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All Guides Leona Guides [8.13] She's Not Banned Anymore! - How To Leona
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Leona Statistics for SweatySockSucker

Author's performance with Leona compared to the ranked average.

Value
Average
Games Played
5
Win %
46
Kills
2.0
Assists
12.2
Deaths
5.8
KA:D Ratio
2.4
Gold Earned
8.4K
Creep Score
50.0
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

4.png

Flash (Aaaaah~)


Was this truly a surprise? It's your best friend, the tried and true 4.png Flash. This Summoner Spell lets you:
  • initiate like the God Queen of the Sun you are.
  • ditch your pursuers (and ADC) by escaping over a wall.
  • "secure" kills on low-health enemies.
By comparison, 6.png Ghost just doesn't offer enough utility. Leona's kit is well-suited for staying close to the enemy already, especially with the items we'll be building on her to reduce her abilities' cooldowns. 4.png Flash is simply one of the most useful Summoner Spells in the game and not taking it, especially on an initiating tank like Leona, is doing a disservice to your team.

So enough preaching to the choir about the almighty 4.png Flash, blessed be its name - let's talk about the somewhat contentious Summoner Spell you'll pair with it.
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14.png VS 3.png


Ignite VS Exhaust*


14.png Ignite is so you can crush nerds. It cuts healing received by your victim, reveals them, and burns them to the ground. Now, as a support, you're not out to get kills for yourself - but you're Leona. You want to play aggressively. This is a great tool for helping your lane secure the early game pressure you'll want against certain squishier matchups. It's important to note that Ignite loses a lot of its importance in the late-game stage where you'd rather have more utility, such as this next one.

3.png Exhaust is one of the best Summoner Spells for supports, and possibly the game overall, due to its versatility. Reducing movement speed and damage dealt makes for a potent debuff. Exhaust is amazing in that it can be used both aggressively and defensively. Slow your target and make them easier to kill, or Exhaust a diving enemy to peel them off your carries. However, you need to be proactive. Exhausting someone just before they finish killing your carries does nothing but waste a Summoner Spell. Despite my praise for Exhaust, it isn't quite as good at outright killing your opponents as 14.png Ignite is.

In short - Ignite is your Summoner Spell of choice in most games, barring tough matchups; in those situations, consider Exhaust.
179.png
*Yes, this was more or less copy-pasted from my Nami guide and modified.

New Runes Back to Top

If you're in a hurry and just want a quick rune page setup, use the Example rune page. It is equipped to handle almost every situation well enough with either Summoner Spell setup.

If you want to learn to build the ideal rune page for your matchup, keep on reading. There are numerous 'template' rune pages above, not just 'Example'. Leona's an aggressive beast by nature and perhaps frustratingly there is no single amazing primary rune for her. Although her playstyle is rather linear, you do have some options in regards to which runes you take. For primary runes, I'd recommend Resolve, although there are some who prefer a more all-in approaching using Precision.

I'll separate the runes by their roles as primary and secondary runes, so view whichever section is pertinent to your interests or simply read on.
  • Resolve - improves your defense and provides a bump up to your offense (via Aftershock.png?width=32 Aftershock)
  • Precision - snowballs early advantages and improves team damage (via Press%20the%20Attack.png?width=32 Press The Attack)

231.png

Primary Runes

I'll outline two of the most common trees to take as Leona's primary runes. Resolve and Precision are great options for different reasons, so pick whichever primary tree best suits your personal playstyle. That being said, the keystones I've outlined are probably the ideal ones in either tree.
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Primary - Resolve (Most Consistent)

Resolve gives one of the most attractive keystones of any rune tree, alongside a dab of health with a side of AP. Although the bonus health we receive from Resolve has been nerfed with patch 8.1 (except if you run Inspiration as a splash), this is still a strong choice for Leona.

Aftershock.png?width=64 Aftershock is the top choice for keystones in the Resolve tree. You want the wee bit of damage to help secure kills during laning phase and the bonus resists granted by its activation will never go to waste while you're waiting for the detonation. This keystone will also trigger off of most of your skills and pairs well with leonasolarbarrier.png Eclipse when intiating on any of your hapless foes.
After patch 8.2, yes, this keystone (Aftershock.png?width=32) is still good! The percent resists are gone, but it provides a high flat amount now. The damage has been reduced early, making it slightly harder to secure kills. It's still valuable, though.

Grasp%20of%20the%20Undying.png?width=32 Grasp of the Undying does provide us with extra damage and even gives us permanent health, but we typically want our damage to be upfront (i.e. we want burst damage) to reduce the time the enemy has to react. Supports are also generally a bit squishier. Ergo, we don't like Grasp much on support 89.png Leona.
Guardian.png?width=32 Guardian isn't necessarily bad, but as I just mentioned we want more damage to increase the odds of us killing our lane opponents. There's this weird juxtaposition from having someone shout "I will protect you" as she constantly bashes the enemy's faces in with her shield. Just a thought.

Resolve minor runes:
  • Bone%20Plating.png?width=32 Bone Plating is great at reducing damage from consecutive spellcasts or attacks. It provides a good amount of damage reduction at every point of the game. It's the de facto choice! If you're running a specific team composition, then consider Demolish.png?width=32 Demolish, especially if you have 115.png Ziggs on your team. Lastly, Font%20of%20Life.png?width=32 Font of Life provides your lane partner (and later, your team) with some light sustain, however its effect is a lot less noticable than either of the other options.
  •  Conditioning.png?width=32 Conditioning is one of the better choices here after two other runes were removed (patch 8.6). After being moved to this tier of runes in patch 8.4, Second%20Wind.png?width=32 Second Wind is a lot less attractive for us. I'd recommend taking one of the other aforementioned runes.
  • Perseverance.png?width=32 Unflinching will always be amazing for an initiator. Extra tenacity / slow resistance after flashing will never bad, especially when you're a melee champion being kited for days. You can opt for Overgrowth.png?width=32 Overgrowth instead for extra health throughout the game, but Revitalize.png?width=32 Revitalize is nigh useless for Leona.

179.png

Primary - Precision (Trading Resists for Damage)

You would mostly take Precision for the keystone I'm about to detail. Most of the tree's minor runes are admittedly pretty underwhelming. It is definitely more offensively geared than the Resolve tree, trading off resists for team damage.

Press%20the%20Attack.png?width=64 Press The Attack (PTA) is currently the only keystone 89.png Leona would want from the Precision tree. It'll increase team damage when you proc the third basic attack, which isn't so hard to do after all thanks to leonashieldofdaybreak.png Shield of Daybreak's basic attack reset (link). This lacks the bonus resists granted by Aftershock.png?width=32 Aftershock, but gives you and your team a 4-12% damage buff when hitting a specific target (edit: after patch 8.4, this keystone's early dominance has been nerfed, but is still potent). Marking a foe can also sometimes be enough for them to play considerably more passively in a fight, reducing their contribution / damage output indirectly. Just know that you're trading off tons of resists for this bump in damage.

(After playing around with Sorcery as a primary, using Arcane%20Comet.png?width=32 Arcane Comet, the upfront damage provided proved to be quickly outclassed by Precision's Press%20the%20Attack.png?width=32 Press The Attack. That damage boost from PTA's debuff is huge, even when you're the only person hitting the marked.)

