting up plays.
Combo


Q: Pulverize
+


Summoner Spell: Flash
This helps apply your Q AOE knockup at the location that you want to flash to. To use this combo you want to Q and then Flash as you see the Q animation start. This is great for when you want to save your W to knock them back after you get an engage on the enemies.
Combo


Q: Pulverize
+


W: Headbutt
You can surprise a lot of people if you wait in an unwarded brush and the enemies facecheck that brush, where you can then Q, then go behind them and W someone towards your team. Great in concept, but not really that practical aside from brush camps.

Extended:

Combo + Auto


E: Trample
+


W: Headbutt
+


Q: Pulverize
Great in lane when you have the time to activate your E before the enemies get out of range. This helps setup to get E stacks so you can stun someone upon them landing from your Q knockup.
Combo


Summoner Spell: Flash
+


W: Headbutt
+


Q: Pulverize
Using Flash allows you to apply your W-Q Combo from a much further distance, and essentially acts just like a Malphite Ultimate. Great as an instant engage with little room for enemies to react to.
Combo


Q: Pulverize
+


Summoner Spell: Flash
+


W: Headbutt
Combines the Q+Flash Combo to achieve the same effects as the Q-W. Does a mid-range gap close with your Flash and applies the Q-W at the location you end up Flashing to.
Combo


W: Headbutt
+


Q: Pulverize
+


Summoner Spell: Flash
Combine the W-Q Combo and the Q-Flash Combo. You want to W-Q a target and flash as your Q animation is coming up. This will allow you to engage on enemies if they are split up with a target close to you. Alternatively you could W+Flash-Q, but this results in the enemy targeted by the W getting knocked back.

You can also technically use your E before your Flash+W-Q Combo and your Q-Flash combos, but it becomes somewhat anticipated by the enemies if they see you activating your E.
Relic Shield
Relic Shield: Best starting item for melee supports that grants more beefiness and some sustain in lane. The other support items don't directly benefit your laning power that much, and since Alistar is focused on finding favorable 2v2 fights in lane, having the extra HP directly helps.
Boots of Mobility
Mobility Boots: Out of combat movement speed helps supports so much with clearing vision as well as roaming. These are the standard boots to get unless you need Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads for heavy AD / AP damage comps from the enemy team.
Locket of the Iron Solari
Locket of the Iron Solari: Huge AOE shield to protect against burst or damage. Typically bought second or third for better teamfighting but is definitely core in a support build to mitigate large amounts of AOE burst or just simply protect your teammates from extra damage.
Righteous Glory
Turbo Chemtank: Great tanky item with a bunch of cheap components that helps you engage even better by enabling more chasing distance. This is great when you are doing well in lane and need more engage power to snowball the game. The item components are also great for lane as it provides armor and health which are perfect for tanking and trading.
Redemption
Redemption: Very versatile delayed AOE heal / damage that can be used during teamfights on teammates for healing or enemies for damage, while sieging, while doing objectives, etc. Very powerful but has a learning curve in maximizing its effectiveness as it is a targeted spell with a delay.
Zeke's Convergence
Zeke's Convergence: Arguably the most powerful offensive buff a support can give a carry through an item. Offering the ability to slow enemies in an area around you when you cast Unbreakable Will is nice on its own but it also causes the allied champion you linked too to deal a large amount of their basic attack damage as extra magic damage over 2 seconds and if they attack an enemy you're within melee range of your field ignites doubling the slow and causes them to also take magical damage around you. The most important part of this item is the ignited auto attacks your ally deals, as an extra 50% of their basic attack damage as magical damage is ginormous.
Knight's Vow
Knight's Vow: When binded to your ADC, helps heal from their damage and also grants them more damage reduction. This is great for providing additional protection (typically) on your ADC, which can be extremely beneficial for passively helping the ADC survive in fights just by having the item.
Mikael's Crucible
Mikael's Blessing: CC removal and a MS buff when you need to peel your ADC from threatening CC. This is great when playing versus champions like Sejuani or Morgana who have long duration CC abilities that can pick off your teammates / ADC. Having the item essentially just provides another layer of protection.
Spoiler: Click to view
Laning Phase
Start with Pulverize level 1 since it allows for a potential 5 man knockup if your team invades or if the enemy team invades. It's also better in lane than W at level 1 because it can threaten the enemies off of an engage or trade if you get close to them.

