Alistar Build Guide

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A Modest Proposal

written by AgentEpsilon

Alistar Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    I took some deep thought into the challenges of playing Alistar and came up with an alternative build that seems to compensate well for Alistar's weaknesses. If you are looking for another AP Alistar build, this isn't it and you can move on. :) I'll explain here the build that helped me to drastically increase my total damage output AND damage taken, while winning a lot more games than I normally do. I am no pro, but please don't knock it until you try it once or twice. Comments and debate are welcome.

  • Abilities

    [spell=Colossal Strength]
    Pushing towers is your true calling in life. Get 'er done.

    AOE stun / knock up. This will keep the squishies from escaping while your team creams them. Use it also to interrupt channeled spells like Katarina's or Nunu's ultimates.

    Knock someone away. This can eject someone from a team fight long enough to give you an advantage. It can knock a squishy into your teammates. It can last hit someone running away with 5 HP. Be inventive, but NEVER knock someone to safety. :)

    Triumphant Roar
    This will heal you and those around you. Not a lot, but you are them man and no one is doing a lot of damage to you. Keep yourself topped off with this, but watch your mana.

    Unbreakable Will
    If you are an Alistar noob, remember that this ultimate will break CC. This will get you out of a stun or slow and back to cracking skulls lickity split.

  • Runes / Masteries / Summoner Spells

    These are kind of beyond the scope of what I am trying to convey with this build, so pick what you will.

    For runes, this build can benefit from Armor Penetration, Armor, Magic Resist, etc. Don't let me hold back your creativity.

    For masteries, defense is nice. Anything is nice.

    Summoner Spells: Flash is almost a must, use it to get into position for stuns and headbutts. The second spell can be your pick. Ghost, Teleport, Fortify, Exhaust... uses for all of it.

  • Alistar's Weak Points

    These are the weaknesses we are trying to overcome with this build:

    Farming - Alistar is one of the straight up worst farmers in the game. While pursuing common AP builds, I found it very difficult to obtain the expensive AP items recommended for "Mathematically Optimum Ownage," or MOO if you will. The price of MOO is way beyond Alistar's ability to pay when building in such a way that he could achieve MOO. In most games I was lucky to get half way through the build I was working on, and that was if the game went long. We will not be shooting for MOO here. In making this build, I worked to compromise between making more money for items, and using cheaper items. You'll see some items in the build that seldom show up in these guides because they are not the most bang, but I am trying to look at honest bang for the amount of money we can expect to get in the game.

    Cooldowns - Alistar is a CC king, but his cooldowns are legendary. Once you run in and drop your AP-heavy ground pound and headbutt, you have little effect as you wait for your abilities to come back up. Most builds wedge in some CC reduction which can be expensive and only shaves off a few seconds.

    Tanking - You are tough, you have CC. Alistar is good at getting in there and getting it started. Once things are rolling, though, and Alistar has used his CC moves, he can be ignored very easily for the squishier members of your team. The tank that isn't a threat does little to draw the fire of the enemy team and, thus, is not tanking. Without a taunt move like Shen or Rammus, Alistar needs to do more to draw attention to himself.

  • Build Explanation

    Early Game: This is where we need to focus in on the farming problem. This build is cheaper than average but will need money to get it going. Since we suck at farming, we are going to rush a Madreds Razor as fast as possible. Once you have that Madreds, you can just stand in the middle of their minions and one-hit-KO them like the mother-lickin' Minotaur you are.

    To speed the rush to Madreds, I will start with Cloth Armor and four Mana Potion. You can do Health Potion if roaring to heal is not your thing. If I am having trouble in my lane, I will go back as soon as I can get the Madred's Razors. Otherwise, I will wait until I can get Wriggle's Lantern. The life steal, attack, armor, and greater chance for minion kills will all contribute to make you unmovable from the lane. You will kill their minions and be in their face about it, hopefully zoning them out.

    The next item to rush, and you have to shoot for getting it before things break into team fights for best effect, is the Sunfire Cape. This has a double benfit, and I won't even talk about armor or health. Number one, it works wonders on the groups of minions and will help you farm. Number two, this is free damage to everyone on the enemy team between your cooldowns. The more damage you can do, the more of a threat you are, and the less you can be ignored.

    At this point the game will be moving towards team fights. Get your boots, whichever ones you like best. I've found that more speed is better than any other effect you can get from the boots... you need to be in the fight, at the front of the fight, or you won't do any good. So I usually get Boots of Swiftness but pick your own poison.

    At this point take a look at who is emerging on the other team as people to watch out for. To this point we have stacked armor so if their carry is AD you are probably okay. If they are HEAVILY AD and tearing you up, stop now and get a Thornmail. Why? Tons of armor and, while you are between cooldowns, they will kill themselves trying to attack you. The enemy team can be your best DPS. :)

    Normally, though, they will not be overwhelming you with AD at this point, so it is time to pick up the slack on Magic Defense while getting items that will help us with our AD, since that is what we have between cooldowns. I rush the Hexdrinker since it provides MR, a "get out of spell death free" card, and some more AD. If the enemy team is very caster heavy and CC is getting you, follow up with a Banshee's Veil. Otherwise, go for the Wit's End. This will give you more MR, plus AS for more DPS and magic damge to back up your physical damage.

    This is the point I get to in most game but if you have the time and money to grab one last item, just take a look and see what you need. Get AR or MR as appropriate if the enemy team still is a threat to killing you. If not, grab something for your DPS. An Atma's Impaler could make a big difference at the end of the game, or a straight AD item like Bloodthirster or Infinity Edge. Realistically, though, these are too expensive and you should just grab a cheap item that will give you a boost. The goal is to get a full set of boost-giving items rather than three strong AP items.

  • Team Fights

    This probably goes without saying, but remember now that in the teamfights you are constantly doing damage and your auto-attacks are going to mean more than normal. Be sure you are always attacking and focusing the team on the appropriate targets. Your abilities are for the CC they give, not for the main damage you will be doing. When the other team notices you actually hit hard instead of just running around punching the ground every ten seconds, you will have a lot more attention from the other team. Be sure to keep that health up with your lifesteal and Roar, and pop that utltimate as soon as they make the mistake of thinking the whole team can finish you.

  • My Findings

    When I switched from AP Alistar to this build, I noticed a few major changes in the after-game stats:

    1. Instead of being a distant last for minion kills and gold earned, I am right up there with the rest of the team.

    2. My total damage dealt went from dead last to waaaaay up there, and even well more than my damage taken.

    3. My damage taken went from waaaay down in last place to waaaaay the heck up in first. And, remember, my Total Damage to Damage Taken ratio is waaaay better now, even with the huge increase in damage taken.

    4. More often, the stats say that my team WON! I am not a great player by any means, but winning more often is winning more often.

    Lastly, I just feel like more of a force of power on the team. There are far more games where I am the butt-kickin' tank that is screwing up the enemy team and getting tons of assists as I stand unkillable. There are more times where my team ditches me to a 1v3 where I take two of them down with me because they underestimate my invincibility. And more moaning comments from the other team. :)

    Anyway, I just wanted to share this, and my thoughts behind it. Try it out if you are into Alistar and let me know how it works for you. Haters, hate. :)

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Submitted by AgentEpsilon

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