Both Lethal%20Tempo.png?width=32 Lethal Tempo and Fleet%20Footwork.png?width=32 Fleet Footwork are not suited for our role as an initiating tank.

Precision minor runes:
  • Triumph.png?width=32 Triumph is the only real choice here unfortunately, providing us with extra gold and sweet sustain when we score a kill (or two, or five). Overheal.png?width=32 Overheal is useless as we don't naturally heal and  Presence%20of%20Mind.png?width=32Presence of Mind isn't necessary as we don't typically need to worry about mana issues.
  • Legend%20Tenacity.png?width=32 Legend: Tenacity is, again, our only real choice (granted it's a real good choice). Attack Speed and Lifesteal don't matter to us as a support tank.
  • The selection that makes the most sense here is Last%20Stand.png?width=32 Last Stand. It is inevitable that you'll be taking damage during a teamfight as an initiating tank, so this rune provides us with a substantial amount of extra damage. Don't try to stay at 25-30% health intentionally to get the most damage for your initiation, but if you get that low in a fight, it's a fun benefit to get. Coup%20De%20Grace.png?width=32 Coup de Grace is a weaker alternative as you'll benefit from it less consistently than Last%20Stand.png?width=32 Last Stand. The recent nerfs have hit both of these runes, but they're still strong.
231.png

Secondary / Splash Runes

So, you've chosen your primary rune, you selected your keystone, and completed the left side of your rune page. Sweet. Now all you've left to do is pick a secondary rune to either complement your primary rune or shore up its weaknesses.

Our secondary rune choices open up a great deal, although I've denoted my favourite splashes with an asterisk (*):
  • Resolve - improved defenses
  • Precision* - risky pay-offs
  • Sorcery - utility (movement speed or cooldown reduction) and extra burst
  • Domination* - utility (movement speed or extra vision) and sustained damage
  • Inspiration* - utility (saving gold and cooldown reduction)

As you can see in the Example page, it's aggressively specced with a dash of defensive runes to give us a nice combination to bully the enemy effectively as a melee support. Mix and match runes to select what best works for you in that upcoming game. Don't be afraid to move secondary runes around.

Below, I'll detail the secondary runes I'd recommend for each of the trees I've listed above.

179.png

Secondary - Resolve (Defenses)

Resolve as a secondary rune is pretty weak overall as Aftershock.png?width=32 Aftershock is the majority of the reason to take this tree, especially so since we aim to be aggressive. With the advent of patch 8.1, the raw health you got from this tree has also been reduced to give you extra AP. It's become less attractive as a splash overall. Still, if you're set on rounding out your build, you can look to the following minor runes:
  • Perseverance.png?width=32 Unflinching and Bone%20Plating.png?width=32 Bone Plating are your top choices here. Unflinching is if you think you'll be facing a lot of crowd control; otherwise, take Plating as it gives you further damage reduction.
  • Conditioning.png?width=32 Conditioning is top choice here in my opinion. Gives us bonus resists that scale well, albeit not immediately.

179.png

Secondary - Precision (Risky Pay-offs)

Precision, much like Resolve, benefits Leona the most as a primary rune primarily because of its powerful keystones. However, Precision as a splash still provides lots of powerful, albeit conditional, bonuses; this secondary rune is the definition of feast-or-famine.
  • Triumph.png?width=32 Triumph will restore your health and give you extra gold upon scoring a kill or assisting with one. It's possibly the reason to choose Precision as a splash at all, alongside...
  • Legend%20Tenacity.png?width=32 Legend: Tenacity. This minor rune will provide you with so much tenacity when you score kills that it'll make even 39.png Irelia proud. You could feasibly take Coup%20De%20Grace.png?width=32 Coup de Grace or Last%20Stand.png?width=32 Last Stand here (despite recent nerfs, these two runes are still good) to help with securing the kills necessary to make use of Triumph.png?width=32 Triumph, but I would rather double-dip with the snowballing mechanics here if we're choosing this rune tree anyways. I'd take Legend%20Tenacity.png?width=32 Tenacity.

179.png

Secondary - Domination / Sorcery / Inspiration (Utility and X)

I'm doing all three in one section to more appropriately weigh these against each other. To reiterate what I mentioned earlier, Domination and Inspiration are my top choices amongst these secondary runes for reasons I'll get into soon.

With patch 8.1 dropping, Resolve & Inspiration together yield the full 130 HP bonus, whereas Resolve + any others yield bonus AP at the cost of HP. This means aggressive options got more aggressive, whereas Inspiration makes you somewhat more tanky relatively speaking.

  • SORCERY: All-around movement speed or cooldown reduction, plus a spicy burst of damage. I'm not a fan, personally.
    • You really only have a choice between Celerity.png?width=32 Celerity and The%20Ultimate%20Hat.png?width=32 The Ultimate Hat.
      • The former (Celerity.png?width=32) provides us with extra movement speed that persists in-battle, whereas the latter (The%20Ultimate%20Hat.png?width=32) gives us more frequent ultimate casts. Celerity's extra text about getting bonus AP or AD is largely irrelevant for us. While you could take both of these for a great amount of extra utility, you'll be giving up the potential burst damage of...
    • Scorch.png?width=32 Scorch! It's a nice aggressive rune to take on Leona as it adds damage. Additional damage (not AP or AD) is always a desirable bonus. However, this rune has a lengthy cooldown. This is a very real drawback, especially when weighing secondary runes against each other (especially the next rune we'll look at below). However, if you're in Sorcery already then Scorch will have to do.
  • DOMINATION: Stacking movement speed and bonus damage on a short cooldown. One of my top choices.
    • cheap%20shot1.png?width=32 Cheap Shot is great for adding a bit of extra damage on top of your kit with each rotation. Leona can trigger this very easily due to her skillset and it has a very low cooldown to proc on enemies. As a result, this rune will easily outdamage Scorch.png?width=32 Scorch in skirmishes or any fights where you can proc it more than once.
    • Relentless%20Hunter.png?width=32 Relentless Hunter is a great splash to take too, but its movement speed is restricted to out-of-combat only. This makes it better for setting up ganks and roaming (either for kills or wards), but not as useful for keeping pace with enemies in the actual fight. You could also consider Zombie%20Ward.png?width=32 Zombie Ward in this slot instead if you're more interested in extra vision control.
  • INSPIRATION: Saving gold through free items and CDR. Another one of my top choices.
    • In the realm of saving gold, you can consider Biscuit%20Delivery.png?width=32 Biscuit Delivery and Perfect%20Timing.png?width=32 Perfect Timing. Magical%20Footwear.png?width=32 Magical Footwear is a personal favourite, but not often a rune you'll take as early mobility is key for our Lady of the Sun.
      • Biscuit%20Delivery.png?width=32 Biscuits provide you with more sustain in the early game and can help you survive against enemy poke lanes. They're also not a bad choice if you (or your team) have made the decision to roam early.
      • Perfect%20Timing.png?width=32 Perfect Timing is gaining notoriety for its use in high-level play. In general, it gives you a way to buy time in the heat of the moment: when diving, it lets you reset tower aggro**; when being dived upon, it guarantees you a few more moments and turret shots to deter your enemies. Having access to an otherwise 600g item that early into the game for free can be quite impactful. It wasn't as common to see everyone take this rune in solo queue, but you'll want to check enemy inventories more than ever now. Its gold value has been hit with Patch 8.3, but the effect is as strong as ever.
      • Magical%20Footwear.png?width=32 Magical Footwear is not useful on Leona since we generally want to rush boots. If you want to take this rune, though, you will be saving 300g, but that's the only upside. This is an okay rune for people unfamiliar to playing 89.png Leona or for those with an easy matchup. However, with the changes to rune tiers in 8.3, Magical%20Footwear.png?width=32 Magical Footwear is now competing with (Perfect%20Timing.png?width=32) Stopwatch for a place in your Inspiration splash; with this change, free boots are valued even lower than before.
    • On to less obvious gold-saving rune choices, these runes will provide you with passive bonuses in the form of CDR or health.
      • Cosmic%20Insight.png?width=32 Cosmic Insight is generally great all-around. It's useful in any game and will always provide you with useful stats. If you're stuck on what other splash to take alongside one of the gold-saving options, you can never go wrong with this one (Cosmic%20Insight.png?width=32).
      • Celestial%20Body.png?width=32 Celestial Body is situationally useful. Having more health is always useful, but the reduction to your early damage is not insignificant. I'd suggest only taking this rune if you're in a poor matchup where aggressing against the enemy is not going to be anywhere near as easy.