At level 2, you'll want to get Headbutt for the W-Q combo which can win you all-ins in lane. After this point onward your goal is to try to find favorable engages with W-Q to pick off enemies, but as Alistar provides no consistent ranged damage or sustain, he does extremely poorly into ranged supports who can abuse him outside of his combo range or cancel his combo.

After level 3 you'll take Trample to add more CC to your combo, activating it after your W-Q combo or just before if you're confident that you'll get in range for the combo, and stunning the target shortly after they land. If you have Ignite available and your ADC is following up then you should Ignite immediately after the W-Q,

This goes on even after level 6 where you get Unbreakable Will, which enables you to tank more damage and opens up more tower dive options. If you find yourself winning lane, you'll want to be pushing the enemy tower to try to get first tower gold versus weaker matchups, or looking for roams mid or in the enemy jungle whenever the opportunities surface, whereas if you are getting shoved in, you will find yourself only useful when the enemies are mispositioned / your team is ganking, where you can try to find ways to land your engage combos.

The entire time you'll also be wanting to manage vision to avoid ganks and gain intel on enemy positioning. This is typically done in river and tri-bush during the laning phase through Stealth Ward, Control Ward, Eye of the Aspect, and Oracle Lens. There are a ton of warding guide resources out there if you want to get into warding detail, but in general you'll just want to be keeping up vision and denying enemies vision to enable your team to gank and preventing the enemy team from confident ganks.

If you manage to get the enemy bot tower, you should either rotate mid with your support to siege mid and return bot to catch stacked bot minion waves that are near tower, or swap lanes with your top laner and start sieging top. This allows your duo lane to bully out the enemy top lane and look for another tower or coordinated dives with your jungler / mid laner.

Out of Lane
Outside of lane you'll want to be managing vision, primarily placing your wards and denying enemies vision around the next objective. If you've come out ahead you'll want to take the lead and rotate around the map, working with lanes that have priority (waves shoving in enemies) to invade and get vision while denying the enemies farm.
You can also threaten dives or pick off straggling enemies, which helps you deny further resources and get more kills / towers, which you can transition into more items and more objectives. If you've come out behind, your team's strength will determine what you should do next. Generally speaking, your first priority when behind is to ensure that minion waves in all lanes that are pushed to your team are properly caught and and your towers are properly defended.

However, if your team is stronger than the enemy then you can look for plays that can turn around the game through creative pathing around vision (especially with Hextech Flashtraption) to find ways to pick favorable fights. If you are weaker, then you will want to be weathering the storm and picking up whatever you can while only making plays that have low risk and medium-high reward.

In teamfights you should either be engaging, following up on a teammates engage, or peeling your carries from threatening assassins / burst. The determining factor is on the enemy team composition and positioning and the strength of your carries.

If the enemy team has assassins like Zed or Kha'Zix and your ADC is strong, you should be sitting on your ADC ready to Q the enemy assassin or knock them away to prevent them from getting their burst damage off your carry so your carries can focus down the other members of the enemy team.

If the enemy have no assassins and your ADC is in no threat or your team simply has good wombo burst, you can consider engaging a favorable fight or following up on engages to get more damage off while the enemies are CC'd. Typically, the more enemies you are able to knock-up the better. However, definitely make sure your team is in a position to followup.

Control the map, setup picks, and work your way to the enemy nexus!

That’s it for my Alistar guide! I hope you found this helpful and learn to play Alistar as well as you want to.

Special thanks to co-author Embracing, who wrote the majority of this guide.

Special thanks to Hopper for banners and coding. (Go check her shop out!)
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