** Try to reset tower aggro so that it hits minions, lest you make your ADC or jungler cry as they suffer the tower's wrath.

179.pngOkay, that was a lot to take in. So what does it all mean? Well, it's mostly to stress that you've a lot of options. Try to pair things with what you find works best.

  • Enemy bottom nice and squishy? Resolve primary + Domination secondary or Precision primary + Domination secondary.
  • Feel like you need more utility? Comfortable with your damage output? Consider Resolve primary + Inspiration splash.
  • Enjoy Press%20the%20Attack.png?width=32 PTA but feel like you're being kited too easily? Precision primary + Sorcery/Resolve secondary.


Remember: be flexible with your runes! Select them according to the match you'll be playing!

Abilities Back to Top

Q
E
W
W
W
R
W
E
W
E
R
E
E
Q
Q
R
Q
Q
Passive
Q
1
14
15
17
18
W
3
4
5
7
9
E
2
8
10
12
13
R
6
11
16
Quick Guide: R>W>E>Q
Take R whenever possible, max W first for increased damage and higher bonus resists, E next to reduce its cooldown (and increase its damage), and max Q last because it's effective enough at one point.

Don't skill immediately at Level 1.

It's good practice and there are very specific situations that demand leonazenithblade.png E first.

It's generally good practice to avoid skilling immediately to see what the situation may demand, even though with Leona you'll usually want your stun at level 1 for any all-in shenanigans. However, if an enemy was already caught out but nearly escaped, you can (in rare circumstances) give chase over a wall without burning your 4.png Flash by using your leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade. You can safely skill leonashieldofdaybreak.png Q if no <1 minute shenanigans occur.
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leonapassive.png Passive: Sunlight

Part of what makes Leona so deadly as a support is leonapassive.png Sunlight, her passive. Hit an enemy, they get a mark. While you're locking up your foes and smacking them with your unfortunately lackluster basic attacks, your allies will (hopefully) be popping your marks for delicious bonus damage. Sure, the damage is ally-reliant, but it's free!

Some useful trivia:
  • Sunshine marks can be applied to any enemy: minions, monsters, and champions alike.
  • Your passive has no cooldown, but your marks do not stack. The new mark overrides the old.
  • Your marks can be applied to multiple enemies at a time.
  • The damage is not blocked by spell shields (e.g. 3102.png Banshee's Veil, 3814.png Edge of Night).

So as you can see, Leona's passive has the potential to add quite a bit of bonus damage to fights, be they lane skirmishes or huge late-game brawls. This also means with higher CDR, your DPS increases (because you'll apply more marks).

A HINT OF SUNSHINE: Be realistic when optimizing the damage from your passive. Don't let an enemy escape because you didn't want to stun them and risk wasting an old leonapassive.png Sunshine mark.
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leonashieldofdaybreak.png Q: Shield of Daybreak

It's an on-hit effect that stuns for 1s at all levels. It's simple but effective. It's worthwhile mentioning this ability increases your attack range a smidge to make stunning targets easier. It also has a low, though fixed, base cooldown, so CDR makes this skill incredibly dawnting for your enemies.

A HINT OF SUNSHINE: leonashieldofdaybreak.png Shield of Daybreak resets your basic attack animation (link), so it lets you squeeze in an extra bit of damage.

We max Q last because it's a one-point-wonder (i.e. the cooldown doesn't change and our other abilities contribute more).

179.pngleonasolarbarrier.png W: Eclipse

Big momma Aftershock.png?width=32 Aftershock. You get bonus resists and, after 3 seconds, explode around you (applying sweet, sweet leonapassive.png Sunshine marks in an AoE). If you hit something in that time, your bonus resists will persist for an additional 3 seconds. This ability really eclipses other defensive steroids.

You don't need this skill to set up kills on enemies, but it'll make the attempts more consistent by making you more resilient and by adding more burst to your ability rotation.

A HINT OF SUNSHINE: This skill has no cast time and can be activated during your other abilities. Pop this as you initiate so it pops when you get to your foes, so I suggest activating leonasolarbarrier.png Eclipse at the same time as you jump in with leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade (or other abilities). If you pop this before you land something else, you give the enemy time to react - and back away.

We max W first due to the increased damage and resists granted. What's nice is that the mana cost remains the same across all levels. Unfortunately, so does its longer cooldown.

179.pngleonazenithblade.png E: Zenith Blade

A projectile that turns into a dash against champions. It also snares the last champion hit for half a second. Neat!

This skill shines in its ability to let us stick to our targets. Due to its interaction with the last champion struck, you can often bypass enemy supports and tanks to jump on the squishier targets. You'll usually follow this up with a leonashieldofdaybreak.png Q to the enemy's face.

A HINT OF... OVERCAST SKIES? Since the gap-closing component of leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade is considered a dash, you can get interrupted by AoE knock-ups and knock-backs.

We max E second primarily to reduce its cooldown. Its damage also increases, which is nice.

179.pngleonasolarflare.png R: Solar Flare

Leona's ultimate. Orbital laser slow/stun with an impressive range. There's a bit of a delay, however, and you need to hit enemies with the center of the ability to secure a stun (though if you whiff, the 80% slow is still substantial). Naturally, this ability burns brightest when paired with other CC.

You can use this as your primary initiation from afar or as a follow-up to your other abilities to continue the CC chain. To illustrate my point, here are some rotations:
  • leonasolarflare.png R -> leonasolarbarrier.png W -> leonazenithblade.png E -> leonashieldofdaybreak.png Q (for closing the distance quickly)
  • leonasolarflare.png R -> leonasolarbarrier.png W -> leonashieldofdaybreak.png Q -> leonazenithblade.png E -> leonashieldofdaybreak.png Q (getting greedy with stuns)
  • leonazenithblade.png E -> leonasolarbarrier.png W -> leonashieldofdaybreak.png Q -> leonasolarflare.png R -> leonashieldofdaybreak.png Q (saving ult for guaranteed stun)
  • leonashieldofdaybreak.png Q -> leonasolarbarrier.png W -> leonasolarflare.png R -> leonazenithblade.png E -> leonashieldofdaybreak.png Q (the ol' "walk up on them" method; Q comes off cooldown the fastest)
Although I say leonasolarbarrier.png Eclipse comes second, it's really at the same time as your first skill in the rotation (if you're guaranteed a target).

Always skill R whenever possible.
179.pngLeona's got a ton of CC and damage for a support. She's fairly bulky with leonasolarbarrier.png Eclipse up, too, meaning she does well to survive on the front lines. Put this all together and you get an aggressive tank. She wants tanky items and CDR to best stick to enemies, letting her stun lock opponents without a care.

Protect your allies by locking down high priority targets! Leona is just as good at making picks on enemies as she is at peeling for your team's carries.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Typical starting items. Potions are noncommital and give us enough early sustain.
    Refillable potion is great if you're worried about constant enemy harass.

Core Items

    Early core example. You can work towards Zeke's or Locket instead of rushing Mobi Boots.
    Transitioning to mid-core example. If you finish quest early, grab Sweeping Lens.
    Mid core example. You'll generally have finished your quest by now. Grab red trinket.
    Late core example. Swap out your boots for defensive ones if needed. You may also want to keep a 6th slot open for Control Wards.

Situational Items

    A strong early purchase. Get this earlier against teams with lots of magic damage and/or AoE.
    An underrated buy. Great stat efficiency. Get this earlier if you want to snowball an advantage.
    A strong purchase due to its high-value active. Get this earlier against teams with AoE.
    Great mid/late buy. Helps your ADC to survive. This is a good follow up to Locket.
    Niche buy. Quite stat efficient. Get this if your team is in need of (extra) split-pushing power.
    Niche buy. Selfish defensive option. Get this if the enemies rely heavily on basic attacks.
    Niche buy. Get this if your team needs even more ways to initiate. Run up to make full use of it.

Don't buy the same things every game. Supports have to be flexible with their item builds.

Your items need to fit the situations presented to you now and in the future. Support itemization is largely about knowing when to get something. Although this has been greatly simplified with patch 8.2, support itemization should still try to match the game you're in.

179.png

Starting Items

Being a melee support, you're inclined to take 3302.png Relic Shield in your games (3301.png Coin and 3303.png Spellthief's are unsuitable for our purposes of being tanky). Besides the extra health, Relic (3302.png) lets you share last-hit gold (no, you do not steal the gold from your carry; yes, you both get full gold from the kill). Try to keep in mind a few things when you start with this item:
  • It may help to communicate with your partner about what minions you'll aim for.
  • To optimize the amount of gold you and your carry receive, prioritize minion kills in the following way:
    1. Siege Minion / Super Minion (60g)
    2. Melee Minion (~21g)
    3. Caster Minion (~14g)
  • If you and your carry want to push the lane, try to execute minions as soon as possible to give your minions a number advantage.
  • If you and your carry want to freeze the lane (keep it in the same place), try to last-hit the minions you wish to execute as if you didn't have 3302.png Relic Shield.
Don't forget your 3340.png yellow trinket, either. The only real choice you have as a melee support right now is whether you want to grab three 2003.png Health Potions or just invest in a 2031.png Refillable Potion.

2003.png Potions are less of a commitment and free up an inventory slot sooner, but if you think you'll need more than the three you'll start off with, I recommend getting yourself a 2031.png refillable one. In other words, buy a Refillable Potion if you're expecting to endure lots of poke throughout the entire laning phase.

179.pngEarly Core (Laning)

You have four priorities as you work towards your first items.
  1. 2055.png ABC - Always Buy Control (Wards). Try to budget enough gold such that you can always afford one.
  2. 1001.png Greater movement speed to keep up with enemies. If you've taken the Magical%20Footwear.png?width=32 Magical Footwear rune, ignore this for now.
  3. 3097.png Upgrading into Targon's Brace.
After your first back (or even on it), try to budget 75g to ensure you'll always be able to come to lane with a 2055.png Control Ward. This is crucial for denying enemy vision, which makes them more vulnerable to ganks and gives you more control over dragon. Your dot-pattern.png jungler will love you for it.

On melee initiators, such as 89.png Leona, you''ll find the increased movement speed from 1001.png Boots of Speed to be invaluable. Some frequent Leona players even delay their 3097.png Targon's just so that they can apply more pressure in-lane and across the map due to their increased movement speed (from earlier boots). If you find yourself wanting the early movement speed, consider rushing 1001.png boots.

Speaking of, 3097.png Targon's Brace should be the next priority for the laning phase. It's a great way for you to increase your (and your ally's) gold generation and provides you with a bit of extra beefiness. The quest will generally auto-complete in time, but it will complete faster when sharing stacks and getting kills/assists.

If you complete your starting item's quest early, consider swapping to a red trinket (3364.png) as soon as possible. There are some corner case situations where you may want a fourth ward charge

Consider your purchases carefully as you proceed through the early game.

179.pngMid Core (AKA Puberty)

So mid-game is the awkward transition phase where a lot of players aren't sure what to do with themselves, their team, or even their enemies. Your (enemy's) tower is down and what's a support to do? Put pressure on objectives across the map (e.g. dragon, other lane's turrets) and flex your vision-giving muscle.

So what does this mean for us and our items? Things start coming together. We'll complete one or two of our big items here. Your build order may look something like this:
  1. Vision suite (2055.png Control Wards & 3364.png Oracle)
  2. Upgraded boots (see below)
  3. 3105.png Aegis of the Legion OR 3024.png Glacial Shroud (only if rushing 3050.png Zeke's)
  4. Finish 3190.png Locket of the Iron Solari (or your 3050.png Zeke's, then work towards 3190.png Locket)
  5. Other situational items
First of all, upgraded boots. Increased movement speed is incredibly valuable on Leona. 3117.png Boots of Mobility are our top choice and let us reposition and roam with great ease, giving us the freedom to pressure other areas of the map more efficiently. In-battle, they're not as useful as other boots. If you're having no problem staying close to enemies, consider defensive boots instead (such as 3111.png Merc Treads or 3047.png Ninja Tabi). Alternatively, you can delay upgrading your boots until after your next purchase or two.

Generally, you'll want to also pick up an 3105.png Aegis in this phase. This item provides you with a healthy amount of resists while also allowing us the freedom to finish it a little bit later. Note: If you're rushing a 3050.png Zeke's Convergence, buy a Glacial Shroud here (you can do it instead or in addition to, depending on how much gold you're raking in).

Alright, now it's time for ye olde deb- wait, nevermind.

Some other tips at this stage of the game:
  • After you get your 3401.png Remnant, finish up 3190.png Locket and/or 3050.png Zeke's. Then work towards other situational items depending on the state of the game.
  • Try to always remember to buy 2055.png Control Wards.These will remain crucial throughout the game as a way to deny enemy vision and provide your own, especially as your team takes more objectives around the map.
  • If you didn't already get it, the 3364.png Oracle trinket is an invaluable tool for supports to get at this stage of the game for similar reasons as the Control Wards above.

179.pngLate Core

Teamfights and picks make up the bulk of this phase of the game. Vision control is as important as ever in this phase, as you'll want to deny enemy vision and pressure them into making bad plays. It's in this phase where you probably will not reach six items, nor should you always aim for that. There are some things to keep in mind during this part of the game:
  • Don't neglect to buy 2055.png Control Wards as long as you have inventory space open. You may want to omit a sixth item just to keep your team in control of the vision game.
  • If you bought 3117.png Boots of Mobility before and have nothing else to buy, consider swapping them out for a pair of defensive boots (either 3111.png Merc Treads or 3047.png Ninja Tabi). However, I'd suggest avoiding this if your team relies on you flanking.

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Alistar
    Hard
  • Annie
    Easy
  • Bard
    Easy
  • Blitzcrank
    Easy
  • Brand
    Easy
  • Braum
    Hard
  • Fiddlesticks
    Easy
  • Janna
    Hard
  • Karma
    Medium
  • Lulu
    Medium
  • Morgana
    Hard
  • Nami
    Medium
  • Nautilus
    Medium
  • Rakan
    Easy
  • Sona
    Easy
  • Soraka
    Easy
  • Tahm Kench
    Hard
  • Taric
    Medium
  • Thresh
    Medium
  • Vel'Koz
    Easy
  • Zilean
    Hard
  • Zyra
    Medium

VS

Alistar

Hard

A skill-based matchup. You'll generally have difficulties locking 12.png Alistar or his carry up unless you play reactively, but aggressively.

Alistar can ruin leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade in two ways: interrupt it with his pulverize.png knock-up during the dash, or knock you back after it with his headbutt.png Headbutt.

Consider walking up on Alistar and saving your leonazenithblade.png E after he knocks you away. Alternatively, you can try to bait his CC by pressuring him with your own leonashieldofdaybreak.png Q and then commit to his carry when his abilities are on cooldown.

VS

Annie

Easy
1.png Annie's a pushover for the most part. If she harasses you, don't shy away - instead, try to punish her and her longer cooldowns. She also can't mobilize well without 4.png Flash. Try to keep vision on her at all times and aggress first! Just be wary of her stun (indicated by the ring around her and giggle).

A HINT OF SUNSHINE: Annie relies heavily on her Q for single-target harass in-lane. Lane brushes are key to denying her this.

VS

Bard

Easy
432.png Bard relies heavily on landing his bardq.png stun to poke and initiate most fights. Avoid standing too closely to minions, terrain, or even your carry. Thankfully, he's got nothing to threaten you or your carry with after that. Leona does a wonderful job at locking down and bursting this troubadour.

Just be aware of any goofy gank setups he may pull with barde.png Magical Journey's tunnel. Stay vigilant when Bard and another enemy have been out of your sight for a while (e.g. after he backs to buy items, he may gank with his jungler).

VS

Blitzcrank

Easy
53.png Blitzcrank is easy pickings. He can disrupt you with his low cooldown powerfist.png E, but you should be able to lock him or his carry down with little problems.

His rocketgrab.png hook terrifies many, but you're tankier than he. In fact, just simply stand in the way. You, of course, shouldn't try to get hooked all the time. Instead, make it difficult for him to get a good angle on your angel. Alternatively, if the player waits for you to initiate before using hook as peel, you could always kill Blitz instead.

Also, should the 53.png Blitz player miss a hook, try to immediately capitalize and punish him. He'll have very little presence in-lane without it.

VS

Brand

Easy
63.png Brand hurts more than 1.png Annie, but the same general idea applies. He's got long cooldowns and is relatively squishy. Punish the immobile and unorthodox support pick.

If he tries to harass your carry, interrupt and lock him down. Try to body block any brandq.png stuns headed towards an ally, especially if you're not aflame.

VS

Braum

Hard
201.png Braum can be annoying. He's got a ton of CC and is fairly disruptive to your initiation, but isn't quite as bad as squaring off against 12.png Alistar. His cooldowns are relatively long and he can only proc his passive once on you.

Without his ult, 201.png Braum can still disrupt your leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade by tanking the projectile himself via his braume.png shield. Although, on the plus side, he can't absorb leonasolarflare.png Solar Flare with it. He can also play keep away with his braumq.png Q, giving his carry time to lay down a lot of damage on you if you try to look for an opening or run away predictably.

However, if 201.png Braum does burn braumq.png Winter's Bite and they don't/can't follow-up, then take it as a signal to counterattack. Once Braum stuns you, he can't offer much to stop you from sticking to his carry and can only slow or braumrwrapper.png ult for a short while. The big guy's considerably less scary without his partner to provide damage.

The key here is to play aggressively with a degree of caution; try to punish his carry if he misses skills.

VS

Fiddlesticks

Easy
9.png Fiddlesticks wants to get the drop on you and your partner. Crush the squishy mage by aggressing first and denying him brush control.

VS

Janna

Hard
40.png Janna is the queen of peel and will make your life difficult.

She can interrupt your leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade through her howlinggale.png tornado, and otherwise negate your initiation through her reapthewhirlwind.png ult. Try to gain brush control and deny her vision; punish her if she overextends to ward or poke. Additionally, if she eyeofthestorm.png shields herself, go on her carry.

Despite her abilities to disrupt your in-lane aggression, she cannot threaten your carry much by herself. Consider roaming to apply pressure to other lanes in the worst case scenario.

VS

Karma

Medium
43.png Karma is yet another tricky support to lane against. She's a poke-reliant champion and can hurt quite a bit if she maxes her karmaq.png Q first. However, she's squishy and is very vulnerable if she burns karmasolkimshield.png shield early.

Although 43.png Karma is relatively squishy, if you fail to burst her down she can respond by recovering an absurd amount of health (empowered karmaspiritbind.png W) or by repositioning her and her ally/allies (empowered karmasolkimshield.png E).

Responding quickly to any missed poke or by baiting out her tether can prove to be very effective. Try to use your leonasolarflare.png ult as a follow-up to other CC so there's no room to be outmaneuvered.

VS

Lulu

Medium
117.png Lulu's got some strong ways to keep people away, but suffers from lengthy cooldowns. Don't let her boss you around.

If Lulu uses lulue.png E to harass you or a partner (usually followed by her luluq.png slow), punish her as soon as possible since she is now unable to shield. She cannot interrupt your dash, except through lulur.png Wild Growth, so she is always quite vulnerable. Though luluw.png Whimsy is quite potent as CC, the cooldown is also quite long.

Play aggressively but cautiously, and try to punish Lulu's longer cooldowns. Baiting out her combo can be particularly effective with vision in the lane brushes.

VS

Morgana

Hard
25.png Morgana is the no-fun-zone of enemy supports. The fallen angel will poke hard and offers tons of CC alongside her CC-immunity-granting shield. Not to mention, she's also tankier than most ranged supports.

blackshield.png Black Shield is your bane. It stops your CC and you generally don't have enough damage to break it alone. It even eats up the damage from leonapassive.png Sunlight. Rude. If that wasn't enough, she'll peel or counter-initiate with her darkbindingmissile.png snare or soulshackles.png ult.

On the plus side, although blackshield.png Black Shield blocks the root from leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade, you still dash to whomever you've targeted with it. Try to aggress against whomever is unshielded or bait out its ridiculously long cooldown.

A HINT OF SUNSHINE: blackshield.png Black Shield's initials are BS. Funny that.

VS

Nami

Medium
267.png Nami's a slippery fishy. She brings sustain, CC, and tons of options to her team and lane. What's an avatar of the sun to do?

Well, thankfully, 267.png Nami's got long cooldowns. When she comes up to poke with namiw.png W, punish her. It's got less range than your leonazenithblade.png E. If you do this, though, expect her to follow up with her namiq.png bubble at the briefly-snared target's feet. To counteract this, you could 4.png Flash out of it or hope to walk out of it.

Watch out for her disengage and watch for her ability usage. Don't underestimate her mobility.

VS

Nautilus

Medium
111.png Nautilus, on the surface, resembles 53.png Blitzcrank. Though they both rely on their hooks, Nautilus packs a bunch more CC that can certainly slow you down.

The same principle applies, though: body block the nautilusanchordrag.png hooks intended for your carry. Try not to stand directly next to your lane partner (in case of his nautilusgrandline.png ult).

If you engage, however, 111.png Nautilus has a number of options to interrupt you: his nautilussplashzone.png slows, his nautilusanchordrag.png hook, and his passive snare. His nautiluspiercinggaze.png self-shield tends to be rather small in the early- and mid-game, however, so simply turn and punish the support instead. Additionally, if his nautilusanchordrag.png hook hits nothing, its cooldown is enormous.

111.png Nautilus will want to play aggressively, so play reactively and punish the long cooldowns on his harder CC.

VS

Rakan

Easy
497.png Rakan is relatively squishy and aggressive, but mobile. He's a strange beast, but a beast that can be tamed nonetheless.

Should the bird man fail his expected rakanw.png W, punish him or his carry immediately. Consider saving leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade for when he plans to rakane.png dash back to his allies. Its his only form of CC outside of his rakanr.png ult, and both have long cooldowns. Furthermore, although 497.png Rakan gets a shield from his passive, it too has a lengthy recharge AND he cannot rakane.png shield himself either. If he is trying to play passively, pressure him by flanking from river.

The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long. Counter 497.png Rakan's aggression with your own and save your longer-ranged CC for when he tries to flee.

VS

Sona

Easy
37.png Sona is a somewhat mobile poke-reliant support. She's as thin as paper, though.

If she comes close to get cute with a sonaq.png Q, blow her up with your ability rotation. Although she can try and run with her sonae.png E and a slowing chord, she'll probably have taken a huge amount of damage. Her sonaw.png heal and shield are quite formidable, but the latter lasts for a laughably low length and consume a great deal of mana.

The correct option is usually to punish Sona herself, though watch out for her sonar.png ult's stun. As you initiate with leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade and expect to get stunned, try buffering the cast for leonasolarflare.png Solar Flare.

VS

Soraka

Easy
16.png Soraka's a heal bot with little to stop you. She's relatively squishy and has no means of escape.

The worst 16.png Soraka can do is hope to snare you with her sorakae.png silence, but just keep moving to avoid that. She will heal up most damage going to her carry, so try to punish her instead. This is especially easy to do if she comes up to try and land sorakaq.png Q.

Try to play aggressively as early as possible. Consider freezing your lane's minions closer to your turret or in the center of the lane to really bully the goat.

VS

Tahm Kench

Hard
223.png Tahm's annoying to say the least. He's tough, has access to hard CC, and can rescue his allies from your initiation.

tahmkenchw.png Devour stops your initiation on any one of his allies, or it does a ton of health-based damage to you. Should you opt to engage on him, his tahmkenche.png E will keep him alive for quite some time. This seems like quite the no-win situation, right?

Well, there is a silver lining: tahmkenchw.png Devour has a long cooldown and 223.png Tahm must make a choice on how to use it. Furthermore, tahmkenche.png Thick Skin's regeneration effect is pretty pitiful at early levels. Try to fake engages and avoid being eaten; if you can whittle him down and wait out his grey health, then 223.png Tahm becomes much less scary - and simply annoying.

Consider playing aggressively very early on (levels 1-2). If all else fails, ask for a gank or roam to apply pressure to other lanes instead.

VS

Taric

Medium
44.png Taric has strong disengage and is very tanky himself. However, he is rather low-impact by himself.

44.png Taric's taricq.png sustain is mediocre early-game, so playing aggressively as early as possible can be quite profitable. Yes, his taricr.png ult is powerful, but it carries a huge telegraph wherein you and your carry should retreat.

Additionally, the fabulous support himself has quite low mobility to make up for his mid-/late-game tankiness. He makes an easy target for himself early on where you can leonazenithblade.png dash to him and promptly bait out his tarice.png stun.

Bait out and dodge 44.png Taric's tarice.png stuns and back away if he pops taricr.png ult (re-engage afterwards or as it wears off).

VS

Thresh

Medium
412.png Thresh is mostly a skill matchup, but is relatively easy to handle as he lacks reliable disengage. He is also surprisingly squishy in the early-game.

With the absence of old runes and masteries, 412.png Thresh is really not as imposing as he once was. He's quite flimsy if you can stay locked on to him. However, he can still interrupt your leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade with his own threshe.png Flay as you are en route. Consider buffering the input of your leonasolarflare.png ult or simply beginning with it and saving your leonazenithblade.png E until after threshe.png Flay.

If you go for 412.png Thresh's carry, he will usually try to rescue them with threshw.png Dark Passage or disable you with his threshq.png hook. Both carry long cooldowns, so punish their use liberally. Additionally, should 412.png Thresh use either, consider directing your attention to the flayer himself.

VS

Vel'Koz

Easy
161.png Vel'Koz is a squishy poke-reliant support. He'll be harder to reach than some of the other supports, but dies extremely quickly as he lacks a natural escape mechanism.

161.png Vel relies heavily on poking with velkozq.png Q, so try to bait it and duck through minions or move unpredictably. If he tries to push the wave with velkozw.png W, engage on him with leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade. Just be warned as 161.png Vel might try to put a velkoze.png knock-up under whoever is caught by you.

Should he try to velkozr.png ult, leonasolarflare.png Solar Flare should typically have enough range to interrupt his. If you're closer to him when he attempts this, leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade will put you behind him in an area where he cannot turn the mega death laser towards.

All in all, avoid 161.png Vel'Koz's poke as best you can and punish his greedier plays. If he proves too annoying, consider a gank or roaming instead.

VS

Zilean

Hard
26.png Zilean can read you like a book. You'll need to watch out for his double bombs (zileanq.png), which is easier said than done. If you hook onto him (leonazenithblade.png), chances are you'll end up eating an explosion or two. He can punish aggression quite well and poke from afar, as well as hasting allies or slowing threats with timewarp.png his E. On top of all this, you have no direct way to peel or shield your carry, so if both enemies jump your partner instead, there's very little you can do if you don't interrupt the bomb combo.

Either play passively or roam. If you're forced into a confrontation, do your best to chain CC (especially with your team) to stop him from ulting (chronoshift.png) his carry. During laning phase, if you and your carry can all-in him pre-6, you might be able to secure an early lead, but it's usually somewhat risky.

VS

Zyra

Medium
143.png Zyra's tricky. She's incredibly fragile and slow, but carries a ton of poke and keep away.

Her ranges slightly outdo yours, but carry a small cast time. This is a good opportunity to retaliate and punish her. Avoid fighting if she's surrounded by plants (or if she's standing on zyraw.png seeds and hasn't used a skill yet).

Play reactively, but aggressively, and you'll whack this weed.

Synergies Back to Top

This section will be brief, but generally you'll want an aggressive lane partner as Leona. You can still work with someone more passive or poke-centric (e.g. 22.png Ashe or 51.png Caitlyn), but the carries below are what best follow up your aggressive kit.
179.png

Preferred Marksmen:

119.png202.png222.png236.png21.png18.png110.png67.png

These carries excel at aggressing against their enemies through a combination of CC and burst damage. Among these, I'll highlight 21.png Miss Fortune, 110.png Varus, and 67.png Vayne as picks with high synergy, but they're all strong partners. Amusingly, 89.png Leona makes for a great counterpick to most of these champions as well.
  • 21.png Miss Fortune can start fights suddenly and has high burst. She can assist in setting up ganks with missfortunescattershot.png Make It Rain and definitely enjoys a long channel of her missfortunebullettime.png ultimate as you lock down enemies.
  • 110.png Varus can both set-up and follow-up your initiation given the combination of strong poke (varusq.png Q and varuse.png E) with CC (mostly his varusr.png ultimate). He's got access to a large amount of burst to help secure kills early on.
  • 67.png Vayne is capable of some massive damage in-lane as long as she has time to proc her vaynesilveredbolts.png Silver Bolts. Your stuns will be a huge asset to her, as well as letting her more easily set up a follow-up stun (vaynecondemn.png E) herself. If things don't work out during laning phase, then 67.png Vayne can still scale extremely well into late-game.This section will be brief, but generally you'll want an aggressive lane partner as Leona. You can still work with someone more passive or poke-centric (e.g. 22.png Ashe or 51.png Caitlyn), but the carries below are what best follow up your aggressive kit.
179.png

Preferred Non-Marksmen:

If you're dedicated to running Leona in a meta where bruisers or AP carries are more common, consider the following:
  • 63.png Brand, 115.png Ziggs, and 143.png Zyra can both get some easy burst on a target that's locked down. Brand and Zyra also have a good amount of CC to complement your own, whereas Ziggs pushes turrets harder.
  • 62.png Wukong, 39.png Irelia, and 59.png Jarvan do a great job of adding physical damage burst to your bottom lane and giving you extra CC to help shut down enemy carries with little ability for them to retaliate.
  • 82.png Mordekaiser may enjoy the extra CC and zoning you bring to the lane, enabling him to farm more safely in most situations.

Playstyle Tips Back to Top

Leona's Playstyle:

89.png Leona is an aggressive beast who punishes unorthodox picks, as well as fragile and immobile champions alike. When she says "I will protect you," it's really Leona signalling to you that the enemy will meet their inevitable demise under the flaming tank of the sun (and her cohorts).

Now, keep in mind: aggressive DOES NOT mean balls-deep, all-the-time, run-at-them-24/7 aggressive. You need to be calculated with your initiations and learn to punish enemy misplays or greedy decisions. Also, be aware of your team's need for you to peel enemies off your carry/carries.

A HINT OF SUNSHINE (OR A FEW):

  • Pace your CC to maximize its duration. Let your stun almost run out before applying another to maximize the length of time for which an enemy is stunned. Don't overlap stuns because it's wasted CC - instead, pace them out. The CC indicator bars will help a lot with this timing.
  • There will be situations where protecting your carry is more important than diving to kill the enemy's. Communicate with your team and keep an eye out for any enemies focusing your team's damage dealers down.
  • During the laning phase of the game, if you see the enemy ADC trying to get a last hit, try to punish them with your combo. Just make sure your lane partner is able to follow up if you do this.
  • Be realistic when optimizing the damage from your passive. Don't let an enemy escape because you didn't want to stun them and risk wasting an old leonapassive.png Sunshine mark.
  • Don't feel like you need to always open with leonazenithblade.png E. Like 53.png Blitzcrank or 412.png Thresh, if you throw out your skillshot and miss over and over, you lose a lot of lane pressure. To keep the pressure up in the early-game, consider sometimes walking up on nerds and stunning them first (letting you hold onto leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade in case they run away). Alternatively, dash to enemy ADCs trying to last-hit as suggested earlier.
  • Speaking of your leonazenithblade.png your E, Leona will try to basic attack the target immediately after exiting the dash. Either have your leonashieldofdaybreak.png Q prepped beforehand or get ready to animation cancel that basic attack (especially important for Press%20the%20Attack.png?width=32 PTA users).
  • More about leonazenithblade.png Zenith Blade: it counts as a dash where you're untargetable, though not invincible. AoE knock-backs and knock-ups can still displace you out of this skill.
  • Try not to get baited. Always keep an eye on the minimap for enemy movements. Also, if enemies are playing uncharacteristically (e.g. more passive than usual), they could be setting you up for a gank if you overengage. Try to get a read on your opponents' personal playstyles.

Roaming Back to Top

roam

/roʊm/ (NA)     /rəʊm/ (UK)
  1. To move around the map with a purpose (e.g. pressuring a lane, taking an objective, warding, etc.)
  2. To waste time and piss off one's ADC

179.pngRoaming is an important aspect of playing League of Legends, and this is no less true if you're a support player. In fact, one could argue it's a vital aspect of playing the role. It's vital because it allows your team to effectively have two junglers. In less sensationalized words, roaming gives you the power as a support to impact other lanes and help carry your team to victory.

But before we start roaming, we need to know when to do so.

When is it appropriate to roam?

Ask yourself (in order of descending priority):
  1. Are there any opportunities? (Are any lanes overextended? Is Dragon/Rift Herald/Baron up? Did nearby wards expire or get cleared? Does your ally have CC? etc.)
  2. Will you roaming actually accomplish anything? (e.g. If you're trying to gank a 122.png 4/0 Darius with a 92.png 0/4 Riven, you're just walking into a double kill.)
  3. If you leave, are you putting your ADC at risk or preventing them from farming safely?
  4. Did you communicate that you wanted to roam to your team? (Seriously, use the 'On My Way' ping at least!)
Generally, if you answered 'no' to any question, you're likely not in a good position to roam right now. Otherwise, let's roam.

179.png

Oh, and remember:

You don't have to roam alone!

Roaming is a lot safer and has a higher success rate if you can pull another teammate along to help out (usually the jungler, but sometimes even the other solo laner may come).

Make sure to communicate with your team and try to see if they're comfortable with you roaming up to help them or if they can assist with a nearby objective. Even if you're just going out to ward the nearby area, just type a quick "warding" if you can. Some people may not want you to gank their lane, but you can simply drop a ward in the area.

Speaking of warding...

Warding Back to Top

The Art of Warding


tl;dr - look at the mini-map; ward early and efficiently

Anyone can just slap a ward down and call it "vision," but a support player will take warding to the slightly-higher next level. We will cross the boundary of what is and isn't truly "vision." We will make warding an art.

... okay, well, not really. But there ARE ward spots that will vary in usefulness depending on the state of the game. So many bushes and so many intersections, yet so few wards. Before we eagerly expel our ward charges, try to consider that to ward effectively, you must ward before things happen.

Think upon your experiences: have you ever had a game where you warded - only to realize you're now facing the enemy ambush? Any situations where you went "I wish I knew [person] was coming down earlier?"

Well, don't blame your teammates for not communicating - hone your map awareness and look for problems before they arise. This will become easier and easier as you practice it in-game, so try not to get flustered or frustrated as you play.

Lastly, warding will generally fall into either aggressive (proactive) or defensive (reactive) wards, though some outliers exist.
  • The overall idea is that aggressive wards are riskier to place, but reward your team with deeper vision (meaning your team can see where the enemy is moving in their own territory).
  • On the other hand, defensive wards are safer for you to place, but yield less fruitful information.
179.png

Ward Here During The First Minutes

You should generally communicate with your jungler during this phase. If your team wants to invade early, then aggressive wards should help (like at enemy buffs). Likewise, if your jungler just wants to start at their own buff, ward defensively to get information about any enemy movements.

Here are some examples of early defensive wards:
179.png

Ward Here During Laning

IoJCkCb.png
Ward 1 - This is a good aggressive ward spot for red team. As blue, you'd probably want a ward near wraiths instead.
Ward 2 - Aggressive ward for both teams. Great for spotting incoming ganks and dragon attempts. You can put it closer to the lip of the dragon pit, but be careful not to put the ward too far inside.
Ward 3 - This location is good for either team if they're trying to cover as much area as possible with just a single ward. However, doing this will limit the amount of time you have to respond to ganks (as it is closer to lane).

Try to avoid warding the lane bushes as it's often unnecessary due to the minion wave ebbing and flowing (heh). Some exceptions to this rule would be if you're facing off against 53.png Blitzcrank or 412.png Thresh.
179.png

Ward Here During A Push

I'm not going to detail every single possible tower and its corresponding ward spots, so I'll just use one example to illustrate where might be worthwhile spots.
wOM16Sc.png
Ward 1 - High value ward spot. Spots enemies leaving their base via gates, trying to flank from another lane, etc.
Ward 2 - High value ward spot. Same reasons as Ward 1.
Ward 3 - Moderate value ward spot. Common intersection for flank/ambush attempts.
Ward 4 - Moderate value ward spot. Same reasons as Ward 3. You'll have to make a choice between this and #3.

You can also choose to put a ward further back in the same lane as where you're pushing.
179.png

Ward Here When Taking Objectives

I'll use Rift Herald / Baron as an example, but these ideas can be applied when pressuring/taking Dragon as well.

When playing as the Blue Team:

mscgCW5.png
C Ward - Deny enemy vision and make it riskier for them to approach. Make sure the Control Ward's radius covers everything in the pit.
Ward 1 - The infamous 'trick ward'. Covers an important bush. To ward from within the pit, aim for the top of the tree (like so). For Dragon pit, aim for the peak of the rock (like so).
Ward 2 - Gives vision behind the pit. Allows you to monitor enemies who want to try sneaky plays.
Ward 3 - Try to get this ward in as early as possible to reduce risk of running into enemies. Gives vision of nearby intersection.

When playing as the Red Team:

mFzlu9M.png
C Ward - Deny enemy vision and make it riskier for them to approach. Make sure the Control Ward's radius covers everything in the pit.
Ward 1 - A useful intersection to cover. You can move this ward further south into the bush.
Ward 2 - Another useful intersection to cover. You'll want to keep this ward south enough to see who's hiding behind the wall to the right.
Ward 3 - Depending on the enemy's location, having this ward as insurance against flanks is a good idea.
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Don't let these examples be the only wards you place down. Use your head and judge what's safe or useful for your team in that situation.

Update Log Back to Top

2018-06-23 (Minor tweaks and new name)

  • Leona's still a fun pick and can work well with some other picks right now, but she's no longer the top pick/ban with the meta being shaken up. Therefore, a new name is required!
  • Updated synergies section.
  • 26.png Zilean matchup added.

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2018-05-14 (Minor tweaks; been away for a while!)

  • Leona got buffed / un-nerfed! leonasolarbarrier.png Eclipse is better / less worse (again).
  • cheap%20shot1.png?width=32 Cheap Shot got buffed slightly in 8.10, although Resolve options (Bone%20Plating.png?width=32,5abd57da0f30230001f3edd9?width=32) got hit a bit. Nothing too exciting, but definitely helps put more kick back in our aggression.

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2018-04-17 (Minor tweaks)

  • Updated items section: Sweeper gone, Oracles earlier. That's all.

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2018-04-05 (Minor tweaks)

  • Updated items section: minion gold values and 3190.png Locket is still great for us (the nerf hit its late-game, but the item's stats are still useful). 3047.png Tabi were nerfed but they're still useful if you don't need the tenacity from 3111.png Merc.

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2018-03-07 (Minor tweaks; Banner's a great situational item, y'all)

  • Updated items section to include 3060.png Banner. Even post-nerf, it's still useful for pushing and sieging, especially against pesky wave clearin' nerds.

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2018-03-02 (Minor changes)

  • Updated Leona's items. 3107.png Redemption and 3109.png Knight's Vow are labelled appropriately as strong earlier buys; Vow is not just a situational item.

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2018-02-21 (Minor changes; in response to Patch 8.3 and 8.4)

  • Whoops, I'm slow to notice patch notes. I'll try to be more diligent moving forward.
  • Updated the runes section. Magical%20Footwear.png?width=32 Magical Footwear is a lot worse if taken as a splash because it now competes with (Perfect%20Timing.png?width=32) Stopwatch in its tier. Oh, and Press%20the%20Attack.png?width=32 Press the Attack is weaker. Still fine, but weaker before late-game. If you ran it before, you're probably just a fan of that playstyle anyways. Also, the new rune in Resolve is pretty exciting.
  • Updated the items section. All mentions of 2303.png 'Eye' replaced with 'Remnant'. It's still the same item, though. Oh, and Coin's not any better with its bonus movement speed. Get that h e a l t h.

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2018-01-24 (Major changes: Aftershock and Items)

  • Updated the runes section. Aftershock.png?width=32 Aftershock's still useful, but not nearly as damaging. May be worthwhile to experiment with other keystones.
  • Updated the items section. Rest in peace, 3401.png Face.

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2018-01-23 (Reorganization and addressed stopwatch)

  • Updated the runes section. Reorganized the trio of splashes (Domination, Sorcery, and Inspiration) and shed some light on everyone's recent favourite: Perfect%20Timing.png?width=32 Perfect Timing.

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2018-01-15 (Minor tweaks)

  • Updated the runes section again. BTW, I'm a worthless pathetic little puppy who can't resist Mari's disgusting shoes.

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2018-01-09 (Happy New Year! Minor tweaks in response to patch 8.1)

  • Updated the runes section. It's a trade-off in HP for AP when taking Resolve which means you'll be less tanky for slightly more damage. Better for aggressive all-ins for that extra bit of damage, but you'll be softer for taking it.
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